This is a one shot I wrote a while back. I haven't shared it here because I feel it's somewhat dark and full of angst and sorrow. But it is still a powerful piece, I think, so you'll either hate it or love it. I hope the latter. Thanks for reading.


Jake's POV

It's funny how life takes its twists and turns. Sometimes, no matter how hard you push for your destiny to take one path, fate pushes right back moving you in another direction. That's what happened to me, Jacob Black.

I knew what I wanted, I embraced it the best that I could, but the harder I tried to push my life in the direction I knew it needed to go, the direction I longed for it to go, fate pushed like hell in the opposite direction. So, here I sit, watching for the next driver to make an error in judgment, so that I can turn on my lights and pull them over.

I guess things aren't so bad. I mean they were for a while, after she left. That's when things fell apart for me. I hated everything, and almost everyone. It was hard to be around me during that time. The feelings that I had during this dark time in my life were all amplified, but the two that hurt the most were the feelings of betrayal and loss.

You see, when she left that day, without so much as a goodbye or have a nice life, I felt like I had been betrayed and abandoned, because she was my best friend. We had been through so much together. We shared everything and never kept secrets from each other.

Then came the feeling of loss, because I loved her more than anything, more than anyone. Sometimes, I think I still do, but I've pushed it deep in the recesses of my heart and locked it away. I can't believe I'm even thinking about it now. I guess it's just the gloom of the day with the rain coming down and the dark clouds lingering above that have let me pull those feelings out and examine them.

During this time, I found myself clinging to the only piece of her left in the place, her dad. Charlie and I had always been close. He and my dad had been friends for years. I guess I was like the son Charlie never had. But, after she left, he sort of took me under his wing, so to speak. She had hurt him too. As far as I know, he hasn't heard from her either in more than two years, the same as me.

Charlie's the one who encouraged me to go to the academy. Yeah, as soon as I got out of highschool I took his advice and enrolled in the police academy in Seattle. After finishing my twelve weeks at the academy, I graduated third in my class.

It wasn't so bad, and I absolutely blew them away on the agility training. I out did all of them. But, that's to be expected when you have another side to you, a side that is all about strength, endurance, and coordination. That's the side that not many people know about, here in Forks. She was the only one here who knew and she accepted me for who I was.

It's different in La Push. Most people there know about my other side and they respect me. They rely on me. That's what being a werewolf in La Push means. The pack and I are called The Protectors. Now, that's a name that I gladly embrace. There was a time, however, when I didn't want the burden that had been bestowed upon me. But, it's a part of who I am and I can't change that. I guess that's why I went with the whole police thing. You know to protect and serve. I protect my people in La Push and I serve the people in Forks, it just makes sense.

As for the rest of my life, I guess things aren't so bad. I recently started dating a girl here in Forks. Well, I guess you can call it dating. We've eaten out a couple of times. She's nice, I guess, and pleasant to look at, but I'm not really interested. My dad just keeps hounding me to go on with my life, so I thought it would help get him off my back.

Hey. Things may be about to pick up today. That poor tourist didn't see me sitting here in my cruiser waiting for them to make a mistake. I've got a serious speeder and what the....? They just made a U-turn in the middle of the highway. They had almost crossed the county line leaving Forks, but just turned around on a dime and now are heading back this way.

As I turned around to follow the car, I hit the lights and siren and called in the license, "Dispatch, 401. Can you run an Alaska tag for me? It is PV3-615. I have a signal 93 driver."

As I waited for the reply on my radio, I moved my cruiser closer to the black sedan. It began to yield and pulled off the shoulder of the road. I received the reply from the dispatcher stating that there was no registration information found and that they would await my response.

"Received. I'll be out at mile marker 35 on Highway 110," I responded, then opened my door and stepped out into the drizzling rain.

I saw the reflection of my bright yellow rain gear in the shinny paint on the side of the car. The driver still had not rolled down the dark tinted window. I tapped on the glass, requesting their attention. Slowly the glass rolled down. It was very dark inside the vehicle, but I could see that there appeared to be only one occupant, a very pale woman wearing dark sunglasses and some type of scarf wrapped around her head.

