July 7th was a hot summer day, but I insisted we take my truck to the beach at La Push. Damien still wanted to take me out to a big dinner, but I wanted his 18th birthday to be just between the two of us, with no interruptions. The good thing about dating a cop was even if someone knew I was "under age," it's not like they could call the cops on him.
He wore blue jeans, a grey shirt, and a red flannel, figuring it would be a picnic for us. I wore cutoffs with a plain white tee shirt, and jogger type. It didn't matter much what we wore, since we'd end up taking it off anyway. He looked over at me as I drove, and I could tell he was just happy to be there, it made me feel all warm inside, but I didn't want him to look away.
"Hey Beautiful, I never got to thank you for all this." He said now, reaching up to hold my shoulder, and briefly caressing my face. Then he gestured to the truck bed, referring to the twin mattress I had him load into the back of my truck, "but are you sure that was necessary?"
I smiled at that, "Totally. Besides, while I do love the back seat of your car, it's not like we can exactly fall asleep after."
He squeezed my shoulder gently, "Well, yea, I guess you're right. If one of us dozes off, we'd end up on the floor."
I wrapped one arm around his neck, "Who said I was going to let you get any sleep?"
He chuckled softly, "I guess you're right. Is that why you brought all the bedding stuff, even though it's going to be like a hundred degrees by noon?"
I nodded, "It's going to get cold later. You'll thank me later."
Lately, he had been given to getting the chills, even in warm weather. He would wear his oversize coat on warm days and a cold weather jacket on gloomy days, which was really common here in Forks. It really worried me because I hadn't seen him like that before. At night, he wore two or three blankets, and I would find myself having to come in at night to keep him warm. When we slept together, he did a little better. It still made me feel like something was wrong, but I didn't want to bring that up today. I just wanted him to enjoy the day. For me, today was very special, because someone up there brought him into this world, and eventually to me.
We finally got to the beach, and he tightened his flannel before he got ready to go out. I reached out for him, and told him, "Hey, let's stay here a moment, baby."
He shrugged, and sat back as I leaned on him now, sighing, "Well, yeah, sounds fine to me. I'll try not to mess today up. I mean, I know I've been getting the chills, and I've been feeling-"
I shook my head, "You're not going to mess up anything. I want this to be a good birthday for you. We'll talk about that other stuff on another day, but not today."
He looked at me, "Bella, this will be a good birthday, anyway, because you're with me. I just meant-"
I shushed him with a kiss, and then held onto him, "You don't know how long I've waited for us to have a little private time, knowing we won't be interrupted."
Despite locking my window now, and spending the nights in his room, I could tell that Edward was watching from somewhere. He stood out there under my window, but he always made sure that he wasn't around when Charlie was. I knew at that point, I should not have asked him for anything, even if I knew he would give it to me. I now saw that he wouldn't give it to me without asking for something in return, and it filled my heart with dread wondering what he would want in return. It really felt to me like a deal with the devil.
I shook it off now, almost trembling in my beloved's arms, and he asked, "Hey, are you ok? I'm the one with the chills. If you're getting them, too, we'll be spending the night here both wrapped in blankets." He tried to add in some humor to his tone, but I shook my head.
When I looked up at him, I gave him a serious look, "That wasn't funny. Don't even joke like that."
He felt me tense up, and he soothed me by rubbing his hands down from my shoulders to my arms. He started kissing my neck making me moan into his ear. He now pulled back and gave me that smile I had wanted from him all day, "See? Feel better?"
I smiled, and looked up at him, "Yeah. I'm sorry, baby. Happy Birthday!" I held him, and felt his arms around me.
He held me close, his arms crossed behind me, as he whispered, "Thanks, babe. I still want to thank you. I want to thank you for being there, for smiling at me, for listening to me, for understanding me even though I know how much it pisses you off sometimes, for loving me no matter how much we tend to argue. Most of all, Isabella Marie Swan, I want to thank you for deciding to be with me, even though you don't know much about me."
I hesitantly pulled from his embrace, holding his face, and told him, "I didn't mean to snap, but you really need to ask Carlisle what's wrong with you. I don't want to find out that it's something…I don't know…something that could take me away from you."
He shook his head, "Don't worry about that. Carlisle says it's a side-effect of the venom losing its toxic potency. He says it will give me the shakes for a few more weeks, but then my system will be completely adaptable to it. He says it should've killed me, and in a way, it's still trying, but my system is fighting it, tooth and nail."
