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We left the Cullen estate in the late afternoon the following day. Edward was hovering by his brother. Emmett looked sad, but very determined. I hugged Emmett, telling him that if he wanted to talk, he could. I was a psych graduate student. I knew how to handle some of his shit. Emmett kissed my cheek and said that he wouldn’t mind my help in redecorating his condo.
That was not what I expected, but I would gladly do anything to make that gentle giant smile more.
Within reason, of course. I wasn’t about to have sex with him because I loved Edward. I loved Emmett, too, but not in that way. You’re rambling, Swan. Deep breaths … phew!
Back at our condo, Edward and I put our Christmas presents away. Edward was very sweet, constantly touching me and caressing my face, holding my hands. “Are you okay, Edward?” I asked.
“I am,” he said, looking at me.
“You’re awfully demonstrative today,” I quipped, sitting down next to him on the couch. “Not that I mind. I love your hands on me.”
“I guess I am,” he shrugged. “It’s just with what’s happening to Emmett, I’m worried.”
“About what’s going to happen,” he said. He pulled me onto his lap and he nuzzled my neck. “I can’t lose you, Bella.”
“You won’t,” I whispered. “I told you that I loved you. That hasn’t changed.”
“I know, cara,” he said. “But, in my life, there are dangers. Yes, there’s a code of conduct. Women are revered and never touched, but with everything swirling around us, those rules are changing. I don’t like that. My mother, you, Alice … you’re all under protection, but it may not be enough.”
“What about you? Who protects you?” I asked. “Yes, I know that you can take care of yourself, but who protects you? I can’t lose you, either.” I leaned forward, kissing his lips tenderly. I maneuvered my body, straddling his trim hips. He stared at me, his hands cupping my face. “I like that only I get to see you like this.”
“Like what, dolce?” he murmured.
“Tender, sweet,” I whispered. “Like I’m the most important person in your world.”
“You are, Bella,” he smiled crookedly. “I love you. More than I ever imagined possible. You bring me happiness, joy, brevity and solace in my ugly world.” He kissed my jaw. “You are my Bella.” His hands moved from my face and he slid them down my back. He gazed at me, love, passion and desire swirling in his evergreen eyes. “I need you, cara.”
“Make me yours. In every way,” I whispered. With a slow, carnal smile, he leaned forward, kissing me deeply. I melted against his body and twined my fingers into his thick, bronze hair. His cupped my ass and stood up. I squeaked, latching my legs around his waist.