I'm baaaaaaaack! I was so anxious to get this story out that I haven't written as much of it as I vowed to do before I starting posting. I'm only on chapter 6 and I said I would post once I'd gotten through chapter 8. So, I'll try and write as fast as I can so my posting doesn't catch up with my writing.

Anyways, this story will make VERY LITTLE sense unless you have read my previous one called Cold As Fire. I highly recommend you read that one first before you read this one (I guarantee it's a great read!). For those who have read my previous story, if there's anything I haven't explained to satisfaction, just let me know and I will do my best to make it more understandable.

Oh, this will not all take place from Bella's POV. The first couple chapters will be, but than as the story seperates I will have to switch to Edward's, and maybe other characters, POVs. I'll put at the beginning whose view it's from though.

Anyways, this chapter isn't very exciting. I just felt that in my last story I'd ignored Jacob so much that he deserved a chapter. The next chapter is more or less the beginning of the plot. So, I very much hope that this can live up to Cold As Fire's standards!

(If I forgot to say anything, let me know!)


Bella's POV

I glanced around the park to make sure no one had followed me. It's not easy sneaking out of a household of seven non-sleeping vampires. Fortunately I had succeeded, managing to climb out the window of the bathroom without hurting myself, amazingly enough. There was no need to worry about anyone passing by; it was shortly after midnight Tuesday morning and everyone in their right state of mind would be at home tucked under piles of warm blankets.

The icy December air bit mercilessly at my nose and cheeks and every breath sent a billowing cloud of fog into the night air. My only light came from a cheap red flashlight I had purchased at work for a buck ninety-nine. The sallow yellow light streaming out of the plastic tube caught the snowflakes that were slowly dancing to the ground, making them shimmer like little faeries.

A noise in the trees to my left made me jump but I relaxed when the familiar face I had been so anxious to see appeared.

"Jake!" I exclaimed, overjoyed. It had been so long since I'd last seen him. Since Edward had come back from the dead he hadn't allowed me to go anywhere near Jake or anyone else from the reservation. Jake's feelings about this were apparent by the annoyance plastered to his face.

"I see you're talking again," he replied, almost coldly. I sighed, though his behavior was to be expected. However, that did nothing to stop me from being slightly irritated.

"Jake please," I pleaded. "I've missed you." With my words Jake's face twisted into an unfamiliar expression of hurt and longing. He took a few hesitant steps towards me, coming into clearer view. Every time I saw him he seemed to grow taller and more mature. Now he could have easily seemed my senior. I noticed that despite the freezing winter chill he only had on a light and worn out jean jacket.

"I missed you too," he whispered and my heart warmed at his words. It was hard to believe how close I'd come to forgetting his voice. Why did he have to be Edward's mortal enemy?

"I tried to see you…" I began but my voice trailed off when I realized how I must sound. Jake shook his head.

"You don't have to explain yourself. I know your undead boyfriend has been keeping a tight finger around you." I blinked at his words.

"Jake, did you really ask me to meet you just to insult me?" I challenged. His dark face fell slightly. I knew Edward's scent on me couldn't have been helping his anger much. Jake took a few more steps toward me and now we were close enough to touch. At first I thought he was going too, but his arms remained stiffly by his sides. I was faintly surprised to feel disappointment.

"I don't like what he's doing to you," Jake's voice was so caring I couldn't bring myself to feel upset at his words.

"Jacob," I said sincerely. "It's not like that."

"It's not healthy to depend on someone so much," I couldn't help but get slightly annoyed at this. "I hate seeing what happen to you when he's gone." I rubbed my fingers together, trying to warm them through my gloves while contemplating how to reply I knew Jake was only speaking out of concern, but he truly didn't understand.

"That's not for you to worry about." This time it was my turn to sound cold. Why could we just be friends? Why did my relationship with Edward have to come between us? Oh yeah, because they want to kill each other.

"But I do!" Jake exclaimed, throwing his arms in the air. "I worry about you Bella because I care about you. You can't know how hard it's been not seeing you for so long."

I closed my eyes tightly as unwanted tears made themselves noticed. This wasn't fair. How could I love them both so much? It was true that nothing could compete with my love for Edward, but that didn't stop me from feeling so much for Jake as well.

"I'm sorry Jacob," my voice shook and he wrapped two strong arms around me. Unlike Edward's embrace, this actually felt warm. It amazed me at how comfortable it felt, being this close to whom I had long considered to be my best friend. A slight wave of guilt washed over me as I imagined what Edward's reaction to this closeness would be.

"No, I should be sorry," Jake whispered in my ear. "I didn't mean to upset you." I clutched the hulking body to me tighter, suddenly not caring about right or wrong.

"I love you Bella," Jake said softly after a moment. I stiffened at his words. This was all wrong; I couldn't lead his on like this. I broke out of Jake's tight embrace and turned my back towards him to gather my thoughts.

