A/N: Remember the New Moon movie? Remember when Bella suggested that Jacob and her leave? Well, here's what I thought should have happened. Now I'll stop talking and let you read. The different sections are inspired by songs by Lykke Li. You should listen to her music, she's good.

UPDATE: This is being revamped. As much as I didn't want to update this, this is getting a slight makeover. This doesn't have any major changes (you might not even notice that many of them), but here it is.

Youth Knows No Pain

"I Know Places"


"Maybe we should just get out of here," I suggested. "Just leave. Just you and me. We can get away from Sam and everything, even it's just for a little while."

I couldn't believe I just said that, but I would do anything—anything in the entire world—to help Jacob. There was no way I couldn't.

Jacob turned back to me, and I could see some hope—just a tiny fleck of hope—in his eyes. "You would do that?"

"I would do it for you." Without a doubt.

Jacob turned away from me, as if he was considering it but then leaving the thought right away. He normally wasn't this easy to read, but tonight I could somewhat read him.

"It's not just something I can run away from, Bella." The way he said that could have made me think he was crying. His voice quivered, as if he was letting his guard down for the first time since he had... changed.

"But I would," he added, "run away with you. If I could."

I had thought I couldn't feel anymore. I had thought that I had been broken once, and then later by Jacob, and that there was no hope in me. No life, no inspiration, no emotions... nothing. But I felt something now. I felt that there was no way that I could help Jacob. He had denied my one suggestion. I also felt even more willing. There was nothing really going for me in the future, anyway. But I wanted to get away, myself. Jacob, though... He needed it more. The motivation and inspiration hit me like a ton of bricks now.

I was going to say something, anything to help him or hint at what was wrong with him, since he couldn't tell me, but Jacob spoke again. "I gotta go. They'll start wondering where I am. Come here."

Jacob pulled me in for a tight hug. God, he was warm. Jacob was warm and comforting and... incredible. Unbelievably, amazingly incredible. What had I done to make a friend as great as Jake? He was too good for me. Too caring, even as he had ripped me apart earlier that day. I knew we had to be friends again. He was the only thing keeping me together these days. I was being dependent, but I didn't care. I just wanted to melt in his arms.

"Please..." Jake whispered. "Try to remember, honey. It'd be so much easier if you did. Please."

He let go of me. "Okay," I told him.

Then he leaned his head down and tenderly pressed his lips to mine.

I was so surprised. Stunned, almost.

I didn't want to forget this moment, though. I didn't want to forget the soft warmth of his lips on mine. It was a simple kiss, really. Nothing too crazy. Just very careful and thoughtful. His kiss trailed off at the end, leaving me interested and addicted.

Even through the simplest of kisses, I was absolutely sure about one thing that had happened: Jacob had set me on fire.

I curled the fingers of my left hand in Jacob's hair and played along with his kiss. His left hand crept down to my right hand and our fingers laced together at my hip. We'd always held hands like this, but this was different. Completely different. And you know something? I didn't mind.

Jacob was finished before I was, and in that instant, I knew that there was no going back to how we used to be. I was drawn in Jacob's orbit, and going back out of orbit was impossible.

"Bye, Jake," I whispered, our hands still locked together.

"I'll see you tomorrow. Maybe," he told me.

"Maybe," I agreed.

Jacob let go of me completely, and I wanted his warmth back against my body, wrapping me up. He headed for the window.

"Jake, how the hell are you supposed to get out of here?" I asked. He didn't listen. He started climbing out the window. "Jake," I said again.

He was already on his feet at the side of my house the next moment I saw him. He ran off into the night, and I stared at him until he was completely out of sight.

I slid my window shut once he was gone, and slowly sat down on my bed.

I had never meant to love Jacob in the first place, and I had for so long, since we had gone to the movies. I still loved Jacob now. And I knew he loved me. This unrequited love that he had for me wasn't unrequited anymore - I loved him back now, in the same way.

Or did I?

This was confusing. My emotions were driving me nuts. All I knew was that I loved Jacob, Jacob loved me, Jacob had kissed me, and there was something about Jacob that I had to figure out. I could either figure out what was wrong with him, or I could save him.

I wanted to help Jacob. I wanted to help him so bad. Knowing that I probably wouldn't discover his secret that soon, I thought about us going away.

