The Twilight Saga

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.

 

1. Promise

BELLA SWAN

"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."

"Deal."

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?"

"Yeah, sure."

"All right."

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.

"It's fine."

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."

"Promise?"

She nodded, "Promise."

Tags: alternate, bella, ending, fan, fiction, flare, jacob, saga, solar, twilight

Views: 2658

Replies to This Discussion

I didn't get a notice on this site tht your next chapter was up, but I clicked on FF.net and read it!!   It was GREAT!!!!  I love your long chapters - it shows you are 'in the muse' and making it prefect!!!  Just wanted to let you know how hard it was to find your update -- wonder if others are having the same problem?!   Great writing!! 
I will be updating on this site as well, but I need to edit the chapter a little bit before I do. I shouldn't take too long.

15. Date (Part 1 of 2)

BELLA SWAN

"Yes, a date," Jacob replied.

I continued to stare at him, my eyebrows furrowed in confusion. This was a little out of the blue, especially for him to bring it up now and wanting to go tomorrow.

"What's with that face?" he asked, "Do you not want to go?"

"It's not that," I corrected, "It's just, I've never really thought about a date before."

"Really? Why?"

"It just seemed like every day we spent together was kind of like a date."

He nodded. "Yeah, I guess they were, sort of. But we've never gone on a 'date' date, y'know."

"Our times together were perfect for me, so I've never thought going on a date was too important."

"Yeah, I get it. It's just that people go on dates before they're even a couple, and yet we haven't done it once. We've been together for over two months and never went on a date…well, not a proper one at least."

"Two months. It feels like it's been so much longer."

"It does, doesn't it? And it just makes the fact that we've never been on a date seem even more…weird."

"Well, we are a weird couple, aren't we?"

He chuckled. "Not exactly average, I suppose."

We stood there in silence for a minute as Jacob looked at me like he was waiting for something.

"Soooo…?" he asked.

"What?"

"Are we gonna go?"

I sighed. "Sure."

He grinned wide. "Awesome!"

"Why tomorrow though?"

He shrugged. "Why not tomorrow?"

"Gee, I can't argue with that."

"You sure can't."

"Where are we going anyway?"

His expression became thoughtful. "I'm not sure yet."

"You asked me out on a date and you don't know where we're going?"

"Some restaurant…or maybe a movie?"

I sighed as I shook my head at him, which he made a nervous smile at.

"I'll figure it out by tomorrow, I'm sure of it," he assured.

"Whatever you say."

"So tomorrow after school, just go straight home and I'll pick you up from there. Put on a nice outfit and make yourself look pretty." I raised a brow at him and his eyes widened as he realized his mistake. "Not that you don't look pretty all the time, Bella."

I rolled my eyes. "Sure, sure."

He took both my hands into his and smiled down at me. "So, is that a plan?"

I smiled back. "Yes."

"Great!" He gave me a quick kiss and started walking towards the trees, keeping his smile. "Good night, Bella. I'll see you tomorrow."

"Good night…and be careful out there tonight."

"Sure, sure. I always am."

He then ran deep into the trees until he was completely out of sight. I turned toward the house and started walking until I made it to the front door. I walked in to see Charlie relaxing on the couch, watching the local news.

"Welcome home, honey," he greeted.

"Hi, dad. How was your day?"

"Nothing too special. You?"

"Just another day with the Cullens." I didn't think it was too necessary to mention Jacob's involvement.

"Did you have a good time?"

"Yeah, they're as nice as ever. Did you eat already?"

"Nah, the last thing I ate was a burrito at work."

"Then I'll get right on dinner, even though it is kind of late."

He smiled. "I don't mind."

"I know you don't."

I put my school bag away in my room and came back down to prepare dinner. I decided to go with Edward's idea and make stir-fry of my own using the materials we had. We only had chicken, broccoli, and rice along with teriyaki sauce to work with, but it was enough to make a decent dish. We both sat down to eat once it was cooked. Charlie was apparently pretty hungry, as he got himself three servings compared to my one. We ate quietly together, until Charlie figured he should talk to me about something.

"So, you said things with the Cullens are good?" he asked.

"Yes, they are."

"Everything? Like…you know."

I sighed. "Yes, dad, everything. Edward's fine too."

He knew that that also meant I was fine with him as well and nodded. "That's good. Does Jacob know?"

I grimaced. "Yeah, he knows."

"And he's fine with it?"

"You don't have to worry, dad. Jake's not going to hurt him or anything."

"I didn't ask that." He ate some more of his stir-fry and talked while he chewed. "Though if he did, I wouldn't mind."

I made an angry face. He probably thought I wouldn't hear that with his mouth full.

He swallowed hard. "So, things with you and Jake are going well?"

"Yes, like they always have. In fact, he's taking me on a date tomorrow."

"Oh really, that sounds nice." He paused for a second and his voice went higher in volume. "Wait, you're not going to Seattle are you?"

"Um, I don't know, he hasn't figured out where we're going yet."

"You've heard the news, right? Seattle is dangerous, Bella, make sure you stay away from there."

I nodded. "I know, dad. Besides, Seattle's a little far for a one night date."

"Make sure you tell Jacob, alright?"

"He knows too, dad."

"Good. Keep safe."

"Yes, sir."

We finished the rest of our meal and I volunteered to wash the dishes. It didn't take long and I went upstairs to my room right after I was done. I could hear Charlie walk up the stairs not long after me, heading to his room to sleep. I got into bed and turned my light off pretty quickly, but actually going to sleep took a little longer. I kept thinking about today and what Jacob said. He said he'd let me go to the Cullens' house on my own, but he still didn't trust them at all. He barely trusted them to keep me alive for more than ten minutes, but I couldn't exactly say that the Cullens felt at ease with Jacob or my hanging out with werewolves either. Was it really so impossible for them to get along? I sighed and shut my eyes tight; trying to free my mind of all thought and focused on sleep. It took a while, but I finally drifted off.

The next day, I woke up knowing that this day would either be very fun or very average. I really did feel like every day with Jacob seemed like a date to me. So how would this 'official' date be different? It didn't matter much to me where we went or what we did; as long as we were together and happy, that was a perfect date for me. Even if Jake did have something fun planned, would it feel any more special than any other day? Either way, spending time with Jake was always something to look forward to. Date or no date, I was excited just to see his face alone.

"Well, I hope you have a nice time," Edward said, though he sounded pretty indifferent to the news.

"I do too. I wonder where he's taking me," I muttered.

"If he doesn't even know himself, it probably won't be too interesting in the end. Might be a last minute place," Alice predicted.

"Don't count Jacob out just yet. Bella, you know him better than any of us. Has Jacob pulled out last minute surprises before?" Angela asked.

I thought for a second. "Sort of."

"I know that I would have planned ahead," Mike murmured quietly.

"Well, girls like surprises," Angela noted.

"We also don't like to be disappointed. I think that's the most important part," Alice added.

"So, I shouldn't get my hopes up?" I questioned.

"Something like that."

"Well, I never had high hopes or anything. It's just a date."

At the corner of my eye, I could see Edward smirk a bit. I could tell that it was from my attitude toward this date. It wasn't like I didn't expect to have a good time. I knew I would, I would be with Jacob after all. I just didn't think it would feel any more special than our usual days. That was why I didn't want to expect anything big, especially when I thought a date itself wasn't too necessary.

We talked about our finals for the rest of the lunch period and the school day went by surprisingly quickly afterwards. Edward and Alice were pleasantly surprised to see no Jacob outside and Alice suggested we 'chill' in the school lot for a while. As much as I would have liked to spend more time with them besides just lunch period, I wasn't sure when Jacob would arrive at my house to pick me up. He did say go straight home and I wanted to make sure I was there first. Though, it was a bit difficult leaving when Alice pouted at me the whole time I headed for my truck.

It wasn't too often that I came home this early, as the sun shining subtly through the trees down onto our house was an unfamiliar, but pretty sight. Charlie wasn't home yet, so I parked my truck as far into the driveway as it could go. I rushed inside and up the stairs to get myself ready. I checked my closet and immediately eyed the clothes that Alice bought for me months ago. All of them looked like the type of outfits you'd see models showcase on TV and they were a bit too much for me to wear often; I knew Alice would probably wear these types of clothes every day. They weren't exactly my style, but I figured that if they were to ever come in handy, a date would be a decent time. I ended up picking out this frilly dark green blouse without sleeves that buttoned down the middle, along with some black jeans that I remembered wearing once before. I put them on my bed and went into the bathroom to wash up as quickly as I could. I usually never bothered with make-up, but just like with the outfits Alice gave me, now was a good enough time for my make-up kit to be useful. I didn't put much on though, just a bit of eyeliner and so little blush that I might as well have not used it. I knew that Jacob liked my natural scent, whatever that smelled like, so I didn't touch the perfume. I went back into my room, putting on my clothes for the evening, and grimaced as I looked at myself in the mirror.

