This is NM from Jacob's pov (and a little from Billy). My goal is to stay true to Stephenie's story so there will be no major different from her plot to mine. I also should say that all conversations where Bella is present will be directly quoted from SM (or summarized). I am not trying to change the story but simply add Jacob's side of the story. So lets get started.
Disclaimer - All character belong to Stephenie Meyers. This is New Moon as she wrote it, simply from Jacob's POV, so any conversation that Bella is present for will be directly quoted from the book. No copy write infringement is intended.
Chapter 1 - CHEATER
Saturdays were the best, I could do anything that I wanted to do, except for sleep in. Dad always needed my help getting into his clothes and starting the day. I don't mind, he was always real patient with me and would usually sit in his bed and read until I woke up and got him ready. I left the warm comfort of my sheets and raised my arms above my head to stretch. There was a loud crack as I stretched my back and it felt great. I grabbed a random pair of jeans and shirt and went to my dad's room. After getting him out of bed, I left him to use the restroom and brush his teeth. He was a very strong man and could lift himself from his chair and back again when needed.
I walked into the kitchen and got two bowls of cereal, one for myself and one for dad, poured them with shredded wheat, and added milk. I used to love frosted flakes but with dad's diabetes it was just easier if we both ate the same foods and the sugary cereals had to go.
Dad got two spoons out of the drawer and rolled over to the table. I carried the bowls and sat one down in front of him and I sat in the chair across the table from him.
“So Jacob, what will you be doing today?” Billy asked.
“I don't know, probably just work on the Rabbit. Why did you need something?”
“Nope. However your room is a disaster you should probably clean that up.” I took a deep sigh and realized he was right. I was not even sure if the clothes I wore were clean or dirty, the piles had sort of blended together into a disastrous mess.
We sat in comfortable silence and finished our cereal and then dad rolled into the living room, turning on the TV while I poured myself another bowl of cereal. After finishing I went to the sink washed mine and Dad's bowl before heading to my room. I decided it was time to do laundry. I gathered all my clothes from my room and stopped by my Dad's to gather his as well. Dad and I had a good system, I would put it in the wash and then transfer it over the dryer. Dad would take it out, fold it, and put it away. We were a good team.
Three loads later I was sitting on the couch, waiting for the last one to finish in the wash desperate to go to the the garage where I really wanted to be. When I heard a sound that I knew I would never forget. It was loud as it huffed and puffed and I knew it was the truck that belonged to Bella Swan. I could remember working on the engine of that truck and there would never be another sound like it. Instantly I thought something was wrong with it and Charlie had brought it over for repairs. I peaked out the window and saw only Bella.
I was so excited to know that Bella had come here, until I saw Bella's face through the window. She looked absolutely awful. She was so skinny that I felt I could see her bones through her clothes, her face was extremely white except for the large dark circles under each eye. I had heard Billy talking to Charlie and so I knew that Bella was not doing well but I had no idea how bad it was until I saw her.
Despite her sad appearance I was still excited that she came. I jumped from the couch and half ran out the door, trying to act calmly. I had a huge crush on Bella and while I guessed that my dad already knew I didn't exactly want to make it so obvious with him in the same room. But despite my attempts I couldn't get the silly smile off, it was always plastered to my face any time Bella's name came up. For her to actually be right outside my front door, it was too much for me to handle and I had to move quickly. I stepped outside and hoped off the porch towards her truck when Bella's eyes finally looked up at my.
“Bella!” I shouted, I just could not contain my excitement.
“Hey, Jacob!” Bella said with a hint of excitement and a weak smile. Though it was small I could tell it was real.
“You grew again!” she said amazed.
“Six five” I answered, I couldn't help but be proud of my size. Though it was embarrassing to be so uncoordinated, it just felt like my body was growing so fast I barely could keep up with myself.
“Is it ever going to stop? You're huge.” Bella shook her head like she could not believe it.
“Still a beanpole, though” Growing so fast I just couldn't put on the weight like my friends and it made me feel skinny and awkward.
Suddenly I realized that it was raining and she would probably like to come inside. “Come inside! You're getting all wet.”
I turned around and she followed me towards the house. My long hair matted to my face from the rain so I reached for the band in my pocket and pulled it back without thinking, it was simply a habit. I opened the door and ducked as I entered the house. I remembered the first time I hit my head on the door frame, I was late for school and ran out the door, I couldn't believe that I had grown that tall.
“Hey, Dad” I called. “Look who stopped by.”
I noticed that the TV had been turned off and a book was in his hand. Was he watching us from the window? I swear him and Charlie gossip more than any grown men should, but I never really thought he would spy on me. All of a sudden I was extremely nervous that he would embarrass me. He sat the book in his lap and wheeled himself towards us, reaching out to take Bella's hand.
“Well, what do you know! It's good to see you, Bella. What brings you out here? Everything okay with Charlie?”
One of the few times that I was glad to have my dad in the room. He was able to ask these questions without it coming across as desperate or rude. I wanted to know the answer to those questions so badly but I didn't have the courage to ask her.
“Yes, absolutely. I just wanted to see Jacob – I haven't seen him in forever.”
I did not think I could be happier. Bella was standing in my house and now to know that it had nothing to do with her father or my father, but rather it was to see ME! The smile that was plastered to my face stretched to a whole new level. I wanted to be embarrassed but I was too happy to care.
“Can you stay for dinner?” Billy asked.
“No, I've got to feed Charlie, you know.”
“I'll call him now,” Billy suggested. “He's always invited.”
“It's not like you'll never see me again.” She promised. “I'll be back again soon – so much you'll get sick of me.” Bella said with a nervous laugh. I do not think she had any idea that it was not possible for me to get sick of her, but it might be interesting to see what she came up with to try and make that a reality.
Billy gave me a quick wink, so quick that I almost missed it and I know there was no way that Bella saw it. I knew that dad and I were real close, but I never in my dreams would have thought of him as my wing man. But there was something different, I quickly realized that this was not just for me, but also for his best friend. Charlie has been beside himself with worry over Bella and if Bella spending time with me would help Charlie then I knew my dad would help in any way he could.
Billy chuckled in response. “Okay, maybe next time.”
This was getting awkward quickly so I knew I had to do something. “So, Bella, what do you want to do?” It had been so long since my sisters lived here so I wasn't sure what kind of girl stuff we had available, and I had no idea what Bella might find interesting.
“Whatever. What were you doing before I interrupted?”
I really did not want to bore her with car stuff, and took a second to rack my brain to think of anything else more interesting. Coming up blank, I decided to just go with the truth. “I was just heading out to work on my car, but we can do something else. . .”
“No, that's perfect” Bella interrupted “I'd love to see your car.”
I couldn't believe that Bella would really want to see my car. She just looks too tiny to be interested in cars and such. “Okay, it's out back, in the garage.”
Was it just my imagination or did she seem to get more excited about that? It was like she wanted to be alone and isolated. We walked over to the garage in a comfortable silence. Bella walked in and looked the place over. I know to most people it wasn't much, but I loved this garage it was “my domain” and made me feel useful. Cars made sense to me there was a predictable rhythm to the engine and the parts worked together in a way that I understood. The oil and dirt that surrounded everything could be smelt at any time, it was fantastic.
“What kind of Volkswagen is that?” Bella asked.
“It's an old Rabbit – 1986, a classic.”
“How's it going?”
Suddenly I remembered the last time I saw Bella was at prom when my dad had bribed me with car parts and money to go and speak with her. I wondered if she remembered why I was there, it was so embarrassing but I wanted her to know that it was really all my dad's doing and I had nothing to do with that. “My dad made good on his promise last spring.”
Well that was awkward and at first I could not think of why she was so resistant. Then I remembered that she was at prom with Edward Cullen and clearly his memory was painful. I made a promise to myself to try and not say anything that would bring him into the conversation. I wanted to say something, but I didn't know what would break the promise I had just made to myself so I remained quiet.
“Jacob, what do you know about motorcycles?” Bella asked.
Well that seemed to come out of no where. “Some. My friend Embry has a dirt bike. We work on it together sometimes. Why?” I just could not figure out how we went from prom to motorcycles.
“Well. . .” Bella seemed to struggle with her words, not knowing what to say. “I recently acquired a couple of bikes, and they're not in the greatest condition. I wonder if you could get them running?
My goodness Bella is so adorable when she is nervous and I wanted to put her at ease. “Cool.” That was an understatement. I was so freaking excited. This was my chance to actually show skills that I am really good at to a girl that I was crazy about. How did I get so lucky? However, I did not want to seem overly confident. “I'll give it a try.”
Bella lifted her finger as to warn me. “The thing is, Charlie doesn't approve of motorcycles. Honestly, he'd probably bust a vein in his forehead if he knew about this. So you can't tell Billy.”
I didn't even have to think twice, this was an easy decision. “Sure, sure.” I smiled. “I understand.”
“I'll pay you,” Bella continued.
“No. I want to help. You can't pay me.” Was she crazy? She was volunteering to spend time with me and she wants to pay me, absolutely not, I couldn't help but be a little offended. I didn't want to be some “professional employee” that she paid to work on her motorcycles, I wanted to be her friend and maybe more if I was lucky.
“Well. . . how about a trade, then? I only need one bike – and I'll need lessons, too. So how about this? I'll give you the other bike, and then you can teach me.”
I swear this girl keeps getting better and better. I was so excited. “Swee-eet” I said with two syllables. Geez, I sound like I am in junior high, I hope that Bella didn't notice.
“Wait a sec – are you legal yet? When is your birthday?
Well crap it seems that she noticed. “You missed it, I'm sixteen.” I said with a teasing smile.
“Not that your age ever stopped you before,” she muttered. “Sorry about your birthday.”
“Don't worry about it. I missed yours. What are you, forty?”
Bella sniffed. “Close.”
“We'll have a joint party to make up for it.”
“Sounds like a date.”
Holy cow! Did Bella just suggest that we have a date? That was totally awesome, I would pinch myself but if that was a dream I never wanted to wake up.
“Maybe when the bikes are finished – our present to ourselves,” Bella added.
“Deal.” I could tell that she was trying to make the conversation more casual and I did not want her to be uncomfortable. “When will you bring them down?” Suddenly Bella bit her lip, looking really embarrassed. What did I say? Umm . . . why does Bella look so embarrassed?
“They're in my truck now.”
Well for all the things to be embarrassed about that was one I could certainly handle. It was turning out to be one of the best days ever “Great.”
“Will Billy see if we bring them around?”
Without thinking I winked at her and said “We'll be sneaky.”
I was beyond excited as we started heading towards her truck. Just to prove my sneakiness I stayed in the trees and made myself walk casually, part of me wanted to run but I knew that would draw Billy's attention. I walked around the truck, removing the tarp that covered them. For a second I wondered if I would be able to lift them on my own, they looked pretty sturdy. I cautiously lifted the first one and found it surprisingly light and put it on the ground. The second was a little heavier and I had to concentrate to set it down gently. I have enjoyed the added strength that I have had the past few months, but I was never more grateful for it until that day. I do not know what I would have done if I couldn't get the stupid bikes out of her truck.
Looking over the bikes they were in better condition that I thought they would be. “These aren't half bad.” We each pushed one into the cover that the trees provided. “This one here will actually be worth something when I'm done – it's an old Harley Sprint.”
“That one's yours, then.”
“Are you sure?”
I still didn't like the idea of accepting the more profitable bike. I started looking them over closely and could see that there was certainly some significant damage to them. “These are going to take some cash, though.” Maybe she will at least let me contribute money for parts. “We'll have to save up for parts first.”
“We nothing,” Bella disagreed. “If you're doing this for free, I'll pay for the parts.”
“I don't know. . .” Everything about this just felt wrong to me, but I didn't really have a good reason to argue with her.
“I've got some money saved. College fund, you know.”
I didn't know what to say so I just nodded my head. This was going to turn out to be the best thing that had ever happened to me. I got to spend time with Bella and show off my mad mechanical skills. Or possibly, this will be the death of me when Charlie killed me for endangering his daughter and spending her college fund. I simply thanked God that I was a teenage boy and no one would fault me if they were given the same situation. It's the code: When the girl of your dreams asks you for a favor - do what she says!
After Jacob and Bella walked out of the house I took a deep breath. Charlie was not kidding when he said that Bella was not doing well. I knew Charlie was not one for theatrics but I honestly did not know how to help him. Neither Rebecca nor Rachel had gone through anything like this and I said a silent prayer of thanks.
I rolled back into the living room prepared to watch some ESPN, not sure which game I would watch first. I loved all sports and was not really particular. As I settled in to watch the game the phone rang. I rolled back into the kitchen to answer the phone.
“Hello” I said trying to mask the mild irritation at being interrupted.
“Hey Billy, it's Sam”
“Hey Sam, how's it going?”
“Nothing too much, I was just wondering how Jacob was doing? I noticed he has grown quite a bit in the past few months.” Sam asked with a mixture of concern and curiosity.
“Yes he has grown fast. I am watching him closely, he has started eating more and I fear it will be affecting him soon.” Though I knew this was an honor, I was also scared for my son. Not experiencing this myself I didn't know what it would be like.
I remember the day I got the call from Quil Sr. that Sam had phased. It took us all by surprise even though it shouldn't have. When the Cullen's returned I became fearful of the affect that it would have on the youth of our tribe. All the council members were keeping a close eye on the male teenagers in the tribe. How Harry missed the signs of Sam's transformation was beyond me. Maybe he just didn't want to see it because he feared it would break his daughter's heart. After Sam, Jared, and Paul's transformation I thought maybe Jacob would be spared, legend only had 3-4 wolves at one time except for extreme circumstances.
“I'm sorry Billy, I figured this would come, but no one really wants it.” Sam replied with sympathy, bringing me back to the present.
“Thanks,” I said not really knowing what else to say.
“Billy what do I do if he phases? Won't he be the alpha?” Sam asked not sure if he will like the answer but knew he needed to ask.
“Look Sam, lets cross that bridge when we get there. I know that with our family heritage that Jacob's transformation will affect you greater than any of the others. I will do the best I can to keep you informed.” I really did not want to have this conversation but didn't want to be rude either.
“Thanks, Billy that will be a great help. Well I will let you get back to whatever you were doing” Sam quickly said, clearly trying to wrap up the phone call.
“Well you take care, I'll talk to you later Sam.”
Taking a deep breath I could see Jacob and Bella through the trees walking back to the garage. They each had something but I could not quite tell what it was, but I just hoped that Jacob would be able to help Bella through this rough time. And maybe, just maybe Bella would be what Jacob needed to get through his own rough time that would be quickly approaching.
- Billy is in a wheelchair due to nerve damage from diabetes. I honestly have no idea exactly how limited that makes him so what Billy is able to do on his own and what he can't is all my imagination.
- Jacob built the engine in Bella's truck.
- Jacob has a particular smile that Bella considers to be "hers".
- All conversations that Bella is present for will be either directly quoted or summarized.
- Charlie would call Billy looking for help with Bella, but Billy did not know what to do because Rebecca nor Rachel had gone through anything like this.
- Jacob admits to Bella that he does wash dishes at home, so I assume that he would have other chores as well.
AUTHOR'S NOTE: I did some editing and unless you want to read the comments of other readers I would recommend going here for chapter 2.
The moment that Jake phased was the scariest experiences I have ever had in all my life. I swear Sam made it look so easy to slip from wolf to human to wolf again, like it was so natural. He tried to prepare me so that I would know what I was doing, but it was like taking a CPR course, but nothing can actually prepare you for the moment that someone was in front of you not breathing and you had to put those skills into action.
When Jake came into the living room he was so angry that if it had been anyone but me, I think he might have killed someone. His face was so strange, anger had contorted his beautiful features into a mask of a monster. I knew not to press him, but his anger had caught me off guard. He was returning from Bella and normally that was a safe time, but clearly things had not gone well.
If I thought that angry Jacob could tear the house apart that was nothing compared to an angry and scared wolf. I don't think I was able to take a deep breath until Jake stepped out of the house towards the garage. Jared stopped by the house quickly to tell me that Embry was with Jake and that they would take care of him.
There was nothing more for me to do, traditionally they were a wolf for days or weeks after their first phase. I knew that they would keep me posted as well as they could. I gave Harry a call to see if he could help me get settled for the night. He wasn't able, but sent Seth instead. I was amazed at how much the boy had grown in the past month since I last saw him. He reminded me so much of Jacob that it was comforting to have him here.
It was a pleasant surprise to wake up the next morning to Embry telling me that Jacob was home, but would be out of it for a while. The first phase was so mentally and physically taxing for them that it often took a full day to recover. When Jake finally woke up, he was so weak he was like a small child and it made me miss Sarah. She was always so wonderful with our children, a gentle touch and strong smile that made her eyes sparkle. I was lucky that Jacob had never really needed a lot of “mothering” after she died, and so we were able to have our own relationship based on understanding and love.
But every day it hurts if I think about Sarah too much. When Jacob started brushing out his hair I began to wonder if I was watching him do that for the last time. As if to confirm my fears Sam walked in at that moment. I knew that all of the guys had cut their hair after they phased, but I never really understood why until after Jacob phased. He looked almost more like an over grown sheep dog than a wolf. It would have been funny had it not been so serious.
As Sam was about to make the first cut on Jake's hair, I knew that this was something that I needed to do myself. This was a time of honor, courage, and unavoidable sadness. It was a long and hard day, but it was encouraging to have my son at my side through it.
Even though it had been days since Jacob had been back inside my home, I had no doubt that the pack was taking good care of him. Someone was here each morning and each night to help me, the rest of my time was spent with my wood carvings or spent with Harry.
I had just finished lunch when the phone rang. At first I cringed thinking that it was probably Bella again checking on Jacob. It was so hard to lie to her, but I quickly realized that she would still be at school. I had the cordless phone already pressed by my leg inside my chair and answered on the third ring.
“Billy, they're back!” I knew immediately it was Charlie who called.
My breath caught in my throat. “The Cullens?” I whispered.
“No, thank God. But it's like they left all over again. Every night I wake up to hearing her scream.”
“I am so sorry, Charlie.”
“Where is Jacob?”
“He is still not feeling well.” It really wasn't any easier to lie to Charlie than to Bella, and I just felt so guilty.
“Do you think he could at least call her?”
“I'm sorry, he just doesn't seem to have the energy right now.” I really wanted to be able to help Charlie, but I knew better than to promise him something that I would have had to break later. I really had no idea how to handle Jacob and Bella. It was clear that they were good for each other, but things were different now.
“Ah, man I feel so selfish. I'm sorry.”
Hearing Charlie's guilt felt like a knife that I was stabbing in my own back. “Don't worry about it, I know you are going through a lot yourself.”
“I'm just so lost, Billy. It is like she can half function during the day but at night it all falls to pieces.”
“Have you tried talking to her about it?”
“No, Bella and I just don't talk like that.”
“Believe me I know what it is like raising daughters alone, it is not easy.”
“Thanks for understanding. Well, I won't waste any more of your time.”
“Charlie, you are never a waste.”
Charlie paused and I could tell that he was pulling in his emotions. “Hey, do you want to go fishing this Saturday, with me and Harry?” Charlie said, changing the subject.
“Maybe, but I need to remain flexible for Jacob. I'll let you know.”
“Okay, and tell Jacob that I hope he gets well soon. And you take care of yourself.”
“Yeah, you too. Talk to ya later.”
I hung up the phone and prayed that Jake's transformation was not going to take one of my best friends from me. It was one thing to just not tell Charlie about our tribal secret it was a whole different ball game to be lying to him on a consistent bases, especially when it involves Bella.
- Jacob does phase standing in his living room.
- SM's has said that phasing is not physically painful, but he does feel a burning feeling throughout his body.
- After Jacob's phases Billy calls Sam, which makes Jacob angry and he swipes his hand/paw at his dad.
- Embry takes the lead in helping Jacob with his transition.
- After returning human, Jacob cries like he has never cried before.
- I do NOT know that Jacob slept for 24 hours, but I needed a day to go by and Jacob to still be in pain (because he tells Bella that he hurt all over) and that was the only way I could think to do it.
- Everything about Jacob's hair is my own imagination.
** I have changed the order of when Sam tells Jacob about Emily and they have the "Bella" conversation. The reason is because I do not feel that Jacob and Bella's phone conversation makes sense if he has already agreed to not see her. So I made him have this conversation with Sam the day after the phone call instead of the first night he is phased.
Chapter 9 – THE MEADOW part 1
The past several days I have been able to feel a little more of a routine. Each night I was able to sleep in my own bed, wake up, and had breakfast with dad before I headed out to the woods to meet up with whomever was on duty. It was usually Sam because Jared, Paul, and Embry had started going back to school.
So far I have been doing really well and I have not once phased out of my control. It has been just over a week since my first phase and Sam was just amazed by my progress. It was a strange mixture of pride that I am able to do it so well and feeling even more of a freak. Was being a “better” werewolf than the rest of them really something to be proud of?
My one consistent cloud was not being able to be with Bella. I quickly realized that while I was not physically with her my mind stayed with her constantly. I was sure that Sam got sick of hearing about her all day long, but I could not help it. Part of me had wished that I had kissed her, but instead I had to imagine what it would feel like. How cold, small, and perfect she would be in my warm arms. Of course I thought about these same things when we were together all the time, but I sort of felt guilty, like I was pressuring her even if it was only in my mind. But now I knew that it wasn't actually going to happen and there was no “pressure” so I would just let my mind wander where it may.
The other part of me was glad that we had just been friends, because at least I knew that I wasn't responsible for breaking her heart. The last thing I wanted to do was hurt her, and I dreaded the day that I was going to have to push her away. And I knew that day would come eventually.
It didn't help that I was about to eat us out of house and home. My dad told me to not worry about it apparently we now have a credit at our local grocery store that the tribal council pays for. The store owner had no idea why, but appreciated the added business so he didn't ask any questions. We needed more food and I knew that I could handle the grocery store on an early Saturday morning alone, but Sam wanted Embry to come with me. I didn't really think I would lose it over food, but better safe than sorry, and being with Embry again was great.
We both walked in the store and Embry grabbed a shopping cart. We just walked down the isles taking cans of this and boxes of that. Shopping on an empty stomach was never wise, but it was even more stupid for werewolves to do so, unfortunately it seemed that one of us always felt hungry.
The store was basically empty except for one other lady who seemed to be in a hurry buying one gallon of milk. We approached the checkout and decided to go ahead and let her go first, she was grateful and smiled as she left. As she walked out the door, over her head I could see Quil approaching.
“Oh crap.” I whispered.
“What?” Embry questioned.
I just nodded my head towards the door and mouthed “Quil”.
If I thought that a 6'7” guy could hide behind the counter without drawing more attention to himself, believe me I would have. Instead I just turned my back to the door and tried to give putting bagged food back into the cart my full attention. But it was worthless the moment that Quil walked in, Embry and I had his full attention.
