Another chapter, just for you my adoring fans. Thank you for being so supportive and be content with the knowledge that what you've all been waiting for is coming up very very soon! Read and review, let me know what you thought and feel free to get good and pissy about the cliffhanger I just left you with. XD

Most of all: enjoy!


Bella's POV:

I knew exactly when Jake had left that night, because my bed was no longer extra warm and I had woken up because my chest had almost immediately started to ache. I stood on unsteady legs and walked over to the window so that I could watch his shadow disappear into the woods beyond our house. All I could think was that I couldn't wait to see him again.

So much had changed…

I thought of Edward and then immediately pushed him to the back of my mind. I would not think of another guy less than a minute after Jacob had left…after he had taken my virginity. I was finally moving on…finally forgetting Edward…

I moved back to the bed and winced as I bent to lie down; my whole body was sore but the sensitive area between my thighs ached particularly bad. Jacob had made me take a Tylenol before we went to sleep but it had either already worn off or failed to kick in completely.

After another couple of hours struggling to sleep I gave up and got dressed. The sun was up, so technically it was morning. I glanced at myself in the mirror only to nearly fall over in surprise. The bite mark on my neck was painfully obvious…but more surprising was the fact that there were four larger holes, marking upper and lower canines, and then several smaller holes bracketing the canines from his other teeth; all of it making almost a neat circle on my neck. I had never seen Jake's teeth shift without the rest of him shifting before…

I glanced at the window and was grateful to see a light but constant rain. With the weather and my bruises in mind, I slipped into a pair of jeans and a soft maroon turtle neck; I could put my hair up into a messy bun since the sweater covered up the mark on my neck. The converses were the last to go on and truthfully may have taken some of the femininity away from the sweater but I didn't mind…and I doubted Jake would either.

Thinking about seeing him was enough to have a small smile tugging at the corner of my lips so I hurriedly picked up Angel, and a towel, and took her outside to distract myself. She did her business dutifully and proceeded to roam around the yard sniffing. I was glad that she was almost completely potty trained now; cleaning up her messes had been a bit more than I had bargained for.

By the time she was done investigating her yard and returned to where I was waiting on the covered porch, her gray fur was soaked pretty much all the way through. I unfolded the towel just in time to catch her as she ran up to jump into my arms. She glared at me as I rubbed her dry and carried her inside, as if she were miffed that I had foiled her attempt to soak my clothes.

"Morning Bella," Charlie said as he came down the stairs.

I couldn't help but blush guiltily, "Morning Charlie. How did your case in Port Angeles go?"

"Oh, we are back to Charlie now? Fine." He walked over to the coffee pot with a smile, "It went ok. I'm just glad we got everything wrapped up. Mark said a couple of girls saw some wolves in La Push yesterday evening so it looks like I'm going to have to deal with that today."

I swallowed nervously, "Well…you can't really do anything in La Push can you? Since it's the reservation?"

"Not legally, but I can go talk to Billy and let him know," he said as he sipped on the cup he had just poured.

"I'm sure he already knows…" I said without looking at him.

"Maybe," Charlie shrugged, "but I was going to spend the day with him anyway, so why not mention it?" He looked up at me, "You want to go with me?"

I couldn't really say 'no, because you won't let me sleep there' so I was forced to smile and nod, "Sure, let me eat a bowl of cereal real quick."

"No rush, I'm going to go run some errands. Go to the post office and pick up that part I ordered for my squad car, go by the station and talk to the girls, and then wing back by pick you up on the way to Billy's. Should only take a couple of hours." He downed the rest of his coffee, and I know he had at least a half a cup left, and then gave me quick hug before heading out the door.

When we pulled up at the Black residence it was still raining. Angel immediately tried to hop out of the car into the mud but I refused and carried her inside.

"Good to see you made it back safe," Billy offered with his usual grin.

Charlie smiled, "Yeah, the case wasn't that exciting they just needed some extra hands in case it went bad."

Billy nodded, "Well I wish you had been here. Could have used your calm supportive attitude, although Bella did pretty well."

For a moment I was confused about what exactly Billy was talking about, and then I felt horrible. I had completely forgotten about Harry Clearwater.

"What? Why?" my dad scooted to the edge of the couch.

"Harry Clearwater had a heart attack and died two nights ago," Billy sighed. "Sue and the kids have been hanging around here on and off. The girl left town for a while and the boy just isn't the same smiling kid he used to be."

