Tuesday, March 20, 2001 | By: Drotuno

An Angel's Promise Chapter 41

CHAPTER 41
BELLA
I knew as soon as Edward's lips pressed to the back of my head, there was something up. I knew Alice had seen something, and he was slowly, methodically getting ready for it. I could feel his breathing change, heard him negate her, but she held firm.
Behind me, he tugged Esme closer, made sure Jasper and Emmett were close, and when his touch left me, I focused on Tanya as she argued with everyone, gripping my friend's throat.
Kevin wasn't holding up well. I could hear his breathing ragged through her grip. I could see Tanya just about to snap, despite the fact that her family and Carlisle were trying to keep her calm, trying to get her redeem herself in her last moments. But she knew this was the end. It was time for fight or flight from her.
"There's nothing good...anymore," she whispered, and I saw her give up. I saw the "fuck it all" expression on her face, and my sweet friend Kevin was paying the price.
Tanya pulled him close, still holding his neck. She cut him open with her nails, spilling his blood. A collective inhalation from everyone in the room practically caused a vacuum around us. The newborns' attention shot to the two of them, and they were almost salivating.
I'd never moved so fast when she picked him up to throw him, but I was too late, as was Mark, who dove at the same time I did. Kevin landed right in the middle of the last six newborns, but I couldn't wait to see what happened. My sisters, Esme, and I launched at her without pause, a snarl ripping from all of us for daring to hurt Kevin.
It was a pile of punching fists, kicking legs, and curses. Tanya squirmed out from under us, launching herself at Megan, but the chase was on. We flew through the twists and turns of the crates and boxes, Tanya pulling some down as she ran.
"Bitch," Rose muttered as we both leaped over boxes and spilled alcohol, following Mark, who was following Tanya and Megan.
We were heading for the tunnels, I was sure of it. I wanted so badly to force my shield out to Tanya, but I couldn't get a clear sight on her, and I wanted my hands on her. I was completely fucking done with her.
No one touched my family, human or not, and lived to walk away.
From the very back of the storage room, and just before Tanya dove into the tunnels, I heard Edward call for Carlisle, and I prayed with all that I had that those two could help Kevin, because the last glimpse I'd had wasn't pretty. Kevin looked injured, looked almost crushed as Tanya had tossed him like a rag doll.
"Damn it," Alice growled as we flew through the underground entryway.
It was dark, smelling something awful, but we continued on, keeping Mark in our sights. For a moment, I wondered if this was part of his plan, because Megan seemed to be leading this as Tanya gave chase.
We passed the tunnel that we'd originally entered earlier that night, turning left, right, left again. There was a loud curse, a grunt, and a sudden splash of water as a dead end approached out of nowhere. At the end of the tunnel was a little drop off into some sort of shallow pool, a drop off just barely a foot down. Tanya dove for Megan, who jumped to grab a hold of a piece of metal jutting out close to the ceiling. Tanya missed, landing in the dank, smelly water at our feet, Mark diving right on top of her.
The unfortunate fact I noticed as Esme, Rose, Alice, and I all came to an abrupt halt at that dead end was that Tanya had centuries of fighting experience on Mark. She pinned him quickly, almost as if she knew every move he could make. She held him down under the water, not that he could drown, but because I suddenly smelled what she did.
The water...it was fucking filled with some sort of fuel. It was slick and smelled potent, like kerosene or diesel. Looking up, I could see a man hole up to the street side. I could hear traffic. I could hear...gas pumps.
"Oh, fuck," I breathed, looking to Esme and then my sisters.
"This needs to end...and end right fucking now!" Rose growled, her eyes wide as we realized we could be in a gazillion pieces in a split second with just one little spark.
"Tanya!" I snarled, and her head snapped up to glare at me.
It was at that moment that I saw that her sanity had taken a permanent leave. She wasn't Tanya anymore. She was crazed, no longer the pretty woman I'd met the first time, the one that had had a crush on Edward. That Tanya no longer existed. And for a moment, I wondered if being alone for so long, if chasing human men without love and her desires never coming true, caused her mind to slip away, because at that moment, she was just...a monster. Hell, I wasn't even sure if she knew her own name.
"Let him up...we have to get out of here," I growled, gesturing to the tainted water that was up to her mid-calf, but in all reality, she was drenched in it from her fall to the floor of the tunnel.
Megan hopped down from the wall that she'd jumped up on, landing right beside Alice's side. She looked to me, and I just shook my head for her not to panic.
"Fuck you, Bella. Fuck all of you," Tanya sneered, pulling out a lighter.
"Jesus," Esme breathed, because we all recognized that it was one of those Army lighters. The ones that could be wet or in the wind, and it would still light.
I made a decision without really having a chance to think about it, and Alice gasped next to me. I looked up at Rose, and she groaned, knowing exactly what I was thinking.
"'Kay," was all she said, just before we dove for Tanya and Mark.
I grabbed Tanya's arm and Mark's shirt at the same time, pushing him behind me as Rose struggled to get a grip on the rest of the crazy immortal.
"Get back!" I growled at the rest of them, just as Rose finally helped me slam Tanya against the concrete wall.
I hadn't gotten a chance to turn my head back to Tanya, when her fist connected with my cheek.
"Shit!" I snapped, glaring at her and slamming her head into the wall as I removed the lighter from her useless hands. Once Rose and I had her under control, my shield slipped tightly around her. "Okay, Rose...move!"
We both stepped up out of the water, my shield holding Tanya firm, yet she continued to struggle.
"This is about Edward, isn't it? I never...he wasn't..." she whined, closing her eyes as she wriggled in my unbreakable hold.
"You're freakin' kidding me, right? I'm not jealous of you. You never had a chance!" I growled, pulling her away from the wall and slamming her back with every sentence I said. "This about all the death and destruction you've caused here in New York! This is about not doing what Marcus told you! This is about not following a diet you've struggled to maintain for centuries! This about killing humans without care, changing humans without asking. This is about every time you've apologized to this family and gone back on it in the next fucking breath!" I slammed her so hard with that last one that the concrete wall cracked, causing more fuel to trickle in. "This is for Mark and Megan. For me and Edward. This for Kate and Irina and Gianna and Eleazar and Carmen. This is for Brandon, who could give two shits what happens to you! This is for killing and lying and using people to get what you want, when you're so crazy that you don't even know what you fucking want!"
I paused, trying to calm myself, but my shield reacted on it's own. It started to pull at her, tear at her, and I could barely stop.
"But most of all..." I started with clenched teeth, but my sisters apparently wanted their say, as well.
"This...is about Kevin!" Rose, Alice, and I snarled at the same time.
