Fly

 

 

Chapter 1

 

“Uncle Charlie, are you sure it’s alright that I stay here with you?”

 

His niece must’ve asked that question at least a million times since arriving in Forks and every time Charlie answered the same way.  “Desi, you are more than welcome here, now stop asking.” He took a bite out of the eggs she made him, giving her a wink.

 

Desiree simply nodded, picking at her own food, sighing heavily.  She felt like a burden to her uncle, even though it’d been three months.  Honestly though, Desiree had nowhere else to go, which put even more guilt on her conscience.

 

“I was just making sure…” She mumbled as Charlie stood up from the table, patting her shoulder reassuringly.

 

“You worry too much, Desi.” Charlie attempted at making a joke, but it wasn’t working as he reached for his jacket, slipping it on.  “Look, Desiree…”

 

“You better get going or you’ll be late.” Desiree cut him off, standing abruptly from the table, and picked the dishes up as she set them on the counter by the sink.

 

“Yeah, you’re right.” Charlie sighed, taking one more sip of his coffee, wishing he knew what to say to his niece.  This was almost as awkward as Bella coming to live with him her junior year in high school. “I’ll be home late tonight, but…”

 

“If I need anything I’ll call you.” She finished his statement, cracking a smile, wishing she could give him something more, but Desiree couldn’t.  She felt so dead inside, had ever since her mother’s untimely death, wondering when the pain of her absence would go away.

 

Charlie knew he couldn’t stall anymore, glancing over his shoulder back at his niece, and let out another heavy sigh before heading to his car.  He still couldn’t believe all that transpired, especially with his only sibling dying from cancer.  He didn’t even know she was sick and wished he had called to check on her more often.  He literally had no idea just how badly his sister singlehandedly destroyed her life with depression and heavy drinking.  It was still hard to believe, to swallow, because Madeline had been the stronger and more sensible one between them. 

 

He only called his sister on holidays when it was convenient, not even remembering her birthday.  She lived clear across the country and it made him wonder why.  Now that she was gone, there was no more time, which he thought they had plenty of.  He was wrong and Charlie would live with that guilt for the rest of his life, no matter what anyone said or thought.

 

Desiree watched her uncle drive off in his squad car, finally allowing the tears to slip down her cheeks that she held in for her uncle’s sake.  She didn’t want anyone seeing just how much pain she was in.  She began scrubbing the dishes harder, more tears falling, and finally stopped as she gripped the sink with her hands, allowing the sobs to overtake her body, the memory of her mother almost too much to take.

 

And it was all because of Simon Neches, Desiree’s father, or sperm donor as she referred him.

 

Madeline and Simon met freshman year in high school and instantly became sweethearts, marrying right after graduation.  She had every woman’s dream to marry the love of their life, their soul mate, young and deeply in love.  They went to the same college, but halfway through, Madeline decided she wanted to have a family with Simon.  So she gave up her degree in nursing to be a stay at home mother while Simon brought home the bacon, which she didn’t mind.  They were married for ten years and tried for five to conceive a child.  Finally, Madeline went to a fertility specialist and soon after, Madeline became pregnant.

 

Instead of being happy about the situation, Simon started distancing himself from Madeline, but she was so wrapped up in having a baby that she really didn’t notice.  He didn’t show up for ultrasounds or checkups with her, which was her only suspicion that something wasn’t right.  Still, Madeline refused to let any stress into her life, knowing her baby’s life was on the line.

 

Nine months later, they had a beautiful baby girl named Desiree Marie Swan-Neches.  It seemed as though Simon was changing his ways because, at first, he was a very attentive and loving father to Desiree.  Madeline prayed this was the first step in getting her family back together, thinking of anything else, just being happy with Simon and their beautiful daughter.

 

When Desiree turned two, however, everything changed.

 

Madeline had just gotten back from grocery shopping with Desiree and went upstairs to check on her husband, thinking he was napping.  It was usually what he did on a Saturday afternoon, after working in the morning.  Only to wind up with a broken heart at the half empty closet and dresser drawers.  Simon had packed his things while she was gone and left a measly note with a lame excuse saying he couldn’t handle it anymore. 

 

After that, Madeline turned to hard liquor to escape the pain Simon caused her.  She was still a mother to Desiree, but nothing like she’d been before.  In a way, Desiree wondered if her mother blamed her for her father walking out on them.  Desiree had to grow up very early in life, making her own food, while her mother slept hangover after hangover away.  Only at night did Madeline hit the bottle and let out her pain, not wanting to do it in front of her daughter.  Desiree did the best she could to take care of her mother, cleaning up messes, and keeping her mother’s dark secret.

 

This went on from age three to sixteen, when Madeline went to the doctor to have a biopsy done on her stomach, only for it to turn out to be liver cancer.  Desiree was there when the doctor diagnosed it, the words running through her mind about how it spread to her mother’s kidneys, bowels and lungs.  There was no treatment available because of how far advanced the cancer was.  Madeline was basically sent home to die in hospice care and managed to live until Desiree’s prom night, when she died.

 

Desiree never had the chance to properly say goodbye to her mother.

 

The funeral preparations were made by Charlie, since both of their parents had passed on already.  Desiree was just a teenager and couldn’t deal with all of this, though her mother had left her everything.  She found the will in her mother’s journal, which basically had every memory of her father written in it.  Wanting to burn it, Desiree fought with herself over the turmoil and agony her mother went through because of him. 

 

She never hated anyone in her life, but when her mother died, Desiree decreed that she hated Simon Mitchell Neches and would even after her own demise.

 

The funeral in itself was a total blur, Desiree hardly remembering anything the minister said that Charlie hired.  She just remembered how hard it rained and Charlie trying to comfort her, along with his daughter –her cousin- Isabella Swan.  The last time Desiree saw Bella, it was at a family reunion when they were seven years old…so the girls weren’t exactly close.  It seemed Bella didn’t mind that Desiree had moved into her father’s house and basically taken over what she used to do, but somewhere deep inside, it had to be killing Bella.

 

Even though she was now a married woman to a man named Edward Cullen.

 

The bottom line was Desiree had nowhere else to go and that’s why Charlie offered her to move in with him.  She dropped out of school and moved to Forks, having decided she wasn’t going back.  She was going to get her GED and go to college to fulfill her mother’s dream: to become a nurse.  She wanted to help people and Desiree was going to do that for her, knowing she owed her mother that much.  That and she wanted a degree in nursing, knowing it would come in very handy.

 

Not wanting to think about the past anymore, Desiree quickly finished the dishes, dried and put them away, before going to look over her GED application.  She had to take tests, which she didn’t mind.  She could do them through the mail, she had all the time in the world after all.  Charlie was never home so Desiree was mostly alone, though she didn’t mind it.  Being alone definitely had its perks, such as completing testing without any distractions.

 

Throughout the day, Desiree cleaned the house; vacuuming, dusting, laundry –both her and Charlie’s because the man never could get his finished-, and organizing to keep her mind off of things.  It took her until two before she finally sat down to read over the paperwork the state of Washington sent for her GED testing. 

 

Desiree was halfway through the paperwork, when a knock sounded on the door.  Looking up, arching an eyebrow, Desiree set her pen down before going to see who it was.  It was a little after four o’clock in the afternoon, so she couldn’t imagine would be dropping by for a visit.  Charlie never came home earlier than five, which happened rarely.  She was shocked to open the door and finding Bella standing on the porch, along with Edward and a few others.

 

“Hey Desiree, I hope we’re not bothering you.” Bella’s twinkling voice said, smiling sweetly at her cousin with shimmering golden eyes.

 

That’s another thing Desiree didn’t understand.  She was only seven years old, but she could’ve sworn Bella had brown eyes the last time they saw each other.  It was none of her business though and Desiree refused to delve in her cousin’s mind.

 

“No, you’re not.” Desiree said, not wanting to seem rude, and stepped aside as they entered, heading back to the kitchen table. “Charlie won’t be home until late.” She didn’t want Bella waiting around, remembering what her uncle said.

 

“That’s alright, we weren’t here for my dad.” Bella replied, nodding at her husband, who took a seat at the kitchen table. “We actually came to talk to you.”

 

Desiree slowly looked up from the paperwork, staring back into her cousin’s golden eyes, confusion entering her own. “What about?” She asked, trying to keep the tenseness out of her voice, but it was hard to do.

 

Edward smiled charmingly, his bronze hair wild as ever, the same golden eyes nearly piercing Desiree to the core.  He freaked her out to be quite honest and she had to lower her gaze, swallowing hard. “Do not be frightened, Desiree.  We simply come here to deliver a warning of sorts.” Edward said gently, smiling when she looked up again.   “We feel that-”

 

“You need to stay out of the woods, especially at night.” The stranger interfered, tired of beating around the bush, and Desiree looked at him for the first time carefully.

 

He stood well over six foot and had a body that looked as though it was chiseled out of stone.  His skin was deep russet and his ravenous black hair was cut short, some of it hanging in his deep dark, captivating brown eyes.  To be frank, the man was gorgeous and looked like he could tear anyone in half.

 

“Jake…” Bella sighed, rolling her eyes, and shot her friend a look. “That’s a little too direct don’t you think?”

 

“No, it’s straightforward.  She needs to know without beating around the bush.  Mind introducing me to your cousin or am I not good enough for that?” He snorted derisively.

 

“As much as I loathe to do this,” Bella paused, only half-joking. “Desiree, this big brute is Jacob Black, a very dear friend of mine.”

 

He waved and Desiree simply nodded to acknowledge his presence.

 

“We were hoping for a little sensitivity on your part.” Edward stated heatedly, after the introduction, folding his arms in front of his chest.  He was tempted to call Jacob a dog, but given the fact Desiree had NO idea what they truly were, he decided against it.

 

“Oh please, since when are you two sensitive about anything?” Jacob shot back defensively, leaning against the counter, his eyes landing on the beauty named Desiree.

 

Her hair was a deep auburn with natural golden highlights in it that flowed down her back in waves.  Her bangs were cut in an angled style, fanning over her beautiful green eyes.  They were a deep jade and reminded him almost of emerald stones.  She stood at about Bella’s height, maybe a little taller, and wore a simple pair of blue jeans with a long sleeved black top.

 

“Enough, Jacob.” Edward stood up from the table, trying to keep his temper in check, but Jacob was asking for it, especially after reading his thoughts.  That was Edward’s gift, topaz eyes narrowing slightly. “Desiree, please just promise us you won’t go into the woods, at least until we let you know it’s safe to do so.”

 

“I promise.” Desiree was very confused, having gone in the woods a few times to walk, finally pulling her gaze from Jacob.  She’d caught the name, standing up along with them. “Will you please tell me what’s going on?  You’re sort of freaking me out…”

 

“Don’t be frightened, everything is fine.  We just want you to stay out of the woods.”

 

“There have been reports of attacks going on lately.” Jacob wasn’t about to keep the truth from her, already knowing that’s why Charlie didn’t usually come home until nearly midnight every night. 

 

Being a shape shifter had its definite advantages.

 

“Jacob!”

 

“What?” He snapped, rolling his eyes. “She would’ve read the paper and found out sooner or later.”

 

“Why are you three coming to warn me though?  Shouldn’t Charlie be doing that or something?” Desiree asked, knowing that sounded somewhat rude, but she didn’t care.  If they wanted her to stay out of the woods, they were going to give her a reason why.  “Look, I’m not made of porcelain, Bella.  Just please tell me what’s going on.”

 

“Charlie asked us to come tell you.” Edward lied smoothly, daring Jacob to contradict him, his eyes plainly showing it.  He would rip him limb from limb if he blew their cover, especially since Desiree was HUMAN, unlike the rest of them.

 

“Oh okay…” She felt really low, blinking when Bella placed a cold hand on her shoulder. “Sorry.”

 

“Don’t worry about it, Desiree.  We’re just the messengers.  We should really get back though.  Renesmee is probably wondering where we are.” Bella smiled, thinking of her daughter and stepped off of the porch.

 

Jacob sighed, staring back at Desiree, hating to keep secrets, but he knew it was for the best.  “Hope we didn’t scare ya too badly.” He flashed a cheeky grin and winked before jumping off of the stairs with ease, landing gracefully, heading down the road while Edward and Bella drove away in his silver Volvo.

 

Shaking her head, Desiree shut the door and went back to finish her paperwork, but all she could think about were the dark mysterious eyes of Jacob Black.

 

Chapter 2

 

“Alright, Edward, what did you see in Jacob’s mind?” Bella demanded, not able to take the suspense any longer.

 

Edward sighed, knowing she sensed the tension in his tone at Charlie’s. “You don’t want to know.” He finally said, turning the Volvo on the dirt road that lead to the Cullen residence.

 

“Try me.”

 

“You’re not going to let this go are you?” Edward groaned when she shook her head, rolling his eyes.

 

“No, he obviously thought something you didn’t approve of and I want to know about it.” Bella was being stubborn, which was nothing new, folding her arms obstinately over her chest. “Out with it, Mr. Cullen.”

 

Edward knew he wasn’t getting out of this because when his beautiful wife had her mind set on something; it was very hard to dissuade her. “Alright…Jacob was thinking about Desiree in a certain way that I did not approve of.  He…likes her, I think.” He didn’t exactly know how to word it because what he saw in Jacob’s mind was far from just liking.  It was border lining lust.

 

“He likes her.” Bella repeated, blinking, and turned her head to stare out the window.  “What about Renesmee though?  Did he imprint on her when she was born?” This was confusing considering what Jacob told Bella about the imprinting legend.

 

“I don’t know, Bella.  I didn’t see Nessie enter his mind, only your cousin, until you mentioned her before our departure.” Edward ignored her glare, knowing how much his wife loathed their daughter’s nickname.

 

“Can the wolves imprint on more than one person?” Bella wondered aloud, not really asking Edward, tapping her chin in thought. 

 

Sam and Leah had loved each other deeply –they were a part of the pack-…until he set eyes on Emily.  He left Leah because of the imprinting, so how could Jacob feel anything towards Desiree when he supposedly imprinted on Renesmee?  She had to talk to Jacob about this because, if it was true, she had to stop him before he decided anything.

 

Edward was thinking along the same lines, knowing it would be incredibly dangerous for Desiree to get involved with a werewolf, shape shifter, whatever they were called.  Granted, ever since the Volturi’s last visit, Sam had changed boundaries to where the Cullen clan could step foot on Quileute lands.  They were better as a team then ripping each other to shreds. 

 

Still, Desiree was a human and being with a man, who changed into a wolf on a whim, was not safe for her.  Sam learned that the hard way because of what he did to Emily and he had to live with that for the rest of his life.  What was the hell was Jacob thinking?

 

Bella could feel Edward’s tension and immediately took his hand, giving it a gentle squeeze, smiling softly. “Relax.” She breathed against his ear. “I’ll take care of it.”

 

Edward smirked at her, his topaz eyes full of molten gold, arching a slow eyebrow. “How did you know I was thinking about that?” He asked curiously, eyes shining with amusement.

 

“Because I know you.” Bella simply replied, stepping out of the Volvo as soon as it came to a stop, winking when Edward scowled. 

 

He always loved opening the car door for her, but ever since Bella became immortal, she wasn’t prone to allowing him to have his gentleman ways.  The woman was going to be the death of him...if he could ever die.  He snorted at that thought, shaking his head, knowing he would live with Bella for eternity.

 

“Did you inform her?” Carlisle’s voice sounded from behind, causing Edward to turn around.

 

“Yes, she’s aware without knowing everything.” Edward replied gently, cracking a smile when Carlisle physically relaxed.  “Though, I am concerned Carlisle.”

 

“With what my son?” Carlisle asked, stepping forward to stand beside Edward, staring down at him patiently.

 

Edward didn’t know if he should tell his father about this, looking toward the house, seeing Bella in the window with Renesmee in her arms.  He smiled, still not believing how miraculously his immortal existence had turned out to be.  Those two girls were the most important people in his life, along with the rest of the Cullens.

 

“I’m concerned about Jacob.  I fear he has feelings for Bella’s cousin.”

 

There was no point in keeping it from Carlisle and Edward was honestly worried about this.  He didn’t trust Jacob, even though the man had saved Bella on more than one occasion.  Still, he couldn’t get the image of Emily’s face out of his mind that he’d stolen from Sam’s.  Sometimes his gift had perks, other times he wished it never existed.

 

“I thought Jacob was…connected to Nessie?”

 

“We thought that too, but over at Charlie’s I read Jacob’s mind.  The way he was thinking of Desiree had NOTHING to do with Nessie.” Edward refused to go into detail, cringing inwardly at the visions that flew through his mind.

 

“So he likes her?”

 

“I think it’s more than that…” Edward sighed heavily, absolutely refusing to tell Bella this next part, glad her gift had nothing to do with mind reading.

 

“Ah.” Carlisle caught on immediately, folding his arms in front of his chest. “That’s very interesting.  You think he’s...”

 

“Imprinted.”

 

“On Desiree?”

 

“Yes.”

 

“But what about Nessie?  What’s this connection he feels toward her?” Carlisle was asking himself more than Edward, deciding to voice it aloud.

 

“I haven’t figured that part out yet.” Edward hated being left in the dark, knowing what he had to do.  “I have to talk to Jacob…without Bella.”

 

He hated keeping something this important away from his wife, but Bella was too soft when it came to Jacob.  This required a little aggression because Edward refused to allow anyone to hurt apart of his family.  Jacob was family in a way, at least to Bella, but Desiree was family by their marriage.

 

“Are you sure that’s a good idea, Edward?” Carlisle’s tone was hesitant, looking at his son, knowing how quick-tempered Jacob was.  He didn’t want either of them doing something they’d both regret. “I think we should sit down with Jacob and rationalize this CALMLY.  Edward, you have as much of a temper as Jacob does.  Remember when you lost it when we out voted you to change Bella?  I don’t think you talking to Jacob alone…”

 

“Talk to me about what alone?”

 

“Hello Jacob.” Edward greeted politely, as always, having heard him coming a mile away.  Unlike Alice, Edward could read thoughts from a good distance away.

 

“I hate your politeness.  It makes it harder to hate you.” Jacob snorted, wearing just a pair of cut off blue shorts, his body always running above one hundred degrees.  It varied though, mostly staying at one hundred and nine.

 

“I’m sorry for your loss.” Edward sighed, hating to fight with Jacob because he knew how much it hurt Bella. “I wanted to talk to you about Bella’s cousin, Desiree.”

 

Jacob raised a slow eyebrow, eyes immediately guarded. “What about her?”

 

How did Edward go about doing this without angering Jacob?

 

“Jacob, we were curious about a legend from your tribe.” Carlisle decided to take the scientific approach, smiling softly to show that everything was fine and no reason to be hostile.

 

“What about it?”

 

Jacob was getting tired of these run around games, leaning against a nearby tree, waiting impatiently.  He had better things to do, like go patrol the woods for more newborns –humans recently turned into vampires with bloodlust and no control- or possibly check out Charlie’s place to make sure Desiree was safe.  Now that he thought about it, he suddenly had the urge to skip this conversation and do that second suggestion, those stunning green eyes entering his mind.

 

Edward’s jaw tightened upon hearing that thought, trying to maintain control.

 

“We know you’re in a hurry, but this is extremely important.” Carlisle shot his son a warning look that clearly said to keep his composure, immediately turning kind eyes back to Jacob.  “Will you tell us more of this imprinting legend?”

 

Now Jacob was very confused and somewhat pissed, eyes narrowing, his own jaw tightening.  “If this is about Nessie…”

 

“It isn’t.”

 

All three turned to face Bella walking toward them, arms folded in front of her chest.  “Since Edward thinks I cannot handle this situation on my own,” She paused, glaring at her husband. “I suppose we should get this over and done with.  Jake, I want you to stay away from my cousin.”

 

Jacob blinked, eyebrows drawing together. “Are you kidding me?  I’ve already told you…”

 

“I know what you’ve told me and, quite frankly, I do not believe it.  How could even THINK about Desiree in any way if you truly imprinted on my daughter?  Can you imprint more than once?” Bella demanded, cutting him off, golden eyes beginning to turn black.

 

“What makes you think I have any interest in your cousin to begin with?” Jacob demanded angrily, flexing his hands tightly at his sides, dark eyes flashing. “Not everyone is attracted to your family, Bella, not every WOLF anyway.”

 

“You’re lying.” Edward couldn’t keep his mouth shut any longer.

 

“Edward read your mind about Desiree, Jacob.  You can’t hide the truth from us.” Bella said in a softer voice, knowing she was upsetting her best friend, and that’s not what she wanted at all.

 

“All I thought is she’s beautiful, which she is!  Damn, I didn’t think it was a crime to think something like that!”

 

“The thoughts went deeper than that…”

 

“STAY OUT OF MY DAMN HEAD, BLOODSUCKER!” Jacob exploded, feeling the anger radiating through his body, knowing he was going to phase at any second.

 

Bella shook her head sadly, sighing. “This is exactly why I want you staying away from Desiree, Jacob.  You could hurt her like Sam did to Emily…”

 

“Oh so that’s it.  You’re fine with me being with Nessie because she can handle my anger, but Desiree is a defenseless human that you think I’d rip apart on a whim.” Jacob was so pissed, he could literally feel every tendon igniting with fire, physically trembling from head to toe, his cheeks flushing angrily.

 

“So you didn’t imprint on Nessie?” Bella challenged, arching an eyebrow, feeling more confused by the second.  “Jake, what’s going on?”

 

“I-I don’t know.  I don’t know if I did or not.  I thought I did…” Jacob wasn’t going to continue, glaring at Edward. “Stay out of my head, bloodsucker, before I rip you apart.” He threatened, growling deeply from his throat.

 

“Well…” Bella scratched her head, walking toward her friend. “Please calm down.” She knew even as a vampire, Jacob couldn’t resist her and Bella was taking full advantage of it. “Jake, we’re trying to figure out what’s going on, that’s all.  We want to help you…and protect Desiree...”

 

“Bells...” Jake groaned, knowing even through that topaz eyes that used to be a deep chocolate brown he couldn’t deny her.  He took a few deep breaths, the anger slowly diminishing. “I just can’t believe you’d even think for a second I’d hurt her or anyone for that matter.”

 

“I know, but can you see this from my point of view?  You say you imprinted on Renesmee and then Edward reads your mind about Desiree…” Bella knew better than to touch Jacob, already knowing she gave him the creeps ever since she became a vampire.

 

“I’m trying to figure it out and it doesn’t help being bombarded by all three of you.” Jacob stated evenly, taking a step back from Bella, just in case he decided to phase.

 

“We apologize for that Jacob.” Carlisle said, clearing his throat at Edward disapprovingly. “We know this has to be extremely confusing to you…”

 

Bella felt terrible, her eyes showing it, and felt Edward gently pull her back to wrap her in his strong arms. “I’m sorry Jake.  I just don’t want her finding out about us…ever.”

 

Charlie already knew, somewhat, about them.  At least he definitely knew about Jacob, who decided to phase in front of him for Bella’s sake.  The last thing they needed was Desiree knowing, especially after just losing her mother recently.

 

“So you’re trying to protect all of us.” Jacob finally cottoned on, letting out a heavy sigh, raking a hand through his hair. “You really want me to stay away from her?”

 

“Please.  You know you can’t have a future with her unless you tell her the truth.  She’ll notice your body temperature, your speed, the height you can jump…things that a normal human just CAN’T do, no matter how athletic they are.  Please Jake, for me, just leave her alone.” Bella hated asking this of him, but honestly, she was doing the right thing.  Edward and Carlisle had nodded in agreement with her, so she knew it was the right path.

 

“Fine, I’ll stay away from her.” He knew the bloodsucker was reading his thoughts, just to make sure he was sincere, and rolled his eyes. “You can read my mind all you want, bloodsucker.  I won’t go near her unless she needs protection.”

 

Bella smiled, still confused about this whole imprinting situation, but at least Jacob wasn’t putting up a fight anymore regarding Desiree. “Thank you, Jake.”

 

“Anything else I can do for you bloodsuckers?”

 

Bella winced and shook her head, frowning, hating the fact he called them that every chance he got, especially when he was upset. “Jake…” She sighed when he took off into the woods, lowering her head, having a sinking feeling he’d already imprinted on her cousin.

 

“Do you think he’ll stay away from her?” Edward asked in his wife’s ear, very concerned.

 

“I honestly don’t know.  The only thing I DO know is that Renesmee is not the one he imprinted on.” Bella swallowed hard, staring up into Edward’s eyes. “It was Desiree.”

 

Edward was afraid of hearing that, nodding silently, walking into the Cullen house with his wife and Carlisle.

 

Chapter 3

 

Who the hell did the Cullens think they were trying to order him around like that? 

 

Jacob wanted to rip Edward’s head off of his shoulders, stick it on a spit, and roast it over a damn bonfire!  He snarled, racing through the woods as fast as he could, faster than a speeding bullet.  He could hear Sam in his thoughts, calling to him, even though technically he was his own alpha. 

 

After the whole Volturi fiasco, and saving Renesmee from the pack killing her –they thought she was a threat to the human life of Forks-, Jacob decided to rejoin Sam in La Push.  He honestly wasn’t ready to be an alpha, but apparently, once a wolf left their pack to go their own way, they couldn’t fully get back into the pack they left.  They were their own alpha. 

 

Jacob, we have to talk.

 

I’ll be there.

 

He already knew what Sam wanted to talk about and rolled his eyes, growling, really not in the mood for this.  So maybe he didn’t imprint on Renesmee.  At the time it felt as though he did, but the more Jacob thought about it, the more he realized the truth of the matter. 

 

He was in love with Bella and, since he knew he couldn’t have her because of the bloodsucker, when his eyes landed on Renesmee, he tricked himself into believing he had imprinted.  Renesmee was a part of Bella and Jacob knew she was the closest he’d ever get to what he really wanted, which was Bella.  It felt like the universe stopped for him, but only due to the fact that he had to watch as Edward sank his venom into Bella’s heart, making her a bloodsucker.

 

That was one of the hardest things Jacob ever had to witness happen, but he couldn’t let Bella die.

 

He just couldn’t.

 

Jacob’s thoughts reverted from that horrific night to beautiful emerald stones that belonged to Bella’s cousin, Desiree.  She was drop dead gorgeous, even if she didn’t know it.  Jacob knew he already imprinted on her because the universe DID stop at the first sight of her.

 

He felt drawn to her in ways that was unimaginable, unthinkable, unfathomable.  He wanted her in the worst way and not just sexually.  He wanted her mind, body, heart and soul...everything in between.  She was like a magnet and he was a piece of metal, defenseless against the powerful attraction.  His world had completely spun off its axel the moment her eyes met his, those eyes seared into his brain for the rest of his life.

 

Just before arriving where Sam was, Jacob phased back into his human form, pulling the shorts from the cord around his leg, yanking them on hastily.  He ran the rest of the way, meeting up with Sam in no time flat.  Sam wasn’t alone, obviously, though Jacob was surprised at the sight of Emily.  She never came to one of their meetings; then again, this wasn’t a typical wolf pack gathering.

 

“Do I even want to know why you’re here Em?” Jacob asked reluctantly, folding his arms in front of his chest.

 

“We know what you promised the Cullens.” Sam stated, not waiting for Emily to answer.  “We want to know what YOU plan on doing.”

 

Jacob raised an eyebrow, wondering if Sam was serious.  “I told them I’d stay away from her.  I plan on doing that.”

 

“Even though you’ve imprinted?” Sam was in disbelief, knowing how powerful imprinting was.  “So it really wasn’t Renesmee?”

 

“No, I wanted it to be Nessie because of Bella.  She’s a part of her and I figured that was the closest I’d get to being with Bella.  I know it doesn’t make sense…” Jacob explained, wondering if he was suddenly losing his mind.

 

“No, Jake, it’s not that easy.  If you’ve truly imprinted with Desiree, you are destined to be with her…just as I was destined to be with Emily and not Leah.” Sam replied, taking Emily’s hand, kissing the back of it lovingly.  “You won’t stay away from her, Jake.  The attraction will be too strong.”

 

“I can handle it.” Jacob’s jaw flexed, gritting his teeth.

 

“Let me try.” Emily murmured in Sam’s ear, smiling when he nodded. “Jake, why do you think Sam hasn’t been able to leave me to go back to Leah?  I know deep down he still loves her, but…we’re meant to be together.  You can’t ignore something like that.”

 

“Then what the hell do you suggest I do?” Jacob snapped, finally having enough of being told what he can and can’t do. “I heard enough from those bloodsuckers…”

 

“The Cullens.” Sam corrected, having enough respect for the vampire clan to call them by name. “You know as well as I do we would’ve fallen to the Volturi without their expertise.”

 

“Bullshit.” Jacob snorted, rolling his eyes. “Look, I don’t want to talk about this anymore.  I’ve patrolled the woods for my shift and I’m tired.”

 

Sam shook his head, the subject of imprinting not being the only reason he contacted Jacob. “We found another.” He looked over at Emily, nodding. “Go on, you’re exhausted.”

 

Emily nodded and kissed Sam’s cheek before walking away, patting Jacob’s shoulder on her way, hoping he did the right thing.  He couldn’t fight off his destiny.  If he did, it would literally tear him apart and eat him alive, which is something she, nor the rest of the pack, wanted.  She also knew Bella wouldn’t want that for him either.

 

Once Emily was gone, Sam turned to Jacob, all business now. “Quil and Embry are out patrolling near the treaty line.  We found more newborns, but managed to stop them before they went into Forks.  We cannot allow this to go unguarded any longer.”

 

Jacob’s eyes narrowed, not liking hearing that at all, especially when Desiree lived near the treaty line.  “Where do you want me to patrol?” He asked, already knowing sleep wasn’t on the agenda for tonight.

 

“You’ve done your patrolling, Jake.  You need to get some sleep.”

 

“NO!  I’m helping out, Sam!” Jacob didn’t want to sleep anymore, his adrenaline pumping, wanting to phase and hunt down some disgusting bloodsuckers.

 

Sam sighed, rubbing his temples, really not wanting to get into a fight with Jacob since, technically, he should be the alpha. “The reason I want you to get some sleep,” He began calmly, trying to rationalize. “Is because I want you to start guarding the Swan residence.  I know you said you’d stay away from her, but you also took an oath to protect ALL humans who live in Forks.  Desiree falls under that category.  If you’re too tired and you end up falling asleep while patrolling, a newborn could get by…”

 

Jacob opened and closed his mouth, thinking of Desiree, knowing Sam was right. “Why are you choosing me to patrol the Swan place?” He asked in a quieter voice, lowering his gaze, already having a feeling he knew the answer.

 

“Because I know what you’re going through, Jake.” Sam sighed, both of them beginning to slow walk through the forest toward La Push, shoving his hands in the pockets of his jean shorts.

 

“What do you mean?” Jacob asked, confusion registering in his voice, glancing up his mentor.

 

“I mean that I know exactly what you’re feeling because I tried doing the same thing.  I tried staying with Leah and making things work between us, but it didn’t happen because of how intense the pull was to Emily.  No matter what I did, how I acted; when I was with Leah, Emily was all I could think about.” Sam cleared his throat, knowing how badly he really hurt Leah; he still regretted it to this day, but there was nothing he could do. “Do you understand where I’m going with this Jake?  If you ignore how you’re feeling, it will only intensify until one day you finally snap and hurt someone you love.”

