After Your Heart Stops Beating OneShot Contest

Story Title: Bring Me To Life

Penname: RachelxMichelle

Summary: Bella's happily ever after wasn't that at all. What happens when she leaves her married life behind and finds herself face to face with her past? Have things changed too much, or will they give it a shot?

Word Count: About 7,700

To view other entries, go there: http:/www (.) fanfiction (.) net/~afteryourheartstopsbeating

Disclaimer: Stephanie Meyer own all things Twilight.


BPOV

For five years I had been a vampire. Five years since I had seen my family. Five years I was married to Edward Cullen. Five years of constant mistakes.

It was ridiculous really. I was actually convinced a vampire could lose their mind. He was surely pushing me there. He had no consideration for how I felt at all and I was starting to realize that, maybe he never did. I couldn't think without him trying to find out what was going on in my head, always asking me to tell him. When I didn't want to talk about it, he'd assume it was something bad, get angry and we start fighting. It was becoming our thing; except there was no making up afterwards. It was just forget it happened and move on. Like that was so easy.

Edward was just not who I thought he was. I tried to tell myself that maybe there was something I was missing, maybe it was me and I had changed, but the more I thought of it at first, the more I realized he had always been that way. He had always decided what was best for me. I had always thought it was out of love, to protect me, but what was the reasoning as the years went by?

It was even the simple things he had problems with. I couldn't hunt alone, I couldn't go to the store without checking with him first, he had to have a say in every little thing I did. Even my clothes had become a problem more recently. I was always so wrong with our diet, never once slipping, never even wanting too. So I knew it wasn't because he was just looking out for me, he just wanted to control me. I couldn't take it anymore.

Our more recent fight was so stupid it was almost laughable. Well, they were all stupid and no, it wasn't a real reason to leave I guess, but it was everything added up and the fact that he took it to those levels. There is only so much someone can take. Everything over the years, all of it was nagging at me, weighing me down. I didn't have the energy to keep up with it. I didn't even know who I was anymore.

There was no good moments anymore. No more of his beautiful smiles in the sunlight as we ran through the trees. There was no hanging out with the family, holding each other while laughing. The last year it was as if we were nothing. I felt as if the whole world was buzzing by and I was stuck standing still.

The worst was that the family knew what was going on. I could see it in their eyes. It was like they were just waiting for the dam to break. Was there anything that could be done to fix it? I could never tell. It never felt fully right and maybe I knew all along it would come crashing down. For five years it felt strange and wrong. Like I knew what was going to happen, but I had no way of knowing how bad, and nothing I could have done would have made it better.

I hated the effect it had on everyone else. I could feel it in Alice's hugs, the way Carlisle always looked at me like it would be the last time, Emmett's sad smiles and Jasper's projecting. There would always be a bit of his own sadness mixed with the calm. Esme was hurting by it all and Rose was angry, she made that well known. They were very upset by what was going on and no matter what they would say, or what they tried to do, Edward was always one step ahead of them and they would never succeed. I didn't blame them. I loved them even more for trying. It was just time for me to go and I knew that at least they respected my decisions, where Edward would do his best to change my mind. But those days were over.

That final fight I decided enough was enough. It started from something so small, like so many of them did. I wanted to go hunting alone, just to have time to think. He asked me if he could please go and something in my snapped. I asked him why he could never leave me alone. It took me an hour of trying to get the answer out of him for him to admit that he was afraid that if I was gone too long alone, I'd realize I'd prefer it. I told him he was crazy, and that was one of the stupidest things he could possibly think. I told him I loved him, but that if anything made me want to be alone more, it was the way he treated me. That I just wished he would let me breathe.

I tried to be as sweet as possible about it. He was sitting on the edge of the chair in our room and I was resting on its shoulder gently. He was silent for a moment and then I realized he took my words the wrong way. He thought I was insulting him, trying to nicely tell him that I wanted him to leave. I apologized to him, telling him he was mistaken. I told him again that I loved him, that I just wanted to be happy with him. If I could have cried, the look in his eyes as he stated down at me once he stood, I would have. He told me that we would be happy, if I would just stop messing everything up.

