The Twilight Saga

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.

 

1. Promise

BELLA SWAN

"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."

"Deal."

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?"

"Yeah, sure."

"All right."

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.

"It's fine."

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."

"Promise?"

She nodded, "Promise."

Tags: alternate, bella, ending, fan, fiction, flare, jacob, saga, solar, twilight

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You are a really good writer!!.. love the story
3. Routine

BELLA SWAN

I woke up to a blinding ray of light. The sun shone through the window with a little too much force. It was so bright in my room that turning on my lamp would've done nothing. I immediately got up and closed the curtains, though the room was still fairly bright. It's a rare thing to have so much sunlight in Forks.

I noticed that I was wearing the same clothes as yesterday; I didn't get a chance to change into something more comfortable to sleep in. In the bathroom I washed my face, brushed my teeth, and started combing my hair. I was focusing on my hair a lot longer than I usually did. As I looked in the mirror I kept seeing split ends that I didn't use to worry about before.

In my room, I went into my closet and saw all the clothes Alice bought for me hanging perfectly straight and aligned. They were organized by type and color; shirts to the left, pants to the right, and dresses in the middle. Every single piece looked very elegant, a little too much for my tastes. I'd be afraid to wear them on an average day, in fear that I'd ruin them as clumsy as I am. For Alice though, I'd make an exception. I decided on a red blouse and black jeans, both of them fitting just right.

I went downstairs and started preparing breakfast. Charlie wasn't up yet, I guess I wasn't the only one who had a rough day. I prepared some Quaker Oatmeal on the stove, adding some raisins and chopped apples in the mix. It didn't take too long to cook and there was plenty available. I prepared myself a bowl along with some orange juice.

I ate my oatmeal rather quickly; I knew that Jacob was coming to pick me up, but not exactly when. As I finished my oatmeal and began to take my first sip of orange juice, there was a knock at the door. I left the remains of my meal on the table and rushed for the front door. Jacob stood on the other side and looked at me in surprise.

"Bella! You look great, beautiful," Jacob exclaimed.

My face reddened to a blush. "So do you," I pointed out.

Like many times before, Jacob was bare-chested, wearing nothing more than a pair of cut-off jeans. Was he so proud of his new muscles that he couldn't stand covering up? Was he trying to impress me? Although I had to admit, they were pretty impressive.

"Really Jake, is it so impossible to wear clothes?"

He chuckled. "It's just easier, that's all."

"Easier?" I asked.

"It's enough of a pain to carry the shorts around with me, let alone a complete outfit. What do I look like, a pack mule?"

I furrowed my eye brows in confusion. Jake's expression became superior like I was missing something.

"My clothes don't just pop in and out of existence when I change; I have to carry them around with me. Pardon me for keeping my burden light."

"Oh, I guess I didn't think about that," I muttered.

He pointed to a black leather cord, thin as a strand of yarn, wound three times below his left calf like an anklet.

"That's more than just a fashion statement. It sucks carrying jeans in your mouth."

I stared away near the trees, trying not to focus too much on him. He grinned.

"Does my being half-naked bother you?"

"N-no," I murmured.

He laughed. "So, are you ready to go?"

"Are we?" I asked. I looked around and there was no sign of his Rabbit or any motorcycles. "How are we going to get there since you're taking me?"

"I told you my method of getting there will be more interesting," he said with an excited grin on his face.

"Well, I've got to let Charlie know. It'll only take a second."

"You do that. Come out to the back, our 'ride' will be ready when you're done," he said putting extra emphasis on 'ride'.

Back in the kitchen, I gulped down the rest of my orange juice and cleaned my bowl. I left a note on the table for Charlie, best not to wake him up. The rest of the oatmeal was all his. I grabbed my coat on my way out the back door, but stopped only a couple of inches from it.

The Jacob I had just seen was gone. In his place was a giant horse-sized wolf with russet colored fur that gleamed in the sunlight. The same pair of cut-off jeans he'd been wearing was wrapped tightly around the wolf's right hind leg. The wolf looked at me with eyes too gentle for any ordinary beast.

"Jacob?" I gasped.

The wolf's answering rumble deep in his chest sounded like a chuckle.

I slowly walked up to him. He was even bigger up close; my head barely came to the same level of his back. I slowly placed my hand on his neck, running my hands through his smooth red-brown fur. It was both soft and very warm against my skin, it felt nice. A thrumming hum resonated in his throat. He beamed his big black eyes at me. At that moment I realized what he meant by his way of transportation being 'interesting'.

