The Twilight Saga

Author:  EMHW_Bear

Pairing: Jacob/Bella

Genre: AH, Romance, Angst, Tragedy, and Comfort

Rating: PG13

Beta by: Project Team Beta

Work In Progress

Featuring: Bella & Jacob, along with Seth, Leah, Jasper, Emmett, Edward, Alice, Rosalie & several of the cast  from Stephenie Meyer's Twilight Saga.

When first love goes from wonderful to tragic, embodying every other emotion in between, it becomes nearly impossible to get over. Bella discovers just how difficult a love eternal can be. 

Jacob Black, an Olympic boxing hopeful, dreams to be great. Bella Swan, a lifetime romantic, dreams to be his.  After an unexpected tragedy occurs, everyone close to them is left pondering the outcome.  Starts at the awkward ages of preteens & follows through to young adulthood.

Disclaimer: All publicly recognizable characters, settings, etc. are the  property of their respective owners. The original characters and plot are the property of the author. The author is in no way associated with the owners, creators, or producers of any media franchise. No copyright infringement is intended.

                        This lovely Banner was created by Cat (Rhodes11) 

A/N First and foremost, I would like to give a special the staff of Project Team Beta for their help and fine tuning. This particular story was inspired by a friend of mine very much like my Jacob character. The situations are intended to be relatively relatable, true to life so to speak. The story is told mainly from Bella and Jacob's POV's, but other characters will share their POV's to shed light on the situations. Thank you for taking the time to read. Enjoy!                      

Tags: Bella, Boxing, Jacob, Seth, Tragedy

Views: 858

Replies to This Discussion

Yeah he is. Lol roles are reversed. first it was the big protective brother now it's the cheeky cousin. :)

Mhh I wonder...if they will. I see :) the title seems to fit well

They are so clueless about each other, and so afraid to open up.  Will they find each other before he leaves again, or will they miss their chance again?

Looking forward to reading more.

S

They truly are. Its all apart of that teenage insecurity and Bella has gotten good at hiding her feelings over the years ever since Emmett told her that Jake didn't like her. Thanks for the review = D

Chapter 6

Bella

"Jazz, if you really cared about a girl, would you date someone else?" I asked, as I poured two bowls of cereal for us.

"You mean, if I was dating someone, would I cheat on her?" He set the plate of toast he'd made on the table, took a seat, and poured himself some milk.

"No. If you weren't dating her but you wanted to be with her, and someone else wanted to go out with you, would you?"

He pushed the milk toward me. "If I felt that way about her, why wouldn't I be dating her?"

"Maybe she doesn't know how you feel about her, or maybe she's interested in someone else." I thudded the carton of milk back down on the table a little too vigorously, edgy with his necessity for details. "I. Don't. Know. Jazz. Pick a reason."

He knocked his spoon against the table, deliberating briefly. "It all depends. If I liked her but she wasn't interested in me, I might date someone else. I don't know. Everybody I was ever interested in always liked me, too. I probably wouldn't even like her if she didn't like me," he answered nonchalantly, making it sound so simple, so cut and dry.

Jasper looked over his shoulder as Emmett traipsed into the kitchen, heading straight for the refrigerator. "Emmett," Jasper called. I glared at Jasper, subtly shaking my head, preferring to keep our conversation just between the two of us. He didn't catch my signal. "If you were really into a girl, would you date some other chick you weren't that into? Bella wants-"

I kicked him under the table.

"Ouch! What'd you do that for?"

Emmett rotated toward us, taking a gulping swig of orange juice directly from the carton. "Gross, Emmett, don't put that back in the fridge," I ordered then glanced back at Jasper, glaring the signal at him again while claiming I kicked him by accident.

He refused to take the hint. "Would you date another girl if you really wanted to be with someone else?" he proceeded, bringing Emmett into the conversation.

Emmett plunked down on a chair and poured himself a bowl of cereal. "It all depends."

"My sentiments exactly." Jasper smirked. "It depends on the situation."

"Yep, it does. Take me and Rosalie for instance; I want to be with her, but she's not around here anymore."

I was surprised by Emmett's comment. I thought he and Rosalie were doing fine. He hadn't been out with anyone after she left, and he didn't seem to have a problem with it. Girls always called to talk to Emmett, but the only time I ever saw him positively mirthful was when he was on the phone with Rosalie. "Yes, but you haven't been dating anyone else," I reminded him.

"I know. I don't know how much longer I'm going to be able to keep that up, to tell you the truth."

I rolled my eyes. "Whatever. It's not like you're going to die if you don't go out with anyone."

He arched a brow, refuting. "I just might. I mean, I wish she was here, but she's not, and there's not a damn thing I can do about it."

"School's almost out, though. I thought she was coming back for the summer."

His casual facial expression, along with his lighthearted breeziness, disappeared. "She doesn't know if she'll get to come back here this summer. Her parents want her to go to Europe with them. I just don't think it is working out anymore."

