This chapter continues where we left off with Bella and Rosalie in chapter 28.

The second part of chapter is dedicated to CentauRita. You know why ;-)

Uprising Chapter 30 I'm with the vampires

Bella POV


I was stunned.

What was he doing here? We haven't seen each other in months. In fact, the last time we saw each other was last June, at the Prom. He came there primarily to delay a message from his father. Well, more like a warning, which I didn't heed, of course.

After that last encounter we haven't seen each other again. I spent the entire summer with the Cullens. True, I met up with Angela a couple of times, but other than that I barely left Edward's side, something I started to truly regret now. And after the unfortunate fallout of my disastrous birthday party, I had no interest in keeping contact with the people I've been ignoring for so long. Instead I spent my time moaning my losses.

So why was Jacob suddenly standing in my yard, demanding my attention? I haven't been a good friend. Far from it.

But then I remembered Sam's words, something about Jake probably not taking the news well. That would explain why he knew I was in the house, even though my truck was missing, and that I wasn't alone. He could smell me and Rose, because he was one of them. A werewolf.

"You know this dog?" Rosalie sneered.

I nodded, ignoring her blatant hostility. "Yes, he is a friend."

When I reached for the door handle, she stopped me. Her hand was cold, her grip unyielding, yet careful.

"I don't like this. He may be your friend, but he is also a werewolf." Rose pointed out. "And the fact that you are hanging out with me might send the wrong message. Maybe we should call Jasper."

I rolled my eyes. "I think I can handle this on my own. Besides, I know he will not harm me."

The blonde vampire didn't budge, scrutinizing me from top to bottom. I didn't know what exactly she was looking for. Maybe she was estimating the best way to snatch me up and make a run for it. Or maybe she was pondering how well I would do in a fight. Which was ludicrous, of course. I may have some experience going up against one crazed vampire. But even then I barely survived. What chance would I have against a werewolf? None whatsoever. And with my luck, I would end up getting caught between Rose and Jake.

Like I said – it was a ludicrous idea.

The most logical conclusion was that she was simply testing my resolve. Precisely why I held Rose's gaze, showing her I wasn't going to change my mind. And she seemed to realize that. With a huff she pulled her hand away.

"I hope you are right. It's just my ass on the line here." Rose grumbled.

I knew she wasn't just talking about Jake. In fact, I was sure she was mainly concerned about Jasper. He'd entrusted her with my safety. If I got hurt, even by accident, he would go berserk. And knowing my mate he wouldn't just use his words to express his anger.

"Don't worry. Jacob won't try anything. Not while I'm around." I stated, firmly holding my ground. I wouldn't be a worthy mate for the Major if I ran away from trouble, each and every time, right? Sure, if Jasper were here, he would beg to differ, telling me that I'm too fragile. In fact, I was sure he would try and forbid me to talk to Jacob. And he would fail.

I wasn't just a stupid, fragile human. I was a fighter, a survivor. And I knew how to pick my battles. Even the ones with my mate …

Rose still wasn't fully convinced, but apparently she willing to trust me and my judgment. And I was grateful for that. With a curt nod Rose stepped aside, allowing me to open the door.

Jacob stood a few feet away from the porch.

He was dressed in shorts, t-shirt and some worn-out running shoes. No socks. There was a slight chill in air, but it didn't seem to bother him, at all. I was shocked to see that he'd cut his hair. Not that it didn't suit him – it did – but still. It would take me some time to get used to his new look.

His whole new look.

There was no doubt about it. Jacob had gone through a significant change. For one, he'd grown a couple of inches. And furthermore he'd put on some weight, more precisely gaining quite a few muscles. To an outsider, it might look like he was on steroids, especially since the change had occurred within just a few weeks. But even though I didn't have a lot of information on the matter, I figured the physical alteration had something to do with Jacob becoming a werewolf.

He certainly looked imposing now. It was easy to tell that he could be formidable opponent to anyone, even to a vampire. Maybe not in his human form, but most certainly in his other form, whatever it looked like. A part of me was curious to find out. But asking him, right here and now, to show me, would be stupid. And dangerous. Maybe some other time …

There was an air of superiority around him, something he didn't posses before. The boy I knew, well the boy I used to know, had been easygoing, always wearing a smile. This Jacob was different, though. More mature, tough and serious. Like he'd seen some very disturbing things and had trouble dealing with it.

