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In Pursuit of Normalcy

Two years after reaching full maturity, Nessie Cullen is living on the island of Oahu, where she escaped in order to avoid the unpleasant truths surrounding her very existence. What will happen when the only man she’s ever loved makes a sudden reappearance in her life? Nessie POV. Post-Breaking Dawn. Thank you so much to achelle131 for the gorgeous banner!

Disclaimer: I do not own the Twilight franchise and am making no money from writing this. No copyright infringement is intended. Please let me know what you think! It only takes a moment to leave a quick review, and it's a great source of motivation for fanfic writers to keep writing! Also, if you enjoy this story you may also enjoy my story Missing Dawn. Please see my author's page for the link. (It's not posted here because of the smut factor.)

3. Paradise Found

Rating 0/5   Word Count 3570   Review this Chapter

“Jacob?” I whispered into the darkness, excitement and unease assailing me in equal measure.

“Hey, Nessie,” he replied quietly, stepping out of the corner and into the soft moonlight that filtered in through the open blinds, throwing horizontal stripes across his impressively familiar form.

My heart leapt into my throat as my pulse raced, sending the blood coursing through my veins. I was frozen by the sight of him, my eyes drinking in his recognizable frame like a woman dying of thirst. His voice was almost unbearably sweet to my ears after going eight months without hearing its memorable tenor.

A broken sob escaped my throat, so positively besieged was I by the powerful emotions elicited by the mere sight of him. Before I could even form a coherent thought I was in his arms, glorifying in the comfortingly familiar feeling of his warm body pressed against mine.

Surely this is what heaven must be like. I was home. I was safe, cocooned in his ridiculously warm embrace. Jacob, Jacob, Jacob.

I felt something wet on my face and realized I must be crying. Or was it him? I couldn’t be sure. I didn’t really care, for that matter. All I knew was that I was suddenly, devastatingly, deliciously complete. I immediately felt like a complete and utter fool for having ever doubted that I really, truly belonged in Jacob’s arms. How could this feeling not be real? How could this feeling possibly be merely the result of some kind of weird changeling mating bond?

No. I don’t accept it. If this isn’t real, then nothing is.

My hands were on his unshaven face before I had even made a cognizant decision to put them there, feeding him images of how enormously lonely I’d been without him. I showed him how a million times I’d picked up my cell phone, intent on dialing his oh-so-familiar number that I’d memorized by heart years ago. I showed him how I’d gone out of my way to drive by Honolulu International just about every time I’d gone into the city just so I could contemplate catching the next flight to Seattle.

I showed him how I’d surfed and rock climbed and skydived and hiked when I wasn’t working just to occupy myself; just to keep myself from feeling the pain of loss that became more acute with each passing day that I wasn’t in his arms. But distracting myself had been beyond useless because no matter what I did it was always him just beneath the surface of my thoughts, never mind how hard I tried to push him away.

“I missed you so much,” Jacob was whispering into my hair, his arms tightening around me in response to the onslaught of images I flooded him with.

“It-it was you – on the beach,” I managed to gasp through my tears, my hands sliding from his face to the back of his neck, tangling in the silky strands of his long, raven hair that I loved so much before moving beneath his shirt and running over the smooth, silky hot plains of his back. It felt so wonderfully delicious to touch him; so absolutely indescribable.

“Yeah, it was me,” he sighed, placing soft kisses to the top of my head before pulling back gently in order to press closed-mouthed caresses on my forehead, my cheeks, my eyelids, and finally my lips. It wasn’t enough. I wanted to be closer to him. I wanted to drink him up.

He smiled, brushing my tears from my cheeks with a tender swipe of his fingers.

“Why didn’t you approach me?” I asked accusatorily, peering up into his achingly familiar black eyes. “I looked for you all day after I saw you in the crowd. I blew the competition because I couldn’t think of anything else!”

He chuckled at that, the pad of one thick finger tracing the curve of my cheek and sending shivers up my spine. “Hey, don’t blame me ‘cause you can’t surf.”

I frowned at that, completely prepared to defend my surfing capabilities.

Before I could open my mouth to defend myself, however, his face abruptly became serious and his hand dropped from my face.

“Honestly, I didn’t think you wanted to see me, Ness. But I couldn’t – I had to…” He paused as if trying to collect his thoughts, and when he spoke again his voice was tender; the evident pain there raw. “I couldn’t go another day without seeing you, honey. You can’t know what… It’s like drowning, being without you. I’ve been suffocating, every day for the past eight months.”

