BITTER HANDS & BROKEN GLASS

Author's Note - i did originally write this with the thought of entering it into a contest. But my procrastinating and lack of a Beta made my decision for me, so i didn't... I need to find a Beta!

UntilWeBleed, my banner making machine! Thank you for yet another beautiful creation, my writing is so not worthy but i take your brilliance anyway. (PS - check out her H-O-T Taylor Lautner manip on her profile page) You rock my socks bb.

Txgal77, for being my test bunny. She can't stand the angst but takes whatever i dish out anyway. ((HUGS))

Disclaimer: Twilight and its characters belong to Stephenie Meyer Blah, blah, blah


INSPIRED BY THESE LYRICS…

'How quick the sun can drop away,
And now my bitter hands cradle broken glass,
Of what was everything,
All the pictures have all been washed in black, tattooed everything,
All the love gone bad turned my world to black,
Tattoo all I see, all that I am, all I'll be'

- Pearl Jam, 'Black'

*Cullens did not come back*


Jacob was a boy who simply loved a girl. Bella was girl who was washed away in a torrent of grief, and he was her rescuer in every way that mattered.

The boy she loved and lived for had abandoned her. Told her he didn't want her anymore and that she didn't belong in his world. She felt he may as well have torn her heart right from her chest. There was nothing in its place any longer, except a scorching ache of sorrow and anguish. He left her shattered, heart and soul. But Jacob gathered each shard and splinter of her fractured spirit, and gradually piece by delicate piece, put her back together.

He had loved her, more than he should, for the longest time. She hadn't noticed it at first; he was always giving and she always taking. She called him her sun, and he was a ray of light in her darkest days. He warmed her and made her feel alive, even when at times she thought she would die from the grief.

He had become her salvation. His garage was their fortress where it was easy as breathing. They drank warm sodas on cool days and their banter made her smile effortlessly. First beach was their escape and the bleached out log their little nook where so many thoughts were shared and feelings acknowledged.

His courageous hands had saved her, plucked her from the freezing ocean when she had thrown herself off of a cliff. She told him it was for fun. He saw right through her, she was a bad liar. He took her home and his hand held hers as she shivered on the vinyl seat of her truck. They rested on the small of her back when she snuggled into him. They swept the hair from her eyes as she stared at him while an internal war waged in her, debating whether to give a little piece of her love to her friend Jacob.

And she did. Slowly but surely, she let him in. It was a day like any other but one that Jacob would never forget. He was tinkering with the motor of his Rabbit, talking out loud, giving her a play by play of what he was fixing and the names of the tools her was using. She sat on a tarp at his feet, absentmindedly smudging the grease stains, feigning interest at his incessant babble. When he slid out from underneath the car, he noticed he'd never seen her look at him the way she was right that very second. An unnamed emotion flooded her eyes as she rose to her knees and leaned over to him.

She swallowed audibly and licked her lips nervously as she whispered, "I'm ready," and followed the simple statement with a subtle nod.

He knew precisely what she meant. There was no need for explanations; this was the moment he'd been waiting for. He exhaled and his broad shoulders dropped slightly like he had been holding his breath the entire time. He threw his head back and smiled at the tin roof before meeting her gaze. His smile was certain, hers was hesitant.

His confident hand made a path to hers positioned on her knees. In a gesture that hinted at surrender, she turned both hands over palms facing up, open to him. His fingers caressed her palm before firmly enveloping them with a squeeze.

"I've been waiting for this," he revealed, "For the longest time."

"I know," she replied, "I'm yours, whatever is left of me, it's yours."

Her absent heart fluttered in her chest. His beat madly behind his ribs, strong enough for both of them. He raised her hand to his mouth and gently pressed his lips to her palm. She gasped at the heat that was slowly working its way up her arm courtesy of Jacob's mouth. He stopped at the crook of her elbow and gazed up at her.

She tentatively tangled her fingers in his short hair and pulled him to her. She waited for his lips to meet hers but he held back, letting her set the pace, so she closed her eyes tight and brushed her lips against his. His breath caught upon contact and she felt the warmth wash over her as he exhaled. For him, it was like everything ceased to exist for those few precious minutes. For her, it was like she had purpose again.

Months passed, he was deliriously happy, she was content. He loved her immeasurably; she loved him too, but not as much as the other boy. Not yet.

