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Chapter 19 - DeBussy Pt.2

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1 Chapter 19 - DeBussy Pt.2 on Sun Nov 28, 2010 7:58 pm

Mrs.KreszentiaBlack

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We arrived mid-morning at the marina on a gloriously overcast day, as I led a smug Bella down the pier to my beloved sailing craft. Evidently, she had correctly guessed our destination.



I motioned towards the ketch in front of us. "What do you think?"



"Edward, it's beautiful!"



A wide smile spread across her face as she initially appraised the boat, but her expression quickly changed when she saw her name embossed in black letters on the aft of the vessel. Bella sucked in her breath sharply, turning to me with her eyes wide.



"You named the boat the Isabella Marie? But - how long have you had it?" Bewilderment played along her delicate features, and I couldn't help but reach over, tenderly brushing aside a stray piece of hair as I explained.



"I changed the name over a year ago, after that first day I talked to you in Biology. I had it rechristened shortly afterwards, and I had been waiting for the perfect occasion to introduce the two of you..." I trailed off, now feeling a bit embarrassed for having kept this little secret from her for so long. Our time together had just been so - frantic - that the opportunity to take Bella out on a voyage hadn't arisen in the past six months. I had considered bringing her out sailing during our first summer together, but the ketch had been in dry-dock, not only being renamed, but also outfitted with a more accommodating cabin, specifically for her.



I studied her carefully, hoping this latest revelation wouldn't upset her. Bella stared quietly at the vessel for another moment before turning back to me.



"I'm flattered." She stood on her tip-toes to reach my lips, kissing me delicately. I closed my eyes and fought back the urge to pull her closer, knowing that doing so would ignite the simmering embers that constantly burned deep within me. Patience, I reminded my disobedient body - we had a full forty-eight hours to stoke those fires.



Gradually, she pulled away and let me lead us to the gangway, where I assisted her ascent to the main deck. Holding her hand tightly, I vigilantly watched each of her cautious steps across the wooden planks. Although my ketch was much sturdier and less apt to rock in the water versus Carlisle's sloop, there was nothing that would kill the mood faster than allowing Bella to take a tumble off its elevated deck.



After giving her the nickel tour and pointing out some of the main features topside, I directed us aft, to the wide stairs that led below to the upper salon. She stepped unhurriedly and deliberately upon each stair, her jaw fully agape as she took in the richly appointed wooden interior.



"Wow."



Words seemed to fail her as she slowly turned her head, surveying the intimate living quarters. Before us lay an undersized, L-shaped settee with plush, green cushions. To the right of the sitting bench was a small furnace, which sat next to the navigation station. On the starboard side, across from the settee, lay the companionway, which held shelves stocked with up-to-date electronic equipment, yet also lined with old books and texts. Above us, relatively large windows circled the salon, creating a bright and warm atmosphere that uniquely contrasted the dark hues of the floor-to-ceiling wood accents. A few steps down from the upper salon lay the galley, which housed a practical dinette on one side, and a miniature kitchen on the other. The galley was well-equipped with all of the modern necessities found in most houses - Bella would find everything aboard that she was accustomed to seeing in her own kitchen back home.



Next, I led her further ahead to the forward stateroom, which housed a full-sized desk and lounger. The lack of natural light in this lower part of the craft created an ambiance agreeable for reading or studying.



"It's all so...cozy and comfortable," Bella murmured softly, panning in a semi-circle to take in the finer details of the cabin. I smiled vibrantly, thrilled by her fresh reactions, which were almost as endearing as those at the symphony. "I've never been on such a beautiful boat before."



"There's still more," I whispered in her ear as I guided her back towards the upper salon, hardly able to contain my own excitement. We crossed the main living quarters and arrived at a closed door.



"Your stateroom, Mrs. Cullen."



I pushed it open, revealing our sleeping quarters. A king-sized bed stood before us, nestled amongst built-in shelves and drawers. Behind the headboard were two rectangular windows that looked out behind the ship; to our right, lay a small bathroom, across from which sat an entertainment center holding a second television and stereo. Petite, nautical lamps situated on either side of the stateroom under-lit the entire space, giving it a warm glow despite the overcast sky outside.



I could no longer contain myself - I simply had to know what she was thinking.



"Do you like it?" I asked timidly.



Bella turned back to face me, her expression one of pure awe. "I...I don't know what to say."



"I'd like to take us out for a couple of days on a cruise, if that's agreeable to you. We could travel east down the Strait of Juan De Fuca, then head north around the islands towards Vancouver. Or, if you'd rather, we could travel south towards Seattle into Puget Sound..." I hoped she'd be comfortable on board for such an extended stay. This was new, uncharted territory for both of us - effectively isolating ourselves from all other people while we sailed the channels and straits between Washington and British Columbia. The trip to San Francisco had been a step in this general direction - our first time alone, in someplace other than Forks, overnight, and away from our families. But this excursion was so much more significant; it was the last test of both our control and compatibility before jetting off on our honeymoon in mere days. Not to mention it's testing of Bella's sea legs.



