An update? From me? What? I know, I know – I've been HORRIBLE at updating these past few months.

I want to thank everyone who took the time to review and msg me and ask if I was going to finish this story. Yes, this story will be finished. And it will be epic, and win awards, and people will write songs about it. Well, maybe not, but it will get finished.

I also want to thank the AMAZING Ms. Leelator. The queen of Em (not En) dashes, dialogue tags and lemons. Where can I even begin to list all the amazing help she provided with this story? She took the sour lemon I had tried to write and turned it into lemon zest! And she's so busy with her personal life and helping out her friends and taking on incredible projects, I don't know how she found the time to help me at all! She's an amazing beta, and I'm lucky she even bothers with me!

Now for the good news – I hope to start updating on a more regular basis – like weeks instead of months. I'm coming into a bit of free time and I fully intend of getting this story wrapped up! Hooray!

As per usual SM owns all these characters and I just like to see "What if?"

Chapter 19

BPOV

Cicadas. I hadn't heard cicadas since leaving Arizona, but something was off. The sound wasn't quite the same. It sounded like a high pitch keening but not. It was actually closer to whining.

Hold on.

Why was I lying on the ground? Where was I?

I opened my eyes, and the moon and stars gradually came into focus. I became aware of the familiar shape of my backyard. Then I heard the whining again. I looked towards the noise and found myself staring into the eyes of the biggest animal I had ever seen. The dark red wolf was lying next to me with its nose resting on its paws. As I rolled to fully face it, the wolf cried out again. It sounded injured, but I couldn't see very well in the dark. Inexplicably, I felt the urge to comfort it; the painful sound it made pulled at something inside me.

I caught some movement in the tree line out of the corner of my eye. Standing at the edge of my yard was a huge black wolf, and next to it – Paul the jerk from earlier. He gave me a cautious wave, pointed at the wolves, and then flashed two thumbs up.

What. The. Hell?

I tried sitting up, but when I moved, the russet wolf cried out again. It inched its way closer, crawling on its belly until I felt a soft, wet nose under my hand. Somehow while unconscious, I had tamed an enormous beast. It was silly, but I felt like Snow White frolicking with the animals in the forest. I stroked the muzzle of the beast with hesitant fingers. The dark fur was silky to touch, and as my hand made a second pass, it closed its eyes and made a contented noise in the back of its throat.

Take that Snow White.

"So are you going to tell my why there are two enormous, but tame wolves in my yard, or just give me the thumbs up all night?" Paul pointed to himself, as if asking whether I was speaking to him or not. "Are you always so helpful?"

I glared at him. My new furry friend started shaking under my hand like it was laughing.

Right. A laughing, tame wolf that speak English.

Paul then proceeded to pantomime a convoluted story that I had no hope of following. He was standing, and then he was on all fours. He jumped around, pointed to his mouth and then gave me the finger. Both the black and red wolf growled when he did that. At the end, he just stared at me as if I should have understood everything he just acted out. My patience for his bizarre behavior had waned long before he made an offensive gesture at me.

"Look, I get that for whatever reason you don't like me. Or maybe you're a rude jerk. But I just woke up in my backyard to find two giant wolves and an inconvenient mute who had plenty to say earlier today. So if you have any explanation, I'd appreciate it if you spit it out."

He looked at me for a beat and then opened his mouth. Nothing happened. I was no lip reader, but I knew the next few words were not something one usually heard in polite company. When he paused to take a breath, the black wolf head butted him in the gut and snarled. Paul took a beat to compose himself and then tried again.

"Sorry." He looked surprised to have said it and then started whooping until the black wolf body checked him. "Look, chica, you have no idea the shitstorm you started. At least I can fucking talk again." He shook his head at me, like it was my fault he couldn't speak. "As for the wolves, what's the last thing you remember?" He crossed his arms across his chest and kept saying words out loud sporadically. I ignored his Turrets and tried to think back. The last thing I remembered was Jake's sunny smile.

"Jake came over." I said out loud for Paul's benefit, but he was still talking to himself. "Jake came over and gave me a hug, and then ... then I woke up in the backyard. No... wait!" I stood quickly, and the red wolf whined again. Crazy images bombarded my head, and my poor brain couldn't make sense of what it saw. Jake was on my porch, then he started shaking, and Sam pushed me behind him. "Jake was there and then a wolf was there. Oh, God, is Jake okay? What happened to Jake?" I frantically looked for a sign of either Jake or Sam but saw only the red and black wolf.