The sunny personality was gone, replaced by bitterness and anger.

My heart ached for him. Something told me that he didn't choose this. This change was forced upon him. The same way it was forced on my mate and my vampire friends.

Sometimes, life really was unfair.

"Hey, Jake." I greeted him, slowly descending the stairs. I wisely stopped when I reached the bottom.

I could tell that Rose was shadowing me. Hell, the air was practically sizzling from all the tension. And being smack right in the centre of it was downright unpleasant. It made the hair on my arms stand up. But I did my best not to show my discomfort.

"What is she doing here?" Jacob demanded to know, going like the bull at the gate. His eyes were trained on Rose. It almost looked like he wasn't even blinking.

"Wow. Becoming a werewolf certainly did a number on your manners. You used to be nice and polite. Your father must be really proud of you." I knew I was goading him, but I couldn't help myself. I was pissed that he treated me like I wasn't even there. And I wanted to draw his attention away from Rose.

"Leave my Dad out of this!" Jake growled. Clearly, I struck a nerve. But my ruse was working. Somewhat. "I came here because I had to see it for myself. Sam told me. But I didn't believe him. How can you do it?"

"What? Hanging around with my friend?" I replied, playing dumb.

"Is that what you are?" Jake sneered at Rose. "Her friend?"

"Well, I wasn't before. But I hope I can be in time." She replied honestly.

"You already are." I assured her with words and a light bump against her shoulder.

"Good to know." Rose replied with a smile in her voice.

"They cannot be your friends, Bella. They eat people like you for breakfast." Jake argued, very loudly. Thankfully our immediate neighbors were on the vacation and the next house in earshot was occupied by Mrs. Larson, an old lady who was deaf. Otherwise this could get really awkward. Well, more awkward than it already was.

"I doubt that." I rejected his implication with a snort, facing my vampire friend. "Rose, what did you have for breakfast?"

"Nothing yet. But Emmett is taking me bear hunting later."

I smirked at her response. I was glad that she was playing along. But I could tell that she was still very uncomfortable. As blunt as Rose could be, she was also vigilant. They all were. They had to be. One false step, one wrong word and everything they had managed to achieve thus far could be lost. Not that I wasn't careful too. But even after everything I've been through, I realized that holding back and keeping quiet wasn't the way to accomplish things. So maybe I was a bit careless, a bit irrational, but I simply couldn't go back. The old Bella died the day Edward left me alone in the woods. This was the new me and I liked her. Not to mention that the old me didn't have Jasper. But that was another story.

"I can't believe you. Have you forgotten what they did to you?" Jacob spat, his voice cold with fury. I didn't know what exactly he was referring to, but I could venture a guess. I didn't remember much of that night. I only knew that Sam was the one who finally found me. But maybe there were other wolves out there too, maybe even Jacob. That might explain a few things. But still, he had no right to come here and yell at me or Rose.

"No, I haven't." I snapped back. "And I probably never will. But I forgave them."

"You forgave them? Are you insane?"

"Maybe." I conceded with a shrug. I had to be a little bit crazy. Not because I was still able to put my trust in the people who left me once, high and dry, but because I allied myself with creatures who were – in theory – my natural enemies. Only someone not quite right in the head would make that decision. Or someone with a very open mind, who didn't condemn people because of prejudice and fear. "They are my friends. Period. Nothing you say will ever change my mind."

"I don't know you anymore." Jacob exclaimed, throwing his hands up in exasperation.

"Maybe you never really did …" I remarked, gloomily.

Jacob stared at me in stunned silence. Even without Jasper's gift I could tell that my last comment hurt him. But it was the truth. Sure, we knew each other since early childhood, but we've never been real close. And after I moved away with my mom, we didn't stay in touch. And when I came here on holidays, I spent most of the time with my dad. I've rarely ever seen Jacob on those rare occasions.

The silence was suddenly broken by a loud ringing cell phone. It was Rosalie's. She swiftly pulled it out and scanned the screen, before answering it on the third ring.

"Kate, I'm glad you're returning my call. But your timing sucks." She greeted the caller, winking at me. I chuckled.

"Calling for reinforcement?" Jacob scoffed, shifting his weight from one foot to his other.