I leaned down to take a closer look, surveying the interior of the car, looking for things out of place, before I spoke. I looked again at the driver, who had never even glanced up at me. She just sat there waiting.

"Ma'am, do you have your licence, insurance, and proof of registration with you? I need to see them please."

As I spoke, she slowly turned her face toward me, looked up then looked away again. She seemed to be trembling slightly. There was something familiar about her, I thought. She reached up and pulled the scarf from around her head, but kept her face down, as she removed her sunglasses.

My heart dropped to the bottom of my feet and I couldn't say a word. She looked up at me with the saddest, dark-brown eyes I've ever seen. I knew right then, regardless of what happened in the next few minutes, that the eyes staring at me would now haunt me at night in my dreams and when I ran through the woods as a wolf. I've never seen such sadness and broken spirit. She was the one to break the silence.

"Hello, Jacob. You seem to be doing well," she said, as her voice broke.

I didn't respond, I just stood there and let the rain fall down on me. It began to feel heavier and heavier with every drop that placed itself upon my shoulders, head, and back.

"I wasn't even going to stop here. I've planned for days to just drive right through and keep going. But I couldn't cross that line, I made the U-turn and came back. I never expected to see you here though."

Minutes passed and I was still in a state of shock I suppose, but a car passed by us and I felt the cool breeze as it went by and that brought me back to the present.

"Hello Bella. I'm sorry, but I still need to see your license, insurance, and registration. Please?" I replied.

She looked down, reached inside her purse, and pulled out the license and insurance card. They were both new and bore the name of Isabella Marie Swan. This told me the answer too at least one of my many questions. She was single, or divorced maybe.

"I'm sorry I don't have proof of registration," she said in an exasperated tone.

"I thought he.... I thought I had everything, but I was mistaken."

"Bella, without proof of registration, I'm afraid I will have to ask you to come to the station with me. We have to get this cleared up, before you can be on your way."

She shook her head in agreement. Then, I don't know what came over me. Maybe it was the thought that she might run, again, if I let her roll up that window. Maybe I wanted to exercise ever power I had over her, in the law, to take her into my custody, at least for a little while, until I got some answers. I needed answers from her and she was going to give me that. That's the least she could do.

"Bella. I'm afraid you will have to come with me. I reached for my portable radio and called back to the dispatcher. "I'll be coming in with one female subject, no name at this time. Have the wrecker on duty pick the vehicle up and tow it in."

I reached down and opened her door. "This way. Please?" She seemed hesitant to move, "Bella, please step out of the car," I urged in a firm voice.

She reached for her purse, rolled up the window, removed the keys from the ignition, and stepped out of the car. She moved slowly, almost as if she were in pain. She steadied herself with the door and began walking toward the cruiser. I shut her car door and went to open mine. She had stopped at the back passenger side door, but I opened the front door and motioned for her to sit down. As she did, I again noticed she moved slowly and winched a few times as she slid inside.

Once I was seated beside her, I again called the dispatcher, "Unit two in route to station with one female subject, beginning mileage 54,335."

She was watching me out of the corner of her eye and I couldn't help but wonder what she was thinking. I was experiencing a deluge of emotions that ranged from excitement, fear, heartbreak, anger, suspicion, and resolve. Resolve that I would have some answers, or she might have to stay the night in jail. Oh, I knew I couldn't do that, not to Charlie. That's why I didn't give her name on the radio. But, I could detain her at least for a while.

When we arrived at the station, I was glad that Charlie wasn't there. I wanted some time to try and talk with her, alone. I helped her out of the car and we walked inside.

"My dad isn't here, is he?"

"No. He had to take a call on the other side of town. Right this way, please."

I directed her to a small room, which we used for interrogating suspects, turned on the light, and told her to have a seat.

"Would you like some coffee?" I asked.

She looked cold and again, I noticed she was very pale, more so than what I remembered her coloring to be.

"Please, and some cream and sugar," she said, so I closed the door to the room as I went to get the coffee.

