Choose Me - Destiny

Disclaimer: - The character…? Not mine. The situation…? Not mine either. The words…? Well, most of them are mine but I won't lie. Some of them belong to the amazing SM too. I've just twisted them around to suit my crazy little J/B world. No infringement is intended. No profit is being made from this piece.

A/N: - My interpretation of what would've happened in the tent scene of Eclipse if Bella would've been a normal, sane girl with normal reactions to external stimuli… such as a very hot, half naked Jacob Black cuddling with her in a snow storm! I mean, really, what normal girl wouldn't behave this way…? I know I would! Would you…? :P

It begins in the tent, after Jacob has come in to warm Bella up (wink, wink) and continues right up to the kiss in the clearing before the battle with Victoria and the newborns. The only difference is that this story, being born of my imagination, ends up with a B/J happily ever after ending!

So…Enjoy! :D

A HUGE, from the bottom of my heart, 'Thank You' to my very brilliant and very tolerant soulmate-slash- beta; Erin aka Toooldforthis. Thank you for putting up with my crazy whims and fancies (you know what I'm talking about ;P) and for being so understanding about it too! Thank you also, for your mad beta-ing skills. I couldn't have pulled this one off without you for sure. You deserve at least half of the credit for it. But most of all, thank you for your love and friendship and encouragement. It makes the whole effort… including the 'missing out on sleep' and 'getting up early' parts seem totally worth it! As I mentioned earlier, I owe you one!

Important: - Alright, so, I'm just replacing the old version with this newer, better one. Don't worry, there aren't too many changes; just some small, minor ones. There were some small typos in the old one that I thought needed to be fixed, so, hence...

Also, a few, minor changes and additions to round up the chapter some. You might not even realize them, the changes are so minor, but still… you know me, I'm obsessive that way.

And, oh, oh, oh… there are some additions to the lemon; in case some of you want to re-read that. :P

Thanks to Oohapoo for pointing out the mistakes.

"There," Jacob said, pleased. "Feeling better?"

I was finally able to speak clearly. "Yes."

"Your lips are still blue," he mused. "Want me to warm those up for you, too? You only have to ask."

Edward sighed heavily.

Man, he never gave up, did he?

I moved away from his embrace and gave him a glare from under my eyelashes mouthing the word "Behave!" at him.

I was finally… finally warm. Toasty warm. And the last thing I needed right now was for Jake to anger Edward so much that he'd throw him out of the tent. I was too cozy for that. I couldn't go back to feeling the cold. Being in Jake's arms was like being in a balmy, steamy sauna. And I was loving it. Way more than I should be.

I felt safe… secure… comforted, almost lethargic. Loved.

What the hell was wrong with me? I mean, my fiancé was sitting right there. And I was in the arms of the one person that he was probably the most jealous of. Yet, here I was snuggling with Jake like nobody's business.

What made it worse, I think, was how right it felt to be held by him… how natural. It was like I belonged.

God, I was a sick, despicable person.

And yet, knowing this, I still didn't want to move away. That's it. I was definitely going to hell. Well… if I ever actually died that is. Of course, once I got turned, there was no chance of that ever happening.

Huh… it was so weird… I was going to live forever. Literally.

And the people I loved, my parents, my friends; wouldn't. Jake wouldn't. The thought of a life without Jake was like a knife piercing through my heart. I shied away from that kind of thinking quickly. After all, the change wasn't something I had to worry about right now. First I had to get through tomorrow and the battle with Victoria and the newborns. Then, there was the wedding.

I winced at the thought. I still couldn't believe I'd agreed to marry Edward. Whatever could've possessed me to agree to such insanity? I didn't believe in marriage…hated the thought of it, even. Yet, I had willingly agreed to submit to being someone's wife.

Okay, so the fact that it was Edward who I was going to marry made all the difference, I suppose. I did love him after all. And I'd already committed to spending eternity with him. Marriage was a just small step in the large scheme of things. But no matter how much I tried to rationalize it; the unpleasant feelings that I associated with the word 'matrimony' never went away. So, I shelved that thought too.

Unfortunately, with those important topics off the table, my mind was free to think of other things. Things that I should definitely not be thinking about. Things such as Jake's cheek against my ear. And the feel of his strong arms wrapped around me. And his wonderful warmth. And the way his hard, chiseled body molded itself against mine.

I squirmed around uncomfortably in an effort to alleviate the slight achy feeling between my thighs.

Oh no! No, no, no, no, no. This couldn't be happening. Not here, not now… or rather not ever! I couldn't be getting aroused by my best friend. God, that would be beyond disastrous. Both my vampire fiancé and my werewolf best friend had a supernatural sense of smell. I couldn't afford to be aroused right now. I just couldn't. I squirmed around some more.

"You comfortable, Bells?" Jake asked his voice gruff with concern. "You're not still cold, are you? Here, put your arms around me…yeah, just like that. And don't worry about me, just rest your feet in between my legs." He illustrated his point by thrusting his legs between mine. "There. That should be better."

When he moved his leg, his knee accidentally brushed up directly against my core. Even that brief contact felt like heaven. I could just imagine how having him inside of me… all hardness and strength… would feel. I almost groaned out loud as his heat radiated against me, warming me up from the inside out.

God, he was hot… both literally and figuratively speaking. And so soft. That was a welcome change from Edward's unyielding hardness. Cuddling with Edward felt like… well… cuddling with a hard slab of ice. But being with Jake; being held in his arms; felt more like being surrounded by a slow blaze. My personal sun… that's what he was.

I couldn't really see him… it was too dark in the tent to make out anything other than his outline… but then, I didn't necessarily need my eyes to see him in minute detail. Each and every one of his features was etched into my mind. Sometimes, it felt like I knew his face better than mine.

I unconsciously snuggled closer to his warmth causing him to clutch me a just a little tighter. I could feel each and every contour of his insanely sculpted body pressed to mine. I was never more blazingly aware of my own sexuality than I was at that very moment.

Hell…hell… hell… I was definitely going there. And I couldn't even bring myself to really care.

"I told you to keep your hands to yourself, mutt!" Edward snarled.

"Hey, I'm just trying to keep your girlfriend from freezing her tempting little ass off. But hey, if you want the job, it's all yours." Jake gloated.

Edward's response was a growl, an honest to goodness growl.

Jake gave him a wolfish smirk in response. "Yeah, I thought that might be your response. Oh well…" He trailed off, making himself more comfortable.

"Boys…" I sighed. "Behave yourselves."

"I am behaving myself Bells. And don't worry about Edward either… he's just jealous!

"Of course he's jealous!" I retorted more out of habit than anything else. Or maybe it was all for Edward's benefit, who knows…? "After all, he has to sit there and see his girlfriend being pawed by an overgrown werewolf with boundary issues!"

Edward chuckled darkly.

"Ouch! Overgrown werewolf with boundary issues…?" Jake queried incredulously. "That was mean, Bells. If I were in your position, I think I would be extra nice to the space heater instead of antagonizing him, don't you think? Or are my services no longer required?"

"No!" I jumped into action, holding him just a little tighter lest he actually make good on his threat.

I could almost see… and feel the gloating look Jake threw at Edward over my shoulder.

I rolled my eyes in exasperation.

