A/N: I had this ready a day early and just really wanted to get it posted. There is no intended harm to Mz. Meyer or her dreamed-up creatures, but there is a bit of violence in my story. Aleighy was with me through all of this, as always. Yellowglue encouraged me to split the story with no fear. Thank you, loves!

"I'm leaving here Jake. Can you hear me? Jacob! Listen! I'm not coming home this summer because I'm moving to Forks next year!"

My heart rushed to warn my brain it was missing something vital.

"I'm coming the weekend of Halloween though, for a short visit, okay? Can we work out some costumes or something? Then I'll be back a couple of weeks before school starts next year."

I was reanimated with the sound of her voice. Her words sunk in and all the dust I'd become found its brethren particles and stuck me back together.

She was going to be mine all the time.

Halloween was two and a half months away.

~~~~~ OOOO

She arrived the eve of All Hallows' Eve.

Down-hearted over her Mom's recent marriage to Phil-the-baseball-player, I knew exactly what she needed to be cheered up.

I took her to the Halloween store to research our costumes. She was determined for us to match.

It was her idea to be skeletons, but, to my delight, she declined the overgrown bone onesies, the Scream masks, and my mention of Skeletor.

She stopped at the slick grease paints that overflowed off the store shelves. Her mind was turning, grasping at an idea she could only imagine.

We didn't find anything else particularly inspirational, but we bought black, grey, and white paints. Bella insisted on a small tub of blood red. We headed back to Bella's to brainstorm.

Having spent my time without her ogling various pictures of bones and skeletal art, I was as casual as I could be when I typed "Calaveras" into her search engine.

"Hey, Bellabeans, what about this?" I said, pointing to the screen.

The images on the screen made her gasp. She touched them as if they were cherished cherubs.

Just for fun, I looked up the definition of the word for her. She didn't need to know I'd read it a thousand times before, picturing her turned inside out for me.

She read the words silently then repeated them to my quivering heart. She was my sugar skull, my Catrina, Lady of the Dead.

"Oh Jake! We could do that, couldn't we? We don't have a lot of time to practice, but it's still mostly just paint. I…can't believe I never knew about this before now" Her voice trailed off dreamily.

The Day of the Dead was my favorite holiday, even more than Halloween. I'd filled my Bella with it's grandiose myth and set her free to die in front of me as I painted on death.

~~~~~~ OOOO

The next evening, we agreed to paint our own faces and help each other with the rest.

When I emerged from the bathroom a few minutes later, Bella laughed, reaching up to touch my face before she realized what she was doing. The smear near my ear was her addition to my Jack Skellington-ish face.

"As long as you don't paint me into a pin-striped suit, I think I can retain a little dignity." I laughed.

"No worries." She said. "I've already pictured how this will look when I'm done. You'll be an Aboriginal Nightmare Before Christmas with a sombrero on top."

She winked at me as the cold black paint touched my chest. Though I'd used the delicate brushes in the kits we bought to color in my face, when I looked down at my chest, Bella was using her fingers.

I touched her hair gently and she chewed at her pout.

"What's wrong with the brushes?" I asked.

"I…just thought it was look more rugged this way. Less realism and more spirit. It felt right? I don't know…" She shook her head at herself and kept working.

She painted me dark, like a starless sky, then forced the pale paint onto her canvas just shy of aggressively.

Down my chest and across my shoulders, up each arm and in my very center, she put my frame on the outside. My eyes were the glass and her face, set in concentration, was the picture. She filled me.

I watched, still like a statue upon her instructions, as she made up her own face.

She swept her hair into a tight bundle of waves on top of her head and covered her entire face in white.

Using the smallest brush, she carefully painted vertical lines over and through her lips, sealing them with voodoo's thread. A dark grey triangle appeared on her nose.

I was never certain what the red was for until she started on her eyes. She ringed them in clownish orange-red. The gold in her eyes jumped from the mirror and I was enraptured. Soft, rounded flowers took up residence around the red, creating child-like carnations on her ghostly face.

Between her brows she drew a fragile spider's web with complicated twirls reaching toward her hair line.

Savage grey shadows settled along her cheekbones, marking her as one of the dead.

I had never been more caught in her spell.

And so when she asked me to paint her body I honored the work she had already done, drawing her bones as close as I could to their actual counterparts.

