Rated M for mature content, language, adult situations. Don't read if you're under 18!

I don't own anything Twilight. SM owns it all, I'm just messing around! I hope you enjoy it.

What if Bella had waited?

Jake didn't answer the phone and I was worried about him. When we left the movie theater the other night after Mike got sick and I noticed Jake himself was running a fever, I had sent him home on a promise to contact me when he felt better. I knew Mike was at work today so I was hoping that Jake felt better as well.

I sighed in frustration as I trudged out of the kitchen and up to my room, throwing myself on the bed. I'd give him one more day and if he didn't answer, then I would go visit him. It was late and I'd already showered and dressed in my blue pajamas so I crawled under the covers awkwardly, since I didn't want to get up, and fell into a fitful sleep.

The next morning at dawn, I ran to the bathroom and did my business before dressing in a pair of jeans and throwing a hoodie over a white tee. Charlie was already at the station so I made myself toasted poptarts and scarfed them down. My foot tapped annoyingly on the linoleum of the kitchen floor as I glared at the clock, willing time to speed up. I hated calling the Black household too early, knowing Billy needed help getting in and out of his wheelchair each day.

By the time nine a.m. had rolled around, I feared I would wear a hole in the carpet of the living room from my pacing. I ran to the kitchen and snatched up the old yellow corded phone from the wall, dialing the all too familiar number.

"Hello?" Billy's deep voice answered pleasantly.

"Hey, Billy. It's Bella. Is Jake feeling better?"

"I'm sorry, honey. He's come down with mononucleosis. Wish I knew how he got that. I'll let him know you called but he's lost his voice and takes a bit to heal. Just hang in there." Billy sounded sort of sympathetic and I had no reason to doubt him, but there was a lingering edge to his voice that irked me. However, there wasn't much I could do and I certainly didn't want mono, so I let it go assuming he was just upset that Jake contracted that particular virus.

"Alright. Should I make some soup for him?" I sighed.

"That's quite alright, Bella. I don't want you getting sick." He stated a bit roughly.

"What if I send it with Charlie tomorrow when you guys go fishing?" I probed.

After a beat of silence, he acquiesced. "That'll be just fine, honey. Thank you. You're a good girl." Billy said, a little calmer. I guess he really was just worried that I would get sick.

"It's not a problem. I'll make a big batch tonight and he can bring it up for you two tomorrow." I said before we exchanged goodbyes and hung up the old phone.

I spent the next few hours chopping up chicken, celery, carrots, and fresh herbs and simmering the soup. I placed two bowls for Charlie and myself in the fridge for dinner tonight and put the rest of the soup in the largest Tupperware container that we had. Reading in my room later that day, I tried not to think of Edward. It was difficult but every time I thought of him the gaping hole in my chest throbbed. It wasn't as wide as it had been, the hole, but without my sunshine to keep me warm it seemed to get worse.

Charlie came home from work and we ate the soup in silence before we went our separate ways to bed.

"Don't forget the soup in the morning for Billy and Jake." I called from my room. My dad just grunted in response.

The next couple of days dragged by and I decided on the third day to try to find the meadow. Maybe if I got there I could find a piece of Edward. Something tangible to remind me that he really was there at some point and not some elaborate imaginary friend with an even more elaborate family and course of events. I pulled on my favorite pair of purple hiking boots and a heavy rain slicker. It wasn't raining yet, but that didn't mean it wouldn't.

It took me over three damn hours to find this damn place but I found it! I was so proud of myself that I did happy dance before emerging from the trees. The meadow was as dead as Edward was and for some reason, seeing this made me see how ridiculous I had been all these months. Moping around and escaping to La Push to experiment dangerously just to hear a corpse's voice. A corpse who was no where near enough to actually speak to me.

It was then that I realized I had probably gone insane.

I waded through the hip deep grass and fingered the dead wildflowers as I walked. Once I got to the middle of the meadow, I turned in a full circle. This was a beautiful place in the summer but right now it was ugly. Completing one more full turn, I locked eyes with someone I thought I'd never see again.

"Laurent. Hey."

The dark skinned vampire shook his head, making his long dreads bounce around his shoulders. He wore a filthy purple button down that was not buttoned and black filthy denim jeans. His feet were bare and his eyes were red. He hadn't moved aside from the head shake and he didn't speak so I spoke again.

"I thought you went to Denali." My voice was as dead as the meadow.

Laurent whizzed closer, standing ten feet from me now instead of forty.

He wrinkled his nose in disgust. "The animal diet is not for me." He spoke quietly in his French lilt.

"That bad huh? Edward had said it was like comparing tofu to steak." I sympathized. Tofu sucked.

Surprisingly, Laurent laughed. As with all vampires, it was a beautiful sound. "Edward was lying. It tastes like dirt. Human blood however, tastes like the finest wine or the sweetest of chocolates. I bet you would be absolutely delectable." He crept closer but I stayed still. He wasn't scaring me. If he killed me there would be no reason to try to run.

"Yeah, I've heard that before. You shouldn't kill me though." I told him, my voice still flat.

He was amused. "And why not?"

I shrugged. "I got nothing other than I don't wanna die."

He laughed again. "Well, here's your choices. I suck you dry or you let Victoria do it. She will not make your death an easy one. I, on the other hand, possess the ability to knock you out without even touching you. You would feel nothing. Simply fall asleep and never wake up."

