Tuesday, March 29, 2011

The Half-Blind Date By wonderwoundedhearers

Title: The Half-Blind Date
Author: wonderwoundedhearers
Rating: M/LS18+
Beta: The Chimaera's Mane
Word Count: 7,899

Summary: Written for the 'Devil's in the Details' contest. Bella's a free woman, and Peter's a free man. Oh, and look, there's a free bathroom stall… But Fate gives them more than a mile-high minute. P/B. Lem/Lang. BPOV. AH. O/S.

Disclaimer: I own nada…zilch…zero…nil…nought…nothing…bugger-all…sweet FA… (You get the idea.) Everything belongs to Stephenie Meyer – I just borrow her best characters and fiddle with their fangs, or lack thereof (:

I did it – finally, completely, and irrevocably did it.

I dumped Edward Cullen.

And on the phone, of all fucking things.

I am bad-ass.

I let out a huge breath of air, before snickering to myself and sinking back, as best I can, into the hard plastic seat I'm sat in waiting for my flight home.

Home – God, it feels good to think that, to say that even…and not home L.A. but home Forks.

Forks had been where I shipped myself off to when my mom remarried and blah, blah, blah… I don't know how many times I've told that story, but the gist of it is I stayed with my father, met Edward Cullen, got caught in his pretty sparkly net, and jumped ship with him and his family as soon as I was of age.

They're wealthy, beautiful and perfect…and I didn't realise how much I hate them until I found myself looking in the mirror a week previous and wondering whether to take Carlisle up on his offer of giving me the name of a top plastic surgeon.

Fuck. That.

I'm twenty-one. I don't need that shit.

Bad-ass Bella, that's what I am. And Bad-ass Bella likes her tits and ass just the way they are, fuck you very much.

The ability to use curses freely, especially without a jumped-up matriarch spitting flames at me, is the most liberating thing I've ever felt – I urge you to try it.

Fuckity, fuckity, fuck.

My cell rings.

"Hello? Bad-ass Bella, speaking."


Angela – the girl I had called once I'd had my early-life crisis and who had welcomed me back with open arms despite the arrogant swagger I'd sported as I had swung out of town hanging onto the arm of a ginger douche.

"Let's try that again. Hello? Bella, speaking. Who, incidentally, is also bad-ass."

"Bella, are you getting a little too acquainted with the airport bars?"

"No, I'm just on a high – a natural one. I dumped Edward. On the phone. While he's at work."

Silence. Absolute, utter silence.


"I'm still here…I just…wow."


She suddenly screams. "Oh, my God, Bella! That's great!"

I nod, pretty pleased with myself too.

"I'm so glad for you!" She sighs happily. "So? Seen any cute guys yet?"

I stumble.

Uh-oh. Bad-ass Bella's not all that bad-ass.

"I have to…find cute guys?"


Right. Fuck.

A thought strikes me. "What if I'm a lesbian now?"

"You did not just ask me that."

"Well, come on. Very long relationship, very bad experience – what if meat just doesn't cut it anymore?"

"Look around you. Find a girl."

I look.

Urgh. Orange skank, eleven o'clock. Hanging all over some really hot guy too – ooh, stubbly…


"Huh? Oh, yeah. Got one. My guess? Seventy-five percent man-made. Shame he can't see that."

"He, who?"

"Mr Tall, Hot and Stubbly."

"So…you're telling me you looked for a girl and found a hot guy, who you're currently drooling over?"

I check. No drool.

"Pretty much."

"I don't think you'll be hankering for…uh, girly-bits."

"'Girly-bits – seriously?"

"Look, my father was strict, okay? Ben's only just got me to say 'crap'."

"I love that man."

"Which reminds me why I called." There's a pause. "He proposed! We're getting married!"

I jump up from my seat, in front of everyone, and fist-pump the air. "Fuck, yeah!"

An old lady looks up from her flight pamphlet, startled, and tuts.

"Shit. Uh…I mean, darn. Sorry."

I sit back down and hear Angela snickering into my ear. "Bella, you are bad-ass."

"Say it again."


I sigh. "Thanks. It's good to hear."

"Welcome. Anyway, we're going to have a party to celebrate in a week or so. Ben's arranged it all – apparently he already invited some people who're flying in to visit, like his uncle and stuff."

"Hot uncle?"

"Ew. No. Old uncle."


"Well, Ben did tell me that he invited this guy he–"

A tinny voice suddenly rings out in the buzzing terminal and I curse and fly out of my chair, cutting Angela off. "I'm so sorry! My flight's just been called! I'll call you as soon as I can."

"I'm going to come pick you up. I'll see you outside."

"Wow. Thank you, Angela."

"It's fine. Go be bad-ass and, for the love of God, flirt or something."

She hangs up.

I take her advice and hurry on, throwing my single tiny duffel bag – my only luggage, containing everything that's actually mine – over my shoulder.

Flirt or something…

I swing my hips all the way onto the plane.

But I think the 'come hither' effect's minimised by the fact I'm wearing worn jeans and a faded band t-shirt that's too big for me.

And because I also catch one of my long dark curls on the buckle of the duffel bag strap and have to blink back tears as I untangle it.

Still bad-ass though.

The old lady – the one who tutted – is my seat-buddy apparently.

This could be construed as both bad and good luck – bad because I didn't get the hot guy, but good because I didn't get the skank.

Win some, lose some.

I get peanuts and juice, plug in my battered old-generation iPod and turn it to The Boomtown Rats, and I'm set. Until, about half an hour into the journey, a bony finger begins poking my arm.

I crack an eyelid and find wrinkled baby-blues glaring back at me.

"Yes, ma'am?"

"Don't 'ma'am' me. Get up. I need to use the facilities."


Why couldn't I get the window seat? At least I would have put it to good use – I wouldn't keep tutting at every cloud that we pass.

Of course, I don't actually know that she does this – since I can hear fuck-all with the cabin pressure, let alone my music, anyway – but I imagine so. I see an old lady very discontent with life…and her allocated seating partner.

"Move, girl. I have a weak bladder."

I'm up, like a shot.

I hit the businessman in front of me on the head with my iPod by accident in my rush to get out of the old bint's way, apologise to him profusely, and watch as the old woman waddles down the aisle towards the bathrooms and glares at a few innocent onlookers like they're judging her for being old and needing to pee.

I don't bother sitting down just yet, stretching my legs for a second or two while there's no traffic in the aisle and tapping my fingertips on the businessman's headrest along to 'She's So Modern'–

"Excuse me."

I shiver. Straight. Away.

Damn. A low Southern drawl should do it for any sane hot-blooded woman.

I am both female and hot-blooded. My sanity is in question. Two out of three isn't bad.

I turn…and have to tip my head back to look up at him.

Him. Him. Mr Stubble.

It has to be said, that stubble is even better close-up.


Dark blue eyes, strong jaw, lightly tanned skin, short and messy dirty-blonde hair, tall, and ripped…

Muscles. Me want.

Cave-Bella comes out in full-force. Where's a good knocking-out club when you need one?

Oh, and his jeans are tiiight…

A bony finger jabs me from behind.

"Fuck," I hiss.

Mr Stubble finds this amusing – Christ, his smile is gorgeous–

"Girl! Are you going to stand there all day? You're in the way!"

Bloody, old bint–

I turn and smile brightly, slightly too over-zealous in my sweeping gesture for her sit down to be sincere.

She scowls as she slides in.

Suddenly, there's hot breath on my neck. "You've forgotten 'bout me, sugar."

I try to suppress my shiver, and fail spectacularly.

How am I meant to forget about him, anyway?

I've said it out-loud. I turn to see his wide grin.

"You're not." He winks.

He fucking winks.

Flirt or something…

I smirk, trying to give him a smouldering look as I slide into my seat and sit down. He stands still for a moment, slightly dazed-looking, and I internally cheer.

Bad-ass Bella is actually bad-ass – take that, hot guy.

"Excuse me, sir. You're blocking the aisle."

The stewardess is all sweetness and smiles, and she actually looks sincere – Mr Stubble is hot enough to earn that privilege.

He comes out of his daze, shoots her a smile, gives me an obvious once over, and then leans down and growls, "See you later."

Mm-hmm. In one of those naughty dreams that Edward never let me act on – like the doctor one, or the foreign exchange student one…

Damn. I had been well and truly under the thumb.

I smirk, looking back over my shoulder to see Mr Stubble looking back at me over his as the stewardess chases his ass with a trolley – under the thumb no more…

I've dozed off – I know it, but I can't wake up.

I'm drowning in a sea of perfect pale skin and shining white teeth – the Cullens surround me like sharks… Angela appears, floating beside me in my old yellow raincoat that my mom destroyed years ago in a fit of 'fashion fever'… She has a harpoon… I eye it with interest, before taking it and firing at random into the swirl of faces… It hits Edward's left canine, rebounds, and heads straight for me–

"Wake up! Wake up!"

I groan. "Mom?"

"I am most certainly not your mother! I need to use the facilities again."

The dull stabbing pain in my face increases until I fully come around.

Bint. Poking my arm not enough for her? I can't believe she's actually been poking my face.

I'll get her back for it later.

I yawn and stand up, moving aside so the old lady can get past while I stretch. The plane's quiet, dark, and I wonder what the time is.

I don't own a watch. Well, I did, but it wasn't mine – every thing Edward gave me and Alice dressed me up in is officially dumped outside our apartment in L.A. in a big pile waiting for Edward to come home from work to.

It is a giant 'fuck you' sundry masterpiece, if I do say so myself. I even have it as the background on my cell.

My bladder suddenly clenches.

I hobble my way up the plane with sleep-crippled legs, taking care to find Mr Stubble, who is settled in a window-seat near the back, and also finding the Skank, who is sleeping all over the poor unsuspecting guy she got sat next to. Really don't envy him.

I slide into the free toilet stall. I can hear the old bint cursing in the only other one.

When I'm done, I wash my hands and then give myself a minute to just look in the mirror.

My hair's rumpled but fine, as are my clothes, but there's a big pink mark on my face where the old lady was poking me. I glare at it.


I reach forward for the tap, wanting to splash some cold water on my face to see if it even might go down, and the plane jerks. I rock forwards too fast, my fingers try to grasp and slip, and the tap flies on full-force.

I just barely manage to hold in my instinctive squeal as the water rushes from the tap, splashes out of the sink and all over my top. My hands scrabble, the tap shuts off, and I look down to see that my old faded band shirt actually goes a little see-through when wet.


The sliding bathroom door opens with a definitive snap.

Why did I not close that?

Two blue orbs meet my startled gaze…and then slowly drift down my person to linger on my dripping chest.

Why did I wear a black bra today?

I have so many questions and fuck-all answers.

And it's Mr Stubble staring at me, not the Bint – though I could see lesbianism going well for her.

I refocus my eyes on his and find they're practically black.

"Damn, woman – invite me in."

My brain freezes momentarily…before a single memory creeps in.

Flirt or something…

I am Bad-ass Bella. I am not the woman whom Edward would continuously turn down because he was 'too tired from work' or 'just wasn't feeling up to it.' I am a single woman with a see-through shirt and a black bra who a hot guy wants to maul.

Yes, please.

He rushes in. I must have said it out-loud.

I really don't care.

He locks the door behind him without turning around, devouring me with dark and hungry eyes. I feel my panties dampen.

Suddenly he's lifting me up, and then I'm sat on the sink's sturdy metal edge.

My heartbeat's pounding in my ears and I can hear my own heavy breathing.

He hasn't taken his hands off me.

