Need You Now

Disclaimer; all characters and copyright belong to SM.

A/N-short story set at the end of Eclipse AU.

Her fingers were feather light on his hot skin. Jacob's thick lashes settled on his cheeks as he closed his eyes and lost himself in the intimacy of her touch. It had been too long since had felt her fingers curl around his as they held hands; arms swinging between them as they walked along the beach. Or had his arms wrapped around her as he held her together with one of his comforting hugs. He was the one seeking comfort now.

"How long will you stay?"

"Hush, you need to rest." Bella's voice was soothing in its distraction.

Jacob tried to fight the drowsiness which was threatening to pull him under. He forced his heavy lids open so he could see her lovely face. Bella caught him looking and her pensive expression turned into a warm smile. She was pretending for his sake and that made him sad.

"Sleep now." She whispered.

"Will you be here when I wake up?" Jacob asked thickly. His tongue felt too big for his mouth. He swallowed to ease the dryness in his throat.

Bella continued to smile as she leaned down and brushed her lips across his forehead. His skin tingled and he felt his eyes sliding closed again. The last thing he heard was his name before he slipped into a drug induced sleep and fell back into the past-

Bella was shivering in his arms. He winced as she pressed her cheek against his hot chest. Her frigid hands were squashed between them as he crushed her trembling body close to his. "Wow, you're freezing, Bells. Relax, you'll warm up soon." Jacob shot Edward a vindictive glance. "Faster if you took your clothes off."


"Survival one on one."

"Can you at least attempt to control your thoughts?" Edward scowled at Jacob.

Then suddenly Bella piped up again, teeth still chattering. "Maybe I should."

"What?" Jacob glanced down at her, wondering if he had misheard her.

"Bella?" Edward crept closer so he could peer into her face. "Maybe you should do what, my love?"

Bella's cheeks were flushed but not from the cold. She swallowed nervously, looking everywhere but at Jacob or Edward. "Um...maybe I should do what um...Jake suggested."

Jacob was as shocked at Edward in that instant. Never would he have expected Bella to agree to something like that. He had only said it to rile up the bloodsucker, but she had taken him seriously. He stared at her wide eyed, waiting for the punch line. "Are you serious?"

"Of course she's not." Edward scoffed. "She was just trying to distract us from engaging in another petty argument. Isn't that right, love." He smiled at her fondly.

Bella was breathing heavily. She swallowed again to steady her nerves. "I'm freezing, Edward. And if taking my clothes off helps-" Her voice tailed off as she finally dared to look at Edward's appalled face.

"Well we be better be quick. I'll help you take them off." Jacob teased. He still couldn't believe this was happening, but he went along with it anyway. This was like his fantasies coming together all at once. Apart from the stinking leech hovering in the corner of course.

"No you won't." Bella squeaked. Her brown eyes flicked to Edward again. "I need to do this. I don't want to lose my fingers and toes. I can't feel them."

"I...I...I..." Edward was lost for words.

"You should go." Bella had already taken off her woollen hat. Her teeth were still clacking together."I know how prudish you can be but I'm desperate." She paused when she noticed Jacob grinning at her. "And you turn your back for a moment."

"Whatever you say, honey." Jacob was enjoying himself immensely. He rolled away from her, giving her just enough room to undress in the sleeping bag.

"Bella, please think about this. I am not prudish. There has to be another way." Edward begged before he glared in Jacob's direction. "You have no idea of the lustful thoughts going through his head right now."

"He's a teenage boy. What do you expect?" Bella huffed.

"I am here you know." Jacob protested.

"No offence." Bella apologised. She arched her back and began to unbutton her jeans. She noticed that Edward still hadn't moved. He looked scandalised. "Look, Edward, I need to do this. I am so freaking cold and this is the quickest way to warm up. I'm only stripping to my underwear."

Edward was completely dismayed that she was going through with this but he had run out of credible arguments. The temperature had dropped alarmingly, it was snowing heavily outside, and the only one who could warm her up was the wolf boy. Jacob hadn't been exaggerating when he had warned him that Bella could lose her toes if something wasn't done quickly to get the blood running through her veins again. He wanted to stay and keep watch over her, but his eighteenth century sensibilities were pushing him to escape the confines of the tent before he saw too much naked flesh. That prize was meant to be unwrapped on his wedding night.

"I will keep Seth company outside. If you need me just call me, my love." Edward said stiffly. HIs golden brown eyes flicked to Jacob. "Keep your thoughts pure, otherwise-"

"I really get under that ice cold skin of skin of yours, don't I? Are you doubting her feelings for you?" Jacob sneered.

