Story Title: It's Never Too Late
Summary: Jake kisses Bella in the woods during Eclipse. It forces her to think of her feelings for Edward, and Jacob. Which will she choose?
I got this idea when I was listening the song What About Now by Daughtry. I had originally planned this to be a oneshot. But, I'd be more than happy to accommodate to your needs if you would like it to be more. I'm open to ideas. Just let me know.
A big shout out goes to the most awesome beta in the world. Miss Layla, you rock girl!
It was just the two of them. That had been happening less and less since Edward had come back. Edward had been watching her like a hawk since all of this had started. Jake hadn't been alone with her at the party at the Cullen's, no one would leave them alone. Embry and Quil had had enough sense to leave them alone. But not Edward, or Alice. That was the night everything had changed for them. Victoria was back, and this time, Edward was the one vowing revenge.
He couldn't understand why Bella had gone back to him. It was like the eight months that he was gone hadn't mattered. She had forgotten Jacob for the entire summer. The first time he had seen her was the day he went to her school to confront Edward.
He liked doing things to piss Edward off. It had surprised him when Bella had hopped on the back of his bike, without even saying anything to Edward. Things had been good for a while. Then the newborns had made themselves known, and things had tailspinned.
Quil and Embry were worried about him. They liked Bella, but they didn't like that she was willing to put Jake in danger by always running to him when things with Edward got bad.
"She's messing with your head, man. She's in love with him, and yet she keeps coming back to you." Quil had said to him the other day.
"I love her. I can't tell her to stay away." Jake said, shaking his head.
"Then ask her to choose. She'll more than likely choose you." Embry said, joining the conversation.
"You would think so. But he has a hold on her even I can't break."
"You're not even going to try?" Embry asked, giving him a quizzical look.
"You're just going to stand by and let the leech win?" Quil asked in shock.
"It has to be her decision."
"I think Em's right. You should talk to her. It can't hurt."
Jacob was giving her the same look he had given her in the woods, the day she had come back from Italy. He was pleading, begging her to reconsider her decision to be with Edward. She didn't like that she had to keep reminding him that she was with Edward, and that she loved him. Granted, she had feelings for Jacob too, but it was not love.
The love she had for Edward was pure, unadulterated, passion. What she felt for Jacob was adoration, kindness, friendship. Those were two completely different things. He had to see that. As he turned to walk away from her, she knew that she was hurting him. It was killing her inside that she couldn't give him what he wanted.
"Jacob?" she said, just loud enough to get his attention.
"What, Bella?" he asked, half turning to face her.
"Can you do something for me?"
"Anything." he said, giving her a half smile.
"Come back to me. I couldn't live with myself if I lost you today." she said with a sigh.
He turned completely around, and was in front of her in two strides.
"Do you like torturing me?" he asked, glaring down at her.
"It hurts me more than you will ever know." she said as tears started to form in her eyes.
"Don't cry." he said, pulling her to him.
"Can you do something else for me?"
"What now?" he asked with a laugh.
His eyes met hers, giving her a quizzical look.
"It's just that, I want to give you something. Even if I can't give myself all of you."
"Is that all that I am worthy of? I don't want just part of you, Bells. I want all of you."
"Either kiss me now, or I'm going to kiss you."
He shook his head, as he leaned down to brush his lips to hers. She wrapped her arms around his neck, anchoring herself to him. He slowly wrapped his arms around her waist, pulling her closer. She sighed against his lips, as she leaned up to apply more pressure to the kiss. A fire was building inside of her that she had never felt before. She couldn't explain it. She shouldn't be feeling like this.
Everything inside of her screamed at her to pull away. She couldn't force herself to do it. She'd had her feelings for Jacob all wrong. Adoration, kindness, and friendship, yes. But she loved him too. A part of her always had. This kiss was bringing all of those feelings to the surface. Love always outweighed passion. Passion was fleeting, but love, real love, was always there. It never left.
Jacob tenderly caressed her arm, as he ran his fingers up her body to rest his hand on her cheek. Bella held her breath, as he slowly pulled away. His other hand came to the other side of her face. She leaned into the touch with, her eyes still closed.
"Thank you." he said, just above a whisper.
Her eyes shot open, to see him staring at her sadly.
"You're welcome." she said, giving him a small smile.
"I should get you up the mountain. Edward is probably worried."