He leans forwards, one hand brushing away the hair from my neck and the other gripping my waist. His voice is a long, low growl in my ear.

"Christ, you smell good."

I moan. My hands come up and immediately tangle in Mr Stubble's dirty-blonde hair.

I know what I want.

With a self-confidence that only breaking up with the world's biggest controlling asshole can give you…I hitch my right leg over his hip and draw him closer.

The first touch of his hot lower body against mine is brilliant, spark-creating, but when he gets the message and wrenches me to him fully…

God, I'm about ready to have my first orgasm here and now.

Every muscle beneath his light blue button-up is pressed against me…and they slowly become visible as the water from my t-shirt saturates his.

I'm pretty sure what rolls out of my throat is a purr.

Mr Stubble growls.

He like purr. Me like growl.

Cave-Bella makes a reappearance.

And then suddenly his teeth are on my neck and his hands are freely roaming my chest…and I just need to feel him.

I grasp his shoulders and score his back with my nails as I drag my fingertips down. He makes the sexiest noise in the back of his throat, and…oh…

He's found my right nipple, and he means business – twisting and rolling…and pinching…

And suddenly we're going far too slow, and we're not nearly naked enough.

I'm ready. I'm panting. I'm practically dripping, for fuck's sake…

I grab his head and smash his mouth to mine – the sensation's far more pleasant than the word makes it seem, but the violent intent's there and he immediately takes it to fuel his own.

My t-shirt flies off over my head and lands on the floor with a wet slap; my bra straps get pulled off my arms but the whole thing stays on beneath my now-free breasts; his shirt opens beneath my tugging hands and a couple of buttons ricochet around the tiny bathroom; his fly falls open beneath my insistent fingers; my fly falls open beneath his insistent fingers…

"Fuuuck," I groan, tensing around the two invading fingers he's pushed past my panties and right into my pussy. "Yesss…"

He growls against my ear, biting the lobe and sending chills racing up and down my spine. "You're so wet… Oh, fuck… And so tiiight… Yes, yes…take those fingers…"

They curl, they caress, and I can feel every inch of them rubbing me exactly the right way – especially the work-hardened tips…working me…working me…

I stifle my cry, biting my bottom lip as another finger joins the other two and spreads me wide open for him. He sucks my lips into his mouth, and we meet – for a kiss, of all fucking things while he's got his fingers deep within my pussy.

But I like it. It's soft. It's sweet. It's contrasting so deliciously with the rough thrusting of his fingers…

I can feel myself clicking up that slope, ready to fall over the other side into bliss…and then it's gone. The entire slope's gone. He's gone.

Where the fuck are his fucking fingers?

And then I'm being moved, my panties are being lowered, and I look down in the kiss that hasn't stopped to get my first glimpse of him.

Oh, his dick's just as beautiful as the rest of him.

No, wait. Fuck that. Not beautiful. Edward's was prissy and beautiful. Mr Stubble's is long and thick and hard, and I tremble at the sight of it.

"Fuck, yeah…" I breathe against his mouth, before he smiles the filthiest and most fucking gorgeous smile I've ever seen.

And I can't help but be Bad-ass Bella and put him in his place.

I grip his cock firmly in my hand, and the smile drops immediately – only to be replaced with the most twisted expression of pleasure and pain I've ever seen.

"You like that?" I murmur lowly, tipping my head forwards to bite at his neck as his head falls back and his eyes roll.

He doesn't answer with words – there's only a groan and a shallow thrust of the hips.

I grip him harder, circling the head with my thumb. "You like that?"

"Yesss… Oh, God…sugar, please…"

That voice…that drawl… It does me in.

I spread my knees as wide apart as I can, grip his ass, and bring him towards me.

The back of my head hits the mirror straight away as I throw it back with my eyes clenched shut.

"Holy shit!"

Mr Stubble groans in agreement, before his hands grip my waist and he thrusts his entire cock inside me in one go.

I'm being split in half. I'm being reborn. I'm possibly going to Purgatory riding a giant cock, and I just can't care less.

"Yes, yes, yes…"

He's everywhere. His hips are slamming against mine. His fingertips are digging into my spine. He's inside me. His tongue's inside my mouth, playing with mine…

God, he tastes good… Like smoke and salt. Like a real man. Like–

Fuck, that slope's before me again.

I'm begging – I know I am – but I just can't be fucked to stop and control myself. My head's slamming against the mirror, my pussy's being punished by this stranger's massive dick, I can feel his heavy balls slapping my ass with his each thrust, and I have never imagined anything more perfect than this right here…right…now…

His mouth disappears from mine and wetness suddenly coats my nipple, before I feel the blunt gnash of teeth and the teasing swirl of tongue over the sensitive little–

My lip's being punished by my teeth once more as I feel it…I feel it…I feel…

Everything explodes.

In one ultimate moment, my entire body is made of sensation and all I can see are colours…especially blue… A nice dark blue…

Numbness coats me… I hear a far-away growling roar… I feel so warm…so, so warm…

And then, with a gasp, my stupor breaks.

I look up into the face of Mr Stubble, who's panting and cursing like I've never seen anyone pant and curse before.

My hand goes up of its own volition to stroke his cheek. He nuzzles his face against my hand. His stubble's scratchy in a nice way…tickling my palm…and–

He pulls out of me.

I simultaneously thank God that I'm on the Pill and gasp at the after-shocks that immediately shudder through my body at the action.

"Could've warned me," I breathe.

He chuckles breathily, but says nothing.

I look up into his face once more.

Fuck. Awkward.

What do you say to someone who's just fucked you like that? 'Thank you'?

The decision is taken from me as the 'seatbelt' light pings on above the door.

I look at him pointedly. He gets the message.

After dressing as best he can with 'I've just had rough sex in a small space' hair and a few top buttons missing off his shirt, he flips the lock and gives me a long look before slipping out of the stall altogether.

I remember to flip the lock back.

Without thinking about the fantastic romp I've just had, I clean myself up and pull on my clothes. By some miracle, my t-shirt isn't see-through anymore.

Thank fuck.

I check my reflection – looking fiiiine…if not a little well-sexed…

I flip the lock open and leave. I limp the whole way back to my seat, my insides feeling ten-times larger in the pleasantest kind of way.

Thank you, Mr Stubble's large and useful cock.

I feel his eyes burn into the back of my head as I sit down. I smirk but don't turn.

The Bint's asleep. Joy. I decide to hide the dentures sitting on the fold-down table in front of her.

Forks looms on the very distant horizon as we begin our descent, the Bint's dentures are safely hidden in the sleeping businessman's slightly open black attaché case, which is settled on his lap, and I can feel Mr Stubble's gaze still trained on me.

I finally allow myself to feel around the haze that he created and think about what happened in the bathroom – shit…and I still ache…

Well, that's what you get for only sleeping with one man – that man being one with a small dick.

A wave of…something – some unnameable emotion – hits me.

Mr Stubble's my second, and although his notch is one I'll gladly carve into my bedpost…I feel like I've done something wrong. And it's nothing to do with Edward, but something to do with myself…

It's not disgust, but it's close.

Shit. What was I thinking?

Obviously 'hooray, sexy man, take me now,' but seriously…

No. Never. I may now be Bad-ass Bella, and I may now want casual sexual relationships instead of long arduous ones…but I will never be the girl who has sex with strangers without a second thought, especially in public places.

Except I already am that girl.

What the hell will Angela think of me? What the hell does he think of me?

He can't have any respect for me after that. Shit. That's the issue here – not that I've done something without properly thinking, but the fact that I've done something that's made someone think ill of me.

I'm an honest person, and that – no matter how fucking amazing – was not honest.

Shit, double shit, and fuckity, fuckity, fuck.

I feel bad enough. I take the dentures out of the case and put them back on the fold-out table.

Avoiding the crush at airports is hard enough, but avoiding the crush and a person you fucked on the plane and refuse to look at/talk to…

Shit. That's difficult.

And 'shit' is officially my new favourite word.

I thank sweet baby Jesus that I only have my duffel bag and don't need to stand like a lost lamb at the baggage carousel. At least it puts some floor space between me and Mr Stubble.

I call Angela.

She picks up. "Outside."

She hangs up.

Okay then.

As I make my way out of the airport, I see him. Mr Stubble.

"Shit. Fuck. Shit. Fuck."

Mothers clamp their hands down on their children's ears all around me. I can't care less.

I duck and run, making a beeline for the big glass exit doors as I see a twinkle of recognition light his eye as he looks my way.

God, he looks gorgeous–

"Watch it!"

Narrowly avoiding a PMS-ing woman with a latte in her hand, I turn and swivel my way out of the mad-house and towards a long line of cars.

Angela's standing there, leaning against the hood of a battered silver pick-up. She looks gorgeous, exactly as I remember with long, soft, dark hair and a tall, slim build, but now she has more curves and her confidence seems to shine through…

But I can't stop to reminisce. There's a man I've had more-than-casual sex with and he's trying to catch up to me.

I give the universal signal for 'get me the fuck outta here' – a double arm-wave with an urgent expression – and leg it towards her.

She expertly reads the signal, dashes around the car and gets in before throwing the door open on the passenger's side for me. I leap in, nearly slamming the door on my bag.

"GO, GO, G–!"

She's already peeling out of there before I can finish my panicked cry.

As we leave, I crane my head and see Mr Stubble – he's looking gorgeous in the late-afternoon light as he dashes out of the glass doors and watches the speeding truck disappear around the corner and out of view.

"I hope I haven't just done something illegal – like assisted a criminal, or something." Angela smirks.

"I feel like one," I grumble.


I do. And when I've finished she looks shell-shocked.

"I said flirt! Not f…" She trails off.

I nod, watching the road fly by beneath us.

"So…it was…good though?"

I turn to look at her like she's crazy. Which she is. Since the first thing I told her was that it was beyond good.

"Don't give me that look. I just mean…you know…well…Ben and I tried out some different things but it was always kind of…uncomfortable."

"It was rough, it was sexy, and it was perfect."

"Right. I understand."

"You do?"

"You liked it and you want to do it again, but you think it diminished you as a person and he sees you as less now."

Nail. Head.


I look over at her curiously. "Yeah?"

"But…how do you know he thinks of you like that? He might have wanted more to do with you."

I sigh and lean my cheek on my closed fist. "He might have, but it doesn't matter. We've gotten off on the wrong foot."


I crack a smile. "Good one."

Angela looks over at me thoughtfully for a second, before turning her eyes back on the road and patting my hand.

"You look good though, Bella. It did you good to have that with that stranger today. It doesn't have to happen again, with him or anyone else, and it doesn't have to ever come up again – it was just an experience you needed."

I nod, determined. "You're right."

"I know." She smirks. "Ben tells me that all the time."

"So! Tell me how he proposed."

And as she rattles off and tells me how they're going to shop for a ring together, I close off the fantastic memory of Mr Stubble and his wonderpeen with the final thought that if he was as determined to talk to me as he had looked…he'd find me one way or another.

When I had first called Angela, after finding her old cell number on a torn piece of paper in the bottom of an old rucksack, she had told me her parents had died in a traffic collision and that they had left her their house.

But I never thought that the Webers' reasonably formidable-looking off-white house could look so beautiful by just being properly lived in. Ben had moved in with Angela a while back, and filling the house with love had done it some good.

There are even sunflowers on a table on the porch.

In dreary fucking Forks.

It's like a big 'fuck you' to the weather, and an even bigger one to the strict Mr and Mrs Weber.

Angela leads me up to the front door…and I'm suddenly encased in a pair of long arms.


Ben. Wow. He looks good.

