A/N: This is a re-write of my first fan-fic. The writing was pretty rough, so I decided to clean it up and enhance it a little more. If you read it the first time around, please re-read it and let me know what you think. I've added some things to make the story a little richer. If you haven't read this story, well, read it and let me know what you think! I hated "Breaking Dawn," and I feel that Jake was treated horribly, especially with the whole imprinting thing. I mean, the whole baby storyline makes no sense! How on earth would Edward even have the sperm to make a baby? Anyway, this is my version . . . it begins right after the fight with the newborns. Enjoy!
Disclaimer: Stephanie Myers owns these wonderful characters. I am just playing with them a bit.
As I sat on the hard, wooden chair that I had dragged into his room from the kitchen, I stared at Jacob, who was bandaged and lying in his bed, and I kept thinking, "Why? Why? Why?" I closed my eyes and let the guilt wash over me . . . "Why does it matter to you if something happens to me?" he had asked me before the fight. I told him because we were best friends. Then he insisted that it was possible to love two people at the same time, and later he made his point with . . . the kiss. Sitting here, looking at him, I finally knew that he was right. I did love him, too. Too much.
Pain . . . an intense, all-consuming pain gripped my body and held me hostage. I tried to force my eyes open, but my eyelids were so heavy. I could tell I was in my bed, but for the moment, I couldn't quite remember how I got here. I quickly ran through my mind the last things I could remember . . . the night in the tent, holding Bella close to my body to keep her warm, hearing that fucking bloodsucker talk about marrying her, and then . . . the kiss. I stopped there and relived that memory for a moment then tried to move on . . . the fight with the newborns . . . Leah running after a leech alone and then . . . fuck. The pain shot through my body again as I tried to shift to a more comfortable position, but finding none, I gave up. As I took in a quick breath, I picked up another heartbeat in the room and a scent . . . strawberries . . .
Just then, I felt someone run a cold, wet cloth across my forehead. "Jacob? Are you awake?"
I knew that voice. I cleared my throat and got out, "Bella?"
"Yes, I'm here." She reached down to squeeze my hand.
Bella's here? Am I dreaming? I tried harder to open my eyes. I finally got them open enough to see her sitting beside me on a chair that she had pulled over to the bed. It was dark, but there was enough light in the room that I could see she had been crying, and worry was written all over her face. Is that worry for me? I tried to ask her, but I couldn't get the words out. I felt like I was in some kind of hazy fog . . .
Bella said softly, "It's OK, Jacob. Carlisle had to give you like four times the amount of morphine he would give a normal person to keep you still enough to reset your bones. Your high body temp is burning it off pretty fast, so just rest, OK? I'll be here."
Bella was here, and she was staying. "Love you" was all I could get out.
"I love you, too, Jake," she whispered and then I felt her lips brush my forehead.
I relaxed back into the pillows and slipped back into the blackness.
The next time I woke, I eased my eyes open to slits and noticed the light coming in through the window. It must be late in the morning. How long had I been sleeping? I tried to sit up and found that the pain was still with me, especially in my leg, but less in my arm and ribs. As I moved around, I realized that I was no longer alone in my bed. I looked over to see Bella curled up on the bed next to me sound asleep. I smiled to myself and put my arm around her to pull her closer to my body. I gave in to the impulse I had and leaned down to kiss her softly on the top of her head.
Bella stirred and opened those beautiful chocolate brown eyes of hers to look up at me. She smiled as she sat up and ran a hand over her forehead to scrape the chestnut hair from her face. "Hey, you're awake. How do you feel?" she asked sleepily.
"Well, I woke up with a girl in my bed, so I'm feeling pretty good right now," I said grinning slowly. I was still a little groggy, and my throat was so dry.
Bella rewarded my with a shy smile. "Sorry about that. I tried to sleep on that chair, but I kept falling over. Plus it is freezing in this house at night!" I noticed she had grabbed an old hooded sweatshirt of mine and was wearing it over her jeans and t-shirt. "I guess I needed my own personal space heater."
"No problem. Glad I could help." Just then, my stomach gave a loud rumble.
"I guess I don't have to ask if you're hungry?" she asked. "How about I make you something to eat?" She eased herself off of the bed and started for the kitchen before I could object. I had so many questions running around in my head, but right now, it was difficult to focus. My eyes closed again and I dozed off, probably with the smile still stuck to my face. Bella was here . . . with me, and not with him. And she was cooking for me. Things were definitely looking up.
I was standing in front of the old white refrigerator with the door open trying to find something to make Jacob for breakfast. There really wasn't much to choose from. I grabbed a carton of eggs, closed the door and looked in the cupboard for a skillet. As I cracked eggs into a bowl, that sound brought a vision of Victoria into my head. The horror of what took place hit me and I stopped what I was doing and leaned into the counter to keep from falling over. Pictures flashed through my mind, and the sounds and smells . . .