"Don't bet on that, mutt!" Edward answered some unsaid thought in Jake's mind. "Yes, she and I are both happy that you're here and could help us out, but I don't want you deluding yourself into thinking that Bella wants you here. Don't forget that you're just a space heater in this scenario… a mere commodity. I can almost guarantee that Bella wishes it were me holding her instead of you right now.

Once again, as was more and more the case these days, I was immensely glad that Edward couldn't read my mind. He would be destroyed if he knew about all the thoughts that were running through his "loving fiancée's" mind regarding her best friend lately.

Which begged the question, why was I having such thoughts about Jacob lately? Especially since I was so completely in love with another man. Jacob was just my best friend… my platonic best friend. Admittedly, my very hot, very cute, very beautiful platonic best friend; but still, I had absolutely no business thinking these things about Jacob!

I didn't know the answer but, I did know that ever since that day in the kitchen… the day that I'd gone to Italy to save Edward… the day that Jacob and I had almost kissed; something had shifted.

I could protest all I wanted but it wouldn't change the fact that I had a new awareness of my best friend. Whenever he was in the same room, it was as if the whole air around us was electrified. And even if he wasn't near me; I always seemed to know exactly where he was and what he was doing… almost as if, on some subconscious level, my body, my heart, my mind; were all tuned to him.

And that fact was never more obvious than it was right now. The small tent and the even smaller sleeping bag were all resonating with Jake's presence. I could feel him… everywhere!

The cold; which had been unbearable earlier had no effect on me now. I felt like I was on fire…and it was all thanks to my best friend.

What the hell was wrong with me? I loved Edward. I did. With my whole heart. Yet, all the signs pointed out to the fact that I had some sort of feelings for Jake too. I couldn't deny it any longer.

Turns out, Jake had been absolutely right tonight when he'd pointed out that I'd spent all this time deluding myself. Grr! Maybe Jake was right and the reason I was feeling this way was that I had settled before playing the field.

I was an eighteen year old; about to sacrifice my life in order to spend eternity with my vampire lover and I hadn't even been kissed! Well… I had… if you could even call the chaste, close-mouthed pecks that Edward and I shared, kisses! I, of course, had nothing and no one to compare them against.

I hadn't ever been touched. Every teenager has a make-out session or two… at the very least, they get groped a little. Not me. No, what I would experience with Edward after we got married would be my first and last physical experience as a human. And even that wouldn't be totally human now, would it? I mean, how could you have a human experience, when you were with a vampire?

Maybe it was just natural curiosity bringing all these feelings to the surface. Maybe all I needed to get rid of these feelings was to act on them… to get them out of my system.

Yeah, that's precisely what I needed… one last wild fling before I settled down for all of eternity. I mean, guys did that all the time, right…? And I even had a very hot, very willing guy right here beside me who'd be more than willing to fulfill my needs.

Oh God, was I really thinking of using my best friend? A shudder ran through me. And it was a shudder of distaste as well as anticipation.

Because… just the thought of experiencing anything even remotely resembling sex with Jacob Black made me flush hot all over. Something told me that it would be an experience of earth shattering magnitude.

My mind drifted to other, forbidden territories. What would it be like to kiss him; really kiss him… without hesitation, without reservations…?

He was such a physical person…always touching me, holding my hand, hugging me every chance he got…

What would it be like to have his hands on me… not out of habit, but in deliberation? Would he make love like he did everything else… with reckless abandon? Would he devour me with his passion or would he be gentle and patient? Would his kisses singe me with their heat? Would I burn in the heat of his possession?

My body yearned to know.

Ohmygod, what the hell was I thinking…? Was I completely insane…? How could I even think about something like this when I had committed myself to Edward just two nights ago? What kind of a girlfriend…er… fiancée was I? I had to shut down this line of thought… immediately!

"Please!" Edward hissed, out of the blue, putting an end to my guilty musings. "Do you think you could attempt to control your thoughts?" Edward's low whisper was furious.

I started violently, scared out of my mind that he'd somehow discovered the direction my thoughts had taken. Were my eyes a dead giveaway? Or… oh god… was I blushing?

"No one said you had to listen," Jacob muttered, defiant, yet still embarrassed. "Get out of my head." Oh thank god, he was talking to Jacob, not me!

"I wish I could. You have no idea how loud your little fantasies are. It's like you're shouting them at me."

"I'll try to keep it down," Jacob whispered sarcastically.

I'd been listening to them argue silently; prepared to ignore the whole conversation; but then the word 'fantasy' had entered the conversation and my imagination had caught onto it and refused to let go.

Jake was having fantasies about me, about us…? It was a very… intriguing thought. What kind of fantasies were they? Were they like the ones I was having or were they more explicit? Did he dream about kissing me, touching me… tasting me; the way I'd been dreaming about him lately? And most importantly, if I asked him to, would he share some of those fantasies with me…? Or maybe he could show me instead…?

Suddenly, my mind was consumed by that thought. It was literally all I could think about. Jake… kissing me… touching me…

And even though I knew it was wrong, I tried to justify it to myself.

The moment I became a vampire, I was going to lose Jake forever and I wanted to take a small piece… carry a tiny memory of him along with me that would last me my entire life. How could that be wrong?

Also, I was giving my life, my eternity to Edward. Was it so wrong to give Jacob something…? He just wanted a kiss… a paltry kiss. It was totally insignificant! One kiss; where I wouldn't be fighting him tooth and nail or punching him and breaking my hand in the process! Jake deserved that. Right…? Even Edward wouldn't begrudge him that, would he?

After all, this kiss would've happened a long time ago if Edward hadn't made the incredibly stupid decision to go to the Volturi, right…? Of course it would have… So, that's all it was then… making up for lost opportunities. That's all!

One kiss… that's all I wanted. One kiss to last me for all eternity… that's all. But, even through all my justifications, I knew that Edward wouldn't see things that way. In fact, if he so much as knew the insane directions my thoughts had taken, he'd be incredibly hurt… angry even; which was stupid, really, considering that it wasn't even that big a deal! Right…?

I needed some time alone with Jake… to explore all these thoughts and feelings… and I needed Edward to not be around because he's never understand where I was coming from…never!

I put my plan in motion before I could analyze my faulty thinking too deeply. "Edward, could you maybe give me and Jake some privacy?" I asked timidly. Holy crap, I was thinking of cheating on my fiancé. I was a horrible, terrible human being. I was the devil's spawn… no worse. I was the ugly, disgusting monster that fed on the demon's spawn. Ugh!

Edward appeared just as confused as I expected him to be. After all, this wasn't part of the plan. "What is it Bella? Is there something wrong?" He asked, ever solicitously.

"Uh… no…I think I just need to talk to him." I spoke in what I hoped was a calm and confident manner.

The confusion on Edward's face cleared up as he gave me a knowing glance. "Ahh… you've decided to tell him, then?"

Oh no… he thought that I wanted to share the news of the impending nuptials with Jake. Oh God, what a mess. But well, if Edward thinking that got me the desired privacy with Jake then I was even willing to go along with that. "Yes!" I assured Edward quickly. "But I don't think having you around for that will help matters any, do you? So, please, just give me some time alone with him. I need this Edward. Please…?"

