We pulled up to my small shack of a house and Bella was quiet. She was quiet a lot these days. I could never figure out if she was angry with me or if she was just thinking about him. It was infuriating. But I couldn’t be angry with her. I just wanted to be with her, near her, any way that I could. I knew that my time left with human Bella was short, but I also knew that any time I tried to convince her not to go through with her decision to become a bloodsucker, we ended up in a fight and she’d storm out and leave. What then was I supposed to do? Just lay down and die… thus, letting Bella die? Not a chance. But, today was not the day to fight. I was too exhausted, too tired and I just needed to be with her for some rejuvenation. I would take whatever she had to offer: laughter, conversation, a walk, which would have the added bonus of simply holding her hand. I missed that when I didn’t have it. I sighed heavily as I opened the door to the house letting Bella inside before me.
Bella looked over her shoulder and asked, “What’s that about? And you look exhausted. Are you getting any sleep?”
“I’m fine,” I mumbled brushing by her and plopping my gigantic self on the small love seat. She came and sat next to me cramming herself in the opposite corner. Ha, some love seat.
She peered at me again analyzing my face. “You really look tired,” she said again, reaching out to pull my chin down so my eye level was at hers. “Maybe I should go.”
“No, Bells, you just got here. Look, I just, I’ve been patrolling a lot, that’s all.”
“Because of me? Are you still running around my house all night? That’s really not necessary. Edward…”
“It’s fine. I don’t mind,” I said. And I meant it, mostly. I did mind it when I could smell that filthy leech’s scent wafting from her bedroom and when I could hear her heavy breathing when she kissed him. That was the worst, thinking about his lips on hers. I couldn’t help myself and gazed at those beautiful lips that I had longed to touch for so long and probably never would. Man, I was pathetic: in love with a girl that didn’t even see me because she was too blind by the false beauty of a dead guy. Bet he didn’t look so hot in nineteen-whenever he came from where he was pissing in a pot and smelling like B.O. At least I smelled good, like the ocean or the forest.
“Fine, I’m not going to argue with you, but we’re not doing anything crazy today. You wanna play cards or just watch TV?”
“TV’s fine,” I said picking up the remote and turning on the television immediately. I handed it over to Bella so she could pick something. I didn’t care what we watched. Anytime we watched TV all I did was steal glances at Bella desperately trying not to stare at her legs or worse grab at her legs. I wanted them wrapped around me so bad, or at the very least on my lap so I could feel them. I bet they were smooth today. What I wouldn’t give to just run one hand up that long leg. Why did I torture myself with such thoughts?
I leaned my head back while I listened to her incessant flipping and grumbling about bad reality TV. Billy was obsessed with all of his sports shows, so we had cable boasting a million channels, most were crap as Bella could attest to. I’m not sure what she chose, but finally the noise died down and I assumed she stuck with something. I couldn’t be sure though as I kept my eyes closed so I wouldn’t be too tempted today. I was trying to be good so Bella would stick around. If I played my cards right, I could have the whole day with her and that sounded pretty damn good.
Jake was exceptionally quiet while we sat there. Too quiet. He must really have been tired. I peered over to peek at him. His mouth was slack and his cheeks soft, Sam’s hard face gone. He looked like my Jacob again. I missed him desperately. I wanted to stroke his cheek to feel his face, his real face, the one that wasn’t hardened by Sam’s mask. But I didn’t. I tried to watch the TV but I was distracted by Jake’s smooth sounds, his chest rising and falling with his even sleep-induced breathing.
I shifted uncomfortably on the couch and Jake’s body slumped to the side with me, his massive head leaning on my shoulder. I tried to move him back, but his whole weight was propped up against me. I tried moving him again, pushing my hand deep in his hair at the base of his neck trying to grip it and pull it back to no avail. He wouldn’t budge. But, good gravy his hair was soft. So soft. Like silk. How could someone who was constantly running through the woods, flying in and out of clothes, and whose hair looked like a nest half the time have such soft hair? I looked at him again. He was close, too close. I didn’t like that one bit. He had nice lips. And, his hair didn’t look like a nest today. It looked clean, sleek and I wanted to run my hands through it. He was asleep, so I took the chance. I was too curious.
The top of his head nuzzled my cheek so I leaned back against him. I reached my arm back to stroke his soft locks and he let out a contented sigh in his sleep. Why did he have to be so cute when he was sleeping? I liked him so much better like this, but it certainly didn’t help my resolve to stay away from him and keep myself from leading him on. I certainly didn’t mean to, but it was hard because I liked him. He was my best friend.