I wink over his shoulder at Angela. She nods – she knows he's looking fiiine.

I hug him back. "Good to see you again."

"Your old man's been asking after you."

I stiffen, pull back, and look up into his dark almond-shaped eyes.

"How is he?"

Ben smiles. "He's good, Bella."

I let out an internal and external sigh of relief. I haven't called my dad yet. I was going to surprise him. But then, knowing Forks the way I do…he probably already knows I'm back.

Ben seems to read my mind and nods in answer of my silent question.

I note how his gawkiness hasn't entirely receded, but that he's grown into his skin – just like Angela.

He's even got a couple of inches on her now.

Nice one, Cheney.

"Now." He grins, letting me go. "I've got to go pick up this guy from my dad's site in Seattle. He's going to be helping with the new building – drawing up plans and stuff – and needs a place to stay for a while. See you later, Bella."

He kisses Angela on the cheek, whispers something in her ear that makes her blush, and takes off in the pick-up.

I tighten my grip on the strap of my duffel bag and give Angela a devilish smile. "So…what made you blush?"

I'm full, I'm tired, and I'm sleepy. Angela's cooking is fucking magnificent.

After a call from Ben saying that he was going to take a bit longer than he thought, Angela had made just us two dinner and we had eaten while she told me all about what was going on in Forks.

Nothing is going on in Forks. Nothing has changed.

While the teeny tiny L.A. part of my brain that still exists had huffed in disgust, the Forks part of me – the me part of me – had rejoiced.

I love the fact that nothing changes in this sleepy, rain-sodden town.

It is perfect. It is beautiful. It is so un-Cullenesque it is fucking marvellous.

I even love the rain beating down on the roof.

I lie, spread, on the bed in the guest bedroom, on top of the pale lavender duvet, just watching the rain lash at the window. It's dark and homey and warm. I'm safe. I drift off into sleep just as I hear the pick-up return up the gravelly driveway…

His stubble scratches my cheek… I purr… He growls… His warmth envelops me… I can feel his fingers climbing my inner thigh and–

I crack an eyelid to find a fuzzy black-and-white cat climbing my uncovered leg like I'm some kind of personal cat jungle gym.

"Shoo," I breathe.

His little sparkly cat eyes look up at me.

Oh, yeah, you better look ashamed, cat. Those legs are reserved for…

I pause.

No one. Not him. No matter how amazing his dick is.

"Fuck. Why can't he leave me alone?"

The cat looks back at me with a cocked head as he pads up my thigh and then pushes away the duvet from my stomach to nuzzle its face in the warmth there.

I sigh. Fucking cats. No boundaries.

Relenting, I pet its head. It purrs.

It reminds me of my own purr for Mr Stubble…

"Bella?" Angela's voice suddenly sounds from behind the closed bedroom door.

"I'm up."

She opens the door and pokes her head around, smiling. "Good morning. Ben's uncle just got here. He's hungry. Want something too?"

I nod and smile. "Thanks. Be down in a minute."

She leaves and my stomach immediately growls.

It doesn't take me long to remove the cat from my person long enough to pull on some grey sweatpants over my short-shorts and brush my hair up into a messy ponytail.

The cat immediately leaps into my arms once I'm done.

Looks like I've already got a fan.

It snuggles down into my arms as I carry it downstairs and I wonder how difficult it's going to be to eat breakfast with a cat Velcroed to me.

That is, until I almost drop the fucking thing.

Dark blue eyes gaze up at me from the kitchen table and I wonder whether God hates me or if he just enjoys fucking with me.

"Mornin', sugar."


The old, lanky, white-haired man sat next to the gorgeous one looks up at me like I'm Satan himself. "You kiss your mother with that mouth?"

"No, because I know where my mother puts hers," I shoot back numbly.

Phil. Ew.

His wrinkled dark eyes widen…before they narrow and he glares at me, while taking up the spoon for his cereal and eating with angry determination.

I look back at Mr Stubble – who's looking particularly fine in a soft-looking green t-shirt and dark jeans, with bare feet and mussed hair – and he shoots me an understanding look.

Yeah. Old people and I don't mix so well.

I freeze.

No. No understanding looks. No breakfast meetings. I had sex with him – plane sex – and people who have plane sex together should forget it ever happened.

And why the fuck is he here anyway? Why the hell haven't I asked that questionsooner?

But a part of me already knows. He must be the guy Ben had to pick up. By some fucking ridiculous twist of fate, the guy I chose to have a one-time mile-high stand with happens to be the one that's staying in the same house I will be staying in for the foreseeable future.

I scowl at him like it's somehow his fault. Perhaps it is. Yes, I quite like the idea of shifting the blame all onto the gorgeous man at Ben and Angela's kitchen table.

He smirks that devilish, panty-melting smirk. "You're stuck with me, Bella."


I did not give him my name–

Ben comes striding in, he beams when he sees me. "Hey, Bella! Have you met my uncle, George?"

The old man scowls in confirmation.

Ben nods, completely unconcerned. "Okay. What about Peter here? He's working with my dad for a while. I was telling him all about you on the way over."

I smile, nice and wide and sarcastic. "Gee, thanks, Ben."

He doesn't get the hint and smiles right back, a twinkle in his eye. "I'm sure you two will get on."

And then Angela comes through the back door at that moment, stepping into the fucked up scenario with a distinguishing eye. She immediately looks to me. And then Mr S–Peter.

"Bella? Can I…uh, talk to you for a second?"

I follow her out of the back door like my ass is on fire. I'm clinging to the cat for dear life.

She rushes me down to the bottom of their backyard and corners me against the bushes.

"No," she breathes.

I grimace and nod. At least she understands the horrific situatio–

She lets out a squeal. She jumps up and down. She grins.

"What. The. Fuck?"

"He's so hot, Bella! I'm so proud of you!"

I gape at her. "Don't you see how utterly shit this all is?"

She stops celebrating. "What?"

"I fucked him, I ran from him, and now he's here!" I hissed.

"Well, when you put it that way–"

"What! There is no other way!"

She smiles innocently. "But you can get to know him now, can't you?"

"No. No. No. Nonononononononononono… Wrong foot, remember? He thinks I'm a slut?"

She shakes her head like my panic over this is completely insane.

"No, he doesn't. Ben introduced me to Peter this morning and he said he was anxious to meet you again."

"For a fuck!"

I try and calm my accelerated breathing, but I'm just too panicked…and I think I'm petting the cat too hard.

It yowls, leaps from my arms, and runs for cover.

I wrap my arms around myself instead and look down at my feet, finally realising that they're bare and cold and wet…

"Why does it matter?" Angela asks me.

I look up and sigh. I have obviously been screaming at a human-shaped brick wall.

She shakes her head at me. "Fine. If you're so adamant that everything is that bad, then just go in there and take him to one side. Tell him it won't happen again, if that's what he's looking for."


Bad-ass Bella reappears from the dark recesses of my mind. She doesn't think it's a bad idea either.

"Done." I smile.

Angela's return smile is a little bit more…secretive than I was hoping for, but I just ignore it.

I stride back up to the house and into the kitchen. Ben and George have left, and Peter is all alone.

Okay then.

"Peter, listen."

He turns in his chair to watch me as I come around the table and take up the seat opposite him. I just barely resist the urge to fold my hands on the table in a business-like manner to match my tone.

His eyebrow is up, cocked in curiosity. "All ears, sugar."

I shake off the frisson the endearment and the drawl creates, and I smile coolly.

Bad-ass… Bad-ass… Bad-ass…

"You're not gettin' any of this."

Okay. Too bad-ass. I have, nor never will be, street. I feel like a fucking idiot…but he can't know that.

His lips twitch, like he's fighting a smile. "Uh-huh."

I wait. He says nothing else.

"So…we've got an understanding?"

He tips his head to the side in a frustratingly attractive way, eyeing me beneath pieces of his tousled dirty-blonde hair and smirking.

"What makes you think I want more?"

Oh. Fuck. Well, it's one thing to think he doesn't, but to hear it is another.


I have to actually swallow back a little hurt, before I shoot him a tight smile and stand. "I didn't say that. You obviously don't. I was just making sure we were clear."

I leave before my stomach can tighten any more painfully. I need to get out of here.

I dress quickly, throwing on some jeans, sneakers, a bra and an old hooded sweatshirt that's far too tight across the chest.

I pass Angela on the stairs and make a split-second decision. "I'm going to Charlie's. I'll be back later."

She gapes at me. "What? Wait! What happened?"

I don't look back at her. "I was right."

She calls out after me as I jog out of the house and down the road, but I don't turn. Charlie's isn't too far, and as I speed-walk there it gives me time to think.

Time to think about why it actually matters that Mr Stubble doesn't want more. I'd like to think it was because he is hot and him turning me down is a big blow…but it's more to do with the fact that I want more and now I can't have any.

Shit. All it took was one moment of panic, seeing him there at the table, and now I know that he's out of my league.

If I had just kept my head and pretended like nothing had happened, I would be oblivious.

Charlie's looms.

I knock tentatively, trying to ignore the way everything looks just as it did when I left – right down to the chip in the empty terracotta flowerpot I knocked over in my haste on my way out.

The door opens. A far older man than I remember greets me with a greying moustache.

"Hey, Dad."

Our reunion is sweet – sweeter than I had thought considering how emotionally retarded we used to be, but it seems absence makes emotional retards less so.

He hugs me one last time as he sees me to the door. "You promise to come back as soon as you can, Bells."

"Tomorrow." I smile. "I'll come over and take you out for breakfast."

His eyes crinkle as he smiles broadly, before he kisses me lightly on the head. "See you later, Bella."

I lean up and kiss his cheek. "I'm still sorry. I love you."

I walk down the drive and into the night, heading back for Angela's.

But when I get there, slipping up the drive in the shadows, I hear slightly raised voices.

The light's on in the lounge and the curtains are pulled back. I peek in.

Angela's towering over Peter, who's sat in one of the red armchairs that circle the coffee table. Ben's sat opposite, not looking too happy either.

What the fuck? Maybe I shouldn't have left.

Angela's growling something at him, but I can't quite hear what she's saying…and then I'm flying back from the window in shock as a pair of large shiny eyes pop up in front of me.

On my ass in the gravel, I can see the cat looking down at me through the window. It noses at the bottom of the pane…and it lifts it bit by bit. The cat shimmies out underneath and leaps at me. The night's cool and my body appreciates Velcro-cat's warmth as it curls up in my arms.

"You're so…argh!"

I sneak up to the window to see Angela taking calming breaths.

"I thought–"

Angela cuts Peter off with a snort. "No. No. No. You were supposed to make things better."

What. The. Fuck?

Ben chips in. "Yeah, Peter. We didn't set it up for you to hurt her."

I numbly close the window and make my way into the house…up the stairs…into bed…

My friends arranged for me to have a quickie on an airplane. I feel cheap. And sick.

Did they pay him?

I fall, lax, onto the bed. A curled-up cat stuck to my stomach.

Edward… Edward… Edward everywhere… Peter… Peter… Peter everywhere–


The voice is low and deep and soft, and it wakes me straight away from my fitful sleep.

Fuck. And if my ears don't deceive me the voice is also Southern.

"Angela wanted me to tell you breakfast is ready."

Retreating footfalls announce his departure from outside my door.

I crack my eyes open to find Velcro-cat peering up at me inquisitively from where it's lying on my chest in the reasonably bright morning light.

Its eyes say it's time to confront my pimps sitting downstairs at the kitchen table.

I leap up, dress in some jeans and a t-shirt, and wander downstairs.