"Oh, you don't have to convince me, sweetheart." Edward was already getting up from his position in the corner of the tent. "You know I can't refuse you anything." He sighed. "I'll go see what the rest of the family is doing and how the preparations for the battle are going. I won't be back till morning. So, you have three, three and a half hours, at least." My heart rejoiced in my chest. "But the mutt better behave himself." He threatened suddenly with a venomous glance in Jake's direction.

I threw a quick glance at Jake's face myself and he looked downright petrified. I was sure his fear had nothing to do with Edward's words and everything to do with mine. Apparently, I'd hurt him so much and so many times before that he automatically assumed that my wanting to talk to him could not be good news.

I tried to give him my best reassuring smile but the expression on his face told me that I'd failed abysmally in the effort. Oh well…

"Are you sure you want to do this now, Bella?" Edward asked, concerned.

"Yes, yes…" I spoke quickly, impatient for him to be on his way. "I want to do this. I need to do it. Jake and I will be fine. Seriously. You don't need to worry."

"Alright." Edward conceded, finally running out of excuses. He came closer and pressed an absent kiss to my forehead. I jerked back instinctively. It'd felt like having an ice cube pressed to my forehead and after all the effort Jake had gone to, to warm me up, it'd been unpleasant to say the least. Thankfully, Edward didn't notice my reaction. "Goodbye my love, I'll see you soon." Ugh! Did he have to do that every single time… stake a claim somehow…? I'd never before realized how annoying it was.

He turned towards Jake. "You, mongrel, you take good care of her!" He growled.

Jake, still clueless about what was going on could only nod dumbly.

And just like that; with a blast of frigid air; as he opened the tent zipper, Edward was gone.

All of a sudden, the nerves were back full force. What in the name of heaven was I doing? But at the same time, the fear wasn't enough to change my mind. No, my course of action was pretty set.

"Tell me what, Bells…?" Jake interrupted my musing.

"Is he gone Jake…? Can he hear us?" I whispered, not wanting to take the chance that Edward might still hear what was happening between us.

"God, you're freaking me out here!" Jake exclaimed. I just looked at him steadily. "Yes, he's gone… Jeez!" He answered my unspoken question in what was clearly a pained voice. "Just get it over with Bella. Break my heart once and for all. Set me free." He muttered in a defeated voice.

Even though I'd expected a reaction somewhat like this, I was still taken aback. "What're you talking about, Jacob?"

"Isn't that what this is all about…breaking my heart and stomping on the pieces…? Because there's no other reason that the bloodsucker would leave you alone in my company for such a long period of time, is there? He obviously knows something that I don't. So, enlighten me, Bella…" He fell silent; cringing; clearly anticipating the worst.

"Kiss me, Jake." I blurted out before my courage deserted me completely.

His eyes snapped open at my words; surprise and elation etched clearly on his face "W…what? What did you just say?"

"I said… Kiss me, Jacob…" I reiterated patiently.

Unadulterated joy broke out on his face followed quickly by a measure of calculation. "But why…? And why would your leech leave you alone with me for this?" he questioned.

"What do you mean why?" I questioned, my tone reflecting my outrage. "'Kiss me. Use me as an experiment!' Weren't those your words, Jake… your ideas? Just a little while ago, you were pestering me about how I was making the wrong decision by settling for the first and only person I'd kissed in my life. And now, when I'm trying to follow your advice, you're acting like a damn sissy!" I wanted to slap him silly for giving this so much thought. I was giving him the one thing that he'd been wanting for so long. Couldn't he just take it and be happy about it? Did he have to question each and every minor detail of it?

"Does that mean that you agree with me, Bells? Are you admitting that you are making a mistake?" Jake questioned cautiously.

Ugh! Again with the questions. He made me want to scream out in frustration! "Fine!" I retorted dismissively. "Don't kiss me!"

I turned away from him in a huff but before I had any time to analyze the intense disappointment running through me, Jake grabbed hold of my arm and turned me towards him.

"Wha…" I began, thoroughly irritated. But I never got to finish the rest of the statement because the very next instant Jake's lips were on mine.

I didn't resist like I had the last time. This time, I just let myself feel.

And that's when I knew… I'd been lying to myself even more than I'd originally thought. Because, any kiss that involved Jake could never be 'just' anything!

His lips were blazingly hot…and soft. A far cry from Edward's cold and unyielding one's. He was tentative at first… his lips touching mine and withdrawing… then returning again. It was sweet and innocent and tender. It was the first kiss that we should've had and I felt it all the way down to my soul. But I needed more…

I deliberately opened my mouth under his and touched my tongue to his lips. That's all it took. He clutched me tightly; a low growl escaping his throat. His lips molded to mine hungrily.

I didn't have to be careful with Jake… and he certainly wasn't being careful with me. There was no holding back, no pulling away when things got out of control. The sense of freedom… was heady.

His tongue swept my lips, seeking permission to enter my mouth. I opened my lips and he dove right in, taking complete possession.

I thrilled in the rush of heat that swept through my body.

One kiss turned into two; two into three till I lost count. My entire world revolved around Jake… and the things he could do to me with his mouth.

Slowly but surely, his hands inched down to my waist; teasingly exploring the tiny sliver of exposed skin between my sweat pants and my hoodie. I gasped into his mouth, savoring his touch. His fingers swept my waistline a couple of times before coming to rest on my hip bone. They latched onto my sides, digging into my waist, grabbing a hold of me.

My own hands dropped to his chest and traced each and every ridge and valley there… like I'd been secretly wanting to do for the longest time. He pulled me impossibly closer, aligning us together from head to toe and moaned out loud in pleasure.

Suddenly, this wasn't about a kiss anymore. The stakes had gone much higher.

And the thought of stopping now… it made me want to cry!

I could feel the hard evidence of his desire pressing against my thigh. I could feel the gush of moisture seeping through my sex; soaking my panties.

"Bells…? Fuck!" He growled breathing deeply before attacking my lips anew.

Emboldened by his reaction and longing for more I pulled away from him momentarily. His disappointment was palpable. Sitting up, I set about, trying to take the hoodie off within the close confines of the sleeping bag. After much wriggling around I managed to get both my arms free and raised it over my head throwing it away from my body. My bra followed soon after.

A minute of utter, complete silence followed during which the only sound I could hear was Jake's labored breathing. I still couldn't see him but I could imagine him gawking at me dumbly. I flushed all over at the thought and barely restrained the impulse to cover myself up.

"Jesus Christ…Bells, are you trying to kill me?" He asked after a moment in a breathlessly shocked and at the same time completely aroused tone of voice. "Just because I'm a werewolf doesn't mean I can't have a heart attack, you know!" He continued breathlessly.

Overcome by a sudden bout of shyness all I could do was to take his hands and place them on my, now bare midriff. "Sorry… uh… It was getting a little too warm in here…" I stammered.

He drew back as if he'd been stung. "Bells…baby… what're we doing here?" He asked me, in a ragged voice… completely serious now; almost as if he hadn't been teasing me just a few moments back.

Not willing to examine the answer to that question too closely, I placed a finger on his lips. "Shhh… don't talk, don't think… just feel." Once again, I directed his hands to my waist.

This time, he didn't hesitate. His hands ran up and down my sides, leaving blazing trails on heat in their wake.

I arched into him; instinctively… silently begging for more. He seemed to understand my unconscious plea. His hand cupped my breast; squeezing and fondling the sensitive mound till he reached its erect peak. His fingers tweaked my nipple and my breath caught sharply. Despite being engaged, this was the first time in my life that anyone had touched me this way and the exhilaration of it all bought a shocked cry to my lips. "Oh!"

