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Spidery Patterns

Summary:
The spidery patterns laced up the side of her face, glowing and pulsing in a darkened tone compared to her milky skin. I could not stop the bile from rising in my throat as I gazed on, teardrops catching on my eyelashes.
When Bella chooses Jacob instead of Edward, the surprise that takes hold of Jacob is astonishing. They start to build their lives together, out of nothing but love, but when one simple act on Jacob's part makes all of what they have done spiral out of control, what will happen? Companion story to Death Of A Soul, but you do not have to read that to understand this. Photobucket


Notes:
I know I've basically disappeared in the past month or two, but please take this as my gift to you all. I've had many personal problems occurring and after having several crash study courses for finals, a long trip to Hawaii, and some personal things, I've had hardly enough time to get on the computer and write. But, now with summer here, I'm hoping to get back to writing. Anyway, I'm going to try to get a new chapter of Fate's Twisted Charm up and I'll be working extra hard to get stuff written for you guys in the next days. So, I guess you could say this is my "Getting-Back-To-Twilight-Archives-Short-Story."And, I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but I really am truly sorry if I can't get a few new chapters up in the next few days. My grandpa is really, very sick and he'll probably be passing in the next few days.So, now that I've gotten that off my chest, here's a short story (by that I mean about 2-3 chapters that are already written. No more waiting for me to get something written) for all you guys that read my stuff (whether you're new or old) and thanks for sticking with me. I love you all.

Also, as I said in the summary, this is a companion story to Death Of A Soul. However, it is more like an Alternate Universe story because the ending is not how Death Of A Soul ends. (*Spoiler Alert* I think all you Edward fans will finally forgive me for that Pro-Jacob story I wrote)


1. Bella Luna

Rating 4.5/5   Word Count 6000   Review this Chapter

Mystery the moon
A supernatural nightlight
A pair of eyes a closing one
A chosen child in golden sun
A marble dog that chases cars
To farthest reaches of the beach and far beyond into the swimming sea of stars
The cosmic fish they love to kiss
They're giving birth to constellations
No riffs and reservation
If they should fall you get a wish or dedication
Let's take a chance as this romance is rising over before we lose the lighting
Oh Bella, Bella please
Bella you beautiful luna
Oh bella do what you do


Jacob's POV

I was sitting at the kitchen table when it happened. Just staring at a full cup of coffee that had been sitting in front of me for 15 minutes. The steam was long gone; hell, the coffee was probably cold by now. My eyes got lost in the vibrant brown swirls as I thought about my pathetic future. I could only think of one thing to look forward to: loneliness. I had the pack, yes, and that was all.

I sighed. What great things to look forward to.

And then the front door opened with a bang. For a moment I considered it was Billy coming home from Sue Clearwater's house, but then I remembered he was still sleeping. I looked up as a soft, muffled sob was heard. What on earth was going on around here?

You know you've lost it when you don't even jump to see what's going on when the front door to your house is blast open and someone is sobbing in your doorway, I thought glumly to myself.

Footsteps. I heard footsteps. No, my mind corrected, more like someone dragging their feet. I stared at the doorway to the main room in curiosity. The sobbing seemed to become more pronounced. A second sigh escaped my chapped lips. I really did not need this now, I mentally cursed. I downed the too stale, too cold, and too bitter coffee from the mug and choked slightly on the taste. My God, how could a cup of coffee turn so...disgusting?

I dropped the mug in the sink and slowly walked to the main room, miffed at who had just walked into my house without invitation.

The first thing I felt was cold. The cold air was blowing violently in from the opened door. It didn't affect me, but the next thing I saw did. Bella. There. In the doorway. Tears. So many of them falling down her face from red, puffed eyes. Hectic. That's how she looked. Shaking hangs with swollen lips. Her jerking hand came up to her face to wipe her nose.

"Jake?" Her voice cracked as she stared at me, so many feelings contained in her big, brown eyes. Pain. Loss. Anger. Hopelessness. I felt like I was being swallowed by her. Consumed by the raging fire her emotions fed into.

"Bella?" I stared back at her, numbly. She crumpled to the ground, shaking roughly as her head fell into her hands. I stepped forward hesitantly.

"Oh, Jacob! It's all over! All of it!" She cried, her tone reaching the stage of hysterics. I looked behind me, worried Billy would hear and walk into the scene. I crouched down and brushed her hair away from her face.