It was apparent to mehe was very affected by the fact that he and Rosalie seemed to be losing touch. I wasn't used to seeing him so pessimistic. My heart ached at the weighty sullenness he displayed. As much as Emmett teased me and as much as we argued, I couldn't stand to see him depressed.

"Lately, it's gotten so hard to even carry on a decent conversation with her over the phone. It's like we have to search for things to talk about. The silences are getting longer, and the phone calls are getting shorter and further apart."

"So, who's the girl?" Jasper delved, as if he was hearing a totally different conversation coming from Emmett than I was. "That hot redhead who never takes her eyes off you when we're out at the motor cross pit? She jumps better than half the guys."

An air of smugness took over Emmett's expression. He grinned.

I gasped quietly as I comprehended that Emmett was interested in another girl. That was the underlying motive that was causing him to question his relationship with Rosalie. "You mean you're thinking of dating someone else?" I pried.

"Actually, I am. I have a feeling she's thinking the same thing, too. At first I thought, Olympia's not that far away, it'll be easy for us to get together. I've seen her, what ... three times all year long?"

I couldn't believe what I was hearing. Emmett was in love with Rosalie. We all knew it. Why would he even consider dating someone else?

"Don't give me that look, Bella. It's not like we didn't try."

I realized I was glaring at him accusingly. "I just don't understand how you could talk about ending your relationship with her as if it's nothing."

Emmett communicated to Jasper a look that said, what's the big deal? Or maybe it said, help me out here.

Jasper quirked a half smile, shrugging his shoulders and shaking his head like, I don't know, and nope.

Emmett swallowed the mouthful of shredded wheat he had been crunching on, pulled the cereal box back toward himself, and ignored me while he poured another bowl. Suddenly losing my appetite, I pushed my soggy bowl of cerealwhich I'd neglected to take a single bite fromaway from me, tossed an angry, appalled look at the both of them, and stormed out of the kitchen.

Renee was coming into the house, carrying several mounds of clay and a pottery wheel, her latest obsession. I assumed it would run its course for about two more weeks, according to her past hobby fads. "Bella, hon, would you get the door, please?"

I yanked the door closed, creating a whopping loud bang. Emmett leaned back in his chair and poked his head into the living room for an instant.

"What's got you in such a tizzy this morning?" Renee asked. I helped her carry her craft supplies to her work area that was inconveniently squeezed into the laundry room.

I knew I was probably going to regret explaining my mood to Renee; however, I needed to do some venting. "I just don't understand why guys have everything so much easier than us girls."

"In what way?" She took out a mound of clay and began kneading it in the palms of her water-dampened hands.

"I'm referring to the way they handle relationships. Nothing ever seems to hurt them. They can move from one girl to the next, effortlessly. Why is that?"

"Oh, I don't think it's that easy for them at all. They're just better at hiding their feelings than we are." She set the heap of clay down on the pottery wheel, squirted more water over it, and pressed into it with her fist.

"They don't even have to have feelings for someone to be with them. It's disturbing ... It's ... gross. I could never be with a guy I didn't have feelings for. And I wouldn't dare make-out with someone I wasn't dating. I doubt I'd ever even let a guy I wasn't head over heels in love with kiss me."

Renee smiled. I could tell by her satisfied appearance that she was pleased with my declaration. "Are we talking about Jacob here?"

"No, Mom!" That was precisely the reason I'd thought twice before talking to her about any of my concerns. She thought my life revolved around Jacob. I skewed my eyes, insulted. "We're talking about me here."

Jacob may have crossed my mind during the course of the conversation with Jasper and Emmett. He was also more than likely the source of my discontentment with them. The primary reason for asking the question, though, and what had had me in an indecisive stress mode for the past couple days, was basically because Angela tipped me off that one of the popular guys from school - a junior, who had shown interest in me more than a few times during the past year - had intentions of asking me out. This time, I wasn't sure if I was going to say no. Yet, I dreaded saying yes. "Does not being immensely excited that one of the most sought after guys in school wants to ask me out make me an abnormal loser?"

"Absolutely not. Why would you even think that? Your genuine nature just prevents you from pretending things that you don't feel. That's a good thing."

I gave her a faint smile, suggesting to her that I found comfort in her words. Honestly, I didn't. I had to consider myself an abnormal loser for hanging on to hopes of having a relationship with Jacob for as long as I did.

All right, Jacob had been weighing painstakingly on my mind for the past few weeks. What else was new, right? It was almost time for him to come back home again. What kind of summer was I about to have? I couldn't help but agonize. Would it be amazing or devastating, or more of the same? Uneventful nothingness!

After the rise and fall of disappointment I experienced over Christmas vacation, I realized that knowing what Jacob had been up to didn't roll quite so easily off me the way it had always done in the past. Perhaps it was because I was older. I also recognized that I was becoming accustomed to being alone and unhappy, as if it was natural for me. It was a very distressing awareness.