He pulled back immediately causing me to groan in distress. "What? What…?" He questioned, panicked. "Did I do something wrong? Did I hurt you?"

It was oddly heartwarming to see the brash, confident Jacob Black so unsure of himself.

"No, Jake… no…" I managed in a breathy whisper. "You're doing fine. Your hands… feel so good…"

"Oh…" He responded. "In that case… can I…?" He hesitated. "Can I… kiss you?" He questioned shyly.

I was confused. Hadn't we been doing just that a while ago? Why would he now suddenly need my permission?

"Yes, of course…" I answered.

Instead of kissing me on the lips like I thought he would; he dove downwards; engulfing one of my nipples in between his plump lips. Electricity zinged through me almost making me leap out of my skin. "Jaaaake! God!" I whimpered holding his head to me with both of my hands.

His lips, his tongue, his teeth… oh… I never wanted him to stop!

While I was caught up in the feelings his mouth evoked, his hands were busy working on the loosening the knot of my sweatpants.

Before I knew it, his sneaky fingers had worked their way to the top of my panties. My heart thudded in my chest.

"Jake… wha…?" I began, only to be interrupted by his fingers. "Just feel, remember…?" He whispered, throwing my own words back in my face. "I won't go too far, I swear. I just want to make you feel good Bella…" He entreated.

How could I refuse him when he put it like that… in that tone of voice…?

His fleeting, barely there touch at the apex of my thighs bolted through my system. I instinctively clutched him to me…wanting…needing more.

"Holy fuck, Bella!" He swore. "You're wet…" He sounded incredulous, yet incredibly turned on. His fingers dipped into my opening once again causing an insane friction of the cotton of my panties on my sex.

"Holy…" It was my turn to swear; except, my brain had turned to mush a long time ago along with my grasp on the English language. His touch was driving me wild.

"I'm sorry… would you like me to stop…?" He panted raggedly, his fingers ceasing their movements.

"NO!" I yelled immediately, reacting purely on instinct. A tiny part of my brain was warning me that I should've used this moment to stop this madness but it was too late now. I was way beyond the point of no return.

Brazenly, motivated by nothing but greed, I took his hand and placed it right back over the place that craved his touch the most. His hand covered my mound, teasing me with the heat and the promise of ecstasy but his fingers didn't resume their earlier movements. For some unknown reason, he still hesitated.

I squirmed impatiently, tossing one of my legs over his hip to ensure maximum access. "Jake…" I implored breathily.

When he didn't oblige immediately, I opened my eyes to see what the problem was. I couldn't see his eyes but I could feel them. They were gazing at me in awestruck wonder… and inquiry…?

"What…?" I questioned.

"Uh… I was thinking we… uh… I might have better access if you took off your pants…" he trailed off bashfully.

"Oh…" I didn't know how to respond to that. On one hand I knew I'd go insane if I didn't feel more of his touch… on the other, was I prepared to take this even further than it'd already gone?

Before I knew it my hips had come up off the floor, giving him an unconscious go ahead. Turns out, my body had made the decision for me.

He scrambled around; pulling off my sweatpants and panties together. They too were tossed away in the darkness.

And then, I was naked with Jacob Black.

Holy Shit!

Okay, true, we were both still jammed in the sleeping bag and seeing that X-ray vision was not among his list of superpowers; there was no way that he could see me… but still… I was naked with Jacob Black… and he could feel every inch of me.

Holy freaking shit!

Thankfully, he didn't give me too much time to freak out. He dove greedily right back to the opening of my sex; his finger plunging suddenly into my wetness. "Ohhhh…" we both groaned simultaneously.

He paused once again. "Bells… I… I've never done this before." He blurted out. "You've gotta tell me what to do here… cause otherwise, I'm lost!" For the first time in our acquaintance, he sounded unsure of himself.

Greed overcame all of my natural inhibitions. Of its own accord, my hand dropped down to his, guiding his fingers deep into my wet passage and easing him into the rhythm that my body yearned for.

"Like this…? Here…?" He questioned eagerly, flicking his thumb over my clit. I almost came apart.

"Yes… yes… right there…" I panted encouragingly, arching to be closer to him.

Holy… this boy was freaking talented with his hands!

"Tell me if I go too far or too fast for your liking, okay?" He breathed, leaning down to capture my lips in a quick kiss. "I don't want to make you uncomfortable."

Too fast…? Uncomfortable…? God, the boy was completely clueless. Granted, so was I; but even 'I' knew that I was giving off some glaring 'come hither' signals here! I was going to have a talk with him about body language once this was over. Not now though… there were much more important things to be done.

"No… no… just keep going…" I blurted out pushing myself closer to him; giving him easier access.

His hips began moving unconsciously; thrusting his hardness against my leg slowly. The contact with the blatant proof of his desire for me caused even more moisture to flood from me.

"God, Bells… you're so hot!" He sounded giddy… like a kid in a candy shop. "I must be dreaming…"

"Oh God, I hope not!" I panted mindlessly. "Cuz, having to wake up now would totally suck!"

A low chuckle escaped his lips. "Tell me about it!" There was a pause in which the only sounds were the sounds of the wet, squelches his fingers made inside me, his heavy breathing and my own mindless moans.

Then, out of the blue, he found the perfect rhythm. His fingers thrust into my wet heat and withdrew slowly while his thumb ran in a circular motion on my clit. And just like that I came apart in his arms… moaning his name in ecstasy.

He continued to touch me softly; waiting patiently for me to come down from my high.

"That was…" I wheezed out a moment later. "…amazing!"

"No" He contradicted. "You were amazing!" He was still thrusting against me; all the while placing tiny, almost absent kisses all over my face.

As soon as I'd recovered, I decided that it was my turn to return the favor. Pushing myself onto my elbows so that I was looming over him, I pushed on his chest and urged him to lay on his back. "Bells… what…?" he began in confusion.

"Shhh" I urged. "My turn…"

"Bells… you don't have to…" He protested.

I silenced him with a kiss. "I want to…"

Before he could come up with any more objections, I cupped his erect length through his pants… squeezing his hardness, testing his length.

He swore long and loud; instinctively pushing himself into my hand.

Thrilling at the power I had over him; I urged him to lower his sweatpants so that I could touch him without barriers. He willingly obliged.

The moment the offending garment was out of the way, my hand went back to touching and fondling him. The first contact with his naked length was like coming in contact with a live wire. We were both electrified. "Fuck!" He swore wholeheartedly.

I silently echoed his sentiments.

His length was like inflamed steel… satiny smooth and hard to the touch. He pulsed in my hands and I was overcome with a nameless craving.

Suddenly, touching him was not enough. Apparently, it seemed like he had the same idea.

In unison, we both scrambled around to take off his sweatpants. The moment it was off, he flipped me over on my back. Then, with slow deliberation, he lowered his body till he was lying in the juncture of my thighs… his length brushing tantalizingly against my opening.

The feel of him… so close to my entrance… yet so far made me ache. I bucked instinctively against him.

"Bells" He panted against my lips. "Are you sure about this?" He questioned.

I met his eyes boldly. "Yes… please!" There was no place for shyness or modesty in this. There was no question of backing out. I would die if he stopped now… literally.

