Ficawesome Gift Exchange- TAKE 2

Title: Candy Hearts

Written for: PoeticAnaphora

Written By: Cullen Cousin

Rating: T

Summary/Prompt used: Romantic Holiday Event Jacob/Bella AH

If you would like to see all the stories that are a part of this exchange visit the facebook group:Fanficaholics Anon: Where Obsession Never Sleep

A/N at end of story.

Disclaimer: I own the plot, but the Twilight characters belong to Stephenie Meyer...I'm just glad that she lets us play with them as long as we put them away when we are done!

Candy Hearts

"Awww... c'mon, Bella!"

"No."

"Pleasssee..."

"I said NO!"

"Just this once..."

"Jacob, what part of 'no' don't you understand?"

This argument had been ongoing for the past two weeks, and Bella was definitely getting tired of it. Of course, that's what Jake was hoping to do, wear her down so she would go to the Valentine's Day dance with him.

"Bella, it's not like I'm asking you to go to the prom or anything, it's just a school dance on the Rez," he pleaded.

It was all she could do to stop from hitting him upside the head in exasperation. "Why don't you ask Leah to go with you?"

"Are you serious? You know she doesn't like me, and besides, Sam is taking her." Jake answered.

"Well then, ask one of the other girls to go with you." Bella's patients was really beginning to wear thin.

"That's just it, Bells, I don't want to go with any other girl but you," he replied, giving her sad puppy eyes. He just knew she couldn't resist that look.

"Jake, you know that's not fair—looking at me like that." she sighed.

"Does that mean you will go with me then?" Jake asked hopefully.

Bella stood there for a moment with her eyes closed.

Would it really kill me to agree to go with him? She thought to herself.

With a sigh, she opened her chocolate brown eyes to see him on his knees.

He reached up, clasping her small hands in his larger ones. Looking into her eyes, he pleaded again, "Please Bella... it would mean so much if you go with me."

"First," she said, "you need to stand up. It looks like you are trying to propose, and that is totally making me nervous. And Secondly, if I agree to go with you, it's on my terms, you got that?"

He jumped up quickly, without letting go of her hands, and with a goofy grin on his face, Jake asked, "You mean you will go with me to the dance?"

"Slow down there, Bub. There's going to be some rules, if I go with you," Bella stated, while pulling her hands away and placing them on her hips.

The smile slowly left his face as her words began to sink in. "Uh… rules?"

"Yes, rules." She turned to sit on the sofa.

Jacob sat down next to her. "What kind of rules do you have in mind?"

"One; don't expect me to actually dance. You know as well as I do that I will only end up either hurting myself or someone else," she stated the first of many rules going through her mind.

"But, Bella, that's the whole point of going to a dance... is to dance! Besides, I will make sure you won't get hurt or embarrass yourself." Jacob reached over taking her small hand into his large ones.

"OK, I may concede that one but no promises." He was right, she thought, it was a dance after all, and that was what one was supposed to do. Not that she'd ever been to a dance. Normally, she would avoid those kind of functions like they were the plague.

He smiled at her and squeezed her hand, thinking that she was going to change her mind about giving him rules. But alas, he was sadly mistaken when she stated the next one.

"Two; we are not going there as boyfriend and girlfriend. I like you as a friend, and if you as so much breathe a word to the contrary to anyone, I am out of there. Understand?" she stated this as firmly as she could. She knew if she didn't, he would certainly crow about it to his buddies that she was going out with him.

Bella could see his face fall at her words. Jacob was crazy about her or so she thought,at least that was how he always acted around her. But the feelings on her part were just not there. She loved him as a friend and would do just about anything from him. But going to this dance was really pushing her limits.

He suddenly looked nervously at her. With his eyes downcast, he quietly asked, "How firm is this rule?"

"Very firm, it's a deal breaker," she answered without skipping a beat. "Why Jacob? What have you been telling everyone?" She was getting a bad feeling about this.

"Well..." he stalled, still looking down at his lap and their intertwined fingers.

"Please tell me that you didn't tell your buddies that I'm your girlfriend." She pulled her hand away and placed it under his chin to bring his eyes up to meet hers.

"I... I... I might have said something to that effect," he stammered, hoping that Bella wouldn't change her mind about going.

Bella just sat there for a moment looking at him, slowly shaking her head. "What have you been telling them?"

"I didn't really tell them anything. Quil asked me who I was going to take to the dance and when I said I was taking you—I know, I know you hadn't even said you would go yet, but Quil just took it and ran with it. He kept saying that he figured that there was something going on between us," Jacob replied, sheepishly. "Aw Bells, you know how the guys on the Rez are; they gossip like a bunch of old hens."

While he was giving his explanation, her eyes darkened and narrowed. She couldn't believe what she was hearing. "Didn't you even try to tell him anything different—you know, like the truth?"

Jake stood up and paced. "Honestly, Bella, I tried but the guys just wouldn't listen; they all believe Quil," he sighed. Stopping in front of her, he squatted down and took her hands into his. "You've got to believe me, Bella. I really, really tried but the guys just kept on about it."