Down her neck I painted vertebrae, front and back, catching the baby hair that fell from her topknot and pressing it back into its nest.

Next came her shoulders, scapula and blades, sharp under her skin like bony wings.

Turning her, my brush detailed her collarbones, lifting the straps of her camisole to paint underneath them.

I stopped at her sternum, saliva pooling in my mouth, any lower and I would come undone, and we would both turn grey.

I finished her spine, each knob glimmering under the lights, the heavy paint almost melting against the heat of her skin. I blew on it to harden my art.

I skipped her arms and went straight for her hands. They had always been my most vocal supporters and they deserved a fitting makeover. I painted each joint on each digit, outlining them in black.

"You're all done Catrina Bella." I whispered, pressing a light kiss into her left palm.

She skipped toward Charlie's room, spinning her broomstick skirt into small circles.

"Charlie keeps that giant sombrero in the top of his closet. You'll have to get it down for me." She said.

"I will." I had to smile, beam, gush.

She was so stunning.

"Go look in the mirror Bellabeans, I think we did an excellent job of turning you into a Calavera."

Her giant, ghoulish smile faded when her eyes met the creation we'd formed. She started to cry, one tear sliding down her sugar-skull face, until she turned and saw me in the giant teal hat.

"We just need some chips and salsa and we'd be set for the night." She sniffed under her

laughter.

~~~~~~ OOOO

We strolled through her neighborhood first. We were, very clearly, too old to trick or treat, but we went from house to house, visiting some of Bella's neighbors. Most had known her since she was very small and enjoyed her company. We even scored a small bag of candy along the way.

The real fun of the evening though, began when we drove back to the Rez to pass out candy for the little kids there.

It had always been the highlight of Halloween night for me, watching the mini Spidermen and werewolves parade around in their costumes. The teeny fairies and princesses were even more fun; being a mythological creature was very serious business for them.

Bella was great with the kids. They all wanted so much to touch her face. I watched her redirect their little hands into the candy bucket over and over. I was looking forward to doing just what they desired at the end of the night.

With her bones on the outside I could rub them away with just a brush of my finger. I greedily longed to crush her to me instead.

We skeleton danced down to the water when all the kids went home. Bella jangled her arms around, imitating one of those old-school Disney cartoons. The moon shown fairly clear above us, an unsteady guide down to the beach.

With the visual encouragement of Bella both popping her fingers and simultaneously smudging the painted bones on her hands, I decided a Jack the Pumpkin King impression was needed. I refused to sing anything from the movie, much to Bella's disappointment, so I recited an appropriately foreboding rhyme for the evening in his voice:

"Boys and girls come out to play!

The moon doth shine as bright as day.

Come with a hoop, come with a call.

Come with good will, or none at all."

Bella belly-laughed her way down to the water and gathered her skirt around her thighs to wade in. I walked to her slowly, heady with the vision of her painted on mask alight against the waves.

She scooped water into her palms and rubbed it into the back of her hands, erasing the images I'd created there. I met her in the water and took those hands from her, checking them over for residual memories of our day together.

Capturing more water, she pressed it into my chest and down my arms. A slip-and-slide of black and grey swam down my appendages and into the sea.

When my front was clean enough, she slowly lowered herself into the water, holding onto the triangle nose still resting on her face.

When she came up she was dripping bones.

I dove under as well. I couldn't see her, but our knees bumped under the surface, feet tangling as we stood to take a breath.

There was still a hint of red around her eyes. Very gently, with the pads of my thumbs, I dabbed at her skin with the salty balm the beach gave freely, wiping away the last of her artwork.

She stretched her hands up and clasped them around my neck, my long hair weaving around those gorgeous joints. I picked her up, her hips to my stomach, and held her as long as she'd let me.

She was leaving again tomorrow and this time was the last. When I finally set her back into the ocean and turned to walk to shore, she scrambled onto my back.

"Carry me home, please, Jake. The sooner I leave the sooner I can come back."

~~~~~~ OOOO

Maybe it was because of our missed summer. Maybe it was because my ears were prickled toward the transformations that were coming closer. I'll never be sure exactly why, but when Bella made Charlie's her permanent home at last, I couldn't keep my hands off of her.

My obsession with listening in on her skeletal system's daily roll call and rumble workings bordered on dangerous. I had to hear that delicious fluid slipping between her joints or I just couldn't function properly.

