Evening's Light

5. Experiment

Our necks were perfectly fine this morning; just a few faint teeth marks left; nothing that would be noticeable to the human eye.

But the exhilaration of it all was the most amazing part. And no one got hurt.

Edward said with the new memory of last night, the old stuff really had gotten fuzzier, and he was thrilled.

I agreed. I hadn't thought of restaurant girl for an hour at least. 'Burn'. Dang it Bella, give it time. I really was doing better.

We'd considered our biting each other a one-time session of 'vampire therapy', for lack of a better term. And I vowed that things would be handled differently, if I should find myself completely absorbed in moments of craving hysterics again.

Edward thought it best to set some 'ground rules' for me.

Number one, I was never to speak of my previous blood scent to him, a point that was horrifyingly well taken. And two, I'm to tell him immediately when I find myself contemplating several ways of stalking after someone.

I was still new to this lifestyle and well controlled, but it didn't make me immune to what I was.

Number two would be the hardest to follow, considering the intense pull I had towards the girl. Would I be strong enough to tell him? Or would the hunt dominate over what I knew was right? I was frightened to find out, and hoped there wouldn't be a next time. But I am a vampire. To expect anything less would be foolish, and possibly dangerous.

I envied the Cullen's self control, knowing it had taken them years to build, but envied it none the less. Would Jasper and I always be their biggest worries? I think for now, and after last night, my honest answer would have to be, yes.

"What happened to your neck Edward?" Esme inquired as soon as when we arrived at the Cullen's main house this morning.

My eyes widened and panic filled me. I didn't think about how our family would react to our markings. 'Oh no' was all I could think as I froze in place.

Renesmee, whom he was holding, leaned to each side in his arms to look at her father's throat as soon as Esme asked.

"Daddy, you have a bite!" she shouted, pointing at his neck and Edward sighed.

"Thank you Esme," he said a little displeased as he set Renesmee down.

"Well, what happened?" she asked again. "It's not normal to show up with markings around here like that. Did you run into trouble last night?"

Rosalie and Jasper had gathered round now to hear more of what was going on, causing me to grow more anxious. Our family was like a small town where everyone knew everything. And if they didn't know, someone always told. On one hand it was good because there were no surprises. But on the other hand, the word 'secret' didn't exist.

Jacob walked around the kitchen corner quickly with his breakfast plate in hand. "Who got bit?" he sounded like he was ready to go out and tear up some nasty vampire.

Edward sighed again.

"I did, but everything's fine," he said to Jacob, and then to his daughter. Who still wanted to know why daddy had a bite mark on him.

"No. Settle down, Jacob. There are no other vampires in Forks. You don't need to get Sam," he replied in aggravation to Jacob's thoughts.

Jacob furrowed his brows. He still hated when Edward read his mind, even if it did save the trouble of further conversations.

"Well?" Esme said, waiting impatiently.

Alice bounced over quietly behind me, then and lifted my hair. "Ah-ha, Bella has one too!"

"Alice!" I yelled, pulling my hair back from her. Of course she would know what happened, and would only be so delighted to rat me out as well.

Edward put his hands on his head. "Wait, everyone, please, stop thinking so loudly all at once," he insisted.

When they had finally calmed, he removed his hands and began to explain.

"Bella and I did a little 'experiment' last night." He smirked happily at me.

I blushed. Even though they couldn't see it in my skin, I knew it was all over my face.

"An experiment?" Esme sounded confused.

"Yes," Edward answered. "I think that would be the most suiting name for it." He then smiled.

"Oh, I do not want to hear this…" Rosalie rolled her eyes, "…and neither should she," she said with disgust as she grabbed Renesmee's hand and headed upstairs with her.

"I do!" Emmett threw himself over the arm of the couch, away from his morning sports game, anxious to hear more.

"Hmm, I guess we didn't think this one all the way through did we, love?" Edward half laughed to me.

"What experiment?" Carlisle joined in, heading down from upstairs.

Edward started to explain again. I was too embarrassed to even try. "Well, Bella had an idea."

That's when Jacob started laughing hysterically.

We all knew when I was human, my 'ideas' didn't always end up so well, and I secretly hoped the wolf would choke on a large piece of bacon. I looked back and growled at him. There was no Seth here to protect him this morning. I could take him in one leap if he didn't knock it off.