 

Jacob swallowed hard, Emily’s scarred face going through his mind, nodding. “Yeah I do, but I also promised Bella…”

 

“Forget Bella.” Sam growled, stopping and turning to face his friend, placing his large hands on Jacob’s shoulders. “Bella is gone, Jacob.  She’s one of them and she’s never going to be YOUR Bella again.  You can wish all you want, but it is not gonna happen.  Why give up YOUR happiness because she doesn’t want you with her cousin?  She thinks you’ll hurt her because she’s human, right?” When Jacob nodded silently, Sam released him. “You won’t hurt her because you’ll know, unlike I did, when to walk away.  You have to remember I had to do this on my own.  I didn’t have any help from anyone, Jake.  I only had me, myself and I and I made a fatal mistake and now I have to live with it for the rest of my life.  You can’t ignore imprinting because the strength of it will CRUSH you.  Now if you were staying away from her because YOU thought it was for the best, then I wouldn’t be pushing the issue.  But you’re not, you’re putting your happiness on the damn back burner for her, like you always do, and it’s time you stop!”

 

“What do you want me to do, Sam?  Even YOU have to admit that I am a liability to Desiree.  Bella doesn’t want me near her because of what I am.  She doesn’t know about any of us.  She doesn’t think vampires and shape shifters exist.” Jacob groaned, running his hands through his hair, not sure what to do anymore.

 

“What do YOU want to do Jacob?” Sam asked bluntly, dark eyes intense.

 

“I don’t know.” That was the honest truth because Jacob was so confused about this. “I mean, she’s about my age, I think…”

 

“So this isn’t just about Bella?” Sam raised an eyebrow, hoping Jacob was telling the truth. “Because if you phase and I read your thoughts and find out you lied to me, I will hurt you.”

 

“No Sam, this isn’t just about Bella.” Jacob looked out at the ocean waves lightly crashing against the shore, inhaling the air with a heavy sigh. “I can’t handle another rejection.” He admitted his biggest, deepest fear openly, knowing Sam would keep it to himself.  “When Bella rejected me, I didn’t know what to do.  I felt dead inside and didn’t even imprint on her!  I was in love with her, but this is her cousin.  I lived with the rejection from Bella; I’ll probably end up killing myself if Desiree does the same thing because of the damn imprinting.”

 

Sam finally understood what Jacob feared most, which was rejection.  That was obvious and clear as day.  He remembered how broken Jacob was over Bella’s rejection.  The man actually left the reservation to find himself and heal the only way he knew how. 

 

Then he came back to watch the love of his life marry a vampire –their born enemy- and then left again.  Only to come back again to find out she was pregnant by Edward and still human.  The woman did nothing but cause Jacob pain and misery, even though she tried very hard not to. 

 

“The only thing I can tell you, Jake, is that life isn’t worth living without risks.  Now get some rest, that’s an order.”

 

Jacob smirked, rolling his eyes. “You can’t order an alpha around.”

 

Sam raised an eyebrow, smirking as well. “Oh so NOW you call yourself an alpha so you can’t be told what to do?”

 

“Now you’re catching on, Sammy!”

 

“Get some sleep, kid.” Sam chuckled, slapping him on the back, and walked away toward the woods.  He still had some patrolling to do and could only hope Jacob did as he asked.

 

Jacob wasn’t tired though and simply stood on the beach, closing his eyes, breathing in the salty air wistfully.  He’d gotten so used to thinking he’d be with Renesmee in a few years, but now…now he knew where he truly belonged.  Somehow, Desiree was a part of Bella, which is where he was destined to be. 

 

He could never hate Bella, no matter what she did or put him through.  He fought as dirty as he could to win her heart, but in the end, she chose the bloodsucker and he was finally accepting that.  It didn’t hurt, like it used to, thinking about the past and Bella. 

 

Jacob would always be a part of her life, but now he had to wonder if this was fate’s way of telling him this was his way of being with Bella.  No!  Bella wasn’t Desiree and he couldn’t think of it that way.  This had nothing to do with Bella and Jacob was finally setting himself free. 

 

Staying away from Desiree just wasn’t going to happen, but Jacob wouldn’t go for the kill right away.  He would wait until this newborn situation was under control and gone before asking her out.  He wanted to take things very slow, knowing Desiree was damaged emotionally from her mother’s death.  He’d overheard Bella telling the Cullens about the funeral in Massachusetts, but never questioned anything, knowing exactly what it was like losing a mother, only younger. 

 

Jacob’s mother died in a car crash when he was younger; her name was Sarah Black and his father never fully recovered from it.  To this day, Jacob missed his mom something fierce, but never really showed it.  He had a lot of distractions, being a wolf, amongst other things.  He also had two twin sisters named Rebecca and Rachel, neither living on the reservation currently.

 

Letting out a yawn, Jacob decided it was time for bed as he turned and jogged up to Billy’s house.  He walked inside, the floor gently creaking beneath his feet, knowing his father was still sleeping.  He needed all the sleep he could get these days, especially only having mobility through his wheelchair.  Jacob got a glass of water, a cinnamon bun he was sure Sue Clearwater brought over, and headed to his room for some much needed sleep.

 

Shutting the door with his foot and plopping down in bed, Jacob stared out the window up at the crescent shaped moon, eyebrows drawing together.  He had to find out what Desiree felt for him, but didn’t know how to go about doing it.  He suddenly changed thoughts from how he was going to talk to her about all of this to her beautiful eyes, gorgeous long auburn golden hair that looked soft to the touch, pale skin with roses in her cheeks, long lashes that fanned over her cheeks…the list was endless.  Jacob paid attention to every single detail about this woman, knowing he’d never done that with Bella.  He knew Desiree was a shell he’d have to crack open and knew it would be a challenge.

 

Jacob was always up for a challenge though, smirking at the thought.

 

For once since everything started, since he first met Bella, Jacob went to bed dreaming about Desiree instead of Bella.

 

Chapter 4

 

A few days later, Desiree received a letter in the mail from a lawyer, stating that Madeline left her daughter everything, including the house in Massachusetts.  To say she was stunned was an understatement, along with a sum of fifty thousand dollars.  Desiree decided she would give Charlie half of the money and save the other half for a rainy day.  She knew she couldn’t live in Forks forever, but Desiree couldn’t live in her mother’s house.  It would feel too empty without her.

 

It was a Saturday evening, one of Charlie’s nights on duty, though he stopped home for a quick bite to eat.  Desiree made a chicken casserole, something easy and simple, along with mashed potatoes.  She was glad Charlie decided to come home because she had a surprise for him.

 

“Uncle Charlie, I want to give you this.” Desiree slid the sealed white envelope before him on the table, sitting directly across, keeping her eyes on the plate while he opened it.

 

Charlie arched a curious eyebrow, staring at the envelope for what seemed an eternity, before slowly taking it and breaking the seal.  He wished he could read his niece’s mind right now, wondering what was inside, praying it wasn’t something telling him she was leaving.  He slowly slid the piece of paper from the envelope out, turning it over, and dropped the fork on his plate with a loud clang.

 

It was a check made out to him for twenty five thousand dollars.

 

“What the hell is this, Desi?” Charlie finally found his voice, though it was very strained and hoarse at the moment. “Where did you-”

 

“Mom.” She answered softly, already feeling the tears sting her eyes, and stood up from the table. “She left me fifty thousand dollars, along with everything she owned, and the house in Boston…”

 

Charlie was absolutely floored and carefully set the check on the table, afraid he would damage it somehow. “Desi, I can’t…”

 

“Uncle Charlie, please, I kept half of it for myself, but I refuse not to share with you.  You took me in when you didn’t have to and gave me a roof over my head.” A few tears slipped down her cheeks, the pain still very real and Desiree couldn’t hide it; not tonight and especially not from Charlie. “I am begging you to take this money.  If you don’t, I’ll feel betrayed.  Mom would want you to have this just as much as I do.”

 

“Desiree, I can’t.” Charlie sighed, standing up from the table, suddenly feeling weak in the knees, swallowing hard. “I was never there for her...” The guilt was eating him alive and Charlie knew if he took the money, the guilt would suffocate him. “No, I’m not taking it.  Save it, put it toward a college of your choosing or something.  I have to go.”

 

“Uncle Charlie…”

 

“NO!  I’m not taking it, Desiree!” He snapped, immediately regretting it, and swallowed hard at the look in his niece’s reddened eyes.

 

“Yes you are!” She shouted angrily, wiping the tears away from her cheeks, though they kept falling faster. “You will take this money or I’ll move back to Massachusetts!!”

 

Not giving Charlie time to respond, Desiree yanked her black hooded sweatshirt from the chair and ran out the backdoor, just needing some air.  She promised the Cullens…and Jacob…that she wouldn’t enter the woods.  They never said she couldn’t walk outside for some air though and that’s exactly what she needed right now.

 

Sighing heavily, Charlie shook his head sadly, staring back at the check that threatened to fall to the floor.  He walked over and picked it up, deciding he would take the money, but not for himself.  Instead, he would put it in a savings account for his niece, for when she did decide to leave Forks to start her own life.  He would simply say he saved the money for her; she never had to know the truth about what he really did with it.

 

Desiree heard the car pull away from the house and stared up at the moon, heartbreaking tears falling from her green eyes.  She wrapped her arms around herself, wishing she could somehow make this pain diminish.  She loved her mother so much that it was slowly killing her inside not being able to hear her voice or feel her anymore?  Why did she have to go to that stupid prom instead of being at home when her mother died?  Madeline had insisted she went; did she know it was her time and she didn’t want Desiree to see it?  What was the point of putting her through this kind of torment and anguish?

 

Every night Desiree had nightmares of her mother, haunting her every thought and move, calling out to her, blaming her for not being there at her.  Desiree slowly sank to her knees and cried, burying her face in her hands, shoulders shaking.  Every part of her body felt as though knives were stabbing her repeatedly.

 

There was no way to stop it either.

 

It took about an hour before Desiree finally calmed down, the cold wind whipping through her auburn hair.  She slowly stood up, wrapping her arms around herself, feeling very cold.  Crying always lowered her body temperature, so Desiree was freezing, sniffling softly as she wiped the excess tears from her pale cheeks.

 

She turned and was about to go inside the house, when she heard something snap behind her.  Her body whipped back around out of pure instinct, feeling her heart start to accelerate, swallowing past the lump that suddenly formed in her throat.  It sounded like a twig as Desiree’s eyes looked toward the woods, curiosity burning within her.  She had to remember what she promised the Cullens though, the warning flashing in her mind.

 

Deciding it was best to walk away, Desiree swung her leg in the direction of the house, only to stop when she heard another snap.  It sounded like a twig or branch this time and Desiree couldn’t walk away now.  She slowly took a few steps toward the woods, keeping her eyes peeled for any sudden movement, knowing Charlie would have her head if he found out what she was doing.

 

“Hello?” She called softly, stopping just at the edge of where the forest started, standing not even a hundred feet away from the house. “Is someone there?”

 

When nothing happened and no sound was heard, Desiree decided she had to be hallucinating, sighing.  She didn’t even take a step when suddenly a huge crash sounded behind her, forcing her heart to leap and lodge in her throat, preventing her from screaming out.  The huge tree branch fell not even ten feet in front of her, scaring her nearly to death.  The tree branch wasn’t the only thing that scared her though as Desiree stared into cold, dark red eyes that glowed in the darkness.

 

~!~

 

Jake, man, you seriously need to stop moping around.

 

Yeah, you’re starting to get US down, which isn’t cool.

 

Then stop hanging around me. Jacob growled, trotting through the forest, with Quil and Embry following.  They were on patrol for the night, while Sam, Paul and Jared stuck around La Push.  Seth and Leah were down by the Cullens place since Seth enjoyed being around them.  Leah went wherever her brother did, even though she despised the bloodsuckers.

 

Geez, you need to lighten up. Quil grunted, wanting to pounce on Jacob, and started getting in the position of doing so.

 

He obviously forgot about reading other pack member’s minds because Jacob was two steps ahead of him.

 

When Quil leaped, Jacob simply moved and watched, amusedly, as his friend collided with the tree, knocking it down.  Embry was rolling on the ground, coughing out laughter and sticking his tongue out, loving the feeling of the leaves against his fur.

 

Jacob smirked and went behind a huge tree, phasing out of his wolf form, sliding on a pair of black jean shorts, emerging moments later.  Embry and Quil were human again as well. “Did that hurt?” Jacob asked, a smirk playing on the corner of his lips.

 

“No!” Quil snorted with a roll of his eyes, ignoring the scratch on his arm that had already mostly healed.

 

“Too bad, maybe next time I’ll leave a real mark.” Jacob shot back, grunting when he was attacked by both Quil and Embry.

 

He was the strongest, aside from Sam, with natural ability and ridiculous speed.  Not to mention he was also incredibly smart about what he did, for the most part.  Imprinting on Bella’s cousin had been stupidity, even though Jacob knew he couldn’t control it.

 

“Go ahead Black, leave a mark!”

 

Jacob growled, doing a back flip as he leapt into the air, phasing with ease before landing on the ground with a loud thud.  Quil and Embry had already phased as well as the three started wrestling around with each other, snarls and growls echoing throughout the forest.  Just as Jacob bit Quil’s ear, Sam’s voice sounded to them all.

 

Enough! Sam demanded, walking toward all of them. Jacob, there’s trouble at the Swan’s residence.  You have to go NOW.

 

Jacob blinked, having heard the urgency in the alpha’s voice, and immediately took off toward Charlie’s as fast as his paws could take him.  His heart was pounding faster than normal, thinking of only Desiree, hoping he wasn’t too late.  He stopped, hearing an ear piercing scream, and took off toward it.

 

Please don’t be late, please don’t be late. Jacob kept thinking, not stopping even when he was joined by Seth and Leah, his focus on one task only.  Do the Cullens know?

 

Yes, Edward told us to join you on the fun. Seth Clearwater smirked, his teeth flashing momentarily, before growing serious again.

 

So you’ve imprinted on Bella’s cousin, eh?  How very sickening of you. Leah snorted with a roll of her eyes, wondering if any wolves ever imprinted on their own kind.  Apparently not because she’d ran out of luck with both Sam and Jacob.

 

Not now Leah, we have to focus on the problem at hand.

 

Oh shut up, Seth.  Just because YOU like the bloodsucking leeches does NOT mean I have to!

 

ENOUGH BOTH OF YOU! Jacob shouted in his head, stopping both of them from bickering.

 

He knew they would have to listen to him because, technically, he was their alpha.  They broke away from Sam’s pack when the whole Volturi thing occurred, when Jacob turned his back on the pack to save Renesmee.  Seth was first, followed by Leah, who never went anywhere her brother didn’t.  So he was somewhat stuck with them because they gave him their full allegiance.  It still wasn’t an easy thing to accept, but Jacob had no alternative.

 

The three raced through the forest and Jacob just kept praying he wasn’t too late to save Desiree.

 

~!~

 

Desiree had done the only thing she could do and that was bolt as fast as she could in the direction the monster wasn’t blocking.  She tripped over sticks and stones, the forest black with only the faded moonlight to help guide her.  The red eyed monster followed in pursuit, much faster than any regular person had the right to be and Desiree was absolutely terrified, not wanting to die.  She started screaming, looking over her shoulder, only to end up toppling down a steep hill.

 

“Someone help me please!!” She managed to grab a tree branch that stuck out of the ground, tears streaming down her cheeks, the fear starting to numb every part of her body.  Her eyes widened in fright when she felt a hand clamp down harshly on her shoulder, yanking her up from the tree, knowing it was the red eyed monster.  She was powerless against its strength, thrusting her body in every which way.

 

“And just where do you think YOU’RE going, my dear child?”

 

“No, no please!!”

 

Just as the newborn was about to feast on her dinner for the evening, she was suddenly tackled to the ground, dropping the human girl.  Desiree’s head hit a giant rock, the blood seeping from the cut on her forehead and lying motionless while the three huge wolves devoured the newborn, ripping it to pieces.  Blinking several times, though her vision was incredibly blurry, Desiree tried backing up from the huge figure coming toward her, too weak to fight.

 

“P-Please…”

 

“Sshhh…you’re safe now, Desiree.” Jacob’s voice breathed in her ear, having phased back to a human, while Seth and Leah took care of the now destroyed newborn.

 

It was very warm suddenly; Desiree curled up against the warmth, demanding more of it, freezing from how cold it was outside.  It didn’t take long before Desiree completely passed out, going limp, breathing evenly.  Jacob checked her pulse, glad it was beating strong, and decided to bring her back to Charlie’s to fix her up.  He turned and was stopped by the Cullens, cradling Desiree’s body tighter against him.

 

Bella swallowed hard at the protectiveness in Jacob’s eyes, sighing heavily. “What happened, Jake?” She asked, feeling Edward’s arm around her shoulders.

 

“Bloodsucker tried to kill her.” Jacob’s eyes stared down at Desiree, not believing he’d been so close to losing her, running a finger down her cheek. “The deal’s off Bells.”

 

Bella’s eyes narrowed slightly, being taken aback by that.

 

“You promised, Jacob.” Edward reminded him icily, taking a step forward, only for Leah to block their path, having phased back into a wolf.

 

“Bella, you KNOW I can’t help who I imprint on.”

 

“So it’s true?” Bella didn’t want to believe it, but it was hard when the evidence was right in front of her. “You actually…”

 

Jacob nodded, finally looking back at the woman he once loved, knowing that was no longer the case. “Yes, she belongs with me.  She’ll be safe with me because I’ll know when to walk away if things get too dangerous.” He remembered what Sam told him. “I have to bring her back to Charlie’s and get her cleaned up.  She hit her head when the bloodsucker dropped her.”

 

“Jacob, what about what you are?” Bella argued, looking up at her husband for help, but all Edward could do was stand aside.

 

“It’s for him to decide, Bella love.  We can’t interfere with this.  We’ll break the treaty if we do.”

 

“Bella, he won’t hurt her.” Carlisle said, walking over and placing a hand on her shoulder.  “Leave it be.”

 

“Were there anymore of them?” Jasper asked, remembering the real reasoning why they came here.  They had to stop the newborn invasion before it cost someone else their life, like it nearly did Desiree’s.

 

“Alice, do you see anymore?” Rosalie asked, her blonde hair in curls hanging down her back.

 

“Yes, but they are not here yet.  They are moving slowly and I cannot tell which way yet.” Alice replied, having seen the vision of Bella’s cousin running from the newborn.  That’s all she saw though because of Jacob, she couldn’t see past the wolf pack in her visions.

 

“We’ll keep a closer watch on the woods.” Jacob assured them, already heading through the woods toward Charlie’s place, hoping Desiree was alright.

 

The Cullens turned and headed in the opposite direction, hoping Jacob knew what he was doing and he kept their secret about being vampires from Desiree.

 

Chapter 5

 

A soft groan escaped her lips as Desiree hissed out, her head feeling as though it would explode.  Somehow, she managed to pry her eyes open; tears instantly sliding down her cheeks.  A cool cloth pressed against her head, where the pain was mostly coming from, glad the room was dark.

 

“Sshhh relax Desiree, you’re safe.” A deep, husky voice murmured beside her. 

 

Desiree tried placing the voice because it sounded familiar, knowing somehow she wasn’t with that red eyed monster, sighing with relief.  Her eyes instantly closed, feeling warmth run down her cheek, wanting more of it because it was very inviting and she was freezing.  As if sensing what she needed, the warmth on her cheek suddenly spread throughout her body, feeling arms around her, warming her to the core. 

 

Jacob refused to leave her side, knowing she was scared from what happened, and gently began running his fingers through her hair.  He smiled when she snuggled against him; frowning at by how cold Desiree was against him, wanting to warm her up.  He ran at a toasty one hundred and nine so that wasn’t a problem to do.  Anything to make her happy and safe was Jacob’s new goal in life. 

 

Once Desiree was warm again and could think without her head spinning, her eyes slowly opened, adjusting her eyes to the darkness. “Who are you?” She whispered, feeling her hand run up and down a strong muscular chest, the muscles rippling beneath her touch.

 

“I’m insulted you don’t remember me.” Jacob chuckled from low in his throat, feeling her tense, and stared down at her through soft dark eyes. “Relax Desiree, I’m not gonna hurt you.”

 

“Jacob Black?” She blinked, not expecting this, but honestly it felt wonderful that he was here with her.  Instead of pulling away like she should’ve, Desiree simply snuggled further against him, sighing in contentment. “You’re incredibly warm.”

 

“I know.” Jacob smirked; surprised she wasn’t running for the hills, which made him extremely happy. “How’s your head?”

 

“It’s alright; it doesn’t hurt as badly as it did.” She replied softly, staring straight ahead with her head resting against his chest, hearing his heartbeat.  Desiree suddenly wondered why he was here, how he’d known she was in trouble, eyebrows furrowing in thought. “What happened?”

 

“Do you want some aspirin?” Jacob had already reached over her to the nightstand, his arm long enough and grabbed the bottle of Tylenol along with a glass of water, holding two pills out to her.  He was trying to get her mind off of what happened, dark eyes pleading with her silently.  “I don’t want you being in pain, Desiree.  Please?”

 

Sighing resignedly, Desiree popped the two pills and swallowed them, lying back down on the bed, surprised Jacob didn’t have to move once.  That was good.  She didn’t want him going anywhere and snuggled back against his chest, frowning. “You didn’t answer my question.” Desiree wanted to know what happened with the red eyed monster, swallowing hard. “Please tell me Jacob or was I just dreaming and fell out of my bed like an idiot?”

 

He could easily lie to her right now if he wanted to, but Jacob was conflicted.  What if he did tell her what he was?  Would she freak out then?  There was bound to be several things she noticed about him that wasn’t normal, starting with his twenty four hour fever.  He was his own sun, as Bella once told him, immediately pushing that thought aside.

 

“It was the funniest thing.  You were outside in the backyard when I showed up and scared you.  You scare easily by the way.” He chuckled, lying through his teeth, looking down into her eyes.  That was a big mistake because he instantly became lost in them.

 

Desiree rolled her eyes, shaking her head. “Yeah, that sounds like me.  So how did I get the head injury?” She started blushing, remembering the argument she’d had with Charlie, followed by the breakdown, hoping Jacob hadn’t seen any of that.

 

“Well, I came up behind you and tapped your shoulder.  You spun around and tripped over your feet, hitting your head on a rock while trying to catch yourself.” Jacob hated doing this, feeling sickened, but it was better this way…at least for now.  If they became serious, which he had no doubt they would, then he would reveal the truth.

 

“I am such a damn klutz.  And here I thought a red eyed monster chased me through the woods and nearly killed me.”

 

She laughed, more at herself than anything, not believing how wild her imagination was.  She went to move her shoulder and winced, holding it.  Jacob didn’t miss that and immediately pulled her shoulder down, scowling darkly at the rough bruised handprint.  He hadn’t noticed it before, though he was more concerned about her head injury.  Carlisle had come with him at the last second; being a doctor and stitched her head up, assuring Jacob she did not have a concussion.

 

“Are you okay?  Does it hurt?” Jacob asked quietly, breathing in and out slowly, knowing he could not get angry or he’d phase. 

 

That definitely wouldn’t be the best way to tell Desiree.  He simply pressed a soft kiss right over her bandaged, breathing in her scent.  It instantly relaxed him, the smell of lilacs permeating the air, slowly pulling back to stare down into her beautiful jade eyes.

 

Desiree nodded, rolling her shoulder a bit. “It’s just sore.” She assured him, smiling at the amount of worry in his dark eyes. “You don’t have to worry about me, Jacob.  I must’ve cracked it when I tripped.”

 

“Yeah, I didn’t really notice.  I tried catching you.” Jacob mumbled, slowly extracting himself from her arms, feeling completely torn in two about this. 

 

He had to talk to Sam about this, wondering how long it took his mentor before he told Emily about his gift.  If one could even call it that.  There were times Jacob loved being a shape shifter, while others he felt so lost and just wanted to be normal again.  It was like one giant rollercoaster and it didn’t help whenever he phased, the rest of the pack could hear his intimate thoughts.  He absolutely hated that because he never had any privacy.

 

Frowning, Desiree stood up from the bed and walked over to him, still wearing the jeans and long sleeved shirt she’d been wearing prior to her accident.  “Jake, are you alright?” She touched his arm, immediately feeling her eyes widen, but didn’t pull her hand away. “My god you’re burning up…”

 

“I know.” Jacob sighed heavily, not surprised she’d already noticed that. 

 

How could she not notice skin that was one hundred and nine degrees?  It wasn’t normal, at least for a human.  He should technically be dead with that kind of body heat.

 

“Are you feeling alright?” Her voice was very concerned, sounding like an angel’s, at least to Jacob’s ears.  Desiree moved to stand in front of him, reaching up to press her hand against his forehead, swallowing hard. “Jake, I think you should go to the hospital…”

 

His dark eyes narrowed somewhat, knowing there was no way that could happen, and he had no lies to tell her to cover this observation up. “I didn’t hear you complaining earlier about it.” He sniped, raking a hand through his short black hair, knowing it was probably time to leave.

 

Desiree shot him a hurtful expression, folding her arms in front of her chest. “Excuse me?  I wasn’t even coherent or knowing what I was doing.” She shot back defensively, trying not to raise her voice.  It would only make the headache she currently felt worse.

 

“I don’t need a hospital, Desiree.  I’m fit as a fiddle.” Jacob assured her, trying to keep the strain out of his voice, but it was close to impossible. “If anyone should go, it’s you.” Even though he knew Carlisle was the best doctor they had, he still didn’t fully trust the bloodsucker.

 

“Then why are you burning up?” She questioned, raising an eyebrow, seeing Jacob wasn’t making eye contact with her.  Something more was going on with Jacob, but Desiree couldn’t figure it out to save her life.

 

“I’m glad you’re up and better.”

 

Jacob refused flat out to answer that question, slowly turning until his dark eyes met hers.  Those jade orbs were already sucking him in and Jacob felt his world spinning off its axel again.  It happened every time he looked into her eyes; this imprinting was more confusing than he ever dreamt possible.

 

“Thanks…” Desiree chewed her bottom lip, wrapping her arms around herself. “Charlie will be home soon, you should probably go.” That’s the last thing she needed was her uncle coming up to check on her, like he did every night after getting home from work on late nights like these, and finding Jacob standing in her room half naked.

 

Jacob sighed, really not wanting to leave her alone, but knew that was for the best at the moment. “You’re right, wouldn’t want poor Charlie finding you in here with a giant.” He winked, the sparkle back in his mischievous eyes. “Sleep well Desiree.”

 

Before she knew what was happening, Jacob had pulled Desiree into a huge embrace, his face buried in her neck, lifting her up until her feet dangled from the floor.  Her arms instantly wrapped around his neck, holding him close against her, his scent intoxicating and making her head heavy.  It smelled a mixture of musk, gasoline and the woods after a rainstorm.

 

Jacob set her down on her feet, knowing if he didn’t leave now, he wasn’t going to period.  Charlie would have to deal with it because he planned on doing everything he could, without border lining stalking, to make Desiree his.  He gently ran a finger down her cheek, giving her a heart stopping smile, before leaping out of her window.

 

Desiree rushed to the window, watching him land on his feet like a cat, blinking as he ran into the forest, touching her cheek. 

 

There was definitely more to Jacob Black that she wanted to know more about.

 

~!~

 

Sam, I have to talk to you.  It’s important.

 

Where do you want to meet me, Jake?

 

The beach…alone.

 

I’ll be there in twenty minutes. Sam sighed gently, phasing and walked inside the house, looking over at his beautiful fiancée with concern.  The wolf pack could only hear one another when they were wolves, so Jacob had been lucky to contact him when he was just on his way home.

 

“It’s Jake right?” When he nodded, Emily could only shrug her shoulders, smiling softly. “You need to go then.”

 

Sam had a sinking feeling what Jacob wanted to talk about, but wasn’t sure exactly what to tell him. “What do I say to him about her, Em?” He asked quietly, feeling lost, remembering when he told Emily about being a shape shifter.

 

Emily smiled gently, remembering that as well, walking toward him with love shining in her eyes. “You tell him exactly what you did with me.  You tell him how I reacted, how you reacted, everything.”

 

Sam nodded with a smile of his own, pulling her into his strong embrace, and kissed her lips before the scars. “What would I do without you?” He whispered in her ear, closing his eyes, momentarily breathing her sunflower scent in.

 

“I don’t know.” Emily whispered in response, passionately kissing his lips, and felt him break away as he ran out the door to meet Jacob.

 

~!~

 

Jacob didn’t send another calling to his mentor, already knowing Sam would be there.  He had to know how he handled telling Emily, so he had something to go off of on how to handle this.  Maybe he should speak to Emily instead of Sam…gain a woman’s perspective on the whole subject.

 

He phased into a human before leaving the woods, wearing a simple pair of black shorts as always.  He paced the beach back and forth, muscles flexing with every movement, deep in thought about Desiree and these filthy bloodsucker newborns.  He hated the fact she had been attacked already, knowing the only reason she’d gone into the woods was due to running for her life.

 

“Alright I’m here.” Sam’s voice cut through Jacob’s thought process, causing him to turn around. “What’s up?”

 

“Thanks for meeting me, Sam.  I know it’s supposed to be your night off and everything…”

 

Sam held his hand up, cutting Jacob’s words off. “Don’t worry about it.  I know this all has to be very confusing for you and I want to help in any way I can.”

 

Jacob’s eyebrows furrowed, staring back at Sam, finally nodding. “You know then why I asked you here.” His voice was low and gruff, eyes turning to look out at the water again. “Tell me what to do, Sam.”

 

“I can’t tell you what to do, Jake,” Sam paused, walking over to stand beside, who he knew, would be the next alpha of the pack, once he stepped aside.  Not to mention Jacob was his best friend. “But I can tell you what I did with Emily and how she reacted.”

 

Jacob knew anything at this point would help because he was very lost and dumbfounded; never feeling like this about anyone before, not even Renesmee.

 

Sam slowly lowered himself to sit in the sand, staring out at the water, drawing his knees up to rest his elbows on them, taking a deep breath. “The night Emily found out about me being a wolf, I took her up to one of the meadows, wanting us to be completely alone in case she did freak out.  Once we were there, I told Emily I had something very important to talk to her about.  She kept quiet the entire time as I explained about everything, didn’t even make facial expressions.  She thought the whole Quileute tribe being descended by wolves wasn’t true and found it fascinating to find out it was.” Sam chuckled, running a hand through his short hair. “Then she asked me to prove it to her, to make sure I wasn’t messing around.”

 

“She did?” Jacob gaped, blinking; not believing Emily wanted to see Sam change into a monster.

 

“Yeah, at first I told her no way because I didn’t know what would happen if I did.  But she convinced me, telling me that no matter what happened, she would love me forever.” Sam sighed, not believing what a wonderful woman he found in Emily; even though he knew he would always leave a piece of himself with Leah Clearwater, his first love. “When I phased, she touched me without a hint of fear in her eyes.  She stroked my fur and nuzzled my neck, that’s when I knew that we truly belonged together.”

 

“So she accepted you.”

 

“Yes and if your imprint is true with Desiree, then she’ll accept you as well.” Sam was confident in his words, standing up from the sand, knowing it was getting late and he wanted to spend time with Emily on his night off.

 

“When will I know when to tell her?”

 

“Believe me, when the time is right, you will know.” Sam patted Jacob’s shoulder before heading back to La Push.

 

Jacob groaned, gripping the back of his neck with both hands, growling.

 

When would be the right time?

 

Chapter 6

 

The wonderful smell of food flooded the Swan house as Desiree bustled about the kitchen, whistling softly to the radio playing.  Charlie was fine as far as the money went, though Desiree had her suspicions about what he did with it.  At least he took it though, that’s all that mattered.  What he chose to do with the twenty five grand was his decision.  The rain poured gallons outside, which made Desiree happy because she loved this type of weather.

 

As weird as it sounded, rain lifted her spirits.

 

She cleaned the house from top to bottom, did the laundry and now she was making Italian stuffed shells, one of her favorite dishes.  She wore a simple white baby doll that went to mid-thigh –she was insane since she was cooking Italian, which required making sauce- along with black leggings that went just past the knee and fit her like a second skin, feet bare.  The baby doll had a hoop neckline and short sleeves, so it was very comfortable to move in.  Her auburn hair was pulled back in a low messy bun to keep it out of her face while she cooked. 

