Jacob's POV

I finally got her to go to sleep. She was so drunk it scared the hell out of me. What scared me more was the fact that I had let my guard down for even the slightest of moments and my job of protecting her had nearly gone to shit.

A week ago I finally allowed myself to feel something for someone that was more than anger or hatred or resentment. I realized that I was falling for Bella…that I could easily fall in love with her. I allowed myself to get carried away twice, once after the whole Mike and Gabbi incident and when Bella screamed because she saw that stupid spider in the shower. Each time I felt like she might very well be feeling the same way about me and each time my touches reminded her of a rapist murdering bastard.

So, I avoided her as much as I could since then. I won't lie. It wasn't just for her. I didn't just want to make sure that she didn't think of that ass hole, but it was also because of me. I needed to protect myself. How messed up would it be if I fell for her completely only for nothing to ever come of it? I remembered how bad I hurt Gabriela back when I left Forks. I didn't understand it completely, even though I missed her like hell when I left, but I wasn't devastated or anything. She was. Now, I can begin to understand. If I fell in love with Bella and she didn't feel the same I would be crushed and I just couldn't let that shit happen. That wasn't me. Not anymore. I may have been an emotionally sensitive person at one time, I may have been romantic and spontaneous, but after years on the force and after what happened to Charlie that old part of me died. It was replaced with this hard, abrasive person. I have an ice box where my heart used to be, but I would be kidding myself if I didn't admit that every glance from Bella, every time she looked at me, touched me – even those stolen kisses had been like a blow torch to an ice sculpture.

Although I did my best to avoid her I slipped a couple times. When she would fall asleep on the couch I would bring her to her bed. Whenever she needed a drink I would get it for her. Whenever she was hungry I would make her breakfast lunch and dinner. And I found that it never once bothered me. I enjoyed doing the things I loathed doing before I met her. I found that I always wanted to keep her happy, but I couldn't keep her happy and not get hurt at the same time so, avoiding her was the plan of the day - every day.

I knew, however, that her birthday was on Halloween. For days I thought about what I could get her, honestly, she had everything. I made sure of it. She didn't need a damn thing.

It wasn't until three days before her birthday that I was on the phone with my weekly call with Sam. He kept insisting that I tell Bella about Angela, but as the days turned into a week I found it harder and harder to bring it up.

Hey, Bella, Yeah you know Angela? Yeah, Edward got to her. She's dead. I'm sorry for your loss.

Yeah, that would go over real well.

"So how is Bella? You aren't being a complete jerk to her are you?"

"I'm not babying her if that's what you're asking. You should have put Seth Clearwater on duty if you wanted someone to give her complete pity."

"No. You're the right man for the job no matter how much of an ass you can be. Charlie wouldn't have wanted anyone else to care for her daughter. I know you. You always tried your best to make him proud."

"I'm rolling my eyes at you just so you know."

"You know, I'm looking at this picture of Charlie now. He loved that girl so damn much. I'm glad he isn't alive to know what has happened to her."

And that's when it hit me. Charlie! I could give Bella her father for her birthday!

"That's it!"

"What? What's it? Jake…what are you up to?"

"Do you have any pictures of Bella and Charlie together? I want to get her something special for her birthday."

"Yes, as a matter of fact I do."

The next day there was a Fedex package on the front steps and I rushed to my bedroom to put it in a nice bag for Bells.

I decided I would make her favorite pancakes.

I heard her coming down the stairs and waited for her in the kitchen. I couldn't help the huge grin I had on my face when I saw her all groggy, messy haired self slump into the kitchen. Her eyes focused on the stack of pancakes.

"What the hell is this?" she snapped.

Well good morning to you too, Grumpy Dwarf.

"It's for your fuckin' birthday. Shit, now I understand why you're such a witch all the time. Just look at the day of your birth." I laughed; I couldn't help it with that ridiculous look on her face.

She glared at me, but her hunger won out as she sat down and ate in silence. She looked…perfect. Not like those other girls who always tried to impress me. She didn't have the latest clothes…well, she did, I made sure of it, but she didn't wear them for my benefit.

Her hair was tied in an 'I don't care what I look like right now' knot. She wore loose NYPD grey sweat pants and long matching T-shirt. Her tiny feet were barefoot and I wanted nothing more than to throw her over my shoulder, bring her to bed and have her fall back asleep in my arms.

What the hell? I was going soft. Damn it!