"Shit Billy," Charlie stood so that he could pace back and forth across the living room, "that's horrible. Were they with him when he died? When is the funeral?"

"They were all with him…so I'm sure he was comforted by that." Billy said softly. "The funeral will be held on Tuesday, can you and Bella make it?"

"I'll stay home from school that day," I said instantly. "I'm sure Jake and the guys will want food and…" I trailed off when I realized Charlie was staring at me. "I mean…if it's ok with you Charlie."

He just stared at me for a moment before nodding, "It's fine. It's for a good cause. We will all miss Harry…"

The room fell into silence before Billy finally broke it.

"Is that the part for your car that you needed Jacob to fix?" he gestured at the box that Charlie had sat down beside the door.

"What? Oh. Yes, but don't worry about it." Charlie said softly, "It hardly takes precedence over all the other stuff that is going on."

Billy shook his head, "Harry is dead; we have to go on living. Jacob will fix it for you…he'll need something to distract him." Billy's eyes subtly went to me and I got the vague sensation that he was referring to a distraction from me instead of from his grief over Harry's death.

Billy's eyes went down to my neck meaningfully and then met mine again.

I touched my sweater and realized it had slid down enough on one side to reveal the top of Jacob's bite mark, which was bruising a lovely shade of purple to go with the holes his teeth had made. Which reminded me…I still needed to talk to Jake about what had happened. I sucked in a breath and quickly covered my neck back up; there was no doubt that Billy had seen it.

"I suppose. Where is Jake?" Charlie asked while sitting tiredly back down on the couch, his eyes downcast.

"Out taking a jog in the woods," Billy answered cooly.

"In this weather?" Charlie blinked in surprise.

Billy shrugged, "He wishes to stay in shape…and it rains enough here that none of us would get anything done if we changed our plans every time the weather didn't cooperate."

Jacob chose that moment to come in the door, breathing a tad heavily with his soaking wet jean shorts hanging dangerously low on his hips. His eyes found mine and he shut the door behind him before starting to walk towards me. My stupid heart was instantly pounding with pleasure. My stomach, and something lower, tightened at the look in his eyes and I bit my lip as he approached.

"Charlie has finally come home," Billy said, louder than necessary, "and I believe he is ready for you to fix his car."

Jacob blinked as if only now realizing that other people were in the room.

I glanced at my dad and saw him looking back and forth between Jake and I in confusion.

"I can do it now, if you want to pull it into the garage?" Jake said with a smile as turned from me to face Charlie, then took Charlie's hand and shook it warmly.

"Uh…sure…" Charlie said and went over to the door. I could see that he was not pleased with the idea of leaving Jake and I together.

"I just need to go change into some dry clothes and I'll be out there in a second," Jacob said and turned to start walking away to his room.

Appeased, Charlie nodded and slipped outside.

Jake instantly turned back around, caught my hand, and tugged me with him to his bedroom.

"Jake…" I whispered as he shut the door behind us, "we don't have the time."

"Like we didn't have the time last night?" he said cheekily and slipped into some dry shorts and a tshirt before coming back over to me. "I can still smell my scent all over you…it just makes me want to do it all over again."

I blushed, "You should go to the garage."

His lips found mine and I melted against him; there was no fighting this man when his lips were on me. I traced my tongue over the seam of his parted lips just as he pulled away.

"You should come to the garage after your dad is back in here with Billy," he suggested and reluctantly let go of me so that he could open the door back up. "Think hard about it Swan, we both know you want to." His smirk as he left the room was both mischievous and adorable, damn him.

I took a minute to even my breathing back out before going into the living room where Billy was still sitting alone.

"Be very careful Bella," Billy said softly, "your father will demand Jacob's head on a stick if he finds out what is going on."

I blushed but before I could answer my dad was coming back in the door, shaking the rain off of his jacket. "Jake said it shouldn't take more than a couple hours before he has her really purring like a kitten," Charlie sounded pleased. Both of the older men looked at me like I was crazy when I choked and started coughing in response to what Jacob had said.

"I'm going to go get a glass of water…you two want anything?" I asked pleasantly after clearing my throat.

"Beer," they answered in unison and then shared a grin.

I went and got them their beers before succumbing to Jacob's suggestion, "I'm going to go see if Jake wants anything and maybe…hang out with him. Text if you need me Dad." I was out of the room before he could object.

