A/N: Thanks to the lovely reviewers, have a great weekend.
Disclaimer: Twilight belongs to SM, italic quotes belong to D.H. Lawrence.
Dinner passed pleasantly, Emily appeared in much better spirits and was talking animatedly with Bella about a movie adaptation that had recently come out on DVD and Bella found herself happily agreeing to a movie night later in the week. She found herself much more comfortable in Emily's presence now, and rather than continually comparing herself and focusing on what she perceived to be her own failings, she found herself noticing a lot more similarities in interests.
They were talking about the books that Emily had given her when Bella found herself announcing that she had decided to study English Literature. Almost a soon as the words were out, Bella bit her lip nervously. She couldn't work out what on earth had possessed her to mention it and she was conscious of the fact that Jake's fork was motionless in the air, having seemingly frozen on his way to take another bite.
Her mind was reeling and Bella stood and excused herself to use the bathroom. As she locked the door she leaned against breathing heavily. What was she thinking, why did she mention it? After all school was just a cover story, wasn't it? Did she…Did she actually want to go to school? Why was this happening now? If she went to school that would mean delaying all of her plans for four more long years. That would put over five years age difference between herself and Edward. But it would mean four more years with Charlie, four more years of having friends, of being able to be around the res.
Bella gripped the sink and looked at herself in the mirror, staring at the face that looked back at her. She hated making decisions, hated choices, hated choosing. She ran the water absent-mindedly. A lot could happen in four years, she could do a lot in four years. A dangerous desire ran through her – she could fulfil a lot of her human needs in four years. Bella's hand trembled as she remembered the sound that Jake had made when she had touched the scar, what sound would he make if she touched him elsewhere…
She closed her eyes furiously, angry at herself. She loved Edward, he was right for her, he was her future. But she thought back to her book, Clifford had actually seemed to prefer Connie's company with the grand joyful cheerfulness that having her other needs taken care had brought. She thought again of Edward's terrifying anger earlier and rubbed at her wrist thoughtfully. Perhaps she shouldn't make him angry any more? Perhaps it was best not to try to touch him again? She ran her thumb over her fingertips, imagining again the sensation of Jake's warm skin under them, perhaps…just perhaps?
"Bella, are you ok?" Emily knocked on the door and Bella broke from her musings. "I'm fine, sorry, just a second" she stuttered, turning off the tap abruptly and drying her hands. "Sorry" she mumbled as she headed back to the table. She couldn't meet Jake's gaze as she sat back down, and was thankful when his head turned towards the door. "Sam wants to know if he's allowed dinner" Jake said quietly looking towards Emily, she nodded and stood up, going over to the stove and taking out a large plate of food. She set it down at the table and gathered up other dishes taking them over to the sink.
Bella hid a smirk as Sam slunk through the door. She was so used to seeing him as their powerful leader, but his furtive glances between Jake and the kitchen had her smothering her laughter. As he sat himself down she caught whispers between him and Jake. "How much trouble am I in this time?" Sam whispered. Jake appeared to concentrate for a moment then leant over "less than last month, but more than the frying pan time". Sam frowned as Bella stared wide eyed at them both. She lowered her own voice "Are you serious, she hit you with a frying pan, what did you do?" Sam frowned and glanced at the kitchen, wincing slightly as Emily's voice could be heard "You can tell her you know, I can hear you when you're whispering, just because I don't have all super-special hearing" Emily said crossly then continued "and Jake you're wrong, this is so much worst than last month".
Sam heaved a sigh and began trying to eat. He pointed his fork at Bella fiercely "Do you have any idea what it is like to try to please someone, when they change their mind every thirty seconds?" Bella pondered this for a moment, trying to tally this with other things she had heard about imprinting. "So Sam, in a nutshell, the imprint compels you to please Emily" Bella asked quietly. She could hear as Emily stopped the washing up, clearly interested in Sam's answers. Sam nodded. "Does it compel you to do things you don't want to?" Sam looked at her intently, "not exactly, it doesn't make me act against my wishes, if that's what you mean, but it does make things more tolerable I suppose".
Bella heard and angry crash from the kitchen and hurriedly responded "Can you give me a specific example?" Sam looked pensive "Ok, well how about this, I hate shopping, hate it with an absolute passion, but Emily likes it, so if she says 'Do you want to go shopping', because it makes her happy, the imprint helps me hate it a bit less so I would say yes". Bella nodded, "Ok, so if Emily wanted the sky to be pink and asked you if the sky was pink, you would say…?" Sam grimaced a little and quietly answered "Yes". Bella was quickly able to see where the problem lay, "and then if she changed her mind and wanted it to be green and asked you if it was green you would say…?" Sam leaned back in his chair and chewed slowly, heaving a sigh "Yes".