Thankfully, backing out was not in his scheme of things either.

We moved around awkwardly trying to find the perfect position… our arms and legs flailing around uselessly. Finally, after much adjustment, his length was lined up against my weeping entrance. "Look at me, Bella." He ordered in a strangled voice. "I want to see the look in your eyes as I enter you."

"But… it's so dark! I can't see you!" I protested.

"Don't worry, I can see you." He replied. "Ready…?" He gasped.

I nodded.

He slowly pushed forward till the tip of his length slid into my wet passage. "Ooooooohhhh…" We both groaned.

"Fuck Bells… this… God… you're so… fuck…" He trailed off mindlessly; unable to express himself through words.

He didn't have to though… I knew exactly what he was trying to say.

The feeling of him inside me… it was indescribable. It was foreign… and yet… so totally natural. It was almost as if he belonged… in me.

He withdrew slowly before thrusting back gently, penetrating me some more. Inch by slow torturous inch, he made his way to my barrier. Then, he stopped to place a gentle kiss on my lips. "This is going to hurt Bells." He said sorrowfully before giving me another fleeting kiss. "I'm so sorry!"

"It's okay…" I answered in a sudden rush of confidence. "I'll be fine… just do it!"

He placed his forehead against mine and continued kissing me softly before thrusting forcefully inside me. A flash of pain went through me; sudden and intense. I couldn't keep the wince off of my face. Despite my best efforts a solitary tear escaped my eye.

He held himself utterly still, allowing my body time to adjust to the sensation; all the while placing kisses all over my face. "Sorry… sorry…" he apologized profusely, his distress evident in the timbre of his voice.

"No… its fine." I assured him. "Just give me a couple of minutes to get used to it…"

"Take all the time you need honey. I'm not going anywhere…" He joked teasingly.

I would've laughed but I was pretty sure that it would hurt. So, I remained silent.

A few moments of agony later, the pain began to subside.

The pressure on the other hand…was still intense. I needed… I just needed...

I ran my hands up and down his back caressingly and squeezed his ass; letting him know without words that it was okay for him to move. As usual he was completely in tune with my feelings.

Slowly, tentatively, he began to thrust inside me. "Is this okay…?" His voice sounded ragged. "It doesn't hurt, does it?"

"No… It's perfect…" I hissed.

It was perfect… better than perfect. The feeling of having him inside of me was… nothing short of miraculous. We fit together like we were two pieces of a puzzle… made for each other. I never realized how empty I'd been before… till he filled me up.

My entire being was concentrated on his next thrust… everything else was immaterial.

His head dropped down into the crook of my neck… his teeth grazing my skin there, his lips clamping around a chunk of skin and sucking rhythmically. I knew he would leave a mark there. A part of me thrilled at the knowledge that he was staking a claim on me in his own way. The other part of me told me that I was crazy but I couldn't really bring myself to care. My fingers dove through his hair, clutching him closer, urging him on.

He kept up his steady rhythm; building us slowly towards an inevitable explosion.

But… it wasn't enough. I needed… something! His movements felt incredible but they were too slow… too measured. I needed more…

In a movement guided purely by instinct, I undulated my hips against his, increasing the friction between our bodies. "Faster Jake!" I urged running my hands through his sweat dampened hair while bucking my hips towards him wantonly. "Harder…"

"Oh God… Bells, baby… I'm not going to last much longer…" He groaned breathlessly. "You feel too good… unghhh…"He grunted loudly; speeding up his thrusts till we were both straining against each other... reaching for that peak together.

"It doesn't matter…" I was beyond caring at this stage. "Just… please… I needunghJake" I pleaded wordlessly; not sure what exactly it was that I was so desperate for.

He knew though. He always knew.

His hand reached between our bodies to tease my sensitive clitoris; causing me to gasp and shudder and tumble right over the edge; into oblivion. I stifled my cries of ecstasy against his shoulder; biting down hard.

That action, combined with the feel of my inner walls contracting around his shaft, caused his thrusts to speed up. His movements became jerky, less coordinated. Then with a muffled groan he came deep inside me; filling me up with his essence.

Even in his mindlessness, he had the presence of mind to turn us both on our sides so that he wouldn't crush me with his weight.

And there we both lay… our bodies still joined… boneless… panting… completely out of breath…

There was no need for words. The silence surrounding us was filled with emotions. For the space of that time, everything was precisely as it should be in my world.

After we'd both regained our bearings, he turned his head to face me. "God, I love you Bella. I love you so much." He placed loud, smacking kisses on my lips.

I stiffened… the reality of my situation beginning to seep in slowly. I struggled against it, not ready to let go of the little bubble we'd created for ourselves just yet.

Jake, unfortunately was oblivious to the close call we'd had there and went on before I could interrupt him. "And I always knew that you loved me too. I knew it! But you have no idea how glad I am that you finally got your head out of the sand and acknowledged it too. I can't wait for you to tell Edward."

His words managed to penetrate the euphoric haze that had taken over my mind, shattering the bubble permanently.

Ohmigosh, Edward! What had I done? I'd had sex with someone other than my fiancé. True, it had been a mind blowing experience, but that didn't make it alright. Nothing did. The truth of the matter was, I had feelings for my best friend and I had chosen to act on them despite being engaged to someone else. And that, made me a lying, cheating whore!

What had I accomplished by this little exercise tonight except to gain the knowledge that Jake had been right all along? He wasn't just my friend… he was so much more than that. I was in love with him too. And yet… was it enough to want to let Edward go and be with him fully…? Somehow I didn't think so.

I turned my face away from Jake as shame and misery flooded through me. "Edward will be back soon." I muttered in a low voice. "Maybe, it would be better if you left."

Jake jerked back as if I'd slapped him in the face. "What…?"

Tears sprang my eyes as I contemplated what I was about to do. I was going to break Jacob… again. And this time, it would be worse…so much worse because; for the space of some time there, I'd given him hope. I'd allowed him to dream… And I was nothing short of a horrendous person for doing so.

But even that realization wouldn't stop me. I steeled myself for the inevitable recriminations. "You need to leave now, Jacob. My boyfriend will be coming back soon. And I don't want him finding out about this…ever! So, you need to get dressed and leave." I spoke ruthlessly.

I felt more than saw the utter hurt and betrayal in his eyes. His body stiffened beside mine. The hands that'd been caressing my body just a few moments ago… stopped.

"You're still going back to him aren't you? Whatever this was, it wasn't enough, was it?" He asked in a tiny, defeated voice. I could hear the hopelessness in his voice and it almost broke me. But, in some way, I welcomed the pain. After all, I deserved every last bit of it for doing this to Jake.

"I'm sorry Jake… I'm so sorry!" I exclaimed in a strangled whisper. It was all I could say and yet, it was nowhere near enough.

"You're sorry…?" Jake questioned incredulously. "That's rich! So, tell me, Bells. What're you sorry for? Are you sorry for not loving me enough? Or are you sorry for cheating on your boyfriend with me? Or are you sorry for breaking my heart yet one more time? Or are you sorry for using me?" His words hit me right in my heart. Before I could stop it, a single tear escaped my eyes and ran down my cheeks.

"For all of those things…" I replied in a tiny voice.

