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I'm Being Pimped!!!

I'm SOOOO excited!!! Indie Fic Pimp picked My Brother's Wife as their Completed Fic of the Week for May 16-22! There's a lovely review by AnonymouslySufferingfromOCD with the banner and everything. I don't know how they found me, but I'm ever so glad and grateful they did! Please stop by and share the love, thanks!

p.s. Chapter 2 of I Burn for You Gladly is now posted in full!
Chapter 2: Oops! It's All Right

A/N: I am very, very lucky to call LJ Summers beta and friend. She rocks. . . . 'Nuff said.

There were many requests for a continuation of this story, and this chapter was originally written for the Foxy Fics compilation with no intention of public posting. However, that was before I understood (being a newb writer) that beyond a certain date, the compilation becomes unavailable :-(   I didn't want to deny such a worthy cause badly needed funds, while at the same time, I didn't want to deny y'all, either. So, after much internal debate and a little Twitter poll, here it is in its entirety!

I hope you enjoy the conclusion of this little tale. It's written just for you, the reader,

“Bella? Oh God, no! Bella!! No! Oh, my love! Oh! I’m so, SO sorry! Bella, I love you!” I cried out clutching her body to mine. We were still joined – I was still buried deep within her limp form.

“No, no, no. . . .” I moaned, stroking her hair. I was horrified at what I’d done moments before. “I’m sorry, baby. SO sorry.” I whispered laying her gently back on the bed and withdrawing from her. I’d done the very thing I’d feared for so long. I’d gotten overwhelmed in the moment by feelings and sensations the likes of which I’d never felt before, never dreamed I could feel, never knew existed. Not for me, at least. The smell of her arousal and mine, of sex combined with the heady scent of her virgin blood spilled overpowered me.

When Bella came undone again under me, something snapped, something primal took over and I had to put all my focus on my groin and my hips so that I didn’t thrust too hard and hurt her delicate body. I felt the storm of my orgasm break over me and I was gone, lost in the sea that swept through me. When I came back seconds, minutes later, my teeth were imbedded in the slope of her shoulder, the venom pouring from my mouth into the wound and she was unmoving.

I was horrified. I’m a monster. I bit her. Why did I ever agree to this insanity? I knew I couldn’t handle it and I didn’t. I never should have tried. I should have stopped when my control started slipping. How could I have done this? I swore I’d never hurt her and now I have. On our wedding night! I’ve ruined everything! My God, I bit my love, my Bella! Why didn’t Alice warn me? She had to have seen this happening!

I turned back to Bella as my phone began ringing. I ignored the phone as I realized that tears were coursing out of the corner of my love’s eyes, across her temples and into her hair in a steady stream. I knew she was in agony, and I would have done anything, anything, to take that pain – the pain I’d caused in my stupidity – from her. I’d burn a thousand times to spare her.

My phone continued to ring incessantly. I wanted to throw it across the room, and started to, but then Bella’s phone began to ring, too, and I knew it was useless to avoid it any longer. I pressed “answer” and put the phone to my ear in silence.

“Edward? It’s all going to be just fine. Trust me.” Alice chirped down the line. I snorted a bitter laugh but said nothing. “Carlisle is already on his way, he should arrive late tonight or early tomorrow morning. He’s bringing everything else you need.”

“Everything else I need?! What’s that supposed to mean, Alice? You saw this and didn’t say anything?! Didn’t warn me? Didn’t show me?! What the hell, Alice?!”

“Don’t start, Edward. You know it’s not a perfect science. There were several possibilities including this one. I did my best to prepare for them all. I knew you wouldn’t kill her – I never saw that, or I’d have stopped you. C’mon, you were going to change her anyway, and this is so romantic, don’t you think?”

“No, Alice. I don’t think it’s romantic. I don’t think it’s romantic at all. Yeah, so, I’d agreed to change her, but it was supposed to be at a planned time with everything in place at home, not halfway across the globe by accident! I’m not ready for this, Alice. I don’t know what to do. I can’t believe what I’ve done. . . Oh, Alice. She’s burning. In our wedding bed. On our wedding night. It’s awful what I’ve done. I’m such a monster. She deserves so much better than that. I don’t even know that she was ready. Nothing’s prepared. Oh God, what have I done?”