The primal animal that seemed to live within me wanted out, and the only thing that calmed him was her. She'd been gone for so many milliseconds of seconds of minutes of hours of days that the wolf-shaped hole in my heart was filled almost to the brim with monstrous need.

The night of her homecoming we were having a proper feast. I was cooking the fanciest meal I was capable of in her honor.

I had become quite adept at grilling and barbecuing in Bella's lengthly absence. Charring the meat and ripping it from the bone was sometimes the only thing that kept me sane when she wasn't here this time.

Also, I couldn't stand another year of my life in which all Billy and I ate were frozen pizzas and fried fish, no matter how fresh the latter was.

Billy gave me the go ahead on my grocery list and I was set.

Tonight, we were cooking lamb chops.

~~~~~~~ OOOO

She all but attacked me when she walked in my door.

I mean, I was crazily excited to finally be close to her again, but she jumped up into my arms like I'd hung the moon just for her.

Squeezing me as tight as her pale arms could muster, she sniffled quietly into my neck.

"Bellabeans, are you alright?" I said, smoothing my hands down her back as she clung to me with her entire body.

"Yesh. Ahm mush better nowm." She mumbled against my skin, making me chuckle.

"Do you think you could let go now? I'd like to actually see your face before you smash it to smithereens up there."

She sighed deeply and loosened herself enough to stand in front of me with bright, tired eyes.

"Hi." She said.

"Hi." I grinned. "Welcome home."

"I never want to leave again." She replied.

"That can be arranged. I'm sure you'd fit in my closet." I teased.

"Then there'd be a real skeleton in there," I thought to myself, "to make friends with this secret-wolf that consumes me when she's away".

She beamed and stretched her elegant back up so that her happy-happy-joy-joy mouth could peck me on the cheek.

"So, are you hungry? Because I'm cooking for you tonight!" I rubbed my hands together, my sinister plot to combine Bella and bones in one evening forming in my mind.

"Not you too." She whimpered.

She looked like Caesar when Brutus pulled his knife.

"Oh, Bella. What is it? What happened?" I asked, wiping the tears that fell like fountains over her cheekbones.

"I just…don't feel needed anymore! My Mom has Phil now and she didn't even want me to cook, much less be there for her like I always have been. I thought if I moved back here I'd always have someone who needed me, at least in the cooking department."

She pulled her shirt collar up to her eyes and wiped them savaging against the material. Her frustration with herself was so apparent.

I knew she meant me. She wanted me to need her, but I was so afraid of overwhelming her with my own innate compulsion.

"Charlie will always need your help in the kitchen Bella. Even Billy is a better cook than he is! He had to call my Dad to ask how to heat up a hotdog!"

This made her crack a small smile. With a cleansing, shaky breath she popped all her knuckles in quick succession, easing the tension that had built between us.

It was a salve that we knew worked every time, and this one was no different.

"I've become quite the Grill Master while you were gone, you know." I bragged, flipping imaginary utensils in my hands and puffing out my chest.

Giggling, she pretended to grab my tools and stick them in her pockets. The last one went down the front of her shirt; funny girl.

"But the thing is, Bella Bella, that… I can only work the grill." I laughed at myself.

"You still don't know how to set the oven do you?" She asked.

"Nope. And that's where you come in handy, see? I need you to help me tonight or even dessert will be blackened!"

"You've got it, Black. Sous Chef Bella, at your service."

She quickly tucked the sleeves of her t-shirt up into her bra straps, exposing her humerus and funny bones for all to see.

Next she twisted the baggy hem around and around until I could glimpse her ribcage and peek at her hips, tying her loose top into a tight knot.

I just starred at her, confusedly slack-jawed.

"I thought, since I snotted all over it, it would be better to get it out of the way before we started cooking." She said bashfully.

"You could've just borrowed one of mine." I stated, looking straight into her eyes.

"Oh… well then…next time." Her face blushed and her sweet teeth snuck out to bite her bottom lip.

"Yes, next time you get snot all over your clothes I'll be glad to let you wear something of mine." I rolled my eyes and reached out my hands to her, pulling her effortlessly into the kitchen.

~~~~~~ OOOO

I showed her the rack of lamb I'd chosen for our meal. I'd also gotten the makings of a salad and a box of fancy mac 'n' cheese, which she promptly nagged me about.

"Jake I can make you macaroni and cheese, you know that!" She exclaimed.