When I reach the kitchen, my courage suddenly vanishes. I change my mind and barely glance at the four people sitting at the table.

"I'm going to take Charlie out for breakfast."

That's a safe option. Better than facing the fact that they set up a blind date, which was actually only half-blind…and really a blind fuck.

I turn on my heel to leave.

"Bella! Wait!" Angela jumps up and grabs me. "We all wanted to say something – especially Peter."

I sigh and look at the gorgeous sleep-ruffled man. "You can stop being their puppet. It's okay."

He frowns, his brow dipping over his dark blue eyes.

I roll mine. "Don't act all surprised. I heard you all. Last night." George looks up in confusion. "Not you."

He scowls and grumbles, but goes back to his breakfast.

Angela stares at me, looking crestfallen. "Bella…I don't know what to say."

"How about 'sorry for whoring you out'?"

I hug the cat and wait.

Ben raises an eyebrow. "That's a bit strong, don't you think?"

I gape. "No! You paid someone to fuck me on an airplane!"

George spits his cereal out all over the table…before mumbling something about 'getting out for a bit' and leaving this clusterfuck of a situation.

Lucky old bastard. I wish I could.

I sigh and look back at the three people left. Angela's staring at me, open-mouthed, as is Ben, and Peter's looking…slightly ashamed…

"What?" I ask.

"You think we'd do that to you?" Angela suddenly splutters.

"But you did. I heard you all talking about setting it up."

Ben lets out a snort. "Oh, no. That was all Peter."

I feel my eyebrows go up. "What?"

I look to the man in question.

He rubs his thumb along his jaw in a nervous gesture and clears his throat. "I was goin' to introduce myself to you in the terminal but there was a plastic chick all over me an'…well, I met you in the bathroom by accident an' you were all…" He gestures to his chest, before sighing, "You were so…beautiful too, an'…I couldn't help myself."

"I invited you in," I murmur.

"I asked you to." He smiles. "An' then I thought Angela had told you what we had planned when you came in an' told me I couldn't have any more of you. I thought you were just playin'. But then you looked so…"

Angela pushes me into the seat next to him. "Bella, honestly, we never thought this all would happen."

I sigh, sick of all the cloak and dagger shit. "Just explain."

Angela pushes a plate of scrambled eggs towards me, and I tentatively poke at them as she begins.

"When you first called me, I knew I just wanted to give you a push in the right direction. Peter and Ben have been working together for Ben's dad for a while now."

Ben cuts in. "Mainly phoning and e-mailing about the stuff going on in Seattle. I just mentioned you to him one day. He wanted to know more."

I look over at Peter. He smiles as he bashfully looks down at his bacon and eggs.


"Then my dad needed to meet him in person, and you were coming back to Forks around the same time…so Angela and I did a bit of match-making. Crappy match-making it has to be said, but it would have been better if Peter didn't–"

"Basically, I went an' ruined it all by seducin' you on the plane," Peter cut in.

Angela looks at me with wide and honest eyes. "Bella, I promise you we had nothing to do with that. That's why we were arguing last night, because we thought you two should really get to know each other and it all got screwed up." Her eyes got a little sad. "I just want to see you happy. Edward fucked with you so much."

I freeze. As does Ben. And Peter. Even Peter knows Angela Weber does not swear.

We all stare at her.

She rolls her eyes. "Come on! He did!"

"Yeah…but…wow. You said 'fuck'." Ben suddenly smirks.

Angela blushes furiously. "Uh…I've…left something upstairs."

She runs out like her ass is on fire. Ben follows with a wink.

I'm left alone with a table covered in George's half-chewed cereal, a heavy Velcro-cat sleeping in my arms, and a man who I have fucked and who I thought wanted nothing more to do with me.

Scratch that. A man who heard about me over the phone and wanted to know more, and who wanted to meet me so much he agreed to a blind date…and who wanted me so much he risked the wrath of my friends and the possibility of never having more with me to have me…

A warm touch encases my hand, lifting it from Velcro-cat. Fingers lace with mine.

My eyes refocus on Peter to see him smiling at me, his dark blue eyes twinkling. "Have I scared you away yet?"

I shake my head.

His eyebrows rise. "You don't think it was weird wantin' to meet a practical stranger that much?"

I shake my head.

"What if I told you seein' you jump up an' curse in a terminal full of strangers made me want to meet you even more? Or that when you started swingin' your hips, I didn't take my eyes off your ass until you were sittin' in your seat? Or that your inability to make friends with the elderly actually endears me to you?"

I shake my head. I am flattered in the most fucked up way ever.

He smiles. "Good. Can we start again?"

I can only nod.

Author's note:

Please, let me know what you think! (: Peace!

Stars In His Eyes! By Devil's Daughter [Ballsy]

Title: Stars In His Eyes!
Author: Devil's Daughter [Ballsy]
Rating: VVM18+
Beta: TheMightyRen
Word Count: 4375



Jacob's POV

A war against the Taliban was the last thing we needed after the September 11 attacks. Many people had died and there our government was, putting soldiers on the front-lines. We were knocking on the doors of death every second we spent in this wretched country. The war began on October 7th 2001. The Secretary of Defence launched Operation Enduring Freedom. I was only nineteen at the time, but I wanted to fight for my country.

Our goal was to dismantle Al-Qaeda and end the use of Afghanistan as their base for terrorism. In the first phase of the operation, Afghan Frontal Forces united with the U.S and British Special Forces. We had a mass of air support from the U.S Air Force which helped us oust the Taliban regime from Kabul and most of Afghanistan within a few weeks.

It was just like any other day at base. The guys and girls were all having a laugh, making fun of each other, and playing games to amuse themselves. Meanwhile, I sat back and relaxed enjoying the sun.

"Hey Jake," Paul pushed my shoulder, grinning. I knew what he was going to say so I tuned out and just nodded. He'd been bugging me the last few days about getting myself into the pants of a random girl on base. I only had the thoughts and eyes for one girl and she was on another army base, with other men.

Bella. My Bella. She had auburn coloured hair, big doe-like brown eyes and lips that I'd get carried away with. Her body was slim and filled out in all the right places.

As I was getting carried away in my thoughts, I heard gun-fire. Really loud gun-fire and it was coming closer. Everyone scrambled to their tents grabbing their gear.

Throwing my specially made bulletproof tactical webbing and helmet on, I charged for our weapon station. I always carried my M9 Beretta Pistol but the bigger guns were put away in case someone went on a rampage after seeing so much death. My Beretta was my pride and joy. It was a semi-automatic weapon, used in case you ran out of ammunition for the bug guns. The standard Beretta's round box magazine could hold only fifteen bullets. You were screwed if you had sixteen guys coming at you! Its range was 50m. That was pretty far for a small gun.

I ran up to my squadron's gun locker, punched in the combination and pulled out the M4A1 Carbine. She was a really sweet gun. She had two firing modes; automatic and semi-automatic. The magazine of this beauty would carry thirty rounds of ammo. She had special features and different attachments for different situations. From iron sights, ACOG Reflex Sight, an M68 Aim-point, an M203 40mm Grenade Launcher, a Harris Bipod, and a suppressor.

As I was squad leader, I got to carry this beauty around with me, proudly. Her maximum rate of fire on Semi-automatic was forty-five rounds per minute. Whereas in some cases, it would give out a three-round burst, adding to a total of ninety per minute. On Automatic, she would give off 700-1000 rounds per minute. She wasn't heavy, not like some of the other stuff they used to make us carry.

I could see and hear squadrons running and shouting their way into the battle. I turned to see the guys from my squadron staring at me waiting for orders. "Guys, keep a sharp eye. We don't know what's going on yet. No-one dies today and that's an order!" We bumped heads and shouted our famous, 'Oorah!'

Some of our pilots had fired up the helicopters and I could see my squadron patiently waiting to get into the air. Squadron four was in another chopper and were just about to take off when BOOM! I was thrown from my place on my chopper and landed on the other side. I felt a pang in my chest for my lost comrades. I heard ringing in my ears and stood a little dazed. Now, we had a battle on our hands and it wasn't the time for grieving.

I could hear people shouting and see them rushing towards the aircraft which was now scattered around the Landing Zone. I got back into my helicopter and the pilot took us up and into the air. I had hooked myself up to a safety wire and leaned over the side looking for enemy targets.

There were seven convoys out in the open, firing at our men. I let my Carbine fall to my side and grabbed the built-in helicopter gun. This was a bad boy! It's a multi-barrel heavy machine gun with a massive rate of fire, from 2,000 to 6,000 rounds per minute. The mini-gun fires 7.26mm rounds. The mini-gun is mounted to the inside of the helicopter hanging slightly over the edge to get a better aim at the target. I looked through the sights, aimed and started firing.

Pvt. Meraz was sitting to my left with a rocket launcher mounted on his shoulder. He aimed and fired, just catching one convoy. Because of direct fire coming from the front of the convoys, a driver lost control a ploughed straight into the blaze. A few of the guys jumped off and set out running. It was our turn now; capture and interrogate.

"Meraz, we're going for him!" I pointed to one of the runners. "You get him. Call and Ateara will cover you." He only nodded, determined to catch this clown. Meraz was our fastest runner. He could catch up to you in a matter of seconds if you were roughly half a mile from him.

A few minutes later, we touched down and off he went. Pvt. Call and Pvt. Ateara followed Meraz to give him some cover fire. The rest of the guys piled out and knelt in various places around the chopper. We took some fire but we gave as good as we got.

Roughly ten minutes later, Meraz, Call and Ateara came back with a very scared looking Taliban follower. They had him cuffed with some plastic ties. He struggled and protested against getting into the chopper. I hopped out, grabbed him and lifted him in. The rest of the guys backed up and into the chopper when the pilot took us up again.

We gave some more cover for our ground troops on the way back to base. It was then that I noticed that I had some shrapnel in my shoulder. I was using the radio link to tell base that we had captured a member of the Taliban.

"Black Hawk One to Firebase Bravo, we have a prisoner. We need to take a trip to RB, over!" I said into the radio.

"Firebase Bravo to Black Hawk One, the Commander is aware. Bring the prisoner to base first, over!" We heard Radio Operative Uley say.

"We need a translator, over!"

"We have one on-site, over!"

"We're out by five, over and out!"

When we got back, we landed and our Commander greeted us. He had two of our ground troops escort our prisoner to a secure location. The boys left the Commander to go get something to drink and a snack when Meraz and Call came over to me.

"Hey, Black! You should have seen that guy run. He was like Bella back when she was clumsy. He stumbled a few times and then face-planted it right in front of us. Meraz picked him up and put the ties on and he nearly shit himself." Call laughed and Ateara doubled over.

I knew these guys from when I was little. Meraz moved back to the Res in his teens, but he fit right in. Call, Ateara and I used to get into trouble constantly. When Bella came over for the summer, things were a whole lot worse. She'd be the one getting us into trouble.

Ateara waved his hand in front of my face, "Hey, Black? You still in there? Bella on your mind again?"

"Guys, I gotta go. I've got to go to RB to get this checked out," I pointed to my shoulder, "And, I gotta do something else." I ran to my tent, grabbed what I needed and ran back to the LZ. The pilot fired her up and I was on my way to Recovery Base.

When I got there, I went straight to the infirmary and watched as Bella worked on another soldier. Another medic, Emily, came up to me, "Hey Jake. Ouch, let me look at that."

"Ok, cool." She took me to a small room where we peeled my vest and shirt off. It didn't look too bad and it didn't hurt but the blood just kept coming. I watched as she injected it with some local anaesthetic and Bella walked by, "JAKE? WHAT IN THE MOTHER OF ALL IS HOLY HAPPENED?" She just about blew my ear drum.