"You know, Bella, there's nothing wrong with dating, nor is dating as definite as you seem to think it should be. All it really is, is getting to know somebody better. It's a way to determine whether or not you want to have a relationship with that person."

Renee was right. I'd never know unless I tried. I had no idea how or if I'd be able to squash my feelings for Jacob. All I knew was that I had to give it a try for my own piece of mind.

Jacob's behavior toward me was confusing, and whether I wanted to admit or not, it hurt me. It hurt me deeply. I had to accept the reality that there would always be some girl, somewhere in Jacob's life. I didn't think I should be so naive as to want to be one of those girls.

I resolved not to be.


Jacob

The loud ricocheting cheers that hung in the arena sounded muffled and far away to me.

Droplets of sweat ran down my hair, stinging my eyes and salting my lips and taste buds, as it trickled down my face, splattering against the canvas when I slid my leg between the ropes to climb out of the ring. I was drenched from head to toe, dead tired with aching ribs and weak, numb, Gumby legs.

Distractedly, I slapped the hands of unfamiliar spectators telling me "good fight" as I made my way to the long, cold corridor and back to the locker rooms. My Chemawa boxing coach, Garrett, met me inside. "That was a hell of a fight you put on out there, Jake. I'm proud of you."

I nodded my head, wiping the sweat from my face with a towel.

After he left, I unlaced my shoes, peeled off my soggy trunks and tank top, stepped into the shower stall, and turned on the cool water. I folded my arms overheadleaning, face firstagainst the shower wall with my forehead resting on my joined forearms. I closed my eyes and let tears of disappointment blend in with the crisp pressurized water that gently battered my fatigued body.

I lost!

I couldn't believe it. My most important fight to date and I lost, blowing the first chance I ever got of going to Nationals.

It hurt.

I wasn't used to losing and it hurt bademotionallymore than any amount of physical pain I had ever experienced in the ring.

From the time I was eight years old and fighting exhibition bouts, I had looked forward to taking a National Golden Gloves title. I couldn't wait to turn sixteen, just to be able to participate at that level. There was nothing more important to me; taking Nationals was always on my mind. I never thought about anything else as much, aside from Bella, at times.

I took the State Golden Gloves easy enough. I'd been doing it for years in Silver Gloves, which was for boxers fifteen and under, anyway. The competition was always the same. We basically fought the same guys over and over again. Sometimes, someone from a lower weight class would have a growth spurt and end up in mine, or I had the spurt and ended up in someone else's. It didn't matter. If they'd been boxing for as long as I had been, I knew who they were, and I had seen them fight before.

Silver Gloves only went as far as State though. Golden Gloves could take you all the way to the Olympics.

As far as I was concerned, an Olympic medal was the only way to prove to yourself that you were one of the best of the best. I wanted to be the best in the world-pound for poundjust like Oscar De La Hoya, Sugar Ray Leonard, and Muhammad Ali, to name a few. True. There were all kinds of famous championship boxers, talents that never participated at the Olympics level at all, or never even took Nationals. They turned professional too soon - for the money, more than likely.

Me, I wanted to beat the best in the country and in the world, first. And I'd stay amateur until I did. I felt like if I wasn't good enough to take Nationals, then I wouldn't be good enough to turn professional, either.

Seems I wasn't even good enough to take Regionals.

Only the State Champions went to Regionals, and in my weight class, that was me. The Golden Gloves competition was a lot harder than any Silver Gloves tournament I'd ever participated in, mainly because it was based purely on weight. So, the guys I had to box ranged anywhere from sixteen years of age to thirty-five.

I'd never fought so hard in my life.

I felt sick about losing, so sick it brought me to tears. I wiped my eyes. It had been a long time since I cried about anything. The last time I could remember crying was when my mom left. I was ten years old when that happened, and I'd never had a reason to cry since.

When I came out of the shower room, my La Push coach, Old Benjamin, was waiting in the locker room for me. He had hopped on a plane as soon as he found out I made it to the championship bout. He flew all the way to Mesquite, Nevada and had to watch me lose. What a waste of his time and money.

Ben knew me well enough to know exactly how badly the loss would affect me. I was sure he was there to give me a picker-upper speech that I really wasn't ready to hear. "Good job," he said, patting me on the shoulder.

I gulped down my hurt. "Not good enough," I croaked, trying to smile.

I blew out a mouth full of defeated air and dropped down on the bench to put my shoes on.

"That fight could have gone either way. It was that close, Jake. You've got nothing to be ashamed of. That guy was ten years your senior. That's a whole hell of a lot of experience over you. He got that decision because he had just a little more power behind his punches than you did. That's the only reason he got the decision."

I nodded dismally.

"This was your first trip to a regional match. You made it to the championship bout, and that's something to be proud of. You can't expect to take it your first time out."