I nodded, and felt such relief when I heard that. Still, part of me thought that he might be saying that to make me feel better. I let it go for now, though. I didn't want to argue with him about this, especially today. We spent the rest of the day swimming, and having our picnic. I had myself a few of the avocado sandwiches, and he had one of those. I did make him like two or three BLTs at his insistence, since he loved those, much to my dismay. This was his day, though, so I wanted it to be perfect.
We went swimming one last time, and finally, after spending an hour and a half sitting on the beach, and talking about our plans, we prepared for bed. He helped to lift the mattress while I put the older sheets on. Once we put the blankets on, we crawled into bed, but he knew we weren't slipping in to sleep. He leaned over me as he kissed my neck, and moving his hands up and down my body. I took one of his hands and moved it to one of my breasts. He gently squeezed it, pinching my nipple, pulling up on it as he kissed me. As I got hotter, I pulled out of the kiss, and looked up at him pleadingly.
"I need you. Please."
We moved around until he was above me, getting ready, and I touched his face as he entered me. He began to move faster, as I moaned into his ear. I reached down and pulled him into me so he would just get the message that I didn't want him to stop. He did so, calling my name while he moved between my legs. My feet were up as he pushed deeper into me, and I'm sure he felt me tightening around him. He breathed harder, rubbing one hand up and down my thigh. He kissed my neck, while I wrapped my arms around him and sending out each moan in high-pitch gasps. It was a feeling of being enveloped by utter passion. He groaned as he felt himself approach climax, now bucking his hips with mine. He had felt me wanting him deeper, and now we were both moaning as we slammed our hips together. We climaxed as one, and he leaned over me, trying to catch his breath.
He smiled, still breathing hard, and trying to laugh, "That…was…awesome, babe." I could see he really was trying to pull air in, and rolled us so that he was on his back. I pulled myself up so I was mounting him, but I had my hands on his shoulders, trying to soothe him.
"Breathe, baby, breathe."
He smiled up at me, "I'm ok. Sorry about that."
I shook my head, "You have nothing to be sorry for. That was great. That's the first time I left you breathless, though."
He reached up to touch my face, "Who knew you'd be such a knockout?"
I gave him a smirk, so he wouldn't see how worried I was, "Maybe, we should stop, baby. I don't want to get you sick."
He shook his head, "No. I don't want to ruin your night. You know?"
I reached up to hold his hand to my face, "This is your night…and you could never do that. I need you to know that."
He nodded, and he moved his other hand up to touch one of my breasts. I let his hand go so he could use that hand to massage my other one. I leaned over him, placing my hands on his chest. I started to move up and down on him. My hips started to move slowly at first, and watching him for reaction, to see if he needed more rest. He moved his legs so he could plant his feet on the bed. He moved his hips to meet mine with each thrust. He moved steadily upward as I started riding his motion with equal strength and passion. Right now, I knew he couldn't make us fly, but this was enough. He moved his hands down my back. He was holding my hips from behind me, pulling me down onto him. I moaned louder and louder, watching him as he looked up at me, a determined look on his face. It made me smile with delight as he groaned with me. The both of us getting faster, he was pulling himself into me so he could go deeper. I cried out as he pulled me onto him, and I felt him hold my hips with such strength that I almost felt like he would break me. He called my name, and we both climaxed again, together. I collapsed over him, and felt him pull the blanket up to cover us.
He wasn't breathing hard this time, but I was, and told him so, "Ok. You just left me breathless, baby. I'm sorry I was worrying earlier. I know I was getting all-"
He pulled me close to kiss my neck, making me moan again as he moved his kisses down my body. He sucked at my breast for a moment, and then pulled off with a kiss, "It's totally fine. Good to know I can do that."
I drummed my hands on his chest, "You know you can. That shouldn't be a shock to you. I was just worried about before because you looked like you were really having trouble."
He nodded, pensively, "I know. I'll talk to Carlisle, ok? I'll let you know what he says."
I looked at him, now, seriously, "I need you to tell me everything. I mean it. I don't want to end up losing you for something that comes up without warning. I don't think I could stand it."
"Look. If I find out something's wrong, I'll try to tell you what I can. Sometimes, even I'm left stumped, but you have to understand something. I don't want to just tell you the bad news, and leave you worrying. If I tell you, I want to tell you the problem, and follow up with a bunch of solutions."
I shook my head, "I need you to tell me, even if you think there are no solutions. You can't keep something big from me, anymore. I know you too well, now. I can tell when you're lying, or just not telling me everything."