We could do it over spring break, which was in only about a week. We could drive off somewhere, not give a shit for once, and not worry about anything in the world. Maybe it would be easy. Maybe I wouldn't be in this haze that Jacob left me in after we kissed. Maybe no one would even care that we went missing.

Maybe our relationship - whatever the hell it was now - could be saved.

All I knew was, I had to do something - anything - to help him. He had helped me. It was time that I returned the act.


"How about to Phoenix and back?" I asked Bella. I stared at her as she stared at the ocean, and it seemed like she was becoming more and more beautiful every single day. Her face lit up more, she seemed more confident, and all the rest.

"You weren't kidding? About going with me?" Bella turned to face me. I held her hand like I always did. Her hand was stark white in comparison to the driftwood log that had been our special spot since...well, ever.

"Wait, you were kidding?" I asked.

"I didn't think you were taking me seriously." Bella shrugged her shoulders and smiled. She looked sexy.

Damn, I wanted to kiss her again, just like last night. I wanted to kiss her everywhere and tell her she was beautiful - so fucking beautiful that it hurt - and give her my undivided attention forever. I wouldn't mind. Imprinting didn't seem bad, either. I wanted to kick myself for not imprinting on Bella before.

"Well, I was," I said. "When do you wanna leave?"

"Really? You're going to blow off Sam?" Bella asked in a teasing, sexy tone.

"My ass is gonna get kicked, but you only live once, right?"


"What, do you think I'd leave you wherever we are halfway through the trip?"

"No. It's just that you're always with Sam. It's like you're his bitch."

"Did you get any ideas yet? About me, I mean?"

Bella shook her head. "I'm sorry."

Shit. I wanted to tell her. Really, I did, but I was bound so tight. I wanted to say it out loud. All of it. Werewolf. Werewolf. Werewolf. I am a werewolf. A big scary creature that tries to protect humans. No, I don't howl at the moon; I turn into a giant wolf when I'm pissed off and I also happen to rip up vampires.

Things weren't that easy, though, and it killed me inside.

Oh, I was so ready to be rid of La Push, Sam, and the rest of the pack for a while.

"So," I said as Bella rested her head on my shoulder, "Phoenix and back?"

"Why Phoenix, though? I liked it there too much."

"It takes a little over a day to drive there without stopping, but I want to stop in Oregon and California along the way."

"So this isn't a quick point-A-to-B drive?"

"Not unless you want it to be."

"I've never been on a road trip before."

"So it's about time that you go on one."

Bella yawned. "That sounds nice."

"Do you wanna leave a week from today, on Sunday?"

"Yeah. Come to my house at, like, ten at night, okay?"


I stared out at the ocean. Bella and I were silent as I heard the waves crashing against each other. I lived in La Push my entire life, and I was finally acknowledging how great it really was.

Bella rested her hand on my thigh. Her delicate hand was placed right on the upper part of my thigh. Oh, she knew what she was doing, alright. She knew exactly what she was doing to me. I had no doubt that she would end up breaking both myself and my heart one day.

"Hey, Jake?" She asked, her voice as sweet as honey.

"Yeah, Bella?"

"I missed you."


"What are you doing over break, Bella?" Mike Newton asked me at school the next day at lunch. It was obvious that he was trying to come off as smooth - I had seen his attempts to flirt with me plenty of times.

"Oh, nothing, really," I told him. "I'm just visiting my mom. I won't be at work at all next week."

Mike sulked a little. I was starting to feel bad for lying to him again, but I really didn't want to hang out with him over spring break. I would be with Jacob, anyway. I was ready, excited even, to leave with him. Charlie would be pissed, but I didn't care. There was nothing he could do or say to change me. I was starting to feel like a teenager again. A little irresponsible, a little bit of thinking that I had things under control. I liked the sense of normality (and rebellion) I always had with Jacob.

"Sorry, then," Mike said.

"Don't be sorry. I'll just be busy," I told him.

Out of the corner of my eyes, I could see a tiny glimpse of Jessica Stanley rolling her eyes at me. How had I managed to not notice her bitchy little actions for so long? God, she was so annoying.

I quickly finished my lunch and then left the table. I had homework to work on before my next classes.

The rest of the school day passed by quickly. I was home and doing homework before I knew it. I remembered doing homework with Jacob. These memories now seemed like they were from a lifetime ago. Jacob had kissed me, and things seemed to be somewhat normal, but nothing else was okay. I was still worried about him, and it was killing me to not know about him.

