This chapter is being told from Bella's point of view.


Rubbing my hand across my sweaty forehead, I sat back on my heels and looked at the progress I'd made. It had taken me the better part of a month, but I finally felt like I was making some headway in packing up my apartment. There were boxes piled all around me, and I was surprised as I looked around that I had managed to gather up so much... shit. Really? Did one person truly need all of this stuff?

Shaking my head and chuckling ruefully, I checked my watch. Ten in the morning. Edward's flight was supposed to arrive in a little over an hour, and I'd been instructed not to pick him up from the airport... he wanted to rent a car and drive to the apartment himself. I wasn't exactly sure what he was planning, but I felt like it was important to let him find his way in this. Our last encounter here in my hometown didn't end well, so I was looking forward to making a fresh, and hopefully very positive, new start. If him showing his independance right off the bat was important to him, then it was important to me as well.

Standing up and brushing myself off, even though I really didn't need to, I was on my way to the kitchen for a drink of ice water when there was a knock at my door. Raising an eyebrow in confusion, I paused and glanced at my watch again. I wasn't expecting anyone today except Edward.. and unless he took an earlier flight to surprise me, there was simply no way that he could be here already.

Walking on to the front door, I pushed my hair again off of my forehead, wiped my hands on my ripped blue jeans and proceeded to do something that I would never usually do - I unlocked and opened the door without looking through the peephole first.

I was stunned when I was forcefully knocked backwards by the door as it slammed up against me. Landing hard on my ass with my legs stretched out in front of me, I blinked stupidly for several seconds up at the huge male form looming over me before it dawned on me what had just happened.

Jake. Jake busted through my door.

"Hello Bella." Jake growled in a soft voice full of deadly menace. Taking a deep breath to collect my thoughts and calm my nerves, I vowed not to show him any fear and looked him dead in the eye. I struggled to keep the tone of my voice even and slightly bored.. like his knocking me on my ass was no big thing.

"Jake."

Jake glanced around the apartment, putting his hands on his hips. "Looks like you're moving."

"Way to go, Captain Obvious." I snorted, shifting my legs underneath myself to try and get to my feet. "Nice of you to notice. Didn't take you as long to figure that out as I figured it would." Jake stepped in front of me, blocking my ability to stand. "Would you mind getting the hell out of my way?"

Jake didn't move, continuing to loom over me, still looking around my disheveled apartment. "Where's your boyfriend?" I wondered if he had thought this whole time that Edward lived with me. I glanced towards the door, suddenly realizing that he hadn't shut it completely behind him when he'd busted through - it was still hanging open about an inch. An idea started to form in my head as I returned my furious glare to his face.

Just keep him talking, Bella. I told myself as the idea took root in my mind and grew in design. That should be an easy enough way to keep him distracted.

"If you're talking about Edward, Jake, he is in Los Angeles, last I heard." I shoved his foot with my foot and toppled him off balance enough that he had to step back, and I was able to climb to my feet. Looking up at him, I narrowed my eyes and frowned. "And, if you will permit me in asking, what the hell are you doing here?" Jake glanced down at me from his towering height, raising his eyebrows in questionable surprise. "You know you damn near killed me in LA?"

Jake shook his head, some of his early aggravation draining away once he realized that Edward obviously wasn't in the apartment. "I wasn't trying to hurt you! I just wanted you to go outside and talk to me!" Starting again to get visibly agitated, he began to pace around my apartment, dodging boxes as he went. "It's your fault you got hurt."

"You asshole." I growled, causing Jake to break stride and stop to look at me. "That is the biggest cop-out in the whole world. I never asked for you to hurt me, you son of a bitch."

Jake frowned and shook his head, resuming his trek around the livingroom. "You made me do it when you tried to pull away from me. If you would have just gone outside and talked to me, everything would have been fine."

"Yeah," I snarled back at him, unable to believe his gall, and knowing that it shouldn't surprise me. He'd really turned into a jerk the last few years. "That's what all abusers say."