Then I was outside in the slow rain, jogging over to the garage where I found Jacob standing in front of the police cruiser.

He smiled brightly at me, "You should probably shut the door."

"I can't stay long," I warned even as I did as I was told. All I could think about was what he had done the last time I had thought we were out of time…how hard he had pounded into me when my dad was only seconds away from walking in the door…

"Ok," he said softly as I walked back over to him and he wrapped me in his arms, "what would you like me to do then, Bells? Because I can hear how fast your heart is beating…and I can smell how excited you are…"

"No touching below the waist," I said and wrapped my arms around his neck. "And our clothes stay on."

He pouted. I kind of wanted to pout with him.

"Pouting is useless…I know what you do when you have me at your mercy and this is neither the place nor the time for it," I smiled.

Jacob laughed, "Fair enough." His lips were gentle when they landed on my forehead, "I missed you, Bells. How's your neck looking?"

"Like I got mauled by a wild dog," I smiled at his wounded face and then tugged down the neck of my sweater so he could see it for himself. "It's not that bad."

Jake stopped moving and stared, "Bells…it looks a little…black. That's not normal is it?" When he reached over to touch it with concern written all over his face I waved his hand away.

"It's just bruising," I said, assuming he meant the dark purple that had been developing when I had checked it out this morning. I let go of the sweater and it slid back up over my neck, "So how long is it really going to take you to make her purr like a kitten?"

He grinned at the sudden change of subject, "Oh I could probably get her in under five minutes if she'd just relax and let me work."

"That's just plain naughty man," Quil said as he walked into the garage with Seth in tow. Both of them instantly froze and turned to look at me, nostrils flaring.

"Ohhhh! Jake rubbed Embry's scent way the fuck off you!" Quil crowed.

"Maybe more than once," Seth said helpfully, not even bothering to try and hide the fact that he was still sniffing at the air.

Quil patted him on the back with a wink, "Definitely more than once, little man."

Jacob growled but propped his ass up against the hood of my dad's car so that he could give them the attention they apparently needed. I was turned in his arms so that I could face them too but wasn't released. It just goes to show you how comfortable I had gotten around Jake that I didn't even bother to squirm when he slowly moved his groin from side to side against my ass; as if making sure that I knew that the fact that he was still hard was all my fault.

I smiled and blushed, "Maybe more than once."

"Ohhhh! Bella you better watch out or you'll be turning into one of us soon!" Quil giggled.

Jared came in the open garage door then. He also felt the need to stop and stare at me as well.

"I think we have established that Bella and I had a good night," Jake said with a hint of authority. "What's the news with Leah?"

"She is about thirty minutes away, we need to leave now if we want to meet her at the border," Jared reported.

"Why meet her at the border?" I asked, genuinely curious.

"She has three leeches on her tail. She picked them up in South Dakota and they have been chasing her ever since," Jacob supplied.

I jumped out of Jake's arms, "She's been running this whole time?"

"It's only been like a day of solid running, but yeah, I'm sure she is getting sick of the bastards chasing her," Quil growled.

"So let's go give them a welcoming party." Jacob said casually. "Everyone stays downwind and hidden until the last leech is on our land. Then Paul and Jared will take one, Quil and Embry will take another, and Seth, Leah, and I will get the third. Go phase, I'll be out in a second."

Everyone nodded their understanding and left the garage.

"I'll be back by nightfall, Bells. I'm sorry I didn't get to show you the thing I mentioned last night," Jacob whispered before giving me a frustratingly gentle kiss on the mouth. "Tell your dad that it's going to take me a little longer than I thought and try to keep him from coming out here, ok?"

"No." I answered abruptly.

Jake, who had already taken off his shirt and was turning to leave, paused, "No?"

"No," I said again.

"Why?" he frowned.

I swallowed back my worry and glared at him, "Because that little soft peck is not the kind of kiss you give someone before you leave to fight vampires! You could be seriously hurt Jacob. You could die."

He smiled softly at me then, "Forgive me, I'll do better from now on." Instantly his lips were on mine, devouring my mouth like a man starved. His lips and tongue were everywhere at once but he managed to never make it feel sloppy…only a toe curling kind of hungry.

When Jacob pulled away and started jogging for the door I had to straighten up; I hadn't even realized my back had been bowing backwards until he was already gone.