I hoped Sunday would get here quickly.

I called Jacob that night and, surprisingly, he wasn't busy following Sam around like a puppy. I was thankful for that. I asked if he didn't mind me visiting him at his house, and he didn't.

Charlie hadn't minded me going out to see Jacob before. But when he heard me pacing downstairs at seven that evening he didn't let me go so easily.

"Bella? Can you come here?" he asked me from the living room.

I walked into the living room and there Charlie was, sitting in his reclining chair with a can of beer in one hand and the television remote in the other. Much to my surprise, he clicked off the TV.

"What is it, Dad?" I asked him.

Charlie straightened up and cleared his throat.

The worst-case scenarios popped into my head. Fuck, I thought. Fuck, fuck, fuck. He knows about my spring break plans. Shit, now I can't drive off with him. I ruined everything. Every-fucking-thing.

"Where are you going?" Charlie asked uneasily.

"Oh, just to Jacob's." My fingers tapped against the side of my leg nervously and they wouldn't stop.

"I thought you weren't friends anymore. Isn't he still hanging out with Sam Uley or whoever?"

"Yeah, but things are sort of different now."

Charlie raised an eyebrow. "Different?"

I nodded. "Yes. Jake and I made up."

"Oh. Okay." He said that like he didn't believe me. Or worse: like we had done a lot more than just making up.

I nodded again, and turned for the door.

"Bella," Charlie called to me. "I'm not done yet."

Trying not to roll my eyes, I walked back to the living room. "Yes?"

"Do you like Jacob?"

Right there, my heart raced and I could feel myself blushing. "...What do you mean?" I asked.

"Do you like Jake as more than a friend?" Charlie was still pretty awkward.

"I don't know, Dad," I said. "Why?"

Charlie cleared his throat. "Well, Billy sometimes tells me things."

"Really? You're figuring all this out through Billy?" This was fucking ridiculous.

"Hey, I'm not done yet. All I'm saying is... I think Jacob likes you a lot, I don't really know - or care, for that matter. Just...be careful, okay? If you and Jake are going down that road yet - and I'd prefer if you didn't - then be safe and - "

"Okay, Dad, I understand," I interrupted. "Jake and I aren't even like that. Don't worry."

"Just be careful."

"I will."

"And if Jake tries - "

"I've got it, Dad. Can I please go now?" I begged. I really did not need to hear this right now.

"Yeah, you can go. Tell Jake I said hi."

"Okay, I will." I quickly walked outside to my truck, feeling a little bit more pissed off and embarrassed than I had a few minutes ago.

Charlie attempting to give me a talk about sex really wasn't that necessary at the moment. In fact, it annoyed the crap out of me. Jake and I had never discussed sex, and we wouldn't have to, I was pretty sure. I wouldn't have a problem with doing the deed with Jacob (not like I'd deeply considered it that much), but... I took the thought out of my head.

Jacob was wearing blue jeans and a plain white t-shirt when he opened the front door later. He looked as beautiful as he always did, just with violet circles under his eyes.

He greeted me with the same kind of warm and protective hug that I loved, like back in the days when things weren't so complicated. Before Sam had gotten to Jake. Every fucking time I thought of Sam I wanted to kick his ass. I wanted to make him give me the old Jacob back. I wanted to become a vampire and scare Sam Uley shitless. Yes, that would be very nice.

But I had this Jacob, and any Jacob - long haired, short haired, awkward, agile, funny, or serious - was enough for me. He was still the same person, more obvious in some ways and less obvious in others.

"Wanna go to the garage?" Jacob offered.

A surge of hope coursed through my veins. I smiled. "Yes."

"Alright, let's go."

Jacob's garage hadn't changed a bit. The Volkswagen Rabbit he had built from scratch was sitting in the back of the garage, as if it was always there and would always be there, like a famous artifact in a museum. Jake's tools were in the same spots as they always were, like he never had the time to do anything, which he probably didn't. Hell, even the two-wheeled death machines that were often called motorcycles were there. I shuddered at the thought of those haunting hallucinations of Edward.

Jake and I sat in the warm, tight, comfortable Rabbit. Everything felt and smelled like Jacob and nothing hurt. Jacob surprised me with warm cans of grape soda, my favorite. He'd remembered. He still knew what I liked.

When I was halfway done with my soda I set it down on the dashboard, and took Jacob's free hand. I stared down at our hands. My small pale hand stuck out against his large brown one. We always held hands. Everything was different this time, though.

