I've been working on this fan fiction for about a month I suppose and I've been posting it on Fan Fiction.Net. It's called The Twilight Saga - Solar Flare. It's basically the story of what would have happened if Jacob and Bella had kissed in New Moon without that phone call interrupting them. It's the story of what would happen if Jacob and Edward's roles were reversed. I've already got 3 chapters made and I'm working on chapter 4 now. I thought I might as well post them here as well.
The story begins right when they're about to kiss.
"Bella," Jacob whispered.
I was frozen.
No! I hadn't made this decision yet. I didn't know if I could do this, and now I was out of time to think. But I would have been a fool if I thought rejecting him now would have no consequences.
Maybe it would feel nice. Maybe it wouldn't feel like a betrayal. True love was forever lost, so who was I betraying? Only myself.
Keeping his eyes on mine, Jacob began to bend his face toward me. The closer he got, the more unsure I became. Was I really going to do this? How badly would this end up? Would this end badly? He held my face still and closed his eyes as his lips met mine, my eyes shut as well, a little too tight.
As his mouth had discovered my passive resistance, he moved his right hand to the back of my head and his left gently around my waist, pulling me closer now. The closer I became, the more my lips would resist. I wasn't trying to pull away, but wouldn't respond back, I couldn't. Jacob could see this now, he started to rub the back of neck trying to get a response out of me; I just couldn't.
That's when Jacob stopped, his right hand slowly releasing my neck, his left unwrapping around my waist, and his lips fading away. I didn't need to look at Jacob to see the hurt, I could feel it, and his pain was my pain. Something in me broke free just then and I couldn't hold it back. My hands reacted before I could realize it, my left arm wrapping around his waist, my right hand grabbing the back of his head, pulling him closer to me now. Just as I could feel his pain, I could feel his joy now too. Jacob responded almost instantly; he wrapped his arms around me and began kissing me back, his warm lips gentle. I couldn't tell how long we were kissing, it felt like forever, and I didn't want it to stop.
That's when it hit me; I'd been wrong all this time, I'd been lying to myself. Jacob was more than just my friend, he was more than someone I could rely on to make me feel better. I knew I needed him more than I needed most people, but I had no idea just how much until now. I've never felt happier before, after being so abnormal for so long, it's like a breath of air after being underwater for hours. The hole in my chest is completely gone now, I didn't think it were possible, but Jacob cured everything. He is everything to me, I was in love with him. I'd loved him all this time, but I was too afraid to get it through my thick skull. I was too afraid of betrayal, too afraid of him. I wonder if I'll ever hear his voice again, not that it mattered anymore.
Suddenly I felt Jacob stiffen up, he jerked away from me and released his arms. I opened my eyes, ready to pull him back, but he was shaking again. The expression on his face was half angry and half horrified.
He jetted for the front door, grabbing the handle with a little too much force. I stumbled after him with my arm out in front of me.
"No!" I shouted. It was a reflex.
Jacob stopped then, releasing the handle. He looked at me distraught, still standing right next to the door. He took a quick glance at the door handle and back at me, like he was deciding something. I didn't want him to leave, now more than ever. Did he have to leave now? If he did leave, would I go with him? What about Alice?
Jacob turned his entire body in my direction. He slowly walked toward me, wrapped his one arm around my waist, and positioned himself in front of me, as if trying to protect me.
Protect me from what, was Victoria nearby? Did she get past Embry and Jared? Was she attracted her by Alice? That's when it hit me, Alice, of course. Alice came through the back door and walked gracefully into the kitchen, resting her arms onto the kitchen table. Jacob backed us away toward the sink, he was shaking again and his teeth were clenched. Alice's face did not look approving either.
"I see you two get along well," Alice judged, staring directly at Jacob.
I nodded gently, a little embarrassed. Jacob pulled me closer to him.
"Alice this is Jacob. Jacob, Alice," I said, blushing now.
Jacob stabbed me a disgusted look and growled. Alice rolled her eyes at me.
"Bella, I think it's time I left."
Jacob gave a brief sigh of relief, while still holding me tight.
"No!" I shouted. Jacob stabbed another look at me, a look of betrayal.
"Really though, Bella, I think it's time I left. If Edward finds out I'm here…" Alice explained, looking a bit nervous, "He can get really angry sometimes."
I flinched a little and Jacob growled again.
"Do you have to go now? Just a few more weeks, please?" I begged.
"I'm really sorry Bella, but it has to be tonight," She said, looking truly sorry.
"Tonight. Good," Jacob muttered under his breath. Alice seemed to hear that and glared at him again. She looked back at me, suddenly cheerful.
"How about we spend the entire day doing whatever you want together. We could drive around, catch a movie, go to the mall, I'll buy you whatever you want. We won't separate for a second," She said, smiling wide.
I nodded sadly. "Yeah, that sounds good."
"You don't look very happy."
"No, I am. Really."
Alice pouted. "It's the best I can do. All the clothes you want, on me."
Jacob's shaking began to increase, his teeth clenched, and his eyes shut tight. I embraced him, it was almost instinctual.
"Jake, please. Calm," I whispered.
"Right…calm," He whispered back, his body going stiff now with only his hands shaking.
"We can go as soon as you put the dog out," Alice said critically. Jacob began to shake again.
"Calm," I reminded. His shaking only slowed down this time. He released me and started to back away.
"Don't worry, leech. I was just going," He hissed. He looked at me, his expression broken, "Bye, Bella."
Jacob began to walk towards the front door. I wrapped me arms around him, trying to get him to stop. "No, please. Stay. Please," I begged.
Jacob turned to look at me. "Bella, I have to go. I was only supposed to come here and get information. I have to report back."
My face fell, of course he was right. He was a werewolf, she was a vampire, and Jacob had responsibilities. But I didn't want to let him go, it was either go with Jacob and abandon Alice or go with Alice and leave Jacob betrayed. Stupid conflict. Why couldn't they just get along?
"Can't you just tell Embry and Jared, and then come back?" I insisted.
Jacob made a disgusted sound. "I don't think so, Bella. Besides, we've been neglecting treaty lines enough as it is."
Alice sighed. "Well, I'm the only Cullen here. So I guess if I say it's okay for now, than there shouldn't be a problem. For now." She grumbled.
My face lit up giving Alice a look of thanks. Jacob looked at her half angry, half confused, and back at me.
"You seriously want me around her? Remember what I said earlier, Bella."
I hadn't forgotten. This could end badly, very badly. By the end of the day, both of them might end up… I couldn't even think about it. I'm not going to let my selfishness hurt them both. I had to choose.
Before I could say a thing, Jacob wiped a tear from my eye. I was crying, I hadn't realized. He stood there for a few seconds, once again distraught. He then grabbed my arms and freed himself from my embrace. He stomped out the front, slamming the door behind him. My legs started to shake.
Alice made her way next to me and put her arm around my shoulder. "Sorry." She mouthed the word.
I rested my cheek on her head trying to fight back the tears that were welling up. This was for the best, right? I can manage to be away from Jacob for today, couldn't I? Just then, Alice groaned and released her arm from around me, folding them over her chest.
"Great. Just wonderful," She said with heavy sarcasm.
"What? What's wrong?" I asked, my voice breaking.
"The dog's tagging along."
I gasped, my eyes widened at the thought. I then heard a shout coming from outside, followed by angry and irritated voices. Were they arguing? My eyes were locked on the front door now. After a minute, I heard the sound of an engine starting up, followed by the squeal of the tires driving off, all a little too quickly. My eyes were still locked onto the door, my heart was racing.
