Rosalie and Jake, huh? Why not?

Stephenie Meyer owns all things Twilight… I'm just playing in her literary backyard.

Not run through a beta, so all mistakes are mine and mine alone. Be gentle.

The rain fell gently to the Earth from the thick, dark clouds above, the tiny projectiles cascading from the sky in a perfectly vertical pattern with not so much as a breath of wind to alter their trajectory. A pair of pale golden eyes observed the peaceful freefall of water droplets, and had been doing so in contemplative solitude for well over an hour.

Rosalie adored the rain because for a long time it had given her something no one or nothing else could: an outlet for the pain, frustration and anger that had been her constant companions since her turning. In other words she could cry, or at least feel like she was.

Many times over the years and especially since their arrival in Washington (the small clearing a hundred feet or so into the woods was a little slice of seclusion for her), she'd gone out into the night as the rains fell. She would stand there, out of sight of the house and well out of earshot of the others, and then close her eyes before tilting her head back so that she could face the heavens. She'd wait until the first dry sob would begin to work its way up from the pit of her forever barren stomach, then open her eyes and tilt her head forward just as the sob would pass her chest. By the time the sob had passed her wintry lips, the pseudo tears would be blazing trails down her cold cheeks until they left her perfect skin to fall down to the ground.

Gut wrenching sob after gut wrenching sob would tear from her perfect mouth as the 'tears' fell, and for a moment Rosalie could immerse herself in the illusion of crying, something she hadn't been able to do for decades. For a singular moment in time, she would be able to feel human. For an all too brief instant the pain would ease, the frustration would ebb away and the anger would subside. And she so desperately needed those times, more so in the last few years.

The others were aware that she ventured out into the rain on occasion, but she was fairly certain only Edward, with his inability to stop invading her mind, knew for certain what it meant for her. Yes, Jasper knew that she'd felt anguished when she'd gone out and better, if only a little, when she'd come back in. And Esme always had the most sympathetic and understanding look in her eyes when she'd come back inside. Alice had most likely seen her in her visions. But Edward truly knew.

She'd always been disappointed, though not at all surprised, that her husband hadn't realized what she did and why. She'd hoped each and every time that upon her return Emmett would be waiting for her to take her in his arms and reassure her that everything would be okay. He never did and he'd given her a look of amusement mixed with confusion whenever she'd re-entered the house. She didn't blame him. He was who he was, a good man who loved her, and she did love him dearly, though that loved had changed- evolved in her opinion- to what it was now.

And the rain had been her companion during that transition as well…

Rosalie stumbled into the small clearing she had used as her sanctuary during these intimately private times, her mind reeling and overwhelmed by the crushing sense of loss she felt. It had been six months since Renesmee had been cruelly ripped from their lives, taken by a disease that not even Carlisle with his vast medical experience and knowledge could cure. It had been six months since her niece- the little girl she'd loved as a daughter- had been taken from her. Whoever said that 'time heals all wounds' was not a vampire. The wound in her frozen chest would never heal, not even in a hundred years… or a thousand… or an eternity.

The rain had been falling in a torrential downpour for hours making the ground soft. Her usual grace abandoned her and her right foot slipped causing her to collapse onto her knees. She didn't feel the impact. She didn't feel the rain. All she felt was the ache in her chest right where her heart used to beat so long ago. She looked upward to let the rain fall onto her face and then let the anguished wails fly from her lips.

It was so painful that she couldn't even remain in a kneeling position and she collapsed forward, her strong arms only just barely able to move to stop her from falling face first into the ground. Her head hung down, her long, wet blond locks hanging limply along the sides of her face as if trying to hide her from the ghosts that might be watching. She remained there in that position, her arms shaking but not yielding, as the sobs finally started to diminish in force and frequency.

Finally her grief was temporarily spent. No more sobs came, even though the rain continued to fall and run down her cheeks. She rose from the ground, completely unconcerned about the mess her jeans and sweater were in. She turned on her heel, and with her normal elegance returned she strode from the clearing and towards the house.