He picked her up gently, and she tucked her head against his neck. He carried her up the mountain without saying another word. Snow was swirling around them, making her shiver. Jacob tightened his hold on her as he ran faster than she had seen him run before.
Edward was waiting for them outside the tent. If he knew about the kiss, he wasn't letting on. Maybe Jacob was keeping it to himself. Whatever his motivations, Bella was grateful. She wanted to be the one to tell Edward what had happened.
"Thank you, Jacob. I am forever in your debt."
"I didn't do this for you. I did this for her." Jacob said, setting Bella down.
"Thank you just the same." Edward said with a nod.
"I need to get back. I'll see the two of you tomorrow."
"Bye, Jake." Bella said, giving him a smile.
"Goodbye, Jacob." Edward said, giving him a smile of his own.
Jacob looked over his shoulder before walking down the incline. He wished he hadn't. Edward had Bella pulled close to him, whispering in her ear. And yet, her eyes were fixed on him. He turned his attention back to the task at hand. He needed to get back to the meadow. He would be able to get his bearings when he wasn't so close to Bella. Something about being close to her, always undid him lately. How do you tell you're best friend that you've imprinted on them? Especially, when the said best friend was in a relationship with his immortal enemy?
Jacob heard a howl, making him bolt upright in bed. That was the call of one of his friends in trouble. He phased, without even bothering to grab a change of clothes.
What's going on? he thought, to no one in particular.
It's Bella. She needs you. Seth said in a panicked voice.
Jacob are you sure you want to do this? Embry asked, joining the conversation.
I can't not go. Grab me a change of clothes and meet me up there, Embry. he thought before jumping through his open window.
Less than five minutes later he was standing outside the tent. Embry came up behind him, as Seth watched them.
"Here. Do you want me to stay?" Embry asked, lying the clothes on a low branch of a nearby tree.
Jacob shook his head as he changed. Edward stuck his head out of the tent when he heard them.
"You are not wanted here. Go home, Jacob." he said in a stern voice.
"So you would rather she get hypothermia? Let me in." Jacob said, leaning down so that he could get in.
"Let him in." Bella said from inside the tent.
Edward gave him a hard look before stepping aside. Jacob had to give him some credit. Like Jacob, Edward would do anything for Bella. Jacob stepped inside the tent, taking in his surroundings. There wasn't even a space heater. He shook his head as he took Bella in.
She had to have to been wearing three layers of clothes underneath the sleeping bag, yet she was in the fetal position shaking like a leaf.
"I'm here now. You'll be warm in a minute." Jacob said, leaning down to unzip the sleeping bag.
"You can't keep her warm from the outside?" Edward asked, watching him.
"Do you want her to lose her toes? It will be easier if I'm right next to her. Bells, take off all but the bottom layer of clothes. You're going to roast if you don't."
He helped her take off her jacket, then her sweatshirt, leaving her in a thin t-shirt. She gave him a grateful smile before stopping him.
"I can do the rest." She said, struggling underneath the sleeping bag.
A pair of sweatpants, and a pair jeans were added to the pile, leaving her in the t-shirt and a pair of flannel pajama pants.
"That's everything. You can get in now." she said, opening the sleeping bag for Jacob.
Edward watched them, not saying a word. He knew that Bella had feelings for Jacob. He wasn't stupid, or blind. But, he knew that Jacob's feelings for her ran deeper than she realized. He would have to have a talk with her about that, in the near future. Right now, he was contemplating all the ways that he could kill Jacob in his sleep.
You're not going to do anything to me. Jacob thought vehemently.
You're here for one reason and one reason only. Stay out of my head dog. Edward thought with a sneer.
You can't accept that I am friends with her can you? She chose you. You win!
I will not win until she is completely mine.
That's something you'll just have to deal with.
I could end you right now.
"Could you two stop with the mind war? I can't fall asleep." Bella said exasperatedly.
"Sorry." Jacob said, pulling he closer to him.
Edward shot him a venomous look as Jacob smirked at him.
"I will fight for her until her heart stop beating." Jacob said, once Bella's breath evened out.
Things were silent for a while. Edward stood, before opening the tent angrily. Jacob listened for him, and the next thing he knew he heard Edward talking to his father. He was at the meadow. Jacob closed them out, as he settled further into the sleeping bag. He was asleep a few seconds later.