"What's on your mind?" Jake asked me.

I looked up at him. He was still looking down at our hands. "The other night," I replied honestly.


"What did that kiss mean?" I asked softly.

Jacob looked at me straight in the eyes. He bit his lip, slightly. "What did you think? I'm curious." The way he said that wasn't teasing or mean - he really did sound curious.


He was silent.

"Even if it was just a spur-of-the-moment thing for you," I went on, "it wasn't for me. I took it seriously."

"Good," Jake said quietly. "It would have sucked if you didn't take it seriously."

"I know. So, what did it mean for you? I'm curious."

"It meant that I'm in love you."


Could you hear that thumping? That loud-as-fuck, crazy, frantic, muffled thumping, going at a hundred miles a minute? It was nothing, really. Nothing too big or crazy. Just my heart.

I had just told Bella Swan that I was in love with her.

Bella inhaled sharply. "Jake..." she moaned. "Don't ruin this."

"I'm not trying to ruin everything. I'm trying to make things better."


"I didn't know what I was doing the first time. I'm better now."

I vaguely remembered when Bella and I had went to the movies and I tried to hold her hand. She didn't like it. She did now, though. And she had even kissed me back two nights ago. There shouldn't have been anything wrong now.

"Bells," I whispered. "Do you really think I would try to ruin what we have?"

"You just told me you're in love with me."

"Yeah, so?"

"That means a lot."

"I know... Wait, do you love me back?"


"Do you love me back?"

She took a deep breath. "I love you, but I'm not sure if I'm in love with you, Jake."

My heart sped faster. Bella loved me. She just wasn't in love with me. Damn.

"Sorry," Bella said.

"You're sorry?"

"I am."

"So now what?"

"Jake...just give me some time, okay?"

"Look, you don't have to prove yourself. You like me more than your other friends, and that's more than enough for me."

"You're making me feel bad for not loving you the same way back, though," she murmured.

"I'm not trying to," I admitted.

"I'm sorry," she said again.

"It's okay."

Bella straightened up and kissed me. It wasn't apologetic; it was like she wanted to. It also wasn't simple; it was intense and passionate. This girl would break me in the future, I swear.

When she broke away from me, I smiled. "That doesn't help things very much."

"I know."

"I still love you."

"I know that, too."

So, Bella loved me. Just not enough. She wanted time, then hell, I would give her time. I wanted her to love me the same way back really, really badly. I would do anything for her, and that included waiting as long as I had to. I'd tried rushing Bella into it before, and that didn't work. I wasn't going there again.

I knew she was most likely in love with me- the kissing, the flirting, everything - and it was obvious, but I just wished that it wouldn't take her so long to admit it to me and to herself. I guessed some things couldn't be changed.

"So, are you ready for Sunday?" Bella asked, changing the subject.

"Yeah, I am. I have a couple hundred bucks, too, saved up from working at the store for a while."

"That's great. I've got some money, too."

I nodded.

This conversation was going nowhere.

To be completely honest, I could only think of kissing Bella. I wanted to kiss her again and again.

There were also a million things that I wanted to ask her.

Don't you know how much this hurts me, Bella? Don't you see how right we are for each other? Can't you see that I'm perfect for you, as you are perfect for me? Can't you see that my heart beats for you? Is being myself not good enough? Is it, Bella? I can change, I promise, but would you really love me if I was some different guy? If I suddenly turned into your bloodsucker? Is that fair? Also, Is it fair to keep me at arm's length like this? Holding me by a thread? Or are you doing this because you don't know about me yet? You're killing me, but I need you. I need you, Bella. I need you to understand. I need you to understand everything: me, how I feel about you, how great we are together...everything. Please. Let yourself open up.

It wasn't like me to hold back. I'd always told Bella what I thought about us. I'd never been afraid of her reactions, because I knew that she could take it and that I would never hurt her.

I was silent now.

Bella Swan had trumped me for the first time.

Damn, she was definitely going to break me sometime.


Sunday didn't come quickly, but it still came. Everything was ready. I had enough clothes packed for the next week, and Charlie hadn't noticed all day that was keyed up. I was surprised. Maybe I was a better actress than I thought.