His anger seemed to deflate right before my eyes leaving behind an aching emptiness which was even worse. I much preferred his anger. At least it was a healthy emotion… one that I deserved every last bit of. This… this emptiness… made me feel like I'd gouged his heart out and stomped on it.

"Why Bella…?" He asked, his voice sounding like a lost little boy's. "Just tell me why I'm never enough for you…"

"Oh Jacob, don't say that…" I sniffled. "I just… I love him. He's my life!"

He closed his eyes in pain. "Of course he is." He murmured tonelessly. "How could I forget?"

His pain had always been my pain…and right now, it was killing me how much this was hurting him.

With quick, jerky movements, he slid away from the sleeping bag and me; picked up his discarded sweats and turned his back to me while putting them on.

As usual, he was completely unapologetic about his nakedness, while, I on the other hand felt supremely self conscious…especially after everything that had gone on between us just a little while ago. Even in the state I was in, I couldn't deny the sheer sculpted beauty of his body and I busied myself with finding and donning my own clothes in an effort to avoid gawking at him like a lovesick fool.

"I have to go." He spoke stiffly as he kneeled down and opened the zipper of the tent. "I have to talk to Sam. Your bloodsucker should be back soon and Seth is around so you should be safe enough."

Pain ripped through me as I considered the fact that this might be the last time I saw him. He was going into battle…against a sadistic vampire and her army of vicious newborns. There was a possibility that he might never come back from it.

The pain and awkwardness of the last few minutes was forgotten as desperation clogged my heart. I couldn't bear the thought of never seeing him… never speaking to him again. What would the world be like without the sun in it..? Bleak, lost, empty… dead. "Jake! Don't go… please!" I spoke without even realizing I'd done so. "Stay with me!"

"Why Bella…? Why should I stay with you? You've made it abundantly clear who your choice is. So, why should you care what happens to me?" He questioned harshly. "Your bloodsucker will be safe. Isn't that what matter the most?

"No Jake, no! It doesn't work that way. I might love Edward, but I love you too. You're family! I don't want you getting hurt."

"Family, huh? Do you fuck all your family members, Bella…?" He taunted bitterly.

I felt like he'd just punched me in the stomach. Jake had never spoken to me like that before...never!

I bowed my head shamefully. I didn't have any words to answer him… at least none that would be true enough to satisfy him.

"You want to know what I think, Bella?" He inquired out of the blue. "I think… not only are you a coward but you're a liar as well! You're lying when you say you don't love me. You do. But you're so goddamn convinced that you can't live without the bloodsucker that you can't see anything else. You just can't acknowledge the fact that you love someone else too. And I'm not saying that you're lying just to me… no… you're lying to yourself as well."

I drew in a shocked breath as I tried to assimilate his words. Oh God, was he right…?

"Think about it Bella… At least give me that much, goddammit! Promise me you'll think about it…?"

All I could do was nod dumbly in response.

All the fight seemed to leave his body then. "Good." He breathed. "That's good." He stepped closer and pressed a soft kiss on my forehead. I threw my arms around him automatically, pulling him into one of our signature hugs.

He nuzzled closer to me and sighed against my forehead. "Love you, honey."

"Love you too, Jake." I replied back half heartedly.

He exhaled loudly as if to soak my word in. "Now if only you could hurry up and figure out just how much you mean those words." He murmured in my ear. I had no reply to that.

He pulled back and gave me a half smile. "I really have to go now, Bells. The guys are waiting."

My hands tightened on his arms involuntarily. My mouth opened in a silent plea. But before I could utter a word, he pulled away from me. "I can't stay Bella. You don't know how much I wish I could. But my brothers need me. I can't abandon them."

I closed my eyes; accepting the fact that there was nothing I could say or do to change his mind. "Just please, be careful out there!" I urged him urgently. "And come back to me!"

He smiled brilliantly in response. "Always honey!"

And then, before I could even blink, he was gone.

Exhausted beyond belief from the emotional roller coaster I'd just been through I went back in the tent and fell face first into the sleeping bag.

It hit me then, the woodsy, musky scent screamed Jake.

Jake… Jake… Jake… Suddenly, he was all I could think about. Him and everything we'd done to each other right here in this very tent… His hands running down my body, his mouth on my skin, his hardness thrusting inside my wet warmth…

There was no sound to warn me. Out of nowhere, Edward's cold hand stroked against my knotted hair. I shuddered guiltily at his touch.

I couldn't bear to face him. Not after what I'd done to him. I just closed my eyes and waited for my world to come tumbling down around my ears.

I didn't have to wait long.

"Are you hurt, Bella?" He questioned confusedly.

I shook my head wordlessly.

"Then… why do I smell blood…?" He muttered almost to himself. He seemed to be trying to figure something out. It wouldn't be long now…

"What… what has that mutt done…?" Edward questioned slowly. There it was. I could make out the mixture of hatred and disgust in his voice. "Bella…? Answer me! What have you and the dog done?" He snapped, making me cringe in fear. I'd never heard Edward this upset before.

I couldn't say anything but then, I didn't have to. My silence spoke volumes. "Oh no… no… NO! Tell me you didn't do what I think you just did with that… that disgusting mongrel! Tell me you didn't allow him to touch you with his grimy paws, Bella!" He started pacing around like an enraged animal. Fear – an emotion I'd never before associated with Edward – rose in the back of my throat; smothering me, choking me. "Tell me I'm wrong! Tell me that my infallible sense of smell is failing me right now and I don't smell his filthy essence all over you!"

"I… I c..can't…" I admitted in a small voice.

Rage, pure and unadulterated flashed across his features. "That's it, the mutt dies!" He growled ferociously.

I panicked. The thought of him hurting Jake… it was just unbearable. I couldn't let him do that to Jake… I just couldn't. "Edward no… please… this isn't his fault!" I blurted out quickly before things got completely out of control. "I was a willing participant. I asked him to kiss me. I let things get so out of control. I didn't stop him when I should have. Punish me if you have to, but don't hurt him, please!"

His gaze was fixed somewhere around my neck. His expression was tormented…and volatile. "He marked you? You actually allowed that… that animal to mark you?" He roared.

"Wha…?" What the hell was he talking about? I raised my fingers tentatively to the area that he seemed to be fixated on and came in contact with a tender spot between my neck and my shoulder. My mind flashed back to Jake sucking and biting me there. "Oh!" I flushed guiltily, trying to imagine the earth opening and swallowing me up whole.

"Why, Bella…?" The question came out in a tortured whisper as if it'd been torn out of him.

Steeling myself for the worst I finally forced myself to look him in the eye. Instead of the revulsion I expected; there was nothing but sorrow in his eyes. It only made my infidelity seem that much worse. "I don't know, Edward… I don't have any excuses for you. There's nothing I can say that'll make this all better. I'm a horrible person…" My guilt finally got the better of me and a sob escaped my lips.

I could see him struggling for calm. He took a couple of deep, unnecessary breaths and then, put his arms slowly, tentatively around me. "Are you alright?" He asked.

"No. I want to die."

He gave me a bittersweet smile. "I would never allow that to happen, you know that."

"I'm sorry, Edward. I'm so sorry!"

As I watched him; his face underwent a drastic change… almost as if – in his mind – he'd come to some sort of a compromise. "No, I think I understand now. You've wanted this for the longest time now. And, clearly I would never have been able to fulfill your needs."

"Bu…" I interrupted in protest.

