I hurry home, anxious to hop in the shower and get ready for my date with Edward. It feels as if my heart and stomach both flip several times as I get ready. I even shave and put on a little aftershave before doing my hair. When I’ve satisfied myself there’s nothing more to do, I walk over to my closet and stare inside it.

Edward had asked me to wear a suit. I own several, but I’m finding it hard to make up my mind. In the end, I decide to go with the one Esme says she loves most: my dark blue, narrow pinstripe suit, with powder blue shirt. I waffle for a minute on whether to put on a tie, too, but then I remember his note saying how much he wants to see me in a suit and I figure I might as well go all in.

Grabbing my favorite blue and silver tie, I quickly get dressed and am just putting on my cufflinks when the doorbell rings. A glance at the clock tells me it’s seven on the dot, and I feel my face flushing when I realize how long it’s taken me to get this far, and I haven’t even put socks and shoes on.

Hurrying to the door, I open it. An apology for running late dies on my lips when I take in the sight of Edward in a light grey suit, a black shirt and a silver tie. He’s utterly breathtaking, and I cannot take my eyes off of him.

Edward gives a low whistle, his own eyes apparently feasting on me before he looks up with a wolfish grin. “I just knew you’d look hot in one of these,” he murmurs.

He steps forward, reaching for my tie, then wraps his fingers gently around it as he pulls me closer. “Hey,” he whispers and kisses me with such tenderness that I almost forget to breathe.

“Hi,” I croak when he finally lets me go.

Blushing, I clear my throat. Edward chuckles, his eyes shining brightly as he watches me closely. His fingertips spider along my neck and jaw, as if they have a mind all their own. “God, you’re gorgeous,” he whispers, causing my cheeks to flame even further.

“Come in,” I murmur, gesturing for him to make himself at home. “I’m almost done.”

His eyes flicker over my body and he grins. “I can see that. I figured we could walk to the restaurant, enjoy the weather while we can? Unless you’d rather grab a cab?”

Quirking a brow, I try to keep from asking where we’re going. There’s a few places that are within a respectable walking distance, and they vary greatly in cuisine. “No, walking’s fine,” I answer.

I hurry to put on socks and shoes, dallying a little before deciding on my black boots, since they’re the most comfortable nice shoes I own. After making sure I’ve got my wallet and keys, I take a deep breath and walk over to Edward, who’s standing in front of my bookcase in the living room, his hands behind his back as he checks out my selection.

He smiles at me, then brushes his lips against mine again and asks, “Ready?”

I nod and we head out. When we get into the elevator, he leans against the wall and pulls me closer, placing his hands on my hips as he stares into my eyes. I can feel his thumbs caressing my sides, and I squirm a little, wishing I wasn’t so ticklish. “How was your day?” he asks quietly.

I shrug, describing as we walk outside how the past two days have gone, though I leave out the call from Esme. It doesn’t feel quite right yet, and maybe that’s selfish of me, but I want to keep Edward to myself for now. It doesn’t even make much sense in my own head, but I can’t stop myself.

When I ask him how work was at the party, he rolls his eyes and takes my hand, entwining our fingers. The gesture has my stomach all jittery with excitement. I can’t even remember when I last held hands with a guy, but I find I like it. A lot.

He must see it in my face because he smiles as he says, “It was alright, I guess. Some kid’s twenty-first birthday, so people got a little crazy. They behaved for the most part, though.”

I quirk a brow and look at him. “Kid?”

His smirk tells me that he knows exactly what I mean. He bumps his shoulder against mine and chuckles. “Yes, kid. What of it?”

Pulling him to a stop, I cup his cheek and gaze into his eyes. Surely Edward can’t be much older than this kid. “Just how old are you, Edward?”

His eyes close briefly as he sighs, his gaze is fixed on mine as he says, “I’m twenty-four, Carlisle. My birthday’s on June twentieth.”

I stare at him as I try to process this new information.

I’m twice his age!

My breathing starts to stutter a little as panic threatens to bubble up inside of me at that realization. Edward’s words from the other night as he told me about his aunt and uncle war with the fear I still feel that the difference will be too much.

Edward lets go of my hand only to cup my face in both of his. His voice isn’t loud, but has an edge to it that brings me to attention as he says, “Stop. Right now. Just stop.” He brushes his lips against mine, then presses our foreheads together. “Carlisle, I don’t care how old you are. I don’t see a number when I look at you. I see a hot guy who takes care of himself, who’s friendly, kind, caring, helpful, and creative. And that’s just from the short amount of time I’ve known you! I want you, Carlisle. I want to get to know you. Please, please don’t deny us a chance to see if this can go anywhere. Please?”