She looked up at me every now and then and I would smile at her. She rolled her eyes, apparently mad at something – I just had no idea what.

Once she was done and had the plate in the sink I brought out the small black bag with pink circles.

She arched her eyebrow at me and I rolled my eyes. I pushed the bag in her direction.

She was acting like such a grump.

"Just fuckin' open it." Or else I'll kick your ass. I wanted to add.

She dug through the pink and black tissue paper I stuffed the bag with until she found the black antique looking picture frame containing a picture of Charlie and Bella on Thanksgiving. Both of them were laughing and appeared to be so happy together.

She placed one of her hands on her mouth as she gasped quietly. She turned to look at me and her eyes were glassed over with tears.

"How did you…" she began before clutching the picture to her chest and pouring her eyes out. Did I mention that this girl is fucking beautiful, both inside and out?

I couldn't avoid her – not anymore – not when I had the real Bella showing herself to me, the innocent, vulnerable Bella, who felt things, who wasn't always so damn angry, like me.

I took a step towards her and wrapped her in my arms as she laid her head in my neck.

"I called Sam and had him overnight it. I couldn't figure out what else to get you." I whispered in her ear.

"Thank you so much." She said as she kissed my cheeks which sent a bolt of adrenaline straight to my heart. Her lips lingered, but didn't stop there. She continued placing soft kisses along my cheek until she was dangerously close to my lips.

I wanted to turn. I wanted to kiss her, shit; I wanted her to kiss me.

But I wimped out.

I froze and moved away from her.

"I got to go…uh…do something."

I practically ran out of the kitchen and locked myself in my room. The entire day went by and thoughts of my new found dilemma filled my mind.

It wasn't until I noticed the sun setting that I remembered that we still had that stupid party to go to. I wasn't too happy about it, but it was Bella's birthday. I would grant her wishes if only for just today.

I walked downstairs and the house was empty. I walked back upstairs and knocked on her door. I heard her groan and knew that she must have been sleeping.

"Bella, start getting ready. The party is in an hour!"

I walked back into my room and headed straight for the closet.

What should I wear?

I know, it sounds like such a girl thing to say, but Jacob Black does not go anywhere without looking his best. Yeah, I had that Doctor costume Bella picked out…but did I wear a black sweater under it, a white one? Did I spike my hair or leave it the normal 'I don't give a crap' kind of way? Ugh, I am such a chick.

In the end the black sweater won out and I was walking out of my room with strange butterflies in my stomach.

I walked down stairs, hearing Bella still getting ready in her room.

I poured myself a glass of milk and munched on a granola bar as I waited for her to finish. I wasn't going to be drinking tonight so I had to make sure that I was full before we left.

As soon as I heard her shut her bedroom door I raced to the foot of the stairs. I had to pretend like I wasn't actually waiting for her so I stretched. When I glanced back up the stairs I caught her licking her lips, which in turn made my stupid ass blush. Yeah, I was a goner.

Honestly, that costume should not have flattered anyone, but she looked so damn sexy in it I was surprised my pants didn't resemble a pitched tent.

The baggy blue scrubs with the bloody hand print going down the middle and the stethoscope around her neck made her look like the nurse from hell – a sexy nurse from hell. She had her hair twisted up in a loose bun looking thing with nothing but a pencil holding it up and she held a clipboard in her hands.

I felt like a moron as I stuttered, "Uh, ready?"

Luckily she didn't seem to notice my drooling and nodded her head before she walked down the stairs…seductively. Seriously, there is no way a girl's hips move that sexily down the stairs. No, she was trying to turn me on. Mission accomplished.

We made our way out of the house and the entire block was lined with cars and partygoers laughing and tripping over themselves. Must be nice to not have a care in the world.

Everyone else seemed to just be allowing themselves inside so I did the same. I walked through the door and my ears were assaulted by really loud, tacky techno music. My eyes on the other hand were assaulted by several different displays of sex by several different women. The one that caught my eyes from the word 'go' was Gabbi. I shouldn't have been surprised to see her here; she had always been a party animal. Time had not changed that apparently.

She spotted me immediately and started walking over to me. I shook my head no, not wanting to upset Bella tonight, and she stopped in her tracks. Her eyes flitted from Bella to me and back again resting on Bella as she narrowed her eyes at her. That shit pissed me off.

For all she knew Bella was my wife and this shit she was pulling was just plain rude. I put my arm around Bella's shoulder and placed a kiss on her cheek. Bella look up at me and gave me a curious look before looking around the room again. Hopefully Gabbi took the hint.