"It's cool Bella. It's nothing, just a few cuts and bruises," I grinned.

"LIKE HELL, IT'S NOTHING! WHAT HAPPENED?" Everyone was crowded around this small room, trying to see what had happened. I asked the medic working on me to stop what she was doing and I walked towards Bella.

"Bella, you are the woman behind the man I am today with a little intervention from the army. But it is you that I live for. Every time I'm out on the battlefield, the thought of you drives me to my limits because I want to get back to you. I don't think I'd be here, if it weren't for you. I love you with every fibre of my being," I grabbed the little box from my pocket and got down on one knee. She had a hand over her mouth and tears in her eyes. I opened the little box, "Will you do me the honours and make me the happiest man alive by becoming my wife, Bella?"

She slapped me! She actually slapped me!

"Of course I'll marry you! God, Jake! It's beautiful."

"Only the best for my girl!" I was ecstatic, over the moon. Everyone erupted in cheers and applause. I snatched her up into a hug and kissed her with everything I had. That was until the anaesthetic wore off. I placed the ring on her finger and groaned as the pain of my shoulder hit me full force.

After everything was patched up, I was given a small box of pain meds and sent on my way. I had to have the stitches taken out but I could do that on my own. I got back to the chopper and the pilot took us up and back into the air.

I had been back for a couple of hours when a call came through. There was a squadron with casualties needing assistance to the North East of our position. They were trapped in a building block with Taliban constantly opening fire.

My squadron ran to the lockers, got our gear and sprinted for the chopper. Once in the air, we shoved all our gear on, checked our equipment and fist-bumped.

"Alright, ladies. You heard the man! We got The Beer Keg strapped down under constant fire. They have a few casualties. They're gonna bring in the Chinook to take the wounded to Recovery Base. The easy part is getting in. The hard part is getting out. I want four of you posted on the roof and the rest with me. Got it?"

I heard a chorus of 'Got it' from my comrades.

We looked at one another and screamed, "OORAH!"

We flew over the co-ordinates and rallied back. We attached our drop down gear to the chopper, six of us out of one side and six out the other. Once we had our feet on solid ground, four of my comrades rushed to the corners of the building. The rest followed me to the roof entrance.

We proceeded with caution in case any Taliban were in the building. We got to the bottom of the steps. With my back against the wall on my left, I looked down the corridor on the right and then changed sides. Peering down the corridor on my left, I saw a couple of Taliban looking the opposite direction.

I turned to my men, held up two fingers and pointed to my right letting the guys know that there were two guys in the hall to the left. I pulled out the suppressor and attached it to the barrel of my gun. I stood with my back to the wall on the right, aimed and fired two rounds. We heard both men hitting the floor and rushed to clear the hall.

I sent four men to the right while the rest of us continued down the left hall. Coming to a corner, I held up my fist and stuck my head out quickly and pulled it back in. There were seven doors in this corridor. We got to the closest and it was all clear, as were the next four.

There were thirteen men in room one and six in room two. We needed something to distract them, quick! I pulled out two M84 Stun Grenades, also known as Flash-bangs. These can be thrown or rolled and are made up of a Magnesium-based pyrotechnic charge concealed in a thin aluminium case. You can guess what they do because of the name but I'll tell you anyways. They generate a blinding flash of light and an intensely loud 'bang', sufficiently causing temporary blindness and deafness to anyone within a five foot radius.

I handed one to Meraz, we pulled the pins and rolled them into the rooms. After they went off, we rushed in a started grabbing people and putting them on the floor face-down. We tied their hands up with more plastic ties and taped their mouths so they couldn't shout for help.

Meraz and Ateara dragged the six from the other room into the room with Call and me. We spread them across the room, closed the door on our way out and continued down the hall.

We found our injured comrades on the level below us. Their casualties weren't as bad as I'd originally thought. Gunshot wounds to the stomach, chest area and legs. I was expecting lost limbs or something along those lines. We done the best we could with what we had and patched them up a bit.

"Bloody Bucket to Firebase Bravo; requesting air support for The Beer Keg, over!" I spoke into the radio receiver.

"Firebase Bravo to Bloody Bucket; air assistance is on the way. Two and a half klicks south of your position, over!"

"Bloody Bucket, over and out!" I turned to both squadrons.

"You heard 'em. Two and a half klicks south of our position. Let's get moving lads. We don't want to miss dinner!" I chuckled.

"Woohoo! Dinner!" Meraz shouted.

"Bloody Bucket 1-0 to Bloody Bucket 7-0. Moving out, over!" I said into the receiver.

"Got it Captain, out by three, over and out!"

We gathered the wounded and made our way to the south side of the building. Waiting for the rest of our squad wasn't eventful. There weren't any Taliban followers on this side and you could see the Chinook from the windows.

The rest of our guys joined us and we made our way out into the open, moving as fast as we could with some dead-like weight. We made it to the Chinook in record time when I started feeling breathless. Blood started pouring from my mouth and stained my shirt. Then I blacked out.

When I woke up, I was in the back of the Chinook strapped to a make-shift gurney. I looked Meraz in the eyes and took my last breathe, "Tell Bella I love her!"

Bella's POV

I hadn't been in the army long. I always wanted to be a nurse and gain a few extra qualifications along the way. The army was my best career choice. Life before the army was complicated. Jake was always away and I'd rarely get any time with him when he was back. I found myself worrying constantly.

I was sick of waiting around for the car to stop outside my house with two uniformed officers letting me know that Jake had died or was MIA. It was then that I decided to drop out of medical school and do something about it.

I was always clumsy and the army helped me gain the co-ordination skills needed to keep both my feet firmly on the ground. After my training, I had trained up as a nurse and was sent to Afghanistan to help with the injured soldiers.

I'll admit, it was new but most of the time it was awful. Some of the injuries would never let these soldiers walk again. Some were just minor scrapes or bruises. Some were just down-right disgusting to deal with. Others were painful to help with. I thought the army was supposed to train you mentally for this kind of stuff.

I had just finished my training when the Taliban attacked The World Trade Centre. The whole of America wanted revenge for the amount of lives lost in the attacks and I must tell you that I wanted revenge too. All of those lives lost, families losing loved ones, people losing the loves of their lives. It seemed so surreal in the beginning.

My father, Charlie, was pretty pissed that I was being deployed so soon but he understood the anger that I held for the Taliban. We had to take these bitches down before we could grieve properly.

Today was slightly different from the rest. It had just been broadcast that Jake's base had been attacked. My heart was pounding and I felt like passing out. News came that Firebase Bravo was victorious and had even taken a hostage.

I was trying to busy myself, taking my mind off the thought of Jake coming in on a stretcher. I had helped a lot of people today. Pain meds, dressing changes, clean clothes, bathing. You know? The usual stuff. I heard the sound of a helicopter coming in to land and thought nothing of it.

I had started re-dressing a burn. Pvt. Clearwater was helping out in an operation when the Taliban launched a grenade into the building. He'd suffered first degree burns while trying to save some of the women and children. We couldn't get him back to the U.S for another couple of days. Once I had finished that, I needed a break.

I walked past a small room to see none-other than Jake with Emily removing shrapnel and stitching him up.


"It's cool Bella. It's nothing, just a few cuts and bruises," he actually grinned at me.

"LIKE HELL, IT'S NOTHING! WHAT HAPPENED?" I could feel other people around me, watching us. Jake asked Emily to stop for a moment and walked towards me.

"Bella, you are the woman behind the man I am today with a little intervention from the army. But it is you that I live for. Every time I'm out on the battlefield, the thought of you drives me to my limits because I want to get back to you. I don't think I'd be here, if it weren't for you. I love you with every fibre of my being," he went into his pocket and got down on one knee. I put my hand over my mouth to stop the squeal that was begging to be released. I could feel the tears build up when he opened the box, "Will you do me the honours and make me the happiest man alive by becoming my wife, Bella?"

I slapped him because he scared the life out of me.

"Of course I'll marry you!" I looked at the ring, "God, Jake! It's beautiful."

"Only the best for my girl!" I think I was crowned the Queen of Happiness. I could hear applause and cheering all around us but I could only see Jake. He scooped me up and I wrapped my arms around his neck. We shared a kiss filled with so much emotion, I nearly broke down crying. He placed the ring on my finger and groaned.

We set him up with pain meds and I was painfully sad to see him go. He had to come back and get the stitches taken out though that was a plus.

I had finished my shift and went to grab a couple of hours sleep.

I dreamt of the wedding I would have but this dream turned into a nightmare. It'd always get to the part where I was walking down the aisle and I'd see something come and snatch my Jacob away. I'd end up on the ground, crying wearing a black dress at a funeral.

I woke up to the sound of the alarm. This wasn't your ordinary alarm. This one was way more loud! It was the sound that all medics dreaded hearing. It was the sound that let us know we had a whole load of injuries to tend to.

I got up, shoved my gear on and ran out to the infirmary. Just in time to see Jake carried by on a stretcher. I chased after them as the tears flooded my eyes. Paul grabbed me and we walked silently behind Jake. When we got to the surgery room, the medics took over. We stood on the outside of the room, watching through the small windows on the doors as they worked on him.

"Call it!" One medic said to the other. The other medic just looked at her as if she was crazy and then looked back at us. I watched her and saw the tears build up in her eyes, "Time of death, 0 2 0 5." She wiped her tears and turned to me mouthing 'I'm so sorry!'

About a half hour later, they closed his chest up and I was allowed in to see him. I walked over to the gurney and looked at him. I lost myself and started beating his chest, begging for him to come back to me but he never did.

I was a shell for weeks after that. I didn't even go to the funeral service back home. I stayed where I was and focused on other things to numb the pain. It was exactly three weeks to the day and I couldn't live in a world where my Jacob was no longer. I tried everything to make the pain go away. Nothing worked!

That was until I woke up one morning. I was going to end it. Simple! You know that everyone is issued with the standard M9 Beretta? Yeah? Well that was my way out. I got up, dressed in my uniform and went to tell Emily that I was going for a jog. She nodded quietly, giving me an apologetic expression. I walked away from her and started jogging.

I was about two klicks to the east of the base when I slowed to a walking pace. I whispered, "Jake, I'll love you forever!" Aiming the gun down my throat, I pulled the trigger.

Paul POV

After Jake's funeral, we had to go back to Afghanistan. While I was at the funeral, I vowed to Jake that I'd keep Bella as safe as I possibly could. Bella couldn't come to the funeral. It was too painful for her. It was roughly three weeks after the funeral when we eventually got back. I got to catch up and make love to my wife, Rachel. I got to see friends that I hadn't seen in a while.

Once we got back, I made sure to stop by and see how Bella was doing.

I walked into the infirmary and spotted Emily.

"Hey Em! Where's Bella? Shouldn't she be on duty?" I asked casually.

"She went for a jog about an hour and a half ago," she answered honestly.

"Damn! You're not supposed to leave her on her own like that. You know how much she loved Jake. She's gonna do something stupid, I can feel it." I started running, as fast as I could. Hunting for Bella.

I got a two klicks out to the North East and kept heading east. It was then that I saw the small lump that made up Bella's body. I sprinted over to her to see blood and brains' everywhere. I slumped to my knees and cried.

I had failed my best friend and what's more, I had failed myself. I sat and cried for a good hour before anyone came looking for us. I looked up and saw Ateara, Call and McCarty.

