Lesson Three: Thankfulness

Part 2

Disclaimer: Obviously I am not Stephanie and do not get profit off of this.


A/N- This picks up right after Selfish Behavior but it is not a necessary to read that first, suggested, but not necessary. Also the author is very sorry for the time between this. I have had this written since last year, but never posted it. I figured I would treat you readers. I am actually going to see Eclipse tonight at midnight. I am hoping it will inspire me. I'm really busy right now preparing for school in the fall, and once it starts I can't promise that I will write more. Perhaps if someone could figure out who my Dominant was and petition to them that I keep writing. For now, readers, enjoy!

Jacob pulled me up the mountain, effortlessly , within a few moments. I barley had time to enjoy the beauty of the scenery, because I had fallen in to a pattern of thinking. Jacob's sacrifice lit a passionate debate in my brain. Had Jacob enjoyed his humbling position of pulling me on a sled? Had it been a choice, or had he felt compelled to fulfill whatever debt he had to Edward?

I answered all of those questions quickly. Jacob had most certainly enjoyed his service to me, as my friend. I was confident in that., but I was not confident in the other questions that this brought on about my own submission? Had it truly been my choice, or was I forcing myself into a role to keep Edward as mine? Did I enjoy the loss of control or was I making up some fantasy in my head based on Edwards own idea of alternate reality?

"Bella?" Jacob was in human form again, and he called my name.

I was not listening, I was lost in my own thoughts. Part of me believed so deeply in the newly formed dynamics of our relationship, but the other part of me hesitated.

"Bella!" Jacob's voice was sharper, and he was standing in front of me pulling his shirt back on.

Snapping out of my daze, I gazed up at him. He was smiling down at me with that giant Jacob grin. He really had enjoyed providing me transpiration service.

"Jacob, can I talk to you?" I asked, before really considering the consequence of sharing details of my relationship with Edward.

"Of course," he replied, as if I had just asked a stupid questions. He offered me his hand to help me out of the sled. "You can ask me anything."

"And you promise that you won't freak out," I added as my foot crunched down on the fresh, white snow. After thinking about it, Jacob MIGHT just kill Edward if he was not okay with all this.

"Is it about your relationship with Edward?" he inquired, an eyebrow raised towards the sky, which was still dumping snow down upon us. "The nature of that relationship?"

I blinked at him, standing in shock. Had Edward talked to him about it? There was no way that Edward would speak to Jacob about it! The alternative made me sick to my stomach. Was our Dominant and Submissive relationship so obvious that people noticed it easily. It made me suddenly defensive. "What do you know about it?"

Jacob cringed at my voice. Suddenly, I felt badly, remember Edward's earlier written words, and my body tensed up.

I expect you to be pleasant and obliging to everyone you come in contact with; your friends, your family, strangers; even Jacob.

ESPECIALLY JACOB! I added empathically to myself.

Was Edward really trying to prove a point? Did I take advantage of my friendship with Jacob? My stomach churned at the thought that Edward might say, "I told you so," even though I knew that he would not. He was correct, as he usually was, I really was (unintentionally, of course) using Jacob's friendship for my own gain.

"Um…sorry Jacob," I timidly apologized, pulling my hat down further on my ears. They weren't cold, they were burning with embarrassment. "Thanks for the ride, by the way."

"Hey," his voice changed too as he approached me. He tossed one arm over my shoulders and pulled me into a hug. "Its no problem Bella."

"Yeah, but I should still thank you," I told him, leaning into one of our awkward Jacob and Bella embraces for a few seconds, before we both pulled away and looked the other direction quickly.

"So, did you want to talk about your problems with Edward?" He was the first speak after the pause.

"How much do you know about it?" I worked up the courage to ask that question quickly, dreading the answer.

"Enough," answered Jacob, shrugging his shoulders. "I don't really want details on your sex life with a leech, and I'm not confident that I'm right, but I think you practice BDSM."

His reply made me breath a little lighter. I had not wanted to go into extensive details with Jacob. I nodded a little to confirm his suspicions and then proceeded, "Does that bother you?"

Another shrug of his shoulders as he kicked at some of the snow. "I'm not sure," he told me, and I could hear honesty in his voice. Which was unusual, especially considering the subject of our conversation was Edward. "I never want to think about him hurting you."

His words struck me from so many directions. I wanted to defend Edward, claiming angrily that he had never hurt me. I wanted to fall to Jacob's feet to apologize for the months of agony I had put him through, when he cared for me so much. I wanted to scream at him and Edward for being dense, for not being able to get over years of prejudice, and being able to care about each other as much as I cared about both of them.

"He doesn't hurt me," I said, starting with that point first. "Not as much as you would think. And I suppose its all consensual."

"You suppose?" His voice bristled and he turned concerned eyes on me. "You mean you're not sure!"

"No, No!" I didn't want him getting the wrong idea. "It's all consensual. I have safe words and stuff, but what I mean is…" I faulted here. How did I say this to Jacob, who might try and use it to his advantage.