She just sat there looking at him, lost in thought as to what to make of this situation. She wasn't happy about this development. It wasn't that she didn't love him, she just didn't really know how she felt about him. And for someone to make that kind of assumption about them really chapped her hide. Bella was ready to call the whole thing off.

The longer she sat there staring at him, the more Jacob worried that Bella would. He recalled her words earlier about the deal breaker and she seemed very steadfast on it.

"I hope you don't consider this your deal breaker." Looking at their hands, the look on his face was like someone had kicked his puppy.

"Give me one good reason why I shouldn't," Bella said with her arms crossed against her chest, cocking an eyebrow at him.

He took a deep breath and looked her in the eyes. "I guess all I can say is that it happened before you told me your terms. I didn't say you were my girlfriend. Quil is the one to blame here; he is the one that started it. So technically, it's his fault not mine." Jacob didn't really like making his best friend the scape goat, but he was desperate for Bella to go to the dance with him.

All he could do then was wait for her answer. He looked down at their intertwined hands, not wanting to see the possible rejection in her eyes.

He has a point I guess, she thought to herself.

She really couldn't blame him. They had been friends since they were little, and everyone always thought that they would get together. With a sigh, she removed her hand from his and brought it up under his chin, raising his face level with hers.

"Okay... I have thought it over and have made a decision." Slowly she smiled at him. "I will still go with you, but don't make me regret it."

Jacob jumped up and pulled Bella into a hug. "You won't regret it, Bells, I swear you won't!"

Two weeks later...

Bella was busy putting the finishing touches on her makeup and hair. Jacob would be there soon to pick her up for the dance.

She had been thinking hard these past two weeks about Jacob. She really did like the boy. He was quite handsome looking; not to mention tall and muscular. She loved hanging out with him and felt safe when he was around.

This brought back a lot of good memories of the times she spent with him when she visited her father. More often than not, she'd spent quite a bit of time playing with Jake while their fathers fished together. She recalled that he always shared what candy he had with her—be it a candy bar or an old box of conversation hearts left over from a holiday that had happened months ago. Even though the hearts were stale or the chocolate melted beyond recognition, she loved the gesture and ate them anyways.

Jacob was her sun. Whenever he was around her, she always felt warm, like a sunny day.

I think I really do love him, she thought to herself, as she slipped on her heels. I could do worse after all, Newton the Newt is always asking me out and I am tired of turning him down constantly. Maybe having Jacob claim me has his girlfriend might not be such bad idea after all!

"Bella!" Charlie called out breaking Bella out of her thoughts,

"Yeah, Dad?"

"Jacob's here."

"Okay, be right down," Bella answered, as she took one final look in the mirror before heading down the stairs.

She made her way slowly down the stairs, trying to be careful and not trip. Even though she was only wearing kitten heels, she didn't trust herself when it came to walking.

As she reached the bottom tread, Jacob was there waiting for her, standing beside Charlie. Jacob reached out to take her hand and helped her down the final step.

"Hi, Jake," she said timidly. For some reason or another, she suddenly felt shy. It might have had something to do with all of the thinking she had done over the past few days and the revelation she'd had.

Jacob just stood with his eyes bulging and mouth hanging open. He had never seen Bella all dressed up before. It took him a moment or two to snap out of it. "Happy Valentine's Day, Bella." He too, felt a bit nervous. "Oh, this is for you." He pulled out from behind his back, an orchid corsage.

"It's beautiful, Jake!" she exclaimed. "Would you tie it on for me?" she asked sticking her right wrist out.

"Sure, sure, no problem," he answered calmly, even though he was so nervous on the inside. With shaking hands, he took the corsage out of the package and fastened it to her small, delicate wrist. While he was doing this, he couldn't help but steal glances at her; she was so beautiful. He was so distracted at that moment, that he knew he was forgetting something but couldn't remember for the life of him what it was. He finally gave up and turned his attention back to his Bella. He loved the way that sounded... his Bella.

Bella couldn't keep the smile off her face as she watched him. "Thanks, Jake, and Happy Valentine's Day to you too." She then proceeded to give him a chaste kiss on the cheek.

Jake looked up at her through his lashes and cleared his throat, hoping that his racing pulse would calm down. "Are you ready to go?" He held his arm out for her to take.

Charlie just stood there looking at his daughter then at Jacob, trying to figure out who was blushing the worst. He couldn't get over how grown-up his daughter looked at that moment. She was turning in to a beautiful young woman. He knew he hadn't been in her life much when she was growing up, and he always regretted it—even if it wasn't his fault. But since she was back in his life, he took it upon himself to make every moment count. She would be leaving for college in a year or two and would be losing her again. His feelings were conflicted at the moment. Charlie didn't want her to make the same relationship mistakes he'd made with her mother by getting in too deep at a young age. But he could not deny the shared look between the young couple. He could tell that their friendship that they had held with each other down through the years, had finally evolved into a budding relationship.

Just has Bella hooked her arm through Jake's and headed for the door, Charlie stopped them and held up a camera.

"Dad!" Bella whined. She didn't want any fuss made about this date.

Jacob just chucked and pulled Bella closer to him for the pictures.