“You’ve done exactly what Bella wanted. She was ready, she was more than ready, and she’ll tell you that herself in a couple of days. Just stay with her and wait for Carlisle. He’ll be there soon.”

“I can’t believe you didn’t tell me, Alice.”

“I’m not sorry I didn’t, Edward. Bella made me promise. She knew you wouldn’t go through with it if this was a possible outcome. She wanted this, Edward. You have to know that. She wasn’t afraid. She knew you wouldn’t hurt her. If you don’t trust anything else, Edward, trust that. Trust in Bella, she’s your wife now, your mate. It’s all going to be fine, promise.”

“You’ve seen that? I can’t believe she won’t hate me when she wakes up.”

“Now you’re just being silly, Edward. She’s not going to hate you when she wakes up. And yes, I’ve seen it, but I’m not going to tell you any more. I don’t want to spoil the surprise. . . Oh, Jasper needs me, I have to go. Look in her carry-on, you’ll find what you need for the next few hours until Carlisle arrives. . . I have to go now. Bye, Edward.”

She hung up before I could reply. I pulled the phone away from my ear and made a face at it before setting it on the nightstand. I looked back to Bella. She was so still and silent.

Why isn’t she screaming and writhing in agony? I don’t understand. Something must be terribly wrong.

I didn’t do it right, I just knew it. We’d all screamed. Only the continual river of tears gave  any hint to the potential pain underneath. I buried my face in my hands before sliding them into my hair and pulling relentlessly.

Carlisle will be here soon. Carlisle will be here soon. He’ll know what to do. It’ll be okay. I repeated Alice’s words in my head over an over like a mantra trying to keep myself calm. I can’t flip out now. Bella needs me. I’m all she has. She’s completely vulnerable while the transition happens. We’re safe here.

I released my hair and sighed. I leaned over and kissed Bella on the forehead whispering, “I’ll be right back,” before rising from the bed and going into the bathroom. I was stunned and appalled by my reflection. Blood was smeared around my groin and down my upper thighs as well as on the end of my nose, my right cheek, and chin. My eyes were wide, but thankfully the same golden shade as they had been a few hours ago before the nightmare evening began. I ran my hands through my hair and felt a flash of gratitude that Bella hadn’t seen me like this, seen the inner monster materialized outwardly. Sighing heavily, I turned on the shower and stepped under the spray.

Not wanting to be away from Bella a second longer than necessary, I showered and dried off quickly. I pulled on some soft pyjama bottoms before gathering the items I needed to bathe her body.

When I pulled back the sheet, I gasped at the sight before me. Bella’s body was riddled with rapidly fading bruises. Bruises I’d caused by gripping her too tightly, thrusting too hard. There were a couple of nip marks on her breast, and the blood between her legs and on her shoulder caused me to gag and choke knowing I was responsible. Virginal blood was a reality of course, and I knew from my medical degrees what would happen theoretically, but that was completely different from seeing the reality.

My eyes burned and my breath caught, knowing that all of these things must have been painful. Why didn’t she tell me I was hurting her? Why didn’t she stop me? Or push me away, or at least ask me to lessen my grip?
“Oh Bella love. I’m so, SO sorry I hurt you. Why didn’t you tell me, sweetheart?” I tenderly brushed a tangle of hair away from her face. I noticed that the wound on her shoulder was all sealed up and rapidly healing. The venom was doing its healing magic as it performed it’s evil transformation. I touched the bite mark lightly with one fingertip. “I got lost, Bella, and bit you. I want to take it back so badly. I hate watching you burn. Why are you so quiet, so still? You must be in agony. I’m so sorry, Bella love, so sorry.”

I then began tenderly washing her body. Her sweat and the ocean water had dried, the salt beginning to flake off her rapidly hardening skin. I listened to her steady, slow heartbeat as I worked in silence. After I cleaned her body, I stripped and changed the bed linens, including the mattress cover. I wanted to dress her, but when I went to lift her again, she moaned and I decided that she’d been moved enough for the time being.