I caught a sob in my throat. "NO! I won't give into this," I thought. Not now. I pushed the thoughts from my head as I poured the eggs into the skillet and started stirring. Jake was finally awake and he was hungry. Focus, Bella.
"Morning, Bella," I heard behind me. I jumped as Billy wheeled himself into the kitchen. "I'm sorry. I didn't mean to startle you," he stated with a grin that reminded her of his son.
"It's OK. I guess I'm just a little jumpy this morning," I answered with a weak smile. "Would you like some eggs?"
"Sure. How's Jacob? Is he still sleeping?" Billy asked.
"He just woke up. His stomach told me that he was hungry."
Billy chuckled. "Well, that's a good sign! I think I'll go look in on him." He spun around and wheeled out of the kitchen.
I went back to scrambling the eggs. I grabbed a loaf of bread and threw some in the toaster and then turned to the cupboard to find plates. I smiled as I remembered the summer I was here for a visit with Charlie, and Billy had him come out and help paint these cupboards this hideous shade of green. Charlie made fun of the color and Billy told him the paint was so ugly that the guy at the hardware store couldn't get rid of it, so he gave it to Billy for two bucks a can. Leave it to Billy to take advantage of a bargain, even if it meant staring at the ugly green cupboards for the rest of his life.
I went back to the fridge for the butter and again noticed the lack of food in there. "I guess I'll have to do some grocery shopping sometime today," I grumbled to myself. "Men!" I shut the door and put the butter on the table.
I jumped again for the second time this morning when the front door flew open as Embry and Quil made their way into the house. I heard Embry blurt out, "I smell food!" just before they came around the corner into the kitchen and stopped at the sight of me. "Bella?" Quil asked. "What the fu . . ." Embry silenced him with an elbow into his side.
I looked over at him and said, "I'm making breakfast for Jake. Want some?"
"Well, I never pass up free food!" Embry said with a big smile. "Is he awake?"
I nodded as I piled some eggs and toast onto a plate then held it out along with a tall glass of ice water to Embry. "You have to take this to Jake first then you can have some."
"Sure, I know where I rate!" Embry gave me his famous lop-sided grin. "No problem," he added as he took the plate and glass from me and headed back to Jake's room.
Quil stood there not sure what to say or do. "Sit down, Quil. " I placed a plate of eggs and toast on the table. "I'm here because I care about him."
"As much as your bloodsucker?" Quil stood there challenging me.
"Look, Quil, Jake is my best friend, I love him, and this is where I need to be. I'm not going anywhere. Got it?"
He gave a small smile and nodded. "Got it." He sat down at the table and dug into the food just like any other hungry werewolf. It was good to see that Jake had both Embry and Quil with him again. I knew how much it had hurt him that they all couldn't hang out like they used to.
Billy wheeled into the kitchen and up to the table. I placed a plate of eggs and toast in front of him. "Coffee? I asked.
"Yes, please," Billy answered. "Jacob was snoozing again, but he woke up when I went in. He's healing pretty fast. He is inhaling his breakfast right now then Embry is going to help him into the bathroom to take a shower." He chuckled as he watched Quil. "It is amazing how you boys can inhale a plate of food."
Quil looked over at him sheepishly then shoveled the last bite of his eggs into his mouth with a grin. "I'll go help Embry with Jake," he said after he swallowed and scooted his chair back. He walked toward the hall, but stopped to say, "Thanks for breakfast, Bella."
I nodded with a small smile and he walked on down the hall.
Billy looked at me and raised his eyebrows, as if to say, "What's that about?" I shrugged and placed a cup of coffee in front of him then picked up Quil's empty plate to put into the sink. He took a bite of his breakfast and swallowed before saying, "Bella, you need to give Charlie a call sometime today. He knows you're here. I called last night and told him that Jacob had been in a motorcycle accident and that you wanted to stay and help me take care of him."
I panicked for a moment. Oh God! Charlie! How could I forget to call my dad? I had come here straight from the fight . . . "Thanks, Billy. I'll call him in a little while." Then I smiled to myself as I thought about what Billy had told my dad. I could already hear the speech Jake was going to get from my dad about how dangerous motorcycles could be.
I cracked more eggs into a bowl, stirred them up then poured them into the pan. As I put more bread in the toaster, I thought, cooking for all of these men is a lot of work. I wonder how Emily does it every day. I picked up the spatula to stir the eggs and smiled at my thought of Emily and remembered how I called her the "wolf girl" when she had called me the "vampire girl." Vampire girl. Why did that thought send a chill through me now? Wasn't that what I wanted?