Bella woke up feeling warm, yet Jacob was not beside her. She turned over, feeling something heavy on top her. She lifted her head, seeing three extra blankets lying on top of the sleeping bag.
"Jacob was needed in the meadow. I had Alice go and get some blankets from home." Edward said from beside her.
"Thank you." she said with a smile.
"I can leave while you change." he said, standing.
"Technically, I'm already dressed. I'll just be throwing on more clothes."
"All the same. I'll be right outside. I don't want to see you like that until we are married."
There was a rustle outside followed by a lonely howl, followed by a scared whine.
"I'll go see what's going on."
Bella watched him leave, wishing that he wasn't being so nice. She also wished that Jacob had been there when she woke up. She understood that he'd had to leave, but she thought he would have at least let her know that he was leaving.
She stepped out of the tent, seeing Edward talking to Seth. Seth looked up at her, and his ears perked up. He was a good kid, way too young to be dealing with everything that he was dealing with. She wished that he hadn't changed. He was having his childhood robbed from him, just because of a bad decision she had made.
"Alice says that the newborns are less than a mile away. If I get separated from you, never let him out of your sight." he said, gesturing towards Seth.
Seth whined making his presence known.
"He can take care of himself. We don't need to worry about him."
Seth came to her side, and nudged her hand. He was looking up at her with a worried look in his eyes.
"I know you want to be down there. Jake thinks you're too young."
He let out a guttural growl as Bella rubbed his head.
"I know how you feel. I'm not allowed to go down there, either." she said, with a sigh.
Edward watched them as he heard a shriek from the meadow.
"The fight has begun." He said through tight lips.
He held in his anger. He wanted to be down there. He and Jacob had argued all night about it. Jacob felt it his duty to end this. While he said that it was Edwards duty to take care of Bella. Jacob was the most stubborn person he had ever met. He was even more stubborn than Bella. But he also had a sense of duty to take care of his life long friend. That Edward could understand.
Someone coming through the trees, pulled his thoughts from Bella.
"Stay here." he ordered both of them before turning.
"Yes, please do. I will love taking care of you, after I take care of him. The dog will be an added bonus." Victoria said, smirking at them.
"Stay away from her." Edward said in a threatening voice.
"You might be able to stop me. But what about him?" She said, gesturing to the woods a few feet away.
A newborn came out of the trees, with Bella in his sights.
"Run Bella!" Edward said, before lurching at Victoria.
Bella made it to the incline, before she heard Seth snarl and let out a ferocious, guttural growl. She turned to see him lunge for the male. Seth's mouth closed around an arm, ripping it off. She stood frozen in place, not believing what was happening in front of her.
Edward was thrown against a boulder as Victoria set her sights on Bella again. Seth and the newborn rolled into the woods as Victoria prepared to lunge. Edward watched in horror, from across the clearing as Bella took stance to fight the female vampire.
"Bella, you're crazy. You can't fight her."
"Watch me." she said, never taking her eyes off of Victoria.
Out of nowhere, Seth lunged for Victoria knocking her to the side.
"Bella now!" Edward said, regaining his strength.
Bella was not about to run. It wasn't in her nature. Just because Edward didn't have any faith in her, did not mean that she wasn't able to take care of herself. She looked around for something to defend herself with. Her eyes caught sight of a piece of boulder that had landed at her feet. She leaned down to grab it, as the newborn came out of the trees.
Bella's eyes locked on Victoria's as she sliced the boulder fragment down one arm, then the other. Victoria caught the scent at the same time the newborn did.
"Bella, what have you done?" Edward asked with a gasp.
"Get them!" Bella yelled, as she started to run.
She didn't look back, as she ran down the embankment to the meadow. She heard the screams and the ripping of flesh, as she neared the meadow. She stopped just short of the clearing, to rip the hem of her shirt. She tore it in half, then wrapped each arm to stop the bleeding.
"Bella?" Carlisle called.
"I'm here." she said, coming out of the clearing.
"Come with me." he said gravely.
He led her to the farthest part of the meadow. All around her, bodies were laid about that had yet to be tossed in the fire that had been made in the middle of the field.
"I have to warn you, he's not himself right now. But he has been asking for you. He's refusing to leave until he sees you."
"His injuries are very severe. It's amazing that he is already healing."