It had taken some time to do all that, but not nearly enough. It would be hours before Carlisle arrived and I didn’t know what to do with myself. Just sitting in silence with Bella while she burned threatened my sanity, my anxiety skyrocketing. I needed to do something. When the bed shifted as I got up to pace, Bella moaned quietly again and the fingers nearest me twitched slightly.

I quickly slipped back on the bed and picked up her hand. “Bella love? Can you hear me? I’m right here, love. I’m not leaving. I’m not going anywhere, don’t worry, I won’t leave you alone. Carlisle is coming. He’ll be here soon. I know it’s painful. I’m so, so sorry about that. If I could burn for you, I would. I’d burn a thousand times so you don’t have to. . . .” My voice was rough and I choked on the last bit, but I noticed the tiniest smoothing of her expression while I spoke that disappeared when I stopped.

Hmmm. My voice and presence seem to soothe her. Somehow she’s sensing when I’m near. I don’t remember anything about my transformation other than unending pain.

“Bella, sweetheart? Can you hear me?” I touched her face gently when I saw it relax infinitesimally. “Darling? I’m not going anywhere, I’m right here with you, but I have to get something across the room. It won’t take a second.” I leapt from the bed and grabbed her carry-on from the dresser, turning it upside-down and dumping the contents on the floor. Two familiar tattered paperbacks fell out and I snatched them up without even looking at them before diving back onto the bed.

I carefully eased my hand under hers so they were resting palm to palm before looking at the two books in my hand. I couldn’t stop the smile that split my face. Wuthering Heights and The Merchant of Venice – her favorites. I couldn’t believe she could want to read them again and again, but she never seemed to grow tired of them. I dropped the Shakespeare beside me and opened Brontë’s masterpiece to the first page and began to read aloud.

~ x ~

It was nearly dawn when I heard a boat approaching the island. Neither Bella nor I had moved in hours. I was just finishing The Merchant of Venice when the boat’s motor throttled down in approach to the dock. I read the final few words before slipping my hand from under Bella’s and putting the book on the nightstand.

“Carlisle is here, Bella love. I have to go help him dock his boat. I won’t be gone long, I promise,” I said, caressing her face. The tears had almost completely stopped, her tear ducts sealing up under the venom’s onslaught. “I’m sorry I have to leave you even for a moment,” I whispered to the skin of her forehead before placing a tender kiss there.

I eased from the bed and stretched my body gratefully. It was easy to hold the same position for long periods of time, though I’d always been more inclined to movement over stillness.

Quietly, I moved through the french doors and onto to the dark beach. The lights from the boat were closer than I expected and I ran to the end of the dock at vampire speed, arriving just in time to catch the rope Carlisle tossed me. It was only after I’d secured the rope to the pier that I saw a small flat barge with several crates tied to the stern of the motor boat.

Before I could speak, Carlisle jumped onto the dock beside me and wrapped me in an embrace.

How are you doing, son?

I didn’t know how to answer that, so I looked away instead.

She’ll be fine. Don’t worry.”

“Easy for you to say. You weren’t the one who lost control and bit your wife while making love to her on your wedding night.”

“Edward, Edward! Don’t fret, son. It will all be well. . . .”

A wail from the house interrupted our reunion. I turned wordlessly and ran, Carlisle close on my heels. I burst through the doors into the bedroom. Bella’s body was arched off the bed, her mouth open in a wordless cry. I lunged forward and wrapped my body around hers murmuring apologies and soothing noises. She relaxed instantly but slowly, her keening ceasing the moment my skin touched hers.

“Carlisle. . . Carlisle. Look what I’ve done. She must be in agony.” I choked the words out between harsh, panting breaths.

He placed his hand on my shoulder and gently squeezed. “I know, son. I know how hard it is to sit and watch helplessly while the one you love suffers the transformation.”

“She’s been so quiet, so still. . . I must have done something wrong. That’s the first time she’s cried out or moved. Oh, Carlisle. . . .”

Let me see her, son.

Grasping her hand, I moved carefully so Carlisle could examine her. He looked under her eyelids and checked her pulse in several places, then listened carefully to her slightly labored breathing. He looked at his watch, then turned to me, “It’s been what, about 24 hours now?”

I started slightly at his question. Had it really been that long? Checking the clock on the nightstand, I thought back. “Yeah, about that.”