As I finished the first cooking show, I continued to run my fingers through his hair I could feel him relaxing against me. Poor guy was so tense. He deserved a nap. I felt so guilty that he was this tired because of me. Why was he helping me? I was so selfish and constantly hurting him. He deserved so much better.
I gave him a small peck on the forehead and he slumped forward. Crap! He nosedived right into my breasts. Ack! Jake! I pushed him down as best I could, his nose dragging down my chest and stomach. I laid his head gently in my lap and tried to ignore what had just happened by stroking his hair again. Man, he had a big, heavy head.
He nuzzled his whole head in my lap and surprised me by wrapping his arms and hands around my thighs like he was squeezing his pillow. With one arm below me and one arm above me, he snuggled into more comfort. This was getting ridiculous. I wasn’t a bed. And how could that possibly be comfortable? Wouldn’t his arm and hand fall asleep under my weight? Knowing Jake, it wouldn’t. I probably weighed as much as a feather to him. I decided to let him sleep and didn’t budge, turning my attention back to the new cooking show I was watching. I had a short attention span today though when it came to the TV.
I looked over Jake’s face again, a small smile was playing at his lips. He was enjoying this. But, how? He was asleep, right? Of course he was.
“Jake?” I whispered. “Jake?” I said a little louder. No response. Hmm. I raked my eyes over him and couldn’t stifle a laugh. He looked absolutely absurd on this tiny sofa having curled his massive body into a ball so that he could fit next to me. He really was cute even if he didn’t mean to be.
Man, I loved a good dream. And this was a good dream. I was wrapped around Bella on the couch. Mmm. What could be better? Other than, oh… Bella was touching me. Her fingers ran through my hair. They moved from my scalp to my neck stroking there softly. Her hands were so gentle as she moved them across my shoulders scratching lightly. How long had I wanted her to touch me this way? For too long. If Billy woke me, so help me I would turn wolf and kill him.
I squeezed her legs tighter in my arms, letting my hand sneak just between her thighs, my thumb rubbing lightly on her inner thigh. Her legs spread the tiniest bit for me and she sighed softly. This was going to be good. But, I was afraid to look up at her face. So many times, even in my dreams, she had rejected any advance I had made, except for that one great night when she let me do whatever I had wanted. That was the best dream ever. My most favorite dream. If only there was a camera in my mind’s eye. I would watch that over and over again. Mmm, made me feel good all over when she let me…
Wait, what the…? Oh, I loved this dream Bella. Her hands trailed down my back and lifted my shirt the tiniest bit so she could gain access to my bare back. She drew patterns on my warm skin that was heating up by the second as she grazed it with her fingertips. I groaned at the sensation and she stilled her hand.
I flipped myself in her lap, pushing both of my hands under her thighs gripping one side of her leg, resting my head on her lap, face up, keeping my eyes closed. My long legs dangled off the arm of the couch. I didn’t care. This dream was hellagood.
“Don’t stop, that feels good,” I mumbled to my sweet dream Bella.
She ran her hand tentatively over my chest and let it roam softly around my t-shirt. Stupid shirt. I lifted up quickly shedding myself of the dreaded fabric. She gasped. Of course: a gasping, embarrassed Bella, even in my dreams she was in character. But sometimes that kind of sucked. Big time. Especially when I wanted her naked in my arms and she had refused entirely to even let me touch her breast over her shirt.
“Don’t stop,” I said again snuggling back into her sweet thighs. I was so comfortable and relaxed on her like this.
Bella’s tiny hands grazed my chest tentatively. Her hands trembled and I moved one of my own to press it to hers. “It’s fine,” I said. “Just touch me.”
I held her hand in my own, kissed it, then placed it on my stomach. Oh, but that felt amazing, the way that she used her nails against my bare abdomen. Mmm.
“Damn, Bells. Your hands are so soft.”
“You’re softer than I thought you’d be,” she whispered, her voice shaky.
“It’s not like you’ve never touched me before,” I replied adding to this ridiculous dream conversation. What was I waiting for? This dream Bella seemed game. I would take my chance now in case I woke up.
I opened my eyes, they were right below her perfect breasts. Great view. I could see Bella’s chest rising and falling shakily as though she were nervous. “Why are you nervous? This is silly. Come here.” I reached my free hand up into her hair cupping her neck and drawing her down to me. She bent over awkwardly straining herself, but coming towards me anyway. I lifted myself up to improve the angle. My lips were a mere inch from hers. I stared into her dark eyes. They were piercing mine, beautiful. “Man, I love dreaming,” I whispered into her lips. Her eyes grew wide at that statement. That was weird. What did I care? I closed the gap between us touching my lips to hers gently. I moved over her mouth slowly feeling every curve, every line of her lips. She was still at first letting me do the work. I didn’t care. Any time I got to kiss her was joyous, so I just went for it.
