I could not believe my ears when Bella responded with a soft 'That's what I want'. Yet I could, because I had imagined her offering me permission so many times, that it almost felt normal to finally hear her say it out loud.

I leaned down to offer her a deep, long kiss. My hands soon started to touch her everywhere and she was squirming with desire underneath me. She grabbed my penis and began stroking it with precise motions and I let out a moan of relief. I soon found my hand between her legs, in the small ocean created by her desire, rubbing circles on her clitoris and trying very hard to channel my thirst.

"I need you," I groaned in desperation. "Let me have you, love."

She could no longer breathe normally as she impatiently guided me to her entrance. I slid inside her body effortlessly, her hot internal walls welcoming me with a delicious squeeze. I pushed as deep as I could, until my tip touched her cervix. Bella let out an ecstatic cry and her legs trembled. I felt her fingers in my hair, tugging and pulling. I began to move back and forth, savouring each push and each moan of hers.

I could never get enough of this. Even in her human form, I couldn't bring myself to not make love to her again and again and again, whenever we had some alone time. Our bodies were two pieces of the same puzzle, made specifically to fit together. But alas, she was human, so that meant she couldn't stay up all night to do this, no matter how much I wanted her. Most of the time, she would fall asleep after a few hours of having sex on and off. But once she was changed, there would be no need for sleep on her part. And no need for restraining of impulses on mine.

I felt Bella's walls contract around me and I knew she was close. I took her wrists in my hands, making her my prisoner, and began moving with more resolve.

"Come, my love," I pleaded.

She groaned with pleasure, as I hit her most sensitive spot inside. I watched her face as she lost sight of everything surrounding her and fell prey to an intense orgasm, wetting the sheets underneath us with her liquids.

"That's right," I encouraged her. "Again."

Bella's body responded like I knew it would, succumbing to another orgasm, leaving her moaning my name and shaking profusely. I began to leave a trail of kisses, from her ear to her lips, mesmerized by the intensity of her climax. But we weren't done yet. I grazed her cheek gently with my hand.

"Are you up for more?" I asked her, my voice hoarse from desire.

"Yes, yes, please!"

Her response was full of thirst and it made my erection tense up inside of her. Her muscles were swollen now and even more sensitive and she was so tight that I could have orgasmed just from being inside of her. But I needed to move, to feel every inch of her, to listen to the sounds our bodies made with each new thrust.

Bella gasped for air when she felt me move again, and this time her hands found their way to my back, digging her nails in there - to me, it felt like she was touching me with a feather. I grabbed her breasts as I moved, mesmerized by their softness as always. Her nipples were two small pebbles now, engorged from her arousal. I leaned down and began to suck on her right nipple. It felt so small and fragile in my mouth, like the pit of a cherry, and it drove me wild. I picked up my pace, fully aware that I was moments away from my own release.

As I was sucking on her nipple, I realized how close I was to her heart, the ultimate source of her delicious blood. It was pumping like crazy now, singing a dangerous melody. I knew that I shouldn't, but I raised my eyes to gaze at her neck. It was exposed and ready for me, vibrating.

Bella squeaked, making me aware that I was hurting her. I immediately let go of her nipple. It had a gorgeous crimson hue, but I couldn't focus on that for long. Her scent surrounded me like a cloud and I felt completely intoxicated. I needed to taste her, as much as I needed to come. Without much thought, I leaned down to kiss her neck. I let my tongue wander on the paths created by her veins, feeling so close to Heaven and Hell at the same time, and she welcomed my decision with an ecstatic sound. This was unreal, this was too much.

"Yes, Edward…" she whispered.

I almost lost it. How could I resist, when she was encouraging me to let go? I pressed my lips on her neck, savouring the bittersweet torture. I was moving now faster than ever, and without warning, I exploded. My venom spilled in her hot interior and we moaned in unison. I was no longer in control and I knew we had hit a point of no return. She smelled luscious and I already wanted another orgasm and the monster was hungry.

"You are mine," I growled, pushing myself deep inside of her, feeling the venom spill out on my testicles and on to the waistband of my pants. "You understand? All mine."

"Yours," she breathed.

I inhaled deeply, my nose still buried in her neck.

"God, Bella, you'll be the death of me."

How ironic. I couldn't take this any longer. It was what I had been waiting for from day one. I was going to do this right.

"Close your eyes, love," I warned her and I could only hope she obliged, because she didn't have to see what was coming with her own eyes.