"Oh. No, Jake." I started to back away a bit. "I can't, I couldn't."

He made a gruff noise and rolled his big eyes at me.

"Really, what if I fall off or hit a tree?"

He made another noise that sounded like a brief growl, but didn't sound angry. He edged himself closer to me and looked me directly in the eye. I didn't need to understand wolf to know what he was trying to tell me, his deep wide eyes said it all. Edward said something similar to me too.

Would I let a tree hurt you? There's nothing to be afraid of.

A minute passed as we stood there in silence. My heart started to accelerate as I walked closer to him. "Are you sure?"

He nodded his head once and began to lower himself to the ground. Even as he was lying on the ground, I had to lift my legs up to get on his back. As soon as I was one, he lifted up on his feet immediately.

"Whoa!" I gasped.

He made a strange coughing noise that sounded like laughter.

"Wait wait, what do I hold on to?" I was shaking and my hands trembling.

He bent his head back for a second and lowered it again. I wasn't sure what that meant, but as he readied himself to launch forward, I instinctively wrapped my arms around his neck. Before I knew it, we were flying forward.

The wind blew against my face and pulled my hair back with so much force I felt like I was being tugged backward. The trees sped pass us into a green blur even as Jacob weaved between them. I planted my face into Jake's fur and held on so tight that I worried if I was choking him. I felt his body rumble underneath me as he panted steadily throughout the run. I closed my eyes the rest of the way.

As I felt Jacob slow down to a trot, I opened my eyes. I saw the trees open up and a bright white house appear in the distance. As we got closer, I noticed the house was around the same size as Jacob's. It had a basketball hoop set up on the side of the house next to a small open shack. The shack looked barely big enough to fit one person.

Jacob came to a stop in the backyard and lowered himself to the ground again. I got off and stumbled to my feet. Despite keeping my eyes closed for most of the way, I was still dizzy. I spread my arms out for balance so I wouldn't fall over. Jacob coughed his laughing bark again as he watched me. Suddenly, he dashed for the woods; he was gone before I could reach my hand out to him. He wasn't gone for long though, he came from behind one of the trees, this time on two feet. He jogged up to me with a wide grin on his face.

"See? That wasn't so bad, was it?" he exclaimed.

"I guess not," I muttered, "It was faster than a motorcycle, that's for sure."

"You know, I wasn't going nearly as fast as I could."

"Seriously?"

"Nope. If I went at full speed, I'd need to strap you down with a steel buckle. I am faster than a vampire."

He looked very proud of this fact, my head started spinning just thinking about how fast that could be. I looked up at the house again and noticed that not only was it a very bright white, but very clean as well. I wondered if the inside was just as clean.

"So, this is where the Clearwaters live?" I asked.

"Yeah, everyone's inside waiting for us."

"Everyone?" I tilted my head in confusion.

"The Clearwaters and the whole pack. They've all come to visit today."

"But, why are they waiting for us?"

"We actually missed a lot yesterday. Sam will fill you in once we get inside, you'll be happy with the news."

Bringing up Sam reminded me of something else I worried about. "Did you get in trouble with Sam? Was he hard on you?"

He sighed. "Yeah, but like I said, I can handle Sam. Besides, he wasn't too hard on me."

Sam wasn't too hard on Jacob, but what about me? I'm the one who talked him into it, I should really get the blame.

"What's wrong, Bella? You look so scared," he said, looking at me with worry in his eyes.

"Are you sure I should be around everyone? Aren't they all upset with me?"

Jacob's expression turned angry, he looked toward the house and groaned.

"Well, not all of them I don't think. But, if Paul gives you a hard time, tell me so I can punch him for you."

I flinched as the image of Jacob and Paul snapping and growling at each other resurfaced. We headed for the front door and once again I noticed that Jacob barely made any noise as he moved. How does he do that? Jacob knocked three times on the wooden door; I heard a faint voice from inside that sounded like "I'll get it." The door opened and Embry was on the other side, shirtless just like Jacob. He took a quick glance at Jake and then at me, he smiled.

"Well, vampire girl's back," Embry teased.

Jacob rolled his eyes. "As if you didn't know she was coming."

"Come on in, everybody's in the living room. Well, mostly everybody."