"He was innocent in this, Tanya," Esme sighed, shaking her head as she helped Mark up; not that he needed it, but he did look a little shaken. Megan wrapped him up tightly in an almost bone crushing hug. "It would've almost made more sense had you taken this all out on Edward, but this wasn't about him. Ever," she told Tanya, her voice sounding impatient. "You won't be a threat to my family – human or not – anymore. Go ahead, little one." Esme nodded to me, and the angry look of Mama Bear was etched all over her beautiful face – she was over all of it.
The scream that Tanya let out wasn't even funny. It wasn't immortal or human or angry. It was just...animalistic and feral. It sounded alien and foreign. It sounded like guilt and frustration and insanity. It was fucking loud!
And the last thought that went through my head just before I snapped her apart was that I felt sorry for her, and I hoped that after this, she went somewhere that she could be happy, be sane. She'd lived a long time, and Marcus had told me once that some immortals' minds couldn't handle living for so long. Tanya...she was a prime example of that, as was Sinclair. The saddest part – she was once considered family to the three women at my side.
I closed my eyes, shook my head, and constricted my shield. Tanya's scream cut short, and I heard splashes into the shallow pool. Mark dropped back into the water and piled her body parts up on the ledge in front of us, asking for the lighter.
"No," I stated. "Everyone back, because this is gonna blow big time. I'll have to shield us. Go, Mark. Move!"
Esme squeezed my shoulder, saying, "Better let me do it. I'm not covered in..."
I nodded, handing her the lighter.
She flicked it carefully and tossed it onto the pile of what was now left of the woman that had tortured my relationship with Edward for too long, that had hurt my really good friend, Kevin, and had terrorized the city of New York.
She bloomed into flames, and I wrapped my shield around everyone as those flames found that gasoline water just below the ledge where we were safely standing. The booming explosion rocked the tunnels we were in, sending the manhole above us rocketing into the street.
I could feel the heat caressing my shield, but it didn't touch us as we backed down the tunnel. I heard voices in far away tunnels, but I grabbed Mark's shoulder.
"Lift that mask, Mark. They're looking for us," I told him. "Edward needs to hear us." I tapped my temple so that he understood what I meant.
He nodded, barely able to look up from Megan's face as he held her close, whispering that it was over, that she was safe, that they would never be apart now.
It didn't take long until there was a rush of pounding feet, calls of everyone's names, and strong arms lifting me up. I turned in his embrace, just grateful to see his handsome face.
"Bella," Edward breathed, wrapping me up and studying me from head to toe. "You're covered in..."
"Gas, I know," I answered him. "My shield is keeping that at bay," I said, pointing to the end of the tunnel.
He winced, but didn't put me down, worry caressing his brow. "Tanya?"
"Yeah," we all said at the same time.
Rose took a few steps forward, my shield allowing her to go only so far. She turned with a wry, sarcastic smile. "Too bad we don't eat marshmallows. 'Cause I'd roast a few on that bitch..." She rubbed her hands together, pretending to warm them on the fire. "What? I'm not fucking kidding!"
I snorted, burying my face in Edward's neck. I felt him struggle not to laugh, but Emmett broke us all. His guffaw was loud and filled with relief.
"We better get out of here," I told Edward, and he set me down. "There's a gas station...like right there."
"Then let's get the hell outta dodge," Jasper growled, grabbing Alice's hand.
"What about Kevin? And where's Carlisle?" Esme asked as we bolted down the tunnels.
"We'll tell you on the way," Edward sighed, leading us in a completely different direction as Ground Zero, the storage facility, and other fires I could see up ahead.
"On the way where?" I asked, squeezing his hand as we ran.
"The cabins. Decisions have to be made..."
~oOoOo~
"God, you guys stink," Emmett muttered, shaking his head as he started the SUV, rolling down all the windows.
"Yeah, well, try to resist the urge to smoke a cigarette, okay?" I muttered wryly, looking out the window to see police, firetrucks, and EMTs flying by, heading towards the true havoc we'd wreaked under the city. I sighed, shaking my head. "Tell me everyone's okay."
"Sort of," Jasper hedged, but Alice growled, smacking his arm.
"Tell her the truth!" she huffed.
Edward snorted, but picked up my hand. "Kevin's hurt. Badly."
"Oh, no," my sisters, Esme, and I all groaned.
"And Carlisle?" Esme asked.
"He's with him," Edward answered, shaking his head. "We're...not sure what can be done."
"And everyone else?" Rose asked, wincing.
"Fine," Edward said, sitting back in the seat and pulling me to him, despite my gasoline stench. He smirked, kissing my temple at my thought, but continued, "The Denalis were upset, but didn't fight Marcus with Tanya's sentence, and they helped with the clean up of the underground for him, telling him they were leaving right after. Those were the fires you saw as we left. Carlisle, Adrian, Demitri, Carina, and Marcus were taking Kevin to the cabins to see what could be done."
I sighed, looking out the window again. What could be done? I knew Kevin's heart, so I hoped that Marcus or Adrian or even Carlisle would think twice before letting him die. I swallowed the lump in my throat at just the thought of losing my friend, and felt strong arms wrap around me.
"And that's the decision that we need to face, love," he whispered soothingly, but I could hear the worry, stress, and uncertainty in his voice.
I nodded, but stayed quiet as we quickly left the city.
Mark and Megan answered any questions the boys had, but sadness weighed heavily on my heart, as well as my sisters and Esme. We were anxious to see Kevin. I didn't need to hear them say it. It was on Rose's frown out the windshield. It was on Alice's closed-eyed, solemn expression as she laid her head on Jasper's shoulder, most likely looking into every vision she could. It was in Esme's deep sighs as we got closer and closer to the cabins.
I don't think Emmett had come to a complete stop, before the four of us bolted from the car, only to be stopped by Carlisle's raised hands in the middle of the circle of cabins.
"Girls, wait," he said, his eyes locking on Edward behind me. "I know you want to see Kevin, but he's weak. He needs..." He paused, inhaling sharply. "Is that...gasoline?"
Rose huffed in frustration, rolling her eyes. "Yeah...sorry we're not a bed of roses after crawling through the sewer."
"A sewer that just happened to have a tank leak under a gas station," Alice added with a frown, folding her arms across her chest.
"All while we were saving the world from the psycho chick from hell," I growled, having no patience for their laughter. "Carlisle...please? Please let us see him."
"Bella," he groaned, shaking his head. "He's in with Marcus and Adrian right now and..."
"We won't stay long," Alice urged.
"We just want to see him," Rose scoffed, turning away, only to be comforted by Emmett.
"I swear we won't stay long," I vowed. "Please, Carlisle?" I begged one last time.
Carlisle's eyes once again shot to Edward.
"I can't tell her no. I don't even try anymore," he muttered, shrugging a shoulder and shaking his head at Carlisle's chuckle.