"What's over, Bella? Tell me. What's wrong?" My eyes greedily searched her face, desperate for some clue. It had been so long that I had looked into her heavenly face. So long. Too long. Her left hand clutched onto mine and I looked down and gazed at out intertwined hands. She sniffled and whimpered.

Wait, I thought. Her finger...her bare finger. There was no ring.

I looked up at her with wide eyes. No. No. I couldn't let myself think that that was what she meant. It was impossible. There was no way! No way at all! She would never, could never, leave that leech. After all she went through to be with him, it almost seemed wrong that they weren't together now.

But yet my heart swelled with hope at the sight of her hand ringless.

"Edward," she stumbled over the name as she murmured it, her empty eyes searching mine, "we're over. It could never work, Jacob. I realize that now." Her raspy voice sounded like the angel's singing. How could this be? Wasn't it just yesterday that she was excepting his proposal whole-heartedly? I gaped at her, taking in her pained expression, her red lips, cracked and swollen, her tangled hair.

Edward Cullen was now out of Bella's, my Isabella's, life.

I grabber her frail body roughly in my arms and kissed her, just to let her know she was mine.


Stars. They were so beautiful. So elegant. There was always something about them that reminded me of Bella. The way they glowed for all the world to see, the way they seemed so breath-taking. Perhaps it was the fact that even though they looked close by, they were always so far away. So out of reach. Just a hair's breadth away.

That had always been the way for me and Bella. She had always appeared so close to me, but really, she was so far. She was always in my garage, helping me work on the vehicles and motorcycles, but she would never be mine.

Until now.

I squeezed her gently against my chest as we lay on the bed of her truck, gazing up at the nighttime sky in the middle of a field on the reservation. The pale moonlight created wispy shadows on her face as her illuminated eyes sparkled in the night. I sighed contently, how quickly things had changed. I hoped she didn't notice, but today was the first year anniversary of being without Edward.

Just a year ago she had ran into my house, sobbing and convulsing, whimpering of how it was over.

I would have loved for that bloodsucker to see her now. To see how I had healed her. Her face had color in it now. Maybe it wasn't as much as it had been long ago, but it was an improvement. And her eyes. Oh, her eyes! They weren't as dull and lifeless as they had been a year ago. They had just a bit of sparkle, a bit of glimmer, around the edges.

I felt whole now, so whole. I could only hope she felt the same way, too.

She snuggled up into my arms and copied my sigh as she smiled angelically up to the stars. How stunning was she. I still knew she didn't completely love me, a part of her was still with the leech, but I didn't care. I would take as much as I could. I was the one laying with her against my chest, not him. He would get over it, anyway. He was a leech after all.

"It's so beautiful," she whispered, her voice full of silent awe. I chuckled lowly and kissed her hair. Her eyes roamed freely over the sky, revealing the constellations and twinkling fireflies that flew around us. Her eyes flickered to me slowly and I grinned.

"I haven't noticed. I've been watching you the whole time," I murmured in her ear. Her eyes widened as she bolted straight up. I looked at her in confusion as she stared at me, her jaw slack and eyes full of pain. My eyebrows furrowed in concern. "Bella?" I reached over to her but she jerked away, her face still appalled.

"Don't. Just...hold on," she mumbled, her eyes still gazing sharply into mine. I gulped as I licked my lips hastily as I watched her.

"Was it something I said?" I asked, my fists clenching as I watched her eyelids gather tears in them. She looked up at the sky and sighed once more. But this time it was a sad sigh. When she looked back at me, one lonely tear escaping from her lids and rolling down her cheek, I reflexively brushed my finger against her cheek to stop it. Her hand came up to her face and enveloped mine and squeezed.

"Yes," she said softly yet truthfully. I sat up, immediately. I moved my hand down to her chin and gently brought her face up to mine.

"Did he say something similar one time?" I questioned, now curious. A flare of jealously went up in me as I thought about it. Him. The leech. He had said something like it. I tucked the information away for future reference as I stared at her, trying to seem sincere and not angry. All she did was nod.

