"Jake, if I asked you to do me a favor, would you do it? No matter what it was?"
There were lying side-by-side in a snow bank. Alaskan winters may have bothered humans, but Bella and Jake had not been bothered by the cold for a very, very long time. In an effort to spend "best friend" time together, they'd taken a walk and had decided to take a break and watch the sun set.
He turned his head to the left and was surprised to see her staring at him intently, topaz eyes wide and serious. A playful grin made it's way to his mouth. "Got any grand favors in mind, Bells?"
"Maybe." She tried to return his smile with a cheeky one of her own, but it faded as quickly as it appeared. "Seriously, though. You didn't answer. Would you?"
Bella's intensity made him uncomfortable. His eyebrows furrowed and his lips lost their mirth, turning down at the corners. "I'm offended you felt the need to ask!" he said, trying to tease, but giving up and answering seriously, "You know I would. You're my best friend."
She let go of a breath that she hadn't needed to hold and sighed with relief. "Thank you." She said softly.
They lapsed back into silence, but it was no longer comfortable. Jake fidgeted in the snow that was quickly melting around him due to his warm temperature.
Finally, he said, "Well?"
His exasperation surprised her. "Well…what?"
"What's the favor?" he asked bluntly.
He stared at her, dark eyes against russet skin against the bright white of the snow, and Bella knew that he'd see through any lie she tried to tell him. The truth spilled out of her mouth before she could stop it.
"Would you kill me?"
In a second he'd shot to his feet, staring at her, mouth agape. She sat up but knew that he'd simply run off if she tried to stand. Keeping herself below him made her look less threatening. He took a tentative step back and Bella began to talk, simply to stop him from walking away from her.
"Not right now, you understand. Not today, or tomorrow. I'm just saying…one day. If I asked." She glanced at him hopefully.
Jacob found his tongue. "But…but I could never..."
"Yes, you could." She contradicted, "You're genetically engineered for that exact purpose."
He rolled his eyes. "Aright, let me rephrase: I would never."
"You just said you'd do whatever I asked, no matter what." She said, glowering at him. She huffed and crossed her arms in front of her chest.
Dropping back down to his knees so that they were face to face, Jacob stared at her as though he hadn't known her over a century. This woman he was talking to was not his best friend; this woman was a complete stranger. He said, "I never realized you'd ask me to do something so unthinkable." He ran a hand through his long, messy hair. "I mean, what would Edward do? Or…Nessie?"
His words hit home; he could tell as she recoiled from him, her eyes downcast. She was struggling to compose herself. "I'd hate to hurt them." She said, after a moment, "I love them both so much—"
"—but they'd understand eventually." She finished.
His eyes widened; she'd caught him by surprise again. "What?"
Bella looked at him, and for a second he swore that she could see inside him and read his soul. She shifted her gaze to over his shoulder; her eyes looked far-away, as though she was physically present but mentally in another world. Her voice was heavy, weary, as she spoke.
"It's been a long time, Jake. Longer than a life time. And even though I never sleep, and I'm never fatigued, I'm so, so tired." She sighed, "I feel as though I'm running a race with no end. It doesn't matter how much I want to stop, or how many cramps I get, because there's no stopping. Not ever."
There was a long silence. "Maybe you'll get a second wind." he whispered.
She nodded. "I hope so. I'm willing to wait and see. I've got time." She let out a joyless laugh. "But, Jake, if I ever decide I've had enough…" she looked at him with that same frightening intensity, "I'm going to need your help."
Jake was powerless against her.
He nodded. "Okay."
Disclaimer: I don't own Twilight.
A/N: Any and all feedback appreciated. Thank you for reading!