"Yes, and yours would taste much better. But I didn't want you to have to do too much tonight. This is supposed to be for you." I gestured to all the groceries on the table.

"There are some peaches and vanilla ice cream for dessert too." I waggled my eyebrows at her, knowing I'd trapped her here for the evening with the mention of ice cream.

She got busy chopping parsley and garlic while I cut individual chops from the lamb's lengthly ribcage.

"Little Bo Peep, I found your sheep." Bella giggled as she watched me curiously.

"Have you ever done that before, Jake? It's really not that hard, Dude."

She confused my concentration for ineptness, when really I was just trying to control my urge to feel down her ribs to the tender chops that waited just beneath.

"I've got this, Bellabeans. But you can help me rub in the marinade when you're done chopping."

She mixed the herbs and garlic in a small bowl with olive oil and balsamic vinegar. Then she drizzled in mixture over the meat, before using those delectable digits to slather each piece with the liquid.

I slid my hands into the mix. Grasping for whichever boney morsel she didn't have her hands on. We massaged every inch of that lamb until we were greasy up to our elbows.

"I think that's probably enough." I said clearing my throat.

"What? Oh, yeah…" She was dazed and dripping vinaigrette all over the floor.

I guided her arms to the sink and we washed our hands together.

She picked up the tray of lamb, I grabbed my tongs, and with the base of my palm shadowing her tailbone, I led us outside to the grill.

I had already cooked down the charcoal before she arrived, checking it every few minutes to make sure it was retaining enough heat. I felt the invisible hot against the palm of my hand once more before laying all the little lambs on the hot crisscross of metal.

I loved that burning smell. It meant the flesh was melting away, getting me closer to what I truly craved.

Bella sat in a folding chair, knee caps touching, her chest pulled forward enough that I could just see the swell of each breast kissing atop her sternum. I salivated, trying not to pant too loudly.

This is exactly what we needed.

When the chops were ready to be covered and left to cook, we went back to the kitchen to heat up the cheesy pasta and fix a salad.

~~~~~~ OOOO

Bella's teeth, ripping innocent lamb from bone, will be an image that stirs my dreams for the rest of my dog-days life. It was exhilarating. My over-sensitive ears could hear the clank of teeth to bone and it sent shivers down my cerebellum.

"Jake, are you eating tonight?" She quirked an eyebrow at me.

"Oh, yeah. Sorry…" I dove into my food, not the least bit embarrassed that she'd caught me internally stalking her mouth as she ate.

When we finished I went out back to clean up while she sliced the peaches and "made them fancy" for our dessert.

I sped through my Grill Master duties, sneaking into the kitchen without her seeing me.

I watched from the doorway as she cut the peach flesh from its core, the sticky juice dripping down her arms, tiny rivulets falling off her elbows.

When the seed was free from its heavy fruit she popped it in her mouth, rolling it against her teeth, working her jaw, sucking the nectar, and pressing the hardness against her molars.

I thought, then, that it would be funny to surprise her. The things she was doing were making my head spin; showing me, without telling me, that she wanted my insides like I wanted hers.

So I huffed and puffed up my lungs, and it my deepest voice shouted:

"Fee Fi Fo Fum!

I smell the blood of an Englishman!

Be he alive or be he dead, I'll grind his bones to make my bread!"

Then I doubled over, laughing at the panic in her face that was so soon taken over by fussy fury.

"Very funny Jake." She gave me the eyebrow.

Flipping me the bird, I saw scarlet drops dribbling in tandem with the peach juice. She stalked off the find a band-aid, and I rescued the seed that had been in her mouth from the sink.

And put it in mine.

~~~~~~ OOOO

Bella was set to start school the following week. So after a couple of evenings of movies and reacquaintance with the beach, we stuck to calling each other at night.

I loved hearing her breathe through the phone line. I could feel, against my eardrum, how her ribs expanded with each inhale. The muffled sound of her fingers against the outside of her cell made my body jealous. I wanted those little fingers against my face.

"So tomorrow's the big day, Huh?" I asked.

"Yes. Ugh. I still don't know why I can't just go to school with you." She huffed.

"Well, Bella, you're a little pale to be attending a Rez school." I joked.

It didn't help.

"I don't want to be the new girl, Jake. I just wanted to fade into the background and get my homework assignments and go home." She complained.

