[J/B, E/B] It’s only after it’s done that she knows she made the wrong choice.
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Fingers are splayed across her inner thigh, clutching the tough skin he likens to granite when he calms down. Her nails rake down his brown back and there’s nothing controlled about this situation. It’s unbridled, whatever has been happening between them these past months, and she never wants it to stop.
Like how he can’t stop thinking about her. Panting her name as he hooks one of her legs around his waist. Telling her in no uncertain terms that she’s his (she’s always been) and that’s how it should be.
Too bad this will end soon once he lets out one final grunt and she disappears as soon as the dawn hits.
Too bad it’s only on stolen nights (always in the dark) where both of them unite only for a few hours, few minutes, few seconds.
Yet, he can’t think of one thing he wouldn’t give up to simply keep her coming back. But he could do without these long estranged moments when he doesn’t see her and their only way of communicating is him howling at the moon and her listening from a distance.
(Will they never be allowed?)
He prefers not to think of it, but it doesn’t mean he doesn’t.
She knows Edward blames himself. Of all the times he took into account the could-have-happens, he never thought she’d forget him.
Her memory of him was obliterated the moment her eyes took on the burgundy tone and she saw he was filled with lies, helpless lies that he believed in. His features were immaculate -- she remembers thinking -- and her body thrashed as she inched away from him. The pain was receding (just barely) and he told her the worst was over (little did he know).
There was a deadly thirst that begged to be quenched as she took him in. It made it so hard to keep firm and take in his words. To understand what he was saying (it was sounded garbled).
But the plain thing that was automatically instilled in her being was the bewilderment on how this stranger seemed to speak her name as if he were privy to owning it.
It unnerved her because she knew he had no right to it.
At least these were her first thoughts after her transformation. But they seem to stick to her, even to this day.
Jacob wonders how long it will last.
How long she can keep ensnaring him and keep them under the fog and mirrors she promised when he signed his name in her contract. The one that basically said that he would abide to every single thing she wanted because she’s Bella.
“Just Bella,” she mutters as a single dimple takes form and flaws her for a moment, “like you’re Just Jake.”
He’s tried telling her it’s no longer that simple. Not since she decided she would align herself as one of his mortal enemies. But she laughs -- so carefree -- and she guides his hand closer to her tempting body.
She tells him that he complicates things too much.
So says the person whose memories are like scattered flyers on the Washington winds. Of course it’s easy to forgo tradition when you have nothing to look back on.
“Except you,” she whispers.
Except him and that changes everything.
He tries his hardest to not tear it apart. The flimsy paper is adorned in his careful calligraphy that he had perfected since the 1900’s where the thought of her never entered his head.
The time in which he was unburdened. When he still went to church and everyone would whisper behind gloved hands on whom Edward Masen would court next. He remembers how he smirked at the girl that lived down two blocks and looked too much like Rosalie. How his mother encouraged the match and quick! The conflicts in Europe weren’t looking that great and despite how Chicago seemed immersed in itself, he knew his time was ending.
How little did he know that that phrase would summarize it all for him. How his mother’s insistence of saving him would lock him up into an eternity of damnation. How his mother made it so he could finally be stumped in the matter of love. Albeit, a century later, but it didn’t matter.
No, it no longer did.
The corner of the wedding invitation is torn at the edge and it gives him no reassurance at the state of them. But it’s a joke to label them as a single unity anymore.
His hands shake at the thought.
The day his teeth pierced her skin and he got the full taste of her was the day he lost. His venom runs in her veins and he wonders if it was this that turned her against him.
She’s known as Bella Cullen these days. A junior in a hole-in-the-wall High School in nowhere Alaska.
The boys at school gaze at her endlessly and if she could blush still there would be no question of her awkwardness. But, Edward reminds her, she is no longer like that.
He’s always at her side and she’s starting to get used to it. Or, at least, she’s trying to. Edward gives her a wide-berth and tells her that they can leave anytime they want. If she finds the thought of grabbing someone’s throat and digging her teeth in too irresistible than he can cause a diversion and take her somewhere.
But she’s determined in keeping pace with becoming immune to the scent of fatality. He remarks on her success, on how he’s proud of her for sticking it out.
Of course it’s easy to resist snapping the bones of some mundane human. It’s a small matter after you’ve grown accustomed to being intimate with your supposed foe (Jacob's words always echo in her head).
But Edward doesn’t know that -- not yet.
It’s hard to believe how fortunes overturn from one hand to another.
There he was, the scorned lover ready to waste away in pathetic pining. He was starting to file away those memories of her under some forgettable part of his mind when she went and trounced his every attempt (it was futile anyway) with one single meeting.
She looked nervous as she approached him. Cloaked in mud, it was almost comical how she appeared to be.