He stopped again and whirled around to look at me, shock on his face. "I'm not an abuser."

I couldn't stop myself from rolling my eyes. "Whatever, Jake. You put your hands on me, and I got hurt as a result of it. In my eyes, that makes you an abuser." He stayed silent and shook his head, restarting his rambling walk through the boxes that littered my living room.

I waited until his forward motion took him closer to the window before edging closer to the open front door. There was a side table that I usually set my car keys on next to the door. That table was currently hiding my Glock in the drawer. I was hoping to be able to get it without drawing his attention. With what happened in LA, the previous threats, and the current emotional state he was in, I didn't want to take any chances being unarmed around him right now. I needed to be able to protect myself... and my unborn baby.

There was one thing about Jake that I knew for sure. If he didn't have respect for anything or anyone else, Jake had it for me when I had my gun in my hand. I was praying that I'd be able to get to the table, grab the gun, and at least make it out the door before he realized what I'd done. Then I'd have protection and the chance to make a run for it.

I hoped so, anyways.

For several minutes, Jake paced without saying a word, and I stood my ground, arms crossed over my chest and watched him, inching closer to the door when I could. Figuring that the best thing to do to continue to keep him distracted, I tried to get him talking.

"Well, since you have come bursting into my home... uninvited, I might add... you might as well talk to me." I prompted, irritated. "You wanted to talk in LA. So talk now."

Jake stopped for a moment and turned his dark brown eyes on me, considering. I waited patiently, knowing that there wasn't much else I could do as long as he was staring at me. Finally, after many long moments, he shrugged.

"I want you back." He said, the weak tone of his voice betraying his insecurity about telling me truly what he was feeling. For a split second, I almost felt sorry for him.

Almost... but not quite..

"Not gonna happen, Jake." I stated firmly. "There has been too much water under that bridge.. too much shit that has happened since I caught you in bed with Alice for me to want to travel back down that path again."

"But I've tried and tried to tell you that I was sorry for that!" He threw up his hands and let them fall limply to his sides in frustration. "It was a mistake. Alice and I haven't spoken since. I have no desire to go back there again. I never meant to hurt you in California. That was an accident. All I wanted to do is talk to you. There hasn't been anyone since you. You're all that I want!"

I narrowed my eyes and him and shook my head. "Then you should have thought about that then.. and not now. No, Jake. Just... no." I shrugged. "Never again."

Jake stared at me for a moment longer, his brow furrowing as his words sank in, and then he shook his dark head and resumed his pacing.. .back and forth in front of my front windows. The line he was walking, as long as he stayed on it, would keep him far enough from me that if I waited until he hit the furthest end of his track and I got close enough to make a grab for my gun, I could have it in my hands and aimed at him before he could turn around and head back my direction. I slowly inched a step closer. And one more. Almost there.

Then he ruined it.

On his furthest path, right when he should have kept going past the sofa to the bookcase against the wall, Jake turned and headed my direction, on a direct line towards me.

Dammit.

I watched him come towards me, not overly upset, and not extremely worried that he would do anything stupid. His body language was all about the realization that it truly was over between us, and I hoped that meant that this would be over and he would just leave. I really didn't want him here when Edward showed up. That, would be a disaster. He was silent as he padded towards me, his eyes on the ground. I kept an eye on him, however, not trusting him for a second.

Turns out, that was a good plan.

When he got close to me, he totally surprised me by grabbing my arm, and pulling me roughly into his arms. Stunned for a second, I held still, not sure what he was up to. Glaring up at him, I saw the hatred burning in his eyes that he'd hidden from me on his walk up to me, and I knew in that instant that I was in trouble.

"I'll make you remember what it was like between us, Bella." He murmured so softly I could barely make out the words. "You'll never want to leave me again."

Grinding his hips against me, through his jeans, I felt his arousal pressing against my thigh, and it finally dawned on me what he had in mind.

"No Jake," I spat out at him, "This is not going to happen. So let me go now!" I growled at him, struggling to get my arms free. It was a lost cause. He was so much bigger and stronger than I was. Always had been.

