Note: First ever Twilight fic, and just finished Eclipse this morning. I'm kind of testing myself to see if I've got Jacob's persona down, to be honest. Love that werewolf to little tiny bits, I do. Enjoy and review at your leisure.

Disclaimer: The main pairing isn't Bella x Jacob in the Twilight series; I think you can tell it's not mine. But if it were… ;)

Mercy

Forgive me.

Every time we talk, that seems to be the only damn thing I ever say. No, take that back: all I say are stupid, stupid things that I always regret. I'm constantly begging for your forgiveness, like it's something as necessary as breathing.

Ha, that's funny. Necessary as breathing. Why the hell do I even try to sugar-coat this?

I don't know what's happened since I left, Bella. To you, I mean. Obviously. What, now I'm keeping tabs on all your bloodsuckers, too? One stupid truce makes us friends?

…Damn, there I go again. Forget I wrote that, okay? And I'm sorry about the bloodsucker comment. I mean, for all I know, you're one of—God, Bella, don't make me write it. It hurts too much.

Yeah, it still hurts, if you're wondering. Not as bad as it used to, though. And don't blame yourself; if you want to go about blaming anyone, I'm sure Edward wouldn't mind some verbal abuse. I'd say the same about me, but…

God, this is hard.

You know what? I'm not even sure I know why I'm writing this to you, Bella. I think I'm a complete and total coward—not being able to say all this to your face. It's still your face, right? It hasn't changed—? Nah, I'm sure you still look like you. I don't know how even one of those bl—fine, vampires could change a face as beautiful as yours. (Don't roll your eyes at me, Bella: it's the truth. Ask your love-leech, Edward, and he'll tell you no different.)

This is weird. Imagining you, I mean. As one of them.

When I'm a wolf, I keep expecting to see some memory of Sam's or Quil's that shows the new you, the you I've never known: Bella, the Bloodsucker. Nice alliteration, huh? (It was a joke. Don't freak out, okay? Sheesh.)

It kind of scares me, this whole not-knowing thing. For all I know, the wedding went perfectly, the psychic threw you a huge and insanely expensive bash, and you and your…husband…are now happy as clams somewhere far away.

Which means you might not get this letter. Dammit.

I think about you sometimes, Bella. I think about a lot of things, things that you'd probably be happy to forget, I guess. Like that day you showed up with those motorcycles, looking like some zombie from a second-rate horror movie. (Like the one you and I went to with our strong-stomached friend Mike Newton. Good times.)

But you had this empty look in your eyes, like—okay, remember that Disney movie, Peter Pan? This is going to sound totally lame, but it was like you were Tinkerbell, and your light just went out. Vanished. But what was really scary, Bella, was that it was you staring at me like that, and not some fairy from a Disney movie that's been around since forever. It was you, Bella, the most beautiful girl I've ever seen. (And no, I don't think that Rosalie person counts, no matter what you say. Unlike you, I don't date outside the human species.)

I don't know how you could stand it. I could feel my insides twisting with rage, that he'd dare to hurt you like that, that he'd just break you apart and leave you in shambles. I couldn't go after him, though. All I could do was try, little by little, to help you find your smile.

Bella, would you hate me if I said those were the best months of my life?

You were dying on the inside, but for some reason, I kept thinking it'd pass; you were going to rise again from the ashes. Like a phoenix, you know? And I'd find you in my arms, where I would comfort you, where I'd promise to never hurt you as he had, where all those holes inside your heart could be patched up and healed.

Edward lost so much those months. He lost you, Bella, and he lost all the pain he'd left on your shoulders. He lost memories, too: memories only you and I share. He's seen them, you know, in my mind, but it's not the same. I'm kind of glad he can see them, that he can feel some sort of remorse for what he did to you.

Torture, Bella. That's what that was.

But it wasn't always awful, right? Riding motorcycles, exchanging secrets, opening up to each other as we never had before—that wasn't torture to you, was it? You started smiling, Bella. You and I…we had a friendship beyond anything I've ever shared with Quil or Embry—something I guess I should be thankful for. We were the closest friends we could ever be.