The door slowly opened and Jacob came through. He looked at me and smiled, I smiled back wiping the tears that had escaped my efforts. Jacob glared at Alice, eyes very distrustful. Alice stared back at him with the same eyes.
"You better watch yourself," Jacob warned.
"Oh please, I should be saying that to you." Alice turned toward me, changing her expression to cheerful again. "So, where to first?"
"Really, you should decide. I'm sure you have better ideas than me."
"Oh, but I'm doing this for you."
"I think your last day here," I grimaced at the words, "Should be exactly what you want."
"Hmm…" Alice looked far off in concentration. Jacob put his arm around me again and backed away from Alice.
"It's okay," I whispered to him.
"Don't wanna take any chances," He whispered back through his teeth.
Alice groaned loudly, suddenly very irritated. She glared at Jacob.
"This would be so much easier if I could see our plans and go by those." She put extra emphasis on 'see'.
Jacob raised one eyebrow in confusion, but his face quickly lightened into one of understanding. He laughed once mockingly. "What? The future to blurry for you?"
Alice's mouth fell open for a split second, she gave me an accusing look. I let my head fall, looking up at her with apologetic eyes.
Alice sighed. "Yes, because you're around."
Jacob's eyes widened in surprise. "You can't see the future when I'm around?" That's great!"
Alice let a growl escape her teeth. I changed the subject. "Why don't we go see a movie first? Sound like a plan?"
"Sure," Alice agreed, "As long as we take Carlisle's car."
Alice headed out the front door leaving it wide open. Jacob hesitated to move, I tried nudging him with my elbow, no effect. Alice came back into view, seeing her clearly through the open door, she gave Jacob a mocking smile.
"Scared?" She called back.
Jacob rolled his eyes, but it seemed to do the trick. Jacob kept his arm securely around me and headed out the door slowly. Alice had already gotten in the driver's seat and the car door to the backseats was already open. Alice must have guessed that we'd want to sit together. Jacob walked up to the car at the same pace and hesitantly got in with me alongside him. I closed the door.
"Ugh, it stinks," Jacob groaned silently.
Alice turned the keys in the ignition and drove off immediately. Alice drove fast, almost as fast as Edward did; to think that I was frightened by the speed of the motorcycles. Jacob was very restless the whole way. He fidgeted, shifting his body from side to side and re-adjusted his arm around me. This was ridiculous, the point of this was to have fun with Alice, have fun while she's still here. How are we suppose to have fun when she and Jacob will be at each other's throats the whole time, it defeats the purpose. Maybe this is what I deserve, for being so selfish.
We were almost there, took no time at all, Jacob groaned and started staring at the car floor. He then, to my surprise, started to laugh.
"I cannot believe I'm doing this," Jacob laughed at himself, "Not only am I tagging along for your girl time, but with a bloodsucker as well. I've really lost it."
I hung my head down, slightly turning to look at his face. I was about to apologize, but Alice caught me off guard.
"We're here!" Alice sang, "So, what're we going to see?"
My head snapped up at her voice, that was a good question. I suggested the movies, but had no idea what to go see. I just wanted to get out of the house before Alice and Jake killed each other. My past experiences going to the movies were not entirely pleasant ones, I hoped that this wouldn't be the worst.
Alice waited for my answer; I grimaced at having to be the one to decide. Jacob raised his head and sighed.
"I hear Tomorrow and Forever's pretty popular," He suggested, looking directly at me, ignoring Alice.
I nodded my head, eager to agree, I was up for anything. Then it came back to me, I remember I'd turned down this movie before, back when Mike asked me. It was back when I was too broken to handle a romance. How would I feel now? I truly believe that the hole in my chest is somewhat gone at least, plus I have Jacob and Alice, for the moment. Maybe it won't be so bad.
"Bella," Alice looked at me doubtfully, "Is that what you want?"
Alice got out and opened the door on my side. She reached out and took my hand, a warm smile lit up her face. Jacob, with his arm still securely around my waist, pulled me back. Alice grabbed my hand again and yanked, while Jacob firmly resisted. It was a brief match of tug-of-war with me as the rope, both competitors glaring each other down.
"Jake!" I snapped at him.
Jacob grimaced but gave up, releasing me hesitantly. Alice yanked me from my seat, causing me to stumble, but she caught me before I could cause any damage to myself.
"Sorry," She apologized, "Forgot how fragile you were."
"You sound like Edward."
Jacob got out on his side and made his way next to me, Alice to my right and Jacob to my left. We headed toward the theater; Alice bought two tickets for herself and me, leaving Jacob to pay for his own.
There weren't that many people in the theater, I'm assuming everyone had seen the movie already. It had been out for a while, this might be it's last week in theaters. We sat down, Alice to my right and Jacob to my left like before. I kept my eyes on them both cautiously; they wouldn't fight in here would they?
Alice suddenly started giggling, I looked up at the screen and a man was coming up with every excuse in the book to keep from getting fired. I was so occupied with watching Alice and Jake that I hadn't realized that the movie started already, for who knows how long.
I actually began to watch now; the man that got fired meets a rich woman who enjoys working with children. They fall in love and the man begins to help out with the children too, while still jobless. The man is secretly involved in some shady business involving loans and dangerous favors. The woman finds out what he's up to and the man confesses all that he's done, which in turn gets the woman involved.
So far the movie was pretty good; I wasn't feeling any pain from what I've seen up until now. Unfortunately, I'd spoken too soon. The man felt terrible for burdening the woman in his problems and decides to leave her.
I winced at the words "I don't want you to come." The man had spoken the same words as his. My head sank, I didn't want to look up at the screen anymore, I felt tense.
Jacob saw this; he put his arm around my shoulder and leaned his head against mine. I rested my head on his shoulder and shifted closer to him. Normally, something like this would set me off. I could see myself breaking into tears, screaming, and running out of the theater after witnessing this. But Jacob made everything so much better, he was my own personal sun again, but something else radiated from him besides the usual happiness and comfort. Love.
I let out a deep sigh of relief and looked up at the screen. Apparently I had missed a lot; the man was already begging the woman to take him back, saying that they can work something out as long as they're together. The woman all too happily takes him back and they agree to start a new life together somewhere far away.
The credits started rolling and the lights came back on. Alice eagerly got up and started toward the exit, Jacob and I followed.
Back in the car, Alice started the engine immediately but left it in park for a few minutes.
"Mmm, cliché ending," Alice said, looking thoughtful. Jacob nodded his head, looking past Alice.
"Yeah," Jacob looked at me now, "It's better than that other movie you took me to, though."
He laughed and I joined in; comparing it to Tomorrow and Forever just makes Crosshairs seem even more ridiculous. Alice looked back at me, a wide smile across her face.
"Shopping now?" Alice asked, delighted. I rolled my eyes.
"Of course, Alice."
"I'll make sure you have the most beautiful clothes in the store."
"Don't overdo it."
Alice pouted; she started driving straight for the mall which wasn't far from the movie theater at all. It took only two minutes to get there.
I told her not to overdo it, but in the end she ignored me. We went to every clothing store the mall had to offer, buying at least three things from each one. Every so often Alice would find something that she wanted for herself and get me the same one in my size. Jacob was enjoying the ordeal even less than I was; Alice was making him carry all the clothes. I could tell Jake was trying very hard not to lose his temper, I had to tell Alice to ease up a little. Alice was having the time of her life however, at least she was happy.