"One condition," Carlisle said, trying to sound firm, but failing. "Okay, well, two conditions... First, you have five minutes, ladies. No arguments. And the second thing..."
"Yeah," Alice said, rolling her eyes and waving a hand at him dismissively, "get a shower. We know!"
All three of us didn't wait for his answer, but bolted across the yard to the guest cabin. I knocked lightly, hearing, "Come in," from Marcus.
We cracked the door open, stepping into the room slowly.
"Ah, ladies." Marcus smiled. "I trust everything's okay."
"If you mean she's gone," I huffed, and he nodded, "then, yeah. Tanya's dead."
"Did you blow her up?" Marcus asked, waving a hand in front of his face, but we only rolled our eyes at him, letting Esme explain everything quickly – including why we smelled like a gas can.
I looked over at the bed, locking eyes with a wrecked looking Adrian as he held a sleeping Kevin's hand. Kevin's breathing was rough and sporadic. His neck, arms, and face had bruises all over, and his nose looked like it had been cleaned from a recent nosebleed. Covers were pulled up to his chest, but he looked...wrong. He looked broken, misshaped under the covers. My still heart constricted at the sight.
"How is he?" I asked.
Adrian winced, shook his head, and looked back down at their fingers. He said nothing, and if it were me in his place, I'd be in shock, too.
Marcus studied Adrian, turning back to me, a wry smile playing on his face. "My sweet Isabella, Adrian and I were just discussing...hmm, options for Kevin. Maybe he could ask you some questions."
"Yeah, sure," I whispered, sitting down next to Marcus, so that my sisters and Esme could kiss Kevin's forehead and whisper that they were there for him.
"What questions?" I asked Adrian, but he just shook his head.
"Nothing we haven't ever talked about, Bells," Adrian whispered, glancing up at me and then back to Kevin.
I could see the same self loathing, the same guilt that Edward used to carry on his shoulders when I first met him. He was blaming himself, debating on whether he deserved to keep Kevin, and hoping he had enough strength to make a decision either way.
"Oh," I sighed, nodding in understanding and turning towards the door when I heard Carlisle coming closer. "We only have a few minutes, and then Carlisle will boot us out of here," I told Marcus.
"Yes, he's been worried about you girls. Glad to see everyone is okay," he said with a deep sigh of relief. "And I should thank you for taking care of..."
"Don't." I smiled sadly, holding up a hand. "She was...not herself at the end." I shrugged, not knowing what else to say.
"Yes, indeed," he agreed with a nod.
Carlisle poked his head through the door. "Bells, I know you want to stay with him, but really, he needs his rest."
"Rest? Or just time to..." Alice started, her head turning from Adrian back to Carlisle. "Oh," was all she said, starting to leave the room.
"Maybe you'll see him in a little while, okay?" Carlisle asked, giving us a knowing look.
I nodded, turning to kiss Kevin's forehead, whispering, "It's okay. We're all here, Kev." I turned to leave the small one room cabin.
"Amore," Marcus whispered, calling me by the nickname he'd given me ages ago.
I turned to look at him.
"I'll ask the question that Adrian is so...reluctant to ask. Bella, do you regret being changed? You were injured...just like this. Do you have one single regret?" he asked, a small smile playing on his lips again, because he knew that answer.
"Not one," I stated, focusing my answer towards Adrian. "I've told you before, Adrian. Everyone deserves love, even the ones that don't think they do. Hell, those are the souls that deserve it the most. Don't you think, Marcus?"
"I couldn't have said it better, Amore. Thank you," he chuckled, giving Adrian's shoulder a squeeze.
"Anytime," I sighed. "We're here if you need us, Adrian."
I walked out of the cabin to stand in front of Edward, who was looking at me with an unreadable expression.
"I need a bath," I snorted, shaking my head as I looked myself over.
"Come on, my little Molotov cocktail," he chuckled, turning me by the shoulders and walking me towards his cabin at the far end. "No fire pit for you just yet," he teased, bending down to kiss my cheek.
He opened the door and ushered me inside. "Start the water, baby...I'll be right back."
~oOoOo~
EDWARD
Kevin was dying. It was a fact, and aside from turning him, there wasn't much that could be done. I saw it in his mind the second we stood in front of Carlisle. He tried to make the girls feel better, but I'm not sure any of them bought the ruse. If they did, I'd be surprised, considering they insisted on seeing the boy.
And I mean insisted – to the point of begging. Something I could've never said no to, and neither could Carlisle, it would seem.
They knew Kevin was badly injured, but they also knew – every one of them – that they had no say in his future, immortal or not. What they wanted and what might actually take place weighed so very heavily on the girls' hearts that it was painful to witness.
After listening to each and every mind in the car on the way upstate, I realized that they didn't destroy Tanya for all the things that she'd done to me and Bella, the anarchy that she'd caused in New York, or even for running away from Marcus' last command, although all of those things played a factor. They killed her for harming family – for having dared touch someone that had come to mean so very much, and who was completely innocent from all the revenge that Tanya sought to dole out.
They loved that human boy, and I couldn't say that I blamed them, because he loved us all in return with an open heart and mind, with a happy laugh and an always easy joke. He'd never been anything but kind and fun and supportive, no matter what he knew about us.
For that...I would've cast a vote for his change instantly, but he was Adrian's mate, and therefore, his responsibility. And Adrian was struggling with morals, happiness, and sheer terror – a battle that I had fought myself once before. He wanted Kevin forever, he wanted to end his mate's suffering, and he absolutely hated the thought of turning his love into a monster. Adrian's own change was violent, but Kevin's would be for love – a fact that Marcus and Bella might have finally drilled into his heart and mind as I led my beautiful, but very potent girl into our cabin.
Adrian may have known what Kevin desired, but his own self awareness was clouding his judgment. I just hoped he made the right decision for the both of them, because the women in my family would shatter, otherwise – and there would be nothing I could do or say to stop it. But he needed to know that someone understood.
I stepped into the guest cabin quietly, closing it softly. Carlisle looked up at me, thinking, There's not much you can do, son.
"I just wanted to check," I told him aloud, but my eyes flickered to a very worried Adrian. "I was Kevin's doctor at one time..." Adrian's head snapped up, and I smiled at him as Carlisle chuckled softly. "It's true. He was...mugged in London. He didn't tell you?"
"He told me about being attacked, but not that you were his doctor," he replied.
"I was his doctor, because he stumbled onto my doorstep. He just happened to remember where Bella and I lived. He was quite...out of it." I sighed, picking up Kevin's wrist and feeling his pulse. It was weak and erratic, causing me to wince, but I took a deep breath. "You know, he asked me to tell you, to make sure that you didn't let him die. He wanted to be changed, Adrian," I said as carefully as I could.
