A/N: Just a heads-up – this story flip-flops back and forth between Jacob and Bella watching The Notebook and then to earlier in the afternoon. So there are two different time frames going on here between the breaks.
Disclaimer: All publicly recognizable characters are the property of their respective owners. The original characters and plot are the property of Stephenie Meyer. No copyright infringement is intended.
Di owners, creators, or producers of any media franchise. No copyright
“All right you two, I’m heading to bed. What are your plans?”
“Night, Dad. Bella brought over a movie that we’re going to watch.” He thought I didn’t catch it when he rolled his eyes at Billy, but I did. “The Notebook.”
“Okay,” Billy chuckled. “You two watch your movie. Goodnight.”
“Goodnight,” I murmured, wrapping my arms around myself. “Jacob, it’s freezing in here. Do you have a throw or something I can use?”
“Um, yeah. Hold on.” He jogged from the room and came back with a huge pastel patchwork comforter in his arms, the ends dragging on the floor.
“Is that from your sisters’ bed?” I laughed.
“Yeah, they won’t care. Here.” He flung the end out so it landed on my lap, and I spread it over me, pulling it up around my shoulders. I slipped my shoes off and curled my feet under me, tucking the comforter around them. Jake sat beside me and picked up the remote.
“Want some?” I pulled all the excess material strewn over the sofa and covered him with it.
“Thanks.” He sat stiffly at my side, like he was uncomfortable. And I knew why. It had been a weird day.
I was suspicious before I even saw them. It was too quiet. I could always hear the three of them arguing, play-fighting and wrestling with each other all the way from the road. But, when I walked into the garage and saw them huddled around a mini TV on the floor, I knew something was up. The fact that they were all so mesmerized that not even one of them heard me or felt my presence was another dead giveaway.
“What a spaz! He’s hanging from the Ferris wheel just to get this girl to go out with him!”
“He likes her. Besides,” I told him, “it worked.”
“Yeah, whatever. Talk about extreme dating.”
“It’s sweet,” I explained. I reached my hand out from under the covers to scratch my nose, and when I tucked it back under, it landed on Jacob’s leg and skimmed down the length as I scrambled to get it back onto my lap.
He stiffened for a brief moment and pulled the comforter tighter around him.
“You warming up?” he asked, glancing over at me.
Embry and Quil were cross-legged on the hard concrete floor, their elbows on their thighs and chins in their hands. Jake stood uncomfortably behind them. They all stared at the mini TV as if hypnotized.
What the heck?
I peered between Quil’s and Embry’s shoulders at the tiny screen.
The sound effects hit me before the visual seeped into my brain, giving me a clue as to what they were watching.
“Oh yeah! Oh yeah! Just like that. Uh-huh.”
Were they watching…?
“Uh-huh,” I answered, biting my lip. I shifted my weight, and my thigh pressed against his.”It’s just my hands that are still cold.”
I pulled one hand free from between my knees and touched his cheek with my chilly fingers. I giggled and slipped it back under the blanket, rubbing it along my arm to speed the circulation.
Jacob rolled his eyes and made a tsk-sound with his tongue. “Give them to me.” His hands were like a warm oven, the heat emanating from them as they enveloped mine. “That better?”
We both looked back to the television screen as the two main characters entered an old, abandoned mansion. It was run-down and needed some massive fixing up, but you could see that it had been a beautiful home, and with some work and care, it could be brought back to its original charm.
The house made me think of myself. How Jacob had taken the time to refurbish me, jump-starting my soul with his laughter, sprucing up my smile muscles, bringing them back to life. He’d shaken the cobwebs from my heart and polished it from the inside, out. I think he may have even gotten it back in working order again. If its jumps and starts were any indication, as he rubbed the rough pad of his thumb against my palm.
I held my breath and kept my eyes glued to the screen as Noah and Allie began kissing on the piano bench. Aside from the movie, the room got very quiet.
“Make love to me.” Allie told Noah, and I had to take a breath or I was going to die from self-asphyxiation.
Annnd, there went the clothes. What was it today with people taking off their clothes? I knew Jacob was thinking the same thing I was. Remembering earlier in the garage…
The back of some guy’s head was moving between two white columns that seemed to blur and shake. As my eyes focused and my brain was able to grasp what it was seeing, I realized those weren’t white pillars on either side of the man’s head. They were white creamy thighs. There was a tongue and a woman panting and lots of pink filling the screen. When two hands reached up and grabbed the back of the man’s head, my eyes bugged, my breath caught, my cheeks stained instantly pink, and a heat spread in my groin.