My thrusts were making her moan with pleasure and I foolishly hoped that this would be enough to distract her, even if only for a split second. I licked the delicate veins on the side of her neck once again. They were throbbing on my tongue, begging me to devour what was inside. This was it. The finest wine. The sweetest fruit. The ambrosia of the gods. The best drug on this planet. Heaven. Hell. I bit.

Bella's scream was like nothing I had ever heard before. It pierced through me, powerful and strong. It went beyond the stone walls of the house, deep into the woods surrounding us. She started to squirm like crazy under me, and she grabbed my hair, pulling forcefully on it, in an instinctive gesture of stopping me.

As I was processing everything, I felt her soft skin ripping under my lips, and my teeth found her carotid. Oh, my God! The monster and I were one, savouring this moment as if it was the last. This was not the venom-tainted blood I had to suck out of Bella when James bit her. No. This was the purest blood I had ever tasted in my entire existence, so decadent and rich, so exquisite and good, so hot and silky. The blood splashed on her hair and on the pillow, and I rushed to cover the wound completely with my mouth, so that I didn't lose one more drop. It was all mine.

Another scream ripped through the air, as Bella felt my teeth sinking deeper into her flesh. Fresh blood flooded my mouth and I swallowed it immediately. A man lost in the desert being offered a glass of water would not have felt the joy I felt in that moment. I grabbed her tightly, pushing myself deeper inside of her body and I drank. Her internal muscles were squeezing me like never before now, as her entire body was trying to fight me off.

She was a fountain of bliss and I could happily die right then and there. The burning in my throat was now a distant memory and I could only feel my ecstasy, pure and raw. I was feeding from her and I knew that this would be the first and last truly delicious meal in my entire existence. Nothing before Bella compared, nothing after her would come close to. She was the single most delicious being on this Earth and she was all mine to have, mine to savour, mine to drink from.

As more seconds passed by, her screams dissolved into moans, and she grew weaker in my arms. Her fingers were still in my hair, barely tugging this time. I took a deep breath, completely drunk on her scent, and I let another wave of blood wash over my tongue. It was liquid velvet, with its lush honeyed texture. It was better than any drug a man could create. This was the work of God - there was no other explanation for this sublime taste, no other excuse for this otherworldly experience. How could I ever get enough? How could I stop, when it was so good?

"Edward…" her voice was barely a whisper.

I didn't stop for one bit. Instead I dug deeper inside her carotid, in search for more. And by God, there was more, there was so much more! Her blood rolled down my throat and I swallowed it in an instant.

"Too… much..."

No, this is not too much, Bella, this is perfect. I couldn't speak to her, I was completely spellbound. Her warm blood was all that mattered and I took great care to not let it drip away and go to waste. I could hear her heart, a faint rhythmic beating. It was pumping and fighting for her life. A small part of me began to understand that I didn't have much time left. The bigger part of me held onto her even tighter, refusing to let go.

Bella's body finally stopped protesting me, laying limp underneath mine. She was now breathing irregularly and groaning. Though my haze, I remembered I was still inside of her, so I gently got out. My movement disrupted my concentration, so that the seal made with my lips over her wound broke and blood spilled out, flowing freely on her neck, on the sheets and to the floor. Rage flew through me as I sealed it back in. I had to stop, until it was too late.

Her blood was still on my tongue, incredibly hot and inviting. It was so fine, so tempting. But her heartbeat grew weaker, each small beating serving as a plea for me to stop. I growled, not yet ready to let go.

"Edward..." she repeated, but she didn't manage to finish her thought.

I needed to stop, I felt that in every fibre of my body. She needed me to stop. I knew my pleasure would never be worth the price of her life, yet my next action still hurt me to the core. With a great deal of effort, I managed to retract my teeth from her neck, but my lips were still glued to her neck. It was absolute pain and I almost bit into another pulsing vein out of frustration. Then I did the impossible: I lifted my head from her neck, pushed my fingers on top of her wound to stop her bleeding and I looked at her.

My wife had her eyes closed, but she was still breathing. The pillow under her head was stained red. She never looked as pale as she did now, with her skin and lips stripped of the rosy undertones I adored so much, but she was beautiful nonetheless. And if I didn't hurry, she would remain like that forever. I quickly ripped a piece of fabric from the sheets underneath us and improvised a tourniquet for her neck, to prevent further blood loss. Then, without thinking twice, I leaned down to bite her once more, right under her left breast and above her heart, injecting my venom right where she needed it the most, so that her transformation could finally begin.