I knew that seeing Quil again was going to be difficult. It was one thing for Quil and I to lose Embry together, but now that Quil was completely on the outside I knew that the hurt was going to be extreme.
“Jake? Embry?” Quil said as he approached us both.
“Quil.” Embry stated. “We have got to get this food put away.”
I just put my head down not really sure what I was suppose to say or not to say, and started pushing the cart towards the door.
“Jake, why haven't you called?” Quil asked with such sadness.
“I'm still not feeling well, I just came out today because we need food at home.” I walked through the door outside. I didn't want to lie to him and unfortunately Quil saw through my lie.
“That's a load of crap and we both know it.” Quil shouted.
“Well Mr. Know-It-All, what do you expect me to do about it.” I yelled back.
“Be my friend, instead of some smart-ass.”
My blood started to boil and my hands started to shake, suddenly this trip into town was beginning to look like not such a good idea. As if I thought it couldn't get any worse, out of the corner of my eye I could see Charlie's cruiser come down the road and he seemed to be waving at me. Can you actually get arrested for turning into a huge wolf and scaring everyone to death? Probably.
Not wanting to cause a larger scene than I knew I already was I just clenched my teeth shut and started pushing the cart towards my Rabbit so that I could unload the sacks. Thankfully Quil didn't push it any further and went into the store to do whatever shopping he came there to do. Embry was already at the car and started putting sacks into the trunk of the Rabbit.
“You did good, Jake.” Embry whispered.
“Not now. Especially when I feel like crap for what we just did to Quil.” Embry just nodded his head and didn't say more. We got in the car and headed towards my house.
“Embry, as much as I hate being away from Bella, at least I get why I can't be around her. It is clearly too dangerous, but I don't understand it with Quil. Wouldn't it be better to try and act like nothing happened? And to be his friend, but just not hang out as much.”
“Jake, did you not see yourself in there? Had that been me, I know there would have been a wolf standing in the middle of town.”
“I know that was too close.” We pulled up to the house and went to the trunk to get the groceries out.
“But if I felt like I could have had a simple conversation with him then it would not have escalated the way it did.” I said, it just felt like we were causing unnecessary pain to our best friend.
“I know what you mean. I felt the same way when I phased. Especially towards you because it seemed so certain that you would be joining me soon.”
“Yes, exactly.” Everyone could see how big Quil was and it just seemed that his time would be coming soon as well.
“But that is actually one of the main reasons that I had to avoid you.”
“I don't understand.”
“Because we are friends we push each other's buttons easier and I couldn't risk being around you. Being around a pre-wolf would be even more dangerous because they are so emotionally unstable. Instead of just one wolf in the middle of town there could easily be two.”
Once we were inside the house we started putting everything away. I didn't like what Embry said, but it did make more sense. “So what do we do about Quil?”
“I would ask Sam, but I'll give you the same advice he gave me regarding you. Don't avoid him or resist speaking to him, but don't encourage it either. Keep your conversations short and to the point.”
I nodded my head in agreement. “I can do that.”
Embry smirked. “Easier said that done,” he mumbled. And I knew that was probably true.
I wasn't sure if it was the stress of meeting with Quil and seeing Charlie, but we were both hungry, even though we had eaten breakfast before we left. I grabbed four hot dog wieners and put them in the microwave while Embry toasted some sandwich bread. I wrapped the bread around the wieners and I added ketchup to mine and Embry added mustard to his.
Embry ate both of his and relaxed on the couch. I had finished one and was amazed at how quickly Embry could eat. As I took my first bite of my second we heard a loud howl from Sam. I instantly learned why wolves eat so fast, and decided I could eat on the run cramming the whole hot dog into my mouth as we bolted out the door. In an instant we were both in the woods running on four legs.
What's going on? Embry and I yelled together.
Leeches, two of them. Sam responded.
This was my first taste of some real action and I was pumped. I could hear that Jared was running next to Sam and then Paul joined in as well. Soon all five of us were together. We couldn't see the leeches, but we could smell them. The sick sweet smell burned my nose and every instinct in my body wanted to attack.
Sam had the lead and Paul and Jared were on either side of him while Embry and I were both behind Paul. We would follow in each other's foot steps as to mask the actual size of the pack. As we followed the scent it seemed that they would be together, then separate and come back together and separate again. We hated to divide our pack but it was the only option, Sam and I followed her as we tracked the female and the others tracked the male. I knew that I would never understand the thought process of any bloodsucker, but these two seemed to make no sense at all.
They had split up again, then the female scent seemed to disappear. Sam explained that she must have climbed up into the trees and would leap from branch to branch, they were almost impossible to trace up in the trees because the wind would blow their scent around, and it was harder to determine which direction they were going. But the male seemed to be heading more towards Forks. We knew that these were a lethal pair and felt that Forks was in greater danger than the off chance they found some random person in the woods.
Sam and I were still several miles behind when the rest of the pack caught up to the leech. He was in a brown and wilted meadow, he had dark olive skin and black hair. He was so completely repulsive to me and I couldn't understand why they didn't just attack immediately.
He's not alone, said Jared. I looked through Jared's eyes, amazed that he could see so much further than any of the rest of us, and saw Bella. She seemed to be talking to the leech as he circled around closer to her.
It looks like the leech lover has found her a new toy, mocked Paul.
I felt the growl deep in my chest and flashed my teeth, wishing that I was closer to take a bite out of Paul.
Cut it out guys, now is not the time. Sam ordered.
Shouldn't we be protecting her Sam? I asked.
Sam I heard him mention the Cullens. Embry added. I felt another growl deep in my chest.
Cut it out, Jacob. Sam said, getting irritated. We can't attack, if he is with the Cullens. We are on their territory.
But him and that chick have already broken the treaty. I replied.
Yes, but we can't prove that it was them. We have not actually seen them kill anyone.
That is a load of crap. Are you saying that he has to bite her before we can do anything?
I knew better than to growl at Sam, but everything in me wanted to. As we spoke to one another the leech continued to circle around Bella and I could start to see the fear in her eyes and I decided to start paying attention to what they were saying to each other.
“Then why not wait for her?” she choked out.
He grinned mischievously and I just wanted to rip his head off. “Well, you've caught me at a bad time, Bella. I didn't come to this place on Victoria's mission – I was hunting. I'm quite thirsty, and you do smell . . . simply mouthwatering.”
Come on Sam! That has got to be enough. I yelled. It seems that everyone knew that this was a battle between Sam and myself, and did the best they could do keep their thoughts to themselves. But I could feel Embry's concern for Bella, and I could feel Paul just wanting to kill the leech not really caring about Bella at all. Jared was silently waiting for Sam.
“He'll know it was you,” Bella tried to threaten. I wasn't sure where she was getting the courage, but it was like someone was coaching her. “You won't get away with this.”
“And why not?” The leech's smile widened and he seemed so confident.
“Please,” she gasped. I wanted to gag watching Bella beg to a bloodsucker when we were quite capable of taking it out.
Ok, we're going in. Sam said and I released the breath that I had been holding. But you all wait on my command, and not a second before. You got that Jacob?
Yes. I answered, trying not to be offended that I was singled out. I was so relieved that I think I would have agreed to anything, as long as it was not retreating and letting Bella become another victim.
He had gotten too close to Bella that we could not just pounce and attack, we needed to separate him from her.
I'm going out first, alone. If he tries to attack me, then that will give him enough distance from Bella so you all come from behind and get him. We all nodded in agreement as Sam stepped forward with a low growl escaping from his chest as he entered the meadow.
We saw the leech's head turn in Sam's direction and we all crouched down ready to strike. Bella opened her eyes and kept them glued to the leech in front of her as he backed slowly away from her. Bella's eyes focused in on Sam and she stayed completely still while the leech inched himself closer and closer to the nearby trees.
Sam? Jared questioned.
Come, slowly, replied Sam.
Paul and Jared flanked Sam, Paul was so focused that he did not take his eyes off the leech. As I approached fully focused on the leech in front of me, I did not even realize that I had come so close to Bella. She instantly gasped and jumped back, drawing my attention to her. Her scent was so strong and I took a moment to let it fill my senses, it was such a welcome relief from the horrible smell of leech that was also in the air. I saw her fear and it felt so ironic that she feared us more than the leech that was about to take her life.
Figures, mumbled Paul.
Jacob, focus! Commanded Sam as a low growl escaped from his mouth.
Sorry, I'm here. Giving the leech my full attention. The fear on his face brought me joy and I wanted to destroy him.
The leech bolted towards the trees and we were after him in seconds, Sam leading the way. We were going our full speed, something I had never done before. The trees whizzed by my head as the muscles in my body propelled me faster and faster. I could see the bloodsucker not far ahead and I found that we were much faster than him. Sam lunged forward grabbing the leech by the right shoulder. Paul went for his head and missed receiving a kick in the shoulder from the leech taking out a couple trees in his fall Dammit, Paul growled and his pain enraged us all.
Embry got the left leg of the leech within his teeth and ripped it off with a satisfying crack. The leech rolled to the ground screaming in pain and I stood with my legs on his chest, using my full weight to my advantage and pinned him to the ground, while Sam tore his head from his shoulders. At the same time I dismembered his other leg and arms, all within a matter of minutes. The venom from his sockets burned my throat, but was not poisonous, unlike his mouth which would kill us.
Once we started to dismember the leech, Jared phased to human and started gathering sticks and leaves together to start a fire to burn him. It didn't have to be a big fire because the venom was extremely flammable. Sam also phased and quickly pulled his shorts on and took a lighter out of his pants pocket and started the fire.
“Good teamwork everyone,” exclaimed Sam. “What a rush!”
“That was freaking awesome!” Jared called out in amazement.
Paul started biting the vampire into smaller pieces partly so that it would be easier to burn and partly because he just really loved sinking his teeth into the bloodsucker and pulling him to pieces. Embry and I phased back to human and started gathering vampire pieces and adding them to the fire.
“Hell yeah it was!!” Embry added.
“Was it just me or did that seem easier than I imaged?” I asked in honest astonishment. I found the leech's head and grabbed it by the hair being careful to avoid his mouth. I have no idea how these disgusting creatures come back to life, but I was all too aware of the legends to not take them seriously. Phasing was a rude introduction that the legends were real, and I felt that I had learned my lesson. I didn't want this one to literally bite me in the ass if I wasn't careful.
“What, were you scared of a bloodsucker?”, asked Jared. I wasn't sure if he noticed my weariness of the leeches head or that I thought the kill was too easy.
“Hell, no! The legends seem to talk of them being so strong and fast.” I didn't want to be disappointed in my first kill, but it just seemed over too quickly.
“Maybe it was because there were so many of us.” Embry stated, clearly trying to give me a little support.
“Possibly.” Sam said, seeming to agree.
While Paul was still a wolf he came over near the fire and dug a deep hole with his large paws, so that we would be able to bury the ashes once we were finished. Then Paul phased back and joined in the burning. After some of the adrenaline wore off, I began to really notice the repulsive smell and dark disgusting smoke as the fire grew with each new piece that was added.
“Hey guys, once we are finished here lets cover the usual patrols to double check for the red head, and then I want everyone at my house for a bonfire tonight. You all earned it!” Sam said with admiration for a job well done.
“Damn right we did!” Paul cheered.
“Sounds great, thanks Sam.” responded Jared.
We picked up our pace excited about the bonfire tonight and soon we were finished with patrols. Despite my best efforts I couldn't get Bella's scared face out of my mind, and my gut told me someone should be protecting her. It was clear that she had some type of association with the vampire, and that scared me to death to think that the red head might think that Bella was somehow involved with his death and seek her revenge on Bella.
By the time we gathered at Sam's it was dark. There was a large round pit behind Sam and Emily's house and we built a large fire. There were large logs stacked in a large square staggered like a log cabin in the middle was where the fire started with leaves and small sticks, coming over the “cabin” were two large logs creating an 'X' with several long logs making a teepee, surrounding the burning cabin.
“Hey Sam,” I called getting his attention.
“I was wondering about Bella. I think that someone should be protecting her.”
“Why? We got the leech that she was with.”
“It can't be completely a coincident that she was with him.”
“Jacob, I know you don't want to hear this, but that is the consequences of her being friendly with the Cullens.”
“What? Are you saying she asked for it?”
“Not exactly, and it doesn't matter. We will protect Bella just the same as any other human, but at this time I do not see any reason for her to have specific protection.”
I wanted to say more, but then Emily brought out a massive amount of sliced potatoes, carrots, onions and hamburger meat. We each grabbed a large sheet of tin foil and loaded it with all the ingredients and then rolled the corners of the foil to seal it inside. We placed a large grate over the fire and placed our food over the fire to cook. As soon as we placed our food down then we each started building our second round in an equally large sheet of tin foil. We each had our own 2 liter bottle of soda and just relaxed by the fire reliving the big moment of killing our first leech.
“I can't believe he got that stupid hit in on me.” Paul moaned. We stifled a laugh not wanting to piss him off more than he usually was. It still didn't take much to make Paul go wolf and no one was in the mood to have to track down more clothes for him.
“Better luck next time,” Jared encouraged.
“Yeah we still got the red head to look for,” I mentioned.
Sam shook his head. “I have never even heard of a tick being so allusive.”
“Maybe now that we killed her mate she will stop running away and give us a decent fight.” Paul added
“Sam, do you think she might have some added gift?” I asked aware that the legends mentioned special abilities of some.
“I was sort of hoping those were myths,” Sam mentioned.
As the excitement built around me my own anxiety about Bella just would not settle. I felt like I had to choke down both portions of food, despite how mouthwatering it was. I knew that if I left a crumb it would draw even more attention to my gloomy mood, and I was trying to avoid the limelight.
“Do you think Bella would know anything about the red head?” Embry asked. I frowned and didn't like involving Bella any more than she already was.
“That girl is a freak.” Paul mumbled, and I felt a low growl rumble from my chest.
“Come on Jake, she purposefully hung out with vampires,” Embry paused, “that should qualify as at least a little strange.”
“It must have sucked to know that she was so torn up over a bunch of leeches,” Jared stated while shaking his head.
The rumble in my chest started to vibrate and I could feel myself start to tremble. I backed up from the group and edged back towards the trees.
“Jacob, I'm sorry.” Jared said his eyes looking down.
“Just leave me alone guys.”
“Do you want me to come?” Embry asked as he started to stand up.
“No, just let me be.” I said, as I continued towards the trees.
I looked to Sam, silently asking permission to leave and to make sure that he wasn't planning to send someone after me. Sam simply nodded his head and I bolted towards the trees. Being away from Bella for this past week has not been easy, but the wolf was able to handle emotions so much better. So I slipped my clothes off and was relieved to be on four legs again.
Jared was certainly right it did suck to know that Bella had fallen to pieces over a bunch of bloodsuckers and especially over Edward. I always knew that I was competing romantically against the memory of Edward Cullen, but I thought it was just the memory of his pretty face and loads of cash. That was hard enough to rival with, but then to find out that I had been competing against a vampire this whole time, I had never been more angry and repulsed all at the same time.
I was mostly just drifting around aimlessly, enjoying the speed and the feel of the ground below. When suddenly the trees started to look more familiar and I realized that I had subconsciously wandered into the trees just outside of Bella's house. I could smell the intoxicating scent that would only belong to Bella even from here and laid down in the fresh dirt. I heard her bed cringe as she tossed back and forth and rattle from her shaking inside. Her heart beats were erratic and I could tell that she was scared. I wanted so badly to hold her and comfort her, but I knew that it was too dangerous. I needed to have confidence in my own abilities to remain in control before I would put Bella in that sort of risk.
Bella's heart relaxed and I assumed that she was sleeping. So I just waited, curled up in the ground and went to sleep to the sound of her heart, praying that she could feel my presence even though she wouldn't be able to see it.
What an emotional roller coaster! When Embry and Jacob bolted out of the house I could tell from Sam's howl that it was urgent, and that could only mean that one or both of the leeches were back. The worst part about these chases are that they were never over quickly.
I decided that I would roll myself over to the Clearwater's and then at least Harry and I could get the news together, and just maybe I could invite myself over to dinner as well. Sue was a wonderful cook or I could even try to convince Harry to cook his fish fry. Then I could try to steal that secret ingredient that makes his taste so much better than mine.
As I rolled up I saw Seth in the front yard throwing a football with Leah. She was going through a rough time with her break up from Sam and tended to stick close to her family. I felt bad for her, but there really wasn't anything that could be done.
“Hey, Mr. Black,” Seth called and waved with a large smile on his face, as I rolled up.
“Hello, Seth. How have you been lately?”
“Great! Mom is making enchiladas tonight, they smell fantastic.”
I chucked, and knew the importance of food to a growing boy, and Seth was certainly growing quickly these days. “Do you think she will mind one more?”
“Of course not, Mr. Black, you know you are always welcome,” Leah replied with a sad smile.
“Thank you, Leah.” I replied.
There was a short awkward pause and then Leah threw the football back to Seth and I rolled myself inside. I watched sports with Harry and enjoyed a fantastic dinner, fresh homemade cooking was always such a treat. Right as dinner ended Harry got a call that seemed to be from Sam inviting us to a bonfire.
Harry gave me a ride and we were soon surrounded by four excited guys, telling stories that I knew would become legends one day. I was surprised to see that Jacob wasn't here, but Embry told me about seeing Bella with the leech, and some of the other remarks that had been made so I understood. Being away from Bella has been hard on Jacob. Despite being exhausted every night I could still hear him tossing and turning in his own bed, and I could see the loss on his face. “That” smile was gone, and at times it hurt to look Jake in the eyes and see the sadness behind them.
“Billy can I talk to you for a moment?” Sam asked. I had been expecting this, throughout the evening I could see that something was bothering him.
“Sure, what's on your mind?” Sam stepped away from the fire and took my chair in his firm hands and rolled us away for some privacy.
“Do you think I should have made Jacob stay here?”
“Well I wasn't here, but I'm sure Jake is fine. Do you think you should have?” I placed my hands in my lap giving Sam my full attention.
“Maybe.” Sam paced around some, probably not sure if he should sit on the ground and be lower than me, or to continue to stand towering over me. It was a common problem that I was use to others having around me.
“Would you have had to order him to stay?” I asked.
“Not really. I just feel like I second guess myself more with him.” He took a deep breath as to collect his thoughts. “It seems like I can sit here and make a decision and then as soon as I phase, I am no longer sure. I don't want to lead with uncertainty.”
I shook my head, imagining that it would be more difficult. Sam had stopped pacing and would shift his weight from one foot to the other. “Would you like to sit?” I pointed to a fallen log not far from where I sat. Sam seemed grateful to get past that awkwardness, he easily picked the large log up and placed it near me and sat.
“You know I hate to use the alpha command on anyone, but with Jacob it is like the wolf in me knows that he isn't suppose to. It feels strange, backwards almost.”
“Do you think you need to step down?”
“No, not unless you think I should.”
I shook my head. “I do not think that Jake is ready.” Once again I wished that I had phased myself so that my advice weren't so hypothetical. It bothered me that people responded to me like wisdom was genetic or something, and just because of Grandfather Black I should automatically know it all.
“And you think I was?” Sam mumbled.
“That is a good point.” I didn't know what else to say. And I guessed that Sam didn't have anything else to add either. We let the silence continue as Sam rolled me back to the group.
Since it was after dark, Harry insisted on driving me back home and since I had no idea when Jacob would be home he offered to help me get into bed. After I was comfortable and Harry left, I turned on the TV to catch up on the news of the day. I suddenly heard the phone ring.
I answered the phone by my bed, “Hello?”
“Hey Billy, is Harry with you?
“I'm sorry, Charlie you just missed him. Can I send him a message?”
“Well . . .,” Charlie paused and seemed to be a little frustrated, “Bella was out in the woods today and swears she saw five large wolves.”
My eyes got as big as saucers and my brain blanked there for a second on a response. I do not know why I didn't think about Bella telling her dad about the wolves. “Um. . . I thought you were hunting bears?”
“Well, apparently now we are hunting gigantic wolves instead. I was just going to give Harry a heads up, but I guess I'll tell him tomorrow.”
“Okay, so does this change anything in your investigation?”
“Not really, but it does help to know what we are actually looking for.”
“Yeah, I'm sure it does.”
“Anyways, I don't want to keep you up. Oh, how's Jacob feeling?”
“Better all the time, but being sick really took it out of him.”
“Well take care of yourself.”
Great so now Charlie and Bella knew about the wolves. That could present a problem.
I think I have had the worse week of my entire life. On Monday, Jared, Paul, and Embry returned to school. Once they returned to school, Quil has become a bigger issue. Not that I completely blame him, I felt the exact same way that he did when “Sam” took Embry from us, and now to Quil it seems that “he” has taken both of his best friends. And it would take a fool to not notice how big Quil has gotten and with his hair already being short we could easily be mistaken as brothers.
I continued to run patrols with Sam during the day. At night I had a perfect mixture of heaven and hell. After going to bed, I would either lay awake hoping and praying that Bella was safe and then falling asleep to terrible dreams of seeing the red headed leech bent over Bella's bed with blood dripping down her chin. Or I would sneak out of the house and run over to Bella's house and be able to smell her and know she was safe. But being there really was not much relief because Bella's dreams seemed to be even worse than mine. I would hear her call out Edward's name, which would cause my blood to boil, it would take all my concentration to not turn wolf and give away the secret that I was trying to keep of visiting Bella. Other times she called out Sam's name, whatever the hell that was about I had no idea. The worst was to then hear her scream and cry, while Charlie would toss and turn, getting out of bed walking towards Bella's and then returning to his own, warring within himself to go to her or let her deal with it herself.
To say my life sucked would be putting it mildly. As a results I was extremely short tempered the only thing that kept me from turning into a huge wolf at any second was the fact that I already was a wolf 70% of the day and I didn't want it any more than I had to. It also did not help that Bella decided to call the house ever half hour and drive my dad equally as crazy, so he called an emergency Council meeting to try and see what we should do about Bella. The Council was also all freaked out because Sam told them that I had told Bella about the legends. I have never seen my dad more angry then when he returned from that meeting. I am sure that he would have grounded me for life if Sam had not already ordered me away from Bella. My dad had been my only ally, I really believe that he had faith in me that I could be trusted around Bella, and that faith was shattered.
The only excitement that I had was when the red head decided to come back, I assume to check on her mate. Sam and I were running together when we first smelt her. Sam let out a long howl that alerted the others and soon we were all together.
Come on guys, we can do this! Paul screamed. Though we could tell it was fresh, it seemed to be a couple hours old, we raced through the trees smelling everything. She had a tendency to double back and start heading a different direction so tracking her was a tedious process.
Jared always ran up close next to Sam because his eye sight was crazy good, and each time she doubled back Embry and I would follow that trail until it soon brought us right back to where we just were. It was clear that she was very familiar with most tracking techniques and it seemed that the chase was equally part of the “fun”. The last thing we wanted to do was to be giving her a good time.
