Disclaimer: I in no way own anything remotely related to the Twilight world and am definetely not Stephenie Meyer and I did this because I was extremely and incredibly bored.

This is for oXXb00kw0rmXXo's challenge.

Please review.

I'm Australia so spellings and grammer may be different.

P.s I'd really appreciate it if someone could edit my stories for me. If there are any volunteers, please contact me.

In His Shoes

The bloodsucker, the one who had stolen Bella's heart, was only on the other side of the tent, but at that moment I didn't care because I held Bella in my arms.

If the leech never existed, if he had died all those years ago like he was meant to, then she would've been my Bella. We would've been happy together. But the world's twisted and he was still here.

I know how much I love her. I would do anything for her, be anything for her. If everything and everyone else I loved disappeared but she was still there, I could live with that. But I couldn't survive if she didn't exist anymore.

I knew that I hadn't imprinted on Bella, but my love for her was just as strong as Sam's love for Emily. Even if I did imprint someday – I mentally shuddered at the thought – I doubt I could ever love anyone as much as Bella.

I really wished that she knew she loved me too.

She shifted slightly and I smiled, grateful that I could have this moment with her.

She could still be mine, if the bloodsucker left. Then one day I could have this moment with her, for real. Unlike him, I could kiss her, and touch her, without fear of accidentally killing her.

Her arms felt so smooth, and soft.

One day, when we were married, I could give her a real kiss. And more. I longed to run my hands down her body, feel her bare flesh against mine. Hear her whisper my name on the night of our honeymoon…

I was rudely pulled out of my reverie by the leech's sharp hiss.

"Please! Do you mind!?"

"What?" I kept my voice low so I wouldn't wake Bella. I had absolutely no idea what he was talking about.

"Do you think you could attempt to control your thoughts?" Oh, right. He was a mind-reader.

"No one said you had to listen," you'd think I'd be used to the lack of privacy considering what I am, but it was still unsettling. I felt embarrassed, but it was my head and therefore whatever I thought was my business. "Get out of my head." Get out and stay out.

"I wish I could. You have no idea how loud your little fantasies are. It's like you're shouting them at me." Whatever.

"I'll try to keep it down," I muttered, sarcasm dripping off every word.

Bet he was jealous that Bella wouldn't have to change anything about her to be with me. She could stay just as she is.

"Yes, I'm jealous of that, too." His answer came in a quiet whisper.

"I figured it was like that. Sort of evens the playing field up a little, doesn't it?" Being human versus being a vampire. I knew which was the better choice.

He chuckled. "In your dreams." Yup, she's definitely in my dreams.

"You know, she could still change her mind," My voice was taunting "Considering all the things I could do with her that you can't. At least, not without killing her, that is." It was extremely obvious what I was referring to.

"Go to sleep, Jacob. You're starting to get on my nerves." I smiled.

"I think I will. I'm really very comfortable." And I was. It was extremely fun to provoke him

He didn't answer, but I didn't care because I a lot of questions for him. I wasn't sure whether or not he'd answer any of them though.

"Maybe I would," he said after a brief pause, answering my thoughts.

"But would you be honest?" I highly doubted that he'd give anything close to the truth.

"You can always ask and see." He had a joking tone, and I wondered which of my questions caused that response. I'm normally used to knowing everyone else's thoughts when they knew mine and it was really irritating not knowing.

"Well, you see inside my head — let me see inside yours tonight, it's only fair."

"Your head is full of questions. Which one do you want me to answer?" I wasn't really sure, so I picked one at random.

"The jealousy… it has to be eating at you. You can't be as sure of yourself as you seem. Unless you have no emotions at all." Then again he was a bloodsucking leech, so maybe he really didn't have any emotions.

"Of course it is. Right now it's so bad that I can barely control my voice." I grinned at his admittance. "Of course, it's even worse when she's away from me, with you, and I can't see her."

"Do you think about it all the time? Does it make it hard to concentrate when she's not with you?" I knew that I thought about her practically every second of the day – it really annoyed my brothers and sister. And I'm always distracted when I'm not with her or near her.

