On An Icy Mountain, In A Warm Tent

Soul meets soul on lover's lips.
- Percy Bysshe Shelley

"Aunt Rose, I'm ready! Are you coming?" I yelled, even though there was no need to. If I had merely whispered, she would have heard me with no difficulty. But still, I was half-human. It seemed natural and . . . pleasant.

"Hang on, sweetheart," she replied in soft chime-like voice from upstairs.

There was barely anything left in me to have hung on to. Aunt Rose had been in her bedroom for . . . well, not that long. Three minutes, maybe? But this was really getting on my nerves. She didn't need make-up. She didn't need a dress. She didn't need stilettos. She didn't actually need to pack anything for crying out loud. It was a camping trip, not a month's shopping spree to New York Manhattan.

Aunt Rosalie has been a second mother to me; and as much as I loved her dearly, she could really infuriate me sometimes. She'd insisted upon dressing me last night for the coming trip, and knowing how much time she was going to take and waste on me, I had run back to the empty cottage before she'd even finished her sentence.

I didn't want to wait. I loved our annual camping travels just before Christmas. We did this every year.

This time was different, though. Momma and Daddy had left for the Denali Wilderness before us. To setup everything, they had claimed. And I believed them. Mostly for the reason I didn't want to think what they were truly doing.

Aunt Alice. I sighed in relief. Perhaps, I should give thanks to my lucky stars that she wasn't here with us for the jaunt. She was a wonderful Aunt and a best friend every girl would kill to have. But when I recalled the tightest jeans, push-up bra and filmy blouse she had put me in the last event like this—I felt like crying. I figured it was a good thing she'd gone to France with Uncle Jasper.

I smiled and shook my head as I understood what Uncle Jasper must be going through right at this moment. Though, a whole lot of me was sure he was enduring Aunt Alice euphorically. Let's face it, he loved her affectionately.

This year, since Grandpa Carlisle couldn't come along with us for the new shifts he'd been given at the hospital, Grandma Esme was staying, too. I didn't feel sorry for either one of them. Seeing as how we'll all be gone from the main house, leaving it all to the two of them, I think they'll still have one of the best two days of their life.

I didn't realize I'd been biting my lip as I thought of the love between the couples in my family. They'd been sealed in love with each other for decades. A sense of bitter warmness filled my chest as I realized how I was the only one in the family with no lover. Though, no one ever made me feel neglected, I couldn't help the feeling of loneliness creep throughout me.

Nevertheless, when I thought about the day when I'd finally have a hand to hold, one particular face winked in my head.

Uncle Emmett's boisterous laughter boomed behind me, and I quickly turned back with a stunned frown.

He flashed toward me. His movement so fast that all I saw was a blur. Uncle Em put his strapping arm around me in a chummy manner. I was certain I would have been half a meter below the ground if it wasn't the vampire strength in me. Uncle Emmett fascinated me. Even though he didn't work out, his menacingly brawny form had remained the same throughout the years. He must be so heavy!

"My sweet niece," he teased, "she's probably found a mirror on her way down."

I chuckled quietly and then punched him in the chest. "Stop it, Uncle Em. I can't stand it. I love her very much."

He rolled his eyes but his lips spread over his razor-sharp teeth in a grin.

I touched the cold hand that rested on my shoulder. God! I sighed mentally. It's just a camping trip. It isn't like she's getting ready to walk at the altar for the second time.

He laughed and flicked my chin. "You sneaky little thing."

I beamed when he winked and shrugged my shoulders. Go get her before I pass out in excitement. My adrenaline is pumping and I'm ready to run. I want to get to the peak as soon as possible.

I knew what was coming even before he mischievously waggled his eyebrows. "I know why you're excited." He took his arm off me and grasped the hem of his t-shirt, only pretending to take it off. He held his hands up in the air and mocked a heated expression. "Somebody hold my hands back, I can't resist those fine abs—"

My eyes narrowed in offensive disposition as I glared at him. "It's got nothing to do with the fact that we're meeting Jacob at the bottom of the mountain!"

"Jacob?" He frowned to simulate shock and confusion. "When did I say anything about Jacob? I was talking about myself."

I growled. Balling my fist in annoyance, I struck the hard plains of his abdomen. A little harder this time. A sudden sharp noise of a marble cracking sounded in my ears. Uncle Emmett didn't so much as groan but bowed slightly and rubbed the spot I just punched with a look of stupefaction.

"You're such a good mood-ruiner!" I yelled. "Why do you have to come with us?"

"Why?" He straightened his stance and crossed his arms over his broad chest. "Little red riding hood wants to spend some alone time with her big, bad wolf?" It surprised me to see the humor still glued to his visage. Had he ever been serious?

I rolled my eyes. "I'm not a kid anymore, Uncle." As if to prove my point, I spun around.

He shrugged. "Still. You don't look a day over fourteen."

"What?" I gasped. "Seventeen."

"Maybe sixteen," he urged.


A broad grin of triumph spread across his lips and he shook his head in amusement.

"Leave the poor girl alone, Emmett," Grandma Esme defended as she entered the living room. Then her gentle fingers were running through my long hair—as if to soothe me. And despite my current disposition, it was working.

"Yeah. Leave my poor girl alone." Aunt Rose was next. She descended—flowed—down the stairs, looking beautiful as ever. I gawked at her blonde hair that was haloed by the sunless light coming through the windows. Her dress a sheer color of cream lace blended and hugged her slender body as it was intended to.

