My first Twilight fic of a reasonable length – hope you like it! Bella's POV mostly, may have chapters from other POVs later. Post-Eclipse, ignores Breaking Dawn. NC-17 for scenes of a sexual nature (mostly later chapters).
Disclaimer: All publicly recognizable characters, settings, etc. are the property of their respective owners. The original characters and plot are the property of the author. The author is in no way associated with the owners, creators, or producers of any media franchise. No copyright infringement is intended. I'm just playing with Jacob, Bella and Edward, Stephenie owns :P.
Edward and the Cullens left Forks for the second time after the battle with Victoria and the newborns – this is set two years after this. Bella found solace in Jacob Black, but what will happen when Edward can't stay away? M for lemons.
Chapter 1: Salvation
I am not yours, not lost in you,
Not lost, although I long to be
Lost as a candle lit at noon,
Lost as a snowflake in the sea.
You love me, and I find you still
A spirit beautiful and bright,
Yet I am I, who long to be
Lost as a light is lost in light.
Oh plunge me deep in love -- put out
My senses, leave me deaf and blind,
Swept by the tempest of your love,
A taper in a rushing wind.
'I Am Not Yours' – Sara Teasdale
I rolled over in bed, stirring, not wanting to wake. Blearily, I opened my eyes and squinted at the alarm clock on my night stand. Seeing the time, I sat up with a start. Oh crap, I thought. I'm late. No time to shower. Class started in 40 minutes and I wasn't even dressed. It took just over an hour to get there, and sometimes longer in my senior-citizen truck. Leaping out of bed, I quickly shrugged on my jeans and a polo neck.
Grabbing my backpack, I left my empty house (Charlie was already at work) and hopped into my truck. The engine spluttered to life and I was soon well on my way. I tuned the radio station to a song I liked, and hummed along. Humming gave way to musings about my life. Things were definitely different now.
I worked shifts at the Lodge, the closest thing Forks had to a fancy restaurant. The tips were decent, and my colleagues friendly. At first I had only done that, throwing myself into work, and had little interest in going to college. Charlie was aghast when I'd first told him I wasn't going to Dartmouth. I could hear him in my head now.
"Bella, you're throwing your life away!" he roared, his hands clenched in fists at his sides. "That boy's done enough damage. You can't wait for him again. You need a fresh start, away from that -"
I winced at that particular memory, and snapped out of it before some other memories could surface. But I had appeased Charlie in the end. Soon after that, I'd started dating Jacob, which both Charlie and Billy were utterly thrilled about. I'd also started an English Literature course at Peninsula Community College in Port Angeles, which I was on my way to now. Jake was working as a car mechanic, which suited him to a tee.
Things were different now. It almost felt as if the supernatural world I had lived in for two years or so had not been real. Of course, Jake was still a werewolf, but things were calmer now. As the enemies of the werewolves were gone, Jake hadn't phased in around a year and a half. Sam, Quil, Embry, Leah, Seth, Paul, Jared, Collin, Brady and the others were much the same, so I heard.
Sam and Emily had married a few months ago, in a small ceremony held in the backyard of their little house. Jacob, Charlie and I had attended along with the others from La Push. Sam and the other wolves seemed far more settled and peaceful than I had remembered. Jacob's sister Rachel was marrying Paul next year, a fact which unfortunately still set Jacob's teeth on edge to mention. Leah even seemed far happier since then, a far cry from the bitter, twisted young woman she had been.
Life had gone on. My life was relatively content right now. Although most of my Forks friends had gone off to college, I was happy enough spending time with Jake and the others at La Push. Jake and I adored each other and had fallen into an easy relationship. I spent a lot of time down at the reservation, or Jake came here. Billy was always thrilled to have me there for dinner, being much more friendly to me than he had been in the past. Although, neither Charlie or Billy were keen on us staying over at each other's houses, despite the fact we were both adults. I grinned when I thought of how Jake would silently climb through my window some nights. There were definitely advantages to dating a werewolf.
I knew just how right it felt to be with Jacob when we made love for the first time, well over a year ago. He took me to the woods and laid me on a blanket he'd brought for the occasion. We were both inexperienced, yet I was painfully shy, and he was confident. The weather was cold, which compensated for the intense heat of Jake's skin. His searingly hot chest felt so good under my hands as I caressed him. He laid me down gently and his fingers did the most...wonderful thing to me. He was skilled for a virgin. And then we became one together. Sensations I had never felt before tore through my body. There was pain, but it quickly gave way to pleasure. Back in my bedroom later, falling asleep in his warm arms, I knew that this was what I wanted. That as long as I had Jacob Black, I need never feel empty again. He was the warming sun in my life, just as he had always been. When my sky had shattered, he had put it back together. He'd waited patiently in the wings for me, while I wasted my time with...
No. I mustn't think about that, I thought as I slowed the car to a stop in the college car park. I needed to focus on something else and not think about the person whom my thoughts had barely dwelt on for a year and a half. Grabbing my bag from the front seat, I quickly headed over to the main building to catch what was left of this morning's class.
Later that evening, I was lost in thought as I cooked Charlie's dinner. As I was marinating the fish Charlie had brought back from a trip the other day, my gaze stole to the book I had left on the counter. What a coincidence it would be that the one book that my teacher would assign for us to write an assignment on, would be Wuthering Heights. I used to love that book, but I had not read it in two years. I would not read it because of what it had once meant to me. And to somebody else.
Come on Bella, focus! I muttered to myself. I was becoming far too tense. Charlie would be home soon, and he would notice, in that annoyingly perceptive way of his. I turned my attention back to the dinner. I placed the fish on the side to marinate, and began peeling potatoes to go with it. But somehow, I was so distracted my hand slipped and I stabbed my finger with the peeler. Ow! Well, I was known for being clumsy. Jake always teased me. Hmph. Just because he has supernatural strength and grace. I leaned against the counter, closing my eyes. I had to relax.