I pursed my lips as I pondered this. I pointed my finger at him as I replied. "You know, that would be the way to go if I wanted to die. But I don't. I want to live. Can we leave it at that? You can even let Victoria in on a little secret."

Laurent looked intrigued now.

"And that secret would be?"

I shrugged again. "I didn't kill James. Hell, even Edward didn't kill him. Jasper, Alice, and Emmett killed James. So if Victoria is looking for some form of revenge, don't go after the weak little human who isn't going to put up much of a lasting fight. Go after Alice, Jasper, Emmett, and hell, go after Rosalie. I always hated that bitch. They'll be much more entertaining than I would be."

Staring wide eyed for several seconds, Laurent finally started. "Why would you throw your covenmates under the proverbial bus?" He pondered as he stalked around me. I knew I wasn't winning this fight but I couldn't just not try.

"Covenmates? They need to want me in their coven for me to be an actual covenmate. No. They left. Actually it wasn't that simple. Edward brought me into the woods and tore my heart out then left me in the woods where I ended up lost for six hours and almost suffered from hypothermia. He's a dick. They're all dicks. They didn't even say goodbye. They didn't want me and I don't want them." I was very angry, suddenly, with all of the Cullens. And fuck them too.

"Well, that certainly could make the game change for her. I will have to create a lie as to why you aren't alive, of course." My heart jumped. As much as I knew I wasn't going to survive this encounter, I had still held onto that thin thread of hope. "When I do tell her what I learned, I will make sure she gets her ultimate revenge on the coven that killed her mate. I may even help her."

"Well fuck." I sighed.

Laurent leaned close to me, breathing in my scent as he dragged his nose up my throat to my ear. I heard a growl rumble from his chest before I heard an echoing growl across the meadow. My eyes snapped to the sound and widened at what I saw. A huge black wolf stood staring at Laurent with yellowed eyes and bared gleaming teeth. Laurent sucked in a terrified breath and backed away from me.

"No...impossible." He breathed before he blurred away.

I was frozen to my spot as the black wolf took off after the vampire, watching in stunned awe as four more wolves tore off after it. A choked sound escaped my throat causing a reddish colored horse sized wolf to stop but I turned and ran before I could see if he was going to eat me. That would hurt like a bitch!

I stumbled for over half a mile before I realized I wasn't being stalked by a gigantic wild wolf and I slowed my pace. Breathing heavily, I used trees to steady myself and keep myself upright. Spraining something would not be in my best interest right now.

Why don't I own a cell phone yet? I would be going to Port Angeles tomorrow for a cell phone. Not that I planned to go into the forest any more. Hell, after this, I'm going to spend most of my time surrounded by people. Even if I can't stand them. No more woods for me. No siree. Giant wolves and vengeful vampires? Ha. Only in my life.

I caught sight of my truck and darted toward it quickly, surprising myself in my burst of agility when I reached it unscathed. Just as I opened the door and flopped heavily into the large leather covered cab, I saw a flash of reddish brown fur.


I started the engine and locked the doors to the truck before backing down the lane I had driven straight into and turning back onto the One-oh-One. I knew Dad was out fishing so I headed straight for La Push and parked next to his cruiser in the Second Beach parking lot. I took several deep calming breaths and shook my wrists violently trying to dispel the shakes in my fingers.

Climbing out of my truck, I pocketed the keys and pulled my hood over my head. It was heavily misting now and I trudged in the pebbled sand to the water's edge, looking for Charlie and Billy. I saw their cooler before I saw them. They were sat further from the edge of the waves, the water lapping at their cooler as they fished.

"Bella, what're you doing here?" Charlie asked me as Billy side eyed me.

"I just didn't feel like being alone. You old men mind if I grab a pole?" I asked nonchalantly as I plopped down on my oversized rain slicker in the sand.

They both eyed me now like they thought I was crazy. Made sense since I haven't fished since I was eight and I had made a fuss about it then.

"Uh." Was Charlie's brilliant reply.

Billy smiled when I rolled my eyes. "Sure, honey you can use mine. Grab me a beer."

I got up and got Billy a beer before grabbing his pole. He wrapped his weathered fingers around my wrist and tugged me down. Usually when he did this, he would give me a kiss and I would hug him so I opened my arms for his shoulders. This time he didn't immediately kiss my cheek.

"Are you in trouble?" He whispered then kissed my cheek. I jerked back, panic clearly on my face. His eyes dawned with understanding of something and I spluttered a response.

"No, not at all." I squeaked unconvincingly.

I took the pole from him then shakily made my way back to my spot on the beach beside my dad. I didn't look at Billy for the rest of the time. I ended up catching two fish, which Charlie praised me for and actually pulled a couple of nervous smiles from me. I was nervous because I felt like I was being watched the entire time and not just by Billy. We said our goodbyes and after I pushed Billy's wheelchair up to the parking lot and loaded his chair into the back of the cruiser while my dad loaded Billy into the front, I followed them to the little red house. Billy eyed me from the passenger side mirror of the cruiser and I shrunk in my truck's seat. I didn't even pull in the driveway. When Charlie got back on the road, I followed again, tossing a peace sign out the open window toward the Black's house. Billy cracked a smile from his place on the porch.

I felt the eyes on me the whole way home and I knew my heart was pumping wildly in my chest. I white knuckled the steering wheel the entire drive. My hands were sore by the time I got out of my truck and met Charlie at the front door of the house and nervously looked around as I waited for him to unlock the damn thing. We got inside and I immediately excused myself to the bathroom.

