Disclaimer: I own nothing twilight or twilight related. This is purely a work of fan fictonfiction.

A/N: This is set in New Moon, after Edward leaves. It is AU and my take what I would have like to see happen. It also has my own twists and turns.

"EDWARD! WHERE ARE YOU? DON"T LEAVE ME, PLEASE! COME BACK! DON"T GO! NOOOOOOOOOOO!" Bella sat straight up in the bed as Charlie came running in. She was drenched in sweat. Her whole body was trembling.

Charlie took his daughter in his arms. He rocked her, gently kissing her forehead. "It's just a dream, Bella. You're alright. I am here."

Bella looked up at him, but did not have the strength to tell him she was not alright. She would never be alright again. She just laid back down on her pillow and pulled the cover over her head, trying to block out the world.

The darkest days of Bella's life were shortly after Edward had left her. Each morning she forced herself out of bed and silently cursed God that she had to face another day alone. She went through the motions: she took a shower, brushed her teeth, dried her hair and pulled it back in a ponytail. She grabbed whatever clothes were handy, not caring how she looked. She made breakfast for Charlie and drove herself to school. She lost herself in her lessons, speaking to no one unless spoken to. Her evenings were filled with homework, occasional shifts at Newton's, and housework. And try as she might to be numb, the nights were the worst bringing about the reality of her situation through the form of nightmares.

For weeks her life continued on in this fashion. The weather started getting colder. Bella barely noticed. Her routine became so ingrained. She relished the numbness that had overtaken her. The only time she felt anything was during the nightmares.

Slowly, her friends quit calling. Bella never left the house except for school, work or the grocery store. Charlie was scared and was considering sending her to her mother's. Charlie had spent the day fishing with Billy. He was dropping Billy off at his house when Billy questioned him. "Hey Charlie, what's wrong? You hardly spoke and you drank maybe three beers all day."

"It's Bella. She can't seem to let got of the Cullen kid."

"Charlie, they left in September. It is only the end of October. Give her some time. If you knew how tough I had it when Rachel's first boyfriend broke up with her. I had to listen to the most obnoxious love songs every day and every night for three months. She only wore black and wanted to join a convent. A convent Charlie, and we aren't even Catholic."

"Billy, that's not it. I have seen sad. Hell, I have been sad. I drank every night until I passed out for a year after Renee left, but this. This is different. She is a shell of a person. I look at her eyes and there is nothing there. She is a zombie and the dreams, nightmares really, every night she screams. I have heard screams like that before. Usually when I pull up to a house and have to tell a spouse that the person they love isn't coming home. Or have to tell a parent there child has been molested or killed. Jesus Billy, he didn't die. He just dumped her and moved away. But if I could just get my hands on him for ten minutes…"

"Charlie, calm down. He is not worth it. He was all wrong for Bella to begin with. I am glad he is gone. Glad his whole damn family is gone. But what we have to concentrate on now is helping Bella. Give her time Charlie. She just needs to be away from his influence for awhile. She will come around. She is a tough cookie."

"I hope so. I hope you are right. But if it does not get better, I am thinking of sending her to live with Renee. Maybe the sun and change of scenery will do her good."

"You know she does not want to leave you and you just got her back. Be patient a little while longer and see what happens."

Charlie nodded and then waved goodbye as he headed out the door. "See ya Billy and I'll take your advice."

"Anytime," Billy replied, as he wheeled himself over to the television and turned it on.

Jacob was lying in his bed and could not help but overhear the conversation in the living room. When he found out how depressed his life long friend and secret crush had become, he was dumbfounded. He could not imagine that this was the same girl who made mud pies with him as a child. This was the same girl who spent hours coloring with him because his sisters refused to include him whenever Bella visited with her dad. The first girl he ever played show me yours and I will show you mine when he was five and she was seven. The same girl now starred in almost every wet dream he had, ever since he walked with her on the beach, telling her the scary stories of his people. Scary stories, there was an idea. He looked at the calendar and devised a plan. Now, he just needed some helpers, and he knew just who to call.