By the time we were done, it was dark out. The bright headlights of cars were passing by, avoiding people as they walked out of the mall and varies other stores around us.
"Well, I'd better get you home," Alice reminded.
I nodded slowly, knowing what will happen afterwards. The drive home felt longer, either Alice wasn't driving as fast as before or I was just trying to cling onto this moment for as long as I could.
Charlie wasn't there when we walked in. He must still be at the Clearwater's, probably doing whatever he can to help out. I felt bad that I wasn't there too, felt even worse that I was keeping Jacob away. I sat down on the sofa and Jacob joined me. Alice was arranging the clothes she bought in one pile and the clothes for me in another on the kitchen table. In a flash, she darted upstairs and my new clothes disappeared. The next second she was back, looking as cheerful as before.
"Hope you don't mind, but I'm sure you'll find your new beautiful clothes in perfect order," Alice said confidently.
Alice started to stare off into the distance, her expression lost. Jacob shifted himself closer to me in a protective position. Alice let out a gasp, her cheerful expression didn't return.
"It's time for me to go."
I couldn't speak, I just let my head fall.
"I'm sorry Bella, but it's time. I can't stay any longer."
I just nodded. I was starting to feel the pain come back to me.
"Come on." Alice grabbed my hand and lifted me off the sofa. She led me outside to her car, Jacob followed quickly.
She let go of my hand to give me a hug. Her hard cold skin felt strangely soft and gentle when her arms wrapped around me. The wind blew her sweet clean scent toward me, I'd remember it for a while. I embraced her back, trying very hard to fight back tears. It seemed to last for a lifetime.
"Bye Bella," She said quietly in my ear, "I promise I'll be back."
She nodded, "Promise."
8. Visit (Part 1 of 2)
Fear, it seemed like my life revolved around it. It was the fear for something that I didn't even know was coming or not. I knew I shouldn't let it control me, but I couldn't help it. I couldn't fight the fear. It'd been exactly one week since the whole Quil incident and the members of the pack seemed to have gotten over it. No one looked at Quil funny, no one talked about it behind his back; there's the occasional teasing, but never in a truly cruel way. People have moved on, wasn't it time I did the same?
I knew both Jacob and I felt this fear, but he was taking it much better than me. I was the weak one. There was the one night when we both experienced that dream, but that was only one time for him. For me, it was far more serious. Every night since then came the same dream, each time with a new girl. I'd yell, I'd cry, I'd beg for him to look at me, but his attention would never waver from the other one. His 'soul mate'. The dream would always end in the same way, Jacob's lips coming so dangerously close to the other's as they disappeared into the horizon, leaving me alone in the cold sand not knowing where they went. The pale scenery of La Push would always vanish as I woke up screaming at the top of my lungs.
Tonight's dream was similar in almost every way, but there was one key difference. As Jacob and I were walking together on the beach, he stopped immediately in place when he spotted something a little ways ahead. I couldn't make it out at first, but once Jacob started moving towards it again, things became clear. A tiny girl that looked no older than two was sitting by a rock in the middle of the beach. She had beautiful curly bronze colored hair that came down to her waist, the paleness of her skin rivaled my own, and she wore a bright purple dress that looked too gorgeous to be laying in sand. She looked so precious, I felt like scooping her up into my arms, but Jacob beat me to it. He walked over to the girl, smiling sincerely as she returned the smile with a blush. She reached out to him to be picked up and he cradled the girl into his long arms, keeping his face close and focusing all his attention on her with a look of pure adoration. He looked so much like a loving father that I knew he'd be someday. This would have been a beautiful scene, but I knew exactly what was going on. I called Jacob's name, but he wouldn't answer. I tried running to him, but the distance between us remained the same no matter how much I tried. I began to feel the hopelessness that always came, but I continued to call out to him. He never answered; he began talking to the girl, but I couldn't make out what he was saying. The little girl giggled and kissed his cheek. She started to talk as well, but I still couldn't hear a thing. I yelled out to him again, with my voice cracking in desperation, but he still didn't respond. I fell to my knees at that moment, ready for the nightmare to reach the worst part, but suddenly Jacob's head tilted in my direction. My eyes widened at his action, did he actually hear me this time?
"Bella," Jacob whispered softly, yet I somehow heard him.
I got up and took a few steps toward him; I waited anxiously for him to continue. He kept his eyes on me and smiled, and then muttered something I couldn't make out at all. I asked for him to repeat what he said, but he turned away from me, looking back at the girl in his arms. They both disappeared into the horizon just like in all the other dreams, and that's when the screaming began.
I saw and even felt La Push beach shake away and dissolve as I screamed. A new image appeared as my screaming ceased with a gasp and my eyes popped open. I was lying in my bed and Charlie was sitting at the edge with one hand on my shoulder. He had the familiar look of worry that he usually sported, but it seemed more intense today.
"Alright, Bella, tell me right now," he demanded.
I wiped my eyes clean of tears and sat up to look at him. "Tell you what?"
"You know what, Bella. You do this every night, just like before. Something is seriously bothering you and I want you to tell me."
I grimaced. "I can't."
"Oh yes you can. You always avoid the question, but you're not going to now. What is going on with you?"
I couldn't answer.
"Is it because the Cullens came back? Did that Edward say something to you again? That's it, isn't it?"
"No, dad, it's not like that," I assured him, unsuccessfully.
"You say that, but you don't tell me what it really is. Until you do, that's what I'm going to assume. That boy comes back and you're like this again, it has to be."
"Dad, please. That's not it." I didn't want to be reminded of my situation with Edward.
"Then what is it?"
I might as well tell him what I can if he's this persistent.
"It's Jacob," I confessed.
He raised a brow in confusion. "Jacob? Did you two get into a fight or something?"
"No, he didn't do anything. It's just…I'm afraid. I'm afraid that he might…" I couldn't say it.
Charlie knew there was more though. "He might, what?"
I hesitated to continue. "He might leave me too."
Charlie's expression lit up with what looked like understanding. "Do you think Jake would do that? Has he shown any signs or something?"
"No, not at all. It just scares me. I don't know, maybe I'm worrying too much."
"You know you're all he ever talks about. On those rare occasions when it's just me and him, you're always the topic of our conversation." He chuckled.
I nodded. "That's nice to know."
"Jacob's a good kid, I'm really happy for the both of you. I don't think you need to worry about a thing."
"You're probably right."
"Don't let what that Edward guy did affect you, honey."
I cringed at the reminder.
He kissed me on the forehead and started heading toward the door. "You should get up soon. It's almost time for school."
I looked at my clock and he was right. Though class would start in about an hour, I got myself ready pretty sluggishly the whole time. To make up for my slow pace, I neglected my hair and picked out the first outfit I saw in my closet, not caring to iron out any wrinkles. Brushing my teeth, washing up, and eating a bowl of cereal took longer than it should. Charlie watched me from the couch with the same look of worry, though I tried to avoid eye contact. I just wanted to hurry up and get to school, so that could be done with. Afterward, I could spend the rest of my time with Jacob. The only part of the day I looked forward to.