I kept apologizing until something in me snapped. I was tired of always being the one that was sorry. I was tired of always being wrong. I took a step back and stood straight up as I told him so. But it only caused the fight to escalate. He was yelling at me, waving his arms around. I could barely understand him as he talked so loud and so fast. He started moving around, throwing things. I told him to grow up. He got in my face and I pushed him away. He grabbed my wrist and pinned me against the wall. I slapped him in the face with my free hand, calling him an irrational, immature, spoiled brat. His grip on my tightened and it hurt a little. He called me a bitch and I told him I hated him.

He released my hand before he stood back and stared at me. The silence felt like forever before he turned and quickly jumped out the window. I was stunned by what had taken place. I slid down the wall until I was sitting on the floor, taking in our room that he had destroyed. It felt like I was moving in slow motion. But what stood out to me the most, was what I felt. I wasn't hurting, it was almost like a release. The pressure of everything over the years was gone. I felt… free.

Within a few seconds, I realized a few things. One, the family had all disappeared during our fight. Two, Edward and I were done. Three, everyone, except for Edward, would understand if I didn't say goodbye.

So I packed up one of my bags with as much as I could fit and I scribbled down a quick note. I shoved it into Carlisle's desk drawer, making a point of the decision for Alice to see how truly sorry I was. I went into the kitchen where the keys were hanging and grabbed the closest set and went to the garage. I pushed the button on the key ring and followed the beeping of the car it belonged too. I was almost in a daze through it all, barely even paying attention as I flew down the driveway, moving towards my freedom.

It didn't take me long before I was leaving the state of Maine behind. I drove and drove until that car ran out of gas. I was so caught up in my head, I had no idea exactly how long I had been on the road. It could have been two hours or twelve. When the light flicked on making a point of the low gas, I pulled into the dark parking lot of an old hotel.

I ran through my next plan in my head as I turned off the car, but was interrupted by a beeping sound. I looked around the car until I realized it was coming from the glove compartment. I reached over and flipped it open and found a tiny phone sitting inside. I was afraid to answer it, worried who could be on the other line, but when I finally picked it up, I noticed it was a text and it was from Alice.

"We love you. Don't forget that. Keep this please, I will call you soon. xo Alice"

They knew and they didn't hate me. I smiled knowing that they would still love me, with or without Edward. I leaned over to close the compartment door when I realized there was something else in there. I reached in and pulled out a charger for the phone and an envelope. Inside the envelope was a credit card and a note that read: "Just in case." Alice really did think of everything.

I shoved the items in my bad and quickly thought of what I wanted to do. Deciding that on foot was the best way for me to go, I locked up the car, slammed the door shut, threw my bag over my shoulder and ran. I ran and ran for hours. I flew through the forests lost in my head, thinking of the past, the memories, everything. How it all once appeared so perfect then quickly turned to hell.

Though it was fuzzy, I remembered meeting Edward. I remember the way we seemed to just fit. But looking back, even then he only did what he thought was best for me, not what I wanted. I remembered how broken I was when he left after my birthday, but then I quickly accept his return. Thinking about that, I realized that that was when things started to change. Something was always off for me, I just could never place what it was. But I accept his proposal and didn't care what anyone else thought.

Through everything else, the newborns, the Volturi, everything I did was for him. I hated the idea of getting married, but I did it for him. It was a beautiful wedding with all the people I loved and cared about there to watch. Even the ones who hated it. It was more than I could have ever dreamed of. But where did that get me? All these years later… it was wrong. Everything was wrong.

The change after our honeymoon was painful, the thought alone made me cringe, but I truly believed it was worth it. I loved him, enough for stay by his side for eternity. But he changed, from then on, slowly getting worse. He had me, he knew it. I did everything he asked. It was never enough, he always wanted me to give up more. I always did.

Five whole years since everything had change and more than anything , I missed my family. Charlie knew a little bit about my change, but he didn't want to know any more. Renee was in the dark completely. I was afraid of what could happen if she did ever find out. Charlie found out thanks to one of my slip ups over the phone. I was telling Alice about hunting and something Emmett did and don't even know how I forgot Charlie was listening. But either way, he had handled it well. There were others that I missed, but one specific person was too hard to think about.