I can see her. Jared said, and instantly we could see the desire and excitement rise within us as a collective group.
It looks like there is someone with her. Sam said.
But we have only smelt one vampire. I said confused. And then in the next moment we could smell the blood and realized that she had stopped for a meal. Now is our chance, I immediately started moving faster.
Quick! Is there any chance to save the hiker? Embry asked. We all looked through Jared's eyes and could see the lifeless body of the person as the disgusting bloodsucker had her teeth to the man's throat.
Lets move quickly and keep the element of surprise while she is distracted. Paul, Embry and Jacob I want you to go right and get behind her, while Jared and I will direct her towards you. Sam ordered.
We bolted away Paul in the lead with Embry and I on either side. In a matter of seconds we were watching through Sam and Jared as they approached. She was heavily distracted by the blood in front of her and it made me want to puke watching her throat swallow repeatedly.
“Help me!” Screamed a second man that we had not seen, we were so focus on her that it seemed like he came out of no where, and the man looked terrified as two large wolves had come out of the forest. The leech quickly grabbed him by the neck and broke it, leaving him dead and his friend's body laid limp as a small puddle of blood spilled into the dirt.
She was livid that we had interrupted her meal. She crouched down, trying to circle around Sam and Jared.
You three stay where you are, Sam ordered. Jared get ready.
Jared had his eyes glued to her in front of him, but made the mistake of pointing his shoulders to the north in the direction he planned to go inadvertently revealing the plan to her. She read it perfectly and bolted with two long strides, west in the direction of the beach.
At least now we had proof that if this filthy bloodsucker was with the Cullens that the treaty was broken. She had to drop the body and run, stupid chicken. We would have had her easily if we weren't so close to the ocean. It was practically a hop for her and she was swimming. It is suicide for us to even think about trying to go after them in water, they do not have to breathe, we do.
Chapter 9 FACTS
- There is a particular time when Jacob phases out of his control, and it will be much later.
- I do not know that the pack actually hunted Victoria and Laurent at the same time, but the pack did think they were mates so I assume that they saw them together. But it is possible that the pack thinks that all vampires have mates so that is why they think they are together. I just found the first theory to be more exciting so I went with that.
- Jared has better eye sight than any of the other wolves.
- Sam is much more cautious in regards to Laurent than Jacob likes.
- Vampires have poisonous venom and non-poisonous venom.
- Vampire venom is extremely flammable
- Jacob did think that killing Laurent was easier than he expected
- I am basing Billy being able to hear the urgency in Sam's howl on Eclipse when Charlie says that Billy listens to the howls like he can understand what they are saying. Clearly he can't understand everything but I do believe he could hear the differences in howls and learn what they mean.
- Sam does not like to use the alpha command, but really does not like to use it on Jacob.
- Outside of whatever Victoria's gift is, I figure her having a tracker as a mate she knows all tracking methods very well and knows how to avoid capture.
- The attack described on Victoria is based on Charlie stating that two more hikers have gone missing, but this time they found wolf prints and blood. So I assume that the wolves caught her in the act of feeding that is why she was not able to get rid of the evidence as well as she has in her other killings.
Chapter 10 – THE MEADOW part 2
On Friday morning I was creeping into the house from sleeping in the woods outside Bella's when dad called from his room.
“Jacob, I know you have been sneaking out all week. Care to tell me what is going on?”
I sighed and went into my dad's room. It was still early in the morning and dad had been laying on his side as he slowly pushed himself up into a sitting position. “I have been sleeping outside Bella's house.”
I'm not really sure 'sleeping' was the best word choice, Bella had been screaming most of the night, and she seemed so fearful. I did not think I had actually slept at all.
“I kind of figured that would be your answer.”
“Dad, I don't know what else to do. She is connected to this some how, I can feel it.”
“Have you talked to Sam?” Billy said cautiously, everyone was so nervous around me.
“Only once right after we killed the male leech.”
“What did he say?”
“Well he didn't really see much of a connection. And I do not want to press it because I'm scared he will order me away.” I came and sat at the end of his bed, out the window the sun was starting to make its first appearance for the day.
“Does he need to order you away?”
“No, I make sure no one sees me.” I scowled, the irritation that I have been dealing with all week started bubbling to the surface.
“Are you just sleeping in the dirt?” Billy asked, I could see the worry crease deepen between his eyebrows.
“Well there are leaves as well. And I don't get cold so it is not a big deal.”
“You can't be getting good sleep on the ground. I just want my son back and not this . . .” he paused and he would have finished the sentence had he not been worried that I would rip his head off.
“I know, I know.” I knew that he was right and good sleep would help me be less irritable, but Bella's safety was more important. “Let's just drop it, Dad.”
“Okay.” He said, taking a deep breath.
It really sucked to have everyone on edge around me. Even my own pack brothers looked at me at times like I was going to lose it, and I wish they knew how much that fueled the fire that raged within me.
I got dad out of bed and then I went to the bathroom to shower, brushed my teeth and returned to the kitchen in clean clothes.
“Jacob, breakfast is ready.” Billy called from the kitchen. I walked in and he had made omelets with ham, onion, bell pepper, and cheese.
“Thanks Dad, this smells fantastic!”
“You are welcome. Will you pull the biscuits out of the oven please?”
“No problem.” Dad could easily put things in the oven but once it was hot, it was more difficult for him to get them back out.
We ate in a comfortable silence. After breakfast I got the vacuum out and did a quick job of the floors and then tackled the bathroom as well. Neither of us were really neat freaks, but cleaning was simply a part of life, and we would be slobs if we didn't do it. I had really gotten behind in the house so I knew today that I was going to need to stick around for a while and do some laundry. I stripped the sheets off my own bed and grabbed them from my dad's as well. While they were in the wash I went to the closet and pulled out two old set of sheets and made both beds.
Dad had rolled down the hall so I assumed that he was working on his carvings, I'll have to try and remember to bring more wood into the house for him.
It took several hours, and after everything was picked up around the house I went out to check in with Sam. Once I was in the trees it was a quick run over to Sam's house. I walked in the door and immediately smelt something wonderful coming from the kitchen.
“Hello, Jacob.” Emily called with a soft smile on her face.
“Hi, Emily. Is Sam around?”
“He should be in soon. Would you like to stay for lunch?”
“Yes, please.” I knew that my mouth was watering and I just hoped that I wasn't making a puddle on the floor.
She lightly laughed. Emily was very familiar with the stomach of the wolves and seemed to always have something ready to eat. We were all comfortable here and considered this a second home. For many, this was the only home where they could truly be themselves. I have no idea how Embry was able to keep the secret from his mom, even Jared and Paul have to keep the secret at home as well.
I walked over to the large worn table and took a seat. In no time Emily brought a large bowl of wide egg noodles covered in a beefy stroganoff sauce and set it directly in front of me. She also had a small bowl for herself and sat in the chair across the table.
“So, how have you been Jacob?” Emily asked and her eyes were so kind that you could tell that she really cared. “You look really tired.”
“I've been better. I have not been sleeping well.”
“Worried about the red head?” She stood up and walked to the cabinets and got two glasses and filled them with water setting one in front of me and the other for herself.
“Thank you” I said taking a quick drink. “Not really worried.” I paused taking a bite of food. “What do you know about Bella?”
“Well I know that Sam found her in the woods after the Cullen's left, and that you are close to her.”
“Yeah, I used to be.” I looked down, sometimes it felt like a completely different life that was filled with Bella and a different Jacob had taken my place the past two weeks.
“Tell me about her.”
I put my fork down for a moment and took a drink from my water. “Well she is my best friend and being with her is just easy. We don't have to try to make things work it just does. When she smiles I feel like my heart might explode and I know that I would do anything in the world for her.”
“It sounds like you love her.” Emily said, and I could see that she wanted me to be happy.
“I do.” I picked my fork up again and started eating. It felt good to be able to express my feelings for Bella so easily.
“Have you ever loved another girl before?” Emily paused for a moment realizing that maybe she shouldn't have asked such a personal question. “Oh, I'm sorry, you don't have to answer that,” she added blushing in embarrassment.
“Don't worry about it. No, I have never felt like this before. I have always been interested in girls, and there has been someone here and there, but nothing serious enough to call love.”
“What about Jackie?”
“What? No! That girl is so annoying. I swear if I hear “Jake and Jackie” one more time I think I will puke.” Jackie had a huge crush on me, and she felt that the similarity of our names meant that we were destined to be together. There were rumors that flew around of us making out behind the school, which were completely not true, and I had suspicions that Jackie started the rumors herself.
Then she had the audacity to kiss me in the middle of the school parking lot. School was out and I was walking with Embry back home, and she ran towards me and flung herself into my arms, wrapping her legs around my waist. I should have just let her fall on the ground, but it was just instinct to grab onto someone to keep them from falling. She encased her arms around my neck and brought my lips to her own. I was so shocked that I just stood there like a statue, until the feeling of her trying to stick her tongue in my mouth seemed to wake me up, and I pushed her down and told her she had lost her freaking mind.
However the damage was done and we were solidified as a “secret couple” in the ever revolving rumor mill. I never dreamed that Emily would hear them, but one of the many annoyances of our small community was that everyone knew everything.
“There is not, nor has there ever been anything between Jackie and me.” I stated, trying to get rid of the creepy feeling that the mention of her name gave me. Emily just raised her eye brows a little, and I wasn't really sure if she actually believed me. “I've never kissed anyone.”
Emily blinked her eyes a little and seemed to be surprised. It made me wonder what other crazy rumors there might be floating around. “Not even Bella?” She asked.
“No, she doesn't see me like that. I am just the trusted 'best friend'. She knows that I like her a lot and would want more. Given the time I really think that she would realize that she loves me too, but I guess that now just isn't going to happen.”
She looked into my sad eyes and softly reached across the table and lightly patted my hand. “I'm sorry. I know what it is like to lose someone you love.” Her face turned into an uncharacteristic frown. I paused, at first puzzled at who she would have loved and lost. “Leah, was my best friend, closer to me than even my own sister, and now she hates me.”
“Don't be, I wouldn't give up Sam for the world. Obviously, Sam doesn't like to bring up Leah. It has been sort of nice to actually have someone to talk to. So thanks, Jacob.”
I blushed at the compliment and looked down to take a couple more bites of food. “Do you think that you and Leah will ever be able to fix things?”
“Maybe. I want to ask her to be a bridesmaid, but it might be too awkward.” Emily finished eating her food and walked over and set her bowl in the sink.
“Go for it Emily. I would want Embry in my wedding.”
“Even if he were marrying Bella?”
“Um, well maybe not. Watching Bella get married to someone else, that would suck.”
Talking to Emily was really helpful and it was the most calm and relaxed that I have been all week. Then Sam walked in, he was completely naked and walked to Emily gave her a kiss on the cheek, and then headed for the other room. I still have not gotten use to the nudity thing and it still caught me by surprise sometimes. Sam turned and stuck his head back through the door way “Oh Jacob.”
“Yes?” I raised my head to look him in the eyes.
“Just for the record, I'm the only one who gets to walk around here naked.” Then he gave a quick wink to Emily and shut the door.
I couldn't help but chuckle as Emily, with bright red cheeks, walked over, took my bowl, and started filling it again. Then she got a second large bowl, filled it, and brought both back to the table. As she sat both bowls down Sam came back fully dressed and sat at the table. As we ate we made plans for the rest of the day. We would meet the rest after school and then have a quick meeting to cover the weekend patrol schedule.
We arrived at school, pulled on our shorts and waited for Paul, Jared and Embry to join us. As they left the school I saw Quil who looked like he was trying to discreetly follow them, but was failing. For a moment I made eye contact with Quil, but quickly wished that I hadn't. We picked up our pace, but Quil picked up his as well. It was a tough combination of being fast enough that Quil could not catch us but not be “super human” fast. It was clear that he was suspicious and we did not want to give him any further ammunition.
Once we were out of Quil's sight we phased, but stayed close by to make sure that he didn't get himself lost. So we wondered around in the woods for an hour, making sure that he ended up back on the road. To say that was irritating would be an understatement. I hated the secrecy that was now my life.
At least while we wondered around we were able to have our “meeting” in our minds and decided that I was going to have the weekend off. Everyone knew the crappy mood that I had been in lately and even though they didn't know why I wasn't sleeping, everyone could see that I was sleep deprived. So they decided that we would all walk me back to my house, why I wasn't sure. Needing a full escort, just added to the irritation that I was already feeling.
We were still in the trees just outside my house when I heard a sound that was equally as bitter as it was sweet. Bella's truck was pulling up into the yard, from here we could see her stop the engine, roll down her window and rest her legs on the dash of her truck. Clearly it did not seem like she was going anywhere soon.
“Sam, I can't avoid her forever.”
“Jacob, this is not a good idea.”
“I can handle this, I swear. I am not going to hurt her.”
“At least not on purpose.”
“Sam, I am not YOU!” As soon as the words were out of my mouth I knew I shouldn't have said them, but it was too late.
Sam's hands clenched into a fist at his sides,“Jacob, this is not the way to get me to change my mind.”
“I know. I'm sorry.” Trying to repair some of the damage I had done by insulting Sam in really the worst way possible. “But listen to me, I know Bella is stubborn and I am the only one who can get her to leave.”
“Ok, but we are going with you. And you had better not lose it!”
“I won't.” Irritated by his lack of trust, but I was willing to take what I could get. So together we all head towards Bella's truck.
“Make it fast, Jacob.” Sam ordered.
To prove to myself and them all that I could handle this, I wrapped myself in bitterness and anger and quickly rapped my hand on her truck, determined to get this over with as quickly as possible. “What are you doing here, Bella?”
Bella jumped and looked at me with shock and pain. She seemed to look at me like she had never seen me before in her life. I quickly remembered my short hair and the way that my muscles had expanded to be able to stretch and reshape into my wolf form. The look in her eyes reminded me of the monster that I have become and I hated it.
She looked over my shoulder and saw my brothers and I could see the hatred in her eyes. She did not have the right to hate them, and to see it in her eyes fueled my own hatred.
“What do you want?” I demanded.
“I want to talk to you,” she said weakly.
“Go ahead,” I hissed, trying to get this over with as quickly as possible.
“Alone!” She hissed, her voice getting stronger.
I knew that it wasn't going to be that easy. I looked over at Sam. He nodded once, and told me to make it fast and to say whatever I needed to say to make sure she didn't come back. Then he turned and they all walked into my house. I felt like I could breathe a little easier. Feeling them behind me made me feel nervous and I couldn't be the Jacob that I knew Bella needed me to be.
“You know what I want to know.”
I wanted to tell her something, but due to Sam's order I literally couldn't tell her what she wanted to know. And in the moment I couldn't think of a lie that I thought she would believe.
“Can we walk?” she asked. She got out of her truck and walked louder than I could ever remember anyone walking. It added to my irritation and encouraged me to get this over with so I picked up my pace passing her easily and planted myself directly in front of her.
“Let's get this over with. It's not what you think.” I pause trying to chose my words carefully. “It's not what I thought – I was way off.” Damn, that order was making this even harder than it had to be, almost cutting me off mid sentence.
I knew that I was going to need to give her a little information. So I told her about it not being what I thought it was before and how Sam was helping me. Naturally she didn't believe me and I couldn't completely blame her. I had told her everything before and now to be stumbling in my words it was so different than before.
“What did he do to you?” She demanded and I saw tears pooling up in her eyes and she steps forward with her arms wide as to give me a hug.
I knew I would lose all resolve if she touched me, and I could not let that happen. “Don't touch me,” I whispered. I felt like my heart was breaking as the tears slipped down her face. “Stop blaming Sam.” I was nervous, and as an old habit I wanted to run my hands through my hair like I used to when it was long.
“Then who should I blame?”
“You don't want to hear that.”
“The hell I don't! I want to know, and I want to know now.”
“You're wrong,” I snapped. I knew I was hurting her with being evasive with my answers, but bringing up the Cullens would only hurt her more.
“Don't you dare tell me I'm wrong – I”m not the one who got brainwashed! Tell me now whose fault this all is, if it's not your precious Sam!”
“You asked for it.” I growled and I could feel the wolf within me wanting to respond just thinking about the Cullens, but I could not bring myself to actually use their name. “If you want to blame someone, why don't you point your finger at those filthy, reeking bloodsuckers that you love so much?”
Her mouth fell open and it looked like she could barely breath, I think if I had punched her in the gut it would have had the same affect. She was clearly shocked that I knew her secret, and I could see the pain that their memory still caused her. “I told you that you didn't want to hear it,” I said.
“I don't understand who you mean,” she whispered.
I raised one eyebrow and I could not believe that she was going to try and deny it when the truth was plain to see. “I think you understand exactly who I mean. You're not going to make me say it, are you? I don't like hurting you.”
“I don't understand who you mean,” she repeated.
“The Cul-lens.” I said slowly, watching every movement of her face as that terrible word left my lips. “I saw that – I can see in your eyes what it does to you when I say their name.”
She began shaking her head back and forth, her face still filled with pain, doubt, and confusion. It was clear that she couldn't see the connection because she was too focused on Sam. I saw the hate that she had in her eyes for Sam. It should have been the Cullens that she hated, not us. Watching her defend them made my blood boil, and for the first time in my life I hated Bella.
The anger burned down my arms making them shake. I stood perfectly still trying to recapture my emotions. I swore to Sam that I would be able to handle this, and I truly believed that I could but this was far worse than I imagined.
“You're being ridiculous,” Bella said.
“Fine.” I breathed deeply. “I won't argue it with you. It doesn't matter anyways, the damage is done.”
“What damage?” She shouted the words in my face.
“Let's head back. There's nothing more to say.” I knew I needed to end this. I did not feel like there was any more “closure” now than there was when we started, but I didn't see it getting any better any time soon.
She gasped. “There's everything more to say! You haven't said anything yet!”
I took long steps heading back to the house. This was a mistake, I could feel it.
“I ran into Quil today,” she yelled.
Hearing about Quil was unexpected and my body wasn't ready. I started to stumble, I never stumble!
“You remember your friend, Quil? Yeah, he's terrified.”
I hated that I was hurting my friends. First Quil and now Bella, all in the same day. I quickly turned and faced her, but I didn't know what to say. “Quil,” I breathed, not even sure if she heard me.
“He's worried about you, too. He's freaked out. He's frightened that he's next.”
I knew that we were all worried about Quil. No one wanted this life, and I did not want it for my friend. But I also did not want him to be living in fear. I felt the air leave my lungs, and I had to fight each breath. There was a tree right next to me so I clutched it for support. “He can't be. It's over now. This shouldn't still be happening. Why? Why?”
I was furious and I punched the tree needing a release for the pent up furry. But the wussy tree just snapped in two and I quickly realized that I was much closer to losing it than I thought. It had snapped so easily and I thought how easily Bella could be broken in two. The horror washed over my face. “I have to get back.” I turned walking away quickly, scared of what I was capable of doing. Not counting the first time, I have never phased without willing it to happen and it was freaky to feel myself losing control. And it to be near Bella at that time was even more disturbing.
“Back to Sam!”
“That's one way of looking at it.” It was so frustrating that she could not understand the real reason, that she refused to hate the Cullens as much as I did.
As I walked away towards the house my arms continued to shake. I was near the house now and Bella hurried after me. I could hear her loud feet slush across the wet ground. “Wait!” She called.
“Go home, Bella. I can't hang out with you anymore.” There that was done.
I saw the tears fill her eyes. “Are you . . . breaking up with me?”
The irony of her statement, I knew was going to haunt me. Now, she wanted to be together? When it was clearly not even a possibility any more. A bitter laugh escaped my lips, “Hardly. If that were the case, I'd say 'Let's stay friends.' I can't even say that.”
“Jacob . . . why? Sam won't let you have other friends? Please, Jake. You promised. I need you!”
Her words were perfection and everything that I had ever dreamed of hearing. But they were the very last thing that I needed to hear. “I'm sorry, Bella.” I said coldly, feeling that my life was draining from my body. I wished that she could see how much it was killing me to let her go.
“I'm sorry that I couldn't . . . before . . . I wish I could change how I feel about you, Jacob. Maybe . . . maybe I would change,” she whispered. “Maybe, if you gave me some time . . . just don't quit on me now, Jake. I can't take it.”
Oh My God, this girl was going to kill me! Bella was willing to give me a chance, THE chance that I had been dreaming of and praying for. I felt like I was carving out my own heart and handing to her on a silver platter. I wanted to wrap my arms around her, I brought one shaking hand towards her. “No. Don't think like that, Bella, please. Don't blame yourself, don't think this is your fault. This one is all me. I swear, it's not about you.”
“It's not you, it's me,” she whispered. “There's a new one.”
“I mean it, Bella. I'm not . . .” I hate that stupid wolf within me, how it had turned me into a monster. “I'm not good enough to be your friend anymore, or anything else. I'm not what I was before. I'm not good.” Finally something that was true, that maybe she would believe and leave me alone.
“What? What are you saying? You're much better than I am, Jake. You are good! Who told you that you aren't? Sam? It's a vicious lie, Jacob! Don't let him tell you that!” She yelled.
She was never going to 'get it'! “No one had to tell me anything. I know what I am.” I was a monster.
“You're my friend, that's what you are! Jake – don't!”
There wasn't any more that I was able to say, to help Bella to understand. I started backing up towards the house. “I'm sorry, Bella.” Those were the last words that I wanted her to hear. With each long stride I took away, I could feel myself start to lose the hold that I had on myself.
I walked into the house, and saw the encouragement that was clearly written on each of their faces. Even my dad looked directly in my eyes and nodded his head in silent agreement and understanding.
“You did good, Jacob.” Sam said as he turned from the window where he had been watching.
“Don't . . .” I glared at Sam, raising my hand out towards him palm out as to say 'stop'. “There is nothing 'good' about what I just did.”
“Jake, you did what you had to.” Embry added “And you remained human during the process, that is incredible.” He walked over to me and placed his hand on my shoulder.
I shrugged his hand off, not wanting the comfort that he was trying to give. “Embry, being human, is not something that should be shocking! Turning into a huge dog, should be!” I wanted to yell, but I just didn't have the energy. Every last thought and emotion was fully focused on holding myself together. I also wanted to cry from losing my best friend, but also desperately did not want to cry because I knew it wouldn't accomplish anything.
“I'm sorry to bring it up,” Jared paused. “But she still isn't going anywhere.” The rain had started again and she was soaked to the bone. Her clothes hung tightly to her tiny body and I could see her shaking from the cold.
“Dad, just make her go away. I can't handle any more of this.” I turned and walked to my room, and I heard his chair roll to the front door and the creak of the hinge as it opened.