In the shower, with fresh clothing waiting for me on the counter by the sink, I recalled the look of realization on Billy's face and wondered what he thought I was afraid of. I really wished I could talk to Jake, I thought, as I spread the body wash all over my body. After my shower, I went down to the kitchen and started frying the fish that my dad filleted already. I spread flour and oil with seasonings in the pan and turned it accordingly, being careful to avoid the burning splatters.

I googled mono that night. I needed to know how long it could be before I saw my best friend again. I sighed angrily when I saw in bold lettering 'two to four weeks' written on the screen. Fuck. Falling into bed, I prayed I would have a dreamless sleep.

No suck luck. While I didn't wake from screaming over Edward, I woke sweaty and shaking from the reddish brown wolf that chased me through the forest. The weirdest part of the dream was that the wolf had Jacob's eyes. I missed my best friend so much. I pulled myself out of bed and got dressed for my trip to Port Angeles. Recalling my promise to myself, I called Angela. She wasn't working today or babysitting her twin little brothers so she said she would accompany me.

The trip to Verizon and back was simple enough and we stopped for lunch at the Fork's diner. I had a turkey burger and fries with a vanilla milkshake while Angela ate chili cheese fries. Mike and Jessica happened to be there so we all exchanged numbers so I could program them into my phone. Mike informed me that Tyler had a question for me at school tomorrow. I knew prom was coming up so I had a feeling I knew what his question was. I already knew what my answer would be.

"Hey girl." Tyler greeted me the next morning first thing. I wasn't in the best of moods as I hopped down from my behemoth truck. I'd spent the night tossing and turning from the dreams that plagued me. The red brown Jacob wolf chased me and chased me and at the last second, just before I opened my eyes, he lunged.

"Hey, Ty. What's up." I asked in my normal flat voice. I didn't bother with emotion anymore. Edward, the fucking corpse, took it from me. The only emotions I could conjure up were anger or fear. Ironically, the two emotions that shouldn't have evaded me when he was actually here.

He walked close to me into the school and stopped at my locker with me. I turned and faced him, waiting patiently. He had beautiful brown eyes with silky looking chocolate skin. If I wasn't so dead inside, I might wanna lick it and see if it tasted as it looked. I inwardly shook my head at myself.

"I was wondering if you would go to prom with me." He asked all swagger and confidence. In my psyche, I heard a growl and I mentally told fake Edward to fuck off.

"You do realize that prom is only a week away right?" I asked.

"Yeah, of course."

"So you waited this long to ask me why?" I wasn't trying to be a bitch but without any emotion, that's exactly what I sounded like.

Tyler shrugged a beefy shoulder. He was in really good shape for a human. Unfortunately, humans didn't do it for me. Too bad there weren't something out there other than vampires.

A thought niggled at the back of my mind but I shook it off.

"I had a date but..." I cut him off with a wave of my hand.

"No need to explain, Ty. I'm not going to prom. With anyone. I don't dance." I told him flat out. He looked slightly defeated but I had a feeling he would be just fine.

I was right. Another week passed with no word on Jake and Tyler ended up going to prom with Lauren. I stayed home with my dad, watching Sports Center. Billy had been over a couple of times, but I stayed in my room with my window firmly locked shut, curtains drawn, reading or writing.

It's been almost two weeks since I've seen Jake. I was sitting on my bed writing him another letter that I wouldn't send to him describing my dreams that I repeatedly had every night, when I dropped my pen. It rolled away and got caught on a floorboard. I cursed the thing for being a pain in my lazy ass and scooted off the bed onto the floor. Crawling to the pen, I grabbed it but the stupid cap fell down into the floor.

I growled a vicious kitten growl and tried to pry the floorboard up. Surprisingly it came up really easy and I saw red when what was inside the floor of my bedroom caught my eyes. I snatched up all of my pictures of Edward and my CD he made me for my birthday. The plane tickets I tossed on the bed. I wasn't getting rid of those. I would go visit my mom after graduation next month. I stomped down the stairs loudly and I heard Charlie follow me out onto the back deck.

"What'cha doing, Bells?" He asked all innocent like as I stomped over to the grill. I'd felt the eyes on me the moment I came outside but I was used to them now. They were always on me.

I growled again and Charlie tried to stifle his snicker.

I whirled on my dad as I started the grill, holding my loot in my hands for him to see clearly.

"That fucking asshole stole all of my birthday presents then put them under my floorboard!" I screeched angrily. Charlie flinched at my decible and moved his hand in a calm down motion.

"Damn, you've got a set of lungs on you." He said under his breath, wiggling a finger in his ear. I heard a breathy chuckle from the forest and whipped my head to the sound, glaring into the trees. I turned back to my father.

"I am so done with that dead fucker it's not even funny." I muttered before plopping the photos and CD onto the grill grate.

"Dead fucker?"

"Yes! He's fucking dead to me. Break up with me in the damn woods then hides my birthday presents! What a little bitch. 'It'll be as if I never existed, Bella.' Blah blah fucking blah." I mocked after I covered my slip. My father was barely restraining his full on belly laughter.

I growled again and stomped past the hyena after slamming the grill cover down, letting my gifts burn. I would sell the damn bracelet Rosalie got me online. Bet I could get a pretty penny. I was glad I had never torn the stereo out of my truck from Emmett, though. If anything, he was right in saying it was a decent sound system.