Seconds later, Bella's eyes flung open and she let out a screeching scream, a sign that the venom had started to spread. I didn't waste any time and I made a second tourniquet for her torso, then I grabbed the set of injections under the bed. I took the first one and, respecting the protocols, I injected it slowly in the most prominent vein on Bella's arm. I held her down as I did this, quenching her erratic movements. She let out another powerful scream, her pain not giving in to the first shot of morphine, just as I knew would happen. So I did a second shot, continuing to hold her down with my body so that no accidents could happen.

"It's all right, Bella," I murmured, praying to God that she could hear me beyond the torture inflicted by my venom. "I am here, you're all right."

She kept on screaming and I kept on injecting morphine into her body, barely processing what was happening. By the time the last shot was shot, she didn't show any signs that she might be better. The morphine was only a thin veil against the pain - it was as if a single cattail could survive a tsunami unbent. She was hurting beyond belief and seeing her like this, not being able to help, made me feel as if someone was drilling a hole in my chest. I took her face in my hands and planted a kiss on her forehead.

"Bella, I love you," I whispered.

Her only response was an agonizing cry, as her eyes were staring right through the ceiling and away from me. She kept on fumbling around, so I had to pin her down. Watching her succumb to the darkest agony she had ever known tore me apart. I would have given anything to make it stop, but that would've meant to kiss away our forever - and that was a price I was not willing to pay.

I looked around, not once letting go of her. There was blood all around us, a silent testament that the monster managed to get his way - at least partially. There was blood on the sheets, on the floor, on my torso and, of course, all over Bella. Her neck and breasts were splattered with it, and there was a concerning amount of it in her hair. The sheets were still wet from her orgasms and I knew I had to wash her and put on some clean clothes on her, but now it was not the time. She was panting and throbbing and groaning from the pain.

I continued to hold her and caress her every now and then for hours. I couldn't let go of her - I had promised her that I will stay by her side throughout her transformation, and I wasn't going to let her down. Her screams grew rarer, but that didn't soothe my anxiety. She was still hurting and I could hear the rustling sound of my venom inside of her veins, fighting over dominance with her blood and winning. Her scent was changing now, yet I loved it nonetheless. There was a new sweetness to it, that didn't come from her blood. However, she was still as pale as a ghost, which meant we still had a long way to go.

As the night crept in, I had to get up to turn on the light - not for me, but I could imagine that the darkness in the room might have caused my wife avoidable stress and confusion in the state that she was in. But as soon as I left the bed, she started to wriggle and twist and turn like a woman possessed and in her despair she called out my name. I was back to her in a second, pulling her in my arms and holding her close to my chest.

"I'm here with you, my love," I promised her, with my mouth buried in her tangled bloody hair. "I won't leave, stay with me."

My voice was shaking and I held her even closer. I knew her pain all too well, even though over 90 years had passed since my transformation: the feeling of being burned alive for hours, with nothing to ease the pain, was one that never quite left my memory. Bella managed to calm down a bit, but she was still trembling in my arms.

The wounds on her neck and breast were starting to heal, and she no longer needed the tourniquets, as her bleeding had stopped. I took them off gently, careful not to bother her with my movements. She flinched just a bit and I leaned down instinctively to plant a kiss on her forehead. Her neck still looked as if an animal had ripped through it, but the tissues were closing back, a change so subtle that a human eye couldn't have noticed it. Meanwhile, the wound under her breast was in a much better shape. The contour left by my teeth had a silver hue now, that was visible underneath the dry patches of blood.

The night passed slowly, each new hour offering a new improvement: her lips got rosier, her skin got plumpier, her scent got less eatable and more lustful. The screams had stopped completely, but she was still moaning from time to time. By the time the first rays of sun entered the room, Bella's convulsions were so rare that I knew I could take her to the bathroom to clean her up. Her eyes were open, but she didn't seem to be fully aware of her surroundings, so I made sure to talk to her through the process.

"We'll go to the bathroom to get you cleaned up, Bella," I said, as I got up with her in my arms and went to the bathroom. "We'll get you into the tub to have a nice warm bath, just as you like it."