We were going to be running for hours, and the dress would have without a doubt been a poor choice for me. However, Aunt Rose was more talented runner than me. She's been doing this longer that I have of course. I betted my bottom dollar that the dress wouldn't have a tear or a strain once we'd reached the camping destination at the summit of Denali. That is unless she and Uncle Emmett decided to make a quick stop somewhere . . .

I'd bet my bottom dollar on the latter one, too. Estimating from the dress, I knew for sure Uncle Emmett would insist her to make a stop.

I quickly disengaged the thought with slight shake of my head. Though now, seeing Aunt Rose in that exquisite dress, I felt somewhat uneasy glancing down at my sweater and jeans. I immediately brushed the thought. I wouldn't have been able to handle the dress anyway. I wouldn't even be able to handle the casual clothes I was wearing. I knew for sure they'd be ruined before I reached the tent. It didn't matter. We weren't staying there for too long as usual.

"Renesmee's too beautiful to even be imagined with that idiot of a dog," Aunt said sharply as she neared me. Though I loved her, I didn't like her saying that.

Truth be told: no matter how many times I declined this to my family, I was in love with my russet werewolf. With everything that I was and more than anyone ever thought possible. My best friend. My heart sped in my chest as I pondered more deeply about him. For the past two years, I realized, Jacob has possessed my body and soul into near craziness, and he didn't even know it. He could see through everyone's heart but mine.

I loved him, and without me even understanding it, that love had gradually bubbled into passion that I felt inside my heart and couldn't hide. I pretended to conceal it, but it burnt me more and more until the pain of not having Jacob grew and it never ended. 'Passion' was a word that involved so many feeling. I felt it when he touched me, when he hugged me, when he kissed my cheek, when he looked at me—I felt it to the brink of madness.

Now, at the thought of seeing him shirtless after short while . . .

My heartbeat stuttered and I felt something performing a funny flip-flop inside my belly—a kind of sensation I've grown to like over the years.

Every moment I spent with him was like a beautiful dream come true. Life without Jacob would have been like flowers without sweet nectar. Every night I'd go to bed thinking how I should reveal what I felt for him. But 'what ifs' would conquer every one of my ideas and get the better of me.

I did not want to lose him. Jacob was my best friend and after him knowing that I loved him more that I should and if he didn't feel the same way, things might get awkward between us. I'd rather stay his best friend forever than not have him at all. I could stand simply fantasizing about me and Jacob together. But the notion of heartbreak and the look of rejection in his eyes? I wouldn't be able to endure that.

I took a deep breath and sighed out slowly.

"Ready to go, Ness," Uncle prodded.

I grinned, sensing my enthusiasm skyrocketing once more. "Let's get going."

The three of us walked out of the living room after saying our final goodbyes to grandma. As Grandpa Carlisle was working, I kissed grandma on the cheek and touched her arm in acknowledgment of letting Grandpa know I loved him.

I was running with Uncle Emmett and Aunt Rose before we even got out of the house. It was raining—more like drizzling—lightly only to form dews on my loosened hair. Jacob's request. I recalled the day and smiled to myself when he'd run his long fingers through my hair and had stated how much he loved my hair when I left it down. Then he'd looped the curled end of the strand around his fingers and told me how beautiful it smelled. I'd blushed so hot the entire day that my cheeks had literally caught on fire by the night when he'd dropped me home with a kiss on the forehead.

Since that day, I'd always left my hair down and had never even thought about changing the brand of my strawberry scented shampoo and conditioner.

We topped the river in one spring and ran directly east through the thick undergrowth of forest. All three of us slowed down as the only animal we'd actually seen since running appeared in our line of sight.

I have to admit I was a little surprised to see Jacob transformed. I hadn't been expecting a huge red-brown wolf. I figured that was because I ached to see his hard body.

Aunt Rose and Uncle Emmett halted. I zipped past them, not considering stopping until my body collided with the russet fur of Jacob.

"Jacob!" I beamed and encircled his broad neck with my arms, rising on my toes.

Jacob barked and rolled his tongue out the instant I released him. I laughed and turned as he bound over me and nudged my shoulder with his snout. He playfully danced around, bowing by placing the front of his body against the ground, while holding the rear high, wagging. I giggled some more and held his large head in between my hands, kissing the soft fur in between his gleaming eyes.

Jacob looked at me for a while, not moving, before he suddenly lapped at my cheek and disappeared behind the bushes. I figured he must have discovered my longing to really see him because when he re-emerged from thick wilderness area after a brief moment, he was only in his cut-off jeans and a pair of shoes. I noticed he was holding a jacket in one of his fists.

I didn't get a second to admire his muscles because the next thing I knew, my front was pressed against the hard plains of his torso. I eagerly held on, wrapping both of my arms around his shoulders. Jacob tightened his arms around my waist and grasped me longer that I expected him to. He bent, and my knees nearly buckled when his hoarse but low groan vibrated against my chest, and he nuzzled the side of my neck with his mouth.

A prompt feeling of warmness filled me to the brim. God, if it wasn't the nicest feeling in the world. If I could, I would've stayed like that for the rest of my life and died content.

Someone cleared his throat. Uncle Emmett.

I reluctantly freed myself from his grasp and turned around to look at Uncle Emmett. He had his arms folded across his chest, Aunt Rose by his side with an expression of endurance.