Two days had passed as I ran across the country and where I stopped next, I didn't make a conscious thought to do. As I stood on the boarder of Idaho and Washington, I wondered if it would really be a good idea. I knew it was a risk, but I didn't care. For the first time in five years, I was able to be reckless. My body felt light as I moved forward, like it was telling me I was doing something right. It was time to return to Forks.

JPOV

I hated it. I hated my fucking life. Did I really have nothing better to do all day than to roam around checking the area for those disgusting bloodsuckers. They were gone, all of them. Well, most of them. There was a random nomad every now and then to excite things a bit. But I hated it. I just… I wanted to be rid of this fucking life. No werewolves, no vampires. Just a normal, boring human life. I could live with that.

"You sound like a fucking girl, dude."

"Embry, shut the fuck up before I kick your ass. I'm just having a bad day alright?"

"More like a bad year, or five years. Why don't we just say a bad life?" Embry laughed.

"You stupid fucker!" I wanted to tackle him, maybe tear his head off, but he was too far away and I didn't feel like making the effort to move.

"Chill the fuck out alright," Seth told us, once again playing the peacekeeper in what was left of our group.

Over the years most of the guys stopped phasing to be with their imprints. Since there were no vampires in the area that often, we really didn't need many anyways. All that was left was Seth, Embry, Colin, Brady, and Quil. Of course there was me and I had a feeling they all wished I'd just leave already.

"Got that right," Embry added. I rolled my eyes and walked away. "Alright guys, I'm out. I got a date with that hot chick from the other day."

"Name?" I asked, knowing well enough he probably didn't know.

"Does it matter?" He laughed.

"Right. See ya." His ego was horrible.

I didn't hear when Seth had left, but when Embry left I was finally alone. I actually enjoyed staying phased and roaming around. Over the years, I would randomly take off and live as a wolf for weeks at a time. It was peaceful. I preferred to be alone and most people were okay with that. They felt awkward being around me, not knowing what was the right or wrong thing to say to me, so I stayed away to make it easier for them. Well, except for my "friends." They loved making me feel like shit. But over the last five years, being alone was the only thing that made me happy while still feeling so torn apart.

It was in the middle of the afternoon and after sitting on one spot long enough I decided to get up and find a creek to get a drink. There was one close by, not too far from a meadow. The sky was grey and the clouds promised a storm very soon. I finished up drinking and as I turned towards the meadow to head back to the rez, I caught a scent.

A growl formed in my throat and I realized a vampire was moving closer. The scent was sweet, but not as sickly sweet as most were, it was almost tolerable actually. Mixed within it was almost a floral smell. It was strange and it pissed me off. I really couldn't make sense of why it did, but while caught up in thinking of it, the vampire got closer. It was just on the other side of the meadow. I wasn't afraid, it was what I was made for and I didn't have time for fear. I shook myself and stretched my legs, preparing for a fight. I crouched a little once I was ready and slowly moved out into the open space.

The further I moved out, I realized it was a woman. She just stood there with her back to me. Her long, wavy brown hair was blowing around in the wind. Something in me was screaming "turn around!" But she wouldn't. I let out a long, deep growl as I got closer to her and wondered what kind of game she was playing.

Her arms fell to her side and I could see her form shake a little as she took in a deep breath. I was getting angry, but my heart was pounding hard in my chest. The next moment, was like I was watching from someone else's eyes. It was so unexpected, so ridiculously unreal I felt like I had lost my mind.

I was still crouched, ready to lunge and growling, but as she turned, it took everything in me to stop myself from collapsing. She was back, she was different, but she was back and she looked so… sad. Before I could do anything else, I was stunned by her next move. Ice cold arms wrapped around me so tightly, I was worried she would pop my head right off, but I didn't care. It was Bella, my Bells. She was home. Nothing mattered in that moment.

