[A/N: I do not own Twilight. At all. This is set during New Moon, around the time when Jacob leaves. The next day Bella comes back, to find him alone. Time for Confrontation.]

How to live with Werewolves.

Rule Number One;

It's pretty basic. You do not provoke a wild animal.

I watch him pace with a wary sigh, my eyes following him much like a person watching tennis. Back and forth. To and fro. I've been here all up for twenty minutes and we've only shared so much as a few words.

All I did was ask him to tell me what's been bothering him while he tightened the screws of a mysterious foreign object; a car. And he threw the wrench, began swearing in another language and paced. I waited, though, patiently, for him to stop pacing. It seemed endless, now, as he kept his eyes on the ground laid out before him.

I felt the patience inside me wan when it stretched on for another good twenty minutes. I finally snapped.

"Oh for Gods sake" I growled. "It can't be that bad."

He stopped and pivoted on his foot, his eyes showing nothing but pure anger. At me.

That I couldn't handle. He had been anything but angry with me since he had started hanging out with Sam Uley, and this change made the already burning ache in my heart change tempo.

I stood, hands fisted.

"What's your problem?" I nearly shouted and he trembled.

"My problem?" he asked, incredulous. "My problem?" he repeated, his voice growing steadily louder.

"Yes, your problem! I don't get it! First you ditch me with not so much as a 'goodbye', get your father to lie to me, and when I do find out you're not in immediate danger of falling off the face of the planet you come back into my life only to tell me to-oh what was it?" I ask with feigned ignorance "stay away? So yes, I assume you have a pretty big problem!" I heave, my eyes narrowing. I've never been this angry before, never goaded into hitting someone. Hell, if I were to ever throw a punch, it would be at that Sam Uley bastard.

Jacob is visibly shaking now, trying to hold it together and he grits his teeth.

A voice calls out to him from somewhere, but I have tunnel vision.

"I'm not the one with issues," he snaps and the breath is knocked out of me. That's it. I've never hit a person before, but suddenly I want to hit Jacob Black. Hard.

Before my brain can comprehend my bodies movements, my arm snaps forward with a crack.

I've hit him.

I've actually done it.

But something isn't right. The tunnel vision instantly snaps open when I feel rather then hear the crack of my knuckles. Blinding hot white pain shoots up my arms and I open my mouth to yell at him, only to scream.

I hop around , cradling my hand to my chest and swear profusely, begging whatever higher power there is up there for the pain to stop. In my haste to make the pain go away I don't notice I'm moving towards the garages exit, cursing Jacob Black and his stupid cute face.

I stumble past figures on my way out, cursing loudly-so much that I would probably make a sailor look like a princess.

"Jacob, stay!" someone shouts and I'm already getting into my truck.

"She can't drive with a broken hand!" a voice shouts back,

The pain is harder now, throbbing and I groan, turning the key with my good hand and holding the wheel with the bad. It hurts like a bitch, but I need to get out of here.

As I pull away on the long winding road, in my review mirror I notice a jet-black wolf standing on the sidelines, staring after me. But the pain is too much and so I keep my eyes on the road and hiss through my teeth.

It's a small fracture. Just a small one, on my first and second knuckle. They bandage my wrist up so tightly I can't move my fingers and give me some meds when my dad arrives.

"What the hell?" he asks and I sigh.

"I punched Jacob in the face." I say with a wince, remembering what I had said to him. And what he had said to me. I was still angry, but a part of me was weeping over my best friend. I shoved that part away and looked up to notice Charlie hiding a smile.

"What?" I ask.

"Nothing. Just, the boy must have a shiner coming on-from the damage of your hand, I can't imagine what his face must be like" he mused, sounding interested. I rolled my eyes.

"Look, you may find this funny, but right now I just really want to go to sleep." I say, noticing it's nearly seven at night. Charlie nods and while they explain what time to take it and how many, Charlie makes a call. When we're both done, he places an awkwardly comforting hand on my shoulder and we travel to the cruiser.

"Dad, my car—

"Jacob's going to pick it up" he said.

I stare at him.

"He's coming over tomorrow so you both can discuss this…" he gestured to my wrist.

"Fine. But if I break my other hand by punching him…" I grumble and buckle myself in. Charlie just grins and turns on the radio.

"What's the time Mr. Wolf, what's the time?" a voice sings, sounding more enthusiastic then I feel as beats in the background spin around me softly. I let my head fall back against the seat and think about Jacob. The figures on my way out.

Sam Uley's gang. The wolf on the road.

My eyes close and I find myself dreaming.