The doorbell rang on Halloween night at the Swan Residence. Bella picked up the bowl of candy and walked towards the door. Instead of little children, she was greeted by three large teenaged boys. "Aren't you a little old for trick or treating?" she asked, the smallest hint of a grin making an appearance on her face.

"You're never too old!" A smiling Jacob bantered back.

"What are you suppose to be anyways?" Bella asked.

"Well our costumes are not complete. We need you to come with us. It just will not work without you Bella."

Bella shook her head, still not understanding. Jacob then handed her a pink cowboy hat and a toy gun. He pointed to the red paint across his cheeks, and the other two boys produced a bow and arrow and a hatchet. "We're Indians…. Duh! And we need you to be the cowboy, er cowgirl."

Bella could not help but giggle. "Jacob, are you serious? Are you like ten?"

"I am fifteen, thank you very much. Besides, that is also why we need you. We can't drive and you have wheels." He and the other two boys all gave her puppy dog faces.

"How did you get here then?" Bella asked.

"Leah Clearwater dropped us off. She only came to town to get some candy and she is headed back to the Rez. We want to trick or treat here in Forks. See our costumes just don't have quite the same effect when all the people you are trying to get candy from are Indians too. Please Bella."

"I have to hand out candy," was Bella response.

Charlie got up from his recliner and walked over to the door. "Go Bella. Have fun and besides, I need you to keep an eye on this bunch of trouble makers. If you don't go with them, I am afraid of the trouble they might get into."

"This is so stupid," Bella started. "You are so going to owe me Black!" She handed the bowl to Charlie and took the gun and hat from Jacob.

They walked towards the truck and one of the boys spoke up, "I'm Quil Ateara. Jacob seems to have forgotten his manners." He put his hand out and when Bella went to shake it, he brought hers up to his lips and kissed it.

Bella pulled it back and gave Jacob a surprised look.

"Don't worry about Quil. He fancies himself a ladies' man," Jacob chuckled. "The tall one is Embry Call, he is a bit more normal."

Embry raised his arm and in his best cheesy western Indian voice he said, "How."

Jacob looked at Embry and just shook his head. "Okay. Both of my friends are complete morons. Please do not judge me on the company that I keep."

"Speaking of tall, Jacob….. You've grown since I saw you last. You're like buff." Bella blushed as the words just slipped out.

"Well if you came out to the Rez more often, you might have noticed." Jacob chuckled, taking the compliment in stride.

Jacob and Bella got in the cab of the truck, while Embry and Quil jumped in the back. "So where are we going first?" Bella asked.

"Um, how about Main St. All the businesses give out stuff and then if you are up to it, we can go to the old Carson place off the bypass. It is supposed to be haunted and every Halloween we go to see if we can spot any ghosts."

"Have you seen any?" Bella asked.

"No, but we try every year. Sometimes we try to scare each other but basically it is just a lot of goofing off and hanging with my boys," Jacob replied.

It did not take long to make the rounds in town. Soon they had pillow cases full of candy and were making the trek out to the old abandoned house. They pulled into the driveway and stopped at the gate with the sign that warned "Keep Out." Quil and Embry jumped out of the back of the truck. They had obviously been hitting the pixie sticks hard and were bouncing around like five year olds. Bella got her flashlight out of the glove box and started after the boys.

By the time Jacob and Bella caught up with Quil and Embry, they were already on the front porch of the home. Bella almost tripped on the steps but Jacob caught her. "Be careful Bella, Charlie would have my butt if you fell and broke something."

"I'll try to be more careful."

"Let's go in!" Quil exclaimed.

Quil turned on his flashlight and proceeded to climb in through a busted out window. Embry followed. Bella was next with Jacob following closely behind. "Let's split up!" Quil suggested. "Bella and I can go one way, while Embry and Jacob can go the other."

"Nice try, Romeo," Jacob retorted. "Bella and I will go upstairs with her flashlight and you and Embry can take your flashlight and check out what is going on down here. We will meet up in thirty minutes or sooner if we find anything."