By the time I got over my anger, I walked downstairs to make dinner and contritely apologized to my father for my potty mouth. He hadn't reprimanded me and though I was eighteen, I didn't want to disrespect him. He took it in amused stride and we ate dinner in silence. While I washed the dishes, Dad dried and then we both put them away together. I sat with him on the couch and we watched old reruns of Friends before I started falling asleep where I sat.

"Hey, Bells. Why don't you go on up to bed?" Charlie suggested with a hand on my shoulder.

I looked around with bleary eyes and caught the clock on the mantel. It was after eleven p.m. I nodded then stretched as I stood before giving my dad a hug and trudging up the stairs. When I got to my room, I glared at the plane tickets on my comforter and threw the box they were in onto my desk with Rosalie's bracelet. I had replaced the floorboard earlier after my fit of rage. Snatching an old gray oversized t-shirt and a pair of navy sleep shorts, I stripped down to my panties, tossing my bra on the bedframe and redressed. Pulling back the purple comforter, I crawled into bed. The eyes I felt on me never left as I drifted off to sleep.

I was perched in a tree on a low branch looking down at the horse sized red brown wolf.

"Shoo! Go on, get!" I scolded as I shook my hands at him.

Instead of leaving, he reared up and placed large paws on the trunk of the tree and my branch swayed. He didn't look menacing but I knew he would chase me if I got down. Unfortunately when the branch swayed, my klutziness kicked in and I toppled off the branch, landing on my butt. I scrambled up to my feet, keeping my front facing the wolf who seemed to be chuckling under his breath.

Holding my arms out, palms facing him, I soothed, "Stay there boy. Stay there." I walked backward a few steps but the wolf matched me in my retreat. My heart skipped a beat and I swung around on my feet, shoving off and racing rather gracefully into the night. The mossy green trees and wet bracken squished as I ran. It had obviously rained earlier and my shoes were soaked.

I could hear the galloping footsteps of the large wolf behind me. My hair whipped and bouncing against my back and shoulders as I ran. The longer I ran, the more labored my breathing became and I stopped, bent over with my arm extended, hanging into a tree as I tried to catch my breath.

The wolf came closer, trotting behind me and I made the mistake of looking back. He was crouched low on his forelegs, lips pulled back showing teeth but he still didn't look menacing. He almost looked as if he was grinning at me. Jacob's eyes sparkled at me from inside the wolf's head and I knew I was losing my mind. Between the meadow, meeting this wolf, and thinking about my best friend, it makes sense that I would dream of Jake being the wolf but this was still in a realm of weird that I wasn't prepared to handle.

I straightened my body and faced the wolf. "No boy. No jumping." I stated softly. The wolf chuckled again and my breath caught. How the hell can a wolf make that sound?

His hind legs shimmied back and forth in preparation of his pounce and I retreated again, trying to position the tree between us.

He leapt.

I sat bolt upright in my bed, panting. My shirt drenched in sweat. I didn't think I screamed but I listened as hard as I could over my breathing for Charlie before looking at the clock. He was already gone to work. I needed to get up for school. What was it about those dreams? This dream was slightly different, I pondered, as I don't normally sit in a tree, I usually start the dream in my mid run away from the wolf. I brushed the hair from my face with my fingers then flopped back onto my pillow. Why did he have Jake's eyes? Did I really just miss him that much? I knew I did. That was a stupid question. I hoped he felt better soon.

As I got out of bed and grabbed clothes for my shower which I badly needed by how thoroughly sweaty I was, I wondered if I should try calling Jake again but if he was on the mend, I didn't want to bother him. I dressed in a Halestorm band tee and skinny jeans before slipping on my chucks. I almost expected them to be sopping wet from my run through the forest before I laughed at myself. Those dreams were so realistic. Brushing out my hair then braiding it over my shoulder, I threw on some light mascara and grabbed my bookbag.

Mike Newton was waiting for me as I got out of my truck. He had been hounding me to work with him at his parent's store but I didn't want a job right now on top of trying to elude Victoria. I had been doing fairly well, keeping with either Jessica or Angela most of the time and my dad when they weren't available. A few times I had even ventured out to sit on First Beach the last couple of weeks, sitting alone on the hollowed out bleached driftwood with a book.

"Arizona!" He called out as he jogged the few spaces from his car to my truck. I rolled my eyes while I grabbed my bag before turning to face the blonde.

"Haven't I been here long enough to nix that nickname?" I asked as I started walking toward the main doors of the school. Mike fell into step beside me and his shoulder brushed mine. I subtly shifted away from him.

"Naw, maybe in a few years. How's it going?"

"I won't be here in a few years. It's going fine. What's up?"

Mike stopped and grabbed my arm, halting our steps. "Why not? Where are you going off to?"

Is this guy clueless? I shook my arm from his hold and turned back to the school, continuing my trek. "It's called college, Mike. Did you need something?" He was getting on my nerves.

He caught up fairly quickly and fell into step beside me once more as we climbed the few stairs and entered the brick building. I swung left toward my locker knowing Mike's was to the right. Unfortunately he followed me.

"I thought you were getting a job at the Outfitters? Where will you go for college?" He was a persistent little bugger, I'd give him that.

"I told you. I don't need a job right now and I haven't decided. I got accepted to a few places." I wasn't divulging more than that. It was no one's business what I did or where I went and I was struggling to keep my voice level, not showing my ire.

Even though my applications for college had been submitted late, I still got accepted to one college near my mom and one college here, near my father. I was hoping to go Northeast but my applications were denied. I figured I could always transfer later if I wanted to. Also, I had toyed with the idea of going to school online as I was only trying to be a writer. I loved putting my imagination to paper, I just needed that boost that college would give me to make something of myself.