After saying goodbye to Charlie, I headed for my rusty truck in the driveway and got in, putting the keys into the ignition immediately. Once the truck finally choked to life, I started steadily down the road to Forks High School. As I saw the current path I was taking, I began thinking about just ditching school and seeing Jacob right now. I'd already ditched once and I was really glad I did. Jake and I spent the whole morning together at La Push beach. We talked about everything; the latest news on gossip, mechanics, movies, music, and even complete nonsense that turned out to be the most fun. After a while, Jacob phased into his wolf form and took me for a ride around the reservation. Quil and Embry somehow found out about us ditching and decided to join us, though Jacob seemed a little annoyed. I wasn't sure how long they ran, but we eventually stopped at Emily's for food around the same time school would've been over anyway. We didn't stay long because Emily and Sam wanted some time by themselves, but Jake and I were okay with that. We went back to Jake's garage, just the two of us, and worked on that motorcycle some more. It was almost done and I was really impressed with the progress Jake made. We spent the rest of the day in the garage until it was time for me to head home. It was a great day and Jake was up for another ditching anytime. I stayed on the road to school though. As much as I wanted to, I knew that wouldn't be the best choice, especially with it being so close to graduation. I couldn't slip up.
By the time I got to school, class was already starting. I parked my truck in the first available space I saw and headed inside. Around school there were a bunch of posters about graduation and college registration reminders spread around. I hadn't really thought too much about college, though recently I did receive an acceptance letter from the University of Alaska. Charlie was proud, but it didn't mean that much to me, just that I had that spare option. College was something that I was slightly undecided about. Jacob wouldn't be graduating for another two years and even after that, he'd probably stay in La Push with the rest of the pack. He's told me that even if he didn't need to protect the reservation, he still didn't think he'd figure out how to stop phasing by the time he's ready for college. There's no way I could be away from Jacob for that long, the thought made me cringe. If Jacob was staying here, so was I.
I made it to my first period class and sat down immediately. I erased the 'Let's get this over with' face I had on and at least tried to look attentive. Classes went by pretty slow; I often looked at the clock thinking that twenty minutes had passed, when in reality it was only five. I was really thankful when my lunch period finally came. I went into the cafeteria and got in line before it got too long. I wasn't too hungry, so I just grabbed a slice of pizza and a bottle of lemonade to go with it. As I went to go sit at my usual table, I saw Mike, Angela, and Ben sitting together as I passed by. I still couldn't bring myself to sit with them yet. I knew that I was definitely worrying them and I didn't want them to, but I just couldn't go back, not yet. I wanted to be alone for now, as people still talked about the Cullens. They came up in conversations every now and then; not too often, but often enough. When would people get over it? Still, in a way I felt like a coward, just running away from my problems and letting my friends worry because of it. When I look over to them, I sometimes see the debate in their eyes whether to come over to me and talk. They obviously didn't want me to go back to the way I was before. Really, they deserved a better friend than me.
I sighed as I sat down, placing the pizza onto the table and uncapping my lemonade for a quick sip. Trying not to make eye contact with my friends, if they ever looked my way, I concentrated a little too hard on my food. As I picked up my slice of pizza, it's warmth in my hand felt comfortable and strangely familiar, especially compared to the cold lemonade I just put down. I took a bite from the pizza and it tasted just as familiar, but after the first bite I couldn't bring myself to take another. I suddenly felt more thirsty than hungry in that moment and I took another sip of lemonade. Unlike my pizza, the cold lemonade tasted so odd. It wasn't bad or anything, just odd. Even so, I couldn't stop drinking it. I didn't take a moment to stop; I just kept drinking until it was all gone. I looked at the empty bottle and I was sad it was gone. I still had my pizza though, as warm as ever, and I still couldn't eat the rest of it. I didn't want it to be gone too.
The constant murmured chatter of the students suddenly stopped just then. The silence of the cafeteria distracted my bizarre concentration on food and I looked up. The first thing I noticed were Mike, Angela, and Ben staring at the entrance in awe. I looked around at the other students and they were all staring at the entrance with that same surprised look. Naturally my head turned toward the entrance like everyone else, but I froze before I could make any kind of facial expression. There stood a tiny pixie-like girl with spiky ink black hair, skin pale to the extreme, and wore a blood red blouse with black jeans that matched her hair perfectly. She had a brown Prada bag around her shoulder that looked overstuffed and probably heavy, but she carried it with no trouble at all. She looked back at everyone and rolled her eyes annoyed. A lot of the students stopped staring at her then and went back to whatever they were talking about or doing; Mike, Angela, and Ben however kept their eyes locked on her. The tiny girl looked at me and smiled as she skipped her way over. Once she got to my table, she grabbed an empty chair and sat down, putting her bag onto the floor. Her smile turned into a grin as she showed her shining teeth, but my expression remained frozen.
"Bella," she greeted.
I couldn't say anything. I couldn't believe what I was seeing.
"Hello, Bella?" she called to me.
I was still frozen. She turned her head and pouted, obviously upset that I wouldn't respond.
"Well that's kind of rude. Is this something you learned from that dog?" she complained.
"Alice?" I gasped out.
"Of course. Who else?"
I reached my arms out to touch her shoulders, just to make sure she was real. My fingers trembled, her hard skin felt as real as ever. She grabbed my right hand comfortingly and smiled.
"Are you really so surprised? I made a promise, didn't I?" she reminded.
"But, I thought you…and Edward…I thought you were…" I struggled to say the words.
"Relax, Bella, I'll explain everything."
I nodded eagerly as she put my hand onto the table and I let it sit there. I noticed that Mike, Angela, and Ben were still staring at us, probably trying to eavesdrop from afar.
"Maybe we should talk outside or something," I suggested, turning my head toward the three.
"Don't worry, I'll be quiet. They shouldn't be able to her my voice," she assured.
I looked at my three friends and back at Alice. I grimaced, but nodded in agreement. She smiled, but her expression quickly saddened.
"I'm so sorry, Bella. I only did what Edward told all of us. I never agreed though. I tried telling Edward that he was overreacting, but he wouldn't listen."
"I never understood? Why can't I be around you?"
She sighed. "I never really understood either. The best I can figure out is that he might not want to be around you if you're always with werewolves."
My expression soured. "I don't see what's so wrong with that."
"Well, I'd imagine things wouldn't turn out so great if he and your boyfriend", she said the word with annoyance, "Got into a fight. We have to think about the treaty we agreed to, you know."
I didn't really agree, but I nodded. She seemed to notice I didn't mean it.
"I still think he's overreacting though. You spend time with us on our side and spend time with him on his. Sounds simple enough. We're not allowed over there and I'm sure your dog wouldn't want to come anywhere near us."
"Could you not call him that?"
She sighed again. "Fine, sorry. But you know what I'm talking about right?"
"Yeah, but would it be so bad if we were all together?"
"I already told you, Bella."
"It worked out pretty well when we went to the movies and shopping."
She shook her head. "Not really. You may not have noticed but your do-, Jacob was ready to launch the whole time. He wasn't relaxed and I sure wasn't."
"You looked pretty relaxed to me."
She giggled her bell-like laugh. "It's not that hard to fool you; I did that for you most of all, Bella. Really though, it wasn't my most responsible decision. Someone could've easily been hurt. Honestly, I'd rather not do that again."
The memory of Jacob and Edward in my front yard came back to me. They really were so close to fighting. I could still feel Jacob's shaking body in my hands and the crouched stance Edward was in.
"Okay, you're right," I agreed.
"That's why I think that when we hang out, we should do it far away from Jacob."
My eyes widened in surprise. "When? You mean you're not avoiding me anymore?"
"Nope. In fact, I was going to ask if you wanted to come by and visit everyone today?"
"Mm-hmm. Everyone misses you, Bella. Well…mostly everyone. Esme wonders what you're up to all the time."
"Will Edward be there?"
She grimaced and I immediately knew the answer. My face fell.
"Sorry. He's actually pretty steamed that I'm doing this. But I told myself that I don't care, he'll just have to deal with me. Friends don't abandon each other and that's that."
