Disclaimer: I do not own Twilight or anything thus related to it. I do not own the Anita Blakeverse or plan on pretending that I do.

Edited by CajunMomma

I was high on hope. My fears settled into that hidden spot of my soul where I kept unpleasant things. My secret truths and weaknesses all wrapped into a neat bundle and placed under the rug. I didn't have the strength today to deal with it all. Instead, I took another healing breath. Each inhale of my lungs brought more of Edward inside of me and I was determined to keep him there.

We were cuddled into each other, time passed but only outside of our world. For today I wanted only this. I needed healing. The constant pounding of crisis, powers, and threats had sundered a path of devastation to my very being. I felt tired and desperate for hope. Perhaps it was that there was yet another problem to deal with, that I was at the beginning of the next issue not the end, but for the moment I just needed to breathe.

Breathing was not necessary for my health, for my body to function, but it eased those hidden pains and soothed me into peace. I could not fix everything in one day, even God had seven. Instead I could only breathe and take what would come, one thing at a time. What would come? Well, my silent heart knew all too well how hard things were going to be. But I had all I ever needed in this moment.

Many people talk of love and devotion, but my words were actions. I could do nothing more than give Edward everything that I am. To give him less would speak volumes but to give all said more. For eternity I could show him the truth of my devotion, that he was more than just my husband or lover, he was my soul.

His fingers ran the length of my back; his voice whispered soothing words into my ear. He was wearing nothing that I could cling to. But my hands held on to his flesh as if his skin kept me here on earth. My body trembled with the sob that couldn't escape. Edward pulled me closer, his naked flesh against mine.

I took another moment to breathe, reminding myself that in this moment I was okay. I had a moment of peace, of settling the onslaught of emotion, before a dark thought interrupted my calm. I hadn't asked Edward what he wanted, I was just taking this moment for myself, but I could never fully be happy without his happiness.

"Are you okay with this, did you want to do something else?"

I maneuvered myself to look at him as I waited for his answer. He wrapped his arms around me completely and pulled me into his chest.

"Love, this is all I'll ever want or need."

I rejoiced deep into my soul. This was our moment and I let it be.

Time was meaningless, I was breathing.

A knock violently interrupted our moment. I had no sense of time, except that it had gotten darker. It had been light constantly when we first arrived in Alaska, but now darkness seemed to creep in a little more every day. I was still looking forward to seeing the Aurora, but I knew that would come with time.

The knock grew louder, more impatient, and I grumbled at the intruder. Edward's chuckles vibrated through my body and I found myself smiling. I hated to move, to leave this safety and security. I didn't have Edward's ability to know who was on the other side, but I knew that whoever it was, I probably should answer.


I sounded petulant, but at least I managed to answer.

"Bella, we had plans to go hunting together, we should go now. If we wait much longer the animals won't be able to see and that won't be fun."

I grumbled again. Unfortunately dusk was the hardest time on most animals, the light being too difficult for most of them to see. Just after dusk and right before were the best times for hunting. It was just one of the many things I knew now. A thought slammed into me, Edward wasn't coming? I pulled myself into him, gripping him with much more force than necessary.

"You'll be fine without me love. It's just one little hunting trip and I'll be waiting to hear about your success when you get back."

He kissed my head but it failed to calm me. I couldn't handle another moment without him. I had spent the day clinging to be closer to him. I had tried to pull him further into me, or to hide myself into the recesses of him. I hadn't the desire to deal with the demands of others, to face disappointing them, or doing some other wrong. I had managed to dig myself into a pattern of disappointment and unknown wrongs. I didn't want to face a disappointed world.

Edward ran his fingers down my back, awakening my nerves to his soft touch. My body felt in limbo as I awaited his next caress. I was made and molded for him and in this moment my body understood that it was completely dependent upon my husband's whims. Should he acquiesce to my body or torture me with want? It was a fence my dear husband sat upon often. I knew by the mischievous smile that grew crooked and large upon his face which direction his touch would go.

"I will always aim to give you your every desire, your every need, but my dearest you do not need this now."

I startled upright, ready and able to proclaim my indignation at such a statement, that I should not need his body or touch. It was a ludicrous idea to believe that I should ever not need him.

He ran his hand across my cheek to still my protest and I shuddered with both desire and love. His love filled me like a bountiful glass, sometimes spilling over, and requiring me to get another pour of him. His gentle fingers cupped my cheek then ran down the soft curve of my face to follow the path of my neck.

Edward moved with the swiftness of a man on the hunt and captured the crevice of my collarbone into his mouth. I moaned with ecstasy and all protest emptied from my mind. I was a merely a chalice for him, to fill with what he desired. Should my love want to fill me with love, I would take every drop and cherish it. Should my lover want to fill me with his seed, I would only ask for more. I was his for the taking.

His gentle hands cupped my shoulders and moved slowly, tantalizingly down my body, he stilled to capture my breasts.