Marcus and Carlisle stopped their own conversation and looked up at us.
"He did?" Adrian asked, his mouth opening like a fish when I nodded.
"He begged Alice and me to make sure that something like this didn't happen. That someone would try to save him, because he knew what it would do to you..."
"I'll die," he whispered, but his mind uttered it at the same time.
"You'll want to," Marcus sighed, his face holding an ancient sadness. "We'll change him if you want, Adrian..."
"I wanted to talk to him one more time," Adrian groaned, putting his face in his hands.
"You may not get that chance," I told him. "I couldn't ask Bella anything at the end, but I had no choice. But it was a choice I'd make again. And again. Forever, if it meant keeping her."
Adrian's beginning was dark and disturbing, and that was all he could associate with this whole thing.
"I understand you were handed a pretty terrible hand, Adrian," I sighed, nodding and shoving my hands in my pockets, "but this can be an amazing life. And Kevin won't hate you." I said that a little too forcefully, because his thoughts were so very sad. "Look at Bella, does she look like she hates this life after I had to make the same decision?"
"No," Adrian mumbled, but he couldn't stop the smile that crept over his face, because that was what my girl did. She was so very happy, that it radiated from her very being and spilled out over everyone else.
I nodded, saying, "Exactly."
Adrian said nothing, but looked up at me. "Thanks, Edward..."
"I'm just doing what my patient wanted," I said, smirking at him. "That was his last request from me as his doctor...the last conversation we had. If that's the direction you take, then you'll know it's what he wanted."
I turned to leave, and I turned when Carlisle's mind called me.
I'm sure Alice will let you know his decision, but give him a bit, Edward. Carlisle's thoughts were filled with pride and happiness in me. He knew that it was Adrian's call on whether to change Kevin, but our similarities were too close not to at least give him my side.
I strode across the little courtyard to the cabin that held everything I'd ever need in this life. I closed the door, clicking the lock behind me, to see my Bella staring off into space. Her thoughts were filled with worry and sadness, but she jumped adorably when she realized I was standing there.
"Bath. Go, sweet girl," I commanded with a chuckle, pointing towards the bathroom.
She giggled sweetly, spinning on her heel and marching straight to the bathroom.
I followed her, because I just couldn't not follow her, leaning in the doorway and watching her turn the water on, plug the tub, and add whatever bubbles she could find on the shelf, but her mind made me chuckle.
"A man likes a bath occasionally, Bella," I defended with a dramatic huff. "Just because I was...single when I was here for any length of time, doesn't mean I didn't like to shut the rest of them out for a while."
"That I can understand," she said with a smirk, but really, she was fighting teasing me. And she wanted to. Badly.
But what she truly wanted was to wash the long night away. She wanted to forget about Tanya, fires, leaking gas tanks, and the fact that a friend she truly cared about may not be there when the sun rose in a few hours. And that broke me, because my girl's huge heart was a little wounded.
"Come here," I sighed, pushing away from the doorway. I walked straight to her, kneeling down in front of her. "Your clothes are ruined, baby. Sorry."
"It's fine," she sighed, watching me pick up one foot, removing a sock and sneaker, only to do the same to the other.
I reached up, grasping the bottom of her shirt, and she raised her arms up for me to take it off. She stood before me, barefooted, wearing just jeans and a black bra. God, if she wasn't beautiful. She unclasped her bra, adding to the pile of ruined clothes at her feet as I slowly unbuttoned her jeans, sliding the zipper down slowly. I peeled back her jeans, unable not to touch, not to kiss the sweet skin exposed.
Tracing my fingers lightly across the strong muscles just below her bellybutton, I looked up at her. "Do you want to talk about it, love?" I asked, wondering if she just needed to get it out of her system.
She shook her head, shrugged one tiny shoulder, but looked away from me. "I don't know," she sighed quietly. She turned back to me, running her fingers through my hair, which I'd come to know as a relaxing gesture for her – and myself, if I were to be completely honest. "I don't want to lose him, Edward," she finally whispered, her deep chocolate brown eyes filled with pain. "I know it's selfish, and I know I have no right to want to keep anyone, but..." Her little chin trembled, and her breath hitched as she fell into my arms, trying so very hard not to cry.
"Oh, baby," I sighed, wrapping her up and leaning back against the vanity cabinet. "I'm so, so sorry. Marcus and Carlisle have both offered to...help Kevin, so it just comes down to Adrian, sweet girl."
She nodded, burying her face in my hair as I pressed my forehead to her sternum. She was leaning over me, her arms wrapped around my shoulders, gripping with all that she had.
In her mind, I could see that she understood Adrian's reluctance. She knew it wasn't an easy decision, because it was an eternal life altering decision that Adrian had to make for someone else. My girl knew that it hadn't been an easy decision for me, and we were connected like no other, so she knew that this was going to be the hardest thing Adrian would ever do.
"My smart girl," I crooned, pulling her back so that I could look up at her shattered, but always beautiful face. "You're right – about all of it – but that doesn't mean we have a say. Oh, you girls are killing me today," I groaned, shaking my head. "I always knew that you cared for him, but I can practically feel it through Jasper. Every one of you are reacting the same way, love."
She listened to me, but said nothing. She took deep, steady breaths, just trying to maintain composure.
"Listen, baby. Let's get cleaned up, and we'll go out to the fire. You girls need each other tonight, okay?"
"'Kay," she agreed with a slight nod. "Is there something here for us to wear?"
"I'll find us something," I said, smiling softly at her. "Get in. I'll be right back, okay?"
She nodded again, slipping off my lap and standing up. She was peeling out of her jeans as I left the bathroom.
I hadn't lived full time at this cabin since the late seventies, maybe early eighties, so I really wasn't sure what was in the closet or dresser. I had used it as a stopping point off and on when I traveled by the area throughout the years. I rummaged around, looking more for something that might fit my girl than something for me to wear. I would always be the same size, so anything of mine would always fit. She, on the other hand, needed something that she could alter just enough to be able to go outside.
I found a couple of plain white t-shirts, a pair of gray sweatpants for me, and a pair of blue plaid pajama bottoms for her. They at least had a drawstring, and she would most likely roll them down. I also knew that the back of the SUV had a few sweatshirts, so I could grab one or two of those if needed.
After turning on an old stereo to play softly, I entered the bathroom again, smiling at the angel in my tub, who at some point had submerged completely to wash her hair.
I peeled off my own ruined clothes, adding them to the growing pile on the floor. They would need to be burned, too, because they were covered in venom, gas, and on mine, Kevin's blood.
"Is that a record player?" Bella asked, her eyes still closed, but her smile sweet and soft.
"Did the pops and crackles give it away?" I chuckled sarcastically. "If anything good has come out of my very long years of watching technology change, it's MP3s."