"Yes and no. My mind doesn't work quite the same as yours. I can think of many more things at one time. Of course, that means that I'm always able to think of you, always able to wonder if that's where her mind is, when she's quiet and thoughtful." I thought carefully about his answer, and decided he was telling the truth. It cheered me up to know that he constantly wondered if Bella thought about me. I wonder if she thinks about me often?

"Yes, I would guess that she thinks about you often," he murmured. "More often than I like. She worries that you're unhappy. Not that you don't know that. Not that you don't use that." I felt a twinge of guilt. I had to use whatever I could. He had the trump card.

"I have to use whatever I can. I'm not working with your advantages — advantages like her knowing she's in love with you." And she wouldn't even admit to herself that she was in love with me.

"That helps," he agreed.

I was defiant, voicing my thoughts. "She's in love with me, too, you know."

He didn't answer.

I sighed, my voice wistful. "But she doesn't know it."

"I can't tell you if you're right." That reminded me of another of my questions.

"Does that bother you? Do you wish you could see what she's thinking, too?" I was genuinely curious.

"Yes… and no, again. She likes it better this way, and, though it sometimes drives me insane, I'd rather she was happy." I wanted her to be happy too. I guess I could take it if she chose a human boy over me, but the thought of sweet innocent Bella becoming a creature that murdered humans…

The wind chose that moment to flare, shaking the whole tent. Bella shivered slightly in my arms and I tightened them, protecting her from the cold.

"Thank you," He whispered. "Odd as this might sound, I suppose I'm glad you're here, Jacob." I had to chuckle at that.

"You mean, 'as much as I'd love to kill you, I'm glad she's warm,' right?"

"It's an uncomfortable truce, isn't it?"

My mind replayed his answered to my questions and I smiled brightly "I knew you were just as crazy jealous as I am."

"I'm not such a fool as to wear it on my sleeve like you do. It doesn't help your case, you know." I knew that, but I had a time limit to work with. And I wasn't the patient type.

"You have more patience than I do."

"I should. I've had a hundred years to gain it. A hundred years of waiting for her. " I was quiet for a moment, pondering his words and recent actions. It wasn't that long ago when he was playing the overprotective jerk and forbidding Bella to see me.

"So… at what point did you decide to play the very patient good guy?" I wondered aloud.

"When I saw how much it was hurting her to make her choose. It's not usually this difficult to control. I can smother the… less civilized feelings I may have for you fairly easily most of the time. Sometimes I think she sees through me, but I can't be sure." Huh. Guess he's wanted to kill me just as much as I've wanted to kill him.

"I think you were just worried that if you really forced her to choose, she might not choose you." She might choose me.

He didn't answer right away, and I was afraid that he wouldn't answer after all. Then he spoke in his quiet voice. "That was a part of it, but only a small part. We all have our moments of doubt. Mostly I was worried that she'd hurt herself trying to sneak away to see you. After I'd accepted that she was more or less safe with you — as safe as Bella ever is — it seemed best to stop driving her to extremes."

I sighed. "I'd tell her all of this, but she'd never believe me."

"I know." He sounded cheerful, and it irritated me.

"You think you know everything," I muttered.

"I don't know the future," there was uncertainty in his voice. Then there was silence.

The silence stretched.

"What would you do if she changed her mind?" I asked quietly, although at this point even I admitted that it was unlikely, but I had to keep fighting for her life.

"I don't know that either."

I chuckled quietly. "Would you try to kill me?" Obvious sarcasm in my voice.

"No." I was mildly surprised.

"Why not?"

"Do you really think I would hurt her that way?"

I hesitated for a second, and then sighed. Damn, he was right. "Yeah, you're right. I know that's right. But sometimes…" My voice trailed off.

"Sometimes it's an intriguing idea." He finished for me.

I couldn't stop my laughter and I pressed my face into the sleeping bag to muffle it. "Exactly," I agreed, once I was sure I could respond coherently.

My laughter trailed off and my mind turned to the more serious questions.

"What is it like? Losing her?" I said after a moment, all traces of humour gone. "When you thought that you'd lost her forever? How did you… cope?" I wasn't sure how I would cope.

"That's very difficult for me to talk about."

I waited.

