Hey hey! :) I know I told some of you that I would be updating on Friday but, once again, real life got in the way. If it wasn't college, then it was family commitments & then, finally, my one of my best friends leaving for university. So I'm sorry but the next chapter is finally here (Yay-much! (;. )

A/N; This chapter has a series of little vignettes to help the story progress to where it needs to be for the next chapter.
A/N 2; I've started posting this story on livejournal(dot)com, partly because a few good stories have been taken off ff(dot)net & partly because I wanted to give it a little revamp so all of the tenses & writing-styles are the same - http:/browneyes-baby(dot)livejournal(dot)com/; take a look. :)

Bella's POV.

"Jaaaaacob." I sing-songed in a hushed voice, drumming my fingers against his chest. Not even a flinch. I sighed, glancing at the clock on his nightstand for the millionth time. I have got to get home soon, Charlie might try to cook on his own again and.. well, I like our house not being on fire.

I turned my attention back to Jake, smiling at my own little inner monologue.

He always looked so peaceful when he slept; when he didn't have to worry about monsters or his family or the pack or even me, all he had to do was dream and relax.

I leaned forward slightly, pressing my lips to his, accidentally bumping my nose against his in the process. Aaaand there's my clumsiness - I was beginning to miss you, old friend.

"I love you, Jacob Ephraim Black." I whispered to him, caressing his cheek with my thumb.

"Hey Billy." I smiled, closing Jake's door as quietly as I could behind me.

"Oh, hey Bella." he called out from behind the refrigerator door, smiling over his shoulder at me "You heading out?"

"Yeah." I nodded "Jake's asleep and I know Dad's gotta be getting hungry by now so.."

"Alright," he smiled, rolling himself out of the kitchen, and stopped just in front of me "Listen, you tell the old coot to call me, alright."

"I will, Billy." I chuckled, pointing my thumb back over my shoulder "You tell that old coot to call me."

Jacob's POV.

I lifted my arm, reaching out for her pretty, soft skin. When my hand hit the still-warm sheets, I peeked one eye open, frowning. Where is she? For a split-second, panic totally set in.

I freaked her out with the whole imprinting thing and now she's gone, back to Deadward.

I shook my head at my own stupidity, rolling back over, and glanced at my clock. 19 :34.

I flipped over on my belly, burying my face deep into my pillows, and inhaled the biggest breath I'd ever taken. I freaking love how she smells.

"C'mon, get up, Sleeping Beauty!" Dad yelled, knocking - loudly - on my door "You're gunna be late for patrol," I heard him wheel himself away, giving my door one last knock "Food's in the oven."

Bella's POV.

"Dad, I'm home." I called out, dropping my bag and keys on the table by the door.

"In here, Bells." he called from the living room. I padded into the room, haphazardly kicking my shoes off on the way.

"You have fun at Jake's?" Charlie asked, half-smiling at me, half-trying to focus on the game.

"Uh, yeah, I did." I nodded, blushing slightly despite trying my hardest to be nonchalant "Are you hungry? I was thinking maybe I'd make us some tuna pasta.."

"Yeah, that sounds great, sweetheart." he nodded, not even bothering to pretend that he wasn't completely engrossed in the game now.

I knew, at that moment, I could have told him that I was pregnant, doing drugs, dropping out of school or running off to Vegas with Jake, and I would've got the exact same response.

Men and their sports. I rolled my eyes, wandering into the kitchen.

"Dad, dinner's ready!" I yelled through a mouthful of pasta "And if you don't hurry up, I'm gunna eat yours too!"

"I'm coming, I'm coming." he chuckled, appearing in the doorway. He sat down at the table, tucking in as I poured us both a glass of soda. I plopped down into my chair opposite him, stuffing another forkful of pasta into my mouth.

"I don't think I've ever seen you eat so much or so fast, Bells." he smiled at me.

"Oh," I mumbled, feeling a little embarrassed "Yeah, sorry Dad, I'm being gross, huh."

"No, don't apologise, sweetheart." he chuckled, shaking his head, and just watched me for a few minutes, before adding "I think you're spending too much time with Jacob, Bells."

"Huh!" I snapped my head up, staring at him in utter shock.

"Don't look at me like that." he laughed, rolling his eyes a little "I meant that you're starting to eat like he does.. I tell you, Bells, if you're gunna start eating as much as that kid does.. I might have to get a second job."

"Oh," I chuckled, shaking my head "I won't Dad, don't worry - I don't think I could eat even half as much as he does."

I tucked a strand of hair behind my left ear, smiling, and he promptly shoved a forkful of pasta into his own mouth, smiling the dopiest smile I'd ever seen.

"So, are you ready?" Charlie asked, glancing at me as he took a gulp of his soda.

"F-For what?" I asked cautiously, refusing to look him in the eye in case I was blushing. Again.

"For school." he added, wiping at the corners of his mouth "Semester starts back in just under three weeks, Bella."

Oh, well.. shit.

I had been so busy with the craziness that had become my life, I'd forgotten all about school. Partly because school meant no more days of just hanging out down in La Push and, also, school meant having to be in confined spaces with at least two of the Cullens at any given time. Great, just great.

"Oh, yeah, well," I nodded quickly, shrugging my shoulders "I will be ready, Dad."

"I know it'll be hard, having to be around.." he cleared his throat "Having to be around Edward without Jake being there, but, if he gives you any trouble-"

"He won't Dad, I promise." I smiled, hoping I wasn't having just a little too much faith in Edward.

"Well.. good." he nodded, pushing himself out of his chair as I stacked his empty plate on top of mine "Dinner was great, Bells, but Sportscenter is calling to me."

I shook my head with a smile, depositing our dishes in the sink before I called out "Oh, Dad? Your wife told me to tell you to call him."