She giggled, opening one eye up at me. "Are you planning on joining me? Or are you just gonna stand there naked, Edward? Because I'm good with it, either way."
"Hush, silly girl, just sit forward. I'm not just eye candy," I growled, settling in behind her.
"Oh, yeah, you are," she laughed, leaning back against my chest, her head falling to my shoulder. "My eye candy."
I smiled against the skin of her neck, placing a long, slow open mouth kiss there. "Well, just as long as it's you..."
She snorted, turning her face to plant a loud kiss to my cheek. "It better be just me," she whispered, a touch of a soft growl to her words.
"Always."
We lazily played with the suds, each other's fingers, but said nothing for some time. Her thoughts had been shielded off and on, but I doubt she even knew it. It happened when she was trying to relax.
"What other technologies are improved, baby?" she asked after a few minutes of comfortable silence, and I knew that this conversation was for distraction purposes only, because her mind just wanted my voice to soothe her.
"Um, let's see," I started, kissing the side of her head. "Clothes, definitely. They're more comfortable now. Not so many layers or rough fabrics...except underwear..." I teased, smiling at her sweet laugh. "Entertainment, period. Television, movies, and radio. It's clearer now – pure color, pure sound – though not all music is better."
"Well, no, I imagine not, for my classical piano player." She smiled, picking up her hand out of the water to rub my thigh.
"Exactly," I sighed. "Um, cars...hell yeah, cars." I grinned, thinking of all the ones I'd owned throughout the decades.
She laughed completely then, shaking her head. My love for fast vehicles was an indulgence she barely grasped, but allowed with grace and a sweet smile.
"Computers," I added, "because I can do most all of the finances online now. I used to have to travel to get it done. Which leads to communication, I suppose. Phones, email, text. It's instant. I still remember having to send a telegram – and that was cutting edge back then."
As we soaked in the tub, I told her about small things, like furniture and carpets, about paint and windows – all having improved through the years. I even remembered how air conditioning had become a huge phenomenon. By the time I made it to riding lawnmowers, she was a giggling mess, turning in my arms.
"I love you," she chuckled softly.
"As I love you. And this water is cooling off, my love. Not to mention," I said in a deep voice with a raised eyebrow, "the bubbles are...gone."
"Okay," she snorted, kissing my lips. "Let's get dressed."
As much as I wanted to hold her, kiss her, ravish her, she needed family first. She needed my sisters, my mother, and probably Carlisle more than she was willing to admit. Hell, she probably didn't even know how much she needed them, but she wasn't alone.
I knew I needed to get with my brothers. Jasper would be worried about Kevin's possible change. He knew sometimes they could go terribly wrong, and he'd ended the lives of more newborns than he liked to discuss.
Emmett was already concerned what this would do to Rose, not to mention Bella and Alice. For Rose, he wanted to stop any pain from reaching her. For his sisters, he was in full blown big brother mode, but feeling utterly helpless, because there wasn't a thing he could do.
Carlisle, on the other hand, was calm. It was almost as if he could see the future like Alice. I had caught glimpses of his conversations with Adrian and Marcus in his mind. He'd argued both sides, hoping that he'd given enough examples. It wasn't that he didn't want to change Kevin, because that was a decision that Carlisle never took lightly. Ever. But he knew that Marcus would take responsibility for not only Kevin, but for Adrian, as well.
One of the discussions was about where Adrian would want to go, and he chose Italy with Marcus, where Brody was already settling in, learning the new diet, and living in the castle at Volterra. For just a little while, Adrian wanted to fit in, be with like minded immortals. He wanted peace. In all honesty, it was the smartest idea, because Marcus was equipped to handle newborns, train them, keep them in line, and Marcus had taken to our human friend, and in turn, Adrian, as well. He wanted to help.
But most importantly, he wanted to give something back to our family, and the girls' love for Kevin was the only thing he knew to use.
"I'm ready," Bella said behind me, and I turned to look at her. "It'll have to do," she giggled, but she always looked beautiful to me.
She had rolled down the top of the pajama bottoms so that they sat on her hips. Her feet were still bare, not that it mattered much, because Spring was slowly creeping in and cool weather didn't bother us. My t-shirt was large on her, but she reminded me so much right then of her human days when she got ready for bed that it made my old still heart constrict with the wonderful memories of it.
I grinned, shaking my head and offering her a hand. "I don't know what I want more...to tuck you into bed, or kiss you silly," I laughed, kissing the top of her still damp, but sweet smelling head as she chuckled at me.
I grabbed up our pile of discarded clothes, and we both walked to the fire pit to join everyone else. Along with my siblings, there was Mark, Megan, Demitri, Carina, and Esme. The latter of which held out a pair of old white sneakers to Bella.
"Here, Alice said you'd need them."
"Thanks, Mom," she sighed, falling down next to her and allowing Esme to wrap her in a hug, while I added our clothes to the pile already burning in the pit.
"You'll need a new phone, I see," Esme teased as I pulled Bella's out of her pocket.
Not only was it fogged up from being wet, but it was completely cracked across the screen. My girl's Blackberry was...no more.
"That's a shame," Bella sighed, frowning as she picked it up and turned it over in her hands. "That was the first thing you bought me when you came back," she muttered to me, leaning into Esme's chuckling kiss.
"And he's been itching to buy you a new one ever since," Alice giggled, looking up from her own phone. "'Nothing but the best for my girl,'" she quoted in a deep voice with an eye roll.
Everyone chuckled, and I smiled and shrugged. I couldn't argue that; it was the damn truth.
"I didn't need one before," Bella snickered, looking up at me, "but I guess now I do."
"We'll go as soon as we can, sweet girl," I told her, sitting down between her and Jasper and turned towards him. "Any word?" I asked, because everyone was purposefully trying not to think about Kevin in order to stay calm.
"Nah, bro." He sighed, sitting forward with his elbows on his thighs. He picked up a small stick and tossed it into the fire. "Emotions are high in that cabin, though, dude," he said, grimacing just a little. "Guilt, impatience, and so much worry." He groaned, looking up at me and then around the campfire. "But determination started about a half an hour ago."
I nodded, taking a deep breath.
"What's he waiting on?" Demitri asked to no one in particular.
"Courage," I snickered, looking over at him. "He's making a decision that affects Kevin's life...permanently. And he's not sure that he's happy as an immortal, so his concern that Kevin won't be is overriding any other desire."
I felt Bella's small hand slip into my own, and I linked our fingers together. Picking it up, I kissed the back of it, looking over at her. I'd made the best decision when it came to her. Just as I was about to say that very thing aloud, Alice's head shot up, and she turned towards the guest cabin.