We entered and I turned on the faucet and set the tub stopper in place. As I waited, I caught a glimpse of myself in the mirror. My eyes were tinged with red now, a reminder that I had strayed from what was right. When the water level was high enough, I carefully submerged Bella's body inside the tub. The clean water started getting rusty in an instant from all the dried blood on her body and hair. The thirst that commanded me the previous day was long gone - it seemed to have disappeared as soon as I had to inject the first shot of morphine in Bella's arm.

"I am going to wash your hair now," I informed her, as I grabbed the bottle of shampoo on the side of the tub and I opened it. It smelled like strawberries - her favourite. I squeezed some shampoo in my palm and I massaged it on to her wet roots. Her hair was a tangled mess. She flinched and a small growl left her lips when her shampooed strands touched her neck, right where I bit her. The wound was almost closed, but not completely, so I made a mental note to take extra-care of that region on her body.

This bath felt odd in many ways. It was the polar opposite of that time we took a bath together when our family went hunting. Back then, I took my time touching and caressing every inch of her body under the water. Now there was no time or desire for that, not when she was hurting and couldn't fully process what was going on.

I cleaned the foam out of her hair, detangling it with delicate movements, and I went on to wash the rest of her body. I kept informing her on my every move and intention, in order to avoid startling her, and she remained calm, fighting with the fire in her body with unimaginable grace. Her body didn't feel as fragile as it used to: her flash was still soft, but there was a new firmness to it, that wasn't there the previous day. I could see that her breasts were fuller as well, but I tried not to concentrate on that.

"All right, love, now I'll get you to stand up, because I need to wash the rest of you," I told her.

I didn't mention that the water was dark orange from the blood. I got her up gently and began washing her with the shower head. Bella let out a long moan when she first felt the water pressure on her skin, although it was on the lowest setting. I tried to hurry and, just before I finished, I leaned down above the tub to clean the blood from my torso as well. When I was done, I took Bella out of the tub, took out the tub stopper to let the water drain and started to dry her up with the fluffy towels I found in the bathroom.

"You'll soon be all right again, Bella," I promised her, as I carried her back to the bedroom. "You're already doing so good."

And that wasn't a lie: she did better than most did in her situation. She even did better than me. It was only the second day of her transformation, but she somehow managed to keep her screams under control. This was no easy feat.

Back into our bedroom, I dressed her up in black lingerie, a simple blouse and a pair of pants - she might have been a newborn, but she didn't have to step into her new life completely naked. After that, I laid her on the small armchair near the window, so that I could throw away the bloody sheets and change them with new ones. She didn't freak out this time, but started trembling a bit when she realized I was no longer near her. As soon as I finished my task, I put her back on the bed and I took her in my arms, where she seemed to feel most at ease, given the circumstances. I could hear her heart beating faster than before, in a tumultuous strain to fight for her life, and I decided to hum her favourite lullaby, in hopes that this might offer her the slightest hint of relief.

We were closer now to a new beginning, one that seemed all too eerie to be real. I could not bring myself to believe that soon enough, my Bella will no longer be the fragile clumsy human that she was. That her eyes would be scarlett and her skin the colour of freshly fallen snow. That she will be fast and strong - maybe stronger than me, at least for a while - and won't shy away from reminding me that. That the thirst will set her throat on fire and we will have to go hunting. That at some point in the near future she will see me hunt, for the first time ever. I shivered at that thought. Although she had seen my animalistic side before, back when I fought with James and Victoria, I knew this would be different, because hurting an innocent animal was a completely different thing than hurting a vicious vampire.

Bella's hands gripping the sheets disrupted my train of thought.

"What is it?"

What a stupid question of me to ask, but I couldn't help it.

"Burns… bad," she managed, her voice weakened from the screams of yesterday, but somehow oddly melodic.

"I know, I know," I said, amazed that she could express herself beyond moans and growls. "I'm so sorry… But it won't take much longer, love. And I am here with you, I always will be."

I kissed her beautiful face, wanting so badly to make her pain go away. I could hear her heartbeat getting slower, a sign that she was at least halfway past her transformation.

"How long?" Bella asked, suppressing a groan.

Her eyes were searching. She couldn't see everything, just shapes, faint traces and mumbled colours. This was an annoying inevitability of the changing process and I could understand her frustration. But she could hear me, so I told her:

"At this rate, less than a day."

I noticed then that as much as her body had changed, she still felt so small in my arms. How could that be?

"Talk to me," she pleaded.

