Fire Becomes Ice

2. Realization

"No," Jacob said, recognizing Edward's voice with dread as it left his own lips. "This can't be happening." Jacob's hand was unmistakably pale, and his nails were neatly groomed. He ran his fingers involuntarily through a thick mass of tousled hair.

"I don't understand," Edward said, shaken by the sound of Jacob's voice that appeared to be coming from his own mouth. He found himself unable to hear any thoughts other than his own, no matter how hard he tried. The hands before him revealed olive-colored skin and dirty fingernails.

"I don't know what you did, but change us back!"

"Do you think I did this? I'm a vampire, not a warlock!" Not even a vampire anymore. A filthy mongrel.

"Hey! I'm not happy about being inside the body of a soulless leech either." Jacob was very displeased, all of a sudden, by the strong wet dog scent that was emanating from the being across from him. He was happy, at least, that Edward could not read it in his thoughts.

"Okay, so we both agree. This is madness, and we want our bodies back," Edward said, pacing. He was still not used to having his thoughts available for reading. Do I really smell like that? He wondered, trying to sniff out the strong bleach-like vapor from his nostrils. It was very unlike the sweet smell that seemed to attract the humans.

Jacob's lips cracked into a smile. "Yes, you do," – at which Edward frowned, both at Jacob's retort and that his thoughts were out in the open for him to hear - "I definitely agree that we can't stay this way." However, there was an invigorating feeling to all these new enhanced senses. And now, at least Jacob felt calm enough to think rationally and not kill Edward. Besides, harming him now would be like harming himself. "Hey, this reminds me of that movie…."

Freaky Friday? It's impossible.

Jacob laughed bitterly. "I guess that people think the idea of werewolves and vampires actually existing is impossible, too."

Good point. Now, let's see. You were thinking that as soon as your wolf body took over that you were going to tear me to pieces.

"What were you thinking? Oh wait," Jacob replied sarcastically. "I don't have to ask. I can just read your mind."

Edward found that he did not like the bitter taste of his own medicine, and as Jacob read that Edward's intentions had still been to avoid conflict, he breathed a heavy sigh. The two stood there, staring in disbelief, wracking their brains to figure it out, and all at once, the answer hit them like a blow from a hammer.

"The necklace," Jacob said as Edward thought it.

Finding the piece of jewelry did not prove to be a problem for Jacob. He could easily make out the easily discernable turquoise color that appeared like ocean against desert as it lay upon the dirt on the other side of the road. Edward could not see it, but walked as fast as he could in that direction to retrieve the item, but soon found that he was no match for Jacob's speed.

Amazed, Jacob realized that he only had to think about performing an action, and his body responded without effort. In the blink of an eye, he stood over the talisman, now contemplating. He couldn't help feeling a little smug as Edward ran over to meet him thirty seconds later.

"So, do we just touch it?" Jacob asked, processing the myriad of sounds, smells, and sights all at once.

Let's try it.

Jacob's pale hand reached down and grasped the necklace, then held it in his open palm.

Edward's olive-skinned fingers touched the talisman, and then the two waited. Nothing's happening.

How about we…make a wish?

With a smirk, Edward observed his own face throw him a doubtful look.

Do you want to be stuck like this?

"No." This sounded ridiculous to Jacob, like some sort of cheesy Disney movie, but seeing as he had no other choice, he agreed. "Fine."

Did you make a wish?

"Yes," Jacob answered impatiently.

Okay, let's try it again. Close your eyes this time.

Jacob's brows drew together tightly once more. "You close your eyes." He still didn't trust him. His finger grasped part of the pendant.

Be careful. You don't know your own strength. Gently. The last thing they needed was for Jacob to break the thing. Of course, for all they knew, the pendant may not have caused the change at all. Still, hope was all they had, and with Edward's fingers on the lower half of the pendant, they were both ready to try again.

Now concentrate…

Two minutes of concentrating later...

"It didn't work. Do you have any other brilliant ideas?"

Edward sighed. "Where did you get this from?"

"Emily- the pack leader's fiancée, but she got it from her neighbor."