"Why are we splitting up?" Bella asked Jacob.

"Oh, you know…this is giving them a chance to scare us and us a chance to scare them." Jacob snickered.

Bella felt some apprehension, but she decided to suck it up, so off they went. Once they got up to the top of the stairs, Jacob took the flashlight from Bella and they started down the hall. Bella grabbed Jacob's arm and kept her body close to his. She saw movement out of the corner of her eye and screamed. She pointed towards the movement. Jacob turned the flashlight in the direction Bella was pointing. A small mouse scurried into a hole in the wall. "It's just a mouse, Bella." Then he called out down the stairs, "It was only a mouse guys."

She blushed as she heard the giggle fest commence downstairs. Jacob pulled on her hand and they continued onward. After they had explored the bedrooms and bathroom, they came to a door at the end of the hall. "This goes to the attic. It's kind of spooky up there: killer mice and all. We don't have to go up if you don't want to."

"Let's go," Bella grabbed the flashlight out of Jacob's hand and took the lead. She was tired of feeling like a helpless girl who always needed a protector. They explored the attic finding a bunch of nothing. The moonlight shone through a window at the end of the long room. Bella and Jacob made their way to the window. Looking out, Bella could see for what looked like miles. The far off lights were no doubt Forks and there was a soft faint glow further south. It most likely came from La Push. Bella could feel Jacob's hot, heavy breath on the back of her neck, making all the hairs stand on end. She shivered in response.

"Are you cold?" Jacob asked. He wrapped his arms around her. "Is that better?"

Bella felt herself mold into his frame, welcoming the warmth his arms and body provided. "Much better," she replied. She closed her eyes and for a moment just enjoyed it. Then she felt something harden on her back. She gasped. Then she felt Jacob pull away and turn the opposite direction.

"Let's go find the guys," Jacob muttered.

Obviously Jacob was embarrassed and Bella thought that speaking about it would only embarrass him more, so she said nothing. They headed down the stairs. When they reached the bottom they called out for the others. There was no response. "They are just trying to scare us," Jacob whispered.

"Well they are doing a good job," Bella muttered back.

Jacob squeezed Bella's hand. Somehow, just that simple act made her feel better.

"Embry! Quil! Get in here right now or we are leaving your sorry asses. You can walk home," Jacob bellowed out. They heard a loud crash coming from the other room. Then someone screamed. Jacob and Bella ran towards the noise. All of a sudden the flashlight turned off and they were in total darkness.

The warmth of Jacob disappeared and Bella called out for him. No response. She shuffled forward, tripping over something on the floor. She hit the floor hard and screamed out for Jacob. Suddenly a light flashed on to what she had just fallen over. It was Quil covered in blood. Bella shrieked at the top of her lungs. Then she became aware of laughter. All around her was laughter. Jacob turned his flashlight back on while he and Embry stood a few feet away laughing. She looked over at Quil who was now sitting up, wiping the red off his face and chuckling. "I hate you all!" Bella bellowed out and ran towards the door. The guys followed her, begging for forgiveness.

"I warned you, Bella. I said the guys were just trying to scare you," said Jacob pleading with Bella to listen.

Bella realized that it was all in fun but she was not about to give them the satisfaction of letting them off that easy. She remained aloof and standoffish, walking towards the truck. They followed her like puppy dogs still begging for forgiveness.

The ride to the reservation was pretty quiet. Quil and Embry sat in the back again, while Jacob sat quietly in the cab with Bella.

"I am sorry if that scared you, Bells. I was just trying to have fun with you," Jacob pleaded.

"I forgive you Jacob. I just wanted you to stew in it for a few minutes. I actually did have fun tonight, believe it or not. You and your friends made me laugh, and made me scared out of my mind. But most of all, you made me feel alive." Bella smirked at Jacob, and then returned her eyes to the road.

