Man, I can't believe I'm writing fanfiction again. Ugh. What the hell am I thinking?
Hopefully it'll help to curb my obsession with all things Jacob/Bella a bit (yeah, right!), and provide some entertainment for those of you out there at the same time.
Reviews and constructive criticism are definitely welcome. I haven't written any fic in over ten years and nothing at all in the first person POV in forever, so… Plus, English is not my mother tongue (although I'm very comfortable with it) and I didn't have this beta-read – don't hesitate to let me know if you spot any mistakes!
All things Twilight belong to Stephenie Meyer… although I can't understand how she could come up with such a wonderful character as Jacob Black and then treat him so horribly!
One – Bella
It all started with a conversation.
I showed up at the Blacks' unannounced, but not unwelcome, and Billy let me in with a large smile and a joyful greeting. He wasted no time directing me to Jacob's tiny closet of a room with a jerk of his head, grinning around his statement that there was a possibility I might find my best friend sleeping, despite the late afternoon hour.
Jake wasn't asleep when I plumped myself next to him on his bed. He was in fact in deep concentration over a book, a manual of sorts, but promptly closed it and tossed it down on the floor as I settled on my back next to him.
"Hi Jake," I simply greeted him, fixing my gaze on the ceiling to avoid blatantly ogling him down. You'd think that after all these years I would have grown accustomed to seeing all those Quileute boys half-naked – I could probably count on one hand the number of times I'd seen Jake with a shirt on in the last year, and yet… He was lying on his stomach, propped up by his elbows in order to read, the well-defined muscles of his back visibly shifting with every breath, every small movement. He was wearing jeans instead of his usual cut-offs, but they were riding so low on his hips that I could affirm with a hundred percent certainty that he was definitely not wearing underwear. Yeah – eyes on the ceiling.
"Hey Bells," he greeted me back, his voice low and rough, confirming Billy's suspicion that he had been on the verge of falling asleep. The poor guy had probably patrolled all night, if the dark circles under his eyes were any indication. It didn't stop him from gracing me with a warm smile, my smile, and a twinkle in his eyes. My answering grin was only slightly strained, and only because I couldn't help but worry about him.
He spoke again before I could voice my concerns. "Not that I'm complaining or anything," he stated with a smirk, his tone light and losing the traces of sleep after the first few words, "but what brings you here on this fine day?"
I snorted. The weather, as usual in these parts, was rainy with a side dish of far thunder, and the temperature was at least fifteen degrees below the seasonal average. Anywhere else in the country, it would have been a day for snuggling in front of the television or falling asleep over a good book – but we would not get much done if we indulged every time the weather called for it, would we?
"Just visiting my best friend," I shrugged, the movement awkward in my position, on my back with my head twisted to look at him. "I haven't seen you in forever." Four days, to be exact, but who was counting?
It was weird, I guess, this dependency that I had towards my best friend. The need to see his large toothy smile, to feel his unnatural warmth, to hear him calling me 'Bells' and 'honey' with such feeling that the tingles reached my toes every time. But living, as I did, with a houseful of cold-skinned vampires all the time, I figured it was just my way of balancing things. And we had come to an understanding in the last few years, Jacob, Edward, and I, which made these visits okay, welcome, guilt-free.
"That boyfriend of yours getting you frustrated?" Jake pulled me out of my inner musings with his surprising question. Surprising in the sense that he hadn't called Edward a bloodsucker, for once, and that he had willingly asked about my relationship at all. Not that we never talked about it, but Jacob rarely broached the subject himself, unless he thought that I really needed to vent. Which, okay, admittedly, had been happening more often lately. 'Frustrated' was unfortunately becoming a state all-too-familiar of mine.