"Do that, then. Do that, and then come back to me, okay?"

"Okay. Goodnight, Jacob…"

"Goodnight, Bells."

~~~~~~ OOOO

There was an accident.

There was a car wreck at Forks High School and Bella was involved.

I called Charlie until the his voicemail box was packed with messages from me.

I paced the floor, trying to reign in the beast boiling up in me. He roared and whirred and fought against my physical attempts to tame him.

"What did I miss?" He screamed. "Did she break for someone else? Where are my diamonds? WHERE IS SHE!"

"I Don't Know!" I yelled back to him, out loud.

The phone rang. Charlie said she was fine and home from the hospital. She was asking for me.

I was pushing Billy into the truck so fast he almost had wings. I had to get to her and make sure she was safe. I had to get to her and let her pain feed this monster she and I'd created before he ate me alive.

I ran through her front door and as soon as Charlie opened it and was leaping up the stairs to Bella's room. I could hear the murmur of our Fathers' voices, but I could care less about what they had to say.

She was laying face down on her bed.

"Bella?" I fought back the panic in my chest.

"Oh Jacob. Thank God. Please help me Jake. It hurts and I can't tell Charlie because he'll freak out and make me go back to the hospital."

She was sobbing quietly, trembling against the comforter.

"What hurt, Bells? Where? Tell me please." I begged her.

The wolf was sitting patiently just under my skin. Finally focused on her yearning for release, he was subdued. My skin felt like the only human part of my whole body.

"My back. My back isn't right. I think it just got knocked out of whack when Edward pulled me away from the van." She explained.

Who was Edward? Who the fuck was Edward? Why had he used so much forced on my Bella that she could hardly even move?

It didn't matter now. I just had to help her. The rest would resolve itself later. She was mine. She'd asked for me.

I climbed gingerly onto the bed with Bella, setting my large hands on her fragile spine.

Closing my eyes, I let the wolf guide me. His hot breath in my head led me to where she held her pain.

"Is it right, here?" I asked, barely touching the area below her left shoulder blade that the wolf showed me.

"Oh God. Yes. Please Jake, it hurts!"

I rose on all fours on the bed and hovered over her precious body. Moving my hands firming up her spine I massaged every bump with my thumbs until I reached her ache.

With splayed palms I pressed into her skin. I felt the slip and dip of the bone there.

"This is my body, broken for you…" The wolf beneath my flesh said.

"Harder, Jacob. Please!" She was fighting her tears.

I pushed down into the bending bone and finally it exploded. She blew out an enormous held breath and rolled over underneath me.

Raising her shaky arms, she pulled my torso down over her. My long hair caught her tears and I hushed her softly in her ear.

She was the only Goddess this thing growing in me bowed down to. This was our Eucharist; her body and blood for him.

~~~~~~ OOOO

This Edward guy was still elbowing his way into Bella's thoughts. He was making it more and more difficult to see my Bella.

We met, Bella and I, accidentally on purpose, at La Push.

Bella had been invited by a few new school friends and wrangled me into showing up to rescue her. They didn't know how many times she'd spoken with the ocean there, or how she and I had shaped our most intimate moments on the shoreline.

We set off walking after successfully convincing the new Bella-worshippers that we hadn't seen each other in a while and needed to catch up.

She had questions, inquiries I wasn't supposed to answer, that made the abomination inside me box my ears like the waves slapped the shore.

After her accident, she and I both realized that Edward Cullen was more than he suggested. He was cold all the time, had inhuman strength, was wildly intelligent, and disappeared on the sunniest days.

And, most recently, had declined Bella's invitation to our beach.

Just imagining that pale son of a bitch walking on our water made me growl deep in my chest.

I covered it up as a cough.

"Listen, Bella. I'm really not supposed to talk about this stuff with the "white man's daughter" you know what I mean? Billy would run over my feet with his chair if he knew we were having this discussion. The Elders take our legends very seriously."

"I know, Jacob, but what does that have to do with Edward and whatever he is?" She asked.

I sighed, already knowing I would give her what she wanted.

"There was a treaty made between my ancestors and a people they describe as 'The Cold Ones' a long time ago. They encroached on our land, and when my great-grandfather found them they were immediate enemies. They were blood suckers, Bella. But this group was different; said they only ate animals. They agreed that as long as they stayed off our land, then we wouldn't attack them."