“I’m sorry it’s taken me so long to get here, son. The peccaries proved harder to catch and crate than expected or I would have been here sooner.”


“Yes. Something had to be brought here for Bella. She’ll be very thirsty when she wakes up, or have you forgotten?” He winked at me.

“How could I forget that?! But you’re telling me she’s okay? I didn’t make a mess of things? Or, well, more of a mess of things than I already did?”

“You’ve done just fine.” He patted my arm, then continued mentally. “She’s right about where I’d expect her to be at this point in time. It’s always individual, you know that.”

“But, I bit her shoulder, not an artery!”

“Yes, I see that son.” He turned back to Bella and lightly touched the bite mark on her shoulder. “Tell me, did she cry out when you bit her?”

“I. . . I don’t know.” I hung my head in shame. “I lost control when. . . when. . . .” I couldn’t get the words out.

“I see.” He sighed.

“The next thing I knew, my teeth were buried in her shoulder, the venom was pouring out of my mouth into the wound.” I covered my face with a shaking hand before sliding it into my hair and pulling ruthlessly.

Carlisle pursed his lips. “She didn’t flinch or arch – move at all?”

“No, not that I’m aware of. When I removed, my uh, teeth, she was still and limp in my arms.” My hand covered my eyes at the horrifying memory.


“I. . . I found two nip marks on her chest when I bathed her. . . after,” I breathed, barely audible.

“Was there blood there?”

I shook my head, unable to speak in my shame.

Carlisle, in complete doctor/scientist mode, asked, “Was there virginal blood?”

My eyes closed. “Yes.”

A lot?

I shrugged. I had no idea how much was a lot or a little.

Are these the sheets, son?

“No, I changed to fresh linens. The soiled ones are in the laundry room.”

He rose and disappeared into the house briefly before returning. I hadn’t moved from where I stood rooted to the floor, nor raised my head, or even opened my eyes.

“When you broke her maidenhead, Edward, did she cry out or make any other indication of pain?”

“She flinched and tensed up for a few minutes. But that was what we expected, and she didn’t ask me to. . . to stop or anything. Why? Why all the questions, Carlisle?”

Well, I can’t know for sure, but her virginal blood flow was more than I would have expected. I think that that combined with your precum and ejaculate started the transformation. The bite only encouraged and sped the process. It sounds to me like she was already under the influence of the transformation when you became aware of yourself again. I’ll have to confirm a few things with her when she wakes of course, but that’s my theory given the evidence.

My head shot up while he was thinking and I stared at him in shock. I was completely speechless. In all our conversations about this night, the act itself, he’d never brought that up as a possibility, and I was so naïve, I never even thought of it myself.

“My. . . my precum? How can that be possible? It can’t possibly have that much venom. . . .” I trailed off.

“Well, I wouldn’t have thought so, either, son, but then I didn’t expect to see so much blood on the sheets. And you know, when human blood mixes with our venom, the transformation is triggered, no matter how small the wound.”

He looked down at Bella as he continued in his mind. “I’d say there was a pretty good size tear – she must have had an unusually small opening. Biology shows that much of the blood supply is rerouted to the genitals during sexual excitement, the tissues becoming engorged with blood. It’s not entirely out of the realm of possibility. I just thought it was so remote as to be not worthy of consideration.

Returning his gaze to me, he laid his hand on my shoulder, his voice echoing his thoughts. “I’m sorry, son. I’m really sorry I dismissed the possibility out of hand.”

“So, you’re saying that this would have happened even if I hadn’t bitten her?”

“Yes, that’s exactly what I’m saying. Actually, biting her was a kindness. It sped the process up to a more usual level. The transformation would have lasted much, much longer without the infusion of your oral venom.” I heard his follow up thought, “At least twice as long as the usual time,” and flinched.

“Six days. . . .”

“Yes, likely longer.” Again, he couldn’t mask his trailing thought before I heard it. “Probably more like ten.

I couldn’t imagine burning that long. I really couldn’t. A wave of gratitude suddenly washed over me for biting her in the midst of passion, and I never thought I’d feel grateful for that.

“I need to get the boat unloaded and do something with those darn peccaries.”