I laid across my bed and buried my head under my pillow. I wanted to scream, but I was scared that my body would not be able to handle it, and it would turn into a howl. My tiny bed could not handle me becoming a wolf on it. So I just waited for the sound of a roaring truck that would be taking my heart away with it. The moment I could hear the tires leave the gravel and dirt behind as it entered the road, I got up and started walking towards the door. Only dad was left in the house and I gave him a quick nod and assumed that he understood that I would be out for a while.
The moment I phased I could feel Sam and Embry with me, but that was all. I would rather be completely alone, but I also needed the physical release that only the wolf could provide. My head had hurt from the concentration that it took to keep myself together and it felt good to set him free. Both of them were just so amazed that I was able to control my emotions well enough to keep it together. At times they would show myself to me as they saw the tree split into two and my arms tremble. I had been so focused on Bella at the time that I had not even noticed that Sam had left the house and was standing near by ready to try and help me, or protect Bella whichever was needed. When Bella and I came back towards the house he had silently slipped back inside the house with confidence.
Hearing their thought did not help. I needed an escape, so I phased back and slipped my shorts from my ankle, walking in the woods. It was still raining and I was soaking wet, but I didn't care. I was heading towards home, but not really in any hurry to actually get there. It was freeing to be able to let my mind wonder where it may. I have never hated anyone more than the hate that I felt for myself. I was not any better than the filthy bloodsucker that had broken her heart. I had made a promise to be different and she had trusted me to keep that promise. I desperately wanted to keep it, but there was no way that I could. And while I knew that before today, to actually witness the pain and anguish on her face myself was almost more than I could handle.
Before I knew it I was back in my own yard, a muddy and wet mess. I tried wiping my bare feet a little on the grass to get some of the mud off, but already knew it was useless. I walked to the front porch and took off my shorts and wiped both my feet and then walked inside. I'm sure my dad was a little surprised to me walk in butt-naked but he didn't say anything. I walked directly to the bathroom and took a shower. The water felt good, but I still missed having my long hair cloak around me, but it made for faster showers which allowed the water to feel hot for at least a few minutes before it started to cool again and I would turn the water off.
I stepped out and toweled myself off, wrapping it around myself I went to my room and put on some clean jean shorts. The TV was on and dad was sitting in the living room as the channels continued to flip, I guessed he had not decided on what to watch yet. I went to the kitchen and pulled out some sandwich meat, bread and cheese to build a sandwich.
After three sandwiches the phone rang and Billy answered the cordless phone that was sitting in his lap.
“Hello?” Billy said.
“What the hell, Billy?” I could hear Charlie's voice perfectly.
“Hey Charlie. How's Bella?”
“Not good. She is in the shower now so I thought I would take this chance to find out what is going on?”
“I told you, her and Jacob had a fight.”
“I'm not buying that. It doesn't make any sense.” Charlie said angrily
“Well you know how close they were getting and Bella just can't give him the relationship that he desires.”
I felt a low growl rumble in my chest and I looked at dad like he had gone insane. He gave me a pleading look like he didn't know what else to say. I knew that he had to give some reason for the sudden separation. I sat down on the sofa and continued to listen.
“Don't you put this on Bella!” Charlie shouted, taking the words that I had wanted so badly to say. “Bella has made it very clear all along that she and Jacob were just friends . . .”
“Come on Charlie you had to see that it wasn't friendship for Jake.”
“Well, if that was it, then why didn't you say so first.
“I didn't feel like it was my place, to say anything. Jake's going through a rough time right now. I know that Bella thinks it is Sam, but Sam does not have anything to do with this.”
“No, Billy, I think that she's right about this . . .”
“She doesn't even know Sam, she doesn't know what she is talking about. How could you of all people start to turn your back on Sam?”
“Because I know my daughter, and if she says that Jacob was scared before . . .”
“You don't know her near as well as you think.” Billy mumbled. Once again a growl rumbled in my chest and dad's eyes looked shocked, like he didn't mean for that to actually slip out of his mouth. I got up from the couch and started pacing back and forth.
“What do you mean I don't know my daughter as well as I think I do!” Charlie shouted.
“Do you remember me trying to warn you that she shouldn't be around the Cullens? I had tried to warn and talked to her about it too, but neither of you would listen.”
“If you think I'm going to remind her about that , then you had better think again. She's only just starting to get over it, and mostly because of Jacob, I think. If whatever Jacob has going on with the Sam character sends her back into that depression, then Jacob is going to have to answer to me. You're my friend Billy, but this is hurting my family.”
Billy's eyes looked down and I could tell that he hated hurting his friend. He seemed to look over at me and I could tell that he was thinking of the dramatic affect, and the massive amount of pain that this was causing his own family. “Charlie, you don't need to worry about Sam. He is not causing any trouble and will stay out of the way.”
“You got that right – those boys set one toe out of line and I'm going to know about it. We'll be keeping an eye on the situation, you can be sure of that.”
“You do what you have to Charlie.”
“You know that we don't want Bella hurt.”
“Charlie, you take care.”
Billy took a deep breath and seemed relieved that it was over. “Do you think I did the right thing?” dad asked.
“I don't know dad. It just seems that the 'right thing',” I lifted my hands using hand quotes, “feels completely wrong all the time. From Charlie it doesn't sound like I am any better than the stupid leech that left her.”
“Don't say that Jake.” He rolled over directly in front of me. “But, I can see how you would feel that way.”
“Do you think I did the right thing this afternoon with Bella?” I asked.
“Yes, I do. I know you don't want to hear this Jake, but you had to separate yourself from Bella and you did the best you could. And while you hate being complimented that you stayed human, that is really an accomplishment. Paul had to stay at Sam's house for a month before he could learn to control himself better.”
“Why do you think I am better at it, dad?” I sat back down on the couch and sat my elbows on my knees resting my head in my hands.
“It's in your blood Son. You have got the gene from me, but also from your mom.”
I had never really thought about it before. “So what about Quil?”
Billy shook his head. “It doesn't look good for him, it's in his blood too.”
My mouth turned down in a frown, I didn't want this for him and it seemed so final. It had been a long and terrible day. “I'm going out, do you want any help before I go.”
“Sure, sure.” He said as he rolled himself to his bedroom.
I got my dad comfortably into bed and I just wanted some peace. I wanted the speed that the wolf provided, but with privacy so I grabbed my motorcycle. It roared to life and soon I could feel the wind around me. It was the first time to ride since phasing it felt strange to feel my short hair in the wind, but it felt good. I rode all through La Push and started heading towards Forks. It wasn't long and I was on Bella's street. I parked my bike several houses down from hers and turned the engine off, and rolled into the cover of the nearby trees.
Through the trees I walked around to the side of Bella's house to what I now considered to be my “spot” in the soft grass in the cover of the trees. I curled up on the ground to sleep. I could hear the springs in Charlie's bed groan as he tossed and turned, and a quiet sniffle from Bella. I listened waiting for her heart beats to relax into sleep, but it never seemed to relax.
I finally was sure that she was sleeping once I could hear her talking. Bella was such an internal person that she kept everything to herself, except for when she slept. It was a time when the Bella that she kept locked away was finally able to speak. I could hear her voice was hoarse from crying. I heard her call out my name, “my Jacob”, and I so wanted to be the Jacob that she wanted from me. She also cried out Edward's name and I thought I was going to be sick.
Then her voice quivered and her heart started to race. I could hear her nose sniffle and the muffled cry caught in her throat and I knew she needed me and I needed her.
Chapter 10 FACTS
- Jacob's conversation with Emily is based on when Bella is taken to Emily's for the first time, Emily knows who Bella is and it seems that she is a common topic of conversation.
- Jackie is completely fiction, however she is inspired by Jacob's first kiss with Bella. I thought maybe if he had received a similar kiss then it might explain why he didn't think it was wrong for him to do it.
- After Jacob's confrontation with Bella he spends some time as a wolf, but then wants privacy and spends the rest of the time human.
- Jacob rides his motorcycle over to Bella's.
Chapter 11 – INTRUDER
I stepped out from the trees, looking up to her house I could hear her heart racing even while she slept. I grabbed onto one of the branches of the tree in front of her window and prayed that it would be able to hold me. I put one hand in front of the other and my toes hung to the bark on the tree as I climbed higher into the tree and as I leaned towards her house a few of the branches scraped across her window.
Her breath caught in her throat and I could hear the fear as she breathed slowly trying to arouse from sleep. I leaned on the branch again causing it to scrape once again cross her window. I heard her legs awkwardly hit the floor and she stumbled towards the window. As she looked through I could see the fear in her eyes that were unusually large.
She looked right at where I dangled from the tree and then staggered backwards putting her hands over her mouth to muffle a silent scream. I felt terrible to be causing her fear, and wanted to be able to calm her racing heart. “Bella!” I hissed. I felt the branch crack and my foot slipped off one of the branches scraping my ankle. “Ouch! Damn it, open the window! OUCH!” All my weight was on the two branches that each arm held on two and it caused the branch to bow towards the house. I would shift my weight from arm to arm trying to prevent the branches from rubbing to loudly against the house. I didn't want to wake up Charlie.
After a couple seconds Bella moved towards the window and quickly slid the glass open. “What are you doing?” She gasped.
I never really had a fear of heights, but I honestly didn't know how much faith I had in this tree. I knew it wasn't going to kill me, but I wasn't sure exactly how gracefully I could fall out of a tree. I'm a wolf, not a cat. “I'm trying to keep . . .” I continued to shift my weight from arm to arm and the tree bounced dramatically with each shift of my weight “. . . my promise!”
“When did you ever promise to kill yourself falling out of Charlie's tree?”
Man, this girl really was tired, maybe trying to talk to her this evening would not be a good thing. I swung my legs, centering my weight. “Get out of the way.”
“What?” She sure wasn't making this easy. “No, Jake!”
Becoming a wolf had affected my human self as well. I had excellent reflexes and could see even in the dark with absolute clarity. Normally that allowed me to walk smoother, and I naturally walked on the balls of my feet making it almost soundless. Tonight I could feel my weight and how it would bend the tree and be able to see how it would propel me directly into the window. My only doubt was how much force would I need to launch my heavy self? I didn't want to be too far and knock Bella over, but I also didn't want to be short and fall.
With my eyes wide open I launched from the tree, landing with a soft grunt on the balls of my feet inside of Bella's bedroom. It was a little louder than I wanted so therefore I needed to make sure that I hadn't awoken Charlie, and so I remained crouched down on her floor. The muffled snore of Charlie was music to my ears as a broad smile spread across my face. Wow! That was freaking awesome!
“Get out!” Bella hissed.
Well that is not what I expected, granted what I deserved, but I did not think that Bella could actually hate me. “No,” I protested. “I came to apologize.”
“I don't accept!”
She placed her small, cold hands on my bare chest and I could see her little muscles flex like she was actually trying to push me back out the window. Was she trying to kill me?
Even though I saw her just a few hours ago somehow she seemed even smaller. She was a complete mess with her hair wild from sleeping and her eyes were red and swollen from crying. It killed me to see the tear streaks that were still wet on her cheeks, tears that I knew I was responsible for.
I towered over her and had it been anyone else it easily would have been intimidating. Her head bobbled like it was too heavy for her to hold on her own and she swayed from side to side as her eyes tried to close on her. It scared me to death. “Bella?” I whispered as I reached out and grabbed her by the elbows and gently steered her to sit on her bed. She sat in an ungraceful plop as her legs gave out from under her. I had never seen anyone so weak in all my life. “Hey, are you okay?”
She looked up at me through her wet eyes, “Why in the world would I be okay, Jacob?”
“Right.” I admit that was a stupid question. “Crap. Well . . . I – I'm so sorry, Bella.”
“Why did you come here? I don't want apologies from you, Jake.”
“I know”, I whispered. “But I couldn't leave things the way I did this afternoon. That was horrible. I'm sorry.”
She shook her head. “I don't understand anything.”
“I know. I want to explain . . .” All of a sudden I couldn't speak, damn, Sam and his stupid gag order. I wasn't even about to tell her anything that I shouldn't, but it was like the wolf in me panicked and wouldn't let me talk. “But I can't explain,” it was so frustrating. “I wish I could.”
Her head fell limply in her hands. “Why?”, she mumbled through her hands.
I wanted so badly to be able to answer her, but I felt like an invisible hand had reached my vocal cords and I was not able to speak. It didn't hurt, but it was really disturbing and extremely annoying. I wasn't planning on actually telling her the secret, but maybe some sort of half truth would give her a more realistic explanation than she received today. I tried to think of a few different way to start the conversation but nothing would help.
“What's wrong?” Bella asked.
I released the breath that I had been holding. “I can't do it.”
“Look, Bella, haven't you ever had a secret that you couldn't tell anyone?” There that was a truth that I knew that she would be able to relate to, and I could see the understanding in her eyes. “Something you felt like you had to keep from Charlie, from your mom . . . ?” This was working better than I imagined so I kept going. “Something you won't even talk about with me? Not even now?”
Her eyes closed tightly and I knew that the direction this conversation was headed could get dangerously close to telling her the truth. I needed to stay vague and this just might be successful. “Can you understand that I might have the same kind of . . . situation?” Damn, I was close to not being able to finish that sentence. Come on Bella, work with me on this.
“I don't know why you came here, Jacob, if you were just going to give me riddles instead of answers.”
“I'm sorry. This is so frustrating.” I wish that Sam had just trusted me. It is not like was going to tell her again. “The part that kills me, is that you already know. I already told you everything!”
“What are you talking about?”
Holy crap! That was it! I just need her to remember the secret on her own. Then I would not be telling her, but rather just helping her to remember. Hope soared through me while it looked possible. “I think I see a way to make this work out – because you know this, Bella! I can't tell you, but if you guessed it! That would let me right off the hook!”
“You want me to guess? Guess what?”
“My secret! You can do it – you know the answer!” I have never seen a face look so blank and confused. Maybe this was not going to be as easy as I hoped. “Hold on, let me see if I can give you some help.” My brain was filled with the story that I had told, but I had to push it aside in order to be able to speak. If it was on my mind then the order would be triggered and I would have to redirect my mind again.
“Yeah, like clues.” I took a deep breath trying to clear my mind. I needed to just think about some things that had nothing to do with my secret, but that would help her to understand. It was extremely complicated.
I took my large hands around her face, and I thought of her beautiful eyes and the way her hair had draped around her shoulders when I looked at her for the first time on the beach that day. “Remember the first day we met – on the beach in La Push?”
“Of course I do.”
“Tell me about it.”
“You asked about my truck. . .” I silently nodded, urging her to continue. “We talked about the Rabbit . . .”
“We went for a walk down the beach. . .” No, don't stop there, you are finally getting to the point, and I nodded my head for her to continue. “You told me scary stories . . . Quileute legends.”
I was so excited, but the wolf started to figure out what I was doing. I closed my eyes to try and capture my thoughts in order to be able to speak. “Yes.” I needed her to understand what I was not able to say with my mouth. “Do you remember what I said?” I saw her face as she was trying to remember, “Think hard.”
“Yes, I remember.”
I took a deep breath again to recapture my thoughts that had once again soared with excitement. “Do you remember all the stor-” Dammit, I was doing so well.
“All the stories?” she asked.
I just nodded my head, for the wolf still had not released me, and focused on her face. I watched her eyes flicker as she seemed to be replaying the events in her mind. I saw the confusion still on her face and it was clear, as she shook her head, that she wasn't thinking of everything.
With great frustration I got up from her bed and brought my hands to my head to try and think of something else that I could say to help. With every thought the wolf was getting more upset. “You know this, you know this.”
“Jake? Jake, please, I'm exhausted. I'm no good at this right now. Maybe in the morning . . .”
She had a good point. Some of the hope that I felt that she was going to know the truth had died and the wolf released his grip on me. “Maybe it will come back to you. I guess I understand why you only remember the one story.” Just another painful reminder of how I stacked up in comparison to Edward Cullen.
I walked back to her bed and sat roughly down beside her. “Do you mind if I ask you a question about that? I've been dying to know.”
“A question about what?” She asked cautiously.
“About the vampire story I told you.” She looked directly at me and I knew I had her attention, but she also looked on guard. “Did you honestly not know? Was I the one who told you what he was?” Please, say no, please say no. I wanted so badly for it to not have been me.
She clenched her teeth together and looked directly at me with no intention of answering the question. Her allegiance to them just about made me sick. “See what I mean about loyalty? It's the same for me, only worse. You can't imagine how tight I'm bound . . .” My eyes closed to block the hatred that I saw in her eyes, and so she wouldn't see the hatred in my own eyes as what I had become.
“Isn't there any way for you to get free?” She whispered as her hand reached out and grazed the hair on the back of my neck.
It was such an intimate gesture, but also symbolic of the change that my short hair represented. There seemed to be a constant battle within me making me choose between my tribe and Bella. I hated it and I could feel my arms start to tremble as I thought of what I was sacrificing. I kept my eyes closed willing myself to remain in control. “No. I'm in this for life. A life sentence.” Or if I never started aging again, “longer, maybe.”
“No, Jake,” she moaned. “What if we ran away? Just you and me. What if we left home, and left Sam behind?”
What is her deal with her wanting me to move in? This is the third time she has brought it up. “It's not something I can run away from, Bella.” Of all the times that I have imagined being alone and running away with Bella I never once imagined myself turning her down. “I would run with you, though, if I could.” It was so frustrating to not be able to do what I really wanted to, especially with Bella. I took a deep breath to calm myself back down. “Look, I've got to leave.”
“For one thing, you look like you're going to pass out at any second. You need your sleep – I need you firing on all pistons. You're going to figure this out, you have to.”
“And why else?”
I frowned, reminded of why we couldn't actually be together. “I had to sneak out – I'm not supposed to see you. They've got to be wondering where I am.” It is times like these that sharing a mind really sucks. “I suppose I should go let them know.”
“You don't have to tell them anything,” she hissed.
“All the same, I will.”
I saw the anger once again flash across her face. “I hate them!”
The fury in her words caught me by surprise. “No, Bella. Don't hate the guys. It's not Sam's or any of the other's faults. I told you before – it's me. Sam is actually . . . well, incredibly cool. Jared and Paul are great, too, though Paul is kind of . . .”, an ass, but I didn't think that description would win us any points with Bella. “And Embry's always been my friend. Nothings changed there – the only thing that hasn't changed. I feel really bad about the things I used to think about Sam . . .”
She glared at me, clearly I have not done anything to win her over to our side. “Then why aren't you supposed to see me?
“It's not safe,” I mumbled embarrassed to have to admit that to Bella. “If I thought it was too . . . too risky, I wouldn't have come. But Bella,” I paused looking her right in the eyes, “I made you a promise. I had no idea it would be so hard to keep, but that doesn't mean I'm not going to try.”
Her face was so blank, that it would have been comical if it weren't so sad. “I promised you that I wouldn't ever hurt you . . . So I really blew it this afternoon, didn't I?”
“I know you didn't want to do it, Jake. It's okay.”
“Thanks, Bella.” It warmed my heart that she was willing to forgive me. I reached out my hand and wrapped it around her cold, tiny hand. “I'm going to do what I can to be here for you, just like I promised.” Keeping my word was really important to me, and I just felt like if she could understand my situation then we could make it through this. “It would really help if you could figure this out on your own, Bella. Put some honest effort into it.”
She gave me a weak smile, that seemed to be more of a grimace. “I'll try.”
“And I'll try to see you soon.” I sighed. “And they'll try to talk me out of that.”
“Don't listen to them.”
“I'll try.” There was not much hope, especially if Sam decided to order me away. “Come and tell me as soon as you figure it out.” Oh, crap. What if she doesn't want me? What if her last experience with a monster has broken her to the point where she won't accept another one. Oh God, I hate Edward so badly and my hands started shaking. “If you . . . if you want to.”
“Why wouldn't I want to you?”
“Oh, I can think of a reason.” But thinking about Edward is really not a good idea around Bella, it makes it so much harder for me to remain in control.
“Look, I really have to go. Could you do something for me?”
She nodded her head and I could see the fear in her eyes once again. I hated that I was the one that kept causing her fear.
“At least call me – if you don't want to see me again. Let me know if it's like that.”
“That won't happen -” I couldn't let her make me a promise that she might not be able to keep. My heart couldn't handle that type of rejection.
So I raised a hand, interrupting her. “Just let me know.” I stood from her bed and walked over to the window preparing to jump through it. Compared to jumping off a cliff this would be nothing.
“Don't be an idiot, Jake,” she complained. “You'll break your leg. Use the door. Charlie's not going to catch you.”
“I won't get hurt,” I muttered. However, I did not want to make her feel uncomfortable so I turned back to face her.
Even being a complete mess from it being the middle of the night, she was still beautiful to me. I didn't want to leave, especially not knowing when I would see her again. I reached my hand out to her, praying that she wouldn't push me away. She wrapped her fingers around my hand and she felt so soft and perfect. Before I could talk myself out of it, I pulled her and in an instant she was pressed against my chest. I couldn't believe how light she was, I wasn't pulling hard but it just didn't take much to make her move.
“Just in case,” I muttered my lips brushing her hair as I spoke and it smelled so good. I wrapped my arms around her never wanting to let go.
“Can't – breathe!” she gasped.
Afraid that I was going to hurt her I quickly loosened my grip on her. She was so fragile, and I left one hand at her waist to keep her steady. Gently I guided her back to the bed and helped her to sit back down. “Get some sleep, Bells. You've got to get your head working. I know you can do this. I need you to understand. I won't lose you, Bella. Not for this.”
I couldn't handle it any more. With one long stride I was through her door and I sailed down the stairs three at a time. I closed the front door quietly behind me and sprinted to my motorcycle. I didn't even wait and listen to what Bella was doing. If she tossed and turned, or cried and screamed I didn't want to know.
During the ride home I could feel the strangest mixture of hope and dread. I needed Bella to know the truth and I really did believe that she would remember eventually. But I also was scared to death that she would reject me. Whoever said 'ignorance is bliss' was a fool. I had done everything that I could do for Bella, and now it was just time to wait.
No additional facts, pretty straight forward.
Chapter 12 – Killer
I had four legs under me and I was running as fast as I could, the perfume of leech was laced throughout the air. The moment that I rode my motorcycle back into La Push I could hear the howling just past the hot springs. I quickly parked my bike at home and bolted towards the trees.
Where the hell have you been Jacob? Sam yelled.
I knew I was in some serious crap as the image of me standing in Bella's bedroom fluttered across my mind.
My God , Jacob! What were you thinking? Paul sneered.
Never mind me. What is going on? I stated trying to redirect them away from myself.
The red head is back. Jared said.
I smell someone else as well. Embry added.
He was right, there was certainly a new scent mixed in with the familiar scent of the red head. I quickly caught up to everyone else and I was completely focused on the task before us.
Lets all stick together, I'm not really sure what the new smell will mean for us. So everyone pay attention. Sam ordered.
Our eyes searched through the trees as we allowed our nose to lead our feet. Sam was in the lead with Jared on his flank. The rest of us followed their lead as we raced through the trees like one massive bullet flying through the air.
