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Chapter Thirty-Five: Let's Set The World On Fire

(Epilogue Part 2)

Jacob bought the Ateara's store out of candles. Joy smirked as she made a jibe about his romantic nature, but he was too nervous to reply, instead opting for a smile and a non-committal answer. He was picking Bella up from the airport that night – it was the day before Christmas Eve, and only when he was phased did he not carry Sarah Black's engagement ring on his person. It was simple, princess-cut on a white-gold band. Perfect for Bella, who never welcomed any fuss or fanfare. Perfect for tribe royalty, befitting the wife of the future chief she would hopefully become. He'd told his study partner at college, Laura about his plans, just to run it by another girl. She'd squeaked and cooed and told him he was adorable, and that if Bella said no, she was a fool. Billy told him he was foolish to be nervous, but Jacob knew Bella's feelings on marriage. He wanted her to say yes because she wanted to, not because she was afraid that saying no would change their relationship. Jacob would stay with her as a live-in partner for life if that was what she wanted – he just wanted her.

Embry was put under an order not to mention anything to Alex. Jake knew what gossips those two were, and was trying to keep the element of surprise on his side. Embry told him, too, that he was being ridiculous – Bella would marry him in a heartbeat, but Jacob didn't take anything for granted when it came to Bella. He would never take her for granted – they'd both worked too damn hard and been through far too much to get here.

Bella was nervous. She'd hardly spoken to Jacob in the past two weeks. Their webchats and phone conversations were clipped and never delved deeper than mundane, every day topics. It felt like he was pulling away from her. Maybe the distance was more than he'd bargained for? Jacob was a physical person, always touching, holding and kissing. Maybe he was growing frustrated that she was always somewhere else? He was in college now. There had to be a long line of girls checking him out, imagining themselves with him. It was stupid to assume that he and Quil wouldn't attract a lot of attention – they were Gods among men. He'd mentioned this girl, Laura more than once. Bella had yet to meet her, but decided she hated her already. Laura went to college with Jacob, got to see him every day. Bella got a ten minute call every night before bed.

She was about to leave for the airport when she texted Jake. His reply sounded less than excited, but he assured her he would be at the airport, just like they arranged. Alex walked in as Bella's eyes were welling up with tears, and went into that fierce lioness mode that made everyone love her so much. Alex told her that if Jake couldn't handle long distance, that was his problem, but Bella shouldn't give in without a fight. Bella did some lingerie shopping at the airport before she caught her flight. If Jake was missing her that much, she was going to give him some memories that would have his blood boiling until spring break.

Her breath hitched in her throat when she saw him in the arrival's lounge. He was dressed in low-slung jeans, boots, and a fitted forest-green shirt she'd never seen before. It was always the same reaction when she caught sight of him after some time apart. It only renewed her resolve. If Jacob's eyes were wandering, she was going to make damn sure that he never wanted to look at another girl again. She ran towards him but he stood stiffly, watching her, his hands behind his back. She felt her heart sink at the prolonged distance. Was he really going to break up with her, after everything, and at a fucking airport, no less? She couldn't hide the smile of relief as he held out a sprig of mistletoe when she reached him, refusing to give her his customary, bone-crushing hug until she laid one on him. She compromised by jumping into his arms, and giving him a kiss that had him adjusting those low-slung jeans and wondering if there was time for a quick stop-off on their ride home.

Much to her disappointment, he dropped her off straight at Charlie's, kissing her softly before abruptly pulling away and promising to come back the next day – they were swapping presents on Christmas Eve, after all. She tried not to protest, she really did, but his hot-and-cold behaviour was making her uneasy, and she stormed out of his car, slamming the door behind her and dragging the suitcase up the front steps. He knew from experience that helping her would be ill-advised, so he just sat watching her disappear inside, and huffed out a sigh. He knew he was confusing her, and he hated it, but everything wasn't in place yet. Their relationship was far from perfect, but his proposal had to be. He texted her when he got home, just to make sure she wasn't too angry at him.

Bells, I know you're mad at me right now, but I promise, I'll make everything better tomorrow. Are we still on for exchanging presents at sunset?

Her reply was a long time coming, and he almost wore a hole in Sarah Black's hand-woven rug as Billy watched him pace with amusement, but Bella never could sleep on a fight, and she relented.

Yeah we are. But you better have a damn good excuse for all this weird behaviour, Jacob Black. So help me, I'll set Alex and Leah on you.

I do, I swear. See you tomorrow, Bells. I love you.