He nodded, "And that's what makes you great, Bella. You know that right?"
I leaned on him now, "Don't try to flatter me so you can distract me. I know how well you tend to do that."
He kissed the top of my head, "It's just so you know how I feel about you. I would do that every moment of the day if I could, but I usually have to work, and then research."
I shushed him with a kiss, "It's fine, baby. I don't think I could see you doing that, anyway."
He looked a little puzzled, "Oh?"
I looked at him as I placed my hand on his chest, and rested my chin on it, "I'm not sure I could imagine you laying with me in fields of flowers, and all that crap. It's just too…teeny-bopper for you."
He uttered agreement, and laughed suddenly, "Oh my god, babe. You just gave me like the most hilarious mental picture. Me looking all pretty boy, and reciting Shakespeare to you."
It felt good to have him laugh below me, I felt him shake jovially, and told him, "Heh. Yea, I don't see you doing that. Besides, I like it better that you're all take charge when you need to be."
He shook his head, "Not all the time. We've had arguments about that, but I'm glad you appreciate it after all."
I looked into his eyes, "The only thing that pisses me off is your insistence on doing everything by yourself."
He moved his head a little, and looked up at the sky, pensively, "Most of the time, I'm all I have."
I pulled him back to look at me, telling him with determination, "Ok. It's decided. Once I get out of high school, I'm going to take a bunch of CJ classes so I can join and be your partner."
He gave me a puzzled look, and started shaking his head, "No, Bella. I can't make you do that for me."
I raised my eyebrows at him, "You're not making me do anything. That's what I love about you, you know? Seriously, though, I think you need me around to keep you out of trouble."
"So, you're going to forgo this whole vampire thing?"
I shook my head, "Not totally, but like you said, that's the last resort."
His eyes became said, "I don't want you think of it as an option at all, but I know I can't change your mind on this."
I reached up to touch his face, "Why are you so against it?"
He looked aside, "It's not necessarily that. Truth be told, you're right. I can't really make you do anything. I just want you to think about this. It's not for a day, or for a month. It's forever-"
I nodded, "Yes, it's forever with you. I can't think of spending my life any other way. It's just that with everything that happened-"
He looked at me now, and he was a little mad, "Can we not talk about this right now?"
I pulled back from him, hitting his chest, "Hey, I'm doing this partly for you, too. You know that, right?"
He kept his eyes on me, "Babe."
I sighed, resigned, "Well, let's go home."
He was already looking disappointed, "I'm sorry. That wasn't cool. I didn't mean to ruin all this."
I shook my head, "It's ok. We need to get you home, anyway. I don't want you to catch your death out here, and don't think I haven't noticed you going off all bundled to work all bundled up in so-so weather."
He looked away, "I was hoping you wouldn't think too hard on that."
"I worry about you. Whether you see me briefly throughout a long day or don't see me at all that day. It's not a girlfriend thing. It's more of a wife thing."
He looked to me, a little sheepishly, "Well, before we get to that point,"
I drummed my fingers on his chest, "You could say we're almost there. I'll wait until we're ready, though. So you don't have to worry about that, just yet."
We both got our clothes back on, and he draped one of the blankets over me, as he decided to drive. We almost got all the way home as we saw one of the houses we were thinking about. I raised my hand to touch his arm.
"There's one of the places we were looking at."
"Yeah, I know. I think that's the place you told me you didn't want to get because of the bad wiring."
I shook my head, "Yeah, the answer is still no."
He drove on, and found the other place that was closer to home, "You liked this one."
I shook my head, "You said you couldn't afford it at the time."
He nodded, "Well, I think the real-estate guy was getting that price from the property value, and the house was an added bonus."
I looked at the house, shaking my head, "We'll find something we can afford. I'll help you pay for it once I graduate and get a job. I could work as a clerk at the station. I can type pretty fast, and have a lot of office software skills."
He saw Charlie's house and he was about to park, "No, wait. Let's look at a few more of the houses now that we have the time."
So, he drove on, and saw an older house that looked a lot like Charlie's, but it was somewhat broken down. He stopped there, and parked, "We're home."
I looked at him with a skeptical gaze, "You're kidding, right?"
He smiled, "What's wrong with it? It's a fixer-upper."
I looked away, "More like a blower-upper. We can do better, baby."
"Come on. It's close to home. I could probably get it for a song, and it's what we would need if we decide we wanted…"
I blushed at the thought of him wanting a family, "Children? Is that what you were going to say?"