"Jake…" desperately I hoped my voice would stay strong. "I can't…" I could almost hear the hurt transforming Jake's face.

"I…" Jake's fingers brushed my arms and I quickly turned to face him again. His dark eyes sparkled magnificently in the moonlight. "I have to know…have you ever loved me?"

This time I couldn't stop the tears form rolling down my cheeks and I was sure they would freeze there in the cold. It took me several tries to find my voice.

"I still love you Jake," I murmured, but even as I spoke Edward's perfect face shown vividly in my mind. There could be no competition, no matter how much I cared for Jake. My expression must have made this clear, for Jake's next words were slow and tortured.

"But you love him more," he stated and I could only nod. "Figures."

"You're my best friend Jacob," I cried. "Why can't that be enough?" Jake scoffed.

"Friends?" he laughed, though there was no humor in his voice. "How well do you think we can be friends when we are forced to meet in the middle of the night without anyone else's knowledge? How long do you think it will take your bloodsucking boyfriend to discover our so-called 'friendship'? I'm sure he would react well."

My jaw trembled, though it wasn't from the cold. Jake's words were like a knife driving through my heart, all my fears verbally confirmed.

"I didn't mean for it to be this way," I claimed softly. Jake shook his head and all fell quite. I didn't know what to say so I remained silent, allowing Jake to sort through his thoughts. Eventually he spoke again.

"The Volturi have contacted us," he stated plainly. I gaped in surprise.

"The Volturi?" I repeated like a parrot. Something flashed across Jake's face, his brow knitting together.

"You know of them?" he asked, sounding slightly wary. I realized how little Jake knew of what had occurred in my vampire infused world. It was slightly unnerving, having so many secrets from everyone close to me, everyone who was still breathing at least.

"A little too well," I remarked darkly. "I'm more surprised that you know of them."

"Well I didn't until a few days ago," Jake replied and I was happy that our conversation was coming easier again. "One of them, Aro?" he glanced at me for confirmation and I nodded "he came to Sam. He warned us to suspend the treaty. That we were not to make any trouble with your vampire friends or we should all suffer in some horrible way that Sam didn't want to specify." Jake paused, allowing me to process what he had said.

"Oh," I remarked pathetically. Jake's face contorted into stark disapproval.

"Now why might they request that?" His question was biting. I was too surprised to answer. It shocked me, the lengths the Volturi were going to ensure my conversion. Edward would be furious, although I really didn't have to tell him.

A slight gasp from Jake drew me out of my thoughts. I realized my silence must have confirmed his obvious fears.

"You're not going to…" he swallowed hard "…to change into one of them?" I bit my lip, trying to figure out how to answer that without Jake going completely berserk. It was pretty much a lost cause from the start.

"You're not going to like my answer," I warned and Jake's deep brown eyes flashed dangerously.

"Bella!" he exclaimed loudly and I desperately hoped no one heard him. I also know it wouldn't be much longer until Edward noticed I was missing, if he hadn't already. Even with all the precautions I had taken I knew it wouldn't be very difficult for him to locate me.

"Jake, I don't have a choice!" I tried for a different approach. It didn't seem to help much.

"Of course you do,' his voice was strained. "You always have a choice. It's your life!" I sighed heavily, deciding whether to omit the fact that I wanted to become a vampire, although I suspected Jake already inferred that.

"You don't understand," I explained. "The Volturi are the most powerful vampires in existence. There is no denying them what they want." Jake was obviously incredibly distressed. He was pacing a hard path into the snow before me, his hand compulsively rubbing the back of his neck.

"Why do they want you so much?" he questioned and I frowned. This was puzzling me as well.

"I'm not sure," I replied truthfully. "They're awfully impatient about it though." I was sure a million gears were turning in Jake's head.

"We can hide you," he offered desperately. "We'll take you far away, where they can't find you." I shook my head sadly.

"Impossible," I remarked. "Each of the Volturi are chosen for their special abilities. There is no place we could hide where they couldn't find us." Jake's lips pursed as he pursued other possibilities.

"We'll fight them," he said forcefully. "Werewolves are a bloodsuckers most powerful enemy." I shook my head again.

"Jake, they far outnumber you, not to imagine the immensity of their abilities," I put as knowingly as I could. "They'll kill you in an instant." Jake gaped at me wordlessly.

"You want to be changed, don't you?" his voice was laced with horror and disgust. "You want to be one of them." I dropped my gaze to the snowy ground.

"Jake, I know you don't approve, but I love Edward," I said sincerely. "And I can't truly be with him unless…" Jake growled deep in his throat.

"I don't suppose there's anything I can do to stop you?" The hopelessness in Jake's words very nearly broke my heart.