She pulled back slowly and carefully as if she just realized what she had done. She took a step backwards and wrapped her arms around herself. I was able to get a good look at her. My god was she beautiful. Right then I could get past the dim golden eyes, the paleness of her skin, and the scent that was still so much like Bella along with being very vampire. She was gorgeous. Of course she was before, but there, in that moment, it was that inhuman beauty that has be stunned once again. She stared back at me just as confused as I was. So much time had passed, so many memories faded and there she was; standing in that meadow almost as lost as she had been the last time I had seen her there.

I cocked my head to the side, hoping she would say something, do anything in response to seeing me. She was silent a little longer before she finally spoke.

"J-Jacob?" she asked softly and I wanted to laugh. She was so unsure for someone who had just thrown her arms around me.

I nodded my head as I sat down in place. I never took my eyes off her. Her expression was one of pure surprise and I wished I could ask why.

"You still phase?" she asked, sounding as surprised as she looked. At my nod, she shook her head. "Unbelievable. Why?" I glanced down at my body and sighed as I looked back at her. "Oh, right. Well… I better go. It's too much of a risk."

She turned to run, but I growled and leapt towards her, cutting in front of her before she could get too far. I whimpered and she looked at me again.

"Jacob, I need to. Please. I shouldn't have come here. I had… It doesn't matter, I need to leave." Her voice was broken and I was sure that if she could cry, she would have. I wanted to phase back and talk to her, but I knew she wouldn't give me the chance to change back. I wasn't sure how she would react if I phased back right then and was naked in front of her. I didn't care, her coming home, getting to see her face again. I had been waiting five years for it and I wasn't about to let her get away so easily.

She stared at me and I whimpered at her again, begging her with my eyes. I waited, but all she did was fold her arms and look down. I titled my head to the side and nudged her shoulder with my nose.

"I can't talk to you like this," She said without looking up. With a sigh, she continued. "I need to hunt. I'll stay for a little while afterwards. Is there a place I can meet you?" She looked up at me then and I wanted to hold her. It was amazing how so much, yet so little had changed over the years.

I looked around and realized that the best place would just to meet back at the meadow. I looked back at her, and looked around again. She followed my eyes and when they moved back to mine, I nodded.

"Back here? Okay. Give me an hour?" I nodded and she turned and ran away.

I couldn't make myself move. It was unreal. To see her, see the changes in her, but to still have those feelings for her. To feel all that love I had for her then rush forward just as strong, if not somehow stronger. I had told her, all those years ago, when she still had the choice, that I would wait for her until her heart stopped beating.

Maybe it didn't matter anymore.

Whatever the case may have been, I had a lot to figure out.

BPOV

I ran as fast as I could to get as far away from him as possible. The farther I went, the more it seemed to hurt. It took every ounce of strength I had to keep moving. I didn't understand it, but nothing made sense in that moment. My reaction was a mistake. What would he think? Would he hate me? Is that why he wanted me to go back, so he could tell me so? I couldn't be sure, but the look in his eyes didn't say that. The look in his eyes seemed to match whatever it was that I was feeling.

Thinking of him over the years hurt so badly, but seeing him again and knowing I would be leaving again doubled that pain. It almost knocked me off of my feet. I thought about just running away and not going back, but couldn't do that too him. I at least owed it to him to go back, even if just to say goodbye.

I wasn't sure if vampire could get sick, but when I finally stopped running, I felt nauseous. There was no way I could even think out drinking anything. I dropped to the ground on my knees buried my face in my hands. I was so happy and sure coming back wouldn't have been a problem. But all that freedom and happiness faded. I majorly fucked up.

I sat in that same spot for probably the full hour, though I had no real way to tell the time. When I finally felt calm enough, I pulled myself up off the ground and walked back slowly. When the meadow came into view, I picked up his scent. I almost laughed as I realized just how disgusting he really smelt. I spotted him leaning against a tree. He wasn't a wolf anymore and when I really got a view of him, I was sure if my heart was alive, he would have been able to hear it's erratic beat.

His head turned in my direction and a smile of relief spread over his features. It was contagious, just how it always used to be. He pushed himself off the tree and shoved his hands in his pockets as he walked in my direction. I never would have imagined I would be so nervous seeing him again, but I really was. I wasn't sure why, but I was surprised he looked exactly the same. It was as if our appearances was a lie to how much time we had spent apart.