"Oh, Bella, honey, I didn't mean it. I'm so sorry," I mumbled as I cupped her face in my hands. She nodded once again, weakly this time, as she avoided eye contact. An idea abruptly popped to mind as I looked at our hands folded in her lap. "Come here, I want to show you something," I whispered as I pulled on her hand and jumped down from her truck. She looked at me in confusion.

"What?" She wondered aloud. I rolled my eyes at her lack of enthusiasm and helped her down.

"Trust me. You'll like it," I said as I squeezed her tiny hand in mine and walked through the tall grass of the field. She sighed tiredly behind me and I laughed.

"Not up for any adventures?" I looked back at her as she watched where she stepped; always aware of her clumsiness.

"No, no. It's not that. I'm just...tired." Her response was backed up as she yawned loudly and covered her mouth with her other arm. A low chuckle reverberated from my chest as I looked back again.

"It isn't far, promise." She mumbled back something incoherent as I led her into the forest. The sticks and grass crumpled under our weight as we pushed through the lush flora. I kept walking, even when she started to slow down. Finally, a break in the woods started to appear up ahead. I smiled lightly, I knew she would like this. Something in my heart just knew it.

"See? We're here," I exclaimed as I led her through the opening in the dense forest. She stumbled out onto a sandy substance covering the ground and looked out. We were on a cliff. Her eyes grew wide as she looked over the side and down to the gently swaying waves below. The water here was so unlike the water on the day she jumped nearly a year and a half ago.

She gasped slightly as she looked at the huge moon hanging right over the water, creating a mystic and wavering reflection. There wasn't a sound to be heard, except for the quiet crickets in the background.

"Jacob, it's beautiful," she murmured as she looked back at me quickly. I smiled despite myself and wrapped my arms around her. She looked so serene looking out onto the water. She was wrong. Normally this place wasn't so stunning. Normally it wasn't so different from any other cliff. It was her, her natural radiance, that made this place so remarkable.

"You know, I took you here for a reason," I silkily whispered in her ear. She looked up at me with raised eyebrows.

"Oh, really? Why?" Her tone held natural curiosity as she gazed at me, the moon locked in her brown eyes forever.

"I wanted to ask you something," I casually said.

"Ask away." Her eyes held some emotion. I wasn't sure what, but it seemed to break my heart.

"Well, Bella Swan, I must say, you're the love of my life," I ignored her blush and loosened my hold on her waist. "I love you and cherish you, and I always will. You're the sun that cheers me up everyday, even when it's raining. You're the vibrant flowers that bring beauty to my life, even when all of this town is covered with greenery." I slowly got down on one knee and reached into my pocket, dismissing her gasp. "I can't imagine my life without you, Isabella. It would be dark and gray, with no happiness or comfort. Wherever you are is my home. I want you to be mine and no one else's. Please, Bella, marry me?" I pulled out a box from my right pocket and opened it.

I watched as the sky seemed to darken around us. Her lips pursed for a moment as tears leaked over the rims of her lids. She trembled slightly, whether from what I had just said or the slight breeze, I'm not sure. Finally, she opened her mouth.

"Yes."

Even though her voice was sure and strong, and a peaceful smile rest on her lips, there was something in her eyes. Something restless and pained. Something unsure. Something unreachable to me. And that was the first moment in the past year that I was completely and wholly jealous of Edward Cullen, for he was the only one who could ever reach out to that part of her that was not meant for me.

Later that night, as I looked up at the sky through my bedroom window, I realized I was wrong about something. Just earlier that night I had thought that once upon a time Bella had been unreachable to me, she was a figure in my mind that I could never fully grasp onto, and now she was here, in my arms. She was mine.

But, truly, I was wrong. She was still like the stars in every way possible.

I stood at the top of the aisle, my hands nervously fidgeting in my pockets as my eyes roamed across the people seated in front of me. Billy in his wheelchair was directly in front of me as he gave me a thumbs up. Renee was sitting on the other side of the aisle, blowing her nose loudly as she cried. And then there was a bitter Leah sitting in the back, looking unhappy as usual.

"Chill out, man," Jared mumbled as he slapped me on the back. Kim smiled up at me as she clutched onto his arm. They were already happily married. Jared and Kim hastily found their seats as the doors opened, revealing Charlie looking proud in a tux and on his arm...

Oh my God.

I had never seen someone look so...so beautiful. So heart-stopping. So completely, incredibly pure. So perfect. Bella stared at me nervously as she stepped further, her arm looped through Charlie's. Her dress was flowing white satin, but actually, I didn't pay much attention to what she was in at all. I was staring at her face.