"I would love to have you again and again in this manner, taking you as my own for as long as you let me. But I held you today as you cried, however tearless, and I promised myself and God that I would do everything to keep you from crying again. I cannot allow you to stay and hide away as the demons that chase your thoughts grow and overwhelm you. You must face this Bella, you must find a way to face the dark or the dark will find a way to swallow you whole. I will be here for you, I will do

everything I can, but I believe that what you need is to go with our brother and learn what it is you need to do to fight this. I will have you be happy and whole."

My heart has known so many shades of heartache and loss and in this moment I understood a truth that my mind had yet to acknowledge, happiness can only fill you as deeply as sorrow as carved you. I could cling to the old truths that formed me, that kept me safe from the dark and the horrors that lurked there. Or I could show myself, my husband, my family, that I was a woman now and could stand strong. I didn't expect to remain upright all the time, but the least I could do for myself, for my Edward was fight.

I had given into a selfish desire to hideaway from the fears of facing reality. I had feared the confrontations waiting just outside my door and the inability to know or control just when or how the beast of the ardeur would rise. Jasper had been willing to stand and fight his own demons, while I wallowed like a child. It was unlike me to give into my fears, to close my eyes to the monsters and cling to that which I knew to be true. This was what Edward had always feared for me that I wouldn't be able to handle the world of monsters.

An ancient and trusted fear of mine crept up my spine, rekindling old worries as it grew. What had Edward thought of me during all this, did he find me weak, or regret his choice? My God, I had allowed myself to give in when I knew what Edward might do if I were ever to give in. With deep trepidation I lifted my lids to gaze into Edwards. I needed reassurance that he didn't regret changing me that he wasn't going to leave me for being weak. His eyes were flaming with an emotion I couldn't quite read, but his entire body called me forward.

"I will never leave you, I will never doubt you, and I will never think that you are weak. You are the strongest most brilliant light in my sky and I could never think otherwise."

I sighed deeply my heart patching the holes I had created with my fears. What was I doing? I knew what needed to be done. I knew what I was afraid of. So what was I waiting for? I pushed my body into his and took his lips as my own. The kiss was searing heat into my soul and exactly the remedy I needed. I am strong, I can do this. I repeated this to myself as I pulled my body away from his.

Edward was right, as usual. I needed to get up and fight that which made me tremble. I couldn't hide in the glories of his flesh and wish that the morning would make the fight easier. My desire to hide in the passion that Edward gave me was part of my inability to control the ardeur. I wanted him, desperately; my body knew what pleasures he would give me should I stay.

With more effort of will than it should take a woman to turn from her husband, I pulled my body away. I didn't move from him with distaste or refusal, but with the promise that I would rather be covered in him. My thoughts flew with the images of his flesh surrounding mine, alighting all the fires of my passion for him. I closed my eyes and moaned unwillingly.

"It is so difficult to leave when I know what is waiting for me here, what we could do instead of what I will be doing. I'm not sure that I am strong enough to leave you, naked and willing as you are."

My eyes were still closed battling with the onslaught of a naked and gloriously erect Edward. I bit my lip as my concentration focused more on the picture of my Greek god than on resisting him.

"Oh my dearest Bella, you still haven't learned, I am always ready and willing for whatever you desire. I am just as much yours as you are mine, however you want me you shall have it."

I moaned, how could I resist such a temptation as a writhing sex god under me? Oh the things I could do to him. Just as I was ready to move his body into the earth with my lust he spoke again.

"But I will be just as ready and willing when you return, you need your strength and we both know that you need to do this. If I thought that I could help you more here then I would, but I am not making things better, only giving you a brief respite. Go my love, but go with the knowledge that you have nothing to fear from me, I am yours now as I will always be, forever."

If only my eyes could cry the tears of joy his words brought me, but I could only open my eyes to him and show him exactly how his words had shaped me. He smiled gently and kissed me just as softly. I stood from the bed, allowing the bed sheet to fall from my body as I stood before him.

"You made a promise to be here ready and willing when I return and I expect you to uphold that promise."

Edward's eyes, dark with lust, he nodded his consent. I smiled darkly, the beauty of his naked form burned into the lids of my eyes. Before I had met Edward the world was dull, but just one look at him had reshaped the world. Now that I had seen the sharp lines of his body, the fine hairs that curled into a glorious mane above the very essence of his masculinity, I licked my lips. The world was in sharp contrast to his glories and I found myself seeing the lines of his body in the contrasts of the mountains around me.

The horizon went on infinitely, the clouds just barely touching it, the softest caress. The land around me was lush and wild. Everything called his name to me, the wind speaking his name as softly as I moaned it. Edward was everywhere and everything to me. That finally gave me the strength to dress and face what was just outside that door. For the first time since Edward had turned his topaz eyes to me, I finally felt secure, he was mine and nothing was going to change that. Time to make him proud...

A short aside, this was short but it was necessary. I tried to jump into the next scene, which will be about Emmett, but it won't seem so at first. There will be major character development and exploration coming but Bella needed some fears eased first, more important fears involving her Edward. This is why no matter what I did I could not write anything other than this short respite. The bolded and italicized line "happiness can only fill you as deeply as sorrow has carved you" is from another series by Karen Marie Moning. It spoke to me so much that it found its way into my story. I apologize for the wait. - Say