I've been working on this fan fiction for about a month I suppose and I've been posting it on Fan Fiction.Net. It's called The Twilight Saga - Solar Flare. It's basically the story of what would have happened if Jacob and Bella had kissed in New Moon without that phone call interrupting them. It's the story of what would happen if Jacob and Edward's roles were reversed. I've already got 3 chapters made and I'm working on chapter 4 now. I thought I might as well post them here as well.
The story begins right when they're about to kiss.
"Bella," Jacob whispered.
I was frozen.
No! I hadn't made this decision yet. I didn't know if I could do this, and now I was out of time to think. But I would have been a fool if I thought rejecting him now would have no consequences.
Maybe it would feel nice. Maybe it wouldn't feel like a betrayal. True love was forever lost, so who was I betraying? Only myself.
Keeping his eyes on mine, Jacob began to bend his face toward me. The closer he got, the more unsure I became. Was I really going to do this? How badly would this end up? Would this end badly? He held my face still and closed his eyes as his lips met mine, my eyes shut as well, a little too tight.
As his mouth had discovered my passive resistance, he moved his right hand to the back of my head and his left gently around my waist, pulling me closer now. The closer I became, the more my lips would resist. I wasn't trying to pull away, but wouldn't respond back, I couldn't. Jacob could see this now, he started to rub the back of neck trying to get a response out of me; I just couldn't.
That's when Jacob stopped, his right hand slowly releasing my neck, his left unwrapping around my waist, and his lips fading away. I didn't need to look at Jacob to see the hurt, I could feel it, and his pain was my pain. Something in me broke free just then and I couldn't hold it back. My hands reacted before I could realize it, my left arm wrapping around his waist, my right hand grabbing the back of his head, pulling him closer to me now. Just as I could feel his pain, I could feel his joy now too. Jacob responded almost instantly; he wrapped his arms around me and began kissing me back, his warm lips gentle. I couldn't tell how long we were kissing, it felt like forever, and I didn't want it to stop.
That's when it hit me; I'd been wrong all this time, I'd been lying to myself. Jacob was more than just my friend, he was more than someone I could rely on to make me feel better. I knew I needed him more than I needed most people, but I had no idea just how much until now. I've never felt happier before, after being so abnormal for so long, it's like a breath of air after being underwater for hours. The hole in my chest is completely gone now, I didn't think it were possible, but Jacob cured everything. He is everything to me, I was in love with him. I'd loved him all this time, but I was too afraid to get it through my thick skull. I was too afraid of betrayal, too afraid of him. I wonder if I'll ever hear his voice again, not that it mattered anymore.
Suddenly I felt Jacob stiffen up, he jerked away from me and released his arms. I opened my eyes, ready to pull him back, but he was shaking again. The expression on his face was half angry and half horrified.
He jetted for the front door, grabbing the handle with a little too much force. I stumbled after him with my arm out in front of me.
"No!" I shouted. It was a reflex.
Jacob stopped then, releasing the handle. He looked at me distraught, still standing right next to the door. He took a quick glance at the door handle and back at me, like he was deciding something. I didn't want him to leave, now more than ever. Did he have to leave now? If he did leave, would I go with him? What about Alice?
Jacob turned his entire body in my direction. He slowly walked toward me, wrapped his one arm around my waist, and positioned himself in front of me, as if trying to protect me.
Protect me from what, was Victoria nearby? Did she get past Embry and Jared? Was she attracted her by Alice? That's when it hit me, Alice, of course. Alice came through the back door and walked gracefully into the kitchen, resting her arms onto the kitchen table. Jacob backed us away toward the sink, he was shaking again and his teeth were clenched. Alice's face did not look approving either.
"I see you two get along well," Alice judged, staring directly at Jacob.
I nodded gently, a little embarrassed. Jacob pulled me closer to him.
"Alice this is Jacob. Jacob, Alice," I said, blushing now.
Jacob stabbed me a disgusted look and growled. Alice rolled her eyes at me.
"Bella, I think it's time I left."
Jacob gave a brief sigh of relief, while still holding me tight.
"No!" I shouted. Jacob stabbed another look at me, a look of betrayal.
"Really though, Bella, I think it's time I left. If Edward finds out I'm here…" Alice explained, looking a bit nervous, "He can get really angry sometimes."
I flinched a little and Jacob growled again.
"Do you have to go now? Just a few more weeks, please?" I begged.
"I'm really sorry Bella, but it has to be tonight," She said, looking truly sorry.
"Tonight. Good," Jacob muttered under his breath. Alice seemed to hear that and glared at him again. She looked back at me, suddenly cheerful.
"How about we spend the entire day doing whatever you want together. We could drive around, catch a movie, go to the mall, I'll buy you whatever you want. We won't separate for a second," She said, smiling wide.
I nodded sadly. "Yeah, that sounds good."
"You don't look very happy."
"No, I am. Really."
Alice pouted. "It's the best I can do. All the clothes you want, on me."
Jacob's shaking began to increase, his teeth clenched, and his eyes shut tight. I embraced him, it was almost instinctual.
"Jake, please. Calm," I whispered.
"Right…calm," He whispered back, his body going stiff now with only his hands shaking.
"We can go as soon as you put the dog out," Alice said critically. Jacob began to shake again.
"Calm," I reminded. His shaking only slowed down this time. He released me and started to back away.
"Don't worry, leech. I was just going," He hissed. He looked at me, his expression broken, "Bye, Bella."
Jacob began to walk towards the front door. I wrapped me arms around him, trying to get him to stop. "No, please. Stay. Please," I begged.
Jacob turned to look at me. "Bella, I have to go. I was only supposed to come here and get information. I have to report back."
My face fell, of course he was right. He was a werewolf, she was a vampire, and Jacob had responsibilities. But I didn't want to let him go, it was either go with Jacob and abandon Alice or go with Alice and leave Jacob betrayed. Stupid conflict. Why couldn't they just get along?
"Can't you just tell Embry and Jared, and then come back?" I insisted.
Jacob made a disgusted sound. "I don't think so, Bella. Besides, we've been neglecting treaty lines enough as it is."
Alice sighed. "Well, I'm the only Cullen here. So I guess if I say it's okay for now, than there shouldn't be a problem. For now." She grumbled.
My face lit up giving Alice a look of thanks. Jacob looked at her half angry, half confused, and back at me.
"You seriously want me around her? Remember what I said earlier, Bella."