Before I could reconsider this and put on the clothes I was used to, I heard a loud knock on the front door downstairs. I groaned and went to answer the door. Hopefully Jacob would like this look, because I sure didn't. I opened the door and Jacob stood there grinning wide. Unlike me, Jake looked perfect. He wore a simple white short-sleeved dress shirt with blue stripes going vertically, untucked, and light brown cargo pants. It was simple, which was what made it so perfect. It suited his style; for a date at least.

"Bella, you look great!" he said, very impressed.

I shook my head. "I'm glad you think so."

"Stop that. Seriously, you're beautiful."

"You look better."

He gave me a look that seemed to question my sanity. "Shut up."

"I mean it, Jake."

"Bella, I honestly just threw this on."

"That's probably why I love it so much. It's simple. I like simple."

He gave me a questioning look again, but nodded. "That does sound like you actually." He walked inside and started to look around. "Damn. Charlie's not here yet, is he?"

I shook my head. "Nope."

"Maybe I shouldn't have come by so early."

"Why do you need Charlie?"

"Isn't the father supposed to give the date their blessing, see her off, and tell them to be back at a certain time?"

"I guess so, but I already told Charlie you were taking me on a date. He trusts you, so there's no need."

"Aw, but I really wanted to do it."

"Well, he's not here."

"I can wait."

This time I looked at him like he was crazy. "You seriously want to do it that badly?"

"I mean, we do actually have a lot of time to spare. Right now, there's no rush."

I didn't argue. I wasn't in much of a rush to leave either; Jake was already here after all.

I nodded. "Fine."

He smiled and made himself comfortable on the couch. I settled in next to him and he pulled me in closer as I felt his warmth take over. He grabbed the remote and turned the TV on, flipping through channels until he felt satisfied staying on Comedy Central. Neither of us seemed to pay too much attention to the TV, we were both simply enjoying each other. He would often rest his head on top of mine and his hair would tickle the side of my face. I'd relax into his side and listen to the rhythm of his heart beat and easy breathing. This felt like the perfect date already. Was it really necessary to leave?

"Are you hungry?" I asked, leaning away toward the kitchen, "I could make us something."

"No," he said immediately, "It'll ruin your appetite for when we go out."

I sighed. "So does that mean you've figured out what we're going to do?"

"Yep. First, we'll go to this restaurant in Port Angeles called La Bella Italia."

My eyes widened once I heard the name. "La Bella Italia?"

He grinned. "You know it's going to be an amazing restaurant if it's got your name in it."

I hesitated to speak for a second. "I've actually been there before."

His grin disappeared. "Oh…" He started tapping his fingers on the end of the couch with a thoughtful but disappointed expression on. "You went there with Charlie before or something?"

"Um…" I tried to think of how to word it. "I went there a while ago with Edward."

As usual, his face hardened once I mentioned Edward. He looked directly at me, his eyes narrowed. "Maybe we should go to another restaurant."

"Jake!"

"What?"

"Is it that much of a bother to you?"

"Kinda."

"So what if I've been there with Edward before?"

"I don't want to risk the place bringing back any…unpleasant memories."

"It won't."

"Even after what he did?" He said it so quietly, I barely made it out.

My face hardened like his. "I bet if you knew the reason, you wouldn't blame him too much."

He slowly turned his face toward me and glared for a few seconds. "Okay…amaze me."

I crossed my arms and glared back, even when he turned his face away in doubt. "Edward left because he didn't think it was good for me to be around a bunch of vampires. He thought it'd be healthier for me if he stayed away."

His face looked astounded as he did a double take. He looked away towards the ground, his expression surprised and trying to take it in, but having a hard time believing it.

"If that's the case, then why'd he come back? Why is he inviting you over to be around the vampires he wanted you to stay away from? Kind of defeats the purpose of leaving, doesn't it?" he challenged.

"Maybe because he realized that there was nothing to worry about in the first place; that he was overreacting?"

He grumbled something I couldn't understand. I could tell that bringing up Edward really irritated him, especially now. This was supposed to be our day, so I guessed he wouldn't want any ex-boyfriend talk to ruin it.

"Well, if you have already been there before, then maybe we should try some place new anyway," he suggested.

"It's fine. The restaurant has good food, I don't mind going again."

He sighed "Alright."

It was silent for a minute, with only the chatter on TV giving the room noise. I just sat there with my arms still crossed until Jacob reached around my shoulder and pulled me back to him. As I felt his warmth again, I looked up at him and he smiled happily. All the stupid tension we had created disappeared right then and I relaxed into him again. I was so comfortable and content being next to him that I felt my eyes start to close.

"You're going to sleep?" he asked, disappointed.

"Sorry, I just like this a lot. Do we have to go? I don't feel like moving much."

"Yeah, Bella. Come on, we're already all dressed. Plus, I wanna show off my beautiful date to everyone."

I grimaced. "You really like the way I'm dressed?"

"Yes, I do."

I picked at the ruffles on my blouse with a disgusted look. "It's just not me."

"You look great none the less."

"But you look great and it suits you." I paused for a second. "Except for maybe the shirt."

"Really? What's wrong with it?"

I smirked. "It's on."

He raised a brow at me, but quickly laughed. "So shirts just aren't me at all?"

"Or any of your brothers."

"That's funny…but kind of true. Sometimes, even when we know that we aren't going to be phasing much, it's just a habit to forget to put on a shirt." He chuckled.

"My point exactly."

"But we are going out in public. Not exactly appropriate."

"We're not in public now."

He looked at me mischievously and got onto his feet. He quickly unbuttoned his dress shirt and slid it off, letting it fall to the floor. He faced me and grinned wide.

"Does this suit me better?" he asked, still grinning.

I giggled. "Yes, very much."

"So the next time me and the others go to some suit and tie event, we should just go like this?"

"I bet you'd do well in job interviews."

He laughed again and I joined in. As I looked him over, I noted the cargo pants and imagined how they'd look if they were khakis. I went back to looking at his bare upper half and gasped as I got an idea.

"Hold on," I said, excited.

"Okay," he replied, but I was already eagerly heading upstairs.

I was suddenly feeling pretty adventurous as I made my way into Charlie's room. It was a good thing he wasn't here or this would never happen. I went into his closet and tried looking for the one thing Jake could add to his look. A tie. As much as I realized this was a complete invasion of Charlie's privacy, I couldn't stop myself once I got started. I usually didn't act this bold or admittedly wild, but being with Jacob seemed to have that effect on me. Edward kept telling me how I had changed since becoming Jacob's girlfriend, and even though I didn't like admitting it, he was kind of right. Luckily the ties weren't hard to find at all, folded in a rack on the wall, as I grabbed a red striped one and ran downstairs. I went up to Jacob and held out the tie for him as he looked at it in confusion.

"Here, put this on," I said.

"Why?"

"To complete your ensemble."

He still looked confused, but took the tie from me. It was already in a loop, so he easily slipped it on and let it hang down the middle of his bare chest. He looked at it and back at me, wondering what difference it made. As I examined his new complete look, I burst into laughter. Going into Charlie's room was worth it for this.

"What?" he asked, chuckling a bit as my laughter seemed contagious.

I tried catching my breath. "It's perfect! That's the perfect formal attire for you."

He started laughing with me. "Really, Bella?"

"Yes. The next time, you and the guys go to a dance or something, wear that."

"I'll make a note of that." He rolled his eyes and laughed. Of course I wasn't being serious and he knew that, but he really did look amazing. "Where'd you get the tie, by the way?"

I grimaced and quickly stopped laughing. "Charlie's room."

"Whoa."

I looked to the floor in guilt. "Yeah, I know."

"Am I gonna get in trouble?"

"You can take it off now, if you want."

"Too bad." He lifted the tie from around his neck and handed it to me. "I looked good, right?"

I giggled. "Very, very good."