The sound of my gasp had the two boys on the ground up on their feet so fast I stumbled backward. But not before I caught a sight my virgin eyes wouldn’t soon be forgetting; the man on the screen leaned back on his knees as the camera panned in on his huge erection.
“Bella!” Jacob shoved Quil and Embry aside as he lunged for the small television and shut it off.
I was nearly speechless when the three of them tried to act casual and Quil and Embry said hello.
“Were you guys watching porn?” It was a stupid question, but I guess my brain was still trying to wrap itself around the obvious.
“Quil brought this crap over.” Jacob shoved Quil’s head, rolling his eyes. Quil looked down, embarrassed.
“Sorry, Bells,” Jacob apologized.
“It’s all right,” I shook my head dazedly, still a little uncomfortable at what I had seen.
“Come look what Embry and I found at the dump this morning.” Jacob diverted me. He led me over to the Rabbit and held up some metallic thingamajig proudly.
“Wow.” I smiled, pretending to understand the importance and luck in finding something so valuable.
I relaxed a little. No matter how cold and soggy it was outside, the garage always felt warm and comfortable to me.
A few minutes later and the porn incident seemed to be forgotten as I sipped on my warm soda and got caught up in the boys’ banter. It seemed forgotten to them, anyway. I couldn’t shake the weird feeling it left me with.
I kept wondering if everyone looked exactly like that man I’d briefly glimpsed on the TV. That was now my one comparison by which to gauge all others. And every time I looked at Jacob, I couldn’t help but wonder at the differences or possible similarities in my head.
Jacob couldn’t be that big.
I’d catch myself and try to steer my mind back onto the conversation in the room, but pretty soon it would veer off again of its own accord.
Jacob is a big guy—he might even be bigger.
No! That man had been huge. Gigantic. Gargantuan! Hadn’t he? Frankly, I had no clue, and no basis with which to measure.
Just as I’d get back into the flow of the conversation, my mind would go off on another tangent.
Is Jake’s tan like the rest of him? That dude’s was hella white.
Unfortunately, my whole afternoon went on like that. I was so distracted by that brief glimpse of pornography, I couldn’t help but wonder what I would have been like if I’d watched as much as the boys had. Were they looking at me and secretly wondering if I’d moan, “Oh yeah,” the way that woman did, in the throes of sex? God, I hoped not.
But would I?
Allie’s parents had called the police, and everyone was out looking for her. My breathing settled back down once Noah and Allie put their clothes back on.
My hands were toasty warm. Jacob freed the hand closest to me and drew it around my shoulders, and I leaned into him comfortably, laying my head against him.
“What is it with guys and porn?” It just slipped out before I could stop it. Quil and Embry had left, and it was just Jake and me in the garage.
He’d wanted to take a look at my truck, so I’d pulled it in and he’d popped the hood. I was watching his fingers as they nimbly tightened and pulled on this and that.
He chuckled and shrugged, mumbling something unintelligible.
“Do you guys really think about it all the time?” I watched intently as he reinserted the dipstick after measuring the oil.
He ducked his head and snorted. “Pretty much.”
“Really?” I asked, surprised, but not really. “I mean, I just didn’t picture you as being obsessed.”
“Well, I wouldn’t say I’m obsessed.” He sounded slightly defensive.
“But you… you think about it.”
He grunted as he tightened the coolant cap. “Well yeah, sometimes.”
Just stop now, Bella. Be quiet. Quit while you’re ahead.
“What do you think about?” If I could have smacked myself without looking absolutely insane, I would have. “I mean, do you think about anyone in particular?”
As soon as that was out of my mouth, I wanted to die. Now it sounded like I was asking him if he thought about me! And that’s not what I’d meant to ask at all.
Jacob surprised me by busting out laughing. “Okay, let’s end this conversation now before I end up getting slapped.”
Is he saying he did think about me??
My eyes widened. “Really?” I breathed.
He ducked his head again, and the tips of his ears turned pink. He stuck his face farther under the hood. “Again – I really don’t want to get slapped here.”
