Disclaimer: I do not own twilight or these characters.

Warning: contains strong language and sexual content.


The warm yellow glow of lights twinkled and sparkled against the inky sky. They shone brightly on the Seine, making the iridescent black waters glimmer in the night. The tower stood tall and proud in the distance, radiant in her glory at night. This city was beautiful in the day, but at night, with all the lights lit up like Christmas, she was truly breathtaking. She was the City of Lights, the City of Night, after all.

I stood still, barely breathing, in the quiet darkness of my Paris apartment. My feet were bare—I had been wearing these beautiful, accident-inducing heels all day—and I closed my eyes as I listened to my city come to life. There was a hum of traffic, a mummer of voices, the passionate sounds of street performers echoing off the walls. They played music that broke my heart and swept me away in its complicated harmony and rhythm: it reminded me of a heartbeat. They quoted Shakespeare, and I felt myself crumble. But it was a beautiful, healing, cleansing type of pain. I let it wash over me and felt it thrumming in my heart and pumping through my veins.

I heard the hustle and bustle below me, saw two lovers in an embrace standing next to the river. The ethereal marble statue at their back silently watched over them-always. The sight stirred something in my own heart, something I tried to bury, and something I tried to ignore. I closed my eyes and took a deep, shuddering breath, and my hands reached out to grab the wrought iron railing of my balcony to steady myself. I shivered as the cold from this January night seeped into my exposed skin. I looked up to see the first snowflakes start to fall.

They were beautiful here—the snowflakes—perfectly shaped and falling at this romantic and unhurried pace. That was Paris, though. People here enjoyed life: wine, good food, beauty and love. But today, these snowflakes reminded me of another day. In their delicate beauty, I found nothing but heartache, regret, and pain.

The cold I felt in my bones tonight, the shivering and chattering of my teeth, brought images of another cold and miserable night: the only night I felt his warmth.

I could barely breathe as the pain ripped through me. I felt it slashing and burning its way through my flesh, and a choked, strangled cry escaped my lips as I fell to my knees. My arms wrapped around me, clutching my sides and desperately trying to hold myself together.

I could feel it though-the shattered remains of my heart, of my soul, that still—still—belonged to him being exposed and bleeding as I fell apart. My tears were hot and salty as they flowed down my flushed cheeks, and I wept loudly, wishing with every fiber of my being that I could change my mind, that I could go back.

But I couldn't.

I kissed him on that snowy mountain top, and now all I saw, all I felt, all I knew, was him. The memory of the only kiss we'd ever shared was branded onto my lips. I could still feel the tingle of his heat, of his hot hands, as they snuck up my shirt and lay flat against the soft skin of my back. He pulled me to him, his tongue parting my lips and wordlessly telling me all things I wouldn't hear before.

He had said it all before, with words, beautiful poetic words that still repeated in my mind that felt more poignant, more captivating, more romantic... just more than any others I had ever heard. But that kiss, his touch, was what caused me to finally hear, to finally understand.

But it wasn't enough.

Broken and bloody. That was how I left him. That was the image that haunted me, the cause of my nightmares now. I cried for him that night. I sent Edward away. I longed for his kiss again, his touch, to go back and fix it. But I was stubborn. I believed, stupidly, that I couldn't live without Edward.

That he was my soul.

That my heart beat for him.

Foolish.

And blind.

But some weeks later, he left. Gone. I felt the darkness creeping up on me then, the dread and despair. He said he would fight! Always! Maybe even then!

I wiped my tears with the back of my hands, and the irrational, unreasonable anger surged through me. I saw red. My whole body trembled with it, as if I was the one in danger of phasing. But I wasn't. Of course I wasn't.

I stood up and walked back through the double French doors into my dark and too cold apartment, picked up the first thing I could find, and chucked it across the room. It shattered against the wall, the sound reverberating through the tiny space. I screamed in frustration and covered my face with my hands. It was just all too much; too, too much. Especially today.

I walked across the dark room, careful not to trip, and grabbed my phone off my nightstand.

I was going to call—I had to call—even if I knew it was useless and futile. He wasn't there.

He was gone. And the night before my wedding, I could only dream of him: of the passion and desire I felt that day; of the love that shone so brightly, so openly in his dark eyes; of his warm, russet skin, smooth and delicious against mine; of my fingers tangled in his shaggy hair—for me, he said, he had grown it out for me; of his husky voice in my ear, his warm breath caused a different kind of shiver to go down my spine; of his heart laid completely bare for me to see, his hurt for me to witness; of the pain in his voice when he knew I wasn't choosing him. It was nothing like the pain I had seen and heard in Edward's eyes or in his voice when he left me.