"I thought you were a nice wolf!" I scolded the red one and smacked its nose. "You ate my boyfriend!" The red wolf looked surprised I'd hit it, while the black one looked more shocked about the whole exchange. Paul started laughing hysterically.

"Oh, my God! That was the best thing I ever saw! No wonder Jake keeps you around." He paused long enough to leer at me like he did earlier. "My offer stands, hot stuff. I like 'em feisty." The red wolf stopped looking startled and snarled viciously at Paul. It really did seem like the wolves could understand our conversation. Paul raised his arms in mock surrender.

"Chill, dude. Sorry. Okay, Bella. It is Bella, right? Okay, Bella, here's the sitch. Jake, Sam, and I have some big tribal secrets to keep, but you seem kinda involved. Long story short—your new furry friend is Jake. Surprise!"

I had no idea what to say to that. I just stared blankly at Paul and probably would have for some time if Charlie hadn't come outside looking for me. I heard him call my name, and then I was suddenly alone in the backyard.

"Bells, what are ya doing out here? I thought I heard Jake earlier?" Charlie rounded the corner to find me standing there very perplexed. Telling him the truth was out of the question unless I felt like being committed. The padded cell was looking pretty good, though.

"I, uh, was admiring the stars. The sky is ... um ... really clear tonight. Jake was here a while ago with his friends, but he's not here anymore." None of that was a lie per se. It was about as close to the truth as I was going to get.

Charlie gave me a strange look which I totally deserved and cleared his throat.

"Okay, then. Heading in for my night shift. You be sure to lock up when you're done ... stargazing."

"Be safe," I called out.

"Always am," he automatically replied. He hopped in his cruiser and backed out of the driveway. I was left standing in the yard, questioning my sanity.

At some point, I decided that I was cold and had probably imagined the whole thing. I went inside and sniffed around the kitchen because I had obviously eaten something hallucinogenic. On my second pass examining the table, I heard a thud on the front door. I looked out the peephole to find an anxious looking wolf on my porch. I threw the door wide open.

"What are you doing? Someone will see you! Get inside." It was probably poor judgement to invite a horse sized wolf into my house considering part of me still thought it ate Jacob. But I certainly didn't want anyone seeing it on my front porch. It ducked its head and squeezed into the hallway. A bushy tail knocked over the dish full of keys we kept in the entryway. Immediately, the tail went between the legs as it sat down, clearly trying not to disturb anything else.

"Are you really Jacob?" For some reason, it didn't feel odd to be addressing the wolf. He nodded his head twice and sat as still as he could without bumping into the walls. I reached my hand towards his snout and stroked the soft fur. His massive head tilted into my palm as I cupped his face.

The air shimmered around us, and I realised that I was no longer sobbing into fur but onto smooth skin.

"Jacob?"

"It's me, sweetheart. Don't cry." I felt arms go around me, and I tried to see if he was all right, but he was holding me too close, and his silky head was buried in my neck.

"Bella, I—" His words cut off as he ran his nose up the length of my throat. "God, you smell so fucking good, honey." The tone of his voice was different, rougher, and there was an underlying resonance that wasn't quite ... human.

"Jake?" I wanted to look at his face, but honestly I was scared what I might see. Did his transformation mean he had changed, or was he still my Jacob? Finally lifting his head, he stared down at me. My fears were warranted. The wolf was right under the surface.

Everything about Jake was just a little different. Most people wouldn't have noticed, but I knew every contour of his face. His eyes glinted, and I saw a new hint of gold around edges that used to be dark. His mouth was fuller, his cheekbones more pronounced—perhaps because he was breathing so deeply. His scent, a mix of the ocean and forest, seemed stronger. There was a muskiness I'd never noticed before, and I was instantly hooked on the addicting smell.

He wasn't my Jacob of old but a mix of wolf and man ... and I wanted every part of him. His head lowered, and those full lips started kissing and licking mine then trailed a path to my collar bone.

"Shh, sweetheart, it's okay. I'm here, and I love you. So much." When that gravelly voice whispered in my ear, heat shot to my core.

The sensation of his mouth dragging a circuit up and down my neck felt like sparks of electricity on my skin. As teeth gently nipped and bit me, and fingertips traced the planes of my body, I realized there was a subtle change in his movements. Gone was the hesitant boy. For the first time in my life, I was being handled by a self assured man.