"Hey, Bella? Hello? You OK?" Embry was standing beside me.
I jumped yet again. I was going to have to switch to de-caf. "Oh! Yeah. Just thinking."
"I got him back in bed. Now he wants some juice." Unexpectedly, Embry put his hand on my shoulder. "He's gonna be OK, Bella. Don't worry."
I smiled at him. "Thanks, Embry. Want your eggs now?" I handed him the plate and then plopped a couple of pieces of toast on it. He grunted his thanks and had his mouth full before he even sat down at the table. I put some eggs on a plate for me, added some toast then poured a glass of orange juice. I picked up both and announced, "I'm taking this to Jacob."
Jake smiled at me as I entered the room, his white teeth standing out against his russet skin. His cropped hair was now slicked down, still wet from his shower, and he looked more like my Jacob. "I heard you wanted some juice?" I handed him the glass. "How do you feel after having breakfast and a shower?" I asked as I took a bite of my eggs.
"Better. I just had to get the blood, dirt and stink off of me." Jacob chugged the whole glass of juice. He set the glass on the chair still sitting by the bed, beside his empty plate then he patted the bed next to him. "Come here – sit with me."
I sat on the bed and Jacob put his good arm around me and hauled me up next to him. "No offense, Bells, but you look like hell."
I took another bite of eggs. With my mouth full I said, "Gee, thanks Jake. I feel like hell." He laughed at me then stole a piece of toast off my plate.
I settled against him and let him hold me while I finished my breakfast. I could feel myself melt into his side. Why did this always feel so good? Why did it feel so natural? I leaned over and set my empty plate on top of his on the chair.
"Bella?" I heard him say softly.
"Hmmm?" I answered as I leaned back into him. He's so nice and warm.
He tightened his arm around me. "Why are you here with me, and not with . . . him?" he asked quietly. "Was he mad about . . . the kiss?"
I could hear the longing in his voice as he asked that question. I knew what he wanted me to say, but I wasn't ready to say it. I was still so confused about how I felt after all that had happened yesterday. The visions started to come to my head again, and I furiously pushed them away.
"I can't talk about it yet, Jake. I just can't. I'm sorry."
"He didn't hurt you, did he?"
"Why would he hurt me?"
"I know that he knows about the kiss, Bella. I figured he'd be pissed at me, but I didn't want him to take it out on you."
"He wasn't mad at all, actually, even though he should have been. Not at you or me. He told me he just wants me to be happy . . . "
"Well, damn. I was kind of counting on some kind of a reaction there." Jake shook his head and sighed. "He's better at this than I thought."
I stared at him for a second. "You think this is a game, Jake? Am I some prize to be won?"
That pissed him off. "No, it's just he knows how to play you, that's all. He's not as perfect as you think he is. He's been manipulating you from the start. I just wish you could see it."
I sighed and pulled away to look out the window. I closed my eyes and tried hard to force my anger away. Jake was hurt right now and needed to heal . . .
Then he turned slightly and touched my shoulder as he sighed. "Look, Bells, I kissed you to make you realize how you felt about me. I needed you to see that you loved me, too. I won't apologize for that. But I am sorry that I upset you just now. I guess I'm just a little confused to find you here and like always, I pushed you too hard. Forgive me?"
I turned to him and took in his crooked smile and his dark, shining eyes . . . how can I stay mad at this guy? I rolled my eyes and smiled back. "Yes, I forgive you for being an ass. Just like I always do."
He laughed softly and hauled me back against his side. I let myself relax against him and let the heat from his body surround me. My eyes drifted shut and I found myself thinking back to that kiss, up on the mountain:
"Kiss me and come back to me!" I had begged. He had turned and run to me and hauled me against his massive chest. His heart was beating as wildly as mine when our lips met. I fought against it for as long as I could then . . . he told me to just feel what I felt. How long had it been since I had just gone with a feeling instead of having to be careful? Something flipped inside and I couldn't hold back any longer. The feeling of his lips on mine and his hands on my back, pushing me into him, closer, yet not close enough. The images in my mind of the life we could have: the little black-haired children running and playing in the forest. The intensity of that kiss – the heat and passion in just that one moment . . . something I had never felt with Edward.
My eyes flew open. The realization of that last thought hit me. But then, Edward had never allowed it to go that far.
I turned and looked up at Jacob as my hand reached out to touch his cheek. He looked into my eyes and somehow read what I was thinking. His head lowered slowly toward me and I did nothing to stop him. The love in his eyes was obvious as Jake never hid anything. He stopped just before our lips touched. "Bella," just a whisper, then he kissed me softly, lingering just a moment, and lifted his head to wipe a lone tear from my cheek with his thumb. "It's OK. I'm here. I'm always here for you."