"Well, that's good, I guess." Though he sounded anything but happy for me. "When do you leave for college?"

I shut my locker after grabbing my books and stuffing them in my bag and hiked it up onto my shoulder before facing him. "September, like most people." I really didn't mean to snap but he was really getting under my skin and I had too much stress to deal with the boy. Thankfully he took the hint finally and shot me a wry smile before hightailing it to his own locker.

School dragged by as it has my entire life. I had completed all of the course work during my catatonic phase since I'd had nothing else that interested me, so I read all day. As soon as I got into my truck to head home, I saw a flash of red in the trees. My heart leapt into my throat and I put the truck in park.

Hopping back out, I called for Jessica and Angela. They came over to me with Lauren in tow. I didn't like her very much but I would deal with that.

"Hey wanna go to First Beach with me?" I asked them with a hint of panic in my voice and I tried to squash it.

"Sure I have a few hours before I need to start dinner. How about you guys?"Jessica asked.

I breathed so much easier when we all piled tight in the cab of my truck. Thankfully the bench seat was large enough to fit four small females without us having to sit on each other's laps but it was still a snug fit. I drove to La Push as fast as my truck would allow. My eyes darted all over the place as I tried to keep up with the conversation, but didn't catch sight of anything else. I wasn't fooling myself that Victoria wasn't out there. She just wouldn't attack with so many humans as collateral. I guess I did well enough with the conversation because no one got snarky with me. Pulling into the parking lot of First Beach, I felt like a weight disappeared from my shoulders and we walked chatting happily down to the softly lapping waves. The weather wasn't terribly wet today but there was no sun. A good day at the beach considering the location.

We had been sitting on my favorite log for a couple of hours watching the waves and giggling over the cutest new actors when I saw Sam Uley and his gang walking down the beach. My heart started beating wildly. I remembered Jake being scared of them and I didn't want any trouble.

"You guys ready? I'll stop at the diner and we can pick up something for dinner." I tried to keep the anxiety out of my voice and limbs as I stood, careful to keep my back to the boys down the way behind me.

"Yeah, I have to feed my brothers by six or they get cranky." Angela joked as she stood with me. Jessica and Lauren walked with us back to my truck.

"Holy crap, who are they?" Lauren asked.

I didn't even turn around, just kept walking to my truck, unlocking it, and held the passenger door open for the girls. "Sam Uley and his buddies." I said shortly before rounding my truck and getting in. Once everyone was inside the cab, Lauren faced me seemingly having to tear her eyeballs from the handsome Quileutes.

"You know them? Can you introduce me?"

"I don't really know them, I just know of them. I've never even met them." I shrugged.

"What do you know of them?" She prodded as I pulled onto First Street and headed towards Forks. I glanced in the rear view mirror and saw the men had stopped and were watching my truck with interest.

"Not too much. A friend of mine was scared of them for a bit."

Angela nodded as she turned in her seat to look out the back window at the males that were getting smaller as we drove away. "They do look intimidating."

"And hot. Very hot." Jessica stated matter-of-factly.

I grinned. "Definitely hot."

I passed Billy's house and waved as I saw him out on his front ramp. He waved and smiled as we drove by. I wondered again how Jake was feeling.

Later that evening after eating our dinner that I had picked up from the diner, I excused myself to my bedroom and sat on my bed with my notebook. I started writing to Jake again. I really wished I could make sense of how I was feeling. Without my sunshine around, I felt lonely. Like a piece if myself was missing. He always made me feel whole and happy. I had struggled for so long to keep him at arms length, lying to myself that he was just a brother to me. Honestly, he wasn't. I was attracted to his long inky black hair, loved running my fingers through it. When he held my hand or gripped me in his big bear hugs, I felt safe and protected even though he was just a seventeen year old boy. He brightened my day and I realized that I smiled more with him than I ever did with Edward.

I was over losing the vampire, of course. Something had struck me to my core when I got into the meadow and there was no gaping pain in my chest when I thought of him. However, I still wondered at my feelings for Jake. I had thought he felt more for me but even though he's sick, he hadn't tried to communicate with me. It had my mind whirring with possibilities. Was he tired of trying to fix me? Granted, I didn't need fixed now but he certainly didn't know that.

I set the notebook down. I wasn't getting any writing done with my brain swirling this way. Picking up my new Samsung I'd gotten from Port Angeles, I dialed Billy.

"He's on the mend! Shouldn't be too long now, Bella before he's knocking on your door." Billy said cheerfully when after we exchanged pleasantries.

I smiled widely and sighed happily. "Oh thank God. I miss him so much and have so much to tell him!"

Billy chuckled then his voice turned grave suddenly. "Have you been safe, honey? No more scares?"

I spluttered for a moment, wondering what the old man knew but decided to be half honest. "I actually had one today, Billy." I said quietly. "I realized there's strength in numbers so I brought a few friends with me to the beach."

"It's wise to stay close to La Push when you're feeling scared." He said just as quietly to me.

"I always have felt safe on the reservation." I admitted.

I could hear the smile in his voice. "You always will be."

We said our goodbyes and I flopped down onto my pillows. Reaching over to the lamp on my bedside table, I switched it off and snuggled down into the comforter.

