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Jake pressed his warm cheek against the top of my hair. If I turned my face to the side—if I pressed my lips against his bare shoulder...I knew without any doubt exactly what would follow. It would be very easy. There would be no need for explanations tonight. But could I do it? Could I betray my absent heart to save my pathetic life? Butterflies assaulted my stomach as I thought about turning my head. And then, as clearly as if I were in immediate danger, Edward’s velvet voice whispered in my ear, “You know you want to!” I froze. Jacob felt me stiffen and released me automatically, reaching for the door. He pulled on the handle as cool air started to make its way into the cab. “Chicken!” the sweet echo came again; ringing throughout my conscious mind. I bit my lip. “Jacob, wait.” No, I wasn’t doing this. I was not doing this. Not when my heart was hollow; hardened with the last icy words Edward had left behind. Jacob turned slightly, the door still slightly cracked and the moonlight shone on his broad, beautifully muscled chest...a shining coppery color made nearly gold in the pale, milky light. Dayyyyyuuummm! Okay--I was doing this. I realized what I had been missing before; Jake was more than just a friend (as long as he kept benching those 250’s). “Uh, it’s kind of cold out there...maybe we could just sit awhile?” my voice sounded shakier than I would have liked, “You know, talk?” I never thought preparing myself to tell Jacob the truth would be this difficult; this scary. “Sure, sure,” he laughed his husky laugh, grabbing the door and pulling it shut. I swallowed as best I could, hoping this would end well. “Ten bucks says you won’t do it!”, Edward’s dream-like voice urgently whispered as I considered backing out; running into my house and hiding in the bathroom. “Uh...it’s a nice night out,” I pointed out as Jacob leaned his head on the headrest and yawned. “Yeah, besides the circumstances.” I had forgotten about Harry Clearwater. “Oh, right.” “My Dad’s not gonna know what to do with himself these next few months. Not to mention everyone else...man, I can’t even imagine what Seth and Leah are going through right now—it’s hard enough for everyone else.” he reached his long, muscled arm over the seat and around my shoulder, pulling me to his warm side. I could not do this. Edward would get his ten bucks. But I couldn’t stop staring at his beautiful, copper arms; his deep-set, laughing eyes...his sweet lips... He’s so...hot... I reluctantly admitted, dismissing the pun and scooting closer to his radiating heat. “What’d you say?” his voice was slow with question as he turned to look down at me. I hadn’t said anything, though...had I? Did I really just say that aloud? “I said uh, it’s hot in here.” my excuse was lame, as usual. He chuckled, his eyes wide, “Yeah, if you call 43 degrees Fahrenheit hot—and you’re from Arizona!”
“I guess I’m weird.” “Duh!” he rolled his eyes, his arm still around me. “Aw, crap!” Jake suddenly sighed as he pounded his free hand on the steering wheel. “Are you okay?” “Yeah, yeah I’m fine it’s just—Dammit. Hold on, I’ll be right back.” He left my truck on as he quickly opened the door and stepped onto my driveway and into the moonlight. “What are you doing?” I whispered out of the open door, shivering as the cool air leaked in. I had to admit, though...his butt looked hot in the moonlight. “I forgot I borrowed Sam’s favorite jeans. He pretty much told me he’d kill me if I didn’t return them like, an hour ago.” “Oh...” “Yeah, I’m gonna run these to him real quick. Hold tight,” he grimaced as he ran into the woods behind my dark house, and I assumed he phased right then and there. My car was comfortable enough for the wait but I felt a little awkward being alone in the silence. I guess I could try the radio. “Welcome to Forks, 101.3! This is DJ Johnny with your favorites, 24/7. Here we have the Chinese Band, FOOK YAH’s newest single, Spooning Leads to Forking!” Forking...Forks...Oh, Edward... Okay, no. This was unhealthy. I quickly turned the dial as my breathing settled. I needed to find something, anything...sound to fill the empty space. “Lock eyes from across the room Down my drink while the rhythms boom take your name and skip the names no need here for the silly games make our way through the smoke and crowd the club is the sky and I’m on your cloud move in close as the laces fly our bodies touch and the angels cry leave this place go back to yours our lips first touch outside your doors Whisper in my ear that you want some more And I jizz in my pants!” My heart nearly stopped. It was mine and Edward’s song; our everything. Bella Italia...my mind wandered back to that night—the night he had taken my hand and struggled to keep his voice a level whisper, “I don’t have the strength,” he had paused, closing his topaz eyes for a slight moment, “to stop fantasizing about you anymore.” And that had been it. “Then don’t,” I urged, searching in his eyes for a sign that he would do nothing to restrain himself; that he wouldn’t leash his wild thoughts just yet.