I hated that we were so near the resort, even though it was the middle of the night it made me feel vulnerable and exposed. We made sure to pass by each of the small cabins. The leech's smell was all throughout them, thankfully there weren't any people around. The missing people were really hurting the tourism and hiking businesses in the area. I am sure that the resort was not doing any better due to it being surrounded by forest and ocean.
As we approached Mr. And Mrs. LaPlante's house the stench of bloodsucker seemed to get more concentrated. We could tell that they have circled around the house many times. The road circled around their home giving them easy access to any area of the resort easily. We listened carefully and could easily hear their hearts beating inside so we continued to follow the bloodsucker's scent.
We went past the A-frame rental houses, and we were heading towards the RV Park when their scent went just past the road that lead towards the beach.
I can see a tent just up ahead, Jared announced. I looked through his eyes and saw a large two room tent stretched out, and could see the glimmer of the water about 10 feet behind to the left. Inside I could hear someone snoring loudly. The setting of woods and water would have been beautiful to the average camper, but I could not help but wonder why people were not taking these attacks more seriously, and staying out of the woods.
Jared can you see them? Embry asked.
I smell blood, I added. It's heavy rusty scent filled the air.
I can see them. Sam stated. There she was crouched on the ground in a protective position as another was bent over the body of a man, about three yards from the tent.
Sam, what do we do with two of them? Paul asked.
We just have to watch our backs more carefully. We still easily out number them. Paul and Jacob stay together and Embry and Jared do the same. I'll help whomever needs it. Sam instructed.
I didn't like being stuck with Paul, it just felt like disaster waiting to happen. But we all stayed together for the moment as we slowly approached the pair in front of us. It didn't take long before the female caught our scent and knew we were near. The other was fully distracted with its kill. Paul and I were closer to that one and thought we would try and take advantage that the blood lust naturally caused.
We both leaped closer, but the female yelled at the other and he immediately dropped his meal and the man's head slumped to the ground next to his hunting rifle and night time goggles.
Well at least the rifle explains what he is doing out in the middle of the night. I said.
Do you think he is hunting us? Paul asked
Possiblly the town is pretty freaked out right now. It won't surprise me if half the town is out soon. Sam answered.
The leech looked up with blood pouring down his chin and his eyes were as bright as rubies compared to his young pale face. He was clearly terrified as his eyes took in all five of us and he began to scream.
As his screams filled the air there was a stirring inside the tent, and we heard the person inside ruffle their sleeping bag and it sounded like the person was coming out.
“Shut up, you idiot.” She hissed at him.
“I'm sorry.” He cried as he cowered behind her.
“I told you I would always keep you safe.” She reached out and brushed her fingers through his blond hair, it seemed to be such a loving tender gesture. “You're too important to let a bunch of mutts get in the way.” Her hand rested on his chin cupping his check with her fingers. He looked into her eyes with such devotion, like he trusted her with his life.
That is so disgusting. Paul said.
No joke, I think I'm going to puke. I agreed.
Where do you think her little rug rat came from? Jared asked.
Maybe she made him. Embry suggested.
Probably. Sam agreed.
Then from inside the tent we could hear the unzipping of the tent and a messy head of long brown hair came out. Both of the leeches sniffed in the air and the red head's eyes went completely black, and I was guessing that this one in the tent was meant to be hers.
Sam? Jared asked indicating towards the tent opening.
I see it, Sam affirmed. Embry I want you to keep your eyes on the person, protect her no mater what.
What if he gets seen? I asked.
Protection is more important than secrecy, and she won't know that we are human, but just rather large wolves. Sam explained.
And thanks to Bella the whole area already knows about freakishly large wolves. Paul sneered.
A low growl rumbled in my throat. What did you expect her to do when she saw us?
Cut it out guys. Sam ordered. Paul, Jared and Jacob keep your eyes on the pair of leeches and do not let them get any closer. They will probably run for the ocean.
Together the pack all growled fiercely and the sound echoed all around us, as Embry flung himself directly in the path of the woman while I circled within the trees right behind Paul.
“Run!” The red head screamed. The young blond leech reached out and grabbed the body in front of him, and like Sam predicted they headed straight for the ocean. We chased after them, but knew our efforts would be worthless with the water so close.
The woman screamed, and a look of horror went across her face as it was clear that she saw the streak of gray go across in front of her. She ducked back into the tent, and we could hear her fumbling with what sounded like her rifle. We heard the chamber click as she put the bolt in place and the long barrel poked out from the tent.
Ah, crap she's loaded. Embry called.
Jared I want you to come keep your eyes on her while the rest of us patrol the water's boarder. Jared be extremely careful we have no idea how good of a shot she is. Sam ordered.
One shot rang out into the night, she didn't seem to be aiming at anything in particular, which actually made her more dangerous then if she were aiming. Silently Jared and Embry traded responsibilities and we spent the next few hours going up and down the coast. The woman spent 30 minutes calling out to the man who had been with her and fired another shot from her rifle before she went back into town. We were sure now that everyone would be helping soon.
I miss Jacob. It is not just the sunny happy kid, which was certainly no longer to be seen, but his physical presence. It just seemed that he was never home, or if he was then he was sleeping. I'll be honest I had not really given much thought to what my life would be like once Jake finished school and moved on. I thought I had at least two more years before I had to think about that, but it seemed that the theory of being alone has become my reality.
Though I technically coule get myself from my chair into bed it was not a graceful process. My legs were there I just can't feel them or sometimes there was a slight tingling feeling. It reminded me of times when I tried to walk with a leg that was numb and 'asleep', however now it never woke up and it was not just one leg it was both, so that was why actually walking was out of the question. I had to use my eyes to see where I place my feet and make sure there was nothing sharp that I am placing my foot on because I won't feel it if I got scraped or anything. Once both feet are placed on the floor then I used my arms to lift myself out of the chair and fell over onto the bed chest first, rolling over onto my back, using my arms to either sit up or move around on the bed. Getting back into the chair was even less graceful, but possible.
Sometimes when Jake would still be asleep, I would roll myself down to his room. I loved to watch him sleep, I could pretend that the peace and youth that was evident on his face was real. That he wasn't out every day chasing the undead, but rather just a normal boy. Unfortunately his giant size reminded me of how he was far from normal. The poor boy made his tiny bed look like doll furniture.
I had gone to bed early last night and when I awoken in the morning it was still dark. I laid in bed and just listened, it was completely quiet outside it seems that even the birds had not awaken yet. Inside I could softly hear Jake snoring from his bedroom, it made me smile, and I was glad he was home. I was in the process of debating how badly I wanted to get myself out of bed and risk falling and not being able to get up, or just being patient and waiting for Jake to wake up. Suddenly I heard a loud pounding on the door, it must have been my lucky day because they could help me out of bed.
I grabbed my bathrobe that hung on my bed post and pulled my arms through. “Come in,” I called and turned the lamp by my bed on. I heard the front door open and I leaned my head out to see who was coming in the door. I swear Bella was the last person on the planet that I expected to be walking through that door. “Well, good morning, Bella. What are you doing up so early?”
“Hey, Billy. I need to talk to Jake – where is he?”
“Um . . . I don't really know.” I lied.
“Do you know what Charlie is doing this morning?” She demanded, and I could see the irritation, mixed with concern on her face.
“He and half the other men in town are all out in the woods with guns, hunting giant wolves.”
Oh, this was so not good. I didn't know what to say. The look in Bella's eyes seemed to indicate that she knew more this time than the last time she was here. But that was only yesterday, what could possibly have happened since then? Then I remembered Jake heading out last night and it made sense that he would go to Bella's house. However, I knew about Sam's order to Jacob there wasn't anything that he could have told her.
“So, I'd like to talk to Jake about that, if you don't mind,” she continued.
I thought for a moment and it was clear she wouldn't believe me if I tried to lie again. “I'd bet he's still asleep,” I nodded my head towards his room. “He's out late a lot these days. Kid needs his rest – probably you shouldn't wake him.” There that was truthful, and maybe that would make her change her mind about visiting him now.
Bella turned towards the hallway. “It's my turn,” she muttered. I was hoping that Jacob hadn't awoken her in the middle of the night trying to fix his friendship with her, but clearly that was more than I could hope for. I heard Jacob's door bang open and cringed thinking that the noise was sure to wake him up, but I didn't hear any voices, nothing other than Jake's soft snore. My son was far more sleep deprived then even I had realized.
I heard the door softly close and I watched Bella come back down the hall. Part of me was a little disappointed because I was so curious what she wanted to talk to Jake about. How much did she know?
“I think I'll let him get some rest.” Bella said.
I nodded my head, and Bella and I looked at each other. Each of us having a silent conversation with the other. I could tell that she had questions for me and I also had questions for her, but we both knew that they would never be asked and answered.
“Look,” she said, “I'll be down at the beach for a while. When he wakes up, tell him I'm waiting for him, okay?”
“Sure, sure,” I agreed. Even though I could not ask my questions to Bella, I could and I would ask them of Jacob.
Bella walked out of the house and I heard her truck roar to life. I got myself out of bed, into my chair and decided I would get some breakfast started. I knew it needed to be Jake's decision on whether he spoke to Bella this morning, it didn't feel right for me to keep it from him.
I got the coffee maker out of the closet, we didn't drink much coffee, but I figured that Jake could use all the help he could get. After setting up the coffee I got started on the eggs and bacon. My hope is that the smell of breakfast would wake Jake up instead of me having to do it.
I was taking the last strip of bacon out of the pan when I heard life down the hall, followed shortly by the sound of the shower in the bathroom. I poured out most of the grease from the pan and then used the same one to scramble the eggs. While the eggs cooked I poured two cups of coffee and added milk and sugar to Jake's. He drank coffee even less than I did. I grabbed the bread and put two pieces into the toaster.
Jacob walked into the kitchen, his hair was still wet and dripping down his face. He had on a pair of cut off jean shorts and no shirt and water dripped down his chest, it seems that he didn't even bother with a towel this morning. There were dark circles under his eyes and he looked terrible, as he gave an ungraceful plop into the kitchen chair. He put his elbows on the table and rested his head in his hands.
I rolled over to the table and set the coffee in front of him. Jacob took a sniff and grimaced. “Ugh, yuck.”
“Trust me Son, you'll thank me later.”
I put half the eggs on a plate added five strips of bacon and the toast from the toaster and placed it in front of Jacob.
“No problem.” I put two more pieces of bread in the toaster and grabbed another plate and loaded it with eggs and bacon for myself. We ate in silence until Jacob filled his plate for the second time.
I was waiting to bring up Bella because I figured that Jake was going to bolt for the door the moment he knew she was near. “How was your night, Jake?” I asked.
“Horrible. It seems that the red head has a new little friend with her and they were over by the resort.” Jacob took the cup of coffee and drank it all in a couple swallows. The look on his face was the same one he had when he used to take cough syrup.
“I hate it when they get near people.” I said, taking a nice slow drink of the hot coffee.
“Me too, Dad. The leeches got to one man and there was a woman with him that saw Embry.” Jacob said, shaking his head and took a couple bites of bacon. “And then once we were finished, Sam really let me have it for visiting Bella.”
“When did you visit Bella?” I said between bites of eggs and toast.
“Last night I went there after putting you to bed. I just needed to clear my head, I never planned for her to see me.”
“She saw you! As a wolf?”
“No, I wasn't that stupid. I was outside like normal, but I could hear her heart racing and she was crying. I just couldn't take it any longer, she needed to understand.”
“Well that explains a lot. Bella was here and wants to talk to you.” I took another sip of the coffee, fully expecting him to overreact.
“What! Why didn't you say something sooner?” Jacob's fork dropped loudly to his plate, with one strip of bacon and half his eggs still there.
“Calm down. I think she wanted to let you know that Charlie and the others would be hunting for you all in the woods. She said she would be down at the beach for a while and that you could meet her there.”
Without another word, Jacob bolted for the door just like I knew that he would. I had no idea what was in store for Jacob, but I really do not think it could get any worse.
I couldn't believe that my dad waited so long to tell me that Bella had come to visit. That could only mean one thing; that she had figured it out. I knew that she would, but I really had no idea how long it was going to take. I wanted to be cautious, but I couldn't help the excitement knowing she came, that she was going to accept me for what I had become. The beach was really close and not worth changing to wolf form, so I just ran at my full human speed.
Like a beacon I ran right to her, it pleased me to see her on the same drift wood tree where I had told her the stories. I couldn't even begin to count how many times I have sat on that same tree thinking about one of the best weekends I have ever had. It seemed poetic in a strange way. Her back was turned to me and I could see her looking out at the water. The sky had started to turn from black into gray as the new day started.
“Hi, Bella.” My voice seemed to startle her and she jumped.
I stood several steps away from her and I was nervous about what she was going to tell me. “Billy told me you came by – didn't take you very long, did it? I knew you could figure it out.”
“Yeah, I remember the right story now,” she whispered.
I didn't need daylight in order to see the disappointment that was on her face. She looked at me like I was a stranger and it felt like it was going to be goodbye all over again, and it made me angry. “You could have just called.”
She nodded. “I know.”
I knew that I was going to have to keep my temper in check, and felt the need to move around. I paced several steps back and forth, “Why did you come?”
“I thought it would be better face-to-face.”
I snorted. “Oh, much better.”
“Jacob, I have to warn you –”
“About the rangers and the hunters? Don't worry about it. We already know.”
“Don't worry about it? Jake, they've got guns! They're setting traps and offering rewards and – ”
“We can take care of ourselves.” My voice was so rough it came out almost like a growl, but it was a reminder of how I needed to remain calm, so I did not stop pacing. “They're not going to catch anything. They're only making it more difficult – they'll start disappearing soon enough, too.” I thought about the man, and his rifle, from last night and knew we would never see him again.
“Jake!” She hissed.
“What? It's just a fact.”
She looked at me like I was the most revolting thing she had ever seen, which was pretty ironic considering I knew first hand the monsters she used to hang out with. “How can you . . . feel that way? You know these people. Charlie's out there!”
I stopped right in front of her, “What more can we do?” This was how she was suppose to be feeling about vampires, not about US. It made me feel so betrayed by my “best friend” that I was having to justify myself to her.
“Could you . . . well, try to not be a . . . werewolf?” She whispered.
I could not believe she had just said that to me, as if I had a choice in the matter. I had never felt more frustrated in my life and I threw my hands up in the air. “Like I have a choice about it!” I shouted. “And how would that help anything, if you're worried about people disappearing?”
“I don't understand you.”
She was not helping herself at all, and I was only becoming more and more angry. “You know what makes me so mad I could just spit?” I looked her right in the eyes waiting for her to answer, instead she flinched away from me and looked so scared. “You're such a hypocrite, Bella – there you sit, terrified of me! How is that fair?” I could feel the tremors rumble down my arms causing my hands to shake.
“Hypocrite? How does being afraid of a monster make me a hypocrite?”
“Ugh!” I knew that I needed to calm down, but I could not help it. Was it possible that she didn't even think of the Cullens as monsters? But we were! “Would you listen to yourself?”
I wanted her full attention as I stepped directly in front of her, towering over her as I glared. “Well, I'm so sorry that I can't be the right kind of monster for you, Bella. I guess I'm just not as great as a bloodsucker, am I?”
Bella jumped to her feet and glared back. “No, you're not! It's not what you are, stupid, it's what you do!”
Of all people I expected Bella to understand my situation. She always had such a huge heart and for her to not to accept me was more hurtful than I even thought possible. I just could not believe what I was hearing, it made no sense at all. “What's that supposed to mean?”
My whole body started shaking like it had shook only one other time, when I was standing in the living room of my house. I felt like my whole world was closing in on itself, and I so desperately wanted to make it stop, but I wasn't sure how. I needed help, but I didn't know who to ask for it.
“Jacob,” she pleaded and her voice was so soft and even, like somehow she knew I needed her to be calm. “Is it really necessary to kill people, Jacob? Isn't there some other way? I mean, if vampires can find a way to survive without murdering people, couldn't you give it a try, too?”
That was the last thing that I expected her to say, and it jolted me back causing the fire to leave me alone, for a moment. “Killing people?” It still did not make sense what she was talking about.
“What did you think we were talking about?”
Could it really be so simple? A misunderstanding? “I thought we were talking about your disgust for werewolves.”
“No, Jake, no. It's not that you're a . . . wolf. That's fine.” She looked me straight in the eyes and I knew she was telling me the truth. “If you could just find a way not to hurt people . . . that's all that upsets me. These are innocent people, Jake, people like Charlie, and I can't just look the other way while you – ”
“Is that all? Really?” I was so filled with hope that I couldn't let her finish. If what she was saying was true she didn't need to finish because I wasn't hurting anyone. I smiled pleased that this could turn around so quickly. “You're just scared because I'm a murderer? That's the only reason?”
“Isn't that reason enough?”
I wanted to shout for joy, but I was so wound up that I started to laugh instead.
“Jacob Black, this is so not funny!”
“Sure, sure,” she had no idea. I needed to release the pent up energy that was soaring through me so I stepped in front of her and wrapped my arms around her lifting her off the ground in a tight hug. “You really, honestly don't mind that I morph into a giant dog?” I said into her hair.
“No,” she gasped. “Can't – breathe – Jake!”
Oops, she was so much smaller than the boys that I am used to hanging out with. I let her go and took each of her hands. “I'm not a killer, Bella.” I watched her face as the truth behind my words sunk in and she believed me.
“Really?” She asked.
“Really,” I promised.
Then instantly she threw her arms around my waist and held me tightly. Her tiny body seemed to melt into mine and it was the best feeling I have ever had. I wrapped on arm around her back and the other at the back of her head. I had grown even more since the first time she wrapped her arms around me and I had to lean down some in order to keep her own feet planted on the ground. Bella's hair always smelled so nice and I missed being able to touch her so I ran one hand down through her hair.
“Sorry I called you a hypocrite,” I apologized.
“Sorry I called you a murderer.” She said. Now looking back over the brief conversation I could see where we had both been wrong, and was able to laugh at the mistakes we made. Bella pulled herself back to be able to look up at my face. “What about Sam? And the others?”
I shook my head, I could now understand why she was so freaked out before and I was so relieved that it was not the one thing that was completely out of any of our control. “Of course not. Don't you remember what we call ourselves?”
But I don't understand. What's happening in the woods? The missing hikers, the blood?”
“We're trying to do our jobs, Bella. We're trying to protect them, but we're always just a little too late.”
“Protect them from what? Is there really a bear out there, too?”
“Bella, honey, we only protect people from one thing – our one enemy. It's the reason we exist – because they do.”
I really expected Bella to see the signs and to be able to figure this out on her own. Her face was so blank like she had no clue what I was talking about, until suddenly like a switch being turned I could see that she understood. I didn't even know that her face could get paler, but it did and she looked so scared. “I thought you, of all people, would realize what was really going on.”
“Laurent,” she whispered. “He's still here.”
I had no idea who she was talking about. “Who's Laurent?”
“You know – you saw him in the meadow. You were there . . . You were there, and you kept him from killing me . . .”
“Oh, the black-haired leech?” I remembered tearing him apart, it was so easy. “Was that his name?” To be honest I hadn't really thought about them having names. Of course I knew the Cullens did, but I also knew they tried to be around people and blend in. I had not really ever thought about other vampires having names as well.
Bella shuddered. “What were you thinking?” she whispered. “He could have killed you! Jake, you don't realize how dangerous – ”
Again I had to laugh at how backwards her thinking was at times. “Bella, one lone vampire isn't much of a problem for a pack as big as ours. It was so easy, it was hardly even fun!”
“What was easy?”
“Killing the bloodsucker who was going to kill you. Now, I don't count that towards the whole murder thing. Vampires do not count as people.”
Bella mouthed, “You . . . killed . . . Laurent?”
I nodded. “Well, it was a group effort.” I decided I should share the credit.
“Laurent is dead?” She whispered.
Bella was taking this so differently then what I would have imagined. Clearly she was surprised and seemed to be filled with disbelief, but it seemed like something more than that. “You're not upset about that, are you? He was going to kill you – he was going for the kill, Bella, we were sure of that before we attacked. You know that, right?”
“I know that. No, I'm not upset – I'm . . .” She stumbled back sitting down on the driftwood. “Laurent is dead. He's not coming back for me.”
“You're not mad? He wasn't one of your friends or anything, was he?” How she was able to call these things friends was beyond me, but I knew that she cared for them deeply.
“My friend?” She looked at me confused, and I was glad that at least we hadn't killed someone that she was close to. “No, Jake. I'm so . . . so relieved. I thought he was going to find me – I've been waiting for him every night, just hoping that he'd stop with me and leave Charlie alone. I've been so frightened, Jacob . . . But how? He was a vampire! How did you kill him? He was so strong, so hard, like marble. . .”
I never really knew that she had so much information on vampire abilities, it was quite shocking. She was so scared and I should have been there for her. I felt like crap for deserting her and not being the one to calm her fears. I walked over to the tree and sat beside her, draping one arm across her shoulders to give her the comfort that I could now give. “It's what we're made for, Bells. We're strong, too. I wish you would have told me that you were so afraid. You didn't need to be.”
“You weren't around,” she mumbled.
“Wait, Jake – I thought you knew, though. Last night, you said it wasn't safe for you to be in my room. I thought you knew it wasn't safe for you to be in my room. I thought you knew that a vampire might be coming. Isn't that what you were talking about?”
Wow, our communication skills seem to really suck lately. I told her about how I was the danger. I thought that I could keep control otherwise I never would have gone to her bedroom. I agreed with Sam that I couldn't see Bella because through his memories it seems so certain that I would hurt her. However, during the past two weeks, when I have not phased even once outside of my control, it became clear that I was not like the rest of them. That I could control myself.
I was explaining why I have to keep my temper in check and clarifying some myths created by Hollywood. She needed to know that we were taking care of things that she didn't need to be scared any longer. My words should have been a comfort to her, but suddenly she started freaking out again. She seemed to have realized that the danger didn't end with 'Laurent'. I was sort of lost in my own thoughts explaining the frustrations and confusion of trying to understand what the other leech was after, when suddenly Bella leans over the tree and starts convulsing.
Her body shook and her stomach heaved. I had no idea what was wrong. I reached out and grabbed her shoulders to keep her from falling over and leaned over her terrified face. “Bella! What's wrong?”
“Victoria,” she gasped.
That wasn't helpful, I still had no idea what she was talking about, but I could see her fear. Bella had become limp like a newborn baby and I lifted her gently into my lap. Her legs draped over my thighs and her head rested limply on my shoulder while I took my hand to wipe her hair from her sweaty face. And I thought being a wolf was an emotional roller coast, that was nothing compared to being around Bella. “Who? Can you hear me, Bella? Bella?”
“She wasn't Laurent's mate,” she moaned. “They were just old friends . . .”