A real, genuine laugh escaped me at the expression on Carlisle’s face as he thought, “Stubborn little things. . . .” I couldn’t remember seeing him so sour before, at least not in a long time.

“Do you need my help?”

“No, son. You’d best stay here with Bella. She’s clearly more comfortable when you’re nearby.” He turned and headed for the doors thinking, “Fascinating, just fascinating. Awareness outside of herself during the transformation. . . .” I tuned out the rest of his thoughts and focused solely on my love.

My miracle. My love. My miracle love.

I bent down and nuzzled her nose with mine before settling in beside her on the bed. I had no more reading material, so I drew her into my side and began singing softly to her instead.

~ x ~

The next 48 hours flew by as Carlisle raced around the island preparing for Bella’s awakening, making two more trips to the mainland for food and other supplies. We’d only planned to stay for a few weeks at most, one human and one vampire. Now, two vampires would be here for several months. I have to admit the idea of an extended stay didn’t bother me in the least. Isle Esme was a lovely, one-of-a-kind, remote, deserted island and it was only the second time I’d ever been here.

Alice had sent along more of Bella’s favorite classics for me to read aloud as the transformation continued. I alternated between reading, singing, and telling Bella my dreams and fantasies of our life together as vampires and mates, husband and wife.

Shortly before dawn on the third day, Carlisle stopped by the bedroom to check on us.

How’s she doing?” he asked.

“Listen for yourself. . . .”

“Ah, her heartbeat has increased. This is a good sign. She will wake soon. I’d best be going.”

“Wait, what? You’re leaving? But. . . she’ll. . . .”

Only have eyes for you, son. It’s best if I leave you two lovebirds alone.” He smiled with a mischievous twinkle in his eye, “It is your honeymoon, after all.” He turned to leave.

“But, wait! Carlisle! When she wakes? I’ve never been alone for a newborn awakening before. . . .”

He turned back and touched my shoulder reassuringly. “It’ll be fine. Follow her lead. Listen to your instincts. Just remember it will be disorienting when she first wakes, and try not to overstimulate her in any way. Be patient, and you’ll do just fine. I really have to go now, Edward, or I’ll miss my flight. We’ll see you in a few months. Enjoy your time here. . .” He winked. “I always do.”

“Ugh, Carlisle. . . .”

Goodbye, son. Be safe.

He closed his mind to me then, humming some sort of ancient tune in a language I didn’t recognize. A whimper beside me on the bed caught my attention, and I realized Bella’s heart had suddenly upped its speed another notch or two. I quickly slipped a simple sundress over her head and settled it around her body.

In one corner of my mind, I heard Carlisle start his boat and slip the ropes from the pier, whistling the song in his mind aloud. As the sounds of the boat slipped further and further away, Bella’s heart beat faster and faster, until it was as fast as a hummingbird’s and as loud as a jackhammer. It would only be a few moments now before it stopped completely.

I counted every precious beat, every breath, knowing they were her last. At the instant I could no longer hear the boat, her heart made an impossibly loud thu-thunk and her body arched off the bed. When she collapsed back onto the mattress, her breathing stopped and I held my breath, knowing the moment had finally arrived.

I slipped my hands around one of hers. Bella’s heart made two more valiant attempts to beat, straining and slow, before one final weak thump. And then, it beat no more. Her human life was over. Her vampire life was about to begin. I held my breath and waited.

And waited.

And waited.

I felt her energy – her life force – flash down her arm into her hand as she simultaneously inhaled with a gasp and her eyes flew open. And I waited, still as a statue, not breathing. I watched her now-crimson eyes come into focus, then dart around the room until she found my face. She seemed captivated by my it, then her hand flashed up to my cheek, stopping just as she made contact with my skin.

I saw her lips working briefly before her voice came out flute-like, lovely and melodic. “E-Ed-ward?”

“Yes, my love?”

“I. . . I. . . you. . . . Stunning. . . .”

I couldn’t stop the grin that split my face wide. “Yes, yes, you are,” I breathed.

Her attention was distracted by the sight of her own hand, her eyes then traveling down her glistening arm to her dress. She looked around the room again, a puzzled frown darkening her expression, her bottom lip disappearing between her teeth briefly.