I hadn't forgotten. This could end badly, very badly. By the end of the day, both of them might end up… I couldn't even think about it. I'm not going to let my selfishness hurt them both. I had to choose.
Before I could say a thing, Jacob wiped a tear from my eye. I was crying, I hadn't realized. He stood there for a few seconds, once again distraught. He then grabbed my arms and freed himself from my embrace. He stomped out the front, slamming the door behind him. My legs started to shake.
Alice made her way next to me and put her arm around my shoulder. "Sorry." She mouthed the word.
I rested my cheek on her head trying to fight back the tears that were welling up. This was for the best, right? I can manage to be away from Jacob for today, couldn't I? Just then, Alice groaned and released her arm from around me, folding them over her chest.
"Great. Just wonderful," She said with heavy sarcasm.
"What? What's wrong?" I asked, my voice breaking.
"The dog's tagging along."
I gasped, my eyes widened at the thought. I then heard a shout coming from outside, followed by angry and irritated voices. Were they arguing? My eyes were locked on the front door now. After a minute, I heard the sound of an engine starting up, followed by the squeal of the tires driving off, all a little too quickly. My eyes were still locked onto the door, my heart was racing.
The door slowly opened and Jacob came through. He looked at me and smiled, I smiled back wiping the tears that had escaped my efforts. Jacob glared at Alice, eyes very distrustful. Alice stared back at him with the same eyes.
"You better watch yourself," Jacob warned.
"Oh please, I should be saying that to you." Alice turned toward me, changing her expression to cheerful again. "So, where to first?"
"Really, you should decide. I'm sure you have better ideas than me."
"Oh, but I'm doing this for you."
"I think your last day here," I grimaced at the words, "Should be exactly what you want."
"Hmm…" Alice looked far off in concentration. Jacob put his arm around me again and backed away from Alice.
"It's okay," I whispered to him.
"Don't wanna take any chances," He whispered back through his teeth.
Alice groaned loudly, suddenly very irritated. She glared at Jacob.
"This would be so much easier if I could see our plans and go by those." She put extra emphasis on 'see'.
Jacob raised one eyebrow in confusion, but his face quickly lightened into one of understanding. He laughed once mockingly. "What? The future to blurry for you?"
Alice's mouth fell open for a split second, she gave me an accusing look. I let my head fall, looking up at her with apologetic eyes.
Alice sighed. "Yes, because you're around."
Jacob's eyes widened in surprise. "You can't see the future when I'm around?" That's great!"
Alice let a growl escape her teeth. I changed the subject. "Why don't we go see a movie first? Sound like a plan?"
"Sure," Alice agreed, "As long as we take Carlisle's car."
Alice headed out the front door leaving it wide open. Jacob hesitated to move, I tried nudging him with my elbow, no effect. Alice came back into view, seeing her clearly through the open door, she gave Jacob a mocking smile.
"Scared?" She called back.
Jacob rolled his eyes, but it seemed to do the trick. Jacob kept his arm securely around me and headed out the door slowly. Alice had already gotten in the driver's seat and the car door to the backseats was already open. Alice must have guessed that we'd want to sit together. Jacob walked up to the car at the same pace and hesitantly got in with me alongside him. I closed the door.
"Ugh, it stinks," Jacob groaned silently.
Alice turned the keys in the ignition and drove off immediately. Alice drove fast, almost as fast as Edward did; to think that I was frightened by the speed of the motorcycles. Jacob was very restless the whole way. He fidgeted, shifting his body from side to side and re-adjusted his arm around me. This was ridiculous, the point of this was to have fun with Alice, have fun while she's still here. How are we suppose to have fun when she and Jacob will be at each other's throats the whole time, it defeats the purpose. Maybe this is what I deserve, for being so selfish.
We were almost there, took no time at all, Jacob groaned and started staring at the car floor. He then, to my surprise, started to laugh.
"I cannot believe I'm doing this," Jacob laughed at himself, "Not only am I tagging along for your girl time, but with a bloodsucker as well. I've really lost it."
I hung my head down, slightly turning to look at his face. I was about to apologize, but Alice caught me off guard.
"We're here!" Alice sang, "So, what're we going to see?"
My head snapped up at her voice, that was a good question. I suggested the movies, but had no idea what to go see. I just wanted to get out of the house before Alice and Jake killed each other. My past experiences going to the movies were not entirely pleasant ones, I hoped that this wouldn't be the worst.
Alice waited for my answer; I grimaced at having to be the one to decide. Jacob raised his head and sighed.
"I hear Tomorrow and Forever's pretty popular," He suggested, looking directly at me, ignoring Alice.
I nodded my head, eager to agree, I was up for anything. Then it came back to me, I remember I'd turned down this movie before, back when Mike asked me. It was back when I was too broken to handle a romance. How would I feel now? I truly believe that the hole in my chest is somewhat gone at least, plus I have Jacob and Alice, for the moment. Maybe it won't be so bad.
"Bella," Alice looked at me doubtfully, "Is that what you want?"
Alice got out and opened the door on my side. She reached out and took my hand, a warm smile lit up her face. Jacob, with his arm still securely around my waist, pulled me back. Alice grabbed my hand again and yanked, while Jacob firmly resisted. It was a brief match of tug-of-war with me as the rope, both competitors glaring each other down.
"Jake!" I snapped at him.
Jacob grimaced but gave up, releasing me hesitantly. Alice yanked me from my seat, causing me to stumble, but she caught me before I could cause any damage to myself.
"Sorry," She apologized, "Forgot how fragile you were."
"You sound like Edward."
Jacob got out on his side and made his way next to me, Alice to my right and Jacob to my left. We headed toward the theater; Alice bought two tickets for herself and me, leaving Jacob to pay for his own.
There weren't that many people in the theater, I'm assuming everyone had seen the movie already. It had been out for a while, this might be it's last week in theaters. We sat down, Alice to my right and Jacob to my left like before. I kept my eyes on them both cautiously; they wouldn't fight in here would they?
Alice suddenly started giggling, I looked up at the screen and a man was coming up with every excuse in the book to keep from getting fired. I was so occupied with watching Alice and Jake that I hadn't realized that the movie started already, for who knows how long.
I actually began to watch now; the man that got fired meets a rich woman who enjoys working with children. They fall in love and the man begins to help out with the children too, while still jobless. The man is secretly involved in some shady business involving loans and dangerous favors. The woman finds out what he's up to and the man confesses all that he's done, which in turn gets the woman involved.