No.

This was different. His pain was a living, breathing, bleeding heart that beat only for me. Always you.

The phone rang. Once. Twice. Three times. I held my breath. I at least needed to hear Billy's voice. I needed to feel a connection to him. Right now. Today. I felt the panic start to rise, and I had to take slow, deep, even breaths to calm myself.

When Edward left, I felt like a shell of a girl. Lost and broken. But I wasn't broken. I had lost my identity in Edward, and without him there, I became a blank space.

And in Jake, I had begun to live, really live, for the first time. It was impossible not to grow with a constant mixture of love, rain, and the sun.

When I realized I had lost Jake, when he left, that's when I felt the pain. The break. It was indescribable, and it tore through me with vicious and relentless vengeance. Most days, it still did.

I almost hung up, my finger hovering above the end button, when a husky voice answered.

"Hello?" he said, and I almost fell to the floor. I couldn't even speak, but the sound of his voice was like water to my parched soul, like air to my breathless lungs, like the sun finally rising in my endless night.

"Hello? Anyone there?" he asked again, and I whimpered. I couldn't speak; I was in shock, and now, fresh tears stung my tired eyes, spilled over, and streaked down my face.

"Jake..." I managed to whisper, my voice strained and hoarse and my words almost inaudible.

But he heard me. I could tell by the sharp intake of breath on the other end of the line.

"Bells?" he asked disbelievingly, and I couldn't describe the warmth that rushed through me as he said my name. But I didn't answer; I didn't even know what to say or how to begin.

I woke up the morning of my wedding with large, black circles under my eyes, an ache in my heart—in my bones—and a decision I almost couldn't bear to make.

But I did.

I told Edward goodbye, and then Charlie and Billy, too. I took a taxi to the airport with only one suitcase, my passport, and a few thousand dollars meant for college to my name. I was going to Paris. The only place I had ever really wanted to go. I might have been just an average American girl, but my heart was meant for the City of Lights.

"Bella, please... talk to me," he pleaded; his voice was choked, and I could almost feel the silent tears he was shedding.

"Jake... I—" I didn't know what to say. Or how to say it. But my heart was about to burst, and it spoke for me—because it belonged to him. "I need you."

Silence.

"Please, I just... I want you. I need you," I begged as I sunk onto the cold wooden floor of my bedroom. My voice was tortured and strangled, and I couldn't breathe as waited for his answer.

I didn't get to hear his response. My phone died. I threw it across the room, and it landed with a soft thud onto a chair in the corner. I crawled under my cool cotton sheets and cried until exhaustion overcame me.

I worked the next two days. After I had arrived in Paris, I had rented this small apartment—really, it was just two rooms, but it had this gorgeous balcony with a view from a postcard. There was a small, French bakery on the corner, and I could smell the sweet scents of crepes and bread wafting up into my open windows. It was perfect. I had enrolled at the University, worked at a small café while I learned French, and eventually graduated and was able to teach at the English school across town. I walked most days instead of taking the bus. There was something so beautiful about the city, and walking its streets, seeing the shops and the people were all a part of it.

Sometimes when I was walking, I was aware of someone watching me. But I wasn't afraid. I knew Edward would always be watching over me. It was in his nature to want to protect me, but he never let me see him or know he was there. For that, I was grateful.

My mind was a million miles away, in a rain-soaked little town, on a rocky beach with the green, vibrant forest all around, in a tiny red house or a makeshift garage, with a russet-skinned boy who held my hand and promised to love me forever as I walked home that day. The sun was already setting, casting streaks of orange and pink across the darkening sky. I could already see the faint glow of white lights on the tower dimly come to life.

I stopped dead in my tracks only a few feet from my building.

There he was, sitting on the front stoop, dressed in black, his hair long enough to be in a ponytail again. He looked up and saw me, those perfect, dark eyes locking onto mine.

He was so beautiful. So fucking beautiful.

Before I could really think, I was running, jumping into his waiting arms, and wrapping myself around him. I buried my face in the crook of his neck and inhaled his musky, woodsy scent. It was soothing to my soul. His arms encircled me, automatically pushing up under my shirt so he could feel my skin beneath his fingertips. His hand caressed up and down my back, and I felt a flash of heat move through me.

We didn't need any more words. Not right now.

His hot hands were suddenly on my face, his dark eyes glassy with unshed tears, mine already overflowing. His eyes darted back and forth between mine, searching for something, and then once he found it, his lips tenderly, lightly brushed against mine.

It was better than the first time. There was still some desperation. He needed to make me his. But it was so full of love and want and truth that I just let the sensation overcome me, leaving a fire burning in its wake.