I love you too, you ass.x

Jacob slept uneasily that night. There was still so much to organise, and although he trusted the guys, he had a niggling feeling that they'd pick this defining moment in his life to pull a prank on him. Especially Quil. He decided an Alpha order was necessary. He'd never taken advantage of his position in the pack, but this was too damn important to take a chance on. Embry had understood his need for reassurance with the order not to tell Alex, and he just hoped that the rest of the guys would too. He called a pack meeting around noon the next day. The guys were irritated at being pulled away from their imprints and family for most of Christmas Eve, but they knew Jacob wouldn't relax until he was sure everything was in place. He went through the instructions for sunset again, making sure they all knew their place and dismissed them. He would have to get himself ready to go to Bella's soon anyway.

He arrived at her house in Embry's car at three-thirty. Embry drove, and attempted to assuage his friend's nerves with jokes, but Jacob was too deep in thought to acknowledge him much. He knocked on the Swan's front door, and was greeted by Charlie, already on his third egg-nog of the evening and with a pink blush to his face. Jacob finally recognised where Bella got it from. Charlie whispered none-too-quietly that Bella had been in a crappy mood all day, but he'd kept Jacob's secret and she didn't suspect a thing. Jacob breathed a sigh of relief – in all his worries about the pack, he hadn't taken into account Charlie Swan's alcohol-loosened tongue.

Bella came down the stairs, a look of worry on her features as she studied him. Jacob was too taken aback by her outfit to notice much. She wore a teal-green mini dress teamed with black tights an knee-high black boots. Her skin appeared to glow and her eyes were bright and doe-like, and Jacob prayed for the tenth time that day that she'd agree to be his wife. She carried a thin, silver envelope in one hand and beckoned him back up the stairs towards her room. He kissed her as soon as they were inside – an entire day of her being in the same town but still not close enough was too much for him. She pulled away and smiled dreamily, wishing him a Merry Christmas. They moved to sit on the bed, and Jacob noticed another package, also wrapped in silver, sitting by her pillow. He frowned, thinking the envelope had been intended for him, but said nothing, This was Bella's moment, and he'd get his later. She handed him the package, smiling knowingly as he unwrapped it to reveal a white, short-sleeved aviator shirt in his size, complete with flying stripes on the epaulets. He frowned, confused for a moment before a devilish smile dawned on his face.

"Got a certain fantasy I don't know about, Bells?" She just giggled and handed him the envelope. Inside, was a certificate of purchase for a course of pilot lessons. Jacob Black was going to learn to fly.

"I thought, since you're always saying you'll be tied to La Push, you should have a way to escape this place when it all gets too much. You won't have to phase and have everyone eavesdropping on your thoughts, and a plane can take you much further than a car ever could."

Jacob beamed at her. It was perfect. She was perfect. His inquisitive mind had an appreciation for all feats of engineering and aircraft were high on that list. He took her into his arms and kissed her, once, twice before they melted into a passionate haze and forgot that Jake was meant to be following a schedule. He broke the kiss and stood, unbuttoning his shirt and pants and freeing his naked body for her hungry gaze. He smirked at the obvious reaction in her, but they didn't have time for that now. The sun was approaching the horizon, and he had to get to La Push.

"Sorry baby, I'd kill to be able to thank you properly right now, but you haven't got your present yet, and we're on a time constraint."

Bella's heart sank, but she was too curious to protest much. He went towards the window before turning back, kissing her, and telling her that Embry was waiting outside to take her to her surprise. He leapt out and she caught sight of a russet tail and back paws disappearing between the trees.

Jacob's best friend loyally gave nothing away, instead singing along obnoxiously with Christmas songs on the radio in place of answering her questions. Bella wanted to demand an answer from him, but knew that Jake had obviously put a lot of work into whatever this was, and Embry was only following orders. He pulled to a stop on the side of the road, offering her his hand as he opened the car door for her. Bella looked around confusedly. She didn't recognise this place, and there didn't appear to be anything around for miles except for the sprawling forest, but she trusted these boys with her life, and had before, on many occasions. Embry simply gave her that half-smile that said he knew all the secrets of the world, and led her to the tree-line. He let her hand go, moving back towards his car, and a momentary panic overcame her. It was really dark in the forest, did they expect her to walk around here alone when it was going to be night-time soon?

A movement in the trees frayed her heightened nerves, but she was soon relieved when Seth came into view, smiling adorably and holding what looked to be her winter coat. She opened her mouth to ask him what was going on, but he simply held a finger to his lips, and opened the jacket for her to put on. She complied, and they linked arms as he led her through the forest, Seth's keen eyesight diverting her from upturned roots and rocks which would have meant a sprained ankle for his Alpha's beloved. They hiked for around fifteen minutes, before Bella caught sight of a flickering light in the trees. They had been moving uphill, and the place started to look familiar. Seth loosened his arm, prompting her to walk ahead.