I heard a deep, throaty rumble and suddenly found myself caged against the wall. Jacob loomed over me, and I loved the helpless feeling of being his prisoner. But instead of being frightened, my hands raked into his hair while my tongue sought out his.

Oh, God, his taste ...

His mouth was a combination of erotic flavors. It was as if the scents I noticed before had merged into one delicious mix, and I didn't think I could get enough of it.

I want more. I need more. For the first time in my life, I was spiralling out of control.

Pulling my body flush against his, I melted into his heat. My nipples pebbled against the skin of his chest while blood pounded in my veins, and moisture seeped between my legs. Then I was being lifted into his arms, and I instinctively wrapped myself around him, my core seeking friction from his body. Clothing became a barrier since it kept me from what I needed, and I rubbed myself against any part of Jacob I could reach.

He paused and inhaled. "God, Bells. You have no idea how incredible you smell." I opened my eyes to find him staring at me. "Bedroom." He growled out the word before kissing and nipping at my lips. In a flash, I was carried up the stairs and laid on the bed while his tongue searched and stroked mine as I clung to him. When he stood back to look at me, I immediately missed his closeness.

Only then did it dawn on me that Jacob was naked, and I couldn't help devouring every inch of his body. He was the perfect male specimen, so beautiful ancient artists could have carved him from stone. When he caught me ogling him, he smiled, but it wasn't the Jacob smile I was used to. The difference was in the eyes; they were dark and hungry. An involuntary shiver rippled down my skin.

He moved, kneeling on the bed and then straddling my body, trapping me beneath him. My sweatshirt was torn off me like it was made of paper, but the cold air was a relief against the fire burning all over my skin. At first he only admired, laying his fingers over my heart, the animal retreating for a moment. I covered his hand with my own and brought it to my lips, gently kissing each finger. He looked at me like I was something to be worshipped, and then I watched as his eyes changed. That eerie hint of gold returned, and I felt a rumble coming from his chest.

My wolf was returning.

Jacob lowered his head to my breast, and his rough tongue circled my nipple before he pulled it into his mouth. Sensations shot between my legs when his teeth teased and nipped me. I felt fingers ghost down my body until they reached my hips, and, after a few seconds pause, I heard fabric tearing. My jeans and panties were discarded, and then Jake used his knee to spread my legs while his hand moved towards my center. I lay there open and vulnerable.

Yearning for his touch, my body bucked when he finally rubbed a circular path that mimicked what his tongue was doing to my nipple. Minutes later, his thumb found my clit as his mouth explored the other breast. There was no reason to show him how I wanted to be touched. The wolf in Jake seemed to know exactly what I liked, what I needed. He'd become a master, and his fingers played a symphony on my body.

All the while, his eyes never left mine. Every lick, every suck, he watched my reaction. When his fingers penetrated me, first one and then two, I couldn't keep contact any longer, and my eyes rolled back in my head. The pressure building deep within me was too much to contain. Letting myself go, I climaxed into his hand, crying his name as I came.

When the tremors subsided, I watched as Jake lifted his fingers to his mouth and carefully licked them clean. His eyes closed as if removing one sense heightened another, and a funny vibration came from down deep in his chest. When every drop was gone, he got off the bed and knelt at the end, running his hands up my legs and hooking his arms under my knees. With a swift jerk, I slid down until my bottom was at the edge of the bed, and he threw my legs over his shoulders so that his face was inches from my center.

"I want more, honey." That strange rumble in his voice had become much more arousing than alarming. I could feel his hot breath on my skin as he lowered his head to taste me.

What happened next was almost more than I could bear. When he flattened his tongue to lick from one end to the other, I whimpered. When he flicked his tongue as he gently swirled my clit, I moaned—loudly. When he curled his tongue and entered me at a speed that just wasn't human, I lost all control. Every muscle contracted as my inner walls exploded with a force I hadn't thought possible. My breathing became ragged panting, my voice was hoarse from screaming, and my body went limp. Blackness overtook the fireworks behind my eyelids.

When I finally woke up, I was tingling all over, more relaxed and yet more energized than I'd ever been in my life. Closing my eyes, I relived the last few moments until I realized I could hear the familiar sound of my shower running. Jake wasn't in sight; evidently, he'd had to take care of himself because I was a useless pile of goo. I tested out my arms and legs, pleased that everything still seemed to be working. A washcloth was hanging off my chair, and I realized he'd cleaned me up after I passed out. The shower turned off, and the door to my room opened.