Becoming angered, I squished my eyebrows together. Ben knew that I didn't go for excuses. "You did," I voiced with a harsher tone than I'd meant to use.

He tightened his mouth and inhaled. "Yep, yep, I did. But things were different back then. There was a boxing team in every town throughout the entire state of Washington when I was growing up. We had that much more competition to grow our skills. Nowadays, there are far fewer teams to develop from. Shoot, Forks ain't even got one anymore."

As much as I'd love to cram myself with a bunch of excuses to make me feel better, I couldn't do it. I was too pissed off at myself. I tensed my jaw, looking away from him, hoping I wasn't coming off as being disrespectful. Ben was just like a grandpa to me.

"I'm speaking the truth, Jake. The further south you get, the bigger the teams get and the more teams there are. That makes for better experienced fighters. The guy you boxed was from a huge Las Vegas club. Twenty-six years old, but he barely pulled off that win over you, a young sixteen-year-old. No question about it, you have all the talent. Develop a little more physically, and there'll be no stopping you. Now, ah ... Seth's been calling. I haven't been answering. I figured you'd want to talk to him yourself." He took his cell phone out from his vest pocket and stretched it toward me.

"Nah, go ahead. You can tell him for me." I wasn't in the mood to talk to anyone.

"Okay, then. So, I'll see you back in the La Push gym when?"

"Two weeks."

"Good. I think I spotted a thing or two that we can work on over the summer."

I heard Old Ben's cell phone buzzing as he shuffled in the direction of the door. I didn't think he wanted to pass on the bad news himself either, because he didn't answer it.

As he walked out the door, it occurred to me that the only person's voice I felt like hearing at the moment was Bella's. I wanted to go home. I could let her know that I'd been thinking about her and possibly get an idea of whether or not I had a chance.

The last time I spoke to Leah, she unhappily revealed that nothing more serious than friendship was going on between Bella and Seth.

Me, Emmett, Quil, and Embry found out a long time ago that it was a bad deal to get caught up as being the friend type guy to the girl you're crushing on. If Bella wasn't the girl Seth was interested in, I might have warned him of that. As it was, though, he had all the advantages just by being there in Forks with her.

"Ben!" I blurted. Without hesitating, I jumped up and strode out after him. "I do want to make a phone call."

Someone up there must have been taking pity on me, because out of all the times I called her house, she finally was the one to answer the phone. I said a silent thank you while looking up in the air. "Bella, Its Jake."

"Jacob!" I thought she sounded fairly excited. "Hi, how are you?"                 

"I'm fine. I'm in Mesquite, Nevada right now."

"Oh, yeah, Seth told me you made it to Regionals. Emmett's not here right now. I'm sure he was looking forward to hearing from you."

"That's okay. I really just called to talk to you."

I heard a banging sound, and then a thud of some kind, then Bella wailing, "Ouch. Ouchee. Ouch."

I pulled the phone away from my head and eyed it for a second before lifting it back to my ear. "Bella?"

"Jake. Jake. Sorry, Jake. I accidentally dropped the phone." She made a nervous sounding laugh. "Then I bumped my head on the wall when I bent down too fast to pick it back up."

I smiled just picturing her. I could imagine how cute she looked, probably blushing and biting her lip. "Are you okay?" I asked.

"Sure, I'm fine. So, how'd you do today?"

"I didn't win. I took the silver."

"Wow, you made it all the way to the Championship. That's great. Emmett said you were the only guy from your entire team that even made it to Regionals."

For some reason, it sounded great coming from Bella. "Yeah, but I was hoping to get all the way to Nationals."

I heard Renee hollering for Bella in the background. "Jake, I'm sorry, I have to go. My date's here."

"Date?" I choked.

She had a date. I had finally come to my senses and called her up without a care of how Emmett or Seth would feel about it, and she had a dateas if my chest hadn't been pounded on enough for one day. My heart sank. I couldn't catch a break with Bella.

And who the hell was the date?

The only way I was able to get through the next two weeks with any amount of peace after my conversation with Bella was the fact that I only had two weeks before I got to see her again, and I'd have the whole summer there in Forks.

I had given it my all this boxing season, and all I could do now was keep training and look forward to next year's regional tournament. It was time for a break, time for me to focus on Bella, and to figure out a way to make her mine.

A/N Jacob's back next chapter. Squee! I missed him.

A date?  How disappointing for him!  He so wanted to hear her voice!  Every time there is another obstacle!  I hope they can sort things out over the summer!

This was a sad chapter for Jake. But he does get to go home now and summer brings many possibilities.

Thank You!

Aww poor Jake :( I feel so bad for him. Loosing an important match and now potentially losing Bella. I wonder if her date is Seth.

great update!  glad she decided to go on a date!  can't wait to see how this goes!