Her wide, brown eyes were flickering around the church as they sparkled like diamonds. Her bright red lips, stained with just a bit of gloss, looked so kissable, so luscious. She was an angel. She had to be. No one could be that beautiful. Not even one of the bloodsuckers. Her thick hair fell in waves down her back and shoulders and framed her face perfectly.

Finally, she stepped up to face me.

The rest of the ceremony passed by in a blur. I didn't notice when Bella said "I do" and smiled at me. Hell, I didn't even notice when I said "I do" and she squeezed my hand. I couldn't take my eyes off her and I think she knew it. I gently slipped the ring on her finger as she did the same to me. I hardly noticed when people cheered and congratulated us. I hardly noticed when the priest announced I could kiss her.

I didn't notice when her lips crashed onto mine, juicy and wet, and I kissed her back.

All I could notice was the sickly sweet smell just barely noticeable in the background. That was all my mind was centered on.


"Jacob, would you check out the borders? Embry says he's been smelling something that seems like leech around the borders. I just want to be sure it's someone we don't know...not a Cullen," Sam added hastily as I sat at his kitchen table. The rest of the pack was sitting around me.

Just another pack meeting.

A slight wave of panic took over my heart as I looked between Embry and Sam. It had been 7 glorious months since Bella and I got married and every moment had been full of pure bliss and contentment. After the ceremony, the vampiric smell I had noticed hadn't turned up anywhere else.

Except for now.

"When were you planning on telling me you thought they were back?" I growled, my temper rising. If he was back for Bella, I wouldn't have it. She denied him. She left him. She was mine now, and that was that. Paul rolled his eyes and scoffed at my tone.

"Calm down, Jacob. I just noticed it yesterday. It's not like this is one, huge pack secret. It's just that you should be more familiar with their scent than us. That's all," Embry stated as he placed a hand on my shoulder. I sighed and rubbed my temples as Sam grunted.

"Plus, it's not like we know for sure it's them. It may just be a passerby. Don't worry so much. Just go and check it out. I'll have Jared and Quil here in wolf form in case something goes wrong." Sam's commanding voice ordered as he stared at me levelly. I nodded once. "Alright, well, I suppose that's it for today. I think Emily has something ready for breakfast, though." A round of cheers came from my brothers as Sam said this.

I smiled slightly as I watched on.

"Well, I hate to burst everyone's bubble, but I'm gonna go. I'd rather get this patrolling over and done with now," I stated, making eye contact with Sam. He nodded and then looked towards Jared and Quil. I said my goodbyes quickly and walked to the front door. Sam put his hand on my shoulder to stop me before I walked out. I turned back and looked at him.

"Look, Jacob, if, well, if it is them, I know it'll be hard. Please, just try not to be too..." Sam searched for the right word as I wrung my hands together, thinking of what I would do if that happened.

"Too hostile?" I added, my eyes dropping to the ground. He chuckled once before smiling at me.

"Yea. Yea. I guess that's it." He nodded good naturedly as I grinned. I opened the door and walked out as Sam watched on from the window. I quickly phased, eager to get this done with and back home to Bella who I had left sleeping soundly in bed earlier this morning. Every moment I was away from her, I ached for her touch. For her presence.

My mind was devoured with thoughts of her as I ran through the forest. She was happier now, I had realized. There was something about her that was at peace. I would catch her smiling out the window once in a while. It made me comforted to know she was ok without him. It made me feel sure of myself to know she could survive without his icy presence.

I stopped at the border and put my nose to the ground and sniffed. Before I could make sense of any of the different and mingled smells, across the border there was a creak. Like someone stepping on a dead leaf. I looked up, my eyes narrowing. A second sound, but to my far right. Then again, but to my left. My eyes darted quickly around the forest surrounding me. It was all the same person and I was sure of one thing.

They were too fast to be human.

I crouched as the smell hit my nostrils. Icy. Sweet. Too sweet. It was like cherries left in the sun for far too long. I growled quietly as someone stepped in the underbrush across from me, but on the other side of the border.

But then I realized something. This wasn't just a vampire. This was a Cullen.