I looked at her, slightly bemused by her request, but I entertained her wish. If stories were what it took to keep her distracted during the last throes of torment, then so be it. So I told her about our meadow, about how incredibly happy and scared I felt when I brought her there for the first time, how I almost broke my own rules there right before marrying her, how the flowers must have blossomed since our last trip there. I told her about Isle Esme, our midnight swims in the ocean, our mornings on the beach, our first time... Bella never responded, but she kept nodding her head, encouraging me to go on.

As I was telling her all these stories, I could feel her temperature going down. It was truly strange to feel her going from her usual hot to mild warm. As unusual as it was, it felt more natural. From that point on, she would no longer perceive me as ice-cold, I would no longer be like an ice block next to the scorching satin of her skin. We will be the same. Equal. Finally.

When the night came, she was no longer scared when I left the bed to turn up the light. Her eyes - now the colour of blood and chocolate combined - were still searching mindlessly around the room and I could hear her clenching her jaw when another wave of fire washed through her insides. I returned to the bed and I smiled when I realized that the bite mark on her neck was now completely healed and silver in colour.

"You are doing so very good, Bella," I reminded her.

From the looks of it, she would be done by morning. Sometime in the middle of the night, she called out my name and asked me again, with minimal words, when will the pain go away.

"It's a matter of hours now," I said.

I kept telling her stories throughout the night, while holding her and playing with her soft hair. Her scent was so different, now that most of her blood was replaced by my venom. It was alluring in a completely different way and it aroused a hunger in me that had nothing to do with any of the remaining blood in her system. I knew that as soon as her transformation would be complete, I would want to have her all to myself for days, to make love to her without fear that I might hurt her. I would indulge in every pleasure possible with her, not once worrying that I might be too rough.

I felt myself getting hard as I thought of how her new body would react to my touches. She had always been incredibly sensitive, but with her senses being heightened, it will be even easier than before to bring her to orgasm time and time again. But I knew I would have to wait for all that, because as soon as she will wake up from her transformation, sex will not be a priority to her. Drinking blood, however, will be. And even if she was somehow able to feel desire, it would have been a painful effort on her part to channel her attention towards that and nothing else.

I had already planned a trip for us deep into the valleys of Mount Foraker, where mountain goats were plenty. Maybe after a few hunting sessions, she will be able to concentrate on something other than the burning newborn thirst and will be ready for me. Maybe. I wasn't going to take any chances until I knew she wanted me to.

The morning light found us still entangled in an embrace. The milky light reminded me of the forecast for that day: cloudy, with a chance of raining. Bella's heartbeats were so few and far between now, a sign that we were closer. There were no more moans, no more trembling, and she was barely breathing. Her eyes were now closed and she was unmoving. She seemed so calm, so peaceful, and there was barely any blood left in her system.

I was anxious. I wanted her to open her eyes, but I was also dreading that moment. What if she will get scared and will try to run away? Carlisle had prepared me for this possibility, telling me that it would not be uncommon, but I was not ready for it. Had she tried this, I would have to chase her and make sure she is okay. And then what? Pin her down, in order to prevent her from running away again? Not a chance in hell.

I tried to banish the intrusive thoughts and I listened closely, concentrating on the last of Bella's heartbeats. They were faint and small and the last remains of her fragility, the last proof that she was ever human. It felt almost bittersweet, but it also felt right. Because no matter how many arguments Bella and I have been through back when I was still trying to convince her to remain human, I had always known, deep-down, on the most basic level of my conscience, that she was right: she had to be like me, if we wanted to have a fair shot at real happiness, like any normal couple. In my stubbornness to keep her human, I had forgotten to keep her happy. From now on, that was going to change. She would be nothing but happy with me.

Bella's arm twitched for a second and I tensed up. The venom was no longer rustling, it was flowing freely inside her body. The fight for dominance with her blood had been fought and won. There was no more resisting, no more defending of territory. I watched her face carefully and I tried to listen to her heartbeat again, but I couldn't. Her heart had stopped completely. Only her breaths remained, calm and steady.

Minutes passed like hours. Bella looked as peaceful as Alice had predicted in her visions. I carefully took her hand in mine, waiting. Her skin was as soft as velvet in my hand and I felt her fingers flinch ever so gently. I stared in awe, unable to move.

Then, the unthinkable happened: she opened her eyes.

If you enjoyed reading this chapter (or not), I would be so grateful if you could let me know in the review section :). I will make sure to respond to each and every review.

In the meantime, stay safe and stay happy!