“You don’t understand,” he mused, shaking his head. His shoulders sunk only a little as he forced his eyes back to mine, “I’m dangerous. The age difference...it isn’t right.” I shook my head, my brows furrowing with frustration, “I’m not scared of you, Edward. It’s only a few years.” For a moment he was silent, and I thought he had taken my words to heart. “Bella...” his voice quivered as he touched his hand to my rose-pink cheek, “About that...”
But it was different now. He was gone, and he wasn’t coming back for me. I couldn’t keep the vivid images of his lovely, heart-breaking, crooked smile out of my conscious; but I could force them under the surface of my heart until Jacob returned. “Apple bottom jeans [jeans] Boos with the fur [with the fur]” Jake startled me, yanking open the door and sliding himself into the lonely space next to my side. “Interesting choice in music, Bells...” Jacob chuckled, raising his eyebrows. “Yeah, uh, I think Flo Rida’s hot.” I quickly thought of a lame excuse, immediately regretting it. Jacob squinted. “I could be black.” I coughed, “I like black.” “Good,” he mused, “ ‘Cause it’s my last name.” And right then, for God knows what reason, I leaned in and kissed his shoulder. Actually, that’s a lie. I tried to. But I missed and nearly hit his thigh, then instead did a face-plant on the seat. “Bella, oh my God--are you okay?” he gasped as he reached for me with his big hands, swiftly bringing me into a sitting-position. “Yeah, I’m good,” my cheeks burned pink as I felt his eyes on me. “I was just trying to get a better look at the seat cover.” “I still get my ten bucks—you missed!” I heard the voice again—the voice of...him. Silently I told him to shut-up. Frankly, I just wanted to stare at Jacob’s abs. Jake raised his left eyebrow in question then shook his head and laughed his throaty laugh. “Okay then...” He must’ve thought I was crazy. But I was. So it’s okay. He stretched his long legs out as best he could in the small space we both shared, patting the top of my head and reaching for a stray strand of my hair. Wow his pants were low-cut. Yes, we were definitely more than friends.
Jacob’s hot breath touched my forehead and my heart kicked up a notch as I noticed how truly sexy his pecks were. You damn pedophile I cursed myself, immediately shifting my gaze to the dashboard. “Is that a mirror in your pocket?” I absent mindedly blurted, immediately stopping midsentence as I glanced up at Jacob. “Huh?” ‘Cause I can see me in your pants... I silently finished, shaking my head. “Never mind. Random thought.” It was silent for a moment before Jacob sighed. “Bella...” “Yeah?” He turned to look at me, giving me a meaningful stare. “I knew the rest of that pickup line.” DAMN! “Uh, I don’t know what you’re talking about, actually.” A curious smile played on his lips as he glanced down at me. “Bella...” I gulped again, trying not to stare at his biceps. “Yeah...?” This had to be the moment of truth...he knew I wanted him. He knew he was my sun. He knew he would be the one to warm my frozen heart. “Do you want some LayStax?” I froze. “Wait, what?” “LayStax—I grabbed ‘em when I went back to Sam and Emily’s. I haven’t eaten anything all day. Want some?” He shoved the LayStax Cheddars in my direction, shaking the tube. I sighed. “Uh, no thanks.” He shrugged, grabbing a 9 inch-thick stack of chips, shoving them all into his mouth at once, “Suit yourself.” He chewed noisily, singing along to the song, Low, which was still on the radio. “Whoa, Shawty Yeah she was worth the money Lil’ mama took my cash And I ain’t want it back The way she bent that back Got all them paper stacks...” His rapping was terribly off-beat...but so...seductive... I took the opportunity to gaze at his abs again, letting my eyes trail down his body. Why had I never noticed how amazingly attractive his...pants... were? “Bella why are you staring at my crotch?” Jacob asked, his mouth half full of chips. My eyes widened. “I was hungry,” I choked out, realizing what I had just said. He stopped mid-chew, setting the empty LayStax tube on the floor. “What?” Wow. As if our friendship could get any creepier. “I meant, I wasn’t staring at your crotch...I was looking at the chips which happed to be near your crotch.” “The chips were by my elbow...” he said slowly, as if I were mentally retarded to a severe degree.