"Okay, okay…chill, Bella," he said, walking back into the kitchen for more food.

Edward smiled when he grabbed my hand. He loved when I growled at Jacob.

"Thank you," I said to Jasper when I was feeling more relaxed, and he nodded.

"Get back to the experiment," Emmett hollered in anticipation, still leaning over the arm of the sofa.

I'm pretty sure the big vamp was going to be a little disappointed. We all knew where his mind always was, and this didn't have anything to do with that.

"So," Edward began again. "At the restaurant last night, Bella encountered a scent that was almost too irresistible. She couldn't think clearly the rest of the evening. When we got home she told me about it and how badly she was burning at the memory." He squeezed my hand in support.

Esme reached out and touched my arm. "How are you doing now, Bella?"

I knew they'd all probably encountered this situation before, if not more than once. And this had been my first at that kind of intensity. She could tell how much I was struggling by the look in my face, but her comforting touch was reassuring.

"Well, I still think about it, but not like last night. I really am doing better, although it's has been a few minutes," I nervously chuckled, "and, we are talking about it again…" I trailed off as I put my hand to my throat and swallowed.

"Right," Esme said. "Edward, can you make this quick, for Bella's sake?"

Jasper came over and put his hand on my shoulder. He had helped us all so much in the past, but I needed him more than ever this morning.

"Thank you," I said again.

"My pleasure, Bella. You know we all understand." His kind words allowed me to feel better. For being such a great soldier and fierce vampire warrior, he had a warm side to him, too.

I knew they understood, but it was being the focal point of this topic that was eating at me. I told myself this was just a story, and nodded to Edward to continue.

"I can share it later, love, if you wish?" he questioned my proceeding nod.

"No, I'll be fine, I promise," I smiled lovingly. "It has a happy ending, so please, go on."

"Stop me if it becomes too much, and we'll hunt, alright?" He moved closer to me, putting his arm gently around my waist.

"Alright." I nodded again.

I knew I could make it through this story.

Just one measly little fire-burning, enflamed story…right?

I decided to let my thoughts drift a little during it, though. What we would be doing later today; seeing Charlie, and celebrating a 20th birthday that didn't exist. But I kept my ears tuned slightly, out of respect for the fact that it was about Edward and I.

"So," Edward picked up where he'd left off. "Bella asked me about the memory of the scent I had carried for her, then asked me if possibly going through the 'motions' of biting…" he cut himself off abruptly, and I could tell it was uncomfortable for him to finish, considering he'd just broken the first rule he'd given me. And biting, was something we did to animals, not to our own kind.

"I think we understand son," Carlisle interceded. "It's okay, you don't need to go on." He patted him tenderly on the shoulder.

Vampires had this connection with their mates; it was only acceptable for one of them to feel even the slightest bit weak at a time. And when that was the case, the other would step in. I knew it was Edward's time, so I jumped in on his behalf.

"We never had the chance to 'change' me the way we wanted either. And I wondered if Edward had missed doing it that way? If somewhere deep inside he still needed it? Like I needed it…and wanted to drain the girl who burned me so badly last night." I repented a little in my confession.

I didn't dare tell them how I had provoked Edward and he had to fight really hard to keep from killing me. That wasn't part of the experiment, best leave that one alone. Esme would never let us leave her sights if she knew.

"This is getting good!" Emmett blurted out of turn again. Like I said; a one track mind. The big burly guy just couldn't help himself.

I wonder how long it took Rosalie to get over the embarrassment of him. Or if she even noticed? She always seemed to giggle every time he said anything derogatory. Did she find it cute? No, I think she was too busy thinking he was the greatest thing ever.

Edward sighed and smiled. He was better and wanted his turn to speak again. "So, Bella suggested I 'bite' her. Go through the motions, get it out of my system and hers, per say. I didn't want to, but she can be very stubborn and persistent at times…" He eyed me. "And I broke down."

I looked at Jasper's arm, eyeing his bite scars, and felt a little guilty. His had been inflicted, while ours were quite intentional.

"It's ok Bella." He felt my mood shift to apologetic towards him. "Just old war wounds, nothing to worry about." He patted my shoulder.

I smiled and nodded. Jasper wasn't looking for any pity. He may be weak to human blood, and Alice at times, but his spirit is strong, very strong.

Alice danced up to him then and kissed him on the cheek. He grabbed her hand, holding her there with him.