Within seconds Bella had walked over to the drinks table, popped open a beer and downed it almost in one gulp.

I looked down at her, shocked. She just shrugged.

"Damn, now that's my type of girl!" came a voice from directly behind us. I turned around to see the Jock Quileute loser that came over to the house last week dressed up like superman. Poor guy seemed to be suffering from delusions of grandeur.

He was smiling at Bella in a way that was clear to me; he was eye fucking her and I was about to fuck up his face if he didn't quit that shit. I mean, didn't Bella tell him that I was her husband? I looked at her and she had a cheesy ass smile of her own spread across that mischievous face of hers and I instantly became pissed. The 'sensitive' Jake had been tossed out the window replaced by the possessive asshole. I placed my arm around her again and practically growled at the two of them.

"Paul this is Jake." She yelled over the loud crappy music. The douche nodded and turned around, flagging down a, just as dark, Quileute kid wearing an ugly ass cowboy outfit. He was Brokeback Mountain-ing it.

"This is my brother Jared. Jared this is Bella and her friend Jacob."

Did the mother fucker just call me Bella's 'friend'?

Before I could ask what the hell he was talking about he asked Bella to dance and she accepted. I grabed her arm, but she gave me the 'I'll be fine' look. I reluctantly let her go. I was left alone with the douche's gay brother. I walked around the edge of the house keeping my eyes on Bella the entire time. I had to have a clear pathway to her at all times. I didn't trust the way that guy was dancing with her. What was pissing me off even more was that Bella didn't seem to have a problem with it. The jealousy built up within me. Although I knew I was overreacting I couldn't help but wonder why he, a total stranger, was able to dance with her and touch her like that, but I, her protector, couldn't run my fingers through her hair without her freaking the fuck out.

I was brought out of my angry thoughts by a hand on my shoulder.

"…wanted to know….dance…over there?" The music was deafening and I couldn't make out what Jared what saying.

I took my eyes off of Bella and faced him.

"What?" I yelled over the blaring noise.

Again I couldn't catch what he was saying.

"I'm sorry. I. Can't. Hear. You." I yelled again, this time getting closer to him.

The next thing I knew he had his hands on my face and his tongue in my mouth!

I pushed him away.

"What the fuck?" he looked at me like a deer in headlights. "Dude, I'm not fucking gay!"

He spluttered around. "But…but…Bella told Paul…" and then I flipped out angry as hell that Bella would do something like that. It made sense. The whole friend thing, leaving me alone with Jared, I turned to get Bella and take her out of here, to give her a piece of my mind when my heart sunk. She was gone. She was no longer in the place where I saw her just two seconds ago. I flew through the crowd of people and she was no where.

Jared followed me, apologizing profusely.

I turned and snapped at him. "I don't fucking care Jared! You want to make up for it? Help me find Bella. I lost her!" and I ran towards the other drink table across the room hoping to find her there.

I was out of luck. The only thing I found was my ex who immediately took advantage of the situation of me being alone.

"Hey Jake. Where's the wifey?"

I scowled at her, but she didn't even flinch. She's known me for too many years. Unfortunately she knows the nice Jake and has never been introduced to the new Jake – well, no time like the present.

"Gabbi, get your fucking hands off of me. I'm married. Don't you get it?"

She laughed. Can you believe that she actually laughed?

Luckily Jared stepped in before I could say something I would possibly regret later.

"They went upstairs." He said clearly out of breath. He must have ran over to me. Just as he said this my eyes flew up the stairs in time to see Bella followed by Paul walking into a room, the door closing behind them.

No!

I tried going after them but Gabriela held me back.

"No, stay with me." She said attempting to caress my face.

"We can get together just like old times. We always did know how to have fun."

I was so angry, so scared and so nervous I did the only thing I could think of doing. I pushed her. I don't believe in hitting woman or hurting them in anyway, but I got over it quickly. If it came down to her or Bella, Bella would always win.

I sprinted towards the stairs as fast as I could. Not fast enough as I was pushed around the room by crowds of dancing college students.

Finally I made it to the staircase and took the steps three at a time. I broke down the door and my heart nearly fell to my knees with the sight before me. Bella was practically naked, the loser had his hands down her pants and she was crying.

"We're busy, go away." He slurred.

"Get the fuck off of her!" I yelled as I picked him up and threw him across the room – his back slamming into a dresser.

