Title: Loving and Hating Jacob Black

Pen Name: wandb

Characters: Bella/Jacob Bella/Edward

Rating: M

Word Count: 9,221

Disclaimer: All characters belong to Stephenie Meyer. No copyright infringement is intended.

Summary: Bella's stuck with a daily reminder of Jacob's rejection- his perfect new girlfriend constantly in her face. When Jacob gets married, can Bella find happiness again in an unexpected way?

To see all entries in the "Love Lost" Contest, please visit the author profile: .net/u/2458839/Love_Lost_Contest


Loving and Hating Jacob Black:

Part One: Loving Jacob

Jacob Black.

There was a time that hearing his name evoked raw emotion in me. It is still sometimes hard for me to believe now. I distinctly remember meeting him and not thinking too much about him. He didn't make much of an impression. Sure, he was nice but there wasn't anything that really stood out to me, except maybe his big nose. I wasn't attracted to him at all.

I had a large group of friends, many of them guys, and we were always out together. I worked, as did most of my friends, in sales for a technology company in San Diego. Most of the people in our department were young, and we had a lot of fun together.

Jacob started working there in October. He was based out of a different location, so I didn't meet him until my friend Embry brought him out one night. Like I said, he was nice, and I liked him as a person, but there was nothing special there.

Jacob started hanging out more and more, though, and he grew on me. His personality made him more appealing, and the big nose I had noticed before became a feature I hardly saw anymore. He was smart, too, even graduating from an Ivy League school. I loved that he challenged me. I had no idea when the transformation happened, but sometime between October and April, I became completely enamored with him.

My friend Alice, who worked out of his location, schemed to set us up. I was all for it, since apparently he hadn't noticed my arrant flirting. After a week of her welcomed meddling, I was finally going out on a date with him.

I was so excited. I felt like a teenager, trying on multiple outfits and finally opting for a casual skirt and sleeveless top. I had decent legs and tanned arms, might as well show them off. It certainly couldn't hurt.

"Hey, Bella," Jacob said smoothly when he picked me up at my front door. "You…uh…you look great."

This was awkward. We were friends.

"Thanks, so do you," I said lamely as I closed the door behind me.

Despite our initial nerves, the date went really well. We naturally clicked. He was not only smart, but also incredibly witty, and I was always attracted to a good sense of humor. We laughed and talked, and it was so easy to be with him.

At the end of the night, we walked along the boardwalk on the beach by my house where he kissed me for the first time. God, I was so lost in him. It would have been so easy to just go home with him, but I wanted to see if we could really have something meaningful. As time went by, it became impossibly hard to fend off his advances.

Over the next few weeks, our relationship grew. He was flirty when we were alone, but he wanted to keep things between us a secret, only telling a few people who hung out with us all the time. It bothered me a little, but it made sense. We worked together, and we didn't want things to be awkward. Still, it was hard to pretend like nothing was going on.

Jacob was romantic, though, and that made up for the secrecy. He made me dinner, took me out, and we talked all the time. Even when we had to be professional at work, he'd send me text messages telling me he was thinking about me. He even sent a few naughty ones. It was adorable and very hot. When we were together, I was in constant emotional overload. At times, it seemed overwhelming. The first time we had sex, I thought I was in heaven. I really thought, for the first time in my life, that this man could be the one for me. He was gentle, yet took control. It was intense. Our entire relationship was intense.

I had fallen hard.

Unfortunately, he had not.

It happened quickly, his pull back from me. I didn't understand what sparked it, but it seemed like one day he just lost interest. The more he pulled away, the more I tried to salvage our relationship. I never thought of myself as someone who'd put up with being treated poorly, but I struggled with the thought of his rejection. He became aloof and often times inconsiderate. He always seemed to be too busy to hang out, not making much effort, which actually made me try harder. I wanted to be good enough for him. I wanted him to want me.

I didn't understand his behavior at all. That is, until Alice pulled me aside one night at happy hour.

"Bella, I have to talk to you about something. I wish I didn't have to say anything, but if it were me, I'd want to know."

Nothing good ever came from that statement. I quickly chugged some of my beer, needing liquid courage to face whatever she was going to tell me.

"What's going on with you and Jacob?" she asked.

"Well, he's been a little distant, but I think it's going to be okay," I said, not entirely believing it but hoping that it was the truth. "Why? Did he say something to you?"

"Yeah…about that…I'm not so sure it will be okay."

She knew something. Shit.

"Please, just tell me what you know. I'm dying here," I implored, already feeling the tears welling up.

"He's been hanging around at work a lot with Leah," she said tentatively. "Like, a lot."

I was still clinging to my optimism. "So what? They work together. I have a ton of guy friends. Why shouldn't he?"

"Bella, they're not just friends. Trust me, they're not."

I was stunned. It couldn't be true. He wouldn't do that to me, especially with someone who worked with us. He'd made such a point of keeping things between us quiet that it was difficult to believe he'd do something like that so openly.

I wiped the tear that had fallen on my cheek and pulled myself together. "Thanks for telling me, Alice. I'm sure it's a misunderstanding, though."

She gave me a quick hug, and we rejoined our group. I tried to be upbeat and not let on that I was upset. At least until he showed up- with her.

