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

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Replies to This Discussion

That was really good cant wait for yur nxt update :)

Yeaah, you should really thank them because it turned out great!
Seriously, this chapter was just ASDFGHJKL AMAZING :'). 

20. Shock

BELLA SWAN

I sighed in relief as I walked out of the classroom. I was so eager to finish my final test that, thinking back on it, I may not have answered some of those questions as best I could. But it was all behind me now, there was no going back, and I didn't want to. I smiled to myself knowing that I was done with high school, almost at least; there was always the graduation to make it official.

I went to my locker and cleaned it out, not that there was much in it. I put my binder, folders, and folded up jacket into my backpack before closing my locker for good, hearing it bang with an echo from now being much hollower than it once was.

"I see you're done too," the voice of Edward rang behind me.

I turned around and gave him an overly excited smile. "Yes, finally."

"How do you feel you did on your exams?"

I shrugged. "History was pretty easy, but I'm not sure about Calculus. Some of the stuff kinda made sense, but that probably means I got them all wrong."

He chuckled. "I'm sure you did fine."

"Oh really? I've had my share of tests where I think I did a good job but was completely wrong."

"Uh oh. In that case, maybe you should be worried about history."

I gasped in exaggerated horror. "Oh my god, you're right!"

He laughed. "I could always bribe your teachers to give you an A. I'm pretty confident I could make that happen."

"Hmm…" I made a thoughtful expression, placing my finger at my lip. "No thanks. Besides, even if I did fail both, nothing's stopping me from graduating. My grades were already high to begin with."

He smiled. "Excellent. I'm proud of you."

"Thank you." I was about to pick up my backpack, but he beat me to it, carrying it over his shoulder.

"We should celebrate," he suggested.

"Aren't we already doing that after graduation?" I grimaced as I thought of the party Alice would be having, even when something as severe as vampires rampaging Seattle was going on. You'd think the party would be cancelled to prepare.

He could tell what celebration I was referring to and smiled reassuringly. "How about a mini celebration for finishing your exams? It's not a party, just us being us. Maybe we could go somewhere quiet."

I nodded. "That sounds nice, but don't we do that all the time?" That was the case if he wasn't hunting or Alice wasn't making me her Barbie doll at least.

"I have something else in mind. Something special."

I raised a brow at him and smirked. "So you've got this all planned out?"

"Partly." I expected him to chuckle or smirk humorously, but his expression didn't change.

"Alright, ready when you are."

He nodded and kept his expression still as he started walking toward the main exit. The hallways weren't too crowded since some final exams lasted longer than others. Students were given the freedom of leaving as soon as their exams were finished, so I assumed the people in the halls were done like us.

"Hey, where's Alice?" I asked, walking close beside him with an open space on my other side, which was usually occupied by Alice's presence.

His face seemed to scrunch up for a split second. "Her exams took place in the morning, so she got to leave earlier."

"Oh. Is she coming with us to 'celebrate' too?"

"I told her to meet up with us, if she wasn't too busy."

I furrowed my brows in confusion. "Is she not at the house?"

"She's most likely there."

"Then why would she have to meet up with us."

"Because we're not celebrating at the house."

"Oh." I nodded in confirmation. "Is that the special thing you were talking about?"

"Part of it."

We walked out to the school lot and headed for Edward's shining silver Volvo. He put my backpack on the backseat and I smiled as he opened the passenger door for me to get in.

"Where is this place, anyway?" I asked.

"That's a surprise."

I shrugged in response as he walked over to his side. He smoothly backed out of the parking lot and onto the road, going in a direction I wasn't familiar with. We seemed to be going gradually uphill and more greenery was starting to appear as we passed by more clustered trees.

"I'm guessing graduation isn't that big of a deal for you, huh?" I mentioned.

He shrugged. "I can't really say it means much. It's nothing I haven't done before."

"How many times have you graduated?"

"About twenty-six I believe."

"Yikes! I can't imagine going through high school that many times."

"It's to lessen suspicions. If I went to college, got a degree, and found a job, there's only so far I can go with that before people realize I'm not aging. Eventually we move and I have to start over."

"Well then, a graduation party could be your reward for dealing with that every time."

He shrugged again. "I suppose, though my idea of reward would be completely different."

"Different how?"

"Um…" He hesitated for a moment. "Just different from a party."

"Is it like a car or something?"

He shook his head before changing the subject. "I wanted to apologize for being away on Tuesday."

"Oh, it's fine, Edward. I knew you were busy hunting and you guys need your blood."

"Did you have fun without me?" He smirked for a split second.

I grimaced and looked at my floral patterned nails. "Sort of."

He chuckled. "Sorry about that. I know Alice can be a pain."

"It wasn't too bad."

"So I guess you had fun with trying on new outfits and the movies?"

I looked at him surprised. "How'd you know we did all that?"

He tapped his temple twice. "Mind reader, remember? And Alice doesn't keep her mind very private."

I gasped as I remembered what else I had done that day.

"What's wrong?" he asked.

I shook my head. "N-nothing."

"Bella, you can tell me."

"Really, it's nothing. I promise."

I knew I wasn't fooling him, but he seemed to let it go as he put his eyes back on the road. I looked out my side window so I didn't see the curiosity in Edward's face as I wondered if he already knew. Aside from Alice getting me to try on what felt like a thousand outfits, painting my fingernails, and watching three scary movies with Emmett trying to scare me every chance he got, there was also the shot I received. I glanced at my shoulder where Carlisle stuck me, although I couldn't see it with my shirt sleeve in the way. I knew it wasn't visible anyway; it never left a rash or anything.

I was never planning on getting the shot, or at least not this soon. Back when Kim pulled me aside to talk with at the bonfire party, she immediately wanted to know how Jacob and I were doing. I told her things were going fine, but she made it clear without blatantly asking that she wanted to know if we took our relationship in "that direction". After telling me that I didn't have to be embarrassed, even though I still was, I reluctantly told her where Jake and I stood. She gave me more advice on what I should do when that time came and mentioned how she was on birth control. I hadn't given that much thought until she brought it up and recommended it.