I ran to Bella and cradled her in my arms and she broke down and cried.

"Shhh, baby, I'm here. Let's go home."

I picked her up with her chest against mine – she was bare – and she wrapped her legs around my waist. I held her close to me hoping she knew I wouldn't let anything else go wrong tonight.

I stepped over Paul on my way out.

"You come near her again and I will kill your goddamn ass!"

We made it back home in no time but I didn't have the energy to go upstairs. I was so terrified for Bella. I felt like all the progress we had made had been for nothing because of what happened tonight. I should have paid more attention to her. No, I shouldn't have let her go with Paul. No! I should have never allowed her to go to the party in the first place.

Her crying slowly subsided and she whispered a soft, "Thank you."

I shrugged and her big brown eyes looked up at me.

My heart sunk…for no other reason…than because I realized in that moment that I was absolutely in love with her.

I didn't give her my heart. No, she reached into my chest, pulled it out and took it.

It took every ounce of self restraint not to tell her right there and then. No, this was not the time.

…and then she leaned in and softly pressed her lips against mine. The kiss took me by surprise but only for an instant, then my body reacted. The kiss got more intense as she moved her hips over me slowly, then a little faster. I was hard for her…no; I was rock solid for her.

What the hell was she doing? This is not the reaction I was expecting from her.

"Jacob, I am so fuckin' wet for you. I want to feel your cock in me and I want you to fuck me until I scream." She breathed into my ear. My breath caught in my throat as my hands slowly creeped up her back. The feel of her bare skin on my hands was something I could definitely get used to.

"Then I want to ride your dick and make you cum so hard." And before I could respond her small hands slid down the front of my pants and gripped me. I couldn't help myself, I bucked my hips wanting more of her and a moan escaped my mouth. My mind gradually started to black out as I focused every thing I could on the feel of her hand stroking me.

"You know baby, I've never had the desire to suck a man's dick, but shit…I want to take you in my mouth and feel you explode. I want to fuckin' taste you." she moaned in my ear as she lightly nipped it. I felt every nerve ending in my body light on fire.

"Fuck Bella." I moaned as I crushed my mouth to hers, her hand doing everything just right. Then she slid her tongue in my mouth and I was overwhelmed with the taste of Tequila and lime. That was all I needed. I was snapped out of my trance. This is the girl I loved, what the fuck was I doing?

I stopped her hand. "Stop. Bella, I can't fucking do this. You're drunk and I'm not going to be a bastard and take advantage of you." I said still trying to catch my breath.

"I'm a grown ass woman and I want you to fuck me! All I've ever been with is with Mike Newton and his dick was so small I had to use a magnifying glass to see it. He didn't even know what to do with it! I've been through hell and the least you can do is give me a good fuck!" she hissed at me as she gripped me harder. The little devil on my left shoulder said to get over my new found morals as her warm hand tightened itself around me. The morals won out.

"Bella, I'm not going to fuck you." I said as I took her hand out of my pants. She looked at me shocked and hurt. I couldn't see her like that. I didn't want to be the cause of those emotions in her, so I held her against me. She immediately started to cry.

"Don't you want me?" she said sounding so innocent and defeated I couldn't help but laugh at her ridiculousness. I kissed the top of her precious little head.

"I think we have established that already. I don't get this fuckin' hard for anyone." I chuckled without humor. I desperately needed to adjust myself amongst other things. I was going to be in serious pain tonight – that was for sure.

She nodded and closed her eyes.

"Go to sleep baby. You've had a long ass night." Her head was resting on my shoulder and she was looking away from me. I pressed my lips into her hair which was now hanging loose down her back and started humming Here Comes The Sun. I pulled the throw off of the back of the couch and wrapped it around us as I felt her even breathing against my chest.

I slowly lowered her on to the couch but never let her go. I held her in my arms all night. I didn't sleep a wink.

And here I am thinking over the entire week wondering what I had gotten myself into.

Where did we go from here? She was drunk last night; she would surely wake up and dread what had happened in that room with Paul. She would be embarrassed of how she acted with me right afterward.

The darkness from the windows slowly changed to a blue grey color until the sky was assaulted with violent shades of pink and orange and the sun rose. The blinding light fell on Bella's face and she stirred. I held her closer to me and she responded. She was still sleeping but she rolled over and kissed my chest. I pulled away from her. Her eyes slowly opened and a beautiful sleepy smile spread across her face.