Okay, so since you're me, you can't very well stroll back home…

Jacob shook his head. "No, and neither can you." They were both silent for a moment as they considered their options. "I'll stay here with Bella," Jacob announced, and a grin lit up his face. "You can go to La Push to get some answers. We can meet back here again tomorrow. See ya." Wouldn't wanna be ya, he thought. Happily, he surrendered the necklace to Edward, and in a flash was at the tree by Bella's window, contemplating his ability to jump.

Stay away from Bella. It was a plain, simple warning.

Feeling very smug as Edward ran toward him at a sluggish human pace, Jacob was hyper aware of all of his senses, his surroundings. There were no boundaries or limitations. All of a sudden he felt powerful, and though he was inside the body of his natural enemy, he couldn't help feeling that now Edward was very much like Clark Kent, stripped of all of his super powers. "Why should I? She's going to think I'm you."

It was then that Edward smiled, and though he realized it was unnecessary to say the words out loud, he spoke, now having the upper hand. "Feeling thirsty?"

The small flame swelling inside Jacob's throat had been the least of his concerns, until Edward had brought it to his attention. There it was now, front and center, raging like lava and yearning to be quenched. It was a useless gesture, but his hands rose to cover his throat. "How do I make it stop?" he whispered pitifully. He had the sickening feeling that water would be as effective as fighting fire with gas.

And Edward held back a smile, recognizing with relief the absence of the blaze from his own throat. You don't want to hear it.

"I'm going to ignore it," Jacob said confidently, leaping with little effort halfway up the trunk of the tree like a graceful leopard. After all, he had been able to drown out some of his senses if he just didn't think about them. Hmmm…Jacob thought. I bet I could jump all the way to the window…

Stay AWAY from Bella!

Jacob sneered at Edward's internal voice, fixing his gaze on him below, still struck by the irony of the situation. Edward, in his body - it was too perfect. "Go home, Jacob," he told Edward mockingly. "Bella doesn't want to see you, remember?"

I'm warning you! Desperately, Edward wished that he had his cell phone to call Emmett or Jasper. He might need some back up.

As Jacob peered into the window, he was struck by the vision of the Chief's beautiful daughter on her bed, leaning on her elbow as she wrote in her notebook. How he longed to hold her and have her want him the way he wanted her. Just the idea of her warm in his arms, gazing up at him with loving eyes filled his heart, though he doubted that he had a heart at all. Bella was softly humming along to the music, the melody from a piano filling her room and his ears. The echo of Charlie's snoring sounded out from below. All at once, a slight breeze blew in through her window, pushing forward a lock of her hair…

All at once, Jacob felt possessed as the irresistible luscious scent flared inside his nostrils and poured inside his lungs, gripping him with the devil's claws. It was unfamiliar, yet natural as a splash of poisonous fluid coated his mouth and teeth. The lava in his throat was now a raging inferno. Edward was suddenly behind him, tugging uselessly at Jacob's arm in an attempt to pull him back.

Listen to me, Jacob. Get far away from her now!

Leaving was the last thing he wanted to do. Blind to their friendship, all Jacob could see was the means to extinguish the awful pain, the scorching heat that dominated every cell in his body. He could barely think of how much Bella meant to him, how in his own body, his very heart beat solely for her. At that moment, his instincts were in command, the thirst begged to be quenched, and he licked his lips in anticipation of it, already imagining her life's blood, thick and rich as he sucked it from her body.

"Jacob!" Edward whispered furiously. He knew better than anyone that in this state it was nearly impossible to reason with a thirsty vampire. It hadn't helped that Jacob didn't have Edward's level of restraint. And it hadn't escaped Edward's notice that the golden color of Jacob's eyes had blackened. "Come on! Let's leave here now…before you hurt her."

For Edward, even worse was the idea that he couldn't protect her. He had no idea how to phase into a wolf and doubted that Jacob would share that information with him at that moment.

"Jacob! Please!"