With Kim's suggestions and the image of naked Jacob still fresh in my mind, combined with the fact that I was in the same room as a doctor at the time, I just ended up asking. It was right before Alice locked me in her room to try on outfits. Carlisle told me about both pill and shot options as well as their side effects. I just wanted to know about them so I could make my choice when the time came, but I had no idea Carlisle had just about everything a hospital would need already in his office. He offered to give me both the shot and pills for free which really surprised me. I didn't think Carlisle would be so generous when it came to me getting intimate with someone other than Edward, but he was smiling the whole time and didn't seem bothered at all.

Even though I had no idea when Jake and I would actually get to that level, I figured it was best to prepare sooner rather than later. The shot would last for three months and I could use the pills afterwards if I wasn't satisfied with the side effects. So far, no terrible side effects, although that needle did hurt pretty bad. Before Alice dragged me away, I asked Carlisle to keep it just between us. I hoped he was able to keep his mind on other things while Edward was around him.

"We're here," Edward announced, bringing me back to the present.

I looked out the window to examine our location. He said we'd arrived, but I still wasn't sure where. There were no buildings to be seen; the only man-made objects around us being the car we were currently sitting in and the silent road we were parked on. Everything else was grass, dirt, and a large number of trees that grew to an impressive height. Aside from that, I didn't see anything too eye popping. I wasn't sure how it was an area to celebrate.

Edward smiled at me before getting out of the car. He came around to open my door for me, but I amazingly beat him to it, probably due to the fact that he was walking at a normal speed. I smirked at him, feeling victorious as I got out. He shook his head and laughed before opening the door to the backseat at the amazing speed I expected from the start. He grabbed a white cubic box about the size of my head from the backseat as he slammed the door shut. It had a pink ribbon tied around it which he carried it by with one hand, confident that it wouldn't come loose. I looked at the box in confusion, which made him smile for some reason.

"What's with the box?" I asked.

"You never noticed it?" he asked back with a smile.

I shook my head.

"You never smelt it while we were in the car?" He glanced at the box, then back at me.

"No, was I supposed to? What's in there?"

"Oh, you'll find out. It's part of the celebration. Though, I think it's pretty obvious."

I shrugged. "Then I guess I must be pretty stupid, because I have no clue."

He sighed. "You're not stupid."

"I have a few ideas. Are you gonna open it so I can see how far off I was?"

"Not now. First, we should start hiking through these trees to get there." He said it like I should've known what "there" was.

"Yeah, that reminds me, where are we anyway?"

His eye widened in surprise. "You don't recognize this place?"

"Not really."

"You're joking…"

I shook my head. "Doesn't really ring a bell."

His face suddenly fell, like what I said had really hurt him. I grimaced in guilt and looked all around the area, frantically searching through my brain for any faint memory of this place. But all I saw were trees, just like the trees I saw every day.

He sighed and quickly got rid of his saddened expression. "Well, I'm sure you'll remember once we start moving. Shall we?" He smiled at me again.

I smiled back and nodded. "Sure."

I went over to Edward's side and we started walking into the woods. I continued looking around to see if there was anything I recognized, but nothing came to mind. Whatever the place was, it was important to Edward and I felt like I was missing something obvious. I found it ironic how we were about to celebrate our completing high school, something that paid tribute to my intellect, yet I apparently wasn't intelligent enough to figure out the significance of this place.

We'd been walking for about fifteen minutes, talking easily about the ups and downs of our high school years, when I noticed that he was holding my hand with his free one. I hadn't even realized he was holding it, nor could I recall when he took my hand. I wondered if he even knew. I didn't mind though, it just showed how completely oblivious I was being today. We weren't talking constantly and during our silent pauses I noticed the expression in Edward's face seemed…odd. I couldn't figure out exactly what it was, but he looked tense but at the same time distant, like he was daydreaming. When I tried to start up another topic, he'd respond like I startled him awake, but he never flinched or anything. He still moved as smoothly as he always did.

"You okay?" I asked after he went into his fifth daydream-like state.

"Hm? Oh, yeah I'm fine."

"Okay…"

"You know, it might be better getting there if I ran and you rode on my back."

"Might? Of course it would be faster."

"Faster, yes, but not so much convenient. It would be a little awkward carrying this-" He held the white box out. "-and holding you to me at the same time."

"Maybe you could hold the box in your mouth."

"I would most likely rip it apart." He grinned wide, flashing his razor sharp teeth at me.

"Not by the ribbon, but by the box."

He chuckled. "That too, Bella."

I sighed. "Fine, what if I held it?"

"Would you be able to?"

I rolled my eyes. "Yes, Ed. I think I know how to carry boxes."

He made a face like he'd tasted something gross, probably at my use of the name Ed. "I mean, I will be going pretty fast."

"I think I can handle it. I ride on a speeding werewolf all the time."

"Yeah…" He looked off, like he was remembering that moment. "I still don't approve of that."

I frowned at him. "No one asked for your approval. Besides, I've never gotten hurt or fallen off."

"Yet…"

I glared at him in frustration, but he didn't seem too concerned. He just rolled his eyes and handed me the box before wrapping his arm around my waist and lifting my legs from the ground, bringing me into his arms. He held me tight and secure as I made sure my own hold on the box was safe.

"Ready?" he asked with a smile.

I nodded. "Yep, ready."

"Alright…" He paused. "Also, please don't call me 'Ed' ever again."

I couldn't help but laugh at that. "Sorry, Ed."

He groaned. "Bella, come on…"

"Oh, what's wrong? You don't like variations in your name? No Ed, Eddie, E, Ward, E-Ward, none of that? That's boring."

"And that's new…"

I frowned. "What's new?"

"You, teasing me."

I giggled. "Aw, can't handle a little teasing?"

"Not by you. It's weird."