"Lovebirds, we have to get cracking. It's going to start pelting soon. If Nessie wants to get to the peak without slipping and tripping and getting sick, let's move." He looked up toward the purpling clouds. I followed his gaze. The dark clouds floated rapidly together, blackening the afternoon faster than I thought. "I'm afraid it's going to snow even."

"Storm," Jacob said. More of a statement than a question.

Uncle nodded. "Maybe."

Jacob took a step to stand by my side and bumped his bicep against my shoulder teasingly. I had to clutch his forearm in order to not tumble back at the collision. "Your parents picked a hell of a day of this." He looked at Uncle Emmett with a hint on amusement playing in his eyes. "I wonder if they're even paying any attention to the weather."

Uncle laughed. "I don't think so. I've been trying Eddie's cell just to annoy the two of them. He's turned it off."

"My dress is going to be ruined," I heard Aunt Rose murmur to herself and fought back a smile. "Damn it."

Uncle leaned down and whispered in her ear, "I was planning to ruin it anyway." even knowing Jacob and I could hear.

I frowned, disgusted, and shook my head. It defiantly wasn't something a niece should hear.

Jacob whistled and looked down at me with a grin. He slithered his hand along my arm and to the hand that touched his forearm. I subdued a shiver that sneaked up my spine when he intertwined his fingers through mine.

There was some kind of heat in his gaze when I curled my fingers around his hand. But again, that might have just been me imagining what I wanted and needed in Jacob's eyes. A tingly feeling unfurled in my belly and I sucked my bottom lip in turn not to moan when Jacob gaze didn't waver. I got the unsettling inkling that Jacob knew what I was thinking. Swallowing, I struggled to keep my voice even and get hold of my suddenly elusive sense of self-control.

I tore my eyes from Jacob's and looked at the couple fronting us. "We should . . .umm . . . we should get going."

Aunt Rose nodded and looked at Jacob sharply, all business concern. "Unlike us, Ne—" She stopped when she realized what she was about to say before starting once more. "Renesmee will need to take a break after a few minutes. Make sure you stay with her, and do not let her out of your sight. Few miles before the peak, one of us will come down to check on her. It shouldn't take more than one and a half hour for you guys to reach the top. Also, let Renesmee hunt if she can find any animals. I seriously doubt it in this weather, though."

Jacob straightened his stance and saluted with his free hand. "Yes, ma'am!"

I laughed.

Aunt Rose narrowed her eyes at him with warning and flashed before me. She ran her cold hand against my cheek with a feather-like touch and kissed the side of my forehead. I encountered she was holding her breath at Jacob's nearness. It also might have something to do with the fact of Jacob's masculine scent all over me.

"Be careful," she said, then without a trace of hesitation, she added, "call my name if he gets hanky-panky. I'll know."

Jacob's hand squeezed mine.

I felt my face go red. "Mommy! I mean, Aunt Rose!"

Then it was the first time I'd seen her smile today. "I love you."

"It wouldn't kill you to say that to me once in a while, babe," Uncle Emmett said with a frown.

Aunt Rose turned in a flicker to face him. "How about I just show you?"

They both faded into the darkness of the forest without another word, leaving me and Jacob alone.

Jacob had a big grin on his face. "What's up, Nessie?"

I shrugged. "Nothing much. Let's go." I tried to cart him along.

He didn't budge. Instead, he held his jacket up. "I brought this for you. I didn't want you to get cold."

"I won't be cold." I gestured to my sweater. "I'm covered. You on the other hand,"—I gave his naked torso a swift cursory examination intentionally—"are not."

"I don't get cold." He worked his jacket behind me, holding it up for me to put my arms through the sleeves.

Without any questions, I did what he wanted me to do and what I wanted desperately to do. I slid my arms into his jacket. It was warm. Not how my jackets usually feel when I first wear them in mornings after shower. The smell of Jacob was in every fiber of it. Its scent was potent—of virility, warmness and new rain. It smelled like Jacob.

"Besides . . . I know how attracted you are to my muscles," Jacob finished, his voice hoarse and thick.

My jaw fell open with a popping sound, my cheeks growing red in embarrassment. "What . . .? How . . .? I mean, I don't know what you're—"

Jacob chuckled. "I'm just kidding you, Nessie." He lightly flicked my nose.

I shook my head at him, swallowing a lump in relive. "You're such an idiot," I muttered.

"And you love me because of it. Now do you want me to carry you?"

My chest clenched with an ardent sensation along with my abdomen which were already too compacted with tenseness. Yes! Yes, I wanted Jacob to carry me. I craved very badly to feel his warm chest against my body. That was a fact.

"No, it's alright," I said instead, not wanting to sound desperate. "You phase. We'll get there faster."

Jacob looked down to his jacket I was wearing and seemed disappointed. But before I could say anything or even apologize for whatever I'd said, he agreed with a nod of his head.

He vanished behind the trees to change.

When Jacob phased and I collected his clothes from where he'd left them, we ran over and through the greenness of foliage and small mountains before the thick, roaring clouds could catch up on us. As promised, Jacob halted before me, blocking my way and insisted every now and then for me to stop by the creek beds to catch my breath and have a drink.

It had started snowing seriously, though no sign of rain. The sharp wind boomed overhead through the crowns of the trees, precipitating the snow powder on my back. The temperature was dropping. I never admitted to Jacob, but I had started to feel the piercing cold even through the thick padding of Jacob's jacket.