She still wasn't making any sense and I couldn't understand her reaction. “Do you need some water? A doctor? Tell me what to do.” I was so freaked out.
“I'm not sick – I'm scared.”
My arms wrapped around her and rubbed her back. “Scared of this Victoria?” She nodded, and I could feel her shuddering. “Victoria is the red-haired female?”
Still trembling, she whimpered out “yes”.
“How do you know she wasn't his mate?”
“Laurent told me James was her mate,” she said as she flexed her hand.
This is exactly the type of information that we needed to know. Gently I brought her face up to look directly into her eyes. “Did he tell you anything else, Bella? This is important. Do you know what she wants?”
“Of course,” she whispered. “She wants me.”
Oh God, and just when I didn't think I could hate this stupid redheaded leech any more. “Why?” I demanded.
“Edward killed James,” she whispered. I knew that she never said Edward's name and to do so was extremely hard. Any time she thought of him I remembered her wrapping her arms around herself holding her broken heart together. I didn't want her to have to do that this time and held her tightly, using my own strength to keep her together. “She did get . . . pissed off. But Laurent said she thought it was fairer to kill me than Edward. Mate for mate. She didn't know – still doesn't know, I guess – that . . . that . . .” I heard her swallow deeply. “That things aren't like that with us anymore. Not for Edward, anyway.”
There was so much information to process here I didn't know where to begin. Mate for mate, that was just disgusting that anyone would have considered Bella to have been Edward's mate. Wait a minute, did she just say that she wasn't over Edward? It was not like I didn't know that, but it sucked to actually get confirmation. “Is that what happened? Why the Cullens left?”
“I'm nothing but a human, after all. Nothing special,” she explained as she weakly shrugged her shoulders.
I felt the low growl rumble in my chest, how dare her think of herself that way. No wonder she was so shattered when they left, it was so personal for her. “If that idiot bloodsucker is honestly stupid enough – ”
“Please,” she moaned. “Please. Don't”
I wanted so badly to tell her that she was wrong and that she WAS special, but I could tell that now really wasn't the time. It would come across as just bashing the stupid leeches, which they deserved, but Bella wouldn't have appreciated it. “This is important. This is exactly what we needed to know. We've got to tell the others right away.”
I lifted Bella from my lap, placing my hands at her waist until I was sure that her legs were going to hold her, then I stood and took her hand leading us towards her truck. She was still weak and I could feel her leaning more into my hand than she normally would, so once we were at the truck I leaned her to the side. I knew I needed to phase to talk to the others and I didn't think she could handle me turning into a big dog right in front of her, not to mention the whole having to get naked part. So I left Bella beside her truck and ran across the parking lot into the trees.
I cleared my mind of anything that had to do with Bella. I hoped that if I slipped they would just assume that it was one of the many, many times that I thought of Bella, but I did not want them to put two and two together and realize that Bella was my source of information. Once in the cover of the trees my clothes were off and I was on all fours. The moment I phased I could feel Embry and Sam.
Hey guys I found out some information and we need a pack meeting.
What did you find out? Sam asked
I want to tell everyone together, Sam will you get Paul and Embry get Jared and lets meet on the dirt road just past the resort.
Ok see ya in a few, Embry called and raced towards Jared's house.
And I got out of there as quickly as I could, I could feel Sam's curiosity and he did not like that I wasn't telling him everything. I threw my clothes back on and and sprinted back over to Bella's truck. Through the glass I could see her hunched over with her arms wrapped around herself, she looked like she was still going to be sick. I tapped on the glass and she shrieked with fear, and with a shaking hand reached over and unlocked the door.
“You're really scared, aren't you?” I asked as I climbed into her truck. She nodded her head 'yes'. “Don't be. We'll take care of you – and Charlie, too. I promise.”
“The idea of you finding Victoria is scarier than the idea of her finding me,” she whispered.
I laughed, that was just silly. Victoria would kill her, but once we caught her we could easily kill Victoria. “You've got to have a little more confidence in us than that. It's insulting.”
She wanted to know where I went, and I didn't want to keep it from her, but I didn't want to freak her out either. This was a lot of weird stuff for her to wrap her mind around, but I told her about how we could hear each other in our minds when we are wolves. I must say she took it much better than I thought she would. How was I suppose to know that she already had experience with mind readers? Just when I didn't think that Edward could be more of a freak, I learn that what Sam and I hoped was a myth was not, that vampires did have extra abilities.
It hurt me to see Bella so physically upset about the Cullens. If it were me that had to keep a secret for months on end, I would be bursting at the seams to talk about it, but Bella just continued to close herself off.
At least it gave me a chance to tell her more about the pack. It was hard to describe the power that Sam has over us through his “alpha command”, but just like every other unusual thing she had been around Bella just took it all in stride. Saying that Bella was “good with weird” was an understatement, she was freaking fantastic with it. Now if the rest of pack agrees with me was a whole different issue, but we would find out what they think together.
- This vampire chase is based on the additional hiker that Charlie talks about that morning and that the wife who is a witness to a gray wolf.
- As for “Mr. LaPlante”, I'll give a shout out to the real Quileute Oceanside Resort http://www.quileuteoceanside.com/
- I do not actually know that Victoria created Riley, but I think she did. And it would have had to be in NM that she created him in order for him to be close to a year by the battle in Eclipse.
Chapter 13 - FAMILY
The moment we came to a stop I could see the guys standing just within the trees. There was no mistaking the loud sound of Bella's truck for anything other than what it was, so I knew that they would know immediately she was with me. Bella and I exited the truck as the guys stepped out from the trees, Bella was trembling so badly that her whole body shook.
We met at the front of her truck and I wrapped my hand around hers and gave it a squeeze. “Here we go.” Bella remained glued to my side, if she could have made herself invisible I was sure she would have. All four guys walked together in perfect synchronization, it was sort of strange to watch and it made me wonder if I moved like that as well when we were all together.
Anger was clearly engraved on all of their faces, an identical scowl. “What have you done, Jacob?” Sam demanded.
“Why can't you just follow the rules, Jacob?” Paul yelled, throwing his arms out in the air. “What the hell are you thinking? Is she more important than everything – than the whole tribe? Than the people getting killed?”
“She can help,” I tried to justify.
“Help!” Paul continued to shout and I saw his arms begin to tremble. I knew that they wouldn't be happy about Bella being here, but I didn't really think through how unstable Paul was. “Oh, that's likely! I'm sure that the leech-lover is just dying to help us out!”
“Don't talk about her like that!” I shouted, furious that Paul would say something like that with Bella standing right here. It was no secret among us that Paul really did not like Bella, but I didn't expect him to be so rude to her.
Paul continued to tremble. “Paul! Relax!” Sam commanded. Paul knew that he needed to calm down, that he shouldn't transform with Bella standing right here.
“Jeez, Paul. Get a grip.” Jared muttered.
Paul turned his head toward Jared and snarled at him. I could tell that Paul was extremely frustrated and was not in control of himself, so it made me nervous when his head turned towards Bella. I wanted to believe that he wouldn't hurt her, he was my brother, but truth be told I did not have that kind of faith in him. So I stepped a little further in front of Bella making sure that Paul would have to go through me first.
“Right, protect her!” Paul screamed as his body convulsed more and I could see that there was no going back for him.
“Paul!” Sam and I shouted together.
Maybe stepping in front of Bella was a bad decision, but if I had to do it over again I would not have changed a thing. It was Paul's responsibility to keep himself in check, it was my responsibility to protect Bella. And that was exactly what I did as I bolted through the air, changing within a second to attack my brother, and our growls echoed loudly off the trees.
Jacob, you stupid self righteous, son of a – ” Paul said as he launched for my chest with his claws outstretched.
I easily dodged out of the way. Shut up, Paul. You are no better, dumb ass. I turned around and charged for his shoulder and missed. We continued to circle one another.
At least I know how to keep my mouth shut. Paul said with disdain, as he bolted towards the trees.
I was on his heals in seconds.
Right, and showing Bella that you are a wolf is just so much better than helping her to figure it out. I used my extra size to my advantage was able to launch myself onto Paul's back and took a hard bite out of Paul's left shoulder. I could taste his blood in my mouth and it was disgusting.
Ouch, Paul whimpered. Is that how you got past Sam? Paul asked as he rolled over to his back and kicked me hard in the gut, knocking me hard into a tree.
Yes. I coughed out, a little winded.
Seeing Paul with blood dripping down his shoulder and myself panting in the dirt, took the fight out us, deep down we both knew that we shouldn't be fighting each other. I just figured you alphaed your way around it.
What is that suppose to mean? I asked confused.
Well, well, well, look who knows so much. Paul sneered Haven't you ever wondered why Sam is easier on you than the rest of us?
Sam is not. I knew that Sam let me make many of my own decisions, but I thought that was how he treated everyone.
Yeah, he's just worried that you are going to take his job from him. He was worried sick about it before you even phased, now it is even worse. Paul got up off the ground and limped a little from where I had bit his shoulder. I wanted to feel bad for it, but truth be told Paul got what he deserved.
How would I be able to do that?
By becoming the alpha that you are meant to be, like the Great Ephraim Black, ugh. Paul said with disgust.
The what? I could be alpha? That was crazy.
At that moment Sam broke in WHAT THE HELL IS WRONG WITH BOTH OF YOU? Sam roared
We knew that we were in some serious trouble and we leaned down with our eyes on the ground.
Paul you have got to learn to leave if you are going to lose it. Run for the trees if you have to, but you can not phase in front of people.
Yes, sir. Paul responded weakly.
And Jacob, what were you thinking bringing her here. You aren't even suppose to be seeing her. I specifically, no I commanded you not tell her and you did. Why and How were you able to get past that command?
I'm sorry Sam, but I couldn't leave things the way they were yesterday when she left. I ran through my head letting them see me outside her house, hearing her rapid heart beats and sniffles from her tears. They saw me stumble with my words not being able to speak due to the alpha command, and then trying to get her to figure it out on her own.
Ok, Jacob but that still does not explain why you brought her here today.
Sam, don't you remember why we were all there.
Bella was your new information on the bloodsucker? Jeez Jacob. Paul, said and rolled his eyes.
I growled once again, and thought about the new information that Bella told me this morning. Even Paul looked a little concern about Bella as she convulsing in fear while she explained that she was the target of the leech.
Damn, Jacob that sucks. Sam said.
Do you see why I couldn't leave her? It was either wait to give you all the information that I learned and stay with Bella until she calmed down, or take her with me. I didn't realize that she would be in danger from my own brother. I said while glaring at Paul.
Sorry, about that. Paul said, while having the good sense to look guilty.
No problem. Sorry I bit ya.
Dude, you were fast.
I couldn't help but smile. Sam are we good? I asked.
Yes, but do not ever keep something like this from me again. And if I give an order you follow it, no more loopholes.
Yes, sir. I figured I got off pretty easy, maybe there was more to what Paul said than I thought. Sam, do you know where Bella ended up? I should probably get back to her.
Yes, Jared and Embry took her to Emily's house. That is where I want you two to meet up after you go home and get some new clothes.
Um, I kind of don't have any. Paul said sheepishly.
You can come home with me, I really shouldn't have sprung Bella on ya like that.
Hey, Sam. I said cautiously.
Yes Jacob, Sam answer with curiosity.
Just for the record, no one gets to walk around naked in front of Bella. I said with a smile.
Sam laughed, Got ya..
One more thing, I think that Bella should try and spend as much time in La Push as possible. It will keep us from having to patrol both here and Forks.
I don't know. Do you think Bella will go for that?
I think so.
Well I'll ask her. I do not have a problem with it, if she doesn't.
Sam bolted towards Emily's house and Paul and I went towards my own. I went inside and Paul waited for me in the woods outside my house. The moment I walked in the door I had my dad's full attention. For the first time I was glad that I had busted out of my clothes, because I could see on my dad's face that he had been really nervous the whole time I was gone. I didn't even think about the need to check back in with him, but I probably should have.
Billy rolled right in front of me. “Where's Bella, and why are you naked?”
“Just decided to give Bella a good show.” I joked.
“Jacob.” Billy frowned, so I guess humor wasn't the best route to take. “Please tell me you didn't phase in front of her.”
“Sorry, Dad. It is sort of a long story.”
“I've got time.” He said rolling into the living room.
I walked past him heading towards my room, deciding that I get clothes and talk at the same time. “Well I don't, I need to get back. To make a long story short, Bella knows about me being a wolf.”
Billy rolled down the hall just outside of my room. “How?”
“I just needed her to remember what I had already told her.” Billy let out a disgusted huff at the reminder, but I decided to ignore it. “She's okay with the whole wolf thing, and it turns out the leech that we have been tracking has been after Bella the whole time.” I opened the drawer and got two shorts, I didn't bother actually putting anything on because I was just going to go back to the wolf once outside.
“Something about Edward killing the redhead's mate and she is taking her revenge out on Bella instead of Edward. Anyways, I knew I needed to share this new info with the pack, but Bella really, really freaked out when she knew that the leech was after her and I couldn't just leave her. So I brought her with me. Paul got upset and phased towards Bella and I phased to keep him from getting to her.” I walked to the closet and grabbed myself a shirt.
“Oh, Paul.” Billy nodded his head in understanding.
“I know, but I need to get back to Emily's. Sam wants me to explain what I have learned to the other guys. I'll bring Bella back here as soon as we are done and I'll fill you in on anything else.” I rolled all the clothes together and attached them to my ankle with the cord that I kept there.
“Okay. Hey Jacob, be careful. With all these hunters out I don't want anything to happen to you.”
“I'll be wolfing it over to Emily's, but I'll do the best I can to stay human the rest of the time.”
“I love you, Son. You take care.”
“I always do, love ya, bye.” I said as I stepped out the door and sprinted towards the trees.
Paul and I ran together to Emily's house not really saying anything in particular, once the house was in sight we both quickly phased and I got the clothes from my ankle and tossed a pair of shorts to Paul. I was ready to see Bella again, I didn't really like having to leave her when she was so scared, and becoming a huge wolf right in front of her probably didn't calm any of those fears down.
I took long strides towards the house, and Paul seemed to notice.
“Are we a little anxious, Jacob?” He said with a cheeky smile.
“You know you would be too, if you actually had someone in there worth seeing.” I knew he was going to try and hit me so I quickly opened the door using it to block his punch. He hit it hard and we both laughed, then quickly with his other hand he punched me in the shoulder and I jabbed my finger in his kidney while we laughed some more.
My head turned without me even realizing what I was doing, but the moment my eyes found Bella I knew that my purpose had been fulfilled.
“Hey, Bells.” I greeted her cheerfully it was just so glad to be able to see her. I grabbed two muffins and came and stood beside her. “Sorry about before,” I muttered. “How are you holding up?” I needed to make sure that she was doing okay.
“Don't worry, I'm okay. Good muffins,” she said while she nibbled hers. I was so used to eating around a bunch of guys that it was really cute to see her taking such tiny little bites.
Jared noticed the cut on Paul's arm and was disappointed, while Embry looked like he had won the lottery so I assumed that they had bet. It was nice to know my friend had placed his money on me.
“Did you do that?” Bella whispered and I could feel her breath on my shoulder.
“I barely touched him. He'll be perfect by sundown.”
“By sundown?” She questioned.
“Wolf thing,” I whispered back. It was hard to remember what she did and didn't know about my new life.
She nodded her head, trying to disguise the creeped-out look on her face. “You okay?” She asked quietly.
“Not a scratch on me.” I couldn't hide that I was really proud that Paul hadn't left a mark, I can't say that the tree that I was slammed into didn't, but now wasn't the time for full disclosure.
Sam got everyone's attention and I explained to the group what Bella told me and what I had already told Paul and Sam. I knew that it wasn't logical, but it seemed that every time I said it somehow it got even more and more bazaar. I did not like at all when Jared suggested that we use Bella as bait, to be honest I think Paul had been rubbing off on him more than any of us had realized. It wasn't any better knowing that Embry was probably right and that Quil was most likely going to join us soon.
Sam looked right at Bella as he said, “Jacob thinks it would be best if you spent as much time as possible here in La Push. She won't know where to find you so easily, just in case.” I was glad that Sam explained it to Bella, coming from me it would probably seem possessive and that I didn't want to let her out of my sight. Which of course I didn't want to, but Bella didn't need to know that.
“What about Charlie?” Bella asked, filled with concern.
“March Madness is still going,” I said. “I think Billy and Harry can manage to keep Charlie down here when he's not at work.”
“Wait,” Sam said, holding one hand up. He glanced at Emily and then back at Bella, I could see he still didn't feel that Bella was completely safe here.
“I won't hurt her,” I mumbled, looking down. I remembered the last time I said that to Sam and I knew that he was just looking out for Bella's best interest, and looking at Emily's scarred face I understood where his concern came from.
Sam continued, “If there was somewhere else you felt safe . . .”
Bella bit her lip as she contemplated her options. “I don't want to lead Victoria anywhere else,” she whispered. That was so Bella to be more concerned about other people than herself. Never mind if she actually wanted to stay on the res, she would do it to keep others safe.
Sam nodded. “That's true. It's better to have her here, where we can end this.”
I saw Bella flinch. She seemed to have such a strange reaction to this vampire. It was clear that Bella was scared of her and did not want anything to do with her, but Bella also looked equally scared of the prospect of us killing her. Bella turned her head and looked at my face, it made me wonder exactly what kind of message I was sending through my facial expressions. I wasn't at all scared about killing this leech, I knew that it would be easy.
“You'll be careful, right?” Bella asked.
All the guys around started laughing, it was sweet and also embarrassing that she worried about my safety.
Emily announced that the food was ready and that was all it took for us to start chowing down. Every one of us were such fast eaters that it was an intense race to who could eat the most. I'm not really sure it is possible for us to actually get full, but Emily does a fantastic job of trying to make enough food for us all.
I can't even begin to describe how happy I am to have Bella back in my life. Part of it felt like a dream that I could look around and see her in the same room as me. The pack made plans to tighten in the patrols. Now that we knew that she was trying to get to Bella, we knew how to patrol that would be most effective. Sam didn't think that she would be back today because we pushed her so far away last night, but I wasn't so sure.
After we finished eating I took Bella's hand, led her to the truck and drove her to my house. Bella and I immediately fell back into the usual comfort that we felt just being together. Once we got to the house we parked ourselves on the couch, Bella curled up with one knee brought up to her chest and the other foot rested in my lap, with her head on the arm rest. While I stretched my legs out straight and leaned my head against the wall and placed one hand at her ankle drawing lazy circles there. We stayed in the house trying to watch TV, but both of us kept dozing off randomly from being so tired. Between naps I would go out and check on the pack to give Bella and I some peace of mind.
Time went by quickly and soon Charlie arrived with two pizzas. I was starving as usual and tried to be discreet by I'm sure that everyone knew that I ate one of them pretty much by myself. I was certain Charlie didn't miss it especially since he didn't take his eyes off me the whole night. I was sure it did not go unnoticed that while I was “sick” I got even bigger unlike most who would lose weight. I tried to just shrug it off as a teenage thing, but I don't think he really believed it. I can't really blame him for that, him and Bella have been on an emotional roller coaster the past few weeks and I knew I was the center of that.
I walked with Bella out to her truck, I planned to let Charlie leave and then let her know that the pack would be watching her house. I knew that night was the worse time for her, I wanted her to be able to relax and feel safe. It seemed that Charlie must have lost all faith in me because he was not leaving so I decided it didn't matter that he was here. “Don't be afraid tonight,” I said. “We'll be out there, watching.”
“I wont' worry about myself,” she promised.
“You're silly. Hunting vampires is fun. It's the best part of this whole mess.”
She shook her head. “If I'm silly, then you're dangerously unbalanced.”
I chuckled. “Get some rest, Bella, honey. You look exhausted.”
“I'll try,” she said.
Then Charlie honked his horn impatiently. I knew I was going to have to do something to get back on his good side. “See you tomorrow. Come down first thing.”
“I will,” she said as she started her truck and I backed away from her window so that she could drive away.
It was hard to see her go, even knowing that I would see her again tomorrow.
– I do NOT know when or how Jacob found out he could be alpha, I just thought it would be fun for him to learn now. But that is 100% my imagination, and I needed something for Paul and Jacob to talk about while fighting and it seemed to fit.
– I have added a few touches between Jacob and Bella when they leave Emily's house and spend the day at Billy's. The reason is, I do not believe that Jacob would have been able to keep his hands to himself (nothing dirty, just being away from her I think he would want to touch her, constantly) and I think that Bella would have appreciated the physical contact as well. There is the one hug that they give each other right when they realize their miscommunication and that is it, and I do not think that is realistic to either character. And since SM doesn't really say what they did that afternoon I added a few details.
Chapter 14 – PRESSURE part 1
There were fewer things that were better than seeing Jacob and Bella together. They were so natural with one another, that with a simple look Jacob would know to rub her back or gently take her hand. Charlie had called, wanting more information on what happened and I didn't know what to tell him. I wasn't going to throw it on Bella again, that was a huge mistake the first time, so I just tried to chalk it up as a teenage boy and their terrible communication skills. However, seeing how connected Jacob and Bella are to one another it was hard to believe. For the first time, Charlie didn't completely trust me either.
All day Sunday Charlie and I spent the day together, watching one game after another. At first it was sort of tense, Jacob took Bella's hand saying that they would be spending the whole day together at the beach, but I knew that Bella was going to be alone most of the day while Jacob was really with the pack. Living almost a double life had been extremely difficult for all of us, but even more so for Jacob. At night he can't relax, and while he was a wolf they were constantly running to check and double check the boarder lines and so he was beyond exhausted.
One look at Jacob's face when he looks at Bella, and even a stranger would be able to see the love that he has for her. It doesn't feel like the term “girlfriend” really fits to describe Bella, but there really isn't another term that does justice for them. I haven't really asked, cause I don't really feel it was my place. She was back, and that was all that mattered.
I was looking out the window, Jacob had just stepped out to follow Bella to work when I heard the phone ring. I rolled over to the kitchen and picked up the phone from its cradle.
“Hey Billy, its Emily.”
“Hey Emily,” this was quite unusual and I wasn't sure what to say. “Is there something I can do for you?”
“Well, I know this isn't exactly my concern, but I don't like all the hunters out in the woods, especially with the guys out there every day.”
“I understand, but there isn't anything we can do.”
“Have you heard anything new from Charlie?”
“Nothing significant, things aren't exactly the same since the whole Jacob and Bella mess.”
“I was sort of afraid of that. Charlie has actually called the house a few times looking for Sam. Of course he is never home, but I'm not sure how long Charlie can be detained.”
“Uhmm . . .” I really didn't know what else to day.
“Do you mind if I make a suggestion?”
“I wanted to maybe invite Charlie to spends some time with Sam and myself, but I think it would be terribly awkward here. So I wondered if we could gather at your house.”
“That is a great idea. How about I invite Charlie over for dinner tonight, and you can join us.”