I sat up more fully and wrapped my other hand in her hair. It was so soft and smelled so good, like sweet fruit. I turned her head slightly to the side using her hair to guide her and she finally joined in the kiss. I thought this dream Bella was going to be a bit more aggressive than this. Oh well.
Dream Bella kissed me back slowly at first, her mouth moving softly over mine. Her hands rested on my chest and she began roaming them over my torso. Oh, that felt great. I wrapped my hands around her back squeezing her closer to me. She could never be too close. She pulled herself up higher on the couch and wrapped her arms around my shoulders while simultaneously licking my lips. Oh yeah, now I was really dreaming.
Mm, Bella’s tongue moving in my mouth was heaven, pure heaven. The way this Bella moved was so natural, so real and the things she was doing to me were so unexpected. She pushed me forward a bit and squirmed around the couch trying to get closer to me, but not able to figure out how in the tiny space. What was she doing? She was wasting time. This dream would be over soon, I knew it. I couldn’t wait any longer. Exasperated with dream Bella’s ineptitude at making out, I heaved her onto my lap pushing her knees down beside either one of my thighs. How I loved her on top. Mm hm. She seemed to like that too. Her hands slid into my hair and she pulled at it roughly pushing her firm breasts into my chest and moaning into my mouth. Oh, this was good.
I kissed her roughly then slamming my teeth into hers, giving her everything I had. Her head cast back and she moaned my name. I groaned at that slice of perfection and took things a step further. I was going to be in pain when I woke up if I didn’t spice things up a bit. I pulled her head back to mine, my lips barely touching hers. “I love you,” I whispered before thrusting my tongue in her mouth and grabbing hold of her buttocks with both hands and slamming her body forward onto my straining erection.
“Mmph,” she cried out in a muffled strain to which I chortled. She was so cute when I shocked her by my manhood. She looked up at me, her eyes angry then and she covered her mouth. She stood silently, walked to the door, snatched up the keys to her bike and wrenched the door open. I could hear the motorcycle roar to life and skid out of my gravel driveway. This dream was so vivid. What the hell did I have to eat before I fell asleep? No more Mike and Ikes or suicides from Seven Eleven. They messed with my head. Oh well. I slumped back down into my couch and took in the scent of Bella. She was everywhere. Ahhh. It was a good dream while it lasted.
I woke up on the couch at five o’clock from my second dream: a lame one full of Quil and Embry teasing me about Bella. Not cool. Where the hell was my shirt? I must’ve gotten too hot. But more importantly, where was Bells? I bet she got bored and went home. I was such a drag lately. Oh well. At least I had some time with her. And that dream was so hot. Just thinking about it made me want to see Bella all over again. It was only five. The leech was gone and she was probably making dinner, right? I hopped into the Rabbit without a second thought and made my way to Forks.
I walked in to find Charlie sitting on the couch watching a game with a beer in hand.
“Hey,” I said. He waved casually at me and pointed to the kitchen.
I walked around the small partition to see Bella, a small apron hanging on her waist, stirring some scandalously good-smelling thing for dinner. “Whatcha’ makin’? I asked. She jumped at that.
“Jake,” she said turning, her hand over her heart. “What are you doing here?”
“I woke up on the couch and you were gone. I’m sorry I fell asleep. Good dream though,” I mumbled the last statement. Bella glared at me. Why was she so mad? I just fell asleep. It wasn’t like I tried to confess my love for her. And I had been so good while we were together too. Geez, she was uptight these days.
“Look, I know I’ve been boring lately, but I’m rested now. Let’s do something.”
“I don’t think so,” said Bella rolling her eyes at me.
“Why not? He’s not here. He won’t be for awhile. Let’s go see a movie or something.”
“No,” she said a bit vehemently.
“What is your problem?” I challenged. She was really starting to piss me off. I just wanted to take the girl to a movie. I wasn’t going to do anything.
“You. Alright? You are my problem. You think you can just… Just forget it.”
“Forget it? Forget what? What are you talking about it?”
“You think you’re so funny and charming Black don’t you?
“Oh, Black now am I? Well yes, many people find me charming. It seems to work with the ladies. Apparently, just not you. Too bad. You’re missing out.”
“Ugh! You are sooo annoying,” she shrieked. She yanked her apron from her waist throwing it on a chair, turned off the stove and stomped through the hall and up the stairs telling Charlie that dinner was ready.
I grabbed a dinner roll and followed her up, again not bothering to knock.
“What’s your deal?” I said through a mouthful of roll.
“Just go away. If you’re not gonna admit that… just go away.”