Within moments, I was fumbling for my keys; his arms wrapped around me from behind as he placed hot, open-mouth kisses along the slope of my neck. We stumbled our way into my apartment, and I fell against the soft mattress of my bed. I crawled into the middle, stripping as I went.

His eyes never left me; they were dark as midnight and clouded with lust as he unzipped his pants, freeing his large erection from its denim prison. My eyes widened at the sight of him, the tip dripping with wetness. I felt the warmth pooling between my thighs. He stalked towards me, and I could read the hunger in his every movement. I watched as his muscles rippled and tensed; his jaw flexed. He was a lithely predator. And I was his prey. He was the hunter, and I his prize.

His knee sunk into the end of the mattress, and then the other one. Every movement was deliberate, slow, and so fucking sexy I thought I might just come apart from the sight. My legs spread open for him—only him—and he climbed in between them. He lowered himself onto his elbows on either side of me, one hand reaching up to cup my cheek, his fingertips tangling in my tresses. He kissed me, long, sweet, and full of promise. I could feel his hardness rub against my wet folds, and I moaned into his mouth. He pulled back slightly and spoke in a low, deep voice that I could feel reverberate through my bones.

"Bella," he murmured, "I never should have left; I'm sorry."

I swallowed back the tears that I knew he could see.

"No, Jake. I should have chosen you," I whispered quietly. "You were always enough."

He kissed me again, deeply and passionately, his tongue sliding along my lower lip and then plunging inside when I opened my mouth to him. I was completely consumed by him, drowning in the man I had longed for, the man I had denied and broken, the man I was made for, meant for. I felt his hand leave my face, his body lifted off mine slightly, and then I felt his huge, stiff cock line up with my wet entrance. He pushed inside, inching himself gently, stopping for a moment when I winced, his kisses soothing the pain away.

Finally, he completely sheathed himself inside my tight, wet heat, and the fullness of him made me feel whole. This was where I belonged. Tears escaped the corners of my eyes and trailed down in a slow river down my face. Jake caught them with his lips, and I knew he knew why they were there without me saying anything.

His thrusts were slow, long, and deep. It was achingly beautiful. But it wasn't enough. I needed him to make me his. To claim me. I wrapped my legs around him and bucked my hips up to meet his.

A sexy smirk twitched at the corner of his mouth.

One of his strong arms wrapped around me, and he flipped us over in one swift, fluid movement. He was leaning up as I straddled him; both hands gripped my hips as he moved me up and down on his thick, throbbing cock. My hands rested on his chest, and he slowed his movements for a brief moment, placing his hand over mine and moving it over until it rested right above the strong, steady beat of his heart.

Our eyes met, and I knew without words he was telling me that it was mine. Even now.

The tenderness lasted only briefly before he was slamming me down onto him, the mixture of pain and pleasure intoxicating and spellbinding. It was more than perfect. It was right.

"Jake!" I cried, my voice muffled by the skin at his neck and my hand still placed firmly against his chest.

"That's right, honey. Mine. Tell me again who your heart, your body, your sweet pussy belongs to," his said throatily, his voice both commanding and somehow still tender. Everything about him from his voice to his hair to his touch to the look in his eyes was my Jacob.

"Yours. Always yours," I answered breathlessly as he continued to move me up and down, both our hips rocking; the friction created was so fucking amazing. I moaned when his fingers came down in between our sweaty bodies, and his thumb rubbed firm, wicked circles on my sensitive bundle. I moaned again, "Only yours."

He slowed his movements and flipped us again, pushing my knees to my chest and pounding into me with reckless abandon. My whole world fell apart, shattering into a million sparkling pieces, like the glass lights of Paris bursting. My body shook and trembled; he thrust one final time, his engorged member swelling and then exploding inside me. I was blinded by the pleasure, drunk on his love.

He collapsed, breathing heavily, and rolled over onto the bed next to me. After a moment, he reached for me, pulling me into his heat and wrapping himself around me. After we lay there for a while in the afterglow, I found the courage to speak.

"Stay." It was a question, a plea, a desperate wish, and a prayer.

"Always," he answered, wrapping his arm tighter around me.

The twinkling lights of Paris glimmered against the dark night sky and shone into my dimly lit bedroom. Jake's russet skin glowed in the yellow lights. I couldn't hear all the sounds of the city as it moved and breathed just outside my open balcony door. It was a distant hum. All I could hear, all I needed, the one thing that soothed my tortured soul, that healed my brokenness, was the steady rhythmic beating of his heart.


A/N: Thanks jkane180, you're the best!