She looked up when the house came into view and nearly grimaced. The light was on in her bedroom which meant that Emmett was there and waiting. They'd become distant towards each other since Nessie's death, so much so that they never talked to each other anymore except when they had too. And she blamed no one but herself for it. She felt such pain and anger that she couldn't even begin to think about Emmett and how he was feeling, let alone try to help him through it.

That only added to her despair. For the many trials and tribulations they'd faced in their decades together, they'd persevered because they'd been able to rely on each other, help each other and love each other. This time was different on almost every level. Her grief, and his too she knew, was so profound that they couldn't rely on each other for the support they needed; they couldn't help each other through the pain; and the love they had was dwarfed by the grief to the point where its usually bright light simply couldn't break through the black, suffocating anguish.

Rosalie opened the door, her pace having slowed to a crawl in spite of herself. She paused to throw off her muddy boots and started the agonizing climb up to her room. She was dripping on the floor as she moved up the stairs, leaving a trail of wetness that had become all too common lately. No one had ever said anything to her about it, and she couldn't bring herself to give a damn about who'd cleaned it up before or who would clean it up now.

Rosalie resisted the urge to sigh as she crossed the threshold into her room. The sight before her would have been heart-breaking and enraging to her if she'd happened upon it before six months ago. Now it just seemed… inevitable.

Emmett turned away from the window and looked into her eyes. "It's time, Rosy," he said, his voice void of its usual warmth and energy. "I have to leave. I can't be around here anymore. It's," he gave her mirthless chuckle, "killing me." He paused for a moment and then said, "And I know you can't leave."

She nodded her agreement and tried to feel something, anything, at what he was saying. Her husband, the man she'd loved for almost the whole of her second life, was leaving and she couldn't even bring herself to feel anything. It figured… the one time he seemed to understand what she was doing out in the rain was the time he was leaving.

"I'll always love you, Rose," he said as he walked towards her. When he reached her he drew her into his arms and whispered, "I hope you'll find something to help you." He released her, and looked into her eyes once more. "And I know you'll find someone to make you whole again. Trust me on that, you're too beautiful inside and out to stay alone. I'll keep in touch and all that." He gave her one of his big smiles and said, "Take care, Rosy."

With that he stepped around her. She turned around on auto-pilot and watched as he picked up his bags that he'd put by the door- the bags she hadn't even noticed when she'd come in- and walked through the door.

It wasn't until she heard his jeep start up and pull out of the driveway that she realized she'd never even hugged him back.

She wanted to run back out into the rain, to let the water wash away the pain and to cry, but she couldn't.

It had stopped raining.

Emmett had been true to his word and kept in regular contact. Esme would always tell her about his calls and how he was doing. When her mother had told her that Emmett had met someone a few months later and seemed to be happy, Rosalie smiled and silently wished him well for he deserved all the happiness in the world.

They'd been the best of friends- brother and sister- ever since.

Rosalie's left hand rose from where it had been resting by her side and she placed it flat against the cold window. Her body and mind, out of habit that had been formed over years and years, desired to go out into the rain now, but her soul- something she'd been certain that she'd lost oh so long ago until his love had proved otherwise- simply didn't need to.

Yes, Emmett had been right when he said she'd find someone. But not even he could have guessed who it would be.

Her eyes closed as she thought about the man who, despite just about every obstacle in the world being thrown between them, had managed to burn his way into her heart, and the important role the rain had played in the beginning of their journey together.

The only thing Rosalie could hear was the pounding of the rain hitting the soil, leaves and rocks surrounding her. Her little refuge was the only place she could find something resembling peace these days.

She looked up and smiled, finding it perfectly fitting that on the one year anniversary of Renesmee's death nature itself seemed to be grieving.

Renesmee, thought Rosalie as she closed her eyes and bowed her head. Why, my sweet little one? Why?