"He was just trying to save Leah."
"Jacob, she's here." Quil said, breaking through her thoughts.
"Jacob?" she asked, giving Carlisle a panicked look.
"Go see him. We'll leave you alone. Quil, Embry?"
Quil, and Embry followed him to where Sam and the rest of the wolves stood. In front of her, lay her best friend. She almost didn't recognize him. Half of his body was covered in blood, while his face was covered in so many bruises, that she hardly recognized him. She knelt next to him, taking it all in.
"I'm sorry." she said, gently running her fingers through his hair.
"Why?" he asked weakly.
"It is my fault that the newborns came here."
"It's the red heads." he said, slowly shaking his head.
"Some guy had his sights on Leah. I charged without thinking. The guy had me in vice grip before I could react."
"Did Leah get away?"
"She's over there." he said, gesturing to his left with his head.
"Try not to move."
"The last time I saw him he was with Seth."
"What happened to your arms?"
"I cut myself to distract Victoria, and some guy."
"Nice." he said with a smile.
"It was a good idea." she said, returning his smile.
"Bella?" Edward said
Bella looked over her shoulder, to see Edward, and Seth standing a few feet away. She stood slowly before turning.
"Alice has informed me that the Volturi are on their way. The wolves have to leave, now."
The pack surrounded Jacob, as the older ones lifted him as gently they could.
"I'll be at Billy's as soon I can. Please let him know that Sam." Carlisle said as the pack carried Jacob away.
"Thank you again for today."
"It's not a problem." Sam said, nodding his head.
Bella watched them walk through the clearing, and up the incline. Edward gently took hold of her hand, and pulled her to him. They turned as the pack was out of sight. Edward steered her towards his family as she noticed someone that she didn't know. A young girl stood off to the side, watching in horror as Jasper and Emmett loaded bodies into the fire.
Jane, Felix, and Alec stepped out of the trees with Jane in front. Even now, knowing that they couldn't hurt her, Bella was still terrified of them. What would they do to the Cullen's? What if they hurt the girl? Granted she was a newborn, but she hadn't asked to be a part of this. It wasn't her fault that this had happened to her. She couldn't have been much younger than Seth.
"It is never good when we have to cross continents to solve matters." Jane said, her eyes landing on Bella.
"She has nothing to do with what happened. I promise you." Carlisle said, being the first to speak.
"What do we have here?" Felix asked, seeing Esme protecting the girl.
"She did not know what she was doing. We would like to plead her case."
"We do not give second chances. Let her go." Jane said calmly.
"She's just a child." Esme said in a small voice.
"Let her go, or you will die as well." Jane said, losing patience.
"Esme, please let her go." Alice said, pleading with her mother.
"I'm sorry, young one." Esme said, before letting Jasper pull her away.
Jasper led Esme out of the meadow, followed by Alice and Rosalie.
"Bella, go with them." Edward said in a stern voice.
"I'm staying with you."
"Then don't watch." he said, wrapping her in his arms.
He shielded her with his body, as the screams of the girl could be heard. Bella quickly covered her ears with her hands, but the sound penetrated straight to her core.
"We will be leaving now. I hope the next time we see you, that you will have a new addition to the family. If you catch my meaning." Jane said before leaving.
"It's over now, Bella. You can look." Edward said, loosening his grip on her.
Emmett was putting the girl in the fire as Edward pulled Bella away.
"We need to talk." she said, looking up at him.
"Bella, I'm sure that Jacob will want to see you again. Should I tell him that you will be by later?" Carlisle asked before Bella could say what she wanted to say.
"Yes, thank you."
"What is on your mind, my love?" Edward asked, as he brushed his fingers down her arm.
"You're not going to like what I have to say. So just let me say it. You can say whatever you want afterwards."
"Alright." he said, as he opened the door to his car for her.
She took a deep breath, as he started the car.
"Something happened yesterday. Something, that has changed everything."
"I kissed Jacob."
"You said that you would let me talk. This is where I don't know how phrase it without hurting you. I can not marry you."
"He is dead." Edward said, opening his phone as he drove.
"No! He only did it because I asked him to. My feelings for him have always been there. You know that. I haven't been fair to either of you. And I'm sorry."
"I am going to make a phone call, please be quiet." he said, putting a finger to her lips.
"Shut your phone Edward. I don't want you to do anything to him."