Bella is kind of shy and she really does need to start opening up, and if not to Jacob, to someone. I'm glad you enjoyed the update. Thanks for the review. =)

Chapter 7

Bella

A spicy cinnamon and apple aroma wafted from the matching candle votives scattered throughout our unoccupied living room.

Home alone, again, and bored, I inhaled, then sighed. This was just another typical summer Friday. Everyone who was anyone was probably getting ready for some highly-anticipated date. Me? I was sniffing candles.

I had yet to go on another date since Mike Newton. Mike had been the first date I'd ever had the guts to accept, knowing full well ahead of time that I was probably not going to have the romantic fairy-tale, first encounter that ended in a head-spinning, tummy-twirling, amazing first "real" kiss most girls would have aspired to had they got to go out with one of the cutest, most popular guys in schoolall because it wasn't going to be with Jacob.

"You have to read between the lines with a guy like Mike," Emmett had warned me, sounding disgruntled when he found out I was going out with a guy who was a year older than hima first-string varsity player on his football team, no less.

You could bet I read between the lines, every single one of them.

Does he think I wouldn't be willing to pay for my own meal? Does he think every girl wants to be treated so delicately that they can't open the door for themselves? Does he think he's going to get somewhere with me by taking me to a drive-in movie theater to sit all alone with him for two entire hours, plus? Does he think I'd be falling all over myself by now just to make out with him?

I didn't realize how badly I had behaved until I saw the confused and beaten down look on Mike's face as he got back into his truck after silently walking me to the door and giving me an awkward wave goodnight.

Even now, picturing him that way made me feel bad.

Once I had time to sit down and pick apart everything that went wrong with the evening, I had come to the conclusion that Jacob's untimely phone call was the root cause of my failed first date.

I was sad to have to end the conversation with Jacobabout as sad as I was angry with Mike Newton for showing up just when he did, which happened to be exactly at the predetermined time we'd agreed on. I was angry for the interruption. I was angry, and I showed it.

Everything about Mike during the date had turned me off. I didn't like the way he combed his hair. I didn't like the smell of his cologne. I didn't like the way he chewed his food. I didn't like the way he smiled at me, and I hated the way he went out of his way to be charming and sweet.

Further consideration of why Mike had gotten under my skin the way that he did caused me to realize that it wasn't him at all. It was Jacob.

Just the mere sound of Jacob's voice had crumbled my resolve not to hope and wait on him anymore. How could I have been so gullible? Maybe Jacob was just between girlfriends at the moment and had no one else to call. Maybe he was just bored. Maybe he knew that if anyone would be home in Forks on Saturday night, it would be me. After all, I was a silly little girl with a silly little crushwho would always be waiting for him to pay me a morsel of attention. Maybe he finally figured that out. Could I have been any more foolish and predictable?

I made myself sick, which was why I had decided, in that very moment, if I had to lock myself in my bedroom all summer long every damn time Jacob was in the vicinity, I was going to move on.

Disgusted with my behavior toward Mike, I immediately phoned him to apologize and asked him to give me another chance. I told him that I didn't mind groveling if that was what it took to get him to forgive my despicably rude attitude. I was relieved when he laughed and said, "Yes, I'll go out with you again."

My second date with Mike was nice. It wasn't the earth-shaking evening that I had never expected it to be in the first place, but it was nice, and it ended with a polite peck on the cheek.

Then, after Jacob had returned home, he showed up with Leah. While Jacob visited with Emmett and Jasper, Leah, of all people, took me aside and asked if I wanted to go for a drive with him. He didn't know how to talk to me alone without making Emmett suspicious, so he convinced Leah to do it for him.

My jaw dropped at the invitation. Jacob asking me out was the last thing I had ever expected. Doing a happy dance and ecstatically squealing inside, my soul was wearing a huge glowing grin, even though shock was frozen on my face.

I promised myself. I promised myself. Oh, but I want to go so bad.

My thoughts spun in disarray for several moments, and it took a huge amount of strength to finally say, "No, tell him I said no."

I wasn't trying to play hard to get. I only wanted to prove to myself that I wasn't waiting for that very provocation from Jacob. And a part of me was afraid to let my guard down again, afraid that things wouldn't go well, and I would have to accept that Jacob and I were never going to work.

Leah's smile of disbelief fell to displeasure when she realized I was serious. "Jeez, Bella, I don't want to tell him that. Just go, I know you want to."

Trying to sound convincing, I replied, "That was last year."

I didn't want Jacob to think that I was just some predictable girl he could play games with whenever he wanted to. Perhaps that was the wrong move, but I thought that if he truly wanted to be with me, he wouldn't give up. Then I would know it was more than just a whim.

After I turned him down, though, it didn't feel like Jacob and I could even be friends anymore. He always got this cranky expression on his face whenever he saw me, and that irritated the hell out of me more than anything. He didn't have the right to treat me, or any other girl, badly, making me feel guilty for not going out with him. Who did he think he was?

