AN: The beginning of this story is an outtake from the tent scene in Eclipse: The Book, so if you have already read it, you can just scroll to almost the bottom to where the original work starts. I just wanted to add this bit for the people who have only watched the movies. Thanks :)
BTW, this is an E/B/J fic. It will be a threesome, SO, if you are not okay with that, I'm pretty sure you know how the click the back button and find a new story. :) Happy reading!
The wind shook the tent, and I shook with it.
The temperature was dropping. I could feel it through the down bag, through my jacket. I was fully dressed, my hiking boots still laced into place. It didn't make any difference. How could it be so cold? How could it keep getting colder? It had to bottom out sometime, didn't it?
"W-w-w-w-w-what t-t-t-t-time is it?" I forced the words through my rattling teeth.
"Two," Edward answered. He sat as far from me as possible in the cramped space, afraid to even breathe on me when I was already so cold. It was too dark to see his face, but his voice was wild with worry, indecision, and frustration.
"Maybe . . ."
"No, I'm f-f-f-f-f-fine, r-r-r-really. I don't w-w-w-want to g-go outside."
He'd tried to talk me into making a run for it a dozen times already, but I was terrified of leaving my shelter. If it was this cold in here, protected from the raging wind, I could imagine how bad it would be if we were running through it.
And it would waste all our efforts this afternoon. Would we have enough time to reset ourselves when the storm was over? What if it didn't end? It made no sense to move now. I could shiver my way through one night.
I was worried that the trail I had laid would be lost, but he promised that it would still be plain to the coming monsters.
"What can I do?" he almost begged.
I just shook my head. There's nothing he can do unless he want's all the work we did this afternoon of setting up the trap to be worthless.
Out in the snow, Jacob whined unhappily.
"G-g-g-get out of h-h-h-ere," I ordered, again.
"He's just worried about you," Edward translated. "He's body is equipped to deal with this."
"H-h-h-h-h-h." I wanted to say that he should still leave, but I couldn't get it past my teeth. I nearly bit my tongue off trying. At least Jacob did seem to be well equipped for the snow, better even than the others in his pack with his thicker, longer, shaggy russet fur. I wondered why that was.
Jacob whimpered, a high-pitched, grating sound of complaint.
"What do you want me to do?" Edward growled, too anxious to bother with politeness anymore. "Carry her through that? I don't see you making yourself useful. Why don't you go fetch a space heater or something?"
"I'm ok-k-k-k-k-k-kay," I protested. Judging from Edward's groan and the muted growl outside the tent, I hadn't convinced anyone. The wind rocked the tent roughly, and I shuddered in harmony with it.
A sudden howl ripped through the roar of the wind, and I covered my ears against the noise.
Edward scowled. "That was hardly necessary," he muttered. "And that's the worst idea I've ever heard," he called more loudly.
"Better than anything you've come up with," Jacob answered, his human voice startling me."Go fetch a space heater?" he grumbled. "I'm not a St. Bernard."
I heard the sound of the zipper around the tent door pulling swiftly down. What's he doing?
Jacob slid through the smallest opening he could manage, while the arctic air flowed in around him, a few flecks of snow falling to the floor of the tent. I shivered so hard it felt like a convulsion.
"I don't like this," Edward hissed as Jake zipped the tent door shut. "Just give her the coat and get out."
My eyes were adjusted enough to see shapes - Jacob was carrying the parka that had been hanging on a tree next to the tent.
I tried to ask what they were talking about, but all that came out of my mouth was, "W-w-w-w-w-w," as the shivering made me stutter uncontrollably.
"The parka's for tomorrow - she's too cold to warm it up by herself. It's frozen." He dropped it by the door. "You said she needed a space heater, and here I am." Jacob held his arms as wide as the tent allowed. As usual, when he'd been running around as a wolf, he'd only thrown on the bare essentials - just a pair of sweats, no shirt, no shoes.
"J-J-J-J-Jake, you'll f-f-f-freez-z-z-ze," I tried to complain.
"Not me," he said cheerfully. "I run at a toasty one-oh-eight point nine these days. I'll have you sweating in no time."
Edward snarled, but Jacob didn't even look at him. Instead, he crawled to my side and started unzipping my sleeping bag.
Edward's hand was suddenly hard on his shoulder, restraining, snow white against the dark skin. Jacob's jaw clenched, his nostrils flaring, his body recoiling from the cold touch. The long muscles in his arms flexed automatically.
"Get your hand off of me," he growled through his teeth.
"Keep your hands off of her," Edward answered blackly.