I waited at my window impatiently for ten o'clock that night. Jacob was right on time. When I went downstairs, I left a note for Charlie, though:


It's spring break and, because I'm a legal adult now, I'm going to do what I want for once. I'll be back in a week. Jacob's going, too, so don't freak out when Billy tells you that Jake's gone. Also, don't come after me. That wouldn't make things any better. I'll be fine and Jacob will be fine. Please, just trust me. Be mad at me all you want when I come back, but don't be mad at Jake. We need this. I love you.


When I went outside with my luggage, Jake was standing right there at the front door. It was so dark that I could barely see him, but I still hugged him.

"Ready to go?" he asked me.

"More than ready," I said with a smile.


"I was thinking we could stop in Seattle," I suggested. "Have you ever really been there?"

"Maybe once," Bella said. "Not much, though."

I chuckled.

"Hey, I just don't get out much," she said, laughing with me.

"I can tell."

Hours had passed. It was past midnight, I was pretty sure. And I was finally with Bella, on this crazy trip. I was thankful that she had thought of this. I would never forget this. I would never want to forget this.

Bella knew just about every song that played on the radio. The good ones, the bad ones, and everything in between. She didn't seem like one to like mainstream music, but there seemed to be a lot left to know about her.

Bella's singing voice was beautiful. It was soft, raw, and not too much but not the bare minimum, either. She loved to sway when she heard a song she loved. When there happened to be a song that she didn't know, she had this concentrating face on...it was interesting. She bit her lip and furrowed her eyebrows when she concentrated enough, and she looked even more beautiful. When I caught her singing and dancing a little bit, she blushed. Sometimes she smiled when she blushed.

We had seen so much - the Space Needle, the Monorail, the Safeco Field, and more - by the time we stopped at a hotel in downtown Seattle.

Once we were checked in and standing in the modern, lit-up room, I laughed a little bit.

"What?" Bella asked.

"Our parents are going to murder us."

"You think I'm unaware of that? Let's just not talk about them right now."


We were silent for a few long seconds.

Bella sat on one of the full-sized beds and put her face to her hands. "Damn," she mumbled.

I sat down next to her and wrapped an arm around her. "What's wrong?"

Bella looked up at me, smiling. "I feel like my mother."

I smiled back. "What, did your mother drive off with her boy - I mean, best friend?"

"Sort of, yes." Bella didn't seem to catch me almost calling myself her boyfriend. I liked to believe that Bella and I were dating, but what were we really? She had told me she loved me. Wasn't that enough?

"Well, you only live once," I told Bella.

"I know."

She yawned quietly, but enough for me to notice. "I'm tired," she said.

"So am I," I agreed.

She stood up, took some clothes out of her bag, and walked to the bathroom. When she was gone, I stripped from my shirt and threw it on the floor. It was too hot to sleep with it on.

I climbed in one of the beds and stared up at the ceiling. How many times had I thought about this? Being alone with Bella in the dark? I wasn't thinking sex, though. Not yet. Maybe the essence of everything was what had me pleased. Sex or not, I still didn't mind anything at all.


I got cold in the night. Like, really cold. In my thin camisole and sweatpants, at about four in the morning, I climbed into Jacob's bed and snuggled up to his warm body. His heartbeat fluttered like a hummingbird's.

"I love you, Jake," I whispered before quickly falling asleep.

I woke up the next morning lying on Jacob's torso. I knew I hadn't fallen asleep there, but I really didn't mind. It was light outside - we must have slept in pretty late. Jacob must have felt me stirring. His eyes opened slowly, and he looked up at me.

I smiled. "Good morning."

"Hey." He smiled back. It wasn't the grin that I had come to know and love, but I still liked it a lot. "How'd you sleep?"

"Perfectly," I said. I propped myself up and sat on Jake's stomach. "And you?"


As I stared at Jacob, I vaguely thought back on when I had fallen off the motorcycle and called Jacob beautiful. I obviously hadn't hit my head that hard. Jake was so beautiful. The way the light reflected in his eyes brought out the golden flecks in his dark brown irises. His russet brown skin was warm and beautiful...and perfect, too. When I looked at Jacob, I could see that there was something about him. I had known from the start that he was special, but there was something about him now that seemed to be breaking him from the inside out. It was a little hard to believe that he was younger than me. His eyes held more stories and concealed more secrets than I could ever imagine.

And here I was, ruining things again. We had taken off to get away from the crap going on with him, and now I was thinking about all that crap again. But what was done was done.

It felt nice to let go of things...sort of.