Why did I like that? On the one hand, it was mortifying – I mean, did he picture me naked? But on the other hand… I was flattered.
I couldn’t help appreciating how honest Jacob was being with me. I couldn’t be offended or mad at him. Not when I knew he was embarrassing himself to admit it. Or maybe he was just being nice?
I tugged on his ponytail and poked him in the side, playfully.
“I wouldn’t slap you,” I reassured him. ”I’m not the violent type. And it’s okay. Even though I think you’re full of it – I’m flattered.”
His hands stopped moving for a brief moment, and he was quiet.
“Am I naked in any of these… fanta-scenarios?”
I did not just say that out loud!!
He finally pulled his head out from under the hood and turned to face me, looking at me like I was retarded. “Uh, they’re pornographic! I would think so!”
I grinned stupidly and tucked my head against his chest, avoiding his eyes. “How do I look?” I whispered, unable to help myself.
He put his hands on my shoulders and rested his chin against the top of my head. “You look really good. Really good,” he murmured.
“I do?” I squeaked against his chest, all ready to ask another humiliating question. I was flustered, but it was strangely exciting, making me feel hot and a little exhilarated. A little like I’d felt when I’d caught that brief glimpse of the dirty movie earlier.
“Bella! Jacob! Come up to the house and clean up before we eat!”
Nothing like a parental unit to douse your heated thoughts of sex.
We were having dinner at the Blacks’. Jake and I washed up, and a little while later, Billy announced the spaghetti was ready. I pulled the garlic bread from the oven and gave the salad one final toss.
The kitchen was tiny, so we spread the food out over the counter and heaped our plates full, taking a seat at the table.
Charlie didn’t stay long once he was finished eating. He sat and watched the news with Billy and then headed for home in the cruiser.
“Don’t be too late, Bells,” he told me as he smiled and pulled away.
Thanks to Allie’s parents, she was forced to return home early for the rest of summer. According to Allie’s mother, Noah was “trash” and did not live up to her high standards.
Fate eventually lead Allie and Noah back together again. Unfortunately, Allie was engaged to someone else at the time.
Noah and Allie were soaking wet after escaping a downpour. He carried her into the house and shoved her up against a wall, kissing her hard. My heart just about died and my body warmed up a few degrees with no help at all from the blanket over me.
And then the clothes started coming off again.
Just as Noah removed Allie’s stockings, Jacob turned to me, his eyes trained on the pattern on the comforter. Noises very similar to the ones being made in the x-rated movie earlier were coming from the TV.
“So… do you ever think about it?”
“Huh?” I was genuinely perplexed at first.
“You know. What we were talking about earlier.” He was picking up our conversation from the garage, before.
“Oh. Oh! Um, kinda. Yeah. Not really.” How was that for an answer?
“Oh.” He turned back to Noah and Allie going at it on the screen.
I’d only ever had one boyfriend in my whole entire life. And to say we didn’t do much – physically – would be putting it mildly. Edward’s circumstances were complicated. Suffice to say, most people would consider what we called “kissing” to be most unsatisfying. No tongue, mouths closed, and if our faces were meshed together for too long, my nose would get frostbite. I enjoyed it, but we couldn’t do much to get too swept away with.
Anyway, enough about him. Jacob was a real human boy, and he didn’t work that way. He was normal.
“I mean, I do,” I said to Jacob, feeling the need to clarify myself. “But more like this.” I pointed to the TV screen where Noah and Allie were still embarrassingly humping. “And not like what you guys were watching today.”
Jacob nodded. “Less ‘oh baby, baby,’ and more like making love.”
I saw his ears turn pink, as if he’d just said the eff-word, which I guess in a semantically correct way, he had.
“So.” He turned back to me again. “Am I ever in these scenarios?” He was using my question that I’d asked him in the garage earlier, and I wasn’t quite sure how I felt about that. But turnaround was fair play.
Was this where I was supposed to tell him I’d imagined how he looked there compared to the porn man? I didn’t think I could do that.
I hemmed and hawed, and nothing but a bunch of nonsense syllables made their way out of my mouth.
I glanced over, and the Cheshire cat grin on Jacob’s face told me that my mumbling pretty much answered his question for him.
“What are you smiling about?” I couldn’t help raising my voice, defensively.