He leapt and I screamed, throwing my arms over my head protectively, falling flat on my back in the wet ferns and leaf-litter. The red brown wolf stood above me, panting his hot breath over me then I felt his wet tongue drag up the length of my forearm. Is he tasting me before he eats me? Tenderizing me, perhaps? My heart beat wildly in my chest with that thought. I cracked opened my eyes, which I realized I had slammed shut when I fell back onto my ass.

I watched, paralyzed as his black glittering eyes shined down on me. His tongue lolled out of his mouth, dripping with slimy slobber onto my face and chest.

"Oh ew." I mumbled. Using the tips of my fingers, still held above my face, I swiped at the drool and the Jacob wolf chuffed a happy sound like laughter.

"Please don't eat me." I whispered. The wolf huffed as if insulted and I narrowed my eyes before I caught view of something in my peripherals.

A white and red blur circled around us and the wolf's body tensed above me. His lips pulled back into a menacing growl as his eyes darted around. Victoria appeared near our bodies and she giggled.

"You'll never be able to protect her!" She laughed as she darted away.

The red brown wolf lunged and chased her much the same as when he chased Laurent. I flipped over onto my stomach, my breath leaving me in pants and I watched as he leapt into the air toward the vampire, his massive jaws opened wide with a resounding roar. Victoria pivoted at the last moment, raking her claw-like nails into the wolf's abdomen just as his jaws closed over her neck, severing her head from her body. The wolf collapsed the same second Victoria's body did, falling into a heavy heap. Blood pooling under his body from his wounds, pained sounds escaping his muzzle.

I scrambled over to the wolf and scooted close to his stomach trying to find the wounds but there were none. I shoved my little fingers into the fur of his cheek and scratched his face.

"Easy boy. Take it easy. Thank you, thank you!" I murmured.

The dream started fading and I tried to keep myself asleep as my subconscious teetered between asleep and awake. Jacob's words echoing in my mind as the red brown wolf eyed me.

"We're descended from wolves."

I looked closely at the wolf's eye as he searched my soul.

"No..." I whispered. "That's not possible."

As my dream faded more to black, Billy's words echoed in my brain about being safe on the reservation.

"You always will be."

I laid in my bed, staring up to the ceiling as my eyes fluttered open. I had never considered myself to be particularly dense, but that still isn't possible is it? Then again, I pondered, vampires exist. According to the legends that Jake told me when I first moved to Forks, the spirit wolves were made to destroy vampires.

Still, I have a hard time believing it.

Then again, my dreams have always told me something. I already knew Victoria was after me, I knew there was gigantic wolves in the forest. I had seen five of them with my own two eyes. I haven't seen Jake once since before I encountered those wolves. Could Jake be that wolf?

I dressed and went to school in a daze. My daze followed me throughout the day and when I was let out of school, I drove in the same daze to Billy's house. I didn't even stop to think about calling. Pulling into the driveway of the little red house, I put the truck in park and turned it off.

Am I really going to ask Billy if his legends are true? He would never tell me. I am not apart of his tribe and Jake had made it clear that they were tribal stories. He might even get into trouble for telling me in the first place and I definitely didn't want that. I sat in my truck, staring blankly at the steering wheel for many minutes before deciding that, no, this was a waste of time. I would wait for Jake to feel better...Whether it's from mono or some spirit wolf. He would come to me when he could.

I started the truck and backed out of the driveway still in my daze and drove home.

How I made it back to my little white house in Forks, I couldn't say. I stumbled out of the truck and unlocked the front door, throwing my keys in the bowl on the table on my way to the fridge. I pulled out the fixings for breakfast for supper and proceeded to cook. Charlie walked into the house a short while later as I was plating his food.

"Sure smells good, Bells. How was your day today?" He asked as he unbuttoned his Forks PD button down and sat in his chair. He scooped up a forkful of pancakes after drenching them in syrup.

"It was fine. I thought about going to Billy's, but chickened out. Not really up to getting sick." I told him as I sat down across from him with my own plateful of food.

He hummed his appreciation for the meal and nodded. "Understandable. Hope the boy feels better. He stays locked in his bedroom whenever I've stopped by to talk about the land with him so I can't tell you how he's doing by my own eyes but Billy thinks he's at the tail end of it."

"I hope so." I said quietly. I missed my best friend and after these dreams, I really wanted to talk to him. It was driving me up a wall.

Charlie cleared his throat.

"So, how have you been lately? You're looking better." He tried tenatively.

"I'm doing okay, Dad. I think burning that crap was kinda cathartic in a way." I had sold the bracelet that Rosalie got me online for a hell of a lot more money than I ever imagined. The damn thing had cost ninety one thousand dollars. I just about shit myself when I saw that on their website. I wouldn't have to worry about a job for a little bit when I started college, that was for sure. I never did tell anyone about it either. The plane tickets could be used any time until my nineteenth birthday so I planned on going to see Mom after I graduated.

Unless, of course, Victoria killed me before then. A chill ran down my spine.

Charlie noticed. "You sure you're okay there, Bells?" He looked concerned.

"Really, I am. Just worried about Jake, is all." I reassured him. He grunted and went back to his meal, thankfully in silence.

I cleaned up from dinner and put away all of the cleaned dishes before tromping up the stairs and throwing myself on my bed face down. I grunted into my pillow and wrapped my arms around it, pulling it tighter around my face. My legs hung awkwardly straight off the bed and I toed my chucks off my feet, listening to them fall to the floor with a thunk.