He smiled before I turned to head back into Charlie's room to return the tie. This time, it dawned on me more how weird this was being in his room and taking his stuff. I just put the tie back as fast as I could and came back downstairs. Jake was sitting on the couch, still shirtless, and I joined him with a grimace.

"I went into Charlie's room…and into his closet…twice," I muttered.

He chuckled. "Yeah, crazy girl."

I half smiled and leaned my head against his shoulder. "Next time, we'll use your ties."

"Sure, sure. I'll just be your little Ken doll."

My face scrunched up in guilt when I realized he was right. "I'm sorry."

"It's cool." He winked at me. "I'll be your doll whenever you want, baby."

I giggled. "For the record, I never did like dolls."

"But you like me."

"I do."

"Awesome." He grinned, but paused for a few seconds. "But you know, as much as you see me half-naked all the time, I haven't seen much skin from you."

I gasped and flinched away, startled by his statement. His expression became panicked at my reaction and looked at me cautiously.

"I-I'm sorry," he stammered, "I wasn't…asking or anything. Y-you don't have to if you don't want. Just…thinking out loud…no wait…dammit."

"Jake, relax," I said, putting my hand out to calm him down.

He let out a deep breath. "Sorry."

Jake still looked like he was scrambling in his head, wondering what he should say to fix the awkward situation he thought he made. But he didn't need to; he was right. Why was I holding back with Jacob when he wasn't with me? I didn't want to be selfish. It especially seemed silly when we were both aware of our physical attraction to each other; how it seemed to grow little by little as time passed. With that one amazing moment in Jake's garage, I remembered feeling like I couldn't stop myself. If we hadn't been interrupted, he would've seen so much more of me anyway. So why was I holding back now when I wasn't going to back then?

"Jake, I can if you want me to," I said softly.

His mouth popped open for a split second. "Are you serious?"

I blushed. "Yes."

He examined my expression for a second. "Really? You know I wasn't demanding or anything, right?"

"I know you weren't, I'm offering. I mean, it's only fair, right?"

His breathing began to increase in speed. "Yeah, I guess that's true."

A minute passed in silence. Jacob was still breathing heavily as my eyes shifted from him to the part of me that I was about to reveal, blushing brighter.

"So," I murmured, "Do you accept my offer?"

He gulped and nodded slowly. "Yes, I do."

15. Date (Part 2 of 2)

BELLA SWAN

I nodded back and looked down at my blouse. I picked at the frills again, but hesitated to touch the buttons down the middle. I sat there with my hands unmoving for another minute as I could feel my heart begin to race. It had just occurred to me that this might not end so well. Jacob was definitely a sight to behold, but I was so plain. I was nothing like the women seen on TV that were constantly shown as the example of a perfect body. What if he got disappointed in what he saw?

He chuckled nervously. "Uh, Bella, are you sure you wanna show me? Your face is a tomato."

I tried to relax myself. "Yeah, yeah, I'm sure."

He gave me a comforting smile to try and get me to relax, even though he wasn't exactly calm himself. I took a deep breath and slowly started unbuttoning my blouse with shaky hands. As I did, Jacob slowly leaned closer to me. By the time I got the last button, his forehead was touching mine and it seemed like he was unaware of how close he got as his eyes widened a bit at the contact. I removed the blouse from around me and placed it gently on the floor, revealing only my bra now. I looked up at him and he was breathing heavily again. It looked like he was blushing too, underneath his russet skin. I knew the next step, but I hesitated to do it, as my shaking hands wouldn't allow me anyway.

"Ah," Jacob suddenly said, stopping me. I looked at him in wonder. "Um…can I?"

He tapped at the straps on my shoulders and tried to give me another comforting smile, though it sort of came out as a grimace. He could see that I was pretty nervous and probably thought that it would ease some tension if he did it for me.

I nodded in approval as he cautiously reached behind my back to undo the hooks. I shivered a bit as his hands rubbed against my back, struggling to work with the hooks. Once it was finally loose, I blushed harder than I ever did as he slipped my bra off and let it fall to the floor. His eyes popped wide open as he stared at my now bare chest to match his. I couldn't look at the expression on his face, fearing it might not be one I wanted to see. I just sat there stiff as a board and looking down at my chest; unable to keep myself from comparing it, in my head, to other more appealing ones I had seen before.

"Beautiful..." he sighed.

I looked back at him then, surprise clear on my face. He smiled at me, soft, but sincerely.

"Really?" I asked in a whisper.

"Yes. You're beautiful, Bella."

I continued staring at him in surprise until he nodded, telling me he really meant that. I finally smiled and he grinned back. I was beginning to relax and leaned closer into Jake to reestablish the comfort. At least I knew that he could always ease my self-consciousness. He went back to staring at my breasts, almost mesmerized, and I wondered exactly how long he was going to stay amazed.

I giggled. "Jake, I'm up here."

His eyes darted back to mine and laughed nervously. "Sorry."

He met my eyes and looked at me with that loving expression that no one could ever match but him. I could feel myself getting lost in him again as I gazed deeply in his black eyes. He stroked my hair lightly and leaned in closer until our lips made contact. As soon as he did, it happened again. That spark, that sudden surge of electricity, it came back. I could feel it move from my lips and spread throughout my body. With every movement his lips made on mine, I felt the heat, electricity, and pure passion pulse in me. And just like last time, I didn't feel like I could stop myself. I wanted it all and my desire for it was growing.

I could tell that Jacob felt it too as he grabbed my hair more roughly and deepened his kisses. I wrapped my arms half around his neck and his back, pulling him close enough for our bodies to press into each other. He leaned further on me, pushing me deeper into the couch until I was lying on my back with him on top. Our hands explored each other's upper bodies as we kissed so intensely and deep that we would often gasp for air. He started to trail his kisses down my neck and around my collarbone. I shivered from the sensation of his lips exploring new places as they went even further down until he reached the recently revealed part of me. I rubbed my hands on his arms as he cupped them into his hands and began kissing around the outside softly. My body arched into him as the waves of passion rocked me from his kisses. His thumb lightly traced the outside of my right one until he pressed into the center. In response, I began kissing on his neck softly, going upwards until my teeth grazed his earlobe. His thumb began to move curiously as he continued moving his lips around the outside of my other. The action sent a wave through me that I sighed softly in response to. I could see Jacob's eyes widen at the sound and he continued his motions more eagerly now as he sucked harder on my skin with each kiss.

It didn't last long though, as Jacob suddenly stiffened up and his face was filled with what I could only describe as fear.

"Ccccccrap," he snarled.

"What?" I asked in panic.

That was when I heard the familiar engine of Charlie's car come from outside. My face then matched Jacob's as I froze in place. In a flash, Jacob grabbed his dress shirt from the floor, put it on, and buttoned it back up at incredible speed. He then grabbed onto me and sat me straight up on the couch. He picked up my bra and put it back on me swiftly and so much easier than when he took it off. Next, he grabbed my blouse and put that on me too, buttoning it up just as crazy fast as he did his own shirt. I wasn't counting, but he did it all in seconds. I'd never seen Jacob move that fast. It kind of reminded me of Edward in the kitchen. He straightened my hair out and relaxed on the couch, focusing on the TV which I forgot was still on. Once Charlie walked in the door, Jake turned and smiled at him.

"Hey, Charlie. You finally made it," he greeted, acting totally natural, like nothing happened.

"Oh, Jake, you're already here," Charlie responded, hanging up his jacket.

"Yeah, I got here a little early."

"And you're still here. You could've left, y'know."

"We were waiting for you. Right, Bella?"

I finally unfroze. "R-right."

"Are you okay, honey? You're really red," Charlie asked.

I looked frantically at Jacob and around the room for an answer, until I stopped at the TV. "There was just something…embarrassing on TV."

As luck would have it, there was some stupid sketch playing where this doctor was taking his clothes off in an attempt to calm his nervous patient down, only making her more nervous.

Charlie laughed. "You do blush easily, Bells."

Jacob nodded and chuckled. "She does."

He turned his attention back to Jake. "Why were you waiting for me, by the way?"

"Well, isn't the father supposed to see his daughter off and tell the date to be back at a certain time?"

"I guess. I don't think it's too necessary though."

"Told you," I whispered to Jacob.

He rolled his eyes and went back to Charlie. "Just give me a time."

He thought about it for a few seconds. "How about at seven?"

Jacob furrowed his eyebrows in confusion. "But, that's in like…ten minutes."

"Exactly."

Jacob gave Charlie an 'are you serious?' look and Charlie laughed in response.