His eyes shimmer with emotion as he makes his case. I’m blown away by his words. At first I can’t speak, so instead I wrap my arms around him, holding him tight. When I’ve regained my voice, I whisper, “I’m sorry.”

He stiffens in my arms, but I shake my head, pressing my lips against his neck before continuing, “I’ll try, Edward. God knows, I want you too, I do.” I take a deep breath, allowing his scent to soothe me. “I might be an old dog, Edward,” I whisper, “but there may be a few new tricks in me yet.”

His arms tighten around me as he laughs. When he pulls away, there’s a wicked grin on his lips and a mischievous gleam in his eyes as he cups my cheek again. “Then I can’t wait to teach you.”

We both laugh at that, shaking our heads. Pressing his lips against mine once more, he murmurs, “Come on, or we’ll be late for our reservation.”

We fall into step easily, each with an arm around the other’s side as we walk the rest of the way in comfortable silence. When we stop in front of La Tua Cantante, my eyes widen in surprise, wondering how on earth he managed to get reservations here on such short notice. The place is notoriously busy; it’s usually booked ahead, and the nightly waiting list is often an hour long.

Edward grins and winks at me as he places his hand on the small of my back, guiding me inside. The hostess smiles at us and greets Edward by name. “If you’ll follow me, Edward, we saved you a nice seat. You’re just in time, too, because I’d have had to give your table away in the next couple of minutes if you hadn’t shown.”

I blink in astonishment as the woman leads us to a table in the corner, giving us a great view outside. I’m barely aware of Edward and the hostess exchanging a few quiet words, before she flashes me a grin and tells us both to have a wonderful night.

Edward clears his throat lightly, a faint blush on his cheeks as he carefully shakes out his napkin and places it across his lap. Quirking a brow, I lean forward a little. “What was that about?” I ask, intrigued.

He shrugs, idly shifting the cutlery as he states, “Nothing, really. I pulled a few strings, is all. Sort of, anyway.”

Both eyebrows climb higher at that. “What do you mean, sort of?”

He sighs, leaning his elbows on the edge of the table and gives me a half-smile. “My family has dibs, so to speak, on a table whenever we want, as long as they have room, of course. They won’t give someone else’s place to us, but we do get first choice otherwise.”

I blink. “Why?”

He shrugs again. “It kinda helps that my great-uncle Aro owns the place?”

The way he has his sentence end as a question takes all the wind out of my sails and I laugh. “You’re kidding!”

“Nope.” He grins. “Aro’s my grandfather’s brother – on my mother’s side. Most of that side of the family works or has worked in some capacity in the business. The hostess is my third cousin, Heidi.”

He nods toward the bar, and I look over to see a man who could rival Emmett in bulk pour several drinks with more flourish than I’d have believed possible. “That, is Felix, another third cousin. I don’t think any other family’s here tonight, though.”

I sit back in my seat, amazed. He watches me closely – warily, even, I think. Smiling softly at him, I murmur, “You’re a man of many mysteries, aren’t you?”

He chuckles, ducking his chin a little. I can see the tips of his ears pink a bit. Deciding to ease up a little, I pick up the menu, my eyes still on him as I ask, “So what can you recommend?”

He grins then, and starts to tell me about his favorites. We decide to share a starter – a spinach/cheese dip with slices of baguette – and order a bottle of red wine. Once that arrives, Edward orders our main course, since we both opted for the same thing: seafood lasagna, which he claims is a house specialty.

As we’re enjoying the spinach/cheese dip, he tells me a little about the history of the restaurant, and shares a little more about his family. I’m amazed at their rich history, and how close-knit they all seem to be. My own family’s pretty close, too, but for the most part we’ve all spread out and live our own lives. Esme and I still live in town, as well as our mother, but everyone else has moved away.

Our server’s just taken our empty plates, so I sit back, watching him while we wait for the main course. “So why didn’t you join the family business?” I ask.

Edward shrugs, idly playing with the stem of his wine glass. “Nothing really for me to do here. Like I told you the other day, I love working with numbers, but my great uncle Aro’s kids, Jane and Alec, take care of the books. So they don’t really need any help in that department, and I really don’t want to work as a server or anything.”