So far the movie was pretty good; I wasn't feeling any pain from what I've seen up until now. Unfortunately, I'd spoken too soon. The man felt terrible for burdening the woman in his problems and decides to leave her.
I winced at the words "I don't want you to come." The man had spoken the same words as his. My head sank, I didn't want to look up at the screen anymore, I felt tense.
Jacob saw this; he put his arm around my shoulder and leaned his head against mine. I rested my head on his shoulder and shifted closer to him. Normally, something like this would set me off. I could see myself breaking into tears, screaming, and running out of the theater after witnessing this. But Jacob made everything so much better, he was my own personal sun again, but something else radiated from him besides the usual happiness and comfort. Love.
I let out a deep sigh of relief and looked up at the screen. Apparently I had missed a lot; the man was already begging the woman to take him back, saying that they can work something out as long as they're together. The woman all too happily takes him back and they agree to start a new life together somewhere far away.
The credits started rolling and the lights came back on. Alice eagerly got up and started toward the exit, Jacob and I followed.
Back in the car, Alice started the engine immediately but left it in park for a few minutes.
"Mmm, cliché ending," Alice said, looking thoughtful. Jacob nodded his head, looking past Alice.
"Yeah," Jacob looked at me now, "It's better than that other movie you took me to, though."
He laughed and I joined in; comparing it to Tomorrow and Forever just makes Crosshairs seem even more ridiculous. Alice looked back at me, a wide smile across her face.
"Shopping now?" Alice asked, delighted. I rolled my eyes.
"Of course, Alice."
"I'll make sure you have the most beautiful clothes in the store."
"Don't overdo it."
Alice pouted; she started driving straight for the mall which wasn't far from the movie theater at all. It took only two minutes to get there.
I told her not to overdo it, but in the end she ignored me. We went to every clothing store the mall had to offer, buying at least three things from each one. Every so often Alice would find something that she wanted for herself and get me the same one in my size. Jacob was enjoying the ordeal even less than I was; Alice was making him carry all the clothes. I could tell Jake was trying very hard not to lose his temper, I had to tell Alice to ease up a little. Alice was having the time of her life however, at least she was happy.
By the time we were done, it was dark out. The bright headlights of cars were passing by, avoiding people as they walked out of the mall and varies other stores around us.
"Well, I'd better get you home," Alice reminded.
I nodded slowly, knowing what will happen afterwards. The drive home felt longer, either Alice wasn't driving as fast as before or I was just trying to cling onto this moment for as long as I could.
Charlie wasn't there when we walked in. He must still be at the Clearwater's, probably doing whatever he can to help out. I felt bad that I wasn't there too, felt even worse that I was keeping Jacob away. I sat down on the sofa and Jacob joined me. Alice was arranging the clothes she bought in one pile and the clothes for me in another on the kitchen table. In a flash, she darted upstairs and my new clothes disappeared. The next second she was back, looking as cheerful as before.
"Hope you don't mind, but I'm sure you'll find your new beautiful clothes in perfect order," Alice said confidently.
Alice started to stare off into the distance, her expression lost. Jacob shifted himself closer to me in a protective position. Alice let out a gasp, her cheerful expression didn't return.
"It's time for me to go."
I couldn't speak, I just let my head fall.
"I'm sorry Bella, but it's time. I can't stay any longer."
I just nodded. I was starting to feel the pain come back to me.
"Come on." Alice grabbed my hand and lifted me off the sofa. She led me outside to her car, Jacob followed quickly.
She let go of my hand to give me a hug. Her hard cold skin felt strangely soft and gentle when her arms wrapped around me. The wind blew her sweet clean scent toward me, I'd remember it for a while. I embraced her back, trying very hard to fight back tears. It seemed to last for a lifetime.
"Bye Bella," She said quietly in my ear, "I promise I'll be back."
She nodded, "Promise."
7. Dude, Where the Hell Did That Come From? (Part 1 of 2)
It was a familiar scene, well, familiar enough. Bella and I were walking hand in hand down La Push beach. We were completely synchronized too; both taking steps at the same time, with the same foot and the same length, even though my legs were so much longer than hers. Everything was as it should be…well, mostly everything. The flowers that were somehow growing dead in the middle of the ocean and the clouds with smiley faces on them were pretty weird, but I ignored that for now, my attention was focused strictly on Bella. She was looking up at me with a mesmerizing gleam in her eyes and a smile so sincerely happy it made my heart flutter. The light blush on her cheeks seemed to mix with her pale skin in such a gorgeous way that it literally glowed. She was wearing a long white lace dress that flowed behind her like clouds, similar to the ones smiling in the sky. Her shimmering brown hair flowed in the same way; it was like gravity didn't matter to her. She was so beautiful, even more so than usual. If the Bella I'm use to were the caterpillar, then this would be the butterfly. She took my breath away. I looked like a joke in comparison, just wearing a gray sleeveless shirt and the usual jean shorts. This seemed so unreal; too good and too perfect. We were walking for while; I wasn't exactly sure how long because time seemed irrelevant, I was just enjoying this moment.
Suddenly, the perfect atmosphere changed. I looked around frantically, shocked at what I saw. The vibrant colors of the beach turned a pale grayish blue, the clouds in the sky that were smiling vanished, and the ocean had completely frozen over along with the flowers. What was going on? I turned my head to look at Bella, just to check and see if she was okay, but once I did, I couldn't look away. The girl next to me holding my hand was not Bella. She was around the same height as Bella only a bit thinner, had curly bronze colored hair that came down to hip length, skin even more pale than Bella's, and was wearing a black gothic style dress that contradicted her bubbly expression. I admit that she was really cute, but that didn't matter at all right now. Where did Bella go? Did this girl do something to her? I wanted to start searching for her, but my body wouldn't move. I tried asking this girl what was going on or if she had anything to do with it, but my mouth wouldn't even open. Then, against my will, my body turned to face the girl and took both her hands into mine. What was I doing? I had no control over myself. The girl looked directly into my eyes and I was forced to look into hers. She smiled the same kind of sincerely happy smile that Bella had, but the meaning to me wasn't nearly as special. She began to lean in closer to my face and I started closing the distance. Try as I might to pull away and yell at her to stop, I couldn't do a thing. I wanted to scream, why was this happening? None of this made any sense. As we got closer, I tried harder and harder to gain control over myself, but it was useless. Our lips were half a centimeter apart before the scenery suddenly changed again.