I smiled. "Thanks. Where is he anyway?"
"Probably off in the forest somewhere venting. I bet he'll take his anger out on a deer or mountain lion tonight than come home."
My smile vanished. "He really doesn't want to see me."
"He's just being stupid, I think." She suddenly began to laugh and shook her head. "You should've seen him that one day when you tried looking for us. He was hiding behind walls and ducking into classrooms like some kind of secret agent. Ridiculous."
I found that hard to picture. "So, today after school?"
"Yep. Just meet me outside by Edward's car. He just left it there, so it's free to use. Not very smart of him, I'd say."
I began to grin, but my expression fell in realization. "What about Jacob?"
Alice's expression soured. "What about him?"
"Jake always picks me up after school and we go to his place."
"Well then, today will be different."
"I don't think he'll like it."
She shrugged. "He doesn't have to."
"I guess. I'm just visiting after all."
"You can visit whenever you want. From now on, I'll always be here for you and our home is your home."
I smiled wide and she returned it. Just then, the bell rang for next period. We both got up from our seats and I felt this undeniable pull between us. The table wouldn't separate us now; like magnets we closed the distance and embraced. Her hard marble skin was cold to the touch; it was odd, but so comforting.
"Oh, Bella," Alice whispered.
"I really missed you," I whispered back.
The rest of the day went by pretty fast, but still not nearly fast enough for me. In each class, I'd be at the edge of my seat just begging for the bell to finally ring. I couldn't help but stare at the clock nearly the entire time in each class. It only made things harder, I knew that, but I couldn't keep my eyes away. I wasn't sure if the teachers noticed my lack of attention, but none said anything. When the final bell rang, I raced to my locker to put away any books I didn't need. Once I had everything that was necessary, which wasn't much, my locker closed. I hadn't done it, but when I looked to my left, there stood the culprit. She smiled and I smiled back with a sigh.
"Ready?" Alice asked.
"More than ready," I answered.
We walked down the hall side by side and headed toward the school's main entrance, avoiding passing students along the way. I couldn't erase the smile I had on; I was so excited to see my other family. I wondered if anything had changed while I was gone. Did the house look the same? Did they add anything new? I couldn't wait to get there. When we reached the entrance and stepped outside, there he stood with one elbow against my truck. He was staring off in another direction and smiling, but that smile immediately vanished as he turned his head toward me. The smile I had on disappeared too once I saw his new expressions; first came one of horror and then pure anger. I saw him begin to shake and I ran to him in a panic. I wrapped my arms around his waist as his body shook mine.
"Jake, calm!" I whispered loudly.
"Bella," he growled.
His shaking began to slow down until only his hands trembled. He clenched his teeth and breathed deeply trying to control himself. Alice walked up next to us and looked at Jacob in warning as Jake glared at her. As soon as she thought Jake was under control, she smirked.
"Heeeeey, Jacob," she sang, waving at him.
Jacob made a disgusted sound deep in his chest and began breathing faster. Alice rolled her eyes as Jake wouldn't respond.
"Um, Alice, can I…" I began to say.
"Bella, can I talk to you? Alone," Jacob beat me to it.
Alice sighed. "Make it quick."
Jacob growled softly and grabbed my arm too tightly. He pulled me out of the school parking lot while snarling a series of profanities, along with the words 'bloodsuckers' and 'lying'. Once we got to a large tree not far from the school, he spun me around to look at me, holding my shoulders in place.
"Would you mind explaining to me what the hell this is about?" he said trying to control his anger, though not doing so well.
I grimaced and my head started to turn away from his, but he put his hand under my chin to make me look at him.
"I'm going to go visit the Cullens today," I admitted slowly.
"Ugh! Bella!" He suddenly let go of me and threw his hands up. They quickly clenched into fists, one against his forehead.
"And what's so wrong with that?" I asked, becoming defensive.
"Bella, you know I'm supposed to protect you, right? No matter what?"
"You know the Cullens won't hurt me, right?"
"No, I don't!"
"I think the evidence is pretty clear. It's standing right in front of you. They won't hurt me."
"Maybe not physically."
I flinched back at the reminder and tried repressing that memory. "They're here for me whenever I need them now. Alice said so."
"S'not the first time they've been less than truthful."
My hands clenched into fists matching his. "I'm going."
"I am! How would you feel if you had the chance to see your sisters, but I kept you from them?"
"How so? They're my family too, Jake."
Jacob froze. His muscles flexed, his hands remained clenched, and his face was filled with an even more fierce terror than before.
"Bella, you're not like them. You're not," he said, sounding truly upset.
I didn't like seeing him like this, but I stood my ground.
"Who's to say? What makes them so much different from me?"
His next reaction took me off guard.
"So you're nothing more than a twisted filthy monster then!" he shouted.
I recoiled back at his words like they hit me dead into the chest, they might as well have. I wasn't sure what kind of expression I had on, though it couldn't have been pleasant. Jacob's eyes widened like realization had come to him as he saw my face. His anger vanished, but what it was replaced with was unbearable for me to see.
"Bella, I," he began to say, tripping over his words, "I'm sorry. I didn't mean it like that. I didn't mean that, I'm sorry."
I couldn't help looking into his eyes, though his pained expression hurt me all the same. He grabbed me by the shoulders again, much gentler this time, and stared directly into my eyes.
"I just…I don't want anything happening to you. The worry will drive me insane, I swear it will."
"Jake," I whispered.
"Bella." He inhaled deep. "I really, really wish you wouldn't go."
I couldn't say anything. It just dawned on me how hard it would be away from him, especially like this as the pain was clear in his eyes and voice.
"Please," he whispered, closing his eyes, "Stay with me."
I couldn't help myself. I reached for the back of his neck and pulled his face into mine. Our lips met with a kind of intensity that I hadn't felt before, an unpleasant kind. His pain spread to me fast, disabling any and all defenses and causing me to hold back tears. He brought his arms to my back and pulled me closer as my other hand clutched the back of his head. I didn't want to leave him, not like this. I wanted to see him smile, but I knew that wouldn't happen, not know. Every inch of my body ached as I pulled my face away and saw the same hurt expression clear on his face.
"I'm so sorry. I promise I'll make it up to you tomorrow. We can ditch if you want; the whole day all to ourselves," I said, trying to maintain a calm voice.
"Bella," he muttered.
He slowly and reluctantly released his arms from me as they made their way to his side. I reached back up to his head and brought his lips to mine one more time, very briefly.
"I love you, Jacob," I whispered.
"Love you," he whispered back.
I began to walk away then, but my eyes stayed locked on Jake. His hand twitched up like he was reaching out to me. I did the same as I continued to walk back toward the school lot. I finally turned my head around and headed straight to where Alice was. She stood next to the silver Volvo that shined gorgeously even when the sun struggled to break through the thick clouds.
"Well that was…something," she said, looking slightly disgusted, "For a second I thought you were actually going to listen to him. After all, the dog obeys the human. 'Twisted filthy monster', hmph."
"Alice, please," I shouted.
Surprise crossed her face for a second, but quickly vanished as guilt replaced it.
"I'm sorry. I'll stop, promise."
I nodded thankfully. She opened the door to the passenger's side and walked around to get in the driver's seat. As I sat down, I saw Jacob walk back into the parking lot. He headed for my truck and opened the door with a key that wasn't mine. I was surprised that Jacob had a key to my truck that I didn't know about, but I'd worry about that later; I was glad Jacob thought about what to do with my truck, because I'd completely forgotten. He got into the driver's seat swiftly and got the truck started, slowly heading down the route that led to my house.