I closed my eyes and took a deep breath as I took the final step that left me a foot away from him.

"Bella," he whispered, but added nothing afterwards. Just hearing my name in his voice made me smile all over again.

"Jacob," I replied.

"It's… I mean, I'm glad…" He stopped and laughed a little. I smiled and he shook his head and started again. "I'm glad you're here."

"Me too." And I was, surprisingly enough. I just didn't know how to handle it.

"Why?" he asked.

I closed my eyes again and tilted my head down. "Can we wait a little before we get into that?" I asked, irritated with how small my voice sounded.

"Did he hurt you?" he snapped. I jerked my head up and as much as I wanted to lie and tell him no, I couldn't.

"Wait. Please?"

He sighed. "Alright. So, not that I'm not happy to see you, why are you here?"

I laughed a little. "I missed home Jake. Every day I thought about it, it hurt like hell, but I was never allowed."

"And now?" he asked. "Oh, right. I'll wait."

"Let's just say, I answer to myself from now on."

His eyes narrowed a little, but he just nodded his head and looked up towards the sky. I wished it didn't have to be so awkward with him, but I don't know what else I expected. Maybe it was some amount of false hope of acceptance from him that had me so shaken up, but I didn't think that was what it was. There was no rejection so far and I never really thought he would accept me. I wished it wasn't so hard to get all of the answers.

"So, you're not staying long?" he asked and I didn't miss the tiny bit of hope that was in his voice.

"I can't. You know it's a risk. Charlie may sort of know, but seeing me might not go well. The rest of the pack won't go for it at all, that much I know. And if someone I knew before sees me… It can't happen, Jake. No matter how much I want it too."

"You don't have to worry about the pack, there is hardly any left now and the ones that are still around never had a problem with you. People you knew before, fuck em' and Charlie, well… He seems pretty okay with you being 'different.'" he laughed.

"He told you about it?" I asked, shocked that Charlie would even mention it.

"Yeah, he asked me what I was." His laughter grew louder and I realized how much I missed the sound of it.

"Did you tell him?"

"Nah, can't risk a heart attack you know? But I told I was a different kind of different."

We both laughed at that and I wished I could have been there for Charlie's expression. I hated how I missed so much. I was so blinded by the love and the happiness I thought I had with Edward that nothing else mattered. It was all for nothing.

"Bells?" Jake's voice snapped me out of my irritation.

"Sorry," I whispered.

"You okay?"

"No, not really."

I walked over and under a tree and sat down, leaning against a stump. The meadow had so many memories locked in it and I hated every one of them. When I sat down, I remember the first time Edward had brought me there and told me about what he really was, all the details. I remembered how, no matter what he told me, or showed me, I wasn't scared of him. It somehow only made me love him more.

"Bella?" Jake said again. "What's wrong."

"Um, everything?" I laughed, humorlessly.

"What is it?"

"I left Edward," I told him, wanting to get straight to the point and get it over with.

"What? Why?"

So I started from the beginning, leaving nothing out. I told him every mistake and how I learned of them too late. I even told him how he was right before when he tried to warn me about Edward and his ways of controlling me. I was just too blind to see the truth. I told him about how even the family tried to help me, but nothing worked. He would just always get worse.

A few times while I was talking, I could hear Jacob rise to his feet and pace around. Once I even heard cracking sound which I could only guess was him smashing his fist through a tree. My sight remained on a small section of damp grass as I relived it all. During it all, he never spoke, never asked questions. I was grateful that he just let me get it all out.

When I finally ended it with how I arrived in Forks, neither of us spoke. The silence was heavy in the air. As much as I wanted to wait for him to let it all sink in and think whatever he had to think about, I wanted to talk. I wanted to pretend none of what I had just mentioned even happened. Go back to the old days when he was… My sun. Warming me and making me feel alive. I wanted that again. I wanted that more than I wanted anything in that moment. If only it were possible.

"So…" I started, having nothing better to say.

"So, what?" he replied. I stole a glance at him from the corner of my eye and he was looking up at the trees, away from me.