"D-d-d-don't f-f-f-f-fight," I pleaded. Another tremor rocked through me. It felt like my teeth were going to shatter, they were slamming together so hard.
"I'm sure she'll thank you for this when her toes turn black and drop off," Jacob snapped.
Edward hesitated, then his hand fell away and he slid back to his position in the corner.
His voice was flat and frightening. "Watch yourself."
Jacob chuckled. "Scoot over, Bella," he said, zipping the sleeping bag open farther.
I stared at him in disbelief. No wonder Edward was reacting this way.
"N-n-n-n-n," I tried to protest. I mean, I had to say that, what would Edward think if I didn't protest, if I just agreed readily to what Jake was suggesting.
"Don't be stupid," he said, exasperated. "Don't you like having ten toes?"
He crammed his body into the nonexistent space, forcing the zipper up behind himself.
And then I couldn't object, I couldn't fake it anymore. He was so warm. His arms constricted around me, holding me snugly against his bare chest. The heat was irresistible, like air after being underwater for too long. He cringed when I pressed my icy fingers eagerly against his skin.
"Jeez, you're freezing, Bella," he complained.
"S-s-s-s-sorry," I stuttered. Hmm.. He felt so nice and warm.
"Try to relax," he suggested as another shiver rippled through me violently. "You'll be warm in a minute. Of course, you'd warm up faster if you took your clothes off."
Edward growled sharply.
"That's just a simple fact," Jacob defended himself. "Survival one-oh-one."
I couldn't help the blush that ran up my face when he said that. C-c-cut it out, Jake," I said. Why was he acting like this with Edward so close by? It's like he want's to get in a fight with him.
"Don't worry about the bloodsucker," Jacob suggested, and his tone was smug. "He's just jealous."
"Of course I am." Edward's voice was velvet again, under control, a musical murmur in the darkness. "You don't have the faintest idea how much I wish I could do what you're doing for her, mongrel."
"Those are the breaks," Jacob said lightly, but then his tone soured. "At least you know she wishes it was you." Not true, actually, I don't mind a bit it's Jacob instead of Edward, although... I wouldn't object to both of them either, but Edward being close by wouldn't really help my situation right now.
"True," Edward agreed.
The shuddering slowed, became bearable while they wrangled.
"There," Jacob said, pleased. "Feeling better?"
I've been feeling better, and I'm not just talking about the cold, I wanted to tell him, but all that came out of my mouth was.. "Yes."
Coward, I thought at myself.
It was already warm and snug inside the sleeping bag. Jacob's body heat seemed to radiate from every side - maybe because there was so much of him. I kicked my boots off, and pushed my toes against his legs. He jumped slightly, and then leaned his head down to press his hot
cheek against my numb ear. I shifted, it was a little uncomfortable with the loose boots in the bottom of the sleeping bag.
"Can I get of the sleeping bag or a second." I would just move the boots out, fast and quick, before the cold started seeping in my skin again.
"Why?" Asked Jacob, as he unzipped the sleeping bag from behind him and slid out, leaving space for me to move.
"Just going to move these boots out." While i was on the outside of the sleeping bag, I also slipped off the two coats I had on to keep me warm, I wasn't going to be needing those either, with how hot Jacob was. Hot as in temperature-wise, not look wise. Not that he wasn't hot, it's just, wow, I'm getting flustered even in my own thoughts.
"You might want to get back in the sleeping bag Bella, your going to get cold very fast." Edward warned.
"I know Edward," The lack of sleep causing my words to come out sharper than I intended them. Jacob seemed to enjoy that.
"Sorry, I didn't mean to snap at you Edward," I sighed, rubbing my eyes, and climbing back into the sleeping bag. I tried to situate myself into a comfortable position, but the tight quarters were allowing much extra elbow room. Already I was getting hot again, so before I zipped up the sleeping bag I pulled off my jeans, and tossed them into a corner of the tent.
I heard Edward growl, and I lifted my head to look at him curiously.
"Please!" He hissed, "Do you mind?"
"What?" Jacob whispered back, his tone surprised.
"Do you think you could attempt to control your thoughts?" Edward's low whisper was furious.
"No one said you had to listen," Jacob muttered, defiant, yet still embarrassed. "Get out of my head."
"I wish I could. You have no idea how loud your little fantasies are. It's like you're shouting them at me."
"I'll try to keep it down," Jacob whispered sarcastically.
There was a brief moment of silence.
"Yes," Edward answered an unspoken thought in a murmur so low I barely made it out. "I'm jealous of that, too."
"I figured it was like that," Jacob whispered smugly. "Sort of evens the playing field up a little, doesn't it?"
Edward chuckled. "In your dreams." What were they talking about?