"Nothing could possibly be more romantic. Just when I think you can no longer outdo yourself, you find another unique way to take us further into this amazing dream world." Ebullience was abundant in Bella's tone as she reached out and cupped my face. "But now I'm quite nervous for the honeymoon, because if this is your idea of a quick getaway, then I can't even begin to imagine what could be better."



Despite her words, I could clearly see unadulterated excitement and eagerness in her eyes. I groaned as she stroked my cheek, savoring the warmth of her caress and the delectable scent of her enticing blood. Once again I found myself recurrently fighting the primal urge to lift her up and wrap her legs tightly around my body while I buried my face into the soft crook of her neck. Instead, I stood perfectly still, enjoying every bodily sensation before answering her.



"I promise these will be the best two days of your life...until the wedding and subsequent honeymoon." An impish grin crossed my face, despite my attempt to keep the statement innocent. I hadn't intended for my words to be suggestive - I meant them honestly, sincerely. But no matter how hard I tried to communicate the sacredness and purity of my love for her, a part of me still couldn't help but imply a different kind of connotation, one of a particular subject that, lately, continued to remain foremost in my mind.



She lifted one eyebrow, evidently hearing the double-entendre in my words. Was her line of thinking closely following mine?



"Well then - when do we set sail, my amorous fiancé?" Apparently so.



I fought back the urge to hungrily push her backwards onto the very large, unoccupied bed and hold her hostage in our stateroom for an indeterminate amount of time. We had everything we needed on board, enough to last until the wedding day - food and other human necessities for Bella, fuel for the furnace to keep her warm at night; and I had just hunted, so we wouldn't even need to leave the marina. My mind was rapidly calculating the probability of success in enacting such a strategy, when I was suddenly jolted out of my scheming by a not-so-amusing, recent memory.



Behave yourself, Edward!



Alice's words from the day before stridently resonated through my head, effectively smothering my devious plan of action. You must try to control your lascivious thoughts, for Bella's sake, I reminded myself. And I could never forget just how fragile she was - any ardent activities required me to use extreme caution at all times. Relinquishing total control would sadly, never be an option.



I glanced up to find Bella staring at me anxiously, and I realized I still hadn't answered her question aloud, regarding the time of departure for our cruise. Even if I hadn't been planning on leaving immediately, my lust-filled thoughts would have inevitably over-ruled my answer. The clock was rapidly ticking down the precious minutes of our private time, and I couldn't stand to wait any longer.



"Right now, love."



I bent down to kiss her once, very gently, keeping my mouth closed so as to discourage either of us from getting ahead of ourselves. Bella remained astoundingly cooperative, keeping her hands at her sides, and even pulling away first. But I still knew where her true feelings lay when her heart rate began to accelerate.



"Care to join me up on deck as we disembark on our little voyage?" I suggested.



She grabbed my hand, squeezing it lightly. "Let's go."



We reluctantly left the stateroom, heading back up to the main deck. Yet, I couldn't help but start the countdown until our return to this most useful of rooms aboard the Isabella Marie.





Before heading topside, I put some Debussy into the stereo. The addition of the speakers above-deck was another renovation I had done while the ketch was in dry dock. I had never needed them before, as I could easily hear the music from below, even over the white noise of the water slapping against the hull, or the rattle of the sails in high winds. Now Bella too could enjoy the music anywhere on the ship. As I jogged back up the stairs and strode across the deck, I was thoroughly enchanted when Bella reached for my hand as I approached, pulling me down so she could whisper in my ear.



"You really like his music, don't you?" she purred, resting her lips upon my earlobe while waiting for me to respond.



"La Mer seemed appropriate while underway on the high seas, don't you agree?" My mind continued its amorous pursuits as I turned my face downwards, nuzzling her neck and running my hand through her alluring hair. "Vous ĂȘtes mon tout."



I felt the muscles in her cheeks flex as she began to smile. "You really do plan out every last detail, don't you?"



I pulled away and gave her a feigned look of shock. "But of course! Would you expect anything less?"



"Not at all."



No longer able to resist, I leaned in to kiss her passionately, my lips working feverishly against hers. The heat from her mouth made me dizzy with rapture, and I began to react instinctively. Bella moaned as I pressed my body into hers, wrapping my arm around her waist and pulling her tightly, yet carefully to me. Her hands moved lazily through my hair, spurring on my errant actions. Finally, after a very long, sensuous embrace, I grudgingly pulled away and stood up, leaving Bella gasping for breath. I swallowed painfully before speaking.



"We'll never get out of the marina at this rate." I reached down and traced my finger along her jaw, reacquainting myself with the feel of her satin skin. It never ceased to amaze me how even the slightest touch could send me completely over the edge.



Bella smirked adorably, looking up at me through her lashes. "I'll be good."



"I've heard that before."



She let out an exaggerated sigh and crossed her arms, trying to appear upset. But when I caught her stealing glances at me as I crossed the deck to untie the boat from the dock, I couldn't help but give her one my dazzling stares. Her eyes glossed over, and a soft smile began to form on her beautiful face.



"I love you, Bella," I murmured just loudly enough to hear over the music.



"I know," she replied dreamily. Obviously, I was forgiven.



