The setting sun warmed the room where they embraced.
“Are you sure this is what you want?” he whispered, his skin like sparkling jewels that glittered the walls around him.
“I’m sure,” Bella responded even softer, almost without speaking, but knowing that Edward could hear her.
“Everything will change, Bella. Everything.”
“I know, but it’s what I want. I want to be with you.”
With his gritted smile, he asked, “Will you do something for me first?”
“Anything,” she said without hesitation.
Giving her a glance that suggested, “Follow me,” Edward took her hand and led her into the dining room. There on the table, covering its oaken landscape draped in fine linens, was a feast of delights—plate after plate of extravagant multi-course dinners with main and side dish fancies from every corner of the world, desserts arranged and tempting, wines and whiskies standing like readied soldiers around the outer edge of the table’s furthest reaches.
“I made this for you,” Edward offered. “I want you to have this tonight.”
“—Don’t say no, Bella. Don’t say no. You promised.”
“Once you turn, all of this, everything here, will be lost to you. You will never be able to taste or enjoy this again.”
“But I don’t care, Edward. I don’t. I want to be with you.”
He motioned with his eyes for her to keep her promise. And she did. She took bits of this and portions of that, savoring the overwhelming deliciousness before her while laboring diligently to hide it from Edward. She made her way around the table and was met by Edward midway nearest the bottle soldiery. He was holding and swirling a glass of whisky.
“What’s this?” she asked.
“It’s Scotch. It’s The Balvenie Single Barrel 15-year-old edition.”
“No thanks,” she dismissed. “I’ve never had Scotch. I won’t miss it.”
“I know,” he urged. “Try it. This will be your last chance.”
She took the glass and prepared to sip.
“Don’t drink yet,” he said and slowed her hand. “First, what do you smell?” he continued, closing his eyes as if waiting for her to paint the portrait in his mind of what he so longed to enjoy.
She nosed. “I smell something sweet. Vanilla. And honey.”
“Good. And the taste?” he pressed, his eyes still closed. “What do you taste?”
She sipped and savored. “It’s so warm. But it’s good. I taste the honey and fruit. And maybe a little bit of something spicy.”
“It’s not done yet, Bella. How did it finish?”
“What do you mean?”
“Do you still taste it? If so, what do you taste? Or is it gone already? How did it finish?”
“It’s not gone, not yet. But it’s clean. I still taste the spice, but it’s nice and sweet. Wow! This is really good!”
“It is, isn’t it,” Edward confirmed, wrapping his arms around the one who would now join him in an earthly immortality of undead pleasures. “Are you ready, then, Bella?”
Looking at her glass, she said softly, “I love you, Edward.” Then, shifting her gaze toward him, she added, “But don’t touch me.”