"My who!" he asked, turning to stare at me with the most hilarious confused face I'd ever seen.

"Billy." I smiled up at him, rinsing down the dishes "He said, and I quote, tell the old coot to call me."

"Old coot? I'll show him old coot." he grumbled, disappearing into the living room again.

I turned the hot faucet on, closing the bathroom door, and let the room steam up before I stripped off.

I was exhausted. Not just physically, but mentally too.
When I thought Jake had imprinted on Cheyenne.. well, my world ended. Again.

"I.. I, uh, imprinted.."

When I heard those words, I felt the hole in my chest itching, but it wasn't the same as.. last time.
Jake had made a new hole; a much fresher, much sorer hole that I didn't think would ever heal. Because I would have no sunshine to save me from myself this time.

Jake and I hadn't even talked about the whole imprinting situation and what it would mean - would it mean I'd have to live with him, like Sam and Emily, because he couldn't bear for us to be apart for any long period of time? - we'd just headed straight for the making up part of our afternoon.

I stepped into the shower and sighed. And, boy, was it a gooooood afternoon.

"I miss you, Jacob." I sighed, stifling another yawn.

"I miss you too, baby." I knew he was smiling, I could hear it "I'll be over after patrol."

"Alright," I finally yawned, trying to fight the sleep that was already taking hold "I love you."

"I love you too, Bells." he chuckled before the line went dead.

His huge arm wrapped around me, engulfing me in heat that never seemed unbearable to me - despite the heat that already hung, heavy in the air.

"My Bella." he mumbled, pressing his lips to my cheek "I love you so much."

I reached down a little, lacing our fingers together, and drifted back into a peaceful slumber.

When I opened my eyes in the morning, he was gone.

It's not his fault, I reminded myself as I brushed my teeth, we can't risk Charlie coming in and finding him there.

It still irked me though, I wanted to wake up beside him; kissing him awake and asking him to tell me all about patrol, about all the monsters he chased away to keep me safe. I wanted to cook him breakfast while he crept up behind me, wrapping his arms around my waist and kissing my neck.

I wanted my forever to be with Jacob Ephraim Black.

Four Days Later.

The day had finally arrived. The day that Emily hauled us, her bridesmaids, off to find beautiful dresses to wear on her big day.

As soon as she and Sam had decided on a date, she'd asked us - the three wolf girls - to be her bridesmaids.

I was the first to admit that I was shocked as hell when Leah agreed - no-one would have blamed her for politely declining, choosing to have no real part in the whole thing. Not even Emily.

As we pulled up in front of the only good dress store in Port Angeles, Leah was looking increasingly like she regretted her decision. I killed the engine, squeezing her hand, and gave her what I hoped was a reassuring smile.

"Let's just get this over and done with." she sighed, sliding out of her seat.

We tried on twenty seven dresses. Twenty. Seven. Each!

Long dresses, short dresses, puffball dresses, slinky dresses, cotton dresses, silk dresses, casual dresses, dressy dresses, day dresses and evening dresses.

Emily watched us, trooping in and out of the dressing rooms; getting more agitated with each unsuccessful choice. Angela had given up long ago, slumping down in a chair to one side of Emily.

Twenty minutes later, I dropped down onto the chair on the other side of her, swiping at my clammy forehead, and groaned. Stupid dresses, stupid heat wave..

"Oh. My. God." Emily breathed, clasping her hands in front of her, and stared at Leah; who had thrown back the curtain of the changing room, looking like she was either about to pass out or kill somebody.

"The dress," Emily smiled, turning to me and Angela, then turned her attention back to Leah "It's just.. perfect."

Leah peered down at herself, glancing up at each of us, and tilted her head to one side.

"I like it." I nodded, glancing at Emily.

"I love it." Emily grinned, crossing the room to stand beside Leah.

"I guess it is pretty nice.." Leah admitted, glancing down at herself again.

"Isn't it a little low-cut for a wedding?" Angela chuckled, motioning her head towards Leah's cleavage "Leah's boobs might upstage you, Em."

Emily giggled, giving one of Leah's boobs a sharp poke. Leah yelped in surprise, blushing, and covered her chest with her arms.

I watched Jake, watching me in the mirror. I wrestled my hair into a braid, securing it with a hot pink hair-tie, and rubbed some moisturiser onto my face.

"Remind me again," he huffed, pouting slightly as I crossed the room, and dropped down on the bed beside him "Why can't we have sex here?"

"Because Charlie might hear us." I smiled, shaking my head as he gave me his best puppy-dog eyes.

"But, we do it in my house when my Dad could hear." he sighed dramatically, rolling over on top of me a little, and dipped his head, nibbling at my neck.

"Yeah, but," I smiled, tilting my head to allow him a little more access "Your father doesn't have a shotgun.. and a license to use it."

"Ah," he grinned, placing a chaste kiss on my lips, and rolled off me "Good point, baby."

One Week Later.

"Will someone please make her stand still!" the seamstress sighed in an overly dramatic way, looking thoroughly exhausted "I am almost done."

"Leah," I smiled at her, watching her glare at the seamstress and her assistant "Play nice."

"Don't talk to me," she huffed, glancing at me "You were done hours ago!"

"Five minutes ago, Lee-lee." I chuckled, rolling my eyes at her.

"Hey! I'm still stuck up here too." Angela smiled from her podium, pointing down at her dress.

Leah looked back at me then at Emily, huffing

"One more poke or prod with one of those stoopid little pins and I am leaving!" she grumbled, huffing, and folded her arms over her chest, scowling at Emily; who was having a hard time suppressing the giggles that were bubbling in her throat.

"I hate weddings." she announced to no-one in particular, as both me and Angela joined in the giggling.