He just gave me 'the' look… his patented look of impatience mixed with annoyance that he seemed to reserve especially for me. "I know I said I'd try Bella, but even you can see how foolish the whole idea was. For you to even ask such a thing of me, Bella… it was utter madness! In fact, I'm actually rather glad that Jacob could help you out with…" He gave me a pained smile "…your human needs. Now, finally we can move beyond that nonsense and look forward to the wedding and your change."

He had just admitted that he'd essentially tricked me into agreeing to marry him… he'd never had any intention of fulfilling his side of our bargain. Even after taking into account my appalling behavior of the night; that might actually be the bigger betrayal of the two.

I stared at him… not sure what my reaction should be. On one hand, he was willing to overlook my indiscretion and I guess I should be happy about that. But then, on the other hand, the fact that he considered my one wish… the one condition I'd asked of him before I agreed to marry him; foolishness, made me angrier than I'd ever been in my life.

Before I could make up my mind, the silence outside the tent was ripped apart by an earsplitting howl of pain. It was horrendous. It was excruciating. It felt like my heart was being broken into millions of tiny little splinters. It echoed off every corner of my mind and settled like a dead weight in the pit of my stomach. It was a cry that spoke of torment and unbearable loss and I didn't need Edward or his ability to read mind's to translate the emotion behind it. I recognized it instantly for what it was. It was the sound of Jacob Black's last hope being shattered.

I stared at Edward in dawning horror. "Jacob was listening." I stated hollowly.


"You knew."

"Yes." He stated matter-of-factly.

"Oh Edward…what have you done?" I questioned in a horrified whisper.

"I'd warned him that I wouldn't fight fair." Edward answered ruthlessly. "And he needed to know where he stood. Especially after what happened in this tent this morning."

I couldn't believe my ears. "Not like this!" I screamed in protest. "He didn't deserve this. 'I' should've told him." I finished on a sob. "Don't you see Edward…? He's hurting. He's lost all hope! It wasn't supposed to be like this! Why did you have to do this, Edward, why…?" My voice was getting louder each second, more hysterical.

"Calm down, Bella! Jacob is a big boy who can handle himself." Edward declared dismissively. "Besides, he's the one who violated my fiancée. He should be the one apologizing to me. I don't think I need to be sensitive about his feelings. He should just count himself lucky that I'm not tearing him apart limb to limb!" He spoke in a scathing tone of voice.

I felt numb all over. I was having a hard time reconciling Edward's callousness… his utter lack of regard for Jake's feelings to the person I'd come to know and love so much. My head dropped into my hands.

He tried to soothe me by wrapping his arms around me. I resisted his efforts. "I need to go find him!" I resolved, jumping into action. I put on my shoes and shoved my arms through Jacob's parka.

"What…? Don't be ridiculous Bella!" Edward scoffed. "He's long gone. You can't go after him now… not in this weather… not when it's almost time for the battle. I forbid it!" He ordered.

"Besides, nothing you say to him will change anything, will it? Yes, he's hurting now, but the quicker he accepts it, the better it is for everyone concerned." He preached sanctimoniously.

I felt like I was seeing Edward for the first time today. Had he always been this manipulative, this controlling…? This coldblooded…? He'd always warned me that he was a monster, but somehow, today was the only time when I truly seemed to see him as one. How could he be so uncaring about the feelings of another human being…? He knew how much Jake meant to me. He must've known that hurting him would end up hurting me too. Yet, it seemed that, as long as he got what he wanted, he didn't care about our feelings at all.

But, now wasn't the time to dwell too much on that line of thought. Right now, finding and talking to Jake was the priority.

"I don't care!" I yelled. "I can't just sit here and do nothing while he's hurting, Edward. I can't!" I scrambled towards the opening of the tent and stumbled into the fresh morning air.

"Jake!" I called out to him through my tears. "Jake, come back. This isn't what it seems like. Come on… come back and we'll talk about this. Please, Jake!" I begged.

No response.

Not that I'd expected any.

I set out in a determined pace towards the tree line through which he'd disappeared. Edward followed right behind me, trying to reason with me.

"Bella, come on. This isn't the time. I'll allow you to talk to him later if you want to but right now you need to come back with me…" I refused to pay him any attention.

Suddenly, I felt an imperceptible shift in the air behind me. I don't know how to describe the feeling… but I knew immediately that he was back.

I stopped mid-stride and in my haste to turn around, stumbled. Before I could fall flat on my face, I was being caught in a pair of warm hands.


It was like my whole body sang out for him. For the briefest of instances, I experienced a feeling of intense bliss. Then, Edward's marble like hands snatched me out of Jake's arms and into his own. "Don't touch her!" He snarled viciously.

And for the first time, Jake conceded without protest. It felt like he had no more fight left in him. I felt my heart sink.

"What do you want, Bella?" Jake questioned me emotionlessly.

"Edward, can I please talk to Jake alone?" I questioned without sparing him a glance.

"You're joking, right?" Edward snapped. "I trust you and leave you two alone for a couple of hours and look at what happens. What makes you think I'm enough of an idiot to repeat the same mistake twice?" The anger in his voice was unmistakable and definitely well deserved.

I pinched the bridge of my nose. "Edward, please! I just need to talk to him. We're out in the open and moments away from the fight. It's not like anything can happen right now. Please, I just need to talk to him without an audience."

Even I could hear the sound of Edward's teeth grinding against each other. But thankfully, he didn't make any further protest. "Five minutes, mutt. Then I want you gone!" He threatened before whizzing away in the direction of the clearing.

Sagging in relief, I turned all of my attention towards Jake. And as I looked into his dull, deadened eyes, I felt like crying all over again at the pain I was causing him.

"Well, you heard the bloodsucker. We're all in a hurry here. So, just say whatever it is that you have to say and get it over with." He made no effort to mask the bitterness in his voice.

"I… I… I wanted to… I…" I trailed off completely at a loss. The silence seemed to stretch forever – uncomfortable, awkward – a foreign thing between Jake and me.

"Well, this has certainly been enlightening." Jake commented sarcastically. "I'm glad we did this, aren't you? But I'm afraid I have to leave now."

He turned around to walk off and the only thing I could do was whimper in protest. For whatever reason, it seemed to work. He whipped around and stalked over to where I was standing. "Just tell me why, Bella!" He yelled, getting right in my face. "Why the leech…? Why not me? What does he have that I don't?

"I… I… I don't know. I… love him. I know I've said that before, but there's nothing else I can say anyway. I love him. He's everything."

He caught my hold of my arms and shook me slightly in frustration. "But you love me too dammit! You can't deny that any longer. Not after what happened between us today. Not after the way your body reacted to mine! I wasn't the only person in that tent… you were right there with me. And I'll never forget the way that you clung to me, Bella, the way you begged me to make you mine. I know I wasn't the only one feeling the passion, the connection between us and you can't ever convince me otherwise. He might've been the only person in your heart once but he isn't anymore. I'm in there too, no matter how much you try to deny it."

I didn't have any response to that but I had a sneaking suspicion that he might be right.

I decided to try another tack. "Edward… loves me."

"You call that love…?" Jake interrupted me scornfully. "I call it obsession!"