“Elbow, crotch; it’s all the same, right?” I hinted at a weak smile, but his mouth slowly stretched into a wide grin before I could say more. “I think I know what’s going on here...” his grin became sheepish, and his tone became explanatory. “What?” I felt my cheeks turn red. “Let me just say right now...it’s not what it looks like.” he rolled his eyes. Now it was my turn to be confused. “What—“ I started, but he cut me off with a groan as he buried his head in his big hands. “You saw it, didn’t you...” he groaned again, chuckling. I turned to face him. “Saw...what?” “You can admit it, Bells. I know I have some explaining to do...let me just—okay first of all, I usually never watch Hannah Montana. Damn, I mean I never watch it. Ever. I swear, okay?” He bit his lip, turning to face me again though this time I could see a faint bit of pink coloring his bronze cheeks. Jacob Black, embarrassed. That was something new. But what the hell was he talking about? “Hannah Montana—what—“ I shook my head but he dutifully interrupted me again. “It was just...” I could see his brow was furrowed, clearly struggling for the right words, “They’re Embry’s. I swear.” “Embry? What—“ “I know, I know,” he raised both hands as if trying to calm me, “I think it’s weird, too...but trust me, I was desperate. I didn’t have time for questions.” I shook my head, turning back to face him. “Jake...what are you talking about?” I nearly stated, almost as if it weren’t a question. Clearly he was more confused than I was now, as his dark eyes darted from me to the window. “The boxers...?” he said carefully, pulling up the white and pink fabric from his pants so that I could clearly see the “Hannah Montana: Best of Both Worlds!” print. My eyes widened and I suppressed a giggle. “Oh...” my voice was a whisper. An awkward silence filled the cab. “You didn’t see them, did you,” his voice was gruff and resentful. “Uh, no...” I reluctantly replied, biting my lip as I waited for his reaction. I could hear his steady breathing as I watched his bare chest rise and fall. “So...I basically just told you I was wearing Hannah Montana boxers for no reason,” he stated, leaning his head back. The way he put it sounded blunt, but true. “Yeah, I guess you did.” It was quiet for a minute. “Well damn.” We sat together in uncomfortable silence, probably for 5 or 10 minutes until he finally spoke up. “So, what do you want to do?”
I stared back at his beautiful body, biting my lip a little too hard so that it started to bleed. “Uh, anything I guess,” I smiled, hoping it had the same effect on him as his smile had on me. Why couldn’t he see the hunger in my eyes? Why didn’t he realize I wanted to see him in a damn speedo! I eyed his strong neck; his cropped, raven-black hair...his muscled forearms, his crafty hands, his rippling abs...his low-cut jeans...I wanted to— “We could play Scrabble?” he shrugged, opening my dashboard and grabbing the travel-Scrabble game I had bought a long time ago. My heart sank and my shoulders slumped, though I don’t know if it was visible in the dark. “Sounds great,” I sighed, hoping my voice betrayed my words. Scrabble was about the farthest thing from my mind. But if it made Jacob happy, so be it. “You sure? You sound kind of bummed,” he raised his eyebrow in my direction. HALLELUJAH! “Oh, no it’s fine, I just...” He scooted next to me, “You don’t want to play,” he stated, smiling a little, “Truthfully I don’t either.” If there was one time I wanted Jacob Black to not want to play Scrabble, that time was right now. I could feel his eyes taking me in even though the cab was dark. Edwar—no. I wouldn’t think of him tonight. I would be happy with Jake in the ways I wasn’t able to be before. We would finally tell each other the truth. “I was thinking...” Jacob said slowly, a mischievous grin playing on his full lips. Here we go I thought nervously, “We could play charades instead?” I leaned toward him, stopping suddenly. What had he just said? Charades? HE WAS THINKING OF CHARADES RIGHT NOW!? “Why don’t we play something different?” my voice sounded a little annoyed but I figured it was the only way to get the message across. His voice was strange. “Like what?” My cheeks burned pink again, “Let me think...” I leaned my face up towards him. Jacob Black I thought, swallowing carefully, I realize I love you; I realize I can’t lose you to his memory...I know now what I want. I won’t surrender. Not now. Not yet. And slowly he turned to face me, his face thoughtful yet alive and dancing with emotion as he opened his mouth slightly then closed it again as if about to say something but decided against it at the last minute. Read my mind, Jacob Black. My eyes locked with his, silently saying each word, I love you. I have always loved you. And I love your body. But mostly your personality. I think. Softly I reached my hand for his, not quite grazing his fingertips as I felt my heart thud like a heavy drum in my chest. And Jacob’s eyes suddenly widened. “I thought of something better than Charades,” his smile lit up the dark like a candle as he turned his face from mine and nodded, “20 Questions!” This was going to be a long night.