"Okay, okay." I smiled up at him. "I'm sorry for teasing you, Eddie."

He groaned again, more exaggerated this time.

"What?" I asked, "I actually really do like that name."

He shook his head. "Just Edward, please."

"Fine."

"Thank you ever so much."

We both laughed. Edward re-adjusted me in his arms so my shoulder was pressed closer to his chest and made sure I wouldn't slip out of his grip. Likewise, I held the box securely to me as well, but tried not to crush it.

"Alright, remember to close your eyes," Edward warned.

I did as he said and he launched the moment my eyes shut. I gripped the box like a cat on a branch that was about to break as Edward sprinted through the woods at an insane speed that made my heart drop. I'd forgotten how this felt. I'd forgotten how fast vampires were. I thought I was used to crazy speeds like this from riding on Jacob so often, but he never ran at full speed. I remembered Jared telling me that werewolves were even faster than vampires. I wasn't sure if he was just saying that to make his pack look good or if he was really serious. If he was being serious, then I was so glad Jake never ran at full speed. I'm sure he wasn't exaggerating when he said he'd have to tie me down to keep me from falling off.

After not much time at all, I felt Edward begin to gradually slow down. Once he came to a stop, I let out a gust of air and tried to catch my breath as if I were the one running. My hands were shaking and I noticed that the box along with my hands were plastered against Edward's chest from how fast he was running; his chest probably kept the box from flying more so than my grip. He looked down at me concerned.

"You alright?" he asked.

My heart was racing. "I…whoa!"

He chuckled. "I thought you were used to that with Jacob."

"Well, Jacob never ran as fast as he could because he didn't want me to fall off." I tried to steady my breathing.

"That's good I suppose. But, you know, I was holding back as well."

I looked at him with wide eyes. "Seriously?"

He chuckled and gently set me on my feet. Immediately, I felt like the whole world was spinning and everything tilted backwards. Edward caught me before I could fall and stood me up straight, though the ground was still moving way too much.

"Maybe I should've held back more," Edward mused.

I closed my eyes to see if it would help make the spinning stop. "Maybe…"

He chuckled again. "So, does this mean I'm faster than Jacob?"

"I don't know. Maybe you two should have a race."

"Maybe we should."

He held me steady until I was ready to stand on my own. I opened my eyes back up and stepped away from him without stumbling. He smiled at me before turning his head to his left as he gazed at something. I followed his gaze and my eyes widened at what I saw. There lied a meadow, our meadow. It was small, perfectly round, and filled with wildflowers; yellow, violet, and white.

"So, do you remember now?" Edward asked, though his expression was far off.

"Oh. Edward, yes, of course I do." It was just as beautiful as I remembered it.

He looked at me and smiled. "I knew you'd remember the flowers at least."

"Yeah." I grimaced. "The last time I came here, they'd withered away."

"They grow in the spring and through summer. I'd imagine by June, this place will be completely full of them."

I slowly walked closer to the center of the meadow, making sure not to step on any flowers as I went. I sat down right next to a patch of flowers and put the box down. Edward vanished and reappeared next to me in the grass with a smile. Looking at it all, the beautiful flowers, perfectly green grass, and tall trees, I felt like I'd traveled back in time.

"Do you still like it here?" Edward asked.

"Of course, why wouldn't I?" I sighed contently. "It's beautiful."

"It's very beautiful from a bird's eye view as well."

"Really?" I looked at him curiously. "How would you know?"

He pointed up. "Climbing trees. Then I look down."

I looked up as well. "All the way up there?"

"Yes. It kind of looks like an eye."

I chuckled. "So this place is the eye of the woods?"

"And quite a beautiful eye." His face suddenly lit up. "Would you like to see it?"

I looked at him confused. "How?"

"I climb, you hold on tight."

I gasped and look up at just how tall the trees were. I felt like I was getting dizzy again. "Whoa…"

"Is that a problem?"

"It's so high up."

He looked up with me. "It's not so bad."

"Easy for you to say. You don't have to worry about falling and breaking your spine…or skull…or everything."

"You're worried about falling?"

I stopped staring at the trees' height and focused on Edward. "Yes, isn't everybody?"

He shook his head. "Impossible."

"Falling is very possible, especially considering I'm me."

"It's impossible because I'll be with you."

"You'll be using your hands to climb. How would you catch me if I fell?"

"Swing from a branch, fall faster than you, and catch you that way."

I rolled my eyes. "I had no idea you were Tarzan. You learn something new every day."

"That's new."

I groaned at that remark and he just smirked. Edward would always say that every time I said or did something that he thought I picked up from Jacob. It was kind of annoying because I didn't really see it. I was just being me.

"Or if you don't like that option, I could just reach back and grab you if you lose your grip," he explained.

I shrugged, still unsure with just how much the trees were towering over us.

Edward sighed and looked directly into my eyes. "You'll have to trust me, Bella."

I grimaced and looked back up at just how tall the trees were. "I don't know…"

"Bella." He placed his hands gently on top of mine. "Do you trust me?"

I sighed. "Of course I do."

"Good."

Suddenly, I felt myself being swooped into the air and everything around me blurred. It happened so fast, I wasn't fully aware of what was going on. It felt like a huge gust of wind blew me into the air and I wasn't coming down. I grabbed onto whatever was near in panic that I was about to fall at any second, but the feeling of floating in air disappeared when I heard the rustling and cracks of tree branches. I opened my eyes and gasped when I saw how high I was above the ground. It became obvious that I was holding onto Edward as he stood gracefully on a tree branch. He was unconcerned by the fact that the branch was so slender, but I sure was. I held onto him tighter, both my arms and legs wrapped around him like I was on Scooby-Doo and I just saw a ghost.

"Oh god, Edward!" I shouted in panic.

"Relax, Bella. You're in no danger," he assured in a soothing voice.

"Please don't let me fall."

"I won't, I promise. But you might want to close your eyes; we've still got a ways to go."

