This is my version of what happened between chapters 22 & 23 in Eclipse. I hope you enjoy.
1. Truce Over
Rating 5/5 Word Count 1346 Review this Chapter
The tune Edward hummed made Bella snuggle ever closer, laying her head on my shoulder and pressing herself against me, seeking my warmth. I hadn't anticipated being able to help her like this. It never occurred to me that she would allow me this near her when he was around. Or that he would agree to it. She needs me. She'll always need me. I can keep her safe. Safe from them. Safe from him.
"My Jacob," she whispered, as she nestled further into my embrace. My heart swelled with pride ... or was it love? Or something more ... hunger maybe?
I opened my eyes, trying to figure out if he could hear my thoughts, if he was watching me hold the love of our lives so closely within my arms. Edward? I thought, hoping against hope for his silent reply. Edward? I all but screamed the thought as I watched him intently for a few moments and felt a smug satisfaction at his lack of response. Maybe he actually could tune out thoughts when he wanted to. But I didn't care. Why should I? I was free to feel her, to think of her with me, together ... without interruption.
Lord, Bella felt so soft against my skin. She was warming up nicely; she had been so cold before. Cold ... like them. Why would anyone want to live like a human popsicle? Their eyes are cold. Their skin is cold. I wondered how Bella could stand to be near them. Why does she want to be one of them? Their hearts ... Bella's heart will stop beating. She, too, will be eternally ... cold. I began to run my hands slowly and softly up and down her arms in a vain attempt to keep her forever warm and with me. A soft moan slipped past her lips as she responded to my touch. I shivered at the sound. My eyes closed once more, and as I inhaled her bouquet, my nose wrinkled in disgust; her familiar aroma had mixed with his repulsive stench. I ran my hands along her back, letting her hair tangle between my fingers, effortlessly replacing his scent with my own.
"My Jacob," she said again, and I thought, She is mine, whether you like it or not, bloodsucker.
"I love you, Isabella Swan," I whispered into her hair, inhaling the now glorious mixture of us. "I wish you'd realize that ... before it's too late." Her breath became even as Edward continued to repeat the soft melody, seemingly lulling her into a deep sleep. She mumbled, "My Jacob," once more, as she slowly turned in my arms and snuggled her back against my chest. Her backside pressed firmly against my groin. Heaven help me, I begged, looking skyward for some form of relief.
I feel her, want her ... need her.
Moments passed as I thought, dreamt, and ultimately felt impassioned, unspeakable things, until my body began to convulse with desire as I imagined releasing myself deep within in her. My breathing had become shallow, and I tried to calm myself. I didn't want to wake her. As I slowly relaxed, I opened my eyes and found him watching with eyes full of hatred.
He should not be holding her. It should be ... but I can't. She would freeze to death. She needs him. But his thoughts are driving me insane. Think of something else, Edward, I told myself and began to hum her lullaby. I watched as my voice soothed her; I could hear her breathing deeply. I knew she was asleep now. My Bella was warm in his arms. My chest ached, knowing that I could not help her. She was safe with him here; she was safe with us here. I remind myself.
He smells like wet dog, I thought as I closed my eyes and continued her sweet lullaby, humming loudly to drown out the thoughts he was having. This is saving her life ... this is saving her life, I kept telling myself as his lascivious thoughts invaded my mind.
"Edward?" I ignored him. He is taunting me. Testing me. If he only knew. If he only knew how much I wish it was I holding her. I told him, but I do not think he knows. I want to keep her safe-safe from the cold, safe from harm, safe from Victoria, and safe from ...
My eyes snapped open at Bella's moan. He is touching her. I told him not to touch her.
It would be easy ... so easy to take his life. She wouldn't hear a thing, I thought, as plans for Jacob Black's demise built themselves around my aching heart. How dare he run his paws through her hair? She is mine! I growled internally at his feeble attempt to claim her as his own.
Only in your dreams will she ever be yours. She does not love you. The idea of Bella loving anyone else tore at the hole in my chest.
My eyes closed once more. The ache was now a full-blown inferno. She was dreaming about him, too, answering his declaration of love, moving further into her Jacob's embrace.
Maybe she does want him. I loathed the idea, but I would let her go. If that was what she wanted. She said yes, Edward, my inner voice interjected, reminding me, giving me hope. She would seek warmth from me, if I could provide it. She would be warm with anyone ... anything if it were more readily available. She is only responding to his warmth, not his love. I tried to convince myself of this little wish as the winter storm's winds screamed through the trees just outside our small tent.
Ugh, he is aroused. I can actually smell him. Disgusting mongrel. I continued to hum loudly now, attempting to push his erotic notions about my fiancée out of my mind. Thoughts of ripping his throat out with my bare hands flowed behind my eyelids; I examined the scene as his scarlet life flowed through my fingers, and my nose wrinkled at the fleeting thought of draining him. I would rather die myself than have that dog's blood in my system.
Bella would never forgive me. I would lose her forever.
My eyes squeezed even tighter. No one ever said I'd have to spill his blood. One simple twist would break his neck. That is all it would take. One short instant and he would be ... gone.
Cringing inside, I listened as he envisioned making love to my Bella. His fantasy did not compare to how I see her ... but it is close. He would be gentle with her, gentler than I could ever be. I would kill her, moving in and out of her, even as slowly as he imagines himself moving. She did not respond to him in his dreams as she did with me, when I have to make her stop, before we both go too far.
I hate myself right now. For watching them, watching her with him. Jealousy overpowers my sense of impropriety. I have to observe, listen, and ... Could I really learn anything from this boy holding my life? He loves her. That much is clear. He kept her safe when I had left her. And she seems happier when he is around.
You make her happy, Edward. You. My inner voice returned, once again prompting Bella's love for me to the forefront of my mind. But not before the dog actually finished his fantasy. My anger boiled further. He has used her, and she will never even know it.
"Edward," Bella sighed and turned away from him.
I will wait until Bella is safe at home with Charlie, and then I am going to hunt Jacob Black and kill him.
His breathing slowed, and as he opened his eyes, he smiled at me then closed them once more, pulling her close as he nuzzled her hair.
I think ...