"You have nothing to say? About anything?"

"What do you want me to say, Bella?" he snapped and it caught me off guard.

"Um, I don't know. I just-"

"You just what? I'm finding it real hard not to scream I told you so like a five year old. The only things stopping me is, one, I do care about you and I'm sorry he did all that to you, but two, I'm too damn mad."

"There's no reason to be mad about it, Jake. It's done, over with."

"No. It's not. Your standing right here in front of me. That's not being over with."

"Huh? What are you talking about?"

"You! Once again, you are back here, running to me because he messed up. I can't always be the one to fix you Bella. And I can't always be second best. I love you, I've thought about nothing but you for the past five years, but fuck, Bella." He was standing by the time he finished. One arm was hanging low, hand balled up into a fist, while the other was running his forehead so hard I was sure he would make his skin raw. He was so angry and I couldn't blame him, but it was the look in his eyes that caught my attention. They were full of so much pain… I had done it again.

"Jake, I'm-"

"I don't want to hear it Bella. Not another "I'm sorry." The thing is, I know you're sorry, I know you never did it on purpose. Even now that you are a v-vampire, I still don't think you would intentionally ever hurt anyone. But it doesn't change anything. It doesn't change how I feel. It doesn't change how you feel, however may be, and it doesn't change that no matter what, we can't go back to the way we used to be."

Though I knew what he said was true, it didn't mean it hurt any less. How could that leave me feeling worse than I already did?

"But who says we can't try?" I asked, barely speaking above a whisper.

"You did. From the moment you let him sink his teeth into you." His voice was calm and it tore right through me. I wrapped my arms around my waist tightly. His words hit me hard and I felt like I was going to fall apart. Somehow it hurt worse than anything I had ever felt. "I'm sorry," he whispered.

"Jake?" I looked up at him as I tried to think of more to say, but it was too late. He phased in mid air and disappeared. The only thing that was left behind was his shredded jeans as they floated to the ground. I collapsed in on myself. I had nothing, no one and even though I started out expecting that, knowing it was much worse.

Night had come and gone before I even attempted to move from ball I had formed on the ground. I kept telling myself I should have gone after him, but I couldn't. He was right and I couldn't bare him proving it once more. When the sun started to rise, filling my surrounding with a dull gray, I finally convinced myself to get up. My attempt at hunting was horrible. It took almost a full hour to finally catch something.

I didn't know where I was supposed to go, or what I was supposed to do. A part of me wished that Alice would call and tell me something useful to help, but another part of me hoped she never did. All I could think of when I thought of the Cullens was that I hoped Edward didn't take my leaving out on any of them. I knew that what I thought and wanted didn't matter, it was hopeless.

I knew I deserved Jacob's reaction, but I couldn't figure out why it hurt so badly. Not having him in my life before was my own fault and it hurt too much to even think of him. So having him basically tell me he could have nothing to do with me, it felt like it was destroying me. I ruined everything. I chose Edward by blind love. I thought it was going to be wonderful. Going to be…

I knew it was going to be great with Edward, yet it everything always was with Jacob. With Edward, I didn't expect to be really happy until I was turned, but when I was with Jacob, I was my happiest just being by his side. Words and memories flooded my mind. Though most of them were fuzzy and missing pieces, there were many things that were very clear. My denial of my feelings of Jacob. It came so natural with him, but with Edward I always had to try to find reason to be loved.

The biggest questions I found myself coming to was: Did I really always love Jacob enough? Was it more? Was that my biggest mistake?

The reality of it hit me like a semi truck. I slowly sat down on a tree stump where ever I had stopped running. I closed my eyes and reran through the memories again. I didn't see the things the way I saw them five years ago, I saw them as if I was seeing someone else's life. Someone else's choice. The more my feelings grew for Jacob the more Edward pushed marriage. Edward knew, even if I may not have, that I was coming close to choosing Jacob. How did I miss that? How did I not realize I loved Jacob more?

A smile broke out onto my face and felt like I was floating just before realization of the situation brought me right back down into my own personal hell. It was too late. Jacob was gone, I was alone and rather I liked it or not, I deserved it.