They were saying something about two missing comrades. McCarty was operating the radio, asking for assistance while Call and Ateara wept with their heads bowed.

Why did she do this? Who in their right mind would let her off on her own? Why wasn't I here to stop it? These are the questions that kept running through my mind.

We waited for the MP to come out. He determined a suicide and told the guys to bag her. I let a growl escape my throat and the rest of the guys done the same. We would carry her back to base and we would make sure that no-one touched her.

Call and me picked her up gently and placed her in the body bag. All four of us lifted her up onto our shoulders and carried her, the two klicks back to base. Once there, we could see everyone standing outside after hearing the news. When we approached them, everyone removed their caps and bowed their heads. Some had tears running down their faces.

I tried to maintain my composure but after we got her to the temporary morgue, I couldn't handle it any longer. This was a day for grieving. A day that love is reunited in the stars. A day that we will never forget and a story that will be told forever!

Gone Fishin' By Lady of Spain

Title: Gone Fishin'
AuthorLady of Spain
Rating: VM16+
Beta: TheMightyRen
Word Count: 7499

This story takes place after Edward proposes, 6 wks before the wedding date. Jacob makes a last ditch effort to be alone with Bella one last time and make her see that she is making the wrong choice.

Disclaimer: I don't pretend to own any of these characters. They are the property of S. Meyer.

Halfway To Paradise

I want to be your lover

But your friend is all I stay

I'm only halfway to paradise

So near, yet so far away

I long for your lips to kiss my lips

But just when I think they may

You lead me halfway to paradise

So near, yet so far away

Bein' close to you is almost heaven

But seein' you can do just so much

It hurts me so to know your heart's a treasure

And that my heart is forbidden to touch,so

Put your sweet lips close to my lips

And tell me that's where they're gonna stay

Don't lead me halfway to paradise

Mmm, so near, yet so far away.

Oh, uh, oh so near, yet so far away

Yeah, yeah, so near, yet so far away.

Tony Orlando

What a sap I was, sitting here pining over a girl who can't see what was in front of her own face. I was so pathetic. I had been listening to this old song by Tony Orlando, over and over, and over. Yup, it pretty much summed up the relationship between good ol' supportive Jacob Black and Bella Swan "the clueless". Maybe I should have gotten a lobotomy. That would 've put an end to the continuous invasion of thoughts flooding my brain; thoughts about the girl with the chocolate brown eyes . . . the soft chestnut colored hair . . . those long legs. Ugh! If I could have just surgically removed all those memories . . . I could've been happy again, a drooling imbecile, but happy.

I put the CD back in the player cuing it once more. I sighed, and plopped my head back on my pillow, staring at the ceiling. Embry walked into my room and turned off the CD. "No, not this song again!" he barked. "Jeez, Jake, will you look at yourself? You're letting this engagement thing turn you into a whimpering puppy. What happened to the Big Bad Wolf? Where did the Jacob Black I know disappear to? I can't stand seeing you like this. You've let yourself be reduced to a blob of misery, by a girl who doesn't give a damn about your feelings!"

"Don't talk about her like that, Embry. She does care about my feelings. Bella hates that she's been hurting me, but she loves me, I know she does."

"If she loves you like you say she does, then do something about it. Get your butt out of this bed and do something. You can't let that leech gloat over this. You've never backed down from a fight before, so don't start now. "

"I did everything I could, Embry. I'm comin' up empty here. I don't know what else to do."

"Convince her that she's making a big mistake. Get her away from him for awhile. Even if you fail, at least go down fighting. I know you'll think of something. You've got to. This behavior has to stop. It's driving the rest of the pack nuts! You're my best friend Jake, please for my sanity and yours, come up with a plan. And in your best interest, I'm taking this CD home with me."

Embry ambled out the door, slamming it behind him.

I sat up with my head in my hands. Embry was right. I was a gelatinous blob, my spine had somehow been replaced by yellow jello. Yellow . . . Yeah, I was afraid to face a frail little girl. Who was I kidding,? She wasn't frail; she knew the hold she had on me. She might as well have been personally tightening my thumb screws. Okay Jake, time to wolf up!

I wasn't exactly Christopher Lowell when it came to planning an event. And let's face it, LaPush wasn't the capital entertainment of the world either. So it was with a heavy heart that I sat in front of the TV set with Billy that night watching the news. The weather report began; rain on Monday . . . big surprise . . . rain on Tuesday . . . blah, blah, blah . . . sunny with a light chance of rain on Wednesday. Poor Edward, he'd have to keep his sparkles to himself on that day. He wouldn't be able to visit Bells. Hey, wait a minute . . . she could come visit me. Yeah, but where could I take her so that I'd have her all to myself.

The imaginary light bulb above my head suddenly flickered to life. Charlie and Billy spent hours in a boat every other weekend. There was no one to bug them, just the sea gulls, the salt air, and the rolling waves.

"That's it!" I shouted as I sprung straight up off the couch.

Billy almost lost his balance. "What's it?" Billy asked in alarm.

"Do you think Bells would go fishing with me?"

"Son, are you feeling okay? This is Bella you're talking about. And you're not that fond of the sport yourself!"

"Sure, sure, but this isn't really about fishing, this is about being alone with her. If I can guilt her into it, we can have hours to spend together, before she goes off and marries that freak." I thought that sounded pretty damn confident.

Billy grinned, "That's my boy, a chip off the ol' Black."

My plan was falling into place, I only hoped it didn't fall apart. I'd call Bells first thing in the morning and charm her into the boat with me.


At nine o'clock, I called Bells."Hey Bells, do ya miss me? No . . . Don't answer that. You'll hurt my feelings."

"I do miss you Jake. You know better than that," she asserted.

"Do I . . . ? You've got a lot on your mind, wedding plans, honeymoon, becoming one of the eternally damned. There's no room in that head of yours to think about your best friend. You have no time to see poor ol' understanding Jacob."

"That's not fair Jake, you know I'd come see you if I could. What do you want me to do?" she entreated me.

"To tell you the truth, I thought maybe we could get together for a few hours this Wednesday. It'll be sunny out, so the lee . . . sorry, Edward will have to stay inside. This will be the last chance I'll ever get to be alone with you. Please, Bells, say yes . . . for me? It could be our final curtain call. You know things between us will never be the same when you're . . . you know, changed, right?" Ooh, that was good, she has to say yes. She'll feel so guilty if she deprives me of this one last meeting.

"J-Jake," she stammered, "I . . . I don't know."

I tried to sound as pitiful as possible, which wasn't hard to do considering how pitiful I actually felt. "Okay, I understand. I guess this is our goodbye then, huh? I love you Bells . . . bye." I whispered the last words into the phone. I waited a beat, and sure enough I heard the answer to my prayers.

"Well, I could get away for a few hours I guess. After all, Edward and I do have eternity to be together."

YES . . . ! Operation rowboat ready to launch. I did my darnedest not to sound too excited, but damn, my heart was skipping beats. "Do you really mean it Bells; you'll go fishing with me?"

"Fishing?"she teased, " Who are you, and what have you done with my Jacob? You hate fishing, Jake."

"But Bells, that's not the point. We can be in our own little world, just the two of us, floating on the waves, basking in the sunshine. For a few hours we can just be - just Jake and Bells."

"Okay, you won this round. I'll meet you at your house at ten, on Wednesday."

"Sure, sure. I'll be ready." I hung up the phone and danced around the room. Yes, yes, yes!


My two best friends in the whole world came by the next day. They were surprised to see the new and improved, Jacob Black.

"What have you been snorting?" Quil asked.

"I don't need no stinkin' drugs. I'm tanked up on high octane love!"

Embry seemed pleased."I'm glad for you man. who is she? Do we know her?"


"C'mon, Jake, spill."

"You guys know me - who else would it be?"

Quil cursed loudly, "Damnit, Jake. We had such high hopes for you. And now you're gonna let Bella put you through the wringer . . . again? I never saw such a glutton for punishment."

"Aha! But this time I have a plan," I proudly announced. "I'm taking her fishing. We'll be hours and hours on the ocean. No vamps, no Charlie, just me, Bells and a bucket of worms."

My declaration was met with utter silence. Then, they looked at one another and broke into roars of laughter.

"Oh man, you've got to be kidding. How did you get her to agree to that?" Embry guffawed.

"Laugh all you want guys. I happen to know that she couldn't withstand my attempts at persuasion."

"Picture it, Embry," Quil mocked, "the romantic couple in the Love Rowboat!

That started up the laughter, even louder than before.

Now, I was getting defensive. "You got a better idea?"

"The back seat of your Rabbit comes to mind," Quil chortled. "At least then, you wouldn't have to worry about miss clumsy scuttling the boat!"

"Or worse yet, falling overboard," Embry taunted. Then he added, "It's gonna be a bear trying to make any moves on her with the boat swaying."

"Guys . . . get your minds out of the gutter, will ya? This isn't an all out attack to take advantage. I want her to be aware of her other option, that's all. I'm trying to save a beating heart from certain doom. Does that seem funny to you?"

"I guess not," Embry said, looking remorseful. "You gotta admit though, Bella and you in a rowboat is a recipe for disaster. Maybe you should watch Titanic tonight to brush up on boat safety. With Bella on board, you could possibly run into an iceberg."

"That's enough, get out, guys!"

Quil gave me a smirk, and quipped, "Ooh, Mr. Grudgemeir has reared his ugly head. I am very disappointed in you, Jake. That girl has made a pantywaist out of you."

"You guys deaf? I said GET OUT!" I'm sure the whole street heard me yell that time.

"Yes sir, Cap'n Jack," Embry saluted me. "C'mon, Ladmo, we know when we're not appreciated."

"Comin', Wal Boy!"

The two of them started singing, "Row, row, row your boat," as they waltzed out the door.

I had to ask, why do I torture myself by hanging out with these losers? Oh right, because I'm an idiot. I definitely need to socialize more so I can pick out another pair of buds. A couple of mimes would be good. I shrugged it off, and starting preparing for our adventure. I caught myself whistling... row, row, row your boat. Ugh!


It was Wednesday, I was gathering the supplies for the trip. Compass . . . check . . . fishing poles . . . check . . . ice and cooler . . . check . . . first aid kit . . . double check. Bait, extra hooks, sunblock, fishin' hats, lunch, soap and water, yep, I think I've got it all. I was piling it into the rabbit, when my concentration was suddenly interrupted by the sound of a familiar truck pulling into the driveway. She's here, she's here, my brain shouted.

I ran out and grabbed her in a bear hug before her feet even alighted from the vehicle. I swung her around, while she gasped, the usual, "Can't breathe, Jake."

I put her down lightly. "Sorry, I'm just so glad to see you, Bells."

"It's only been three weeks, Jake,"she remarked.

"Three looong weeks," I corrected.

"Well let's get started then, here - I made some fried chicken and potato salad."

"Hey, great!" I tossed it into the cooler, and closed the trunk. I took Bella's hand, headed back to the house and announced our departure to Billy. "Hey dad, we're leaving!"

Billy wheeled out of his bedroom."Don't forget the first aid kit. Remember, who you're taking with you," he chuckled. Then he remarked, "Good luck, son," and gave me a knowing wink.

Bells presented me with a questioning look, and asked, "What's that supposed to mean?"

"Dunno," I shrugged, feigning innocence. "Gettin' senile, I guess."

"Ouch, that hurts," I heard him mutter, as he escaped back to his room.


I was as excited as a little kid going to Disneyland. I bounced along the ground like Tigger, escorting Bells to the Rabbit.