The misery in his face and in his voice was absolute, and I was suddenly wracked with a horrible guilt and shame that I’d done this to Jacob; that it was my fault he was in so much pain, and my heart wholly ached for him. At that moment I felt like I would do anything for him if it would make it better.

And yet…

There was another entirely different part of me – the part that had convinced the rest of me that leaving had been the right thing to do – that hated feeling guilty to begin with. After all, it’s not as if I’d asked to be imprinted upon. It wasn’t my fault at all, really, and yet that somehow didn’t make it any easier to hurt him. It certainly didn’t make it any easier not to love him.

Because I did love him.

Despite everything I really, truly, irrevocably loved him from the bottom of my heart. I loved him even if his attachment to me was nothing more than an involuntary magic that he’d never asked for. I had no doubt that he believed he loved me too, but that didn’t change the fact that before he’d imprinted on me he’d wanted nothing more than for me to die.

And that was the reason I’d had to leave La Push; to leave Jacob.

But at that exact moment, as Jacob’s warm, strong arms encircled my body in a comforting embrace, and hearing the genuine endearment fall from his lips the way it had when we were happy… it was enough, at that moment, to make me feel like I could never let go of him again, never mind that he didn’t truly love me in return. At that moment, as long as he thought he did, it was good enough for me.

“My Jacob,” I whispered, once again placing my hands lovingly on his cheeks. He was hot to the touch beneath my cold, preternatural flesh. How he could stand to touch me I had no idea.

As I gazed into his black eyes, and he stared back into my brown ones, all my reasons – my excuses for running – were lost. I was sure they had been good ones, but at this moment all that mattered was that I was safe and warm in Jacob’s arms. This was all that mattered.

“I do know what it’s like,” I whispered against his lips, tilting my head up toward him, “because I’ve felt the same way.”

And then his lips were on mine, hot and inviting, and I couldn’t think. He was gathering me up into his large hands as his tongue sought mine eagerly. I clung to him like a drug addict who’d gone too long since her last hit. He was everything – this was everything.

“Nessie,” he sighed tenderly, pulling away slightly, and all rational thought was lost after that.

My hands were clawing ineffectively at the fly of his jeans, and he was pushing me back onto the bed, his hot, feverish mouth on my throat, one large hand tearing away the skimpy panties that I wore while the other sought my breasts beneath my t-shirt, kneading and pinching roughly. I shivered in anticipation, a fresh surge of wetness settling between my legs.

It had been eight months and oh, God, I wanted it – I wanted him so bad I could hardly stand it.

Jacob was all over me, nipping, kissing, murmuring against my skin and sending flutters of pleasure up my spine. Almost before I could comprehend what was happening, he was inside my body and we were making love fiercely, hotly, and with a single-minded passion that would potentially crumble my resolve. But I didn’t care. It felt so good… so right being connected with Jacob like this.

We climaxed together, Jacob pulsing inside me, my name spilling from his lips in feverish, lust-induced gasps.

When it was over I lay against him, our hearts beating in sync with one another as our chests pressed against each other: His copper-colored and feverish to the touch; mine as white as porcelain and stone cold.

As our breathing mutually slowed, he wrapped his arms tighter still around my body, pulling me with him until our heads rested against my pillow.

“Jacob,” I murmured contentedly, sighing into his shoulder as he placed a kiss atop my cool forehead.

The last thing I heard before I was drifting again was his voice very close to my ear; his breathy whisper, “I love you, Nessie.”

And then I was back home at the beach in La Push. It was notably different from Hawaii in that the sun very rarely shone in this area of Washington. It was almost perpetually cloudy.

However, that didn’t stop me and Jacob from heading out to surf together beneath the overcast sky. It was heaven, laughing with Jacob, our newly established relationship a heady, intoxicating thing, especially in those early months…

And then I was in the small garden behind the quaint stone cottage of my childhood. It was a magic place; a place perpetually filled with roses and ivy, despite the lack of sunlight. And in the winter the little goldfish pond would freeze over, and the garden would resemble a crystalline palace.

It was the stuff of fairytales; a place where an imaginative little girl could easily envision fairies and gnomes. After all, our perfect little family was a family of fairytale creatures.

I laughed, a tinkling little sound, as my daddy chased me behind the rosebushes. I squealed in delight, running around the pond, my doll-like curls whipping around my head as I turned my to see how close he was behind me, my white dress flashing on the edge of my vision as he scooped me up into his protective arms…

It was a simpler time; a time before I knew the ugly truths behind my very existence…

Feeling groggier than usual, I awoke to the morning sun slanting in through the window, the scent of tropical flowers carried in on the cool Hawaiian breeze. As usual, the sounds of the birds made me imagine I was somewhere deep within a tropical rainforest.