I never thought I would regret the decision to become a vampire. I had always assumed if Edward didn't want me, he family still would, or I could manage on my own. But coming to realize what I finally did, I hated what I had done. I had it so easy, laid right out for me as clear as day, but I threw it all away. It was too late. Jacob and I, a vampire and a werewolf, could never be together. Natural enemies.. it could never work.

I wanted to cry. I wanted to go back in time and change it all. He was always the one. Jacob was… everything. He was the reason things always seemed off. He was the reason no matter what I tried, I was never fully happy, before things got bad. As long as I was away from him, it was always wrong. All the little moments, the happy times when I felt guilty without a clue… it was because of what I was doing to him.

I twisted my body and bunched the nearest tree. It cracked and snapped, falling over and taking the tree next to it down with it. I growled and I sobbed and I screamed as I fell to the ground, digging my hands into the dirt, making huge holes. Nothing made me feel better. If anything, it reminded me how inhuman I was. It made me angrier and my vision clouded as my anger reached an all new level. I wanted to smash something, I wanted to shred something… I wanted to kill something.

A sound of a branch snapping several feet away brought me out of my self-pity. I was on my feet within a second, crouched and ready to destroy. I sniffed the air and it felt as if the world stopped. I stood perfectly still as I watched him walk through the trees slowly. When he looked up in my direction and our eyes met, I could have almost sworn I felt my heart beat again.

He stopped about three feet away from me with a sad little smile on his face. "Hey, Bells," he said softly.

"You came back?" I asked in a whisper.

"Yeah. Though I honestly didn't expect you to sill be in the area." He shrugged once as he looked around the area.

"I'm so sorry," I blurted and hoped it wouldn't ruin whatever it was that brought him back to me.

"Bella, don't-"

"No, please. I need to tell you why I'm sorry and I need to get it all out at once. I'm an idiot. I'm a complete bitch." That caught his attention and he looked up at me with curiously with an arched brow. "I made a huge mistake. I'm not expecting anything out of this. Really, I'm not. I think you should know, I finally figure it out." I laughed once as I shook my head.

"Wha-," he started, but I started talking before he could finish.

"Everything. My mistakes, the reasons behind my mistakes, and what really made them mistakes. Does that make sense? Either way, I know now. Something always felt… wrong and it was you. It was always you. From that moment I brought you those stupid motorcycles and I really got to know you. I was so wrong for not knowing it, but from that day, the first time you made me smile when I never thought I would again. You supported me and fought for me like no one else did. You did it because you knew, you always knew and I'm sorry it took so long for me to find out. It was always you, Jacob. I have always loved you enough, even if I didn't quite know it."

I stared at him as I finished, waiting for his reaction. His face was stiff and his eyes were narrowed. I expected the same reaction as before, the rejection, but as long as he knew, I felt a little better. But the longer I waited, the worse I felt. I straightened myself and prepared to walk away. I wasn't strong enough to hear words of rejection again.

JPOV

She loves me? The words I had waited to hear for the last six years floated through my mind over and over. She had really said them and I had no response to give her. I had opened my mouth to speak, but nothing would come out; I was frozen. Five years ago, she had left with him, she married him, she destroyed everything we could have ever had because of him.

But was it really destroyed? Was there way we could make it work? Could a vampire and werewolf really be together happily even it if went against everything we stood for? Thoughts and images tore through my head like a tornado as we stood there staring at each other. Her body shifted and as she turned to walk away, I was snapped back to reality.

"Bells, wait," I said as I lurched forward and grabbed her wrist. The coolness of it stung against my skin, but it didn't bother me. I ran through everything again in my mind and though I was still unsure of how it would work, I made my decision. "I would be crazy if I let you walk out of my life again," I whispered to the back of her head.