I felt like crawling under the table. I was staring daggers at him. He and Leah weren't outwardly affectionate. There was no hugging or holding hands, but there was definitely something there, and I finally understood his motive in his pullback from me. I could see that not only was Alice telling the truth, but Jacob wasn't bothered by it at all.

I couldn't sit there and watch, so I snuck up to the bar to get another drink and possibly a shot.

Embry joined me after a minute, and I pretended I was okay, not wanting to deal with anything at the moment.

"What's eating you?" he asked. "You okay?"

Shit.

"Oh, it's nothing. Just…you know…Jacob." I nodded my head toward the table just as Leah let out the most obnoxious laugh I'd ever heard.

"You're not hung up on him, are you?" he asked, quickly glancing at the table. "He told me you guys were just casual."

"No, I'm fine. It's no big deal," I lied, barely able to contain the tears.

He had told our friends that we were just casual; meanwhile, I thought I was falling in love with him. What made it worse was that he knew how I felt about him, yet he paraded Leah around in front of me as if it was no big deal. He had no problem being out in the open with her, even at work, and that stung. He treated her better than he ever treated me.


Part 2: Hating Jacob

That was it. Showing up with Leah was all I got. The bastard never said a word to me.

He just blew me off. I tried to talk to him one night about what had happened between us, but Leah quickly came up to him, so I couldn't finish. I got no official break up. No, 'I'm sorry'. No 'It's not you, it's me.' I wanted something from him, anything. I needed some reaction that let me know he cared even one iota for me, but I got nothing. It was as if nothing had ever happened.

At least to him.

The opposite of love is not hate, but indifference, and he was completely indifferent.

That night with Leah set off a series of incredibly humiliating and self-destructive events as I tried to prove to myself that I could deal with all of this. Jacob and Leah were inseparable and nauseatingly affectionate. My friends all thought I was fine, with the exception of Rosalie and Alice, who knew that I could barely get out of bed in the morning.

My guy friends were oblivious, and therefore completely insensitive. They constantly invited Jacob and Leah everywhere as if it were perfectly natural. They'd make comments about how serious the two of them were getting and how everyone thought they'd be engaged within the year.

I wanted to gouge their eyes out.

I was finally feeling human again around Halloween. Rosalie's boyfriend, Emmett, was hosting his annual party, which was always fun.

Alice and I decided we were going to go as hicks. I had a huge pair of denim overalls and a really fantastic set of novelty teeth. The teeth were completely disgusting and totally transformed my face. They were so realistic that I got a lot of double-takes and stares whenever I wore them. They were hilarious. To top off the outfit, I braided my hair a'la Little House on the Prairie. I thought I looked pretty good. It was so wrong it was right.

We were laughing and having fun as we walked into Emmett's house. I turned the corner and it was like a record player screeched to a halt. Everyone there was a couple, complete with their cutesy matching costumes. In the past, most of us would wear gag costumes, or at least something funny. Apparently, once they all had significant others, it was all matchy-matchy. And it was painfully obvious who the 'single girls' were.

Jacob and Leah were right in front of me in their matching sexy pirate outfits. Her legs looked like they started in her armpits, and instead of ugly makeup like I had on, she looked cute. He glanced up and down at me as he slid his arm around her waist, obviously pleased he'd made the right choice.

I felt sick.

I ran to the bathroom, pretending that I had to pee, and the tears started flowing as I looked into the mirror. I looked like a complete dork. I made myself look ugly on purpose, and ended up coming face to face with Captain and Mrs. Adorable Pirate. My overalls made me look like I was twice my size. Between my frumpy clothes, braided hair and the novelty teeth, I was as ugly as could be.

"Bella, are you in there?" Rosalie called as she knocked on the door.

I sighed and opened the door, letting Rosalie by as I closed it again.

"Are you okay?" she asked sympathetically, even though it was obvious I was most definitely not okay.

"Why is it that I'm the only one who cares?" I vented. "He can parade around and be happy, and I just feel like a big piece of shit."

"Ugh, Bella," she said, rolling her eyes. "First of all, Leah's not that great. I know you've got her on this pedestal because she's with Jake, but seriously, have you talked to her at all? She's annoying as shit with that obnoxious cackle. She's cute, in a fake debutante, Paris Hilton, sort of way. You are so much better than that. Second of all, he's so not worth it. It's not like we're talking about Brad Pitt here. Don't you remember how small he made you feel? He totally disrespected you. Seriously, if you could take him back right now, would you?"

I sat down on the toilet and thought about it. He wasn't that nice to me if I really analyzed it, especially near the end. Yeah, there was some physical chemistry, but I always felt dumpy around him. He came from a blue-blooded, East Coast family, and I was a beach girl - easy going and casual. He went to an Ivy League school, while I went to State college. I never really felt good enough for him. But Leah was all that he could want, despite the hyena laugh, which I had most definitely noticed. She came from the wealthiest part of town and went to the most prestigious private school. He could take her home and brag about the money her family had. She'd fit right in amongst the debutante women in his family.

I asked myself why I was so hung up on him? Would I take him back if he wanted me?

I hoped I wouldn't be that stupid, but I didn't know. I just wanted to feel good again.

I finally left the bathroom and tried to salvage the night, but my eyes were always on them, so I could never fully relax. Of course, he didn't give a shit at all and probably never even noticed my distress.