“You won’t like the smell of me these days,” she uttered. Her sculpted cheeks twitched as he assessed her, the new Bella.
It makes him choke to recollect that day and how utterly stupefied he became. How despite all this time that passed, she still managed to have him at her beck and call. It was absurd to think otherwise. But it pained him still to think of her last visit before that one.
How he hadn’t seen her since she said goodbye (there is no point in dismissing how important you are to me) and told him that the countdown had reached an end.
He didn’t need to go to the wedding. No one had expected him to.
It’s back to the past.
That seems to be the only time in which the world made sense, at least for Edward.
When Bella goes out (she’s always not with him) he listens to Debussy and tries to reminisce on the happy times before they seemingly disappeared.
How she agreed to the white gown bedecked with jewels. How her face scrunched up at the ornate manner of everything but her face lit up when she sighted him.
How he lifted her hand only to spot that a tiny werewolf figurine jangled at her wrist.
He gulps in his champagne (disgusting taste) and tries hard not feel completely at loss. His body slumps on the floor and he can’t help but repeat a phrase.
Fairy tales are only meant to be in books.
It was ridiculous to think the same chapter would continue on. At least for him, he had his happy ending and it was time to move on.
But it didn’t seem like he could.
She gets into these stupors when she manages to snag one of those elusive threads of her memories. The pull and tug sometimes and they have an odd habit of appearing before her when she’s in public places. So much that the town huddles together to remark on her.
How that beautiful, strange girl of Dr. Carlisle’s needs some looking after. How she gives Alice Cullen a run of her money as being pegged the modern day Cassandra of Troy.
Small towns are bound to gossip and it was her turn anyway.
That’s how her family reason it. What Edward manages to sputter out before he leaves and heads upstairs after she tells him that she needs time alone.
She locks herself in a tiny bathroom and deludes herself into thinking that a family of seven vampires won’t catch her hoarse screams as her mind plummets her into the past.
She’s suddenly in a different world, as she finds her past-self walking down the cobbled path to La Push High.
The boys here don’t gape at her like they do nowadays but there is no mistaking the second glances she receives as soon as her back is turned to them.
At least her cheeks never fail to blush as she picks at her sleeve and awaits Jacob.
School has ended and his burly self manages to part a crowd. He’s king here and her breath catches at her throat. Embry and Quil flank his sides but they can’t deter him stopping in his tracks as he takes her in.
Her heart feels like it’ll pop out any second and do a greeting for her. He’s walking towards her and it’s hard to believe that there’s anyone but him. The world blends into a muddled jam of hues and he’s the contrast. He’s always been.
“Bells.” he says it so simply. His tongue caresses the word and she wishes it didn’t feel so intimate.
(You make it so much harder.)
“It’s time, Jake.”
She doesn’t wear her wedding band. It seems inappropriate to mark herself as anything but Jacob’s Bella right now. And that girl is full of reckless behavior and is a bit touched-in-the-head. It explains her being here.
He leads her down one of La Push’s strands. The pebbles strain against her shoe’s soles and it’s all starting to hurt. God, how it burns.
“I thought you made it clear that when I saw you in white that would be the last time I would see you?” His face is strained and it doesn’t help anything.
“I don’t want you to remember me like that.” It comes from nowhere. But he isn’t surprised. He’s always understood her better than anyone else and there’s no need for words.
“It wasn’t anything like you.” It’s a statement she can’t deny.
“I haven’t been feeling like myself lately.”
At least not since Edward had entered her life. The sacrifices are amounting to be too much but that’s the cost of true love, isn’t it?
“Isn’t what?” He’s inching closer and her hands shake moronically at her sides.
She knows what’s next, what she needs to do -- wants to do. Her arms raise themselves up to his shoulders and they scuttle (glide) up the slope of his neck. She fingers his mane and he closes his eyes at her touch.
It shouldn’t be so easy to succumb to this.
Her lips pepper his, she’s hesitant to complete it. What if she can’t stop? But he’s in tune with what’s going on and slowly clutches her closer.
The water from the sea laps at their feet. She’s tasting him, the warm musky scent of him lingers on and she can keep on with this.
There are no apologies here. At least not in doing this for him -- for them.
It takes a while to figure it out.
Or, should he say, it takes a while for him to get over his bout of denial. It was pretty quick once Bella waltzed in with his odor covering her from head to toe. She had grown careless.
(It was bound to happen.)
He merely looks her over and wonders if this was his punishment for taking her soul. He never should have listened to her. She had no idea what she truly wanted, she was a stupid human girl that was too good with facades.
There is no doubt of whether she held affection for him. No, truly, she did. But that was once upon a time ago and he already established his opinion on Princess tales and the like.
He knows they weren’t meant to be set in stone.