With one of his huge hands, he captured both of my wrists and with his other arm, he encircled my waist and picked me up off my feet. I immediately began to kick at him, catching him several times in the shins and knees with my toes, but he held me so close, and was so far gone mentally that it didn't make any difference. Carrying me over to the sofa, he laid me down and put his body weight on top of me to hold me still, one massive, muscular leg pushing my knees apart. With his free hand, he began to unbutton my jeans.

When I struggled against him, and tried to cry out, he leaned down and ground his mouth on mine, his tongue forcing my lips apart and into my mouth. I felt his hot breath in my face, his tongue in my mouth and I tried to bite him, but he pulled away at the last second, laughing.

"There's my Bella," he laughed, enjoying himself. "Full of piss and vinegar, as always."

"I'm not you're Bella, Jake." I snarled at him, trying to twist my body away from his hand as it worked it's way into my now unbuttoned jeans. "Quite being an asshole and let me up! This isn't going to happen!"

I felt sick and tried to swallow down the bile that rose into my throat when his fingers, slid into the waistband of my panties, and started to glide to that area that I never wanted him to touch anymore.

He chuckled, and low and threatening sound as he pushed his fingers even lower, brushing at the top of my girlscaping. "Oh.. I think it is."

As I gathered my breath to scream as loud as I possibly could, a familiar voice full of deadly menace answered Jake before I could even open my mouth.

"Don't fucking count on it, dickhead."

And then there was a loud explosion.

Feathers from my down filled couch pillow flew everywhere.

And then there was blood. A lot of blood. Everywhere.

Jake's entire body jerked, and he screamed abruptly, he rolling off of me to the floor, grabbing at his left shoulder with the hand that had been attempting to invade my body in the most horribly intimate way. Sitting up quickly, I whipped my head around to where the voice had come from.

Edward was there, in my doorway, the drawer to the side table by the door hanging open, my Glock in his steady hands, aimed at Jake and more than ready to fire again if he so much as looked my direction.

"Call 9-1-1." Edward instructed me, his eyes flicking to me before locking again on Jake, his voice a deadly quiet growl. "Tell them what happened, everything that happened, and have them get some EMT's out here quick.. before I'm tempted to shoot him again, just for the Goddamn hell of it." Then he smiled at Jake. "You're lucky it was me and not Emmett that showed up at the door, Jake. He'd have aimed for your head. And hit it."

Jake, wisely for once in his life, kept silent.

On shaky legs, I stood up and buttoned up my jeans, and brushed my hair out of my face. Running to the counter, I picked up my cell phone and called the police as my neighbors began poking their heads in my door, asking if I was alright, and what happened. I assured them that everything was under control, and concentrated on talking to the operator when she came on the line.

Jake sat where he was, his eyes on the gun pointed at him, his face a mask of pain as he held pressure on the gaping wound in his shoulder, bright red blood streaming out over his fingers.

Hanging up with the operator, I turned to Edward, who hadn't relaxed one bit throughout all of this, and brushed my hand along the side of his cheek. He smiled smiled grimly, but didn't take his eyes off Jake.

"I had no idea that you could shoot like that!" I told him, my voice full of admiration. He flicked his eyes over to mine for a moment, and a real smile replaced the showing of teeth he'd offered me earlier and his blue eyes twinkled.

"After what happened at the bar here in Nashville, I taught myself while we were broken up, and continued to practice once we got back together. Couldn't have my girlfriend being better than me at something, now could I?" He winked.

As the sounds of sirens filled the air, I chuckled.

"Oh no. We couldn't have that."


Sorry it's taken me so long to update. Real life has seriously been in my face these last several months! I only have about one chapter to go, and then an epilogue, so hang in there. I haven't abandoned you! I promise I will finish the story.

For all of you that have put me on favorites and alerts and those of who've left me such wonderful reviews, Thank you.. from the bottom of my heart. It means so much.