 

Charlie wouldn’t be home since he was in the next county over for police work, but that didn’t bother Desiree.  She didn’t mind being alone, even though there was only one person she wanted to be there with her.  One person who literally melted her with his dark eyes and beautiful smile; he was beautiful in general with his russet skin and black hair.

 

Jacob Black.

 

The shells were currently boiling as she walked over to the stove, checking them, and nodded, grabbing the pan gloves and slipping them on so she could drain them.  The steam rose, warming the kitchen even further, and Desiree rinsed them off in the strainer before putting them in a different bowl.  She had to stuff them with the different ingredients that consisted of ricotta cheese, mozzarella and a sprinkle of parsley.

 

She washed her hands and sat down at the kitchen table, mixing the ingredients in a separate bowl so she could stuff the noodle shells.  Before she could dig in and start, a knock sounded at the front door, causing her to sigh gently.  Desiree couldn’t ignore whoever it was as she stood up and walked over to answer it, surprise registering on her face at the sight of Jacob.

 

“Hi.” She smiled, trying to keep the surprise from her voice; she hadn’t seen him in about a week, ever since her accident.

 

“Hey.” Jacob grinned, glad to see she was doing well, not missing the sparkle in her jade eyes. “I need to talk to you, do you have a minute?”

 

“Sure, of course.  I’m cooking so I hope you don’t mind talking to me while I’m doing it.”

 

She turned and headed back to the kitchen, not waiting for his answer.  He’d follow, she was sure of it, especially since he had to talk to her about something that sounded important.  Desiree sat back down at the kitchen table, the sauce simmering on the stove, having made it three hours ago.  It was also her special recipe.

 

“It smells incredible in here.” Jacob commented with a grin, the smell mouthwatering, though he didn’t want to be rude. “What’re you making?”

 

“Italian stuffed shells.” Desiree answered before beginning the task, having turned the radio down so she could hear Jacob. “So what did you want to talk to me about?”

 

Jacob blinked, honestly forgetting momentarily because of how wonderful her cooking smelled, his heart doing a funny leap.  Then he noticed what she was wearing, not believing she could be any more beautiful.  How wrong he was and was happy for it.  Then it registered in his mind the reasoning for this visit, smiling sheepishly while she continued.

 

“I remember now, sorry.” Jacob grinned widely, having sat down beside her, just wanting to be close to her. “Okay this is going to sound really strange, but I gotta know.  Are you single?”

 

Desiree blinked, not expecting that type of question, and slowly raised an eyebrow. “Yeah, I am.  Why do you ask?” Her gaze held his briefly before going back to stuffing the shells, knowing the sauce couldn’t simmer much longer.

 

“Just curious.” He smirked, dark eyes sparkling. “Do you want me to help you with those?”

 

“You want to help me cook?” She chuckled, watching him nod, slowly shaking her head, and the smile on her face genuine unlike the other things.  When Desiree smiled, she lit up an entire room, making her even more radiant. “Go wash your hands thoroughly and don’t touch anything, not even the faucet.”

 

“Yes ma’am.” He stood up, snapping his hand up in a salute, laughing when she rolled her eyes in response.

 

He was adorable and she loved his joking nature. “Can I ask you something without you getting angry or uptight?” She asked, once he was sat down with shells and mixture, watching him closely.

 

“Sure, ask me anything baby.”

 

“Okay, that stops right now.” She laughed, setting another shell into the baking pan.  She was making at least three batches, knowing they could be frozen if not all of them were eaten right away.

 

“What stops?”

 

“The calling me baby.  You can call me Des if you want, just not Desi.  I hate that too.”

 

Jacob laughed softly, nodding. “Okay fine, Desire.” He smirked when she gaped, having to set the shell he was currently working on down because of how hard he was laughing.

 

“Oh that is SO not funny, Jacob Black!” Desiree exclaimed, smacking his arm, giggling when he groaned because she had some mixture on her hand.

 

“That is SICK.”

 

“Oh stop being such a BABY.”

 

Jacob made a face, causing Desiree to start giggling uncontrollably, standing up and going to the kitchen to get him a wet washcloth.  She washed her hands, before heading back, blinking when Jacob pulled her on his lap.  She handed him the washcloth, feeling how hot his skin was against hers, though it felt wonderful instead of uncomfortable.

 

“My seat is over there.” She pointed, swallowing hard, feeling his arms wrap around her waist to prevent her from moving.

 

“You owe me something for that baby crack.”

 

Desiree could feel his hot breath on her ear, causing a few tremors to rush through her body, her heartbeat speeding up rapidly. “Oh really?  And you don’t owe me something for that Desire crack?” She retorted swiftly, trying not to show her nerves, biting her bottom lip.

 

Jacob smirked, tapping her hip with his strong fingers as if contemplating it. “Hmm…you have a point.” He admitted grudgingly. “Alright fine, you give me what  I want and I’ll give you anything you want.  Deal?”

 

Her heart was pounding furiously by now, slowly turning her head as their eyes met, breath catching in her throat briefly. “That seems fair I suppose.  What do you want?” She asked, deciding to take him up on this exchange, though she had no idea what she wanted from Jacob besides spending more time with him.  He made her feel…whole…when he was around, even though they barely knew each other, but that could change.

 

Jacob chuckled huskily, reaching up to run a finger down her cheek, not caring about having to wash them again. “You first.” He searched her eyes, looking for any sign of fear, and was pleased not to find any.

 

“Nope.” Desiree shook her head, folding her arms in front of her chest stubbornly. “This was your idea, so you go first.”

 

“You are very stubborn.” He snorted derisively, rolling his eyes when she just flashed an innocent smile.

 

“I know, I’ve been told that a time or two.” She admitted, not pulling her gaze from his, truly curious about what he wanted. “Just spit it out, Jacob.  What do you want from me?”

 

Oh if she only knew. 

 

Jacob sighed gently, all the joking aside, tightening his arms around her waist a little more so she couldn’t move. “I came here to ask you if you wanted to come to La Push with me tomorrow night for a bonfire.  The reservation usually has one during every full moon to honor our ancestors and tomorrow it’s a full moon.  I want you to come, it’s a lot of fun and you need to get out of this house.”

 

Not able to deny that fact, Desiree stared into his eyes, an even bigger smile crossing her red lips. “That’s what you want?” When he nodded, Desiree kissed his cheek, slowly pulling back by the feverish skin. “You’re burning up again.”

 

“I’m always this warm and it’s really hot in here.” Jacob decided he could use that excuse, fingering her chin between his thumb and forefinger so she couldn’t look away from him. “So will you come to La Push?”

 

“Of course, that sounds like fun.” She said it without hesitation, actually wanting to go, having been a homebody ever since her mother’s death. “You didn’t need to arrange a swap to ask me that you know.”

 

Jacob grinned, pressing his forehead against hers, and slowly pulled back. “You can have anything you want, especially now that you agreed to come to the bonfire.  It saved me the hassle of kidnapping you.” He winked, loving the sound of her laughter.

 

“Let’s finish this up first.” She suggested, slowly extracting herself from his arms, his smell invigorating like always. “You can stay for dinner if you want.”

 

“I wouldn’t miss this for the world.” Honestly, Jacob had the night off patrolling the woods, and all he wanted to know was spend time with Desiree so this was perfect.

 

Together, they finished stuffing the shells before preparing them to bake in the oven.  It took about a half an hour to do three, thanks to Jacob’s help.  While they baked, Desiree washed and rinsed the dishes while Jacob dried and put them away.  They were like a well oiled machine, talking about anything that came to mind.

 

“It’ll take about two hours before the shells are done.” She informed him, hoping he had the time to stay over.

 

“I have the entire night, Des.” He assured her, grinning when a flush came to her cheeks, turning them a deep crimson red.  She was exquisite in every way and Jacob wondered if he’d ever find any flaws.

 

“Charlie won’t be here until sometime tomorrow afternoon, so we pretty much have the house to ourselves.” She handed him the last pan the sauce had been simmered in, watching how smooth his moves were, admiring every part of him and etching it into her mind.

 

Jacob finished and took her hands, guiding her out of the kitchen toward the living room. “I’ll stay as long as you want me to.” He said once they were seated, having pulled her to sit sideways on his lap again.

 

‘Forever.’ She thought, refusing to say that aloud, smiling. “Doesn’t really matter to me, I’m just glad you’re here.” She admitted, tucking a strand of loose hair behind her ear, finally pulling the ponytail out as free auburn locks fell down her back in shiny waves.

 

Grinning boyishly, Jacob pressed his forehead to the side of her head, knowing just by that statement alone she wanted to spend time with him. “I am too, sweetheart.” He pulled back to stare into her jade eyes, getting lost as always. “Do you mind if I call you that?”

 

“No not at all.” She murmured softly, knowing they didn’t need a fire because Jacob’s body felt like it already was. “Okay, now that we’re comfortable and relaxed, I know what I want from you.”

 

“Why do I get the feeling you’re about to pull the rug out from under me?”

 

Desiree rolled her eyes, nudging him playfully, the smile diminishing from her face.  She took his hand in her own, lacing their fingers together, taking in a deep breath. “I want to know why you’re so warm all the time.” She stopped him from interrupting by placing a finger against his soft lips. “You can tell me all the stories and lies you want, but I gave you what you want.  Now I want to know why you have a constant fever.”

 

Jacob swallowed hard, not expecting something so demanding, when all he did was ask her out on a date of sorts. “Des…” He sighed, pressing his forehead to hers, closing his eyes, battling inner demons left and right. “It’s very complicated.”

 

“I can deal with complicated.  Just please tell me so I don’t keep constantly worrying about you.”

 

The amount concern in her eyes split Jacob apart, but he knew he couldn’t tell her.  It wasn’t the time or place, even though they were alone. “How about this,” He chuckled when she let out a resigned sigh. “I will tell you…when I feel we know each other better and you can trust me.”

 

“Is it really that big of a deal?” Desiree asked quietly, looking up to meet his eyes again, deciding to drop it for now. “Alright, I won’t ask again.  Just tell me one thing though.”

 

“What?”

 

“Do I have to constantly keep worrying about you?”

 

Jacob chuckled, shaking his head, kissing her forehead softly. “No, you can stop the worrying and rest easy.  I’m perfectly healthy.” He assured her, his eyes shining with truth.

 

Desiree couldn’t understand how that was possible, but she was going to take Jacob’s word for it, knowing she had no choice right now. “Okay fine, since you won’t tell me that, I have another question.”

 

“Hmmm…I suppose that’s fair.” Jacob winked, placing his hand on her thigh as he slowly ran it up and down in a caressing nature, showing her she could trust him.  “What do you want to know besides the temperature thing?”

 

“Do you like me?” She couldn’t meet his gaze, looking down at her own hands, which were clasped together, chewing her bottom lip thoughtfully.

 

Not believing she really asked that, Jacob slowly lifted her chin with his strong, muscular hand, wondering how to respond. “More than you’ll ever know, Desiree.” His voice was low and husky, hot breath blowing in her face, making her head dizzy. “Let me prove it to you.”

 

“How?” She breathed, chest rising and falling rapidly.

 

Jacob smirked, tucking a strand of hair behind her ear, his face mere inches from hers.  His own heart was pounding, knowing she could probably feel it, but he didn’t care.  He wanted her to believe wholeheartedly he truly liked her, even though Jacob was already in love.  Imprinting was stronger than being in love; he was bound to her for eternity, no matter what the price.  She belonged to him just as much as he belonged to her. 

 

Nothing would ever change that.

 

Very slowly, not wanting to scare her, Jacob’s lips pressed against hers in a soft, gentle kiss, the spark between them instant, showing her exactly what he wanted.

 

Chapter 7

 

“You’ve completely lost your mind, dog.”

 

Jacob stopped, having smelled Bella a mile away, curling his upper lip over his teeth, trying to maintain the anger building.  He’d just had an incredible night with Desiree, having stayed with her until she fell asleep.  His eyes narrowed as Bella stepped out of the shadows, far enough away from the house so Desiree wouldn’t be disturbed.

 

“No, I’m very sane actually, bloodsucker.” Jacob retorted with a snort, surprised when he felt nothing from calling Bella that.

 

“Jake, what the hell are you doing?  Do you have any idea what will happen if-

 

“If what?  She finds out about me?  She seems to accept me so far, hot skin and all.” He smirked, remembering her earlier question and his compromise with her.  That’s what it was going to take to make this work with Desiree was a lot of compromising. “I’m not gonna stop seeing her, Bella.”

 

“What makes you think she’ll accept you after she finds out what you can do?  That you turn into a filthy beast?” Bella immediately regretted saying those words, swallowing hard as Jacob stalked toward her, towering over her.

 

Jacob was doing everything in his power not to phase, tightening his hands on his sides so hard, his knuckles turned white. “You didn’t seem to mind when you found out about me.” He shot back through gritted teeth, trembling slightly. “She’ll do the same thing.”

 

Bella shook her head, not liking this at all. “Jake, she’s not me.  She’s the complete opposite of me actually.  She will run away from you if you reveal the truth.  Look I know that I hurt you, but-”

 

“This has NOTHING to do with you, Bella!  God you are so self-righteous, thinking the entire universe revolves around you!  Guess what, here’s a new flash for you, bloodsucker, it DOESN’T!” Jacob snarled right in her face, dark eyes flashing dangerously, and had to take a step back before he did something he would surely regret. “I thought I loved you Bella, I really did.  But you ended that the moment you chose that bloodsucker over me and I’ve accepted it.  And now you come here and try to ruin the happiness I’ve finally found?  I don’t care if it’s your cousin and I KNOW she’s not you.  She’s NOTHING like you and I’m thankful for that.  She’s beautiful, sweet, funny, headstrong, full of life...I could literally go on all night about her.  She’s in a shell right now, but I’m slowly cracking it open.  And when the time is right, I am gonna tell her because I want to be honest with her about every part of me.  So back off, before you DO get hurt, Bella.”

 

Nothing was going to stand in the way of Jacob being with Desiree, especially the woman who nearly broke him.

 

“You wouldn’t hurt me.” Bella’s voice was low and soft, knowing if she could cry she’d already be doing it because his words cut through her like a sharp knife. “Jake, I know I hurt you and I’m sorry…”

 

“Stop it.” Jacob held up his hand, silencing her. “I don’t care about that anymore.  It doesn’t even matter.  I was never meant to be with you…” His eyes turned to stare at Charlie’s house, dark eyes softening at the window he knew linked to Desiree’s bedroom. “I’m meant to be with her.”

 

Bella’s golden eyes followed his, remembering a time when he was the one who came to her, making sure she was safe.  She chose her path by becoming immortal so she could be with Edward forever and didn’t regret that decision.  But what she did regret was how much she truly hurt her best friend, her sun, the man who helped her through the pain when Edward left her.

 

“Is there any way to convince you not to do this?” Bella whispered, turning her eyes back to him, sighing heavily when he merely shook his head.

 

“I love her and I can’t stay away from her no matter how hard I try, Bella.”

 

“But why her?  Why does it have to be a part of my family?” Bella groaned, raking a hand through her hair, sighing heavily. “I don’t want her finding out about us, Jacob.”

 

“You do realize that even if I were to leave her alone she’d find a way to me?  Because that’s what imprinting does.  It links the souls of two together and, no matter where they are in the world, they can find each other.” Jacob stated, informing her of what he already knew, folding his arms in front of his chest. “What makes you think I’d even tell her what YOU are anyway?”

 

“So you’re only going to tell her just about the pack and nothing more?”

 

“There’s no reason for me to tell her about bloodsuckers.” Jacob rolled his eyes, leaning against a tree, having walked a few from Bella in case he did phase. “I refuse to keep the truth from her about me though.”

 

“When do you plan on telling her?” Bella asked, knowing there was no way to convince Jacob to leave her cousin alone. 

 

His mind was already made up, which didn’t set well with her.  She felt like gouging his eyes out with her long fingernails, but knew that wouldn’t do any good.  They weren’t enemies anymore and she couldn’t let Desiree come between them.

 

Jacob turned away from her, staring into the woods, remembering what Sam told him. “When the time is right, but for now, I just want to get to know her better.  When she can fully trust me and vice versa, then she’ll know.  I’ll know when the time comes.” He cracked a smile, still not believing she agreed to go to La Push for the bonfire, feeling his heart do another funny leap.

 

“I’m sorry for coming here and trying to convince you not to see her.  I guess it was a huge waste of time.”

 

“Yeah it was.  Just focus on your own life being a bloodsucker and leave it alone.” Jacob’s voice held warning, eyes narrowing slightly. “Because if you don’t, if you ruin this for me, I will destroy you.” With that said, Jacob ran into the forest away from her, not feeling the stabbing pain in his heart like he normally would have, and smiled. 

 

It was because of Desiree.

 

~!~

 

Bella knew this was a huge risk to take, but she had to at least try.  She didn’t take Jacob’s threat to heart, thinking he would never be able to hurt her.  Edward didn’t know she was here either, due to the shield power she acquired when she became a vampire.  So nobody knew she was making this visit, knowing the Cullens would’ve stopped her had they known.  As far as Edward knew, Bella was out hunting mountain lions.

 

The door opened moments later, Desiree standing there in a pair of blue jeans with a long sleeved pale purple shirt, hair pulled up in a ponytail, bangs angled to perfection over her forehead, fanning just above her eyes. “Hi Bella.” Desiree blinked, surprised to find her cousin standing on the porch.

 

“Desiree, I need to talk to you.  May I come in for a moment?”

 

“Sure, of course.” She swallowed hard, allowing Bella to step inside the house, closing the door behind her as they ventured into the living room to talk. “Is everything okay?”

 

Bella sighed, lowering herself into a chair, wearing a beautiful black velvet dress with long sleeves, her hair down, pooling over her shoulders. “That depends.” She finally answered, gaze looking around the house, seeing nothing had changed since she left.

 

“On what?”

 

“How do you feel about Jacob Black?” Bella asked, getting right down to business, knowing beating around the bush wouldn’t help matters any. 

 

The moment she spoke his name, Desiree’s face broke out in a wide smile, jade eyes sparkling with happiness, cheeks flushing crimson. “I really like him a lot.” She tucked a strand of hair behind her ear, taking a deep breath. “He makes me feel…whole, complete.  He makes me feel alive and he’s so warm.” She sighed, not just talking about his skin temperature. “I’m hoping he asks me to be his girlfriend.”

 

“He’s dangerous Desiree.” Bella stated sternly, golden eyes flashing, watching her cousin squirm uncomfortably on the couch. “You don’t know what he’s capable of…”

 

“What do you mean he’s dangerous?” Desiree slowly stood up from the couch, Bella doing the same thing, eyes widened slightly. “He’s never hurt me, Bella.”

 

“But he could.  He could hurt you without realizing it.” Bella had to make her see, knowing Jacob would try killing her for this, but she had to protect what was left of her human family. “Please don’t think I’m doing this because I don’t want you two to be together.  That’s not the case at all.”

 

“Really?  Because it sure as hell sounds like it.” Desiree shot back defensively, folding her arms in front of her chest. “Who I decide to date is none of your business, Bella.”

 

“Please listen to me!” The urgency in her cousin’s voice actually scared Desiree, which is what Bella wanted. “Please, this has nothing to do with me.  It’s about you and that’s all that matters right now.  You and Charlie.  Jacob is not who you think he is!  He’s a monster, Desiree, and he will hurt you if he loses control.” That was a little white lie because Bella knew how gentle Jacob was, but she had to say something to scare her cousin away.  She couldn’t allow her to find out the truth about them, hoping she didn’t go snooping around like she had when she first met Edward.

 

“I’m willing to take that chance.” Desiree stated, refusing to believe a word her cousin said, tears pricking her eyes. “He is the first guy I’ve met in a very long time that I’ve felt this strongly for in such a short period of time.  I don’t care if he hurts me.  I want to be with him.”

 

Bella could see how strong and deep her feelings ran for Jacob, knowing exactly what that felt like.  It was as strong as how she felt for Edward.  She was stubborn and bullheaded, refusing to give him up for anything or anyone, including Jacob.  Edward was her soul mate and she knew, no matter how much she hated admitting it, that Desiree felt the same way about Jacob or she wouldn’t be fighting this so hard.

 

“Even though we’re not close, I still consider you family.” Bella said in a quiet voice, sitting back down, looking down at her clasped hands. “I know exactly how you feel because that’s how it is with Edward.  I would die for him and still love him even if he hurt me.”

 

“That’s exactly how I feel about Jacob.” Desiree swallowed hard, sitting back down as well, eyebrows furrowed together. “I know there’s something else going on and he told me he’d tell me eventually.  And I know there’s also something going on with you because of how drastically you’ve changed, Bella.”

 

“We were only seven the last time we saw each other until recently.” Bella argued, not wanting her cousin getting suspicious because that would blow their cover for sure. “Nothing has changed about me.”

 

“Yes it has and, actually, you were ten years old.  We’re three years apart, Bella.” Desiree corrected, arching a slow eyebrow. “Your eyes were never gold, they were brown and you’re pale white…”

 

“There are a lot of pale people around here, Desiree.” Bella leaned back against the chair, crossing one leg over the other. “I assure you there’s nothing going on that you’re not aware of.”

 

Desiree couldn’t deny that fact, considering all it ever did in Forks was mostly rain.  Though today was one of the rare sunny days, even though the sun was descending on the horizon.  Jacob would be here soon, she still had to get ready, deciding to change her top after Bella left.

 

“Like I said, I’ll find out eventually.  It doesn’t matter what’s going on with him because I don’t scare away easily.” Desiree stated strongly, knowing she wanted to be with Jacob in every way possible, even if all they wound up being was friends. 

 

She just wanted him in her life.

 

“Alright, fair enough.” Bella nodded, deciding it was better to just leave this alone, and let fate take over.  She would still protect Desiree at any costs, even if it meant from Jacob, hoping this wasn’t a fatal mistake. “I’m sorry for upsetting you.”

 

“It’s fine, don’t worry about it.” Desiree smiled genuinely, letting Bella know everything was fine between them. “I understand you’re concerned because he’s your friend or whatever, but I’m not made of porcelain.  I can take care of myself.”

 

Bella chuckled softly, feeling a little more relaxed about this, running a hand through her hair. “Believe me when I say I KNOW how it feels to be treated as if you are made of glass.  Edward was very protective of me for years, until I could show him I could take care of myself.  And even now he’s still overprotective of me.  He gave me a car with bullet proof windows.” She laughed softly, remembering going to a gas station and being stared at because of how slick the car was.

 

Desiree laughed, shaking her head. “Did he really?” She giggled when Bella proceeded to tell her the other features the car had, wondering if Jacob would ever be that protective. “That would drive me completely bonkers if a guy ever did that.”

 

“Yeah well, Jacob is protective of what he cares deeply about, but nothing compared to Edward.  It makes me wonder how I dealt with it.”

 

“Love.” Desiree nodded emphatically, the word coming out strong with no doubt.

 

“That is the only explanation.” Bella knew it was getting late and decided to take her leave, hoping when Alice read her mind, she didn’t go tell Edward. “I should probably go.  Renesmee will be looking for me.”

 

“Oh okay, well thanks for stopping by.” Desiree stood up along with Bella, guiding her to the front door, smiling softly. “And tell my second cousin I said hi.”

 

Bella chuckled, turning to face Desiree, nodding. “I will do that.  Just be careful, alright?” She hugged her briefly, knowing the contact could only last for a few seconds.  Her throat was already burning with need, knowing she would have to hunt now before going home. 

 

“I will, you don’t have to worry about me.” Desiree assured her and watched as Bella walked out of the house, wondering what she meant by saying Jacob was dangerous. 

 

It never occurred to Desiree he was dangerous because he was always gentle with her, especially last night.  The way he kissed her made her heart literally stop in her chest, her breathing erratic, every tendon in her body lit on fire.  She loved the feeling of his burning hands as they seared through her shirt, almost melting it off of her, even though that wasn’t possible.  Desiree shivered at the memory, closing the door, and knew Jacob would be there shortly to pick her up for the bonfire.

 

She headed upstairs, peeling the pale purple top off, and decided on an emerald green baby doll that had a black buckle linked to it, clasping around her waist.  It was short sleeved, but Desiree had a jacket for that, not to mention leaning against Jacob in front of a bonfire would be plenty of heat.  She changed out of her blue jeans, pulling black suede pants on instead.  She left her hair the way it was, applying fresh thin black eyeliner along with clear gloss.

 

Her heart nearly skipped a beat when the doorbell rang, knowing it was Jacob.

 

Chapter 8

 

“You look sensational.” Jacob commented as soon as Desiree opened the door, blinking repeatedly.

 

Desiree blushed, admiring what he was wearing, her breath hitching in her throat.  His upper body was covered in a tight long sleeved black shirt that stretched across his strapping chest and arms, outlining his muscular form.  He wore a pair of dark blue jeans that fit him perfectly, his short hair shaggy and fanning over his dark eyes.

 

“I could say the same thing for you.” Desiree replied, when she finally found her voice, swallowing hard.

 

“I’ve got nothing on you, sweetheart.” He took her hand and pulled her into his arms, those jade eyes captivating him instantly. “There’s no word I can use that’ll be good enough to tell you how you truly look.”

 

“It’s not too much, right?  I didn’t know-” She sighed when his finger pressed against her lips, silencing her.

 

“You look perfect.” Jacob whispered huskily, pulling his finger away and gently brushed his lips against hers, smiling when he felt her shiver. “I couldn’t resist…”

 

“I don’t want you to, Jake.” She murmured, loving the look in his dark eyes. “Kiss me again.”

 

His blood was on fire, blazing at her request, and Jacob couldn’t deny her even if a gun was pressed against his head.  He felt her grip his arms for support, their lips meeting in a passionate, searing kiss that left both of them completely breathless and aching for more.  His burning hand slid up her back, cupping the back of her neck, and groaned as soon as she opened her mouth for access. 

 

He took it without hesitation, their tongues dueling, twisting together almost violently with need.  Desiree’s arms instantly wrapped around his neck, pressing herself as close to him as she possibly could, feet dangling above the porch.  Jacob had to pull away before he ended up skipping the bonfire altogether, pressing his forehead against hers.  Desiree was thankful for his arms because her knees were currently weakened.

 

“We better go.” His voice was gruff and low, slowly lowering Desiree back on her feet, breathing heavily.

 

Desiree could only nod, the passion haze slowly lifting from her mind, making it easier to think rationally.  She reached up, touching her lips with her fingertips, shaking from how intense that kiss was.  They were slightly swollen and incredibly warm, making her smile.  Pulling away, Desiree took his hand, lacing their fingers together, jade eyes no longer clouded, but instead shimmering in the night.

 

“Lead the way, Jake.”

 

“Please tell me I didn’t scare you.” Jacob was worried now, having watched her reaction, swallowing hard even though she laced their fingers together. “Des, I didn’t mean to lose control…”

 

“I don’t scare away easily, Jacob Black.” She assured him with a wink, laughing as Jacob pulled her off of the porch, spinning her around once and set her down on the ground. “I fully enjoy when you lose control.”

 

Jacob arched a slow eyebrow, wondering if Desiree was thinking clearly, knowing how easily he could lose control with her.  That part scared him; he didn’t want to lose control, at least not in the sense of phasing.  Sighing, Jacob guided her to his black Harley Davidson Sprint, smirking when she stopped to admire it.

 

“Do you like bikes?”

 

“I’ve never rode one before.” Desiree admitted, biting her bottom lip, seeing the anxiety in Jacob’s eyes. “But I’m willing to try anything once.”

 

Jacob felt low, not even thinking about how Desiree would feel riding on the back of his bike. “Oh damn I’m sorry, Des.  I wasn’t even thinking…”

 

“Relax Jake,” She laughed, having to pause. “You are too tense.” Walking past him, Desiree winked as she swung a leg over the bike, straddling it with ease.  Jacob instantly blinked, walking over to her, and smirked wickedly as he mounted in front of her.

 

“You sure about this?” He asked over his shoulder, feeling her arms snake around his waist, holding on tightly.  When she nodded, Jacob had no more doubts in his mind as he revved the engine, sending tremors through their bodies. “HOLD ON!” He shouted over the motor before slowly creeping out on the road. 

 

Desiree felt her heart skip a beat as Jacob took off, clinging to him for dear life, glad her hair was back in a tight ponytail.  It was pure exhilaration that flowed through her, not believing how fast he was going, or so she thought.  It just felt that way, but Jacob knew better than to break the speed limit laws.

 

Before she knew it, the ride was over as the bike came to a stop, Desiree looking around at her surroundings, smiling.  It was a beautiful reservation border lining the Pacific Ocean.  She could feel the cool ocean breeze on her face as Jacob dismounted, turning to face her.

 

“Are you okay?” He asked hesitantly, lifting her up by the waist like she was a feather, planting her on her feet in front of him.

 

“I’m more than okay.  That was absolutely fantastic!” She beamed, feeling her legs trembling slightly, but that just added to the adrenaline flooding through her. “That was such a rush!”

 

“I know, thrilling isn’t it?” Jacob grinned from ear to ear, glad she enjoyed the ride.

 

“I don’t even think that’s the word.” She reached up, hugging him tightly around the neck, and kissed his hot cheek. “Thank you so much.”

 

“My pleasure.” Jacob said in a low voice, inhaling her scent, and gave her a gentle squeeze. “Come on, I want to show you off.”

 

Desiree flushed, knowing she was nothing special, at least in her own mind.  To Jacob, she was the most beautiful creature on the planet and deserved to be on the highest pedestal.  He guided her by the hand toward the area where they’d have the huge bonfire. 

 

Jacob pulled her against his side, wrapping an arm around her waist and smiled when Desiree instantly melted against him.  The sun was just setting, giving out a soft glow, bringing out the golden highlights in her hair.  She looked like an angel and Jacob was very lucky to have found her, refusing to ever let Desiree go.

 

“Jake over here, man!” Paul called with a smile, lifting another tree trunk for someone to sit on, acting as if it weighed nothing.

 

“He’s truly the showoff.” Jacob grunted, rolling his eyes. “Paul, I want you to meet someone.”

 

“This must be the famous babe you’ve been thinking about.” Paul winked, causing Desiree to flush even more, not believing Jacob had been talking about her to his friends. “Desire right?”

 

“Desiree.” She corrected instantly, shooting a glare up at Jacob, who just groaned in exasperation.

 

“Sorry, they…figured it out.” Jacob almost said read his mind, but that couldn’t be told yet.  He looked at Paul once, his eyes telling him silently –if Sam hadn’t already- that she didn’t know about the shape shifting yet.

 

“Didn’t mean to embarrass ya, honey.” Paul chortled, waving Jacob off dismissively. “You are beautiful, he was right about that.”

 

“Paul, leave the poor girl alone and get your own date.” Emily chastised from behind, shaking her head, carrying a huge plate of muffins that were fresh out of the oven.

 

Jacob cursed mentally, forgetting to warn Desiree about Emily’s face. “Don’t stare at her face, it bothers Sam.” He whispered in her ear quickly, flashing a smile at Emily as she came toward them. “Hey Em, what did you make this time?”

 

“Take a bite and find out.” She retorted with a laugh, eyes landing on the auburn beauty. “Hi, I’m Emily.  You must be Desiree.”

 

She sighed with inner relief when the woman called her that inside of Desire, deciding she would pay Jacob back for that somehow. “It’s nice to meet you.” Desiree replied politely, taking the woman’s extended hand. “And yes, you got my name right.”

 

“Oh good, I was hoping you weren’t named Desire.  That would be a little weird.”