After minutes of running again, a precipice surface came clear beside us, rough heavy stone coated wholly with white powder. I quickly tore along it, out of the forest and on a high altitude, glad to see we weren't far from the destination.

I wrinkled my brows as a couple of minutes passed and Jacob neared by my side on his four legs. I rolled my eyes at the recognition that Jacob would make me catch my breath once again. I was in no position to do that. I wanted to get to the top and lie down in a cozy sleeping back. That was if it wasn't already frozen. Looking down at my hands, still running, I realized they were pale. Paler than I usually was. I pulled my lips in between my teeth to keep them from rattling.

I didn't like this.

Minutes from the summit, when I considered we should just head back down, Jacob put my running to halt by stopping right before me. It was more as it he was . . . shielding me.

From a distance I heard daddy's frustrated voice and Uncle Emmett's booming my name in surprise and merriment.

"Emmett, it's no time for jokes! Stop!" Daddy voice was distinct now.

Jacob growled.

He turned around in a flash to face the opposite side of me and when Uncle Emmett clashed with his body, we all fell rearwards into the knifelike cold water of the stream.


The heavy current of air flapped the fabric of the tent so gruelingly, that I thought it might tear the material apart and send us airborne. I shook to the point I believed I might become numb and faint into blankness. Nothing could stop my teeth from chattering now.

It was cold. It was freezing. It would shock me if the temperature dropped any further.

I heard Uncle Emmett swear from outside the tent. "If I'd known she was cold, I wouldn't have done it. I was just playin', Ed."

Daddy was still scolding Uncle Emmett like a little child, and there was nothing I could do to stop it. I could barely move. I barely wanted to move in my drenched jeans, sweeter as well as jacket.

"You're not a kid anymore, Emmett, face it! Now because of your stupidity, Nessie might become ill!" Daddy hissed. "We can barely touch her to carry her back down."

Out, along with the snowy wind, Jacob snarled and barked. It was nothing like the playful bark he'd emitted below few hours ago when I'd hugged him. He sounded menacing, even over the loud clicking of my teeth.

There was a deafening pound and a clatter of teeth out in the snow.

Uncle Emmett voice sizzled through his teeth. "Shit, wolf! I said I'm sorry!"

"T-t-t-t-t. St-t-t-t-op," I tried to drive the words out, though it was still a whisper.

Momma leaned in from as far as possible in the hampered, small tent and gently petted the soaked, almost frozen jacket on me. It was too dark to see, but I could feel both Aunt Rose and Momma held their cool breaths inside. Their movements were stiff and dotty with concern and disappointment.

"It's all right, sweetheart. Hold on, baby. You'll be alright." She pulled the damp sleeping bag's cover to tuck it below my neck, even when I wouldn't release it.

Aunt Rose reached out to run her fingers through my wet hair for comfort but yanked it back with a hiss when I gasped and snapped my eyes shut at the cool contact. I shook with convulsion.

"Bella?" Daddy called from outside, his voice furious with uncertainty.

"Yes?" Momma whispered after she leant back as far as she could, afraid to breathe on me.

"Relieve Nessie from her wet clothes. Be careful not to touch her. Get rid of the sleeping bag, too. Cover her with the other one."

"It'll be cold, Edward."

"It's better than damp."

Momma's feather-light fingers were working the zipper of the bag and the buttons of my jeans before Daddy could finish his sentence. When she slanted her head toward and observed me starting to shiver with more paroxysms, she sped up her process with intense anxiety.

"No," I could hear the groan of frustration emitting from daddy's chest outside. I wondered if he was talking to himself until Jacob uttered a high-pitched whine to protest. "Because," Daddy finished with a growl.

Jacob grumbled.

Aunt Rose assisted Momma, gently instructing me to sit up so she could slid Jacob's jacket from me. I tried to complain, though nothing but rattling came out. I didn't want to move. It cut me like a knife to even budge from my position. I shuddered in accord with the tent as it shook with the wind. Momma and Aunt Rose cooed softly as they took off each stitch of drenched fabric from my body, very alert of the coolness of their hands and not so much as brushing against me.

Momma directed me to lay into other sleeping bag once Aunt Rose exempted me from the wet lace of my bra, and I all but literally flew in it like a frightened mouse in its hole.

The sleeping bag was factually frozen! My heart stuttered as the material of it touched my naked body.


"Freezing?" Momma finished for me, rose her eyebrows.

I tried to nod.

"Edward?" Her voice was pained.

"Wait," Aunt Rose interrupted and reached behind her. I juddered and closed my eyes then, not having the strength to keep them open any longer. "I have something. It's umm . . . a warming lotion. It might help."

"No way am I putting that on my daughter! I mean, you guys use this!" She screeched. I shuddered.

"Shut up, Bella. We don't have time for your shit," Uncle Emmett said from outside. "Just do it!"

Then over the whistling of the wind, I heard thud of paws fading. Was Jacob going anywhere? I didn't want him to leave me. I frowned with worry and opened my eyes in time to see Momma with a small glass bottle of something pink inside. A picture of plump lips adorned around the small bottle with 'Warming Oil: Strawberry kiss' written underneath it in embellished way. I could smell it. It smelled sweet, though not overly. My mouth watered slightly and briefly at the product's scent. The coolness rattling my teeth dried my mouth again.

"It actually warms up the body with someone's breathe or . . . friction," Aunt Rose informed Momma.