He was supposed to be a glorious eclipse for her that would disappear soon after.
He was never supposed to stay forever
It shouldn’t be so easy to forget she didn’t choose him in the end.
But endings are fabled things. There really is no stark moment in which everything ends.
This is what she tells herself.
“I always knew this would change everything.” Edward sits himself at her side and this was coming.
She wants to say something (anything to erase that look on his face) but nothing comes. Edward sighs and he rubs those purplish bruises underneath his eyes.
“I don’t think you ever imagined the ramifications, Bella, of what you’ve done.” He grabs the diamond she has set off on her night stand. It turns to dust with just a slight pressure of his fingers. His teeth clamp down on his bottom lip.
“I don’t think I thought I would only end up with the memories that make it hard to believe I voluntarily chose this.” she says.
He merely looks at her sadly and something has been confirmed in his mind. His fingers pluck a book from her bookshelf and he tosses it at her. It’s one of those last relics that confirm she lived a human life once. A worn, dog-eared copy of Wuthering Heights lands in her lap.
“You always warned me about Cathy.” he says.
The door slams as he exits the room and she knows she’s hurt him. But she can’t stop it.
Their ending started the moment she admitted to loving two people at the same time. Or that’s what Jacob told her. Funny how he seems eager to make her understand why she gave up on him, how he wants to make her see reason.
But there’s nothing rational about this.
Nothing at all.
It’s back to that first encounter. The reunion she had sought for so long when it was only him that remained a constant on her mind.
He looked completely bemused and he probably likened her a hallucination.
His lips quirk to the side and it’s exactly like all her other memories. A peeking sun.
“I go by Jake most of these days...”
Her steps are soundless and mud is caked on every plane of her. He stays by that spot and soon they’re just a mere foot apart.
“You forgot to mention how King Solomon awarded the baby to the one that would not tear it apart.”
The wind whistles through his mangy hair and his eyes gleam.
“I thought you didn’t like the endearment of ‘baby,’ Bells?”
He’s lightening the mood and everything seems to be all right.
“No, I go by Bells in these part of the woods.”
He hugs her close and there’s no mistaking his message. It’s a fall of a kingdom and she’s managed to scrape by.
He’s long been a keeper of secrets. There’s no avoiding it when people are literally walking audio tapes for him and their skeletons become exposed for him.
Everyone is on display. A soap opera that constantly plays every time he decides to drop by civilization. Too bad he didn’t imagine he’d plant himself in one too.
He’s running (it’s his turn) and he wishes he was a werewolf for once so he can yell/howl as much as he wants and let out inhuman sounds that don’t scorch his throat.
He tells Carlisle that Bella and him are in need of a honeymoon. The lone Walmart in Alaska wasn’t working wonders for them and the kind doctor looked amused.
He’ll be free to meditate on this before they catch on. Bella reassures him that they’re cloaked and thus Alice won’t know ‘til he’s long gone.
She tells him that it agonizes her to leave in such a way (she can’t avoid the inevitable) but it needs to be done.
For once he doesn’t ask her what’s on her mind. He doesn’t need to.
(You can’t live your present if you have no past to build you up.)
Her choice of deciding to forsake humanity should have never happened and so shouldn’t have this -- this outcome. But even then he can’t help but curse whatever deity out there decreed that this was the way things would turn out.
She called him her Romeo once. Never did he think that it would foreshadow his place in their drama. Sure he got the girl, but he lost her. History repeats for this Prince Charming and so he tries to run from it.
“I let him know.”
Hello, salutations. This is her form of it and her whole body shudders. She looks like death warmed over -- well, more so than usual.
He doesn’t miss the implications of what it means. She’s here because of it and he feels strangely elated that the choices have been reversed.
But he can’t help but wonder of what his adversary is going through. His chest pangs at the remembrance of the similar situation he had undergone because of the very same girl that stands before him.
She sits on the driftwood and he keeps his distance.
The breaking dawn emerges and her face is backed in its glow. She stays and gazes at him. Her skin is a pearl sheen and it doesn’t escape him how she doesn’t leave this time.
Those few hours, few minutes, few seconds are stretched now.
The sun rises on the horizon and her hand reaches out to him. (This is it then, this is for the long run.)
He entangles his fingers with hers and awaits the next words she’ll say.
Empires are meant to rise but they are certain to fall.
She read that once in a book. And it’s never left her mind since. She knows now why they stuck by, why it’s so appropriate for her.
Jacob chuckles as she tells him that he is her Paris. He murmurs to her that it holds too many meanings, some that he doesn’t like and ones he does.
She tells him he can pick and choose as he deems.
Maybe I will, he says, But I like being known as Jacob Black, the one who’s with Bella.
She likes that too.