I didn't think anything could look better than Jacob naked. But if I had to pick a close second, it would have been Jacob dripping wet with a towel hung low on his hips. He caught me checking him out and smiled.

"Enjoying the show?" He asked as he slid into bed next to me.

"Immensely." He laughed at my reply, put his hands behind his head, and leaned back into my headboard. With my cheek on his chest, I snuggled up next to him. Even naked Jacob was warm. He lowered his arm to cuddle me closer to him. "Sorry, by the way, for passing out and leaving you to handle ... well, you know." I blushed at the last part.

"Believe me, Bells. You have nothing to apologize for. That was the best. Ever." I looked up at him in awe.

"Wait, what? You give me an uncountable number of orgasms, I pass out before I can reciprocate one, and you say it was the best ever?" To say I was shocked was a gross understatement.

"Oh, you'll reciprocate. Just later." He winked at me after I gave him a pinch. "In all honesty, it's amazing to know I can make you feel that way, that you're responding to my touch, that I'm the one that can make you scream." He brushed his fingers across my cheekbone, smoothing my hair behind my ear.

"Jacob Black, you are an incredible man. I love you." I expected him to pull me into another searing kiss, instead he stiffened and pulled away from me.

"But I'm not a man. Not really." I could see the bitter twist of his mouth when he turned his head toward the window."

"Yeah, obviously. Because no man can do what you do with your tongue." He smiled at my backhanded compliment. "At least, I presume no one is as talented as you. But, I have little experience in this. I can only assume that if most men were half as capable as you, women would never leave the house, never go to work. Families would starve. Our economy would have collapsed long ago." I tried to keep a stoic face throughout my speech, but as I continued, his smile got wider and brighter.

"Yeah?"

"Uh, yeah. Did you miss the part where I passed out? Now, get back over here and cuddle me, mister." I resumed my previous position and placed my ear over his heart. "Do you want to talk about the wolf thing? Are you allowed?" I felt his chest rise and fall as he sighed.

"I guess the wolf's outta the bag. We're not supposed to tell people for obvious reasons. But since I phased in front of you and then Paul told you, I guess you can know some details. So, yeah. I turn into a giant werewolf, and it doesn't have to be a full moon." He looked at me as if I were a frightened animal and might run away at any moment.

"Cool, any superpowers? Other than making your girlfriend pass out?" He laughed and relaxed a little.

"Some. We're fast, and strong. Heightened sense of smell and sight, I guess. I never really stopped to think about it." He looked thoughtful as if it really was the first time he was taking stock of what he could do.

"We?" I asked. "How many superwolves are there? You and the black one, right?" Jake looked sheepish.

"Oops. Yeah ... we. I guess I should just tell you everything. It'll be easier. The black wolf—that's Sam. There are five of us in total. But there shouldn't be. There's never been more than three in a pack in our tribe's history."

"You weren't bitten by a werewolf or anything? This is tribal?" I was confused. "Can you start at the beginning?"

So he did. Jake told me the legend of his tribe's greatest chief, Taha Aki, and his spirit warriors. He explained that was why they weren't really werewolves and why wolves were such a big part of the tribe's culture. He told me of the "cold ones," whom I guessed to be vampires. He said that spirit warriors were only called when danger was near the tribe and that none had turned since his great grandfather, Ephraim Black. He mentioned a treaty with some "friendly cold ones" that didn't eat people and that the treaty prevented the tribe from telling the "palefaces" what the "cold ones" really were. Except instead of saying "cold ones," Jacob started calling them words like "leech" and "bloodsucker."

"Bells, the next part is going to sound really weird. Please keep an open mind, okay?" Jacob sat me up so we could look at each other. "I'm the Alpha, the head wolf. It's a genetic thing. The last pack's Alpha was Ephraim. There's this super old legend that talks about one Alpha's mate and how she had powers over the pack. The legend says she was a sorceress of great power, and she became the Alpha female of the pack. She was an outsider like you." He stopped talking and gave me a significant look. "Bella, we think you might be the Alpha female of our pack."

I gave him a stunned stare and then burst into peals of laughter. "Seriously?" I clutched my sides because my stomach started to hurt. "Okay, Jake. I'll be anything you want me to be if I'm going to be treated to orgasms like that." My fingers started wandering down the hard ridges of his chest but he grabbed my hands in his.