Momma narrowed her tawny eyes at her. "And how do you expect me to touch her? I don't want to kill her for crying out loud."

Daddy suddenly said, "Get out here, Bella."

"Edward, what—?"

The sound of the zipper around the tent door driving suddenly down put her sentence to a halt.

I expected it to be Daddy and through the numbness in my fingers, I attempted to pull the sleeping bag's cover underneath my chin even though I was actually entirely covered by it. But it wasn't Daddy. It was Jacob.

His enormous, tanned body crept in from the small opening of the tent. Glacial wind coursed its way in through the gap, flakes of snow crystals descending into the tent. I bit my lip to stop the clatter of my teeth to no avail. I shivered with a gasp.

Aunt Rose hissed. "No way! You do realize Renesmee doesn't have a stitch of clothing on, right, Edward?" she called out to Daddy, disregarding Jacob's presence.

"Let him." Daddy voice was a whisper and his tone strangled.

"I hate this," Momma screeched with a deadly frown etched in between her eyebrows.

Polar wind still flapped the opening of the tent, stuffing snowflakes through it and onto the floor of the tent. I fisted my hands and groaned.

"Bella, let him!" That was almost certainly the first time I'd heard Daddy yell at her. "Get out here. I won't be able to stand it. I need you to distract me, love. Now."

Jacob stared at Momma with an agonizing glare. "You heard him. Get out, both of you. I'll take care of my girl like none of you cold ones can."

Momma pointed her finger at him. "If you touch her . . ."

"Bella!" Daddy sounded infuriated now.

"I'll have her sweating in no time." Jacob zipped the tent door close with a promise and knowing look as Momma and Aunt Rose blurred through it. I watched with a little too much attention as the muscles on his back rippled and contracted with the action. As usual, he only had his cut-offs on which looked a little darker than before, and nothing else.

Then there was no sound from my family or a sign of life from outside, just a howling and loud hissing of the wind clashing with the trees and the tent. They were gone. I knew it definitely wasn't to get away from the cold or this storm . . . then, was it to give Jacob time? Or privacy? Daddy had said he would be able to stand it. Stand what?

"Look at you," Jacob whispered. He looked around the small tent, then the sleeping bag I had on to decide what to do first.

Even I didn't know what I wanted him to do. I wanted him to touch me. Yes, very badly. But there was a minor problem which could lead into major consequences. I was completely naked and the yellow and orange sleeping bag was the only thing protecting my modesty.

"J-j-j-j-j-j," I tried to call his name, to urge him to think quickly.

"Shhhh," he shushed and leaned near. The pleasant heat expelling from his body making me want to slide closer to him. He ran his thumb along my quivering bottom lip. I closed my eyes at the grateful feeling of it. "Your lips are blue. They haven't been taking good care of you, have they?"

"M-m-m-m." I didn't even know what I tried to say since I suddenly tensed when Jacob reached for the zipper of the sleeping bag and swiftly began undoing it. He didn't seem concerned about my nudity. In fact, he seemed . . . eager. Did he not know I didn't have clothes on?

"J-j-j-j-ake, I-I-I-I-I," I wanted so awfully to say that I was cold so he'd hurry up with whatever plan he had in his mind. Nothing but stutters came out.

"Shh, it's alright, honey. I'm here."

Professedly, I'd admit that I was a little more than delighted but thwarted when Jacob didn't take the sleeping bag off of me after unzipping it. Jacob crawled forward, and, without a warning, he was cramming his massive body into the tiny space of the bag.

Something offensively cold and moist touched my side, from arm to hip. I yelped and pinched my eyes shut. My body recoiled jerkily at the chilliness of the rough fabric. It was Jacob's cut-off jeans. Of course, they'd be wet. I'd been holding them when Uncle Emmett had pushed us into the arctic river. I'd known for years that Jacob doesn't get cold but it still worried and intrigued me. The temperate was dropping rapidly. It had to be below zero degrees!

"Hell, I didn't realize!" Jacob defended and was back out of the sleeping back with a jolt.

I sucked in a cold breath when he reached for the buttons of his jeans, not at all tentative or ashamed.

My eyes grew wide. "A-a-are you s-s-s-ure?"

He tore his gaze from his jeans and looked at me. From what I could see, his pupils were dilated until only a narrow color of brown rimmed his eyes. I sensed his jaw twitch as he clenched it. "I won't misbehave, Nessie. Trust me. I love you too much to lose you. And I sure as hell would try everything not to let that happen."

An intense feeling of warm-heartedness along with heavy lust tightened in my chest. The lower part of my belly convulsing persistently at the thought of Jacob naked body pressed against my own naked one . . .

My head shuddered and nodded at the same time, a jerky movement. Thrill shot up abruptly throughout my spine. I could hardly wait. Suddenly the freezing temperature didn't seem so bad anymore.

Jacob grin was huge despite the line of concern engraved in between his thick brows. I adjusted my eyes to one of the rods securing the tent as Jacob's fingers worked the metal button of his jeans. Even if he was so used to the nakedness, I was certain he might need privacy. Mostly, it was for my own benefit.

I couldn't help but bite my quivering lip to subdue the smile as, from my peripheral vision, I discovered Jacob's fingers fumbling against the zipper of his shorts. Was he just as charged up as me or was it something else? My stomach did another flip flop. A breathless moan escaped my throat. Jake must have believed it was from the cold because he hurried further with his jeans and took no more than a second to wrench them and threw them somewhere behind him.