"Your fiancé…?" The distaste in his voice when he said the word fiancé was glaringly obvious. "Is a controlling asshole! He dismantled the engine of your truck to prevent you from seeing me for fuck's sake! He bribed his sister with a Porsche to keep an eye on you! How much more proof do you need? He's not right for you! He's like a drug… and he keeps giving you enough to keep you addicted!"

"But he'll always love me." I went on; ignoring his interruption… wishing desperately that his words could be ignored just as easily.

"And what… I won't?" He snapped angrily.

"Well…you're still so young, Jake. You might not know what love really is."

"Oh, just gimme a break!" he yelled. "So, what, just because your leech has been around for more than a hundred years, he's more qualified to know what's in his heart? If that's true, what does it say about your feelings for him…? You're not that much older than me, Bella. So, I can make the same argument… that you don't know what love really is? That's a load of bullshit, Bella! Listen to me, and listen hard. It's you. It's always been you. It'll always be you! At least give me enough credit to know my own heart!"

I couldn't deny the powerful feelings his words invoked in me but… "But… what happens when you imprint?" I put my biggest fear into words.

"Not going to happen!" he growled. "Do you hear me, Bells…? It's not going to happen!"

I shook my head in disbelief. "You don't know that Jacob. You can't guarantee it!" My heart was hurting while I spoke the words. The thought of him belonging to someone else… it was killing me.

"I can! I can't imprint, Bella! I told you already. I only see you, Bells… only you; always you! For better or worse Bella, you're my destiny!" My heart somersaulted in my chest at his words. "Can't you see…? I'm so in love with you I can't see straight!"

He was weakening my resolve… breaking me down… inch by inch. "Bu… but…"

"No buts!" He spoke firmly. "You'll have to be dead for me to stop seeing you! Besides, what guarantee do you have that your leech will always love you?"

This was an easy answer. I didn't even have to think about it. "I'm his singer."

"Oh yeah…oops, I forgot that he's totally fixated on your blood right now. But… what happens after he changes you and there's no blood flowing through your veins anymore?" I looked at him in stupefaction. "Will you still be his singer then?" I hadn't ever thought of it that way.

"Eternity is a long time, Bells. What's to say he won't meet another 'singer', huh? Besides, didn't you say that Emmett had once met his singer too…? But he isn't with her, is he? He's with the blonde. And he's happy, disgustingly so! So, that's a lame argument, if you ask me. What's your next one…?"

I couldn't think of anything else. I was still reeling from his words.

"You know I'm right Bella. Come on! Just give me one honest chance. Is that too much to ask for? Pick me! Choose me, Bella! Love me… like I love you… without conditions, without hesitation. Give yourself to me fully… no holding back. Just give me that one chance to show you how right it can be with us. I can make you happy, I know I can."

I was tempted… so, so tempted. If I closed my eyes, I could almost imagine how amazing life with Jacob could be. I wouldn't have to give up my parents or my friends. There would be life, laughter and love. Most importantly, there would be children! And I didn't even have to wonder about Jacob's feelings for me. I already knew that he would love me and treasure me, always. The passion and the intensity of last night… could be mine for the rest of my life, if only I could make myself take that final step. But it wasn't that simple. The last lingering remnants of Edward's Bella were fighting tooth and nail for the upper hand.

"Just answer one question, Bella. Can you do that for me?"

"Yes…" I acknowledged weakly.

"Do you love me?" He asked in a tightly controlled voice.

I froze. The silence that followed was deafening. I knew that if I answered that question honestly as I wanted to, then there'd be no going back. I would be making a decision. And it would be for life. Was I willing to make that choice? Was I willing to leave Edward behind? Was I brave enough to end my dependency on him?

"I don't know…" I answered lamely; completely unable to meet his eyes.

"Bullshit!" Jake snarled harshly. "That's just bullshit! Look at me, Bella!" He shook me till my teeth rattled and I had no choice but to do as he said. "Stop lying to yourself! Just admit the damn truth already. It won't kill you. It might actually set you free!"

"I don't know, okay!" I shot back, my temper rising rapidly in response to his. "I don't have a fucking answer to your fucking question! Just leave me the fuck alone!" I screamed loudly, right on the verge of hysteria.

"I can't do that! I don't have the luxury of time anymore! You're getting married for heaven's sake! He's going to turn you. You're going to die, Bella!" He roared. "I can't afford to wait around anymore for you to come to your fucking senses. I'll drag you there… against your wishes… kicking and screaming if I have to! So, I'm gonna ask one more time. Do you love me?"

Why wouldn't he just let it go?

A sob of desperation escaped my chest. "I don't know… I don't know… I don't know…" I muttered repeatedly. "I DON'T know…"

Jake yanked me into his arms. Before I could even process what was happening his lips were meeting mine in a kiss filled with hunger and passion and desperation…

And try as I might, I couldn't help responding to him. I clutched him to me, unable and unwilling to push him away. Way before I was inclined to, he pulled back. I moaned in protest.

"Now, let's try again. Do. You. Love. Me. Bella?" He enunciated clearly. "Look me in the eye and tell me you don't love me and I'll leave you alone. Just look me right in the eye and tell me…"

My gaze snapped to his fully prepared to throw the words in his face and get this over with once and for all.

That was… until… I looked right into his emotion-filled eyes. Then, my whole mind went blank. I couldn't say the words… I just couldn't. Because they weren't true.

That's when I finally realized what my heart and my body had been trying to tell me all night long. Jacob had won. I did love him after all. And not just as a best friend or replacement sun. I loved him the way every girl loves the love of her life; her soul mate. Heart, body and soul.

I was head over heels in love with Jacob Black.

He'd been right about everything!

He was my destiny. Just like I was his. We were meant to be together… always.

I looked at him in shocked wonder and his whole face lit up with wild exhilaration.

"You can't, can you?" he asked in a tender whisper. "Because now you know…"

His lips blindly sought out mine. This kiss was so different than all the earlier ones we'd shared. There was no desperation in this one… no anger… no anxiety… no fear. Just love.

This time, I was the one who pulled away. His face, when I looked at him was raised up to the sky in supplication as if he was thanking God for giving him some priceless gift. Maybe he was. His eyes were scrunched up together… tiny, crystal clear tears leaking out of the corners…

I must've made a sound of distress, because he opened his eyes instantly. I was electrified by the joy in them. "Say it Bells…" He implored me softly. "I want to hear you say it."

"I love you Jacob." My voice echoed in the clearing. "I'm in love with you."

"Finally!" He whooped in joy, picking me up in his arms and twirling me around.

I laughed out loud at his antics.

"Do you know how long I've waited for you to realize that?" he questioned joyfully.

"Umm hmmm… I think I have some idea." I spoke teasingly.

"Again…" He pleaded beseechingly. "Please…"

"I love you!" I responded instantly, punctuating the words with a kiss of my own.

"I love you so much, Bells. I love you so very, very much!" He spoke joyfully.

I felt exhilarated… liberated…alive. I felt whole.

Yes, there were complications that would still have to be faced. There was the battle with Victoria's army to get through; an engagement to be broken; a wedding to be cancelled. And there would be plenty of recriminations to face… plenty of heartbreak to mend...plenty of guilt to get over.

But that would all come later. For now, I would just sit back and bask in the heat of my sun.

Because I'd finally made my choice. I'd chosen Jake… and life.

A/N: - You read, you review, you know the drill. Show Jake… and me some love. Come on, you know we both need it.