I glanced up and realized we weren't even at the top of the tree yet, more like one-fourth of the way there. My heart pounded. "Oh my god…"

"Don't pass out on me now, Bella. Just close your eyes and hold on."

I shut my eyes tight and held on for dear life as Edward started back up the tree. I could feel his arms and legs moving fast as he climbed and his chest would stretch and flex with every quick movement. I was tempted to look and see how far up we were since it had only been a few seconds, but he was moving so fast. I kept my curiosity at bay and my eyes remained shut as Edward continued his ascent.

I felt him begin moving his arms and legs differently than he was for the past minute. He was moving from side to side and a lot slower than before, like he was adjusting himself. I heard more branches brush together and crack as well. I realized we weren't going up anymore.

"You can open your eyes now," he said.

"Are you sure?"

"Yes."

"How high are we?"

"Pretty high up, but I think you'll be fine."

I took a shaky breath and opened my eyes, and this time they stayed open. We were just about at the top of the tree and a drop from this height would no doubt kill me, but I surprisingly wasn't concerned about that. The view was a complete distraction from the potential danger I believed myself to be in.

The lush green trees surrounded us, but I could see rolling hills in the distance. There was a wide gorge in view to my left, the river flowing swiftly in hues of blue-green. The air had a crisp clean smell like it'd been hung out to dry and the wind gently blew my air as I took it all in.

"What do you think?" Edward asked.

I tried to find my voice. "It's…whoa!"

He chuckled. "I suppose 'whoa' is a good description."

"Yeah, whoa. It's amazing and insane."

He smiled and gestured for me to get off his back so I could stand on my own. I was feeling braver than before and nodded as I carefully unwrapped myself from around him and my foot searched for a stable branch to stand on. The branches were grouped close together so I was able to stand on two branches fairly well, as long as I held onto to something. Edward stood close by me to make sure I was stable enough.

"This feels great," I sighed.

"The tree?" He chuckled.

I rolled my eyes. "No. I just feel so…free. Being so high up, looking around, it's great."

"Did you look at the meadow yet?"

"Oh."

I leaned over slightly so I could see clearly through the branches and pines in my way. Below I could see a perfect circle of flowers that, when viewed at this height, was a soft pink in the middle of the jade grass surrounding it. It really did look like an eye, only oddly colored.

"So pretty," I said in admiration.

He nodded in agreement. "I like to relax up here."

"Really? I mean, I know it's a great view, but you never worry about falling?"

"Me?" He looked at me like I was missing something obvious, and I was.

"Oh right. Perfect balance and hard as a rock, you'd be fine."

"Yep." He smirked.

"So, not that it isn't wonderful up here, but how're we going to get down?"

"Hmm…" He rubbed his chin in deep thought, which honestly made me nervous that he had to think about it so hard. "I usually just jump."

I silently gasped and glanced down, realizing once again just how dangerously high up we were. "You're joking."

"Nope."

My heart continued pounding from where it left off way down there. "N-no! There's no way!"

He looked at me surprised. "Wait, did you think I was going to suggest we both jump? Don't be ridiculous."

"Then how, Edward?"

He grabbed my arm and pulled me onto his back, which I responded by wrapping myself around him again in reflex.

"We'll just utilize more than one tree. Hold on tight," he advised.

I was already holding on as tight as I could, so I just closed my eyes. I felt him jump from the branch he was on with a loud crack. I yelped when the wind blew my hair up and it became obvious that we were falling fast, but then we suddenly stopped. We didn't stop for long though. In the next second he jumped and we were falling again, but just like before, we came to another sudden stop. It continued like that, falling and stopping, until we finally stopped for good. Even with my eyes closed, I could tell that Edward was once again standing up, and on something much more stable than a branch.

"Alright, we made it," Edward announced.

I opened my eyes and let out a sigh of relief when I saw that we were on the ground; thank God. I let go of him and instantly collapsed to the ground, but I caught myself before I could hurt anything.

"Are you alright?" he asked, lowering himself to my level.

I nodded. "Yeah…just blown away."

He chuckled and offered me his hand to help me up. I shook my head.

"No, I'll just lay here for a bit," I said, propping myself up on my elbow.

I was conveniently lying in the same place as I was before and the mystery box was still right by me. Edward sat casually with his knee up on the other side of the box so that it was in the middle and smiled at me. I noticed that the grass was turning a brighter shade of green and the flowers were getting brighter in color as well. I looked up for a second and saw the sun coming out from the clouds, shining fairly strong through the trees. My heart jumped when I noticed Edward begin to glimmer as the sun shined on him. His face, arms, and the slight bit of chest that showed from his v-necked t-shirt shined like thousands of diamonds were imbedded in his marble-like skin. I'd forgotten just how beautiful Edward looked in the sunlight.

"What?" he asked in amusement. I hadn't realized I was staring until he spoke.

I blushed and looked away, focusing on the flowers. "Nothing, sorry."

He chuckled. "So, aside from being so high up, what'd you think of that?"

"It was pretty amazing. Dangerous, but amazing."

"Aren't you used to danger by now?"

"Yeah, I should be. How'd we get down, by the way?"

"I just jumped from tree to tree. It works both going down and up."

"Impressive."

"Would you ever do it again?"

I thought about it for a second. "Maybe, as long as you're there to keep me from falling."

"That's automatically guaranteed." He smiled and looked down at the box beside us. "So, you ready to see what's inside this thing?"

I nodded enthusiastically. "Yes, please, unless it's a bomb. It's sorta shaped like one would fit in there."

He sighed and shook his head. "Don't be silly."

Edward pulled the ribbon away and removed the top that was taped shut with four short strips. Inside was a round chocolate cake with frosting on the side and chocolate chips decorating the center in a perfect swirl. It was pressed up against the side from how fast Edward ran here, but not so much that it ruined the overall shape.

"Oh wow," I exclaimed.

"Congratulations on finishing high school. I made it myself," he said with a smile, though not sounding smug at all.