I chattered all the way to the dock. Bells hardly got a word in edgewise. She looked worried; probably wondering what I had up my sleeve ( two strong arms aching to hold you Bells, that's what).

Bella helped me unload all the equipment and transfer it to the boat. I guess my skiff wouldn't look like much to a Cullen's eye. They probably own a yacht. Anyway, for my purposes it was perfect, big enough to haul our stuff, and small enough, so we would have to squeeze in tight. Well, maybe that was a little exaggerated, but still, it required us to sit pretty close together. I could think of no sweeter sardine to be packed up against.

The day was perfect. The sun was glowing in the sky. There were just a few puffy clouds dotting the horizon, and a mild breeze tickled our skin.

I found the sunblock and handed it to Bella. She applied it quickly over her face and throat.

"Jake," she asked, "Can you get the rest of my neck and shoulders? I can't reach back there."

Was she kidding me? I felt like I'd be touching holy ground. I'm a smart boy, so I answered, "Hell, yeah!"

She scowled at me, "Don't get carried away, Black."

Bella lifted the hair away from her neck. The aroma of her strawberry scented mane filled the air; it almost knocked me senseless. Her skin was so soft and warm. I was in heaven, smoothing the cream over the places she missed - and some she didn't - just to have the experience last a few minutes longer. Jeez, I wished her shirt had been cut just a little bit lower.

She handed the sunblock back to me."Aren't you going to use any?" Bella inquired.

I nearly laughed. Look at me, do ya think I would need sunblock? Then a devious idea popped into my brain . . . Bella's small hands covered in cream, her fingers massaging it into my now tingling skin.

I choked back a laugh, and tried to reassemble my face, so it would appear serious. I squirted a dollop into my palm and slathered it on. Oh my, I seem to have squeezed out too much. "Uh Bella, can you take some of this off my hands and get the back of my neck too?"

She scooted closer to me . . . so far so good . . . her little hands scooped the cream a few times from my palms. It was like ultrasound gel, conducting the electrical impulses straight to my brain and down to my waiting heart. The shock jolted my heart into an erratic rhythm, one that would send any cardiologist into a frenzy. Then, her hands did their magic. Those tiny fingers stroking my neck sent more sparks shooting down my spine. It was all I could do to remain standing. Did she realize what she was doing to me?

She ended the massage, and I gave her one of the fishin' hats to put on. She looked so adorable. I helped her into the boat, and shoved it off into the water, hopping in myself before my feet got wet.

Some people might think it foolhardy to row a boat out into the ocean, and admittedly, I was a hardy fool. But hey, I never got tired - sleep deprived, yeah - tired, nah! The oars placidly churned through the dark blue-gray water, making a peaceful lapping sound. I secretly hoped that whenever I pulled on the oars, Bells would notice my biceps bulging under my tee. I caught her sneaking a peek every now and then. Sweeeet! My heightened wolf vision didn't miss a trick. She wasn't fooling anyone, I saw her ogling me.

"It's so beautiful out today," Bella sighed.

"Yeah, I guess you're only gonna get to enjoy a few more sunny days before . . . well, you know. You're from Arizona. I know how much you miss the sunshine."

"It'll be worth it though," she asserted.

"Will it?" I countered.

"Jacob Black," she grumbled, "don't start wasting time bickering with me; we should be enjoying each other's company for as long as we're here."

"Don't you mean for as long as humanly possible?"

She gave me a glare that would singe the feathers off a chicken.

Okay Jake, that went over well. You really know how "to rock the boat". Change the subject quick. "I guess we're out far enough." I put down the oars. "Let's get out the fishing poles."

I grabbed the poles, and gave one to Bells. The expression on her face was priceless. Could she possibly be any cuter? The fishing line on mine was a little tangled. "Hey Bells, could you get me my penknife? It's over there in one of the containers."

Bells straddled the seat, and then pulled her other leg over so that she was facing away from me. She was looking in the buckets and containers, and suddenly let out a bloodcurdling scream. The boat rocked from side to side as she nearly fell off the seat backwards.

"What is this?" she screeched.

I steadied her on the seat, peered over her shoulder and stifled a laugh. "That," I stated, "is our bait. Mudpuppies are expensive, so instead, I had to dig up some of these. Don't tell me you've never had a close encounter with a worm before."

"Well yeah," she explained, "but not a big wriggling mass of them. Ew!"

"Hand me the bucket, Bells. I'll keep them by me so you don't die of fright."

"I'm not touching that thing. Some of them might escape."

"They can't bite you, Bells," I sniggered.

"I don't care, they're gooey and they're gross! You come get them."

"Okay, we're gonna have to swap seats then. Now, slowly stand up with me, then we'll walk toward each other."

We started the swap, and sure enough, Bells snagged her foot on who knows what. The boat shimmied, and she was pitched straight into my willing arms. "Whoa, steady there," I remarked. I had to hold onto her until the boat quit swaying underneath us. I carefully pivoted the two of us around, and we sat down simultaneously.

I found my knife and cut the tangled line. Pulling the rest of the line through the reel, I attached the hook back on it. "Mission accomplished," I crowed. "Alrighty then, let's coax some of these fish out of the sea and into our frying pan."

I leaned down and snatched a juicy worm out of the bucket. I dangled it in front of Bella. She leaned away. "C'mon Bells, ya gotta bait up your hook."

"I'm not doin' it, Jake. I told you that. Can't you do it for me please?"

"Jeez, Bells, it's just a little worm." Her face was stone. "Here, give me the hook, I'll do it."

I started to thread the hook through the worm. She gasped, "Oh gosh, that poor little worm. You're hurting him."

"If you want to catch a fish, you have to use bait." I gave the pole back to Bells. "He's dead - not feelin' a thing. You can feed him to the fishies now."

I finished baiting my own hook and threw it over the side. Hell, these babies were hungry. I barely lowered the hook, when I got a bite. I reeled in the first catch of the day, and plunked him in the cooler.

Bella's pole began to bob up and down. She shrieked, "I got one Jake!"

I grinned as she struggled to reel in the trout, at least I think it was a sea trout. I pulled her shoulders in toward me and wrapped my own around her. I put my hands over hers and helped her steady the rod. I leaned my cheek against her cheek, all the while resisting the urge to turn my head and nuzzle my nose across her smooth flesh.

Together we reeled in a whopper. He thrashed and tossed about, splattering Bells with salt water. She sputtered and handed the pole to me. I pulled it from the hook, "Into the cooler, big guy," I said.

We caught a few more fish - Bella excited to land one - me excited to be helping her to land one. We stopped for a while to eat lunch.

"Man, this chicken is good." I hesitated for a beat, choosing my words carefully. "Can I ask you something, Bells? Aren't you gonna miss cooking for Charlie and the rest of us hungry males? Be honest with me."

"Yes . . . Look, I know what you're trying to do Jake, but please don't. You'll ruin the last hours I have with my best friend."

"I'm sorry, Bells. I just want you to think seriously about your choice. There will be no turning back when it's done." I could see the uncertainty creeping into her dark eyes.

"I know," she whispered.

Trying to lighten the mood, I yelled, "Okay, lunch break over. Back to work. We can catch a few more trout, then head back." I looked around searching for the shoreline. Ut oh, the current apparently carried us farther away than I had originally planned. No problem, we'll head home a little earlier, that's all.

We were busy laughing and fishing, and suddenly I paid attention to the ominous gray clouds swarming toward us. I didn't want to alarm Bells, but this didn't bode well."Uh, Bells, I think we're gonna have to cut this trip short - check out the sky."

"Holy crow, what the heck happened?" Her eyes turned wide with concern.

"Damn weathermen, you can never trust their forecasts. I hope we can outrun the rain," I joked.

Too late . . . The wind started to howl, the waves rose and fell angrily, and then the rain came done . . . in torrents.

I rowed with all my might, but the current was pulling us further and further out to sea. The waves got choppier - the wind singing louder in our ears. And God, the rain was unmerciful. Damn that weatherman! What about sunny with a slight chance of showers? I couldn't pull against the current any longer, that's when I noticed the island in the distance, Barneget's Island. My dad used to take us there when we were young. But that was when we borrowed the Clearwater's motorboat.

Bells kept herself busy, scooping out the water accumulating in the bottom of the boat. Unfortunately, the rain was pouring down faster than she could bail it out.

The current was moving us closer to the island, so I helped it along, rowing a little faster to get us out of this rotten tempest. Bells was quiet. I knew she was terrified, but I knew where we were. We'd just have to wait out the storm.

The boat finally hit the shoal. I pulled the skiff up onto the rocky shoreline. There used to be a cabin nearby, hopefully it was still standing. I took Bella's hand in mine, grabbed the first aid kit and led her to the cabin. We were both soaked to the skin. Bella's lips were an odd shade of blue, and she was shivering like crazy.

The wind kept blowing us back away from the door, so it took a few tries to jimmy the lock with my penknife. We entered the tiny room; it was dry at least.

"Don't move," I told Bella "I'm gonna start a fire so we can get out of these wet clothes."

I threw some of the wood that was stacked by the fireplace onto the hearth. My first-aid kit had a lighter in it - thank god - and the dry tinder ignited almost instantly.

I gave Bells one of those thin heat-conserving sheets. "Here," I grunted, "Take off your wet things and wrap yourself in this. I'm going back outside to bring in some of the supplies."

Man, it was like a hurricane out there. The wind must have been gusting at 80 miles per hour. I picked up the cooler, Bella's purse, and a few other essentials. I left the fishing poles. If I never saw them again it would be too soon. I raced with them up to the cabin and knocked on the door.

"Bells," I shouted over the gale force wind. "Are ya decent?"

"How decent can I be, wrapped in a sheet? It's no concern of yours anyway."

No concern of mine? What did she mean by that?

I entered the cabin cautiously. Bells was seated by the fire, wrapped in the thin aluminum sheet, still trembling with the cold. "Hey, can I call you 'Silver Bells'? You look like a Christmas present all bundled up like that." She was not amused.

I dropped the supplies on the floor and walked toward her.

Bells lit into me with a vengeance. "You dog . . . ! I see your good luck held out, all right. I can't believe Billy had any part in this."

"What are you talking about, Bells?" I was so confused.

"Don't 'Bells' me! How could you?"she fumed.

"Could I whaaat?" Why the hell are women so cryptic?

'This whole trip . . . fishing . . . I knew there was something' fishy' about it. This was one of your diabolical schemes to get me alone in this cabin. And to think I fell for it. 'Please Bella, please. This could be the last chance we get to be alone together.' Ugh!"

"You've got to be kidding me. Are you nuts? You're practically accusing me of consorting with Mother Nature. I can't control the weather, Bells. As for this cabin, I didn't even know if it was still intact. You should be grateful that I steered us toward this island, we could have been drifting out to Alaska, for cryin' out loud. What do you take me for anyway? A womanizer?"

"If the moccasin fits!" she retorted. What a low blow.

I stomped over to the pile of supplies and grabbed her purse. "Here," I said in exasperation, " call your Dad. Maybe he can alert the coastguard. When he's done with that, he can have me arrested for kidnapping, and attempted romance in a rowboat."

"I can't do that. I didn't bring my cell with me. I was afraid I'd drop it in the water. If I had only known that I was going to be stranded on a deserted island with an demented werewolf, I would have had it glued to my hip."

Bells narrowed her eyes as she continued her tirade. "Do you think you could at least have the decency to get down on my level, so I don't get neck strain staring up at you?"

I sat down on the floor in front of her."Do you want me to massage that kink out?" I taunted.