Then came the company Christmas party. What a fucking disaster that was.

Jacob was the epitome of a well-bred gentleman with Leah. She, of course, had a perfect body and her dress showed off her curves perfectly. My dress was pretty, but I didn't have a supermodel physique, and I was self-conscious all night.

So I drank. A lot.

My friend Mike and I really tied one on. We were the center of attention, while the sickeningly sweet love-birds were completely anti-social and googly-eyed with each other. Throughout the entire party, they sat cozied up to the bar with her legs hanging over his and his arms all over her. At the end of the night, my boss had to put Mike and me in a cab home, since he lived just around the corner from me.

Thank God for Mike.

I'd had some fun, but each time I thought I was feeling more like my former fun self, another humiliating event happened.

There was Heidi's wedding, where once again, I managed to embarrass myself. In a dare, Mike and Embry convinced the band to invite me onstage to sing. Why I agreed to it, I'll never know. They thought it was hilarious as I proceeded to belt out the worst rendition of "I Will Survive" ever sung, all the while watching Jacob and Leah's cuteness from front and center on the stage. I had never wanted to run away as badly as I did then.

Then Embry's birthday party, where I showed up with some guy I'd gone out with twice, subconsciously trying to make Jacob jealous. He seemed cute at the time I met him, but I wanted to curl up and die once we got to the party and he acted like the world's biggest dork. If it was just the dorkiness, I could have handled it. Dorky can be hot. But he was also strange socially, in a Ted Bundy sort of way. Rosalie and Alice both admitted that he had hit on them at one point in the evening. I spent the entire night avoiding him and doing damage control with my friends.

Where are the decent single men?

Then there was the ski trip that everyone went on where I had to sleep on the couch, since I was one of the only 'single' people, while Jacob and Leah got the room with the king-sized bed. I spent the entire time visualizing them in that huge bed… together…naked…gross. I could hear the cackle from the couch.

The thing was, I knew my behavior was pathetic. There were times I even laughed at how pathetic the situation seemed. It was so unlike me to be such a fool, but I couldn't get my bearings. Jacob worked with me. His friends were my friends. It was in my face all the time, and I was trying like hell not to let it affect my other relationships. I didn't want to lose my friends too. God, how I envied them - completely unaffected by the Jacob and Leah lovefest.

Then, in mid-May a bomb dropped. Rosalie, Alice and I were going out, just the girls. I felt relatively human knowing that Jacob and hyena-girl weren't going to be there, so I got dressed up, and by the time I was done, I felt like I looked pretty good.

Rosalie ordered us some fancy martinis, and we toasted to good friends. I shivered as the sharp liquor hit my tongue.

"Bella, we have to talk to you about something," Alice started, and I felt my stomach sink.

"What is this? An intervention?" I joked.

But they didn't laugh.

"You've been a fucking wreck over Jacob. I know you think you're fooling everyone but, Jesus, you sang "I Will Survive" at Heidi's wedding. It's not healthy, and he most definitely isn't worth it," Rosalie said bluntly.

I nodded, wincing a little at the horrible memory of me onstage as I took a quick sip of my drink. "I know. I'm so sorry, you guys. I can see that I've been moderately obsessed, and I know I've been a horrible friend, but I'm over him, I really am."

Alice eyed me warily. "Moderately obsessed? I've seen stalkers in better shape."

Again I winced. Was I really that bad that everyone noticed?

I took the uncomfortable moment to swig a little more of my cocktail, trying to take my mind off of the subject at hand.

Jesus, that's good.

"We're serious, Bella," Rosalie chimed in. "You've got to move on."

I nodded and put my hand up while I swallowed. "I know. I'm on it, guys. Really, it'll be better."

"He's getting married," Alice said flatly, and I froze.

Well, that's just fucking great.

This was just so typical. I couldn't tell you how many assholes I dated, who immediately following our breakup became the best boyfriends ever. Seriously, there were at least three guys who went immediately from dating me to dating the person they married. It seemed like I was the perfect boyfriend prepper. I prepared guys to be great boyfriends or husbands- to someone else.

I was sick of it.

I decided that night that I was done caring about Jacob or anyone else who didn't treat me like I deserved. I HAD been pathetic, trying to get Jacob's approval and then his attention after he unceremoniously dumped me. I wasn't heartbroken over losing Jacob, just the perfect image I'd created of him in my mind. I was human, and the rejection stung. That wasn't the surprise. What was surprising was how much I cared. I had let him get the best of me. I had let him make me feel miserable about myself. No more. It wasn't just that Jacob wasn't worth it; I deserved more.


Part 3: Moving On

Six months later, the weekend of the blessed event was upon us. I felt much better about things and had actually been on a few dates. Nothing panned out as relationship material, but at least I was getting out there again. I felt like a human being instead of death walking. I was still bummed about the fact that Jacob was getting married, while I didn't even have a boyfriend, but I was making due.

Naturally, I wasn't invited to the wedding but all my friends were. It was awkward because they didn't know what to say to me about it, but I had grown sort of numb to Jacob and Leah. If she wanted to cackle down the aisle and marry Mr. Supreme Asshole, more power to her.