I quickly returned with our coffees, handed her a cup, closed the door and sat down with mine. She had removed her scarf from around her neck. I noticed she was dressed from head to toe in black. She even had on black gloves. I thought that this was odd for her. I couldn't remember her ever wearing black. She dropped the packet of sugar I had given her and bent down to retrieve it.

As she did, I couldn't help but notice her chest as she slowly bent over. I looked inside her blouse, not from being rude or perverted, but as a matter of training. I was surveying her, looking for answers, clues, as to who she was now and what she was doing here. It was then that I caught a glimpse of her left breast. There was a red, crescent-shaped marking or scar there. I remembered that this was similar to the one she had on her wrist, from an incident a few years ago.

I made no remark and looked away quickly, before she could see that I noticed. I would get to that later. But as I thought about it, my anger flared, and I could hardly contain myself, thinking—knowing that one of her beloved monsters had most likely inflicted the wound on her. I drank the hot coffee, trying to wash the thought away.

"Bella, there are a lot of questions that need to be answered. The first is why don't you have proper registration on your vehicle? The second is why are you here? The third would be, what kind of trouble are you in?"

She looked at me again with those agonizing, aching brown eyes. It hurt just to look at her. I wanted to snatch her up in my arms and hold her like a use to and tell her everything would be okay. But, I didn't. I couldn't, not right now. She had to give me answers.

"Jake, it would take so long, to tell you....." she said, but didn't finish as she looked down at her cup.

"I don't get off duty until six o'clock tonight. I have the rest of the day," I replied, letting her know I wasn't going anywhere until she talked.

"For me to be able to answer your three questions, I have to back up a little."

"Why don't you start at the beginning? The day you left here," I blurted out.

Then I looked at her and wished I'd waited until she started talking to say that. She looked at me as if she was asking for forgiveness, or at least understanding. I softened my expression and took another drink, waiting for her to begin.

She moved her gaze and stared at the door as if drifting to another time and place, before she began speaking.

"We had made a few plans while we were still here. We were supposed to start college in Alaska in the fall of that year. But, after the battle with the newborns, things started to change. At first it was hardly noticeable and I thought I was imagining things," she said with a dry chuckle.

I took another drink of coffee and waited. She appeared to be collecting her thoughts, or choosing exactly what to share with me.

"I had decided after seeing the newborns that I could never become one of them. It had such an effect on me, watching them, seeing how they behaved, how wretched they were. So, I told Edward I'd changed my mind. I wanted to stay with him, but I wanted to be human."

She shifted in her seat, looking uncomfortable, then continued, "That was the change the battle had on me, but the others seemed to be changing too. They became more alert when I was around, always watching me almost with deep hunger lurking behind their eyes. I started to fear for everyone's safety in Forks and La Push. So, I decided we needed to get away from here. I thought maybe that was what was needed and that a change of scenery might make them forget things."

Then she looked me in the eye, bearing down on me with an agonizing stare.

"I was afraid for you and my dad, and all of the others here, that I....cared so much about. So, I convinced them to leave. I packed my things and Edward picked me up one night, and we all left. We went to Alaska and set up a house in a small town near the Denali Coven. I started attending college and threw myself into my studies. Edward had already paid for everything for two years, so I went faithfully."

She took a few deep breaths, looked down at the table and continued.

"At first, when I told Edward that I didn't want him to change me, he seemed okay with that. But after we got settled in Alaska, he started spending more and more time with the Denali's, especially Tanya. I later found out that she had always been partial to Edward, but he had, up until that point, always resisted her advances. So, feeling a little out of my league with Tanya's beauty, strength, and vampire abilities, I decided to accept the offer Edward had made while we were here, to be married. I really thought that he loved me. And, maybe at some point he did, I'm not sure anymore."

I shifted in my chair and tossed my coffee cup in the trash. It made her jump, when the cup hit the can. She was really on edge. I also noticed that she was thin, and looked very tired. I crossed my arms across my chest, and leaned back. She looked at my arms for a long time, like she was recalling fond memories, then she smiled weakly, and went on.

"He, um, laughed at me. He said that after spending time with Tanya, he realized that he needed someone who was, well, more his equal. But that still didn't change my mind. I couldn't give up my humanity, not even to please him. That was all I had left. I had already given up so much."

