Disclaimer: I do not own twilight or these characters.
For the last year and a half I have been having the same dream. Every night. Sometimes it starts from the very beginning, and others it picks up from where it left off the night before, continuing the story like the pages of a novel. It started a few nights after I walked out on Jake, a few nights after I agreed to married Edward. I had agreed to wait. Wait to get married, wait to change. Partly because of the dream, partly because of a sickening feeling of dread that was building in my gut. Partly because of the young girl I saw that day in the clearing, her wicked red eyes, the demonic like thirst had ripped the rose colored glassed I'd been wearing off, the romance seeped out of my twisted little fairytale.
Parts of it were beautiful. My wedding day, tears of joy, and my dad walking me down the aisle to the man I had promised an eternity to. There are thousands of white and purple flowers, satin bows, and twinkling lights. I practically float down the aisle, drowning in the triumphant joy I find in the eyes of my soon to be husband. A beautiful reception that spilled out onto the artfully decorated patio, dancing (yes, Bella Swan, dancing, it is a dream), and happy smiling faces.
Then it changes.
His husky voice in my ear, his warm embrace. The haunting look in his brown eyes that squeezes my heart. A hurt I put there etched into his features. His words are more like poetry than anything I've ever heard. The unspoken goodbye is almost more than I can endure as we gently sway to the music I can no longer hear over the pounding of my heart. The sound that is taunting, mocking me, my marriage, my wedding. My hand on his chest, just above his heart, and I feel the same rhythm in the beat of his heart that I can feel in mine. 'The natural path your life would have taken….'
It changes again.
Jacob is gone, Edward's cool touch replaces his, and I lock away the feelings for Jacob Black like an ignorant clueless child. And just like my indecisive selfishness, and my constant mood swings, the darkness lifts and it is happy and beautiful once again. A warm beautiful secluded island, nervous and anxious jitters assault my stomach. Edward's tender touch as he makes love to me. An expression of first love, sweet and innocent.
And then rejection. Even in my dreams, Edward refuses me. I laughed, a humorless mocking sound, the first time I woke up with this new scene of the dream. For a long time this was as far as the dream would go. Starting and stopping at different points but never moving forward. We had gone away to college, and I was actually enjoying myself. I had slowly begun to feel the distance that was being created between Edward and I, and I wondered if he could feel it too. He never mentioned it. I tried to never think of Jacob, but every time the dream included the heartbreaking dance, the tragic goodbye, I would wake up with the images of his dark eyes full of fire and pain burned into my mind, and the ache in my heart all but consuming me.
And then in the fall of my second year in college, it finally changed again.
I was still on the island. It was full of beautiful lush scenery and exotic creatures. The beach was white and sandy and shone brilliantly in the sunlight. The ocean was warm and inviting, unlike the cold icy waters of La Push. Edward was no longer rejecting me. It was beautiful but incomplete.
And then I am standing in front of a bathroom mirror, a horrified expression on my face, my brown eyes wide with shock and disbelief. That feeling of dread is clawing at my insides. My hand on my stomach and something from the inside nudge me.
I am no longer in the dream, but watching myself as Edward whisks me back home, Rosalie my new guardian, as something is growing inside me, slowly killing me.
A then Jacob is there. The look of horror on his face brings me to my knees. His face seems hollow, the love and desire, that fire that once danced in his dark eyes all but snuffed out. He holds my hand, he whispers something sweet in my ear; he calls me Bells just like I ache for him to do.
For weeks this where my dream ends. Always here. It starts in different places but it always end with Jacob kneeling next to me, his eyes glassy with unshed tears, his hand wrapped around mine, and he is saying something I can't quite hear. Pleading with me. The ache in my heart, the wound in my chest is festering, burning, more painful each day that passes. I can see the pain in Edward's eyes, the sad smile on his lips, and I know he knows. Probably better than I do. By Thanksgiving I can no longer keep up the pretenses. I fall apart, he holds me and tells me everything will be alright. He promises to always love me, that he only wants my happiness. Just before Christmas, more scenes are added to the dream.
Pain. Horrible, searing, burning pain. I know that pain, it is vampire venom burning through my veins, scorching and devouring, licking away at my blood and my flesh. I suppress my screams, and let the fire consume me.
