Saturday, May 13, 2017 | By: Drotuno

Even In Death Chapter 14 & Pics

Chapter 14 – Her Beauty and the Moonlight
Well your faith was strong but you needed proof
You saw her bathing on the roof
Her beauty and the moonlight overthrew ya
She tied you to her kitchen chair
She broke your throne and she cut your hair
And from your lips she drew the Hallelujah

Hallelujah, Hallelujah, Hallelujah, Hallelujah...

Baby, I've been here before
I've seen this room and I've walked this floor (you know)
I used to live alone before I knew ya
And I've seen your flag on the marble arch
And love is not a victory march
It's a cold and it's a broken Hallelujah

Hallelujah, Hallelujah, Hallelujah, Hallelujah…
“Hallelujah” by Pentatonix (orig. by Leonard Cohen)
Focusing on Bella’s fingers linked with mine, I let her guide me to wherever she wanted to go. I inhaled deeply, finding that her scent was the most prominent around me, which made me wonder if that was because she was so close or because, despite how all over the place my mind was, she could bring me back to something clear and sharp.
Sounds, smells, sights – they were overwhelming, but I found that I could sift through most of it and ignore the insignificant parts. My train of thought, while mainly on Bella, was everywhere, nowhere, and way out there.
I shook my head, feeling the effects of the blood I’d consumed. Bella and Carlisle had both been right; my thinking was clearer, my emotions not so on-the-surface.

We came to a stop at the edge of a tiny lake that was encircled by small, jagged mountains and dark-green firs. The snow had built up in some spots but left places bare in others. It was in one of the bare spots Bella had stopped.
“I used to come here by myself,” she started softly, wrinkling her nose a little. “You know, before I could see you, before…everything.”
I nodded, reaching up to turn her my way, and out of habit, I tucked a loose curl behind her ear. I concentrated on her face, her expressions. Not being able to hear her mind, I had to assume she’d lifted her shield once the ranger had left the area. I listened around me, as well.
We were truly and utterly alone. The Cullens had left us.
“I didn’t know…” She trailed off, shaking her head a little and leaning into my hand cupping her face. “I didn’t know if you’d want this. I didn’t know if I even wanted to bring you into it, but…” Her brow wrinkled. “God, Edward, you’re so quiet. I just wonder if…”
Leaning in, I pressed my lips to her forehead and then her mouth. “I can’t hear your mind.” I kissed her again before she could say anything. “But I don’t need to, sweetheart. I know you. I know you like the back of my hand. I’m…a bit out of sorts, but I am not regretting anything that has to do with getting to be with you. Know that, Mrs. Masen.”
“Thank God,” she whispered, practically collapsing against me, and I wrapped my arms around her.
“C’mere,” I whispered against the top of her head. I sat down on a fallen tree, pulling her to my lap like usual. “I’m feeling all these things at one time, and I know what you are to me, Bella, but there’s a part of me that needs to hear…needs to put the pieces together before I lose myself in you.”
Bella laughed, cupping my face. “Okay, so that feeling is normal, baby. I get it. I’m there all the time…still.”
I chuckled, remembering Jake’s warning that Bella was a rollercoaster of emotions. And I completely understood it right at that moment. I wanted everything. I wanted my wife, my mate until I was practically shaking. I wanted to know all the things there was to know. I wanted to run. I wanted to sit and take in the view. And I wanted to hunt again, but I wasn’t thirsty. I was a ball of energy yet felt peace with Bella in my arms. It was difficult to acclimate to all of it.
Still smiling, I said, “Tell me what happened. Or…or…show me.”
Bella nodded, and her mind was opened to me.
I linked my fingers with hers, kissing them when she showed me everything from the second I’d fallen asleep in the theater room, to the moment I’d woken up from my change.
“That’s where you went,” I confirmed, nodding a little. “I wasn’t sure… I mean, I assumed there was a huge problem when I woke up to an empty house.”