Topaz eyes stared out from the leaves as I snarled. No, this wasn't happened. It couldn't be! I had just got her and she had been doing so well. I wouldn't allow for him to waltz back into our lives and steal her away. I wouldn't put up with it.

As I got a better whiff of the smell, I also learned something else. It wasn't him. Relief bubbled over in my heart as I sniffed again. This was...female. But not the psychic. No. This was one I was unfamiliar with. Either the 'mother' or the blonde one. I wrinkled my nose up in disgust.

And then she snaked her way out of the bushes. Her deadly body gracefully came towards me slowly. I froze, wondering if she was going to be hostile. She took each step hesitantly, showing no fright on her icy face but no warmness, either. Her lithe movements would have made her seem beautiful but to me she was nothing but a monster. Her hair shone, even in the grayness from the clouds, as it flowed down her back lustfully.

"Well, well. Looks like I've found the dog I've been looking for." Rosalie Hale curtly said, her golden eyes squinting as she looked at me. Curiosity pumped through my veins. Rosalie. Rosalie. Rosalie. It struck me odd that she was here.

I thought she was never close to Bella.

Her lips curved into a smile as she gazed at me. Vampire vs. werewolf yet again, I reminded myself. I snapped my teeth as she took another step closer, too close for my liking. She laughed, a would be tempting sound to some men, as she threw her head back. I took in her appearance as she giggled. Black leather shoes, white jeans with not a speck of dirt on them, and a silk button-up red blouse that matched her lips perfectly.

"I can't talk to you if you're not in human form, Jacob Black," she hissed out, her teeth just barely visible. The smell was so over-powering. It was just like rotten cherries, but up close it was like rotting flesh. Like the skin was peeling off her bones leaving her a bare carcass. I wasn't thrilled at the idea of being in human form, but I know it was the only way to find out what she wanted.

I walked back into the forest, not turning my back on her, and phased back. I threw my clothes on and stepped back to talk to her face to face. A wicked smile grew on her lips.

"You haven't changed much, dog," She remarked as she took a step back. I snorted.

"I could say the same about you, leech. Now tell me, why are you here?" I asked, my temper flaring as she brought her hand up to her face to inspect her crimson nails. Her eyes strayed from her nails to my face as a light sigh escaped her lips. She flicked her hair over her shoulder as she looked me up and down.

"Emmett's going to kill me for doing this, but no matter. Look, dog, I wanted to know how Bella is," She mumbled, her head cocked to one side like a cat's. Her foot tapped against the ground as she glared at me with her topaz eyes. I stuttered, why on earth did she want to know this? I narrowed my eyes at her and growled softly.

"Why do you care?" I barked out and she grinned cruelly, exposing her razor sharp teeth. She took a step closer, just 2 inches from the border line, and hissed in my face. A low, soft, ear-splitting hiss that made me want to run and hide. Her ice cold eyes glared at me through her long, blonde lashes.

"Because, wolf, her absence is breaking up my family. I'm not doing this for me. I'm thrilled she stayed human, but could you sit there and watch your family start to crumble when you knew you could do something? Would you let something as simple as this, what's happening right now, take your precious Pack away?" She inclined one narrow eyebrow as she angrily ranted.

"That is different and you know it!" I yelled in her face. She didn't mean, no, she couldn't mean she was here to try to take Bella away. I'd kill her before she even got within 5 miles of Bella.

"Is it really? I haven't talked to my brother in a year and 7 months now. You talk to your's every day. Imagine almost 2 years without no communication. Or worst, a lifetime. Maybe two. For me, I may never see him again. Knowing how he is, he'll choose the most melodramatic way to sever him from us. I haven't seen my mother smile in 2 years. I haven't heard my own husband laugh in 2 years. I haven't seen my sister have a vision in 2 years. You know why? She's too scared she'll have a vision of our brother's suicide. My father refuses to talk of him now. It gets him too upset. And my other brother? He's killed 3 people since we left here. I want my sister back, Jacob Black." I stared at her, open mouthed. She couldn't be actually describing her family, could she?

I never thought leeches would have such a strong reaction to the absence of someone they only knew for just a short amount of years.

I never even thought they had feelings.

"I'm not giving her up. She's mine. She doesn't want your brother or your family! She chose this life, the human life. Even if you came and talked to her, she would still refuse," I declared, my body shaking with each word. She glared at me, ice vs. fire.