She looked at me and tears began to form in her eyes. She didn't wipe them away, and they rolled down her face and landed on her black blouse, making it stick to her skin where they fell. I almost crumbled and reached for her, but I told myself to be strong and wait.

"I wanted to be with him. I wanted him to love me, but things were so different at that point, from what they had been. I started trying to persuade, him in various ways. You see, up until that time, we had never been together. He had always said that it would be dangerous and that he couldn't control himself."

She stopped when I suddenly stood up and walked with my back to her for a moment over to the wall, where, after composing myself, turned to face her as I leaned against it.

"We still haven't, not in that way, at least. He played along for a while, but then started becoming a bit aggressive. You see, it wasn't me, or my bodythat he wanted, it was my blood. He had always told me it was his 'own personal brand of heroin'. So, he started taking a little now and then, it made him feel good. He dared not hurt me too badly, or turn me, at that point because then he would lose his precious drug."

As she spoke the last few words, her face became distorted with resentment and hatred.

"This went on for almost two years. I found it hard to go to sleep, not knowing what would happen when I closed my eyes. It was so cold there that I didn't get out much, except to go to class, and if I did venture out for a walk into the nearby forest, it only brought me back here, to memories of what I.....," she trailed off shaking her head, glanced at me, then continued, "He had managed to keep his little secret from the others, because he never took enough to make his eyes turn red, until one night I screamed when he came at me while I was trying to sleep. That time it was the worst. Most of the time, he would quickly suck the venom back out, but this time, he almost lost control. When I screamed, Carlisle discovered what he had been doing to me."

"I've never seen Carlisle mad, but that night he was livid. There was an altercation. I'm not sure what happened, I was hiding, trying to drown out the sounds by covering my ears. I was so frightened. I had no one to turn to, no place to really go."

She took her gloves off, and rubbed the sides of her head, like it might stop the pain. I walked back over to the chair and sat back down with my arms on the table, again leaning toward her.

"Carlisle is an honorable man, a good man, and he wanted to make things right. He took me aside and asked me what I wanted to do. I told him I was afraid that it would only get worse if I stayed, that my feelings had changed, and I needed to leave. He offered to help me any way he could. He told Edward to get me a car, which he did, but as you can see, he conveniently didn't supply me with the proper paperwork. I packed what little I had and left. Carlisle and Esme set me up an apartment in Juneau. They supplied me with what I needed, I guess out of shame for what Edward had done."

She laid her hands on the table and folded them, "I was so close to graduating that I stayed. That seemed to be the only thing I had to hold onto, the only thing that I had control of in my life. I just received my associates degree two weeks ago, you know," she said with a slight smile, like she was proud of herself. She had paused then continued, "But then Edward started coming over. He'd be there waiting on me when I got home. He tried to apologize, and said that he would change. But I couldn't trust him. I didn't want to be anywhere near him. I'd already made plans to leave, and when I told him.....he lost control."

She began wringing her hands. I could tell this was very difficult for her.

"This time he took a little more than he should. It hurt again even more this time and it left me weak. A few days ago, he left and I managed to get in the car and started driving. I was going to pass right through here, never looking back, and run as far away from my past as I could, hoping he would never find me." She slowly turned her eyes toward mine and said, "But when I reached the county line, I couldn't do it. I had to come back. If, nothing else, I had to see my dad."

She searched my face, looking for something, a small spark of hope maybe.

I couldn't stand what I was hearing. I was swallowing hard to push the lump and bile back down in my throat. I couldn't talk yet. When I said nothing, she looked down and tears began to fall onto the table.

"But, I knew I shouldn't have stopped," she whispered, "I lead them away from here to protect everyone. It would be selfish of me to want to be here, knowing that he might come back because of me."

I was silent for a long time. My anger was raging, my heart wrenching, and my hope renewing.

"Bella. I'm glad that you've told me everything. But, why didn't you let me know what was going on before now? If I hadn't been the one to pull you over, I might never have known you were even here. Or were you going to find me?" I demanded.