“It wasn’t empty, Edward. Esme and Carlisle were at the front door, which is what you heard. I had to protect Charlie, but then they kept pushing me away from the house until I finally made a stand.”
Her thoughts had been on me the entire fight, to stay between me and them. But she needed to keep Charlie safe, too.
We both spoke at the same time.
“Charlie showed up?!”
“Did you really set them on fire?” she asked me with a light giggle to her voice.
Grinning, I nodded. “I did. I knew I had to run and hide. I had to go through Carlisle’s study to do it. The shed was the first place I went. I had to keep Steve safe.”
“My dad was checking on you, baby. He was worried because he hadn’t heard from you, and our house was closed up. He was really upset when he left, but leaving kept him alive.”
“Well, damn…” I sighed, shaking my head.
Bella smiled sadly, cupping my face. “We’ll talk about him, but I’m sorry Victoria touched you. She was the bigger concern than whatever story Carlisle told my dad.”
I shook my head. “I… I don’t remember much at the end, Bella.” Shrugging a shoulder, I went on. “We’re here. We’re together. I’m willing to work at this…this…new life.” I held a hand out, letting the faint, late-afternoon sunlight hit my new skin, shaking my head at the shine, the sparkle that reflected off me. “I told you that when I saw you again, when I got you back.”
Through her mind, I saw myself, and I heard her relief. She shifted on my lap, straddling me, which made me smirk her way, but it faltered a bit when she noted the changes in me – red eyes, pale skin, an unnatural strength that seemed to simmer just below the surface. She completely understood the constant shift in topics of conversation, and she was patiently keeping up. She even noted a five o’clock shadow that was now permanent. She knew I had a long road ahead, but she was happy she could help me in some way.
Laughing a bit, I touched my face, and she was right. It was there, just the mere hint of stubble.
“I shaved that morning,” I stated in confusion.
“It took three days to change you.”
Bella smiled softly, her thoughts still open to me as she trailed a finger beneath my eye. I wrinkled my nose when she noted the red color again.
“It’ll take getting used to, sweetheart.” I said that remembering the first time I’d seen Bella’s new eyes.
“And it won’t take long for yours to change,” she added, leaning in to kiss my forehead. “The more you hunt animals, the more the red starts to go away.” I’ll miss the green, but holy hell the gold will be fucking gorgeous on this face, those eyelashes…
Her thoughts made me laugh. “Have you always thought about me this way, my Bella?”
“Yes,” she said through the sweetest laugh, cupping my face and kissing my lips. “Since the minute you set your books down on my library counter.” She kissed me again, lighting every inch of me on fire, but she tilted her head a little. “I thought you were very handsome, Edward, and I expected you to know it, to be like all the other good-looking guys I knew in high school, egotistical and obnoxious, but no.” She shook her head slowly. “You had no idea just how you were ogled. And the fact that you looked at me…just like this…” She caressed either side of my face, her mind remembering that first day and my nervousness. “You’ve always looked at me like you had tunnel vision.”
“I did. I still do,” I agreed with a laugh and a nod. “And you’ve always treated me like the only thing that mattered in the room.”
“You are,” she whispered, her brow furrowing.
My mind and body were conflicting. I wanted my wife. No, I wanted my mate. My mind, though, had so many questions about the past, present, and future, I couldn’t reconcile any of it. In fact, the overwhelming struggle between the two needs made me shake a little in Bella’s arms.
“It’s okay, Edward,” she soothed, raking her fingers through my hair. “Talk it out. Tell me what you’re thinking.”
“I…I…” I swallowed to gather my thoughts, squeezing my eyes closed to concentrate, but my words came tumbling out of me in no particular order and without pause. “I want to see every thought you’ve had since we met. I want… I know we need to talk about the future and what we want to do. I think I’m losing my mind, because if I don’t touch you soon, I may explode or…or…something. I know I need to learn and adjust and figure out how to live with this…this…thing.” I tapped my temple, sighing deeply as my shoulders sagged under the weight of it all. “And Charlie… Bella, I have to make sure he’s… That he can… I wouldn’t have made it without him. Honestly. So he’s important to me.”