I sighed, feeling for the first time as if I were truly in paradise as I stretched my naked flesh alongside Jacob’s. He felt delicious and warm and perfect, like the island itself, at least now that he was here with me. With a small smile, I thought of the previous night, and how he’d brought me trembling to orgasm, how he’d felt filling me, completing me…

I felt the area between my legs fluttering with warmth at the thought. Opening my eyes, I saw that Jacob was still sleeping, the covers thrown back off of both of us. Really, in Hawaii one didn’t actually have much use for blankets, especially Jacob with his hotter-than-normal body temperature.

I studied his naked body in the sunlight, becoming even more aroused at the sight of him. He was large, well-muscled, and his golden skin positively gleamed. His full lips were relaxed, the line between his eyes smooth in sleep, and I found myself wondering if this was the most restful sleep he’d had in eight months.

Feeling another twinge of guilt at the thought, I leaned over him, placing a kiss on his full lips. Mmm, Jacob’s lips… yum.

Carefully standing up from the bed as not to disturb him, I stretched, aware of the sore feeling of my most intimate muscles which had become unaccustomed to being stretched in his absence. As I walked to the bathroom I felt Jacob’s fluids, hot and sticky, running down my thighs, causing me to shiver with desire. I wasn’t sure what it was, but there was just something about having Jacob’s seed inside my body that was a ridiculous turn-on.

I cleaned myself up quickly before rejoining him in bed, as I did so leaning over to swirl my tongue over one small, dark nipple. I watched, fascinated, as while even in sleep his body responded to me.

Reaching down, I touched his most sensitive area, which was already completely ready for me. There was nothing about Jacob Black that wasn’t large.

Without further ado I straddled his thighs, settling his arousal against the anatomy of my body where I wanted to feel it the most. Oh well, I thought, I suppose he’ll just have to catch up on his sleep later. And then I took him into my body, my tender muscles protesting at being stretched again so soon. Apparently not even my vampire-like tissue was strong enough to escape Jacob unscathed, and that was saying something.

I didn’t care… it felt so good being connected to him like this.

At the same moment I placed my hands against his face, flooding his still-sleeping brain with images of exactly how it felt to have him inside my body. I wanted him to know the intensity of the raw pleasure his body gave me…

Beneath me Jacob snapped awake with a gasp. “Oh, God, Nessie,” he groaned in response to the double sensation of his own pleasure and the pleasure he was giving me transferred back into his own mind. He responded to me instantaneously, his large hands moving up to engulf my hips as I began to move languidly against his body.

I made love to him slowly, the movements of my body against his hips hurling us both toward completion before finally, exhausted, my nerves singed, I collapsed next to him, utterly and completely satisfied. I marveled at how I could have forgotten how wonderful it felt.

Sweat was beading on his forehead and the golden skin of his cheeks was flushed a rosy color. After catching his breath he gathered me against him, his full, soft lips pressing a tender kiss to mine.

“Good morning to you, too,” he finally said, his voice a sexy rasp. And then he gave me the most heart-stopping smile I’d ever seen in my life, causing my heart to positively melt. At that moment in time I really couldn’t remember my reasons for leaving him. Surely I must be insane.

“That was nice,” I said, returning his smile as he kissed me tenderly.

He snorted. “Yeah, that’s one word for it. I probably would’ve gone with ‘effin’ fantastic.’”

“You’re bleeding, poor baby,” I added, nodding at the fresh teeth marks on his shoulder and throat, which were already beginning to mend at a substantially accelerated rate. I’d apparently gotten a little carried away in my excitement.

He craned his neck to look at the bite mark on his shoulder. “Freakin’ leech,” he mumbled.

I play-punched him in the shoulder before leaning down to kiss the marks I’d left on his flesh. “You know you like it,” I replied, snuggling into his shoulder.

“Sure, sure,” he conceded, wrapping a muscled arm protectively around my shoulders.

We lapsed into a comfortable, contemplative silence, Jacob twining one of my reddish-brown curls around his finger while I absently traced random patterns on his chest. It was so good; so familiar being here with him like this. I wasn’t quite ready to dwell on what the consequences of this would be later on. I certainly wasn’t yet ready to dwell on his reasons for being here, and whether he expected me to pack up and move back home. At this point I wasn’t sure what I’d say were he to ask me.

After several minutes I heard the TV in the living room click on, and the unmistakable aroma of coffee wafted in through the thin wall, obvious indications that Chelsa was up and around.