Bella could hear Emily softly crying in this kitchen. The imprint made her angry again, why couldn't it understand that that wasn't helpful. Then she stopped and turned back to Sam quickly "But if she just asked you what colour the sky was?" Sam looked at her oddly and shrugged his shoulders "well the sky is just blue isn't it?" Bella let out a little grin, she was good at this game, remembering how she had been able to help Jake to get round the Alpha gagging order before. "So what did you think of the dress Emily was wearing earlier?" Sam shrugged again "She looked pretty, her skin shone".
Bella sighed, men! "No Sam, the dress itself, what did you think of the dress?" Sam looked at her like she had two heads and looked at Jake for assistance who also shrugged his shoulders. Emily had come out of the kitchen and was standing holding a dishcloth in her hands. "Sam, do you even remember what dress Emily asked about this morning?" He chewed his lip thoughtfully "Is she going to get upset again if I say I don't?" Bella let out a groan "So you are honestly saying that you didn't notice any similarity or have any specific memories when you saw that dress?" Sam looked like he was being asked to figure out a very complicated maths equation. "It's just clothes, does it look pretty, doesn't it look pretty, I don't get why I got it wrong, she DID look pretty".
Bella looked at Emily and smiled, "Well there's your answer, he is just a male idiot, he didn't actually mean to hurt you". Sam stood up quickly, a tremor present in his arms that Bella had come to recognise "Of course I didn't, why would I want to hurt her? How in hell can a dress hurt you?" Bella stood up and walked around the table, facing Sam directly. She could see Jake's muscles twitching as he prepared himself automatically to protect her from Sam's anger. She took a deep breath "Sam, you sent her out wearing the same dress that Leah was wearing when you announced your engagement" Bella chewed her lip and waited for it to sink in. Sam's face turned from anger to horror and he rushed to Emily wrapping her in his embrace.
"Baby, I am so sorry, you have to believe that it just didn't even occur to me, I didn't even remember, It's like I don't remember anything before you came in and made me whole". Emily wrapped her arms around his neck "I'm sorry too, I shouldn't have over-reacted, you know how I get at this time". She kissed him fiercely and Sam responded passionately, pressing her back against the wall. Bella gasped as Sam's hand ran down Emily's side before cupping her buttocks and lifting her onto the counter. She jumped as she felt Jake's hand take hers and he raised his eyebrow and winked "And that is our cue to leave Bella, the world is safe for another day".
Jake pulled on her hand and led her towards the door, she stopped and reached out for her bag, briefly glancing over her shoulder. She blushed deeply as she saw Sam press himself between Emily's legs, Emily curling them around his waist to clasp him against her, passionate moans escaping from both of them. She turned her head away embarrassed and let Jake pull her through the door.
The cool air hit her immediately, contrasting with the heat that had been inside the little house and she shivered. She felt more alive at this moment than she had done in months. She could feel her heart beating against her chest, she could feel her skin reacting to the cold, she could feel the heat that burnt in her core. Jake ran his finger up her arm gently, like fire cutting through the ice and she stuttered "Will they be ok?" Jake's finger paused at her shoulder then delicately began to run down her back. She felt like it blazed fire in its path, the skin he touched finally awake, finally aware of itself.
"It's just passion, desire, it's nothing to be afraid of. It makes everything fierce, makes it powerful. They fight, they love, they desire, it's all just passion. It might not be polite, or pretty, or appropriate, but they are alive with the passion". Bella could felt the warmth of the air he breathed tingling against the back of her neck. "It's the energy of the world Bella, and we are connected to that energy, it's the sun that warms you as you lay on the beach, it's the food that satisfies the hunger in your belly, it's the energy that makes you dance with joy and fuck until you cum".
She felt her knees weaken as he cussed. She wanted him now, she wanted the rawness, the passion, the desire, she wanted to be on fire, she wanted to be consumed by him. But instead he drew back and opened the door of the truck. He smiled at the floor, not at her and looked up with hooded eyes "It's time for good girls like you to get home Bella, remember there are wild things in the woods at night".
Bella opened her mouth to speak but Jake put his finger gently across it, startling her, he stroked it gently across her lower lip and she was overwhelmed by the urge to suck it into her mouth, to taste him, to have him within her. He smiled and withdrew his finger "Goodnight Bella". He shut the door as she entered and she fumbled trying to get the keys in the ignition. She glanced down to try and position it correctly and when she looked up again she gasped as she realised he had gone.
Her breath was coming in pants as she drove back. Her hands were trembling on the wheel. She felt like she was being consumed by fire from within. Her heart was hammering in her chest and she pulled over to the side of the road, hot tears trickled down her face. What was happening to her? She loved Edward but there was no way she could deny it any longer, she wanted Jake as well. She wanted Edward to hold her hand and adore her and cherish her, but she wanted Jake to push her to the ground, to touch her, to bury himself inside her. Oh God she thought desperately, she wanted him to fuck her.