“Admit what?” I asked plopping down on her bed. “Just tell me what to admit to and I’ll do it so we can get outta’ here.” That made her mad. She drew her legs up and propelled herself to the head of the bed glaring at me.
“Admit what? Are you kidding me? You… and I… we… and then…”
“Hm?” I questioned, giving her a strange look I’m sure. What the hell was she talking about?
“You had a good dream, huh?” she said in a huff and threw a pillow over her head as she crashed her body into the bed.
“I did. Is that was this is about? Did I say something to you while I was sleeping? I didn’t really think I talked in my sleep but maybe… okay, fine I admit it. I had a good dream. A kissing dream, Bells. With you and me.” I lifted the pillow and smiled at her wiggling my eyebrows. Oops. She did not like that.
She snapped at me with her teeth like a feral cat. Her claws were certainly out.
“I’m being honest. It was just a kiss.”
“Just a kiss? You must think I’m an idiot.”
“I don’t think you’re an idiot.” Where did she get that idea? That was idiotic. I was so confused. “I think you’re very smart, Bells. You were always good at helping me with my homework. You’re smart.” I shrugged. What did she want to hear from me? She was so needy tonight. Maybe she was pmsing. I didn’t miss that at all. It was a nice change when my sisters moved out. All that ranting and raving. Girls. I shook my head at the thought.
“Well then you’re an idiot.”
“Alright, I’m an idiot. Feel better now? Can we go to the movies?”
“No!” She screamed at me from under the pillow.
“Why not?” I said getting irritated by her stubbornness. I flung the pillow off of her head and onto the ground. She scowled at me. She looked so cute when she was mad at me.
“How do I know you won’t… you know… hold my hand and …whatever…”
“Fine, I promise I won’t hold your hand. I like you so much better in my dreams, Bells. You’re not so moody. And, you kiss me,” I said brazenly.
That did it. She launched at me and I bolted out of the way. Her small frame fell to the floor with a thud. Crap! “Shoot! Reflex. I’m sorry. I should’ve stayed there.”
I lifted her up by her arms. She was pressed up against my bare chest. I smoothed her back with my hands and she clawed at them trying to get me off of her. Touch-y. I was just trying to help. I took a tiny step back holding my hands up in surrender.
She stood in front of me fuming, her hands on her hips, tapping her toe. “What?” I said after swallowing the last bit of my roll. “I said I promise not to…”
She reached forward suddenly and pulled my face to hers kissing me hard. Her tongue entered my mouth and we gave in to our basic instincts wrapping our arms around each other. Oh yeah. Finally: a real life kiss with Bella Swan. She was good at this. Not tentative at all and the way she moved her tongue…
She stopped abruptly and pushed me away roughly, her hands on my pecs. She dropped them to her sides once she realized where they were and stood still, breathing heavily.
“Whoa, Bells, what? I’m not complaining I just… huh?” I rubbed the back of my neck trying to figure this girl out.
“Seem familiar?” she said with a scowl.
“Shut up, Jake! You can’t fool me. You knew you weren’t dreaming and you took advantage of me!”
“Wait? What?” A huge grin spread across my face as the truth finally dawned on me. I couldn’t help it and I laughed heartily at the situation.
“It’s not funny!” she said stamping her foot.
“I wasn’t dreaming?” I asked through a laugh.
“No,” she said looking down at the ground. “You had to have known.”
“I didn’t. I… whoa, we like really made out, huh?”
“Yeah,” she said shyly, looking up at me with those big, brown eyes. I loved those eyes.
“It was nice.”
“Yeah,” she admitted. “Until you got all handsy on me and tried to rub yourself all over me.”
“Well, it was the best dream,” I said using air quotes, “I’ve had in a long time. Hey, how… I took advantage of you? I don’t think so, Bells. I was asleep for all I knew. You knew I thought I was sleeping. If anything you took advantage of me.” Hee hee hee. It was true. Bella Swan had taken advantage of me. So freaking awesome! She wanted me.
“I… didn’t, I… I was just touching your soft hair and then… I stroked your neck and then… oh crap.” She sat down heavily on her bed slumping her head into her hands.
I sat next to her and broke my promise right away holding her hand. “Honey, it’s okay,” I said trying to be soothing. “It was an accident. It… well I guess, no you were coherent, weren’t you? I mean, you kissed me, like really kissed me. You were straddling me, Bella.”
She hit me in the chest and smiled at me. “You put me there!” she laughed.
“Well you liked it,” I said rubbing my bare chest where she had hit me.
“I did. Holy crow!” She threw herself back onto the bed and covered her eyes with her hands.
I laid down next to her, my feet dangling off the bed and lifted one of her hands up so I could see her eyes.