"Stay safe Jacob Black!" I called out into the rain, knowing that he would hear me even though my breathing was ragged and I couldn't even see him anymore.

My reply was one long howl and then no noise but the soft roaring sound that the rain made as drop after drop hit the ground.

For several seconds I watched the tree line for any sign of the pack but saw nothing.

Jake's POV:

It felt good to have everyone shifted and running towards a common goal. Even though Sam wasn't there we felt oddly united; Leah's slowly waning energy, Quil and Paul's eagerness for a fight, Seth's excited nervousness…only Jared and I were quiet and determined.

We're in position at the border, I said to Leah. Lead them straight West like you're going to my house. You should bring them right into the center of us.

Almost there… Even her thoughts seemed a little breathy but I couldn't blame her. She had been running hard for a solid nine hours with no chance to take a breather or get a drink.

I'm fine she growled.

We know. Bring them to us. I quieted my thoughts so that she wouldn't get distracted with the unnecessary need to defend herself to us.

The smell of leeches hit us before the sound did but only by a few seconds. Leah's heavy steps were loud compared to the faint whooshing noise the three leeches made as they blazed through the underbrush.

One is in the trees, Quil growled.

We were catching glimpses of them now up ahead of us. A flash of Leah's fur then occasionally a streak of white skin standing out stark in the green woods.

Quil and Embry, take the female on the ground. Jared and Paul, you guys get the male on the ground. Seth and Leah, we will get the bastard up in the tree. I said it like we had all the time in the world but less than a second later all of the vampires had crossed onto our land.

Paul was the first out of hiding, jumping onto the side of his target and sending the leech rolling across the ground. The other vamp on the ground stopped and turned to help her comrade but before she could make a move Embry's hulking form was on her back, sending her face first into the dirt. He latched onto her head at the same time that Quil caught one of her legs in his jaws and they both wrenched the appendages free in unison.

The male vamp was doing a good job of dodging between Paul and Jared now that he was over his initial surprise but he would only be able to avoid them for so long.

Head backwards towards the border, I ordered Seth and Leah at the same time as I took a running leap and smashed hard into the trunk of the tree with all the force that I could generate, the same tree that our unlucky target had paused in to take in the scene below. With a loud crack that split through the air the tree was shattering at the trunk and starting its groaning descent to the ground.

Just before the impact the female in the tree jumped straight up to free herself from the mess of the limbs, her short blonde hair fluttering around her face. I ran at her, snarling loud enough to keep her attention so that Seth could lunge silently at her from below.

He caught her delicate human-like foot barely before she was out of reach. With a scream of frustration she turned to attack him while they were both still falling back to the ground. Leah saw the leech rake her clawed fingers down Seth's face and instantly she was jumping up to meet them.

I glanced back. Quil and Embry had destroyed their mark; Embry had shifted and was making a pile of the limbs and other disassembled body parts while Quil had jumped in to distract Paul and Jared's target long enough for them to start dismembering that unlucky bastard too.

I walked slowly forward, watching Leah ferociously attack the vamp who now held a hint of fear in her blood red eyes. Both of her comrades had fallen and now she was trying harder to get away than she was to fight. Paul and Jared: circle around us and get between this ice bitch and the border…just in case she gets airborne again.

Luckily the vamp mainly was just trying to flee because Seth and Leah were both learning the hard way that fighting a vamp wasn't exactly easy, per se. Surprise was our best weapon.

Seth…if Leah has the leech distracted, you need to be getting behind that bitch and attacking her. Get her head if she is that oblivious; take her arm if she turns and sees you midjump. Anything you do will help, Leah you can use Seth as the distraction if the leech turns at all to intercept him. I had actually sat down to watch them at this point. Embry joined me while Quil finished adding chunks of the last vampire to the pile Embry had made.

Seth doesn't need to fight! Why is no one else helping? Leah snarled furiously, pissed that her brother's life was at risk

All of our lives are at risk when we fight; no one is helping because I told them not to interfere. I growled back at her. Wouldn't you rather Seth learn this shit now rather than in a fight when we are outnumbered or separated and he is forced to fight a leech all on his own?

You're such an asshole Jacob Black! She screamed it through everyone's mind just as she grabbed the leech's right arm in her jaws and took it for a souvenir.

Seth…you do the rest. I ordered. Leah, get out of the fight and sit down until I tell you otherwise, I hated to use the alpha command on her but I knew there was no way she would leave Seth on his own otherwise.