“Ok, I'm not sure when I will see Sam, but I will run it by him and I'll bring desert.”
“Sounds great, see ya then.”
I called Charlie who seemed pleased to join me, I guess we were slowly patching things up. After I got off the phone, I got some enchiladas out of the freezer, I'm sure they are not as good as Bella's, but it was as good as it gets around here. Then I checked the pantry and found chips, salsa, rice and refried beans and figured that would work. If Sue were here she would probably get on to me for not having anything leafy or green, she was always trying to get us to eat healthier.
Jacob and Bella arrived first followed shortly by Charlie, dinner was great, Bella had added some seasoning to the rice and it was really good. As we were finishing Sam and Emily showed up with a cake that looked so wonderful it should be a crime to eat. I had over stuffed myself during the meal so skipping out on desert was no big deal.
Emily was such a sweetheart that I think she could charm anyone, Charlie didn't know what to think. She had a way of bringing out the best in Sam and tonight was no exception. Jacob and Sam acted like they were the best of friends with funny stories of Paul or Embry. They probably sounded like exercise buddies with all the running that they do together, Sam played the role of “coach” perfectly. By the end of the evening they would not be considered a gang any more than the Boy Scouts, and I think it could only be described as a great success.
I think the damage of my avoiding Bella has officially been resolved. Bella was spending all her free time here and while I hated to be away from her, it made me feel better knowing she was safe. I would come and check on her as often as I could, she was usually at the beach, I always took her hand as we would stroll across the sand. Her hand had become like my personal glove and I felt naked without it. We never talked about the changes in our relationship. The guys referred to her as my girlfriend, and I never knew if I should correct them and say we were “just friends”, or just let me them think what they wanted. If I were to correct them, I'm not sure if it would be worse for them to not believe me, or for them to really know that I can't seem to actually get the girl.
What keeps me sane was knowing that I had time on my side. One of these days she would figure out that she loved me too, I just knew it. I wish that Bella could see her own face and the way it would light up when I walked in. I wish that she could see the way her eyes sparkled and lips turned up when I made her laugh. Even though it would be great to hear, I don't need Bella to tell me she loved me to know that it was true. Everything about her screamed it and everyone could see it. Everyone but Bella, so until she stopped lying to herself I'll be whatever she needed me to be.
Bella and I sat side by side as Emily, Sam, and I worked magic on Charlie. I had a lot of regrets over what I used to think of Sam and took this opportunity to sing Sam's praises, the fact that it would put Charlie at rest was simply an added bonus. The conversation turned to sports and I knew that Bella and I would not be missed so we ducked out the door.
We walked over to the garage, it had become our special place where we could go to be alone. The house was too small for any privacy outside of my bedroom, and I didn't think Charlie would appreciate that. We walked over to the Rabbit and I opened the door for her, and walked around to the drivers side and sat down.
“You need some sleep, Jake.”
“I'll get around to it.” I didn't want to waste the time I had with Bella sleeping. I reached over and took her hand, it was always so cold compared to mine, but it felt good.
“Is that one of those wolf things? The heat, I mean.” She asked.
“Yeah. We run a little warmer than the normal people. About one-oh-eight, one-oh-nine. I never get cold anymore. I could stand like this –” gesturing towards my bare chest – “in a snowstorm and it wouldn't bother me. The flakes would turn to rain where I stood.” I honestly didn't even think about being half naked all the time. I used to try and remember to grab a shirt around Bella, but I just didn't have the energy any longer. I couldn't tell if it bothered Bella, but she never said anything either direction, so I planned to be uncovered unless it made her uncomfortable.
“And you all heal fast – that's a wolf thing, too?
“Yeah, wanna see? It's pretty cool.” I remember the first time that I had been scraped badly by a tree and I just watched as my skin as it brought itself back together. It was so cool. I reached across Bella to the glove box and moved the papers around until I found my pocket knife.
“No, I don't want to see! Put that away!”
It was the first “girly” thing that Bella had done and it was really cute. I laughed lightly and dropped the knife back. “Fine. It's a good thing we heal, though. You can't go see just any doctor when you're running a temperature that should mean you're dead.”
“No, I guess not.” She paused for a moment. “. . . And being so big – that's part of it? Is that why you're all worried about Quil?”
I was always amazed at how perceptive Bella was, she really knew me so well. “That and the fact that Quil's grandfather says the kid could fry an egg on his forehead.” It really bothered me that Quil was condemned to this life as well. “It won't be long now. There's no exact age . . . it just builds and builds and then suddenly –”
I still did not like talking about my transformation. It was a time when I had just lost complete control of myself, quite literally, and that was just plain scary. “Sometimes, if you get really upset or something, that can trigger it early. But I wasn't upset about anything – I was happy.”
It just felt so cruel that the happiest time of my life was stolen from me. “Because of you, mostly. That's why it didn't happen to me sooner. Instead it just kept on building up inside of me – I was like a time bomb. You know what set me off? I got back from that movie and Billy said I looked weird. That was all, but I just snapped. And then I – I exploded. I almost ripped his face off – my own father!” The memory made me shudder to think of how easily I could have seriously hurt him.
“Is it really bad, Jake?” She asked with such concern. “Are you miserable?”
“No, I'm not miserable. Not anymore. Not now that you know. That was hard, before.” I leaned over placing my cheek on the top of her head. I loved the way she smelled and the feel of her soft hair on my skin. I wanted to never move again and just stay exactly here for the rest of our lives.
“What's the hardest part?” She whispered.
“The hardest part is feeling . . . out of control. Feeling like I can't be sure of myself – like maybe you shouldn't be around me, like maybe nobody should. Like I'm a monster who might hurt somebody. You've seen Emily. Sam lost control of his temper for just one second . . . and she was standing too close. And now there's nothing he can ever do to put it right again. I hear his thoughts – I know what that feels like . . . Who wants to be a nightmare, a monster?”
I continued to explain my fear of losing myself to the wolf. I remembered thinking during the time when I didn't have Bella in my life, that it would just be easier to live my life as a wolf. He felt things differently than I did and it made me at times resent my human life. The fact that I was able to transition easier made me feel like even more of a monster. However, now that Bella was back the thought of remaining a wolf scared me and I never wanted to let go.
With Bella I was able to talk so openly, we no longer had to keep secrets from each other, it had surprisingly strengthened the intimacy between us. “So, tell me something I don't know.” I had been wanting to ask about her and the Cullens for so long. “Something about vampires. How did you stand it, being around them? Didn't it creep you out?” I had to try really hard to keep myself from shuttering at just the thought.
“No,” she said curtly.
Oops, I think I offended her. “Say, why'd your bloodsucker kill that James, anyway?” I asked, hoping that was a more neutral question.
“James was trying to kill me – it was like a game for him. He lost. Do you remember last spring when I was in the hospital in Phoenix?”
Oh, I remembered. Charlie just about jumped out of his skin he was so worried. He mentioned that she had lost a lot of blood, I remembered that my dad had been suspicious, and had the phone glued to his head until Bella had been home. I had thought that dad was overreacting at the time. “He got that close?”
“He got very, very close.” She said as she took our joined hands over to rub her right wrist.
“What's that?” I let go of her hand to grab the other one, it was that same strange scar that I had noticed before. “That is your funny scar, the cold one.” The moment 'the cold one' escaped my mouth I knew exactly what it was. I didn't know what to say, it didn't make any sense. How was that even possible?
“Yes, it's what you think it is. James bit me.”
Oh my God, I think I am going to be sick. “But if he bit you . . .? Should you be . . .?” I couldn't go any further with the question my heart wouldn't allow my brain to go there.
“Edward saved me twice,” she whispered. “He sucked the venom out – you know, like with a rattlesnake.”
A flood of emotions raked through my whole body. Relief that she had been saved. Hatred that it had been by Edward, I was supposed to hate him therefore I had no room for gratitude. Every part of my body started shaking and I could feel the car rocking back and forth.
“Careful, Jake. Easy. Calm down.”
“Yeah,” I panted. “Calm.” I shook my head trying to think of anything other than Bella almost being killed. It wasn't easy, and soon only my hands were shaking.
“Almost. Tell me something else. Give me something else to think about.”
“What do you want to know?”
“I don't know.” I kept my eyes closed trying to concentrate, but all I could think about was vampires. So I just decided to go with that. “The extra stuff I guess. Did any of the other Cullens have . . . extra talents? Like the mind reading?”
Bella paused for only a moment and then started to tell me about their different abilities. The mood control seemed to be a little freaky. I didn't like the idea of something controlling the way I felt. I tried to imagine what Paul would be like if a vampire was manipulating his feelings, he would be royally pissed off, if the vampire allowed him to be. And there was some female that could see a potential future, I did not really see that being helpful especially if it would change.
About half way through her explanation I opened my eyes and I could see both her arms wrapped around herself. As she spoke she would pull tighter and tighter on herself. “Why do you do that?” I tugged lightly on her arm, surprised that she held it so tight to her chest. I gave up when she didn't loosen it easily. “You do that when you're upset. Why?”
“It hurts to think about them,” she whispered. “It's like I can't breathe . . . like I'm breaking into pieces . . .”
I reached my hand out and smoothed a section of her hair out, it always felt so soft. “It's okay, Bella, it's okay. I won't bring it up again. I'm sorry.”
“I'm fine. Happens all the time. Not your fault.”
I didn't like that she was still hurting so much, and apparently on a consistent basis. “We're a pretty messed-up pair, aren't we?” I said. “Neither one of us can hold our shape together right.”
“Pathetic,” she agreed, as her breathing slowly returned to normal.
“At least we have each other.” I said, saying a silent prayer of thanks. I don't know what I would do without her.
“At least there's that.” She agreed, and I was glad that she took comfort in my presence. That my being with her was helpful. I really did not know what I would do without her. I can't imagine having to go through another time where we were apart.
- “One look at Jacob's face when he looks at Bella, and even a stranger would be able to see the love that he has for her” - This is based on Mike's comment to Bella that even he can tell that Jacob is crazy about her.
- All the hand holding in this chapter is based on Bella saying that Jacob always takes her hand when at the beach, and I assume that the does it other times as well.
Chapter 15 – PRESSURE part 2
It has been a long day, with nothing to show for it. I knew that I was pushing myself harder than I really needed to be, but I felt that protecting Bella was a personal responsibility. However at the end of the day I was ready to spend some quality time with Bella. Sam had mentioned that Bella had spent the morning with Emily, but slipped out not long after he took some time off. After checking my house, I figured she had gone to the beach. As I approached I almost missed her completely she was so tiny curled up in a ball on the sand. It looks so sad to see her in such pain, I wished that there was more that I could do.
“Sorry,” was the first thing out of my mouth. I didn't know what else to say. I pulled her up from the ground and wrapped both my arms around her shoulders pulling her tightly to me. She was so cold and I felt her shutter against me. “I'm ruining your spring break.” She started to warm up so I took her hand and we walked up the beach.
“No, you're not. I didn't have any plans. I don't think I like spring breaks, anyways.”
“I'll take tomorrow morning off. The others can run without me. We'll do something fun.”
“Fun?” Bella said with doubt.
“Fun is exactly what you need. Hmm . . .”, this could be difficult there wasn't anything to do around here. As I scanned across the water I saw the cliffs in the distance. “Got it! Another promise to keep.”
“What are you talking about?”
I let go of her hand and pointed out towards the cliffs. “Didn't I promise to take you cliff diving?”
She shivered in response.
“Yeah, it'll be pretty cold – not as cold as it is today. Can you feel the weather changing? The pressure? It will be warmer tomorrow. You up for it?” I wanted to suggest that she could hold on to me to keep warm, but I thought that would be pushing it.
“Sure, I'm up for it. Fun.”
“It's a date,” I said, and draped my arm around her shoulders.
“Okay – now let's go get you some sleep.” She looked at me with such compassion and I couldn't argue that I wasn't tired
I clasped her hand and we started walking back towards home, we were both quiet lost in our own thoughts. I walked Bella to her truck gave her a quick hug and opened the door for her to hop inside. We said our goodbyes and I got dad comfortable in bed and hit the sack.
As I laid down on my bed I thought about my day tomorrow, being able to spend it with Bella. She hadn't flinched away when I called it a date and I took that as a good sign, maybe she was going to be willing to give me a chance. Cliff diving was certainly a thrill, and I wondered if I would be able to hold her hand as we jumped together. Or maybe she would want me to go first and I could be there to bring her back up to the surface. I knew the water would be cold, but I had no doubt that I would be able to wrap my long arms around her to keep her warm. Those were the last of my thoughts as sleep overtook my brain, but that smile was on my face as I dreamed throughout the night.
I awoke to a dark sky from the sound a howl. I heard Jacob jump out of bed and start to dash for the door. Quickly he turned back around, “Dad do you want help up before I go, it is still pretty early?”
I looked at the clock and it was almost 4 in the morning, “No, I'll be fine. Let me know when you can what's going on.”
“Ok, I know Sam was off tonight and that was his howl, so you might try Emily later to see what she knows.”
“Good plan, I'll do that.”
As Jake quickly closed the door I laid my head back on the pillow. I knew I needed to go back to sleep, but it was hard knowing that my son was out there. I turned on the TV in my room and the sweet sound of sports lulled me back to sleep.
I awoke for the second time, however this time I could see light coming through the window, and I decided to give Emily a call. I lifted the phone by my bed and dialed her number, it rang twice and she answered.
“Emily, it's Billy. How are you?” With Emily I never knew if she was going to take that question as just a casual greeting or actually answer it for real.
“A nervous wreck.” I guess today, she was going for real.
“I understand. Do you know what's going on?”
“Jared, Paul, and Embry were on patrols last night and they caught a fresh scent. They alerted Sam and Sam got Jacob. Sam seemed pretty excited, that she was near the mountains and he thought they had a good chance of getting her.”
“Well its about time.”
“Yeah, I guess.”
“You know they will be fine. Sam has trained them well, they know what they are doing.”
“How can you be so sure?”
“Because I have to be. They need my faith, my belief that they can win. And Sam needs yours more than anyones.”
“You are right.”
“Do you need anything with Jacob gone?”
“I don't think so. How about I just call ya if I fall down and can't get up.” I think I would rather just sit for days on the floor rather than have to call Emily for a rescue.
She chuckled lightly. “Okay. You take care of your self.”
“Will do. Bye.”
I successfully got myself out of bed and ready for the day. I had been sitting at the table enjoying my cold cereal when I heard Bella's truck pull up. She came up to the door and lightly knocked. “C'mon in, Bella,” I said, as I continued to eat.
“Er, no.” I sat my spoon down and wasn't sure how much Jake would want her to know when it comes to this leech they are after.
I passed on the information that I had received from Emily.
“Oh, no, Billy,” she whispered. “Oh, no.”
That was certainly not the response that I expected. I can't imagine her enjoying have to spend her time with this old man. “Do you really like La Push so well that you want to extend your sentence here?”
“Don't make jokes, Billy. This is too scary for that.”
“You're right.” I thought back to how many times the guys have gotten so close, and she just kept evading them. It was becoming a little creepy. “This one's tricky.”
I looked at her face and I could see her concern and fear. She bit down on her lip, probably without even realizing she did so. “It's not as dangerous for them as you think it is. Sam knows what he's doing. You're the one that you should worry about. The vampire doesn't want to fight them. She's just trying to find a way around them . . . to you.” I'm not really sure if that was comforting or adding more fear to the inferno that was before me, but I was trying to make her feel better.
“How does Sam know what he's doing?” She demanded, my concern seemed to not register. “They've only killed just the one vampire – that could have been luck.”
“We take what we do very seriously, Bella. Nothing's been forgotten. Everything they need to know has been pass down from father to son for generations.”
She didn't look any more relieved, but I didn't have anything more to offer her. So I went back to my cereal and she sat herself on the couch flipping channels. The TV was never much of an interest for her so it didn't surprise me when she got bored with it rather quickly. “I'll be at the beach,” she said abruptly, and hurried out the door.
Anytime Bella was here I always felt like I should be doing more to make her feel at peace. I hoped that she at least felt welcome in my home, but Bella was a very private person, very similar to her father, and I understood why she preferred to be alone.
As I was washing my breakfast bowl, the phone rang.
“Hello?” I answered.
“Billy! You have got to help me!” I heard Leah's voice on the other side.
“Leah, what is wrong?”
“It's my dad, he is clutching his chest and is having a hard time breathing. I tried calling mom at work, but I couldn't get through.”
“I'm on my way. Is Seth with you to help get him in the truck?”
“No, its just me.”
“Ok, I'm going to call Charlie to come help, it might take a bit to track him down, but I'll be there as soon as I can. If you have some aspirin in the house, try to see if your dad can take some. Once I hang up, keep trying to reach your mother, she would want to know.”
“Okay, please hurry.”
I immediately hung up and punched in the station number, being the Chief of Police you would think the man would carry a cell phone. He just uses the police radio instead, but they can usually get a hold of him rather quickly.
In less than five minutes Charlie had called me and I explained what was going on and told him to meet me at the Clearwater's. I made it out the door and over to their place in record time, my arms were sore I had pushed so hard, but I didn't care. The moment my wheels hit the gravel of their driveway I called out to Leah and she came racing out. “I got a hold of mom she is meeting us at the hospital.”
She grabbed onto my chair and I flew into the house, my goodness that girl was strong. Harry was in the living room with his back and arms on the couch and his legs slumped over on the floor, like maybe he had been sitting before the pain seized his chest.
I rolled over to him. “Hey buddy, is there anything I can do for ya.”
“No,” he wheezed. He had his left hand clenched into a fist over his chest and his right arm rubbed up and down his other arm.
Leah stood right behind me. “Come on dad, we need to take you to the hospital.”
Then we heard tires crunching on the gravel, coming to a quick stop. Leah walked over to the window and told us it was Charlie. Then she walked over to the couch and lifted her dad up and draped his arm over her shoulder and took his weight by wrapping her arm around his waist as they walked out the door. I followed right behind, as Leah got her dad into the front passenger seat, Charlie got me in the back and loaded my chair in the trunk and Leah joined me in the back. I was never more thankful for Charlie's flashing lights as we went full speed ahead towards the hospital.
Well so much for a day off. My only consolation prize was knowing that if we could just finish this then I would have lots of days off and we could take a collective sigh of relief. Without having to ask I knew the only reason Sam would get me out of bed this early would be because there was a fresh trail, so I quickly joined the others.
For the first couple hours we hunted the area, the bloodsucker had seemed to hit every tree in the area and we danced around like we were puppets and she held the strings. We could feel that we were being manipulated, but there wasn't anything that we could do, the moment she headed a direction we had no choice but to follow the scent around, and around, and around in circles that she purposefully orchestrated. Once we had her in sight we could stop the stupid doubling back and circling around, but she successfully remained out of sight.
This is getting ridiculous. Embry sighed.
Any other bright ideas. Paul sneered. We were all getting frustrated and our thoughts were snappy and we mentally all bickered with one another, throwing out one possibility after another.
Okay, guys lets split up and cover more ground. First one to spot her, do not take your eyes off her, but do not attack until we are all together. Sam ordered.
We took off in three separate directions, Sam towards the beach, Jared and Paul towards Forks, and Embry and I stayed in the mountains. Even though having something to chase is more exciting then just general patrols, it still gets boring really fast and there was a general sense of frustration that flowed through us all.
So how do you do it? Embry asked.
What are you talking about? I responded, as we continued to follow our nose.
Keeping your thoughts to yourself. I haven't seen one kiss, one grope, nothing and I wondered how you were able to keep it from us.
Embry you know we can't keep our thoughts from each other. Just a friendly reminder that everyone could hear our conversation. I could feel Sam and Jared's curiosity and Paul's indifference.
Are you saying that you haven't kissed her? Come on, that 'best friend card' has got to have worn out its usefulness by now.
I didn't know how to respond. It wasn't like I didn't want to kiss Bella, but I wanted it to be natural and not forced. I don't know Embry, it just hasn't come up.
My goodness Jake you have the patience of a saint.
I'm sorry, but the whole 'there-is-a-vampire-trying-to-kill-you' doesn't exactly scream romantic.
Is that what you're waiting for, to wine and dine the little lady? We continued to watch all around us, occasionally looking through the eyes of our brothers to see if anything changed in their area.
It doesn't have to be a big production, I just would prefer her life to not be on the line. I don't want her to think that she has to kiss me in order for us to keep protecting her. The scent around us was getting stronger and I could feel that we were close, almost like a sixth sense directing me where to go.
You know she does, right. That we won't protect her unless she kisses you.
I'm just joking, buddy. He rolled his big eyes. In truth, I can see your point.
In that moment I saw a flash of red through the trees. I see her! I yelled to the others.
Jake and Embry stay with her, we are on our way. Sam informed.
My eyes were so wide open, I was scared to blink worried that in that split second she would dart in a different direction and we would lose her. Embry and I ran after her, I held back slightly after I realized that my strength made me faster than Embry. As long as she remained in our sight I didn't mind waiting for the others to join.
The wind had been blowing our scent away, but dramatically it changed directions blowing our scent directly into her and in that moment she knew that we were after her. Her legs lunged forward and mine followed at full speed leaving Embry behind.
Be careful man. Embry called. I'll be right on your tail.
Jacob. Sam warned. He couldn't afford to tell me not to follow because we both knew that we would lose her if I didn't follow.
This was so personal for me, she was after my Bella and I relished the idea that I was pursuing her. I wasn't stupid enough to try and tackle her alone, but I would be lying if I said I didn't want to. It was a full on pursuit with me on her heals, she never once left my line of sight as she flew across the ground. In an instant she grabbed onto a branch of a tree and flung herself like a trapeze artist with perfect precision. As she got higher and higher into the branches I had to slow my pace because she was harder to see and I didn't want to have to use smell, I wanted to keep her in my line of sight.
Of course she knew that and used that to her advantage. She looked back over her shoulder and for the first time it seemed that she realized that I was alone, her red eyes darken with rage. In the next instant she completely vanished, there was a thick branch that completely blocked my view. Instantly I felt something rock hard and ice cold land on my back, her brutal landing had dislocated my right shoulder and her nails plunged into my skin. I rolled to the ground, taking her with me. Words of warning, caution, and curses rang from my pack brothers.
Like an arrow Embry bolted from the trees knocking her 20 feet into the trunk of a thick tree. It was clear that he didn't like there being a leech on top of me any more than I did. Her back hit hard into the tree splintering the trunk in half and knocking the wind out of her. Despite the shattering impact she landed on the balls of her feet ready for action.
I rolled to my feet, standing on three legs, but not willing to let that stop me. Embry and I stood together in a slight v so that we can go in any direction at a moments notice. We could feel that our pack brothers were close and if we could delay her for just a moment we would be an almost unstoppable force. She seemed to sense the same thing and quickly leaped back into the tree and jumped from branch to branch towards the mountain crest. Embry and I chase after her, with each lunge forward pain soared from my shoulder down my front leg, and there was a collective grimace among us all, with each step I took.