Raising a brow, I smile. “Not even as a cook?”

Edward laughs, shaking his head. “Hell, no. I like my sanity, thank you very much. I’ve helped out in the kitchen a few times, during summers mostly, while I was in school. It’s too crazy for my blood.”

I nod, certainly able to understand the sentiment. Our server shows up with our plates then, and I breathe in the delicious smells wafting from them, my mouth instantly watering. After checking to see if we need anything else, he leaves to take care of another table. Edward smiles and looks expectantly at me as I take my first bite.

Closing my eyes, I moan softly as the flavors hit my tongue. Shrimp, crab, clam, Portobello mushrooms, Parmesan cheese and more – they are each powerful flavors on their own, but blend together perfectly. Opening my eyes again, I meet his gaze. “Edward,” I say, my voice barely above a whisper. “This is… amazing. I’ve never had anything like this before.”

He grins, then starts eating as well. The look of pride – as well as the pure pleasure of my enjoyment – in his eyes isn’t lost on me, though. We chat easily throughout the rest of our meal, mostly covering basic stuff – what we like, what things interest us.

I’m surprised to find that Edward has a love of classical music much like I do. Not something that’s common among people his age. He even favors the Strauss family, which is also one of my favorites. The server has just left to run Edward’s card – despite my protest to his paying for our meal – so I decide to switch back to our previous conversation of music.

“So how does a young man such as yourself find a love for Strauss?” I ask, genuinely curious.

He shrugs, ducking his head briefly before looking at me. “My grandmother taught me to play piano, and it kinda went from there, I guess.”

My lips twitch in amusement as I murmur, “A man of many mysteries, indeed.”

He blushes and clears his throat. He’s about to open his mouth when our server returns. “Here you go, Mr. Masen. I hope you enjoy the rest of your evening.”

“Thank you,” he says, quickly signing the slip after including a tip.

We both smile at our server, thanking him once again for everything. Edward watches me with a secretive smile. “So, are you ready for the rest of our date?”

Curious, I nod. “Indeed I am. What did you have in store?”

Edward shakes his head, grinning. “Nope. Not gonna tell you. You’ll find out soon enough. Shall we?”

“Alright,” I concede, getting to my feet.

Once outside, I can’t resist and pull him to me so I can kiss him. Edward follows willingly, humming lightly against my lips. “Thanks,” I whisper.

Tilting his head, he looks at me, puzzled. “For what?”

Caressing his cheek, I smile. “For this. Tonight. Dinner. Everything.” I give a half-shrug as I gaze into his eyes.

His hands rest on my hips as he watches me carefully. His kiss is so tender, so sweet, it makes my heart yearn for more. “Carlisle,” he whispers, “I meant what I said.”

My confusion must be obvious because he smiles and kisses me again. “The other night, I told you I’d give you anything – everything. I meant it.”

My eyes widen as the vague recollection of his words come to me, lost in a haze of lust as they are. “But-” I mutter, wanting to protest. After all, we’ve only known each other for a short time. How could he possibly say something like that and mean it? It doesn’t make sense to me. Then again, a small part of me reminds me of how things had been with Liam, and how quickly we had known, even then.

Edward places his thumb on my lips, cupping my cheek as he shakes his head. “I meant it,” he says again. His voice is gentle as he continues, “I don’t just fool around, baby. When I’m with someone, I’m with them. Completely.”

Somehow, after everything I’ve learned already about Edward, I can believe it. Unable to put my thoughts – jumbled as they are – into words, I nod and whisper, “Okay.”

Kissing me again, he smiles. “Come on. We’d better get going or we’ll be late.”

“Late for what?” I try, though all I get in answer is a shake of his head and a laugh as he wraps his arm around my waist, guiding me toward our next destination.

After about twenty minutes of walking I notice we seem to be heading for the college campus. When I ask Edward about it he just grins and says, “Patience, baby,” and proceeds to walk toward the auditorium where there’s more people around than I’d expect. As we get closer to the building, I notice a few posters announcing upcoming events, including tonight’s concert by one of the college’s ensembles.

“Tonight’s performance will be featuring the many wonderful works of Johann Strauss the Second,” I read aloud before turning to Edward, stunned. “How did you know?”

He shrugs. “The other night I saw the book on Johann Strauss on your coffee table. I figured you might enjoy this, so I asked Alice if there were any seats available.”