"Bella, are you ready?" Alice asked.
I turned my head toward her a little startled. "Uh, yeah. Let's go."
She smiled and put the keys into the ignition. The car's smooth purr was music to my ears and reminded me of the days that seemed so distant. Alice backed out of the school lot and onto the road as we breezed smoothly down the highway in a direction I didn't think I'd be going again. I sighed pleasantly as my eagerness came back to me. I couldn't wait to get there.
8. Visit (Part 2 of 2)
"Carlisle might still be at the hospital, but everyone else should be there," Alice announced.
"Except Edward," I added, suddenly glum again. I was surprised at how fast my emotions were changing.
Alice sighed. "Yeah."
It was silent for a few minutes.
"By the way, are you still working? I haven't been up to date on your daily schedule lately," she asked with a hint of annoyance at the end.
"Oh, well they're starting to hire younger students at Newton's, you know, students that aren't graduating."
"Ah. So let me guess, you quit since you'd get laid off anyway?"
"Yeah, well sort of. Mike offered to talk to his mom so I could keep my position, but I decided to move on."
"Since you'll be going to college soon?"
"Actually, it was for Katie Marshall." I was still undecided about college. It depended on how things work out with Jacob.
"You mean, Katie who's always with Eric Yorkie?"
"Yeah. She was looking for a job there, but so were a lot of students. I guaranteed her my spot."
"That was nice of you."
I shrugged. "I don't need too much money."
"And you can always ask us if you ever need anything."
I shook my head frantically. "No, I couldn't."
"But you can, we don't mind. We're happy to help you if you ever need it."
"Really I cou-"
"By the way, did you ever make good use of our birthday gifts to you? Particularly one?" she asked, interrupting me.
I froze for a second and gripped the door handle; guilt started to wash over me.
She saw my reaction and grimaced. "Sorry, I know your birthday is a touchy subject. I can understand if you didn't use them."
"No, I'm fine." It was a half truth. I'd forgotten all about Carlisle and Esme's birthday gift to me. They were tickets to go visit Renee in Florida.
"Have you used them?"
"If memory serves, they'll probably expire soon. Don't mention this to Esme."
"If there's still time, then I'll use them."
"Sure, sure. I haven't seen my mom in ages. Maybe Jacob could come along and meet her."
"Mm-hmm," she said less enthusiastic, "Well, we're here."
My head snapped forward to see us pulling into the driveway of the beautiful house that I hadn't seen in so long. The rectangular and well proportioned house was just as I remembered it, yet somehow it felt even more wondrous than before. Alice cut the engine and opened her door, smiling over at me. She got out and walked to my side, opening my door for me. As I got out, I couldn't keep my eyes off the so familiar house. Alice began walking up to the porch, but I couldn't get myself to move. My heart began to race and I could feel sweat starting to accumulate. Alice looked back at me and sighed. She walked over to me and grabbed my wrist, pulling me along toward the front door. My heart was beating even faster now and my hands trembled, but why? Why was I feeling this way, I thought I was excited? My other family was inside that house, that's what they were to me, but did they still feel the same way? After all that has happened, did they still consider me one of them?
Alice opened the door and I marveled at the large and bright interior. It was just as I remembered it, but still took my breath away somehow. Alice pulled me into the living room and everything about it felt like home. The white walls, beautiful center table, clean bookshelves mounted on the back wall, an impressive HDTV standing proudly in the front, and the tan sofa in the back faced toward the TV; it was all so wonderful.
A familiar face looked at me from the sofa in what looked like astonishment as we walked in. His large burly body had been laid back onto the sofa, but he straightened up at our arrival. He grinned wide.
"No way! Bella?" Emmett shouted.
I smiled. "Hey, Emmett."
He laughed that booming laugh that I remember and jumped off the sofa. Before I could even blink, the breath was knocked out of me as I was yanked into a bear hug and swung around into a circle.
"Aw man, I thought I'd never see your face again," he laughed.
"That's nice Emmett, but you're gonna suffocate her," Alice warned.
He put me down onto my feet, allowing me to gasp for air. They both chuckled and I couldn't help but smile. He was happy to see me, it was nice to know.
"I guess what you and Edward said was true, huh?" he said, looking at Alice and twitching his nose slightly.
"Did you think I was lying?" Alice asked, raising a brow.
"No, it's just that the proof is here now, that's all. Sure is a strong stench."
Stench? Did they mean the smell of Jacob? I knew that werewolves smelled badly to vampires, but I didn't know the smell would still be on me. How could I? I couldn't smell a thing.
"Sorry about that," I apologized, grimacing.
Emmett grinned. "S'okay. Come on and sit down, Miss Dances with Wolves."
Alice giggled and sat down at the edge of the sofa, which was wide enough to fit about four people. I sat down close to Alice and Emmett settled in next to me smiling. I smiled back, but something at the corner of my eye next to Alice took me by surprise. There stood Jasper, tall and leonine, staring at me in amazement.
"Hey Jazz, look who it is," Emmett laughed, pointing at me.
"Well, what do you know," Jasper said with amusement.
I smiled nervously. "Hi, Jasper."
"Hello, Bella, nice to see you again."
Suddenly, my nervousness vanished and I felt completely at ease. Jasper smirked at me, but then his nose started twitching like Emmett's was.
Emmett snickered. "Some stench, huh?"
"Mmm," Jasper agreed, nodding to himself.
"Sorry," I apologized again.
Jasper shook his head viciously. "No, Bella. You shouldn't be apologizing about anything around me."
"What do you mean?"
He sighed. "That's my job. I never told you how sorry I am about what happened last time."
Alice held Jasper's hand comfortingly, as if on instinct.
"Really, you don't have to apologize. I never blamed you. I understand, it's okay," I reasoned, trying to make it clear that I meant what I said.
He shook his head again. "No, it's not okay."
I wanted to say something, but he didn't look like he was finished. He inhaled deep through his nose, grimacing a little, and knelt down close to me. Alice continued to hold his hand steady as Jasper looked me clear in the eyes.
"I'm truly sorry, Bella. I promise you, that will never happen again."
"Especially not with her smelling like that," Emmett muttered so quietly, I wasn't too sure if that's what he said.
Jasper ignored it. "I'll never allow myself to hurt someone who's like family."
A wave of joy washed over me and I was sure it was my own feelings, not Jasper's doing. He thought of me like family as I thought the same. Strange how it was Jasper to be the first one to tell me this; I wasn't aware that he felt that way.
"Jasper, you don't have to…" I began to say.
"Do you accept my apology or not? Simple as that," he insisted, cutting me off.
I sighed. "Of course."
"Bella?" a soft voice gasped in surprise.
I looked forward, toward where the voice came from, and everyone else did the same. Esme stood a ways back toward the TV, wearing a beautiful white dress and her caramel colored hair shined so perfectly from the faint light coming through the window. She stood there completely still, staring at me in disbelief.
"Hey mom, wishes do come true, eh?" Emmett teased.
"Oh, Bella," Esme said so happily she look like she could cry, if that were possible.
Jasper stepped aside, giving me room to stand, as Esme made her way over to hug me gently. It felt so right hugging her like this, as if she were my own mother.
"It's so good to see you," she whispered.
"It's good to see you too," I whispered back.
Emmett scooted over so Esme could sit next to me. We both sat down with smiles on our faces and everyone focused in on me, making me the center on attention. Usually this would bother me, but it didn't matter so much; I was just happy to be here with everyone.