I balled my hands into a fist in nervousness and understanding that he wore no underwear when he, yet again, forced his enormous self into the sleeping bag and closed it.

My head and body packed with sultriness until there was no more room left for the tenseness in my muscles. I wasn't afraid. I didn't make an objection — the heat of Jacob whole body felt too good for anybody in their right mind to object. He was really warm. Warmer than I anticipated. His strapping arms squeezed around me, pressing me into the bare embrace of his chest. His body heat was alluring and overpowering to my senses, like drinking water after a yearlong of thirst.

Jacob flinched slightly for a brief movement at the feel of my body's unusual temperature before holding me again snugly against himself.

"Jesus, Nessie," Jacob muttered, running one of his hands along my arm. I felt him pull at me slightly, requiring for me to shift.

Wiggling a bit into the nonexistent legroom, I repositioned myself on my side as quickly as I could with the aching spasms in my muscles. A muffled groan followed by a warm sigh escaped Jacob's lips. I considered it must have to do with my cold skin touching his lot warmer one. I whispered a quick apology, and he shook his head to dismiss it. When I was comfortable and settled alongside his hard and so-warm body, Jacob slipped one of his arms under me and tightened them around me protectively.

Even with no freedom to move inside the sleeping bad, it felt inviting and cozy. The temperature of it slowly rose, like an oven set to preheat. The high temperature extending from Jacob was overriding and tempting, causing me to press my breasts more firmly against the hard stove of his broad chest. Although no sound came out, I felt his muscles vibrate against me. A shiver stroked through me violently for an entirely new reason when I tried my hardest to ignore what part of Jake was pushed against my belly.

"Relax, honey," he suggested, misunderstanding the grounds of my aroused shudders.

I sighed and closed my eyes slowly. My body began to relax gradually — Jacob's presence thawing the frozen blood in my veins. When he leaned his head down, lightly grazing his hot cheek against mine, I turned limp at the unadulterated astonishing sensation. I detected Jacob was breathing heavily on my shoulder now, his weighty scent of musk intoxicating me.

Outside, the blustery weather roared like a tornado meters away, still rocking the tent aggressively. But it didn't frighten me now, nor did it make me shudder. Jacob held me too tightly that there was barely any space left for me to even tremble.

It surprised me how dark the place seemed. It was definitely not the best day for a camping trip. We'd left for the mountain in the afternoon. So if it took us at least half an hour to get here . . . then, it still had to be afternoon. Since it was too shadowy, it was hardly believable. It seemed as if it was one in the morning.

I opened my eyes and met the crook of Jacob's neck. Even the shade of his skin appeared warm. "What time is it, Jacob?" I whispered, slightly enjoying the fact of finally being able to speak coherently.

"I'm not sure." His voice was breathy. "About two or three."

"Afternoon, right?"

"Yeah." He pressed his hand against my hip and slid it upwards till it reached the middle of my back. A knot of yearning teased in the pit of my stomach at his maddening touch. The tender muscles of my belly trembled. I bit my lip and suppressed the urge to buck my hips forward against Jacob's thigh. "Don't worry about the time, Nessie. Go to sleep."

"Sleep? It's afternoon."

"A nap, then."

"I don't want to. I'm not sleepy." I think Jacob groaned when I slid my toes along his leg and placed my thigh over his to hold onto him closely. The position opened me up intimately — I'd never done this with him, well, not while I didn't have any clothes on, anyway — but we were locked in a sleeping bag and I was very aware that Jacob couldn't see my private parts. Feeling them was another thing. It was mutual, though, since I could feel his. "Sorry, you're stuck with me here. I'm sure you had other things to do."

"I'm not sorry, trust me." Jacob tilted his head back so I could see his face. I didn't realize he'd been grinning. Plus, there was this strange murky gleam in his dark eyes that I'd seen a lot of times but had never understood it. My stomach twisted at the intense look he gave me.

I let his comment pass. "You know where my family's gone?"

He hesitated briefly. "No."

"Daddy seemed pretty angry at something."

"At Emmett, for being such an asshole."

"No. Later. He seemed . . . frustrated."

His eyes flickered behind my shoulder before settled at mine. "Edward was probably worried about you, Ness. He was going crazy out there, thinking you were about to get really sick."

I smiled. "Well, I won't,"—I hugged him tightly—"now that you're here."

As much as I'd been attempting to ignore Jacob moving in short, jerky motion against my lower abdomen without any movement of his hips, I couldn't help but gasp a little when he . . . grew. That did weird and wonderful things to my body.

When he groaned, I loosed my grip on him. "Did I hurt you?"

He looked kind of amused, but his voice sounded smothered. "No. It's the complete opposite."

"You mean, you're enjoying yourself?"

"Very much so. I'm loving every minute of it."

I sucked in a quick breath through my mouth which then suddenly got stuck in my throat. My statement had meant to tease. I, in the whole universe, hadn't expected an honest, straightforward and a rapid answer. Jacob didn't as much as recoil with hesitation when he admitted it.

My entire body liquefied in his arms and became warm, from inside and out. A rush of . . . wetness streamed through the river of lust in my belly and effused in between my legs.

I came undone at Jacob's brazen confession.

"Jacob," I breathed. "Are you serious?"

He licked his lips, and I felt like squirming. "I guess I'd imagined and dreamt of this many times."