At my puzzled look he adds with a smile, “Alice works here.”

“I see… I have to admit, I’ve never been to a concert here. It wasn’t something I wanted to do alone, and I somehow never managed to get anyone to go with me. Thank you.”

Still trying to process everything about tonight, from the fancy dinner to the concert, I can’t help but admire the lengths to which he’s gone for our date. Not to mention how quickly he seems to have figured me out while I’m still trying to do the same with him.

Gently tugging at my hand, he tilts his head toward the door. “Shall we? They’ll be starting in a few minutes.”

I nod, following him inside. Before too long we’ve found our seats at the far left, a few rows out from the podium. Edward hands me the program, and I’ve just started reading when the lights dim. Edward and I exchange smiles as he takes my hand. Entwining our fingers, we settle in to enjoy the concert.

Every now and then I just close my eyes and let myself get lost in the music. Whenever I open them again, I turn to look at Edward only to see him smile fondly at me. He squeezes my hand before turning his attention back to the stage.

After the concert is over, I almost feel like I’m floating. More so than I normally do when I allow myself to get lost in music. I can’t help but smile as Edward and I walk slowly through the campus, hand in hand, both of us humming quietly – and surprisingly the same waltz.

The peace I feel leaves me completely without words, so when Edward quietly asks me, “So did you have a good time?” all I can do is nod and pull him in for a deep, slow kiss. When we finally pull apart, he chuckles, caressing my cheek. “I’m glad. Are you up for some dessert?”

My lips twitch as I fight to hold back a smirk, but before I can answer he nudges me and adds, “I meant coffee and pie,” even as he’s biting back a grin of his own.

Pressing a kiss against his forehead, I murmur, “Sounds good to me.”

We talk about the concert as we walk in the general direction of home, going over our favorite parts. A couple of blocks away from our building, Edward stops in front of a small diner. “Ever been here?” he asks, looking sideways at me.

I nod. “Fairly regularly, actually. Best cherry pie in town – just don’t tell my sister I said that,” I say with a wink.

Edward laughs, squeezing my hand. “I promise, your secret’s safe with me. Come on. Let’s see if they’ve got some cherry pie. I want to try it for myself.”

Inside, it’s cozy. The place has an old-time feel to it, with memorabilia from the fifties and sixties all over the place. Even the uniforms are a throwback to that era, something that always brings a smile to my face.

“Carlisle! Good to see you again. It’s been a while, sugar. And you’ve brought a friend along. Take a seat right over there and I’ll bring you some coffee.”

Chuckling, I usher Edward to the corner booth Renee appointed us and we take our seats. She’s closely on our heels, pot of coffee in hand as she continues her usual cheerful deluge. “How’ve you been, hon. Did you want some cherry pie? You always have cherry pie, and Phil’s baked some fresh just this morning.”

She pours our coffee and turns to Edward, who looks at her with a mildly stunned expression in his eyes. “What about you, dear? We’ve got apple, pecan, chocolate, blackberry, or cherry.”

When she finally draws breath and pauses long enough for Edward to put in a word edgewise, he says quickly, “I’ll have some cherry pie, too, please. Thank you.”

I grin. “Thanks, Renee. I’d love some. This is Edward, by the way,” I add, gesturing to him.

Renee’s eyes twinkle in delight as she takes in our suits and shakes his hand. “Pleasure to meet a fine looking young man like you. My, my, Carlisle,” she whispers just a little too loudly, “are you two on a date? Lucky!”

Both Edward and I blush. Clearing my throat, I busy myself by adding a packet of sugar to my coffee, followed by a dash of milk and stirring. “Yes, we are, actually.”

To my horror, Renee puts down the canter of coffee and claps as she starts gushing her delight over my finally finding a guy and dating again. I groan, leaning my elbow on the edge of the table as I cover my eyes with my hand. I always seem to forget just how… enthusiastic… Renee can get about her regulars.

Thankfully, Phil calls from the back, “Renee, leave the poor guy alone and come get his pie, woman.”

Renee’s hands flutter around for a moment before she hugs me around the shoulders. I’m so startled I look up just in time to see her do the same to Edward. We stare at each other in stunned silence while she bustles off to get our order and then disappears into the back, chattering all the while.

Chancing a glance at the counter, I find Phil watching me with an exasperated fondness for his wife clear on his face. He shrugs in a “What can you do?”-fashion, then says, “Enjoy,” before leaving us alone.