I'd gotten a call from Mike, who had just recently moved to a town about an hour north of San Diego. He and another friend of Jacob's from college were coming down for the wedding, and they wanted to know if they could crash at my place. It would be good to see Mike again, and even though I wasn't going to the wedding, I didn't mind if they stayed. I was surprised his girlfriend, Jessica, allowed it. She was always jealous of our friendship, even though she had no reason to be. Mike was just a friend.

"Bella!" Mike exclaimed as I opened the door. I didn't even have a chance to move before he picked me up and swung me around. "It's good to see you!"

"Uh…you too, Mike," I laughed. "But I can't breathe."

He laughed and set me down as I waved for them to come in and set their stuff down.

"Hey Bella," Mike said once we were in the living room. "This is my friend, Edward. He went to college with Jacob and me."

I glanced up and was blown away by Edward. He was absolutely beautiful. He was tall and lean and looked very fit. His hair was disheveled, yet not messy, as if he'd just run his fingers through it. He had short stubble that covered his strong, sharp jaw line. But it was his piercing green eyes framed by long eyelashes that captivated me. I could easily get lost in them. Feeling a little ridiculous for being so dazzled, I smiled shyly as I reached out and shook his hand. I held onto it a little too long and felt the blush creep onto my face. I just couldn't help it.

"I've heard a lot about you," Edward said, his voice smooth and velvety.

Is it rude if I lean in and smell him? He looks like he'd smell delicious.

I recovered. "I'm sure. Mike's known me for a long time and has definitely seen me at my best and worst." I really hoped Mike was selective about which stories he told. I would die if the Halloween debacle of 2009 was made public.

"It was all good."

I reminded myself to thank Mike later.

That night was Friday and the wedding wasn't until Saturday, so we decided to go to dinner and then over to a place that had shuffleboard. I loved shuffleboard.

I tried to be discreet about ogling Edward but he was just too adorable. He had a calm nature, a little bit reserved but very confident. I liked that about him. He was paired up with Mike for shuffleboard, and I was paired up with Embry, which put Edward and me on the same end of the table.

It may or may not have been an accident.

Edward leaned against the wall behind me, and I could practically feel the heat as I lined up my shots. I was in a happy place.

As the night progressed, I became more and more attracted to Edward, and it seemed like the feeling was mutual. We flirted, and I wanted to melt every time he smiled at me. I stared at his lips as he drank from his beer bottle, wondering what it would be like to kiss them. My shameless thoughts wouldn't stop.

Several times throughout the night, he put his hand on my arm or casually around my waist. It wasn't over the top, but just enough to let me know my attraction to him was returned. Reeling from his touch, I excused myself to the bathroom in the back of the bar.

When I came out, he was leaning against the wall in the hallway with one leg propped up against it.

"Oh…hi," I said, somewhat startled, leaning against the wall on the opposite side of the hallway from him. "What are you up to?"

"I was waiting for you."

"Me? Why?" I was sure the look on my face was that of complete shock. Happy shock, but shock nonetheless.

"There's too many people out there," he said as he walked toward me, resting his arms on the wall behind me as he leaned in.

Oh my God, he's going to kiss me.

"You wanted to get me alone, did you?" I said with a smirk, allowing him to continue to close the distance between us as I boldly slipped my finger through the belt loop of his jeans.

Hello confidence. I've missed you.

Edward's smooth voice entranced me as he closed the remaining distance, "Very much."

His lips touched mine gently, tentatively. "So soft," he whispered.

I pulled on his belt loop to bring him into me again and this time when our lips met, there was passion and desire. I'd never been one for PDA but I didn't care at that moment who was watching. I just wanted him to keep kissing me.

He slid his tongue into my mouth and pressed his hips against mine. I moaned at the increased contact and wrapped my arms around his back, clutching at his shirt. His kiss ignited something in me that I'd never felt before. There was no way I could get close enough.

He pulled back and let someone pass, as the hallway was pretty narrow. "We should get back out there," he said, nodding to the front of the bar.

"Yeah," I said, looking down at my feet. I really just wanted to stay right there with him.

He threw his arms around my shoulders and pulled me into a hug. "I hope you'll let me do that again."

"Definitely."

The rest of the night went by in much the same fashion as the first part. Edward was affectionate and funny. Even Mike noticed and gave me his thumbs up on one of my trips to the bar, telling me what a great guy he was. Apparently Edward had been single a while, and Mike said he'd never seen him act like this with any other girl. I didn't want to get ahead of myself, but I was pretty excited about it.

The next night was the wedding and all my friends were going, so I decided to stay home. I was surprised at how unemotional I felt about it, given how destroyed I had previously been over Jacob.

As I sat on my couch that night, reading, I realized I was totally over Jacob. Sure, he would always incite emotion in me, but lately that emotion had been disdain, not affection. I genuinely disliked him for how he treated me and what I became when I was with him. I wasn't my happy self. He made me feel dumb and unimportant, and I wasn't either of those things. We definitely weren't equals in his mind, and I let that get to me. And the worst part was that he had turned me, Bella Swan, into a weepy, insecure mess. It was embarrassing.

While I wasn't happy how things had ended between us, it had shown me his true colors. I understood what Rosalie meant when she'd said he wasn't worth it. Leah could have him. I looked back on our 'relationship' and realized that it was non-existent. There is no such thing as a one-sided relationship. I was definitely ready to move on. I was thoroughly enjoying the thought of dating again, especially if the dating pool included the likes of Edward Cullen.