“What did you like about it?” I asked, knowing full well she would put a stop to this conversation very soon.
“I… you were very… oh goodness,” she said looking at me and stopping. I couldn’t help but smile. She had kissed me. Bella Swan had kissed me and liked it. She continued quietly. “You were passionate… and kind of rough and unrestrained and Ilikeditokay?” She said the last bit quickly and turned herself over onto her belly hiding in the comforter of her bed. At least she was still facing me. I draped my arm over her back and pulled her closer to me. Our noses bumped.
“You think I’m passionate?”
“Mm hm,” she admitted to my surprise and then dropped her gaze to my lips. Did she… did she want me to kiss her? She continued on while angling her body towards mine. “And rough and unrestra…”
I pressed my lips to hers then, apparently for the third time today. Crazy! She didn’t hesitate. She wanted to kiss me back. This was good. So good. We kissed with abandon: our hands twisting in each other’s hair, our breathing heavy. She pressed her tiny little body next to mine feeling my torso with her soft hands. She wanted this. So did I, but I wasn’t about to ruin it by doing something stupid like I had this afternoon when I was sleeping. This bus was hers to drive, completely.
I continued kissing her. I ran my hand down her arm and intertwined my fingers with hers. She was so little and fragile and tender and whoa! Maybe not. She wrenched her hand from mine and maneuvered herself over the top of me straddling me as she had earlier in the day. She pressed her hands firmly into my pectorals and moaned into my mouth. This was so much more fun when I knew it was really happening. Although, ironically, it was less believable. Surreal, even.
I was so desperate to touch her, to feel her, to press her body firmly against mine. But I didn’t want her to run out screaming when she realized that she was betraying… Awe! Don’t even go there, Jake. I kept my hands limply at my sides willing myself not to grab her again and shove her into my erection. But, oh that sounded so right. Did she even know what she was capable of with that tongue of hers and those tiny hands and her firm breasts pushed up against me? Ugh! This was torture.
“Jake, mm, Jake.”
“Yeah?” I said in between small kisses.
“You can…” I licked her lips as she spoke. Oh she tasted so good.
“Mm?” I prompted before ravaging her mouth again. That I would give myself permission to do.
“You can touch me,” she said quietly into my lips before grabbing my hands and placing them on her hips.
Was she serious? I could touch her? What about…? Screw it. What Bella wants, Bella gets.
I flipped her onto her back, continuing to kiss her and wrapped her leg around my waist pulling it taut and running my hand from her ankle up to her thigh massaging it. I was right… smooth, so smooth. She arched her back then pushing her body into mine. This girl was going to kill me. She cast her head back and I attacked her neck kissing her roughly and drawing her flesh into my mouth. Before I realized what I was doing I had left a mark. Crap! What about…? UGH!
“I… Bella, what about… what…”
She pressed herself into me grazing my erection with her lower half while biting down on my bottom lip. Holy hell I loved everything about this girl. But I couldn’t keep going. I had to stop. What would happen tomorrow? What about her feelings towards me? What about Ed…?
I sat up abruptly to get away from her and her tempting… everything.
“Bella, I… oh, I’m going to hate myself after this but what about… I mean… you’re with Edward,” I said dropping my head feeling terrible and foolish that I had said anything. She sighed and dropped her head looking disappointed. I was such an idiot!
“Jake, I don’t know… I just… this feels right. This seems right. I mean, don’t you want…?”
“Of course I want, Bella. I always want you. Too much probably but not like this, not behind his back, not when… when I don’t know how you feel about me. I mean, are you… are you just using me because he can’t… or he won’t, um, kiss you like this.”
Bella sighed loudly and raised her head up to penetrate my eyes with hers. She was so beautiful.
“Jake, I can’t, I mean… You said you loved me today. Is that true? Do you love me?”
“Without a doubt. Don’t you know that already? Cause I don’t want there to be any confusion. I am in love with you, Bella. I’d do anything. I’d go anywhere. I’d… crap, I’d do whatever you wanted me to do. I just wish you’d realize that you loved me too.”
“I do. I realize it. I…”
“Yeah, but like ‘we should be family’ kind of nonsense. I’m talking all encompassing, don’t wanna live for another second without seeing that person and being around them constantly. I mean, Bella do you have any idea what it does to me just to see you? To know you’re coming over? To hear you on the phone? To hold your hand? To… be able to kiss you and have you kiss me back? It means everything because I’m in love with you. And, I think… if you thought about it, if you really took the time to shove him out of your mind, that you would see that you could feel the same way about me. That you could choose me. Because that’s what I want more than anything, Bella. I want you to choose me.”