I shrugged again, bringing my gaze back to the ceiling while a low blush rose in my cheeks. It would be too much to hope that Jake would not notice it, I knew, and I once again cursed my fair complexion and my inability to keep the blood from rushing to my face at the slightest thought of a sexual nature. It wasn't even shyness anymore – living in a house with Emmett Cullen will cure anyone of that fairly quickly. It was simply a physical reaction I could not make my body cease doing. Just like I could not stop my body from reacting when Edward was kissing me passionately, his hands oh-so-lightly skimming my skin, eliciting shivers of cold and pleasure in equal measures, his lips travelling over my face, to my ears, down my neck. Only to retreat, to get up from the bed and head out of the room the moment my own hands became too rough, my breathing too shallow, my legs too clingy. Yeah – 'frustrated' was a very good adjective to describe me these days.
There was laughter in Jake's voice when he pulled me from my thoughts again. "I'll take that as a resounding yes," he said, turning on his side to fully face me, propping his head with one hand and taking one of mine in his other. Our fingers entwined automatically, my smaller ones bridging the gaps between his, his perpetual warmth travelling up my arm to the rest of my body instantly. I'd stopped wondering a long time ago why it felt so natural to touch him like this. It just was, and we just did.
"How did you know?" I asked rhetorically, smirking in derision at myself for being so easy to read. The intensity of his expression caught me off guard when he answered seriously.
"I can smell you," he said softly, his gaze fixed on our entwined fingers rather than my face, a touch of colour visibly rising in his own cheeks despite the darker hues of his skin. I was dumbfounded. "I mean, I can smell him on your skin, and your… desire for him," he mumbled the last words, evidently uncomfortable. His reaction was such a surprise – I mean, Jake was anything but awkward around me, constantly giving Emmett a run for his money in the lewd innuendo department – that it took me a moment to fully comprehend his words, to measure the extent of what he had just said. Damn those werewolf senses.
"Oh God," I groaned the instant full realisation struck me. The number of times I had come to Jake after Edward had rejected me, my advances… We might have reached an understanding, but I was not naïve enough to think that Jacob had completely gotten over me, and that flaunting in his face – unintentionally as it was – my physical relationship with Edward might not be hurting him on some level. Forget the obvious mortification; I was appalled by how mean I had unwittingly been to my friend. "I'm so sorry," I whispered, trying to catch his eyes and convey the depth of my apology. He would not meet my gaze, and I had to reach over with my free hand to tilt his head up. "Seriously, Jake. I never thought…" A small part of my brain was astounded that now, of all times, there was no trace of a blush on my cheeks.
It was his turn to shrug awkwardly, squeezing my fingers with his as his expression cleared and he grinned at me, his eyes finally meeting mine. "Don't worry about it," he said in a normal tone, just a slight trace of self-derision present. "It's the sweetest kind of torture, you know?" When I quirked an eyebrow, he continued: "To smell you in such a state, the sweetness and sheer sexuality, and yet to know that I'm not the one to draw those reactions from you…" Once again he shrugged, but the grin was still in place, his eyes twinkling again. "Like I said, it's a sweet torture."
Cue the blush. And his resounding laughter.
We had changed so much, the three of us, since the rollercoaster ride that had been my high school senior year. I was the only one that was physically changing, granted, Edward being frozen at seventeen forever and Jacob having reached twenty-five practically overnight and stopping there, but emotionally, the last four years had brought maturity, and dare I say it, some form of wisdom. Gone were the jealous fits, the hurtful insults, the admonishments that the other was not good for me, would hurt me. My two boys – who weren't boys anymore, really – had made some sort of peace, the details of which I was not privy to, but immensely grateful for.
When I had refused the compromise Edward had proposed – marriage in exchange for being the one to change me – the dynamic of our relationship had been subtly altered. I still had wanted to become a vampire as soon as possible, the threat from the Volturi adding weight to my determination, but I was hoping to change his mind in time, and realising that I was way too young to marry had suddenly opened my eyes to the fact that I had time. For the first time, being physically a little older than Edward hadn't seemed so bad.