"So why are you here anyway? Not that I don't want you, it's just that Edward's been going on and on and on about how we should stay away and junk," Emmett explained.
I grimaced. "It was Alice who invited me."
Alice nodded proudly. "Yep."
"Does Edward know about this?" Esme asked.
"Yeah, he knows."
"Is he okay with this?"
"No, not exactly."
"Alice, you made a promise to Edward. You should respect his wishes."
"Well I made a promise to Bella first. Bella is my friend too and this is me inviting my friend over to visit."
"Can't argue with that," Emmett agreed.
"Edward can be mad with me all he wants," Alice said unconcerned.
Esme sighed. "Well, I am happy to have you here, Bella."
"Thanks. I was afraid you wouldn't be," I muttered the last part under my breath, hoping she wouldn't hear. She did.
"Why do you say that?"
I hesitated to answer for a second. "It's just, you know…"
She waited for me to continue, wanting clarification.
"I'm kind of associated with werewolves." That was putting it mildly.
"Yeah, not exactly the best group to hang with," Emmett whispered to himself.
Jasper nodded in agreement and Alice made a face that looked slightly annoyed; she obviously felt the same too. Esme put one arm around me comfortingly and smiled. Her face looked like one of understanding.
"Bella, you'll always be a special part of our family and we'll always love you. You have nothing to be sorry for. As long as you want to be here, you're welcome," she assured.
"I'll deal with him. We all missed you and Edward's being way too dramatic. It makes me wonder why I agreed to that silly promise in the first place," Alice grumbled.
"Well, what's most important right now is that you're here," Esme said.
Jasper and Emmett both nodded once and I smiled back at all of them. I had nothing to worry about after all.
"So, what did you want to do?" Alice asked.
"Anything," I sighed.
Esme was eager to hear about what I'd been up to since the last time I was with them. I told them about how things were going at school, how Charlie was doing, and I ended up talking about Jacob and the pack. I didn't think they'd want to hear about my werewolf interaction, but to my surprise, they were all really interested. I had to ignore all of Jasper and Emmett's 'dog' comments, but Esme and Alice were very polite and only asked a small question here and there. I mentioned how everyone ran, patrolled, and sparred often. This seemed to perk Jasper's interest especially, as he began to ask the most questions then; like how many wolves there were, who was the strongest, who was the leader. I hoped I wasn't betraying the pack by telling him this though. I decided to leave out any information that I knew was too personal, most of it having to do with…imprinting.
"Bella, are you hungry?" Esme asked.
"No, I'm fine," I answered, though admittedly I was kind of hungry.
Alice giggled. "You can't fool us, Bella. I could hear your stomach growling since you started talking about that Emily girl's cooking."
"But you guys don't have any food here, do you?"
"I can run to the store and pick up something," Esme offered.
I shook my head. "No, you don't have to go through all that trouble. I can wait until I get home."
"It's no trouble at all. I won't be long and it's almost time for Carlisle to come home. I might just meet him on my way back."
"Really, you don't have to…" It was too late anyway. Before I could finish that sentence, she vanished from the couch and I heard the back door close. I groaned.
Emmett laughed. "She just hasn't seen you in forever and who knows when you'll be back. She's gotta make the best of it."
"I'll be back," I said.
"Yeah, as long as Alice invites me."
"And I will," Alice guaranteed, "How does tomorrow sound?"
I gave Alice an apologetic look. "Sorry, I promised Jacob we'd do something tomorrow."
She frowned in response. "Don't you always do stuff with him?"
"Yeah, sorry, it's just that he…" I tried to find the best words.
"I know, I know. He means a lot to you, right?"
"More than you could think."
"Bella and a wolf, huh?" Emmett said to himself and chuckled. I saw Jasper in the corner of my eye grimace at the image.
I felt that I needed to spend as much time with Jacob as possible, considering that the time we share might not last forever. I was so happy to be here with the Cullens, my other family, but how much would this affect Jacob? I couldn't help but think of how I saw Jacob last. His pained expression tugged at my heart, it was torture to see him so hurt. We share each other's feelings, it's always been like that, and Jacob's pain was my pain. Did I upset him so much that it somehow shortened our time together? It frightened me to think that by being here, he could have…
"Alice, can you see what will happen the rest of this week? You know, what I'll be doing?" I asked.
Alice groaned loudly, seeming pretty annoyed. "No, I sure can't."
I turned my head slightly to the side. "Why not."
"Because you hang out with do-, wolves all the time. I can't see you anymore, Bella."
"Oh." I forgot that Alice couldn't see werewolves. When she saw me jump from that cliff a month ago, she couldn't see Jacob saving me. That's when it hit me.
"So, you can't see my future because I'm around werewolves? I'm not around them now." I needed clarification.
"Doesn't matter. You spend most of your time with werewolves, so your future is a mystery to me," Alice answered.
"Can you see me at all?"
"All I see is a very blurry picture of you and the rest is just darkness. What am I suppose to get from that?" I could see that her blindness to my future upset her, but I needed to know more.
"What if I stopped hanging around werewolves? Would you be able to see me then?"
"If you did, then you're future would be a bit more clear right now since you're with us. But I still can't see anything, so it doesn't look like that'll happen anytime soon."
"Not happen anytime soon? How far into the future can you view?"
"Pretty far. I've been practicing on people I can actually see."
"Can you try looking further into mine?"
She frowned. "What's the point? I won't be able to see anything."
"What if something changed; something to get me away from werewolves?"
"I wouldn't be able to see it coming; then again, I can't see anything. If there was that chance, then I should be able to see you a little bit clearer than this."
"Kind of like how I saw you jump from that cliff, but not Jacob save you. Maybe I'd see you at home hugging some invisible person, I don't know, but right now it's just ridiculous. Apparently, everything you do is related to werewolves somehow, so viewing your future is useless. It's almost like…you are a werewolf, I get headaches from trying." She groaned again and Jasper rubbed her shoulder comfortingly.
"So, as long as you can't see me, then that means I'll be with Jacob?"
"And you can't see me no matter how far you look?"
Suddenly, I felt weightless, like I could jump into the air and never come down. I never felt such a mixture of joy and relief this strong before. The joy took over my entire being and I welcomed it with open arms. All the intense fear that used to torture me seemed to dissolve into thin air. Everything was bright now as it should be. Alice couldn't see my future; it wasn't clear at all, which meant that there was something about my bond with Jacob that nothing could change, not imprinting either. Did this mean that he wouldn't imprint? It had to, I was sure of it. We would stay together. All I could feel now was the happiness growing stronger with every second and the desire to embrace the man that I'd be with always.
"That's wonderful!" I shouted. I was so happy that I started laughing gleefully.
Alice frowned fiercely. "It's wonderful that I'm completely blind to you?"
"No, no, it's not that."
"Please enlighten me."
Would it really be so bad to tell them about imprinting? It was a personal issue that no one in the pack wanted to talk about and cause unnecessary worry. I didn't like thinking about it either, even though I always did; but with this new information, it shouldn't bother me anymore. Yet somehow, I felt like I'd be breaking some sort of unspoken rule by talking about imprinting outside the pack. It was a weird feeling.
"I'm guessing she's just happy to have that reassurance," Jasper reasoned and I nodded in response.
"Don't tell Edward," Emmett muttered.
Jasper and Alice both glared at him immediately and Emmett grimaced, holding his hands up in surrender.
"Edward? What did he mean?" I asked.