"There were two different times that I thought that." His words were slower than normal. "The first time, when I thought I could leave her… that was… almost bearable. Because I thought she would forget me and it would be like I hadn't touched her life. For over six months I was able to stay away, to keep my promise that I wouldn't interfere again." I really wished that he hadn't interfered.

"It was getting close — I was fighting but I knew I wasn't going to win; I would have come back… just to check on her. That's what I would have told myself, anyway. And if I'd found her reasonably happy… I like to think that I could have gone away again.

"But she wasn't happy. And I would have stayed. That's how she convinced me to stay with her tomorrow, of course." Was that the reason?

"You were wondering about that before, what could possibly motivate me… what she was feeling so needlessly guilty about. She reminded me of what it did to her when I left — what it still does to her when I leave. She feels horrible about bringing that up, but she's right. I'll never be able to make up for that, but I'll never stop trying anyway."

I didn't say anything for a moment, pausing to take everything in.

"And the other time — when you thought she was dead?" My voice came out in a rough whisper. I hated showing weakness in front of him. Will that be how I would feel once her heart stops and she becomes a vampire?

"Yes." He answered my thoughts instead of my spoken question. "It will probably feel like that to you, won't it? The way you perceive us, you might not be able to see her as Bella anymore. But that's who she'll be." I scowled, annoyed. But I pondered his words.

"That's not what I asked."

His voice came out harsh. "I can't tell you how it felt. There aren't words."

I readjusted my hold on Bella.

"But you left because you didn't want to make her a bloodsucker. You want her to be human." I insisted. A hopeless attempt at convincing him to leave her human.

He spoke slowly. "Jacob, from the second that I realized that I loved her, I knew there were only four possibilities. The first alternative, the best one for Bella, would be if she didn't feel as strongly for me — if she got over me and moved on. I would accept that, though it would never change the way I felt. You think of me as a… living stone — hard and cold." More like ice. "That's true. We are set the way we are, and it is very rare for us to experience a real change. When that happens, as when Bella entered my life, it is a permanent change. There's no going back…

"The second alternative, the one I'd originally chosen, was to stay with her throughout her human life. It wasn't a good option for her, to waste her life with someone who couldn't be human with her, but it was the alternative I could most easily face. Knowing all along that, when she died, I would find a way to die, too. Sixty years, seventy years — it would seem like a very, very short time to me… But then it proved much too dangerous for her to live in such close proximity with my world. It seemed like everything that could go wrong did." I smiled slightly; Bella sure knew how to attract trouble. "Or hung over us… waiting to go wrong. I was terrified that I wouldn't get those sixty years if I stayed near her while she was human.

"So I chose option three. Which turned out to be the worst mistake of my very long life, as you know. I chose to take myself out of her world, hoping to force her into the first alternative. It didn't work, and it very nearly killed us both.

"What do I have left but the fourth option? It's what she wants — at least, she thinks she does. I've been trying to delay her, to give her time to find a reason to change her mind, but she's very… stubborn. You know that. I'll be lucky to stretch this out a few more months. She has a horror of getting older, and her birthday is in September…."

What was wrong with the first option? "I like option one," I muttered.

He didn't respond.

"You know exactly how much I hate to accept this," I whispered slowly, "but I can see that you do love her… in your way. I can't argue with that anymore.

"Given that, I don't think you should give up on the first alternative, not yet. I think there's a very good chance that she would be okay. After time. You know, if she hadn't jumped off a cliff in March… and if you'd waited another six months to check on her… Well, you might have found her reasonably happy. I had a game plan." She would have recovered with time. She could've had a full life with me, had kids, a career, the normal things. We could've grown old together.

He chuckled. "Maybe it would have worked. It was a well thought-out plan."

"Yeah." I sighed. "But…" my next words came out in a fast whisper, "give me a year, bl —" I grimaced and made an attempt at politeness. "Edward. I really think I could make her happy. She's stubborn, no one knows that better than I do, but she's capable of healing. She would have healed before. And she could be human, with Charlie and Renée, and she could grow up, and have kids and… be Bella." Most of all, she could be Bella instead of a monster.

"You love her enough that you have to see the advantages of that plan. She thinks you're very unselfish… are you really? Can you consider the idea that I might be better for her than you are?" I knew I was better for her, a shame she didn't.