Why we didn't think she would fling herself off the top of the mountain, I'm not really sure. Maybe because it would be complete suicide for any normal person, and our human brain forgot that she doesn't have to worry about that. Regardless, without a moment of hesitation she does that very thing and within seconds she crashes into the water below.
Out of both frustration and necessity I slam my right shoulder into a tree after two solid hits my shoulder was back in place. It hurt like hell, but I knew in no time it would be fully healed. In the next breath Sam, Paul and Jared join myself and Embry.
You okay, Jacob. Sam asked.
Yeah I'll be fine. I grumbled
When she jumped on your back I totally thought she was going to bite you. Jared said with concern.
I really don't think she wanted to bite me. If we smell as terrible to them as they do to us, then I can't imagine her wanting to sink her teeth into me. I asserted.
It's not like we enjoy their taste when we tear them apart, but it is just part of the job. Paul added.
Yes, but there is a purpose behind that. I doubt she knows that venom is lethal, and there is no reason to bite unless they are changing someone or drinking. Sam informed.
They would have to be desperate to drink our blood. Embry affirmed.
Jared, Embry, and Jacob, I want you to patrol the waterfront make sure she doesn't double back. Paul and I are going to check in with Billy and Emily and then join you back at the beach. Sam ordered.
We all branched out in our new assignments. The rest of the patrols are pretty routine, and there was no sign that she ever made it back out of the water. The rest of the pack was put at ease by this and started to relax, but I just can't get it out my head that something was just not right.
As my mind raced, as always it started centering around Bella, and I got to thinking about how much time she spent on the beach. What if that was the leeches plan all along, get us as far away from La Push as possible and then swim back? Oh crap!
With renewed strength I decided that I needed to check on Bella, NOW. I raced to our beach, combing the shoreline for her, darting between the trees. I could smell her scent here, but it was faint. The wind kicked up and the rain started as the storm made her grand entrance. I ran by my house and Bella's truck wasn't there either, at first I thought she just went back to her own house, but then I noticed her tire prints heading the other direction. In that instant I remembered our plans to go to the cliffs, surely she wouldn't be that crazy to go without me.
As if for confirmation I could hear Bella's scream in the distance as it seemed to be dropping further away. It turns out that she WAS that crazy! Of course she was. Thankful for the trees that surrounded my house, I run full speed towards the cliffs. Embry and Jared were able to hear Bella's screams as well and started to head towards the beach. In seconds I was at the edge of the cliff and took a moment to scan the area praying to see Bella's head break through the surface, or even the ripples of where her body entered. The storm has caused the waves to eliminate that possibility.
Taking a deep breath, I fling myself off the edge diving nose first into the water. The waves were rough and I couldn't believe how much strength it took to be able propel myself through the water, I knew that Bella didn't even have close to that kind of strength. I started to scan through the water, my wolf eyes could see easily, but the rough water made it more difficult.
Then a flash of white caught my attention and I could see Bella's arms fighting against a wave. She was so disoriented that she was actually swimming further down instead of towards the surface. For the first time I was grateful for my super phasing abilities, there was no way anyone could do it but me. Completely freaked out, I released the heat that soared through my wolf body and returned to my human form, exhaling as my smaller lungs couldn't handle the same amount of oxygen that my wolf could.
Right as Bella's body went completely limp, her chest crashed into my shoulder, I felt what oxygen she had left leave and her suck in water. That couldn't be good. I reached out and grabbed Bella by the shoulders, tucked her to the right side of my body, holding tightly around her waist. I used every part of my strength carrying us both towards the surface. I emerge gasping for air and threw Bella over my shoulder, between strokes I took my flat palm and beat between her shoulder blades to try and get the water from her lungs.
With each hit I felt water flow down my back and I was shocked by how much water came out. I had never taken any type of first aid so I really didn't know what would be considered normal.
“Breathe,” I commanded.
I continued until after the third straight hit with no more water coming out, I figure that was all I could do. Bella seemed to come in and out of consciousness
“Breathe, Bella! C'mon!” I begged. Once I swam us close enough to the beach where my feet could touch, I brought Bella around carrying her bridal style until we were completely out of the water and laid her down in the rocky beach. I couldn't believe my eyes. Bella was dead.
- Just a safety fact: If ever having a heart attack, take some Aspirin it has been proven to help. It is always better to use an ambulance than to have someone drive their own car, they have medical treatment available and ambulances automatically get priority in the ER.
- I know that it is a common theory that Leah and Seth's phasing caused Harry's heart attack, I do not believe that. If someone can prove it to me (from SM) then I will accept it (but then I just won't like it). I believe that Harry's heart attack caused them to phase and that will be the direction I take this story
(EDIT: I wrote this before the guide was released and there is a lot more details on Leah and Seth's transformation, but I still really like how I wrote it so I don't want to change it. So technically it is wrong.)
- Victoria NOT biting Jacob is based on a few things:
1) I doubt that vampires know that venom is lethal to the werewolves, so I do not see any reason for her to bite him
2) In Eclipse when Bella mentioned drinking Jacob's blood (as a newborn) the idea seemed repulsive to Edward, that even as a newborn she wouldn't want Jacob's blood. So I assume that Victoria wouldn't really want to bite the wolves.
3) Last example is the newborn that does attack Jacob, he doesn't bite Jacob either, I think this is because of the werewolf smell being so repulsive.
- It is Jared, Embry and Jacob who patrol the waterfront after Victoria jumps. SM never says what Paul and Sam are doing.
- Jacob starts to worry about Bella spending time at the beach and comes to check on her, starting with the beach, then his house, when he sees her tire marks, he then hears her scream.
- Jacob enters the water as wolf, and has to phase to human while in the water. SM says that no other wolf could do this, not even Sam.
- I know that Bella is not really dead, and I know that you know that too. But if this were really my story and you didn't already know the plot, that is where I would leave it.
Author's Note: I wrote this before the guide was released and there is a lot more details on Leah and Seth's transformation, but I still really like how I wrote it so I don't want to change it. So because accuracy is extremely important me I wanted to mention that it is technically wrong.
Chapter 16 - PARIS
I was at the beach, naked, leaning over Bella with my mouth pressed to hers. Believe me of all the times I imagined this moment, her being unconscious didn't quite factor in. Quickly I took another breath and filled her lungs with air and then went back to her chest using my arms to pump the oxygen through her body.
Oh my God, Oh my God, Oh my God, - Bella's dead, Bella's dead, Bella's dead; were the two mantras that kept repeating themselves over and over inside my head.
I couldn't allow myself to actually believe that she was dead, instead just hoped that intense will-power would be enough to bring her back. I wasn't really sure exactly what I was doing, but she wasn't breathing on her own so I was determined to do it for her. No one knew the rhythm of Bella's heart better than I did, and I mimicked that pace only stopping to put more oxygen into her lungs.
Bella was extremely pale and her lips were blue. Suddenly Bella's eyes flashed open, she took a huge breath and in the same moment vomited the remaining water from her lungs, and passed back out. Quickly I rolled her to the her side and swiped my finger in her mouth to make sure it was clear before rolling her back into the ground. In complete amazement I watched her chest rise and fall.
Her breaths were weak and her body shook violently. I gently placed my hands at her shoulders and she was freezing cold, even without jumping into the cold ocean water, with the wind and rain that were falling on us, we would have been completely soaked. I laid next to her trying to transfer as much heat as possible without actually laying on top of her and rubbed my hands down her arms and legs.
I have never felt more alone and scared in my whole life. I felt that there should be more to do, but I was at a complete loss. I had faith that Jared or Embry would be sending me help. The moment I saw Sam and Jared coming from the trees I felt like there was a chance that she might make it.
“What took you so long?” I directed my question at Jared.
“I ran to Sue's hoping that she would be home to help, but Harry had a heart attack and the whole family is at the hospital.” Jared explained
“Geez, can this day get any worse?” I said in disbelief. “Does my dad know?”
“Yes he is at the hospital with Charlie. It doesn't look very good.” Sam shook his head in a helpless gesture.
“How is she doing?” Sam asked.
“Bella?” I asked. “Bells, honey, can you hear me?”
“How long has she been unconscious?” Jared asked
“I don't know,” I said sitting up next to her. I brushed a piece of her wet hair away from her face. “A few minutes? It didn't take long to tow her to the beach.”
“She's breathing. She'll come around. We should get her out of the cold, though. I don't like the color she's turning . . .” Sam indicated towards her lips that had gotten even bluer
“You think it's okay to move her?”
“She didn't hurt her back or anything when she fell?”
“I don't know.” I could remember seeing her flailing her arms and kicking her legs, so I doubted that her back was hurt. We all looked at each other for a moment. I was reminded of my nakedness as Jared tossed a pair of shorts at me, then he ran his naked self into the woods to phase.
I stood and quickly put the shorts on. “Jake?” I heard.
I fell back down beside her leaning over her face. “Oh!” I gasped, realizing that I had been taking the same shallow breaths that Bella had been taking. “Oh, Bella! Are you okay? Can you hear me? Do you hurt anywhere?” I knew I was rambling, but just didn't care.
“J-Just m-my throat,” she stuttered from the cold.
That was all the confirmation I needed. “Let's get you out of here, then,” I said. I reached under her legs and shoulders lifting her with ease, bringing her up into my chest to be surrounded in as much of my warmth as I could while leaning over trying to block the rain from hitting her. She was so weak, her head rolled limply over my arm.
“You got her?” Sam asked.
“Yeah, I'll take it from here. Get back to the hospital. I'll join you later.” We walked quickly away from the beach, when we got to the point where Sam would leave towards the hospital, I stopped for a second. “Thanks, Sam.”
I saw the understanding in his eyes, and he simply nodded his head in affirmation.
I clutched Bella a little tighter to my chest as I picked up the pace trying to get her warm and dry as quickly as possible. On the way I talked with Bella explaining how I found her and making her promise never to do anything so stupid again. I didn't say it, but I knew my heart couldn't handle this kind of stress again. Harry wasn't the only person who just almost had a heart attack today.
It didn't take Bella long to remember our comment about the hospital and I explained about Harry to her. In typical Bella fashion she was more worried about everyone, but herself. I could see the guilt she felt at putting herself in such danger, granted Charlie losing his best friend and daughter on the same day would suck, but losing Bella any given day would tear Charlie apart.
Finally I stepped under the shelter of our front porch and walked through the door into our house. I'm sure that my feet were nasty, but I could clean up later.
“What can I do?” she asked.
“You can stay here,” I said as I dumped her on our couch. “I mean it – right here. I'll get you some dry clothes.”
I went to my room and started emptying all the contents out and onto the floor looking for anything that I had not worn in a really long time. I found a pair of sweats that came to about my calf, hoped the elastic would be enough to actually hold them to her body, and just grabbed a t-shirt from the closet. Quickly I walked back into the living room and tossed the clothes at her.
“These will be huge on you, but it's the best I've got.” Oh, if she needed help taking her clothes off, I think I might just lose it. “I'll, er, step outside so you can change.”
“Don't go anywhere. I'm too tired to move yet. Just stay with me.”
She just doesn't make anything easy, does she. The clothes were huge, laying in her lap, covering her almost like a blanket.
I walked in front of the couch and sat in front of it, leaning my back against the couch. The moment my muscles relaxed I realized how tense I had been and exhaustion hit quickly. When I leaned my head back I noticed that it rested on the same cushion as Bella's head. “Guess I could rest for a minute . . .” I said through a yawn.
I closed my eyes for a minute, so content. I peaked them open again and saw that Bella had her eyes closed as well. I lifted my arm onto the couch and pressed it into her back trying to get her as warm as she would let me. It didn't take long after that to lose consciousness and sleep. At some point I felt myself slump over onto the floor and tucked my arm under my head as a pillow.
Everything swam around me in a blur. I had never really liked hospitals or doctors much, it seemed that they were only needed in dire situations. The last time I was in the ICU unit was after Sarah's car accident, and that did not end well. I felt like I was looking at a disastrous repeat. When we pulled up to the hospital the staff kept asking questions to myself and Leah that neither of us had the answers too, it made me feel so worthless. Medical lingo never made much sense, throwing around words like angiograms, ultrasounds, and cardiologist, but it didn't take a genius to figure out that Harry had a heart attack.
Luckily Sue was at the hospital when we got there and Charlie knew all the medical staff by name due to Bella's repeat trips to the ER, so I let them handle all the personnel. They took Harry away for testing that seemed to take a century. The results were not good and surgery was recommended. The walls in the waiting room had beautiful pictures of wide open beach front and wooded areas with the rays of the sun filtering through the trees, it was probably suppose to be relaxing and comforting, but it was just another reminder that the pack was out there risking themselves for our protection.
Sue was amazing how she processed the information, I think she might have gone into 'nurse mode' where it was just a patient and not her husband they were talking about. Charlie paced walking the full length of the room before turning around and walked the other direction, drinking more coffee than I thought humanly possible. Leah flipped through every magazine in the place clearly not reading, but seemed to need something for her hands to do. Seth was worried, but seemed to have an overwhelming faith that all would be okay.
One hour drifted into another until I had no idea how long we had been there. When the doctor walked out from the wide double doors, no words were needed for his face said it all. Charlie and Sue walked over to him and I rolled over, as the words left his mouth it was like the room started spinning. Sue's legs buckled out from under her, she placed her hand on my knee to steady herself, Charlie rested his hands on her shoulders and I covered her hand with my own. In the same moment Leah collapsed into the arms of her brother, as she sobbed into his shirt while his face was of an angle that lost his faith.
Sam came by the hospital and the room bristled with his arrival. Charlie helped Sue to stand and she walked protectively over to Leah who scowled at Sam. Sue put her arm around her shoulder, which Leah shrugged off, but didn't leave Seth's embrace. Aware of the awkwardness of the situation, Sam whispered. “I need to talk with you.”
I rolled myself down the hall and Sam told me about the chase with the redhead. It took some reassurance that Jacob was fine and not seriously hurt from that tick landing on his back. I was relieved until he explained about Bella nearly drowning and that Jacob was with her. I was thankful that it seemed that Bella was going to be okay, I don't know what I would have done with Charlie if he had lost her. He probably would have blamed Jacob because he was suppose to be with her. Without a doubt my friendship with Charlie would have been in jeopardy, and he would have lost everyone that he was close to in the same day.
I woke up suddenly surrounded by bright lights, jumping to my feet. Why was I on the floor? Why was I in the living room? Where's Bella? All crossed through my head in a jumbled mess.
“Sorry,” Billy grunted. “Did we wake you?” Dad's eyes were filled with tears and seemed swollen from
trying to hold them in.
“Oh, no Billy!” Bella moaned, stealing the words that I wanted to say.
Dad gave a small nod of his head, and I hurried to his side. I knelt down next to him and took his hand in mine. My dad's face was heartbreaking, him and Harry had known each other since they were young children, never really spending much time apart. I've never really thought of one being without the other. I looked up into Sam's face and saw the same shock, respect, and sadness for the loss of a man that Sam had known well. Grief swelled up in my own throat and I was not able to speak.
“I'm so sorry,” Bella whispered.
Billy nodded. “It's gonna be hard all around.”
“Where's Charlie?” Bella asked.
“Your dad is still at the hospital with Sue. There are a lot of . . . arrangements to be made.”
“I'd better get back there,” Sam mumbled and quickly, walking out the door.
Bereavement hung in the air like a thick blanket making it hard to breathe. My dad pulled his hand from mine and rolled himself to his room. I debated about following him to see if he needed me for anything, but quickly decided he would rather be alone. I on the other hand did not, so I plopped myself on the floor next to Bella. My heart and head felt heavy from tears and covered my face with my hands. I didn't really care if Bella saw me cry, death was a good reason to cry. I felt her hand drape across my shoulders where she rubbed small circles.
I let Bella's small movements linger for a while before I reached out and brought her hand to my face. I almost kissed it, but didn't. “How are you feeling? Are you okay? I probably should have taken you to a doctor or something.” I sighed.
“Don't worry about me,” her voice was so raspy and dry.
I turned my head to look at her. Her hair was messy and wild, and her clothes were wrinkled and stiff from the salt water that had dried. “You don't look so good.”
“I don't feel so good, either, I guess.” Bella replied.
“I'll go get your truck and then take you home – you probably ought to be there when Charlie gets back.”
I got up off the floor and walked outside, phasing as I hit the trees and ran to the beach, and phased back to drive her truck. It didn't take long and my mind was so full of clutter that I couldn't really settle on anything in particular to think about. When I got back to the house Bella was still laying on the couch and she looked so weak and fragile. I helped her up, taking most of her weight for her.
When we walked outside she shivered from the cold and I wrapped my arm across her shoulders, I placed her in the passenger side and then got in on the driver side. Once settled into the seat, I pulled her over to my side and wrapped my arm tightly around her, and she rested her head on my bare chest. Her cheek was cold and her hair tickled, but I wouldn't want it any other way than to hold her close to my side.
“How will you get home?” She asked.
“I'm not going home. We still haven't caught the bloodsucker, remember?” I felt her shudder again. It seemed like a proper response in association with a vampire. As I drove I wondered if Victoria was a greater danger to Bella, or if Bella was a great danger to herself. I didn't want to think that Bella was trying to kill herself today, but the evidence was pretty alarming. And then to add Harry's death, it just became a real reminder that life was short.
I have never been more thankful to be able to wrap my arm around Bella and to be able to feel that she was alive and safe. She had become my world and I could not imagine her not being a part of it. This was the longest that Bella and I had gone without speaking to each other and it made me wonder what she was thinking. Was I holding her too tightly? I knew the lines of friendship between us were in a constant state of blurriness, was she okay with that? Did that make her uncomfortable? Or was she ready to move forward?
I pulled her truck up in front of her house and killed the engine, instantly it was completely silent. I quickly wrapped my other arm around her and almost pulled her into my lap, but instead brought her to my chest. She was relaxed and not resistant, it felt so good to hold her tightly and to feel her body pressed into mine. “Sorry. I know you don't feel exactly the way I do, Bells. I swear I don't mind. I'm just so glad you're okay that I could sing – and that's something no one wants to hear.” I laughed at my own pitiful joke, not knowing what else to do.
I heard her heart beat faster, and I was worried that I had made her nervous. I pressed my cheek to the top of her head, hoping it was a comforting gesture and could feel her head pressed into my chest. Then Bella stiffens, and I feel that I have crossed a line that I didn't mean to. Frustrated, but not really sure if it is with myself for pushing or with Bella for not letting me, I reach for the door to let us out.
The moment the cold air rushes through the cab of the truck I can smell the sweet decay of vampire, it was so unexpected and shocking that for a moment it took my breath away. “OH! Holy crap!”
I slam the door back shut and started to twist the keys to start the engine, but my arms were shaking so badly I could barely control them. Every fiber of my body wanted to transform into the wolf.
“What's wrong?” Bella asked.
I revved the engine, too hard and fast causing it to sputter and falter. “Vampire.” I spit out.
“How do you know?” She asks pale and scared.
“Because I can smell it! Dammit!” The human me that wanted to get Bella out raged a war with the wolf me that wanted to kill. “Phase or get her out of here?” I let my eyes look into Bella's and knew my answer immediately. “Right. Get you out.”
The engine roared to life and the wheels spun as I directed it towards safety. “Stop!” Bella yelled suddenly. “Stop!” She cried again louder.
“What?!” It did not make any sense to me, why she wouldn't want to leave.
“It's not Victoria. Stop, stop! I want to go back.”
My foot slammed on the break hard. “What?” I looked at her for the first time starting to put two and two together. I smelled a vampire, and she WANTS to go back.
“It's Carlisle's car! It's the Cullens. I know it.”
Since when did Bella know anything about cars? It was dark out, with only a street light on the car and she felt that she knew who it belonged to? Oh, this kept getting worse and worse. I didn't know whether I hated Victoria more for trying to kill Bella, or the Cullens for putting her in the worse depression humanly possible and then not taking care of the vampire that they pissed off.
“Hey, calm down, Jake. It's okay. No danger, see. Relax.”
“Yeah, calm.” I knew that was good advice, but much harder to say than do. I put my head down resting it on the steering wheel and closed my eyes not wanting to think about the hope I saw in Bella's eyes. “There's a vampire in your house,” I hissed. “And you want to go back?”
“Of course,” she answered and I could hear the surprise in her voice at my question. Had hanging around vampires not taught her anything? Did she not see the danger that being with them presented? Where was the shuttering that she just did a moment ago in regards to a vampire?
Here I was on a daily basis trying to keep her safe from a crazy vampire that wouldn't even be in her life if it weren't for the Cullens. Why didn't that make her angry at them? I was so angry and betrayed by her acceptance of them. I could feel my arms shaking worse than before and every fiber of my concentration remained on not losing it here in Bella's truck. “You're sure it's not a trick?” I didn't know the Cullens, but I could not think of any reason for the doctor to be in her house.
“It's not a trick. It's Carlisle. Take me back!”
Her desire to be with the doctor didn't make sense, but I didn't care. I couldn't take her back. “No.”
“Jake, it's okay –”
“No. Take yourself back, Bella.” I knew my words were harsh, but I did not expect her body to flinch like I had hit her. “Look, Bella.” I took another deep breath to control my emotions, “I can't go back. Treaty or no treaty, that's my enemy in there –”
“It's not like that –”
How she didn't know it would be exactly like that, was beyond me. “I have to tell Sam right away. This changes things. We can't be caught on their territory.” Thinking of Sam gave me a new responsibility.
“Jake, it's not a war!”
I threw the truck in neutral and jumped out with it still running. Whatever Bella decided to do was on her. “Bye, Bella,” I called over my shoulder. “I really hope you don't die.” I really wanted her to call me back and say that she had changed her mind, but that never came.
- I tried to do a little research to see if CPR should be performed if they might have water in their lungs and apparently breathing is more important, so it should be done. http://www.wikihow.com/Treat-a-Person-Who-Has-Nearly-Drowned
- I do not know when Jacob got clothes or by whom, but I'm sure Bella wasn't so out of it that she would not noticed a naked Jacob, so he got dressed at some point. I could not decide if the pants around his ankle would have stayed on when phasing in water, so I just ignored that detail because I could not decide what to do with it.
- I can't remember if I have stated before that Jacob's mother died in a car accident.
- I do not believe that Leah and Seth's transformation caused Harry's death, but rather Harry's death caused their transformation. This is the very first female shifter and the youngest shifter EVER. For me it does not make sense for them to just phase for no reason, but Harry's death is a perfect catalysis to causing their phasing.
- I just assume that Harry being on the council and having two children that phase means that he grew up in La Push and therefore him and Billy would have grown up together. That is all just assumption nothing proven.
- Jacob did want Bella to call after him when he left, hoping she would call him back. Poor Jacob. :(