"Bells, Edward, Jazz, Em," she gasped. "They're gonna need all four of you. Kevin's going into shock. Bells, you'll have to hold him when Carlisle and Marcus turn him. Jazzy, you need to keep him calm. Edward, you and Em have to get Adrian away from the room..." She paused, closing her eyes for just a moment. "Now!" she breathed, just as the cabin door opened.
We didn't bother to wait for Carlisle to call us, we just all moved, Demitri included, even though he hadn't been mentioned. He was going to help me and Emmett.
We all barged into the small cabin, looking to Marcus and Carlisle for instructions. "Obviously, you know...so..." Carlisle grunted, waving a hand at all of us.
"Come on, bud," Emmett grunted, not waiting for Adrian to say anything.
His large hands grabbed him roughly, practically lifting him off the floor. Adrian immediately fought him, his mind not thinking straight. His defensive instincts kicked in full fledged, and he was convinced we were there to kill Kevin.
"No, Adrian," I growled, taking his other side. "They're helping him. But you can't be here when it happens. Can you trust us?"
"Marcus, Carlisle," he called, looking from me to them. "Please!"
"Son, as much as I understand that you want to be here when it happens," Carlisle started, using as calm of a voice as he could muster under the circumstances, "you're too new in this life to see it. I can't take a chance that you won't lose it. I can't bet Kevin's life on it, Adrian. Go with Edward and Emmett, and by the time you get back, it'll be safer for you to be in the room."
Kevin's body shook at that moment, his eyes rolling back as he started to seize. "Go," I said, jerking my chin towards the bed. "Em and I have this..."
Carlisle spun, muttering instructions to Bella and Jasper, as Emmett and I dragged Adrian from the room, Demitri following close behind.
~oOoOo~
BELLA
I wasn't...aware when I'd been bitten, when Edward had changed me. I was completely ignorant as to how he'd done it, other than the scar that remained over my heart to this day.
I remembered the pain of it, though. I remembered that with no problem. I knew I'd been quiet, that I'd kept everything inside while I burned on the table in the basement of the Cullen's home in Forks. I knew that every breath, moan, or gasp I'd let out worried Edward to no end, so I internalized it all in order to save him. Though I wasn't sure that helped him, either, because my silence just made him think that he'd done something wrong. Poor thing was a wreck throughout my entire transformation, I'd been told by just about every member of my family.
Kevin, though, was not quiet. He did scream out when Marcus' venom hit his bloodstream. His body bowed up off the bed in an almost forty-five degree angle. He shook with the force of an earthquake when Carlisle added his own venom to every pulse point – wrists, ankles, behind the knees, and right over the heart. Carlisle nipped the tiniest of entry points over all of them, pushing venom into them as best he could.
"This will send it through to his heart faster," he explained in a soft voice, more for my benefit, I was sure, because I was surrounded by centuries of knowledge in the small one room cabin.
I could understand why Emmett and Edward were instructed to remove Adrian from the building. The one single bite to Kevin's neck that Marcus did was intense to watch, and had Jasper not been there to keep the whole room calm or had my shield not been completely in place, I surely would've been tempted. Not by the act of biting itself, but the potent scent of the blood that Kevin was slowly losing from his nose and mouth.
Kevin was dying. His body was going into shock on the human side, and being consumed by venom on the immortal side that was now starting to take hold. I could almost see the venom win out over the human.
It was both an amazing thing to watch, and so very scary at the same time. I watched as bruises faded away almost in mere minutes of the first bite. I watched as bones righted themselves, as his breathing became deeper, but heavier due to the pain. And I watched him scream when he would move just the slightest of centimeters.
I wanted to take the pain away, and I looked to Jasper. He reached out a hand to Kevin's shoulder, just barely touching him, but I could feel the calm, since my shield had to give way for his touch.
Carlisle stood up when Kevin cried out, "It burns!"
He checked Kevin's pulse, using the lightest of touches if I remembered correctly. "He's past the point of no return," he told us, his eyes trained on Kevin's wincing face. "We just have to let the venom go to work."
I found out my true purpose for being in the room a few hours later. Kevin had been quiet, but suddenly sat straight up in bed. He screamed, fighting every hand, every arm that reached out to restrain him.
I gently wrapped my shield around him. "Easy, Kev," I whispered, forcing him back down as softly as I could, because I knew his skin was tender, feeling like the flames of hell were licking at every inch of his body. "I know you can hear me," I said, kissing his temple. "You need to know that when this is over, you'll feel so much better. You'll feel strong and fast and healthier than you ever have. But you'll also feel overwhelmed, and that's okay, because we've all been there, and we're all here for you." I paused, pulling back just enough to see his features relax. "Adrian's waiting for you, Kev, so you have to be strong. You have to just get through this really tough time."
"Good, Bells," Jasper sighed with relief. "Keep it up. Your voice is helping him."
So for the next several hours, well into the next day, I spoke to Kevin. I told him where Adrian was, that Edward and Emmett were taking care of him, most likely hunting with him, before he'd be back. I told him the story of my own change, of how I had kept quiet, because not only was Edward worried, but it actually hurt to hear my own voice. I told him that we got Tanya, that he was safe now, safer than he could ever be, especially once he woke up.
Off and on, he would fight me, and by the time the boys showed back up with Adrian, I was done, weak, needing to hunt, especially since I hadn't hunted after the big fight in the tunnels. The fights, the fire against my shield, and exertion with Tanya had already depleted me. This was pushing my limits, because not only was it physically draining what was left of me, but emotionally, I was giving Kevin all that I had just to keep him calm.
"Ed!" Jasper called, just as we could hear them just outside. "Get in here, man!"
My husband was through the door, wrapping an arm around me in a split second, everyone else following in his footsteps.
I reached out and snatched Adrian by the shirt. "Just talk to him...he needs to hear your voice."
"Sweetheart, let go of him," Edward told me gently, prying my fingers from Adrian's shirt. "Let's get out of here for a while, okay? Love?"
I nodded, looking up at him. "Edward..." was all I could say.
He bent down, scooping me up into his arms. "Let's go, beautiful girl. You've done all that you can for him, baby."
~oOoOo~
I found Edward sitting back against a tree on a steep incline that sloped down into a small grassy valley. His beautiful but serious face was illuminated by his phone as he touched the screen.
He'd hunted while he was out with Adrian, Emmett, and Demitri, but he was completely content to wait for me. And I had needed it badly.
I ran for miles, taking down a few deer and two wolves.
"Hey," I sighed, kneeling down next to him.
"Hi, sweet girl," he chuckled, setting his phone aside. "Feel better?"
"Most definitely," I told him, reaching for his phone. "What were you looking at?"
"Headlines from New York."
He shifted a bit, pulling me between his legs so that we could read together. He rested his chin on my shoulder as I read how the humans perceived the madness that had occurred in the tunnels.