The pale scene of La Push beach vanished and I was in my room. My right leg hung on to the mattress as the rest of me had fallen to the hard floor. I must've been fidgeting like crazy, but that was some frightening dream. Having a young beautiful girl with long hair appear to you wanting a kiss would be most guys' fantasies, but to me it was terrifying. I was terrified to look at any other girl besides Bella. The way I couldn't move and had no control over myself; was that how imprinting was like? I got to my feet, wiping away the sweat running down my face, and grabbed the first pair of jean shorts lying on the floor. I went into my closet to look for something quick to put on. I picked out a red t-shirt with a flaming wheel design in the middle. Awesome!
I went into the bathroom to brush my teeth, but before I could pick up my brush, the phone rang in the kitchen. I wasn't sure what time it was, but I assumed Billy was still asleep. I walked down the hallway into the kitchen and picked up the receiver before the phone had a chance to ring a third time.
"Hello?" I answered.
"Jacob!" I heard Bella shout with worry.
"Bella!" I shouted back.
Hearing her voice sent a jolt of joy and relief through me. After that nightmare, I was so happy to hear her again and know that she was safe.
"Jake," she repeated with a whimper this time.
"You sound sad. What's wrong?" I asked.
"I had…um…" She hesitated to speak. "Jake, do you think you could give me a ride to school?"
"Uh, sure. Did your truck break down or something?"
She was silent for a moment.
"No, I just wanted to see you."
Really? Bella just wanted to see me? Was she thinking the same thing I was? I felt like I needed to see her too, like right away. I checked the analog clock hanging over the fridge. Even though that clock was always ten minutes fast, it should the time as 7:15 a.m. Since class for us started at 7:30, I'd definitely be late if I drove Bella to school. Wait, why did I care? It's not like school was that important to me anymore; once I graduate, I'll still be here protecting the reservation. Until I can manage to stop phasing, I'm going to be here with the others for a long time. This was my job. Really, the pack members that still went to school only did so to keep up appearances. People would get suspicious if a bunch of guys suddenly stopped coming to school.
"Alright, I'll be there," I told her.
"Thank you, I'll be waiting," she replied.
I waited for a little bit, neither one of us had hung up yet. I could hear her unsteady breathing clearly through the phone.
"Um, okay, see ya."
I was the first to hang up. I ran into the bathroom to brush my teeth and wash up at lightning speed. I went into Billy's room to help him out of bed and get dressed. He seemed to notice I was in a rush, but he didn't question it. Seeing the time, he probably assumed I was trying not to be late for school. Back in the kitchen, I popped a piece of bread in the toaster for three minutes until it was ready. I didn't have the patients to put butter on it or anything; I just put it in my mouth as I ran to the garage to get my black motorcycle. I got on and revved the engine twice before I jetted forward. I looked behind to see Billy waving goodbye to me. I waved back and put my eyes back on the road to Bella's house. I knew the route by heart; I could practically drive there with my eyes closed, if it weren't for the occasional cars I had to avoid. I rode down the highway as fast as the speed limit would allow, passing by a lot of cars as I went. When I finally made it there, I parked my bike behind some bushes about thirty feet away from her house. Charlie still wasn't aware that we were riding motorcycles. Sometimes I thought it'd be better if we just let him know, but Bella told me to keep it a secret. Know that I thought about it, it'd probably have been easier just to take the Rabbit here. Oops. Well, the Rabbit's not fast enough and Bella enjoyed my motorcycle more anyway so, oh well.
I walked toward the house and Bella must've been looking out for me, because she swung the front door open before I was halfway there.
"Jake!" she shouted with excitement.
"Hey, Bell!" I shouted back.
Just then, she sprinted forward and threw herself onto me, wrapping her arms around my neck and crushing her lips against mine while I was completely off guard.
"Oh, Jake," she murmured, going right back to kissing me.
Uh, okay. This was odd, but hey, I wasn't complaining. I put my left arm around her waist and smoothly brushed through her hair with my right hand. I felt so happy having her with me like this. I'd treasure these moments with her, knowing that they might not last forever.
"Wow, you're pretty enthusiastic today," I said, pulling my face away to speak.
"I'm just so happy to see you," she replied with a sigh.
"I'm happy to see you too, but don't we see each other every day?"
"Well, especially right now."
"Please, don't question it."
She put one hand to the back of my head, attempting to pull me back in. I shrugged and allowed it as our lips met again. As we kissed, I felt a bit of sadness in her. It reminded me of how she sounded earlier on the phone. I pulled my head away again to speak.
"Is everything alright, Bella? You sure you're okay?" I asked.
She whimpered, turning her head away slightly. Right, now she turns away.
"Bella, you can tell me," I assured her.
She remained silent, but I think I had an idea of what was bothering her. Just like me. It was a scary thought, but I ended up asking anyway.
"Did you happen to have a bad dream last night?"
Her eyes widened in surprise. "Yeah, how'd you know?"
"Well, first, what happened in the dream?"
"I didn't like it."
"Of course you didn't, it was a bad dream."
She was silent again. I looked her in the eyes and nodded, encouraging her to tell me. I think she also had a slight idea of where I was getting at.
"We were together on the beach, but," she began to say, "You saw this other girl. I tried calling to you, but you couldn't hear me. Then you…and her…disappeared and…"
"Are you sure about that?"
"I am. Why?"
Okay, this was kind of creepy.
"I…I had the same dream, Bella," I announced, grimacing.
She looked at me terrified and her eyes began to water. I wrapped my arms around her, bringing her even closer to me than she already was. I started to rub her back in an attempt to keep her from crying. Didn't work.
"Bella, please," I whispered.
She continued to sob; I felt her tears begin to soak my t-shirt a little.
"Hey, let's get you to school," I suggested, trying to change the subject. Though it worried me too, I didn't want imprinting to ruin our time together.
She nodded her head slowly and tried wiping her tears away on my chest instead of using her arms, as she refused to let go of me. Keeping my arm around her and her arms even tighter around me, we walked over to my bike hidden behind the bushes. Once we were on, I revved the engine and took off. I decided to take the unnecessarily long way to her high school which meant going around in a circle. I wanted to let our moments last as long as possible; plus she wouldn't be late for school anyway, though I would definitely.
"Hey, Jake," Bella suddenly said.
I turned my head around to look at her. "Yeah."
"Your hair is getting longer, you know."