In spite of him always being over at our house, we hardly talked. Rosalie wasn't able to come back for the summer, thus, Emmett was always home.

I tried to stay away from Jacob as much as possible, occupying my time with Jasper and Seth whenever Leah was busy. When Jasper and Leah were both busy, Seth and I did things together. It was comfortable, and it was fun. We talked about almost everything, except, Jacob and whoever the girl was that Seth pined for.

I heard Jacob's Rabbit zoom by the house. I knew the sound well. He had a crack in the muffler that made his car sound like a souped-up sports vehiclespecifically the reason he said he wasn't going to replace it.

Leah unexpectedly burst through the door in a panic. "Please let him keep driving. Please let him keep driving," she was saying. She ran to the window, cracking the curtains to peek outside.

"Who?" I asked. "What's going on?"

"Jacob. He just passed by, and Sam's parked across the street."

Leah had caught the eye of a seventeen year old boy named Sam Uley. She wasn't even fifteen yet, but she looked like she could be about seventeen or eighteen with her tall, five-foot-seven shapely figure complimented by dark, lustrous, waist-length hair. She was gorgeous. Sue and Harry thought Sam was too old for her, so they wouldn't let her date him. She ended up sneaking around with him every chance she got.

The situation disturbed me because when she did go out with him, she told her parents she was with me. "Good. He kept going." She exhaled deeply. "Sam's taking me to a bonfire behind the cliffs tonight."

"Leah!" I huffed. She waved her hand dismissively. "You know what goes on out there," I stated with a pleading tone.

Whenever they had a bonfire behind the cliffs, it was a drinking party. The tall rock cliffs were shaped like a V, and if you made the fire in the right spot, you couldn't see it from the main road. It was where all the older kids hung out and partied during the summer.

"I know. I'm not drinkingneither is Sam. We just want to go hang out with everyone. Oh, I told my mom I was going to be over here having a movie night with you."

Sue didn't call to check on Leah and Seth when they were supposed to be at our house. There was never a need to; our parents trusted us when we were together.

"Jeez, Leah, I told you I didn't want any part of that." I scowled and angrily raised my voice. "You're gonna get us both in trouble."

She was totally unaffected by my outburst, and her smirk made me feel like calling Harry and Sue to tell on her myself.

"I won't, Bella," she said. "I have to go now. I'll call you when I get home." She ran out the door, spun around, and jumped back inside. "S***, he's coming back!" Standing by the window, she repeated, "Please, let him pass. Please, let him pass."

Jacob slowed down and pulled into the driveway, got out of the car, and came stomping toward the door. Leah yanked the door open before he could knock.

As soon as he saw her, he squinted, grimacing disappointedly. "I knew it!" He came in and shoved the door shut. "Leah, what's Sam doing parked across the street?"

Leah rolled her eyes, turning away from him. "I'm just going to a movie, Jacob. It's not a big deal. Mom and Dad don't need to know."

"What do you mean they don't need to know?" he asked crossly. He was clearly insulted at her words.

"Ah, don't go getting all ‘big brother' on me, Jake. It's nobody's business but my own."

Furious, Jacob's face pinched. "It's my business if I say it's my business ... if I have to say it to Sam right now, I will!"

The intensity on Jacob's face was frighteningly serious.

Leah's eyes flew open, scared. She knew Jacob wasn't intimidated by Sam. Jacob wasn't intimidated by anyone. He never liked to fight outside of the gym; he couldn't help it though. Guys always started trouble with him just to see if they could take him. It was another one of those "guy things" that Emmett was always telling me about. Consequently, Jacob had one of the meanest reputations in the area.

Leah's self-ruling conduct instantly dissolved. Then the begging commenced: "Please, Jacob. It's only to a movie, please. I really, really like him. He's so nice to me. I don't understand why everyone wants to keep us apart."

Jacob's sternness started to waver as he suspiciously eyed her. "Are you sure it's only to a movie?"

I pursed my lips to keep from spilling the beans. I didn't want to say anything, but I didn't want her to go. Jacob glanced at me over Leah's head and got the hint I threw to him by fidgeting and looking away. "Tell me the truth, Leah," he pressured.

Leah scowled and folded her arms across her chest defiantly. "All right, then, I'll tell you the truth. We're going to the bonfire behind the cliffs."

He was shaking his head no before she was able to finish her sentence. "Nope, no way. I can't let you do that. You're too young to be out there, Leah. It's not good."

Leah cinched her eyes momentarily and turned away. Her bottom lip curved as if she was about to cry.

"Leah, Jake's right. It's not good," I said in an attempt to help her to see reasoning.

She whipped her head toward me and gave me a look that felt like a smack. She was furious with me. I should have stayed out of it.

"Jake, we're not drinking. You know I know better than that. I can't tell him that I can't hang out tonight because I'm too young to go out there with him."

I grimaced. He should already know that.