“Oh! Sharp!” she gasped, and my chuckle escaped before I could stop it. Her eyes flew back to my face in amazement. “Like a song. . . . I’ve never. . . how did you do that?”

“Do what, Bella love?”

“Your. . . your voice. It’s the same but new. Better. Different somehow. . . .”

“Ah, that would be your hearing, not my voice, love.”

“My. . . hearing? Why? What happened? What changed?”

“You did, my love. I’m so sorry, but I bit you on our wedding night. You’re just waking up from the transformation.”

“You mean. . . you mean I’m like you now?” She whispered the last part, an expression of awe transforming her face.

“Yes, love. I know we didn’t. . . .” My words were cut off by her arms around my neck. She was hugging me fiercely. “Sweetheart,” I strangled out. “Um, ow. Careful with your husband.”

“Oh! Oops!” She dropped her arms and her eyes instantly.

“Just a little too tight, love. You’re stronger than I am right now. That’s all.” I laughed. “I’m the fragile one for a change.”

She smiled up at me shyly. “Thank you for biting me. It’s. . . wait, what’s that noise?”

I listened carefully. “What do you hear?”

Her head tilted slightly to the side. “Um, it’s a kind of snuffling sound and some thumping.”

“Ah, well, that would be breakfast. You must be thirsty, yes?”

“Well, my throat burns like it’s sore. Is that what you mean?”

“Yes. It’s not. . . painful?”

“Well, it’s not the most comfortable thing, but if I focus on something else, it’s not so bad.”



“Yes love?”

“You smell incredible. . . . You always have, but it’s just. . . it’s just so much. . . more.” She was leaning towards me by this time, her eyes closed, drawing in deep breaths.

I chuckled again and took her hand.

“C’mon, Bella. Let’s get you something to eat.” I pulled her to her feet and led her gently outside. As I turned us to head into the brush to the far side of the island, she stopped and planted her feet.

“Ugh! What’s that smell? Ugh, oh! It’s awful.” She waved her hand in front of her face in the universal gesture indicating a bad odor.

“Um, well, that’s breakfast.”

That’s breakfast?! What is it, Edward? I’ve never smelled anything so awful in my life!”

“Well, being unplanned and all, our food sources are really limited here. The only thing in abundance for us are peccaries. They’re kind of like pigs, but not really. I’m sorry, love. That’s really all there is. They taste better than they smell, and you do get used to it, sort of. Just stop breathing.”

“Yeah, okay, uh, no. I can’t do that right now. Not hungry, er, um, thirsty I mean.”

I reached out and cupped her neck with my palm. “Are you sure, love? Your throat must be so painful.”

“It’s not so bad. I’m fine. And yeah, I’m sure. I’ll have to be a lot more desperate before I can, uh, drink that.” A shudder ran through her body and I sighed. I couldn’t blame her. They really stank.

“Let’s go to the beach watch the rest of sunrise. I feel like I can see everything now – like I was blind before – and the sky is so beautiful.”

I let her lead me to the water’s edge, and in to the lapping surf. As the ocean swirled and receded around our ankles, a gentle wind blew our hair and clothes behind us. I wrapped my arms around Bella from the side, watching her watch the horizon. She had been beautiful to me before, but now she was absolutely stunning. I was completely dazzled by her transformation and secretly relieved at the little imperfections of human Bella that remained.

I love this woman more than life itself. I would do anything for her, anything at all.

“I want to make all your dreams come true,” I whispered, pressing my lips into her hair as the sun peeked above the horizon. I crushed her to me while closing my eyes, no longer worrying about hurting her, grateful to have her awake and in my arms again at last.

I suddenly saw a word in my head. What? I don’t think I’ve seen that before, but it’s familiar somehow. My eyes flew open and I pulled back to look at her. My abrupt movement caused her to turn her head towards me, the dawn light casting a rosy pink hue across her sparkling skin.


In my entire existence, I had never seen a sight so breathtaking. I literally stopped breathing for a moment and froze at the sight before me, my eyes wide, my mouth forming a perfect “o.” I was completely dumbfounded. After blinking several times, I realized that her expression mirrored mine. I raised my hand to her jaw, running my thumb over her cheekbone as I cradled her face.