"Truck Takes Out Transformer at Ground Zero," was the first headline. It explained that the truck's emergency brake hadn't been set, and it had rolled into the pole. Though they were questioning the driver, they weren't going to charge him, because he'd not been the last one near the cab.
The second one was my biggest concern, because the gas station could have had humans.
"Fuel Leak in Lower Manhattan Gas Station Explodes," was the next headline. Apparently, the gas leak had been reported, and was supposed to have been repaired the next day. They blamed the explosion on a dropped cigarette butt that one human saw another human drop. While a few people were injured, not one person was killed.
"Well, thank God for that," I sighed, laying my head back on Edward's shoulder. "Anything else?"
"Well," he chuckled, scrolling through a few more headlines, "if you are concerned with the tigers that have been missing since October..."
I laughed, turning my head and burying my face in Edward's neck. "If they only knew, baby..."
"They have a theory now. They think they've been stolen," he snickered, showing me the article. "Emmett did a hell of a job covering up for me."
I had forgotten all about the tigers Edward had drained from the zoo in Central Park just after the first fight with Sinclair. He'd been so wounded that he was beyond weak.
"You scared me that night," I whispered, feeling his strong arms wrap around me and kisses to my shoulder.
"I know, sweetheart. I'm right here, though."
I turned in his arms, kneeling over him and grasping his face. "It's over, isn't it? I mean, everything..."
"I think so," he said with a nod and shrug. "I'm sure there are small problems out there, but I think you're right. I think the worst is over. The final threat...Tanya...is gone."
As I stared at him, I lost myself in the feeling of our connection kicking up to a charged crackle. I gasped as it seemed to nip at my skin, prickle at my scalp, and push me towards him.
"Baby," he breathed, nipping at my lips, but never giving into a full kiss. "I don't...I mean...God, I want you, but I don't want to take you away from..."
Always the gentleman, my Edward. Always thinking of what I could possibly want over his own wants or needs. If I told him at that very moment that I wanted to go back, he'd take my hand with a smile, walking back with me. But after the fight in the tunnels, after spending the last full day watching Kevin's immortal progression, I just really wanted my husband. I wanted to reconnect, because I could feel the healing in my chest due to the last few hours of being apart.
"Adrian's with Kevin now," I whispered, my eyes darting from his mouth as he licked across his bottom lip to his eyes that darkened so very slowly, wavering between honey and amber and deepening to a sharp black. "The venom has taken over. They'll both be fine for just a little while, Edward."
"I can't find it in myself to argue with you, love," he said, a sweet, carnal smile spreading across his face as his hands slipped up the side of my neck and into my hair. "I was willing to share you, because this was special circumstances, but if you say no..."
I grinned, bracing my hands on his shoulders and looming over him. "I say no, Edward," I purred, my forehead pressing against his.
"Then what my girl wants...my girls gets," he chuckled darkly, but I could see his face lighten into the boyish sweet face that I loved.
A long, deep rumble of thunder vibrated the ground around us, and I gasped, locking eyes with him, only able to say, "Oh..."
"Right," he chuckled, biting at his bottom lip as he leaned towards me. He bypassed my lips, aiming straight for my neck and dragging his lips and tongue up to my ear. "I haven't fucked you in the rain in a long time, baby..."
I groaned, my mouth hanging open as Dirty Edward strolled nonchalantly into the woods with us. Some things I couldn't say no to, some things couldn't be resisted, and some things were such an addiction, that my stomach flipped, my center clenched, and my breath caught in my throat.
One of those things was Dirty Edward. The other – losing ourselves in a storm.
Another rumble shook around us softly, and Edward smiled at my thoughts. "Do you trust me, sweet girl?" he asked, and I nodded without even having to think about it. "Good, let me show you something," he said, setting me on my feet and standing up.
He didn't offer me his hand, but scooped me up onto his back, taking off into the woods like he used to do when I was human. With a few turns, a trek up the side of a steep mountain, he came to a standstill at the edge of what looked like someone's house. As I looked at it a little more, I realized that it was abandoned and falling apart.
The roof was half intact, and I could see where a large tree had fallen, taking down the other half, along with a quarter of the stone walls. It was only a two bedroom little cottage at one point, but there was no telling how old it was.
"Sixty years," Edward muttered as I slipped down his back to touch the ground.
I was still barefooted, having never had the chance to slip on the sneakers that Esme had given me before Kevin's health started to fail. Dead leaves, broken branches, and a rock or two moved under my steps.
"Is it part of Jasper's property?" I asked, stepping through the doorless entryway.
"Technically, it's Carlisle and Esme's," Edward explained softly, his steps right behind mine. "Jasper was going to rebuild this place for them, but a few bad storms, a few mistakes around the local town...and we had to abandon it."
"Mistakes?" I asked, grimacing at what that could possibly mean.
"Emmett," Edward explained, nodding and shoving his hands in his front pockets, but looked around with me. "I was too late to get to him when Alice saw him take a girl on a back road."
"Oh, poor Em," I sighed, knowing he would have berated himself after that.
"Said he couldn't resist her, that her scent called him," Edward muttered, shrugging a shoulder. "Not one of us could be angry. We've all done that, except Rose, of course."
I nodded silently, continuing to walk around the little place. I came to the very last window overlooking the most spectacular view I'd ever seen. "Oh, wow," I breathed, looking out over the landscape of upstate New York.
There were mountains, hills, trees, valleys, and little specs of small towns in the middle of it all. And over all of it were looming dark clouds that were heavy and fat with impending rain. Lightening flickered through the blue-gray clouds like a shiny vein of a living thing.
A strong chest pressed behind me with gentle hands pulling my hips closer. Lips brushed my cheek, opened to my jaw, and suckled my neck. Hums and moans tickled my ear as the only person that ever mattered offered himself to me without saying a word.
It was in his caressing hands that slipped under my t-shirt to cup my breasts from behind. It was in the grinding of his hips as the sweatpants he was wearing left nothing to the imagination, because I could feel every inch of his want for me press into the small of my back. And it was in the vibrating charge of our connection fusing back together as a storm closed in on us.
A storm was something we hadn't been in for quite some time. It caused a shiver of anticipation to wrack my frame, and I suddenly felt out of control with need and want and pure love for the man behind me.
"Edward," I moaned, leaning back to him for support.
"I've so got you, beautiful girl," he said with a voice that was soothing and smooth as melted chocolate, sweeping my hair from my shoulder and latching his lips to my skin. "Never doubt it, okay?"
I nodded, never doubting it one bit. I turned in his arms, needing to see him, to really kiss him, because the rain started to slowly pelt down on the dried leaves, the windowsill, and the decayed roof above us. My desire started to build, making it impossible for me to concentrate on anything but the dark eyes gazing at me as if he was fighting his urge to let his baser instincts take over.
