It was dead quiet in La Push. Well, quiet by human standards. With my sharp ears and enhanced senses, I heard everything. Everything. So in reality, the combined noises of sleep from all sides and the scuttling of the night life, it was pretty loud. But for all intents and purposes, we'll call it quiet.
Normally I would have been concerned if I was even allowed here, but at that moment, it scarcely mattered to me. The Treaty had been violated in so many twisted ways in the past few months that such matters held trivial importance in my eyes now. I could go onto the reservation if I so desired and tonight… well, I so desired.
Holding my breath in large proximities of humans became easier and easier as my days went on, so I slipped without difficulty through the streets, quickly but quietly, my newly nimble feet barely touching the ground, barely leaving tiny, toe-shaped indentations in the grassy lawns of the homes as I tread across them to get to the little red house with which I was so familiar.
Silently I opened the door just wide enough for my slim body to snake through, and I was inside.
The innards of the Black's house would always hold a certain sentimental value for me. The memorable aged couches, the withered but sturdy countertops, the creaking floorboards and wooden walls that I was once so prone to accidentally bumping into. It was weird to not be clumsy or hazardous anymore, as I was when I had human feet — but I can't say that it didn't come in handy as I snuck my way through the familiar, warm household I'd practically grown up in and found Jacob's bedroom.
He was huge on the bed, his feet and propped up at the end by a stack of pillows. He made the room look so tiny in comparison. Moonlight gleamed through the open window and I noticed that it was an unusually clear sky. The shards of light glinted off my skin in the near-darkness, but I felt nowhere as beautiful as Jacob, for as he lay there, breathing slowly, his heart beating rhythmically, his face serene and quiet, he looked almost childlike. Like I remembered him from so long ago.
I never understood why, when I was human, that Edward liked to watch me sleep, but now I think I sort of got the idea. There was something tainted about watching another in slumber, like it was a secret of theirs that shouldn't be intruded upon. And yet it was so intriguing, now that I could no longer lose myself to those dreamless periods of relaxation. Watching Jacob was like watching something actually live. With vampires, movement as large as a human's was unheard of. We moved, occasionally, but we had the power to be completely still. And it was uncomfortable to move. It was unnecessary.
But Jacob moved. His chest beat rhythmically, up and down with his breath, living and beautiful. I watched him for what seemed like a long time before I approached the bed touched the rim of his blankets.
A clear path of moonlight fell from the window onto the mattress, illuminating me and Jacob as I pulled the sheets silently back and began to crawl under them. Jacob didn't wake up but he grumbled incoherently and shifted to the side, closer to the opposite wall, as if to allow me room to enter.
"Hey, Bells," he mumbled without ever opening his eyes. I didn't ask how he knew it was me.
"Hey, Jake." My voice sounded gloomy for some reason.
"Oh, honey," he yawned, "You smell terrible."
"I know," I said apologetically. There was no other speech I could offer as I crawled into bed with him, into his paralyzing heat, holding my breath so I couldn't smell his awful odor.
Unthinkingly, Jacob wrapped his arms around me. Now that we were so close physically I could see the difference in his skin to mine; I was the moon and he was the sun, it seemed. He glowed with life and energy even in his sleep, and my arm was dead looking next to his. It made me sad, somewhat, but I ignored it.
"You're so cold." His voice wobbled with exhaustion, sounding confused. I wondered if he was even awake, but his heartbeat in my ears denied his consciousness. He must be sleep talking. In an alarmingly accurate way.
"You're…" He yawned again. "You seem different, Bells."
"I know," I whispered, my voice like honey, trying to soothe him back to sleep. I hadn't anticipated any awareness from him, and if he really was sleep talking, then I didn't want to wake him up.
My hands shook imperceptibly as I pulled Jacob's sheets up to my chin. His smoldering skin felt like an iron pressing on my glacier-like limbs; his arms around me formed a cocoon of insane heat. It made my head spiral wildly; things were rarely cold to my newly freezing body, but Jacob far out-heated anything I'd ever felt. And to be in such close proximity was chaotic. But not unendurable.
"Bella," he murmured into my hair. His eyes were still shut softly, and he wore an expression of the utmost peace. I had missed this face. It took me back to a time when I was not Edward's and he was not Sam's. Back when we had just been two people who enjoyed spending time together.
"Bells…" Another inexplicably human yawn. "I don't understand why… you're so… weird today." He whispered the words, his hot breath skirting over my face in waves. The moonlight flattered his features, and my own personal sun glowed in the center of this dark room.
"I don't know what's wrong with me either, Jake," I replied. Despite the distinct tremor in my voice, I kept it low, afraid I might wake him. "I'm sorry, I don't know."
"It's okay," Jacob breathed, inhaling and exhaling largely (and then pinching his face in unconscious disgust, for my vampire-ish smell had reached his strong nose). "I'll keep you safe, honey. I'll keep you…"
It seemed like Jacob's sleep talking was finally over. His sentence blended into a loud snore, drowning out any sound for a mile. His breath gradually became quieter and I sunk into the mattress a little more, closer to him, as close as I could possibly get without becoming one with him.
I had missed Jacob since I became a vampire; we got to spend so little time together. Sneaking out to see him seemed relatively harmless, as long as he didn't remember in the morning, which I was fairly sure he wouldn't.
Was he still speaking? I looked sideways at him, and at the same time as my face moved so did his. His warm lips pressed very softly to the first part of my cold skin they could reach, which was the left side of my forehead, and he whispered,
"…safe from the vampire, Bells, you'll be safe."
He fell silent again, his rhythmic breathing commencing as normal.
A lump rose uncomfortably in my throat. If I had been able to cry, now would be the time — Jacob, in his innocent state of sleep, still dreamed of me as regular, as human, as normal. He missed me that way, it was clear. To him we were still in his shed building the motorcycles, talking, laughing, being healed by each other's presence and each other's presence alone.
I sucked in all my breath, holding it tight, but it failed to help. I let it go, and Jacob shuddered as though it were an icy wind.
"I love you, Jake," I said, but he was deeply asleep and didn't hear me. Instead he went on in his soft slumber, his inhalation smooth and even, and I felt my un-beating heart break.
It was easy to imagine Jacob the way I wanted him to be when he wasn't around — happy, moving on, at peace — but now that I was here in his most vulnerable state — in slumber — all the lost love I harbored for him, the lost love he'd never know about, funneled down and struck me like lightning in this moonlit room.
Jacob was peaceful without me. But it was a sick, strange comfort to know that, in his dreams, he missed me as much as I missed him.
We were two halves of a very fractured whole — in the same way that we were attached, we were separated. I was a vampire, and he was a werewolf. Opposite extremes. Left and right. Night and day. Our friendship had been broken so many times I barely knew if we could survive anymore.
I stayed with him for the remainder of the night, watching his sweet slumber, and before he awoke that morning, I was gone. If he remembered me at all, I would just be a dream. A dream of the vulnerable, precious human Bella that he needed to protect from the vampires.
Author's Note: This holds a lot of symbolism for my. I'm not sure why though XD;; I really like what I put into it and I think I did a fair job capturing the delicacy of their relationship. This takes place sometime after Breaking Dawn, by the way, obviously. (I think Jacob will always have a soft spot for Bella, like he did in New Moon, even if he did imprint on Renesemee.) Anyways, leave me a comment letting me know how I did. Thank you for reading. :D