Disclaimer: I do not own twilight or these characters.

Come on, Bella. Breathe. It's just Jake. I mentally chastised myself, trying to calm my erratic breathing and the nervous butterflies currently assaulting my stomach.

Jake. Jacob.

Images of his bright smile, warm hands, and smooth russet skin flood my mind. My cheeks flush bright pink, my breathing and heart rate accelerate for all new reasons.

When did he start having this effect on me?

It's been over a year since he—since Edward left. I take a deep breath, saying his name still brings back both wonderful memories of first love and the awful months of Zombie Bella that followed his leaving. Those warm memories are tainted now with heartache and self-loathing behavior. It took me a long time to let go, to move on, to heal from that pain. Somewhere along the way I learned the truth. He had lied to me. Or maybe my self-esteem had been so low, I had been so self-depreciating I let his lies ring true, erasing the hundreds of times he's told me he loved me.

Edward did love me.

I realize now, however, that love can't always be enough. Our worlds were too different. And if I'm being honest with myself, the love I thought I felt for Edward, that I though ran so deep that when he left it felt like a part of my very soul had been ripped out, leaving a huge gaping wound in my chest where my heart had been behind, was never really love at all.

Addiction and infatuation. It was completely inebriating that such a wonderful, god-like creature would be paying any attention to me. Mousy, boring, plain old me. His affirmations and promises of love and an eternity together (well, maybe that wasn't his promise, but I knew that was the only way to keep us together), was so intoxicating to my romantic heart. There was a tragic beauty, like Romeo and Juliet.

That thought brings me back to a memory of Jacob. A more recent memory.

We were sitting on the couch, his arm slung lazily around me, my head resting on his (for once) tee shirt covered chest muscles, watching Romeo and Juliet. I could feel Jacob's eyes on me during the movie, but I refused to look up and see that knowing look in his eyes. When the end credits rolled, he let out a frustrated huff and clicked the television off, cupping his hand around my chin and forcing me to meet his eyes. They were dark, darker than usual, slightly angry. He stared at me for a long moment, and when his eyes finally softened, I let out a breath I didn't know I had been holding.

"Bells," He paused, and I knew he was searching for the right words, wishing he could sound poetic or romantic, not realizing he always did anyways, without the stuffy eighteenth century accent. Then his hand dropped from my face to my lap, covering my hand with his, and then gently bringing my hand up to his chest, placing my palm flat next to his heart, and I could feel the beating beneath his skin.

Without any words I knew what he was saying. I had been avoiding this moment with him for a long time. It had almost happened twice already. Once in my truck after he had saved me from drowning after my stupid attempt at cliff diving. And once in my kitchen. I was so sure he was going to that night, positive I couldn't deny him this time, still unsure I could ever love him the way I loved Edward. I felt so broken then. The loud shrilling ringing of the phone had thwarted his attempt that time. I scrambled for the phone, desperate to break the tension.

It had been Edward. He tried to cover it up, but I knew it was him. He only said a few words before hanging up again.

"I'll always love you. Be happy."

Jake hadn't tried again since then. That was months ago. He'd been the dutiful best friend ever since. Kinda. He was still constantly blurring the lines of our friendship, testing the boundaries, gauging my reaction. I was just so afraid to lose him. Even if I did have feeling for him (which I obviously did) I was afraid to enter a romantic relationship with him, for it all fall apart and I'd been alone all over again.

With Edward's words still ringing in my ears, and the weight of Jacob's love and devotion to me so apparent, a tangible living breathing, beating thing in my world, I closed my eyes and leaned forward on the couch that rainy afternoon, and felt my lips timidly brush against his. At first it was sweet and gentle. His lips were so warm and tender and full of love. And when he pressed a little harder, his tongue sliding along my lower lip, asking for entrance, I was unprepared for the desire and need that bubbled up inside me. I parted my lips, inviting him in, and as he deepened the kiss, his tongue stoking mine, dancing and tangling, his lips moving hungrily against mine, I was overcome with new emotions. The strength and intensity of which left me incapable of coherent thoughts, a heavy cloud of lust and passion turning me into mush in Jake's strong embrace. I was vaguely aware of his hand clutching mine, which was still pinned against his rapidly pounding heart, a gesture that felt more romantic than any flowery words or promises. He pulled away, leaving me completely breathless and overwhelmed, and rested his forehead against mine.

"That's what love is." He whispered huskily. My eyes flew open. Did he just admit that he loved me? I scrambled away from him, and ran to the door, hoping in my truck and speeding off before he could catch me. The fear was back full force. And now, well now I was sure I had been lying to myself. I was completely in love with him.

Oh, holly hell! When did that happen?

I had spent a week locked in my room, avoiding Jacob at all cost. I know it's irrational, crazy and insane even. But after that kiss, I was questioning everything I knew to be true. I was sure that the feelings I had for Jake were deeper and more real than anything I'd ever felt before. It scared me.