"Besides, you owe me, Jake," she mumbled. Then she turned to me with watery, pleading eyes. "You both do."

Jacob and I flicked a quick glance at each other. He stared at Leah while he weighed the options. "Okay, Leah, but promise me you won't do anything stupid."

She grinned excitedly. "I won't, Jake. I promise."

"There's no cellphone reception out there. Sam better not start drinking. I mean it, Leah. Don't make me regret this. Maybe I should talk to Sam," he suggested, turning and stepping forward.

"No, don't!" Leah objected in alarm, putting her hand on Jacob's chest and swiftly maneuvering herself in front of him. "Nothing bad is gonna happen. I promise, Jake. Can I go now?"

We watched out the window as she jumped into Sam's truck and drove away. Jacob sighed thickly. "I hope this doesn't come back to haunt me."

He stood gawking out the window for a short time. Then he asked, "What are you doing tonight?"

"Nothing, why?"

"Want to come with me to a bonfire?"

I stared into his eyes, a little dumbstruck, as I considered how we'd be able to keep an eye on Leah. As it was, I was in for a night of bothersome worrying, anyway. He partially smiled. I hadn't let myself notice him in such a long time; I forgot how beautiful he was, especially when he smiled.

I batted my eyes in nervous contemplation. "Okay. I'll go if I can." I reached for the phone to call Renee, wondering in what context Jacob was askingfriends or something moreand deciding not to ruin the evening by foolishly getting my hopes up for something more as I listened to Renee's Brown Eyed Girl ringback tone.

Incredibly, Renee didn't give me the typical parental line of questioning following my request to go to a beach bonfire with Jacob and stay out later than what would have been my usual curfew, if I ever went anywhere. She sounded more excited about it than I was. When I got outside to the car, Jacob was smiling the smile that always melted me. It hit me like an explosion of warmth. I smiled back, feeling nervous and flushed.

We drove up a winding truck trail in the woods by the beach, the sunlight diminishing rapidly.

We found a parking place in the trees where everyone else covertly parked and trekked through the crusty sand to the bonfire. I didn't know what to expect. My head was beginning to pulse with nervous tension. "Have you ever been out here before?" I asked.

"Yep, I came out here with Quil and Embry a few times at the beginning of the summer. The last time I was here, a big fight broke out, girls were fighting and everything. Luckily, no one was seriously hurt, and the police weren't called. I haven't been out here since." He glanced at me fleetingly, doing a double take. "Are you okay? You look worried."

"I am. Kinda ... sorta ..." I admitted. "My mom and dad will kill me if they find out what's going on out here."

"Charlie and Renee will kill me if they find out that I brought you out here. That's why they won't."

As we made our way to the party, several people, girls and guys, were giving me the evil eye, like I somehow didn't belong. It was easy to see I wasn't welcome. "I don't know about this Jacob," I whispered, as a chill of unworthiness crawled down my spine.

Jacob comfortingly placed his hand on my lower back before taking me by the hand. "It's just because you're the sheriff's daughter. They probably think you'll tell on them or get them caught. Don't worry, you're with me."

You're with me. I loved the sound of that.

Loud music jammed from a large stereo speaker resting on one of the sand buggies. Everyone appeared to be having a good time. I recognized several older kids from Forks. There were also a lot of unfamiliar visitor kids. The visitor kids were summer cabin residents and beach house vacationers.

We casually caught up to the party, and just as we did, I heard the sudden pause of lively chatter skid to a halt on my account, sounding as harsh and unpleasant as long fingernails screeching across a blackboard. Instinctively, I froze, about to sprint back to the car. Abruptly wrenching my hand from Jacob's, I twirled myself away from him.

He quickly cupped me around the waist and tugged me back into him, loud and sarcastically spouting, "Am I purple or what?"

"Yeah, what's your problem?" another voice bellowed to the rear of us. I threw a glance over my shoulder. It was Quil. He and Embry were coming up behind us.

The eyes immediately looked away, and the commotion resumed. I never felt so happy to see them in my life.

"Freakin' weirdos," Embry agitatedly grumbled.

I heard Leah calling for me and Jacob from somewhere in the middle of the horde. She and Sam were swerving through the crowd toward us. I was relieved that she was smiling. I thought she'd be upset when she saw that we had followed her.

"Did you see that?" I asked, referring to the way everyone was acting when we arrived.

"They did that to me, too, only not as bad."

"I hope you're not mad that we're here," I said.

"No. I was glad to see you and Jacob. I didn't feel comfortable out here at all."

I told her that I had permission to come out to the bonfire with Jacob, and that my curfew was midnight.

She was peeved because she was supposed to be home at ten-thirty, and Sue thought she was over at my house. "Well, let's call our moms and see if I could spend the night with you!" Leah anxiously suggested.