"I'm sorry," he breathed, listening to my thoughts. "I just...I feel...everything when the weather is like this," he explained softly, not that he needed to. We were always learning when it came to storms, because we reacted differently every time.
"Don't be sorry, Edward," I said, wrapping my arms around his neck. "Give in to it."
I didn't have to say it twice, because suddenly, his hands were in my hair, guiding me back against the wall. He leaned into me, groaning into my mouth as our tongues slipped together. He loomed over me, all tall and strong. He was all deep rumbling growling purrs, sweet tasting lips, and all just...man. He smelled delicious, like the wild woods we'd been sitting in earlier, sunshine, honey, and now pure lust as his hands gripped the bottom of my t-shirt.
He knelt before me, his hands flat on my sides as he skimmed lightly up my body to tug my shirt over my head. He licked his lips as I stood there in just his blue plaid pajama bottoms, rolled down until they settled on my hips. Thumbs caressed the sides of my breasts as he leaned in to take one nipple into his mouth.
He was not gentle, but sucked hard, dragging his teeth along the sensitive peak.
"Fuck," I gasped, my head falling back to the wall behind me, reveling in the fact that he hadn't even really touched me, and I was just about to fall apart.
Lightening flashed hard across the sky, and my own hands shot out to Edward's shirt. He reached behind him, gripping the back and pulling it over his head. It landed right on top of mine.
He stood up, leaning back into me, our chests now skin on skin. I scratched roughly at his back, trying to bring him closer, and slipping down into his sweatpants just to feel his ass as he thrust his hips against mine over and over.
He growled low, breaking from my mouth to pull back slightly. He pressed his forehead to mine, his breathing heavy and a crooked, smug smile on his face as his own hands started to push my bottoms down.
With one more flash of lightning, one more deep growl of thunder, all control left us, because the sky completely opened up around us, closing us off from all reality in white walls of water. Sweatpants and pajamas pooled onto the floor, my arms gripped his shoulders, and his hands cupped my ass, lifting me up into his arms.
And God, why did skin on skin feel so fucking good? It was smooth belly meeting hard sexy abs, it was large knowing hands on thighs and breasts and butt cheeks. It was small feminine hands cupping strong jaws and even stronger shoulders. And it was wet and needy grinding against hard flesh covered steel.
"Goddamn," Edward growled into my neck as I rolled my hips over his arousal over and over, coating him in my juices. "If you keep doing that..."
"Now, baby...now...please now," I begged, pulling his head from my shoulder so that I could look at him. "My skin is...it feels...just do something, Edward..."
"I know," he groaned, his eyes rolling back as I rolled my hips again, looking for some kind of friction – any kind of friction. "Oh, baby, keep that sweet pussy still. I swear it will get the attention it needs."
"More," I growled, knowing he'd know what I meant. "Don't stop..."
He smiled evilly as he pulled me away from the wall, only to press me back into the corner a few feet away. "More what, baby?" he crooned, while one of his hands squeezed my ass. The other hand skimmed down my thigh to my knee and under, so that now my leg was hooked over the crook of his elbow. "More what, Bella?" he growled, flexing his hips again, only this time his rock hard cock slid through my wet folds, causing me to gasp.
"Don't stop talking," I said through gritted teeth as he continued to grind against my center, each time the tip of his erection brushing across my clit.
Edward chuckled darkly, his eyes blackening even more. "Talking..." He said the word slowly, as if he were testing the power of it.
He kissed me hard and hungry, growling deep against my lips and dragging his mouth across my cheek. Biting at my earlobe, his voice was husky, deep, and so very sexy. "You have no fucking idea the things I want to do to you, love. I want to bury my cock in you so deep. I want to feel your hot pussy come all around me. I want your breath in my face when it's my name you call out in the rain..."
"Oh God," I moaned, my brow wrinkling as I gripped his hair with one hand and his shoulder with the other.
He chose that moment to slip inside of me almost full force, and I cried out at the feel of him completely filling me, of hitting me at an amazing angle. My leg was still in the crook of his arm, and my other wrapped around his waist, my heel digging into his ass as he took me hard against that stone wall.
The rain showered down just outside of the run down cottage as we lost ourselves. Our eyes barely broke from each other's gaze as we shared every gasp, every breath, and every long drawn out, "Fuck."
At one point, I found myself straddling Edward as he sat in the windowsill, the both of us slick and dripping from the falling rain. I rode him hard, his hands guiding my hips and his voice coaxing the next orgasm from me like a snake charmer.
"Come on, my beautiful girl," he said, gripping a handful of my saturated hair with one hand. I watched, blinded by love, lust, and something altogether carnal as he sucked his own finger into his mouth, only to quickly reach back to grab my ass, his finger delving into my other entrance. "Give me one more. Show me how much you love my cock, baby. You do, don't you?"
"God, yes," I rasped out, unable not to obey that command, coming hard around him.
Edward wasn't far behind, moving my hips until he spilled deep within me, but we didn't move. We stayed in that window, letting the now soft, misty rain shower over us.
I kissed him long and deep, with no agenda but to show him my love, pulling back just to watch the drops of water fall from his beautiful long eyelashes. They would fall to his cheeks and slide down like big tears – a thought that was a little saddening.
He smiled slightly, wiping my own fake tears away with his thumbs.
"I'm glad it's all over," I whispered, my brow wrinkling. "We can go home soon."
By home, I meant our own little house in London, though it was really anywhere he was. But I missed our small home, his piano, our bed, even our kitchen and back garden. I missed it because we'd made it ours. It was our little safe haven from family and stress and the world that didn't quite understand us. I was pretty sure no matter where we went from now on, we'd create that little world for ourselves.
"Before we run away, my sweet girl, we might want to check on Kevin," he said with a sweet crooked smile. "It should just about be over."
I nodded, slowly coming back to reality, but I leaned in one more time to kiss his lips softly, because he was Sweet Edward again, and he was beautiful and wet from the rain, and he was too much to resist when he was naked and all those other things.
"You, Edward Cullen, are the best thing that ever happened to me," I sighed against his mouth.
He smiled, soft and crooked and so very youthful, tilting his head at me. "Likewise, Mrs. Cullen. Likewise. Are you stealing my lines?" he asked with a false concerned wrinkle to his brow.
"No," I chuckled, cupping his face. "I love you...that's all."
He smiled again, big and sweet, setting me on my feet. He stood up in front of me, taking the shirt I offered him. "As I love you, sweetheart. Let's go check on our friend, shall we?"
With that, we dressed quickly. Well, as quickly as we could when we were still wet from the rain. I raked my fingers through his hair, as he did the same to mine. He scooped me back up onto his back, taking off through the woods. It was time to see how Kevin took to immortality.


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