A twig snapped behind her, and even as she whirled around she caught the annoyingly familiar scent of the intruder. Jacob stood at the edge of the clearing, his black tee-shirt and jeans so wet that they were clinging to him like a second skin. His eyes were blank and his body was perfectly still, almost as if he were in some sort of trance.

Jacob. He'd constantly been around the house during the last year, looking and acting every bit the lost puppy. The rest of the family had tried to help him with his grief, the loss of an imprint. She didn't care. As far as she was concerned, he was intruding on her family's grief… intruding on her mourning.

"Why are you here, mutt?" demanded Rosalie, her voice little more than a harsh growl. Her slender fingers curled into fists so tight that, if she were human, her nails would have drawn blood as they dug into the palms of her hands. "What right do you have to be here?"

That seemed to snap Jacob out of the stupor he'd seemed to be in. His eyes flashed in anger as he took a step towards her, his own hands balled into iron fists. "I have as much right as you do, leech!"

He did and she knew it. Nessie had been the center of his universe for her entire brief life. "You're not welcome here, dog!" she growled as her feet shifted on the wet grass. "Go home."

"No," he said, his tone and intensity matching hers in every way.

Rosalie crouched into a stance that she knew he would take as threatening. She was counting on it. She'd had enough of Jacob Black and she was in a prime mood to show him. "You were next to nothing to her, mongrel," she snarled mercilessly, ignoring the little stab of pain in her chest at betraying Nessie by lying about Jacob's place in her heart. "You were nothing but a pet to her."

He began shaking and his voice was pure hatred when he said between clenched teeth, "She loved me, leech! More than she could ever love the likes of you: a soulless bloodsucker who wouldn't hesitate to drain her if it suited you!"

His belief that she would feed on a human stung her. His certainty that she would feed on a human child enraged her. His conviction that she would harm Nessie in particular snapped the final delicate thread holding her back.

She ran towards him and just managed to get a punch in under his attempted defensive block, her right fist connecting solidly with his jaw and sending him flying in the air. He phased in midair sending shreds of clothing off in all directions that fluttered to the soggy ground and when he landed, the russet wolf landed firmly on all fours and facing her. He growled and snapped his razor sharp teeth at her then bared said teeth to show her just what he was going use to rip her apart.

Rosalie growled back and slowly moved to her right. Jacob followed suit, shuffling on his four legs just as nimbly as she did on her two. It wasn't lost on her that this was in a way inevitable. After all, she and the shape shifter despised each other deeply and only tolerated each other first for Bella's sake and then for Nessie's. Now Bella was stronger, with Edward and entrenched within the vampire way and her family. And Nessie…

Rosalie lunged towards Jacob who deftly moved to his right and ducked to avoid the roundhouse punch from her. She quickly jumped back to avoid his counter attack that came in the form of his massive jaws snapping at her neck.

She smiled despite herself at his attempt to end this with an immediate death blow. She could play like that, but she didn't want to. No, she was going to enjoy and savor this.

She charged at Jacob again, and this time she feinted left and charged right when he moved to block her. She punched at his left front shoulder as she breezed by him, more than satisfied with the howl of pain and anger it elicited from the large wolf.

Rosalie stopped and mockingly glared at Jacob as he faced her again. She bared her teeth as she drove towards him again, feinting left and going right again, but knowing that Jacob wouldn't fall for the same trick twice she maintained her distance. When he quickly whirled around she took the opportunity to kick him in the chops with a perfectly timed kick.

To her surprise it didn't faze him at all and he charged at her. She only just managed to dodge to the left as the razor sharp nails of his right paw swiped at her. As it was, he took a healthy chunk of her blouse with him. He backed off and she watched in stunned amazement as the huge russet wolf lifted his paw and shook off the rags that were still caught on his nails.

She looked down to the massive tear in her blouse and her now partially exposed stomach and fumed. "You filthy beast," she barked menacingly. She looked up and nearly cursed- the bastard had the nerve to smirk at her. At least she took it as a smirk. "That was my favorite blouse."