The guys got home from the wedding earlier than I expected. Mike was totally bombed. Apparently Leah's family hosted a full bar all night, which meant Mike and all of his fraternity brothers were doing shots. Edward was buzzed, but in considerably better shape.

I helped Mike onto the couch and took off his shoes. I walked into the bedroom to get another blanket, and when I turned around, Edward was right there.

"I grabbed this for you," I said, holding the blanket against my chest.

He pulled the blanket from my arms and set it on the bed, slipping his arms around my waist as he pulled me into him. "Thanks."

He moved us backward until my legs hit the bed, and we both fell with a whoosh. He landed on top of me and let his body weight fully rest on me. I could feel his arousal as he pressed into me. Instinctively, I opened my legs, and he groaned.

"Wait," I said, resting my hand on his chest. "Edward, I like you. I really do, and I want this. I just…I've been hurt by someone…and you guys are friends…and well, he was kind of a jerk to me."

"Are you talking about Jacob?" he asked, his body remaining on top of me. "He and I aren't that close. We used to be, but that was a long time ago. The only reason I came to the wedding was out of fraternity obligation and to hang out with Mike. Meeting you has made this trip worthwhile, though. And personally, I think Jacob Black was a fool to let you go. But, I'm so glad he did."

I was so worried that Edward was the same type of guy as Jacob. They both went to the same Ivy League school and were in the same fraternity. It just made me worried. My heart couldn't endure that torture again should things progress between us. I needed to know he was different, and as he continued to speak, my fears eased significantly.

He looked at me intensely. "I'm not Jacob. I know how he is, and I'm not like that."

I quickly pushed away any second thoughts as I reached up and wrapped my fingers into his hair and pulled him down for a kiss. We made out like teenagers, our legs and limbs rubbing against each other as we breathlessly took each other in.

"You're driving me crazy," he said huskily. "But, if we don't stop now, I'm not sure I'll be able to."

I ran my hand over my face and into my hair, panting from the exertion. "Yeah, you're kind of hard to resist."

He stood up, offering me his hand to help me up and then pulled me into a hug. "It's not that I don't want to, because I really, really do. I just like you, Bella. Can I see you again?"

Edward seemed so different from anyone I'd dated, especially he-who-shall-not-be-named. When he kissed me, it was as if the world stopped turning. Normally I would have felt a sting of rejection if a guy wanted to stop kissing me, but with him, it felt more like a promise of more to come. He was quickly proving to me just how different he really was.

We exchanged numbers at the end of the weekend with promises to keep in touch. My phone buzzed a few minutes after the guys left, and I smiled when I saw it was a text from Edward.

Is it weird that I miss you already? ~E

He missed me. I felt myself sigh.

I'm glad I'm not the only one. When can I see you again? ~B

This weekend. Can I come down Saturday night? ~E

It's a date! As long as you behave yourself!~B

I do have some self-control. I'll manage, barely.~E

It's funny how life works. Things happened fast for us. The next thing I knew, we talked on the phone every night, making plans to see each other again. Our relationship and friendship grew as we got to know one another. Jacob had stripped me down, filling me with self-doubt. With Edward, it was the opposite. He built me up and made me feel special.


Part 4: Letting Go

Edward was the perfect gentleman, asking me out on several dates over the next few weeks. It was hard that he lived an hour away, but we talked all the time and saw each other when we could. We would meet up in the middle, so neither one of us would get burned out on the drive. I was hopelessly attracted to him. The man was a walking God, and I couldn't get enough. Each time we kissed and touched, I wanted more. Yet, as much as I craved him physically, I knew we had so much more than that. We had so much in common and our conversations were always effortless.

One night, as we talked on the phone, I finally got up the nerve to take the next step.

"So, do you have plans this weekend?" I asked, trying to sound nonchalant and cool.

"I'm supposed to go to a friend's barbecue on Sunday afternoon, but I'd much rather see you."

He's so fucking cute!

"Good, because I was thinking you should come and stay with me." I sat up straighter, feeling confident.

Silence.

I deflated. "You don't have to…it was just a thought…"

"No!" he interrupted enthusiastically. "I'd love to see you, but why don't we do it up here at my place? You've never been here, and I'd like you to see it."

I practically did a happy dance on my bed. "It's a date! I'll come up on Friday after work."

Friday came, and I found myself completely distracted at work, eager to see Edward. I was supposed to be at his place at 7:00, and it couldn't come early enough. I couldn't wait to see him. We had planned on making dinner and then watching a movie. Edward asked me if I wanted to go out, but I wanted him all to myself the first night. He insisted on taking me to the barbeque on Sunday, saying something about wanting to show me off.

I got home from work and changed into casual clothes, trying on at least three different outfits before settling on a cute sundress and sandals. I threw together a quick bag, making sure to include a great outfit for the 'friends meet and greet', and got on the road.

After several calls for directions, I finally pulled up to his place completely wound up and eager to start our weekend.

"Hey there, stranger," Edward said, pulling me into a hug as soon as he opened the door.

He had a great apartment. It was an open concept place with lots of windows and light, only a few blocks from the beach.

