The next morning Bella awoke enveloped in heat. She opened her eyes and smiled when she realized Jacob was holding her to his chest. It was the first time she'd woken up and her first though hadn't been of Edward. She brushed the backs of her fingers across Jacob's forehead. His eyelids fluttered, but he didn't wake. Bella's smile widened.
Bella found she loved watching Jacob sleep. She reveled in the boyish innocence of his face, and the way his mouth twitched as if he were talking in his sleep made her want to giggle.
She surprised herself when she realized he was perfect. Not physically perfect like Edward, but perfect in his own way. Perfect for her.
She studied his face until his eyes slowly opened. He grinned. "Hey."
"Good morning," Bella replied.
Jacob rubbed his eyes.
"What time is it?" he asked, sitting up and stretching.
Bella watched in awe as he flexed the muscles in his back. He shook his entire body like a dog.
"Ten o'clock?" she said distractedly.
"I guess I better meet up with the pack," Jacob said reluctantly. "I'll come back as soon as I can though," he added quickly.
"Okay." Bella smiled, and he jumped out the window and ran toward the woods.
When Jacob came back two hours later, Bella hadn't gotten out of bed. She had dozed off again after he left, and had just woken up when he returned.
"Wow, Bells, you must have been tired," he chuckled.
"I haven't slept that well in months," Bella admitted. Jacob beamed.
He crossed the room to kiss her lightly on the forehead. She got up and made her way toward the bathroom, and after she had showered and changed clothes, she found Jacob downstairs in the kitchen.
"I hope you like pancakes," he said, gesturing toward the piles of dirty dishes he'd stacked on the counter. Amongst them was a plate containing charred lumps of batter.
"How did you manage to burn the batter and prevent it from cooking all the way through?" she laughed.
Jacob grinned sheepishly and emptied the contents of the plate into the trash. "Cereal it is!"
Bella watched him move about the kitchen, so big and yet somehow graceful. She smiled to herself. She noted with a twinge of almost guilt that she'd been smiling more recently. She wondered if the key to getting over Edward's death was getting close to Jacob.
Without thinking Bella got up from her chair and crossed the kitchen to where Jacob stood. He stopped looking for a bowl, and almost dropped the cereal box he was holding. Bella stood on her tiptoes and kissed Jacob full on the mouth.
He threw the cereal box over his shoulder and grabbed her by the waist, crushing her to his chest. She automatically wrapped her arms around his neck and her legs around his waist, but her legs were slightly too short. Jacob placed his hands under her thighs to support her. He gripped them tightly.
Bella had never felt so complete. She pulled Jacob's face as close to hers as she could and fiercely kissed him. It felt so good to let go. Jacob turned and sat her on the counter, pulling her tight to him. The heat from his skin sent Bella into delirium. She couldn't get enough of his body on hers.
Bella broke the kiss with a gasp and laid her head back against a cabinet door. Jacob moved to kiss down her neck to her collarbone, where he sucked ever so slightly. Bella sucked in her breath. His hot breath on her neck caused goose bumps to form on her arms, which were quickly dispelled by the heat of his body.
"I want you," he moaned gruffly.
"Oh, Jake," she said breathlessly, and pulled him back into a kiss.
He picked her up off the counter and carried her upstairs to her bed, gently laying her down. He lied on top of her, careful not to put too much of his weight on her. She could feel every inch of her body covered by his.
"I want to show you how much I love you," Bella said quietly, sounding out each word slowly…