“Okay, okay, okay.” Bella placed her hands flat on either side of my face, kissing my lips to shut me up. “Look at me, listen to my mind, baby. I will show you every memory of us from the beginning, but we have time.” When I smiled, she chuckled a bit. “We have time for discussions about the future, too. The immediate decision is most likely going to involve moving us all to Alaska. They want the two of us to be able to relax and learn, and Denali is the perfect place to do that, even though my shield will help you.”
I nodded in acceptance, but I could see that she’d been witness to conversations about us. We were newborns – obviously me more so than her – and we still had so much to learn.
“As far as my dad, Edward… I don’t think he’s allowed to know anything, but Jake is pleading his case to Carlisle. Something about the pack and La Push and his own secrets, but he didn’t want to push the subject while you were changing. He also knows the Volturi is pretty scary about their rules. Carlisle mentioned you calling Charlie on the phone, just to placate him, and then tell him you’re transferring out of state.”
I groaned at that, but I understood it. It was the last conversation I’d had with Carlisle.
“My mind reader,” she said through a sweet sigh and a teasing eye roll. She shook her head. “I knew you’d be amazing, but… I’ll help you all I can with that.”
I smirked when I noticed she’d skipped a topic.
“What does it sound like?” she asked me.
“Noise. Mental noise. Um…buzzing in my head.”
“Can you see everything?”
“Umm…it’s hard to say. With you, I see whatever you’re thinking at the moment, so I guess that’s the same with everyone. Jasper is interesting, because I see how the emotions affect him. Alice…I can see her visions with her.”
“Oh, wow,” she gasped, her eyes wide.
“It’s like…everyone is talking all at once, and no one is on the same subject.”
“Well, you hadn’t hunted, so maybe you can…block some of it?”
“I dunno. Maybe?”
Bella grinned, thinking she loved the ease of our chats. She was so happy that nothing had changed that part of us, no matter if we were human or immortal. She relied heavily on it for her heart, her love, her peace of mind.
“I love you, too, Bella.”
A small smile curled up her lips, and she tilted her head at me. “I kinda like that.”
“That you can see what I mean, more than how it comes out verbally.”
“Oh.” I smiled up at her, nodding a bit. “Yeah, me, too. A part of me wishes I’d had that when we met. I wouldn’t have been so nervous asking you out.”
Her giggle was beautiful and sweet, making her face gloriously stunning. “Edward, you did just fine.”
“I was awkward, and you were too pretty.” I kissed her lips to stop her argument. “Now, you’re practically angelic.”
“You haven’t seen yourself, have you?” she asked suddenly, and I shook my head.
“C’mere, baby,” she said softly, slipping off my lap and taking my hand.
She led me to the edge of the lake, kneeling down and tugging my hand to get me to do the same. The water was just still enough that it proved to be a decent mirror. I leaned over the water to see my reflection. My eyesight had to adjust to it. For a split second, I could see the fish and inhabitants of the lake, not me. Once I caught my own gaze, my eyebrows shot up. Piercing red eyes glared back at me, startling me a bit, because they reminded me of the newborns that had showed up at the Cullen home. They were frightening and deadly looking. My face seemed the same – my features a little sharper, maybe a touch smoother. My hair made me roll my eyes; it was thicker, still just as unruly as ever, and the reddish hint was a shade deeper.
I touched my nose, my lips, my jaw, my hair, noticing the movement of my arms. Muscles were different; my forearms and biceps were defined where they weren’t overly so before my change.
“You’re beautiful, Edward,” Bella whispered, taking away her thoughts, which made me glance her way. “You were always beautiful to me, but now…”
“Now we’re the same.”
“You can’t hurt me now.”
“No, Edward.”