Alice turned to look away from me. "Don't worry about it."
"Hey, let's do something fun while you're still here."
I looked at her suspiciously and she smiled sincerely in response. I was in a good mood and didn't want to ruin it by worrying about Edward.
"Fine," I agreed.
She smiled even wider. "I can fix up your hair or paint your nails."
"That doesn't sound like fun," I said in a panicked voice.
"Come on, you'll like it, I guarantee."
It looked like her mind was made up; there was no getting out of it. I sighed in defeat as Alice vanished in an instant and appeared two seconds later with tons of beauty supplies. I looked at it all in astonishment as Jasper and Emmett laughed while leaving the room to give us our 'girl time'. I felt like Alice's little doll as she combed, sprayed, and straightened my hair. Next she painted both my finger and toe nails. She had so many colors to choose from and even mixed a few to create new ones. The smell of the nail polish was making me dizzy, I never liked the stuff. I tried to concentrate on something else.
"So, has Rosalie gone somewhere too?" I asked.
"No, she's upstairs," Alice answered.
"Oh, does she know I'm here?"
She made an awkward face. "Yeah, she knows, but you know how Rosalie is."
I sighed. "Right, especially now, I'd assume."
"Don't let it bother you too much." She smiled and went back to painting my fingernails.
I decided to just focus on Alice instead of my fingers, hoping it'll help me ignore the smell. Suddenly, Alice turned to face the TV, keeping her hand with the brush locked in place. I wasn't paying attention to the TV and almost forgot it was on. It was on the local news and a young female reporter was standing by a dock with microphone in hand.
"It's been two weeks since the sudden killings and disappearances here in Seattle began and the numbers appear to be slowly escalating. Yet another victim was found in a Georgetown alley this morning and no other evidence besides the mangled corpse itself was found at the scene. The situation is very similar to the murder cases examined before this one and police theories range from a serial killer to a vicious new gang," the reporter announced.
"It's still going on, huh?" Jasper said suddenly right beside me, making me jump.
"Yeah, I wonder if they'll move on soon," Alice mused.
I remember Charlie reading in the newspaper about strange disappearances and murders in Seattle a week ago. I didn't think too much of it then, but Charlie did tell me to stay away from Seattle for a while.
"Do you know something about it?" I asked, looking at both of them.
"It's very possible that vampires are behind the murders," Jasper answered.
I gasped. "Really? Are you sure?"
"All the signs are there; the unlikely disappearances, always in the night and found in the morning, the poorly disposed of corpses, the lack of other evidence…"
"Is it Victoria?"
Alice shook her head. "No, I would've seen it. This is someone new, most likely a newborn."
I tilted my head to the side. "Newborn?"
"It's how we all are when we first change," Jasper answered, "Bloodthirsty, wild, out of control, and very strong. A more experienced vampire wouldn't be this careless and draw so much attention."
"Stuff like this happens all the time. We wouldn't normally be paying attention to this if it wasn't happening so close to home, it's not our problem," Alice said with a shrug.
"But if it gets too serious, then someone has to take responsibility," Jasper added.
"Wait, won't it be dangerous? You could get hurt," I said immediately.
Both Jasper and Alice laughed in response. I looked at them wondering if there was a joke I missed; I was being serious.
"Thanks for the concern, but I think I can handle newborns," he said with a chuckle.
Just then, I heard the back door open and in the next second, Esme and Carlisle came into the room. Esme was holding a plastic bag in her right hand and her other hand was wrapped lovingly around Carlisle's waist. Carlisle was wearing some very casual looking clothing with a scarf, rather than the doctor's coat I expected to see. They both smiled as they made their way over to me.
"Bella, it's so good to have you here. Welcome back," Carlisle greeted.
I smiled. "I'm really happy to be here."
"Esme told me about how you've been. It's nice to know that things are going well." He turned his attention to Alice. "Alice, we'll need to talk about this with Edward though."
"Yeah, yeah," she sighed and went back to painting my nails.
"I thought you'd want something simple, so I got some soup and ravioli. They're all in cans, so it should only take a few minutes to make," Esme said, holding the grocery bag up.
"Thank you," I said. I was glad she didn't go overboard and buy anything expensive. I didn't need a full course meal.
"Which would you prefer?"
Esme whisked into the kitchen and started preparing the food. Carlisle sat next to me and Alice in a natural yet elegant position befitting of a king. He started asking questions about my experience with the pack and I answered them pretty much the same way I did before. Some questions I didn't know the answers to, since they were more on the medical side. He was surprisingly even more interested about the pack than everyone else was. Esme brought me a bowl with the ravioli in it and a fork. I ate pretty quickly, but declined another serving when Esme offered. Alice finally got done with my nails and, though I hated to admit it, they looked really nice. Each finger had multiple shades of blue that looked like the ocean. It reminded me so much of the beach water at La Push, slowly and calmly sliding into itself and kissing the shore at a steady rhythm. It made me think of the gray driftwood Jacob and I would always sit on, watching the sun and ocean's beauty. It made me want to be there.
"Um, what time is it?" I asked Alice.
She checked the cell phone she had in her pocket for a split second. "It's 8:27, do you have to leave now?"
"I think I should."
She pouted. "We hardly got to do anything."
"We'll do more next time."
"Not tomorrow though?"
I looked at her apologetically. "Next week, definitely."
"Next week? Why then?"
"I want to try and use those airline tickets this week. The sooner the better," I whispered to her as quietly as I could, though I still think Esme heard.
Alice sighed. "Alright, next week. When do you plan on using the tickets?"
"Hopefully this Friday. I'll have a little bit of time to plan that way."
"Yeah, only two days. It's not too short of notice?"
"Renee's never complained about unexpected visits, I think it'll be fine."
"Well, I'd better drive you home then."
Alice grabbed all of her supplies and skipped gracefully up to her room. She came back down at double the speed and stopped at the front door, waiting for me. I got up and started toward the door, looking back to see everyone waving goodbye.
"We'll see you soon, Bella. It was wonderful having you here," Carlisle said while Esme nodded like she would say the same thing.
"See you next week then, Bella," Jasper said with a smile.
I waved back. "Bye everyone, I'll see you soon."
"Whoa, she's leaving?" I heard Emmett shout from upstairs and he suddenly appeared right in my face, making me gasped, "I didn't get to say goodbye, so, bye."
I chuckled a little. "Bye, Emmett."
He grinned and gave me another bear hug, but let me go before I had the chance feel out of breath. Alice lead me outside to Edward's Volvo and opened the door for me. She got in on her side, put the keys into the ignition, and headed down the highway to my house.
"Do you think I could come in for a second and say hi to Charlie?" Alice asked.
"Sure, he'll be happy to see you," I answered, "By the way, I do kind of like my nails. Thanks."
She giggled. "Told ya you'd like 'em. Also, you'll have to tell Charlie about your trip to Florida, he should definitely know."
"Are you still taking Jacob? If he says no, I can always go with you."
"I don't think he'll say no."
Jacob's hurt expression came back into my mind just then. I remembered how much it hurt me to see him hurt. I wanted to see him smile again, especially now that I had such great news to tell him. We would stay together. We were going to be happy. We wouldn't need to worry. The closer we got to home, the more I wanted to see him, the more I wanted to feel his warmth, the more I wanted to hold him and never let go. The wait was killing me; I had to see him tonight.
i liked it please keep me posted
well i read all of your chapters
i like the way you wrote it
keep up the good work
I love it! It was defintitely worth the wait. I can't wait till Chapter 9!