"I have considered it," he answered quietly. "In some ways, you would be better suited for her than another human. Bella takes some looking after, and you're strong enough that you could protect her from herself, and from everything that conspires against her. You have done that already, and I'll owe you for that for as long as I live — forever — whichever comes first…

"I even asked Alice if she could see that — see if Bella would be better off with you. She couldn't, of course. She can't see you, and then Bella's sure of her course, for now." But that could change.

"But I'm not stupid enough to make the same mistake I made before, Jacob. I won't try to force her into that first option again. As long as she wants me, I'm here." I considered his words before replying.

"And if she were to decide that she wanted me?" I challenged. "Okay, it's a long shot, I'll give you that." It could still happen though. If he wasn't here.

"I would let her go." I was sceptical.

"Just like that?"

"In the sense that I'd never show her how hard it was for me, yes. But I would keep watch. You see, Jacob, you might leave her someday. Like Sam and Emily, you wouldn't have a choice. I would always be waiting in the wings, hoping for that to happen." I winced. I absolutely loathed the thought of imprinting on anyone other than Bella. In fact, I'd tried to imprint on her before.

I snorted quietly. "Well, you've been much more honest than I had any right to expect…" I paused briefly, "Edward. Thanks for letting me in your head."

"As I said, I'm feeling oddly grateful for your presence in her life tonight. It was the least I could do… You know, Jacob, if it weren't for the fact that we're natural enemies and that you're also trying to steal away the reason for my existence, I might actually like you."

"Maybe… if you weren't a disgusting vampire who was planning to suck out the life of the girl I love…" I stopped, then reconsidered, "well, no, not even then."

He chuckled lightly.

"Can I ask you something?" He asked, surprising me.

"Why would you have to ask?" I was wary.

"I can only hear if you think of it. It's just a story that Bella seemed reluctant to tell me about the other day. Something about a third wife… ?"

"What about it?" I replayed the Quileute legend in my head.

He didn't answer, then suddenly hissed.

"What?" I demanded.

"Of course. Of course! I rather wish your elders had kept that story to themselves, Jacob." He sounded furious.

"You don't like the leeches being painted as the bad guys?" I mocked. "You know, they are. Then and now." And always will be.

"I really couldn't care less about that part. Can't you guess which character Bella would identify with?" I stopped for a minute and thought about it. Oh, the third wife.

"Oh. Ugh. The third wife. Okay, I see your point." Bella could really be too self-sacrificial sometimes.

"She wants to be there in the clearing. To do what little she can, as she puts it." He sighed. "That was the secondary reason for my staying with her tomorrow. She's quite inventive when she wants something."

"You know, your military brother gave her the idea just as much as the story did." It was a stupid idea.

"Neither side meant any harm," he whispered.

"And when does this little truce end?" I asked. "First light? Or do we wait until after the fight?" I paused to consider this and knew that I couldn't and didn't want to be civil to him for very long.

"First light," We both whispered at the same time. I laughed quietly and heard him laugh too.

"Sleep well, Jacob," He murmured. "Enjoy the moment." It was really nice with Bella here. I stopped and tried to commit the way she felt in my arms to memory. I wasn't sure if I would ever be with Bella like this again.

All was quiet, and the tent was still for a few minutes. The wind seemed to have given up the fight.

Bella moved again slightly. Her skin felt so smooth, like silk. I bet that if I kissed her for real, her lips would feel like silk too…

He groaned softly. "I didn't mean that quite so literally."

"Sorry," I whispered. "You could leave, you know — give us a little privacy." My tone was thoughtful.

"Would you like me to help you sleep, Jacob?" He offered.

"You could try," I said. "It would be interesting to see who walked away, wouldn't it?" I wouldn't mind a fight with him. But Bella would.

"Don't tempt me too far, wolf. My patience isn't that perfect."

I laughed. "I'd rather not move just now, if you don't mind." I really was nice being near Bella.

Her body was so warm and comforting pressed against mine. Her feet had warmed up and I moved my legs closer.

He started humming to himself, a tune I didn't recognise, and it seemed Bella's breathing became more even. I sighed, and tried to get some sleep.