Jacob made a high pitched howling noise that sounded an awful lot like a mocking 'boo-hoo'.

Rosalie sneered at Jacob and quickly scanned her surroundings. Luckily the means to ending this little brawl quickly showed itself in the form of a moss covered rock between her and Jacob. The rock protruded from the ground by about two feet and would be an excellent springboard for her attack: she would run and jump off the rock and down onto the wolf's back. A couple of well placed strikes onto his spine would break his back and render him a helpless ball of fur long enough for her to erase him from her life once and for all.

Without any further thought she ran and jumped off the rock. Unfortunately for her, she'd missed the way Jacob had eyed the same rock and realized what she'd planned to do. She only gotten a few feet from the rock when Jacob collided with her in midair, his massive paws impacting her on the upper parts of her chest and driving her back in the direction from which she'd come. She landed with a resounding splat on the slick grass and ended up sliding on her back for several more feet until she came to a stop face up to the rainy sky.

She was just about to sit up when Jacob pounced on top of her. The length of his body from his chest downward pressed down against her ensuring she wasn't going anywhere. She just managed to get her hands up and grab a handful of fur on each side of his face to keep his powerful jaws from coming down and clamping around her neck.

Jacob tried to push his mouth towards her several times, but her strong hands kept him at bay. Then everything seemed to stop for her. Time ground to a halt for a moment, and in that frozen instant of time her life- yes, life- played out for her. How many times had she regretted and agonized about what she'd become? How many times had she wished it had never happened or wished for it to end? How long ago would she have given up if it hadn't been for Emmett and her family? What was she hanging on for now? Emmett was gone. Renesmee was gone. Her family had become distant to her, or more to the point she'd shut herself off from them.

What was left for her except eternal grief and solitude? Nothing, and she hated that.

She suddenly removed her hands from the sides of Jacob's wolf face and let them drop lifelessly to the ground. Jacob growled but did nothing.

Rosalie looked up into the murderous eyes of the wolf pinning her to the wet ground and yelled, "What are you waiting for? Do it!"

Jacob snapped his enormous jaws at her in warning. He face lowered so close to hers that his hot breaths hit her square in the face with a force that would have hurt a human, yet he didn't move closer.

Her eyes bored into his as the rain continued to fall and they stared at each other. Water streamed down from where it pooled in and then overflowed from her eyes just like the tears she so desperately wished she could cry. When she spoke her voice was barely above a whisper. "Please."

Jacob's head jolted backwards a few inches and his soft growls ceased as if he'd been caught off guard by her plea.

No! she thought as she lifted her right hand and slapped the right side of Jacob's face and she harshly yelled, "DO IT!"

Jacob's growl was fierce and he reared his head back. Rosalie watched him closely and the moment he opened his jaws and his head started to descend towards her neck, she closed her eyes and waited for her executioner to end her existence.


Rosalie gasped in surprise and her eyes flew open just as Jacob lifted his mouth from her neck. He didn't bite her, but it was as close as it could be with his teeth scraping along the skin of her throat as his mouth closed. If she hadn't been so shocked to be alive and pissed off that he hadn't killed her, she would have been impressed by his control, aim and restraint.

Jacob lifted his massive frame away from her and slowly backed away, his mouth silent and eyes void of the murderous fire that had been in them a few short moments ago.

Rosalie slowly sat up, still unsure as to why Jacob would spare her life and still not entirely certain that he wouldn't change his mind and rip her head off. More than that, she was no longer confident that she wanted him to. She kept her eyes glued to the ground just beyond her outstretched legs and folded her hands together on her lap and waited, hoping that he would go away and leave her alone to wallow in her misery.

It wasn't meant to be.

"I'm sorry," came his voice from a few feet away.

She kept her gaze fixed on the ground, but out of the corner of her eye she could see his bare feet tread towards her. She heard and sensed him crouch down next to her, and after a moment she turned to look at him. His dark eyes held no malice, no anger and no fear. Most important of all, she could see no pity. All she could see was sincerity and concern. He glanced away and then looked back to her again and she saw something else: understanding.

