Title: Snow Burns You
Author: anatagasuki
Genre: Romance/Drama
Notes: Whipped out of nowhere. My first Twilight fic. Set after Bella comes back from saving Edward in Italy. Ignores Eclipse.
Disclaimers: Stephanie Meyer owns 'em.

The frosty wind blew past her brown locks and she sighed. The small flutter her hair made could send a legion of vampires bloodthirsty, out of control. How could her ordinary life turn out this way?

She knew what she was about to do is terribly wrong, a big mistake. But right then it felt incredibly right, and she could only resist her instincts too much.

"All forty three stars."

Her head whipped to the direction of the familiar voice, though she need not look. It has always been the voice she knew, the one who comforted her, the one which set her heart appease whenever her soul is dying.

It belonged to whom was perfect for her, was intended to be with her, and yet not. Almost. But not.

There was the face she hated to see, beautiful, charming.

And torn. Broken. Badly broken beyond repair.

His smile was gloriously impeccable, but his chocolate brown eyes were wistful and full of unspoken regrets she knew.

She told her vampire that she was going out with the girls, but here she was. It was not foolproof, she knew, and soon Edward would know. But she could not think of that now.

Later. Definitely later.

Besides, she truly believed on Edward's intent purpose of not starting a war with the werewolves just by stepping to their territory.

"Yes…all forty-three of them."

Her voice was even, quiet, but she knew her emotions leaked into the shape-shifter before her.

The day at the beach they counted stars, infinite as they may be, was still clearly imprinted on her mind.

"I guess this is the only way we could talk…that you have to sneak from him."

She felt a clump barricade her throat, and Jacob immediately approached her and held her in a tight embrace.

With the gentlest possible tone he could muster, he said; "I'm sorry. I should've known better than to hurt you."

She stood still, dazed, unresponsive yet letting on.

"I should've known."

The waves splashed from the foot of the beach and yet they stood still, motionless, as Edward can be.

"I understand. I know." Was all Bella could utter.

Jacob tenderly, almost soothingly, pushed her and looked promptly away.

Bella took her full time to admire the tall, hard physique before her. Jacob didn't bother to wear any top at all, neither did he try to cover the muscled chest and abs. Bella knew she would love running her hands on them, in a swirl of undeniable passion, but she had chosen someone else's. Smoother, leaner, flawless.

That's the way vampires were supposed to remain.

She made her choice and she knew she wanted it, but all her resolve disappeared into thin air once she saw her fallen friend there, standing before her.

She tried, helplessly, to find the feeling of warmth and unconditional affection for this person, but her heart only beats for one person--vampire rather. It only beats for Edward romantically. And Jacob…Jacob was her friend, companion and comrade for eternity.

Only that.

"I missed you. Terribly."

His words incapacitated her. She knew she was being selfish. She should not bother him now. It will only hurt him more. But she can't leave. She can't just ignore him forever.

The smoldering gaze sent Bella somewhere far, where her bloodsucker of a fiancé was, as Jacob's eyes reminded her of his topaz ones.

"Me too. Me too…" And she knew her words were true. In a sense it was.

All of a sudden, Jacob closed his eyes tightly shut, then distress crept into the sides of his face, working their way up and around. Soon his face looked like it was sprayed with pure sorrow and anguish. Of broken dreams and shattered hopes.

"But…but only he you will love. You miss me. You need me. You want me. You love him."

The last statement sent diminutive, barely discernible, yet warm droplets falling over his face. Bella felt devastated, but she knew nothing could be done to help. To mend a heart which will never be whole again. Which will never love again. It was a feat so impossible.

"Only he, only he can make you love him frantically, want him desperately. I am more than thrice his temperature, but only snow burns you."

And her tears fell.

"Only Edward Cullen burns you."

And he looked up, painfully, yet with an intent smile. "I only called you to ask you one thing. And you have to promise me."

With surprise disfiguring her features, she stared into his eyes.

"Promise me."

"What?"

"Just say yes."

A moment of hesitation passed, and she realized she had owed him everything. Her life, her love, even her own existence.

And she silently nodded.

"If you ever need me, you only need to call my name. Anytime. I won't let you down. I swear I won't."

Her eyes widened in a rigid surge of resentment, she looked up.

"Promise me. Promise me you'd always bear in mind that I loved you; someone loved you this much, and will do forever, for every minute of his existence. Someone loves you so much he'd go through this much for you."

She couldn't understand what touched her, what burned her so much to drive her into insanity, to do something completely incredulous. But all she could feel was him with her, and that how much she cared. Her lips reached up for a hungry, fiery kiss, and it was met with a shocked yet mind-blowing response.

Suddenly, Jacob stiffened. Bella opened her eyes, shaken out of her reverie, and looked at his eyes. They were tightly clamped, distressed, with realization marring his expression.

She looked at the side, only to find pale white skin, lean, muscular body, and an exceptionally striking face.

A form she had memorized, each detail of the owner imprinted on her heart and soul.

Edward Cullen.

Edward Cullen. Waiting, fists clenched, but with understanding eyes.

The choice was made and Jacob Black's arm fell loose.