"I'm serious, Bella. So much of my transformation has been different because of you. You were able to order Sam and Embry to put me to bed when I wasn't sick—the fever was a side effect of the change. After you told Paul you didn't want to hear another word from him, he wasn't able to speak until he apologised—just like you said. We're running blind here, but everything about you ... about us, has been different from what the lore says about past packs." He gently pulled my hands to his lips and kissed my knuckles. "You are the most amazing woman I have ever met, and you keep surprising me."

"Wait, you're serious? You think I'm a witch? That I'm going to turn into a wolf?" Dating a wolf was one thing. I wasn't so sure I wanted to be one. Jake looked scandalized.

"No! I don't think you're a witch. Bella, please understand. We have no idea what's going on. There is one obscure legend as a guide for what's happening now. We're not allowed to tell most of the tribe, let alone outsiders. Please just know that I love you, and, for whatever reason, my wolf needed you to know about us." Jacob looked at me so desperately I knew he was telling the truth.

"Okay, Jake. I believe you. Well, I believe that you believe what you're saying is true. I don't believe that I have any superpowers, unless it's the power to have multiple orgasms." I winked at him to try to relieve his tension. I worked my way down his body with the intention of reciprocating, but we were interrupted by the sounds of wolves howling.

Jake's head swung between my window and my mouth which was closing in on his sizable package.

"Ah, fuck. Sorry, Bells. I gotta go see what the problem is. Believe me—I wish I could stay. Could we talk more tomorrow? There's more stuff I'd like to tell you." The wolf howls grew louder, and I knew he needed to go.

"Of course, Jake. Anything for you." He kissed me before he jumped out my bedroom window.

I threw on an old t-shirt and some underwear before heading back to bed. The last thing I expected after my bizarre evening was to have even stranger dreams, but I guess my subconscious went into overdrive after I fell asleep.

My hands and feet were shackled to a wall. The skin around the wrists and ankles was rubbed raw, cracked, and bleeding. I was filthy and dressed in barely more than rags. I guessed I was on a boat because I could hear the waves lapping against the hull. There was yelling above deck, something in Spanish, but I couldn't make out the words. Then there was shouting in another language, one I didn't recognize. The noise grew closer and I instinctively made myself as small as possible.

The door burst open, and three natives flew into the room. I saw more of them running past the open door. The tallest man in the group crouched before me and spoke in soft tones, his hand reaching out to me, palm up. He spoke to the other two, who quietly backed into the hallway. His hands were gentle as he turned my wrists over, frowning at the scabs around the shackles. He tugged on the restraints but couldn't open them.

I motioned with my chin towards the key hanging on the other side of the room. He quickly retrieved it and brought it back to me. I lifted the irons up to show him where the key went, and seconds later, the shackles were gone. It didn't help much. My body just wouldn't do what I told it to do, and I was too weak to stand. The only way I could move was to cling and lean on him. Before I knew it, he lifted me into his arms, crooning to me in his language. On a subconscious level, I was aware of how dirty I was, but I was too exhausted not to lay my head on his shoulder as he held me close. He was staring at me, and when I returned the look, I was mesmerized by what I saw. His eyes were an exact replica of Jake's.

Waking up with a start, I called out Jake's name only to hear a melodic voice come from the shadows.

"He's not here. Alice had a vision that you knew about us. That means the mutt broke the treaty. Don't worry, Bella. I can protect you from him. I can keep you safe."

"What are talking about? Edward, why the hell are you in my room?" I pulled the covers up around me, wishing more than anything that Jacob was with me.

"I told you, Bella. He broke the treaty. I came to talk to you, but you were asleep. Your window was open, and when I smelled your scent, I couldn't help myself. You are intoxicating." He moved from the window to my chair and lifted the washcloth Jake used on me earlier to his nose. "Bella, you have no idea how you affect me." He deeply inhaled and held the cloth to his face. "I can offer you so much more than he can."

"Edward, please leave. I have no idea what you're talking about, and you're scaring me." His sudden appearance left me so terrified I could barely get the words out. My heart was pounding against my ribcage. I desperately wished for a way to call Jake to me.

"No, Bella. You have never been scared of me. Most humans are but not you. It's part of your allure. You should be scared of him. But don't worry. I can protect you. I can keep you safe." He put the washcloth in his pocket and made his way towards my bed.

"Stay away," I whispered. I scooted up the bed and made myself as small as possible just like in my dream.