"Edward, this looks great."

"I'm experimenting with different foods. Tell me what you think."

There was a fork taped on the inside in its own little corner. I got myself a pretty large scoop onto the fork, confident that Edward did a good job taste-wise, and he did not disappoint.

"This is delicious," I complimented and took another bite.

His expression brightened like a huge weight was lifted off his shoulders. "That's great. I was kind of nervous on how it turned out."

"It turned out perfectly. Forget bakeries, I'm coming to you if I ever have a sweet tooth."

He laughed. "I'll be happy to provide."

I continued eating fork full after fork full, really enjoying the rich taste. Edward watched me in amazement as I finished off a corner that would equal about two average slices.

"What?" I asked, feeling a little awkward with him watching me like that.

"You're eating even faster than the last time I cooked for you."

I blushed. "Oh…"

"Do your wolves eat so much that you need to fight for your share?" he asked in amusement.

If Jacob wasn't there to make sure I got some, maybe. I sighed. "No, this is just really good." I scooped some onto my fork and held it to Edward's mouth. "Try some."

He quickly leaned back and looked at the cake with a disgusted expression. "Uh…Bella."

I grimaced. "Oh, sorry." I pulled my hand back and ate it myself. "I kinda forgot."

"You forgot? Wow, you're really forgetful today."

I frowned. "Shut up. I'm just used to being around people that can eat this stuff."

"Must be nice…" His expression became distant again like when we were walking here.

"Do you ever miss food like this?" I asked curiously, taking another bite.

"Sometimes, yes."

"Did you used to like cake when you were still human?"

"I did. I do still have fond memories of my favorite foods deep in my mind and I do remember how much I enjoyed them. But I've existed for some much longer where I find food like that revolting."

"I know food doesn't taste or smell good to you, but what about how food looks."

"Sure, they still look appetizing according to my faint human memories." He sighed sadly. "But blood still outranks them all."

I nodded slowly and ate another fork full of cake. I wondered how that was like for him, finding blood so appealing. The smell of it always made me nauseous and the thought of actually drinking it was puke worthy. I would never want to drink blood and it made me wonder if I was really thinking all those months ago when I actually wanted to be a vampire. If I became one, I guess the appeal would automatically come to me, but I'd still miss being able to enjoy my favorite foods. I wondered how hard it was for Edward to cook when working with materials he found disgusting.

I looked at Edward and saw that he was in that same tense but distant daydream-like state again. I tried following his gaze, but he wasn't looking at anything in particular. He was as motionless as a statue, not even breathing like he usually did out of habit.

"Edward?" I called out to him, but he didn't respond.

I gulped hard, worried that something was wrong with him. I put my fork down and moved over so that I was in front of him. He still didn't move.

"Edward!" I tried again louder this time and grabbed his arm to see if that would help get his attention.

His head snapped in my direction and looked at me startled. "Huh, what?"

"Edward, what's wrong?"

His eyes wondered away from mine. "Just…thinking."

"About what?"

He was silent, his expression never changing. I tilted my head over so that I was in his line of view and lowered my hand to grab onto his own.

"You were like this when we were walking up here. Is something bothering you? If so, then tell me," I commanded, though my tone made it sound more like begging.

He finally looked at me willingly, but his face was still tense. He squeezed my hand and sighed deeply as his expression became serious.

"Bella, can I ask you something?" he said in a sharp, clear voice.

I nodded. "Okay."

"How do you feel about me?"

My eyes widened in surprise and this time I was the one to look away, but he turned my head back around to maintain eye contact.

"Well?" he asked again impatiently.

I grimaced. "You know how I feel. I care about you a lot. I like having you in my life."

"So, what am I to you?"

"You're my best friend, Edward."

He raised a brow at me. "Just your best friend?"

"Yes…"

He looked at me in silence for a moment. I felt my heart beat faster, wondering where he was going with this, though I had an idea.

"I'm sorry, I don't believe that," he said clearly.

I flinched in shock. "What do you mean?"

"I don't believe that I'm simply your best friend."

"Why not? That's how I see you."

"Bella, back when we were together, I remember you telling me I was everything to you. You said that you'd rather die than be with anyone else but me. Are you telling me that all those feelings have been watered down to best friend level?"

I frowned. "I can change, Edward. And…I might have been exaggerating a bit. I loved you back then, and I still do, but it's in a different way now."

"Are you sure about that?"

"Very sure."

"I don't know if you're aware of this, but the way you act around me, it's very easy for people to assume that we're together. There are quite a few students at school that think you're cheating on Jacob because of how close we appear, but they won't come out and tell anyone their theories."

My jaw dropped for a second, but I quickly closed it with clenched teeth. "That's ridiculous! Those people are idiots, whoever they are!"

"But it's hard to blame them too much."

I glowered at him. "You know it's not true."

"Yes, but like I said, you don't seem to be aware of your actions around me. The way you look at me, the way you touch me, they're all reminiscent of when we were together. It's like you secretly yearn for those days to return."

"That is not true."

"I don't really want to call you out or anything, but you were surprisingly okay with me lying in the same bed as you on Monday."

I cringed. "I'm just comfortable around you, Edward. But if you keep talking like this, you're going to make me very UNcomfortable."

"And this, taking you to our special meadow when we were together, you seemed completely fine with it."

I looked around at the meadow as some of its beauty and significance slowly drained in my eyes.

"Wait a minute, was this 'celebration' just something to prove a point? A point that's invalid, by the way."

He grimaced and sighed deeply. "Bella, please, just hear me out."

I continued glaring at him, but I wasn't going to stop him. I was actually eager to hear what he had to say so I could tell him he was wrong.

"I don't doubt that you love Jacob," he said, "But I'm not so sure that you love him more. He was there for you when I wasn't and I understand that. So, when I came back, you couldn't just leave him and go back to me. After what he's done, that wouldn't be right. So you stayed with him. But Bella, I don't want you to choose second best in order to make him happy. I want you to choose what makes you happiest."