"Does eleven sound okay?" Charlie offered.

Jacob nodded. "Sure."

Jake patted my shoulder and got up from the couch. I got up right after him and followed as he headed for the door. He wrapped his arm around me as I made it to his side and nodded at me, ready to go.

"You take care of her, you here?" Charlie said.

"I always do," Jacob assured.

He opened the door and we walked outside to Jake's Rabbit parked on the street. Jacob opened the passenger door for me and gestured for me to get in. As I sat down and Jake got on the other side, I saw Charlie waving at us from the doorway. I waved back as Jake started the engine and then drove off in the direction of Port Angeles. He went fairly fast and eager at first, but as we got closer to our destination, his drive to continue seemed to wear thin.

"Hmm…" he murmured.

"Something wrong?" I asked.

"I'm not too sure anymore if it's the best idea to go today. I mean, nothing this evening is going to top…that."

I nodded in agreement as I understood what he meant. "I told you. The perfect dates happen at home."

"We're already headed there though, so there's no sense in going back now. Besides, it could still be fun."

"Not as fun."

"But fun."

I sighed and relaxed into my seat. We drove the rest of the way there in a comfortable silence. I would just stare at Jacob, unable to keep my mind off of what happened back at home. He'd often look over at me and smile lovingly, though I did wonder if my constant stare was distracting him from the road.

Once we arrived, Jacob parked against the curb right next to La Bella Italia. Judging by how few cars were parked nearby, I assumed that it wouldn't be too crowded inside. Jacob got out and opened my door for me. He took my hand and led me inside the restaurant. Just like I thought, it wasn't too crowded. The place looked just like how I remembered it, though I didn't expect it to change too much. We were greeted by the same host as well, and just like with Edward, I did not like the way she looked at Jake. It was obvious by the way she welcomed him that she was in 'flirt mode'. She seemed to remember me too. Her expression was slightly baffled as she looked at me and back to Jake. She probably couldn't understand how someone as ordinary looking as me could come here twice, each time with a good-looking guy. Sometimes I couldn't understand it either.

"Follow me, please," she said mainly to Jake and made a 'come hither' motion with her finger that seemed slightly seductive.

We followed her as she led us to an open booth located behind another that was occupied by an older looking couple. She gestured for us to sit down, but before I could, Jacob wrapped an arm around my shoulder and kissed me on the cheek. It was brief, but enough to clearly display love. He smirked at the hostess and her face fell in disappointment for a second, but she tried recomposing herself.

"Your server will be out in a moment," she said much less enthusiastically and walked away.

He unwrapped his arm from around me, allowing me to sit down as he sat on the other side. His eyes flickered from me over to where the hostess had walked off to and he chuckled, shaking his head.

"Some very friendly service here," he commented.

I sighed. "Too friendly."

"Does it bother you?"

"Well, yeah, of course it does."

"You know I'm all yours."

"But wouldn't it bother you if a whole bunch of guys kept checking me out."

He frowned. "Yeah, it would."

Our server arrived and her face lit up once she saw Jacob. She fixed her hair up for a second and smiled a lot more friendly than necessary. Jacob just rolled his eyes at it, but looked in my direction so that she couldn't see it.

"My name is Nicole and I'll be your server this evening. Is there anything I can get for you to drink?" she asked, looking mainly at Jake.

He took a glance at the menu already on the table. "Can you guys mix Sprite and lemonade together?"

She thought about it for a second. "I'm sure we can."

"Then I'll have that."

"Excellent." She smiled, but it quickly disappeared once she turned her attention to me. "And you?"

"I'll just have a Coke," I answered.

"Alright, I'll be right back."

Once she was gone, Jacob took a better look at the menu to see what he wanted. I did the same and there was a lot to choose from. Jake put his menu to the side, having already decided what he wanted, while I kept looking through.

"Anything catch your eye?" he asked.

"A few things, but I'm trying to decide which one I'll have."

He chuckled. "Then get them all."

I raised a brow at him. "My stomach isn't that big. Besides, I only brought enough money with me for one."

"You didn't need to. I'm the one paying?"

"You are?"

"Of course. I took you on this date, so I'm gonna pay."

Our waitress came back then with our drinks and a basket of breadsticks, placing them on the table. She smiled at Jacob and even tried smiling at me politely, though I could still tell she was far less interested.

"Are you ready to order?" she asked.

"Yep," Jacob answered, "I'll have the chicken scarpariello, please."

She wrote it down on her notepad and turned toward me. "And what would you like?"

I looked at the menu one last time for a brief moment. "I'll have your signature spaghetti and meatballs."

She nodded, like she could remember that easily. "Your food should be out in a moment."

She smiled one last time at Jacob before leaving. I took a breadstick from the basket and started taking small bites on it, eating slowly. By the time I had finished it, Jake had already devoured three of them. I looked at the one breadstick left and narrowed my eyes at Jake, which he smiled guiltily at.

"Go ahead, take it," he offered.

"Sure," I said and took the last breadstick. He watched in slight amusement at how slowly I ate.

"If you can't finish something, I'll be your trash can."

"Do you think we have bad luck?" I asked quick and suddenly.

He looked at me confused by the random question. "What?"

I grimaced. "I mean, about us…you know. We've been interrupted twice."

"Ooooh…" He thought for a minute. "I don't think it's bad luck exactly."

"Then what do you think it is?"

"Maybe we're going too fast? Maybe there's some all knowing force telling us to stop, because it's not the right time?"

"You really think so?"

He shrugged. "Just a guess."

"At the time, it felt right to me. I didn't want it to stop."

"Me neither." He took a sip from his drink. "But maybe it was just a 'in the heat of the moment' sort of thing."

I nodded. "How will we know when the right time is though?"

"No idea."

"Maybe we'll get some kind of sign?"

He chuckled. "Yeah. A wooden sign with the words 'Okay, NOW' painted on it."

I laughed with him. "Honestly though, this time we were kind of asking to be interrupted. Not exactly the best place or time."

"That's true too. We should probably try a place where we know nothing will bother us."

"Like?"

He thought for a second. "Deep in the forest?"

"What if a wild animal attacks us?"

"A hotel room?"

"What if a cleaning lady who doesn't know how to take a hint walks in?"

"Paul's room? I've seen his door and window. They have tons of locks for exactly that purpose."

"What if a meteor hits?"

"Bella!"

I laughed and he quickly joined in. "Besides, I don't think this can be forced."

He nodded in agreement. "Yeah, we just have to be patient and wait for that sign."

Just then, our waitress came over with our food in hand. She placed the hot plates on the table and Jake quickly picked up his fork, ready to eat.

"If you need anything, just call me," she said in an alluring voice to Jake and walked off.

The spaghetti I had was topped with a thick marinara sauce that had bits of meat in it, five meatballs arranged to make a circle, and sprinkled with parmesan cheese. It smelled really good, so I took a large portion of it on my fork and ate it confidently. It tasted just as great as it smelled. I continued eating and enjoying the flavor of my meal, when I noticed that Jacob's plate was already completely empty. I knew he had a large chicken breast with some special sauce and a side of potatoes, but not a trace of food was on there anymore. It was like he never had anything.

"Oh my g-" I cut myself off. "No, no, I'm not going to be surprised by this anymore."

Jacob grinned and gulped down the rest of his drink. I went back to eating my food and Jake watched me, as he had nothing else to consume. He stared at my food with a grimace, but not because he thought it looked unappealing. His eyes shifted from his empty plate to mine and he looked like he really wished he had ordered something bigger; he was obviously still hungry.

"Is it good?" he asked.

I nodded. "Yes, very good."

He licked his lips. "Um…"

"What?"

"Can I try a little?"

I pulled my plate back. "No way. This is too good to share."

"Aw, come on. Please?"

"It's not my fault your stomach is an endless pit. Buy your own."

"I am paying for all of this, including your meal. So I did buy that, y'know."

I pouted and he pouted back. He dipped his head down and tried looking up at me with puppy dog eyes, which was surprisingly working fairly well.

I sighed. "Fine."

"Thanks, Bells." He grinned and leaned over to give me a quick kiss on the forehead.

"Do you want a meatball?"

"Sure."

"Catch."

"Wait, what?"

I picked up one of the meatballs on my plate and threw it in the air towards him. Immediately, he eyed where it was heading. He caught it in his mouth perfectly and happily began chewing.

I giggled and started clapping. "Very nice."