 

Desiree laughed softly. “Yeah, you have no idea how much I was teased in school because of my name.  Did you need some help?” She asked, not wanting to a total stick in the mud, enjoying helping others.

 

“If Jacob wouldn’t mind, I do have other dishes that I still need help preparing.” Emily smiled sweetly, already pulling Desiree away from Jacob, who looked very apprehensive. “Don’t worry, I’ll return her eventually.”

 

Jacob groaned, running a hand through his hair. “Em, just don’t torture her too much.” He begged, already knowing the woman was going to talk to Desiree and this was her subtle way of separating them.

 

“You worry too much.” Emily laughed along with Desiree, who agreed wholeheartedly, both women walking inside of the house.

 

“She’s a fox, man!” Paul grinned as soon as the women were out of earshot, nudging Jacob. “How the hell did you manage to snag her?”

 

“Trust me, I keep asking myself that same question repeatedly.”

 

“He imprinted, he can’t help it.” Sam stated from behind, having brought the last big batch of wood and cardboard to burn. “And I haven’t even got to meet her yet.”

 

“She’s inside with Em.” Jacob grunted, clearly not liking that idea. “I hope she doesn’t grill Desiree.”

 

“Who’s Desiree?” Quil asked, walking up with Embry, Jared on his other side.  They all were shirtless due to their constant fevers.

 

“That’s Jacob’s new girl, moron.” Embry rolled his eyes and groaned when Quil put him in a headlock, both guys beginning to wrestle.

 

Meanwhile, in the kitchen, Emily was really enjoying her conversation with Desiree, who couldn’t stop smiling. “You really like Jake don’t you?”  It was more of a statement than a question, chuckling when Desiree blushed.

 

“Is it really that obvious?” She sighed when Emily nodded, busy chopping walnuts that had to be sprinkled on top of the two layer vanilla cake with white frosting.

 

“Yeah but don’t worry.  You’re not alone.  Jacob thinks the world of you; he can’t stop talking about you.” Emily said reassuringly, stopping her chopping of pecans that were also going on the cake.  “There is something I want to tell you about him, Desiree.”

 

 Desiree stopped chopping as well, looking up at Emily, completely bypassing the scars that marred the right side of her face.  She’d ask Jacob about it later on, if she remembered, though they really didn’t bother her.  Emily was still beautiful with olive oil skin and deep dark eyes, black satin hair that was currently pulled up in a bun with two chopsticks holding it in place, a few tendrils framing her face.

 

“What about him?” Desiree asked quietly, sliding the chopped walnuts in a bowl, feeling her heart start racing rapidly.

 

“Well, actually it’s about your cousin…Isabella.” She practically spat that name out, swiping the pecans into a separate bowl, before starting on the cashews. “She really ripped Jacob apart emotionally when she decided to choose Edward over him.”

 

Green eyes widened suddenly as Desiree’s head whipped up, seeing the seriousness in Emily’s eyes. “What are you…are you saying they were…what?” She couldn’t even form a single sentence, not ever knowing about Bella and Jacob’s relationship. “I thought they were…friends…”

 

“You didn’t know?” Emily tensed when Desiree shook her head, mentally cursing, knowing Jacob was going to kill her if he found out she spilled the beans so to speak.

 

“No, will you tell me though?  I swear I won’t say anything.” Desiree wanted to know what happened between Bella and Jacob that was so bad, that was making Emily act like a protective mother.

 

Emily nodded, knowing she couldn’t back down now, and continued slicing the almonds as the explanation began.  She told Desiree everything –except the shape shifting, Jacob could handle that in time-, from when Edward left Bella for eight months and Jacob was there to pick up the pieces.  How Jacob fell deeply in love with Bella, only for the retch to turn around and rip his heart out of his chest as soon as Edward returned.

 

“She basically used him, Desiree, to get over the grief of Cullen leaving her.  Jacob was absolutely devastated and fought tooth and nail to be with her, to make her choose him.  In the end, it didn’t matter and he actually left the reservation because the pain was so bad, he couldn’t stand living in the same town, let alone the same state, as her.” Emily sighed, finishing up with the cashews, before turning to the almonds while Desiree started sprinkling the topping on the cake.

 

“And you think I’m using him too to get over the grief of my mother’s death?” Desiree’s voice was quiet and low, no anger obvious in it, her heart breaking by how much pain Bella put Jacob through. 

 

Nobody deserved that, especially him.  It made her wonder, though, if the only reason he wanted to be with her was because she was related to Bella.  It would make sense for him to use her in that way, but it would also tear Desiree’s heart to shreds if that was true.  Desiree had to look away and blinked tears back, not even able to grasp that concept of being used, especially by the man who had already stolen her heart.

 

“No, I don’t actually.  I think you really do care deeply for him, maybe even love him.  I’m just telling you that Jacob has been through a lot with your family, which I know isn’t your fault, but he’s like a son to me.  I don’t want him going through that pain ever again.” Emily explained gently, seeing how much this was upsetting Desiree, and set her knife down to walk around the island, pulling the girl into her arms. “I’m not telling you this to upset you, please believe that.  Jacob really does care a great deal for you.  He’s not a user and sometimes he doesn’t think before he acts.  I just want to make sure that no matter what happens, no matter what the future holds, you won’t hurt him in that way.  You won’t choose someone else after playing with his emotions and heart.  Do you understand, Desiree?”

 

“Yes.” She whispered, hugging Emily back and pulled away as she wiped a few stray tears away from her eyes. “I would never hurt him that way.  He doesn’t deserve that.  I feel so connected to him that it’s scary, but I can’t ignore it.  It just keeps getting stronger and every time I see him, I just feel complete and whole, like nothing in the world, not even my mother’s death, can hurt me.” Desiree sighed, knowing that sounded absolutely ridiculous. “I’m sorry; I just wanted to assure you that I will never Jacob like that.  He’s the only one I want.  Have you ever felt that way?”

 

Emily nodded and glanced at the door, hearing the guys yelling, probably wrestling. “Just once and I’m going to marry him in just a few short months.” The small ring on her left ring finger caught Desiree’s eye.

 

“Congratulations.” Desiree smiled, truly meaning that, seeing nothing but love in Emily’s eyes whenever she mentioned Sam’s name.  It was raw and true, powerful…she hoped she didn’t look like that whenever she mentioned Jacob’s name, already feeling her cheeks growing hot.

 

“Thank you and I’m sorry if I did upset you.”

 

“Don’t worry about it, Emily.  I understand and we’ll keep it between us.  I don’t need to worry Jacob anymore than he already is.” She laughed, Emily joining moments later, and they finished up the rest of the food before taking it out toward the bonfire Sam had already started.

 

Chapter 9

 

“Whoa, this looks incredible Em!” Paul exclaimed, grinning from ear to ear, munching on a huge muffin, one of Emily’s specialties.

 

“Of course it does.  I made it.” Emily retorted, laughing softly and sighed as Sam’s arms wrapped around her waist, pulling her close.  She kissed him and giggled when he started raining kisses all over her face, tapping his nose. “Behave.”

 

“I’ll try.” Sam grunted, releasing his fiancée, slowly turning to face Jacob’s date for the evening.  She was stunning, no doubt about it, but nothing could compare to Emily’s beauty. “Sorry we didn’t get a chance to meet earlier, I’m Sam Uley.”

 

Desiree smiled, taking his extended hand, giving it a gentle shake. “It’s a pleasure to meet you, Sam.  I’m Desiree Swan.” Her mother had changed her last name soon after her father left, which Desiree was very thankful for.

 

“Likewise, so what do you think of La Push?” He asked, Emily sitting down since all the food was outside, the fire keeping any bugs away, even though it was chilly outside.  He was glad the moon was out with stars, which rarely happened.

 

“It’s beautiful here, truly.  I’ve always loved the ocean.” Desiree admitted, glancing over at Jacob, who was busy inhaling a muffin.  He looked so cute and she couldn’t help laughing, green eyes dazzling.

 

Sam nodded and walked over, smacking Jacob upside the head. “Don’t you have any manners?” He demanded jokingly, sitting down beside his fiancée and took a muffin of his own.

 

“No, why?” Jacob asked with a blatant mouth full of food, causing everyone to laugh.

 

Sam scowled, rolling his eyes, and kissed the top of Emily’s head.

 

“You just love antagonizing him don’t you?” Desiree nudged Jacob, causing him to nod with a boyish grin, finishing up the muffin.

 

“It wouldn’t be the same.” Jacob watched Desiree as she held her hands out to the blazing fire.  He took them in his own, instantly warming her, knowing she had to be cold. “Come here.” He whispered, pulling her to sit sideways on his lap, having removed his shirt.

 

Desiree sighed, instant warmth flooding her, snuggling against him. “Thank you.” She breathed in his scent, resting her head against his shoulder. 

 

“Anytime Des.”

 

For several hours, Sam told legends of the Quileute tribe and their ancestors.  Jacob’s great-grandfather, Ephraim Black, was the leader of the Quileute tribe, which Desiree found fascinating.  She was very much enthralled in the stories that were told, especially when Sam mentioned a legend regarding wolves.

 

“Desiree, did you know the Quileute tribe was descended by wolves?” Sam ignored Jacob’s shocked expression, his eyes only for their newcomer, smiling softly.

 

What the hell was Sam doing?

 

“No, what do you mean by wolves?” She was sitting beside Jacob, having gotten too warm due to his body and the bonfire.

 

“According to legend, our ancestors turned into wolves to protect La Push lands from intruders.” Sam explained, seeing how intrigued Desiree was. 

 

Proving to him that when Jacob did finally reveal the truth to her, she wouldn’t run for the hills.  This is how he’d told Emily, by inviting her to one of the bonfire to honor their ancestors.  She had the same look of pure wonder in her eyes as Emily did, knowing Jacob would probably attack him later for this, and he’d be ready.

 

“What kind of intruders?” She asked softly, truly curious about this, glad Jacob invited her because she was having a great time.

 

“The cold ones.” Sam knew he had to be very careful about this next part, taking a long swig of his soda, ignoring Jacob’s deadly glare.

 

“The cold ones…” Desiree echoed, eyebrows drawing together and suddenly felt a chill, wrapping her arms around herself. “What exactly did they do to be considered intruders?”

 

“By existing.” Jacob hissed, dark eyes flashing, knowing he would have to excuse himself to go into the woods to phase.  Sam had crossed a line tonight and he didn’t understand why. 

 

“Oh.”

 

Desiree didn’t know what else to say, looking into the fire.  Her eyes closed, thinking back to that nightmare she’d had about the red eyed monster, swallowing hard.  How could something so real be nothing more than a dream?  She touched her head, the small scar hidden, wondering why she was questioning what Jacob told her.  She fell and hit her head, that wasn’t so unbelievable because Desiree was known for being a klutz.  Still, something nagged at her and she didn’t understand it, suddenly thinking of her cousin.

 

“Do you know the Cullens?” She asked out of nowhere, looking around the fire, finally landing on Jacob’s eyes.

 

“Sort of, why?” Emily asked, seeing every one of the guys tense, trying to handle this cool, calm and collected.

 

“I know this is going to sound absolutely insane and you all can tell me to shut up if you don’t want to hear it, but…something has bothered me ever since I came here.  I can’t put my finger on it, but certain characteristics in Bella are too different.” Desiree had to stand up, chewing her bottom lip thoughtfully, staring into the fire. “Her eye color is different; she’s pale as a ghost and never eats whenever she comes over to Charlie’s.  She looks like she’s dead or something…”

 

“How can she be dead if she can talk to us though?” Emily retorted, placing a hand on Sam’s hand, assuring him everything is fine.

 

“Look, I know something is going on here.  I’m not stupid and I’m very observant when I want to be.  I can deal with waiting to find out about what you’re hiding from me, Jacob, but I can’t stand being lied to about my own family.” Desiree sighed heavily, sitting back down, clasping her hands together. “Maybe I’m just crazy…”

 

“No, no you’re not crazy.”

 

Jacob immediately pulled her into his arms, not wanting her to be upset on their first date.  He shot Sam a deadly glare, wishing the man could hear what he was screaming in his head.  He would be sure to repeat it over and over again when they phased to patrol the woods.

 

Eventually, the pack dispersed, leaving Jacob and Desiree alone to talk.  Sam sighed as Emily gave him the third degree, not believing how stupid her fiancé had been to mention the legend of the wolves.  Sam let her yell at him for a good twenty minutes, finally kissing her to shut her up.

 

Emily’s toes curled, instantly melting against him, groaning in protest when he pulled back. “Are you done yet?” Sam asked against her lips, already backing her up toward the bedroom.

 

“Why did you do that, Sam?” She asked breathlessly, staring into Sam’s eyes, confusion in her own.  “Do you really think that was the smart thing to do?”

 

“Yes, trust me.  I’ve been hearing Jacob’s thoughts and doubts about Desiree.  He’s been battling himself with it and I don’t want him to be afraid to tell her.” Sam explained, kicking the door shut behind him, immediately yanking the love of his life in his arms.

 

“I hope you’re right.” Emily sighed when he kissed her again, all thoughts of what just happened at the bonfire diminishing.

 

Meanwhile, Jacob and Desiree were outside, Desiree staring into the fire while Jacob admired her.  He couldn’t take his eyes off of her, watching as the firelight danced in her jade eyes and danced over her pale skin.  Desiree could feel his apprehension and sighed, moving to where she straddled his lap, cupping his hot cheeks in her hands.  His dark eyes practically devoured her and Desiree did a full body shiver, pressing her forehead against his, soft hands running up and down his burning skin.

 

“Jake, please don’t be upset.  I’m not scared; nothing can scare me away from you, alright?  Nothing.”

 

She had to make him believe her so Desiree did the first thing that popped in her mind.  Her lips instantly captured his, loving how sizzling his lips felt against hers, igniting every part of her body.  Her hands slid up his strong arms and broad shoulders, burying her fingers in his black hair, instantly deepening the kiss.  Jacob groaned from low in his throat, wrapping his arms tightly around her, pressing her as close to him as he could.  Not even a piece of paper could be slipped between them; that’s how close they were.

 

“Wait…” Jacob pulled back, his head spinning, staring into her clouded dark forest green eyes, his own two black onyx stones. “Des, you don’t know what I am…”

 

“I don’t care.” She whispered, mouth right by his ear, and softly pressed a kiss to his neck, pulling back to stare into his eyes. “Jake, I will never hurt you.  Emily told me about what Bella did to you.  Please don’t be mad at her.  She just wanted to make sure I didn’t do the same thing and I don’t blame her because I am Bella’s family.  Nobody deserves the kind of pain you went through and I give you my word right now, no matter what you do or tell me, I’m not going anywhere.  I want you and only you, Jake.” Desiree’s body began to tremble, pressing her forehead against his, gripping his shoulders firmly. “I won’t hurt you, Jake.”

 

“I won’t ever hurt you either, Desiree, I promise.  You can count on me for anything.” Jacob replied strongly, wanting her to believe his words, kissing her lips tenderly. “God please don’t get scared, but I love you.”

 

Tears formed in her eyes, knowing it hadn’t been that long since they’d been together, but Desiree already knew how she felt about him. “I love you too, Jacob.” She whispered, feeling him wipe a stray tear from her cheek. “I know it hasn’t been that long, but I feel this overwhelming connection with you.  I can’t explain it, but I love you and I want you for the rest of my life.”

 

Jacob’s heart pounded a furious tattoo against his chest, her words sounding like sheer music to his ears, remembering at one time he wished for Bella to feel that way.  He thanked the stars above that never happened because then he wouldn’t be here with his true soul mate.  Jacob nuzzled her neck lovingly, growling softly, wondering if tonight would be the night he told her his secret.  Sam had somewhat opened it up for him, but Jacob wasn’t sure how to go about telling Desiree his secret.

 

“Are you absolutely sure this is what you want, Des?” He asked, mouth right by her ear, smiling as she melted against him with a firm nod.

 

“Yes, I’ve never been surer of anything in my life, Jake.” She stared into his eyes, kissing him softly. “I love you.”

 

Jacob chuckled and rubbed his nose against hers, breathing her in, and the heat of the fire only igniting his desire for her. “I love you too.” He whispered huskily, running his hands down her back to rest on her hips, just wanting to feel her against him.  It was the most heavenly feeling, something Jacob would never be able to replicate.

 

“Will you tell me about the cold ones?” She asked, fingering his strong chin between her thumb and forefinger, not wanting him to look away from her. “Jake, what are they?”

 

Groaning softly, Jacob pressed his forehead to hers, dying to tell Desiree everything.  He wanted them to have an open and honest relationship, one that wasn’t full of secrets. “I want to tell you so badly, Des.  God you don’t even know how much I want to let you in.” He felt completely torn in half, wanting to keep his promise to Bella, but also wanting Desiree to know the truth so he didn’t have it hanging over his head.

 

“But you can’t.” Her voice was full of disappointment, lowering her head, tucking a strand of loose hair behind her ear. “I understand…”

 

“No, no please believe me when I say that I WISH I could tell you.” He lifted her chin, forcing her sad eyes to meet his, feeling his heart crack down the middle.

 

“You don’t trust me and I understand that.  It’s alright Jacob.”

 

Jacob’s eyes narrowed, suddenly wondering why he was keeping Bella’s secret, when she tried everything she could to keep them apart.  He still didn’t know about her visit earlier that day and never would if Desiree had it her way.  He knew Desiree wouldn’t run and scream, she already had suspicions that Bella was different and he could handle any retaliation the Cullens could and would throw at him.

 

“You really want to know?” He finally asked, making his mind up, running a finger down her cheek. “If I tell you this, you have to promise me one thing.”

 

“Anything, Jake.”

 

“You won’t run, scream or do anything like that.  You won’t be afraid because there really is no reason for you to be.” Jacob stated, seeing the excitement enter her eyes again, knowing he was doing the right thing by trusting her with the truth.

 

“I swear I won’t freak out.” She held her hand up, winking, and laughed when Jacob began to gently tickle her.

 

“Smartass.” He grunted, kissing her temple softly and took both of her hands in his, locking their eyes together.  “The cold ones are known to most as vampires.”

 

 “Vampires.” Desiree echoed, taking a deep breath and nodded. “I didn’t trip that night in the yard, did I?” It wasn't a question.

 

Jacob sucked in a sharp breath, hoping she didn’t hate him for lying to her. “Des, I wanted to tell you the truth, you have to believe me.” The amount of desperation in his voice touched Desiree deeply.

 

“Sshhh…relax Jake, I’m not freaking out.” She assured him quietly, pressing a finger to his lips, her eyes shining with truth. “No more lying to me, Jacob.  I want to know everything, starting with my cousin.”

 

“I’ll make you a deal.” Jacob decided compromise was the key with Desiree, releasing one of her hands to cup her face. “You ask me anything, absolutely anything, and I’ll tell you the truth.”

 

Desiree arched an eyebrow, wondering if he was serious about that. “No matter what?”

 

“No matter what.” Jacob knew tonight was the night everything was going to come out and he honestly couldn’t wait. “I’ll even tell you everything about me you want to know.”

 

“Even about your body temperature?”

 

Jacob nodded, standing up with her in his arms, kissing her lips softly before setting her down on one of the chairs. “I’ll be right back.  I’m going to get some blankets because I have a feeling we’ll be up all night talking.”

 

Desiree flashed a heart stopping smile, nodding. “Hurry back.” She murmured, watching him take off, and looked back at the roaring fire.

 

Tonight all the secrets would be revealed and Desiree could only hope this brought them together instead of further apart.

 

Chapter 10

 

Jacob was back twenty minutes later, chuckling when Desiree jumped, spreading the large blanket on the ground.

 

“Damn it you scared me!” She exclaimed, smacking him on the arm, only for Jacob to laugh in response. “That’s not funny.”

 

“You’re right, it’s downright hilarious.” He laughed harder, kissing the top of her head, stopping her hand from connecting with his chest as he brought her wrist up to his mouth, gently nibbling on it.

 

“You are so evil.”

 

“I know, but you love me anyway.” Jacob retorted, wiggling his eyebrows, grinning when she started laughing.

 

Desiree rolled her eyes and Jacob pulled her into his arms, feeling his arms wrap around her waist, her back pressed against his strong chest. “This is so nice.  It’s really beautiful out here.” She sighed in contentment, having pulled let her hair down, so the auburn locks reflected off of the firelight.

 

“It is.” Jacob couldn’t agree more. “I love this place.”

 

“Why did you leave?” She asked softly, remembering Emily telling her how Jacob left La Push after Bella chose Edward.

 

Jacob knew what she meant, letting out a heavy sigh, and sat up a little more. “I left because I physically couldn’t stand being here at the time, Des.  I was so broken and beat up; I just had to get away for awhile.  I stayed away for a few months, just going from one set of woods to the next, trying to figure out where to go from here.  I thought my shot at happiness was over, I never thought I’d find love again.”

 

Desiree nodded, running her fingertips lightly over his forearms in a gentle caress, knowing he was afraid of losing her. “I completely understand how you feel.” She took a deep breath, running a hand through her hair. “I ran away from home once.”

 

Jacob blinked, glancing down at her, before his eyes moved back to the fire.  He’d made sure to stack more wood on it so it wouldn’t be going out anytime soon. “Tell me about it.” He gently requested, wanting to hear everything he could about her.

 

“I was twelve and wanted to know who my dad was.  My mom absolutely refused to tell me anything about him, besides his name.  She didn’t have one picture of him or anything, having destroyed all traces of him when he left when I was two.” Desiree felt the tears sting her eyes, remembering how much it hurt when her mother told her that her father didn’t want her. “So one night, I decided to pack a bag and go find him myself, to see if he truly did feel that way.  My mom caught me at the bus station before I left and we worked it out.”

 

“Wow…that had to be hard for you to hear.” Jacob whispered, tightening his arms around her waist. “Sounds like your mother loved you very much and you were lucky to have her.” He had no idea about the alcohol, which Desiree planned on taking to the grave.

 

“Yeah, she was pretty great.” Desiree reached up, wiping a few tears away. “What about your mom?”

 

Jacob sucked in a sharp breath, his chest tautening slightly, swallowing hard.  It’d been a long time since his mother, Sarah, had been mentioned. “My mother died in a car accident when I was little.” He admitted inaudibly, the pain clear in his tone, sighing heavily. “So when I say that you’re lucky to have a mom, I mean it.”

 

“I know…and you’re lucky to have a dad.” She replied, looking down at her clasped hands, shoulders slumped.

 

“Billy’s pretty cool all things considered.” Jacob smiled, trying to lighten her mood a bit, but knew tonight wasn’t meant for joking around.  That’s who Jacob was though and he wasn’t changing for anyone, not even Desiree.

 

Desiree nodded, slowly turning to where she was facing Jacob, legs draped over his right one and drawn up, her arms wrapped around her knees. “So, you said I could ask you anything right and you’d answer me?” When Jacob nodded, Desiree took a deep breath; there was so much she wanted to know. “Okay, you said the cold ones are vampires.  Is that legend true?”

 

Jacob sucked in a breath and nodded, his eyes locked on hers.

 

“What about the legend of the wolves?  Is that true too?”

 

Jacob nodded again, pulling her against him, not wanting her to be afraid.

 

Desiree slowly pulled back, staring into his dark eyes, her heart breaking at how much trepidation she saw in them. “Jake, I’m not going anywhere.  I just want to know the truth, is that so terrible?”

 

“No, it’s not.  I told you I would tell you anything if you asked.  I’m standing by that.” Jacob kissed her forehead, trembling a little.

 

“Why does your skin always feel like it’s on fire?” She finally asked the question that had been burning on her tongue since they made this little arrangement, hoping he told her the truth.

 

Jacob sighed heavily, knowing this was the moment to tell her.  She wanted to know and he was going to tell her.  He wished she wouldn’t have just jumped into it right away, but there was no turning back.  Jacob decided it would be best to release her, just in case Desiree decided to run for her life screaming.  He honestly wouldn’t blame her either.

 

“What are you doing?”

 

“Just in case you want to run for the hills.”

 

Desiree rolled her eyes, folding her arms in front of her chest. “Very funny Jacob, will you just tell me already?”

 

“It’s not that simple, it’s not something you can just blurt out, Desiree.” Jacob sighed, rubbing his temples, not sure how to do this. “I don’t even know how to tell you.”

 

“Come on, it can’t be that bad.” Desiree insisted, watching as Jacob stood up, still not believing how tall he was. “Jake, I love you, you can tell me anything.”

 

Jacob’s shoulders slumped, staring out at the ocean waves crashing lightly against the shore, hoping she meant what she said. “I’m a wolf, Desiree.” His voice was barely above a whisper, but she could clearly hear him, refusing to meet her eyes. “The legend of the wolves is true.  Turns out my great-grandfather had the gene and it passed onto me because of the bloodsuckers.  My body temp is always between one oh eight or one oh nine, depending.  We’re known as shape shifters.  Sam and the others that were here tonight are part of the pack and Sam is the alpha.”

 

Desiree had to let that information digest, swallowing very hard, staring straight ahead with somewhat of a blank expression.  It seemed like an eternity had passed before she finally spoke again. “You change into a wolf?” She managed to ask, slowly looking up at him with bewildered eyes, blinking when he nodded.

 

“Yeah.” Jacob answered lamely, shoving his hands in the front pockets of his jeans.

 

“Oh wow…” She sighed heavily, scrubbing a hand down her face, looking at the fire. “Wait a minute, Sam said something about the cold ones being intruders…what does that mean?”

 

“How much can you handle?” Jacob asked, seeing how pale she already was, knowing better than to touch her right now.

 

“Everything, tell me everything.” She demanded weakly, hoping her stomach could handle this.

 

Jacob nodded, respecting her wishes. “Well, I suppose you want to know why we exist and why this happens.” When she just nodded, Jacob knew she was still taking all of this in. “Our enemies are vampires, the only thing we kill.  We are protectors of these lands and do what we can to make sure the bloodsuckers don’t kill humans.” He knew she was listening, still not daring to reach a hand out to her. “When a bloodsucker moves into town, the fever instantly sets in and we phase into wolves.  For the most part, we can control it, but…”

 

“Emily…” Desiree covered her mouth with her hand, trying not to tremble, but it wasn’t happening. “Sam…”

 

“Sam got angry one night, lost it for a split second, and was standing too close to Emily.  He has to live with that for the rest of his life, the guilt and regret we always hear in his thoughts from what happened.” Jacob slowly lowered to his knees in front of Desiree, gently cupping her cheek, sighing with relief when she didn’t flinch. “Sam didn’t have anyone, Desiree.  He had no one to help him through it, not like the rest of us do.”

 

“Poor Sam…” She breathed out, biting her bottom lip, and closed her eyes as his thumb ran across her bottom one. “Emily loves him so much.”

 

“And Sam loves her, which is why he’s learned how to control himself around her.” Jacob stated, settling himself beside her, just wanting to be close. “I will NEVER lose control like that with you, Desiree.  I can’t hurt you because I love you so much.”

 

“I know you do, Jake.” She whispered, placing her hand over his, lacing their fingers together. “I love you too.”

 

“Even after hearing all of this?  You don’t care that I turn into a filthy dog?” When she shook her head without hesitation, the biggest grin broke out on Jacob’s face as he yanked her against him, hugging her as close to him as possible without crushing her. “Des…”

 

“I told you I don’t scare away easily and I meant it.” Desiree hugged him back just a tightly, burying her face in his strong neck, the scent of him even more enthralling. “I love you just as you are, Jacob.  I don’t care if you change into a wolf, a dog, a cat, a mouse, it doesn’t matter to me.”

 

“A cat?” Jacob made a face, grunting. “Not likely sweetheart.”

 

Desiree chuckled and smacked his chest playfully, kissing his lips. “That’s not what I meant jerk.”

 

“Oh, I’m a jerk now?” Jacob’s eyes burned as he slid his hands up and down her sides, staring deep into her green eyes. “As long as I’m your jerk, that’s all I care about.”

 

“Of course.” She sighed with a roll of her eyes, crawling into his lap sideways, resting her head against his shoulder. “What about that night I woke up with you in my bedroom, Jake?  What really happened?”

 

Jacob closed his eyes, knowing she would ask that as well. “You sure you can handle more?” He didn’t want to bombard her all at once, but he had to keep his word.

 

“Yes, I’m fine Jake.  I just want to know the truth so I’m not always left in the dark.  I hate feeling like that.” She hoped he understood, feeling his arms encircle her waist, loving the strength that radiated from him.

 

“Well in order to tell you that, I have to tell you about Bella and the Cullens…”

 

“They’re vampires aren’t they?” It wasn’t a question and Desiree knew it, feeling Jacob’s chin rest on her shoulder. “Bella’s a vampire?”

 

“Yes.” Technically he hadn’t told her anything so Jacob was off the hook as far as he was concerned.  Not that he cared because his entire world revolved around Desiree now, not Bella.

 

“Well…that explains a lot with her eye color, features and lack of food intake.” Desiree said, rubbing her temples, taking a deep breath. “That red eyed monster…that was a vampire wasn’t it?”

 

“Yes.” Jacob whispered, dark eyes focused. “The bloodsucker will never come near you again, I promise.  I’ll never forgive myself for letting the bloodsucker get that close to you, Desiree.”

 

“It wasn’t your fault…” Desiree placed her hand over his, wishing he would stop blaming himself for something that was out of his control. “Jake, please don’t…You saved me.” She looked up into his eyes, cupping his hot face in her hands, pressing his forehead to hers as she straddled his lap. “I love you so much and you have no idea how much you’ve helped me these last few weeks.”

 

Jacob closed his eyes, enjoying the contact she gave him, still not believing she wasn’t freaked out by any of this.  Either that or she wasn’t letting on how scared she was.  Either way, he was grateful for it because the last thing he wanted was to lose her just because of the supernatural world.

 

“I love you too.” He whispered, his heart pounding in his ears, especially when her lips softly touched his. 

 

Something snapped inside Jacob as he buried his hand in her soft auburn hair, growling from deep in his chest, guiding her down on the blanket.  She wasn’t protesting or backing away, which astounded him; Jacob hoped this stayed the same.  Sam had been right, she was just like his Emily, understanding and kind, also accepting. 

 

Desiree instantly wrapped her arms around his neck, her legs curling around his, completely melting.  Nothing but soft moans escaped her lips as Jacob’s trailed from hers to her neck, suckling gently on her skin.  Her hand slid up his back, burying in his black hair, arching her body into his. 

 

She could barely breathe, chest rising and falling rapidly, gasping when his hand slid up her top to fan his fingers against her stomach.  Her flesh was soft to the touch, like silk and Jacob was even more enthralled, wanting every piece of her.  Jacob felt her turn to putty in his arms, loving the effect he was having on her, his hand sliding up further as their lips met again; this time the kiss was hotter and full of fire, causing both bodies to tremble.

 

Jacob knew if they didn’t stop now, something was going to happen and it was extremely late.  He broke the kiss, staring down at her through blackened eyes, groaning at the sight of hers.  They were two dark forest green orbs clouded over in a passion haze, begging for him to continue this.  He knew now wasn’t the time or place for that, knowing they had to take things slow.

 

“We have to stop.” Jacob whispered regretfully, pressing his forehead against hers, keeping himself up with one elbow so he didn’t crush her with his huge body.

 

“I-I know…” Desiree blinked several times, her mind slowly becoming clear again, and smiled up at him. “Thank you.”

 

Jacob chuckled, standing up and extended his hand, pulling her to her feet with ease. “No need to thank me, Des.  It was and always will be my pleasure.” He winked, chuckling when her cheeks turned that deep crimson red again. “Do you have any idea how beautiful you are?”

 

“No, I think I’m plain.”

 

“Well you’re dead wrong.” He assured her, kissing her lips softly. “Come on, I’ll take you home.”