She stood still for a moment before she turned to look at me. Our eyes met and there was so much I wanted to say, so much I wanted to do, but I couldn't get anything out. Instead, I reached up and brushed a lock of hair that had fallen in front of her face aside and cupped her cheek. She flinched a little before relaxing into my palm. She reached up and did the same, icy touch of her sending chills through my body. We stood there like that for a while, just starting into each other eyes

Her phone started vibrating in her pocket, tearing us from out moment. She looked down and then looked back up at me. I released her face and took a step backwards. I didn't like that my first thought was thinking it was him trying to talk to her to get her to go back. Anger flowed through me and I started to turn away, not sure of what I was going to do, but I couldn't stand still as my body started to shake. She reached up and put a hand on my chest to stop me, but her eyes were still on her phone.

I glared at the stupid phone. I wanted to take it from her and smash into a million little pieces, but didn't get far into that thought as she lifted it in my direction. I looked away, but she moved it closer without saying a word. I sigh as I snatched it out of her hands.

"I lost all sight of you, Bella. I have a pretty good idea of what that means. I hope things go well for you two and that you are truly happy. I hope you will keep contact with us. We love you and will miss you so very much. We're here if you ever need us. xo Alice"

I looked up at her and she smiled. It was a happy smile; one I had missed more than I thought. I handed her phone back and looked up towards the gray sky. I heard her start to type quickly before she handed it back to me.

"This okay?" she asked quietly. I took it without question that time and started to read it.

"Thank you so much, Alice. You're support means more to me than you can possibly know. I love you all and I will miss you, but I would love to keep in contact. You are my family still. I appreciate everything you all have done for me and I hope we can see each other soon. ~Bella"

"Yeah," I answered as I handed it back to her. I really wanted to say no. I wanted to tell her hell no, that she could not have anything to do with those bloodsuckers that ruined her life. However, that wouldn't make me any different than that asshole. They helped her get away, even if they didn't want her to go. Rather I liked it or not, she was one of them. She may need them again someday. I just hoped that he wouldn't involve himself.

Before I could make another move, Bella threw her arms around me and kissed my cheek. "Thank you."

I wanted to tell her there was no need, but I was actually surprised by what she was doing and apparently, she surprised herself. Her body froze before she pulled back a little and she stared into my eyes. My hands were on her waist and my grip tightened. Her eyes darkened a bit before her lips slammed against mine with a force that caught me off guard.

Her hands moved into my hair and tugged hard as she pressed herself closer. I was lost in the feel of her against me. There was something in the mixture of fire against ice that I found oddly satisfying as her tongue slipped out and ran across my bottom lip. The feel of it of course went straight to my dick, which caused me to groan. She giggled and it was something so very Bella that I couldn't help but smile as she pulled away. So much about her had changed on the outside, but she was still very much herself on the inside.

She leaned in and gave me a short kiss before she rewrapped herself into giving me a hug. "You make me feel alive, Jacob," she whispered, her cool breath causing me to shiver and my arms tightened around her.

"Same here, Bells. You always have."

We stood like that for a few minutes before she pulled away. She pressed another button on her phone that was still in her hand before she shoved it into her pocket and grabbed my hand with a tight squeeze.

"Stronger now," I stated.

"Yep," she answered with a smiled.

"I can work with that."

She laughed as she turned her face away and I was sure she would have blushed if she could have.

"So… now what?" she asked as she looked back at me.

"I guess we go see the pack," I told her and I was suddenly nervous. I could tell she was unsure as well by the way her body stiffened. "C'mon, we'll work it all out."

"Yes, I'm sure we will." She smiled again.

"We do, after all, have plenty of time."

Her smile grew wider. "That we do."

And just like that, everything was alright. Sure, it may not have came in the package I preferred or the way I had hoped, but beggars can't be choosers. She realized it was me she wanted all along and I was more than willing to take her with open arms. No, it wasn't going to be easy for us, but nothing worth fighting for really is.


Author's Note: Alright, so I'm still not so sure about this, but I wrote it, so why not submit it? I might have another Jake and vamp Bella coming up. Another plot popped up into my head for the contest last minute, but I doubt I will get it finished in time. So if you like that sort of thing, keep an eye out for it. For those of you who might have noticed and are wondering, no, I don't think I can write a nice Edward.

I would love to hear what your thoughts are and thanks for reading. =)

Voting starts on November 8th, just in case you might want to vote for me:

http:/www (.) fanfiction (.) net/~afteryourheartstopsbeating