"How would a tribe of Native Americans defend themselves against…whatever they were?"

"We became wolves, Bella."

She was quiet, the wind whipping around her head, her hair dancing on her clavicles.

She took my hand and pulled me into a hug. I pressed against her, letting out her every anxiety and repressed stress through my hands. She sang her drum-beat song with her beautiful bones, and I tried to keep her as mine a while longer.

I realized something as she walked back to her new friends. Edward was the opposite of me in all ways, and yet we both wanted the same thing. Did Bella create the monster in him, or just awaken it, as she had mine?

It was her blood that called to him, but what I wanted was the marrow, her sweet sugar skull.

Maybe I was only dog after all.

~~~~~~ OOOO

Then, after all our years together, this monster stole her from me.

I knew her body couldn't deny our connection when we were present together, but it was as if she'd become a walking duet.

Her bones, so deeply loved and cherished, thumped out a low, driving drum beat. While inside her veins, a cool, trickling, round of melody played.

She called me one night, tense and nervous.

She said they were a couple, and that she'd never felt this intensely for anyone. She might even love the fucker.

But when she came over the next day after Billy and Charlie left to fish, she still wanted me to hold her, bend her, spring all her coiled aches.

She needed this as much as I did. He repressed her, until she was tight and loaded, ready to explode.

And she did.

When she'd been with him I scarcely had to touch her and she would crackle and creak under my hands.

She unknowingly pampered the animal inside me every time we played this game that we've perfected.

I knew then, that should she ever choose him completely, I would whither and die. What would be left of me was yet to be determined.

~~~~~~ OOOO

I lost patience with my lack of Bella infusions. The wolf was snapping and clawing my insides to shreds without her near to placate him.

So I skipped school one day and rode my bike to Forks High School. I knew she would be happy to see me, even if she was pissed that I wasn't in school.

She'd been so busy with her surrogate Addam's Family that I ached with longing for her pops and grinds; her inherent ability to stabilize me.

I timed my arrival during lunch so I could visit without being detected by the administration as easily.

She was standing, gazing up at His Majesty in the shade of a tree. She hadn't touched her lunch and I was furious. He had deemed her worthy of his flattened-affect affection, but couldn't be bothered to make sure she ate.

What did it matter to him? He just wanted to eat her; eventually.

But she was mine.

As I strolled closer to them I felt her body pull her to me. She stumbled my direction, her arms clambering around me desperately, even as her face struggled to find Edward.

I saw the way Edward treated her, as if being so fragile he could break her was a bad thing. She was crushable in the best way, and I reminded her each time she was in my arms.

I squared my shoulders, lifted her off the ground, and squeezed her until she couldn't breath, because when I let her go she knew she was alive.

Her marrow moaned it's sweet song that we'd cultivated for decades and the wolf whimpered his submission.

Edward glared at me with his fucked-up eyes and I snarled my lip.

Bella wrapped herself around my arm and toted me toward her ice-pop partner.

"Edward! This is my Jacob! I'm so happy you finally get to meet him."

She bounced over to him and clasped his hand, dragging him toward me.

He checked the sun, assuring he had enough shade to make the move then walked with Bella to where I stood.

I stepped back into the full sunlight intentionally. He needed to know that I knew what he was, and that I would test his strength, if not today then before he could take Bella from me completely.

"Jacob, it's nice to meet you." He stuck out his hand and the very tips of his fingers sparkled in the bright light.

I took his hand, and without Bella even sensing it, he pulled my whole body forward two inches so that our hands were covered in natural darkness.

I growled at him and snatched my hand back. He smirked and my skin rippled as I battled the monster in me for dominance of my mind.

I won.

"Likewise." I said. Yeah right.

I beckoned Bella with my eyes and warm hands and she came to me again willingly. I held her close and sniffed her neck, so close to her most life-sustaining marrow.

"Do you want to get together soon for a movie night?" I asked her quietly.

I knew he could hear me. That was the point.

"Yes. I do, Jake. Just give me a little more time, okay? I want this to work with both of you." She said.

This time, it was me who whimpered. I let her go and walked back to my bike, peeling out of the parking lot and finally alerting the people in charge that there was a stranger in their midst.