He leaned his head aside, "I guess, but yea. If we wanted all that, this would be the place to do it, don't you think?"
I let my shoulders sink as he wrapped his arm around me, "Let me think about it. Maybe, we'll find something better."
He opened the door, and smiled over at me, "Ok. I've got an idea." He got out of the door, and looked around on the ground nearby. I got out a little later, and saw his eyes focused on the ground.
"What are you looking for, baby?"
He gave me a brief glance, "A rock."
He looked to my side, away from him, and found one under a bush. It was big enough to fit in my fist, but a little heavy. "Will this do?"
He held out his hand, "Can I see that, please?"
I dropped it into his hand, and watched in total surprise when he turned to the house, already in bad need of repair, and looking forlorn. He pulled his hand back, like a pro baseball pitcher, and threw the rock at the window.
I reached up and held his arm down with both of my hands, "What'd you do that far? The house isn't even ours, yet."
He turned to me, smiling, "But it will be. Besides, I had to make a wish before my birthday ended officially."
I looked at him, unable to keep myself from joining him. I couldn't help it. His smile was infectious, and it was hard not to smile with him. Also, I'm the only person to whom he showed that part of himself. I took that smile whenever I could, because it was so rare to see him so hopeful. I looked around, myself, and he wanted to know what I was doing.
"I'm looking for a rock so I can make a wish, too."
He chuckled and shook his head, "Only works on your birthday. Tell you what, when yours comes up, I'll bring you over here, same time."
I leaned on his shoulder, "It's a deal. Let's go home."
We walked over to the car, his arm around my shoulders and mine around his waist. He held the door open for me, and I reluctantly let him go, as I got into my truck. He closed my door, and ran around to get in as I saw someone come out of the woods.
"Damien, look out!"
He turned just in time to see Edward Cullen bulleting towards him. He didn't have the speed he needed to avoid it, but he did have the strength to catch him as he was tackled.
"What now, Colon?"
Edward motioned his head at me, "You've been keeping her out of my reach, just as we came to an understanding."
Damien nodded, "Listen, I know about the arrangement. She has not made up her mind yet. You keep creeping around like this, and I'm willing to bet it's probably going to scare her off from the whole idea."
Edward shoved him against the truck, "You don't know that. She's trying to become so she can stay with me, and you keep her under you, literally."
I got out of the truck, "Have you been watching us, again? I thought you were supposed to stay away from that area."
Edward was standing next to me the next second, "Who told you that?"
I looked up at him, defiantly, "Jacob did, and I told you to leave us alone, didn't I?"
I started pushing him back, and shoving at him, but I knew he was only moving because he allowed it.
Edward looked into my eyes, filled with angst, "How do you think I could stand by and watch you with another man, Bella?"
I pushed him away again, "God! Just leave me alone! You're scaring me, now, Edward. You know that, don't you?"
He shook his head, and Damien came over, standing next to me, "Edward, listen. This doesn't have to turn ugly. All you have to do is walk away, right now."
Edward shot back, "You don't get to tell me anything. Do you understand me? This talk is between me and her."
Damien nodded, "I know you think that, but listen, she's right. This isn't romantic, anymore, if it ever was. You're following her, that's scary. You're following us, even scarier. You're no longer doing any of this for her, but for yourself. Your whole protective phase has devolved to a stalking phase. I'm trying to tell you this so you realize how much you're really hurting her."
"How the hell would you know?"
"Edward, look at her. She's not in awe of you, anymore. She's not looking at you with any type of admiration, or even respect. That's fear, dude. I wish I could put it another way, but it's obvious that you may need the hard truth to get you to realize what you're doing. This isn't some teeny romance novel where the girl falls for the first guy to smack her in the face. This is reality, and you're not adjusting as well as you think."
With every word, Edward's face just grew more and more hateful until it was unrecognizable, and finally I just reached up and held my baby's arm, "Come on. He's heard enough."
The both of us turned away, and Edward lunged forward, striking my boyfriend, and breaking his neck outright, killing him.
I could hear the low moan in my throat building, as Edward profusely apologized, and tried to pull me away from him. I was a doll in his arms as I was pulled away, and finally I screamed, "No! No! No!" Each scream tearing at my throat, but I couldn't help it, "What've you done, Edward?! Why?"