But, like a cheesy eighties movie, I woke up one night to Jake, perched on the tree outside my window playing some sappy love song on his iPod. My window groaned with protest with I opened it. He came in, a dark smoldering look dancing in his eyes, his chest heaving with labored breaths, and his short black hair dripping wet from the rain in his face. He grabbed my face with both hands, his lips crashing down on mine before I had a chance to protest. There was nothing gentle in that kiss. It was hot and hungry. He was begging, pleading, and trying everything to make me understand. When we broke apart, our ragged breaths mingling in the air between us, he rested his forehead against mine, his hands still burning against my now flushed cheeks, and this time I didn't run away.

"I love you, Bella. Please…" His voice caught, fresh tears running down his beautiful skin, falling onto my swollen lips. "…please, honey, let me love you. Let me fix it." He finished in a broken whisper. I couldn't hold the tears back any longer, and I just let them fall, rolling down my cheeks landing on his rough fingers. He wiped them away with his thumbs, I closed my eyes, his kissed away my tears, and then fit his lips to mine once more, sweet and innocently.

I just nodded.

How could I deny him any longer? A week without him had been pure torture. I kissed him back, with everything I had inside me. Every wall I had built came crashing down, his arms wrapping around me, crushing me to his chest as he stole the breaths from my lungs, soothed the ache in my chest, filled my heart with love and truth.

That was a three months ago. It's New Year's Eve tonight, and we are going to a bonfire on the beach with the rest of the pack.

And Charlie and Billy were gone, on a weekend long fishing trip.

I had packed a bag with extra clothes to stay with Jake.

And I am freaking out.

It's just Jake. It's just Jake. I repeat this mantra to myself, trying desperately to breathe normally.

"Bella!" His loud booming voice echoed throughout the house and I can hear him charging up the stairs.

Breathe, Bella.

I opened the door to the bathroom and he immediately lights up like a Christmas tree, scooping me up in his arms and crushing me to his chest.

"Hey honey," He mummers in my ear, sending tingles down my body.

"Hey," I reply a little breathlessly. He pulled back, a knowing grin spread wide on his full lips, and I know I am going to have to change my underwear before we go…again. He leans in, ever so lightly brushing his lips across mine, teasingly. A low soft whimper sounds.

Is that me? Oh god, please….

I can feel his smile as he increases the pressure of his lips on mine, slowly gliding his tongue along my bottom lip. I part my lips, opening my mouth to him almost instantly, and he plunges in, tasting, taking, devouring. I feel his heat consuming me, his hands tangle in my hair, as my head falls back, his lips nipping and kissing down my neck, stopping just above my heaving breasts. One hand leaves my hair, skims slowly down the slope of my neck—I swallow loudly, his touch is like magic—and his fingers lightly brush over the swell of my breast. Even through the thin cotton shirt, I can feel his heat and his tender touch sends jolts of electricity to where I need him most.

"Please…" I whimper out loud. I can't believe the desire and the passion this man has conjured up in me. I literally feel as if I am going to burst into flames if he doesn't touch me now. He brings my mouth back to his, hot and hungry, his hands roaming beneath the hem of my shirt and moving excruciatingly slow up the bare skin of my stomach, and finally—finally—cupping my breast in his hand. I moaned into his mouth, unable to stop myself. His other hand leaves my hair smoothing over the exposed skin at my neck and arms and grabs my hip jolting me forward to meet his. I can feel him, hard and heavy against my stomach.

Oh god, I need him so bad, please….

I don't even know where we are anymore, or my own name, but he tells me, whispering in my ear, sweet and tender promises that contradict his hungry lust driven actions so beautifully, I think I might explode from the sheer force of it all.

His hand on my hip slips down, gripping my ass, and lower to hitch my legs to him. I wrapped my legs around his waist, my inner thighs throbbing with need, pressed firmly up against him. His lips find mine again, and I lose myself in his kiss. There something utterly and intensely profound about Jacob, and the depth of his love, the sincerity in his promises, the absolute power of it all can be felt in the way his lips move against mine, the way his hands clutch me to him.

I love him. I do. Every fiber in my being, every ounce of blood in my veins, with every single beat of my heart that screams Jacob….I love him. And it's not in the 'I might fall apart if he's not with me every single second of the day' or 'I don't know who I am without him' way that consumed me with Edward. I love Jake because I choose to love him, and every day I wake up, I choose him and this life all over again.

Even when he drives me crazy.

He moves us to my room, slamming the door closed with a kick, and laying me gently down on my bed, never breaking the kiss. His hands find my hips again, and as he skims up my sides this time, he takes my shirt with him, pulling it off over my head and tossing it away. His fingers slide around to my back, deftly unhooking my bra with one fell swoop, and tossing it away. His eyes rove over my exposed flesh, and a deep scarlet blush spreads from my cheeks down my neck and across my chest.

