Disclaimer:

The character names belong to Stephanie Meyer. All insane plots, twisted dialogue and smutty scenes belong solely to the author.

Happy reading. :)

Eliza Randall 2010 (TM)

When You Come Undone

Words, playing me deja vu, Like a radio tune I swear I've heard before,
Chill, is it something real, Or the magic I'm feeding off your fingers
Can't ever keep from falling apart... at the seams
Can I believe you're taking my heart... to pieces

-Duran Duran

Chapter 1

Home is where the heart is...

•Bella•

Herman Melville said "Life's a voyage that's homeward bound." In this moment I understood that sentiment. The trip to Forks from Seattle wasn't a long one but it was enough that I could feel the anxiety of my youth pressing in on me. The burden I was going to face upon my arrival was something I didn't want to ponder. Jacob was fighting for his life and I would be there for him. The mere thought of that truth tore through my heart like lightening across a stormy sky. Tears gathered in the corners of my eyes and I blinked them away. I wouldn't cry. I refused to give up.

Jacob Black was my oldest friend. Growing up together, we were the daughter of the police chief and the Quileute kid who were inseparable. I think it was the not-so-secret hopes of our fathers that we'd be more than just friends. It wasn't meant to be. Jake and I weren't wired that way. I wasn't wired that way. I loved him, as I always had, but I wasn't, nor had I ever been, in love with him. Charlie had called me on Tuesday night to let me know that Jake had taken a turn for the worse and the treatment he was undergoing was unsuccessful. The last I had heard, Jacob's leukemia was in remission and he was doing fine. This was such a cold blow from out of nowhere. I packed up my car without a second thought and left early Wednesday morning. Here I was now, locked in silent battle with grim thoughts for three and a half hours. I think I'd rather have bamboo shoots shoved underneath my nails, but this was my fate. Suck it up, Swan. Sleep was a passing fantasy while the miles stretched out before me. I was going home, for better or worse.

The house where I spent my teen years was largely unchanged. I'd moved to Forks from Phoenix to live with my Dad. Charlie Swan, my father, had retired as Chief of Police eight months ago. He now spent his time watching football or fishing with Billy Black, Jake's dad. Walking into that place was almost like stepping through a time warp, dragging me back to the awkwardness of my past. I felt like I was seventeen again instead of twenty nine. I had to remind myself that I was a grown woman and not a girl anymore. Something about Forks had that effect. I called out to Charlie as I unlocked the door. I wasn't surprised to find him sleeping on the couch, television blaring, the Redskins game on. I stepped to the table, picked up the remote and killed the offensive cheering with a button push. Charlie's eyes popped open. He smiled when they lit on my face. He clamored to his feet and wrapped me in his arms. "Daddy," I breathed and relished in the feeling of human contact. It hit me with some force just how lonely I was."It's been too long since you've been home, Bells," he chastised. It'd only been six months since I came into town and had dinner with Dad, Billy and Jake, but now it felt like an eternity. Everything had changed so damn much in such a short piece of time. "Tell me about Jake, Dad." I didn't want to ask but some dark, twisted portion of me drew out the question like a sword being unsheathed. Like the weapon, the inquiry was double edged and quite capable of cutting me to the quick. "The cancer is back. He didn't want anyone to tell you just how sick he was. He tried to be strong for you, Bella. That boy has always carried a flag for you." He muttered something about kids and not seeing the forest for the trees.

I knew in the back of my mind Jake was in love with me. It was simply something I thought he'd outgrow. I guess I was terribly wrong. I gasped as a sharp pain of regret stabbed my heart. The tears loomed again but I would prevail over them once more.

I was drowning in the thoughts of what could have been. I could have been Bella Black with ease. That life held its arms wide open to me. It would have been so much simpler than the path I'd etched out for myself.

If Jake and I would have taken that next step, I'm sure we'd have a couple of kids now. Maybe a little girl with Jake's shining black hair and solemn eyes and a boy with his crooked smile and my father's nose. I'd be a teacher at the rez school and he'd run his mechanic business. Had he spent his life pining for me? All signs pointed to yes. Guilt left a bitter taste in my mouth and I choked on it swallowing it down. Too much time had passed to even consider what might have been. But still, the thoughts of it lingered.

I composed myself and hugged Charlie goodbye. My stomach seemed to twist itself in knots of epic Boy Scout proportions as I came closer and closer to the hospital. I gripped the steering wheel of my Jeep like a lifeline. I did not want to go into that cold, sterile room and see him looking defeated and broken. My stomach clenched at the image stamping itself in my brain. Realistically, I knew what awaited me but the shock of seeing Jacob Black in that bed was something I never could have prepared for. His eyes, dull and glassy from the medication being pumped through his system, met mine. They had lost the mischief and happiness that had been there the last time I'd seen him. "Jake." I whispered. "Baby Bells," he croaked out and lifted his hand to me. I moved to the bedside and took his proffered hand. It was still large and warm and reminded me of brighter days. His fingers engulfed mine and pulled. He was still quite strong much to my surprise, but then again Jake had never been frail. I climbed into the bed with him, trying to mind the wires of the iv and the monitoring equipment that was attached to him. He wrapped me in his arms, his chin resting on the top of my head and held me. It was hard to say who was comforting whom. "Why, Jacob? Why did you wait so long to tell me? I could have been here for you." He said nothing for the longest minutes."I love you, Bella," was whispered against my hair. I nodded and responded in kind. "I didn't want you to see me this way. I wanted to be strong. I needed to be whole for you." Jacob drew a labored breath, then slipped into a medicated sleep. Once more, I was left alone with thoughts I didn't want. I listened to his heart beating below my ear and was soothed by the rhythmic rise and fall of his chest. I prayed to a god that I wasn't sure that I believed in then cried myself to sleep. The tears won out this time. I was just tired of being strong. At least no one saw.

Sometime later, as I still lay on the bed with Jake's six foot, six inch frame taking most of the space, the door opened, spilling light into the dim room. A white lab coat appeared in my peripheral vision and then came nearer. The figure, carrying a chart reached the bed only to loom over me. Slowly coming to my senses, I fumbled for an explanation as to why I was in bed with Jake before I fully looked at the doctor. He was tall, maybe, six one with unruly shining, copperish hair. It looked like his hands had been dragged through it repeatedly. He had that rumpled, sexy, doctor look and my female mind was appreciating the view. The man filled out a pair of periwinkle scrubs like an Adonis. I continued my assent until I reached his face. His eyes were golden, cinnamon brown and he had the fullest lips. Those lips would certainly know how to kiss. I was surveying the land like a hungry prospector looking for a claim to jump. Recognition hit me like a sledge hammer and ended my survey like a traffic light suddenly gone red. Oh my god, it couldn't be. My hand flew to my mouth, eyes widened with shock. A startled sound escaped my lips before I could contain it. "Edward?" It was Edward Cullen and from the looks of it he was just as surprised to see me as I was him. Holy mother of God. Fucking Forks. "Hi, Bella," rolled off his tongue. The sound of my name leaving his mouth was enough to drag me kicking and screaming down memory lane.