He grinned. "Thank you."

"How is it?"

"Delicious. They really know how to cook their meat."

"Do you want another one?" I looked at my plate and saw that I only had two left. I'd save the last for myself.

"Yes, please."

I picked up the second one and faked like I was going to throw it, which Jake didn't fall for at all and smirked at my attempt. I sighed and threw it in the air again as he caught it just as perfectly as before. He smiled as he ate it and I smiled back before going back to finishing my meal.

Once I was done, Jake called for the check and paid the waitress quickly. After everything was done, our waitress wished us a nice evening, though she was mostly talking to Jake as usual. He wrapped his arm around my waist as we headed out the door to his car.

"Hey, look!" he suddenly exclaimed once we got there and my head darted toward him, "A full moon."

I turned my attention toward the sky, and like he said, there was a large full moon staring down at us. I marveled at just how bright it was. It was like a light bulb in the dark sky and I felt like I could follow it for guidance. And just like that, Jacob started walking in the direction that the moon shown from. I followed close by and we ended up in a quiet park that was empty around this time of night. Jake found a bench for us to sit on and we sat comfortably together, just enjoying the scenery.

"This is nice," I sighed.

"It is."

"I guess it makes sense that you'd like the moon, Mr. Werewolf."

He rolled his eyes. "I still prefer the sun a bit more."

I smiled, knowing that he'd always be my own personal sun. "Me too."

"But the moon's nice too, especially one as big and bright as this."

"Is it bright enough to howl at?"

He smirked and looked at the moon attentively. He then took a deep breath and howled long and loudly. The noise echoed through the night sky, causing me to hold my ears reflexively.

"Ow," I complained.

He laughed. "Sorry, but you did ask for it. If that's too loud, you'd hate my howls when I really am a wolf."

I sighed and leaned my head on his side. He wrapped me into his arms and I let his warmth take over me.

"You know, I was going to take you to a movie next but…I don't feel like moving much now," he confessed, saying it similar to how I did back at home.

"Me neither. I think this is perfect."

"Just you, me, the moon, and…that tree over there."

I chuckled. "Yep, perfect."

He looked at me with that loving stare and leaned his head in to kiss me briefly, but I could still feel the same amount of passion packed into it.

"I love you so much," I whispered.

He smiled softly. "I love you more."

"I doubt that."

"It's true."

"Prove it then."

"Challenge accepted."

He brought his lips back to mine and we kissed for an immeasurable amount of time as everything around me seemed to disappear but him.

Author's Note: Well, it's finally finished, and only 5 days late. :D ...Yeah, you guys should be used to my lateness by now. But really, this chapter is a prime example of something I planned of being short and simple, but ended up WAY longer than I thought. And not only that, but it totally didn't go like I had originally planned. There were so many changes that I had to re-think stuff and it caused delays. I don't know what happened...

I love that you posted this on my b-day.:D

 

*Claps* WOO-HOO!! So Jacob and Bella are moving up in the 'field' now...wonder how long it will take until they go all the way.

 

This is also a good example on how well you capture Jacob's charater. He's hilarious! I actually laughed out loud. (Would list all the lines, but there are too many.:P)

 

Keep writing!

Oh, Happy Birthday! :D

Yep, Jacob and Bella are getting there. ;) And I'm glad you liked Jacob's character and that he made you laugh. I consider that an accomplishment. :) 

This was incredible!!  Your love scenes are perfect! And I'm sooo glad you're having them get stopped b4 they go too far!!  That will make the scene when they aren't stopped all the more incredible [ and I'll  ' need a cigarette' after reading it!  - if you know wht I mean, & I don't smoke! ]   The chapters are well worth the wait - they are perfect & show you're 'in the muse' to make them perfect!! Love how long they are, too - I really get into the mood of the story!   When this is completed I will read it all over again from the beginning - I'm a real TwiHard & you & JJ have been keeping me sane!!  Too bad college is starting up soon -- we'll probably be getting fewer updates when classes start up again. 
Thank you. I get nervous with the love scenes sometimes, but it's good to know they came out alright. I'm happy to keep you entertained, and even when college starts back up, I'm still pushing for two chapters per month. Hopefully that won't change.

You are doing an awsome job with this story, your a great writer keepit up.. I absolutely love how you capture each characters emotions , it's like i feel what they feel at that moment.

 

Awweee, I reaally liked this!! It's just perfect!

16. Intruder

BELLA SWAN

"That's new," Edward muttered.

I groaned. "What now?"

"You're eating your food so quickly." He chuckled. "It's not going anywhere."

I wiped the side of my mouth and looked down at the plate of steak and potatoes in front of me. They were almost all gone and it had only been a few minutes since Edward made them. It seemed like a natural reaction for me to eat fast and try to compete with the pack's insane appetite, even when they weren't here.

"I know it's getting late, but take your time," he said.

"Sure, sure." I cut another piece of the steak and ate it. "The food's delicious, by the way."

"Thank you."

I still ended up finishing my meal pretty quickly. Edward took my plate and cleaned it off as I went into the living room. I looked at the clock and was surprised at how late it was. By now, I'd already be at home and in my bed.

"Sorry for staying so long," I said as Edward came in through the kitchen.

"It's not a problem at all for me. But I do know that you need your sleep…and Jacob wouldn't like you staying too long."

I nodded. "Right."

"Come on, I'll drive you home."

Edward took my hand and smiled as he led me outside to his silver Volvo that shimmered under the moonlight. He opened the passenger door for me and walked around to get in the driver's side. The car came to life with a satisfying purr and he backed out easily onto the road leading to my house. He drove fast like he usually did, but was quiet for most of the way there. When I could tell that we were only minutes from my house, Edward began driving slower; slow for him at least. I looked at him, but he kept his eyes forward. He didn't look like he was paying attention to the road; his expression was thoughtful.

"Bella, I hope you don't mind me asking. I'm just curious," he suddenly said.

I furrowed my eyebrows in slight confusion. "Ask me what?"

"What's it like having Jacob as a boyfriend, versus me?"

I was silent for a moment, surprised at his question. He waited patiently for my response, still driving slowly.

"I think Jake and you are different in a lot of ways, so it's pretty different being with him," I answered.

"Different in a bad way or good?"

"Definitely good."

"So it's a better experience?"

"I don't know if I'd say that. It's hard to compare the two; both experiences are wonderful in their own ways."

His face scrunched up as if he had a headache. "Hmmmm…"

"What?"

"I'm trying to wrap my brain around how being around a werewolf could be…wonderful."

I scowled. "It is."

He noticed my expression and grimaced. "Could you help me understand? Give me a reason."

"He's a lot of fun. Is that a good enough reason?"

"How so?"

"He makes me laugh a lot. It's funny to watch him play games and roughhouse with the others."

"Roughhouse, I figured that."

I shrugged. "Boys being boys."

"Isn't that dangerous?"

"Give me a break, Edward. They're not going to hurt me."

"Maybe not intentionally."

"You're giving them way too little credit."

He sighed. "Sorry. So he's fun and makes you laugh. Anything else?"

"He's also very caring, all of them are. They'll do anything to protect their people, and since I'm a wolf girl now…"

"You're protected." He finished for me.

I nodded. "Exactly."

"Is there more?"

"Well, he…" I let out a pleasant sigh. "He's just so warm and comforting. He's like my personal sun or a beacon I can always go to no matter what. When I'm around Jake, I can feel his warmth and joyfulness radiate from him. It's contagious."

"Ah, that makes sense. Compared to me, I'm not very warm." He made a face like he wished he were.

I smiled reassuringly. "You're warm in your own way."

"So, Bella…" He paused for a second. "How does it feel having me as a friend?"

I was silent for a second, trying to assess his none changing expression.

"Does it feel weird?" he asked again.

I shook my head. "No. As long as you're here, then I'm happy."

"Then I'll be here."

He finally turned his head to smile at me and I smiled back. We were just around the corner to my house as Edward began to speed up. Even when turning to go up my driveway he didn't let up the speed, yet he came to a smooth stop right behind Charlie's car. He got out and I could tell that he was going to open my door for me. I tried opening it myself, but he beat me to it as he flashed around and the door was open in an instant. I rolled my eyes as he offered his hand to lead me to the front door.

"I can walk myself," I assured.

"Are you sure?"

"Yes. I'm not that helpless."

He chuckled. "Alright."