I growled. "That's bullcrap, Edward! Jacob is not second best!"

He leaned back and looked at me surprised by my outburst. "That's new. Did you learn that from him?"

"Shut up! I chose Jacob because I love him more than anything. He's everything I want."

"So you're saying you love him more than me? He makes you happier than I did?"

If he really wanted me to say it, then fine. "Yes!"

He shook his head. "Bella, you and Jacob have been together for just over two months while we were together for about three times that amount. And you're saying that after two months, you've already confirmed that you love him more and he's all you want?"

"Time means nothing, Edward, I know how I feel. And yes, I'm saying that."

"I don't think you know just how much you still feel for me though. It's understandable that you'd try to keep your feelings controlled in order to stay with Jacob, but when you're with me, they slip out."

"Wow, I hadn't realized you figured out how to read my damn mind!"

"I can't read your mind, but I do know you."

"You obviously don't, because you're completely wrong."

"By the way, you're still holding my hand." He smirked.

I looked down at our conjoined hands and my face turned red, more out of anger than embarrassment. I snatched my hand away and tried to move away from him, but in a flash his arm wrapped around my waist to keep me where I was. No. He was pulling me closer.

"Edward," I said in warning as I struggled to get away.

"So now you aren't even comfortable around me?"

"I told you it would happen if you kept this up." I continued trying to squirm out of his hold, but he was too strong. At the same time though, he didn't seem to be trying too hard to keep me there. It was like I was stuck between two rocks and I needed to rub butter on myself to slip free.

"I will admit, you're fighting your feelings harder than I thought."

"There are no feelings to fight! And do I need to remind you that you're a vampire?"

He cringed like that hurt him, but I wasn't ready to feel bad for him just yet. "That didn't seem to bother you before."

"Maybe because I was under the impression that I'd eventually become like you. Are you gonna change me?"

"No."

"That's what I thought."

"So, you won't be with me because I refuse to change you?"

"I don't want to be with you regardless." That came out meaner than I thought it would.

He sighed. "You've been pretty forgetful today. Maybe you've forgotten how much you love me too."

"I didn't forget. I love you as my best friend. That's it."

He started leaning closer to me now and his other hand that wasn't already holding me too close to him came up to cup my cheek. I tried to push his arm away, but it didn't budge an inch.

"Bella, I love you so much more than that. And I always will," he whispered.

My heart pounded as he got closer and closer. I kept trying to get away, but it was no use. "Edward, stop."

"Please, just let me try this. It might help you remember. Think of it as an experiment."

"No!"

It was pointless. Edward silenced my protest as he pressed his lips to mine.

Author's Note: Yes, you just read a 100% Bella and Edward chapter...

No I wasn't! :D Thank you

This was such a good chapter!!  can't wait to see what happens in the next one!! :)

Thank you both! 

21. Monster

BELLA SWAN

Edward's cold lips, hard as stone, moved against mine in a way that felt so familiar, yet so incredibly different. I squeezed my eyes shut and my whole body tensed up as his lips searched for a response from me. I could tell he was trying to be gentle with me, but I didn't think it mattered much when he wasn't letting me escape. He lightly ran his hand up my right arm that was locked to my side and his cold touch sent shivers through me. My other hand was pressed against his chest in preparation to try and push him away, but what would've been the point when I knew he wouldn't budge. He continued kissing my non-moving lips and rubbed my shoulder soothingly, trying to make me loosen up. I felt a strong emotion swell up inside me, begging to be released the more he tried getting me to respond to him.

Although his lips were patient and loving, I was still shocked. I wasn't expecting this from Edward at all. Gentle or not, I should've been furious. I should've tried getting away as best I could, even if it was useless. I should've yelled, if anything just to get my point across that I didn't want this. His kiss, so foreign in many ways, should've felt too hard, too cold, and just not right. There was a lot that should've been…but weren't.

My arms, that I should've been using to push him away, instead found their way around his neck, pulling him closer. My rigid body soon began to melt into his ironically cold embrace. He held me tighter and I could feel the joy in his lips as he kissed me much more enthusiastically, and I welcomed it. A kiss so cold, so hard, but it felt right, different, but right. My lips that were once motionless were now very active as they matched his every movement with just as much eagerness as he displayed. As close as we already were together, at that moment, I wanted nothing more than to be even closer. I could tell Edward still had no plans on letting me go anytime soon, but that wasn't a problem anymore. I didn't want to be let go.

As we kissed, my brain started asking me the same question over and over again. Why? Why was I doing this? But I asked right back, why are you asking why? The answer was completely obvious. I was still in love with Edward. I loved him. It didn't matter what he did, how he acted, or how long a time we were apart. I loved him, always had and always would. Looking back, it was stupid of me to deny it in the first place. Who was I kidding? No one, but myself. Edward was right. After all that I've felt for him, after everything that we've been through, there was no way that could be brushed aside so easily; I didn't think it ever could.

The longer our lips danced together, the more enveloped I became in "us". Images began flashing in my mind as I recaptured the love we had; the day I met him in Biology class, the time he saved me from being crushed by Tyler's van, the moment I realized he was a vampire, our first time going to the meadow, his rescuing me from James, and even our prom night. The memories all displayed perfectly in my mind like I was watching it unfold a second time, but it didn't end there. New images started to flash by.

I could see Edward and I standing in front of a small but beautiful cottage that looked like it could be straight from a fairytale. The area looked different though, unlike anything I recognized in Forks. Edward smiled that beautifully crooked smile of his and lightly rubbed my hand that was much paler than usual. To the right of us was a small pond with pebbles decorating the border. I curiously went over to take a look at it. The water was very clean and I could see my reflection clearly. What I saw caught me off guard. I could see myself, but I looked so different. My skin was just as pale as Edward's, my hair silky and shiny as it hung over my shoulders, and my face completely free of any wrinkles or uneven features. I did look different, I looked far too beautiful. My beauty however did not distract me long enough to not notice the blood red eyes in place of my once brown ones.