A pathway had been marked out with candles on tiki-posts, leading still upwards to where she could see no more trees, only the soft pink of the horizon. She forged on curiously, until her heart warmed to the sight of Jacob, wearing suit-pants and a crisp white shirt, standing on the edge of a ridge, barefoot, with his back to her – his silhouette a stark, regal contrast against the sun-burst sky. He turned slowly, smiling with more love in his eyes than Bella had ever seen and strode to meet her. In his hands, he held a carved wooden chest, around the size of a shoe-box, with an image of a wolf leaping across the lid. Bella's breath hitched as she took in the sight of it. It was beautiful and intricate, and she knew instinctively that it been the work of his very own hands.

"Thought you needed a more permanent place to keep all those treasures I gave you," he said, looking into her eyes. She smiled happily, and pulled him down for a kiss, the box in his hand the only barrier between their bodies.

"It's beautiful, Jake, I'll treasure it forever."

He took her hand, leading her towards the ridge he'd been standing on. She recognised it now. It was changed from time and the lack of sunlight, but she knew it to be the cliff – the cliff where, on one terrible day, back when she'd been broken, when she had nothing in her chest but an empty space, she'd jumped. She'd almost ended her life that day. How things had changed – now she was standing on it with her soulmate, the very person who'd saved her, and who had offered her his own life in place of the one she'd almost lost. He stood to her left, turned to her and capturing her gaze once more so that she'd soon forgotten about taking in the spectacular view. How had she gone so long without truly seeing this man, this protector, the keeper of her heart? He was all she wanted to see now. He dipped his head towards the box in his hands, and dropped to one knee. She gasped. He couldn't be, could he? The space left by his movement drew her attention to the beach, far behind him, across the water and no longer blocked by his broad chest. On it, dark figures stood, proud and unified. In front of them, candles flickered in the cold December wind. She realised they were spelling out something. She realised Jacob's question.

Marry me, Bells?

She looked to the man in front of her. His eyes were hesitant and hopeful as he opened the lid of the wooden box and inside, nestled on red silk, was a simple, white-gold engagement ring.

"What do you say, Bella? We're young, and we're not finished college, and we live apart, but it's not forever. What we have is forever." He gazed intently into her eyes, meaning every single word. He smiled softly as he wiped a tear from her cheek. "I want to live with you, fight with you, make up, have babies, be your husband. I want to grow old with you I want to call you my wife and let the whole world know that we belong to each other. I belong to you, Bella. No-one else has ever come close. Will you marry me?"

Bella's tears were coming full-force now as a sob choked the air from her lungs. She couldn't speak, so she nodded. Jacob's eyebrows rose in hopeful trepidation.


Bella took long, shuddering breaths, trying to regain the ability to speak. Just this morning she was worried he was pulling away from her, and now, she was standing in front of him as he asked her to be his, for the rest of their lives.

"Yes, Jacob, I'll marry you. I want everything you just said and more," she hiccupped, trying to get a handle on the outpouring of emotion. "I want to be your wife, your partner, the mother of your children. I want to be the one who wakes up beside you every morning and kisses you goodnight every night. I don't want eternity – I'm not that foolish kid anymore. I want you. Yes. A hundred times, yes!"

He placed the ring delicately on her finger, his large, sure hands shaking from relief and happiness. Setting the box to the side, he scooped her up into his arms and spun them around, before setting her back on the ground and dipping her back for a 'movie kiss'. He pressed his forehead to hers and took a long breath, inhaling the scent of his fiancée for the first time. Placing his hands on her tear-stained cheeks, he kissed her softly.

"You've just made me the happiest man alive, Bells," he breathed before turning back towards the candle lit beach and shouting. "She said yes!" His declaration was met with a chorus of cheers, whoops and hollers which had the couple laughing with delight.

She'd said yes.

Their lives where a haze of bliss and excitement after that. The distance didn't seem so long, the were no longer worried or jealous – they both knew who owned their hearts, and they didn't need reassurance from each other – they just knew.

Jacob and Bella were married the summer after he graduated college – Bella said they had to be real grown-ups to do something like that, and just as he promised her, it was a small ceremony, on the beach conducted by Old Quil. Embry was best man, joking the whole time about hooking up with the head bridesmaid when she got drunk and easy as he'd heard bridesmaids tended to do at weddings. Alex told him if he made one more joke he would be sleeping on the couch for the next week when they got back to their apartment in Seattle. She didn't need the excuse of being head bridesmaid to do that – she'd perfected the art of being drunk and easy long before he ever met her. He shut up after that.