I chuckled. "You just know noticed?"
"No, I noticed. I just figured you'd cut it before it got this long." She removed her right hand from my waist to feel through my hair, which grew out to chin length now.
I turned my head toward the road as she stroked the back of my hair. "Well, I thought I'd grow it out a little."
"How come? Don't you guys cut your hair short so that the extra fur doesn't slow you down as a wolf?"
"Yeah, but I grew it out because you like it longer."
She brought her hand back to my waist after saying that. "Oh. I like it both ways, Jake."
"Are you really sure about that?" I asked sarcastically as I stroked my own hair in imitation.
"You don't have to inconvenience yourself for me."
"But, you do like it longer right?"
She didn't answer right away. "Well…you should still cut it before it gets too long. I don't want you looking like a Komondor."
I laughed at the thought. "Sure, sure."
She laughed with me and sighed in contentment. We rode the rest of the way in a comfortable silence.
Once we got there, I saw that students were gradually going inside. I assumed class was starting for them in a few minutes. I turned my head back to look at Bella.
"Well, we're here," I announced.
"Yeah," she said sadly.
I waited for her to get off, but she didn't move. She was hugging me tight like she'd been doing most of the ride here and back at her house.
"Uh, do you want me to walk you to the door?" I offered.
"Sure," she agreed.
I got off the bike, putting the kick stand up as I did, and headed toward the entrance. On our way there, Bella was still holding onto me. It was like I had extra weight on, though nothing I couldn't handle. Once we were there, I stepped off to the side to let other students through.
"Alright, Bells, I'll see you after school," I said.
"Mm-hmm…" she mumbled.
I waited, and waited, and waited. I put my hand up to check the nonexistent watch on my wrist and looked back at Bella. She refused to let go.
"Are you okay?" I asked.
"No," she admitted.
"I think you can survive one day, Bella."
"No, not when you're away."
"You have plenty of other times."
"That was then."
I sighed. "Come on, Bella."
I grabbed both of her arms around my waist and pried them off; not that it took much effort for me. I backed away and she looked at me like she would cry again. I fought back the urge to bring her back into my arms and comfort her. In a way, I felt like a father who was leaving their kid at pre-school for the first time. Weird.
"Just a few hours."
She nodded her head slowly, standing very still. I walked away to my bike, but never took my eyes off her. I got on and started the engine; waving goodbye to her as she did the same. I finally turned away, driving out the parking lot and onto the highway. As I got further away, the more I started regretting it. I felt strangely empty without her. For some bizarre reason, I felt like I was in danger without her by my side. A completely ridiculous thought. Aren't I the one doing the protecting, not the other way around? Still, the feeling was there, and I couldn't deny that it was related to the stupid imprinting thing. Dammit, why did I make her let go?
When I finally arrived at my school, I parked my bike off in the space no one ever used. It was too small and inconvenient for most cars, but ideal for motorcycles like mine. Once I got inside, I went into the main office to check the time. First period was pretty much done with, so I just waited at my locker until the bell for second period rang. School's always been a drag since I phased. There's that thing called senioritis that a lot of students get. Well, I was only a sophomore and I'm pretty sure I had it. My grades were decent, not all that special. It wasn't because I found some of the work hard, just that at the end of my school career, it wouldn't really matter that much. No motivation there, and I wasn't the only one of my pack brothers that thought the same way. I just couldn't wait until I was finally done.
Classes dragged on like they always did, totally boring. The only class I somewhat looked forward to was Auto Tech, but that was the last period of the day and it wasn't like we were learning anything I didn't already know. Lunch came before that though, right after fourth period. When the bell to dismiss fourth period rang, I headed straight there. On my way, I saw Quil with some girl in a green blouse by a few lockers. Quil was talking to her with a calm expression, but the girl looked pretty irritated. Usually when I walked to the cafeteria, I would end up meeting Quil and Embry there. We didn't even need to try, it just happened. I decided to just keep walking, he'd catch up.
I met up with Embry and we both entered the cafeteria together. We got into the shorter of the two lines there and picked out what we wanted as we got our trays. I got everything they had to offer, which wasn't much. Pizza, chicken tenders, mashed potatoes, green beans, and a soda. We both sat down at our usual table to the far southeast of the cafeteria. It didn't take long at all for Quil to join us; he put his tray loaded with food onto the table and sat down across from me.
"Hey, so who was that girl you were talking to? She looked pretty peeved," Embry asked. Apparently he saw it too.
Quil sighed. "You know that date I told you guys about? My date with a junior?"
"That was the girl?" I assumed, sure that I was right.
"Why was she mad?"
"I, uh, cancelled our date." He grimaced.
Embry and I took a surprised glance at each other.
"Really? Why?" Embry asked.
"I just wasn't feeling it, I guess," he admitted.
"But she was cute just like you said. Wasn't she, Jake?"
"I guess so. I wasn't really paying much attention to that," I answered.
"I dunno. It just felt…weird to me. I had this feeling that if I went, I wouldn't enjoy it at all. Crazy, I know, but I don't know why," Quil explained.
I knew exactly what was going on here. I hated it.
"It's because of Claire, isn't it?" I asked in a low voice.
Quil's eyes widened but narrowed thoughtfully. "Actually, yeah. Well, maybe at least. I dunno, I just don't see girls like I use to anymore. Not since yesterday.
Embry snickered. "Do you see guys in that way then?"
"Ha, right. Yeah, you're looking pretty hot there, Embry."
He rolled his eyes. "Gee, thanks. You're awesome."
We all laughed, though they laughed much harder than me in comparison. Is imprinting really that strong? Was it so strong that even when you're connected to a child, you're forced to remain hers no matter what? Does imprinting change a person that much? Quil looked so concentrated and un-relaxed now, even when he laughed. It was unlike the loose immature playfulness he used to sport. Must've been because he's away from her.
"But yeah, I really don't mind at all. Claire is just so incredibly wonderful, nothing could compare. I don't need anything else, she's all that matters," Quil said with confidence.
Embry made a face that looked slightly disturbed. Quil shrugged in response.
This was insane. If it ever happened to me, would I really lose everything I had with Bella? Bella was my Claire; she was the most important thing to me. There was no doubt in my mind whatsoever that anything meant more to me than her. I loved her more than anything, nothing could compare, nothing even came close. How in the hell could anything possibly take that away? How could anything change that? How could I ever love someone more? It's an impossibility.