"Beautiful." He whispers before lowering his lips to mine again. I am so lost in Jacob's kiss, I barely notice when he removes my jeans, until I hear a loud rip. I pull away to see my lacy black underwear in pieces, and he growls low and deep in his chest, crushing his lips to mine again before I can protest. His fingers slowly smooth their way down my belly, sliding below my navel and slipping between my wet folds. His fingers glide effortlessly over the little bundle of nerves, and my hands cling to his shoulders, digging into his flesh, as he growls my name through clenched teeth. Within seconds, I am clenching and convulsing, streaks of white light flash behind my closed eye lids, as his mouth covers mine, swallowing my cries as the waves of pleasure wash over me.

"Bells, honey, I need you. Please, baby. I need to be inside you." He says in a broken strained whisper. I opened my eyes to see his almost black with desire, a light sheen of sweat on his smooth russet skin.

"Okay." I whisper, his eyes widened with disbelief.

"Really?" The hope and eagerness bursting through his normally calm and cocky bravado. I just nodded and smiled as a huge grin broke out on his face. He jumped off of me, swiftly (and a little awkwardly) removing his jeans, tossing them aside.

There was only the soft glow of the moonlight and the twinkling of the fairy lights above my bed to illuminate his gorgeous body. But, he was so incredibly sexy standing there with his bulging smooth muscles, washboard abs begging for my nails to rake across them, his shock of black hair hanging in his face, his eyes so deep and dark I was burning in the fire I saw flickering there. My eyes roamed lower as he removed his boxers, and there he was, standing proudly at attention. I gulped loudly. I mean, Jake's a big guy, but this, this was more than I thought I could handle. He eased back down on top of me, keeping his weight on his elbows as he brought his lips to mine once, softly and chastely, then grazed my jaw line, stopping to whisper low and seductively in my ear, more than aware of my thoughts.

"Don't worry, baby. I'll go slow." He pulled back to look intently into my eyes. "I love you. Trust me, okay?" I just nodded, taking in a few deep breaths as he lowered his lips to mine and guided himself inside me. I felt myself stretching slowly to accommodate him as he pushed easily inside. I was surprised by how easy. It was like I made just for him. In that moment, as I reveled in the fullness of him nestled inside me, I knew this was where I belong. This is the natural and right path of my life. We didn't need any wolf magic to know we were soul mates.

He kissed my eyelids, my cheeks, my lips, my neck, not moving until he thought I was ready. I thrusted my hips up to meet his, and he slowly began moving in and out. I could barely contain the pleasurable moans and other sounds I didn't know I was capable of making as we moved together. He slowly increased his speed and the force of his thrusts, and I could feel the coil in my gut tightening as we neared the edge together. I let go, and as I convulsed and clenched around him so did he, collapsing in a sweaty breathless heap.

I stroked his hair, running my fingers through the short spiky hair at the nape of his neck as his breathing slowed. He raised his head, a triumphant smirk plastered on his face. I laughed when I saw it. He rolled over, bringing with him. He kissed the top of my head and I snuggled into his side. After a few minutes, his fingers brushed along my jaw, curling under my chin and raising my face to look at his. His eyes were glossy and serious, a small smile played on his lips when he spoke.

"Bells, honey, I love you. I've always loved you. But I have something to tell you." My heart dropped and the feeling of peace and bliss evaporated. "Bells, it's not—breathe baby," He tried to soothe me, his lips touching my skin and then my lips again. "It's just, I wanted to tell you, but I wanted it to be your choice, and for you to know you are mine, were always mine, with or without the wolf magic—"

"Wait, Jake. What are you saying?" I interrupted his ramblings.

"I imprinted on you." He said sheepishly, his cheeks turning a shade darker in the low lighting. I just stared at him, unsure of what to say. I really wasn't angry. If anything I felt a sense of relief. At least now I knew some other mystery woman wasn't going to just come along and take him from me. Although, I trust Jake, and even if he would have imprinted on someone else in the future, I know he would have done everything in his power to fight it and keep me in his life.

Instead of saying anything, I closed the distance between us and kissed him. I kissed him until we were stealing the breaths from each other, until we had to break apart for much needed oxygen, before we both passed out.

"I love you. I choose you. Always." I whispered, my forehead against his, our lips almost touching with my words. He crashed his lips to mine again, my mouth opening up to him, as his hands dipped below my navel again, finding me already ready for round two. I felt his smile against my lips and his length hardened against my thigh.

"Let's just stay here. Skip the party." He rasped before pressing his mouth to mine again to cover the moan that escaped as his fingers nimbly danced across my sensitive flesh. He pulled back again to see if I was going to agree with him or not. He was so happy. There was an unmistakable joy and triumphant along with the love and desire that danced in his dark eyes.

"I think this is going to be my New Year's resolution," I mumbled against his lips.

"What's that?" He asked as he continued to peck my lips, coaxing me to stay here with him.

"To make you this happy, every day." I answered, smiling and blushing when he pulled back to look at me.

"As long as I can have you in my arms, I am the happiest man on earth," He whispered against my lips.

"Always." I answered, as he deepened the kiss, taking us to heaven again.