"You know, she could still change her mind," Jacob taunted him. "Considering all the things I could do with her that you can't. At least, not without killing her, that is."
"Go to sleep, Jacob," Edward murmured. "You're starting to get on my nerves."
"I think I will. I'm really very comfortable." I smiled at that, I was really quite comfortable myself.
Edward didn't answer. Did he catch me smiling? Did he figure it out? Please, god no, I haven't even told Jake yet, let alone Edward.
"Maybe I would," Edward said after a moment. Oh, okay, he had just been listening to Jacobs thoughts. I hope he hadn't heard my heart accelerating, I wonder what he would have made of that, if he had been listening.
"But would you be honest?"
"You can always ask and see." Edward's tone made me wonder if I was missing out on a joke.
"Well, you see inside my head - let me see inside yours tonight, it's only fair," Jacob said.
"Your head is full of questions. Which one do you want me to answer?"
"The jealousy... it has to be eating at you. You can't be as sure of yourself as you seem. Unless you have no emotions at all."
"Of course it is," Edward agreed, no longer amused. "Right now it's so bad that I can barely control my voice. Of course, it's even worse when she's away from me, with you, and I can't see her." Did he not trust me? Did he think I would cheat on him with Jacob behind his back? That would be doing things with him, while he was out hunting? Well, I had thought of it, but that didn't mean I was actually going to. I couldn't believe him!
"Do you think about it all the time?" Jacob whispered. "Does it make it hard to concentrate when she's not with you?"
"Yes and no," Edward said; he seemed determined to answer honestly. "My mind doesn't work quite the same as yours. I can think of many more things at one time. Of course, that means that I'm always able to think of you, always able to wonder if that's where her mind is, when she's quiet and thoughtful."
They were both still for a minute.
"Yes, I would guess that she thinks about you often," Edward murmured in response to Jacob's thoughts. "More often than I like. She worries that you're unhappy. Not that you don't know that. Not that you don't use that." Him use that? He thought he was using that to get me to come over? Haha, more like I was using that to get Edward to let me come visit Jake. I do worry that he's unhappy though, I loved him, in more than a platonic way, and I know he loves me, but I didn't want to leave Edward, I loved him too, so much. I know I'm hurting him, acting the way I am, but i can't help it. I can't help all these feelings that I have, all these confusing thoughts.
"I have to use whatever I can," Jacob muttered. "I'm not working with your advantages - advantages like her knowing she's in love with you." But, that's not true, I know I'm in love with him, I just didn't know if I would ever have the guts to tell him.
"That helps," Edward agreed in a mild tone.
Jacob was defiant. "She's in love with me, too, you know." That's right Jake, and that confuses me so much, I don't know what I'm going to do.
Edward didn't answer.
Jacob sighed. "But she doesn't know it." Oh, but Jake, I do, I do know it. I hurt me, to see him so hurt over something so untrue, I wanted to tell him, so bad, I never want to see him hurt. Maybe if I tell him now, before I lose my nerve. I should, I'm going to, here goes-.
"Jacob?" Oh god, what are you doing Bella, you know what this is going to do to Edward? It's going to hurt him so bad. Damn! Why does my life have to be so complicated. Either, one of them is hurting, and I make them feel better, but in turn, I hurt the other. Or vise-versa.
"Bella?" Jacob voice was laced with confusion. "I thought you were asleep"
"Uhm, no, not really. I've been listening to you guys talk, I haven't been able to sleep."
"Oh, well, what did you hear?"
"Everything." Duh, I just told him I'd been awake the whole time. Okay Bella, tell him now, before you chicken out. Do it! Now!
"Jacob?" I said again, uncertainly. Why does my stomach feel so fluttery? And not in a good way.
"What is it Bella?" He sounded concerned now, I wonder why.
"I need to tell you something, something important, that you need to know, that I've known for a while now, about you, well, and me, about us." Wow Bella, way to stutter your way though that.
"What is it?" His voice no longer sounded confused, it just rang with unconcealed curiosity.
"I, Jacob.. This is really hard for me, but I have to tell you okay?"
"Just spit it out already Bella! I'm dieing here!" He sounded like he was starting to get annoyed. Guess I better get out with it.
"Jacob, Jacob I-Love-You!" I said it so fast i wasn't sure if he understood me, but then I felt his body tense up, and he glanced over at Edward. What? Why would he be looking at Edward? I looked over to see what had his attention, and then I knew why he was tensing up.
Edward had crouched in a sitting position, his eye's locked with Jacob, and all of his muscles were locked in place.
Oh no, I though. This couldn't be good...