I looked at myself in shock for a moment before a stray gust of wind blew in my direction, rippling the water so I couldn't see myself so clearly. Once calm again, my reflection didn't display in the water. Instead, I could see Charlie and Sue Clearwater back at home. They were sitting on the couch and Sue had her hand on Charlie's shoulder in a comforting manner, odd considering I thought it would be the other way around. Another gust of wind passed and with it, a new image appeared in the water. It was the pack, all in their wolf forms standing protectively along an invisible borderline. I could recognize them all easily, but I noticed that one was missing. In the next second, another gust of wind went by and the water calmed to show yet another image. It was Jacob. Everything around him was pitch-black and he seemed to be emitting some kind of light, but that light was starting to fade way. It got darker and darker until nothing could be seen.

I gasped and suddenly came back to reality. I wasn't sure if it was a reflexive response or my body actually doing what my brain wanted it to, but I immediately unwrapped my arms from around Edward and pulled away as best I could in his grasp. Edward's eyes widened in surprise as I struggled furiously and finally he let me go. The moment he did, I fell back hard and hit my head in the dirt, probably crushing some of the flowers behind me. Leave it to me to lose my balance while sitting.

"Are you okay?" Edward asked in worry, reaching out to take my hand.

I flinched away from his hand in panic, my heart racing as I looked at him cautiously. I could see on his face that my response hurt him as he pulled his hand away slowly, which didn't make me feel any better. He didn't lose his focus though, keeping his eyes on me and watching my reactions carefully.

"Bella?" he said slowly.

I grimaced and finally spoke. "Y-yeah?"

"Are you okay?"

"No…"

He slowly scooted a bit closer. "Where does it hurt? It looked like you hit your head pretty hard."

"No, not my head." Although my head did hurt a little, it was nothing compared to what I was feeling inside.

"Then where?"

I didn't answer. I just held my hand over my chest as I tried to endure the throbbing that felt like it was getting faster. I was starting to sweat and my whole body was trembling. Looking at Edward and knowing how much I felt for him, it made me feel disgusted at myself. I was starting to feel dizzy, everything around me was blurring, including Edward's beautiful face.

"Bella! Bella, breath, calm down," he advised and grabbed my shoulder. Though I was breathing, it was far too rapid for my own good.

Either he was too late or his physical contact did the trick, but all too quickly, I let go as everything went black.

It was like that for a while, or at least it felt like that to me. I couldn't feel or see a thing. Everything was still black, there was no noise; it was almost like I was dead. Did I die? I thought with dark humor at the idea of Edward somehow giving me the Kiss of Death. That's when I realized I wasn't dead, I was thinking and my senses were coming back to me. The smell of the woods had gone away and the intense throbbing in my chest seemed to have relocated to my head. I groaned and held the right side of my head where it hurt the most. Still, I much preferred this over the pain I felt before, pain that I brought upon myself.

"Bella?" I heard Edward whisper, his tone filled with worry.

I slowly opened my eyes and saw that we were back in Edward's Volvo. He was driving much slower than he usually did and it didn't look like he drove too far away from where he had parked.

"Bella?" he whispered again.

"Yes?" I responded with a groan.

He sighed in relief. "How do you feel?"

"My head is killing me."

"I'm sorry about your head, but I am glad you're awake. I was afraid I'd have to explain to Charlie how you passed out."

"Oh…that's what happened."

"I think you had some sort of panic attack."

I nodded. "That sounds about right."

He frowned deeply, his face full of regret. "Maybe I should bring you to Carlisle so he can check if you're okay."

I shook my head. "No, just take me home, please."

"Are you sure?"

"Yes."

I cringed as I thought back on what happened and feared the throbbing in my chest might start again, especially if I stayed around Edward for too long, I didn't want to make things worse. It was clear to me now and I had to admit to myself that I loved Edward and always had, but that didn't change how much I loved Jacob, not in the slightest. That image of his disappearing in the dark, my sun burning out, me losing him, it was too much. Just thinking about it caused me so much pain that I'd take a killer headache over that any day. Edward was right, I feared choosing him over Jacob would cause Jacob pain, but I didn't think he knew how much agony that would cause me as well, maybe even more than Jacob's. I didn't fully understand what it was about Jacob that made losing him so unbearable. We always seemed to have connected emotions that I didn't even think I had with Edward. I felt like that connection had grown far too big at this point to abandon.

"Bella," Edward said, his tone regretful, "I wanted to apologize. I shouldn't have kissed you like that. I was so confident in myself that I didn't take your feelings into consideration. If I'd known you'd respond like that, I would never have done it."

"But, wasn't that the response you wanted?" I grimaced as I thought about it, "I mean, minus the passing out. And I think you nailed my feelings pretty well."

"I still could've approached it differently. For that, I'm sorry."

I sighed. "I forgive you."

It was silent for a while as Edward sped up a little, continuing on the route to Charlie's house. I stared out the window, trying to keep my panicked thoughts under control as I dealt with this stupid headache. I wasn't sure if it was caused by my stress, hitting my head too hard, or a possible side effect from my birth control shot. I just knew that it wasn't going away anytime soon.

"Bella, how come you reacted the way you did?" Edward asked, "You looked so…terrified."

I cringed and swallowed hard as he brought it back up.

"Surely you loving me couldn't have come as that much of a shock."

I shook my head. "No. It was kind of a 'duh' moment."

"Then, why?"

I hesitated to answer. "Edward…you know I love you."

He nodded. "Yes."

"I do, I really do. But…" I took a deep breath that came out shaking. "I don't think it really changes much."

He seemed to freeze for a split second. "Oh…"

I grimaced as I saw the disappointment in his eyes. His face squirmed a little, like he was trying to accept it but having trouble.

"Well then, I'm very sorry now," he said in a low voice.

"Why are you apologizing so much? I'm the monster here."