Glancing at the alarm clock on the dresser I saw that it was ten-thirty. It was early for her, considering that she probably hadn’t come home ‘til after four.

“Mm… coffee,” I murmured in longing against Jacob’s chest. My morning caffeine fix sounded good right about now, even if it took a hell of a lot more of it to work on me than a normal human.

He snorted. “What, my blood didn’t quench your thirst?”

I punched him again. “Don’t be such a baby – I didn’t even really take any. Those were more like… love bites.”

He was quiet for a moment, his hand stilling in my hair. “Huh. Love bites,” he murmured after a moment.

I flushed quietly, remembering his quietly whispered declaration of love after we’d made love last night. I’d pretended that I’d already been asleep when he’d spoken the words, but I knew now that he hadn’t been fooled. I felt a twinge of discomfort as the memories of why I’d left in the first place resurfaced in my mind, unbidden.

I wouldn’t – No, I couldn’t think on that uncomfortable subject right now. I was wrapped up in my warm, cozy Jacob bubble, and I wasn’t ready for it to pop. I wasn’t ready to face reality. The scary thing was – I wasn’t sure if I ever would be.

Jacob kissed the top of my head tenderly, gently maneuvering out from under me and standing up from bed. I felt a moment of panic as I watched him, suddenly fearful that he was going to disappear from my life as quickly as he’d appeared. At that moment I didn’t think I could bear to be away from him, despite my reasons for leaving. It was just so damn good to be with him again. And making love with him was a definite added bonus.

“I’m gonna get you some coffee,” he explained with a reassuring smile.

I sat up, raising a sardonic eyebrow. “You’re not going like that are you? You just might send poor Chelsa into shock – Not that she’s never seen a naked man, but –”

I eyed his package meaningfully.

“—I just don’t think she’s ever seen one so… blessed,” I said with a snort of laughter.

He smirked at my word choice, turning to pull open the top drawer of my dresser, and as he did so I admired the view of his taut, smooth backside, and the silky raven hair that spilled over the muscled expanse of his back. “Hey,” he said suddenly, his hands reemerging from my dresser, clutching a pair of faded old sweatpants. “I wondered what happened to these! These are my favorite sweats!”

He turned to glare at me in annoyance, and I shrugged apologetically. “They’re my favorite, too. And besides,” I added hesitantly, “they remind me of you.”

He stared at me silently for a moment, his expression unreadable. “They’re yours, then.” And then his face broke out into a smile. “I’m sure they look better on you anyway, even if they are ten times too big.” And then he folded them back up and placed them neatly back into the drawer before pulling the jeans he’d worn last night off the floor and sliding into them.

“Hey, Jake?” I called as he reached the door. He stopped, the corners of his lips turning up in a small smile.

“Yeah, Ness?”

“Don’t you have any stuff – any luggage? Where are you staying?” I couldn’t bring myself to ask the question ‘And when are you leaving?’ I was afraid to know the answer.

He spread out his arms, his eyes indicating his jeans and the t-shirt that still lay crumpled on the floor.

I looked at him incredulously. “You’re kidding.”

He leaned against the doorframe, crossing his arms over his chest. “When I decided I couldn’t stand being away from you a second longer I just… jumped on the next flight to Honolulu. I’ve been sleeping on the beach. I’ve slept in worse places, that’s for sure.”

I frowned, clutching the sheet to my chest. “How long have you been on the island?”

“About a week now. I figured you’d be surfing, so I went around to the different beaches, mostly on the North Shore. And then I heard about the competition… I actually saw you a few days ago, surfing with – You said her name’s Chelsa?”

I nodded slowly, my mouth suddenly dry. “Why didn’t you approach me?” I asked, repeating my question of the night before.

He shrugged. “The same reasons I told you last night. I didn’t think you wanted to see me.”

“Jake, I – ”

I cut myself off. I’d wanted to tell him I was sorry, but I wasn’t sorry about the decision I’d made. Despite how I may feel right now, I knew that my reasons for leaving were good ones, and I needed to stand firm in my belief that I’d done the right thing.

Now wasn’t the time to discuss it, however. I wasn’t ready to break his heart. I wasn’t ready to break mine. Now that I was with him again, I wasn’t sure if I would ever be.

“Why don’t you get dressed and you can introduce me to Chelsa?” he asked, deliberately saving me from having to complete my sentence.

I smiled as I climbed out of bed, heading into the bathroom to brush my teeth and clean myself up again. I’d just gotten Jacob back, and I was determined to not ruin the day by letting a small thing like reality interfere.