No! Jacob! No! She fought it and screamed at me even as she walked a good twenty five feet away from the action and sat down on her haunches. If he gets hurt, I'll kill you Jacob!

Be silent. You are distracting him more than you are helping him now, I didn't hesitate to order her to shut up. Seth had actually started to back away and the leech had seen his indecision, as well as realized that no other wolves seemed to be running to his rescue. He was more prey than predator now; he turned to run towards his sister.

Seth. Turn your ass around right now and finish that leech anyway you have to. I snarled the command and Seth was helpless but to turn and confront the leech.

All of us watched as Seth struggled for another minute or so before he finally got his enormous jaws wrapped around the leech'd head and sent it flying in Quil's direction. Quil had to duck or risk getting a concussion from the flying hunk of ice.

You did great, I congratulated Seth and we all came forward tails wagging and tongues lolling. I realized that I had to release Leah from my command before she could join us and I winced. Perhaps I had been a tad harsh…but she had honestly nearly made Seth about as useful dick on a gelded male.

Leah, why don't you come join us? See for yourself that Seth is ok…if not a little manlier for having won such a battle. I forced the tone to come out light and amused.

Instantly Leah was on her feet and in the middle of the group, looking Seth over for wounds and shooting glares at me occasionally.

You know, you aren't just an asshole Jacob Black. You're a lazy asshole. I can't believe I came back to this place. She thought at me bitterly.

I sighed, Call me what you want. You no longer have leeches chasing you, you have a pack of friends to support you, and your little brother is happier now than he has been in days.

Fuck off! She snarled.

The wolf inside me suddenly snapped and I was on top of Leah, her throat in my jaws. Seth instantly started whining low under his breath.

Yeah Leah. I'm the bad guy. The bad guy who has taken care of your mother and brother ever since YOU LEFT THEM IN MOURNING and the bad guy who didn't harass you a damn bit for it. I'm done being understanding; fall in line or get the fuck off my territory.

Everyone had gone very still and I realized that no alpha had ever forced a fellow wolf to leave the reservation before. I sighed; I'd figure something out if Leah couldn't handle following orders, but I wasn't going to open the window for my authority to be questioned by being wishy washy now.

I let go of her throat and stepped away; the metallic taste of her blood on my teeth surprising me because I hadn't even realized how hard I was biting her.

Let's go home everyone. Jared, find Sam soon since he is on watch with you. Seth: you're welcome to stay at my place or at home with your sister. I looked over my shoulder at where Leah was slowly getting back on her feet. Leah…come find me when you know what the fuck you want.

With that I heaved a sigh that instantly formed a cloud of fog in the cold rain and looked up at the stars shining in the purple sky; I had lied to my Bells, the sun had just finished setting.

Bella's POV:

I was so antsy that I couldn't do anything. Not homework, not watch TV, not nap in Jacob's bed…nothing. Especially not since I had felt that heavy hit to my shoulder, as if someone had taken a truck and driven it right into my side. I still had no idea why the pain had hit me but something told me that everything would feel better if Jake were here.

He had told me he would be back by nightfall…and the night had fallen.

"Damn, Jake must be losing his touch," my dad said as he sipped on the cup of coffee I had just made him. It wouldn't do for the chief of police to be driving even slightly inebriated, after all. "It never takes him this long."

I fought not to growl at him over the comment but was saved when Jake silently walked in the back door. He was soaking wet and had a huge bruise on his shoulder that was probably horrifying black when he had first gotten it, but now was just a light shade of purple since it had already had some time to heal.

I glanced over my shoulder; no one had heard him come in…and they wouldn't be able to see him unless they came into the kitchen. Satisfied, I rushed into his arms.

"You're late!" I whispered softly. "I was worried…"

He smoothed my hair down; petting me repeatedly. "Sorry Bells, the lesson took longer than I thought." Slowly he moved us so that he could lift me up on the counter and move to stand between my legs.

I resisted the urge to press my lips against his for further reassurance. "How is everyone? Did Leah make it back ok?" I asked quickly now that I knew he was ok. His head had come to rest heavily upon my chest and I couldn't stop my hands from moving up to cradle him against me.