“Jake, I… I love Edward.” She dropped her eyes from my gaze in shame. Rightly so. Couldn’t she have said something else? Anything else? How about ‘I could try.’ Or maybe ‘Maybe someday I will.’ But, ‘I love Edward?’ Are you kidding me? How heartless could she be? I had just poured my soul out and made a fool of myself kissing her like I thought she wanted me to, all to have her say, ‘I love Edward.’ No thanks. I was done. I couldn’t even think of anything to say. I stood and left the room silently. I couldn’t even bear to look back at her when she called my name in that forlorn tone of hers. I was so pathetic. And, I was right. Dream Bella was so much better than real Bella. I would stick with her. At least she’d always be alive for me, her heart beating for me and me alone.
I spent my evening crying over Jake. Crying over my behavior. Crying over my pathetic attempt to keep my best friend. Crying over my betrayal to Edward. What could I do? What would I tell him? He would know. He could read Jake’s mind. I had to tell him. I would as soon as I saw him again.
Just then Edward climbed into my window and rushed over to me drawing me into a hug. “I missed you.” He pushed me back quickly and sighed. “I’m glad you’re safe but, oh my word you smell like him. Did you spend all day with him?”
I peered up into Edward’s amber eyes and tears flooded my own. He lifted my chin to look at me. “Bella, I’m sorry. Did I hurt your feelings?”
I was such a monster. He was apologizing to me? I wanted to tear out my eyes for penance so I could never gaze at his beauty or Jake’s, ugh Jake, again.
He leaned down to wipe the tears from my cheeks. When I couldn’t handle the pressure anymore I emotionally dumped on my too understanding boyfriend. “I kissed Jake. I didn’t mean to, I thought he was asleep and then I guess he wasn’t and I was touching his hair and then he pulled me down and then he kissed me and at first I didn’t kiss back, I mean, because I’m with you, but then I don’t know… I just, I just kissed him back. But it… I mean, I think… it was just a kiss. And I’m so sorry. I’m so so sorry and it’ll never happen again.”
“Come here,” he said pulling me to him and stroking my hair. He was amazing. I did not deserve him at all. He sat me down on the bed, inhaled and stiffened immediately. Of course he could smell Jake. I was so stupid kissing him here on my bed.
“Did you kiss him at his home, or here?” He pulled back a bit to look at me.
“I… both,” I whimpered and sobbed into his chest.
“I knew this would happen,” he mumbled softly.
“What? You knew it would… how could you possibly…?”
“You like Jake and clearly you’re attracted to him and he charmed you into it. I should never have left you with him. He… he’s manipulative.”
“He thought he was sleeping,” I said defending Jacob. Why? Why, I didn’t know. “I… was the one that, I mean I guess I manipulated him. Sort of. But then, it just got out of hand. And then he came here and I kissed him again and then he kissed me again. And it was just a big mess. But, it was just a kiss.”
“It was just a kiss.” He echoed my words. “I don’t think a kiss between you and Jacob Black is just a kiss. Did you talk about it?”
“Talk about kissing?”
“Yes,” he nodded, still holding me to his hard chest. It really was hard. It was hurting my ear to be squished up against it.
“We did. He… he told me that he loves me,” I whispered the truth and continued on. “And, he wants me to choose him.”
“And what did you say?”
“I told him that I love you and then he left without a word.”
“Well, do you love him?”
“Of course I love him. He’s my best friend. He was there for me when you weren’t, and I… he’s like my family.”
“Like family that you kiss? I don’t think so, Bella.”
“I think you need to figure out what you want here. I love you, you know that. I want to marry you, to be with you for as long as you’ll have me, but there are… there are advantages to being with Jacob Black. And, as much as it pains me to say it, he can give you things that I can’t. He might be the better choice for you. But, you have to choose. You.”
“I think I should go. You have a lot to think about.”
“Edward? Don’t go, don’t…”
“I think I should.” He stood then and pulled me up with him. He gazed into my eyes and sighed interlacing his fingers with mine. He brought one of our intertwined hands up to his lips and kissed it while staring into my eyes. He pulled me to him then and kissed me. Really kissed me, much like Jacob had earlier, but with some restraint and a sadness I hadn’t felt from him before. “I love you, Bella. I’ll always love you. No matter what or whom you choose.” He kissed me once more and then he was gone.
I cried some more and could not sleep a wink. My mind was reeling. What happened today? How did my life turn upside down from one kiss with Jacob? Well, technically three, but it was just a kiss. It was just a kiss.
Or was it?
Was Edward right? Was there more going on? Hadn’t I been the one to tell Jake that it had just felt right? Natural? Like that’s how it was supposed to be? Maybe it was, but it didn’t change the fact that I loved Edward. But did I love Jacob? Was he right? Was I in love with him?