I smiled her way as she shook her head slowly. “You know the only thing that bothered me was your fears, Bella. Not your changes.”
“I know.”
I reached for her left hand, toying with her wedding rings. “So…now…” I grinned, bending down to kiss those rings. “Now ‘as long as we both shall live’ means a mighty long time.”
“No more sickness.”
“No more sickness, sweetheart.”
I leaned in to press my lips to hers when a sound escaped her lips that could’ve been a sob, but I needed to stop it.
“Bella, I…” I whispered, touching my forehead to hers. “I need…but I don’t know…” I sighed deeply, wishing she could read my mind.
She smirked, standing up from the rocky edge of the lake. “Edward, you can have anything you wish.” She waved a hand around her. “There’s no one for miles.”
I froze a little, tilting my head in order to listen for minds, sounds, and I inhaled deeply and only found the one scent that had called to me since I opened my newborn eyes.
“Oh, God, Bella… Show me,” I growled through gritted teeth.
The most wickedly sexy smile curled up her lips. “Catch me, Edward.”
Instantly she was gone, which made me laugh and take off after her.
Something inside me came alive. It bloomed and spread throughout my entire being as she ran from me. The need to give chase was overwhelming and instantaneous. I didn’t even have to think, just react, and I was running at a speed that, as a human, I’d have never been able to comprehend. My feet barely made a sound as they touched down each step on rocks, underbrush, and snow. Wildlife scattered at my approach, rustling through the shrubbery, darting up tree trunks, and taking flight off limbs. Bella’s scent was my focus; it pulled at me, called to me, reaching something deep down – something that seemed to have always been there but was now staggering in its strength.
She’d left her mind open to me, which was unnecessary, but I used it anyway. I tried not to zero in on what she was thinking. As I ran, the thoughts grew stronger or weaker, a beacon of sorts. I followed that beacon – that was driving me crazy with every sexy thought or memory imaginable – around a smaller lake and up the side of a steep, rocky mountain. The higher I went, the stronger Bella’s scent became, until there was a split in the path.
The mountain continued higher, but Bella’s trail veered to the left, alongside a cliff. The spray of a waterfall misted over my face. Her trail ended abruptly, and I came to a complete standstill, searching for her mind instead, which made me smile and then chuckle softly.
I stepped toward the cliff’s edge, gazing down. Just behind the waterfall was a cut into the mountain, not exactly a cave but a space just big enough for her to hide. I studied the way down, taking a leap of faith right off the side. I landed on the slight ledge just to the right of the falling water, pulling myself inside the space behind it.
Bella grinned as she leaned casually against the wall of the small rock shelter. “Did you follow my scent or my mind, Edward?”
“Both,” I answered with a grin as I walked toward her slowly. “Your scent told me lots of things; your mind confirmed them.”
Her giggle was so adorable, and she glanced down at her feet momentarily. Human or immortal, Bella’s tell of nerves and embarrassment were exactly the same. I half expected to see the pink cheeks of her blush, but instead, it was the darkening gaze that practically pinned me in place.
“How’d you find this place?” I asked, trying to distract myself from lunging at her.
“I ran away once.” Her voice was soft, sad. She nodded a little when my brows furrowed in question. “Yeah, it was early after my change. They said I couldn’t see you, that I couldn’t keep you. I almost broke Jake in half in my anger, but he followed me, stayed at the bottom of the mountain until I calmed down.”
“Well, now I can keep you,” I whispered, my hands balling up into fists in order to control myself. “Bella, I…”
“I know,” she breathed, pushing from the rock wall and walking to me. “I know, Edward. I feel it, too.”
“I feel…wrong for the things I’m thinking, the things I want.”
“Me, too.”
“I want to… And…”
“Oh, me, too.” She sang that reply, her eyes dragging from my face to my bare feet.
“Is it wrong?”
“It’s mating.”
“Yeah?” I was practically panting as I drank in the beauty of her face, which looked at tortured as I felt.