What was I going to do with myself? I really wanted to be a writer but my muse was gone. He was sick or was sick and decided he isn't my friend any more. I gasped into my pillow then immediately twisted my head to the side so I could gasp in air instead of my pillowcase.

There was a third option with my sunshine. Sam Uley and his merry band of fuckers! If the legends are true and some Quileutes have some gene that allows them to change into giant wolves, it would make sense that they stuck together and avoided everyone like a pack of wild wolves would. I lay there on my bed with my eyes closed just picturing the good looking men that had been walking down the beach toward me and my friends before I decided to flee.

Sam was tall, it was hard to tell how tall from a distance but he was taller than the other three he had with them, who I knew to be Jared Cameron, Paul Lahote, and Embry Call. Each of them had their hair different lengths of shortness but even Embry's brown hair that had hung to his shoulders, was shorn off. Their torsos were cut and fit, biceps and shoulders bulging with muscles, each of their thighs looked as thick as my waist. None of them ever wore shirts that I had seen, if I had seen them the last two and a half weeks, which wasn't often at all honestly. They were always barefoot and wore only cargo shorts that were so low on their trim hips that I could tell they weren't wearing any underwear either.

That actually makes sense, I hummed to myself and felt my eyebrow twitch. If they change into horse sized wolves, they wouldn't want to take the time to undress a lot of clothes before they changed. Morphed? Shifted? I wondered what they called it.

I drifted off to sleep right where I was, hugging my pillow, wearing my jeans and a long sleeved henley, completely unaware that the entire time since I had entered my room, I was not alone.

The next morning, I was in my bed, snug under the covers wearing only my shirt and underpants. Either I am really good at undressing I'm my sleep and maneuvering up my bed and under the covers, someone moved me. I could scratch Victoria off that list. Tenatively, I sniffed at my shirt. It didn't spell like Edward or any of the vampires I was familiar with. Edward smelled like lilacs and honey distinctly and whatever he touched, the scent would transfer thickly to it. Alice smelled like fresh bloomed honeysuckle. What I smelled when I sniffed my shirt was the distinct scent of woods. Mossy trees, wet ferns, and cardamom. This smell was heaven and I whipped my shirt off my head, uncaring of my braless state alone in my room. I held the corner of my shirt where it had hugged my waist and inhaled deeply before releasing a low moan. That scent was the smell of sexy man. Whoever had come into my room last night and carefully placed me under my covers, stripping off my jeans and socks, I wanted to roll around on him. My panties got a little damp just from sniffing my own shirt.

Jacob's face fluttered through my mind and I paused in my sniffing. I was attracted to Jake, I knew this already. But to become wet over a scent I am not even sure is his? It has to be though, there's no one else who would come into my room and strip my clothes off. Granted, I didn't really think Jake would either but if he is that red brown wolf of my dreams and the meadow...

Oh wow, I bet he's not skinny little Jake anymore. I gasped into the material of my shirt, pulling in another lungful of the scent. If Jake is a wolf I bet he looks just as good as his friends. Brothers? Packmates?

I slipped the shirt back over my head after I threw on my plain black bra. I didn't care that I wore it all day yesterday. I would put a vest or sweater over it and wear it again. I wanted that scent with me all day today.

I quickly got ready for school and ran down the stairs to grab a poptart and headed to my truck. There was only about three weeks of school left but being a senior with all of my course work done, Charlie and I had gotten me released after this week. I would still walk across the stage to receive my diploma with my class, I would just be free to do as I pleased.

Honestly, I pleased to go to La Push. My dad had been given permission to build a house on the edge of tribal land - being long time family friends with their Chief really helps not to mention the fact that everyone there loves Charlie - and since he had already started the foundation, I wanted to do some landscaping. I felt safe in La Push and if there were werewolves lurking around I knew I would be safest there.

School dragged by once more and by the end of the week, I was ecstatic to be finished. My friends hugged me and said goodbye as if I wouldn't still be in town until Septemper. It was the end of May now. Early Saturday morning after yet another dream, I threw on a brown v-neck tee, short cutoff shorts, and a dark blue bandana that would keep the sweat off my brow. I braided my hair down my back and grabbed my gardening gloves and supplies from my dad's shed in the backyard, loading up my truck. I figured it was a good idea to bring sustenance so I made a few sandwiches and cut up a Tupperware full of tomatoes that I seasoned with salt and pepper. Throwing those and a bunch of bottles of water in a cooler, I loaded that in my truck as well and headed to my dad's new property.

Holy friggin' crap.

My brown shirt was drenched as well as my handkerchief that was doing absolutely no good around my head anymore. My skin glistened in the fading rare sunshine and I sat back on my butt in the grass huffing and puffing. I took a long pull of my water and wiped my forehead with the back of my hand. I looked around at my handiwork. I didn't venture too close to the foundation as there would have been no point with the builders coming in next week to start the house. I cleared out the fallen leaves from the property, dug large rocks out of the yard and rolled or pushed them to the tree line. I even made a small flower garden at the rear of the property where the sun, if we ever got any, would hit it directly. I made sure to choose only water loving flowers like Lewisia, Broadleaf Lupine, and Alpine Strawberry. I backdropped the garden in Goatsbeard. I surrounded the garden with some of the various sized rocks that I dug out of the yard.

Using my handkerchief, I poured some of my water on it and wiped my face and arms free of sweat and dirt. I gathered my supplies and stuffed them all in the truck before grabbing a fresh bottle of water and sitting at the base of a redwood in the tree line. The shade felt wonderful. As much as I missed the sun, I relished in the coolness of the shade right now. I had worked most of the day away, only stopping once to munch on my tomatoes and half a sandwich.