She looked up at me with tears streaming down her face and said, "There's never been a day, since I left, that I didn't think about you. That I didn't realize the depth of my mistakes. If there were anyway that I could turn back the hands of time, I would have walked away with you, hand in hand, into our own twilight."

When she started sobbing, I stood up and pulled her into my arms. Not knowing the extent of her physical injuries, I held her carefully and I let her cry. I don't know who needed this contact more, me or her. But, I knew from that moment, that I could not, no I would not ever let her go again. She had endured so much, that my pain seemed small compared to hers.

When her crying slowed, I kissed her on the top of the head and said, "We need to go somewhere. Let me go call Charlie. I'm not going to tell him you're here yet, because you and I need to talk."

I stepped into the next room and made my phone call. I told Charlie something very urgent had come up and I needed to leave early, taking a few hours vacation time. He said okay and I clocked out. I had extra clothes at the station, so I quickly changed. She was waiting quietly for me when I returned.

"Come on, let's get out of here," I said, taking her by the hand gently.

I helped her into my car, and started driving. I wasn't sure where we were going. I just drove, trying to think of the things I wanted to say. The things I needed to say. She just sat quietly beside me with her head leaned against the seat looking out the window. I couldn't believe that she was actually sitting next to me after so long.

I drove to the next town, knowing it would be easier for her to not see anyone she recognized. I found a small restaurant and pulled in.

"I think you need to eat something," I told her, looking over at her motionless form. She slowly raised her head and shook it in agreement. I helped her out of the car and we went inside.

I had the waitress seat us in a corner away from everyone, so we could talk in private. Bella seemed to approve as we sat down. I didn't even wait for her to look at the menu, I ordered the same thing for us both and asked for two Cokes. Then came the hard part.

"Bella, I honestly don't know where to begin," but before I could go any further, someone called my name.

"Jacob, what are you doing here?" Crap! It was Maria. The girl I had been dating. What in the hell was she doing here, I thought.

She came right over and gave me a little hug. As she watched, Bella, moved her hand to her mouth like she was trying to keep from crying out in pain. The look on her face was heartbreaking, it kind of reminded me of how I felt when I learned she was gone.

"Hey Maria. How are you?" I said standing, to introduce her to Bella.

"Jake, aren't you supposed to be on duty?" Maria asked.

"Well, I took off early. You see, an old friend of mine came to town and we have a lot of catching up to do. This is Bella."

Maria said hi but seemed more concerned that I was not at work. I told her I would talk with her later, much later I thought, and sat back down as she walked away. Bella was wiping her eyes when I looked back at her.

"Bella....." I just couldn't talk.

I knew everything that I wanted and needed to say, but it was all jumbled up and I didn't want it to come out wrong. The silence was killing me and so was looking at the sadness of her features.

Still trying to put the right words into my mouth, I took a few drinks of Coke, and a few more deep breaths. I heard a clanking sound behind me and turned to see someone choosing a song from an old juke box in the corner. As the music started, it seemed as if it were making it harder for me to concentrate. I was losing what little focus I had and I was starting to get really agitated, so much for my anger management I had received at the academy.

Bella looked up from where she had been staring on the table when she heard the words of the song. She seemed to be listening intently to the words. For the next couple of minutes, she just stared at me and I couldn't look away. I caught a few of the words, but I was too lost in my own tormented mind to listen very closely.

When the song ended, Bella simply said, "Is that us Jake? I couldn't have said it better myself. I don't know what to do anymore. Have I lost the only love worth fighting for? I've already drowned in my tears a hundred times over. But, Jake, is there a chance, a fragment of light at the end of the tunnel? Is there a reason to fight? Give me one word, one ounce of hope that it's not too late. Or are we just ashes and wine?" she whispered, before the tears returned in steady streams down her cheeks.

"Bella, this is so hard. A million times I've thought about what I would say to you if you were to ever come back. So much time has passed, yet it feels like just yesterday when I last saw you. We've both been through so much, and there has been so much pain."

Our food arrived before I could say anything else. We both were really too upset to eat, but I knew by looking at her, she needed some food.

"Let's eat, so we can get out of here. It's starting to feel too crowded for me."