Sam was all for it. He borrowed a sand buggy from one of his friends, and he and Jacob took us up to the main road where there was enough reception to call home. I called first, and Renee was fine with it. Then Leah called Sue. "Bella wants to know if I can spend the night tonight. Jacob's going to take us to the beach for a little while. Renee said it was okay with her," Leah asked, trying to be persuasive. She listened for a few seconds, rolled her eyes, then handed the phone to Jacob.

After giving Jacob a grilling and safety speech, Sue finally gave in. When we got back to the party, the small mound of firewood was glowing vibrantly, filling the air with a cozy stream of opaque smoke which helped me to relax somewhat and try to enjoy the party energy.

The deeper the night's darkness became, the drunker people seemed to be acting. Jacob didn't want to stand around the fire with them anymore. He mentioned that Paul was getting on his nerves. "I don't like to be around people that are drinking, especially drunk teenagers," he muttered, as we walked up the beach to sit down on a piece of driftwood.

"Why do you come out here then?" I asked, thinking about when he said he'd been out to the party a few times.

I swung my legs over the log, turning myself in the direction of the ocean, observing him as he sat down next to me. His ears looked to have reddened a little, from what I could tell. "I'm not sure ... boredom, I guess."

"Have you ever drunk alcohol before?"

"Once or twice," he admitted, breaking a small piece of bark off the log and crumbling it apart with his fingers. He cast a sideways glance at me. "With Emmett."

Completely surprised, I blurted out, "Emmett drinks?" My voice sounded high-pitched.

"I wouldn't say he drinks. Just that he drank ... a couple times. We did it last year during some overnight tournaments. All we got was really, really sick. We got really drunk, and we got really sick. I didn't see the fun of it either time."

"He never told me."

"That's because he's afraid you might want to try it, too."

The notion that Emmett would never stop treating me like a mindless little girl pounded me. "I'm not as stupid as him," I spat, annoyed.

Jake let out a little chuckle. "Well. Don't tell him I told you, okay?"

The wind picked up, and it started to get chilly. We left in such a hurry to follow Leah, we didn't think to prepare. I was wearing a sleeveless summer blouse, and he was wearing a thin, white t-shirt. Neither of us brought a sweater or a jacket. I slid down into the sand to shield myself from the breeze with the log. He slid down beside me. "We can go stand by the fire again, if you're cold," he offered.

I turned to the fire. Someone was drunk, yelling loud and boisterously. Paul. I didn't want go back over there. "No. That's okay."

We quietly sat beside each other. I couldn't think of a thing to say to him. It had been that long since we'd talked alone. I felt saddened by the uncomfortable tension that now loomed between us. It was never there when we were younger. It was never there before we held hands. I missed the easiness we used to share.

I angled my eyes and watched him. He turned his head to look at me. I shifted my eyes straight ahead again. When I looked back at him, he was smiling.

"What are you smiling about?" I asked as I wound my arms around myself to get warm.

He tightened his lips, replying, "Nothing," with a shake of his head. He watched me rub my arms with the palms of my hands. "Can I go find a jacket for you to wear?"

"No. I'm fine."

Wiggling closer to me, he said, "Okay, Bella, don't take this the wrong way, but can I at least try to keep you warm?"

I could tell by his leaning body language that he wanted to put his arm around me. What way did he want me to take it? I met his wondering gaze with a smile. Giving it no more than a split-second of thought, I nodded.

He scooted even closer and draped his arm over me. I willingly let my body melt against his. A simmering attraction came on fast, and it came on strong. All it took was one tiny little nudge from his fingertips slightly urging my chin up, and our lips naturally found each other.

His mouth tasted so sweet, and the delicate seductive strokes of his tongue completely mesmerized me with pleasure. I was experiencing an entirely new realm of physical sensations, everywhere.

For never having kissed that way before, my mouth was responsively coupling with his, knowing exactly what it was doing all by itself. I felt my tummy swirling right along with it. It was my first "real" kiss. It was with Jacob. And it felt intoxicatingly wonderful. I could have kissed him for the rest of my life. I didn't want to ever stop.

When it did stop, I gazed straight ahead, speechless, feeling like I was in a fluffy dream.

The briny essence of the ocean air, the musical colliding of the waves, and the strength of Jacob's body blanketing me struck me all at once. It was staggering. I was with Jacob just as I'd always dreamed to be. Oh. My. Gosh! My stomach tumbled at the comprehension of it all.

I was finally living in the moment I had prayed for a thousand times and wished for with every shooting star from the first time I ever saw him. If I didn't already know that he was all I would ever want for the rest of my life, I knew it right thenbeyond a shadow of a doubt.  

A/N Curious about what was going on in Jacob's head through all this? Well, he's up next and he has a lot to say about that moment and what happened after that moment. Thanks for reading!

At last!  I hope things will go more smoothly from now on for the two of them!

Hi Seugnet du toit,

Was out of town this weekend so I'm just now reading my emails. Thanks for the review. They finally hooked up and it was about time!

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