My stubbornness regarding the marriage topic had brought out more assertiveness on my part, and I had been able to put my foot down regarding other things as well, putting a definite end to my being kidnapped by Alice the minute Edward left to hunt. I was able to see Jacob as often and for as long as I wanted without constantly having to justify it to my favourite vampires, and my newfound freedom made Jake back down on the hostility and the jail-breaking attempts. I would never be able to claim that my best friend and my boyfriend got along well, or – God forbid! – that they were friends, but I wasn't constantly being torn between the two anymore, and during the summer before we left for Dartmouth, I even managed to drag both Edward and Jake on outings with me, together.
Of course, my werewolf of a best friend had not exactly been ecstatic that I was leaving for the other side of the country and going to live with seven vampires, but promises to call often (I'd eventually relented and let Edward buy me a cell phone for my nineteenth birthday, just to shut him up about the gifting thing) and to visit for every holiday (Charlie had already made me swear that oath) had eventually made him relent. He had been awfully and obviously afraid I would eventually convince Edward to change me, and I hadn't been able to reassure him on that end, since it had been my intention, but we had parted as best friends should: with a bone-crushing hug that had literally taken my breath away and tearful confessions that we would miss each other like crazy.
I'd kept my promises, and just as living with Edward had allowed my relationship with him to grow, our love to evolve past the all-encompassing need to have him near all the time into a comfortable and passionate companionship that left space for other friendships and activities, so had the separation done to my friendship with Jacob. Talking over the phone at least once a week and spending time with him over the holidays and during the summer had made us better friends – or at least, had made me his friend, the same way he had been mine since I'd brought those motorcycles over.
And through those four years, I had grown up too. The whole college experience, that Edward had so insisted on, had turned out to be a pretty good idea after all, and I had thrived. The learning, the new friends from all around the world, even the partying (although – hello? I'm Bella Swan. Alice had to drag me to those!) – all of it had shaped me into the young woman I was becoming, had helped me to shed the overly anxious teenager I had been and embrace the fun-loving, knows-what-she-wants (but still somewhat shy) persona I was developing. Eventually, Alice had confessed that she could not see my future as a vampire anymore, and I'd been surprised by my lack of disappointment. Something had been done about the promise to the Volturi, the circumstances of which all seven of the Cullens had been very careful not to divulge to me, and just like that, my life had suddenly been full of possibilities. Freshly out of college, I was a young woman with a future before her, one that planned to enjoy life to its fullest, but one that, as the conversation with Jake on that rainy afternoon had so eloquently illustrated, was unbelievably, indescribably, desperately, sexually frustrated!
There were perks to having a vampire boyfriend, certainly. The fact that he never slept, for one, and that he liked to spend all those extra hours learning new things to make me happy. Or that he could make a day-long trek into the woods to a beautiful and secluded spot in an hour while carrying me and all our supplies. That he could quote all the classics even when he failed to see the romance; that his amber eyes always burned with his love for me; that his sole purpose in life was me. But then there were the downsides too, not that many, but all revolving around his control – or hypothetical lack thereof – around me. Which brought me back to the sexual tension that was getting worse every time he had to retreat from me, every time he had to stop me from taking things too far too quickly. He had the control, the restraint not to hurt me, not to drink me dry in a fit of passion, as we'd proven a few times. But Edward was still afraid, never letting himself completely enjoy the moment, and still opting, more often then not, to either slow things down or completely stop them when I lost control.
I could not pinpoint why exactly, but the conversation with Jake, lying on his bed staring at the ceiling as he softly stroked my hand with his callused thumb, while the thunderstorm raged outside his window, had brought all my frustration to the fore. Suddenly, being a twenty-two-year-old red-blooded woman who barely ever got to feel wanted by her lover was nothing short of a tragedy.
The question was: what was I going to do about it?
So there you have it. Liked it? Or not? Please let me know! I'm not quite sure where I'm going with this yet, aside from obviously wanting to get Jake & Bells together by the end. I just had the scene on Jake's bed and their conversation in my head when I started, so… any comment is welcome!