I took several big bites of my burger, never tasting them as they went down. She picked at hers and managed to take a few bites, but nothing substantial.

"Come on Bella, eat some food for me okay, so we can leave?"

I had eaten almost all of mine, but couldn't continue. I just couldn't eat looking at how broken Bella was. She ate a couple more bites, so I motioned for the waitress to bring the check, I paid out, and led her out of the restaurant.

As I opened the car door, she looked up at me and asked, "Where are we going?"

"I'm not sure yet," I replied, feeling the crease between my brow grow tighter.

I got in and started driving. This was crazy. Everything seemed to be closing in on me. The closeness in the car, at the restaurant, I needed room to breathe, to think. As I passed by the local motel, I didn't even then, I just turned around and pulled in.

"Wait here while I check us in. I'll be right back." I jumped out of the car, ran inside and reserved a room for two.

I saw the attendant give me a slight smile as I walked in, neither of us carrying any luggage. But I didn't care what he thought. I needed to be alone with Bella, so we could talk and have room to breathe.

"Are you okay with this Bella? I just needed a place where we could talk."

"Yeah, it's okay. I feel a lot safer with you near me."

I closed the door behind us and locked it, as we stepped into the room. I leaned against the door and watched her slowly walk across the room and sit down in the chair. I'm not sure why, maybe it was my police training, but I felt like the first place to start was with her. I needed to know the extent of the offense that had been committed.

"Bella, I need to see what he did to you. I need to see the proof of what you've told me."

"Jake. It's not a pretty sight. I'm not very pretty. You won't like what you see."

She looked scared as she surveyed my expression. I walked into the bathroom, retrieved the white bathrobe that hung there, and handed it to her.

She stood up and very slowly began removing her clothes. There was a time when I would have given anything for this moment, to be in a motel room, with her, and her taking off her clothes for me. But now, I just felt anger and resentment. I wanted answers and this was where I needed to start.

She wouldn't look at me as she dropped her blouse silently to the ground. Next she unbuttoned her skirt and let it too, fall. Her slip and pantyhose were next, all dropped on the floor around her until she stood there, in just her bra and panties. I gritted my teeth as I moved closer to her, getting a better look in the dim light from above the table.

I had already seen the scar above her left breast. As I looked closer, I noticed she had two on her abdomen, one on each thigh, and as she slowly turned around she had two on her back. One of the crescent-shaped scars on her back and the one on her breast were still red, indicating they were the newest wounds he and inflicted upon her.

I crossed the room, just as she turned back around to face me. She looked abashed, weak, and frail. How could he have done this to her? Her beautiful body, the body that I loved so much, had been a playground for his deranged dependancy. The next move I made, I don't even remember. I had her in my arms, holding her, caressing her hair, and rubbing her shoulders gently. I bent down and picked up the robe, wrapping it around her.

She swayed in my arms and I knew she must be exhausted. I reached over and pulled the cover on the bed back, picked her up as gently as possible, and laid her down. I covered her up, took my shirt off, and lay down beside her cradling her in my arms so she was resting on my shoulder.

"Bella, everything will be okay. Somehow, some way, it will all work out," I whispered into her hair.

That's when the sobbing started. She curled up next to me and sobbed on my chest until she fell asleep. As she lay there, sleeping in my arms, looking like a small frightened child, I felt a tear or two fall from my own eyes into her hair.

I reached over and picked up the phone. I needed to tell my dad that I wouldn't be home tonight. I knew I didn't need his permission, but I didn't want him to worry either. I had the next two days off, so maybe this would give us time to sort things out.

I told my dad something important had come up and I wouldn't be home tonight. He asked if I was all right and I assured him that I was. He didn't ask anything else and I told him goodbye. Then I lay there, holding Bella like I never wanted to let her go, until I too drifted off to sleep.

But my dreams that night weren't by any means peaceful. I could see Bella standing on the cliff in La Push calling to me, no, she's singing that song we heard at the restaurant to me, out over the ocean asking me if it's too late, her long white dress flowing in the wind. She looked so beautiful, but so sad. Then, when she didn't seem to hear my reply, she jumped. I saw her falling, but no matter how hard I run, or swim, or how far out I reached, I still couldn't get to her.