Time drifts by as wolves run through the forest.

I wake up, roll over and hear voices downstairs. Low cacophonies that can be identified as males speaking to one another. I try to separate each one.

Charlie. He speaks minutely. There are three others. I can't hear them too well and I stand, fix my sheets and change clothes, brushing my hair into a high ponytail, throwing on some denim shorts-the weathers warm for once-that stop mid thigh, and a white singlet with pink and blue patterns on it. I travel downstairs, yawning and stop dead when I see who it is.


And three other boys from Sam Uley's gang. I resist the urge to run back upstairs and hide.

"Morning, Bells," dad greets with a warm smile and slips off into the kitchen to make some coffee, knowingly leaving me and the three alone.

I feel my heart skip a beat and pound in my chest so hard I think my ribcage might break.

I notice their faces now. Quil and Jared. I take a long look at them, notice the black ink on their arms and scowl-the same black ink lays on display on Jacobs arm. For a while, all is silent.

I clear my throat.

"My truck here yet?" I ask, the cold tone in my voice making Jacobs face fall.

He replies just as coolly.

"Not yet. I was hoping you'd come with to pick it up."

"Are your minions coming too?" I snap. The two send a look at Jacob and Jacob just smirks. I want to hit him. Again. Then his eyes catch sight of my hand, and the thick gauze wrapped tightly around it. His smirk dies.

"You okay?" he asks, concern lingering in his tone.

I just shrug.

"Seen better days."

I'm still on the steps, and suddenly, I want to break the space between us. Leap into his arms. But the small distant throbbing of my hand keeps me in place.

It falls silent again.

"Just let me throw on some shoes and we'll go." I say and turn, head back upstairs. The low mumble of their voices follows me. I bang my knee on an open drawer and grit my teeth, slamming it shut. I pull on my sneakers and walk back down the stairs, hoping I don't fall and make a fool of myself.

But luck isn't with me today and my foot slips on the edge of the last second step. Before I hit the ground, sharp movements catch my eye as the three boys go to catch me.

Only one succeeds in doing so.

Jacobs arms are hotter then normal and for a moment, they feel nice and secure, around me, stopping me from causing anymore damage. My head is an inch from his chest and I can hear the steady beat of his heart. My fingers, of their own accord grip onto his arms tightly and I look up slowly to meet his eyes. Somewhere in them, I find my Jacob. The concerned friend. My best friend. But it disappears when I slink out of his grasp with a feeble "Thanks."

He nods with a small grunt and Charlie comes back into the room.

"Well, you kids be safe now. Bella, my phones on charge so when you come back, call me" he says and I nod, following the three russet boys outside. The wind hits my legs and I shiver with a wince as we all pile into what I think is Jared's jeep.

"Where's your dad going?" Quil asks. I scowl at him but answer anyway.

"He's going fishing with a friend from work, won't be back until Monday."

There's more silence, which I hate, but as I sit, staring out the window, I notice Jacob looking at me from time to time, on the other side of the car. The space is small, so I can feel the heat of him against my own leg and I resist the urge to move closer. The wind lapping at my face and legs is cold so I try to hold back shivers, hoping he won't notice.

But he does. He always does.

"You know, you can always move closer" he says with a single eyebrow raised. I just roll my eyes and continue to stare out into the moving canvas before me. He sighs and I hear the click of a seatbelt and suddenly the warmth is pressed against me and it feels so good I don't move away. In fact, I actually lean against him and he chuckles softly.

Jared and Quil are talking about something in the front, low and soft and I can feel rather then hear Jacob's heart beat escalate when I place my hand on his arm, the pads of my fingers meeting his warm flesh eagerly. He turns to look at me as I keep my gaze steady, but my breathing has quickened.

"I'm sorry," he whispers to me and I look up into his big eyes.

"I know..." I murmur and wish I could take all his pain away. I just snuggle closer to him and we finally draw to a stop.

His warmth moves away and I resist the urge to whimper at the loss of it but unbuckle my seatbelt and jump out.

"Thanks," I say softly to Jared who grins at me.

"See you around, girl," he says and they pull away with a flourish. Jacob rolls his eyes, standing next to me.

"Show off." he says under his breath.

We walk towards my truck and my hands busy themselves in my pockets.

That damn silence ag—

He turns to me.

"Bella, can we talk when we go back to your house?" he asks. I nod. He smiles, but it isn't the same. We both jump into the cab of the truck, and he drives slowly, casting me glances every now and then. I catch his tongue dart out to lick his lips after his gaze laps up my legs. I blush.