"Jake, use your brain. She is receiving a call, not making one." I huffed, slowly but surely losing my patience with him. I was done explaining myself. Maybe I would have had a better chance if Rose hadn't been here. Her presence certainly was the driving force behind his hostile behavior. But on the other hand, going by the way he was treating me, it probably wouldn't have made any difference if we were alone. He was making it very clear that my alliance with his enemies was a huge thorn in his side. And nothing I'd say would ever change his mind. Something, we had in common.

I didn't catch much of the conversation Rosalie was having with Kate. Only a word here and there. She was talking way too quickly for me to follow. But Jake seemed to get every word. His eyes were fixed on Rosalie, his demeanor darkening further with each passing second. He seemed to have trouble keeping his muscles under control, the way he clenched and unclenched his fists.

"Okay, we will see you in two days." Rose agreed with whatever Kate was saying, ending the call.

"Did you just invite more vampires to come here?" Jake snarled. His voice was laced with disbelieve, shaking with anger. Or was it his body?

"I did." Rose verified, evenly.


"Because we need help."

"With what?"

"Protecting Bella."

"The pack can do that."

"Doubtful." Rose snorted.

"Don't underestimate us, leech." Jake growled.

"You are just pups."

"I can take you."

"Highly unlikely."

Following the ping-pong conversation was starting to hurt my neck. Not to mention, that this was getting out of hand, and fast.

"Cut it out. The both of you." I yelled, trying to put myself between them. But Rose stepped in front of me, effectively blocking my way. I did my best to push past her, but naturally I failed miserably. She was like a stone wall, solid and unyielding.

And then something unbelievably mind-boggling happened. Sure, technically, I knew he was a werewolf, but my brain still a hard time processing it.

Everything seemed to happen at once. Jacob's entire body began to shake uncontrollably, his shape becoming blurry and fuzzy. I heard fabric get torn. And a shoe flew across the yard, like a curve ball, landing on roof of the porch. How was I gonna explain this to Charlie? And then there was a huge, russet wolf standing in the very spot where Jacob had just been moments ago. He was growling like crazy, baring his razor-sharp teeth at Rose and me, clearly ready to attack.

I gapped at him in stunned silence.

Jasper POV

"It's Jacob. He is with Bella. And he just … he just lost it."

The moment those words had escaped Paul's mouth, I was gone. Literally and figuratively. I didn't hang around for any further elaboration on the subject, if there was more. All I knew and cared about was that my mate was in danger. Maybe even hurt. I had to get to her. Right the fuck now.

Driven by fear I frantically tore through the woods, with Emmett hot on my heels. I could sense that the wolves were following us as well. Not in order to stop us, but to stop Jacob. Or at least that's what I hoped. For their sakes. Anyone who'd try and stop me would have to deal with my wrath. I wouldn't show any sign of leniency, consequences be damned.

The wolves were very fast, but not as fast as us vampires. Maybe because I purposely used their urgency to feed mine and Emmett's thus allowing us to run faster than usual, but maybe they were always at a disadvantage in that particular area. It was hard to tell. But for now it didn't matter. I simply took it for what it was. A lucky circumstance. Better we'd arrive at the scene first than the wolves.

When I finally made it to Bella's house, I didn't stop to take a breather and bask in the fact that Bella was unharmed. Nor did I take the time to thank Rose that she was using her body to shield Bella from the russet wolf snarling at them, who was slowly but surely closing the distance between them. I simply pushed the wolf out of the way, rejoicing at the sharp sound of cracking bones. He was hurt, but not completely incapacitated. But I didn't care, one way or the other. I simply swept up my mate, pulled her into my arms and ran into the house. Rose and Emmett followed us.

The wolves arrived soon after. Fortunately for them, and us, they stayed right outside. And despite the fact that I couldn't see them I could tell that there was a fight going on. Well, more of an argument. The growling and howling peaked for a few moments and then it was silent, except for the whimpering sound, most likely coming from Jacob. I didn't pay them any more attention, for the moment. Clearly, Sam had the situation under control.

I walked into the living room and carefully set Bella down on her feet. Obviously disoriented by the sudden relocation, she swayed a bit. I kept my arms around her to hold her steady, slowly guiding her towards the couch. She sat down without an invitation. I kneeled in front of her, grasping her hands in mine.

"Jasper?" Bella breathed, staring at me in wonder. Clearly, she was still a bit confused and rattled, but otherwise she was fine. Thank God. Her heart was thumping pretty fast, but that could mean a lot of things. Fear, shock, my mere presence …

"I'm sorry if I startled you, Darlin'. But I had to get you away from him. You are safe now." I assured her, placing a kiss on each of her hands. Then I stood up.

