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5 Times Bella Swan Did Not Kiss Jacob Black (And One Time She Did)

Summary:
He will always remember how on the night she came back to him, he saw a shooting star. Five vignettes starting in the time of New Moon and ending as post-Eclipse AU.


Notes:
I do still have one last chapter of "What Music They Make" to finish hopefully soon, if anyone is still waiting for that, but I have a lot of older fic like this one that I've never posted here and decided I might as well finally share all of it.


1. part 1/2

Rating 4/5   Word Count 2466   Review this Chapter

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I.

As they idly walk on the beach one deceptively quiet day, rain starts to pour down on them so hard they can barely keep their eyes open and see anything. Jacob takes Bella's hand so they won't lose each other in the runny liquid world and they run back to his house, laughing a little and yelling to each other over the thunder.

The garage door is still open and they run right into it for cover, not needing anything more than to be out of the rain. There is nowhere they need to be soon. They just stay there sitting on the hood of the Rabbit and watching the storm outside. Bella leans forward with her elbows on her knees and he can see the pale color of her skin right through her thin powder-blue shirt that is soaked and clinging close to her whole back like a shedding skin. He sees the delicate shapes of her shoulder blades protruding like little wings while she is slumped over a little and looking so small, and the very different texture of her bra strap crossing over and dividing the ivory smoothness.

He does not mean to stare, but he also notices she keeps trembling a little bit and his eyes keep getting drawn back to her as they talk in soft voices that blend with the sandpaper drumming of the rain. He remembers the feeling of her hand in his just before as they were running back to the house, and how she seems to feel cold all the time, at every rare moment he touches her.

He is more than comfortable now, even with his own shirt also sticking to him with rain and his hair heavy and soaked. He almost feels warm to the point of discomfort, hot inside and out, like someone who is riled up and ready for something that is not yet to come, not coming for a while still. These days he feels that way all the time. He isn't sure what is happening anymore, what it is his body seems to be so ready for. This can't just be all people are talking about when they joke about teenagers and raging hormones. Sometimes it is like he's carrying way too much heat for one person and he is going to combust or just explode if he doesn't let it out somehow. He feels like some day someone is going to say something to him or do something that should only be mildly irritating and it is going to be what lets it out, makes him uncontrollably snap.

Bella scoots back so her feet are dangling just a little off the end of the car, lying back against the windshield. Though she isn't so cold she feels the need to wrap her arms around herself, he can still see them shivering a little as they lie relaxed at her sides. All he wants is to share all his heat with her somehow, but he doesn't yet feel quite right doing anything more than holding her hand when it is seemingly practical to. And she is not in any position that would make it easy to try to casually put his arm around her either. He wonders if she has any idea how careful and calculated so many of his actions around her are. For every time he decides it won't be too much to hug her or teasingly pat her on the head there are a hundred other times he stops himself from doing something.

Instead he just lies back against the window with her, their shoulders barely touching. She is looking away at something in the distance outside the garage while he tells her some funny story about his sisters, and he sees while he is able to uninhibitedly look how a wet lock of her hair is sticking against her neck, unknown to her while he is unavoidably aware of all the remaining beads of moisture clinging to her skin like something blessed to have that kind of contact with what is so far unreachable to him. He feels like he could almost reach out and brush away that damp lock of hair as he is so close to her, but at the same time she is so far away.

Bella has a quiet kind of beauty that somehow calls attention to itself by not being the kind that usually calls attention to itself. She has the body of a ballerina rather than a swimsuit model, with a thin and elongated neck; delicate arms; and tiny, round shoulders. She would laugh at the comparison because of her tragic lack of grace. But even her awkward, self-contained movements are a part of everything that draws his eyes to her. He doesn't know any other girls like her, ones who can get someone's attention without wearing make-up or walking and posing themselves in a way that almost seems for the conscious purpose of flaunting their bodies. Ones who don't jabber breathlessly into their cell phones in loud voices like radio commercials but speak in a low and quiet voice like still, deep water. He doesn't think Quil and Embry, impressed as they might have been when they first found him hanging out with some pretty Senior girl, can even see quite what he does.

If he allows himself to stare at her for just a moment now, it is not just because he is imagining touching her again and can't help it, but because his gaze can rest at home finding her. She is familiar and safe, his friend, Bells, someone who cares about him and who he cares about, and seeing her right beside him he actually feels like he can cool down a little. As strangely agitated as he feels so much of the time lately, her presence is always so calming it's impossible to see himself losing any kind of composure around her.

When the rain starts to let up, it is getting late and time for Bella to head back home. He takes her hand again as she slides down from the car back onto her feet, and she lands standing very close to him. This doesn't seem to bother her, or else she doesn't even notice it, as they say goodbye before she gets ready to run back out to her truck. When they stop talking and just stand there a strange moment, he thinks maybe her eyes even just glanced down at his lips for the briefest split second, as if she is thinking of the same thing he is. His thoughts run away with him freely and he could, he could kiss her.

But no. It is much too soon. He knows it is.

He buries his hands in his pockets as he says, "See you later, Bella" with a casual smile, as if to restrain himself from touching her at all again before she is gone. Then he watches her go with a darkening, somewhat lost expression as his hands are already starting to sweat just a little from being in his pockets. He has grown more inches in the past few months than he is even keeping track of anymore. The heat is boiling in his veins, fogging his head. But he can control it with her. He has to.