I woke up in a cold sweat, only to find her lying peacefully beside me still sound asleep. I pulled her onto my chest, closer than before. I kissed her forehead and softly whispered, "I love you, Bella. I always have, and I always will."

I knew the answers to all the questions at that moment. I would just have to wait for her to wake up so I could tell her.

"Hey. How did you sleep?" I asked in a low husky voice, when she finally opened her eyes the next morning.

"You're still here? That's a good sign. Thank you for staying with me last night," she replied in a hoarse whisper, and then managed a weak smile.

"That's more like the Bella I remembered," I said, as I touched her nose with my finger.

"I'm going to take a shower. I'll be right back. Okay?"

I jumped up and went to find the complimentary soap, shampoo, toothbrush, and toothpaste. I brushed my teeth, took a quick shower, put on the clothes I had been wearing, and stepped out of the bathroom.

"Do you want to take one and freshen up a little? It'll make you feel better."

"Sure. The sleep last night helped greatly though. It's been a while since....." She stopped talking as she got up, pulling the robe around her tightly and walked toward the bathroom.

"I'll be waiting for you. Then we will go get some breakfast," I said, as she walked past me.

When she finally emerged from the bathroom, she had a small amount of color back in her cheeks.

"So. I guess I look really hideous to you now, don't I? The scars and everything."

"I've always thought you were beautiful and I still do," I said walking over to her and taking her hand.

"Bella, we've got a lot to work out, but the way that I feel about you hasn't changed. I'll always love you, even though I've been angry, hurt, and lonely, I still love you. We belong together, remember? I meant that when I said it so long ago and I still believe it today. Why else would you have made a U-turn and come back to me?"

"Oh Jake. I love you too. I never stopped. Every day, you preyed on my mind and tugged at my heart. I just made the wrong choices. I shouldn't have tried to solve my problems alone. I should have trusted in you and your judgment to see me through the tough times. Can you ever forgive me? With all my heart, I'm sorry for every wrong I've inflicted on you."

"Hey, we've got lots of time to talk forgiveness. I'm sure I have some to ask for too. Right now, we just need to focus on getting you stronger, so we can figure this all out." I took her face in my hands and bent down and kissed her lips tenderly.

How long I've waited for this moment. To have her completely to myself and know that she loves me. As we kissed, old feelings came rushing out, along with desires that had long since been stored away.

"I've dreamed about this day so many times, but I never thought it would come true. You, here, kissing me, needing me, wanting me," she said quietly.

"I do need you and you don't know how badly I want you," I replied in a feverish tone.

What was she saying? What was she implying? Was the timing right? I mean that she hadn't wanted to be with him in a long time. But she had been thinking about me all the time. Then I stopped thinking, and I just did what I felt was right.

I reached for the robe and pushed it back, letting it fall onto the floor. She didn't have anything on underneath. The moment I saw her bare body I couldn't stop, neither could she. She was unbuttoning my shirt, while I was unbuttoning my pants, then I too stood bare before her.

I wanted to be greedy, and a little rough with her, but she was still recovering, so I took her hand and led her to the bed. I lay her back on the white sheets and stretched out beside her. I looked at her perfect body and began tracing the lines and shapes of her contours with my hand. She watched my eyes as I reached the scar above her breast. I wanted her to know that I didn't care that it was there, even if I knew deep inside I abhorred the creature that did this to her. But she had to know I was okay with how she looked.

I cupped her breast in my hand and held it while I gently kissed it, then the scar. The skin was cooler there, but I didn't care. It was her under the scar, no one else. The tears formed in her eyes as she watched me. I ran my hands over her stomach and down to her thighs, touching each scar as I went with tender care.

Then I turned my attention to her face, wiped the tears away, and kissed her passionately. She was mine and I wasn't going to let her go, ever again. Today we started our lives over together.

"Will you marry me Bella?" I whispered.

She smiled up at me, "Yes Jake. Oh yes," she replied, and in the hours that followed, we became one—two hearts beating in unison, but one body and one soul, that would never to be parted again.