i. [a dizzying sensation]

It was never supposed to be like this.

It's been two decades since her heart stopped beating, so why is she suddenly pressing her white body up against him every so often, letting her hands flit across his arms when her daughter is safely in the other room?

He doesn't know why she does it (and he doesn't dare ask), but he sort of missed the feeling he gets when she's near, the dizzy, sick sort of feeling that you get when you stand up too quickly and you're not quite sure if your feet are on the ground.

ii. [of tilting]

They fuck.

It happens at the Black house, in the garage, in the back of his old car. He hasn't driven it in twenty years, or been to the house in ten, but it seems proper that it should happen there. After all, he fell in love with her.

She supposes, as his hand trails down between her breasts, that this is where she fell in love with him too.

She gets some twisted satisfaction out of knowing that he's never brought her daughter here, and cries out his name loudly in an act of defiance to the life she's condemned herself to.

iii. [within]

The sex is so much better than it ever is with Edward, and she hates herself so intensely that she considers asking Carlisle how he tried offing himself so she can see which methods have already proven ineffective.

iv. [stable surroundings]

Nobody figures it out.

Or if they have, they aren't saying anything. Life goes on. He marries Nessie, like he's meant to. She continues her wifely duties to her perfect husband. There's perfect balance in the world.

It all get dull very fast, and it's little wonder that they find one another in the shadows of La Push before too long.

v. [or]

He hasn't really broken the imprint. She doesn't think that's even possible. But the pain is there on his dark face when he watches her take off her dress or when he moans her name into her skin as they push against one another.

She knows that some of the anguish is because of her infidelity; some of it is because of his. But it all comes back to the fact that she should have figured out twenty years ago that forever was not supposed to be part of her vocabulary.

Now, it's simply too late.

vi. [of being]

Sometimes they go back to the Black house and lie together in the back of Jacob's car. They'll sit there for hours, talking about everything and nothing all at once until the sky turns light and they know they have to get back to their twisted, false reality.

They don't fuck as often anymore. They don't need to.

vii. [in tilting]

"You never loved me."

He winces at her tone. Of course she knew. She's always known.

"I do love you, Ness."

She snorts as she drops the bracelet he gave her to the ground. He doesn't bother to pick it up.

"But not as much as my mother."

viii. [or]

He asks her if there's anything left for him here.

She kisses him, hard and fast, to remind him that there always has been.

ix. [spinning]

That night, she capitulates. Begs Carlisle to tell her what he tried.

The elder vampire doesn't even raise an eyebrow. Jacob came to him with the exact same question that afternoon.

x. [surroundings]

She makes a choice (perhaps the only real one she's made in two decades).

The Cullens don't condemn her like they ought to. They're full of smiles and encouragement, and Alice even winks. Bella wonders if the dark-haired girl knew it was going to happen this way all along.

"Just be happy, Bella," Edward says as he kisses her forehead, and shakes Jacob's outstretched hand.

She almost laughs before she realizes that it's not funny at all.


Notes: Team Jacob FTW.

Disclaimer: I obviously don't own the series.

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