"Jake." Bella prodded him between his shoulder blades. "Shut up."

"Whatever." Jacob mumbled. "Just get him to stay out of my head."

"Edward, please stay out of his head for both your sakes." Bella shrugged off her heavy coat. Edward was still staring at her, wavering about whether to stay or go. Bella knew there was one way to get him to flee. She grabbed the hem of her sweatshirt and pulled it up, exposing her abdomen. She flinched as the cold air hit her skin. The flaps of the tent fluttered in Edward's wake as he finally left.

"I'm ready." Bella whispered hoarsely as she pulled the thick sleeping bag right up to her chin. All she had left on was her bra and panties. Jacob rolled over so he was facing her again. She was shuddering violently. He pulled her against his chest. He was better than a blanket, his heat reaching all the way to her bones. He wrapped his long legs around hers and tucked her head under his chin. Bella melted against him, sighing in bliss as his supernatural warmth chased away the cold. She could hear his heart racing underneath his tan skin. She listened to the strong beat and smiled. "You're nervous."

"As if." Jacob said dismissively. "You're the one blushing like a little girl."

"Admit it, Jake. You're nervous."

"I'm not nervous."

"Your heart is racing. I can hear it." Bella pressed, she raised her head from his chest and replaced it with the palm of her hand. The tempo increased at her touch.

"You want the truth, Bells." Jacob's tone was heavy and suddenly Bella was afraid to hear what he had to say. She knew the effect she had on him and how he felt about her. She wasn't ready to hear anymore declarations of love.

"I don't know."

"My heart isn't racing because I'm nervous. Its racing because I'm scared."

"Of what?" Bella said softly as she absently traced circles with her forefinger over his heart.

"I'm scared that this might be the only time I get to hold you like this." His confession was torn from the deepest recesses of his heart. His husky voice was thick with pain. "I wish we could back to how things were before the bloodsucker came back. If he had stayed away another six months, I could have made you happy. Trust me. You have to consider that I'm better for you than he is."

Bella fell silent a moment. Her eyes closed as tears welled below the lids. He sounded so heartbroken. She hated that she was always causing him pain. "I have considered that." She admitted.

"You have?" Jacob was disbelieving.

"I know that you can protect me, that you can give me a life, a human life."

"And that's not good enough." Jacob said bitterly.

"Of course it's enough." Bella protested. She was toasty warm now. Her body fit perfectly with his, like two pieces of a puzzle. She could feel his fingers caressing her lower back, leaving little heat trails behind. "I'm not enough."

"What does that mean?" Jacob put a finger under her chin to raise her head up so he could see her face.

The tears began to spill down her cheeks. "You didn't imprint on me, Jake. And don't think I haven't noticed you trying to force it to happen. The fact is we're not meant for each other. So maybe in the end this is all there is."

Jacob's warm hands slid over her thighs and hips to her waist. Bella's forehead was pressed against his; her eyes closed tightly as she swallowed her confession back into the darkest recesses of her soul. But it was too late, she had admitted her secret aloud. Bella bit back her tears. What was the point in crying? She was only hurting them both more.

"If this is all we have then I'll take what I can get." HIs breath was warm on her face.

"Jake?" Bella opened her eyes again and gazed at him sorrowfully.

Jacob began massaging her back as she leaned away from him. She was so tiny his hands could almost circle her waist. Bella's breathing became heavy and a flush crept over her face. Watching her beautiful face for any negative sign ,he brought his hands to her stomach. Bella swallowed and placed her hands on top of his and pulled them higher. He grasped her bra at the back, struggling for a moment before releasing it. Then he slid the straps over her arms. Her breasts were as creamy as the rest of her. He swallowed thickly. She was so beautiful. He knew he had to be careful. Bella was gazing up at him trustingly, unconsciously biting her lower lip. A lone tear glimmered on her cheek. Jacob used his thumb to wipe it away. If this is all they had, if this was the only time she was going to give him, then he didn't want to waste a second of it.

He needed her now and she needed him.

Bella leaned forward to kiss him and he felt skin, cool against his burning body. Greedily, his lips found hers, and he kissed her hungrily. His fingers sank into her luxuriant hair, tangling in the fine strands and holding her face close to his. Bella was the first to pull away so could catch her breath. She felt wetness coating her skin. She hadn't realised she had been crying again. Her sadness at their situation was overwhelming. It was only when she looked at Jacob and saw the tracks of his tears glistening on his hot skin, that she realised that she wasn't the only one crying.

End of Part One...

A/N-thanks for reading!