"Yes?" His voice prodded me to finish.

"I'm afraid." I paused, but before Jacob could react badly, I defended Edward. "I'm not afraid of Edward, he would never kill me or harm me permanently! I'm afraid of my desire and my want, that doesn't feel right. And I'm afraid of failure, I don't want to let him down."

"Well I guess…" He sighed, long and loud. Jacob never really thought about his words, he always just said what came to mind first. If he was pausing and thinking, I knew that I better listen.

"I guess, that means you have to face yourself, not Edward," he said, looking at me fiercely. "Your fears are internal, I can diagnose them if you want me too, but you have to tackle them."

"What do you mean, 'diagnose them', you can't possibly…." I said almost angrily, feeling like he was speaking to me like I knew nothing and he knew everything.

Jacob took two gigantic steps and closed the gap between us so quickly I gasped. He was a few inches from my face before speaking, "I know better then you think I do about feeling like a failure and having to perform."

Bowing my head, I felt once again like a little girl. He was right, I knew he felt like he had to perform around me. "I'm sorry, Jacob," I apologized instantly. "That's not what I meant."

He backed down, moving away quickly. "I know." Another awkward silence followed, before Jacob interrupted it again.

"You're not scared of Edward hurting you physically," Jacob told me, shoving his hands into his pockets. "You've accepted the physical aspects of your new relationship. You're scared to displease him, you scared that if you can't obey him, if you can't do what he wants, that he…"

"Will leave me…" I finished his statement with my own out loud thinking.

Jacob turned to me sympathetically. He reached out to take my gloved hand into his. "You think that His love is a dream," said Jacob knowingly, as his finger rubbed gently on the back of my glove. "That you're ultimately going to screw this up."

I made a frustrated sound and jerked away. Not because I did not want him to touch me or that I was mad at him. "He tried to convince me!" I screamed, stomping in the snow in a pacing manner. "We even had a lesson…"

"A lesson?" Jacob questioned, his eyebrows raised.

"He tried to teach me to have healthy self image and confidence!" I screamed on the brink of tears. Edward has tried so hard to teach me that lesson, and I could not learn. I was still doubting myself.

"Forgive me here, but…" He paused and acted like he was searching for the right words to tell me to 'grow up.' "Are you human?"

I looked up at him. Was he stupid? I decided to asked him that exact question, "Are you stupid?"

"The point is, Bella," he said my name in such stern tone that I was a little stuck back. "As cliché as it sounds, you're wired to screw up. So are vampires, and werewolves!" He was beside me now, touching my arm soothingly. "If Edward expected you to be perfect then he is setting himself and you up for failure."

"But I want to be perfect to make him happy!" I shouted, turning into his awaiting hugs. "I want to obey all his rules and orders and do it right!"

Jacob held me for a few seconds, letting my frustrations flow into his own body. Exchanging my negative energy for his positive energy made me calmer. He spoke slowly and softly, "He only expects effort Bella."

"How do you know?" I looked up at him and I could not help but glare at him. He was talking to confidently about Edward and I.

He forced a chuckle, that Jacob grin passing over his dark face. I knew then that this conversation was just as hard for him as it was for me. "I just know," he finally said as he dug around in his pocket. "Here."

Jacob had produced another letter with my name elegantly inscribed on the envelope. He left me to read it, walking back to the sled, pretending to fiddle with the harnesses.

My dear Bella,

I hope you have enjoyed your trip up the mountain. I asked that you go with Jacob for a reason. The lesson that I will be expecting you to learn this weekend is; thankfulness.

Just in this moment, as you read this, listen to the snow falling around you. Notate the beauty of the whiteness around you, and the serenity that comes from it. Be thankful for the breath of life that you breath everyday in order to enjoy such scenery.

Now my love, look at Jacob. He is your dearest and truest friend, and just as I would, he would sacrifice everything for you. Be thankful for his friendship and devotion. He also has a lot of wise things to teach you, listen to his words.

Think of Charlie and you Mother. Know that they love you and care about you very much. They want the best for their daughter and the light of their life. Be thankful for the care they have provided and will continue to provide.

You have so much to be thankful in you life, I find you overlooking most of the things that you have to be thankful; food to eat, a bed to sleep in, I would like you to keep this in mind as you fulfill my requests this weekend.


Your Owner

Had he just accused me of being selfish? Had he brought me all the way to the top of the mountain to tell me that I was not thankful and that I was selfish?

That bastard! I almost stomped my foot.

Jacob was looking at me in confusion, an eyebrow raised to the sky that was still dumping snow on us.

"I just called Edward a bastard in my head," I admitted with a little bit of guilt.

Jacob immediately made a joke out of the situation, lightening my mood. "Well, its a good thing he cannot read your mind."

There was a second of silence. I heard the snow falling, that slight sound that you only heard when everything around you was still. Closing my eyes, I was thankful for Jacob's humor, and together we laughed out loud.