 

Nodding, Desiree allowed Jacob to guide her back to his bike, after putting out the fire, wishing he would do the same for her.  Their time would come though, Desiree had to be patient.  She mounted the bike, wrapping her arms around Jacob’s waist, and bit back a scream when he took off in the dead of night.

 

Chapter 11

 

Over the next few weeks, Desiree spent her time with Jacob during the afternoons, not able to see him at night due to him patrolling the woods.  She still couldn’t believe he was a wolf –shape shifter- and the bizarre thing was Desiree wasn’t scared.  She actually found it fascinating that there really were such things as vampires and people turning into wolves. 

 

Jacob told Desiree about the treaty the Quileute made with the Cullens, which was back in the nineteen hundreds.  How they broke the treaty when Bella was changed to save her life from having Renesmee.  For some reason, however, Jacob was having a hard time telling her about the imprinting, wondering how she would feel about it.

 

They loved each other so it should make them happy, but he still had this fear that he was going to tell her too much and she was going to freak out.  He didn’t want that to happen and knew he’d bombarded her with a lot of information in such a short period of time.  Jacob decided waiting was the best thing to do, still not believing how understanding she was about the whole wolf thing.

 

Then again, Charlie dealt with it pretty well to when Jacob phased in front of him a few years ago.

 

Desiree had no idea Charlie knew about any of this and there was no way he would believe her anyway.  Whatever Charlie didn’t know wouldn’t hurt him, though she was going to confess dating Jacob.  She already had an idea of how to break the news, deciding to invite Jacob over for dinner on Charlie’s day off.

 

“So, you want me to come over for dinner so you can tell Charlie about us?” Jacob asked one night, walking around Desiree’s bedroom, having crawled up the tree outside her window to swing himself into her room.

 

“Yes, he’s going to find out sooner or later.  I don’t want to keep any secrets from him.” She replied, sitting Indian style on the bed, looking over a few job ads on the newspaper online.  Finding a job was a top priority for her, knowing she couldn’t live off of twenty five grand for the rest of her life.

 

Jacob smirked, walking over to close her laptop, dark eyes meeting hers. “And you think he won’t approve?” He nuzzled her neck, chuckling huskily in her ear, nipping her neck playfully.

 

“Jake…” Desiree giggled softly when he licked her neck, a shiver rushing through her body. “Move my laptop first so you don’t crush it.”

 

“You have a point.” Jacob kissed her lips softly before picking it up, setting it aside on her laptop stand, before rejoining her in the bed, hovering over her. “Now then, where were we?”

 

“We were talking about Charlie finding out about us and you were trying to seduce me.”

 

“Ouch, bruise my ego more why don’t you.” Jacob snorted, growling when she started laughing and pinned her to the bed, his hands gripping her wrists very lightly.  He was ten times stronger than her, if not more, and he didn’t want to hurt her or leave marks. “You know you love it.”

 

Desiree rolled her eyes, wrapping her legs around his waist. “You are so full of yourself, wolf boy.” She remarked, auburn locks fanning over the pillow, staring up at the man she truly loved.

 

“Wolf boy?  Baby, I’m far from a boy.” He retorted, releasing her wrists to run his strong hands up her outer thighs, loving what she wore to bed.  Just a simple pair of black cotton shorts with a matching spaghetti strapped tank top.

 

“Really?  I hadn’t noticed.” She giggled when he growled, loving to get under his skin, and sat up on her elbows. “What did I tell you about that baby crack?”

 

Jacob shrugged, nuzzling her neck again, his burning body warming every part of hers. “Deal with it, Des, because you are my baby.”  He rumbled gruffly in her ear, lips attaching to her soft flesh, running his tongue up to her ear. “You belong to me.”

 

“Possessive are we?” She joked, but that quickly diminished because of how wonderful his lips and tongue felt against her neck. “Oh Jake…” She whispered in a soft moan, running her hand up his muscular back to his hair, her other hand gripping his shoulder.

 

“Mmm Des…” He hissed, slowly pressing against her further and began grinding, not able to help himself.

 

Desiree’s thighs tightened against his strong hips, pulling back enough to passionately kiss him, tongues entwining together in a dance of seduction, each fighting to win.  Jacob pulled back, staring down into her deep dark forest green eyes, swallowing hard.  He wanted her badly, wondering if she felt the same way. 

 

Desiree answered the silent question by pushing him back a little to sit up, pulling her tank top over her head, tossing it to the floor.  Her eyes never left his as her bra followed moments later, sitting on her knees before him.  Jacob made her feel beautiful and Desiree wasn’t ashamed to show him her body, her hands pressing against his blazing chest, having gotten used to his body temperature.

 

Jacob had to learn how to breathe again because of how beautiful her body was.  Her breasts were the perfect size, some of her auburn locks covering them, until she pushed her hair back over her shoulders, giving him a full view.  Taking his hands in hers, Desiree placed them on her breasts, tilting her head back and a soft moan escaped her lips as he started slowly massaging them.  She was like a beautiful siren, mesmerizing and forcing him into submission. 

 

Her nipples instantly hardened against his rough, calloused hands, which felt like pure heaven as her eyes slowly opened to stare into his.  They were black orbs and Desiree’s breath caught in her throat at the amount of desire coursing through them.  He was so beautiful, everything she’d been looking for and he was hers, which was still unbelievable.

 

No words had to be spoken between them as Jacob slowly guided her back down on the bed, kissing her feverishly, his blood feeling like molten lava coursing through his veins.  He heart was pounding so hard and fast he was sure it was going to leap out of his chest at any given moment.  He knew Desiree was thinking the same thing and smiled lovingly, knowing this is what she wanted.

 

Slowly, Jacob slid her shorts and panties down her long smooth legs, tossing the clothing on the floor with the rest.  He quickly removed his shorts, watching the hunger in her eyes, and stood up from the bed.  He lifted her up, pulled the comforter back and kissed her breathlessly as her back hit the bedding, hovering over her.  Their lips met in another fiery kiss, lighting both bodies completely ablaze and Desiree gripped his muscular arms, both of them trembling from pure anticipation.

 

“Jake…”

 

“Desiree…”

 

~!~

 

“HE DID WHAT?!”

 

Edward had to cover his ears from the ear splitting scream, closing his eyes, wanting to maim Alice.  Did the woman not understand that timing was indeed everything when it came to Bella?  He sighed heavily, standing beside his wife, Renesmee on his other side, who was growing incredibly fast. 

 

She was only two, almost three, years old, but had the body of a six year old.  Due to being half vampire and half human, Renesmee aged three years in one year.  She would stop aging when she was between the age of sixteen or seventeen, though Carlisle still hadn’t figured that out yet.

 

“Alice, are you sure?” Emmett asked, completely dumbfounded, folding his arms in front of his chest. “You said you couldn’t see past those dogs I thought…”

 

“I can’t.” Alice shot back, sometime truly hating her gift, gritting her teeth. “But I saw Bella as a vampire and Jacob as a wolf in her mind.  I told Edward and he managed to read her mind.  Jacob apparently told her everything about us, about him, the treaty…everything.”

 

“Not everything.” Edward spoke up, not fazed when all eyes turned to face him, including his wife’s blackened eyes. “He did not tell her about the imprinting yet.”

 

“How could he DO this to us?!” Bella was beside herself, wanting to rip Jacob Black limb from limb, snarling angrily.

 

“Mom, calm down.” Renesmee sighed, patting her mother’s shoulder since Jasper forced her to sit down on the couch, using his mood control so she didn’t unleash her fury.  He was still hesitant, considering newborns normally did not get over their bloodlust for several years after being turned.  Bella was indeed extraordinary. “Thanks Jasper.”

 

Jasper smiled, nodding. “You’re welcome Nessie.” He stared at Bella hardening, knowing she wasn’t blocking him out, which was good.  He would be able to tell right away.

 

“I just don’t understand why he had to betray us this way.” Bella murmured, lowering her head, knowing she had lost her best friend when she chose Edward over him.  She couldn’t help who she loved though!  She loved both of them, but she knew who she simply could not live without.

 

“Bella love, it’s not as bad as you’re making it out to be.” Edward coaxed, sitting down beside her, wrapping an arm around her shoulders. “You have to look at this from both sides of the spectrum.”

 

“I specifically asked him not to tell her anything and he went behind our back and did it anyway.” Bella sighed when her daughter’s hand connected with her cheek, immediately covering it with her own, knowing Renesmee was reading her thoughts. “Renesmee…”

 

Renesmee was very quiet and calm, so much like her father that sometimes it was scary.  She had the ability to show a person by a single touch of her hand just what she was thinking and could penetrate her mother’s shield due to, what Carlisle only guessed, a maternal bond between them.  While her father could read people’s minds, Renesmee showed them through her touch what she was thinking and feeling. 

 

Currently, Renesmee felt pain and betrayal from Jacob, though she had already accepted it.  Bella blinked when Renesmee also showed her a vision of fighting with Jacob, her mother ending up hurting him badly.  She pulled her small hand away, nodding silently and walked away toward the kitchen to grab some food.  She craved blood and human food at the same time, which was weird, though everyone had gotten used to it.

 

“Are you alright?” Edward asked softly, taking his wife’s hand in his, squeezing gently.  He wanted to be there for her, concern swimming in his beautiful topaz eyes.  “Bella…”

 

“How did she handle the news?” She asked softly, looking up into her husband’s eyes, worry in her own.  “Maybe we should leave…”

 

“Now you know damn well Charlie wouldn’t go for that, Bella.” Emmett piped in, folding his arms in front of his chest, while Rosalie went into the kitchen to help Renesmee.  She was like the little girl’s second mother, since Rosalie had been the one to protect her from being killed by Edward, when they didn’t know what was happening to Bella during her pregnancy.

 

“Then what else can we do?” She snapped, standing up from the couch, groaning since she knew Jasper was controlling her emotions. “It’s not safe for her to know this…”

 

“Or are you just ashamed of being one of us?” Alice demanded with a frown, standing beside Jasper.

 

“No, of course not!  You know I love all of you with everything inside of me!  I just…” Bella didn’t know how to say it, hoping Alice or Edward would do it for her.

 

“She’s a human and you didn’t want to scare her.” Alice whispered, completely understanding that, remembering how Charlie reacted. 

 

It was thanks to Jacob that Charlie found out because the dog decided it was smart to go to the Swan residence, took him in the woods and phased in front of him.  He then explained, without telling the full truth, about Bella and how she was going to leave.  The dog even had the audacity to bring Charlie to the Cullen house not long after Bella was changed, putting his life in jeopardy because everyone thought Bella being a newborn would require being isolated a lot.  Thanks to her own gift, that wasn’t the case and it still baffled Jasper to this day.

 

“I didn’t know how she would react and didn’t want to take that chance.” Bella whispered, staring out the window, wrapping her arms around herself. “I was going to tell her because of the newborns.  They have her scent, so she will be one of the first ones they come after.”

 

“When were you planning on telling her?” Carlisle asked quietly, looking down at Esme, who was helping Renesmee with her plate of raw meat and eggs.  It was her favorite considering it was human food with blood.

 

“I don’t know I hadn’t gotten that far yet.”

 

“Then perhaps Jacob did us a favor, Bella.” Esme’s voice was so soft and kind, one of the many reasons Bella loved her mother-in-law. “And if he did imprint on her, Desiree would’ve had to know eventually.”

 

“Maybe you’re right.” Bella sighed, feeling Edward’s arms wrap around her, which no longer felt like icicles.  He was warm and it was lovely as she leaned back against him. “I still want to hurt him though for going back on his word.  I was planning on bringing her over here, along with him, and telling her everything that way.”

 

“Do you really think that’d be smart to bring ANOTHER human into this house?” Rosalie demanded, remembering how difficult it was dealing with Bella while she was human. “Especially if she smells as enticing as you did?”

 

Carlisle chuckled softly. “Rosalie, we do not hunt humans so it wouldn’t be as difficult as you think.”

 

“Still, I don’t think bringing her here, period, is a very good idea.”

 

“Nobody asked you, Rosalie.” Edward stated in a heated voice, wanting to do whatever his wife sought, anything to put her mind at ease. “Bella love, you know deep down Jacob did the right thing, even if he was wrong going back on his word.”

 

“I know…” She nodded, agreeing with him. “I think we should bring Desiree over here, along with Jacob, so she doesn’t feel uncomfortable.  Jacob will want to hear what we’ve uncovered.”

 

“Why not invite the whole wolf pack then?  Sam is the leader, right?” Emmett quipped, not minding the wolves as much as his beloved did.

 

“You mean to tell me this house is going to smell like DOG?” Rosalie gripped, hating this more and more, though as soon as Renesmee frowned at her, she immediately stopped.

 

Renesmee smiled angelically, nodding silently at her mother.

 

“Though that’s not all we’ll be telling her.” Bella stated, her words sounding almost ominous, smirking when Alice’s eyes suddenly widened.

 

“Do you really think that’s wise, Bella?”

 

“If he can go back on his word to me, I can damn sure retaliate without physical violence.”

 

Edward groaned when he read Alice’s mind, burying his face in Bella’s neck, hoping this didn’t turn into a war.

 

Chapter 12

 

“So who’re we having for dinner tonight?” Charlie asked a few weeks later, while setting the table with plates and silverware, while his niece finished up dinner.  She decided on country fried chicken, mashed potatoes and corn with carrot cake for dessert.

 

“You’ll find out soon enough, Uncle Charlie.” Desiree replied with a smile, eyes sparkling, which Charlie had noticed. 

 

Whatever or whoever was responsible for his niece’s sudden change in attitude deserved his gratitude for life. “You know I hate surprises, Desi.” Charlie sighed when she simply shook her head, knowing it was no use.  She wasn’t going to tell him anything.

 

“You’re going to have to wait.  Now finish setting the table.” She winked, wearing a jean skirt that went two inches above the knee along with a short sleeved tan top that had a V shaped neckline.  It didn’t cling, the material having a layer of sheer fabric, making it flow instead of hug her curves.

 

“Why do I have a feeling I’m not gonna like this?”

 

“Who knows?” Desiree shrugged, flipping the chicken in the pan as it fried, being careful of the popping oil. “Maybe you will, maybe you won’t.”

 

Charlie groaned more as he finished setting the table, knowing she wouldn’t let him touch the meal. “When will they get here?” He asked impatiently, wearing a pair of blue jeans with a short sleeved red polo shirt.  His niece forced him to dress up a little, which Charlie didn’t mind for the most part, even though what he really wanted to do was relax on his only day off.

 

“Any minute actually.” She called over her shoulder, stirring the mashed potatoes and corn. “You can go sit and watch the game until our guest arrives.”

 

Charlie sighed with a reluctant nod, smiling back at his niece, wondering what she had up her sleeve.  He had no idea who was coming for dinner, wondering who she’d been hanging out with lately.  Charlie was so busy at work that he rarely paid attention to his niece. 

 

This made him feel guilty, though he couldn’t help it.  He had a job to do, just like everyone else, and Desiree seemed as though she enjoyed being alone.  He knew leaving her alone was probably not the best idea, but Desiree assured him she was fine.  He didn’t need to hover, which is something Charlie never did. 

 

To say Desiree was nervous was an understatement of the century.  She was border lining terrified, not sure what Charlie would think of her dating Jacob Black for the past nearly two months.  Billy Black was his best friend and that was his son, so she wondered if Charlie would take exception to that. 

 

Granted, nothing he could do or say would take Jacob away from her, even if he kicked her out.  She loved Jacob with all of her heart, preparing to fight to the death with her uncle.  Knowing she owed him a lot, Desiree was willing to feel the guilt as long as she could be with Jacob.

 

The doorbell rang a few minutes later, pulling Desiree out of her thoughts, shooting a glare at Charlie when he went to answer it. “Go sit down.” She ordered, beating him to the punch, pointing to the living room.

 

Charlie arched an eyebrow, folding his arms in front of his chest, refusing to listen. “Open the door, Desi.” He ordered evenly, seeing the hesitation in her eyes, and couldn’t imagine who was on the other side of the door.

 

Desiree knew it was now or never as she reached over, turning the knob and opened the door, surprised to find Bella standing there along with Edward.

 

Bella smiled at her father, knowing he was still somewhat confused regarding her change, but he took it with a grain of salt.  She appreciated it and walked over, hugging him briefly. “Hi dad.” She greeted softly, knowing her voice was different from when she was human.

 

Charlie sighed gently, hugging his daughter back, and watched as she immediately went back to Edward’s side. “Hey Bells.  Edward.” He grunted, still somewhat hesitant regarding his son-in-law.

 

“Chief Swan.” Edward greeted politely with a nod of his head.

 

“Is this my surprise Desi?” Charlie was hoping so, hardly having time to spend with his daughter, grinning when Renesmee instantly held her little arms up to him. “Nessie!” He grinned when she hugged him back, used to her quiet nature by now. “Whoa easy there kiddo, I’m an old grandpa.”

 

Renesmee rolled her eyes playfully, kissing his cheek, beautiful brown eyes that reminded him so much of human Bella staring him in the face.

 

“Renesmee dad.” Bella corrected, rolling her eyes, wanting to kill Jacob for that nickname he gave her daughter.

 

Charlie rolled his eyes, waving his daughter off, and carried Renesmee away into the living room. “You two make yourselves at home.  You can stay for dinner so I can spend more time with my granddaughter.”

 

“Actually dad…”

 

“We’d love to Chief Swan.” Edward stated, cutting his wife off, and guided her to the kitchen table with a small smile.

 

This did NOT bode well with Desiree, even though she hid it well, knowing how much Charlie missed Bella and Renesmee.  She supposed they could say, already knowing they wouldn’t eat, so there’d be plenty for the human part of the group.  Edward raised an eyebrow, hearing Desiree’s thoughts, and kissed the top of his wife’s head.

 

“How’ve you been Desiree?” Bella asked politely, smiling as she watched Charlie pop her daughter up and down in the air lightly, already knowing Renesmee couldn’t be injured easily.

 

“I’ve been good, busy.” She answered quickly, keeping her back to them, checking dinner again and tensed when there was another knock on the door.

 

“That would be Jacob.” Edward murmured softly to where only Bella could hear him, both of them silently nodding.

 

Desiree took another deep breath and walked over, her mood instantly lifting when she opened the door to find Jacob standing before her.  Green eyes shined with happiness as she grabbed his hand, pulling him through the door, glad he was there.  She felt somewhat uncomfortable around Bella, trying so hard not to be, but finding out her cousin is a vampire wasn’t exactly the easiest thing to swallow.

 

“Sorry I’m late.  Sam had to talk to me about something…” Jacob’s words trailed off, looking past Desiree to Edward and Bella, eyes narrowing slightly. “What’re they doing here?” He whispered in her ear, already knowing Edward was reading his mind, which he despised.

 

“We’re here to talk.” Edward stated in a low voice, not wanting Charlie to overhear them, arching an eyebrow. “We can wait until after dinner though since Charlie insists on spending time with Bella and Renesmee.”

 

Renesmee was here?  Jacob swallowed hard, not having seen the little girl since he met Desiree, feeling somewhat guilty. “What do you want to talk about?” Jacob tried hard not to snarl when Edward just gave him a knowing look, gritting his teeth. “Stay the hell out of my head, Cullen.”

 

“Why did you…”

 

“Bella love, not now.  We don’t want to ruin this dinner Desiree worked hard on.” Edward said lovingly, running a finger down her cheek, wishing he’d brought Alice and Jasper with.

 

Desiree already knew why they were here and simply rolled her eyes, staring back at Charlie when he entered the kitchen, smiling awkwardly.

 

“Jacob?” Charlie grinned, though he didn’t walk over to shake the man’s hand.  He still had nightmares about when Jacob phased into a wolf in front of him, trying not to think about it.

 

Edward smirked, eyes filled with amusement.

 

“Hey Charlie.” Jacob greeted with a wide smile, knowing the man was still hesitant around him, honestly not surprised. “How’s the heart?”

 

“Very funny.” Charlie grunted, blinking when Renesmee jumped from his arms, landing on her feet like a cat. 

 

Her copper curls were pulled back in a clip, a few tendrils framing her face delicately.  Aunt Alice forced her into a deep blue dress that had a black sash around it, along with black shoes that clicked with every step she took.  She looked like an angel, the spitting image of her father except her mother’s human eyes.

 

“Hey Nessie.” Jacob greeted hesitantly, flashing a pearly white smile, and sighed when she just went to her father.  She was upset with him and rightfully so, but Jacob couldn’t help who he truly imprinted on.

 

“Behave Nessie.” Edward murmured in his daughter’s ear, causing her eyes to roll, touching her father’s cheek to show him a vision of her ripping Jacob’s throat out.  Of course nobody else could see this and Edward held back laughter, kissing Renesmee’s forehead.

 

“So what’re you doing here, Jacob?” Charlie asked, ignoring Edward, eyes slowly moving to his niece, who had her back turned again.  It didn’t take long before he put two and two together, eyes nearly bugging out of his head. “Desiree Swan, is there something you care to share with all of us?”

 

Desiree cringed, knowing that tone of voice, which meant Charlie wasn’t happy about this, but she couldn’t help who she fell in love with. “Uncle Charlie,” She paused, turning around, staring back at him with pleading green eyes. “I’m dating Jacob Black.”

 

Charlie’s eyes landed on Jacob, narrowing them slightly, not forgetting what he was capable of. “I know you’re almost eighteen and there’s nothing I can probably say or do to change your mind, but if he hurts you in any way…”

 

“I won’t hurt her, Charlie.” Jacob assured him, wrapping an arm around Desiree’s shoulders, smiling as she leaned against him. “I couldn’t hurt her no matter what.”

 

“Good because if you do, I’ll make sure you’re only walking on three legs, boy.” Charlie threatened, refusing to back down. “Is that clear?” He realized what he’d said, immediately paling. “I meant on one leg and maybe one arm.”

 

“Understood Charlie.” Jacob nodded, completely understanding why Charlie as overprotective of Desiree, and had every right to be.  He was dangerous, though he knew his boundaries and when to walk away.

 

“It’s alright Uncle Charlie.” Desiree chuckled softly, lacing her fingers with Jacob’s, their eyes meeting. “I already know everything about him.”

 

Charlie’s eyes widened even more, if that were possible, blinking. “You actually TOLD her that you-”

 

“Yes he did and I’m fine with it.”

 

“H-How the hell can you be FINE with that, Desi?  He…changes into…” Charlie was going to hyperventilate, swallowing hard, and trying to take deep breaths.

 

“Into a wolf, I know.” Desiree squeezed Jacob’s hand before releasing it, walking over to hug her uncle tightly around the neck. “Uncle Charlie, everything is fine.” She pulled back, those green eyes piercing his. “Please be okay with this.  He makes me happy.  He’s the reason I’ve been in a better mood and haven’t cried myself to sleep.  He makes me forget all the bad things in my life.”

 

Charlie was still trying to grasp this, letting the information sink in, and nodded slowly. “Alright, but you’d better tell me the MOMENT he hurts you.” He pulled her into his arms, tightly embracing her. “You are all I have left, Desiree.”

 

Desiree’s eyes locked on Bella’s, biting her bottom lip, slowly pulling back. “You have Bella still.” Her eyes suddenly widened, realizing for the first time that Charlie knew everything from the start. “You knew about everything?”

 

Charlie nodded reluctantly, not smiling because he was still trying to work through it. “Yeah Desi, I’ve known for awhile.” His eyes locked on his daughter, who had her head lowered, while holding Renesmee against her. “I try not to really…get too much detail when it comes to that side of the coin.”

 

Not able to believe this, Desiree slowly turned around to stare back at Jacob, who looked guilt ridden. “Why didn’t you tell me Charlie knew about everything?” She demanded softly, running a hand through the top of her head, having pulled it back while she cooked in a loose bun. “Jake, I’ve been worrying out of my mind about him finding out for nothing.”

 

“I know…I just didn’t know if you could handle much more…”

 

“God, will everyone STOP treating me like a damn porcelain doll already?” Desiree snapped, stalking past Jacob to check the rest of the food, shaking her head. “I’m sick to death of being kept in the dark about everything.  So what if my mom died?  I’m not made of glass.  I’m not as fragile as you all think I am.”

 

Charlie sighed heavily, looking back at Jacob, who looked completely lost at the moment.  He actually felt sorry for the boy, knowing his niece did have a temper, though it took a lot to spark. “Desi, calm down sweetie.” Charlie begged softly, smiling when his niece took several deep breaths, nodding. “Come on now, we all know about everything so we don’t gotta hide anything else.  Though I STILL wanna be left in the dark about your part, Bella.”

 

Bella chuckled softly, along with Edward, both nodding. “Understood dad.” She set Renesmee down at the table, knowing the little girl was hungry. “Do you have any more raw chickens left, Desiree?”

 

Desiree blinked, staring at her cousin as if she’d lost her mind.  “What about salmonella poisoning?” She asked, not able to help it, staring back at her second cousin, who licked her lips hungrily.

 

“She’s not exactly fully human…”

 

“Left in the dark thank you!” Charlie cut in, holding his hands over his ears, shaking his head. “Please!”

 

Edward sighed resignedly, looking over at Renesmee. “It won’t harm her, Desiree.” He knew his daughter would have both her human and vampire craving covered because of the bloody raw chicken.

 

“Sure, I think there’s a few left in the fridge.” Desiree walked over, making Renesmee a plate with just the raw chicken per Bella’s request.  She then proceeded to put the rest of the food on the table, Edward and Bella declining as always, having fed before they came here for obvious reasons.

 

“Everyone dig in.” Desiree said, still not believing how this dinner meeting between her Uncle Charlie and Jacob turned out.  What did Edward and Bella want?  Why were they here?  She knew they didn’t want to wish her and Jacob well because of the look Bella kept shooting him.

 

Jacob simply ignored Bella, squeezing Desiree’s hand beneath the table, assuring her everything would be fine.  She wasn’t so sure about that, staring up into his dark eyes, and knew her uncle would have to get used to Jacob’s presence a lot more around here or she would just go to La Push.  Either way, nothing and nobody was going to keep them apart. 

 

She didn’t care about Bella’s visit, about Jacob becoming a wolf whenever he chose.  Nothing mattered to her except being with him, feeling his safe and secure arms around her waist.  She loved him and if they couldn’t understand that, then that was their problem. 

 

Edward kept reading Desiree’s mind, not believing how much she was fighting to stay with Jacob.  Maybe he would try talking to Bella about this before she spilled the beans so to speak about the imprinting.  That’s the reason they were there because Bella thought if she revealed the truth about Jacob thinking he imprinted on Renesmee, that it would drive a wedge between him and Desiree.

 

He had a sinking feeling his wife was wrong and hoped she saw the light before it was too late.

 

Chapter 13

 

After a tense and awkward dinner, which was mostly Charlie asking questions, Desiree cleaned up while Edward, Bella, Renesmee and Charlie went to hang out in the living room.  Jacob offered to help, but Desiree declined with a simple shake of her head.  She was mad at him for not telling her about Charlie knowing about everything and had every reason to be. 

 

How many more times would he leave her in the dark?

 

“You’re mad at me.”

 

“No I’m not.”

 

“Yes you are.”

 

“No I’m not.”

 

Jacob sighed, turning Desiree to face him, staring into her eyes. “Yes you are.” He pressed his finger to her lips, silencing her comeback. “You can’t lie to me, Des.”

 

Desiree stood there, waiting patiently for Jacob to remove his finger from her lips, folding her arms in front of her chest. “I’m not mad, I’m hurt.” She corrected evenly, wishing she could stay angry with him because he honestly deserved it.  She’d worried herself for nothing, losing sleep over it, thinking Charlie would probably have a heart attack if he ever knew the truth.

 

“Look, I know I was wrong for not telling you.” Jacob admitted, running a finger down her cheek, dark eyes pleading with her to forgive him. “What do you want me to say, Des?  I was wrong?  Will that make you feel better?”

 

“I don’t want you to say it because you think that’s what I want to hear.  I want you to say you’re wrong because YOU know it.” Desiree stated, biting her bottom lip, and took the drying towel from her shoulder.

 

“I don’t believe I was wrong so I can’t do that.”

 

Jacob was stubborn, knowing he kept her in the dark for a reason.  She’d heard a lot and he didn’t want to overwhelm her by telling her Charlie knew.  Not only that, but he hadn’t really thought of it.

 

“Typical.” Desiree snorted with a roll of her eyes, turning to finish washing the dishes, only for him to turn her around again. “Jacob, I need to finish these.”

 

“I’m helping you then and we can talk.” Jacob took the towel from her shoulder, kissing her forehead, sighing when she tried pulling away. “You can’t stay mad at me forever you know.”

 

“I can stay mad at you for as long as I want.” She retorted stubbornly, trying to avoid eye contact with him as much as possible.  Those dark brown eyes of Jacob’s were her weakness and Desiree refused to melt right now.

 

Jacob rolled his eyes, snorting. “What exactly bothers you so much about this?” He demanded irritably, drying a plate, being very careful.

 

“You’re treating me like I’m made of glass and I’m sick of it, Jake.  You can’t protect me from everything.” She sighed when he just raised an eyebrow, knowing she hadn’t phrased that right. “I just hate being left in the dark.  I thought we were going to be honest with each other?”

 

“I didn’t know how much more you could handle, Desiree.  Do you honestly think that I didn’t battle with myself over telling you?” Jacob knew he hadn’t told her everything and he was building up to it, not realizing Bella was about to do it for him. “Don’t you think I want to let you in?”

 

“Then why won’t you?” She turned to face him, anger and hurt blazing in her jade eyes. “Why is it so hard for you to open up to me, Jacob?”

 

“The same reason it is for you.” Jacob watched her eyes narrow; deciding he would contradict her if that’s what it took to make her see what he was trying to say. “I love you, but you can’t tell me you haven’t told me everything about your life.”

 

Desiree knew he was right and swallowed hard, lowering her intense gaze from his, beginning to wash dishes again.  It was true and she hated herself for it.  She had a secret that she promised her mother she’d take to the grave.  She couldn’t tell anyone, not even Jacob, so she had no right to demand him the same thing when she wasn’t giving it.

 

“I’m sorry.” She whispered, feeling tears prick her eyes, dropping the sponge when he cupped her face in his strong hand and turned her until their eyes met.

 

“I know you’re hiding something and it’s slowly eating you alive.” His voice was low and husky, running his thumb back and forth on her cheek, catching tear that fell. “I wish you would tell me.”

 

“There are some things that I just can’t tell you, Jake.  It has nothing to do with trusting you.  It has to do with loyalty.” Desiree tried pulling away from him to finish the dishes, but Jacob’s strong arm wrapped around her waist prevented her from moving. “Jake…”


His forehead pressed against hers, completely understanding the whole loyalty thing. “I’m not going to force you to tell me anything you don’t wanna, sweetheart.” He assured her, pressing a kiss to her nose. “Just don’t be mad at me every time you find out something new about me.”

 

“I guess that’s fair.” She sighed, nodding, and gripped his arms to keep her balance when he kissed her lips passionately.  When she could no longer breathe, Desiree pulled back, running her thumb across his bottom lip. “You stole some of my gloss.”

 

Jacob growled, snaking his tongue out to lick his lips, groaning at the taste of strawberries on his tongue. “Delicious.” He purred, smirking when she shivered against him, and kissed her again just to get another taste. “Even better the second time.”

 

Desiree was three shades of red, her cheeks burning, and extracted herself from his arms. “You are evil.” She stated, rolling her eyes as Jacob nodded, not even ashamed of it. “Very evil.”

 

“What’s your point?” Jacob retorted smugly, wiggling his eyebrows. “You love it and you know it.”

 

“You’re right; I just love how you torture me.” Her voice was full of sarcasm, grinning at his scowl, and went back to doing the dishes.