“I’m so sorry,” I mumble, staring into my cup, embarrassed beyond belief at Renee’s antics.

Edward’s hand covers mine as he says quietly, “Hey…” He waits until I’ve looked up before continuing, “It’s okay. A little overwhelming, to be sure, but it’s okay. Really.”

My laugh is shaky as I run my fingers through my hair. “I take it that you hadn’t actually been here yet?”

He chuckles and shakes his head. “No, Alice has been trying to get me to go for a while, but we’ve never managed to make it here. She told me about it, though she failed to mention…” He waves his hand in the general direction of the counter and laughs. “She’s… something else, huh?” he says quietly.

I snort. “You can say that again. Renee and Phil have run this place for years. It used to be her mom and dad’s, so she’s been here her whole life and knows just about everyone in the area, really. And as you saw… she gets a little… well, you know.”

“Uhhuh,” he says, grinning as he doctors his own coffee before taking a long drink. “Good coffee, at least.”

I laugh. “Yes, even better with the pie, though,” I say as I take my first bite.

“Damn,” he mumbles around his own bite of pie. Quickly swallowing, he says, “This is good.”

“Mhmm, told you so,” I say, grinning.

He nudges my foot and rolls his eyes, though I can’t quite tell whether it’s in response to me, or because of the pie as he’s taken another bite. We eat and talk, only being interrupted once by Phil who asks if everything’s okay and if we want anything else.

Edward looks at me. “Want to share a piece? I don’t think I can have another whole one, but it’s so good…”

Both Phil and I laugh and I nod. “Sure, why not.”

Phil returns shortly with a larger than normal piece of pie with two forks. Clasping my shoulder, he says, “On the house,” and winks at me.

“Thanks, Phil.”

“Not a problem. Enjoy it, lads,” he says as he heads back to the kitchen.

I can see Renee hovering in the background, clearly trying to keep an eye on us. When I look up at Edward he chuckles and rolls his eyes. “I think we should count ourselves lucky that Phil’s taken over, how about you?” he whispers.

Grinning, I nod. “I think he took pity on us. He knows how she can get at times. They’re both good people, though.”

As we slowly devour our dessert, I can’t get over how intimate and good it feels to share a plate with Edward. It seems ridiculous for something as simple as eating off the same plate to even matter, but it does. This whole night has been amazing, and has left me feeling happier than I can remember being in a very long time.

Too long a time, if truth be told.

When we get up to settle our bill, Phil waves us off with an, “I told you. On the house.”

“But-” Edward starts.

Phil shakes his head and leans closer, whispering, “Least I can do after whirlwind Renee hit you. Now shoo. Go enjoy the rest of your evening.”

We both shake his hand in thanks, calling our goodbyes to Renee as we head outside, neither one of us willing to risk being swept up in another deluge of her enthusiasm. Once outside, Edward puts his arm around my waist, and I slip mine around his as we walk home in comfortable silence.

The earlier peace seems to slip away from me the closer we get – I don’t want this night to be over. When we step into the elevator, Edward pushes the button for his floor even as he pulls me into his arms. His lips brush against mine as he whispers, “You don’t mind, do you?”

Quirking a brow, I look at him, breathing him in as my heart starts to beat faster. He smiles and kisses me briefly. “I’m not ready for our date to end,” he confesses.

“Neither am I,” I admit gruffly before pressing my lips to his.

We don’t part until the elevator reaches his floor, and we have to get out. One hand holding tightly to mine, he fumbles for his keys with the other. Once he finally opens his door, he pulls me inside. A deep breath is all the time I’m allowed before he presses me against the door and claims my lips with a heated kiss.

Moaning, I pull him closer, my hands scrambling to touch, to feel, to hold as he kisses the breath out of me. My entire body seems to come alive, and I know I really don’t want to stop. I need more than this – so much more – and it seems Edward is of the same mind as he pulls away just far enough to search out my neck with his lips.

His voice is a little hoarse as he whispers, “I’ve been good all night, even though I’ve wanted to do this,” he pauses only to kiss me fiercely again.

My hands find their way under his suit jacket to fist his shirt. My heart is pounding in my chest, my skin heating over every inch of my body. The earlier peace is gone completely, replaced by something far more urgent but no less welcome.