He grabbed my bag from my hand and gave me a quick tour, dropping my stuff on his bed as we went. My eyes widened when I saw his elevated king-sized bed, which had a dark brown headboard and deep, rich fabrics covering it. I'd fantasized about having sex with Edward, and this bed was like something out of a fairy tale. The anticipation was making me giddy.

He looked unbelievable, wearing cargo shorts and a fitted t-shirt that showed off everything underneath. I couldn't wait to personally explore every inch of him.

"You look good enough to eat," I hummed into his ear as he hugged me tightly.

He pulled out of the hug and kissed me, his hands cupping my face. "I've thought about doing that all week."

I wondered if he'd thought about me as much as I had about him. He had constantly occupied my thoughts, and even my friends noticed that I had a permanent smile fixed to my face.

Dinner was fun and informal; I cooked. I was surprised I actually got anything served, as Edward was quite a distraction. Several times, he came up behind me and slid his hands around my waist, pressing me against the counter and kissing my neck. I wasn't complaining at all, but it did make it difficult to prepare dinner.

We curled up on the couch, and I rested between his legs. His arms enveloped me as we snuggled up under a throw blanket. As the movie went on, our touches grew in intensity. I ran my hands up and down his legs, playing with the hair, tickling him. He ran his hands over my stomach and kissed the back of my neck and shoulders. I wanted a lot more, and all I could concentrate on was Edward's touch.

After the movie was over, we sat outside for a while, talking. I curled up next to him while he told me more about himself. I couldn't help but stare at his lips and throat as he sipped his beer. I was nervous about spending the night with him. I wanted him so badly, but he was different than other guys. I wanted our time together to be special.

After a while, I was feeling tired so I suggested we go to bed. I could see that Edward had the same trepidation as I did, neither of us knowing what to expect. Once in the room, I quickly changed clothes in the bathroom, and by the time I came out, Edward was already underneath the covers of his bed. I slid in next to him, and he immediately pulled me into his body, our legs entwining. He had no shirt on, only his boxers, and the heat of his skin against mine was soothing. His hand came up to my face and carefully brushed a stray lock of hair behind my ear.

"Are you okay with this?" he asked sweetly.

I nodded and leaned into his embrace. He began to kiss my neck and shoulders, pulling the strap of my camisole down to clear a path for his lips. I moaned at the feeling and slid my knee up his leg toward his hip, rubbing gently. His hand moved down to my ass, gripping it tightly as he ground his hips forward, his erection prominent against me.

"See what you do to me?" he asked huskily, continuing his grinding movements.

I slid my hand down his naked torso, stopping at the waistline of his boxers. "I want to touch you. Are you okay with that?" I whispered in his ear, giving his a quick kiss.

"You're making it exceedingly difficult for me to be a gentleman. You know that?" He sighed as he gently kissed my neck.

He acquiesced and lay down on his back, giving me better access to his beautiful body. His gaze never left my hand as it dipped below his boxers. I felt him jump slightly as I wrapped my fingers around his length. He reached down and pulled his boxers down, allowing me to see him completely naked for the first time.

I ran my thumb over the slit at the top, spreading the moisture that had accumulated there. He groaned and pressed his hips into my hand, emboldening me.

"Is this okay?" I asked shyly, needing confirmation I was doing it right.

"God, Bella," he said breathily, "you have no idea how good that feels."

I began to move up and down his cock, squeezing him as he twitched under my touch. His eyes were closed, and he looked so content. It made me happy to know I could give him such pleasure.

He was so hard in my hand, and his moans were so fucking sexy. He rubbed my back as I kissed him passionately, my hand continuing to move up and down his length, twisting at the top.

"Fuck…Bella…" he said, clutching the sheets as he bucked up into me. "You're gonna make me come."

I focused on my movements, watching his dick slide effortlessly in my hands. His body writhed and his breath was short, and I could tell he was getting close. It was a sight to behold.

"Oh, baby…fuck…ah…yes…" His words were labored, and he sucked in a deep breath as he came on my hand in spurts. It was the sexiest fucking thing I had ever seen.

He was panting heavily as he threw his arm over his eyes. "Holy shit!"

I quickly hopped up and grabbed a towel to clean up while he recovered. His body was limp, and his chest rose and fell heavily with his deep breaths. I leaned in and kissed his neck, feeling elated that I could give him that release. I wanted him to feel connected to me.

He wrapped his arms around me and kissed me. Out tongues moved in tandem against each other as the kiss became needy. Without warning, he rolled us both over so he was on top of me, pressing his body against mine.

"Let me return the favor?" he said in between kisses as his hand crept lower on my body.

"Oh God, please," I begged, spreading my legs wide for him. My body was on fire for his touch. I moaned in anticipation of it.

He smiled and slid off to my side, never stopping his kisses, his hand staying on my hip. I lifted my hips as he slid my PJ's and panties down. His eyes were fixed on what he was doing. I felt exposed and self-conscious at first and closed my legs in modesty, but he stopped me.

"No, let me see you," he said. "You're beautiful."

I relaxed into him as he kissed me tenderly. His hand moved slowly up my leg until he reached the junction of my hip. I was so turned on that I was throbbing. "Please, Edward…"

His fingers slid along my entrance, the slickness making his touch easy and smooth, until he reached my clit, making small circles.