He walked back around to the driver's side much less eagerly this time and got in, watching as I walked to the front door. I turned around to wave goodbye to him and he waved back before pulling out of the driveway and zooming down the road. As I walked into the house, the lights were already off. The moonlight that shined through the kitchen window was my only way of seeing, but it still wasn't enough to keep me from tripping over the steps as I went upstairs. I could hear Charlie snoring from his room and opened my bedroom door slowly so it didn't make too much noise. I turned my light on and went into my drawer to put on my sleepwear. I knew it was really late and I was ready to get some rest. I went over to my bed to lay down, but stopped when I noticed a half sheet of paper on my pillow. I sat at the edge of my bed and picked it up. I could immediately tell that Charlie wrote it from the handwriting.

Bella, Jacob called wondering where you were. He wanted to remind you of the bonfire party tomorrow night. He said he'll pick you up early but wanted to make sure you were ready to leave. Call him when you get the chance.

P.S. Please don't stay at the Cullens' so late next time.

I hadn't forgotten about the bonfire. Not long after our date, Jacob told me that there was going to be a big bonfire party on Saturday, which was tomorrow. He said there would be food and games, but the main thing he wanted me there for was the tribal legends that would be told. Since I was a part of the family now, Jake thought it was important for me to hear them and know that they were true. It would be Seth, Leah, and Kim's first time hearing them as well.

I figured that Jacob would already be out patrolling by now, so I held off on calling until the morning. I went to go place the note on my dresser when I noticed that my closet door was open. I usually always kept it closed unless I actually needed to go in there for some clothes deserving of being hung up rather than folded in my drawer. Did Charlie go in there for whatever reason when he came in to place the note on my bed? If he did, I couldn't really be that upset, considering I did the same thing to him. I decided not to worry about it, I was too sleepy anyway, and laid down on my bed with the covers over me. I turned my bedside lamp off and easily drifted to sleep.

When I awoke the next morning, it was unsurprisingly later than I normally got up. I stood at the edge of my bed and stretched out before going to the bathroom to take a quick shower. Afterwards, I dried my hair and combed it out to look straight. I quickly brushed my teeth and went back into my room to get some fresh clothes. Knowing that the bonfire was a special occasion, I figured it'd be appropriate to wear something nice rather than the average everyday shirts I sported all the time. I remembered the red blouse that Alice bought me two months ago and it had always been my favorite of the clothes she got me. It wasn't overly stylish, but it was nicer than the usual stuff I wore.

I went to my closet and looked in the spot that it was usually hung up at, but it wasn't there. The red blouse was always the first thing that could be seen in my closet, because it was arranged in front of everything else, but it wasn't in its usual spot. As I shuffled through my mild inventory of clothing and the hangers making loud clatters as I did, I realized that the blouse wasn't here at all. I always hung it up at that spot; I never put it anywhere else. Where could it be? I didn't have to wear it, but the fact that it was missing baffled me. My closet was open last night, so did Charlie really go through my clothes and wanted my blouse for some reason? Why would he need it?

Since that blouse was as dressy as I would go for this, I settled for a dark blue button-down shirt that was pretty warm to wear and some black jeans. I went downstairs and saw Charlie dressed in his officer uniform. He reached for his coat on the rack near the front door as he saw me.

"Morning, Bella," he greeted, "Well, it's not really morning anymore. It just turned to twelve."

"Right. Afternoon, officer. You don't usually work on a Saturday," I noted.

He groaned. "I got called in to help deal with a car accident. From what they told me, the driver appeared to be dead."

"Oh no, how'd it happen?"

"That's what I'm about to find out, honey. You'll be okay here, right?"

"Of course. I'll be going to the bonfire with Jake today anyway."

"Oh, that's right. Did you call him?"

"Not yet, but I will." I paused for a second. "Hey, dad, did you go into my room last night."

His expression turned guilty. "Yeah, I did. You saw the note, right? Sorry, I guess I should've left it on the counter by the phone instead."

"No, that's fine, but is that all you went into my room for?"

"Yes, that's all. Why?"

"I had this red blouse in my closet and I can't find it. I was wondering if…"

He raised a brow. "You thought I took it?"

I grimaced slightly. "Sorry, I guess you didn't."

"Nope, wasn't me. It probably just got mixed in with your other clothes. I'm sure you'll find it."

"You're probably right."

He put on his coat and opened the front door to head out. "I'll see you later tonight, Bella. Have fun at the bonfire."

He closed the door behind him and I could hear his car drive off. I was sure Charlie wouldn't lie, but if he didn't take it, then where could it have gone? At least if it was Charlie, I'd know what happened to it; now I had no idea. I tried not to let it bug me as I went to the phone to call Jacob. I picked up the receiver and started dialing, but before I could get to the fourth number, there was a loud knock at the front door. I hung up the phone to answer the door and there he was.

"Hey, Bella," Jacob greeted with a grin.

I grinned back happily. "Hey, Jake."

Still standing at the door way, he wrapped an arm around my waist and pulled me in for a brief kiss. It was sweet, but not enough for me, as I pulled his face down to kiss him more passionately. We both smiled at each other and Jake walked inside.

"So, what's the plan? When does it start?" I asked.

"Around six, but Quil and Embry wanted to meet up there early to gather lots of firewood and just hang. It's a pretty nice spot for that," he explained.

"Okay, but I should eat first. I just got up."

"How late did you stay at the Cullens' last night? I tried calling a bunch of times, but Charlie kept saying you weren't home."

"Sorry, I lost track of time."

"You did come home though, right?"

I sighed. "Yes, Jacob, I did."

"Okay, okay." His face scrunched up a bit. "Go ahead and eat, I already stuffed myself this morning."

"Alright."

I went to the kitchen and decided on something quick as I got the milk from the fridge and a box of Apple Jacks in the pantry. I poured the cereal into a bowl followed by the milk as I ate silently, leaning against the counter. I wasn't the only one silent as Jacob stood near the stairs with a tense expression, not saying a word. He sniffed the air a few times and his face turned to anger.

"What's wrong?" I asked, suddenly panicked.

Jacob then dashed up the steps, making surprisingly less noise than I would've thought as he went. I put my half eaten cereal on the counter and ran upstairs to follow him in worry. He was in my room and he continued to sniff the air. His teeth clenched together angrily as he looked around the room and then at me.

"W-what's going on?" I asked again, still panicked.

"A vampire's been in here," he growled.

I gasped. "What?"

"You don't know?"

"No, why would I know?"

He sniffed the air again and I saw confusion add on to his angry expression. "It doesn't smell like a Cullen."

"It doesn't? Are you sure?"

"Yeah, it's totally different."

"Was it Victoria?" My heart started pounding at the thought.

He shook his head. "No. I know that redhead's scent by heart. It wasn't her either."

"Then…who was it?"

His fists clenched. "That's what I'd like to know."

Suddenly, things were starting to make more sense, but it still didn't ease my panic at this news.

"Last night when I got home, my closet door was open. I never leave my closet open unless I need something out of it. And then this morning, I tried to find my blouse to wear for the bonfire, but it was gone," I informed.

His eyes widened. "So, you think this vampire took it?"

"That would make sense."

He looked off thoughtfully and his feet began to tap, as if to help process the information. "And if you saw your closet open last night when you got back, then it must have come here while you were with the Cullens."

My arms began to shake as I realized. "Oh god, Charlie was here."

He came over and held my shoulders steady. "Bella, calm down. Charlie is okay, right?"

I nodded slowly.

"Then don't worry about that. He's safe, that's what matters." He looked off thoughtfully. "But why would the leech leave him alone and what would it want with your blouse?"

I definitely didn't know the answer, but I knew who might be able to help figure it out at least. I didn't exactly want to get them involved if this was dangerous, but I knew it was our best bet. Plus, they were helping with the Victoria problem anyway, which was already dangerous in its own right.

"Maybe the Cullens might know something," I suggested.

He snorted as he looked out the window. "I bet they do."

"I don't think they had anything to do with this, but it wouldn't hurt asking another vampire."

"Sure, sure."

I smiled weakly at him and headed downstairs. He followed close behind as I went to the phone and quickly dialed the all too familiar number of the Cullen family. Jacob stood close by to listen, which didn't bother me too much. The phone rang only once before someone picked up.

"Hello? Bella?" Edward answered.

"Edward," I answered back.

"Hi, how are you?"

"Um, a little frightened, actually."

"Why? What's wrong?"

