I was given this great prompt: Jacob takes Bella Whale Watching and Jake jokes around and pushes her in. Then the jokes on him.
"Why do I get the feeling that we aren't supposed to do this?"
"That is," Jake explained, a mischievous grin stretching his face, "because we, in fact, aren't."
Being the chief-of-police's daughter, Bella did not have much experience with breaking the rules, and the hollow pressure in her stomach made her feel more than uncomfortable. Worriedly, she turned her head, watching the foam coating the ocean behind them, the coast already far in the distance.
"Don't worry, we won't get caught," Jacob reassured her, pulling her close to his side, ruffling her hair, which was already tousled enough from the heavy wind.
Bella tried to picture Charlie's expression should he find out that she was currently on a boat on the ocean (a boat she was sure Jared did not ask his father for permission to take) with a bunch of goofy teenage boys.
"I still don't get why we are doing this, anyway," she sighed, cuddling closer against Jacob to absorb some of his warmth, the chilly wind piercing her skin.
"When the guys heard you've never been whale watching before, they collectively agreed that that needs to be changed. And I agree," he explained, wrapping his arm more securely around her shoulder.
Bella snorted, letting her eyes wander over the horizon, the sunlight glistering on the water's surface. It was not a particularly warm day, but she was grateful for the occasional rays of sunlight tickling her skin.
"Why did Quil not come?" she asked curiously, surprised that almost the entire pack had gathered on the small boat (with the exception of Sam, Paul and Leah, of course) and Quil had not. It was rare to not see him together with Jacob and Embry. They were usually inseparable.
She could feel Jacob tense a little by her side. Lifting her head, she saw the hint of sadness wash over his features.
"He doesn't really go on boats, you know," he explained, tucking a loose strand of hair behind her ear – out of habit, just like he always did.
Bella wanted to ask why, but the expression in Jacob's eyes – something deep and profound – told her other wise. Her eyes lowered to his collarbone, a heavy sigh escaping her lips. Jacob's fingertip lingered in her hair, the warmth spreading down her neck, easing some of the discomfort.
"Okay," she whispered, meeting Jacob's soft smile.
"Hmm," he murmured, kissing Bella's forehead lightly.
She felt the boat slow down after a while of being held in Jacob's arms, forgetting about the noise and wind around her.
"Okay, Bells. Let's hope we're lucky today," Jacob said enthusiastically, enveloping Bella in his arms and circling her around, lifting her off her feet in the process.
"Jake," she squealed, deftly gripping his shoulders for support, "I don't want to fall in there."
Pointing towards the pitch-black ocean, Bella shot Jacob a warning glare.
"Would that be so bad?" he asked, the grin on his face almost threatening, something twinkling in his onyx eyes. Bella took a step backwards, faintly hearing some of the guys whistling as Jacob stalked towards her, his gaze never breaking.
"Jake, don't you dare," Bella warned him, her voice a hissing sound amongst the strong wind.
Many things happened at once then, and Bella could not bring her brain to process everything before it was too late. Chuckling, howling, laughter, cheering, Jacob's warm arms around her waist, the ground leaving underneath her feet, a turmoil in her stomach as she fell, and suddenly the ice-cold splash as she fell into the water, waves carrying her before she even gained enough control of her body to move her arms and legs and keep herself on the surface.
"Jacob!" she screamed furiously, coughing the salty water out of her mouth, her hair sticking to her face.
The boys were laughing wildly, Embry clapping Jacob on the shoulder, and Bella felt like laughing with them, as she imagined herself floating in the ocean like a buoy. This was not the kind of situation Bella Swan would usually start laughing, but watching the boys was so contagious, that she quickly felt her anger dissolve.
After all, she probably would have fallen into the water anyway. Still, she suddenly understood the meaning was sweet vengeance. It was mean, but he deserved it.
"Pull her out, or she'll be eaten by a shark," Jared howled, and Bella took advantage if the millisecond everyone was distracted by his joke to take a deep breath and push herself underwater completely, trying hard to ignore the icy sting as she disappeared.
It only took a second, maybe two – time was so irrelevant in the dark cold of the sea – before Bella felt two warm arms wrap securely around her again, hands frantically touching every inch of her they could reach, pulling her back to the surface.
She barely had time to take a breath and open her eyes before Jacob had her back on the boat, pressed firmly against his warm chest, stroking her hair out of her face, gently but urgently shaking her.
It was suddenly silent, the echo of Jacob's desperate voice lingering in the air, and Bella tried hard to suppress the guilt she felt creeping up inside of her. Revenge was not really her speciality.
She had no other option but to go through with her charade now, though. Hearing Jacob's breath hitch as she slowly opened her eyes, she felt her entire body trembling before she burst out in a hysterical fit of laughter, her stomach tightening, aching, debris of salty water still burning in her throat.
The pack quickly joined her, obviously impressed and laughing even harder than before, but her own slowly silenced when she saw the pure horror in Jacob's eyes.
"You deserved that," she whispered, reaching out her cold hand to cup Jacob's cheek, smiling gently. The tightening in her stomach transformed into nervous flutters as she pushed herself up, shyly pressing her lips against the skin where her hand had just been, closer to the corner of Jacob's mouth than she would usually have dared.
"Hey, love-birds, look over there!"