I thought back to our time before Edward had returned into my life. I remembered feeling happy at times. I remembered his warm gaze, his strong arms as he pulled me out of the water, his laugh as we worked on our bikes together, the way that he always kept me safe: my heart and my body. He loved me. That was certain. And I… I had no choice to admit now that I loved him more than I thought I did. But was it enough? Enough to give up an eternity with Edward? I just didn’t know.
I cried some more that night and slowly drifted off to sleep. It had been a long day and I knew the next few days would be excruciating. I really needed some rest. Maybe I’d have a good dream…
I was in my garage working on the Rabbit again. I had been working on it all week trying not to think about Bella and those amazing kisses we shared. This stupid, piece of crap car always had something wrong with it. It gave me something to do. And, at least I could fix it.
I smelled Embry and Quil walking up the gravel driveway from under the car. Just perfect. They’d be excellent for the mood I was in. If they teased me about Bella for one second there would be hell to pay. I didn’t know how I’d managed to stay away from those losers all week, but I just hadn’t been in the mood to deal with them.
“Jake!” Embry called out.
“I’m in here. Use your nose! Idiot,” I mumbled the last word.
“I heard that,” said Embry as he entered the garage.
“Well, bravo,” I said dripping with sarcasm. A fight sounded good. It might feel good to hit something. I slid quickly out from under the car and stood tall. “What do you want?” I said folding my arms across my bare chest. My biceps were huge and intimidating, even I knew that. I wanted to scare the crap out of them.
“What’s up your butt? Swan do something to you again?” asked Quil, irritating me already. Did he have a death wish?
“Shut the hell up,” I countered.
“I think that’s a yes,” said Embry out of the side of his mouth to Quil.
“What do you want? Tell me or leave. I have work to do.”
“We just wanted to hang out. And seriously, when are you gonna give up? I mean… she’s with Edward, she’s clearly not making moves on you. She might be leading you on, but she doesn’t want you. She’s not gonna give you a chance. Give it up man,” said Quil finishing his speech like he knew what he was talking about. His girlfriend was two. He should just shut the hell up in my opinion. I wanted to tell him so but kept my mouth shut on the subject.
“I’m not giving it up. I can’t. I’m close… I’m…”
“She barely lets you hold her hand. I’m sorry man, but Quil’s right,” said Embry trying to soften his blow. It still hurt because it was true. She merely tolerated my hand holding, but she had kissed me.
“She kissed me, okay?” I blurted out. Embry and Quil’s eyes grew wide. I stared them down to keep them quiet. “I’m telling you, I’m close. But it sucks. We freaking made out on her bed and I told her how I felt and then she told me… crap! Look, she’s ready to choose. She’s probably already made her choice,” I grumbled. “But I have to try. I have to or I’ll regret it my whole life.”
“This is… what are you thinking? This could break you, Jake. I remember what you were like when she left and went to Italy. What if…? I mean, I’m just being honest but…” started Embry when all three of us turned our heads to hear the rumbling of Bella’s old, red truck coming down the road.
“Go, please. Get out of here. You’re my boys, but go.” They stared at me like complete morons, bewildered. “NOW!” I bellowed. They ran from the garage into the nearby woods and out of sight.
Bella pulled in not a minute later and I tried to busy myself with the Rabbit. She was here no doubt to squash my heart again. It seemed to be her favorite past time as of late.
The truck came to a stop and I heard her feet shuffle on the gravel as she walked up to the front door. She knocked but no one answered. I thought about keeping quiet. I felt like a coward. I didn’t want to hear what she had to say. But, I was too pathetic to not spend time with Bella when I could and I was a glutton for punishment. I sighed loudly, threw down my wrench and yelled so she could hear me. “I’m in the garage, Bells.”
Her tiny feet pitter-pattered towards me slowly until I saw the tip of her canvas shoe enter the wide, makeshift door to the garage. I followed her shoe up her leg: her long, bare, shapely leg as she entered. Why was she wearing those shorts? The ones that hugged her butt so nicely and stopped high up on her thighs? Because she just had to. That was my luck. I was being tortured, again. Tortured by Isabella Swan. It could be the title to my life story if anyone ever turned it into a movie. That movie would suck big time. It would be so depressing. It would have some good kissing scenes though. I forced my brain to stop and gawked at her gorgeous legs again. UGH!
I made a noise of disgust in my throat and couldn’t bear to look at her face, dropping my head down.
“Hey,” she said soberly.
“Hey,” I said just as quietly as she had.
“How are you?” she asked timidly, stepping closer to me.
“Fine,” I grumbled, still not able to look at her. “My week was great. It was just peachy.” I laid on the sarcasm thick and lifted my eyes to hers finally, smiling just to irritate her.