“Nothing,” he said smugly.
“Nothing?” I poked him in the side, under the blanket.
“I guess that makes us even, that’s all.”
What could I say? I couldn’t deny it. It would be a lie. We’d both thought about the other naked.
“Hmph.” I know - it was a brilliant comeback.
“So, what you’re saying is, you like your porn to be – “
“Wait a minute!” I interrupted. “I didn’t say I liked porn. I said I like- I mean…”
“Bella, what Noah and Allie were just doing here is the same thing they were doing in the movie the guys and I were watching earlier.”
“But – “
“Same thing.” He shook his head. “Maybe not presented the same way, but what are these guys doing differently from any porn movie?”
“Well, technically, Noah and Allie are not doing the same thing that I saw in the garage earlier today, but, yeah.”
“So they’re not going to film Noah and Allie doing that, but trust me, they’re going to do it eventually.”
He had a big grin on his face, and I wanted to argue with him, but I couldn’t. I’m sure Noah and Allie would get to that some other time when the cameras weren’t on them.
We sat in embarrassed silence for a minute, not looking at each other. My fingers were distractedly twirling a loose thread on the blanket.
“You’re right.” I sighed, admitting defeat. “I guess I just like my porn” - I paused and wrinkled my nose, giving him a dirty look – “more subtle. Romantic.
“So I guess we’re both normal? Just… different.”
“Well, I never said you were normal,” I teased. “But definitely different.” I snorted.
“Oh yeah?” He flung the comforter off us and grabbed my ribs, tickling me.
I screamed and fell backward on the couch, giggling. “Stop, Jacob! Stop!”
“Shh,” he snickered. “You’re gonna wake up my dad.”
His hands were still gripping my waist, but they had stopped their unmerciful tickling. His face was inches above mine, and our breath was heavy, mingling between us.
“So did you like when Noah shoved her up against the wall and kissed her?” he asked me, his eyes watching my lips as he spoke.
“Mm-hmm,” I admitted.
“What if he had thrown her down on the couch and tickled her before he kissed her? Would you have liked that?”
I knew if I said yes, I was getting kissed.
I felt his lips so close, whisper-soft against my own.
Jacob groaned loudly, before raising his head. “What, Dad?”
“You okay in there? Did Bella hurt herself? I heard a scream. Anything happens to that girl while she’s here, you’re telling her father.”
“She’s fine. We’re just goofing off.”
“Uh-huh. Goofing off? I repeat, anything happens to that girl, you’re telling the man with the gun.”
“Oh my god,” Jake muttered under his breath.
“I gotta go,” I told him, pushing him off me gently. Like I’d said before, parental units kinda killed the mood every time. I didn’t want my first kiss with Jake to be overheard and then reported to my father.
“Another time?” I whispered, referring to what almost happened.
I started folding up the comforter, but Jake told me to leave it because he was going to watch some more TV. I grabbed my raincoat, and he walked me to the door.
It was coming down in buckets, and my raincoat didn’t have a hood. My truck was still in the garage where we’d left it after Jake gave it a semi-tune-up.
“Come on.” He grabbed his own jacket from the coat-stand and opened the front door. I followed him out onto the porch. “Ready?” He held his coat up over both our heads, and we made a run for it in the dark. He held one side of the jacket while I held up the other and with his other hand securely around my waist to stop me from tripping in the mud, we ran.
He was fast and he pulled me along, my feet barely skimming the ground as he held tight to my waist and practically flew me to the garage. A bolt of lightning lit up the sky, illuminating the path in front of us for a few whole seconds. Then the thunder rolled and cracked, making me squeal, giddy.
We were both laughing, trying to catch our breath as he pushed open the garage door and pulled me inside. My hair still managed to get soaked somehow, the water running down my face and dripping onto the floor.
Before I could catch my breath, Jake lifted me off the ground, and I felt my back hit the wall. I grabbed onto his shoulders, my balance thrown off without my feet on the floor.
I had time for one quick thought and a mental squee before he kissed me, hard.
He’s going to kiss me just like in the movie!
We didn’t rip our clothes off. We didn’t “have sex” or “make love” on the garage floor. (Not that night, anyway.)
Just a kiss.
One glorious kiss.
And it was enough.
A kiss in the rain, in the safest place in the world to me. It was the perfect place for us to start.