"No one was hurt badly; couple scratches here and there." He sighed, "Leah is…a handful. I don't know what the hell I'm going to do with her…but right now I just want to forget all about it, take you back in my bedroom…get us out of these wet clothes and-"

"And what?" my father asked in a frigid tone from the doorway to the living room. Billy wheeled up next to him and blinked wide eyes at us when he saw me sitting on the counter with Jake standing between my legs and his hands on my hip and back.

Jake cleared his throat and took a step away from me but he didn't completely bow out because he held a steady hand out to me so that I could hold it for balance when I slid off the counter.

"Nothing, Charlie," Jacob answered calmly.

"It's Chief Swan to anyone who touches my daughter like that. Now go ahead and finish what you were saying; I don't want to interrupt." He had folded his arms across his chest and was now glaring daggers at Jake.

"Dad…" I started only to blink in surprise when Charlie held a hand up, efficiently shutting me up.

"Finish your sentence Jacob, what do you want to do after you get her in your room and out of those wet clothes?" I don't think I'd ever seen Charlie so mad before, or been so grateful that he wasn't carrying his gun on him.

I glanced at Jake and saw his dark eyes narrowing. Oh no…this was worse than anything Mike Newton could do.

"Your daughter is 18, I'm not sure I really have to give you the details of what it is I want to do with her behind closed doors," Jake's voice had gone almost as low and cold as Charlie's.

"The hell you don't Jacob Black!" Charlie's face was turning red. "Bella! Go to the car and wait for me!"

I saw Jacob bristle and I put a hand against his arm. The heat radiating off of him was enough to scare me into going still.

"Did you hear me Isabella?" Charlie growled.

"Yes I did. Now, please…stop for just a second…" I turned my back to Charlie. "Jake…do you have this under control?"

Jake took a very deep breath and looked down at me, "I'm fine, Bells. Do as Chief Swan asks; I'll talk to you later at some point."

I bit my lip, hating that I had to leave them alone together but knowing at the same time that if I stayed in the room it would only make things worse. I hung my head but paused as I was walking past Charlie.

"I… care about him Charlie and I care about you," I whispered quietly and then exited the room.

Jake's POV:

"I'm going to pretend that she didn't just ask you for permission before she did what I told her to do, because if I don't I will probably do something that I will regret," Charlie said as soon as Bells was out the door.

"She wasn't asking my permission…she was making sure I was ok," I said, trying my best to stay calm. Bella had actually been making sure that everyone else was going to be ok, but now didn't seem like a good time to clarify that much to Charlie.

"Whatever. Answer one question for me Jacob," Charlie moved into my personal space and narrowed his eyes…the gesture probably would have been more effective if I wasn't a few inches taller than he was and probably 70 pounds heavier.

"Are you sleeping with her?" Charlie asked through gritted teeth.

I sighed, "I love her Charlie."

"Not what I asked kid," he said in a tired tone and started to head for the door.

Brother wolf was nearly foaming at the mouth and I was right there with him; being called a kid when I was the ruling alpha of a pack of vampire-shredding werewolves was just ludicrous. "It doesn't matter if that's what you asked Charlie! What matters is that I am here for her any time she needs me! That I'd walk in front of a semi if it meant saving her! That she loves me too!"

Charlie shook his head, "You sound just like every other teenage boy in 'love'."

A growl escaped me before I could stop it and Charlie actually paused on his way out the door to look at me in surprise. "I am not like every other teenager in love."

"Jacob, take a deep breath son," my dad said softly. "Things always seem worse than they are."

"Save it," I snapped at my dad, "luckily, I don't need Chief Swan to tell me when I can be considered an adult." I narrowed my eyes on Charlie's, "You're acting like just as much of a stubborn ass kid as I am by not listening to me OR your daughter. I can see why you'd have already made up your mind about me but how the hell have you come to think so low of Bella?"

"Even smart kids can make stupid mistakes," Charlie said with a frown and walked to rest of the way to the front door. "Bella is grounded. I'm taking her cell, so don't bother texting…and she isn't going to be allowed to have any friends over, so don't bother coming by the house."

"Are you going to ground her forever Charlie? Because eventually I can guarantee you that she will get out from under your thumb and when she does, the first thing she will do will be to come back here and climb into my bed…bawling…because her dad doesn't listen to her or care about her feelings." I was breathing heavily enough that my father moved forward again but I stopped him with an outstretched hand.