“Edward,” I plead, not even sure what exactly I’m trying to ask, just knowing that he’s the one that can give it to me. “Please…”

Teeth nip at my ear, causing me to shudder and whimper, “Oh God, please…”

Edward pulls away to look at me, his eyes blazing with heat as they pierce into the very depths of my soul. I can feel him pressed against me – feel everything – but it’s not enough. His hands ghost up my stomach to my chest until finally they cradle my face. His voice is low, just above a whisper as he asks, “Will you stay?”

Somehow, I don’t think he’s merely asking if I’ll stay the night – his question, the way he’s looking at me, searching for something – it feels much deeper. I stare at him, trying to force my mind to work. To formulate thoughts and articulate them. Will I stay? The night? With him? Will I try to make whatever this is between us work? Will I give him – give us a chance?

The answer to all of that is the same.

“Yes,” I whisper, certain that if I don’t do this I will lose a chance at something good. Maybe even lose my one shot at finding love again. And that isn’t something I’m willing to pass by, not when he seems to offer me that.

The smile that graces his lips is beautiful, but I don’t get the opportunity to see it for very long as he kisses me again – deeper than before. Slower, but no less urgent. Something inside me seems to shift slightly as things begin to click into place.

“Please,” I murmur again, needing him so badly I could weep. The sheer force of feelings and reactions he invokes in me still has me stunned. I didn’t think it possible to feel this way again after Liam, but Edward…

Slowly, Edward pulls away from me, taking steadying breaths as he smiles at me. Running his hands down my arms, he takes my hands in his, squeezing them once before tilting his head toward his bedroom and raising a brow in question.

I nod, then follow him as he leads us to his room. Neither of us speaks, but it doesn’t matter. Clinging to his hand, I try to remain focused on Edward. To ignore the nervous flutters that suddenly rear up because I haven’t felt like this in so, so long and I know – I know – that tonight we will be having sex. And it won’t be a casual thing.

Something tells me that when we do it, there will be no walking away from things anymore, and part of me is excited about that, even as another part of me quivers with anxiety. When he stops by his bed he pulls me closer, his hands resting lightly on my ass as he watches me intently.

Shifting one hand to cup my cheek, he murmurs, “Carlisle,” so tenderly it’s almost a caress of itself. Tilting his head, he leans in and kisses me slowly. The quavering breath that fans my face is the first sign I’ve seen that he might be just as nervous and overwhelmed as I am, and strangely, it bolsters me. Though my fingers tremble slightly, I carefully undo his tie before sliding it from around his neck, letting it fall to the floor even as I start to undo the buttons of his shirt.

Edward settles both hands on my hips again, his thumbs brushing lightly in a comforting gesture as he watches me intently. Taking the black material of his shirt between my fingers, I tug lightly in order to get it out of the confines of his pants so I can undo the last buttons. Raising my eyes to his, I smile as I skim my fingers up his torso and slip both his suit jacket and shirt over his shoulders.

Edward lets me go, allowing his clothing to land where they fall. Taking that as his cue, he ever so slowly returns the favor, his fingers teasing my skin at every opportunity, until I’m shivering from the sensation. He grins at me and whispers, “You really are hot, you know that?” as he slides my shirt and jacket off my shoulders, too.

My cheeks heat and I shake my head before I can even think of stopping myself. Edward puts one hand on my lower back, pulling me hard against him. He grabs the back of my head with the other and mashes our mouths together with unexpected force. His lips remain a scant hair’s breadth from mine as he nearly growls, “You are hot, Carlisle.” Pushing me back onto his bed, he climbs on top of my thighs. His hands begin to roam, pausing every now and then in their discovery as he accentuates them with whispered words of adoration and appreciation.

My breathing speeds with every touch, every kiss, every word of praise of how he sees me. He doesn’t stop until he’s reached my belt, and he looks up at me with so many emotions in his eyes – lust primary among them – that I gulp, nodding at his silent request for permission to continue.

It’s near torture to watch Edward undo my buckle, and then ever so slowly pulling my belt from the loops before throwing it aside. I’m only faintly aware of the thud and clank as it lands on his dresser, then falls onto the floor. He palms me lightly through my pants, causing me to moan and buck my hips in search of more friction.

“Oh God,” I whisper, my eyes closing as he strokes me teasingly. I reach up, my hands reaching back to wrap around the pillow as Edward moves lower. I feel heat as he breathes against my bare skin, and then his warm mouth wraps around my cock through my pants. The pressure and heat is exquisite, but I shift my hips, lifting my head to watch.