An hour later, Jake and I were eating breakfast at a pancake house. I probably hadn't noticed this before, but Jacob ate a lot. It was crazy. He didn't look like he was getting sick, though. He remained natural and composed.

After breakfast, we started driving again. I drove the Rabbit this time. Our next stop was Portland.

"Have you ever been to Portland?" I asked Jacob as we drove down the freeway in the carpool lane. All of the other lanes were packed.

"Yeah, I've been once," Jake said. "Have you?"

I shook my head. "No. I used to travel a lot, but we never came up here. I guess my mom doesn't like the north."

"Not surprising. The weather sucks."

I snickered. "You know, Jake," I began, "it's really easy to be with you. I know that's random, but still. I'm really glad you came here with me."

"You would have gone alone?"

I had to think about that for a while. "No," I finally said. "I wouldn't have gone alone. I'd be cooped up in my bedroom thinking about what I'd do to help you out."

"Damn, I really wish I could tell you about me, Bells."

"I know. You mind if I guess?"

"You'd get scared."

"I've seen a lot of things, Jake; not that much scares me anymore. What, are you a vampire?"


"A zombie, then?"


"If you're a leprechaun I'll piss myself laughing."

Jake laughed. "No, not that."

"Hmm...let me think...werewolf?"

Jacob paused for a while. "Yeah, sorta."

"Holy shit."

I didn't expect to freak out as much as I did. I'd seen vampires before. I'd been nearly killed by one. Was my best friend telling me that he was a werewolf much different? If anything, it was safer. Jacob had hugged me and even kissed me before, and he still felt perfectly human to me.

"So you're really a werewolf? That's what you are?" I asked, still focused on the road.


"Don't you need a full moon to turn into one or something?"

"Hollywood doesn't get it right. I just phase."


"On and off, when I get angry, most of the time."

"...So you've killed people?"



"No, I'm not killing anyone. No one in the pack is."

"Then what do you guys do?"

"We just protect the tribe."

"From what?"


I froze. "Well, none are around, anyway."

"You don't know that."

"And you do?"

"Well, yeah, Bella."

I sighed.

"Look, I'm sorry for freaking you out," he told me. "I'm sorry, but I can't help it. I was born this way."

"So, that's all?" I asked, feeling uneasy.


We were silent for a while. And here I thought that this was going to be a tiny issue. Just a little one that wouldn't hurt anything. But my best friend was a werewolf.

Not as bad, I told myself. There could be worse. I've dated a vampire; my best friend being a werewolf can't hurt. It's not as bad.

I must have been better at lying to myself than I thought.


Fuck, I've ruined everything now, I thought as I went to bed that night. Bella and I were in Grants Pass, Oregon and we were heading to San Francisco, California the next day. She didn't really act the same since I told her that I was a werewolf, but I felt much better. She couldn't have been that freaked out, though; she used to hang out with the disgusting bloodsuckers all the time.

Bella was already asleep in our new hotel room when I thought more about this, about me finally telling her that I was a werewolf.

I could only hope for things to be patched up soon.

Bella looked absolutely beautiful in her purple bikini as she sat next to me on a beach in San Francisco. She didn't look slutty at all; she looked really cute.

I didn't regret driving off with Bella. I didn't regret anything at all. I was fine with giving myself completely. There was nothing to focus on anymore except for Bella. It was us against the world. I didn't mind.

Youth knows no pain, she had told me on the way to this San Francisco beach. I was starting to believe her.

I wanted to do it all, do everything even though I couldn't believe it. What was there to believe now? It was like I was living a fantasy. A very great one, at that.

My life was sweet like cinnamon now, and nothing else mattered except for me and Bella. I knew that wouldn't last forever, but I was making it all last as long as it could.

I lay on the towel on the soft sand and relaxed. My insides of my eyelids glowed a bright red when I closed my eyes.

I opened them again after a couple of minutes, and Bella was staring out at the ocean, looking as gorgeous as ever. Just like back in La Push. Like always.

"Is it easier?" I asked her.

She turned to me and looked at me right in the eyes. Her deep chocolate brown eyes were easy to get lost in. I didn't want to find my way back out. "Is what easier?"

"You knowing about me."

Bella had her special concentrating face back on. She bit her bottom lip a little bit. "I guess it is," she admitted. "I like finally knowing what's been going on with you. It's nice."