"You're so wet," he said softly. "And so warm."

His fingers moved lower, and he pressed one inside me. I let out a low moan and thrust my hips into his hand. Liking my reaction, he slid another finger inside and began to pump in and out in a steady rhythm. It was so intense. I couldn't believe this was real.

"Does that feel good?" he whispered into my ear, leaving small, wet kisses.

All I could do was moan as he continued to move in and out of me. He curled his fingers upward as his thumb slid along my clit, and I felt my body tense. With each pass, I grew closer to my release. My body was completely at his mercy. He kissed my chest and shoulder, and with his free hand, lowered the top of my camisole, freeing my breast.

"So perfect," he murmured as his lips enclosed my nipple.

He sucked and licked me, while his fingers continued their movement below. The sensations were so strong, almost too strong, and I was quickly losing control.

"Oh God, don't stop," I breathed as I writhed under Edward's touch, finally exploding onto his fingers in wave after wave of ecstasy.

We lay together, kissing and hugging until we were both exhausted. My back was against his chest, and his leg slid in between mine. I could feel his body from my head to my toes.

"Thank you for earlier," Edward hummed into my ear.

"Thank you for having me here." He nuzzled into my neck, and the smile on my face beamed ear to ear.

It was natural and perfect. I had never been with anyone who made me feel so complete. We just fit, and it was easy. I slept more soundly than I had in a very long time.

The next day, we hit up the beach. I brought my skimpiest bikini, and the sight of Edward in board shorts made my insides tingle. The day was perfect. We swam in the water and played in the waves. Edward was affectionate and sweet, making me feel incredibly special. The sun beat down on us as we lay on our towels in the hot sand, warming us while we read books and talked.

After we showered and cleaned up, I hopped up on the kitchen counter while he opened a bottle of wine and got out some cheese and crackers.

"So, what's the plan for tonight?" I asked, popping a slice of cheese into my mouth.

"I thought we'd stay in again," he said, pulling me into a kiss with his hands on the side of my face. "Maybe watch the sunset on the beach, and then I can make dinner?"

Is he for real?

"Are you always this perfect, or are you just trying to get into my pants?" I asked, smiling as he kissed me.

"Both."

Jesus Christ.

The sunset was gorgeous. Reds and yellows lit up the sky and the water, while we sat on a blanket on the beach. I was nestled between his legs with his arms around me, and I knew this was different than any other relationship I'd had.

"This is nice," I hummed, leaning my head back against him.

He kissed my neck and whispered, "It's perfect."

Lazily holding hands, we strolled back to his place, and I sat on the barstool while he cooked us dinner. He looked fucking adorable in his apron as he chopped and sautéed. He even lit candles on the table. He thought of everything.

"Wow, you must be a real hit with the ladies," I said, somewhat in awe. "This is quite the seduction scene here."

He came up behind me after he'd set the plates on the table and wrapped his arms around me. "So, it's working then? I wanted it to be special since last night was so casual."

"Thank you so much."

This guy can't be real.

After dinner, we lounged a little on the patio, but then it started to get cold.

"Want to go inside?" he asked, as I shivered and nodded.

He pulled me inside, but we didn't make it far before his lips were on mine, passionately kissing me. We both wanted more and had alluded to the things we wanted to do with each other all night. The suggestive innuendos and intense flirting at the beach and during dinner led us to this frenzied state. My tongue glided over his and we moved together, tasting and taking one another in. My hands roamed his back, as his tangled in my hair at the base of my neck. I wanted him with every fiber of my being. Without breaking the kiss, he slowly maneuvered us down the hallway to his room, where we both fell onto the bed.

He ran his hand down the side of my body and down my leg, pulling my knee up around his hip, allowing me to feel every inch of him. I pulled his shirt up until he took over, sitting up and reaching behind his head to take it off. I ran my hands up his chiseled chest, taking time to appreciate how gorgeous he was. His skin was soft, pulled firmly over his taut muscles like water running over rocks. He smiled at my reaction to his body and reached for the hem of my shirt.

I arched my back, allowing him to pull my shirt off, which he threw casually to the floor.

"You have an amazing body," he whispered, leaning down to kiss my collarbone while his hand moved to my breast.

I reached around my back to unclasp my bra, while his hand was spread on my chest, waiting. When it was unclasped, he gently pulled it from my body and promptly returned his hand.

I pulled him into a deep kiss, earning me a throaty moan. Feeling his chest naked against mine fueled my desire for him, and I could feel my skin tingling at his touch.

"More…Edward…" I couldn't put my feelings into words. I just wanted to be closer.

He reached for the button of my jeans, and then slowly slid the zipper down, his gaze fixed onto mine.

I nodded in response to his unspoken request for permission, and he continued. His hands moved to my hips, sliding my pants and underwear off. I lifted myself up to make it easier and then I was naked beneath him, but I didn't feel self-conscious like the first time. He made me feel beautiful.

He stood and began to unbutton his jeans, but I sat up and reached for them as he dropped his hands and his gaze, watching me.

I slid my fingers beneath the waistband and slowly lowered his pants, freeing his erection as I went. He kicked off his pants, and his hands moved to my cheeks, leaning down for a slow and sensual kiss before standing again.

I ran my hands up his legs, around his ass, as I leaned in and took his hard cock into my mouth in one quick movement.