"Go home Charlie. Enjoy however long you think this grounding will last and remember whose fault it is whenever your daughter no longer trusts you enough to come to you with her problems…because it won't be mine," it was all I could say without completely attacking him or alienating him any further. Feeling sick to my stomach I shook my head at the whole situation and walked right back out of the door that I had just come in from and back out into the rain.

Charlie's POV:

I had never wanted to punch anyone so bad in my life as I wanted to hit Jacob Black right then. Some of his words actually held a little truth, which only pissed me off more. Honestly, where the hell does he get off telling me how to raise my own goddamn kid and then walking out of the room like he was the adult here?

Jake had always seemed like such a good kid…but now every time I thought of him all I could see was him standing between my daughter's thighs in Billy's kitchen.

Without thinking I kicked the nearest kitchen chair and sent it flying across the room.


"Don't start with me Billy. How long have you known that they were together?" I turned my angry accusatory gaze to my best friend.

He sighed but didn't look the least bit guilty, "They have only cuddled and kissed up until recently. I doubt they had even had sex before last night…Jake has waited a long time for Isabella to get her feelings straight."

I narrowed my eyes, "I got home last night."

He shrugged, "Yesterday evening then? What the hell does it matter? You're aware that the law is actually on Jake's side right? Bella is 18 and a legal adult, Jacob is only 16 and still technically a minor. Why don't you try looking at it from another perspective? You know he didn't rape her."

I wanted to smash my fist into…something. "I never said he raped her! But I knew this shit would happen, by God! As soon as Jake had his accident and she started spending entire nights over here; I knew it would only lead to trouble. You can only have kids in that situation for so long before one of them breaks down and tries to get physical."

Billy snorted and I debated on hitting him for a second.

"Bella is still waiting in your car…go home and cool off," Billy suggested calmly.

"If you and your son don't both stop treating me like I'm the teenager here, I think I'm going to snap," I threatened even as I headed for the door to follow his suggestion. I honestly didn't want to be in the Black home any longer anyways, I was so furious a pounding headache had already started up in my temples and so surprised and upset that I actually felt sick to my stomach. Should I call Renée?

I hurried to the garage where my car was parked and was relieved to see Bella sitting quietly in the front seat. I wouldn't have put it past her to run off at this point.

I climbed into the driver's seat without saying a word and started the engine before pulling out into the drizzling rain and starting the drive home. Bella was already starting to worry me. She hadn't said a word or shed a single tear on the drive, hell she didn't even move as she sat and watched the trees pass through the passenger side window.

A sinking feeling started up in my stomach as soon as we pulled into the drive and I parked the car. With still no word from my daughter I led the way inside and locked the door behind her.

Silently, she turned and started to head up the stairs to her room.

"Bella," I stopped her.

She turned and looked at me with her face completely void of emotion. I almost wished she would have yelled or cried at this point.

"Give me your cell phone please," I held out my hand.

A muscle clenched in her jaw but she hesitated only a moment before fishing her cell out of her pocket and placing it in my open palm.

"We can talk in the morning?" it irritated me that my tone had made the words come out as more of a question than an order.

She simply nodded and then gave me her back so that she could again start the retreat to her room.

This time I had no good reason to stop her so I just watched her go. "It's for the best Bella," I called upstairs to her as I headed for the kitchen to get a beer, or six. What the hell…my little girl…and Jacob Black… even though the two of them had been spending a lot of time together, and I had worried a little, I still hadn't ever genuinely suspected that they would be intimate…

I would almost rather it have been the Cullen boy; at least then there would have been no friction caused between Billy and I.

Bella's POV:

I waited for four hours before I heard the sound that I had been straining my ears for since I had gotten back to my bedroom after leaving Jacob's house. It was a sound that I had known would come eventually…and yet one that I had panicked constantly would not come. A thud and a soft rustle from the tree near my window.

I'd left the window unlocked and now, even though there was nothing I wanted more than to run into Jacob's arms, I sat silently on my bed and watched as he climbed in through the window.

Once his feet were firmly on the floor and his eyes on me, I waved a hand at the shut bedroom door; even I could hear that Charlie was awake downstairs so Jacob had to already know.

Jake nodded and slowly moved until he was standing in front of me, "It'll be ok Bells," his deep voice was hushed.

The first tear streaked its way down my cheek and it was like the floodgates had suddenly been opened. I sobbed softly. I was mortified. I was ashamed. I was so angry. But most of all I just hurt. The thought of losing all forms of contact with Jacob was just wrong.