And I'd thought we could somehow transcend that. That I could find a place in your heart more welcoming and spacious than he had, and that, unlike him, I wouldn't be stupid enough to leave it.

Then he came back. He had the nerve to come back to you, after he'd left you broken and I'd just barely helped you begin to stand. He started apologizing and saying how much he loved you, and all sorts of crap, and even came close to suicide all because of you. Bella, this is one thing I'll never understand. Never. No matter what you say, you'll never, ever, convince me that he deserved what you did next.

You forgave him.

I know, right? You forgive me all the time. I sound a bit hypocritical, saying Edward didn't deserve absolution. But what he did intentionally hurt you—and don't give me all that junk about him "protecting you" or whatever. You, in that lightless state, were completely and totally vulnerable. Any shield of protection you had came from me and my pack.

I still haven't forgiven him, Bella. I still haven't forgotten those empty eyes, and seeing him with his arms around you just makes me tremble with fury. But what really sucks is that he's the mature one. And he can afford to be: he's winning. Hell, he's probably already won. He's probably in the living room, giving you one of those crooked smiles you talk about in your sleep, and asking you what it is you're reading. And you're nodding absently, unwilling to tell him just what my letter is.

You apologize a lot, too, Bella. Usually about the stupidest things. Like when you told me you loved me: how could that be something I'd want you to be sorry for? Bells…that made me happier than anything in the world. It meant I wasn't crazy, that you really did feel as I had, that if the world had run its natural course, I'd be the one saying, "I do." Does it hurt to know that it's not me on that aisle? More than you know. More than you'll ever know.

But I'm happy if you're happy. I think so, anyway. Right now I'm not exactly thrilled, but if you're a bl…if you're one of them, well, it's done. I can never get my Bella back. My Bella, the one who secretly rode a motorcycle alongside a werewolf. My Bella, who escaped to La Push even when a whole coven of vampires refused to let her. My Bella, the one that Edward Cullen will never, ever, be able to shake from my memory and the one whose memories he'll never be able to share.

You're gone now. I think you are, anyway. Sam's got a memory of a wedding—it looked like yours. Not too many people get married down in Forks anymore, so I'm willing to bet it was. Sam was standing somewhere in the back, but the view, limited as it was, showed how beautiful you were. No, were isn't the right word—how beautiful you are.

I won't be coming back to La Push for awhile. I think you know that. I think you expected that. But I guess it's stupid, because you're probably somewhere far away from Forks now, where you and your new…family…can live in your own kind of peace. I guess it's the old memories I'm hiding from. Those memories that I don't want to face.

I wish you'd chosen me, but you didn't. I wish you'd kept your human body—the one I'd keep warm at night—but you didn't. I wish I could tell you good luck and that I hope you have lots of kids, but I can't. I wish I could say I'll see you soon, but we both know it's for the best.

So, all I can do now is ask one stupid, selfish, undeserving wish of you. Bella Swan…no, Bella Cullen…will you forgive me one last time? Will you forgive me for hating Edward to the core, for forcing you to choose between us, for fighting destiny and fate to the death?

I haven't imprinted yet, you know. It could happen soon. It could happen when I least expect it, and I don't know what will happen when it will. I don't know if the memory of you will just vanish, and I'll be able to forgive Edward, and all those vampires, and even you for the road you've chosen.

But until then, until it's easier to be mature, to grow up and accept that you've walked away, forgive me. I'm begging you, forgive me just once more. Not for tattling on you, not for kissing you, but for being the stubborn werewolf I am. And with your forgiveness, I swear to you, Bella Swan Cullen, the next time you'll see me I'll be someone worthy of you. I'll be that mature man I'm not now, and I'll be able to face you.

I…I love you, Bella. So please forgive me, until I'm strong enough to return the favor.

Love,

Your Jacob.