"Well, Jacob came over and-"

His voice suddenly became fierce. "What did he do to you?"

"No, he didn't do anything to me."

"Oh…" He kind of sounded disappointed, which Jacob growled at from behind me. "Then what's the matter?"

"Like I was saying, Jacob came over and went into my room. He said that he smelled a vampire. He thinks a vampire got into my room."

He was silent for a few seconds. "Was it Victoria?"

"No, he said he didn't recognize the scent."

"A vampire we don't know?"

"Could be, but I know that you would know of any vampires we were unfamiliar with."

"No, we don't know any vampires around here besides Victoria. When did this happen?"

"Last night while I was still with you. I came home and my closest door was open. Even worse, I think they might have taken my red blouse. I thought it was Charlie, but he said he didn't do it."

"Charlie was there when this happened?"

I gulped. "I think so."

He was silent again for a moment. "Alright, we'll be over there soon."

"What? You're coming over?"

"Bella, if another vampire is after you, we need to get its scent ourselves so we can be ready in case it comes back."

I gasped. "You think there's another one?"

"It's hard to say, but we need to be prepared."

"I don't want you getting hurt if this whole thing is dangerous."

He sighed. "Bella, it's not us you should be worried about getting hurt."

"But-"

He'd already hung up before I could say anything more. I stood there with the phone in my hand for a few seconds before hanging it up.

"They're coming here?" Jacob asked from behind me.

I turned around to look at him and nodded. "Yeah, to check the scent."

Jacob made a face that told me he was obviously not happy with them coming here, but he looked accepting of it too. I leaned against the nearest wall and sighed heavily. I didn't like the fact that people I loved were fighting my battles for me. If these vampires wanted me so badly, I should've been the one to face them. But what could I do, except let them have me? If I gave myself up to them, it'd definitely release the burden everyone had to go through for me, but I was also well aware of how much it would hurt everyone knowing that I was gone; Jacob especially. If anything, I'd keep myself alive for him.

Jacob went to the nearest window by the doorway and folded his arms as he looked out for the Cullens. He looked so focused and stern like I shouldn't dare disturb him, even though he was just looking out the window. I went back around the counter and continued eating my bowl of cereal silently. Even though I was beginning to eat at a faster pace, too much was going on in my mind to really pay attention to my food. I must have been eating extra slow, either that or my judgment of how fast the Cullens moved was way off base. Before I'd made much of any progress on my cereal, there was a loud and sudden knock at the front door which made me jump, followed by Jacob's reflexive growl at the arrival of vampires.

I quickly and carelessly tossed my cereal to the counter, almost spilling it in the process, and rushed to the door where Jacob already was. Jake couldn't keep the unpleasant look off his face as he opened the door and Edward quickly stepped inside. After him followed Carlisle and Alice at a calmer pace as they both greeted me lightly with smiles. Edward also turned toward me and smiled, nodding his head in greeting. I smiled back, but only for a second as Jacob cleared his throat loudly to get Edward's attention off of me.

"Make it quick," Jacob commanded, pointing to the stairs leading to my room.

Edward glared at him in irritation for a moment, but soon nodded. "Fine."

In an instant, they sped upstairs with wind trailing behind them as Jacob made his way to my side. I took the moment to look at him accusingly as I wasn't exactly thrilled with his attitude.

"Could you at least try to be nice to them?" I asked.

"No promises," he said, rolling his eyes.

"They're here to help us. Come on."

He sighed heavily. "Sure, sure."

"That wasn't very believable."

"That's all you're getting from me."

I jabbed him in the side a little too forceful, as it felt like my knuckles slammed into a wall.

"Ouch," I complained softly, holding the part I hit.

Jake snickered to himself, which I glared at him for. He smiled nonchalantly and looked like he was about to say something, but his expression suddenly hardened as Edward, Alice, and Carlisle appeared right in front of us, catching me off guard. Jake looked at all three of them and made a face like he was demanding some kind of answer. Edward looked back at him unpleasantly, as if he wasn't willing to comply.

"Well?" Jacob asked impatiently.

"We didn't recognize the scent," Carlisle announced, "It definitely wasn't anyone we know."

I grimaced and my face seemed to stay plastered with worry. "What does this mean? Is it someone new?"

"Probably," Alice said, "Maybe a vampire passing by."

"Does that usually happen?"

"Rarely, but it can" Edward answered.

"Yes, but…" Carlisle said, pausing to think, "I don't think a normal passerby would've left Bella's father alive."

I cringed at that thought and Edward glanced at Carlisle for a second, looking at him like he should watch what he says.

Carlisle nodded once before continuing. "It's also quite odd that this individual would want to take something of Bella's."

"And the blouse I bought her too," Alice groaned in irritation.

It was silent for a moment as everyone brainstormed. I sighed heavily with worry and Jacob rubbed my shoulder comfortingly. I knew that it wasn't Victoria and the thought of her being so close to my house was definitely scary, but the whole thing would've at least made a lot of sense if it were her. She was the only one who wanted anything from me, why anyone else?

"Who knows, maybe it was some female vamp who stopped in to look for clothes. Maybe hers were all torn up and she needed to look fabulous," Jacob said, shrugging.

Edward rolled his eyes and shook his head briefly, like Jacob needed to get serious. Alice on the other hand giggled lightly at Jacob's suggestion and Carlisle nodded his head once to the side, like it was a possibility.

"I don't really care who it is, as long as we end them the next time they show themselves here again," Jacob continued.

"They wouldn't have come here in the first place if you did your job," Edward replied in a hard tone.

Jacob gritted his teeth. "What?"

"I thought you wolves had your side covered? What the hell were you doing, slacking off? How could you let someone get through like that?"

"We make sure someone is on patrol at all times during the night and we didn't pick up any scent. Even during the day when she's already either with me or you, we still have someone on patrol. We're covered, what about you? How do we know it didn't come from your side? What the hell have you leeches been doing?" Jacob growled and jabbed a finger at Alice. "Isn't she supposed to be keeping some psychic eye on this kind of thing?"

"I was focusing my attention on Victoria, she was our main threat," Alice defended.

"Well you should've widen your little crystal ball scope and considered others."

"I can only do so much, Jacob. I can't see multiple futures at once, especially not for ones of vampires I've never met. And I certainly can't rely on Bella's anymore, thanks to you."

"Have you ever thought of doing your own patrols, or is that just not your style? I guess protecting Bella is not worth getting your clothes dirty."

Edward and Alice both hissed in unison and Jacob responded with a low growl. I quickly put myself between the conflicting sides with my hand pushing against Jake to keep him back.

"Stop! This isn't anyone's fault," I reasoned.

Carlisle put his hand out at Edward and Alice in warning before looking at Jacob with eyes of understanding.

"We will do whatever we can to keep Bella safe from harm, just as we trust you will. With this new event, I believe new precautions should be taken," Carlisle offered.

Jacob nodded once. "What'd you have in mind?"

"Bella will need to be more closely guarded," Edward came in, "We can stand guard close to her house at night to make sure nothing gets in. We got lucky this time, but if it happens again, we'll be ready."

"If anyone's going to guard her house, it'll be us."

"No, you need to cover your side. We'll take care of things here."

"And what about your side, huh? Do you really want to leave that wide area unprotected and risk a vampire getting so close?"

"How about a compromise?" Carlisle suggested, "During the first half of the night, two of us can stand guard. Then we will leave and let your pack take over. After all, we do need to feed and we often do at night."

Jacob looked to the ceiling as he thought about Carlisle's offer. He pulled me closer to him with his arm that was already on me until I was pressed against his side, still with a thoughtful expression. I wasn't sure if he was even aware that he pulled me so close.

"We'd like to do our part. Weren't you accusing us of slacking?" Edward added.

"Fine," Jacob groaned, "But I'll have to discuss this with Sam before anything's official."

Carlisle nodded. "Understood."

" Wait!" I finally spoke, "I can't let you guys go through all that trouble just for me."

"Bella, it's no trouble at all. We want to," Edward assured.

"But, you'll be putting yourselves in danger."

"Bella, we're not the ones in danger," Jacob said, raising a brow at me like I should know what was really at risk.

I grimaced and couldn't help but look at the powerful figures before me. In comparison, I really was the weak one here. An easy target.

"Well, if that's all settled, then I suppose we can leave now," Carlisle announced.

"Yeah," Jacob said too eagerly, like they should've been gone a while ago.