"Do you think that I will not put up a fight?"
"Do you want me to be happy?"
"Always." he said pulling up in front of his house.
"He makes me happy. He always has."
"I make you happy, too."
"What I have with Jacob is different. He put his heart into that kiss. I was so overwhelmed. I realized that there was something that was always missing with you and I."
"What is that?"
"Trust. You can't fully love someone if you don't trust them."
"You don't trust me?"
"You were willing to give up your life for me. I am forever grateful for everything that you have done for me."
"Why don't you trust me?"
"You tricked me into going to see my mother, so that your family could go after Victoria. You weren't even going to tell me. Jacob is the only who has ever been honest with me. You hold all the cards in our relationship. I stopped talking to my best friend for the past two summers, because you didn't like him. You dismantled my truck, so that I couldn't go see him. He has been my friend since I was a little girl. And I hurt him beyond repair. We are just now getting our friendship back. And every time I go to see him, you have nothing but negative things to say about him."
"Let me guess, he has only glowing things to say about me?" Edward asked, giving her a harsh look.
"No, he doesn't. But nothing is as harsh as what you say. He doesn't deserve that. Not only did he help you, and your family, but he talked his friends into it. Even though they were completely against it."
"Edward, Bella?" Esme asked, knocking on Bella's window.
Bella opened her door as she clasped her hands. Esme helped Bella out of the car, giving her a worried look. Bella pulled the engagement ring from her finger, before slipping it into Esme's free hand.
"Can you ask Alice if she'll give me a ride home?"
"Yes. Wait here." she said letting go of Bella.
Edward stayed in the car, watching what was going on outside. Alice came out of the house, extending her arms to Bella.
"You did the right thing." She whispered in Bella's ear.
"I had a vision of you remembering your kiss with Jacob. I saw the emotion that you put into it."
"Don't apologize. He'll be fine. So says the psychic." Alice said with a wink.
"Is Jasper near by?"
"Just inside." Alice said, waving to him.
Jasper waved back from the front window.
"We love you, we will always love you. Remember that."
"If you ever need us, we're just a phone call away."
"Are you leaving?"
"No." Alice said, shaking her head with a smile.
They got into the Ferrari in silence. Bella watched the scenery pass by, and within seconds they were in front her house.
"That gets easier every time."
"Getting into a car with with a vampire."
"No motion sickness?" she asked, teasing her.
"Never." Bella said with a smile.
"Charlie should be home in a few minutes. I'll let you go inside."
Bella went inside, and started to make dinner. She was going to have to give her dad the hard sell about wanting to go see Jacob tonight. He had probably heard about what had happened, the version that Billy wanted to give him at least, and he more than likely wouldn't let her go over there. She heard the cruiser pull into the driveway, as she put hamburger buns in the oven so that they could toast.
Charlie came in looking tired and haggard. She would let him eat, then she would broach the subject of Jacob.
"I just left Billy's. It seemed like every kid on the rez was there."
"Yeah. And doctor Cullen was there too."
"I would think so, after what happened."
"I am so glad that I never let you get a motorcycle. Billy says the thing is trashed."
"He spent so much time working on it. It seems kind of like a waste now."
"He should have known not to drive so fast in this weather. He's lucky he wasn't killed."
"Yeah, he is."
"I'm glad that you weren't with me. Jake was using every explicit word you can think of. You didn't need to hear that."
"I've heard someone curse before dad. I even do it myself from time to time."
"Well I don't like it. I don't wanna hear you doing it."
"I won't do it around you." she said nodding.
"Billy said that you could come over later. I told him I didn't think it was such a good idea."
"I can't go see Jake?"
"I know you want to. But I'd like for you to wait until tomorrow. Knowing you as well as I do, you're going to do whatever you want."
They were quiet through the rest of dinner. Bella quickly cleaned the kitchen. Then she grabbed her keys from off the counter, before calling that she was leaving over her shoulder.
"Be home by eleven." she heard Charlie call as she shut the door.
She drove as quickly, and cautiously as she could. Thirty minutes later, she was in front of Jacobs. The entire pack stood in the front yard. They turned when they got caught in her headlights. The pack parted and let her through, so that she and Billy were in the middle.
"He's really bad, Bella." Quil said, not able to look at her.