“Why do you have to do that?” she said, placing her hands on her hips drawing my attention there. Nice. More torture. Why didn’t she just flash me her breasts and kill me while she was at it?
“Do what?” I countered menacingly.
“Turn into one of Sam’s minions when I’m around and make you uncomfortable?”
“You don’t make me uncomfortable, you make me pissed.”
“I make you pissed?”
“Yeah, I’m pissed, Bells. I’m tired of tip-toeing around you and trying not to be who I am anymore. This is who I am. Take it or leave it. Choose me or not. But just freaking choose so my heart can heal from this back and forth. I mean, you’re killing me. I finally felt like I had a shot last week, a real shot and I tell you that I love you and you tell me…”
I heard her sniffle first and then shot a glance at her eyes.
“You’re crying?!” Now I was really pissed. “You tell me you love Edward after I bare my soul to you and you’re the one crying? I don’t believe this. What is wrong with you?”
“I don’t know,” she blubbered and wiped her eyes and took a few more steps towards me. She looked so pathetic and sad. I was such a sucker. I loped towards her and held her close to my chest. She wrapped her arms around me and pressed her cheek into my skin.
“What am I gonna do with you?” I said shaking my head. I was such an idiot. Why did I always fall for this girly emotional nonsense? Maybe I was wrong last week and she was really pmsing this week.
“I don’t know, but could you try? Could you try to figure out what to do with me? I mean, if you still want to? If you’re still willing? Because I think…”
I completely froze. She looked up at me and I stared blankly at her trying to gauge her expression. She looked serious. But, was she really saying what I thought she was saying? Was she asking me to take her back? Or, I guess to give her a shot?
“Jake?” she pulled my face down so that it was closer to hers.
“What?” I asked stupidly, staring into her eyes.
“What do you think? Can you… I mean… do you think you could…”
“Huh?” I interrupted her. Shut up, Jake. Keep your damn mouth closed. Let the girl finish her sentence. If she was capable. She hadn’t been very articulate since entering the garage.
“I did a lot of thinking this week and I talked it out with Edward and I think… I mean… I know what I want now. And, I choose…”
“Me?” I said raising an eyebrow and giving what was sure to be the most idiot look known to man.
“I, yeah, Jake. I choose you. I choose us.”
“You do? Why? I mean, what changed your mind? Was it because I kissed you? It was just a kiss. And, what did Edward say? Did he…?”
“I don’t really want to talk about Edward.”
“No,” she laughed now seeming to be picking up on the dumb looks I was giving her. I was such a dork. “And, it was not just a kiss. Even Edward said that. I know that now too.”
“But, I don’t understand. You said that you loved Edward. I mean, we totally made out and it was smokin’ hot and all but then I told you that I was in love with you and you just threw Edward in my face and I…”
“I know. I’m really sorry. That was so mean. I just, you surprised me. I surprised me. I didn’t think I… I just didn’t know then.” She looked down and took a few steps back, away from me. Had we really been holding each other that whole while? What was happening? Was I in the Twilight zone? What dimension did Bella’s doppelganger come from? Not that I was complaining, I was just hellaconfused.
“You didn’t know what?” I said, again confused. Would this conversation ever make sense?
She peered up at me slowly taking in my body, or so it seemed, before reaching my eyes. “I didn’t know how much I cared for you. I didn’t realize, ugh! This is embarrassing. I didn’t realize just how attracted I was to you and just how much I… I…”
“What Bells?!” I blurted out. She was driving me insane. “Just spit it out. You’re confusing the hell out of me. I’m a guy. I have no idea what you’re saying.”
“I’m in love with you, you big idiot! Alright?! I’m freaking in love with you! You’re so annoying and dense and…” I loped towards her and grabbed her waist firmly, drawing her closer to me and cutting off her ranting.
“You love me?” I asked leaning toward her.
“Yes,” she said quietly.
“And, you choose me?” I added for good, solid measure. I didn’t want there to be any more confusion.
She nodded and then held her breath staring at my lips and placed her hands softly on my chest. Oh yeah, she wanted me to kiss her. I was not confused about that.
“And Edward’s out of the picture?”
“Jake,” she whispered into my lips shaking her head back and forth.
“Hm?” I prompted, staring at her beautiful mouth as she spoke.
“Shut up and kiss me before I change my mind.”
I closed the tiny gap between our mouths and they melded together seamlessly like they were meant to, like this was how it was supposed to be all along. She curled into my embrace and kissed me back with passion. She was rough and unrestrained and I liked that. She had chosen me. She was right. It was not just a kiss after all.
And neither was this one.