 

“Desiree?”

 

Jacob turned around with her, having just finished cleaning up, staring at both Bella and Edward. “Are you two finished?” Edward asked politely, Renesmee in the living room entertaining her grandfather for the time being.

 

“Yeah, lead the way bloodsucker.” Jacob stated, ignoring Bella’s glare, already tensed because he had a feeling he knew what this conversation was going to entail.

 

“Relax Bella love.” Edward whispered in her ear, guiding the way out on the front porch.

 

Jacob wrapped a protective arm around Desiree’s waist, showing them they were not afraid or intimidated.  He was glad Renesmee wouldn’t be involved in this, knowing he owed her an explanation, but that would have to wait until later.  Right now, they had to find out what the Cullens wanted, the night air cool, though Jacob was keeping Desiree warm with his body temperature.

 

“Let’s get this over with, what do you want?” Jacob demanded as soon as they were in the woods, far enough away in case things became ugly.

 

“Jacob, why did you tell her?” Bella demanded, the question burning on her tongue since they fired arrived, eyes narrowing. “Do you have any idea what you’ve done?  You broke your word to me.”

 

“Just like you broke my heart.” Jacob growled, knowing this wouldn’t be easy for Desiree to hear, but it had to be told. “I don’t answer to you, Bella and I never will again.  Sam gave me permission to tell her and I did because she would’ve found out either way.”

 

“Don’t you THINK you should’ve maybe, I don’t know, WAITED for the right time?” Bella was getting angry fast, clenching her fists tightly at her sides. “You have unfinished business, Jacob…”

 

“I know and I’ll handle it.” Jacob stated heatedly, squeezing Desiree’s hand, suddenly cottoning on as to why they were here. “Don’t you DARE, Bella!!

 

“I don’t answer you to you, Jacob, and she has every right to know.”

 

“Bella love, maybe this isn’t the right time…”

 

“Edward, it’s the perfect time.” She argued, arching an eyebrow at Jacob, who used to be her best friend. “You went back on your word to me.  You betrayed us by telling her.”

 

“And why is that?  You didn’t think she could handle it?” Jacob demanded angrily, already feeling the ripple shoot down his spine, knowing he would phase if he didn’t calm down immediately. “Don’t get me upset, Bella.”

 

Desiree had kept quiet long enough, stepping in front of Jacob, glaring at her cousin. “It doesn’t matter what this unfinished business is, Isabella.” She rarely used her cousin’s full name unless she was angry, wanting her to know it. “I love him regardless.”

 

“It’s Bella.” She corrected tensely, eyes blackening with hidden rage.

 

“Look, I don’t know why you came here, but nothing is going to split us apart.  It doesn’t matter what you say.” Desiree wanted to make it clear that she refused to lose Jacob. “I will fight with everything in me to keep him.  Remember what I told you on your last visit?”

 

“What visit?” Both Edward and Jacob asked simultaneously, eyes turning to stare at a rather embarrassed Bella.

 

“Oh you didn’t tell Edward?” Desiree asked innocently, arching an eyebrow. “Wow, that’s funny considering you were hell bent on warning me away from Jacob.”

 

“What?!” Jacob exclaimed, dark eyes narrowing to slits and released Desiree as he stepped back, trying to count backwards from ten so he didn’t phase. “Bella, why the hell would you do that?  I would NEVER hurt her!  Damn it, I love her!” He was irate and, by the blackened eyes of Edward glaring at his wife, he wasn’t alone. “Why didn’t you tell me about that, Desiree?”

 

“I honestly didn’t think it was a big deal.” She admitted, remembering how her and Bella reconciled, how they came to an understanding.  Apparently she was wrong. “It was settled or so I thought.”

 

“Bella, how could you keep something like that from me?” Edward’s voice was full of pain, wondering what else his wife had kept from him, hating her gift because he could never read her mind.

 

“The same reason Desiree didn’t tell Jacob.  It wasn’t necessary for you to know.”

 

“Wasn’t necessary?” Edward gritted his teeth, reading Jacob’s thoughts, knowing he wanted to rip Bella apart.  He wouldn’t let it happen, no matter what she did. “Why are you trying to bring this to an end when it’s obvious how happy they are?”

 

Bella glared at her husband, rolling her eyes. “Do you not care about our daughter’s feelings, Edward?” She demanded bemused, staring back at Jacob with hatred burning in her eyes.

 

“I thought we were here to warn them about the danger we found out.”

 

“Yes, we’re here for that, but I refuse to let my cousin get hurt by a DOG.”

 

“Better than having your life ended by a bloodsucker!” Jacob shouted, not able to contain himself anymore, growling from low in his throat.

 

“What makes you think he’d hurt me?” Desiree demanded heatedly, knowing it probably wasn’t the smartest thing in the world to say, considering she was the only human in this dance, but she had to protect Jacob. “What part of I love him do you not understand, Bella?  I could watch him kill you in front of me and I would STILL love him.  I’m in this for life with him, he’s my soul mate.”

 

“No matter what?”

 

“No matter what.” Desiree echoed, bringing her hand up toward Jacob, frowning when he kept stepping back from her. “Jacob…”

 

“Keep talking, I need to calm down.” Jacob stated tensely, not meaning for it to come out the way it did, but he was pissed off at the moment.

 

“Fine, let’s put what you say to test then.” Bella challenged, ignoring Edward’s warning glare, her eyes only on Desiree at the moment.

 

“Do it.  Tell me anything about him and I guarantee you I won’t feel one bit different.”

 

“Renesmee, what are you doing out here?” Edward demanded, feeling his daughter’s presence, lifting her up in his arms, allowing her small hand to press against his cheek.  “Charlie went to sleep; we have to keep it down so we don’t disturb him.” Edward allowed his daughter to keep showing him visions, nodding. “She wants to tell Desiree herself.”

 

“NO!” Jacob roared, yanking Desiree to stand behind him, eyes blazing with fury. “You’re not telling her anything!!”

 

“Jacob, you have to calm down.” Edward warned, knowing he probably nearly yanked Desiree’s arm out of its socket, eyes narrowing. “Release her arm now.”

 

“Go to hell, bloodsucker!”

 

This was getting out of control and Edward knew if he didn’t defuse it shortly, Desiree was going to get hurt. “You’re hurting her, Jacob.” His voice was soothing, trying not to let this blow out of proportion.

 

“Jacob, please…” Desiree winced slightly, knowing he didn’t know his own strength, swallowing hard. “Jacob, my arm…”

 

Bella knew what was going to happen, looking at Edward worriedly, knowing he was going to lunge.  “Edward, don’t!” She cried, but it was too late as her husband went for Jacob, who shoved Desiree to the side out of harm’s way.

 

Desiree swallowed hard, watching Jacob leap and phase in midair, eyes widening at the sight of his russet colored fur and the sheer size of the beast.  She couldn’t believe this was the same man who she loved more than life itself, who she would die for without blinking an eye.  Desiree scrambled back out of pure instinct, gasping as Bella pulled her out of the way, just as Edward and Jacob went toppling past them.

 

“No!”

 

“Relax Desiree, Edward wasn’t going to let Jacob hurt you.” Bella stated, looking at her cousin’s arm, which had a thick bruise in the shape of a handprint. “But it looks like he did already.”

 

Desiree looked confused as she glanced down at her arm, immediately covering it, tears forming in her eyes. “He didn’t know…” She whispered, a single tear falling down her cheek. “I can’t live without him, Bella.  I love him just like you love Edward, don’t you see that?  I can’t live without him!”

 

Bella sighed, seeing how much pain she had really caused, looking back at her daughter with turmoil in her now golden eyes. “Do you still want to show her, Renesmee?” She asked quietly, knowing it would be her daughter’s ultimate decision.

 

Nodding, Renesmee came toward Desiree and touched her cheek gently, showing her exactly what Jacob had been hiding from her.  Desiree saw visions flash in her mind, blinking at the sight of Jacob playing with Renesmee.  How protective he was of the small child, seeing love shining in his eyes for her.

 

“What does that mean?” Desiree asked in a whisper when Renesmee pulled her hand away, still trembling and worried sick about Jacob, hoping Edward didn’t hurt him.

 

“Desiree, did Jacob ever tell you about imprinting?”

 

Chapter 14

 

Running through the dark woods, all Jacob could think was how close he’d been to really hurting Desiree.  His heart ached every time he thought about it, refusing to phase back into human form.  He was too angry and knew he’d just waste more clothes that way, though at the moment he didn’t have any on him. 

 

Jacob hadn’t exactly planned on getting into an impromptu bout with Edward Cullen or else he would’ve brought the usual pair of jean shorts he carried with him.  The damn bloodsucker thought he knew everything about the world, when in reality, he didn’t even know his own wife!  He was going to tell Desiree about the whole imprinting situation in time, but Bella just HAD to exact her revenge at his expense.

 

If Jacob saw her again anytime soon, he was going to rip her throat out and kill her. 

 

Now you know that wouldn’t be a smart thing to do, Jake. Jared’s voice echoed in his mind, running alongside Jacob, dark brown fur blowing in the breeze. Even though it’d be cool as hell to watch.

 

Jared, I wanna be alone.

 

Jared rolled his eyes, having already guessed that due to reading Jacob’s mind. You do realize what happened tonight isn’t your fault right?  Sam’s been looking for you.  Apparently, the bloodsuckers came across a new threat in the area and came to Charlie’s to warn you.

 

Snorting, Jacob kept running, finally stopping at a nearby stream, staring straight ahead with saddened eyes. Yeah well their intentions were clear.  Bella is trying to drive a wedge between Des and I and I think she succeeded. Jacob’s voice became even quieter, lowering his head, a whine escaping his muzzle. I hurt her tonight, Jared.

 

Oh please!  You know damn well Desiree is fine.  The worst you left was a bruise on her arm.

 

Yeah that’s exactly right.  I left a bruise on her arm because I was so pissed off that I didn’t think before reacting.  I don’t even wanna THINK about what could’ve happened had she not dodged out of the way when I collided with the bloodsucker. Jacob shuddered, every hair on his body standing up, whining as he plopped down on the ground, ears and head lowered in shame.

 

Jared sighed, hating to see his friend and fellow pack member blaming himself for something that was out of his control. Jake, she knows the kind of risk she takes being with you, man.  You can’t blame yourself for this.  It happened and you can’t change it…

 

Jacob’s head slowly lifted, eyes narrowed, knowing what he had to do. Yes I can.

 

Jared made it sound so easy, like it wasn’t a big deal that Jacob left a mark on Desiree.  He knew they still didn’t realize their own strength, which is why he was taking things extremely slow with his new human girlfriend, Lacey Higgins.

 

She was a beautiful woman with jet black hair that hugged her waist along with piercing blue eyes.  Her skin was a smooth caramel color, bringing out her features further, such as her cheekbones.  She stood around five foot nine and had a fiery spirit.

 

Jared thought he’d imprinted on a woman named Kim he went to school with, though that quickly diminished soon after they got together.  Kim didn’t believe him when he revealed his gift, laughing right in his face.  The first chance she got, she cheated on him with her ex-boyfriend and they ended up moving out of Forks, much to Jared’s relief.

 

He knew the moment he laid eyes on Lacey that it was finished, he had officially imprinted.  It was much stronger than when he thought it happened with Kim, like his entire universe stopped.  Jared wasn’t going to make the same mistake twice and decided he would wait awhile before revealing the truth to Lacey.

 

Jared watched as Jacob raced away from him deeper into the woods, shaking his head, having heard exactly what Jacob was planning on doing.  He really hoped Jacob wasn’t making a fatal mistake and let out a howl, letting Sam and the rest know he’d found Jacob.  Turning around, Jared headed back toward the reservation, deciding to go see if Lacey could sneak out.

 

~!~

 

“Of all the RIDICULOUS things you could’ve possibly done tonight, Edward Cullen, you had to provoke him!” Esme shouted, tossing her hands up in the air, golden eyes blazing with fury.

 

Edward sighed and simply sat there, listening to his mother rant and rave, knowing he deserved every bit of it.  He was a complete fool to attack Jacob the way he had, but the man hadn’t realized what he’d done to Desiree.  He also noticed the fear in Bella’s eyes, which automatically triggered his famous protectiveness.

 

“I overreacted.”

 

“Yes you most certainly did!” Esme was beside herself, shooting Carlisle a glare when he went to defend Edward.  “Don’t you DARE try justifying his actions, Carlisle!  What they both did was wrong and opaque!  We have an understanding with Sam and the others, which you’ve probably destroyed with your temperamental actions!”

 

“I’ll make things right, mother.” Edward’s voice was low and soft, refusing to meet eye contact with Bella.  He was very upset with her and it showed, considering it was her fault for trying to exact revenge on Jacob through Desiree.

 

Esme found out from Alice exactly what Bella had done, having a vision of them in the woods with Desiree and Jacob arguing.  She suddenly whirled on her daughter-in-law, those same eyes scorching. “Isabella, I am very disappointed in you.  How could you put this family’s existence in jeopardy for your own selfish reasons?” She demanded, lowering her voice a little, though the same edge was apparent.

 

Bella sighed heavily, leaning back against the couch with her arms folded, looking like a scolded child.  At the moment, she was. “I wasn’t thinking.  I was angry at Jacob for telling Desiree our secret…” She muttered, biting her bottom lip, and looked at her husband for help.

 

Edward simply shook his head, deciding he was not going to protect his wife this time.

 

“Yes, that’s right.  You weren’t thinking and I KNOW that’s not the entire reason you decided to try hurting Jacob Black and your cousin this evening.” Esme stated, feeling her husband’s hands on her shoulders, trying to soothe her.

 

If Bella could blush, she would’ve been three shades of red from embarrassment by now, her pale cheeks simply sucking in. “No, that wasn’t the only reason.” She admitted, not able to lie to Esme even if her existence depended on it. “I also went for my daughter’s honor.”

 

“Renesmee’s honor?” Esme scoffed, shaking her head sadly, and walked over to sit down in a nearby chair. “Bella, you were irate when you found out Jacob imprinted on her.  Now you’re upset because it’s not true?  I thought that bit of news would’ve thrilled you and Edward to pieces that you wouldn’t have a shape shifter as a son-in-law.”

 

Bella flinched, knowing Esme made several good points, sighing heavily. “Renesmee is in pain, Esme, and it kills me that there is nothing I can do for her.  She’s truly hurt by what Jacob has done…”

 

“It’s out of his control and you know that, Bella.” Carlisle said in a softer voice, though he did somewhat understand her side. “You did it out of spite, that’s why we’re so upset with you.”

 

“I know and I’m sorry for disgracing the family.” Bella closed her eyes, knowing she was very wrong for what happened tonight, including revealing the truth to Desiree about Jacob’s history with Renesmee. “I will make things right.”

 

“Yes you will.” Esme agreed, glancing at her husband solemnly. “The first thing we have to worry about is this threat that draws near.  We’ve already contacted the Denali for assistance amongst other clans.”

 

“Alice has seen a new vision, Bella, and it involves Desiree…” He trailed off, looking over at Edward, watching his eyes widen slightly in shock.  He knew his son had read his mind, something he didn’t care for, but it was out of Edward’s control most of the time.  “That’s not all either.”

 

“You don’t mean…”

 

“I’m afraid so, Edward.” Esme’s voice was resigned, seeing the confusion spread across Bella’s face, wondering how they were supposed to break this news to her. “Bella…”

 

“Wait.” Edward held his hand up, stopping Esme from going further. “I want to tell her.”

 

“Edward, please tell me what’s going on.” For the first time in awhile, Bella was genuinely scared, wondering what Alice had saw.  Sometimes she wished she had Edward’s gift instead of her shield.  “Edward…”

 

“Bella love,” He couldn’t stay mad at her for long, walking over and sitting down, taking her hand in his own, their eyes meeting. “Desiree is with child.”

 

~!~

 

Desiree still couldn’t believe what happened as she sat in her room later on that night, worried to death for Jacob.  She knew he would be fine or hoped anyway, knowing he was incredibly angry.  Granted, she had some questions regarding what Bella told her, though that really didn’t matter. 

 

So what if Jacob thought he imprinted on Renesmee? 

 

Like that was supposed to scare Desiree away?

 

Highly unlikely.

 

“Jake…” She whispered, trying to call out to him somehow, even though she knew he wouldn’t hear her, a single tear falling down her cheek. 

 

This dinner she planned wasn’t just telling Charlie about their relationship, Desiree had a plan and Bella completely demolished it.  She just wanted to see his face, stare in his dark eyes, and hold him close.  Desiree sighed and slid from the bed, wearing a simple pale blue nightgown that pooled at her feet and was long sleeved with a hoop shaped neckline, her hair down and damp fresh out of the shower.

 

If only there was some way to contact him.

 

Desiree sat down at her desk, turning the computer on, deciding to do a little homework toward her GED.  She was taking the major test in two weeks, which was exciting, and then she could start looking for a job.  She couldn’t let this bit of news get her down, knowing there was nothing that could be done to fix it. 

 

Honestly, she didn’t want to.

 

Halfway through the math assignment, Desiree jumped when she heard something tap at her window, blinking.  Her heart began to pound furiously as she stood up from the chair, slowly walking toward the window and looked down, tears filling her eyes at the sight of Jacob.  She immediately opened the window and watched, fascinated, as he climbed up the tree, using the house for leverage, swinging himself agilely into her room.  Desiree couldn’t help letting huge tears slide down her cheeks, running into his arms, happy that he was safe.

 

“I was so worried…” She sobbed softly, knowing Charlie was sleeping, so they had to keep it down.

 

Jacob frowned, not expecting this type of reaction from his girlfriend and immediately grabbed her upper arms, gently but firmly pushing her away.  He didn’t want to hurt her anymore than what he already had, swallowing hard at her tears.  This was going to be the hardest thing he’d ever have to do in his life, but Jacob knew it had to be done.

 

“Desiree, we have to talk.”

 

Her heart nearly fell in her stomach, those words sounding ominous, confusion and hurt registering on her face. “What about?” She asked, wiping her tears away, trying not to think the worst.

 

“Us.” Jacob didn’t meet her eyes, instead walking over to stare out the window, folding his arms in front of his chest. “I don’t think we should see each other anymore.”

 

Desiree felt lightheaded, her knees growing weak, and had to sit down on the bed before she collapsed, breathing heavily. “Jake, what’re you talking about?” She tried like hell keeping the shakiness out of her voice, but it wasn’t happening.

 

“What, you didn’t hear me the first time?” He growled, angry at himself for letting this continue as long as it did. “I don’t want to be with you anymore.”

 

“I-I don’t understand…” Desiree stammered, completely caught off guard, fresh tears sliding down her face. “If this is about tonight…”

 

“No, it’s not about tonight.  It’s about what COULD’VE happened tonight.” He corrected her, trying not to let any emotion into his voice, but it was close to impossible.  He loved her so much and he was going to let her go in order to keep her safe. “I lost control tonight, Desiree.”

 

“You were angry…”

 

“Exactly!” Jacob’s voice hardened, his head snapping to stare at her through anger-filled dark eyes. “I got pissed off and phased without thinking twice about it, even when you were there.  That can’t happen again.”

 

“Jake, please…”

 

Jacob closed his eyes, feeling his own heart aching, wanting to take her in his arms and not go through with this.  He had no choice though, clenching his fists at his sides. “I can’t be with you anymore, Desiree.  I was a fool thinking this could work between us.  I’m a monster and I can’t change that.  I can’t give you what you need, what you deserve.  You don’t need to be with a guy who turns into a wolf and constantly puts your life in danger whenever he gets angry.  Because that’s exactly what happens when I do get angry, Desiree, and I haven’t fully grasped how to control that.”

 

“So you’re breaking up with me because you think I’m constantly in danger with you?” Desiree’s voice rose in pitch, not caring at this point if Charlie overheard them, anger flashing in her acid filled green eyes. “Jake, shouldn’t it be MY decision when I’ve had enough?  Don’t I even get a say in any of this?!”

 

“No.” Jacob could already feel the tingle rushing down his spine, knowing he was getting angry and had to maintain it until he was out of sight. “This time it was a simple bruise on your arm.  I don’t even want to THINK about next time, Desiree.  This doesn’t even matter anymore.  It’s over between us.”

 

Desiree trembled with anger, staring at this man, who she thought had a heart. “You’re such an asshole!  You stand there telling me you don’t want to be with me and that you don’t deserve me, when the truth is you don’t even know what you want!  Why don’t you stop making excuses, Jacob Black, and say what you really mean for ONCE in your life!  Stop treating me like a damn porcelain doll!  Stop being a coward!”

 

Jacob’s eyes flashed, a snarl curling his lips, taking a step toward her. “You don’t know what the hell you’re talking about, Desiree!  You have NO idea how hard this is for me and to call me a coward is hitting below the belt.  You’ll move on and get over this…” She had to for both of their sakes before her life was put in jeopardy again.

 

“So imprinting on me means absolutely NOTHING to you?”

 

Bella Cullen was officially on Jacob’s list of people to maim, eyes narrowing to slits. “I never imprinted on you.” He stated, glancing back out the window, stomach tightening. “I have to go.”

 

“Fine, go; run away from me, Jacob.  But know this, when you finally do come to your senses and realize what you’ve done, I won’t be here!” Desiree shouted, wanting to scratch his eyes out, wanting him to feel an OUNCE of the pain she was feeling at the moment. 

 

“Don’t worry, baby, I won’t be back.  Goodbye Desiree.” Jacob leapt out of the window and barely made it in the woods before phasing, letting out a heart breaking howl.

 

Desiree collapsed on her knees, feeling her heart shatter in her chest, and wrapped her arms tightly around herself as heart wrenching sobs tore her body completely apart.

 

Chapter 15

 

For the next three days, Desiree kept herself locked in her room, refusing to come out or let anyone in.  She didn’t want to see anyone or talk, just wanting to be completely left alone.  The tear ducts were drying up, but somehow, tears kept falling whenever Desiree thought about Jacob Black. 

 

It wasn’t fair; Desiree couldn’t understand why Jacob had left her, knowing the whole protection was just a scapegoat.  He was a coward and left her completely broken with a bleeding heart.  Still, Desiree knew she had several options, placing a hand on her stomach, swallowing past the lump in her throat. 

 

She had another life growing inside of her that she knew was Jacob’s, considering he took her innocence. 

 

So now Desiree was at a crossroads and she had several options to consider.  She could move out of Forks, without telling Jacob about the pregnancy, and live in her mother’s house in Massachusetts or she could stick it out in Forks with Charlie and force Jacob to take responsibility for their child.  If only Desiree knew what to do. 

 

She wasn’t sure if she could live in the same area as the man who broke her heart.

 

Desiree hadn’t told anyone about the baby and knew, once Charlie found out, he would probably go wolf hunting.  She cringed at the thought, already picturing in her mind the vein in her uncle’s forehead throbbing, his face turning a deep angry red.  Charlie knew her and Jacob split, so to find out that Jacob had walked away from his niece and child would probably force her uncle to his knees.

 

Once again, Desiree knew she had options when it came to the pregnancy.  She’d already contemplated having the baby and putting it up for adoption, but Desiree couldn’t do that.  She knew in her heart if she carried the baby to term, which hadn’t been decided on yet, she would end up keeping it. 

 

Abortion was another option, though Desiree was scared to death, and honestly would feel like a murderer because this baby never did anyone harm.  It was her and Jacob’s stupidity for not using protection, though Desiree never dreamed he would actually leave her.  Tears slid down her cheeks as Desiree contemplated the future, not knowing what to do anymore. 

 

Did she honestly want to be a mother this soon in her life? 

 

“Mom, I’m scared.  Tell me what to do please…” She whispered pleadingly, wishing her mother was here to help her through this. 

 

This would change everything about Desiree’s plans for the future, including possibly going to college, after receiving her GED.  She didn’t know if she was prepared to let all of her dreams go down the drain for a baby.  It was so much responsibility, Desiree wasn’t sure if she could honestly handle being a mother this soon in her life.  She wasn’t even an adult yet, though her eighteenth birthday was in one week.

 

A knock sounded at her bedroom door as Desiree sat on her bed Indian style, staring down at her clasped hands.  She didn’t want to be bothered, but also knew Charlie was worried sick about her.  Closing her bloodshot, swollen reddened eyes, Desiree took a deep shaky breath and decided it was time to face the world again.

 

“Come in.”

 

The door opened and Charlie stood in the doorway, arms folded in front of his chest, looking somewhat shocked.  His niece had told him repeatedly to go away, so he wasn’t expecting Desiree to let him waltz right in.  A frown marred his face at the sight of her broken form, immediately going to her side and sat down on the bed pulling her into his arms.

 

It was almost as if that one movement sent a whole spiral of emotions flooding through her as huge tears slid down her cheeks, clinging to her uncle for dear life.  Desiree felt so alone right now, so abandoned, and she wasn’t sure what to do.  Charlie tried relaxing her, running his fingers through her hair, rocking her after pulling her on his lap, trying to calm her down. 

 

He was going to kill Jacob Black on principal for hurting his niece.

 

Charlie let her cry for about an hour, knowing she needed the release, and finally felt her pull back.  He reached over and grabbed the box of tissue from her nightstand, plucking a few, and wiped her tears away with a gentle sigh.  The pain in her eyes made Charlie’s heart ache, holding her closer as her head rested on his shoulder.

 

“What happened, Desi?” He murmured quietly, rubbing her back soothingly, knowing she had to take her time to talk.  Charlie was willing to stay up all night if that’s what it took, kissing the top of her head. “You can tell your Uncle Charlie anything, honey.”

 

That was easier said than done, especially with what Desiree found out about a week ago. “I don’t know if I can.” She finally whispered, trembling from sheer fear, suddenly picturing smoke coming out of Charlie’s ears like one of those cartoons on television.

 

“Whatever it is, we can work through it Desi.” Charlie assured her, hating how petrified his niece was. “I’m sure it’s not as bad as you think.”

 

The coaxing was slowly working as Desiree sniffled, blowing her nose with one of the tissues, still not meeting her uncle’s eyes.  How could she be so irresponsible?  Hadn’t Charlie been through enough lately with the untimely passing of his sister and having to take his only niece in?

 

“It’s pretty bad.” She swallowed hard, trying not to choke on the words, feeling fresh tears burning her jade eyes.

 

Charlie felt his stomach sinking, wondering what could possibly have happened, besides her split with Jacob.  He still didn’t know what happened between them, honestly not wanting to.  Afraid if he did find out, Charlie would be going Jacob hunting with his rifle.

 

Being sheriff had its perks.

 

“Desiree, you have to tell me what’s going on so I can help you.” Charlie stated, his voice a little stronger, placing his hands on her shoulders and finally forced her eyes up to meet his. “Just tell me.”

 

“You have to promise me you won’t get mad, turn color or have smoke come out of your ears.”

 

Charlie chuckled, not able to help it, though that immediately died at the seriousness in his niece’s eyes.  Whatever this was, Charlie knew he was not going to like it.  He could literally sense the fear pouring from Desiree, knowing he couldn’t lose his temper, no matter what came out of her mouth.

 

“I promise.”

 

“Swear it on your badge.”

 

Charlie blinked, holding his right hand up, nodding. “I swear on my badge I won’t lose my temper, turn colors or have smoke come out of my ears.” He stated as an oath, watching her carefully. “Now tell me what’s going on Desiree.  It’s against the law to withhold information from a deputy sheriff.”

 

“You’re my uncle right now; you’re not on duty.” Desiree argued, slowly standing up from his lap, needing to stand and move or she would definitely lose her nerve.

 

“Still, I can’t help you if you don’t tell me what’s going on.” Charlie insisted, leaning his elbows on his knees, staring at her intently. “Just take a deep breath and don’t rush it.  Just tell me.”

 

Desiree nodded, knowing her uncle was right because she couldn’t keep this to herself much longer.  She’d already made an appointment with an OBGYN in Forks and it was bound to get back to Charlie in no time.  Forks was a very small town with tons of gossiping and Desiree honestly didn’t want him hearing this from anyone else.

 

“I’m pregnant Uncle Charlie.”

 

~!~

 

“Bella, do you have any idea what will happen if Edward finds this out?” Alice whispered frantically, wishing there was some way to stop her sister-in-law.  Jasper, Emmett, Rosalie and Edward were out for the night hunting mountain lions. “What makes you think she’ll even listen to us?”

 

“Because it’s not just her life in danger, Alice.” Bella replied, having been over this repeatedly, still not believing Jacob had gotten her cousin pregnant. 

 

Seth Clearwater had come to the Cullen place to inform them what happened, how Jacob had left Desiree, which made Bella feel extremely guilty.  She had to make things right, knowing this was her fault.  If she wouldn’t have goaded Jacob on, because of her own selfish reasons, Desiree would still be with Jacob.

 

“I really hope you’re doing the right thing.” Alice sighed, stopping when Bella did, knowing they were nearing the boundary line that the Cullens couldn’t cross. “Does she know we’re coming?”

 

“No, but I imagine Seth will somehow persuade her to come here.” Bella said confidently, knowing Seth wouldn’t let them down.  He had a soft spot for the Cullens, unlike his sister Leah, though who they wanted to speak to felt the same way Leah did.

 

“If Edward finds out about this…”

 

“Edward won’t find out unless you think about it.” Bella said, trying to assure Alice this was the right thing they were doing. “Alice, I really screwed up and I want to make things right…”

 

“Sometimes trying to correct a wrong doesn’t make a right though, Bella.”

 

Bella knew she was right, but she still had to try.  The worse that could happen was way worse than Desiree and Jacob not being together; she could end up dead because of the newborns.  They stopped, seeing the invisible boundary line. 

 

Bella knew it like the back of her hand, due to coming to La Push with Jacob when she was human.  She would always meet Jacob at the boundary line, since Edward always insisted on dropping her off and picking her up.  Those days were very confusing for Bella, though she didn’t regret her decision in choosing Edward and becoming an immortal.

 

“Bella?”

 

Bella and Alice snapped their heads to the side, that voice telling both Seth had followed through.  Alice brushed the hair from her forehead as the individual stepped from behind the tree, looking over at her sister-in-law questioningly.  Was this really the only way to help Desiree?

 

“Thank you for coming Emily.”

 

“I didn’t do it for your benefit.” Emily’s voice was low and cold, arms folded in front of her chest. “Make this quick, I have to get back to Sam.”

 

Bella sighed, not blaming the woman for hating her, considering all the pain she’d put Jacob through. “Emily, this isn’t about the past.  This is about my cousin Desiree.  I made a mistake and I have to make it right.”

 

Emily raised an eyebrow, knowing exactly what happened between Jacob and Desiree, which she was still incredibly upset about. “What about her?” She demanded gruffly, remembering Sam telling her not to bother Jacob about it.

 

“Look, you know what happened and we need your help.  Please.” Bella hated begging a shape shifter’s fiancée, but if that’s what it took to help Desiree, then that’s what she’d do. “We can’t do this without you.”

 

“Why me?” Emily demanded, lowering her eyes to the ground, swallowing hard. “I hardly know her…”

 

“But you know her enough.” Alice chimed in, golden eyes shining through the darkness. “We need you to go to Charlie’s and talk to her.”

 

“You can bring someone with you if you want, just to make it easier.  You HAVE to convince her that the safest place for her right now is with us.” Bella knew there was no way Desiree would ever agree to stay in La Push, so with the Cullens was the next logical explanation.

 

Emily stared at Bella like she’d grown a second head, wondering if she was serious. “Why wouldn’t she be safer in La Push?” She retorted, folding her arms in front of her chest, still not believing she’d agreed to Seth’s request to meet two bloodsuckers in the woods. “The vampires can’t step foot on Quileute lands…”

 

“We understand that.” Alice decided to be peacemaker, placing a hand on Bella’s arm. “However, after what’s transpired between Desiree and Jacob…”

 

“She won’t agree to stay here.” Bella cut in, the impatience evident in her ringing voice, topaz eyes pleading with Emily to understand. “Please, you have to help us.  We can’t do this alone.”