"Where are you going?" She asked, reaching for me, desperately.

"I have to go back out there. Wrap things up. Please stay here with Rose and Emmett. It won't take long, I promise." I gently squeezed her hand in comfort. But apparently it wasn't enough.

"Jacob … I need to …" She tried to get up, but I stopped her.

"You will stay here." I instructed, leaving no room for discussion.

Bella let go of my hand as if my touch was burning her. Which wasn't possible, physically.

I cringed at her reaction. For once her shield was down completely and I was assaulted by the strengths of her emotions. I almost toppled over. She was angry with me. Very angry and disappointed. And rightfully so. Giving her an order, not letting her finish her sentence, was rude but necessary. I would be lying if her concern for the mutt wasn't bothering me. It did. But it wasn't the main reason why I did what I did. I knew she was strong and smart. But she was still just a human, therefore vulnerable. A fact she seemed to forget sometimes. And even though the threat has been averted, thanks to Sam, and me, I still didn't want her around the wolves. At least not yet.

I could have stayed and explained myself, but I didn't. Instead I turned my back on her and left the house. I would have to pay for my rude behavior later, I knew that. But for now I had to set things straight with the two wolves still remaining in her yard.

Sam was already waiting for me at the edge of the woods. He was wearing a different pair of shorts this time. Clearly, he had to borrow them after shredding his own, probably from the brown wolf sitting next to him.

"Paul took Jacob home." The Alpha stated the obvious, adding, "And he will not come back here again."

I was more than glad to hear that. But I wasn't able to make any promises that I wouldn't do anything if he did. Speaking of promises. Sam's words sounded more than a simple promise. They sounded and felt like a done deal. I didn't question him, taking his words at face value. Clearly, there was more to Sam's authority than meets the eye. But as much as I appreciated his heartfelt words, I also knew that whatever went down here in my brief absence, things had changed.

"I guess my proposition is off the table?" I presumed.

"I don't think it would be wise under the circumstances." Sam admitted with a grim expression.

I could sense that he was still willing to help us. But unless his whole pack was behind him one hundred percent, he wasn't going to take a chance, because it would mean risking his position as leader. He probably only became the Alpha by circumstance, not because he earned it. I understood the precarious position he was in. And I couldn't blame him for choosing his pack over us. After all, we were their enemies.

"But I promise we will not get in your way. And if we find this Laurent again we will make short work of him." The Alpha vowed.

"Good." I nodded, gravely. It was more than we could expect, given the circumstances.

Sam cocked his head, scrutinizing me from top to bottom. I could tell that he was anxious, and curious. He chose his next words very carefully. "How long will you stay in Forks?"

'Ah, finally, gathering some intel. Smart move, boy.'

"I don't know how long my family is planning to stay. But I'm not going to leave this town anytime soon."

"It's Bella, isn't it? You're staying here because of her." It was a statement, not a question. "She means a lot to you."

"She means a lot to all of us." I deflected, to no avail.

"But she means a lot to you personally." Sam pressed. I admired his gumption.

"Yes. She is my mate." I confessed. I didn't know if he knew what that meant. But going by the knowing smile spreading all over his face, he knew exactly what I was talking about. Perhaps he had a mate, too, but I didn't ask.

"I'm glad she's doing better."

"She is." I confirmed. Maybe not right now, considering I just managed to piss her off, big-time, but generally speaking, he was right. She was doing better. Which was still a miracle considering what had happened the night Edward left her. "I know you were the one who found Bella in the woods. You have my deepest gratitude for saving her that night."

Sam merely smiled in response, but I could feel his pride, and his happiness. For the both of us. We might be on opposite sides, theoretically, but when it came down to our mates we were the same. Damn lucky, possessive, and utterly protective men.

"Tell Bella even though she probably isn't welcomed at the Black's anymore, she can still count on me and the rest of the pack. At least as long as she's human …"

The message came through loud and clear. Sam knew that sooner or later I would change Bella. It was inevitable. And even though that deed would be in violation of our treaty I was certain he wouldn't stop me. And he probably would do his best to convince the rest of his tribe to do the same. But it was the only leeway he was going to give us. We would have to leave Forks, for good this time. Which was only fair, all things considered.

"Thank you."