II.

If only he did not bother to answer the goddamn phone. Just minutes ago she was so close, so within reach, their breath meeting in the so small space between their faces and now in such a short, disorienting time she has slipped right through his fingers. And she might not come back.

There is nothing he can do.

When she leaves with the Cullen girl, he cannot even watch. He cannot stay for another second. He is burning up inside, everything he feels for her which has been a throbbing but contained heat for months and months now igniting into an explosion and he is gone. All the sudden he is off and running. This other body is such a familiar part of himself now, almost like the part of him screaming in pain now that is Bella, that he does not realize for a second that the wolf came out and he just phased. He and the wolf have never been so much the same.

Even as the giant monster he can only feel devastatingly vulnerable now. He loves her so much it could almost make him sick if he were still in his other form now. He wishes it was something his body could just reject because it can't handle it, but it is just going to stay in there like poison and burn.

It is the first time he has ever wished he did not love her. It won't be the last.

Weeks later he is trying to get rid of it even though he knows it's not just going to be that easy. When he hears she is back and safe it is like he can finally breathe again for the first time in days and all of his senses besides the pain and fear screaming like a constant, high-pitched dial tone in his ears return, cool colors coming back into his vision, and all he wants is to see her and wrap her up in his arms. But Edward Cullen is back, too, and there is still a panging ache left of her inside him, a tumor that can only get worse. She calls. She calls and calls and calls and he says please, mouthing it to himself when he hears the phone ring. He doesn't call her back.

But before long that will all have to be over because she'll say with shock, "That's none of your business" and he'll know this is going to hurt, oh it could hurt really bad, but he has more to lose by staying away than by trying. She needs him, he'll realize, and he's the only one who can do this, who can try to save her from this. He will fight in a fight that he is almost absolutely sure to lose and come out of bruised beyond recognition, and he will do it smiling and never showing how much it hurts as long as he can help it. For her.

So after fighting with himself for way too much wasted time, he will finally let it show how much he misses her and say, "Come and see me." Smile and wink.

(To the surprise of both of them, the risk will pay off.)

III.

Bella sits in a taxi in New York, shivering violently as she freezes in a short evening dress. She now wears an engagement ring that is much more modest than the ring Edward gave her once, and she has been sitting outside in this car with heat on that isn't doing much for so long that the silver band feels like ice around her finger.

She and Jacob came here to celebrate Christmas with Phil and Renée, who felt like having a Christmas somewhere there would be snow for once, and now Phil is treating everyone to dinner at a very fancy restaurant of the kind where Bella is sure they'll feel a little out of place. Jacob did not think to bring anything but jeans and T-shirts to wear, and after she has been waiting for him to quickly change into an outfit she just ran out and bought him he finally makes it out of their hotel and gets into the back seat of the taxi with her.

"What took you so long?" Bella demands as the driver starts going, hugging her arms around herself. She is shaking so much her voice comes out sounding jagged and forced.

"I'm sorry," he says, shaking his head and putting his arm around her. "I couldn't find my wallet."

"I could have told you where it was!"

"That figures," he laughs.

Bella sighs heavily as she thinks she spots the driver shaking just a little with a soft laugh as if he is amused by what he can't help but overhear from his back seat. "Do you know how cold it is?" she says, lowering her voice a little now. "No, of course you don't. I've just been freezing here for ten minutes when I could have been inside if you hadn't told me you'd be right down. We're going to be so late..."

"I said I'm sorry," he says sincerely, leaning in to kiss her. With her nose turned up a little and her arms crossing she turns her head away.

"Oh, come on," he says with a deep laugh. He pulls her close against him to try to let his warmth spread to her, reaching down and rubbing one of her legs that have barely anything covering them.

"You look really nice," he says, regarding her smooth curled hair and the rhinestones around her neck glimmering over her skin like ice against snow.

She just stubbornly keeps looking forward and says nothing. But it seems hard for her to resist how much better it feels to get closer to him and she turns toward him, curling her legs in toward herself and then lifting them over his lap to keep them close against his warm chest. He grins down at her, starting to move his hand up and down her leg farther from him to warm her faster.

"This doesn't mean I'm not still mad at you," she mumbles with her head leaning in close to his neck; he laughs at her more than ever.

It isn't long before she feels perfectly comfortable again; he can tell from how much more relaxed her whole body becomes. When she feels his hand move from her outer thigh and reach down between her legs, quietly creeping inside her skirt, the quiet and high-pitched noise of surprise she makes in her throat almost makes him laugh again.

"Jacob," she whispers as she grabs his shoulder, hissing right into his ear and tensing all over. "What are you doing?"

"Nothing," he murmurs, his face almost staying completely casual as he keeps looking forward, but with the corners of his lips tightening in an uncontrollable grin. "Just trying to warm you up."

"Cut it out!" she whispers with her teeth gritted tight together, but she very nearly smiles herself at his words.

Only a moment later he hears her breath catch, and along with it her body tenses again, but in a different way. Her hand on his shoulder moves to grab hold of his new shirt as she clings tightly to him with a sudden desperation.

"Damn you," she whispers in a soft gasp, and he shakes a little with a contained laugh. He feels her every breath hot against his neck as she never quite completely relaxes again, staying stiff all over and digging her nails into his shoulder with the effort it takes to not make a sound.

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