An evening spent watching movies, quickly turned into a sleep over. Her father had long gone to bed, so she asked him to stay. They made their way up the creaky staircase and into her room. He felt so close to her, she felt she wasn't close enough. As he sat on the edge of her bed, his nervous hands sweating, she slowly undressed to her underwear. His heart thumped eagerly, hers stammered anxiously.

His keen hands glided over the curves of her body as she pulled his t-shirt over his head. His palm pressed into the curve of her waist while she undid his jeans and slid them to the floor. His fingers traced the line of her underwear at her hips and she pushed him back on the bed. He swept her hair over her shoulder, admiring her, as she took off her bra. He positioned himself to hover over her while she slipped out of her underwear. He wanted to see her, taking her in as she closed her eyes. He felt complete. She still felt a void.

Days trickled into weeks and weeks into months. An afternoon at the beach marked the beginning of the end. She knew it, he did not. They sat in cool sand, he was talking about wanting to take her away, she was digging her hands in the wet sand, reminiscing about icy fingers laced with hers. He was making plans for their future, she was contemplating a way out.

"So I was thinking maybe we could go camping, or we could go up and visit your mom in Florida and spend a few days at the beach," he gestured to the dark water of First beach before continuing, "I mean like a real beach where it's sunny and warm and we could swim."

She closed her eyes and unintentionally tuned him out.

"Bells!" he exclaimed, breaking her out of her reverie, "Are you ok?"

"Uh huh," she answered with fistfuls of wet sand.

She lied. She lied a lot now days, to him and to herself. She was getting better at it because he couldn't tell right away like he used to. Or maybe he was just lying to himself too.

A morning in his garage was the last time he would see her. A day he longed to forget.

He was under the hood of the Rabbit when she entered. His willing hands reached for her. Her reluctant arms flinched. He furrowed his brow eyeing her suspiciously as she averted her gaze. She'd be milling over what she would say in her head, it wasn't helping. How do you tell someone you love, that you don't love them enough?

"What is it?" he asked, wringing his apprehensive hands around a rag.

She shook her head, eyes immediately filling with tears. "I can't do this anymore," she said, wiping at her nose with her sleeve, eyes examining a spot on the concrete floor like it had all the answers.

He felt like he'd had the wind knocked out of him, "Do what exactly?"

"I can't… be with you anymore Jake," she told him simply.

His eyes welled with emotion and he took a calming breath while staring up at the tin roof. The exact same one where, months ago, it had been a new beginning and here, in this very same place, it was all coming to an abrupt end.

"Can't?" he repeated, "What exactly is stopping you?". He pressed clenched fists against his eyes. He couldn't bear to look at her.

Her tears spilled for him. "You're good and kind and funny and… good," she was doing exactly what had been done to her, abandoning him. But she would try to explain it right. "And I'm… not those things. I'm broken and damaged and held together with glue…" she trailed off.

He was barely able to control his bottom lip from quivering as he spoke, "Am I not doing a good enough job?" he asked, he tried so damn hard, how could it not be enough?

She shook her head feebly. "I'm the one who's not good enough. I tried, I did, but you deserve more than this," she said as she pointed at her own chest accusingly.

"Try harder," he yelled. His heart told him to beg for her to stay, but his head told him to let her go. He finally met her regretful gaze.

Tears rolled down her cheeks. "You can't… fight for me, there's no battle to be won here."

He laughed resentfully. "It's still him, isn't it?"

She didn't need to respond, her eyes filled with longing, even with the absence of his name.

He knew he didn't stand a chance. Nearly a year had passed, but she hadn't really moved on, not even an inch. "I don't know how to stop loving you Bella."

"Jake, I don't know how to love you right."

He was coming undone. She was holding her own. He was hanging on by a thread while she was finally on solid ground.

She reached for him now. He cringed away.

Goodbye was the last words to pass her lips as she walked out of his garage and out of his life. He walked over to the small window, looking out at his future disappearing from his view. And with it went his hopes and dreams.

His fist shattered the window before him. Shards of glass littered the floor as blood dripped from the tips of his fingers upon the remains. His wounds healed before his eyes till all that remained of the deep gashes, was angry pink lines. He began to collect the pieces off the dirty floor. He hated that the only physical reminder of this day vanished instantly while the emotional scars would never heal.

And now, his bitter hands cradled broken glass.