I heard the crunch of leaves, as if someone was trying to be sneaky. I set my bottle of water down and listened intently, my eyes wide and watching. I saw a large shadow approaching and readied my feet to stand but breathed a sigh of absolute relief when I saw Jacob Black walking toward me.

"Jake." I breathed, stunned frozen as I watched this muscle bound hunk of a native man walk toward me. How is he seventeen years old? That must be a side effect of the change. His hair was longer than the rest of the guys, hanging down to his shoulders in soft silky strands and I wondered if he didn't cut it off because I had always told him how much I loved it.

I got my feet to move and I finally stood up, using the tree behind me to help. He was still in the shadows so I couldn't see his eyes but his mouth was set in a tight line. I smiled widely hoping to show him how relieved I was to see him finally. It had been too long since I had my sunshine. He was so tall now. I wondered when he finally got to me how much he would tower over me.

"Bella." He whispered, still walking insanely slow. I stayed put, not out of fear, but because if he was testing himself around humans for the first time, I didn't want to startle him. I would let him come to me, just like a timid wild wolf.

There was no doubt in my mind that the legends were true. His muscles, the trembling of his body, the deep bass of his voice. Too many changes in too short of time. Supernatural was the only explanation. However, I knew this was a secret and he may do what Edward did...Push me away. I wouldn't let him. I would not tell him that I knew what he was, but I would be there for him the way he was there for me.

Jake finally came closer and I was in awe of his size.

"Woah." I whispered. I tenatively lifted a hand toward him but he flinched so I dropped it back to my side. "Oh Jake, I missed you so much."

He kept his eyes lowered and his cheeks pinked. "As a friend right?"

Well, guess we are diving into his biggest issues.


His body tensed but he still didn't look up.

"Not that it matters, I guess." He muttered then startled mumbling under his breath too low for me to hear. I caught the word 'imprint' but I had no idea what that even meant.

I ducked my head trying to catch his eye. He looked away.

"Jake, are you mad at me?"

He inhaled a deep breath and his body relaxed. It reminded me of when Edward would breathe in my scent only he would tense up.

"I'm angry at a lot of things, Bells. Never you, though." He sighed and ran a hand through his hair.

"Look at me." I said to him softly.

He looked to his feet. "I can't." His voice cracked and my heart went to him. I took a tenative step toward him so that if he kept looking down, he would be looking down my shirt. He shut his eyes and I smiled.

"Yes, you can. Jacob. Look at me." I said a little more firm. He shook his head stubbornly.

"What if...if..." He stuttered quietly and I placed my hand on his arm. He jerked but didn't pull away. A warm liquid shock flowed up my arm and into my heart before spreading through my body. I leaned forward and moaned when I caught his scent. Mossy trees and cardamom.

"Open your eyes, Jake." I whispered.

His eyes fluttered open and I was looking into my red brown dream wolf's eyes. My breath hitched and Jake hissed in a breath. Before he could say anything, I pressed up on my tip toes and crushed my lips to his, my little fingers weaving into his hair as I felt his arms wind around my waist. We moaned into each other's mouths as his tongue tangled with mine. He held me pressed tight against his body and I felt his excitement. It excited me as well and my body worked to let him know it. He moaned again and I guessed his senses were acute like vampires and he could smell my arousal.

Jake turned and hiked me up his body, pressing my back into a tree as I wrapped my legs around his waist. His hands started wandering and I moaned when he enveloped my breast with one large hand, plucking the nipple between his fingers. I writhed my hips against his, feeling his hardness pressing to the juncture of my thighs. I was warm and wet and I wanted him so badly. My fingers traversed the expanse of his hot chest, burning hot like a fever, feeling the smattering of dark hairs directly in the center. I followed the hairs lower over his abdomen and lower still, my lips never ceasing their mating with his. We didn't break apart to breathe. We breathed through our noses and into each other and it was the most intense and intimate experience of my short life.

"Bella. I've always loved you. Please say you'll be mine." He murmured into my neck as he kissed his way to my collarbone.

I bared my neck, exactly aware of what I was doing. He was a wolf and he wanted me to submit. To be his. Silly boy.

"I already am yours, Jacob. I've been yours. Just been...waiting for you to come back to me." I panted as his lips sought my cleavage, licking and sucking on my skin.

He groaned and bucked his hips into me, pressing against my core, as he nipped the skin of my throat from my collarbone to my ear.

"Do you love me, Bella? Do you love me the way I love you?" He asked lowly, his chest rumbling with a growl.

"Yes. I love you, Jake. I love you." I breathed.

Jake pulled back a little, still keeping me pinned between his hips and the tree, looking into my soul like my dream wolf had. He panted as he grinned at me. A wide, happy, teeth showing grin and I giggled. His grin widened impossibly.

"You love me? Say it again."

I laughed again at the absolute elation on his face. "I love you, Jacob Black!" I told him reverently.

He threw his head back and barked a loud laugh. His chest rumbled with a purr and I hung on as his body shook mine.

"You're mine forever, you know that right? I'll never ever let you go." He said smiling but his eyes were serious and I had a feeling this was that word he'd mumbled earlier. 'Imprint'.

"Then take me and keep me." I told him smiling. "Forever."

I could do a happy Jake and smart sassy Bella all day long so if you want to see a sequel, let me know! Hope you liked this. Review please :)