I tangle my fingers in his hair, and he glances up to give me a mischievous smile. His eyes remain locked to mine as he unbuttons my pants and lowers the zipper, before running his palm up my aching cock. Tucking his fingers into the waistband of my underwear, he urges me to lift my hips and removes the remaining fabric in one motion. He shifts back to his knees as he tosses my clothes to the floor, and I take the opportunity to drink in the sight of him bare to the waist. His body is young and tight and absolutely stunning, and I watch the play of his muscles as he turns back and ducks down, licking my cock from base to tip.

When his tongue traces the ridge of my head, my eyes roll back, and my fingers find his hair again. Even though he did this not so long ago, it’s been such a long time for me in general that my body is in overdrive, each sensation heightened. It doesn’t hurt, of course, that Edward is gorgeous and fresh out of college with the body and stamina to match.

He takes me between his lips, his tongue teasing my slit, and I whimper, my knees lifting from the bed to press against his sides. Raising his eyes to look at me, he smiles around my cock, and the sight is nearly my undoing. He slips his arms under my legs as he lowers his body to the mattress, his hands grasping my hips – and then he sets to work. Lips and teeth and tongue combine to form a delicious pressure and heat, massaging and sucking and coaxing until I’m squirming beneath him.

Edward lets me go and sits back, wiping the corner of his lips with the back of his hand, and then I’m in motion. I don’t even stop to think about what I’m doing as I push him to the bed so that he’s lying flat on his back. I yank his pants away and then stare at the sight of his narrow hips clothed in blue briefs so small that the head of his cock is sticking out of the black waistband. Licking my lips at the sight, I glance up to find Edward watching me with pleading eyes.

He doesn’t have to ask twice.

I swallow, pushing back faint misgivings, and then I lower my head to taste the slick salt of Edward’s obvious desire. I’m merciless, taking just his head between my lips as I lick every centimeter of the tip, tracing the ridge with my tongue. Edward’s plaintive whimpers and moans urge me to go further, and I do, pulling down the front of his briefs just far enough to take him all the way. With my other hand, I reach up, cupping his balls through the fabric, and he spreads his legs, his fingers grasping my hair in obvious encouragement.

I slip a finger beneath the fabric, brushing lightly against the skin just behind his balls. Feeling the cleft of his ass, I press further, and then Edward’s fingers tighten in my hair and pull me up. I’m left with the choice of following his lead or losing part of my scalp, so I go with him, hiding my smile at the look of desperation in his eyes. When I’m sprawled on top of him, he whispers, “Now, Carlisle… please.”

“What is it you want, Edward?” My tone is serious, not teasing, but Edward pouts at me anyway. “Seriously, baby,” I whisper, leaning down to kiss him fully. When he tastes himself on my tongue, he moans loudly, wrapping his legs around my hips. I pull away, feeling a thrill that I can affect him so strongly. Kissing his ear, I murmur, “Which… role do you want to play?”

“I need you,” he answers breathlessly before interrupting himself to kiss me passionately. When he pulls away again, his lips are parted, his eyes darkened. “In me. I need you in me.”

With a smile, I kiss him again, silently agreeing. We spend long moments that way, Edward wrapped around me, our mouths exploring as his hands roam my back, and my hips rock against him. When he pulls away this time, he whispers, “Please, Carlisle…”

“Whatever you want, baby,” I answer, surprised to realize just how much I mean it. In this moment, there is nothing I wouldn’t give Edward.

He gives me an almost-shy smile as he bites his bottom lip before saying softly, “In the nightstand.”

I feel a brief flash of confusion before saying, “Oh,” and chuckling lightly at myself. I twist to reach his nightstand, and as I pull out the drawer, Edward sits up, and my cock is wrapped in heat and bliss once more. My head lolls back as I sit on my heels, thoroughly enjoying his work.

When he pulls away, he looks up at me with an impish grin. His hand strokes my rigid length as he whispers, “Sorry, couldn’t help it.”

I grin in return. “I’m not complaining,” I say as I reach over to search through the drawer. Moving a book, I find a length of condoms and tear one from the others before rummaging a little more for lube.

Seeing my furrowed brow, Edward sits up and reaches over, muttering to himself as he searches. “There!” he exclaims triumphantly, and I have to laugh as he hands me the bottle. “Damn thing likes to hide,” he grumbles with a smile as he wraps his arms around my shoulders, pulling me back down to him for a lingering kiss.