I was being pulled farther and farther away as I continued to scream, and then I felt the sweetest thing. I felt a familiar hand touching my shoulder, and I realized I was waking up from my dream, mixed with memory. Edward never showed up that night. We went home, and made love again in my room, still knowing that Edward was watching us.
I reached up to touch the hand that was holding my shoulder, shaking me to awaken me, so gentle, but still firm, "Babe, Babe. It's ok. It was just a bad dream."
Then he kissed my neck, and that pulled me back to reality completely, I looked over at him as my eyes fluttered open, "Hey, baby…"
He looked really worried, "Are you ok?"
I shook my head, "The dream wasn't all bad, it was actually beautiful except the part with Edward."
He gave me a serious look, "Still thinking about him?"
"Not in a good way. I did remember your birthday, though. How we spent it, I mean. That part was beautiful."
He leaned in to kiss me deeply, "Happy Birthday, babe."
I smiled at that, and pulled him close, just as we heard a knock at the door, and Charlie came in with his hand over his eyes, "Are you decent?"
I laughed, embarrassed, "Dad!"
He walked in, holding a wrapped book and a digital camera, smiling, "Happy Birthday, Bells."
I took it, shaking my head slightly, "I thought we'd agreed on no presents."
Charlie shrugged, "Well, your mom insisted. Besides, you're 18 now. I can officially kick the both of you out, and rent out your rooms. That's something to celebrate."
Damien chuckled at that, as I nudged him, "This is great. Thanks dad."
I opened my mom's present, finding a scrap book within, "Wow, this is perfect."
Charlie nodded, "Yeah, your mom was figuring since it's your senior year that you'd like to have something to keep your memories in it, and such."
I looked at the camera, and handed it to him, "Daddy, can you take a picture of us?"
Damien was already shaking his head, "Bella, no. I look like I just got out of bed."
I laughed at that, "Because you did. So did I, so suck it up."
Charlie took the camera, pulled back, and got ready to take the picture. I leaned against Damien, watching him as he looked up at the camera, smiling tentatively. I stroked his arm, and then he really did smile, like I knew he could. Charlie snapped the picture, handing the camera back to me, and chuckling a little.
I sort of frowned, "What's so funny, dad?"
Charlie shrugged, "I think I see a bit of gray hair."
I think I went pale, walking over to the mirror to check, "No way."
Before he left, he looked at the both of us sternly, "That's something that the both of you will have to worry about once you have kids…way, way, way in the future, get me?" He left.
I looked in the mirror, going through my hair, and Damien came over to me, kissing my shoulder, as he told me, "You don't have grey hair, babe."
I looked in my reflection a little longer, and looked at the night table, seeing the book on there, which was Romeo and Juliet. I remembered I had to write an essay for it. I would've asked Damien for help, but he had actually gotten home late the night before going over case work.
I looked over at him, "Did you ever read Romeo and Juliet?"
He inclined his head, "I've read a lot. It was part of my training. Why do you ask?"
I picked it up, and looked through it, "What'd you think of it?"
"Tragic, I suppose."
I nodded, "Because of the whole star-crossed lovers deal?"
He shook his head, "More like how social politics forces children into desperate paths, and ultimately taking desperate measures to remove themselves from the equation."
I shook my head, "That's pretty bleak."
He gave me a resigned look, "I was taught to look at all situations from an outside perspective at all times. It teaches one to observe the situation from afar before going in and doing something about it."
I nodded, "That makes sense. That's probably why you were able to figure out what was going on before everyone else did."
He inclined his head, "Want a ride to school?"
I leaned in close, and we kissed for a long time, "I wish we could stay here."
He pulled back, smiling, "As much as I would love to do that, Ms Swan."
I waved my hand, "I know, I know. We have our own responsibilities, and all that, right?"
He held my face, "Well, tonight, we've got a dinner date for your birthday. A little fun, and maybe we'll stop by that old house so you can make a wish."
I looked up at him, "You remembered?"
"Well, yeah. I know you've been looking forward to it. You tend to let your eyes linger on it as we head home."
I wrapped my arms around his neck, "Think you can get home early?"
He nodded, "Charlie already told me I'd have the day off, so I'm going to do some case work here, and make a few calls."
I shook my head, "Don't get too into it. I would love a ride from you, but if I come out of school without a car, Cullen's going to ask me if I need a ride."
He nodded, "Gotcha. Well, if you like, I can walk over from the station later, and we'll take your truck to wherever."
After showering and a quick breakfast, I went off to school. Still, it was hard to get that damn dream out of my head.