Just then, the image of the long bronze haired girl appeared in my head. I clenched my teeth in reaction.
"How dare you," I growled. I wasn't sure who I was talking to; it wasn't to Quil or Embry.
"Jake!" Embry shouted.
"Jake, watch yourself!" Quil warned.
Both of them stared at me with shock as they got out of their seats and held their hands out toward me in warning. I hadn't noticed, but my whole body was shaking. I immediately held my hands to my temples to stop the intense heat flowing through me; wishing to change me. I put my arms down to my sides once I knew I was somewhat under control, only my hands were trembling and I couldn't help my heavy breathing. Quil and Embry both let out a sigh of relief and sat back down.
"You're good at that, man," Quil complimented.
"Whatever," I responded. I wasn't in the mood for that now.
They both looked at each other in concern, then Quil turned his head toward me and smiled.
"You and Bella get along great, y'know," Quil said in a reminding tone.
"What are you getting at?"
"Well, I see the way you two are together. It's like you're soul mates. If I wasn't so sure that you haven't…imprinted," he hesitated to say the word, "I would've thought you had. Embry, you agree, right?"
"Uh…" Embry muttered and stuffed his mouth with pizza. Probably too worried about my temper to answer.
"Ah! Perfect timing," Quil said, pointing to Jared and Kim who just walked into the cafeteria, hand in hand, "I see you and Bella in that Jake, almost exactly."
I knew that Quil was just trying to make me feel better, but I still wasn't in much of a mood. If my feelings for Bella were on the same level as an imprinted couple, then wouldn't that mean that if I did imprint, it would be even more of a waste?
"Can we please just change the subject," I demanded, taking a few gulps from my soda.
Suddenly a mischievous smile crossed Quil's face and he looked like he was trying to hold back laughter. "Sure. So anyway, how is your sex life?"
I flinched harder than I've seen most people do and ended up swallowing my drink down the wrong end. I let my soda drop to the table without spilling and I began hacking and coughing to clear out my lungs. Quil couldn't contain his laughter anymore and Embry looked confused, but also clearly trying to fight back a smile. The sudden out-of-nowhere question completely destroyed my anger; when I was finally able to talk, it was replaced with pure confusion. Was that Quil's goal, replace my anger with this? Bold move, he could've made me angrier.
"What the hell was that? Have you been watching 'The Room' or something? You don't just ask a person that," I complained.
"Yeah, you got me," Quil admitted, trying to control his laughter, "Sorry, but it was funny. I wanted to try it out on someone. Your reaction was perfection, Jake."
"You're such an ass."
He continued to laugh and Embry joined in as well. Try as I might to resist, I couldn't help but chuckle a bit too. It was weird, but I was kind of relieved that the annoying best friend I knew was still here, even after imprinting. He may not seem exactly the same, he may have changed in some ways, but he's still there somewhere.
Jared and Kim made their way to our table and pulled up a chair. Jared's tray was loaded with food like ours was while Kim settled for just an apple.
"So, what are we laughing about?" Jared asked, smiling.
"Jacob's sex life," Embry chuckled out.
"Oh my god, Embry!" I shouted. Now I was annoyed.
"Okay, sorry. We quit, we quit," Quil promised.
"Subject change, please!"
Jared started to tell Kim about the Quileute legends and everyone listened in attentively. He didn't tell the whole story, just bits and pieces. He and Embry noted how Quil Ateara Sr. and my dad were experts at it; we couldn't do it justice. The next council meeting wasn't far away; it'd be Quil and Kim's first time hearing the stories and knowing that their true. Kim seemed the most excited, after this she'd be free to hang with the wolves like Bella; Sam made that official. In a way, it'd be like her welcoming party.
I was glad Quil changed to subject from 'my sex life' before the next obvious question popped up. Weird, but I'd never thought about taking our relationship to that level yet. Most teens nowadays would rush into the sexual part, but I was fine with the way things were. Of course, now I was starting to see it differently. Could we take our relationship to that level? Would Bella want that? Should I just ask her? Would it be an awkward thing to ask? This wasn't something I wanted to worry myself with, but it beats imprinting; that was too painful. What if Bella's been thinking the same thing even before I have? If I asked her about it and she said yes, I'd probably be a nervous wreck; I'm not experienced in this kind of thing. Still, the images started trickling in one by one like drops from a faucet. Bella dressed in thin white lingerie, lying on my too small bed. Me sliding in next to her; allowing her to share my warmth, inside and out. Her grabbing a pillow in pleasure, sighing my name. Ahh…
"Hey, Jake? Jake," someone called to me.
Someone else chuckled. "I think we lost him."
"Huh, what?" I asked; disoriented and coming back to reality.
"The bell's about to ring in a few…" Jared began to say.
The shrill of the bell not too far from us cut him off.
"There we go."
Everyone at the table got up and headed to their own classes. The rest of the day went by somewhat faster than before. The whole time I was thinking about Bella, I wasn't paying attention that much to what the teachers were saying. Of course I always thought about Bella, nearly twenty-four hours a day, but it hasn't been in this way. Now I couldn't seem to stop. Eventually, later tonight, I'll be in my wolf form for the usual patrols with everyone. I just hope I can control my thoughts before then; I do not want anyone to see what I'm seeing. 'How is you sex life?' thank you so much, Quil.
7. Dude, Where the Hell Did That Come From? (Part 2 of 2)
Once school was down with, I headed outside to my motorcycle, swiftly evading the inevitable mass of people leaving for home. Once I made it to my bike, I could hear two sets of feet clomping their way over to me. I looked in their direction and wasn't surprised at who I saw.
"Hey, Jake, you coming over to Emily's today?" Embry asked as he came to a stop.
"Yeah, little Mia will be there. You can meet her," Quil added.
I sighed. "Would you guys understand if I didn't come? Bella's been really upset lately. I'm really worried, about her. I think it would be best for us to be alone."
They both looked at each other for a few seconds.
"Yeah, we understand. Do what you need to do," Embry said, nodding.
"You'll still be out for patrol, right?"
"Like I have a choice."
Quil chuckled. "I know how you feel. I'd hate to have to leave Claire for patrol too. Well, she goes to bed early, but still."
Embry smiled mockingly. "You love playing with the kids, huh Quil?"
Quil rolled his eyes.
"Well, I'll see you guys later tonight," I said while revving the engine.
"Right, see ya," they both said at the same time.