"For everything," he added when she remained silent. "I'm sorry I couldn't protect and save Nessie; I'm sorry Emmett left you alone when you needed him most; and I'm sorry for almost killing you." The corner of his mouth lifted ever so slightly. "I can't say I'm sorry for the blouse though… that thing," he nodded towards the ruined shirt, "is hideous."

Despite herself and the ridiculous situation, Rosalie couldn't help but laugh at his comment.

It felt good.

"Thanks," she replied after she calmed down. He smiled, and though it didn't quite reflect in his eyes, she couldn't help but smile back. "It's not… it's not your fault, Jacob." Carlisle had been quite adamant that the disease that took Nessie from them was rare, with the odds of Nessie getting it and then dying from it being absurdly astronomical. She slowly shook her head. "There was nothing we could do. She had a pack of shape shifters, with their legends and records that go back for centuries, as well as a coven of vampires with their vast experience and substantial resources in her corner. There was nothing we could do." Not that that makes me feel any better, she thought sourly.

"Maybe," said Jacob with a slight tremor in his voice and a hesitant nod, "but it sure as hell don't make me feel any better about it."

Rosalie's eyes widened in surprise at Jacob's echoing of her inner thought. Jacob must have realized she'd been thinking along the same lines because he gave her a sad smile and then tilted his head back to look up into the rainy sky.

Rosalie watched him, this foul smelling wise ass that had been a constant thorn in her side for as long as they'd known each other, and suddenly felt as though a pair of blinders were being lifted from her eyes. She no longer saw the brash smart ass, but instead she saw a young man devastated by the same thing that was hurting her.

"We're quite the pair, aren't we?" Rosalie said quietly. When Jacob looked at her she added, "Here we are, a wolf and a vampire, sitting in the pouring rain grieving over a child neither of us had any right to love."

For a moment it looked like Jacob was going to argue, but in the end he simply nodded. She knew that when he'd come in just after Nessie's birth, he'd intended to kill her and only stopped because he'd imprinted on her instead. And as far as she was concerned, she was a vampire who could never have children of her own and all but commandeered Nessie while Bella went through her change.

"But we did," Jacob blanched and said, "do."

Rosalie nodded and whispered, "Do."

There was silence until Jacob chuckled and said, "And we're both alone apparently."

Rosalie instinctively glanced in the direction of the house and thought of Emmett and the rest of her family. She'd closed herself off from them and couldn't- wouldn't- let them in. Not even Emmett. "What about your pack?" She turned back to Jacob and he gave her commiserating smile. She nodded in understanding and repeated, "Quite the pair, aren't we?"

Jacob laughed and she easily joined in.

For some reason, movement on Jacob's face caught her attention. Her eyes followed a large water drop as it rolled silently down his left cheek and onto his chin. It stayed there for a moment and then succumbed to gravity and fell onto his bare chest.

"I've seen you out here before, you know?" Jacob confessed quietly. He had become so focused on her that it unnerved her a little. "Crying. A few times." He must have seen something in her eyes as his next comment was, "I didn't hang around and watch, and I never told anyone. I promise."

Her first instinct had been to lash out and accuse him of stalking her- no doubt he'd sensed that- but something about his voice- the compassion and understanding- stopped her.

Her head turned and she looked down to her hands still clasped together on her legs. "It's one of the things I miss most," she explained in a wistful voice. "There have been so many times that I wanted to cry, let it all out and try to heal." She shrugged as though she was confessing something insignificant. "The rain almost lets me feel like I'm crying." She turned back to Jacob and gave him a self derisive smirk. "Silly, isn't it?"

Jacob was shaking his head before she'd finished asking the question. "No it's not," he said. "God knows I've shed enough tears over my life to know how much it helps." He shrugged his shoulders and smiled warmly. "If that helps you, then it's far from silly."

Rosalie smiled back and said, "Thanks, Jacob."