To Jacob, the words his voice were saying sounded like a desperate faraway plea, and it was all too easy to ignore Edward and his useless grip. He barely registered the decrease in the volume of the music. It was only about six feet to the window, and Jacob leaned forward, while holding onto one branch, ready to leap once again.

"Edward?"

Jacob stared into Bella's brown eyes as she looked at him through the window. To him, she looked extraordinarily beautiful. He could see the dark specks in her brown eyes, and each long flowing strand of hair. His admiring gaze even caught the faint spread of pink that was tinting her cheeks. For just a moment, Jacob closed his eyes, trying to hold back the monster inside him.

"Yeah, Bella. It's me - Edward," Jacob said, opening his eyes again as though the action would clear his head. His voice, he noticed sounded a little too hungry.

It was all Edward could do to stay quiet. He scooted back so that he stayed hidden behind Jacob, huddled over bent knees on top of the branch.

"What are you doing there?" she asked him. She thought she had heard whispering and could barely make out Edward's shadowy figure. "I've been waiting for you. Come in," she invited with a smile.

No! Don't go inside! You'll kill her, Jacob!

A flash of the time they spent together swirled through his brain like a foggy dream.

Please think about how much you care for her. How horrible you will feel after.

Jacob could almost feel the warmth of the memories from all those hours in his dad's garage, the walks along the beach, riding the motorcycles.

You can't take it back!

At Edward's pleading thoughts, Jacob leaned back, but only slightly, still fighting the powerful lure of her blood.

Don't breathe! It will make it easier to deal with if you can't smell her.

"Are you okay?" Bella asked him. Edward was acting very strange, and she was puzzled by the way he just sucked in his breath.

Jacob nodded.

"Edward? Why won't you say anything?"

Tell her you have to go.

"It's just that," Jacob swallowed back the pool of venom, too possessed to be disgusted by it. He then spoke through slightly parted lips, "you smell…." he was at a loss for the right word. He closed his eyes again, hoping to focus on blocking out the powerful sense of smell. Appetizing wouldn't be the appropriate word, yet, good didn't quite cut it, either. "Amazing."

Blocking out the smell didn't work, and Jacob opened his eyes again.

Bella smiled, and Jacob felt himself melt at the sight of her. He couldn't kill her any more than he could cut off his own finger, but the temptation was too great.

"It's my new shampoo," Bella told him, raising her brows suggestively. Her fingers ran through her hair and brushed the strands toward the window. "I thought you'd like it."

Invisible streams of intoxicating scent wafted toward him, and Jacob thought he might go mad.

I said don't breathe! Tell her you have to go!

Jacob sucked in his breath again.

Puzzled, Bella shook her head. "Edward, come inside!"

"I have to go," Jacob told her through tight lips.

"You just got here."

"It's just that…my sister called…." he lied, his hand gripping the branch with all his might. The wood was beginning to give beneath the pressure of his fingers. "She needs me."

This was all sounding too weird to Bella. "Which one?"

"Pick one." Jacob had tried to recall the name of that cold blonde who passed the border, violating the treaty, but none came to mind.

Alice!

"Alice."

"Are you sure you're okay, Edward. You don't look so good." Edward's pained expression looked eerily like Jasper's.

"I'm fine. I've just got to go."

"Okay. Call me later."

" ' kay," he replied and leapt to the ground, landing on both feet as though he had done it every day of his life. Edward scooted backward further on the branch, hidden in the darkness.

"Wait!"

With some distance between them, Jacob was finally feeling some relief. The thirst was less like a fire and more like a constant flicker.

"What?"

"I love you, Edward," she shouted out into the night, barely able to see him on the ground.

Edward's heart was breaking, feeling hopeless in this whole mess. "I love you too, my Bella," he whispered from the tree branch.

Jacob, meet me at the end of the block. Hurry. Go.

The corners of Jacob's lips curled downward. Hearing Bella say that she loved Edward was like a bullet through the heart, but he had to say something. "Sure, sure," he replied, and in a flash disappeared down the street.

"Sure, sure?" Bella repeated into the darkness. There was something definitely wrong, and Bella hoped that the next day at school that Edward would give her some answers.


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