"Aww don't cry Bells," he had kneeled in front of me and his big hands were on my face, smoothing away tears even as more dripped down to replace the ones he had wiped away. "I'm sorry. I should have been paying more attention and kept my hands to myself while we were in such an open area."

My sobs were muffled as he tugged my face down into his chest. I clenched my hands in the fabric of the shirt he had elected to wear for once and gave myself over to the pain; if anyone could understand my feelings right now it was this man.

"Shhh," he petted my hair gently. "It'll be ok. Charlie will cool down eventually and I'll talk to him again…" He squeezed me tighter against him, "But until then we can still see each other after you get out of school before he gets home from work, and at nights after he is asleep. I won't leave you alone Bells."

I clung to him, knowing he was right but still so scared of what all of this meant. "I don't want you to talk to him…what if one of you hurts the other?"

He looked down at my mumbled words and pulled me far enough away from his chest that I could look up into his face, "Baby, if anything like that were going to happen it would have happened tonight. The worst part is over and neither he nor I would be stupid enough to hurt the other, granted that's because he would be more worried about going to jail and I'd be worried about hurting someone you cared about…but the whys are irrelevant."

His smirk only made me feel a tad bit better. "I don't want to have to sneak around to see you…I miss you already and you're right in front of me."

His face was one of anguish, "Don't talk like that…I miss you too and I don't like sneaking around like some punk either but this isn't forever. He will come around eventually."

"I don't know Jake," I whispered.

He nodded, "Well I do. So just let me take care of it." He eased himself onto the bed next to me and tugged me into his lap. I curled up into a ball and just let him hold me there; one strong arm wrapped around my back and one wrapped around the front of my knees.

I gave in to the urge to run my hand up the side of his neck opposite my face and enjoyed the feel of his skin under my fingertips. "All because you like kitchen counters so much," I mumbled halfheartedly.

His response was an instant grin, "Just wait until I get you into a house with just the two of us Bells, you don't know the half of it yet."

My stomach clenched at the thought and I couldn't help but remember the night before…the things we had done. As much as I loved the idea of being intimate on a kitchen counter with Jacob, the idea of a house for the two of us was somewhat terrifying. That he could so easily talk about our future was equally so.

"Then I guess in a few years I'll get to find that out?" I said as casually as I could. Something shifted in his gaze and I wondered what he was thinking.

He leaned forward and kissed me on the forehead, "Let's just worry about the next few weeks for now, ok? No need to take on more stress than necessary." His smile was soothing even though it held a hint of sadness.

"Agreed," I mumbled and relaxed into his arms only to go tense when I heard a howl from outside. "Who is that?"

"Quil, he and Seth are outside waiting on me," he kept his arms around me.

"Why? I kind of thought you'd be staying for a while…" I tried not to pout, I really did.

"I had planned on it but the council has called a meeting, so I just had time to stop by and talk to you for a minute before I have to go," he kept his tone light, like he wasn't worried at all.

"Tonight? Jake, why didn't you tell me? This is terrible!" I could feel myself starting to panic.

He petted me softly, "I don't want you to worry…and Billy didn't mention it until a while after you guys had left the house." His phone went off as he got a text and I held my comment until he was done reading it.

"Fuck," he mumbled and slid the phone back into his pocket.

I frowned, "How could things possibly get any worse?"

He sighed, "I was going to handle things on my own…but the text was from Billy. He said that you need to be at the meeting."

I assumed they wanted me there because Jake had broken the rules because of me.

"I'm sorry Bells. I know the situation is already hard enough without the tribal council breathing down our necks… but I knew there would be repercussions when I made plans for the bonfire though, so I have to face them. I was just seriously hoping they would leave you out of it."

"We are both so very grounded," I said in answer. I wanted to be there with Jake to meet the council. All of it had been my fault to begin with so I was glad that I'd have the chance to stand with Jake and show my support. Maybe they would even take a formal apology. I just wasn't sure how I would get there to beg them not to punish Jake.

He laughed softly, "Let them try. I'm pretty sure I can endure anything as long as I've got you by my side."

I blushed, not willing to admit that he often made me feel stronger too. "There's no way I can sneak out. Charlie will check on me before he goes to bed."

"I guess you're just going to have to use the front door then," he said with a shrug and a smirk as he again picked up his cell phone.