"You still have to imprint, yes?" She questioned, a tone of interest creeping into her voice. I stared at her sharply. Imprint? Why the hell did she care? Yes, I still had yet to imprint, but how could I ever with Bella? I would forever be with my Isabellla. "Just answer, Jacob. It's simple. Yes. No. Easy," She murmured as her golden eyes rolled. I bit my lip before answering.

"You're right. I haven't imprinted yet," I responded. To my extreme dislike, a smile came over here face. Her lips twisted up seductively as a bitter laugh echoed from her mouth.

"The hottest love has the coldest end," she quoted as she turned around and walked back into the forest, leaving me in the uttermost confusion.


"Keep Seth out on patrols. I'm thinking she may come back," I whispered into the phone as I sat on my bed later that night, talking with Sam. The water in the shower had just turned off and I would hate for Bella to come in on this conversation. I heard a ruffle of towels through the crack in the door.

"Jacob...what did she say?" Sam asked, murmuring quietly. Unlike me, Sam had stayed calm and cool when I told him everything. His face had been a mask of serenity as he listened while I had completely blown up in front of him and into my wolf form.

"She said...she said she wanted Bella," I lowered my voice as I kicked off my shoes. "She talked about her family. How much they've...been hurt by her leaving him. She wanted to know all about Bella," I hissed, my forehead throbbing with just thinking about the return of those golden eyes. A soft hum came from the bathroom and I looked up absent-mindedly.

"Was that it?" Sam asked, a tone of doubt coloring his voice. I grunted as I sought through my mind. Should I tell him about the imprinting? A part of me told me to tell him; he was Sam, he always had advice. But another part told me to keep it a secret.

"She asked about imprinting." My voice fell flat as Sam sucked in a breath and hissed it back out. I reached up to rub my aching temples as he breathed heavily on the other line.

"Imprinting, huh?" He asked. I made sure Bella wasn't about to come out before I answered.

"She wanted to know if I had imprinted." My eyes strayed to the clock where it read 11:17. I sighed and thought about the whole conversation with Rosalie Hale. It had been so strange. So abnormal. I had only talked to Edward, Alice, and Carlisle before. I hardly knew anything about the rest of them.

A lump rose in my throat as I remembered what she said about the other blonde - Jasper? - and killing 3 people.

"Oh, Jacob," Sam sighed into the phone. I mentally cursed.

"I know, I know. It's bad." I heard Bella's footsteps behind me and bit my bottom lip. "Look, I have to go. I'll talk to you later, Sam." Without waiting for a response, I clicked off the phone and ignored my wife's constant wonder about what was upsetting me for the rest of the night.


"Jake, we need milk! Really badly!" Bella called from the kitchen. I jogged down the steps and into the kitchen. She stood, looking as beautiful as ever, as she made some sort of dish for the pack cookout tonight. I looked into the pan but she laughed and moved to position herself between the food and I.

"Do you need it...now?" I asked, hoping I didn't have to run out now. She rolled her eyes and sighed as her eyes glittered in amusement.

"Yes, I do. Could you get it for me?" A slight pout came over her face and I was suddenly putty in her hands. I scratched my head and she widened her eyes. Finally, I surrendered.

"Okay, okay! I'll go get it," I glumly volunteered. She then thanked me and shooed me out of the house with nothing more then a quick peck on the cheek. I chuckled as I got in the car and put the key in the ignition. It had been nearly 3 months since Rosalie Hale had mysteriously showed up near the reservation and ever since, we had heard, nor smelled, nothing more about it.

I stopped at the nearest convenience store and quickly parked the old truck in the closest parking spot. While I pulled out my wallet, a squeaking tire sound came from my right and as I looked up, the truck jostled further. I grabbed onto the steering wheel quickly while the truck rocked back and forth. A scrapping sound echoed from in front of me when the front tires hit the piece of concrete separating parking spaces.

"What the hell?" I murmured as I looked behind me after the truck had slowed to a still. I could only see a small, dark blue sedan sitting right behind the truck. I jumped from the truck and slammed the door shut.

I stopped at the end of the truck and stared in amazement. A petite woman was crouching in front of my back bumper, checking for damage, her back to me. Her sedan had a large dent in the left corner and I heard a few swear words coming from the woman in front of me.