As we finally debarked from the marina, Bella sat back peacefully by the wheel, a comfortable silence forming between us as I busied myself adjusting the rigs on the mizzen mast. I tried to remain focused solely on my tasks, forcing my mind not to wander back down into the sanctuary of the stateroom directly below us. Yet deplorably, one innocent glance at my love managed to shift my entire train of thought, away from my sailing responsibilities, and directly back to those scandalous fantasies - or more specifically, the activities that could occur on the large, plush bed of the stateroom.



The soft caress of Bella's hand against my back brought me from my daydream, and I found myself back topside, standing affront the wheel of my ketch, calmly steering us through the channel. The sensation of her fingers on my skin ignited a searing trail of fire, first down my back, then across my entire torso, until it inexorably engulfed my entire being. I clenched the well-worn piece of wood that commanded the ship a little tighter, doing everything in my power to keep myself from reciprocating and touching her.



Just then, Alice's words from earlier seemed to call out a challenge, one that my competitive nature demanded to meet.



You can't take her away that long. Both of you will start the honeymoon early!



I smiled despite myself. After all, her visions were not always correct; I could avoid this situation, easily. Or at least attempt to. It wasn't so hard to convince myself that the fate of the outcome was entirely in our hands, not Alice's. So why not step up to this challenge and prove her wrong?



Because most of my family wasn't stupid enough to bet against Alice. Was I?



I had been mulling over this thought for quite some time when Bella's touch brought me back to the present once more. Instantly, I decided to broach the subject head-on.



"Bella, I need to ask you something."



My beautiful bride gazed up contentedly. She appeared to be taking pleasure in the motion of the boat - her body instinctively rocking in time with the gentle roll of the hull, and, gratefully, she didn't appear to be seasick in the least. However, the endearing flush on her porcelain cheeks betrayed her true thoughts - I could easily tell that she was yearning to re-engage in some form of contact between us. Her telltale heartbeat spiked as she sat forward, her body responding unconsciously the moment I spoke.



"Yes?"



I deliberated for a split second, formulating exactly how I wanted to reveal this little wager that unexpectedly came into existence. I was willing to bet my ketch that Alice had all of my siblings in on this challenge, pitting them either for, or against us. I decided to be frank, and lay it all on the line.



"I have a feeling that Alice is betting against us."



I turned to face her directly, hoping to convey a less-severe connotation with my expression than came across in the literal meaning of my statement. The last thing I wanted was the romantic mood ripped to shreds by Alice's visions.



Bella's jaw dropped. "Why?"



"She told me we shouldn't take off alone like this...because..." I stumbled on my own words, not exactly sure how to share everything with her.



Charily, we studied one another for a second. I intuitively knew that she understood, in a way that was both mystical and befitting for the two of us. Like before, on Carlisle's sloop - our non-verbal communication had grown quite strong, despite the fact that I still could not read her mind. Before I could ponder this new wave of synchronicity that connected us, the corners of Bella's mouth started to turn up, indicating that she was about to answer the implicit, resulting question.



"So are we in agreement to prove her wrong?" Bella smirked evilly - an event that didn't happen often.



I was absolutely giddy. "Definitely."



Her competitive side was something I rarely saw; it instantly produced a reaction deep in my core that was lamentably counter-intuitive to winning the challenge, but I still relished it, deciding to tuck it away for exploration at a later date.



"You realize that means we must...refrain...from certain activities." I glanced down at her arm that was still outstretched towards my body, her hand still languidly tracking a path along my back.



Bella swallowed stiffly and slowly pulled her hand away. "Does that mean I can't touch you?" The dubiety in her voice completely opposed her prior eagerness when she had agreed to the challenge.



I sighed. "Not exactly. We just need to exercise some self-control." I gave her a pointed look.



"You mean I need to exercise some self-control."



"I'm afraid it's the only way we'll ever make it. If it gets to be too much, I can always turn the boat around and head back..." I hated to even suggest such a thing, since alone time, accompanied by utter privacy, was something so rare in our lives that I despised giving up even a moment of it. But Alice's visions had been quite stirring - we had to at least try to avoid losing ourselves in the throes of passion.



Bella nodded, squaring her shoulders in an act of resolve. "I'll be good."



Despite the irony in my actions, I reached down to cup her face in my palm, kissing her tenderly for a few seconds. "As will I." Taking a small step back, I appraised my stunning bride, smiling widely. "Now then, we need to attend to the next order of business, love. How to occupy our wondrous alone time - would you like to stop off at one of the port cities to do some sightseeing?"



"I'd rather we just stay on the boat...if that's all right with you," Bella responded softly. Judging by the mix of emotions on her face, she wanted exactly the same thing as I - to be alone, together, and away from all other people and distractions. Yet she, also, was undoubtedly hesitant to suggest such a thing after our recent agreement.



"Of course it's all right." Secretly, I was elated with her request. Staying off-shore allowed me a bit of rare, mental peace and quiet; out here, away from the populated shorelines, the thoughts of others were dim, if audible at all. I'd be able to focus all of my attention on Bella.



She smiled at my response, then turned to watch the scenery pass on San Juan Island as we sailed north towards Vancouver.



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