"Bella, how are you the monster? If anything, I am." He chuckled once darkly and shook his head. "I really am a monster too."

"No. I'm the monster who's hurting you, and I'm going to end up hurting Jacob too." I whimpered and felt some tears try to escape, but I kept them in place. "At least I get to share the pain, that makes it slightly fairer."

He took one hand off the wheel for a second, reaching out slightly to touch me, but stopped himself as he went back to driving with two hands. "If this has caused you pain in anyway, then I truly am the monster here, Bella."

I just shook my head in disagreement and held my other hand to my chest when I started to feel throbbing again, though not as violent as before. My hands shook just thinking about how badly this news would hurt Jacob. I contemplated not telling him, but how could I do that? I wouldn't be able to live with myself keeping this secret from him, if was too big to ignore.

"What will you do about Jacob?" Edward asked.

"I have to tell him the truth," I murmured.

"Are you sure that's a good idea? What about his temper? He could get mad and hurt you."

"He has every right to be mad at me." I sighed and looked to the floor. "And I've hurt him enough." I was pretty sure that Jacob wouldn't physically harm me, but if he did, I didn't feel like I had the right to complain.

Edward's grip on the steering wheel tightened and his teeth clenched, like he had heard my thoughts. "I would kill him."

"No!" I looked directly at him. "No, you won't!"

He glanced at me for a second and went back to looking at the road with a sigh. I was waiting for him to say "okay" or something, but he remained silent. We were already close to Charlie's house so it only took a few minutes until Edward pulled into the driveway, stopping behind Charlie's car.

I sluggishly got out of the car and steadied myself on my feet as Edward got my backpack from the backseat and put it over my shoulders. I also saw that the white box with Edward's chocolate cake inside sat at the opposite end of where my backpack was, which he grabbed and held out to me.

"You can keep this if you want," Edward offered.

I took it with one hand as the other was still positioned on my head. "Thanks."

He sighed. "Again, I'm really sorry."

"Edward, it's not your fault. I probably would've realized it eventually anyway. I'm the one screwed up, not you."

"You're not screwed up. Everyone loves in different ways, there's no rule to it."

"Even if there isn't, I must be doing something wrong."

His arms twitched for a second as he looked at me with longing in his eyes, like he desperately wanted something but was trying hard to hold himself back. "I should go."

I nodded slowly. "Alright."

He walked back around to the driver's side, but hesitated to get in. There must have been some kind of inner debate going on in his mind, but he ultimately got in and quickly started the car up. I stepped back as he backed out of the driveway. My eyes were locked on his face the whole time and it was clear that he was in pain. I hated this so much. No matter what I did, I was going to hurt someone. It would be so much easier if I could get over Edward like most people did when it came to their past relationships, but that seemed so impossible to me now. The best I could do was make sure it didn't get any worse and try staying away from him altogether, but that thought alone added to the throbbing pain in my chest.

I slowly walked to the front door and briefly tucked the box under my arm to open the door. I went inside and saw Charlie sitting on the couch watching ESPN. He turned toward me upon my arrival, but didn't smile in greeting once he examined my face.

"Honey, are you alright?" Charlie asked.

"I just have a headache," I answered, "I'm going to try and lie down for a bit."

"Alright. Do you need some Tylenol or anything?"

"I might take some if it gets any worse, I know where it is."

He nodded and his focus shifted to the box in my hand. "What's in the box?"

I went and put the box on the counter. "Chocolate cake. You can have some if you want."

"Cake, huh? What's the occasion?"

"For finishing my finals."

"Ah, yes. How'd you do?"

I shrugged. "I think I did fine."

"Good for you. I won't take too much then, it's your cake."

"Really, I don't mind. I probably won't be eating anymore tonight." I groaned as the throbbing in my head continued.

"Well, you just get some rest and try to feel better."

"I will."

I nodded at him and made my way upstairs to my room. Setting my backpack beside the bed, I lied down and rested my head on the pillow. As much as my head was hurting, it was no distraction at all from the inner turmoil I was experiencing.

I loved Edward, but it was just too late to drop everything and go back to him. I loved Jacob, but it wasn't fair to him that I shared my love with someone else. Maybe they'd both be better off without me and find someone who could love them properly, though the thought of losing either one made me feel sick. Losing Edward would no doubt hurt me, but I felt like I could survive as long as Jacob was with me. He's helped me through it before after all, he's really good at that. However, losing Jacob would break me to a degree that I wasn't sure if I could recover from even if I had Edward.

I felt weary as I laid there completely motionless, but my mind was racing too fast for sleepiness to catch up. Even as I closed my eyes and tried my best to dispel all the thoughts that fueled my anxiety, one would just not go away. Tomorrow I would see Jacob. I knew that I needed to tell him the truth and I could only hope that he would be far more forgiving than I deserved.

Author's Note: I know, I know, you guys hate me right now...

omg this was such a good chapter, but she really needs to get back to Jacob... he always makes things better

I had to go back & catch up ...  Two really great chapters!  AND a very intense emotional roller coaster, too!!!   OMG,!  I have been in that situation [ kind of - no super-humans involved! ] and I feel her pain!!!   SHE's the one who is the looser now,   If she tells Jacob, that relationship is jeopardized if not over, and if she doesn't tell him, it's never going to be the same for her anyway.   Poor girl!!   She's in for a world of hurt either way!!!

I signed in just to comment on these latest chapters.

OH. CRAP.

Despite me really rooting for Jacob to burn Edward for kissing Bella, its sooo good!  Finally getting some Edward/Jacob drama! Too bad its a cliffhanger. Urgh, I so badly wanted to see how Jacob would react when Bella told him.>.< I can't wait for the next one. At all.

You're doing great!

i love this story!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

PK is having some site issues and not able to log in at the moment.  He wanted everyone to know that this same story can be found on FanFiction dot net.  If you would like to follow it there, it has the same name The Twilight Saga: Solar Flare.   

The next chapter has been posted. 

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