Levi Uley II was ring bearer, his little sister, Samantha shared flower girl duties along with Jared and Kim's daughter, Lilly. They were the only pups yet to be born to the pack, but plenty of hints were dropped on Bella that a new Alpha would have to be born soon. Claire Young was too distracted by the fact that Quil had brought a date to the wedding to feel left out – she spent her time telling Quil that she had a stupid face and spilled a drink on the dumb woman's pretty dress. She wasn't good enough for Quil anyway, Claire said. Any girl who was good enough to go out with her Quil would have to look at him the way Bella looked at Jacob, and that lady looked at Quil like she wanted to eat him or something disgusting like that.

Charlie and Billy told embarrassing stories about Bella and Jacob's childhood, with Billy reminding Charlie of a bet they made when three-year-old Jake pulled up the skirt of a four-and-a-half year old Bella that they'd be married some day. Billy thanked Bella for making him fifty-bucks richer, but said he'd been worried for a while when she'd been engaged to Edward Cullen. Bella blushed and told him he was welcome, trying to tune out the fact that Quil and Seth were announcing that it wasn't the last time Jacob saw Bella's underwear.

Leah brought Jason to the wedding, the two now living together for the past two years and trying for a baby. Leah watched the kids at the celebration with a wistful smile on her face, and was surprised when Sam told her it would happen for her some day soon – he knew what a great mother she would make and felt sorry for anyone who messed with her kids. She smiled gratefully and thanked him, and they both mused at how differently their plans had turned out from the ones they'd made as two love-struck nineteen-year-olds all that time ago. Leah said everything worked out how it was supposed to, and when Emily placed their sleeping daughter on his lap and she curled into her Daddy's warmth, Sam had to agree.

Seth and Alison were still in the stage of their imprint where they couldn't keep their hands off each other, and were given a stern warning by Sue when she caught them sneaking back to the party after a quick tryst in the woods. She told Alison, one nurse to another, that just because her son looked like he was in his mid-twenties, didn't mean he was ready to be a father yet. Charlie laughed at his wife's statement, but knew better than to let her see that.

Rachel and Paul were a bundle of nerves. Her period was late, and although they were both working steady jobs and had a good income, they hadn't planned on children until they had their own house. Paul was secretly hopeful that she was pregnant, but didn't think saying as much to Rach would help the situation. She was already jumping down his throat for the slightest thing, so he kept himself content with the image of how Rachel's cup-size would double, as he knew pregnant women's often did, and thought up baby names in his head.

Collin and Brady were upset at the lack of unfamiliar ladies at the wedding – they'd been sure that since Bella and Alex were so hot, they'd at least have some sexy friends or even a good-looking cousin to eye up. Billy told them the sooner they both imprinted, the better it would be for women-kind everywhere.

Jared and Kim left early, since Lilly had drank too much soda and thrown up on her pretty flower girl's dress. She couldn't stop crying so they made their excuses and went, leaving Jacob and Bella agreeing to wait a year or so before they had their own children. They wanted to enjoy a few more late nights and the freedom that came with being newlyweds.

It was not to be though. After Bella and Jacob's six-month anniversary, she began feeling nauseous in the morning, and well, most of the day, in fact. She said it was the flu, since she didn't want to take any time off from her job at Peninsula College taking literature. Besides, jacob abd Quil were still wading through the mountain of debt that came with their first year of business – they were definitely spending more than they were making right now, and Jake and Bella had been careful, knowing that both were in no position to support a baby.

Their future child had other plans though, as Bella's nausea didn't lift after a week, and she was forced to buy a pregnancy test stealthily from the pharmacy in Forks.

She didn't know whether to laugh or cry when it came out positive. She worried about everything in those first moments, sitting on the toilet lid and staring at the small, plastic stick that signified their future – money, daycare, parental philosophies, teething, puberty, education, teenage rebellion; and then she thought about how this was Jacob's child. Jacob's and her child, and how this had almost never happened, and suddenly, she didn't feel so worried anymore.

She was having a child with Jacob, and there was nothing scary about that.

A/N: I know it's been a while. I'm sure you've realised that I was caught up in my other story, Regression. I hit somewhat of a climax on that one, so wanted to go back to Not Your Type to give myself a break from all that angst!

Hope you guys are still with me, and have seen the manip I posted on the Author page of Alex and Embry. Don't they make a cute couple?

Let me know your thoughts, and I'll try not to make you wait too long for the final epilogue.