A shower sounded good, as I hadn't had the chance to have one this morning. I placed the potatoes in a pan and headed upstairs. The hot water of the shower soothed me as it unknotted my tense muscles. I washed my hair with my favourite strawberry-scented shampoo. As I stepped out of the shower just a short while later, I felt more like myself again. I put the fish in the oven, the potatoes on to boil and made a simple salad. I then sat down with my book in the living room to wait.
As I flipped through the pages, I remembered how I was always so drawn to the story of the tortured lovers, Heathcliff and Cathy. How their all-consuming passion for one another eventually destroyed both of them, and everyone around them. I was glad that mine and Jake's relationship floated on a calm sea, after all the drama we had experienced in the past. He was hardly Romeo, but he was my best friend and my lover. That thought brought a smile to my face. I would be seeing him later, and I looked forward to it. Just then I heard the key turn in the lock. Charlie was home.
"Hi, Bells!" called Charlie from the hall as he came in.
"Hi, Dad," I smiled, putting my book down. "There's fish and potatoes for dinner."
He grinned. "Sounds great. I've had a long day," he signed, slumping on the sofa as he turned the TV on. He tuned the channel to a Mariners game and we sat silently together for a while, idly watching it. Neither Charlie and I were big talkers, but that suited us. He left me to my own devices when I wanted him to.
"Er, Bella - " he said suddenly, looking a little awkward. Oh God, please not another sex talk. Charlie had attempted that a few times, but it usually ended it both of us blushing beet red and him stumbling over his words until his desire to drop the subject won out. Last time he'd tried to broach the subject, I'd told him abruptly I was on the pill, which I was, and he seemed satisfied by that, besides his grumbling about "not under my roof". What on Earth could it be now?
" - how are you finding college?" Charlie finished, sighing. "I just kind of...hope that you're doing what you want. That you didn't just stay here because you were worried about me. Or because you and Jake got involved. You know I wanted you to go to Dartmouth."
I winced at the memory of our earlier argument about Dartmouth. We were both quiet for a moment.
"Dad, it's okay," I said finally. "I am doing what I want. I'm happy here in Forks, it's my home now. And I like majoring in English. It's what I would have done at Dartmouth anyway."
At this, Charlie visibly relaxed.
"Okay, honey," he conceded. "I just wanted to make sure you're happy. Don't get me wrong, Jake's a great kid – you guys have a really good thing there, but I don't want him, or me to be the only reason you're staying around here."
"You worry too much, Dad," I said, shaking my head. I went to the kitchen and served dinner, my heart thumping slightly. Was Jacob the only reason I had stayed around here? I frowned. I didn't think so, I had grown used to Forks and had a certain fondness now even for the perpetually dull weather which dominated the Olympic peninsula. Maybe there was another reason...
No! I wasn't going to think of that, I resolved, and realised I was clenching my fists. I relaxed my hands and busied myself with serving dinner for Charlie and I.
"Dad," I called as I put the plates on the table. He came in and we sat down to eat in silence.
Even later, I was flipping through Wuthering Heights and making notes when I heard a familiar tap at the window. Looking up, I smiled as Jake pulled up the sash window and launched himself into my room, barely making a sound as his huge frame hit the carpet. I got up from the bed and he immediately pulled me to him, burying his face in my hair.
"Mm, Bella honey, you smell like strawberries," he murmured, his soft lips at my ear.
I stayed quiet, nuzzling into his neck as I breathed in the woodsy, masculine sent of my Jake. That scent that made me weak at the knees.
"Reading your favourite book?" he smirked, picking up Wuthering Heights from where it lay on my night stand.
I rolled my eyes, stepping back from him. "Hardly. I haven't read it in ages." The smirk faded from his face a little.
"Yeh, I know," he said quietly. "I don't think you've read it for a couple of years." I knew what he was thinking, and I wanted to get off the subject.
"So anyway, how was your day?" I said cheerfully. He raised an eyebrow, but sensed I wanted to avoid further discussions about my reading material.
"It was busy, man! Lots of cars to fix...there was this one car where the electrical system was just toast, it took forever to sort out. I'm pretty tired to be honest." A nostalgic smile came to his face. "Hey, do you remember when we used to fix those bikes together in my garage?"
I laughed, and we sat down on my purple quilt, Jake's arm around me.
"Of course," I breathed, as his hands stroked my hair. "When you would constantly flirt with me".
"Well, how could I help it, with you being so beautiful?" he said with a wicked grin.
"I missed you today, Jake," I sighed, leaning into his warm embrace. He held me, and for a moment we were still, listening to sound of each other's hearts. My heart began to thud, and I was sure he noticed. He pulled back from me and looked into my eyes, his breathing coming heavier now.
"I missed you too," came his low, throaty whisper and it was only a second before he crushed his lips to mine.
But suddenly, without any warning, a memory surged to the fore, a memory of cold lips pressing to mine, of piercing golden eyes...No! Shh, Bella, stop being an idiot! Forget about it...
With that, I gave into Jake's warm, yielding lips, giving myself to him utterly. Jake's eyes flashed darkly with desire and he brought his mouth back to mine with a groan, kissing me even harder. And I thought no more as I yielded to my werewolf's caresses...
This is a pretty difficult fic to write but it's good to get out of my comfort zone – I hope you enjoyed it! I guess you can pretty well imagine who Bella's thinking of ;). Please review and I'll have more incentive to write the next chapter quicker :).