Jacob nodded and he stilled. His eyes drilled into hers for a moment, yet it didn't concern, irritate or irk her. "You're welcome, Rosalie."

They stayed there, Rosalie still sitting on the grass and Jacob crouched beside her, with the rain still cascading down upon them.

Jacob shook his head, sending little drops if water flying from his hair, and then said, "Come on. I know you're a vampire, but I think if you stay out here any longer your hair won't forgive you."

Rosalie snorted in amusement and self-consciously raked her fingers through her soggy locks. "You might be right," she replied as she lowered her hands down onto the grass next to her hips.

Before she could lift herself up, Jacob rose to his feet and stood before her, his hands stretched out towards her. She smiled as she placed her dainty hands in his larger ones, and her eyes focused on their joined hands until she noticed something else, something of Jacob's, that made her stomach flip. She quickly looked away from his intimate area and felt immeasurable relief when Jacob's strong arms pulled her up from the wet grass and away from his…

"Are you okay?" he asked, his voice soft and laced with sincere concern.

Rosalie nodded and turned to look into his eyes. She could feel the warmth radiate from his body in waves that washed over her, to say nothing of the heat that leeched into her body via their still connected hands. She hadn't felt this warm since, well, for a very long time.

"Yes," she said. She was pleased that her voice was steady and normal despite what had happened tonight. "I should head back to the house. The others…" She shrugged. She had no idea what was going on with the rest of her family.

Jacob's hands released hers and he nodded. "I should head back too, I guess. I…" He mimicked her shrug and then turned away. He started towards the tree line and Rosalie kept her eyes from straying to his naked ass by looking at the back of his head.

"Wait," she whispered as he was about to step into the bush. He stopped, his enhanced wolf hearing the only reason he'd heard her speak. He turned his head so that she could see the side of his face. "Don't go," she said, and that precise moment the rain stopped. It didn't taper off, it didn't slow down. It just stopped. Jacob turned to face her and Rosalie once again found herself looking into his mesmerizing dark eyes. "Come to the house," she said with a small smile. "I'm sure Bella would like to see you, and I know Nessie wouldn't want…" A look of pain passed over his face that looked eerily like the pain she felt in her chest. "You know what? I would like you to come. We could… talk…"

Jacob's eyes narrowed suspiciously, but it passed almost immediately and the corners of his mouth slowly lifted into a bright smile. "I'd like that. If you're sure."

Rosalie nodded and she continued to stare into his eyes as he walked towards her. She turned as he reached her and they headed towards the house together, falling into step with each other as they moved along. Somewhere along the way his right hand reached over to hold her left hand. She welcomed the contact and enjoyed it so much that as soon as his hot skin left hers she couldn't help but feel a sense of loss.

She hid that feeling with a smirk as she took off her wet shoes and said, "Just one question, mutt." She looked to him and when he raised his eyebrows questioningly she said, "When are you going to stop embarrassing yourself," she made an up and down sweeping motion with her hand to indicate his nakedness, "like this?"

Jacob's cheeks flushed instantly, but he didn't move to cover himself up or anything of the sort. Instead his eyes slowly traveled from her eyes down to her chest and back up again. His voice was laced with humor and thick with innuendo when he said, "About the same time you stop auditioning for the wet t-shirt contests, Blondie."

Rosalie looked down to find her soaked blouse clinging tightly to her breasts. In a moment of badness that Jacob would continually tease her about later and that she would never regret, she puffed her chest out before slowly turning around and taking her time going up the stairs. Even though she was annoyed that he'd had a more than adequate retort for her witty barb, the gulp he'd unsuccessfully tried to stifle had laughter singing in her otherwise broken and lifeless heart for the first time in a very long time.

Rosalie opened her eyes and took a deep and unnecessary breath. They'd talked that night about Nessie, cars and life in general, and many more nights after that about every topic imaginable. Once they'd each gotten past what the other was and saw who they were, they'd come to like each other, and eventually love each other. Nessie's death had been the only thing in the world that could have brought them together like that, and there was no doubt in her mind that if they hadn't found solace in each other over the loss of that special little girl, they each would have ceased to exist one way or another.