We pull up to the house and I stare at my bandaged hand, wondering if the end result of this 'talk' will end like last time. A part of me hopes not. A bigger part wants to wipe that smirk off his face with a hard punch—now that I look at him, there isn't a mark. Of course.

I sigh and we head inside, wordlessly. I go to the kitchen as he goes into the living room, and grab two glasses of soda. I walk into the living room, managing not to maim myself on the table and sit across from him, placing his glass down in front of him as I take a feeble sip from my own. He opens his mouth, but I hold up a hand.

"Before you say anything, I just want you to know that what you said yesterday hurt me. In more ways then one. Your actions speak louder then words, Jake, and by doing nothing when I called and tried to reach you, I figured that's what I meant. Nothing. What hurts" I managed to choke out, willing myself not to cry "is that you didn't even care when I stepped into the garage. No normal greeting. Just a simple wave." I look up slowly, to meet his pained gaze. He opens his mouth but I go on.

"I knew that something was wrong that night, but I don't know the full extent. I guess, I was just… angry. At you. At Sam Uley" I snarl his name. "but mostly, I was hurt. I deserve to be happy Jake, and that may seem selfish of me to say. But with all I've been through, I thought I could rely on… well you. Again," I say with a shaky sigh "selfish."

I pause, waiting for him to get up and walk away. Given my situation and issues, with the roles reversed, I probably would have done the same. But it falls silent and for a moment all I can hear is the thrumming of my heart and the heavy sound of my breathing.

"Bella" he whispers. I don't look up, keeping my eyes on the bandages.

"I… I wish I could tell you. You have no idea how much I wish I could. But I can't." he says and the tears in my eyes spring upwards, threaten to spill over.

"I said I'd always be there for you, that I'd never go away and I did. I hate hurting you, seeing you like this. It kills me, Bella. You're pain is my pain, honey…" he murmurs and the soft tone of his voice carries itself to my ears with sympathy.

"I want to tell you about…" he chokes for a moment, and then regains composure. "But it'd be harder to…" he stops.

I look up and he narrows his eyes at the table in thought. Then he gets up, holds out his hand.

"What are you doing?" I ask. But he shakes his head, nods at his open palm. I don't have to be told again as my hand slips into his with ease. He pulls me away with him, and I follow him as he takes me to my car.

"Where are we…?" I stop, though, knowing he won't tell me. So I follow him and jump in without further questions. It's pathetic at how high I'd jump if he asked me to. And deep down, I know he'd do the same.

We've been driving for a while now, until we come across a vast crescent of land I'm not familiar with. It's trees are tall and proud, and he pulls over, behind the trees until we're in the shade. Darkness of the pine spills fourth and weaves over the rare space, twisting and winding. He takes my hand, and I walk with him through the trees. I look at my surroundings and notice it's eerily quiet.

I'm not scared. Jacobs with me.

Not Sam Uley's Jacob. My Jake.

We keep walking, and I feel like complaining like a child. I narrowly miss falling on my face as I nearly trip over a branch, but he just holds me steady and pulls me gently along with him. The sun disappears behind clouds and a small breeze kicks up, but I don't feel cold. With Jacobs hand in my own, his warmth flows freely through me, down to the very point of my toes. We come to a clearing, much like the one in my dreams. Much like the one I've known. But it's not as big as my own. He lets go of my hand and turns to me.

"Promise me something," he says, his voice shaken.

"Anything." I reply, reaching for him. He pulls back and smiles weakly.

"You won't run away. No matter what happens here…" his voice is a haunted whisper and I find myself nodding with a "I promise, Jake."

Above, the clouds come together slowly in anticipation. Jacob turns his back on me, walks further up ahead. I'm tempted to follow him, but I know I should stay. He peels off his shirt, and I gasp as I catch the russet skin laid out before me. Muscles flex up and around his spine, and I catch another glimpse of the tattoo as the muscles of his arms shiver with his movement. His hair, raven black, is ruffled softly and then he reaches for the hips of his pants. I stare, mouth agape, thinking of nothing as he strips down until he's only clad in his briefs'.

He turns to face me, a smile on his lips. I stare at his stomach, the taut muscles under flesh and the—six pack or eight?—and feel my face heat up.

"You promised" he says, his voice rushing to my ears with a hint of… fear?

I nod and as if to prove my point, I draw an x across my chest.

He smiles one last time.

"Close your eyes, Bella" he orders and I do.

For a while, all I can hear is the sound of silence. And then the sound of fabric tearing. And feel the earth shift beneath me when something hit's the ground.

I open my eyes.

And nearly scream.