“Stunning,” was all I could say. She smiled and leaned into my hand, raising her hand to my face as we continued to mirror each other.

Dazzling suddenly popped into my head, but not as a sound. I didn’t hear it, rather I saw it as if on a blackboard, or written on a page. It wasn’t mine – it’s not how my inner voice spoke to me.

“Bella?” I breathed, my face drawing down into a confused frown.

Still, she remained silent, raising her other hand to my forehead, attempting to smooth out the ridges there. “What, my forever love?”

“I. . . I just. . . .” I closed my eyes and shook my head slightly to clear it. “Nothing, never mind.”

What? Drifted through my mind. Again in written form.

“What did you just think, Bella?”


“Just now. Er, just before, what were you thinking?”

“I was thinking what, Edward. I was wondering what you were about to say.”

I gasped. “Whatdoyouthinkwhenyouthink?” I rushed the words out as if they were one.

She laughed, loudly. “What do I think when I think? What kind of question is that?” She snickered up at me, her eyes twinkling merrily.

“I, uh. . .” I ran my free hand through my hair and sighed out my nose. How do I put this? “I mean, um, when you think, do you hear your voice or someone else’s voice, or do you see pictures like a movie?”

She laughed again. “No, silly. I see words. Like written on a page or a chalkboard or projected on a screen.”

I staggered back a half step. Had I really, finally heard her mind? After all this time and frustration and silence?

“Think something now.”

She raised an eyebrow and smiled at me, but said nothing. I saw nothing. I heard nothing. I strained, and held my breath, but still nothing.

“Gah!” I gasped out finally, frustrated once again by her exasperating, silent mind.

What? Appeared in that moment.

“Did you just think ‘what’ again?”

“Yes, I did. What is going on? You’re acting so strangely, even for you.” She nudged me playfully and almost knocked me down with her strength. “Oops!” She laughed, grabbing me. “I guess I don’t know my own strength. This is going to take some getting used to.”

Her laugh was infectious, and I found myself chuckling with her, causing interesting sensations since our bodies were pressed closely together in very thin clothes. I watched her bright red eyes darken as lust flickered there. Her hands were instantly in my hair, drawing our lips together. When they touched for the first time, my lips were soft against hers, molding to her shape instead of holding only my own.

So good appeared in my head and I answered, “Yes, so good,” before pulling away and looking deep into her eyes with a brilliant smile illuminating my face. “Bella, love? I. Can. Hear. You.”

She jerked back, startled. “You can hear me?! But I thought. . . .”

“I know!” I interrupted her, “I’ve never been able to hear you before.”

“The transformation?”

“Maybe. Maybe I was just listening for the wrong thing. I don’t get much, only a word or two, but they pop in as a written word, and I’ve always heard voices or seen pictures before. And trying doesn’t seem to work. It happens when I’m focused on something else, and. . . .”

“And I’m feeling some sort of emotion with the thought.” She finished for me. We looked at each other blinking in awe and amazement.

“Can you hear me now?”

“No, no I can’t,” I sighed.

She stepped closer and cupped my face again. “Now?”

I closed my eyes and willed myself to see something, anything. Begging for a word to pop into my mind. “No, nothing.” I dropped my head to her shoulder. “Maybe I was just dreaming the whole thing up. I’m sorry I said anything.”

Her arms wrapped around my back and pulled me deep into her embrace. “Shhhh, you’re trying too hard. Relax, husband.” Her hands stroked slowly, tantalizingly up and down my back.

Kiss me popped in.

I began kissing, licking, nibbling at her neck and shoulder. Carefully drawing just the tip of my tongue along my bite scar. Mine, I thought. Mine, made just for me, made by me. Mine.

Mine all mine appeared as her lips brushed my neck in return.

I pulled back in silence and smiled at her, quirking an eyebrow. She nodded in return whispering, “Mine.” I wrapped myself around her, lifting her up and swinging her around in a circle before setting her back on her feet gently. I pressed my forehead to hers, panting slightly but not from the effort.

“Forever?” I breathed.

Forever appeared.

I took her hand in mine and led her back towards the house. I had a feeling the next few months were going to be beyond anything I’d ever dreamed of. It was going to be an amazing forever, and for the first time in my long existence, I looked forward to every single day of it.


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