“Yeah, and I know one thing, Edward, just from living in that house.” She stepped closer, pushing up a little on her toes to brush her lips tauntingly over mine.
“What’s that, sweetheart?”
She kissed me again, just as soft, just as teasing. “This feeling – right here…” She locked almost black eyes with mine, smirking a little. “It never goes away. It’s always here, always this strong. If we were crazy for each other before, baby, now we’ll be insatiable.”
My mouth quirked up into a half smile. “Always?”
“Always, Edward.”
Reaching out, I pulled her to me, our lips meeting at the same time Bella let out the sweetest sound of relief and want and happiness. Wrapping my arms all the way around her, I lifted her, causing her legs to naturally wrap around my hips. I didn’t have words to describe the feelings that came with kissing my wife – truly kissing her – again.
There was no worry from her about hurting me. There was no difference in our skin – hardness or temperature. We didn’t have to breathe, we didn’t have to speak, and we damn well didn’t have to let go if we didn’t want.
Everything was different yet the same. Her reactions to my touch were the same, if not more. The need to mark, bite, and own was new, but the feelings of her hands in my hair, her sweet sounds, and her amazing kiss overrode what I was now knew were instincts that I’d never had when I was human.
I could hold Bella in my arms without even straining. In fact, I was sure I could’ve held her wrapped around me like that for days. Despite the strain, the running, and even my recent hunting, I wasn’t tired. And deep down I knew I’d never really be weary again, but one thought pushed everything away.
It had been way too long since I’d made love to my wife.
It had been before her change, before flat tires and roaming, red-eyed vampires with bad intentions, and before the Cullens had decided to help her. It was before I thought she’d been taken away from me.
Slipping my hands beneath her shirt, I pushed it up, breaking from our kiss long enough to help her out of it completely.
My breathing was heavy as I barely broke away from her lips. “Baby, put your feet down.”
Wickedly strong legs unwound from around me, but Bella’s arms stayed clinging to my neck. Skimming flat hands up her sides and over her arms, I pulled her hands away from me.
“Let me see you,” I asked in a whisper.
It was like seeing her for the first time, bare to the waist, breathing heavy, and her hair falling down out of her ponytail. Reaching to the band that held that hair, I carefully pulled it out, letting the dark locks spill down over creamy shoulders.
His turn.
I grinned at her thought, taking a step back from her and reaching for a fistful of my shirt. It was off and over my head, joining hers on the floor of that rock alcove, before she could actually voice that request.
“Jesus,” Bella huffed in a laugh, shaking her head.
Glancing down, I tried to see what she did, but in her mind, I could see the differences in my body. I’d always run to stay in shape, but now, I was lean, with lithe muscles. I was toned and defined. And apparently, my wife approved wholeheartedly.
Something about that made me feel smug, not that she didn’t approve before, but with everything we were feeling at that moment, that was good to know.
I walked around her, stopping long enough to sweep her hair from one shoulder to press kisses to her skin, up her neck, settling on the spot just below her ear that had always caused her to melt in my arms.
“I love you,” I whispered against the shell of her ear. “I’ve missed you…like this.”
“Me, too.” She nodded, leaning her bare back against my chest, which made me moan into her hair.
I pulled her closer, her sweet bottom pressing against the hardest erection I’d ever had. My years as a medical student told me that it had been a long time. My new senses told me that it was more than blood coursing through me; it was venom and the hunting I’d just done. It was more. It was almost feral.
I cupped her breasts from behind, teasing hard nipples and smiling when she shook in my arms as curse words softly escaped her. One hand continued to play, to tease, and the other slipped down her stomach to tug at the button of her jeans.
“How do you… Where…” I stammered, shaking my head. “Bella… I’m gonna rip these.”
She seemed to understand my nonsense babbling and covered my hand with her own to help me. She turned in my arms, stepping back and kicking out of sneakers. The jeans and underwear were shoved down to the cave floor.