I gripped the handle bar tight and rode out of the school parking lot at top speed, not caring if people perceived that as dangerous. I drove down the highway, passing the speed limit by about two. Hopefully no one would make a big deal about it; I was driving fast but not recklessly. I was extremely eager to see Bella today, more so than usual, and I had the feeling she felt the same way. My heart began pounding the closer I got to Forks High School.
Once I made it, I parked my bike close to the entrance and waited impatiently for the last bell to ring. Once it did, students began pouring out onto the lot. I examined each face and recognized quite a few, but none of them were Bella. It seemed like every time I waited for Bella to come out, if I turned my head for just a second and looked back, she'd be standing by the entrance. This time, I was determined to actually see her walk out those doors. I put all my attention on the entrance.
"Jake! Hey, Jake!" I heard someone call.
I sighed and turned in the direction of the voice; it was Ben Cheney walking out of the school lot with Angela Weber. They both waved at me and I waved back for a split second. I turned my head back to the entrance and there Bella was. Dammit! Oh well, maybe next time.
She began to dash toward me just like this morning. This time I was prepared. I stood my ground and held my arms out as she leapt right into them. She hugged me tight, well, tight for her, but she didn't kiss me like this morning. Disappointing. As we held each other close, I noticed a few things that I hadn't before. Like how her chest pressed up against mine so close, but it wasn't close enough for me. How her waist curved down to her hips and I loved the way it felt as I held her. I really did need to control these thoughts.
"So, how was your day?" I asked.
"Awful," she answered bluntly.
"Well, it's over now."
"What did you wanna do today?"
"Anything, but can it just be the two of us?"
"I was thinking the same thing. My house it is then."
She smiled a little weak, but the smile was definitely there. I smiled back, but someone far to the right of my viewpoint caught my eye. It was this blond haired girl wearing way too much make-up. I recognized her from yesterday; she was one of the many girls eyeing me when I was wearing my usual wolf pack 'uniform'. She smiled at me with what I believed to be seduction and winked. Jeez, was she blind? That would explain the make-up, actually. I just rolled my eyes and looked back at Bella. She was staring up at me; her face paler than usual and was plastered with an expression of utter terror.
"What? What's wrong?" I asked, panicky and unable to control the volume of my voice.
She let out an unsteady gust of air and began breathing heavily.
"Maybe, from now on, I should just drive to your place after school. You don't need to come here and pick me up," she muttered.
My eyes narrowed in confusion. "Why?"
She grimaced as I saw her glance over at the blond I was looking at a few seconds ago. I got it.
"Bella, honey, I think you're overreacting."
"I've seen just about every girl in this school. Nothing happened."
"Yeah, just about. There's bound to be some girls that you haven't seen yet."
"Then what about the girls at my school? There's always that chance too."
"Maybe we should just ditch tomorrow."
I couldn't help but laugh a little, though I really shouldn't have. I could see that she was serious. This whole imprinting thing terrified her even more than it did me; I didn't even think that was possible. Plus, I couldn't deny that ditching school sounded like a great idea.
"Maybe we should," I agreed.
She smiled another weak smile and I returned it again. Hopefully I could see her smile brighter before the day was over with. I got onto my bike and she hoped on right after. She wrapped her arms tight around me and I knew that they would stay there for a while. We rode to my house in a comfortable silence. On the way there, she had her head planted on my back and sighed pleasantly a few times. I actually wondered if she was sleeping, though I didn't turn around to check. Once we got to my place, we went into the garage and I placed my bike off to the corner.
"Let's get to work, my little assistant," I said with a smile.
"Roger, chief," she answered, smiling the smile I've wanted to see.
We spent about two hours working on the 'broken' motorcycle that kid John gave me at school. The thing definitely wasn't a lost cause; if I had the time to work on it none stop, I could have it up and running by Friday. I guess I could give it to one of my pack brothers once it's done, I didn't need it. The whole time I worked, Bella had her arms securely around me and refused to let go. Bella's been pretty clingy towards me since we officially became a couple and even a little before then, but never to this level. I'm sure most guys would find it annoying, but I personally thought it was adorable; I didn't want her to let go.
When that was done, Billy called us inside to eat. Today, we actually had a meal rather than a snack; Billy had prepared some spaghetti and garlic bread to go along with it. I got a plate for me and Bella as we went into the living room and sat down on our raggedy couch. I turned the TV on to a random channel which turned out to playing a re-run of Family Guy. We ate our meal on our laps as we watched and laughed at the jokes. I got done with my food in no time at all, but Bella was stilling working on hers; I got a much larger amount too.
"Hey, what's that for?" Bella suddenly asked. She was pointing at a bunch of well cut pieces of wood stacked by our window not far from the TV.
"Oh, those are actually not for the fire," I answered vaguely.
"I figured that. They're cut so precise."
"Yep. See, my dad likes to make carvings on occasions."
"Yeah, wooden carvings, mostly of animals."
Displayed throughout our house were wooden carvings of mostly wolves and owls in different sizes, positions, and color. Some sat on the fireplace, on various window seals, and a few on top of our fridge. I pointed each one out to Bella.
"Whoa! You're dad made all of those?" she asked amazed.
"Well, not all of them, but most. Our family's been making them for ages. The technique's passed down each generation," I explained.
"They're beautiful, wow. I just assumed that those were bought from the store or something."
"Tch, no." I shook my head. The idea that Billy would go out and buy dozens of carvings for the house was pretty funny.
"Wait, so does that mean you make them too."
I grimaced. "I've only tried once when I was young. I wasn't that good at it, though I was admittedly lazy."
"You've never tried it again?"
"Not since then, no."
"You should! We could do it together." Her eyes brightened in true excitement.
"You want to do some carvings?"
"Yeah. We could learn together, going by what you already know or maybe ask Billy."
I thought about it for a second. "Sure, sure, but maybe some other time."
"Why not today?" She looked disappointed.
"Well, whenever my dad feels up to it. He usually does carvings when a special event is coming up. It kind of gives him his drive to do a perfect job."
She nodded. "Okay then."
"What do you plan on making?"
"Not sure. Maybe you."
"A wooden me? Sounds kinda creepy."
"Like, voodoo or something."
"I don't think any pins will stick into a piece of wood too easily."
"With a hammer I'm sure. Though, you might need nails rather than a wimpy pin."
"Okay, maybe I'll try that. Thanks for the idea."