We were silent for a while. "Sorry, Bella," I said, "but I really do love you."

Bella nodded. "I know. And I love you, too."

"Yeah, but it's not enough."

"You don't know that yet." She grinned.

I grinned back. "I think I do now." I kissed her on the mouth, slow and sweet. She tasted so damn good. She kissed me back, her tongue moving around slowly in my mouth, exploring me. Her hand moved down to the crotch of my swim trunks, and it stayed there. I groaned a little bit. Bella laughed softly.

I was falling even more in love with her.


Jacob was rocking my world.

How could I have lied to myself for so long? I was Jacob's already. And I had made him mine. I had kept him in the friend zone for so damn long. It wasn't fair. Not to him, or even to me.

Jake and I were getting pretty far when I stopped. We weren't exactly the only people on the beach.

"I want you," I whispered. In my bed. Tonight. Right when you can. As soon as possible. Now.

"I want you, too," he whispered back.

"Let's not leave yet," I suggested.


I twirled my finger around in the soft sand, making circle after circle. "Wanna go swimming?" I asked Jacob.

"Yeah." He stood up almost instantly. "I could always carry you to the water, you know."

I smiled and climbed on to his back.

"Ready?" he asked me, just about ready to dash along the sand and hurl us into the water.


Jacob ran quickly - so quickly that I could feel the wind in my face - down the beach, and he was barely slowed down when we were in the water. He ran us into the water until it was up to his stomach. He let go of me.

"Wow," I breathed.


"Just wow."

It wasn't really that surprising to me that later that night Jacob and I were in bed nearly naked, kissing. We whispered that we loved each other over and over as we rolled around on the bed. I wanted this. I wanted him, his beauty, his soul, and everything else. I wanted him so bad. So bad that it hurt. I just couldn't get enough of him.

Jacob gave me that look. It was that special, serious, between-you-and-me look. "Are you sure?" he whispered.

I nodded. "Yes." Then he kissed me again.

"Wait," I said. He moved his mouth down to my throat. "You have something, right?" I asked.

"Of course."

"Okay, good."

After a bit of preparation, Jacob whispering, "I love you," and one final, confirming kiss, Jacob and I were together in an entirely new way.

Jake and I had made it to Phoenix, with plenty of stops in between. We saw the Grand Canyon, the Golden Gate Bridge, everything. We made love five more times, and every single time was amazing.

I was in love with Jacob. Almost too in love.

There was something about love - and the making of it - that had changed me. I had never felt so in love, or so loved altogether. I was more than just myself. I was Bella. I was Jacob. I was everything we had been, we were, and what we would be. Jake understood me more than I understood myself. He knew me inside and out, and I knew him the same way.

I had thought it was impossible to be so filled with love, but my heart had grown. My heart and my emotions had grown so much. And I knew Jacob had changed, too. This time, for the better.

Jacob and I were stronger together than we were apart. The rest of our spring break had proved this. Jacob and I were not to be broken apart. He was everything to me.

We had taken our time driving back, and we were back in Forks on Saturday night. It was late, and it was raining hard. He stopped the Rabbit in Charlie's driveway. He got out and opened the door for me.

Not caring at all whatsoever, I stood in the rain with Jacob. I leaned against the Rabbit as Jake wrapped his arms around me in a tight, warm hug.

"I'm glad I left with you, Bella," he murmured into my ear.

"I'm glad I suggested it," I said.

Soon enough, I was kissing Jacob. Hot kisses in the pouring rain... It was like a fairy tale. Or the end to a movie. Jacob's hot body pressed to mine in the cold rain was the best, most raw sensation, besides making love. This wasn't Jacob and Bella. This was us.


He could love me as long as he wanted to. I would never let him stop. He had to love me.

The fact that I had been lying to myself for so long was ridiculous. I couldn't deny Jacob.

I let go after a while, and looked at Jacob right in the eyes. He had this look on his face...this completely not regretful look that I loved. It was one of the most serious faces I've seen on him, but it was still vulnerable. "I should go," I whispered.

He nodded in agreement, and kissed me one last time. He walked me to the front door, holding my bags for me, and set them down on the doorstep. As I got my house key out from my pocket, I smiled and asked Jacob, "So, I'll meet you tomorrow morning?"

"Sure. I've got the sodas," he said.

"Let's continue to be responsible. I enjoyed it a lot."

"I can do responsibility."

"Twice a week."