Rosalie emitted a soft growl and banished those thoughts from her mind. She needed a distraction… something to keep her mind from wandering to the dark thoughts that were always simmering in the back of her mind. Maybe Alice would like to…

"Hey there, Blondie."

Sorry, Alice, she thought as the right side of her stunning mouth edged upward into a small grin. She didn't turn away from the window, despite her body's instant craving to be enveloped by his nova like warmth.

"I thought I smelled wet dog in the house."

The truth was that she'd had no idea Jacob was there. He'd been to the house so often in the last few years that his scent had penetrated just about every surface and permeated just about every room. He'd joked about it once saying that when everyone was gone he'd come in and rub his ass all over the house. She wasn't entirely certain that he'd been joking, especially after she'd found what could only have been a brown wolf hair on the floor of her walk in closet.

At any rate, she would ordinarily be able to pick up his fresh scent and know when he was nearby, but time and time again he'd somehow been able to sneak in and surprise her. It wasn't an easy feat but he'd done it many times and continued to do it.

Damn him.

There was a snort of amusement behind her and her smirk blossomed into a full fledged and heart felt smile.

"Careful, Blondie," he said, his deep voice laced with laughter. "Don't make me dust off my twelve volume set of Blond Joke books."

Rosalie summoned all of her willpower to force the corners of her mouth downward and narrow her eyes. By the time she turned around to face him she had a typical Rosalie Hale scowl upon her face. The glower remained in place, much to her surprise, as her eyes quickly glanced over his handsome face. Her eyes finally found his and her perfectly shaped eyebrows rose a fraction of an inch as she mockingly said, "I had assumed you'd had those memorized by now." She tsked and sadly shook her head. "What's wrong? Can't keep it all in that little puppy brain?"

Jacob flashed a brilliant smile as he shrugged his broad shoulders. "Well, there are an awful lot of them, you know." His face became serious as he added, "And I'm only a man."

Rosalie nodded in agreement, knowing full well he was so much more than 'only a man', and then held his gaze again. Their banter was always playful, even if she hadn't felt that way in the beginning. These days she usually yearned for it, but at this particular moment she'd had enough of it. She wanted more.

So did he apparently and in perfect synchronicity born of mutual healing and many hours being together in the year since that fateful night, identical loving smiles began to slowly form on both their faces.

They stepped towards each at the same time and neither stopped until they met in the middle of the room. Rosalie wanted to sigh as his warm left hand cupped her cheek while his free hand slipped onto her waist just above her hip. She could never tell exactly how he was going to touch her. It was just one of the many ways that he constantly kept her on her toes.

She pressed her cool hands flat against his chest, allowing herself the luxury of feeling the drumbeat of his heart against her hand before sliding them down and then outward until they were on his waist. She would keep them there and wait until he stopped soaking her up with his eyes as he was prone to do.

Finally his hands drew her closer to him. She could feel the heat emanating from his body increase as she moved closer to him and she welcomed it with all of her frozen heart.

Jacob sighed as she cuddled her face against his chest. He gently nuzzled the top of her head as he quietly said, "Not outside tonight?"

"No, you silly dog," she said against his chest. She leaned back enough to look into his smoldering dark eyes. "I don't need to with you around."

"Damn," he said in a dramatic stage whisper. "I was looking forward to another wet t-shirt submission."

Rosalie smiled and shrugged her shoulders. "Sorry." Her smile morphed into an impish grin. "But if you're a good dog, I'll let you see what's underneath."

She could see the fire ignite in his eyes and she couldn't help but laugh, that is until his lips crashed against hers in a kiss that sent waves of passion surging through her cold body.

She became so lost in Jake- his warmth and touch and his love- that she didn't even notice the rain stop.


Any and all thoughts are appreciated.