I smile against his lips and then slide back, taking him in my mouth again as I pour lube onto my fingers. I work him over as I prepare him, and before long, he is writhing, pulling at my hair and begging me in an endless stream of words to take him. Watching and listening to him has me so hard I ache, and I gladly sit back to tear the condom wrapper. Edward sits up, taking it from my hands, and he rolls it smoothly onto my length before whispering, “Now.”

The commanding tone makes me smile, and I eagerly comply. His hand is wrapped around the back of my neck as he pulls me forward. He lies on the bed, spreading his legs to either side of mine as he keeps our lips pressed together. I reach between us, teasing his ass with the tip of my cock, and he nods enthusiastically, his forehead wrinkling. He pulls away far enough to say, “Oh God, please, Carlisle… don’t tease me… can’t take it.”

Then his lips are back on mine, and I press forward, feeling him stretch around me. It’s been so incredibly long since I felt this – the physical and emotional twined together so tightly – that for a moment, it’s hard to breathe. My chest constricts as I inch forward, and we both groan loudly when my hips are fully seated against his.

“Fuck,” he breathes, but before I can ask if he’s okay, he lifts his hips and adds, “Oh my God you feel good…”

His lips search out mine, and we kiss as I begin to move. Edward moves with me, lifting his hips and pushing back against me, guiding a rhythm that makes my stomach tighten and my legs quiver. My fingertips and toes tingle as I struggle to hold on, to make this good for him, but Edward’s grunting encouragement, his pleas for more, harder, take over, and I pound into him. My hips snap against his as the sound of our bodies slapping fills the room, and Edward’s breath comes in quick gasps that make it that much harder for me to hold on.

“Oh God oh God oh God…” he chants, and then I shift back slightly as his hand slips between us. Looking down, I see his hand flying over his shaft, the purple head glistening with pre-cum as he works himself over. His heels dig into the mattress as he calls out, and I’m watching when his hot come spills all over his chest. The sight is thrilling, driving my hips to move faster, and in no time, I feel that same sweet release as I bury myself in him.

My hips continue to move slowly, almost of their own accord, as I coax out every bit of that feeling – for both of us, I hope. Finally, Edward shudders, and his arms wrap back around me. I can hold myself up no longer and collapse on top of him. He rubs my back gently, and we lay there until he presses soft kisses against my neck and cheek. When I lift my head, I can’t find a trace of regret or a need to escape in his eyes – all I see is satisfaction, affection, and… gratitude. The last surprises me until I realize that I feel exactly the same way. Whatever we just shared was something special, something precious, and I am grateful to Edward for sharing that with me.

I kiss him softly, but when I start to pull away, he hums and crushes me to him, kissing me fully. With a quiet laugh, I make sure he gets what he needs, and then I hold on to the base of the condom, slipping out of him. He grumbles at me playfully, and I can tell from his expression that it won’t be long before he’s out. When I stand up, he rolls over, watching me lazily.

“You’re beautiful,” he says softly, the last word morphing into a jaw-creaking yawn.

His eyes drift closed, and I’m not even sure he hears me when I say, “Not as beautiful as you.”

Thankful for the identical layouts of our apartments, I go to the bathroom and dispose of the condom, grabbing a washcloth. While I wait for the water to warm, I watch myself in the mirror. The sight of my eyes – bright, alive – takes me aback, but it’s a good feeling. I’m not sure when I last felt so… vibrant. Vital.

As soon as the water’s ready, I clean myself up and then go to do the same for Edward, who’s snoring lightly. My smile is fond as I try to clean him without waking him, but he rolls onto his back, wiping a little bit of drool from the corner of his lips. “Huh?” he says. When I laugh, he catches my hand, twining our fingers together. “Sorry, baby,” he mumbles.

“Don’t be,” I answer as I kiss his cheek. As I’m cleaning him, his eyes open again, and he seems a little more coherent.

“You promised you’d stay,” he reminds me.

“I intend to.” At my answer, he smiles and hums contentedly before sliding across the bed to leave plenty of room for me. He opens his arms, holding up the blankets, and I laugh as I tell him I’ll be right back. As quickly as I can, I toss the washcloth in the shower and then climb into bed with the beautiful man waiting for me. His arms wrap me in warmth and comfort, and in no time, I’m fast asleep.