A large grin crept across Jacob's face. "Well the fun does not have to end just yet. Following Halloween tradition, when we get back to my place, we will dump the candy into one big pile and sort through it. See Quil loves tootsie rolls and Embry, well he is a candy corn freak. I, on the other hand, love caramel anything. So what is your poison? What can we bribe you with?"

"I love suckers and jawbreakers," she replied, an evil smirk all over her face.

"And why is that?" Jacob asked, raising one eye brow.

"Because I love hard things that I can suck for a really long time," she answered, never breaking eye contact with Jacob. Jacob swallowed hard and looked out the window. Bella giggled and looked back at the road. She glanced over and saw Jacob adjust himself and she felt very proud of her accomplishment. She would pay them back a little at a time for tonight. "So what happens after the big candy exchange?" Bella asked.

"Um, we order pizza and watch the Halloween movies. The guys usually stay over and we sleep on the living room floor. No big deal. No egging, no tee peeing, no animal sacrifices. I think the biggest 'crime we have ever pulled off was stealing a few of Dad's beers."

"I guess I can stay for pizza and maybe a movie or two, but not all night. I don't trust Quil. Something about that boy, I think he might molest me in my sleep." Bella did not want to tell him the real reason she could not stay. She was afraid the dreams would come, like they always did. It was bad enough to wake her father up with her screaming but she could not risk it with these new found friends. She did not want to ruin the first night of fun she had had since he left.

"I would never let anything happen to you, Bella. You know that, right? I will always protect you... even from my perverted juvenile friends."

"I know," Bella responded and she actually meant it. "but pizza and a movie only."

They pulled up to Billy's house and all took their loot into the house. Embry was already on the phone dialing the pizza place, when he asked, "What do you like on your pizza Bella?"

"Whatever you guys want, just no anchovies."

While they waited on the pizza, the loot was divided up, the guys all got in their sweats and t-shirts and Jacob put the first movie on. Embry wrapped himself up in a blanket in the chair. Quil had his bed already made on the floor and Jacob sprawled out on the couch with his head in Bella's lap. She was braiding his hair while catching snippets of the movie.

There was a knock at the door and Jacob went to get the pizza. He turned around and was met with laughter. "What?" he questioned.

"All the little braids sticking up all over the place…. Dude… you look like…Coolio," Embry barely got out over the snickers.

Jacob put the pizza down and went to look at himself in the mirror, "Bella! I am not going to let you play with my hair if you make me look like Buckwheat!"

Bella could not hold back the laughter anymore. She belly laughed, holding her sides. They all joined in, including Jacob. He was just so happy to see her laughing.

Soon the pizza was all gone and the clock was ticking closer to one o'clock. Embry was already asleep. Bella made her excuses and headed for the door. "Let me walk you out," Jacob said.

Jacob opened the truck door for her and shut it behind her. "Now call and let me know you made it home."

"Yes dad!" Bella replied, rolling her eyes at him.

"I mean it. It is late and crazies are out on the road. If you don't want to call, just text me" he pleaded.

"I will..." She stammered, trying to find the words to finish her sentence. "and thank you for dragging me out of the house. I had a great time with you and those goof balls. It is the first time I have laughed since….. well, a long time."

"Anytime, Bella. My door is always open. You know that." Jacob looked down at the ground.

"I will take you up on that offer, Buckwheat. Now back in the house." Bella waved as she pulled out of the driveway, offering him a full smile.

The ride home went surprisingly fast. Charlie was up when she walked in the front door. "Kind of late, don't you think," Charlie asked.

"Well, after I took them trick or treating, we went back to Billy's and had pizza and watched scary movies."

"So you had a good time?" Charlie questioned.

"Yes, yes I did."

"Well good. Go on to bed, it's late. I will see you in the morning."

"Night," she said and with that Bella was off to bed. She hurried into her pajamas and laid on her bed. She sent Jacob a quick text to let him know she was home. He replied right back with a good night. Bella went to sleep that night and for the first time in weeks, she slept peacefully.

A/N: I would like to thank km3 and purelyamuse. Without them, I would not be writing this story. Purelyamuse has given me so much inspiration by allowing me to see her work her magic.