"Not unless you want the wrath of the Volturi down on your shoulders," I remarked, raising my eyebrows.

"I guess this is goodbye then." Fresh tears sprang to my eyes at Jake's words.

"No," I shook my head. "Don't say that." Jake's eyes bore into mind, as if trying to memorize my face from the last time.

"Bella, either I have you or I don't. I can't linger somewhere in between, I love you too much." I flung myself at Jake, wrapping my arms around him tightly. He immediately returned the gesture, laying his cheek on the top of my head. The warmth of his skin seeped through my hair, and I was reminded how different he was from Edward.

"This isn't the end," I promised. "Not for good." Jake sighed deeply.

"I didn't want this for you," he breathed before quite suddenly pressing his lips to mine. Impulsively I kissed him back before I realized what I was doing. An embarrassing shame came over me at my actions. How did Jake manage to do this to me?

He turned as if to leave and I felt my throat constrict sharply. It surprised me how much I hated to see him leave. Brief relief spread through me as he turned back toward me, one last time.

"I'm curious," he said as if something had been bugging him for a long time. "How did you do it? How did you bring Edward back from the dead?" I paused before answering, trying to decide how much to reveal. I figured it was best to leave out the part about having to stop my own heart.

"I'm not exactly sure," I replied as vaguely as I possibly could. "I had help." Jake didn't appear nearly satisfied with my answer, but to my relief he let the subject alone.

"What did you tell Charlie?" he questioned instead and I had to smile at this one, remember my father's baffled expression.

"That Edward had witnessed a violent crime and had to enter the witness protection program until the culprit was caught," I couldn't keep the mirth out of my voice. Jake stared at me incredulously.

"He believed that?" I chuckled at Jake's unbelieving eyes. I had a hard time believing it myself.

"I know, poor Charlie," I replied before abruptly realizing what the time must be. Jake must've noticed my change in expression, for his face fell suddenly.

"You have to go." It wasn't a question. I nodded reluctantly. I was slightly surprised no one had found me yet.

"I'm sorry Jake," my voice wavered dangerously. Jake smiled sadly.

"I'll miss you," he said and I was surprised to see a tear trail down his cheek. "Just…try and be safe." With that I suddenly found myself very alone.

I didn't even try to stop the tears that were flowing freely down my cheeks. I had gotten back my true love but had lost my best friend. Nothing in life seems to work out how you want it. The cold made me shiver violently, but I hardly cared. All I could think about was the expression of hurt and loss that marred Jake's handsome features as he walked away.

Suddenly I became away for another presence and I turned around sharply, nearly stumbling in the thick snow. My eyes narrowed as I took in Jane's permanently young visage, the very last thing that I had expected to see at this moment, not to mention the last thing I wanted to see. She chuckled at my clumsiness before smoothly transforming her face into a frown.

"Do I smell dog?" her voice was dripping with revulsion. I glared daggers at her.

"What are you doing here Jane?" I snapped at her. Jane clucked her tongue in disappointment.

"I think you know. Your sentimental boyfriend has been putting off your transformation for far too long and the Volturi are starting to get impatient," Jane explained, a menacing glint in her blood-red eyes. "We're simply here to ensure that everything goes according to plan."

"We?" I questioned. Jane nodded, looking rather bored all of a sudden.

"I believe you know Ryan. He's with Edward at this moment, rendering him unable to find your scent or trail," I sensed an undertone of amusement in her words. "I did enjoy your little chat with the werewolf. Very heartbreaking. It is quite amazing the creatures you manage to involve yourself with." I was shaking again, but this time it wasn't with cold.

"You were watching?" I desperately tried to control my anger. Even through Jane's pain-inflicting power failed to work on me, she could still cause me more damage that I could to her. Much more damage.

"It nearly brought tears to my eyes. I'm sure Edward would very much like to know what you talked about." I loathed the creature before me with every fiber of my being.

"No," I breathed. "Don't tell him." Jane's face took a mock-serious expression.

"I may or may not," her teeth gleamed in the moonlight. "Depends on my mood." I closed my eyes tightly, wishing I had taken up Zen meditation or something that could keep my anger at bay.

"Shall we head back?" she suggested lightly, like we were long-time friends. "I'm sure Edward is overly anxious about you and I know how easily you humans get sick in the cold. We wouldn't want that now, would we?"

Without even bothering to respond I turned and began to march back home, concentrating extra hard on trying not to trip, which Jane so obviously enjoyed. My emotions were so mudded I really couldn't tell left from right and eventually Jane took the lead, much to my silent disapproval.

It wasn't long, however, until we came upon a rather furious Edward.

Ok, so now Jake has gotten his two-cents worth in. I promise Edward in the next chapter, beaucoup! Review what you thought! I'm anxious to know! Also, let me know what you think of the summary. I'm not sure how much I like it...