Carlisle nodded and gestured toward the door so Edward and Alice would follow. They were half way out when Alice turned her head back to smile at me.

"I'll see you Monday at school, Bella," Alice said with a smile and waved goodbye.

Edward smiled softly at me, trying to ignore Jacob, and turned back around as they all vanished from sight, speeding incredibly fast through the trees.

"Finally," Jacob said, his mood quickly turning brighter once they were gone.

I didn't respond as I shrugged out of his arm and walked into the kitchen. I wasn't hungry anymore, so I grabbed my bowl of cereal and dumped the rest in the sink. I put it with the other dirty dishes and silverware pilled high on the left side of the sink. I hadn't done the dishes in a while and I figured now would be a good time, since I was here already. I turned the faucet on and started scrubbing with the sponge and dish soap nearby.

"Um…" Jacob murmured close to my ear, catching me completely off guard as I jumped and splashed myself with water.

"Jeez, Jake!" I complained. I wasn't sure if it was because I wasn't paying attention or because Jacob was so good at sneaking up on people, but I wasn't expecting him to get so close. I probably should have expected it.

"Oops, sorry. Want me to help?"

"Sure, I guess."

"Okay…" He paused to look at me like I was a different person or something. "You scrub, I'll rinse and dry."

"Sure."

He gave me the same look as he grabbed the dish towel wrapped around the base of the faucet. I scrubbed the first dish until it was good and sudsy, as Jake took it from me and rinsed it off under the flowing water and dried thoroughly. We continued the same routine with a few more dishes in an admittedly awkward silence.

"Are you okay?" he asked.

"I'm fine."

"Really? You don't seem all that fine."

"Well, I am." I said it a bit more irritated, scrubbing a plate with a bit more force than necessary.

"No, you're not. Come on, talk to me."

I looked at him unpleasantly, but it didn't affect him. He was determined on getting me to talk as he wouldn't stop staring until I did.

"Come on, Bells," he insisted.

"Fine," I said, jabbing a foamy plate in front of him as he took it, "I'm weak."

He looked at me confused. "Weak?"

"I don't want to be some weak damsel in distress as I watch everyone else fight my battles."

"It's our battle too. A bloodsucker's entered our land and targeted a human. It's our job to stop them. Besides, you don't have much of a choice. You're a human up against a vampire."

"So in other words, I'm weak up against someone strong."

"Stop that! Being human doesn't make you weak." He growled low. "And being a vampire definitely doesn't make you strong either."

I thrust another plate at him along with a fork. "And that's another thing, Jake. Would it kill you to be nice to the Cullens?"

He groaned as he took the plate and fork from me. "Easier said than done, Bella."

"It's pretty easy for me."

"Yeah, for you. And I still don't understand why."

"Why what?"

"Why you can be so happy with them after what they did. It didn't affect your opinion of them at all?"

"Nope." I said it quick and blunt, trying not to delve any deeper into past events.

He rolled his eyes. "Come on."

I ignored him as I scrubbed the silverware in my hand a little too forceful, displaying my frustration, and jabbed the item in Jacob's direction to rinse and dry. I definitely wasn't paying attention. I hadn't realized that the piece of silverware in my hand happened to be a knife and my aim towards Jake was completely off until it was too late.

"OW!" Jacob yelled, recoiling from the knife stabbing into his left shoulder.

I gasped and dropped the knife to the floor when I caught a glimpse at the thin gash already oozing blood. He covered the wound with his right hand, but it didn't stop the blood from slowing trickling down his arm.

"Oh my god, Jake!" I shouted, holding onto the counter as I felt my head spin and stomach turn from the sight.

"Ouch! I know you were mad at me and wanted to be stronger, but damn, Bella," he complained.

I took a few deep breaths through my mouth to calm myself. "Here, please, just wrap this around it." I grabbed the damp dish towel he was using, not concerned about it getting ruined, and shoved it at him.

He shook his head, but took it and placed it under the already running faucet. He squeezed it out just a bit and began wiping the blood trail clean from his arm. He went over his wound once as the dish towel stained red and my head spun again. I took another deep breath and closed my eyes tight as I tried to get a grip. I opened them back up and cautiously looked at Jake's wound to see that it had already healed up. All the blood was gone and only a faded pink line was left on his shoulder.

"Jeez, Bella," he sigh, shaking his head at me.

I grimaced. "Jake, I am so sorry. I wasn't paying attention. I didn't mean to, I'm sorry. You can…hit me or something if you want."

He gave another one of his 'Are you crazy?' looks, and I may have been to grant a werewolf permission to hit me, but I didn't take what I said back. He continued to look at me with one brow raised and I lowered my head shamefully, but still looked up at him. He then clenched his hand into a fist and lifted it above me. He let his fist drop down on top of my head and I winced from his hit as it felt like my brain may have shifted out of place.

"Ow…" I complained softly, rubbing my head.

His eyes widened in shock. "That didn't hurt, did it?"

I nodded once slowly. "Yeah, it kind of did."

He cringed and quickly removed my hand so he could check to see if he did any serious damage.

"I don't think it left a mark or anything," I said.

"Crap. That wasn't supposed to hurt." He rubbed his thumb across the top of my head. "I'm sorry."

I shook my head. "Don't apologize. I stabbed you."

He smiled weakly. "Yeah, but it wasn't serious. I've got pretty tough skin, y'know. The cut wasn't deep and there wasn't too much blood."

"Not too much blood? Our definitions of 'too much' must be extremely off."

He chuckled. "Now, if someone with the strength of a werewolf stabbed me…" He cringed again slightly at the thought. "That would really hurt. Good thing you're not."

I grimaced and looked back to the floor. Even though I was just a weak human who couldn't stab a werewolf correctly, it still didn't change that I hurt him.

He smiled down at me and pulled me into a tight embrace. I rested my head against his chest as I hugged him back, taking in his warmth. I could feel all my frustration disappear as if he was burning it away.

"We are a messed up pair, huh?" he whispered.

I nodded. "Sure are."

We held each other like that for what seemed like an eternity, or at least I wanted it to be. The room was pretty quiet as we didn't say anything, with only the running water from the sink making any noise.

"You're not weak, Bella," Jacob suddenly said.

I pulled my head back to look up at him. "Huh?"

"You're not weak."

"Really? Didn't you just say that your cut wasn't bad because I didn't have the strength?"

He shook his head. "Not like that."

"Then what do you mean?"

"Bella, you're human, that's all. And like I said, being human does not make you weak. For what you are, I'd say you're very strong."

"Yeah right…"

"I mean it. You hang out with vampires and werewolves like it's no big deal. Most people would tremble from the thought of it."

"I guess…"

"And if that's not enough, you've got them fighting for you like an army. If I ever heard of a woman who had an army of supernatural creatures, I'd say she's pretty damn strong. Smart too."

I raised a brow at him. "You make me sound like some kind of manipulator; like I train vampires and werewolves to do my bidding."

He shrugged with a smirk. "What is your wish, madam?"

I rolled my eyes which he chuckled to in response. He kept me in his embrace, but moved his hand up to stroke my hair gently.

"I've said this before, Bella, but you're perfect just the way you are. Don't think that you're not good enough or that there's something wrong with you that you need to fix. You're you, and I wouldn't have it any other way." He smiled sincerely. "Clumsiness included."

I smiled back and hugged him tighter, resting my head back into his chest. "Thank you."

We stayed like that for another supposed eternity, until Jacob shifted his eyes back to the dishes, telling me that we still had work to do. We washed the rest of the dishes together, following the same steps. Jake would often flip and spin the dishes over his head and catch them as a way to dry them off, but he was really just trying to impress me and make this otherwise boring chore somewhat fun. I'd just giggle at his moves and he'd grin in response.

Once the dishes were finished, Jake went to check the time on our digital clock by the phone. He looked back at me and smiled.

"Ready to go?" he asked.

I nodded eagerly. "Sure."

Author's Note: Yes, I know, I've got some serious explaining to do. *sigh* I'm really sorry for missing the month of August and almost missing September. College was starting back up and we were getting stuff ready to go back. I'm here now, but still sort of settling in and arranging my schedule and whatnot. It was a lot to do and I just couldn't get in the mood of writing when so much was on my mind. But it's all good now (hopefully). August and September were sort of irregular, but October will pick back up. So expect the next chapter near the beginning of October.

Thank you! :)

RSS

© 2014   Created by Hachette Book Group.

Report an Issue | Guidelines  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service