Maybe she didn't know me at all.

~~~~~~ OOO

She never called. Without ever contacting me, she disappeared. She was just…gone.

Charlie said she went back to live with her mom in Phoenix but I knew in my gut that was horse shit.

Cullen did this. He took her somewhere.

My own bones began to crack and snap as I fell into my anger. Standing in front of the mirror in my bedroom I watched my whole body lengthen by almost half a foot.

Monsters were real, and I was one of them. I would take her back, even if I had to go to Arizona to get her.

I imagined my fiery-hot fists strangling his puny neck, his icy innards melting down my arms.

I rolled my neck, sinking down into the all-encompassing rage, letting the wolf that could help me find my Bella rattle his cage bars freely.

He had to stay put, under my outer-layer, but I set him loose to squirm and scratch out the path I needed to follow.

Dragging my convulsing body to the phone I called Charlie once more to see if he would give me Renee's phone number. If I spoke to Bella, heard her voice, I could make it through this.

He refused. He told me to stop harassing him about his daughter or he would make sure I never spoke to her again, here or there.

I hung up and ran outside.

I ran until my legs should've been raw and lifeless, but it just served to settle the beast into a manageable affliction.

Walking to the beach, I stopped at the water's edge and scooped water up to my face, trying to cool the raging heat breaking through my skin.

She was gone, and it was all wrong. I didn't know how to find her without Billy sending a search party after me or forbidding me from seeing her again.

Falling to my hands and knees, I put my forehead against the cool sand. The water lapped at my long hair, swirling it in the salty water of my periphery.

I choked out a painful howl, covering my own mouth with sandy hands to try and keep it in.

~~~~~~ OOOO

She finally called me a few days later.

She lied through her teeth telling me she'd changed her mind and decided to come back to Forks.

"Can I come see you, Bella? If Charlie doesn't want me around, I understand." I said.

"No, Jake. It's fine. Just for a little while, though, okay? I'm so tired." She yawned.

"Alright, Bells. I'll be there in a while."

When I arrived at Charlie's house, Bella was laying on the couch with her legs propped up.

The wolf in me immediately pinpointed that something was wrong with her left leg. I ghosted my hand over it, through the blanket covering her, and even that wisp of a touch made her wince.

It was severely broken. Her leg had been shattered in a way that human beings aren't capable of injuring themselves outside of serious, violent trauma.

"What happened, Bella? What the hell happened to you?" I commanded.

My heart beat itself bloody against my ribcage. The Cullens' wouldn't hurt her, would they? This had to have been someone else. Edward had led her into a disgusting amount of danger.

"I fell down a flight of stairs, Jake. Thanks for demonstrating such an amazing bedside manner." She tried to roll her eyes playfully but it didn't work.

I got down on my knees close to her face, brushing the hair away from her glorious jawbones. I whispered in her ear.

"I know that's not what happened Bella. I know what he is, who he is. I just need to know what really happened so I can have some peace." That's all I could ask for anymore.

She searched my face for a long time, fingering the ends of my hair as silent tears ran marathons to her earlobes, catching in the tiny pools where she heard all her echos.

"I can't tell you Jake. I can't. It was too much. Just hold me please, Jacob. Please help me stop hurting so much."

I pulled her to my chest and rocked her slowly, carefully moving my long arm down to her leg.

Reaching under the blanket I laid my hand so, so gently against her broken limb, trying my best to infuse it with some kind of strength.

The wolf in me was powerful enough already that I could feel her bones fusing back together. He wanted that break. He was red with rage that this hadn't occurred on his watch, and so was I.

I pressed my hand that held her down her back, counting the bumpy jewels in her chord, silently memorizing the trail they followed.

The crusty shell that was me began to crack. It was like Samson and the pillars. She'd been broken for someone else, and that was all it took to defeat me.

What I had held inside since childhood demanded to come out and play. My body had no use for the boy who cried wolf. The wolf overtook what little was left of the child in me.

"I have to go, Bells." I said into her hair.

She sniffed and let me go.

"I love you Jacob." She weeped.

She knew something was about to change just as much as I did.

"You too, Bellabeans. I'll see you later."

I rode back to my tiny house, and starred myself down in the dingy bathroom mirror. With an electric razor in my hand I gave myself over to the ancient evolution of my heritage.

"Who's afraid of the Big Bad Wolf?"

...

-The ending to Jacob's story should be finished by Halloween at the latest. Happy Birthday to rhythm junkie, and Mz. Pinecone (my Birthday Twin)!