"Oh, Bella. You are not usually this melodramatic. Come with me. We'll leave this place and start a new life together. Forever." He reached down and pulled the blanket away from my trembling fingers. When his cool hand brushed mine, it all clicked in place.

"You're a cold one." I breathed out as I moved away from him. "A vampire. This whole time? Alice too?" My mind was reeling with the overload of supernatural in one night.

"You didn't know?" He pulled back his hand, confused. "But Alice saw you confronting her tomorrow. We assumed the dog told you. Please, come with me. I can explain everything." He reached for me again, and I cringed. I didn't like the way Edward kept calling Jake names. I didn't like how he kept saying he would protect me from Jacob. Everything about the situation made me angry. Then, like a light switch, I went from terrified to pissed.

"Where do you get off, Edward? You come into my room in the middle of the night saying you're here to protect me, and you're a vampire? Hypocrite much?" I stood up from my bed and pushed him backwards. Part of me realised I shouldn't have been able to do that, but I was too angry to care. "How dare you invite yourself into the sanctity of my bedroom and violate my privacy." I grabbed my washcloth from his pocket. "What Jake and I do together is none of your business, and I certainly don't need protection from him. Now, get out." I pointed to the window, fuming. I could feel a power within me willing him to leave. "GET OUT!" He looked back at me with an expression I couldn't read then jumped through the open window and blurred down the street.

Not a second later, a pack of three wolves burst through the tree line and gave chase in the direction Edward disappeared. The one I recognized as Jake veered off from the group and headed straight for my house. He leapt into the air and changed back into his human form just as reached my window. He easily caught the trim and swung into my room.

"Thank God you're safe, Bella. I don't know if I could forgive myself if one of them got you." He pulled me tightly against him, unwilling to let go.

"Oh, Jake. I was so afraid then so angry. How did you know I needed you?" He carried me to my bed and sat me on his lap.

"I heard you calling me, Bells." He kissed my forehead and cradled me closer to him. "A new wolf changed tonight—that's why I left earlier. We were in the woods when we caught the scent of four leeches hanging around the border. I don't think they expected for there to be six of us. They weren't crossing into our territory, but were clearly trying to get our attention. It was a bit of a standoff for awhile, and then I felt you. I felt you calling me. I felt your fear." He lay back and pulled me down next to him. "Sam realised that this must be some diversion, and half of us raced here. God, Bella. How did you fight him off? What happened?"

"I had a crazy dream, and when I woke up, Edward was in my bedroom." I felt Jake's chest rumble under me as I explained. "He kept saying that you broke the treaty and that he would protect me from you. He wanted me to leave with him. I was so terrified I just kept wishing you were here." I tilted my head up and kissed his chin. "He said Alice 'saw' that I knew about them being vampires, and he came to talk to me about it. I guess he didn't realise his presence is what tipped me off. Self fulfilling prophecy or something, I guess. Then I got really angry he was here and at the things he kept saying. So I told him to leave."

"And he just left? He didn't try to take you with him?"

"I was really mad!" I laughed. "And I felt really powerful, like he had better leave or he'd regret it. Is that crazy?"

"No, Bells, it's not crazy. You're so amazing, Bella. I'm so lucky to have you." He suddenly went quiet and held me in silence for a few minutes. When I looked up, I saw tears on his face.

"Jake, don't cry. I'm fine." I reached up to wipe the tears from his cheeks.

"I should have been here. It should have been me protecting you. If I had lost you, it would have been all my fault. I should have been here."

"Shh, baby. Shh. How could you have known someone would creep into my room? You can't protect me from what you don't know, Jake." I cuddled into his side laying my head over his heart. "You're here now, so stay. Stay with me tonight. My head's about to explode with everything that's happened and I'm exhausted. We can figure it out in the morning."

He slid down the bed, covered us both with the blanket, and then I curled around him. After a while, the tension left his body, and he started to relax. But when I closed my eyes, I felt a rumbling coming from Jake's chest, and I looked up at him in surprise.

"Sorry, Bells, but I just started to think about it, and Jesus, I hate I missed it. I'd have paid good money to see you throw Cullen's ass out the window." His laughter was infectious. "I'm betting that ice-hole still has no idea what hit him." When I remembered the odd expression on Edward's face, I started to giggle too.

After a minute, Jake paused and then rolled over and gave me a huge grin. "You know, honey, it could be that we've got this all wrong. Maybe from now on you're the one that needs to protect me."