 

“Why does she have to stay with the Cullens in the first place?” Emily wasn’t backing down, wanting every single detail, eyes narrowing when Alice’s eyes adverted to the ground. “You either tell me EVERYTHING that’s going on or I won’t help you.”

 

Alice sighed, having expected that, and nodded. “I had a vision that involved Desiree with a child and the newborns killed her…”

 

“Wait WHAT?” Emily exclaimed, dark eyes widening slightly. “What do you mean with a child?”

 

Bella and Alice looked at each other, both of them realizing Emily didn’t know about Desiree’s pregnancy. “Desiree is with child…” Alice stated in a firm tone of voice, watching the shock flood Emily’s face, the color draining, and a shaking hand reaching up to cover her mouth.

 

“Now do you see why we need your help?” Bella was desperate now, actually reaching forward to grab Emily’s other hand, knowing if she could cry right now she would. “Desiree is carrying Jacob’s baby.  I made a terrible mistake, Emily…”

 

“Don’t touch me, bloodsucker!” Emily growled, yanking her hand from Bella’s ice cold one instantly, chills running throughout her body. “How do I know this isn’t some kind of trick?”

 

“I can show you.” Renesmee stated from behind, having been hidden in the shadows, her pale complexion glowing in the moonlight.

 

“My daughter has a gift.  She can touch you and show you exactly what Alice has seen.” Bella explained, nodding at Renesmee, who walked over with bouncing copper curls. “She’s half-human, you can trust her.”

 

“I don’t trust any of you Cullens.” Emily shot back, backing up when Renesmee took a step toward her, trying to stop breathing heavily.  She was truly terrified of this half-human, half-vampire creature, refusing to call her a child because Renesmee was far from it. “I’ll go talk to her on my own terms, not yours.”

 

“The only thing we care about is Desiree and the baby’s safety.” Alice assured Emily, holding her hand up when Renesmee took another step toward, shaking her head. “She is about two months along.  She has a doctor’s appointment tomorrow regarding it, but Charlie is going with her.  Your best time to talk to her will be tomorrow at seven o’clock when Charlie goes to work the night shift.”

 

“How do you KNOW all of this?” Emily whispered, still in disbelief that Desiree was actually pregnant.  She had to tell Sam about this immediately, but then wondered if that was such a good idea.

 

“Because I have the gift of sight.”

 

Emily didn’t want to know anything else, shaking her head. “I’ll talk to her.” She wanted to get as far away from the Cullens as possible, officially freaked out, swallowing hard. “I can’t promise anything.”

 

“All we ask is that you try.” Bella whispered, placing her hands on Renesmee’s shoulders, cracking a hesitant ghostly smile. “Any help is much appreciated, Emily.”

 

Emily nodded and backed up before practically sprinting back to La Push, needing to be in Sam’s arms now more than ever.

 

Chapter 16

 

“Why am I going with again?”

 

“Because I’m not doing this alone.” Emily replied, driving down the road toward Charlie’s house.

 

“Why are you even getting involved in this?” Lacey asked, looking over at the only friend she’d met since moving to La Push, arching an eyebrow. 

 

She knew all about Jared being a shape shifter and was fine with it, for the most part, because she knew he was her soul mate.  She truly believed in them and felt the strong connection they had.  It was surreal and mind blowing, something Lacey had never, and would never, feel again in her life.

 

At first it was unbelievable and Lacey absolutely refused to talk to Jared…until Emily stepped in and talked to her about it.  She explained in detail how Sam told her about it and how she reacted.  Part of Lacey still didn’t believe it, but she loved Jared enough to not let her insecurities get between them. 

 

Emily helped her through that and Lacey felt she owed her, even though she’d never met Bella Swan or any of her family before.  According to Emily, Bella was very flighty, who used people for her own selfish reasons.  Still, Bella wasn’t Desiree and Emily seemed to be attached to her in a way, so Lacey was going to do what she could to help her friend.

 

“I don’t even know why I’m doing this, but I do want to help Desiree.  She’s a really sweet girl who is in trouble right now.” Emily said, turning the corner, and they both could see Charlie’s white two story house just a few hundred feet away.

 

“And you think helping her by telling her she has to stay with the Cullens is going to help?”

 

Emily snorted with a roll of her eyes, shaking her head. “What makes you think I’m telling her she has to stay with the Cullens?” She retorted swiftly, staring straight ahead. “I told them I would talk to her.  I never said I was going to tell her what they wanted.”

 

Lacey smirked, noticing the spitfire coming out in Emily, nodding. “So what exactly are you going to tell her?” She didn’t mean to pry, but Lacey was honestly curious as Emily pulled in front of Charlie’s house.

 

Putting the car in park and cutting the ignition, Emily looked over at Lacey, sighing. “I guess I won’t have a choice in telling her about the threat…” As much as it killed Emily to do it, she knew it had to be said. “Though, she would be safer in La Push than with a bunch of bloodsucking leeches.”

 

“That I agree with.” Lacey still had a hard time comprehending all of this, but she was there for support and wouldn’t let Emily down. “I just wonder what Sam will think about all of this.”

 

“Sam will probably berate me for not keeping my nose out of this, but how can I when her life is clearly on the line?”

 

Emily didn’t tell Lacey about the baby, knowing that would just open up another can of worms that didn’t need to be released yet.  The important thing was keeping Desiree safe and that was the reason Emily was doing this.  Stepping out of the car, Emily and Lacey walked across the grass up the few steps, knocking on Charlie’s front door.

 

The knocking woke Desiree up from her peaceful nap, more tired than usual for obvious reasons.  She’d just gotten back two hours ago from her OBGYN appointment, physically and emotionally drained.  Charlie had asked every question in the book, things Desiree didn’t even want to think about, but she was blessed to have her uncle to help pull her through this.

 

“I’m coming, I’m coming!” She called out, standing from the couch, wearing a simple black baby doll shirt with tan stretchy Capri pants.  She was seven weeks along in the pregnancy, eight in a few days, and would have to get used to this type of clothing soon enough.  Desiree walked over to the front door, too tired to bother looking out the window and opened it, blinking at the sight of Emily with another woman she hadn’t met yet. “Emily?”

 

“Hey sweetie.” Emily greeted softly, already noticing the glow from Desiree, even though the woman had been through a lot the past few days.

 

“Hi.” Desiree wrapped her arms around herself, a slight frown on her lips. “What’re you doing here?”

 

“We were just in the neighborhood, thought we’d stop by and see how you were doing.” Emily replied smoothly, surprised by how easy lying was, because normally she was horrendous at it.

 

Desiree didn’t believe that, but didn’t say anything, simply nodding. “I’m fine.” That was a lie, but she refused to break down to Emily about how Jacob destroyed and left her alone to care for their unborn child. “Who are you?” She asked politely, gesturing to the woman standing beside Emily.

 

“Oh, I’m so sorry!” Emily smacked her forehead lightly, rolling her eyes. “Where are my manners tonight honestly?  Desiree, this is Lacey Higgins.  She recently moved to La Push.  Lacey, this is Desiree Swan.”

 

“It’s very nice to meet you.  I’ve heard a lot about you.” Lacey said, extending her hand and smiled warmly when Desiree shook it briefly, knowing the woman had to be suspicious of their visit.

 

“Likewise.” Desiree bit her bottom lip, knowing she was being rude. “Do you two want to come in for a minute?”

 

“Sure that’d be great.”

 

Nodding, Desiree walked back inside with Emily and Lacey following, the door shutting moments later.  They sat down at the kitchen table, the usual hangout spot for any of Desiree’s visitors, while she retrieved some glasses of ice cold lemonade.  Desiree sat down, the dark circles under her eyes indicating she hadn’t slept much lately.

 

Emily noticed it, but decided against saying anything yet. “Thanks sweetie.” She sipped the lemonade, wondering how the hell she was supposed to go about telling Desiree what the Cullens had.

 

“Why are you here Emily?” Desiree hated beating around the bush, asking that rather bluntly, leaning back in her chair with a skeptical eyebrow raised. “You can stop with the act.  I know you’re here for a reason and, judging by your fidgeting, nobody else knows you’re here.”

 

Wow this woman was very observant and somewhat of a bitch, though Lacey didn’t blame her honestly.

 

Emily sighed heavily with a nod, running the pad of her thumb around the rim of the glass, clearing her throat. “Yeah, there is a reason I’m here.” There was no point in lying to Desiree.

 

“Look, if this is about that asshole Jacob Black…”

 

“It’s not sweetie, I promise you it’s not.” Emily immediately cut her off, having expected that reaction, watching as Desiree slowly sat back down in her chair. “Surprisingly, I’m here because…well…because of your cousin Isabella.”

 

Green eyes flashed venomously as Desiree’s jaw clenched, the mere mention of Bella’s name sending fire of rage throughout her body. “What about her?” She asked through gritted teeth, releasing the glass of lemonade so she didn’t break it.

 

“Ah, you don’t like her either eh?” Lacey tried cracking a small joke, but it didn’t work.  The tension was so thick in the air; it couldn’t be cut with a knife.

 

Emily sighed and took another deep breath, actually glad for this reaction, though she didn’t show it. “She and Alice came to me last night about some kind of vision the bloodsucker had regarding you.” She didn’t mention the baby because Lacey didn’t know about it yet. “I know this is a lot of digest with what you’re going through, Desiree, but…do you remember that night you were attacked?”

 

“The night Jacob lied to me about, telling me that I tripped and hit my head on a rock, and made me feel like a total idiot?  Yeah, I remember it vaguely, why?” Desiree spat, the hatred dripping in her tone as she abruptly stood from the table, trying to take deep breaths.  She couldn’t get stressed out because of the baby, needing to calm down.

 

Lacey could tell Emily was losing her nerve and decided to take charge, standing up as well. “Look, we know you’re going through a rough time right now and we’re here to try to help you.  So why don’t you drop the damn attitude already?  We didn’t do anything to you and we’re currently not Jacob Black.  We’re trying to tell you that your life is in danger, Desiree…serious danger because of that night.”

 

“What do you mean?” Desiree swallowed hard, placing a protective hand over her flat stomach, not expecting Lacey to snap at her the way she did.  In a way though, it woke Desiree up as tears filled her eyes.

 

“Your life is in danger, Desiree.” Emily stated, locking eyes with the woman briefly before looking at her stomach, hoping she got the message that way.  She really didn’t want to tell Lacey about the baby because it wasn’t her place to do so. “Alice said she saw a vision of you dying.  She wants you to stay at the Cullen residence until this matter is handled…”

 

Desiree started physically shaking; having caught on to what Emily was trying to tell her, a few tears slipping down her cheeks.  Her life wasn’t the only one in jeopardy, but Desiree flat out REFUSED to stay with her cousin after what happened.  She was the reason, in Desiree’s mind, that Jacob decided to end things between them. 

 

“No, I won’t stay with them!” Desiree shouted, raking a hand through her hair, knowing she could leave and go to Massachusetts. “I can leave tonight; I can get a plane and go to my mom’s house…”

 

Emily shook her head, walking toward Desiree, and gripped her arms to stop her from freaking out. “No, they’ll just follow your scent there, Des.  Nobody can protect you there; you’d be a lot safer here.” Emily said, once again feeling a leap of joy erupt inside of her when Desiree refused to go to the Cullens.  That’s what she was aiming for.

 

“Then what the hell am I supposed to do?!” Desiree cried, shaking her head frantically, trying to break free from Emily’s grip.

 

“There is another option…”

 

Lacey decided to excuse herself, giving them some privacy, and headed outside for some air.

 

“What option is that?” Desiree whispered, wiping her tears away, taking a few deep breaths through the nose and out of the mouth to calm down.  She knew it wasn’t good or healthy for her baby, which is all that mattered to her right now.

 

Emily smiled softly, placing a hand on Desiree’s shoulder. “You could stay with me and Sam.” She held her hand up when Desiree immediately began arguing, shaking her head. “Listen to me; this has nothing to do with Jacob Black or trying to get you back together with him.  I’m not like that and I normally don’t stick my nose in other people’s business.  But Desiree, if your life and your baby’s are in danger, shouldn’t that be all that matters?  I promise Jacob doesn’t have to know you’re staying with us, even though Sam will more than likely tell him without actually saying anything.”

 

That confused Desiree as her eyebrow rose, sniffling a bit. “What do you mean he’ll tell him without actually saying anything?” She whispered, having not heard all of the secret traits of the pack.

 

“Oh, Jacob didn’t tell you apparently.” Emily sighed, wrapping an arm around Desiree’s shoulders. “Well, when they phase into wolves, in order to keep communication no matter what, they can hear each other’s thoughts.  That unfortunately means they also know each other’s personal and private business, their deepest thoughts.  There’s no way Sam won’t think about this once we tell him if you agree to stay with us.”

 

“I don’t want to see him.” Desiree whispered painfully, her heart lurching, more tears falling from her eyes. “I don’t even want to LOOK at him or breathe the same air as him, Emily.”

 

“I know sweetie, I know you don’t.” Emily crooned soothingly, hugging her close, stroking her hair. “I’ll make sure he doesn’t bother you.” She promised, knowing this was the only way for Desiree to be safe for her and the baby’s sake. “You can help me cook and we can read about this baby situation.  We’ll get you some books and maybe even get you into some classes.”

 

“Why are you being so nice to me?” Desiree just couldn’t bring herself to talk regularly, not trusting her voice.  She didn’t want it to crack. “I’ve been nothing but a bitch to you since you walked through that door.”

 

Emily chuckled, pulling back to stare into her friend’s eyes –that’s exactly what she thought of Desiree and nothing would change it-, nodding gently. “You are going through hormones and changes that are overwhelming, so believe me when I say I don’t take anything you do or say personally right now.”

 

Desiree started crying harder, wrapping her arms around Emily’s waist, burying her face in the woman’s chest.  Every part of her body shook violently, the sobs tearing her inside and out, but Desiree couldn’t help it.  Emily simply held her close, knowing Desiree needed this release and didn’t say a word, just simply stroked her hair and back. 

 

“I miss him so much…” Desiree sobbed out, finally saying the words that she’d tried hard not to since Emily arrived. “I still love him and I don’t want to.”

 

“I know…” Emily’s heart broke, wanting to strangle Jacob for his behavior as of late, not believing he could leave Desiree like this. “We’ll figure this all out, but right now, you need to go upstairs and pack.  I’m not leaving this house without you.  We’ll tell Charlie what’s going on and everything will be fine.”

 

“Charlie…” She whispered, the fear suddenly entering her eyes. “No, I can’t leave my uncle here with them!”

 

“Sshhh relax sweetie, we’re not going to leave Charlie.  Charlie is more than likely gonna stay at Sue Clearwater’s until this is handled.  We have more room at our place and you’ll be safer with us.” Not to mention Emily knew Desiree needed a female in her life to help get her through this pregnancy.  “Everything is going to be fine.  You just have to trust me, okay?”

 

“I do trust you.”

 

“Good.” Emily grinned, patting her shoulder. “You pack what you can and we’ll get the rest at the local store before heading to La Push.”

 

Nodding, Desiree knew she didn’t have a choice and walked out of the kitchen up the stairs to her bedroom.  She knew being with Sam and Emily was the best decision for her and the baby.  Jacob Black would have to deal with her presence because Desiree wanted to live and she refused to put their child in jeopardy. 

 

Sooner or later, the truth was going to come out because Desiree could only hide the pregnancy for so long.  She just hoped when it did that Jacob stepped up to the plate and took responsibility instead of running away from her.  Desiree packed a bag full of shirts and pants with garments and a few other items, including her laptop before finally heading downstairs, where Emily was waiting for her.

 

A few minutes later, they were driving away from Charlie’s and heading to La Push.

 

Chapter 17

 

“Edward, please let me explain…”

 

“Explain?  Explain what?  The fact that you went behind my back and actually asked Sam’s fiancée, Emily, to persuade Desiree to stay with us?!” Edward exclaimed, eyes pure black fire, growling from low in his throat. “Bella, you have pulled a lot of things since we’ve been together, but this is too much.”

 

Bella sighed heavily, knowing her husband was disappointed, but honestly thought she’d done the right thing. “Edward, I know you think what I did is wrong…”

 

“There is no thinking on it, Bella.  It IS wrong.” Edward growled, needing to step back before he ended up attacking her to get his frustrations out. “What else have you been keeping from me?”

 

“Nothing.” That was the truth. “You have no idea how much this pained me to keep it from you, but I knew you’d never agree to it!”

 

“You damn right I wouldn’t and you know why?  Because the pack does NOT trust us!  How could you put yourself in danger?” Edward knew if he was human, a headache would be forming. “Bella, what is it going to take to keep you out of trouble?”

 

“I did what I thought best for my cousin and her child!” Bella shouted defensively, topaz eyes instantly turning black with anger. “Her life is in danger because of our existence!  I’m not going to stand by and allow them to kill her!”

 

“And you truly believe we’d allow anything to happen to her?” Edward sounded almost in disbelief, wondering just how much trust Bella felt for him. “Bella, she is family because of you.  Our family will never go without protection.”

 

“I made a mistake and tried rectifying it.” Bella argued, refusing to back down, even though Edward angry at her was almost more than she could stand it. “Edward, I provoked Jacob into phasing and it’s my fault you had to attack him to protect Desiree.  I have this guilt eating away at me, even though I’m not human, and I couldn’t ignore it.  I had to try to make things right.”

 

“So you went to Emily, which is still something I don’t understand.  Care to enlighten me, Bella?” Edward tried to calm down, his fists clenched tightly at his sides, but it was close to impossible.

 

“Emily and Desiree are closer than we are.  She doesn’t want to see or talk to me because she blames me for losing Jacob.  And she’s right.” Alice had a vision and told her about it, how much hatred Desiree felt for her. “And now she’s pregnant, Edward, with his child.  She would’ve never listened to me about her life and the baby’s being in danger.” Bella sighed, walking past him to stare out the glass window. “Alice told me the only person she would probably speak to was Emily.”

 

“Alice told you this?” Edward was going to kill his sister slowly, eyes narrowing. “First Alice keeps this from me and then she actually tells you to go to the enemy camp?”

 

“Edward, please don’t be mad at Alice…” Bella cringed and ducked when a lamp suddenly flew past her out the window, glass shattering.

 

“I will KILL her for putting you in danger!”

 

“Edward, stop!” Bella ordered, shoving him away from the door, knowing all that would happen was a stupid fight that didn’t need to be had. “She didn’t put me in danger!  Nobody was in danger!  I just went to talk to Emily!  There were no wolves or anything, just me and her with Alice!”

 

“She needs to keep her thoughts to herself instead of filling your head with things that may or may not happen!”

 

Bella slowly walked toward him, knowing he couldn’t hurt her, and grabbed his face in her hands. “Calm down.” She murmured, staring into his eyes, pleading silently. “Alice had to tell me because Desiree is my family, whether or not we’re close.  You have to calm down; this isn’t your sister’s fault.  You can’t always protect me, Edward.”

 

“Yes I can.” He contradicted, trying not to let Bella soothe him, but was always powerless against her.  He loved her with his entire existence and could feel the anger draining from his body.

 

Bella saw the topaz slowly enter his dark eyes again and stroked his cheek with the back of her hand, gasping when he crushed her against his chest.  His lips found hers, always causing her head to spin, and knew what he wanted.  If sex is what he wanted for a distraction to calm down, she was more than willing to do so.

 

Before they could venture too far, a knock sounded at the door as Alice stepped inside, ignoring her brother’s deadly glare. “Bella, we have to talk.” She didn’t sound happy as Bella stood up from the bed, walking toward her.

 

“Did Emily go?” Bella asked hopefully, feeling something sink in her stomach, wondering if she was thirsty. “What’s going on Alice?”

 

Alice sighed, looking slightly perturbed because Jasper was behind her, helping to control her emotions so she didn’t get too carried away. “Jasper…”

 

“It’s for your own good, love.” Jasper stated simply.

 

“Why do I have a feeling I’m not going to like this?” Bella asked suddenly, feeling Edward come up behind her, wrapping his arms around her waist securely. “Alice…”

 

“Emily did talk to her and even mentioned us…” Alice trailed off, wondering how he was going to break this news to Bella. “However, it didn’t go exactly as we planned or hoped.”

 

“Desiree is staying with Emily and Sam in La Push?” Edward read Alice’s mind, feeling every tendon in Bella’s body tense, knowing she wasn’t thrilled about this turnabout. “I hate saying it, but that really is the best place for her at the moment.”

 

Bella looked floored, extracting herself abruptly from Edward’s arms. “How is THAT relevant?  I wanted her to stay with us!”

 

“Well you did get what you wanted in a way.” Jasper smirked, nodding at Edward, both men knowing this is what was meant to happen. “Bella, it doesn’t matter who she stays with as long as she’s safe.”

 

Alice didn’t want to admit it, but Jasper was right as she leaned back against his chest, his arms instantly encircling her waist. “She’s actually safer in La Push because the newborns cannot cross the boundary line.”

 

“If they even know about it.” Jasper held his hand up when Bella’s eyes widened. “The pack won’t let anyone near the reservation.”

 

Edward nodded, pressing a soft kiss to Bella’s forehead. “You told me to calm down earlier, now it’s your turn.” He murmured in her ear, gently pulling her back toward the bed. “If you two will excuse us…”

 

Alice rolled her eyes, taking Jasper’s hand. “When you two are finished, come downstairs please.  We’re having a meeting with the family regarding this newborn threat.”

 

~!~

 

“So let me get this straight, Desiree is staying with Sam and Emily and she’s pregnant?” Jared was floored, staring at his girlfriend like she’d grown a second head. “When did you find this out?”

 

Lacey loved when Jared’s voice rose and how high it was, for some reason finding it a complete turn-on. “Today.” She answered, folding her arms in front of her chest. “And no, Jacob doesn’t know.”

 

She didn’t know why she told Jared, but Desiree seemed open enough about the situation to tell her in the car with Emily.  She was floored, wanting to kick Jacob’s ass as much as Emily did for leaving Desiree high and dry like he had.  Of course, she wasn’t the only one because Charlie could legally carry a gun and that thought alone made Lacey cringe.

 

“Well he’s gonna find out now.” Jared growled, running a hand through his black hair. “There’s no way I can keep this secret, especially when we’re phased.”

 

“What do you mean?” Lacey’s eyes narrowed slightly, which quickly became horrorstruck as Jared explained the pack’s ability to read each other’s minds. “Oh no…”

 

“Yeah, oh no is right.  I’m the last person you should’ve told, Lace.  I can’t keep a secret to save my life.”

 

Jared sat back down, knowing he had the night off from patrolling the woods.  Jacob had frequently taken over the shifts since his split with Desiree, knowing he’d probably been checking up on her without any of them there to witness.  It was nearly pathetic watching the man grovel for the woman he thought he couldn’t have.  Jared was getting tired of the grouchiness too, amongst the others, though they all understood to an extent.

 

Not to mention Jacob was thinking about leaving La Push again for awhile, just like he had when Bella chose the bloodsucker over him.

 

“I knew I should’ve never told you anything.” Lacey’s voice was laced with heat, trying to yank her arm out of Jared’s grasp, staring into his dark eyes angrily. “Let go of me.”

 

“What if I don’t?” He challenged in a raspy voice, yanking her back against him.

 

“Jared, I’m not even close to kidding with you.  Let go of me right now or I’ll…”

 

“You’ll what?” Jared’s hot breath was in her face, causing her brain to whirl. “You know you can’t resist me.”

 

“You are really full of yourself you know that?” She shot back, trying to keep what little resolve she had left, but it was useless.  He was a lot stronger than her and could break her in half if he wanted to.  She knew he did, but in a very good way. “I hate you.”

 

“You love me also.” Jared argued with a smirk, his free arm wrapping around her slender waist, pressing their chests together, releasing her arm. “There, now I’ve got you.”

 

Lacey rolled her eyes, hands planted firmly on his chest, trying to push him away. “Arrogant ass.” She muttered, causing Jared to chuckle.  He was finding this amusing!

 

“I never said I wasn’t.” He leaned down, towering over her, and pressed a soft kiss to her jaw. “I never said I played fair either.” He trailed his lips up her jaw to her ear, his hot breath sending tingles throughout her body.

 

Lacey instantly turned to putty in his arms, gripping them to steady herself.  A gentle sigh escaped her lips when he took her lobe in his mouth, gently suckling on it. “You’re making it very difficult for me to stay mad at you.” She breathed, completely melting, slowly running her nails down his muscular chest.

 

Jared chuckled huskily in her ear, nodding. “That’s the idea Lace.” He pulled back and stared down into her blue eyes, becoming lost instantly. 

 

Cupping her neck gently in his strong hand, his eyes never left hers as Jared captured her lips in a slow, sensual kiss.  Her lips felt like feathers against his own, causing Jared’s heart to start racing rapidly, an effect only Lacey could ignite from him.  Lacey instantly returned the kiss, cupping his face with her hand, his own moving from her throat to the back of her neck as the kiss grew more intense and heated.

 

When Lacey couldn’t breathe, she pulled back with swollen lips, knowing he could feel her heart pounding a furious tattoo in her chest. “You can’t say anything to him.” She moaned when his lips covered hers again, loving how hot his skin always was.

 

Lifting her up in his arms, Jared carried Lacey toward the beach, where they usually snuck off to be alone.  He set her gently on the blanket that was already set up, the ocean waves crashing against the shore, both not fazed when it started raining.  If anything, that made this moment even more sensual than normal; Jared’s lips scorching hers again in another soul searing kiss.

 

Jared wasn’t even thinking about Desiree or Jacob, only focused on Lacey.

 

~!~

 

“You have lost your mind, Emily.” Sam stated, after Desiree was settled, later on that night. “When Jacob finds out…”

 

“He won’t do anything.” Emily cut him off swiftly, sitting on the bed in just a towel, fresh out of the shower. “You know as well as I do she wouldn’t be safe at the Cullens.  She’s safest with us.”

 

Sam sighed, knowing his fiancée had a point.  It wasn’t the fact they were letting Desiree stay with them.  It was the fact that Sam knew he wouldn’t be able to keep this away from Jacob.  On top of Desiree’s life being in danger, she was pregnant. 

 

How the hell was he NOT supposed to think about something like that?

 

“Sam,” Emily grabbed his hand, giving it a gentle squeeze. “I know Jacob is going to find out.  I’m just asking you to keep him away from here until Desiree settles in fully and feels safe.  The last thing she needs is Jacob demanding anything from her, especially after what he did.”

 

“For her protection.”

 

Emily rolled her eyes and grabbed the lotion off of the nightstand. “Sam, if you would’ve left me like that, I probably wouldn’t be with you right now.  You actually hurt me,” She paused, placing his hand over her scarred cheek, which no longer bothered her, a smile curving her lips. “And you stayed and stuck by my side.”

 

Sam felt the anguish and guilt wash over him, running his thumb gently over the scars, swallowing hard. “If I could take it back…”

 

“I know.” She whispered, stopping him from talking, not wanting him to blame himself. “I know you would take it back if you could, but I still love you and I’ll never stop.  Desiree still loves Jacob too.”

 

“I don’t doubt it.” Sam murmured, pulling her face to his, kissing her softly. “We need to stay out of this though, as far as they’re concerned.

 

“I promise.” Emily rose her hand, winking cheekily. “Scouts honor.”

 

Sam snorted, kissing her again and stood up, removing the towel as he pulled on a pair of black cut off shorts.  He was patrolling the woods tonight with Jacob, wishing it was someone else. “Just remember, I’m not responsible for what happens if Jacob finds out.”

 

“Maybe he should find out, make him wake up and realize what an idiot he’s being about this.” Emily stated knowingly, also removing her towel as she slipped on a pair of black cotton shorts with a matching tank top, giggling when Sam growled. “You’ve had enough for tonight.  Get out there and patrol.”

 

Sam chuckled, shaking his head, and gave her one last long, lingering kiss before exiting the house, running toward the forest.  He phased almost instantly, the black fur sleek across his body.  He looked back at the house before running into the forest to find Jacob. 

 

Desiree watched as Sam went into the woods from her window, tears instantly swelling in her eyes.  She knew he was patrolling with Jacob, aching to have his arms wrapped around her again.  It would never happen though and that just shattered Desiree all over again, trying to push thoughts of Jacob away.

 

Like Emily had with Sam, why couldn’t she have a love like that with Jacob? 

 

Chapter 18

 

Jacob, any new threats detected?

 

No.

 

Sam nodded once, eyes sifting through the woods, walking side by side with Jacob.  He sighed, feeling the pain radiating off of his pack member, slowly his walk until they were merely standing. Do you want to talk about it? Sam asked, the question for Jacob alone, hoping Paul, Quil and Embry kept their muzzles out of this.  They were currently patrolling the outskirts of Forks, refusing to let any of the humans be harmed by bloodsuckers.

 

No.

 

You do realize at some point you will have to talk about it. Sam wondered how far he’d have to push Jacob to actually talk about how he was feeling, how long it would take for Jacob to read his mind about what Emily had done.

 

I don’t want to talk about it, Sam. Jacob’s voice was firm, shaking his head as if to emphasize the point. 

 

It was painful even thinking about Desiree, let alone talking about her.  Jacob knew the others could hear his intimate thoughts, which were lately full of tearing Bella’s throat out.  The other pack members found it amusing, though Sam was worried Jacob would actually pull something that reckless, knowing they couldn’t attack the Cullens unless they violated the treaty.

 

I don’t like the thoughts in your mind lately, Jake.  You’re putting not only yourself, but the entire pack in jeopardy. Sam hated saying that, but he had to find some way to force Jacob to talk about his feelings.  If goading him is what it took, then so be it.  The Cullens are not to blame for this.

 

Jacob snorted, rolling his dark eyes, refusing to be provoked. You’re right, they’re not.  Only Bella is. He growled at the mere thought of her name, his blood lit on fire, the rage flowing throughout every pore of his furry body. I really hope a bloodsucker makes one wrong move tonight so I can get some aggression out.

 

Sam sighed, knowing that wasn’t a healthy way of thinking. Bella didn’t exactly do anything wrong, Jake… He cringed when Jacob stopped, turning his head, their eyes locking briefly. You know it’s true.  I know her intentions were provoking, but other than that, she was basically telling Desiree…

 

Do NOT think her name. Jacob demanded coldly, a low rumble sounding from his muzzle. Bella came with vindictive intentions that night, Sam, and you damn well know it.  She could’ve let me tell her about the imprinting, I was waiting for the right time though, but she did it out of revenge for Renesmee.

 

Jacob knew Bella well, more than he should have, though at one point he was deeply in love with her and she was his entire world.  Not anymore though, now all he wanted was her to leave Washington and never return.  Jacob never thought in a million years he’d want that, remembering how he told Bella he would always be her friend.  All that flew out the window the moment she decided to screw everything up between him and Desiree, even though the phasing was his fault, thanks to losing his temper.

 

Okay so what if Bella did do that?  Does that make you love Desiree any less? Sam refused not to say the woman’s name, knowing she deserved at least an acknowledgement of her existence.  He planted down on the ground, refusing to move any further, knowing they could smell danger from miles away.

 

Of course not! Jacob sounded indignant, sitting down as well, his head lowered with eyes closed. I’ll never love Desiree any less because none of this is her fault.  She just has a messed up family who doesn’t want to see her happy.

 

Why are you letting them win then, Jake?

 

Jacob sighed, knowing Bella wasn’t the only reason he decided to end things with her. Sam, I could’ve really hurt her that night. He knew this is what Sam wanted, deciding to stop fighting it.  Knowing if he didn’t talk about how he was feeling, he would end up doing something reckless and getting himself or someone in the pack killed. Bella isn’t the only reason I decided this, but you already know that.