We both laughed and talked more about possible things to create. I narrowed my choices down to wolf, owl, or my Rabbit in the garage if I really wanted a challenge. Bella seemed to be set on carving me, even though I warned her that it would definitely be quite a task. It didn't seem to worry her though. I guess it'd be interesting to see at least. We talked some more about our day and what we should do tomorrow, when I noticed Bella yawning frequently.
"You sleepy? It is getting pretty late," I said, changing to the TV Guide channel to check the exact time.
"Yeah," she murmured, letting out another yawn.
"Want me to drive you home now."
She grimaced. "Do you think I could stay here tonight?"
"Really? It's always fine by us."
"Yeah, I just need to call Charlie."
I got up for a second to bring her the phone. She wiped her eyes and leaned toward the TV's source of light to dial the number as the room had gotten darker over time.
"Hey, dad, it's me," she began, "I just wanted to know if it was alright if I stayed at Jacob's tonight…yeah…thanks dad…oh, I'm so sorry dad…no, I'll make it up to you tomorrow, promise…okay, bye."
She pressed the 'end' key and handed me the phone. I just put it on the floor for now.
"So, it's okay?" I asked, though I knew the answer.
"Yep," she sighed.
"Cool. I wish I could offer you a bed or something, but I'll always keep you company on the couch if you want."
"Actually, do you think your bed is too small for two people?"
I flinched the same way I did when Quil asked his stupid question and swallowed hard. Good thing I wasn't drinking anything.
"What? What's wrong?" she asked, surprised by my reaction.
"N-nothing. And yes, my bed's too small."
Okay, now why the hell did I just say that? Idiot! But did Bella really mean what she said? Was she really thinking of sleeping in the same bed with me? Was she thinking it would lead to something?
"Oh." She really looked disappointed. "Well, maybe we could try and fit in. We could squeeze together, hopefully no one falls off. I mean, it couldn't be smaller than the couch."
She was pushing it even further. She really wanted to. Were we really on the same page here? Does she want the same thing I do, to take our relationship to that level? I'd be lying to say that I wasn't nervous as all hell though.
"Actually, I've still got to meet with the pack tonight. So I guess my bed's all yours," I said as I just remembered.
"Excuse the mess in my room."
She smiled. "I might clean it for you."
"Aw, don't do that. Just sleep."
"Fine." She got up from the couch with a sigh and headed down the hall to my room.
The call to phase is usually signified by Sam's howl. It was almost time, so I'd patiently wait for that signal.
"You're room really is a mess, Jake," Bella called out.
"I said excuse it," I called back.
She laughed. "Sure, sure."
"Good night, Bells."
I reached for the remote and turned off the TV. It was dark, silent, and I was alone for the moment at least. I rested my head on the back of the couch and closed my eyes. I wasn't about to fall asleep, but it was easier for me to hear faint sounds outside this way. Sam's howl wasn't hard to hear, but closing my eyes kept me alert while at the same time feel relaxed.
Fifteen minutes passed and a loud howl came from outside, echoing off the trees. I hopped off the couch, pulling my shirt over my head and onto the floor. I kicked my shoes off and slipped out of my shorts as I reached into one of its deep pockets to pull out a black strap that I always had with me. I folded the shorts into a square as small as I could get them and tied them securely to my right leg. I dashed out the front door and into the woods, letting the heat that flowed inside me take over as I exploded into my wolf shape and trampled the ground on all fours. I ran in the direction that the alpha voice was coming from as more voices entered my head.
Glad you could make it, Jake, Embry greeted.
Alright, Jake's here, Quil cheered.
What's up, guys? I greeted back.
Nothing too exciting, though I had a lot of fun today.
You call that fun? Oh god, Paul suddenly came in.
What's he talking about? I asked.
Embry laughed in his head. Oh my god, it was hilarious. Claire and Mia played horsey with Quil for like, an hour. They pulled on his hair and he actually neighed. Then, what did they do?
Put a crown on his head when they played with dolls, Jared answered.
Yeah, that's it. Embry laughed some more.
Quil's thoughts started to jumble in annoyance. It made the kids happy. Besides, I enjoyed myself.
And this is why I didn't think it was funny. Kind of sad, really, Paul thought quietly. He clearly didn't want anyone to hear that, though we all did.
It is what it is.
It's disgusting, Leah thought loud and clear.
Quil's mind started to fill with violent images as his anger rose.
Back off, Leah, Jared warned.
Leah's unpleasant thoughts about the imprinting became more private, but they were still there.
You're lucky I'm not close enough to claw your face right now, Quil growled.
Leah's thoughts brought back my own hate of imprinting, my fear of it. Quil and Claire's interactions just show how powerful and absolute the whole thing is. I didn't like to think about this, especially when Quil could hear me. I tried to block it out with more pleasant thoughts. I immediately thought of Bella, fast asleep in my room, on my bed. I wondered, did Bella usually sleep with her clothes on or maybe put on pajamas? Since she didn't have pajamas with her, was she sleeping in just her underwear? Bella sleeping in my bed in just her underwear…
Whoa! What's this now? Paul thought loudly.
Crap! I tried to blur the image with something else; I concentrated on the motorcycle Bella and I have been working on. The former image didn't quite disappear though, the two only mixed.
Wow. Is this my fault, Jake? Quil asked very amused.
Shut up. Just, stay in your own head, I complained.
Idiot, Leah growled, annoyed at my thoughts.
Everyone except Leah started laughing in their heads. Even Sam found the whole thing amusing; I wished they'd stop.
Sorry, Jake, Embry apologized, though still clearly entertained.
Quil, whatever you did or said to Jake, thank you. That was my laugh for the day, Paul thought, still laughing.
The combination of annoyance and embarrassment hit full force. Damn mind reading, was I the only one who had to be thinking of something humiliating today? Quil's thoughts began to change as I read a bit of guilt from him as he read me. Feeling guilty? Good.
Alright everyone, time to focus, Sam ordered.
Everyone's attention locked onto Sam's words.
I trust you know the usual routes and groups. Spread out and stay on guard. We haven't traced anything near in a while, but you never know when the red headed vampire might come back. She's still out there and so are we; we can't afford to get lazy.
Everyone agreed and headed to their usual look out spots. I'd meet up with Quil and Embry to the far west of the reservation. Hopefully it wouldn't be too long of a night.
Hahaha, this is a good story!
I absolutely LOVE this Bella and Jacob story! I CAN'T WAIT FOR AN UPDATE! LLOOVVEE IITT!!!!