I couldn't help myself. I bridged the gap between up and pressed my lips against hers. She smiled against my kiss and slinked her hands around my neck. The kiss got deeper and then hotter. I needed her and she needed me. The throw fell off of her and in the daylight I could see her, she didn't have a shirt on.

She realized this immediately and blushed and reached for the throw to cover herself. I smiled and shook my head.

"Oh my God, Jacob. I am so sorry. I thought all of the horror was a dream, but it was real wasn't it? It almost happened again."

I placed my finger on her lips to silence her and again I brought her as close to me as I could as we lay there on the couch.

"Nothing like that will ever happen to you again. I promise." I whispered.

The tears began to well up in her eyes.

"I acted like such a bitch and look where it got me. I'm sorry. I'm so so-"

But I couldn't take it anymore. I silence her with a kiss and scooped her up off of the bed, my lips never leaving hers as I brought her up the stairs. Her hands slid from my neck into my hair as little moans escaped her mouth.

I took her to my room and slowly laid her down on the bed. Kissing her softly, scared that my touch would again remind her of Edward. I trailed my finger down the side of her face. She closed her eyes, took in a deep breath and smiled.

I got up and walked to the closed pulling out a T-shirt and some sweatpants. I walked back over to the bed and pulled Bella up so that she was sitting on the bed. She looked at my confused.

"Hands up." I said demanding, but also with a slight smile in my voice. She looked at me like I had lost my mind, but she didn't appear to be shy about being exposed in front of me. Progress.

I slid the shirt on her and then I teasingly pushed her so that she was now on her back. I took off her shoes, her socks and then I climbed up on the bed with her.

Her eyes captured mine. My heart was pounding. I felt like I was fourteen all over again.

"Bella."

She tilted her head to the side in response.

"I…I…I will always be here for you." What the fuck? God damn it Jacob Black! Why can't you just tell her that you love her?

"I know." She said and I know she meant it.

"I want to do…this, but it's not right. Not right now."

"I love you." She said and it took her a minute to realize what she said. When she did she covered her mouth with her hands and looked away from me. I was in shock myself. She ducked under my arm and got off of the bed and ran to the door. I ran after her and held her back, my arms wrapping around her waist holding her tight against me; her back against my chest.

"Don't leave me, Bella."

She shook her head and covered her face again.

"I shouldn't have said that." Came her muffled voice from inside her hands. I turned her around removed her hands from her face.

"Why?" I whispered.

Her only response was closing her eyes and shaking her head again.

"Why is it such a horrible thing to say that you love me?" again, her eyes stayed closed.

"Look at me, Bella."

"Why, so you can laugh or make fun of me or tell me how stupid I am?"

I smiled, but she didn't see it. This girl was going to be the death of me.

"No, you silly little girl. I want you to look at me so that you can see the truth in my eyes when I tell you that I love you too."

Slowly her eyes opened.

"What?"

I held her hands in mine and looked her dead in the eyes.

"Bella, I was lost for a very long time. I hated the world and I would be a liar if I told you that it was any different today. I have suffered through the darkness. I have felt her claws rip away at my flesh and I hurt and when I was tired of hurting I withdrew myself from everything. I had forgotten how to feel. I had forgotten how to be the person I used to be. Believe it or not, Bells, I wasn't always a self indulgent son of a bitch prick. I was quite nice and lively. I thought I would never see the old Jacob again. I thought that piece of me had been lost forever. Now I know that it is not true. You know why? Because of you, Bella. You awaken things in me that long lay dormant or never discovered. You make me feel and care again. I have been hiding the way I felt about you by treating you like crap and I'm sorry. And I know that apologies have little meaning anymore in a world full of pain, mistrust, and a shattered soul. I am not perfect and I can be really nasty and abrasive. All these things are true. But Bella, do you know what else is true? The fact that I am lost to you. I am yours to have if you want me. I.."

And I began to lose my courage, but this beautiful woman in front of me inspires me to be a better person. She does not deserve to be robbed of the truth.

"I love you." I sucked in a deep breath of air and slowly let it out but not before she got up on her toes and kissed me without reserve.

I had no idea what would happen from this point on, but I would love this woman, protect and help this woman at any costs. I would never ever fail her again.


A/N: Again, sorry it took so long to update. Life seems to be interfering with the creativity, but I hope you guys like this chapter. It was written by ziomy :)

Let us know what you think, as always, we enjoy hearing it all.

Love you guys,

Ziomy 3