Sam nodded once. Clearly, he was done. He'd said everything he had to say. Without another word he turned and disappeared into the woods. The brown wolf spared me one final look, before following his Alpha's lead.

I took a deep, unnecessary breath.

'One crisis averted. On to the next …'

Bella POV

I simply watched Jasper leave.

What else could I do? It was obvious from his tone of voice and the resolute look on his face that there was no point arguing with him. He didn't want me to go with him.

I was hurt. Hurt and angry. How could he do that? Pull an 'Edward' on me, after I told him how much I hated being treated like the weak link?

Forget angry. I was furious. Sure, a part of me understood why Jasper did what he did. Getting me out of harm's way, making sure I was safe. And I appreciated his concern. But the bigger part of me, the new me, didn't appreciate being sidelined. I might not do well in a fight, but that didn't mean I was completely useless. I still had a voice, an opinion. And with three vampires to protect me, I was as safe as houses. Hell, with Jasper alone I wasn't in any danger. But he just shut me off.

"Jacob left with one of the others." Rose told me, clearly sensing I needed some reassurance. Not that I thought that Jasper was going to hurt Jake. But it was nice of her to let me know that my friend was safe. Well, former friend, now. The way he reacted there was no doubt in my mind that our friendship, however superficial it had been, was over.

"Uh-huh." I huffed, getting on my feet.

"Where are you going?" She asked, putting herself in my way. I liked her. I really did. But pulling the same shit Jasper just did, didn't sit well with me. I glared at her.

"I'm going into the kitchen, to finish my dinner, if you don't mind." I snapped.

She flinched ever so slightly but let me pass. And thankfully, neither she nor Emmet followed me. As much as I liked hanging around with them, I didn't want company right now.

I turned on the oven again. I wasn't particularly in the mood to cook, but I needed a distraction. I snatched up the plate of salad and went over to the window. I looked outside, but I couldn't see anything. I strained my ears, but I couldn't pick up anything. A part of me was glad. As long as there was no shouting, no growling, no body parts flying through the air, everything was alright.

Leaning against the counter I quickly finished my salad. I might have lost my appetite, but I was still hungry. And I knew I would probably need the strength later. Arguing with Jasper. Or doing something else. No, definitely not. There wasn't going to be any kissing, or snuggling, or anything along that line, until I made him understand how much he'd pissed me off.

The water just began to boil, when Jasper returned. He didn't come to me first, but went straight into the living room. I could hear him talking to Rose and Emmett. Again I didn't catch much. Damn vampires. But I could hear him telling them to return to the Cullen mansion and fill in Char and Peter on all the things that happened, here and in the woods. Naturally they both complied with his order without putting up a fuss. With a little too much force I threw the spaghetti into the water.

"See you, Bella." Emmett hollered from the hall, sounding like his usual self, easygoing and carefree. I couldn't tell if he was faking it or not.

"Bye, Bella. I will have your truck back here in the morning." Rose promised. She certainly wasn't hiding her concern.

"Thanks." I mumbled, knowing she could hear me loud and clear.

I felt bad for showing her the cold shoulder, literally and figuratively. It wasn't her fault I was upset. Well, okay, maybe a little bit. Pushing Jake's buttons hasn't been a good decision, but then again, I wasn't completely free of guilt either. We were both to blame for him losing his temper and flying off the handle. But agreeing with Jasper, well that fact didn't sit well with me.

Did they all think I was completely helpless? Come to think of it, Peter was the only one who had complete confidence in me, who didn't think I was just a silly, defenseless human. And he barely knew me. I shook my head in bewildered frustration. Would I ever be able to convince the rest of them that Peter was right?

The front door opened and closed, and then we were alone. I kept stirring the sauce and the spaghetti, purposely ignoring my mate. Or at least I tried. Hearing him coming back down the hall, I simply couldn't help myself but turn around to face him. Like a moth to the flame …

"I know you are mad at me, Isabella." Jasper leaned against the door frame, all cool and casual. I wanted to smack him. Or kiss him. I wasn't sure. Damn him and his undeniable sex appeal. It took some effort, but I managed to stay where I was. "And I will leave if you want me to."

"I don't want you to leave." I told him. Maybe a bit too quick, but so sue me. "I just need some time and space."

"Very well. Finish your dinner. I'll be in the living room when you are ready to talk." He sounded all nonchalant but I could tell he was very glad I didn't throw him out, even though he was obviously dreading our 'talk'.