My stomach tightened to the point of pain. "Imagined and dreamt of what?"

"You lying naked. In my arms."

I closed my eyes for a moment, comprehending. "For how long?"

His answer was a whisper. "Since forever."

I swallowed. "I didn't know that . . ."

He frowned slightly, suddenly sad. "Do you hate me now?"

"No. I don't hate you." I freed my arm from under his and gently caressed his cheek. "I could never hate you, Jacob."

"Then, you must be disgusted?"

I shook my head fervently. "No. I don't – it's not . . . it's anything but disgusting."



"Do you want me?" Jacob suddenly asked, a sullen look on his chiseled face.

"Do you want me?"

"I've always wanted you."

I smiled, blushing beet red. "Then, that's your answer."

Jacob closed his eyes and sighed a delighted warm breath across my face. He licked his lips in a rapid movement and opened his eyes. His pupils were distended almost to the brim, whispers of inflamed desire gleaming in them. I wanted to jerk closer to him when he snaked his hand along the side of my body. His large, warm hand, suddenly fearless and daring, came to rest on my bare hip. An amazing feeling of need shot through my veins like an addictive drug.

I had to have Jacob. I had to have Jacob touching me, doing . . . something to me. I needed . . . God, I needed so much.

"Nessie, would you mind if—?"

"Jacob," I broke in without meaning to. More as if I'd moaned his name impulsively.

"Yes?" His whisper sounded tormented, as though he burnt from the inside like I did.

All of a sudden, I felt nervous. "N-nothing. What were you going to say before I interrupted?"

"Did you have something to say to me?"

Yes, yes. There were so many things I wanted to say to him—like how he meant the world to me and I loved him.

Slowly, I ran my trembling fingers through his dark hair at the nape of his neck. "I want to hear what you were—"

With a rumbling groan that I felt vibrating through my own chest, Jacob broke me short by crushing his lips against mine. The searing kiss hit me like a massive tidal wave. Strokes of his hot lips against my own swamped my body with warmness up to the time that I felt limp against him.

How could a touch of another's lips on you feel so good?

Eyes closed, I froze for a brief movement, not certain of how to respond or even how to move. Though when Jacob gently began sipping on the bottom curve of my lips, mine parted like a flower for invitation. I pushed myself against him into the small sleeping bag, attempting to feel more of his warm skin and rippling muscles that lay in contact with me.

I would have been deviating from feeling the truth if I'd claimed I didn't notice Jacob growing. The lower muscle of my belly fluttered in balmy delight as he turned rigid against it. I whimpered at the sensation. Jacob seemed large,—which was understandable considering his huge form—and I realized I wanted to touch him there. I wanted to feel him. I knew Jacob would be hot there since the skin of my belly was aflame against his erection. I questioned myself if he would let me see . . .

One of Jacob's hands was on my shoulder, sliding up to the side of my neck and to my jaw. Jacob slanted his head to the side slightly. I complied with his action. My body responded and burned to a new degree when his lips began lightly sucking my upper one, catching the breathy little moan that escaped me as Jacob rubbed his thumb against my skin for encouragement.

I heard whines and needy groans from distance, realizing after a short while that they came from my own throat. Jacob imbibed all of them with his mouth.

He tasted so virile, so potent, so intoxicating—almost precisely like I imagined Jacob would taste.

Something slick, wet, incredibly warm and lovely touched my lip. I cried out in surprise at the feel of Jacob's tongue. That was new. And so astonishing.

I tried to do the same, timidly washing Jacob's upper lip with my tongue then encountering with his. They entangled in an erotic play, shooting sparks of unsatisfied desire in my tummy. Jacob groaned repeatedly.

I was insane with arousal now. Impetuously, I hooked my leg around Jacob's muscular thigh more securely. Setting the hottest part of my body against him, I attempted to ease the strong restless desire. I bucked against Jacob, pleading for more of something, desperate to still the raging fires burning through my body. Each second I could feel my body tightening further, reaching higher. I shuddered, gasping, begging.

Jacob's had slid down with a jerk and grasped my hip. For a minute, I'd considered he was going to stop me. I all but cried against his mouth.

But he didn't. Wave of relief washed over me when he shifted his thigh to a littlest amount against the vee in between my legs. He prodded me against him in a slow, sensuous rhythm.

"Nessie." Jacob panted my name as he lifted his mouth from my lips. His voice was hard, determined.

He planted soft, sweeping kissed across the corner of my mouth, my jaw, my cheek then down the valley of the side of my neck. I was hungry for him, my lips opened, my hand tightened in his hair as my hips arched continuously against his thigh.

"So sweet," he growled against my skin, then slithered his hot hand up along my waist. His hand slowed to a halt until it reached the top of my rib. His thumb grazed the underside of my breast, examining.

I shuttered then stilled, my eyes opening again, staring up at him as I whispered his name beseechingly. Jacob's fingers moved in a cautious manner over my skin and in between our bodies. His large hand cupped my breast, and I cried out brokenly, closing my eyes at the lovely sensation. My nipples hardened with sheer excitement and I bucked once more against him.

"God, you feel so good, Nessie. So soft and delicate," Jacob whispered, his tone desperate, as he squeezed my breast so gently as if I were fragile. My back arched. "I can't wait to put my mouth on you. I want to taste you, Nessie-love. Would you like that?"