"Oh my god! Shit! Shit! I swear to God, Maria, you're losing your mind! If it were -" She turned back and saw me watching her and gasped. So did I.

She was stunning. It was almost surreal. Her gray eyes penetrated into mine and stirred something deep within me. I could tell she wasn't around here from her slightly bronze skin that could only be created from many days in the sun. She pushed her lustrous hair out of her face with her hand as she bit her lip. The very small spark of sun that was coming down hit her perfectly on the slight blonde highlights in her caramel hair. For the first time in my married life, I found myself wondering if my wedding ring was visible.

"I didn't know anyone was in that car," She stammered, her bottom lip pouting out just barely noticeably. I gulped nervously and chuckled.

"Oh don't worry. This truck's strong as steel," I replied. She smiled angelically as she tucked a stray piece of hair behind her ear. I grinned back, putting my hands in my pockets.

I paused. Wait, what was I doing? Was I seriously thinking of this woman this way?

"Well, I truly am sorry! I just...oh God, I must have just lost control of the wheel for a brief second. I had poured some coffee and I was trying to clean it up but then the wheel just spun and I couldn't grab it in time! And then the next thing I knew, I was hitting your back bumper and," she took a deep breath before opening up her mouth, "and I'm sorry. Really, if there are any damages - wait, let me just give you my number. If there's anything wrong, just call me. I'll pay for it. I'm just such a klutz!" She continued to ramble as she stood up and brushed the dirt off of her beige pants.

She jogged over to her car and grabbed her purse from inside. She hunted through it and finally dug out a piece of paper and pen. She leaned against the car and wrote something down before handing it to me.

"There. I mean it, just call me. I should have been more careful! Ugh!" She trembled slightly and I looked down at the paper. Maria Niles, 478-901-3327. I looked back up and swallowed.

"Really, I'm sure it's fine. This truck's been around since the 1950's. It's been through a lot. Oh, and I'm Jacob," I added hastily. She laughed, a twinkling sound that reminded me of silver bells. Her smile was gentle and bright as she shook my hand. I joyously grinned back as her warm hand touched mine.

Something in my mind told me that this was wrong, but I couldn't stop myself from saying the next line.

"Hey, I'm sure that's probably unsafe to drive in now," I motioned towards her beat up sedan, "And I know quite a bit about mechanics, but not how to fix a dent. Would you like to have coffee as you wait for the tow truck?" Her glittering eyes lit up and widened as she thought about it.

"Well, I don't really have anything else planned, so sure. As long as I pay." Her teasing tone made me laugh.

"Sure, sure."

***

As I drove home from dropping Maria off at her new house, she had just moved into the area from southern California, I realized a few things:

1. I had just imprinted.
2. That would most certainly count as cheating in the world of marriage and relationships.
3. I already had a beautiful, loving, breath-taking wife who I loved.
4. I had to face that beautiful, loving, breath-taking wife when I got home because I had left for the store 2 hours ago.
And 5. I didn't get milk.

With that thought, I turned around and headed back for the store with a very heavy heart.


I nervously took a breath. I could do this. I knew I could. It was just a simple phone call. I rubbed my temples and bit my lip. I suddenly yanked the phone from the counter and started dialing. 478-901-3327.

It rang 3 times before she picked up.

"Hello?"

"Maria? It's Jacob."

"Oh! Hey! How's everything? I hope your truck is alright!"

"Yea, yea. It's fine. Everything's fine."

"That's good. What's up?"

"Well, I was just kind of wondering...do you want to go out to dinner tonight?"

A pause.

"Well, I'm pretty sure I'm free. What time is best?"

"Hmm, it's 5:30 now...how about I pick you up at 6:30?"

"That'd be great! I'm looking forward to it."

"Me too. See you then."

"Yup!"

Click. Dead line.

The front door opened as Bella yelled out to me to help her with the groceries. I groaned in guilt.


You are an illuminating anchor
Of leagues to infinite number
Of crashing waves and breaking thunder
Tiding the ebb and flows of hunger
You're dancing naked there for me
You expose all memory
You're the ghost of royalty imposing love
You are the queen and king combining everything
Intertwining like a ring around the finger, of a girl
I'm just a singer, you're the world
All I can bring you
Is the language of a lover
Bella luna, my beautiful moon
How you swoon me like no other