I spend Christmas break in Jacksonville with my mom. The sun reminds me of Jacob, and I cry myself to sleep every night. The dream changes to star Jacob. The pain and heartache, the ocean of grief as he walks away from my lifeless body. The unnatural pull that brings him both pain and pleasure. The rest of the dream is a blur. It speeds by never focusing on the details. Sometimes it is almost happy, wistful. A life I once dreamed of having. An eternity with Edward, a beautiful baby girl, Jacob still my best friend, unmatched control over my thirst, and an extra special vampire ability. It was all too good to be true. It wasn't just selfish, it was fantasy, make-believe.
By New Years the final scene of the dream appeared. I could see her angelic face, hear her high pitched laugh, her bouncy girlish blonde curls, and her blood red eyes glowering at me. I sneered at her. Mocked her. The wolves and The Cullens were once again on the same side, fighting because of my stupidity. It was all grand and over the top and fantastical the way only a dream can be. I, in the end, saved my family from destruction and the curtain closed.
By the first part of January, I felt lighter than I had in years. There was no deadline hanging over my head, no vengeful vampire out to kill me. It's true, in the back of mind, I knew that someday the Volturi might come for me, but the strength of victory my dream had given me, had me convinced it would all work out. That the wolves and the Cullens wouldn't let anything happen. For once, I just let go and trusted them. My heart still ached for Jacob. I thought of him every day and desperately wished to talk to him. But I couldn't figure out what to say. I wanted my friend back. But I knew that wouldn't be enough. 'You know how much I wish it were enough…'
It was enough. His love was more than I could ever deserve. More than any one person has the right the wish for. And the love I felt for him overshadowed anything I had ever felt for Edward. It was powerful and painful. It had healed me once, and became a part of me. Once I let my first love go, I knew I would never be able to let the love I felt for Jacob to go. It was too great.
A week before his eighteenth birthday, I made a decision. I packed up everything I owned and went to home to Forks. Charlie was over joyed at my arrival. Within in a couple of days, like fate was just waiting for me to return, I had enrolled in college for the spring semester and got a job at the bookstore. Charlie had told me about Jake graduating early, and him and some of the guys opening up a auto repair shop. I was so happy for him. I just hoped I wasn't too late. 'Until your heart stops beating…'
I ran into Embry and Quil the day before Jake's birthday. They invited me to the party they were throwing for Jake down at First Beach., and agreed to keep it a secret. A bonfire. I was nervous and excited. I didn't sleep that night. Fortunately, Alice showed up in my room, prepared to help me find something perfect to wear. Low rise jeans, and a low cut sweater that clung to my curves.
I pulled up in my rusty old truck. It's rumbling soothing to my soul. As I made my way across the beach, stumbling as always, I scanned the crowd for him. He looked more mouth-watering, more beautiful than I ever remember. The glow of the fire danced across his tan skin, his sunny smile was like water to my parched soul. He hadn't seen me yet. His muscles were bulging under the thin material of his black tee. I was drooling, I'm sure. A rustling breeze swept across the beach, tossing my brown waves in the wind. I watched him take a deep breath, closing his eyes. And then he saw me. His dark eyes locked on mine, undecipherable emotions flickering in the firelight.
We stood there staring, the world around us fading away. I was drowning in his eyes, burning under the fire I saw dancing there. And then he was walking towards me, a slow but steady stride. He stood in front of me, so close I could feel the warmth of his body. His eyes were still locked on mine, like he was searching for something. And then without warning, his lips were on mine, urgent and hungry. His hands cupped around my face, tenderly stroking my cheeks as the tears from our eyes fell, mingling together. I wrapped my arms around his neck, and he tangled his fingers in my hair, as his other arm snaked around my waist, his hand resting on the small of my back. His lips moved against mine, erasing the pain, the doubt, the past. He finally broke away for air, our breaths coming out ragged and warm in the small space between us.
"I love you," I whispered. "I'm here, I'm yours, I'm so sorry."
He didn't have to answer, he just brushed his lips to mine again. I could feel the relief, the ecstasy, the completeness he finally felt in his embrace, in his kiss. His lips left mine again, coming to whisper huskily in my ear.
"I've always loved you, Bells. Since you showed up here with those busted up bikes and a hole in your heart. I've always been yours, honey, and I told you I'd always be here, waiting."
His lips met mine once again, the wholeness and love washed over me. No more sadness, no more pain. No more dreams of things that could never be. Jake's love was real and tangible, a living breathing thing. We embraced each other that day, standing on the beach were we first met. When I looked around I was happy to find we were standing in front of the bleached piece of driftwood, our tree.