"Fuck…" he hissed as he threw his head back.

I pulled him into my mouth as deeply as I could, using my hands on his ass as leverage. Loud moans emanated from his chest as I licked and sucked on him. His hands came to my shoulders, and he pressed me back slightly, pulling himself from my mouth.

"As good as that feels, I don't want to come yet," he said with a sigh.

I smiled and lay back on the bed, pulling him on top of me. He put his leg between mine and pressed onto me. I could feel him hard against my thigh. He began to kiss my breast, continuing lower and lower down my body. His hand was splayed out on my stomach, leading his mouth to where I wanted it the most. His fingers slid between my legs, and I gasped and shivered at his touch.

I could feel his breath on my stomach, on my hips, on my inner thighs, as he kissed his way lower. When he was situated firmly between my legs, his tongue licked me from bottom to top, and I shivered at the feeling. It was overwhelming.

He rested his forearm on my hips and held me in place as he licked me again, this time bringing his other hand up to meet his mouth. He spread me wide and pressed his tongue inside me, and I thought I might explode.

"You taste so good," he said, plunging his tongue into me again.

I moaned and writhed as he licked and sucked on my clit before slipping two fingers inside of me. I had honestly never felt anything so intense before in my life. I was practically seeing stars. He never ceased his movement, and I lost all sense of self-control as I exploded onto his tongue and fingers, screaming and panting his name.

With a satisfied look on his face, Edward removed his fingers and climbed on top of me, spreading my legs with his knees and lowering his body to mine as he kissed me. I could taste myself on his lips, and it was an incredible turn on.

"Do you have a condom?" I asked, praying the answer was 'yes'. He sat up on his knees and reached over to the nightstand, pulling out the small package and ripping it open with his teeth. His cock was at full attention as he rolled the condom slowly down the length of it, while I watched with rapt attention.

He lowered himself once again, and I raised my arms above my head in complete surrender. He ran his hand up my side, stopping on my breast as he leaned in and took my nipple into his mouth. I moaned loudly but couldn't help it. Every touch of his sent me spiraling.

"I've never felt like this," he said, looking into my eyes as he positioned himself at my slick entrance. "You're incredible."

His words mirrored my own feelings. I'd never felt so much intensity for anyone before. It both scared and exhilarated me.

I couldn't wait any longer. I had to have him. "Please…Edward…"

I could barely get the words out before he thrust into me powerfully, a deep and husky groan leaving his mouth.

I wrapped my legs around him, urging him deeper. His breath was heavy and filled with desire as he moved within me. His hand moved up my body and arm, holding both hands together above my head. The position allowed him more control, and he picked up his movements, establishing a delicious rhythm. Time seemed to stand still, and all I could concentrate on was the intensity.

"Fuck, you feel so good," he muttered. "I…I'm so close…"

My body tensed again as his thrusts became more powerful. "That's it, baby," he said, panting. "Come with me."

I couldn't hold back as my orgasm ripped through me, and I screamed his name. In a few commanding thrusts, he joined me in release, collapsing on top of me. He released my hands, which naturally fell around his back as he kissed my neck and shoulder tenderly.

"I could do that every day," I whispered. "Wow."

I really couldn't say much else. Being with Edward in this way was mind-blowing. I was consumed by him. I wanted to please him and make him feel loved. I wanted so much to be everything to him, just as he was quickly becoming that to me.

We lay there in each other's arms for a few minutes in peaceful silence before he spoke.

"Bella, I have something I want to talk to you about."

My natural reaction to this type of lead in was panic.

No, not Edward. Please don't let him be like Jacob!

"Hey, it's okay," he said, gently caressing my cheek, obviously sensing my distress. "It's not a bad thing. Actually, I was talking to Mike the other day, and he asked about you. He asked me if you were my girlfriend…and…we've been spending a lot of time together…and well, I told him you are."

I should have known he wasn't like Jacob. I brushed a stray hair out of his face. "Is that what you want me to be?"

He kissed my forehead, then my cheek, then my ear. "Yeah, it is. I want to know you're mine."

I put my hands on either side of his face, our eyes focused on each other. "I am yours. I have been for a while. And of course I'll be your girlfriend."

I felt like I could fly at that moment. Edward was so perfect for me. We didn't have to force anything; it just came naturally to us. I laughed at the irony of knowing if it weren't for Jacob, I wouldn't know Edward. If he hadn't gotten married, I wouldn't have met this incredible man. He liked me – the real me, not the one I'd pretended to be. He wanted to be with me. He wanted me to be his, to publically introduce me as his girlfriend to his friends.

If only I'd have known all those months ago, when I pined for someone so wrong for me, that happiness lay just around the corner. I'd have never wasted a breath on Jacob Black. Still, his presence in my life influenced me profoundly; it was just in a vastly different way than I originally thought. He reminded me why I should never have settled for less than what I deserve.

I had Edward now, and that made all those months of feeling miserable worth it. He was worth it.


A/N: I hope you enjoyed this. I didn't win, but it was a lot of fun. Sadly, this was based on a guy I dated. I did those things. (I seriously cringe at the wedding singing.) It was an everyday reminder. That which doesn't kill us makes us stronger! Thankfully I found my guy right after that, and it's all good! Thanks for reading!