"No!" She wrapped the sheet around herself tightly, leaving both of her arms free. She took my face in her hands and gazed intently into my eyes. "Look at me Jacob, now tell me the truth. Did you plan this little episode?"

"I swear to you, Bella, I just wanted us to be together. I wanted you to enjoy the sunlight, the food, and being with me, one last time. I'm going to miss you," I croaked.

I placed my hands over hers. She stiffened slightly. "Holy cow, there are welts on your hands, Jake. Let me see."

"I guess my hands aren't used to boat rowing, huh?" I was glad she was distracted. Her mood had shifted from pissed to genuine concern in two seconds flat.

"Oh Jake," she groaned, "your hands are all blistered. Is there any salve in your first-aid kit?"

It was lying on the floor beside the wood pile. I leaned over and retrieved it. Bells took it from me and finding the salve, proceeded to apply it gently to the blisters. I watched the tender expression on her beautiful face as she painstakingly covered each angry ridge.

"There, all done," she crooned, smiling. "Now you better take off your wet clothes. Werewolves can still catch pneumonia, can't they?"

I pulled off my shirt and peered over at Bells. She was ogling me again."Hey pervert, turn the other way," I scolded. Her cheeks turned the most gorgeous shade of crimson. Ha, caught her in the act.

As I removed my jeans, I heard her mutter, "Tightie whities?" Yeah, I was definitely getting to her.

I went into the bathroom, to "empty my tank" so to speak, and found a couple of towels in the cabinet. I wrapped one around me, so Bells didn't have to be embarrassed. Actually, I'm pretty sure she liked what she saw . . . the little minx.

I took a few of the fish out of the cooler, and scaled, then gutted them in the sink. I found a barbeque fork and impaled the trout with it. Poking the flames on the hearth, I found some logs that burned down and laid our dinner on top.

Bells and I ate quietly. The rain and the wind were still whirling about the cabin. We were safe, bathing in the glow of the fireplace. I had my arm around her, huddling her close to my side to keep her warm.

Bells kept eying the bed - the only bed - in the cabin."Tired?" I asked.

"Yeah, but Jake, what are we going to do about the sleeping arrangement?"

Oh, no, not me . . . I wasn't about to screw this up. Let her figure it out. "I'll sleep on the floor, no problem."

"I can't let you do that, it's inhumane . . . I know, we'll split the bed down the middle. You take the right side, I'll take the left. And no funny business, mister."

"Wouldn't dream of it," I agreed. If she only knew . . . I'd been dreaming of this for the past year. Great, now I'd have to try getting that thought out of my head.

I crouched down and scooped Bella up into my arms. I walked across the room, and gently laid her on the bed. "Didn't want you to get your feet cold." I explained.

I lay down on my side of the bed and pulled up the thin quilt that was folded at the foot of the mattress. We were both facing away from each other.

"I mean it Jake, you stay on your side, no trespassing."

"I heard you the first time," I grumbled.

Suddenly we heard a scratching sound at the window and a low growl. Bella sat up, whimpering, "What was that?"

"I'll go see."

I left the cabin, and spotted a bear. I threw a stick at him, shouting, "Go on, get!" He ambled off into the woods, and I ambled on back to bed.

I just got situated again when a pine branch hit the side of the house. In an instant, Bella scrambled over the "great divide" and wrapped her arms around my waist, clinging to me like a piece of saran wrap. Her head was imbedded in the crook of my neck, and her legs were entangled in mine. This was gonna be a looong night.

Jeez, I didn't know what was worse, yearning to have her close to me, or having her so close that my hormones were threatening to explode. Damn, my self-control was teetering on the edge. My body was aching to turn toward her and ravish her in every way imaginable. Right at this moment, I hated being such a guy. I was scared to death that I might actually do something really stupid. I had to wonder though, was she feeling the same way?

Somehow we got through the night. I guess Bells was warm enough, 'cuz when I awoke, she was on top of the quilt, in her white cotton bra and skimpy bikini panties. How could she do this to me? That scene was going to play over and over in my brain, wreaking havoc with my already faltering self-control. I dropped the towel and my briefs outside the door and phased. I ran through the forest until I could feel myself cooling down. Unbelievably, I was thankful for the the wind and the unrelenting downpour.

As I neared the cabin, I heard Bella softly calling my name. Then it became louder, until she was screaming in fright. I hurriedly pulled on the briefs, and rearranged the towel. When I opened the door she plowed into my chest. "Jake," she shouted, "Jake, where were you – I was so scared. Please don't leave me like that again." Her arms were around my neck in a choke-hold, but I wasn't complaining. Her little heart was fluttering in her chest, and her body quaking. I held her close. Thank God, she had clothes on.

"Shh, it's okay, Bells, I'm not leaving you alone. We're both gonna get out of here together when the storm passes. I promise."

She nodded, and wiped away a tear.


The wind was still whipping up outside and the rain never let up all damn day. I was beginning to get worried. If we didn't get home soon, I would get arrested. Then it struck me, I had a direct line to the wolves. What an idiot! I could have contacted one of them when I had phased. I let Bells know what I was doing before she freaked again, then I went outside and "turned myself inside out."

Sam was the only one out patrolling, but that was enough. I told him where we were holed up. He was going to spread the word of our whereabouts, but he said the coastguard couldn't get through the storm either. It looked like the gale would subside by tomorrow, and we'd probably get picked up in the morning.

Bells and I passed the time, talking about our plans for college, eating more fish kabobs, and playing cards. It was always wise to bring a deck along, in case the fish weren't biting.

In the evening the rain dissipated, and was replaced by a severe drop in temperature. And I mean it dropped like arock. The small fireplace was no match for the increasing cold. Believe me when I say there was no dividing line in the bed that night. I was for once thankful for the heat I could share. She was shivering even after we were cuddled together for the first half hour.

Bella's teeth were chattering as she remarked, "Doesn't this seem familiar? This is like an encore of that night in the tent!" Sure, sure, but thank God that miserable leech wasn't around this time. Having another icicle taking up space in here wouldn't have helped matters much. Her teeth began to chatter a little faster, her shivering getting worse.

"This is ridiculous," I bellowed."Take your clothes off Bells. We need skin contact so you can absorb my heat. Don't argue with me. This is a fact, survival one oh one, just like I told that bloodsucker of yours. Do you want to be modest and dead, or naked and alive?"

I yanked off my pants and shirt and threw them on the foot of the bed. Bells hesitated but when her teeth started chattering again, she relented.

"I'm frrr-eezing J-Jake, but my p-p-aan-ties are st-staa-ing put.

She stripped down and I leaned against her back in spoon position, enveloping the front of her upper shoulders with one arm. My other arm I left sheltering the cool, trembling skin around her waist. I whispered in her ear, "Relax honey, go to sleep now. I won't ever hurt you. I promise I won't go roaming into any 'uncharted territory'.You can trust me. I love you too much."

Slowly, I felt her body go limp. Her breathing became deep and even, her heart beating out a steady rhythm. I tucked her head under my chin, and kissed her hair. Was this our last night together? Was this goodbye? I fought the lump rising up in my throat.


Morning came and the sun was peeking out of the clouds. This was it, then. We were going home today. It was still ice cold in the cabin, and the wood pile was down to two logs. I was pulling away from Bells so I could go outside. We needed more wood for the fire. She instinctively turned and reached out for me. My heart stuttered for a moment. Dammit, I ached to return to her side, never to leave her. Can it Jake, in five weeks, she'll belong to someone else. Treasure these memories. That's all you'll have . . . memories.

I pulled on my shirt and jeans and trudged out to the wood pile. This will be the last time I see her before her wedding day. I took up the nearby axe and placed a chunk of wood on the chopping block. Thunk! That one was history, and thunk . . . so was the next one, and the one after that. Thunk! Thunk! Pretty soon, the chopping got faster and faster. Thunk! Why isn't it me? Thunk! What did I do that was so terribly wrong? Thunk! Why did I have to love her so? Thunk, thunk! I threw down the axe in desperation. I sat down on the cold hard ground, drawing my knees up to my chest. I couldn't hold back a minute longer. My emotions spewed out, unleashing the heartache that had been pent up for so long. I broke out in loud sobs. The tears streamed down my face like rain. What was I going to do without her? Bells . . .

I heard a soft voice speak my name."Jake, is that you?"

Bella's form appeared from the back of the cabin. She spotted me on the ground. She ran toward me, but I turned my face away. That's it Jake, let her see you sitting there like a crybaby. She knelt down in front of me, pulling my cheek toward her. Her liquid brown eyes gazed into mine.

"Jake, what is it? Are you hurt?"

I looked up at her with the tears still flowing down my cheeks. "I don't want to take you back home, Bells. I wish I could just lift you up into my arms and run away with you. Why can't you love me the way that I love you? Why? Why can't you stay with me? Why won't you choose me?"

"I thought that maybe this trip might open your eyes, make you see things more clearly. I guess all it made you see was how pathetic I am. I'm sorry. I failed to make you think–really think about what you're doing."

"You didn't fail, Jake. You have given me a lot to think about. And you're wrong . . . why do you think I fight so hard against you. I know how much you love me. You know I love you too, don't you?"

"Yeah . . . but you love him more."

"I don't know about that. I may have to rethink it."

What did she just say? "Do you really mean that?"

"Holy cow, yes, I think I do."

She brushed away the tears from my face, and pulled me to my feet.

"So . . . you . . . wait . . . does this mean . . . Uh, Can I kiss you, Bells?"

"No, it's may I kiss you?" she teased.

Continuing to sniffle, I stammered out, "Hell, yeah, C'mere girl." My hands were encircled about her waist pulling her up onto the chopping block. New tears were forming as I peered back into those chocolate eyes. My God, could she be any more beautiful than now, gazing at me with love in those very eyes. I wet my lips anticipating what was to come. I bent over her and covered her waiting mouth with my own. I was totally overcome with emotion. I took the tresses on the back of her head in one hand, and placed my other hand on the soft skin of her cheek. Her hands were laced around my neck, stroking the hair at the base of my head. Our lips moved in unison. It was so warm–so real–so natural–it was as easy as breathing. Our hearts beat together as one, our breath mingled. I felt like our spirits were uniting in joy.

"Jake," she breathed, "my Jacob."

Whispering, I choked out, "I love you, Bells."

Our kiss became more intense, more passionate. I felt her very being penetrate every pore of my body. She was part of me. I couldn't deny it. I was helpless. I could no longer be separated from her. She was everywhere, she was everything and I was nothing without her.

My hands were on her waist, her shoulders, her hips. Her hands glided over my body in the same way and her touch on my skin was heaven. I could barely stand it. I had to pull away before I burst into flames.

Reluctantly, I suggested, "We better go inside, we're going home today. Remember?"

Bells sat there quietly for awhile, lost in thought. I could almost sense the gears turning round and round in her mind.

"Wait a minute, Jake. One thing first–you know that I have to see Edward. I need to talk to him and explain my turnabout. He's not a bad guy, Jacob. He's going to be heartbroken. I feel awful about breaking our engagement. What is this going to do to him . . . ? what is this going to do to his family? You know that his love for me is real." There was a question in her eyes as she added, "What can I possibly say? Tell me what to say to him, Jake."

I looked at her with a twinkle in my eye and blurted out: "Tell him you've Gone Fishin'" Yeah, and you're coming back with quite a catch too!

A/N: Boy this was sure long for a one shot. I could've added more, but I just had to stop. Please note,? Mr. Grudgemeier, Wallace, and Ladmo, were all the stars of a local TV kiddie show in the Phoenix area. They were on the air for years, and were much beloved, especially by me.