“Watch your strength, Edward,” she guided sweetly, walking back to me. “You don’t want to run naked through the woods.” She smirked at my short huff of a laugh. “Slow, handsome.”
Bella helped me carefully push down the plaid pajama bottoms in which I’d woken up from my change. I could see by her thoughts that she’d know they’d be easier to deal with for the first day, but also because she’d wanted me as comfortable as I could be through three days of burning.
The cool evening air hit my bare flesh, but it had no effect on my need. I was hard and leaking for her, and her eyes darkened even more with the sight of me. My restraint to slow down, stay calm, flew out the window when one word escaped her lips in a slow hiss.
I pulled her back to me, and we were like before – Bella wrapped around me and my lips on hers. Her hands cupped either side of my face, and a plea pushed out over my face.
“Please, Edward. Please…”
I pressed her back against the rock wall, barely noticing the cracking, the dust falling down, and the rumble it caused inside that small alcove. Her hands were still on my face as I kissed her until I felt drunk with her taste. Pausing just enough to lock gazes with her, I positioned myself at her entrance.
Our breathing stopped completely when I slid inside her for the first time in months, for the first time as mates, and for the first time in our new beginning.
Yes, yes, yes…
Her mind guided me when I had lost the ability to barely think, much less speak. Her thoughts were filled with love, with how amazing I felt, and how much she’d needed me. When she showed me what felt the best, I followed her wishes.
“That’s so…amazing,” I breathed, pushing harder, deeper, and feeling her clench down on me over and over. “Keep showing me, Bella.”
Her next thought had me pulling her away from the rock wall that was even more jagged than before, and I laid her down on top of our pile of clothes, letting all my weight bear down on her as I continued to take her hard. I reveled in my strength, my stamina, which had been fine before, but now, I was unstoppable. Bracing a hand by her head, I used my free hand to touch, to tease, to elicit sounds I needed to hear again.
When I touched her where she was swollen and sensitive, Bella came hard, my name mixed with a long, low growl, and it made me smile against her neck.
“Yes, Bella. You feel too good. I can’t… I don’t want it to…”
Her hands met either side of my face, bringing my gaze to hers, and I dropped my forehead to meet hers. “Let go, Edward. We have lifetimes to love each other.”
Nodding, I squeezed my eyes closed, feeling the tingle up my spine, in my balls, and my hands clawed deep into the dirt and rock on either side of her head. I hardly recognized the sound that escaped me when I came. It was loud, echoing out of the cave and shaking the floor beneath us.
When I could see straight, I opened my eyes, losing myself in Bella’s golden eyes. Nothing needed to be said, because her thoughts matched mine. The love we’d had before paled in comparison to what we were feeling right at that moment. And that was saying something.
“Holy hell,” Bella breathed, her head collapsing back, a small smile curling up her gorgeous lips.
“No shit,” I panted, unable not to smile with her. But I noted that I was still hard, still deep inside her. “Umm, sweetheart?”
Licking her lips, she leaned up and captured my mouth in a searing kiss. “We aren’t moving from this hiding spot for a while.”
“Will they come looking for us?” I asked her, kissing slowly down her jaw to her neck.
“You don’t care, do you?”
Chuckling caused new sensations between us, and we gasped. I didn’t move, but I shifted up enough to gaze down at her. The moon was bright coming in through the water falling over the cave opening. My new sight could see the effects playing out over her face, her skin, the entire cave. It was as if we were deep under water, completely sealed off from everything. The reality was that we needed to get back to the Cullens, we needed to discuss the future since I’d had to be changed, and we needed to talk about Charlie. I knew all of that. Bella’s thoughts were the same.
Yet, reality had to wait, because we were lost to one another again. A part of me wondered just how long we could stay sequestered up there. The other part couldn’t wait to try everything with her.
“Stop thinking.”
Grinning, I leaned in and kissed her. “Yes, ma’am.”


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