"Trust me, Bells, when I say you will want to remember this," Charile said as he began snapping photos of the young couple.

By want seemed like the hundredth photo, Bella had had enough. "Cha-dad, we need to go!"

"Alright, alright. Geez." Charlie sighed then looked over at Jacob. "Go on and enjoy yourselves. Oh and Jacob?"

"Sir?"

"Just remember." Charlie glanced over at his service revolver hanging by the front door, then back to Jacob with a stern look on his face. "Just make sure you bring her home safely."

That little maneuver was not lost on Jacob. "Y-yes sir," Jacob stammered. "I promise you that I will take good care of her."

"Dad!" Bella glared at her father over the look he had given Jacob.

Bella grabbed Jacob by the arm, pulled him out the front door and lead him down the walkway to his Rabbit. As they walked arm-in-arm, she apologized, "I'm so sorry, Jake. I don't know what that was all about back there."

"Skay, don't worry about it," he replied with a grin. "Charlie was just being a dad."

"But he does carry a gun for a living," she quipped back at him.

Nodding his head, he had to agree, "You got a point there."

Jacob opened the passenger door for her and helped her get in. As he made his way to the driver's side he reached into his pocket to grab his keys. Besides his keys, he found a small box also. Now he remembered what he'd forgotten earlier.

Pulling the small box out of his pocket and palming it, he got a big toothy smile on his face, as he got into the car. "Uh… Bella?"

"Yeah, Jake?" She smiled back at him. She couldn't help it after seeing the look he had on his face.

"I have something else for you," he said sheepishly to her.

"You didn't need to get me anything, Jake," Bella chided him.

"I know I didn't have to, but I wanted to." With that, he took her hand in his and placed the small box in her palm.

"Candy conversation hearts?" Bella was not expecting a little box of candy. "That's really sweet of you, Jake, but I wasn't expecting you to get me anything."

His grin got a bit bigger. "Not just any candy conversation hearts, these are specifically made for you!"

"What do you mean?" she asked look closely at the box.

Jacob took the box from her and flipped the top open on it. Carefully he poured a few of them in her hand and waited for her reaction.

Bella picked up one of the hearts and read the message on it. She couldn't believe what she read on it; my Bella. Then she picked up a few more; I (heart) Bella; please Bella; be mine; and Jacob's girl. She couldn't hardly believe what she was seeing as she looked at the rest of the hearts. "Jacob... I… I don't know what to say?" She knew he had feelings for her, but she just didn't know how deep they went.

Watching her reaction to the hearts, he was afraid that she would be mad at him considering their conversation of two weeks ago. He had always liked her but over the past month or so, his feelings for her had really changed dramatically. He realized that he didn't just like her, he was in love with her and would do anything for her. As far as he was concerned, she hung the moon and the stars. She is what kept him tied to the Earth..tethered to the ground, keeping him from floating away.

He took the hearts from her and put them back in the box then again took her hand into his. Jacob looked deep into her chocolate brown eyes. "Bella, I had these made for you to tell you what I have a hard time putting into word." He cleared his throat a bit. "We have known each other for years and I… I…" he stammered, trying to get the words out. Taking a deep breath, he tried again. "I love you, Bella, I always have. I know what we agreed on, but I just can't do it." He sighed. "I want you to be my girl; my Bella." With that, he looked down at their entwined hands waiting for her answer.

Bella was shocked to learn that he felt the same way about her. Instead of answering verbally, she decided to show him.

Taking her free hand, she cupped his chin to bring his eyes level with hers. Both their eyes were filled with tears as she slowly brought her lips to his. After a few moments he pulled back a bit and, with his thumbs, wiped the tears from her cheeks.

Staring into his dark eyes, she said the words he was waiting to, "I love you too, Jacob, and I would love to be your girl!"

It didn't take him long to pull her back in to a soft kiss that slowly began to heat up. He pulled her as close as he could, there in the Rabbit, as she wound her hand in the hair at the back of his neck. It didn't take long for his tongue to beg for entrance. Their tongues battled for dominance until they both had to come up for air.

Jacob hated to break the spell they were both under, but he realized that they were still parked in front of her house. "Uh, Bella, I think we need to get going before Charlie comes out to see why we are still here."

She laughed. "Yeah, I don't really want to explain to Charlie why we are still here a half hour later."

"Just wait," Jacob said belly laughing, "when the guys find out what they have been saying about us is true."

Jacob started the engine and pulled away. This time she reached for his hand and held on tight to it. He brought it up his lips and kissed her knuckles then placed it in his lap.

Not much else was said on the way to the dance, but stolen glances and kisses seem to be all that was needed to be said.

Bella would have never believed that love could be found in a fifty-cent box of candy hearts.

THE END

A/N: First I want to thank Feralness for doing an awesome Beta job on such short notice. Any errors now, I take full blame. Y'all know how that goes, you get it back from the Beta and you end up tinkering with it right before you upload it!

I also want to thank Ali, Kd, Vampmama, Feralness, Babypups and all of my friends over at FFA for all of their encouragement they gave me while writing this. If it wasn't for them and the WC's, I don't think I would have ever gotten it done.

Until next time,

Cullen Cousin