"Doc had to re-brake his bones three times. He keeps sweating off the medicine." Embry said, shaking his head.
"Is there anything else that doctor Cullen can do?" Bella asked to no one in particular.
"I've done everything I can for tonight. I'll be by in the morning." Carlisle said, opening the front door.
"Thank you for everything doctor Cullen." Billy said, extending his hand.
"I was more than happy to help. Jacob and his friends did a very brave thing for my family today. I'm just glad that I could be of help." Carlisle said, shaking Billy's hand.
"Bella, we've all been in to see him. You can go in and see him." Billy said once Carlisle had left.
"Are you sure?"
"Yeah. I'm gonna take Seth and Leah home. If you could stay here until I get back, I'd appreciate it."
Everyone filed out of the yard as Bella stood on the porch. She opened the front door, and saw that the only light on in the house was the one in Jacob's room. She quietly made her way down the hall, hoping that he was awake. She pushed the door open slowly, not knowing what she would find. Anything would be better than what she had seen that afternoon.
Jake sighed, but didn't move. He couldn't if he tried. His whole right side from his shoulder to his waist was in a cast. He had bandages on his face, and his head was wrapped in gauze.
"You can come in." he said, staring at the ceiling.
"I was just taking you in."
"I was wondering you were going to get here."
"I had something that I had to take care of. Then I had to go home and make Charlie dinner."
"What you had to take care of was more important than seeing me? What were you doing? Wedding dress shopping?" he said bitterly.
"No." she said, crossing the room.
"I had to tell Edward that I couldn't marry him. Then I gave Esme her ring back."
"He had already gotten you a ring?" he asked in astonishment.
"It was Esme's. Carlisle has given her several in their marriage."
"Why aren't you marrying him?"
"It's a long story."
"Does it look like I'm going anywhere?" he asked sarcastically.
"I came to the realization that I don't love him as much as I thought I did."
"What made you realize that?"
"What?" he asked, giving her an 'are you crazy look'.
"When you kissed me yesterday I felt all that you felt for me."
"It scared the hell out of me at first. Then I heard you tell Edward something as I was falling asleep. It was something that you've had told me once. This time you said it with more feeling."
"'I will fight for you until your heart stops beating.'"
"I didn't realize that you had heard that."
"Well, I did."
"So what does this mean?"
"I don't know yet. We don't have to talk about it tonight. You get some rest. You've had a long day." she said, running her fingers down his good side.
"Don't leave yet." he said reaching for her hand.
"I can't leave until your dad gets back."
"Do something for me."
"Kiss me. Because if this is a dream, I want to milk it for everything I can."
She shook her head with a laugh. She leaned down, gently brushing her lips to his. She pulled away quickly, not wanting to hurt him.
"I'm not going to get more than that?"
"When you're better. I don't want to hurt you."
"Then I'll collect tomorrow then."
"You think you'll be better by tomorrow? You're aiming high."
"I heal fast. Remember?"
"I've never seen anybody as beat up as you are. Tomorrow's pretty far away."
"All we have is today."
Billy could be heard opening the front door, and Sam could be heard behind him.
"I should go." she said, starting to pull away from him.
"Wait." he said, tightening his grip on her hand.
She looked at him with a smile.
"One more?" he asked, giving her a pleading look.
She leaned down, brushing her lips to his again. He let go of her hand as she pulled away.
"Get some sleep." she whispered, brushing her fingers down his cheek lightly.
She walked out of the room only to almost run into Sam.
"I wanted to check on him before I left."
She nodded as he passed her.
"Thank you, for everything."
"You're welcome, Bella." He said smiling.
She went into the living room to say goodbye to Billy, who was sitting by the window.
"I'll see you tomorrow, Billy."
"Okay. Our boy gave us a scare today didn't he?" he asked with a laugh.
"Yeah, he did. Lets hope he never does it again." she said with a laugh of her own.
On the way home, her phone vibrated on the seat next to her. She picked it up as she opened her truck door. The text was from Alice.
How is Jacob?
He's doing better. He should be up for company tomorrow. You should go see him. Bella sent back to her.
Will do. Goodnight.
Charlie was already in bed when she got inside. She quietly made her way up the stairs and quickly changed into her pajamas. It had been a long day for everyone. She was going to sleep as late as she could tomorrow. Then, she was going to start a new chapter in her life with her best friend.