That sounded enticing. I arched my back forward against him in agreement and whimpered loudly, not certain if I were able to speak at that point.

"Say it, Nessie," he breathed, sounding tense and distressed. "I want to hear you say it, baby."

My eyes fluttered open. I nodded my head frantically. "Yes, Jacob, yes. I would like it."

"Would like what?"

"Please . . ." I was getting impatient now. I tightened my hold in his hair. "Jake, I would like your mouth on me. I want it. Do it before I explode."

When his thumb grazed my nipple, I groaned and all but passed out. "Do you love me, Nessie?"

"I love you, Jacob! Very much." I pushed his head toward my breast and arched my back to guide him. "Now."

The thump of my heartbeat quickened against my ribcage when Jacob began moving. He took his hand off of me and turned momentarily to fidget with the zipper of the sleeping bag. Absolutely ignoring the freezing temperature, my body shivered in warmth and what was to come. A blaze burnt brightly in the pit of my stomach, setting my whole body on fire. I was aching, and if I didn't get whatever I wanted soon, I knew I'd explode into nothing.

Moisture pooled in between my legs in inflammation till the time Jacob settled. Loosening the sleeping bag, he shifted on top of me, nudging my legs apart with one of his gentle hands and moving in between them. He braced himself on his elbows atop me, looking down with dark, ravenous eyes. His gaze was ravishing.

Not wanting to wait any longer, I flung my arms around his neck and pulled him down, joining our lips together. Jacob's tongue instantly slid out, compelling my lip apart and slipping in between them. We groaned when our tongues met, gliding and rubbing against each other's in harmony.

Jacob's hand moved down to hold my breast, the lower part of his hard stomach coming down to lie between my legs at the same time. The muscles of his abdomen rippled against the most sensitive part of my body, making me whine like a hungry animal and arch my back off the floor. I knew Jacob could feel the slick wetness there, but at that point I didn't care. Jacob didn't seem to mind, and I wasn't unintelligent. I'd known how a man and a woman's bodies were supposed to react to arousal. Experiencing it was an entire new thing, though.

Jacob's chest was hot against mine, his large palm sandwiched in between our bodies, testing and stroking my breast as if it was the most fascinating thing he'd ever touched. He consumed my cries and demands and climbed down my body. His lips brushed my along cheek, my jaw, the side of my neck. My stomach stuttered, my fist gripping his hair as he moved and pressed feather-light kisses that were hot, wet and breathy against my collarbone. When his mouth reached my bare cleavage, I felt him squeeze my breast.

I sighed with pleasure and arched up, offering more of myself, which Jacob readily accepted by drizzling soft kisses across my breast. It was, by far, the best feeling in the world, apart from having Jacob lie in between my legs. Fervor shot from where his lips touched and throughout my body like lightning, crashing in my stomach and driving my body further into insanity.

His warm hand still played with my other breast, his thumb flicking against my nipple, when he suddenly closed his hot mouth around my nipple, making it tighten more in arousal. One of my shivering hands went to grip his bulging shoulder as Jacob sucked, literally sucked my nipple. His tongue grazed against it, driving me up and up, making me moan louder and louder.

His head rose slowly, reluctantly. He pressed an open-mouthed kiss in between my breasts, and I shivered, fluttering my eyes open to meet with his sultry ones.

"You taste amazing. You feel amazing. God, you're so beautiful," he whispered in a ragged breath. He thumbed my nipple and looked down at it. "I've dreamt of this, you know. I always dream of making love to you."

My heart skipped a beat, and I felt as if I was about to swoon. I smiled at him faintly and bent my knees before wrapping my legs around Jacob's waist. Jacob groaned. My face reddened as my feet came in contact with his hard backside. I realized my hands ached to feel them, to graze against his russet skin there and know if his muscles would ripple.

Jacob kissed under my jaw and I tilted my head back slightly to give him more access.

"Nessie, promise me that you'll never be sorry." Jacob's hoarse, grave voice took me aback.

My brows furrowed slightly. "I'll never be sorry. I promise." I ran my fingers through Jacob's hair, pushing the stands that hung over his forehead back. "But . . . what for?"

"Tomorrow – or later, when you're more yourself, I couldn't bear it if you regretted what we'd done."

My smile was eloquent and wise as I ran my thumb across his bottom lip. "I love you, Jake. I've cared about you for a long time. Knowing you is the only thing that brings me joy and happiness. I could never regret anything we did together."

He gave me a shaky smile. "If you're sure . . ."

"I'm very, very sure." Then I tensed, my breath catching in my throat. I swallowed. "Wait. You want to do that . . . now? I mean, that part. 'Cause I-I thought, we'd – we just found out – today. I mean, I want to but – wait."

"No, no, no." His voice sounded vehement though strained, and he cupped my cheek, dipping to peck my lips. "We don't have to do anything, Ness. I'll do whatever you say. I just – I want you forever. Nessie, would you marry me . . . if I asked?"

I froze and gawked up at him. "Are you asking now?"

His expression was wary. "Do you want me to? I know it's not the perfect time and place. I sure as hell don't deserve a beautiful girl like you, but I really want to marry you."

"Uh . . ."

"Perhaps I shouldn't have put hell and marry in the same sentence. If it'll help, I'll get down on one knee, except I'm already lying buck naked on the floor. Can't get much lower than this —"

I grinned and put my hand across his lips to shut him up. "Yes, Jacob, I'd love to be your wife."