 

Sam nodded once, not thinking anything more at the moment, giving Jacob his chance to vent that he desperately needed.

 

I lost control that night and it scared the hell out of me. I know why the bloodsucker attacked me.  I have to deal with that thought every single day, knowing how close I was to hurting her, Sam.  I left her to protect her from me. Jacob stood on all fours again, trotting slowly back and forth, almost in a pace as the leaves rustled beneath his paws.

 

And you think leaving her was the best decision? Sam’s voice was low and gruff in Jacob’s head, remembering how close he’d been to leaving Emily after attacking her.  He felt so guilty for it, but at the same time, he knew if he did leave her he was only being a coward.

 

I’m not a coward. Jacob growled angrily, eyes narrowed, turning until he was facing Sam as their huge bodies overtook most of the area they stood in.

 

Yes you are because you’re running away from her. Sam argued, standing up as well, knowing they were at a standoff. I didn’t run away from Emily as much as I should’ve, Jake, because I knew I’d only cause her more pain by doing so.  Don’t you think Desiree deserves a say in this?

 

Why are you fighting this so hard? Jacob groaned, really not wanting to talk about Desiree anymore, wishing he could phase back into a human so he could wrap his arms around his midsection. 

 

Now he knew what Bella had felt like when Edward left her.  He remembered she’d double over at any mention of the Cullens, remembering how much pain was in her features because he could physically feel it radiating off of her.  If this is the type of pain she was feeling at the time, he completely understood why because Edward truly was her soul mate, bloodsucker or not.

 

If you read my mind, you’ll know why, Jake.  I know you’ve been thinking about leaving La Push for awhile, like you did when Bella chose the Cullens, but this time it’s different.  You CAN’T leave, not now and not ever. Sam’s voice was strong, wondering if Jacob had cottoned on to what was going on, what he’d been oblivious to for the past week or so.  He didn’t know the extent of the details; only that Desiree was about two months along.

 

Snorting derisively, Jacob continued walking as Sam followed him, looking both angry and confused. You know I try not to read any of the packs thoughts, Sam.  It’s an invasion of privacy. He hated that part about being a wolf, probably the only part. Why do you want me to suddenly read your mind?

 

Dive in and find out for yourself, Jake. Sam wouldn’t go back on his word to Emily if Jacob read his mind, but the man did have a right to know about Desiree. And if you don’t, then you’re more of a coward than I ever thought possible.

 

No, I’m not a coward.  I’m not selfish and I don’t put the woman I love in danger by being with her. Jacob shot back, paws digging into the ground below, knowing he was pushing Sam to the breaking point, but it was only fair.  Sam was doing the same thing to him, forcing him to talk about something he clearly didn’t want to.

 

No because if I did leave Emily after attacking her, which was an accident, then I would be more of a coward than you.  I may be selfish, but I also know that you can’t ignore who you imprint on.  No matter what you do, Desiree will always be in your mind and thoughts.  You’ll never be happy without her, Jacob.  That’s why I left Leah because I couldn’t be happy, no matter how hard I tried, and it was because I was destined to be with Emily.

 

I’d rather be unhappy without her forever than put her life in danger. Jacob tensed, trying not to look into Sam’s mind or hear his thoughts, wondering what the man was so adamant about him finding out. Just tell me.

 

I can’t.  I made a promise to Emily. Sam hadn’t talked to Desiree yet; glad he hadn’t, knowing the woman was scared enough as it was without him interfering.

 

Jacob snorted with his muzzled curled back slightly, wondering what Sam was getting at. You made a promise to Emily not to tell me, but you want me to look in your mind for the truth? That made absolutely no sense whatsoever. Sam, I don’t know what you want from me.

 

I want you to stop acting like a coward and just look into my head.

 

If I do this, will you finally stop pestering me about this whole situation? Jacob snapped, watching Sam’s head nod once, eyes narrowing even more in suspicion. 

 

Sitting down, Jacob closed his eyes and allowed the thoughts of Sam to flow into his mind.  There was a way to block thoughts, which Jacob had been doing, though it was incredibly draining and exhausting.  He could literally feel every tendon in his body light on fire, eyes slowly opening after what seemed like hours later, but only mere minutes. 

 

He looked at Sam, who was sitting there calm and collected, already knowing it was true.  Jacob couldn’t breathe or think, eyes moving back and forth, remembering his one and only encounter with Desiree in her bedroom.  Every tendon in his body lit on fire, remembering how soft her skin was, the texture mesmerizing and he still hadn’t forgotten it.

 

Now Desiree was pregnant with his child? 

 

Was this a sick cosmic joke? 

 

Jacob couldn’t believe he was going to be a father, knowing she was going to keep the baby because Desiree had too big of a heart not to destroy it.  He didn’t want her to get rid of it either, his heart swelling at the mere thought of a child they created growing inside of her.  It made him love her even more, the connection stronger than ever.  Now not only did Jacob have Desiree to protect for life, but also their unborn child.

 

She’s staying with you? Jacob finally asked, breathing heavily, the cold night air blowing over him not fazing either in the slightest, thanks to his one hundred and eight body temperature.

 

Sam nodded, knowing Jacob had done what he wanted.  At least he knew the truth, Sam could sleep peacefully now without this hanging over his head.  Emily couldn’t be angry with him for Jacob reading his mind, both already knowing it would happen, though she didn’t need to know he’d provoked Jacob into doing it.

 

There were just some things Emily didn’t need to know about the pack.

 

She’s staying with you because of the threat? Jacob barked a haggard cough, as if saying he didn’t believe that for a second, honestly wishing he had the bloodsucker’s gift to read minds or see visions. Whose idea was that?

 

The Cullens. Sam thought better in saying Bella’s name, knowing that would only anger Jacob further, considering this was a lot to take in.  The threat was only growing stronger, though the wolves were doing their job by protecting the lands.  So far, no newborns had trespassed since that night Desiree was attacked.

 

Jacob had read Sam’s mind though, the name Bella causing a snarl to erupt from his muzzle, though he refused to get angry about it.  He didn’t know what the hell Bella was up to now, not even wanting to know honestly.  All that mattered was Desiree and the baby was out of harm’s way, knowing staying at Sam’s was probably the smartest thing the woman could’ve done. 

 

She hadn’t even thought twice about it, according to Sam’s thoughts, too worried about their baby’s survival to care about being closer to him.  Jacob felt absolutely rotten to the core, a soft whine escaping his muzzle, wondering what he was supposed to do now.  He didn’t want to stress Desiree out because that wouldn’t be good for her and the baby. 

 

Would it better if Jacob continued staying away and let her get on with her life?

 

You already know that answer. Sam cut into Jacob’s deep thoughts, staring at his pack member knowingly.  If the man was smart, and Sam knew he was, he would do the right thing by stepping up to take responsibility. It may seem like she hates your guts right now, but deep down she’s hurting just as much as you are.  You can’t run away from her, Jake, not anymore.

 

Deep down, Jacob knew Sam was right. 

 

He couldn’t abandon Desiree, especially now that they were having a child together.  It was his fault for not using protection, his fault for ripping her apart emotionally.  He deserved the pain he would feel at her rejection, should she decide to cut him out of her life forever. 

 

He had to do the right thing though; he couldn’t run away from his problems because they would follow them wherever he went.  Even if he did run away and leave La Push forever, Jacob would always feel the pain and guilt until one day it ate him completely alive.  He knew what he had to do, even though it would be the hardest thing in the world, hoping Desiree forgave him for hurting her the way he did.

 

You can’t just go see her, Jake. Sam knew this was going to be the hard part of this situation, sighing heavily. She told Emily she doesn’t want to see you.  You’re gonna have to take this slow and keep in mind that her hormones are going haywire right now.  She’s not in the right frame of mind emotionally.

 

Then what should I do?

 

You have to make her see the truth. Sam decided, after thinking about it for a second, knowing Emily wouldn’t like this, but there was no choice. I’m going to tell Emily that you have to stay with us due to the threat increasing.  I know it’s a little white lie, but we do need more protection at the house.  The newborns are after Desiree, which means they could cross the boundary line without thinking.

 

Jacob growled, not liking that at all, wanting to rip a bloodsucker apart who even ATTEMPTED to hurt Desiree. I know, I read your mind.  They’re after her because of that night she was attacked.  Her scent drove them wild, like it does me, though in a bloodlust thirsty way.

 

Exactly and I have talked to Emily about this already.  She’s fully aware that it could be you staying with us.  Charlie is with your dad along with Leah and Seth.  Jared is protecting Lacey and Quil, Embry and Paul are on the outskirts. Sam knew Jacob was aware of all of this, but he had to say it in his mind in order to get everything right. I want to be there to protect Emily and you can protect Desiree.

 

Don’t you think that’ll be a little too conspicuous that it’s me you choose instead of one of the others? Jacob contradicted, mildly amused, walking alongside Sam again as they inhaled the air, not sensing any danger, which was strange.

 

At this point, we don’t have any other options.  Emily knows who is where, she’ll be angry with me, but at the same time, she wants you to stop mopping around and being an idiot as much as I do.

 

Oh gee thanks. Jacob rolled his eyes with a barking cough. Though I know I deserve that.

 

You do, but you’re also still human and we all make mistakes.

 

Simply nodding, Jacob agreed with that statement.  He would talk to Desiree when the time was right, still not believing he was going to be a father.  Jacob couldn’t think about that now as he pushed the thought aside, continuing to patrol the woods with Sam, every sense heightened now that he knew what was truly on the line.

 

Jacob could only hope Desiree forgave him when he finally did talk to her.

 

Chapter 19

 

“Samuel Uley, what the hell are you thinking?!”

 

Sam sighed as he sat on the bed, the following night, watching his fiancée pace back and forth in front of him, knowing better than to reach out to touch her.  She was livid at him right now, especially since every part of her body shook.  She had her fists clenched at her sides, trying to restrain herself from attacking, which Sam found secretly amusing.

 

“Do you have ANY idea what will happen if Jacob Black steps foot in THIS house??  Why did it have to be him huh?  You could’ve easily swapped him with one of the other guys!” Emily stated heatedly, trying to keep her voice down, not wanting Desiree to overhear their conversation.

 

“You know why I chose him, Emily.” Sam’s voice was low and even, folding his arms in front of his chest. “You know Jacob was supposed to be the real alpha of the pack.  He’s as strong and fast as me, if not more, and he refuses not to be the one to protect his family.”

 

“Did you tell him?” Emily demanded, the anger slowly diminishing, knowing deep down Sam was right.  Even if Desiree wasn’t staying with them, Jacob would’ve still been chosen to help protect the house.

 

Sam shook his head, watching as Emily slowly sank down on the bed beside him, and wrapped an arm around her shoulders. “He read my thoughts, just like I told you he would.  You have no idea how much pain he’s going through right now, Em.  He left her because he was protecting her.  He’s new to this.” He kissed the top of Emily’s head, hoping she understood. “That and he had the right to know about the baby.”

 

No matter how much Emily wanted to deny that fact, she couldn’t because Sam was right.  Jacob did have a right to know because he was the father.  She just didn’t want Desiree leaving out of spite; having promised her Jacob Black wouldn’t come near her.  Now she would have to break that promise.

 

“Sam, what am I going to do?  I told her I wouldn’t let Jacob Black in this house.” She whispered, lowering her head, hands clasped in front of her tightly. “What am I supposed to tell her?”

 

“Nothing, you let me tell her what’s going on.  This isn’t just about her and I think Desiree will do whatever it takes to protect herself and the baby.” Sam was confident and could read Desiree pretty well, all things considered, knowing she would be upset with him at first, but then she would realize it was for the best.

 

Emily nodded, hoping her fiancé was right about this.  She would really hate to keep Desiree hostage, but would do it if she had to.  She would strap the woman down and lock her in the room, refusing to let her leave La Push.

 

“Are you sure I shouldn’t be the one to tell her?” Emily asked quietly, looking up into Sam’s dark eyes, biting her bottom lip.  For the first time in awhile, Emily felt truly vulnerable and didn’t know what to do.

 

“You want to tell her?” Sam raised an eyebrow, seeing the hesitation in Emily’s eyes, and kissed her lips softly. “I’ll handle it.”

 

Emily breathed a sigh of relief and watched as Sam stood up from the bed, walking out the door, heading to talk to Desiree about this situation.  Sam thought better of it though and decided surprise was the best route to go.  Jacob would be arriving shortly, having to stop at Billy’s to explain the situation, and make sure Charlie was staying there.  When Emily walked out and noticed Sam was simply sitting in the living room, she sighed, catching on to what was about to happen. 

 

She just hoped Sam knew what he was doing and headed into the kitchen to start dinner.

 

~!~

 

Desiree sat outside in the backyard with a black hooded sweatshirt on with blue jeans, the hood pulled up over her auburn locks.  She just needed a few minutes of peace and tranquility, the ocean breeze perfect for what she craved.  No matter how hard she tried, Desiree couldn’t stop thinking about Jacob and it was slowly killing her.  It was affecting everything in her life, how she ate, how she slept, because every time her eyes closed all she saw was his dark eyes.

 

Tears slowly slid down her cheeks as Desiree looked into the forest, swallowing hard.  She wanted to go to the beach, but knew that was out of the question right now, especially with this newborn threat happening.  It was almost like she was a prisoner here, even though Desiree knew she wasn’t.  She could leave if she wanted to, but something was keeping her from leaving Washington and she knew what it was.

 

Jacob Black.

 

She was totally, helplessly, completely, devotedly, unconditionally in love with him and nothing would ever change that.  It didn’t matter how many times she said she hated him or she never wanted to see him again because that wasn’t true.  She wanted to see Jacob again, to be held in his arms, to feel loved and cherished the only way he knew how to make her feel.

 

Desiree pushed the hood of the sweatshirt back as she stood up from the steps, needing to stand up and stretch her legs.  She shoved her hands in the pockets of the hooded sweatshirt, slowly walking around the backyard, wiping tears away that fell from her eyes.  This pain was nearly physical because it completely drained her, made her feel weak and powerless, and Desiree felt as though death would be the only way.

 

If only she wasn’t carrying another living being inside of her.

 

Taking one more step, Desiree suddenly froze as she heard rustling coming from the woods, déjà vu seeping in.  She remembered that night a few months ago when she was standing outside in Charlie’s backyard, staring up at the moon and stars, when that newborn vampire attacked her.  The fear nearly crippled her as she stood frozen solid, pressing a hand to her still flat stomach, breathing heavily.

 

There was no way in hell she was calling out like last time, trying to get her limbs to move again, but it wasn’t happening.  Desiree watched, almost impatiently, as a figure moved through the thick trees, swallowing past a lump in her throat.  Was it a newborn thirsting for her blood and would it be easier just to surrender here and now?

 

Desiree stumbled back when she heard a rumbling sound, tripping over her feet in the grass, eyebrows drawn together as the fear once again overwhelmed her.  Every part of her body trembled, hoping this ended fairly quickly with hardly any pain, fresh tears streaking down her cheeks.  Closing her eyes, Desiree knew even if she could stand and run back into the house that the newborn would snag her before she made it. 

 

She was going to die.

 

Oww damn it!” A grumble sounded moments later, leaves crunching under bare feet as the individual walked out of the woods, plucking a few leaves from his black hair.

 

Desiree heard that and snapped her eyes open, her vision blurred from the tears, but she knew that voice anywhere.  Her heart gave a painful lurch, the hope flooding every core, swallowing hard at the sight before her.  It wasn’t a newborn by any means, but it was someone that Desiree still wasn’t sure if she was ready to see yet.

 

“Jacob?”

 

Jacob’s head turned to stare at the woman lying on the ground, eyes widened, not expecting Desiree to be out in the backyard.  Sam told him she’d been holed up in her room lately, so he figured this would be the best way to sneak inside.  He was wrong apparently because there she was, lying on the ground, looking terrified and bewildered.

 

“Des, what the hell are you doing out here?” Jacob immediately went to her side, wondering if she’d been attacked, the worry clear as day in his dark eyes. “You shouldn’t be out here, especially at night.”

 

“I-I needed some fresh air…” She stammered, feeling his hands grip her upper arms and pulled her up with ease on her feet, eye contact never faltering.  Was Jacob Black really standing in front of her in the flesh?

 

“Yeah well, the next time you need fresh air, you need to bring someone with you.  There’s an attack going on right now or didn’t you know?” Jacob snorted, releasing her arms abruptly, knowing she probably didn’t want him touching her.

 

Desiree’s eyes narrowed, lips pursed tightly together. “I can do whatever the hell I want, when I want and HOW I want, Jacob.” She shot back heatedly, every emotion rushing through her at once, tears drying up for the moment.

 

“Sure, sure you can.” Jacob rolled his eyes at her attitude, not expecting anything less, and folded his arms in front of his chest.  Would she tell him about the baby or would he simply have to pry it out of her?

 

It actually felt…great to argue with Jacob again, as weird as that seemed.  For the first time since their split, Desiree felt complete and somewhat alive. “What’re you doing here?” She demanded, taking a step back from him, aching to jump into his arms.

 

“Funny you should ask.  I suppose Sam hasn’t filled you in on what’s going on.” Jacob sighed, running a hand down his face, already knowing that was true judging by the questions in her jade eyes.  She was still beautiful as ever, if not more with the pregnancy.

 

“No, he didn’t.”

 

“The attacks are getting worse, Des…”

 

“Don’t call me that.  The name is Desiree.” She corrected him immediately, shoving her hands in the pockets of the sweatshirt again to warm them up. 

 

It would be easy to have Jacob warm them up, but she didn’t want him touching her.  He didn’t want to be with her anymore and made that perfectly clear.  He was here because of threat, not for her, and Desiree was slowly starting to accept it.  As much as it hurt, Desiree knew she had no other choice except to let Jacob go, the mere thought bringing fresh tears to her eyes.

 

“And Sam wanted me to stay here for extra protection.” Jacob finished as if he hadn’t heard her command, watching the way she carried herself. 

 

His heart ached because he knew the pain that was radiating from her body was because of him.  He hated himself for it, wondering if things would ever be the same between them.  All he wanted to do was protect her and Jacob knew he’d gone about doing it the wrong way, though he refused to show vulnerability right now.

 

“Right.”

 

Desiree didn’t know what else to say to him, feeling very awkward at the moment, groaning when her stomach began to rumble.  All the anxiety from thinking a newborn was going to attack her to Jacob’s appearance was too much for Desiree to take as she doubled over, vomiting.  Morning sickness was such a nuisance, though Desiree knew it would go away sooner or later, she hoped anyway.

 

Jacob wrinkled his nose in disgust, already knowing that was a part of the pregnancy.  He walked over, wanting to comfort her, and sighed when she simply moved her shoulder from his warm touch.  Desiree took a tissue from her jean pocket, wiping her mouth off, and tossed it in the nearby trashcan.

 

“Are you okay?”

 

“No, I’m not.” Desiree snapped, very irritated at the moment, wanting to kill Emily for not telling her about Jacob coming here.  Did she even know though or did Sam keep this to himself?

 

“Do you need me to get you anything or do something for you?”

 

Jacob was trying to help, remembering Sam’s warning that she was very emotionally unstable due to the hormones.  He could smell them on her and the scent was very potent and pulled him like a magnet.  All he wanted to do was comfort and help her through this tough time, though Jacob had a feeling it would take awhile before he was back in her good graces.

 

“Yeah, I want you to leave me the hell alone.  You’re here for business, just pretend like I don’t exist.” She stormed past him, heading for the house, and blinked when he stopped her. “Let go of my arm right now, Jacob Black.”

 

“If you honestly believe I’m here just because of Sam, then you’re seriously deluded, Desiree.” Jacob growled, pulling her against him, staring down into her jade eyes. “I’m here for you…”

 

“No, you’re not!  You’re not here for me and you damn well know it!  You left me, Jacob, you didn’t want me anymore, remember?” Desiree could see the words she said pained him, but didn’t care.  She wanted him to feel the same pain he caused her, trying to yank her arm from his tight grasp. “Jacob, I’m warning you…”

 

Jacob couldn’t let her go though, no matter how hard he tried releasing her arm, his eyes burning through hers.  He hurt her; he had no right to do this, but couldn’t help feeling as though he could make things right.  He reached up with his free hand, wiping her tears away, swallowing hard at the amount of heartache in her jade orbs.

 

“I love-”

 

A loud smack echoed throughout the backyard, causing Jacob to instantly release her arm, holding his throbbing cheek.  Desiree stumbled back, shaking her head, hoping she didn’t break it because it felt like she just smacked a brick wall.  She didn’t want to hear those three words come out of his mouth though, tears pouring down her face, glaring contemptuously at him.

 

“Stay away from me.” She whispered in agony, before running inside the house past Sam upstairs to her room, slamming the door shut moments later.

 

Emily sighed as Jacob stepped inside the house a few minutes later, the red handprint on his cheek barely visible. “What did you do?” She demanded, holding a spatula up threateningly, dark eyes flashing.

 

“I tried telling her I loved her and she slapped me before I could get it out.” Jacob grumbled, seeing the approval on Emily’s face, rolling his eyes as he sat down at the kitchen table.

 

“I told you it was going to be hard, Jacob.” Sam stated, sitting down as well, looking at Emily with pleading eyes, hoping she wasn’t too hard on Jacob. “You need to give her time and show her through actions how much you do love her.”

 

Jacob nodded, swiping a muffin from the platter and took a large bite out of it, barely tasting the food. “I couldn’t help it.  She was vulnerable and I wanted to help her…” He raked a hand through his thick, short black hair, ignoring Emily’s scornful glare.

 

“If I were you, Jacob, I wouldn’t go near her for awhile.  Just keep your distance because, I swear, if she ends up losing that baby, I’ll kill you myself.” Emily promised, refusing to even make it a threat, and started chopping more chicken pieces as she threw them in the pan.

 

Jacob simply nodded, not wanting to cause Desiree anymore pain, and wondered if staying here was the best decision after all.

 

Chapter 20

 

A week passed since Jacob began staying at Sam’s place and no threats had been sighted.  They were mostly on the outskirts of Forks, though nowhere near the town.  It was almost as if the newborns were waiting for something and Jacob knew what that was. 

 

Desiree was not allowed out of the house by any means, unless she was accompanied, due to Sam’s order.  That didn’t seem to be an issue because Desiree rarely came out of her room, staying cooped up during the day and only came out when she knew Jacob was either gone or sleeping.  She couldn’t help it; she just wasn’t ready to put her heart on the line again like she’d originally thought.

 

Emily somehow managed to coax Desiree out of her room for her birthday.  The only reason she’d known about it was because Charlie mentioned something to Billy Black.  Of course it’d spread around La Push in no time and Emily already planned a small get together. 

 

Desiree grumbled the entire time as Emily teased her hair into curls, looking down at her clasped hands, knowing she looked horrid with dark circles under her eyes and a pale complexion.  She was now two and a half months pregnant, nearing the three month mark, and the end of her first trimester.  Emily pulled her hair back on each side with emerald clips, already having the perfect outfit for her.

 

“You can’t sit in your room moping, sweetie.” Emily said softly, running her fingers through her hair, before turning her around on the stool. “You know as well as I do that what you’re doing isn’t healthy.”

 

“I know.” Desiree whispered and sighed as Emily lifted her chin up with her hand. “Em, you don’t have to do this…”

 

“Yes I do, now shut up and close your eyes.”

 

Emily winked as she began applying foundation and black eyeliner, bringing out the jade, but not caking it on.  She applied natural colored eye shadow and painted clear gloss on her lips to finish it off.  Emily then pulled Desiree into her room, showing her the outfit of choice for the evening’s festivities.  This was her eighteen birthday party and they were going to do it right.

 

The outfit was a simple amber colored baby doll –Desiree had worn them ever since finding out she was pregnant- that had short sleeves and a black sash around the stomach.  Black dress pants that stretched went with it along with comfortable black flat shoes.  They were dressing casual for this, though Desiree had to be dressed up a little more than everyone else considering she was the birthday girl.

 

Emily left Desiree to dress while she went to check on the food in the kitchen, deciding to make several dishes.  Everyone was off of patrol tonight, knowing if they were gathered together there was no way the newborns would attack.  Tonight would be about fun and celebrating Desiree’s life, making her feel special.

 

This was going to be the worst night of her life; Desiree simply knew it as she stood in front of the full length mirror, chewing her bottom lip.  Emily was very kind, but sometimes the woman could be overbearing.  She sighed heavily, knowing there was no way out of this, wanting to maim Charlie for opening his mouth about her birthday.

 

A knock on the door jolted Desiree out of her thoughts as Emily walked in, gushing over how beautiful she was. “You look sensational!” Emily squealed, taking Desiree’s hands, and pulling her out of the bedroom.

 

Desiree just cracked a smile, even though it didn’t reach her eyes, stopping at the sight of Jacob.  He was standing in the kitchen, talking quietly to Sam, wearing a tight short sleeved black shirt that looked painted on along with a pair of dark blue jeans.  Desiree had to learn how to breathe again, tearing her gaze away as soon as Emily cleared her throat, gaining both of their attention.

 

“No talking about work tonight.” Emily ordered, wearing blue jeans with a short sleeved red top that had a V shaped neckline. “Tonight is about fun and relaxation.”

 

“Happy birthday Desiree.” Sam said with a smile, knowing she was still upset with him, but it was worth it.

 

“Thank you.” Desiree murmured, her cheeks flushing, swallowing hard when she looked up and noticed Jacob staring at her. “Do you need any help Emily?” She asked, pulling her gaze once more from him, but she could feel him devouring her with those dark orbs.

 

“Nope, this is your party and you’re going to have fun.  Everyone is outside waiting for you.” Emily grinned cheekily and giggled as Sam pressed a soft kiss to her lips. “Is the bonfire started?”

 

“Up and roaring.”

 

“Are you sure there’s nothing I can do?” Desiree groaned when Emily gently but firmly shoved her toward the front door, nearly bumping right into Jacob.  She hadn’t spoken a word to him since that night she slapped him, tucking a loose curl behind her ear.

 

“Get outside.”

 

Desiree grumbled something incoherent under her breath, scowling, really not in the mood to be around people.  She walked outside, seeing everyone was standing around talking, and felt something hot behind her as her eyes closed briefly.  She knew who it was just by how close he was standing to her, eyes fluttering open, and walked down the few porch steps onto the grassy area.

 

“Desi!” Charlie immediately scooped his niece up in his arms, spinning her around once, and set her back down on the ground with a grin. “My god, girl I’ve missed you!”

 

“I’ve missed you too.” Desiree replied, hugging him tightly around the neck, and kissed his cheek.  She felt him tense, knowing he spotted Jacob, and hoped he didn’t cause a scene.  Emily worked hard on this party and Desiree didn’t want them destroying it. “Please just leave him alone tonight, Uncle Charlie.”

 

Charlie sighed heavily and reluctantly nodded, not wanting to upset his niece, knowing she’d been through a lot lately. “Fine, because it’s your birthday I won’t do anything.” He promised, kissing the top of her head. “You look beautiful tonight, Desi.”

 

“Thanks, it was all Emily.”

 

Charlie nodded and let her greet the other guests, a few of them hugging her too tightly.  Desiree was actually loosening up, glad she had so many people supporting her, but she still hadn’t talked to Jacob.  This was her birthday and she didn’t have to do anything she didn’t want to do.

 

Jacob couldn’t take his eyes off of her, no matter how hard he tried.  She was absolutely stunning with golden auburn locks that flowed down her back and over her shoulders in loose curls.  The clips in her hair had amber stones in them, b ringing out the shirt even more along with her eyes.  Whoever told Emily to pick that color was a saint in disguise because it was perfect for Desiree. 

 

He loved how her eyes sparkled whenever she smiled, the way she fidgeted nervously with her hands whenever something was bothering her.  He could tell she wasn’t happy to be here, though she was putting forth an effort due to how much Emily did for her to make it happen.  Jacob wasn’t sure Desiree could be any more beautiful than tonight, but was wrong when she sat down in front of the bonfire Sam started, the firelight reflecting off of her skin, making her glow more.

 

“Damn…” Jacob breathed, fighting the urge to walk over, take her in his arms and force her to see that he did want her. “I have to talk to her.”

 

It would have to wait because Emily came out with the food, everyone standing in line, after Desiree got herself a huge plate.  She was feeding two after all and wasn’t ashamed of it, sitting back down in front of the fire.  The food was delicious and Desiree was relaxing for the first time in weeks, nodding whenever someone asked her a question and answered them.  Other than that, she was quiet for the most part, eating her food in silence.

 

Emily knew this was a long stretch for Desiree and wasn’t about to push her further, even though they still had birthday cake and present to go.  Everyone ate and had a great time, nobody asking Desiree about Jacob or the baby.  As far as Desiree knew, Jacob still didn’t know about the pregnancy because she hadn’t told him.

 

The birthday cake followed, which was three tiers, vanilla, stuffed with real strawberries and white whipped frosting.  It was beautiful and delicious all at the same time and Desiree was glad most of her presents were cards with money.  Charlie gave her a nice chunk, scowling playfully at him, already knowing where it came from.  At least she made the effort, though honestly she needed the money because of the pregnancy.

 

One by one everyone left, Desiree thanking them for coming, the effort suddenly diminishing when it was just her, Jacob, Sam and Emily.  Of course Sam and Emily excused themselves to clean up the food, putting it away and whatnot, leaving her alone with Jacob outside.  Desiree simply stared into the fire, a bag beside her full of cards, sighing heavily.

 

Suddenly, a box appeared in front of her, causing Desiree to blink as she looked up to meet Jacob’s eyes, eyebrows furrowing together.  He actually got her something for her birthday?  Desiree swallowed hard as she looked down at the box, seeing it was a small square, feeling her heart begin pounding furiously. 

 

“Jake…”

 

“Just open it please.” He murmured huskily, settling beside her, the warmth of the fire not fazing him in the slightest.  He was just as hot as those flames on a twenty-four hour basis.

 

Desiree shook her head, handing it back to him. “No.” She stood up and sighed when he grabbed her hand, stopping her from walking away from him.

 

“Des…”

 

“It’s Desiree.” She corrected, eyes narrowing slightly, really not wanting to be upset on her birthday.

 

Jacob sighed heavily, releasing her hand. “Go ahead, run away from me.” He muttered, turning his eyes to stare into the fire.

 

“I’m not the one who ran away.” Desiree whispered, not trusting her real voice at the moment, not wanting to cry in front of him.

 

“You still don’t understand.” Jacob lowered his eyes, looking like a lost puppy, shoulders slumping in defeat. “I know I made a mistake and I don’t know how to make it right.”

 

“No I understand perfectly, Jacob.  You ran away from me because you thought you were protecting me.  Instead, all you showed me is what a coward you are.” Desiree spat, trying to keep the anger at bay, but it wasn’t happening. “You didn’t even hurt me physically.  You hurt me MORE by running away from me.”

 

Jacob raked strong hands through his hair, standing up from the log, towering over her. “You’re right, I did run away to protect you because I completely lost control that night, Desiree!  What if that had been you?  What if I ever got mad at you enough to phase and hurt you?  You have no idea how much it’s killed me to be away from you, but I HAD to do it because I thought I was doing the right thing!” He was beyond frustrated, taking a few steps away from the fire, the light of it illuminating his already russet colored skin.

 

Tears glistened in her eyes as Desiree took a step back, not knowing what to think or feel right now. “You told me you didn’t want to be with me anymore, that you didn’t imprint on me.  So I’m obviously not the one you want.” Desiree sniffled, just wanting to go up to her room and lay down.  She was exhausted and really didn’t feel like having this out with Jacob on her birthday.