'Good. Serves him right.' I thought to myself, regretting it almost at once.

Torturing Jasper didn't feel right. In fact, it felt all wrong. Ignoring him, telling him to give me space, was hard, especially when all I wanted was to throw myself in his arms. But I did my best to stifle those particular feelings. This wasn't about punishment. I needed to make a point.

"Thanks." I said, offering him a small smile. He answered with one of his own and a nod, before turning around and making his way into the living room.

With a sigh I refocused on my dinner, making quick work of draining the spaghetti and pulling the sauce from the stove. After filling a plate with a medium size portion I sat down at the table and ate. Usually I loved this dish, even though it was nothing special. But today it tasted kinda bland, probably because I lost my appetite. I ate up nevertheless.

I could hear Jasper turning on the TV, flipping through the channels for a few moments before finally stopping when he found something he liked. The history channel. Sometimes he was so predictable. I loved that about him.

I wanted to pick up my plate and join him. But I didn't. Caving in so soon, would send the wrong signal. It would prove once again that I was too weak. So, again, I pushed my inner desires aside, and stayed put.

But it hurt, being apart, even though it was just a room between us. I couldn't see Jasper, but something told me, that he was feeling the same.

Aching, yearning, and utterly anxious.

My shield, or whatever, was up. I still had no idea how it worked. But I knew it was somehow connected to my emotions. Whenever they ran high, it simply dropped, just like that, without me doing anything. Or at least, that's how it felt. I knew it happened earlier. Just for a few moments, but it was enough. My empath got hit full force.

A part of me was glad. Because he knew how much his actions had hurt me. But the other part wanted to apologize, for hurting him. Being the target of such powerful and negative emotions had to be agonizingly painful, even for a vampire.

So, clearly we had a lot to talk about and time was running short. My Dad was going to be home soon. Sure, I could just hide Jasper in my bedroom, but this would also defeat the purpose. I knew that once I had him in my room, where my bed was, we wouldn't do anything but talking. I couldn't have that. Not yet anyway.

I just finished washing up the dishes and stowing away the leftover pasta for my Dad, when our landline rang again.

"Swan residence."

"It's me, again, Bells."

"Dad?" I was surprised. We just talked. "Did something happen?"

"No, no, everything is fine. Don't fret. Billy just called me. He says he could use some company tonight. Something about teenage trouble. You know how it is." He jabbed. I rolled my eyes, and apparently he could hear that. "Sorry, parent's prerogative. So, anyway, I'm going to head over to La Push after my shift. I'll probably even spend the night there. You gonna be okay without me?"

"Yes, Dad. I think I will be alright for one night." I huffed. Sure, I had no right to feel annoyed with him. After all, I wasn't alone right now. And if things went right, I would have company for the entire night. Really great company and the best protector there was. But getting the same treatment from my father touched a sore point.

"I didn't mean it like that." Charlie hurried to apologize. "I know you are old enough to take care of yourself. In fact, in our family you are the one who takes care of everybody else."

"That's not true." I countered, smiling. He had a point there.

"You know it is." My Dad replied, sounding both proud and guilty.

"Maybe," I conceded, feeling the urgent need the change the subject before getting all weepy. "As I said, I will be alright. You have fun in La Push. Say hi to Billy from me."

"I will." He promised. "See you tomorrow."

"Yes, see you tomorrow." I said, hanging up.

A part of me wondered if Billy just invited my Dad to get him out of harm's way. Not that it was necessary. Jasper wold never hurt my Dad. But his sudden need to see Charlie was anything but a coincidence. On the other hand, why look a gift horse in the mouth? Apparently fate, or whatever, was on my side, giving me the opportunity to do what I needed to. To take my time talking to Jasper … and do some other stuff. Maybe. Later. First things first.

Squaring my shoulders, I left the kitchen and went into the living room. Jasper was lounging on the sofa, all casually, like he belonged there. Why did he have to make it so difficult for me?

"I guess you heard everything." I said, trying my best to sound all business. But apparently it wasn't working. At least not completely.

"I did." He affirmed with a devilish grin. "You have the place all to yourself. No parental supervision. What are your plans?"

Damn him. This was going to be harder than I thought.

I was a little disappointed that so few of you left a comment for the last chapter. But maybe this time will be different … *winks* I love to hear your thoughts.

Next time: How about some lemony goodness?