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She was searching desperately for a way to separate herself for the reality of her life crumbling to pieces around her like the paint on the walls of an Victorian house long left to rot.

!IMPORTANT!: I've recently started up an LJ community (that will spread past LJ, I assure you) to write a collaborated HP fanfic. Now, I know that you all are Twilight readers and probably wouldn't want to be involved in writing that fic but here's what I was thinking about: A Twilight Collaborated Fanfiction. It'll be the same general idea as the Harry Potter one, only...It'll be Twilight instead. If you'd like information to get an idea of what it would be like and if enough people would like to help out then I'd LOVE to start it up! Information on what it would be like can be found collaboratefic on LJ. Just go to and enter " collaborationfic" in the username search bar. Everything on that site will be the same as the Twilight one if I start it. The only change will be the fanmix part. Anywhoz, have fun reading and let me know if you enjoyed it! (: Disclaimer: If I owned it, it'd be more sappy and less interesting. XD And Trapt owns the song. If you'd like to hear it, PM me and I'll send you a link to hear it. :]

1. Mutualism

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1.a relationship between two species of organisms in which both benefit from the association.

It's hard to trust a stranger, but you're a stranger to yourself so who's to blame?
Drown away emotion, as you numb yourself from any real pain.

I am not a socialite. If I am anything, I am mildly introverted. That's why it was strange when I approached Bella and even stranger when she approached me so many months later. She was difficult to understand; an enigma with no definite answer. My brain was reminding me of the dangers of getting close to her. She was back and forth; warming up to me one moment and dancing with Edward Cullen the very next. My heart was telling me to trust her this time -to give myself a chance to grow closer to her, to understand her and let her understand me.

But it was hard to trust someone you know very little about. She was practically a stranger -a painfully beautiful stranger. I realized later that she really was just a beautiful stranger -even to herself- and when she came to me that day she was looking for an escape from his escape, I could not deny her. She was searching desperately for a way to separate herself for the reality of her life crumbling to pieces around her like the paint on the walls of an Victorian house long left to rot. It was spiraling, spiraling around her like the wicked winds of a tornado in Spring and catching her up in it's fierceness.

I was her escape; the latter against a burning building, the closet to hide in the boogyman just won't seem to go away and your parents just won't seem to hurry up, the long-sleeved shirt to cover the bruises on your arms, the lock on the door to keep away robber and the loud music to drown out the fighting.

I realize now that I played the same part as the morphine she'd gotten after her accident in Phoenix. I numbed her pain.

There's nothing more real, and nothing's what it seems.
We're always caught in between!
There's nothing left to feel, but still you can not leave.
You don't know what you need.

The feeling of her standing so close to me in that crowed workshop was warmer than anything I'd ever felt before. It was close and comforting and addictive. I dreaded the days I knew she wasn't coming and I walked with my head held higher on the days when I knew she was. I still didn't know what had brought along the change; still didn't understand the sudden recklessness or desperation for danger but I was okay with not knowing. I would live with not knowing forever if she would still keep coming back.

That was the problem though, wasn't it? She did keep coming back. Back and back and back again until I was so sure... She had me so convinced that it was something special. Sure, it had started with just fixing the bikes but we had grown close. I'd fallen so hard for her and for so long I thought that she had, too. I was ready to wait for her to get over him. I was willing to accept that it would take time and energy and almost everything I had to convince her that she was so much better off without him but...

She'd left when he'd returned. There was no backward glance, only a mumbled apology and the swinging of a door. It swung on it's hinges for minutes after. The force of her pull and the force of it's collision with the wall was momentous. For hours, the ticking of the clock on the kitchen wall was my only company. And I wondered, where was my escape?

I'd given up on her loving me more than she loved him. I'd passed up the idea that she may care for me the same profound manner as she did for him. I accepted her lack of devotion for me. However, I would not give up my love for her. I refused to let her make her a choice that could easily be the downfall of her glorious existence.

People die everyday and with ever death is a small group of people who suffer tremendously and a larger group of people who mourn their loss but there was no doubt in my mind that the entire world would feel the skip of their heart when Bella left the world. In fact, I live my life dreading the moment when I know that all chances of saving her are gone but at that moment, I refused to be introverted. She was blinded by his allure and I felt that as person who loved her with every inch of his being, it was my job to assure that she get what she needed.

Even if she had no idea what that was.

And I know that you use me to use you.

Maybe we were using each other in a way. I was using her need for my own gratification while she used my skill for her own. Maybe that was all there was but at the moment I can hardly care. I am okay with her using me so long as she stays.

Hopeing it's a ritual, the walls you build around us feel safe!
Silence's always comfortable, is this the only reason that you stay!

I lived every moment hoping for her to show a sign, an assurance that what I wanted -practically needed- was there, deep in her heart and waiting for the time when it knew it would be safe. Her closeness -comfort- around me seemed to build walls creating such a magical illusion. In that momentary pause before she left to save him, I stood alone with her between those walls and felt so safe. For a moment, I was almost convinced that she wouldn't leave.

They shattered with the first squeak of the door hinges.

I wondered while I listened to that ticking clock if the absence of my questions had been what kept her for so long. Surely if I had posed as many questions as her father or a select few of her friends, she would have given up on me. Bella would have slowly drifted away the same way she had down with them and eventually she would have been alone once more.

Or would she have? If I had brought it up in our daily conversations, would she had ran from the answers or looked me in the eye with a desperate need for my understanding while she answered? Was my silence her reason for staying after the bikes were finished and good as new or was there really something more going on behind those enigmatic eyes of hers?

I always did love looking into her eyes. Such constant peace had always been reassuring.

And I know that you use me to use you.

Perhaps we were using each other in a way. I was using her desperation for escape for my desperation for companionship. She was using me in her desperation for indirect comfort. Maybe that was all there was but at the moment I can hardly care. I am okay with her using me so long as she stays.

Feel your arms around me, wondering where this will go.
I feel your arms around me, will you ever want this like I do.

We ran into each other once more. Charlie had sent her up to pick-up the last of Mr. Clearwater's fish fry. I had not been aware that she was coming up to collect it. I had assumed it would be Charlie, himself. She'd smiled unsurely when I'd opened the door.

It broke my heart to see her lack of confidence in such a simple action. She was braver than that.

Edward, she'd explained, was hunting for the weekend and would not find out about her trip to my home. I wished he would find out. I needed an excuse to hurt him -to get payback for Bella's pain. My frustration -anger- was all consuming but when she hugged me it had faded to a dull thud in my burning chest.

Her arms were cool against my heated skin and her hair smelled so sweet when my face had dropped to rest against the top of her head. I never wanted to let her go. She felt more right in my arms than I knew anyone ever would. This was the one love I would ever have and her love was being given to another. Another undeserving person.

I know that she feels more right in the comfort of his arms and it pains me beyond reason. Could I never beat him? Could I never be better? Could she never love me the way I love her?

Of course not. I would forever be second-best.

And I know that you use me to use you.

I knew we were using each other when she smiled at me as she pulled away. She was using me for a conformation. She was trying to once again use me as an escape from her questioning the choice she'd made. I was using her for an answer to me questions of 'why?'. We were using each other for something that we both knew we were never going to receive. And that was okay because, after all, we'd never received what we were using each other for in the first place.

She'd turned to smile before she left. It was just as unassured as before but it hurt less this time. She'd held up the package of fish fry and said, “Thanks, again for this.”

I'd nodded shortly before turning on my heel to walk back inside. Before the door closed I'd heard her voice from the step saying, “He's wrong, Jake. You don't smell bad at all.”

...I think my heart just skipped a beat.