"It was actually an exceptional idea," Edward said gleefully. "I felt free of the desire I had carried around, buried, for as long as I did. Then I let Bella bite me. After all, fair is fair." He chuckled when he looked at me.

My mind wandered on its own then, remembering my experience.

I had mimicked Edwards's beginning moves, even though it was instinctual where to bite. My teeth broke into his granite skin easily, and the feel of pushing them deeper into him was pleasing to my craving. I eased up when he let out a moan. But when he grabbed at my knee, I realized it wasn't because of any pain. My venom filled mouth went through the motions of drinking and draining a kill, but in a sensual way as well. I thought of the girl only for a second, before thoughts of Edward and what we were doing consumed me.

Again, 'vampire therapy'.

"So, you guys actually feel better?" Esme commented with curiosity, snapping my attention back to the room we were still standing in.

We both nodded our heads to her.

"Well who in the world would have guessed that you two would come up with something like that?" Alice chimed in, grinning sarcastically.

"It was only for the 'changing' part and my torment," I snapped at her.

Alice raised an eyebrow at me; she knew there was more.

Edward gave her a warning look.

"Of course," her tone softened.

"This isn't going to happen every time you run across a desirable scent is it?" Esme asked us both with threatened advice.

"No," Edward answered as I shook my head.

"We're good, and it won't happen again," I swore to Esme.

"I'll go get a big, burly bear before I bite on Edward." I looked at him with promise in my eyes, and then to Emmett, who liked the sound of that challenge.

"Me too." Edward kissed me.

"Alright then." Esme wiggled a finger at the two of us. "No more biting, and no more experiments."

"Okay," Rosalie said when she came back down stairs. "Renesmee's ready to go."

Right, we were heading over to Charlie's today. One more birthday celebration to get through, I inwardly groaned. I so did not enjoy these. I was glad Charlie didn't know the truth about us, but it sure made being a vampire hard at times. Hiding as much as we could from Charlie had become quite a chore, but it was better than the alternative. Him knowing his daughter was a vampire.

"Thank you Rosalie for getting her ready for me. She looks beautiful as always," I said as I twirled Renesmee around with my hand like she was part of a dance routine.

"Not a problem, anything to avoid that story." Rosalie rolled her eyes again, heading towards the sofa.

"It was actually pretty good, babe, I'll show ya later." Emmett winked as he elbowed her arm.

"Emmett, don't you get any ideas!" Esme yelled, and wiggled a finger at him as well.

"Fine," he sounded disappointed. "But can I at least tell her?" he'd pleaded like a five year old.

"That's fair enough," Edward said, reassuring Esme, then winked over in Emmett's direction.

Rosalie shook her head in irritation.

Renesmee walked over to the front door, picked up a pile of something and carried it over for me to look at. "Mommy, Esme and I used my wagon last night while you and daddy were gone. Look at all the pretty flowers I picked." She was excited to show me the armful blue and yellow primrose's she had gathered from the nearby meadow.

"Grandpa will love those, sweetie. And they smell exquisite!" I bent down and inhaled at them with a heavy sniff, "Ahhh."

"I think so, too." She sniffed at them like I did.

"Okay, love, let's get going," Edward said. "Oh wait." He turned towards the kitchen. "Jacob!"

"Yeah?" Jake peaked his head around the corner.

"We're heading over to Charlie's now. Are you coming?" He was impatient, even after only a few seconds. Edward liked to go when it was time to go. No dilly-dallying.

Jacob came running out of the kitchen with a half a sandwich in his mouth this time. I swear that boy lives in that room, and on the couch, just a like a regular 'dog'. Always around the smell of food and curled up on cushions.

"Ready," he mumbled once he'd shoved the rest of his sandwich in his mouth, then picked up Renesmee and threw her up lightly in the air.

If he wanted to, he'd probably be able to get her two stories off the ground. But he would never try that. Edward would kill him. And if anything happened to her, well…

"We'll be back later," Edward announced to everyone.

"Have a good time." Alice hugged me. "Your day looks very pleasant."

"Thank you, Alice."

"Oh, and, Bella…" She paused, having one more thing to say as she when she started up the stairs. "Happy Birthday!" She giggled, then high-tailed it up the steps.

I scowled at her before she could disappear.

She's in big trouble…

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