We followed Embry inside; just as I thought, the whole house was very clean. We passed by a room with a wide screen TV mounted on the wall, it had cords attached to it which led to a rather new looking video game system on the floor. Those seemed to be the most expensive things I saw throughout the house, everything else was fairly modest. Miniature pictures of the Clearwaters were spread all over the place. I saw some on the walls, on tables, and on furniture that didn't seem like an ideal place for a picture. We got to the living room and like Embry said, almost everyone was there. The whole pack was standing near the fireplace, all wearing nothing but shorts. Sue and Seth Clearwater were both sitting on the one couch off to the side of the room. Sue didn't seem the least bit uncomfortable with the shirtless men in her living room. The only person missing was Leah, I wonder where she was. Was there some secret in the pack that she wasn't allowed to hear?

"Hey, are the Clearwaters in on the werewolf secret too?" I whispered to Jacob.

"Like I said, we missed a lot. I'm still not completely sure what's up with them, but yeah, basically," he whispered back.

Embry walked over to the rest of the pack and stood in between Jared and Paul, completing their formation. Sam stepped out to the middle of the room.

"Good, now that Bella's here, we can start," Sam announced.

Seth bent forward in his seat, eager to hear what Sam had to say.

"The red headed vampire has left. We last saw her escape in the direction of Vancouver on the day of Harry's death. I believe the arrival of the Cullen vampire may have caused her to run. She hasn't even come close to returning since."

I was speechless; Victoria was gone and it was because of Alice? Was that why she stayed as long as she did, to scare off Victoria? Why was Victoria so threatened?

"Although she appears to be gone, we should still protect the borders and keep an eye out. Since the Cullen has left as well, she might return someday."

Sam looked at me and everyone else's eyes followed.

"Bella, for your safety I believe you should continue to spend your afternoons here in La Push."

I nodded in agreement, that wouldn't be a problem, I wanted to.

"And Jacob?" He looked at Jake now.

"Yeah," Jacob agreed, nodding his head, "I'll protect her the whole time."

"Good. Now then, Seth."

Seth stood up immediately at the sound of his name. He stood straight with his arms at his side like he was a private in an army.

"Come with me, Seth. I need to talk to you and your sister."

"R-right," Seth muttered. His voice was so soft and nervous, but it seemed like he was expecting this.

Sam and Seth walked out the way we came. Everyone else, who looked pretty tense from what I saw, all relaxed.

"Alright! No more double shifts," Jared said, laughing at his joke.

"Yeah, finally more time to myself," Embry agreed.

Jacob walked over to sit next to Sue on the couch and I followed. We sat pretty close together, me being in the middle. Sue looked happier than I thought she'd be; she smiled at me.

"Don't get carried away. The leech might come back, y'know," Paul warned.

"Itching for a fight, Paul? I gotta admit, it's been a while since we've actually had some action," Embry noted.

"I mean, yeah. As long was she's around, I'm sure we'll get something." Paul eyed me with a mocking smile on his face. "She's like a parasite magnet."

Jacob glared at Paul and growled through his teeth. Paul's smile disappeared and raised his hands in surrender. Jared laughed.

"You can always try me, Paul. What's the score so far, Jared 4 to Paul 1?"

"That last match was cheap and you know it!"

Everyone laughed including Sue; I decided to join in though I wish I knew what they were talking about. Sue sighed and began to get up; Jacob and I seemed to be the only ones to notice.

"I'm going to clean up a little. I'll be in the kitchen," she said to only Jacob and me.

"I'll help you," Jacob offered immediately.

"Me too, with anything you need," I said, following Jake's offer.

Sue smiled at us both and nodded her head.

"Thank you two. First there's the kitchen, then we'll organize some old storage stuff."

We followed Sue into the kitchen. Jacob was assigned the task of dusting, Sue washed the dishes, and I sprayed and wiped off the counter and walls. Jacob followed Sue's orders like a son to his loving mother. I could tell that Jacob thought of Sue as a mother in a way. It didn't take too long to clean the kitchen; I personally didn't think it could get any cleaner than when we started. Everything pretty much sparkled now.

In the basement was where all the storage items were. The contrast between the extremely clean upstairs and the dark, dank, and dusty basement was pretty shocking. A lot of things were piled up in a corner and we needed to move them into containers by category. There were items to throw out, items to keep in case of emergency, and items to keep for memorable purposes.

"Aw, Jacob. Look at what I found," Sue called to Jacob, her expression very loving.

Jacob and I came over and Sue was holding a photo with no frame in her hand. Jacob gasped in panic and stumbled to snatch the photo from Sue. It was the first time I'd seen Jacob be clumsy since he transformed into a wolf. I looked over Jacob's shoulder and saw the photo. It was a picture of a baby in diapers playing with letter blocks. The baby looked so happy and so familiar, it didn't take me long to figure out who it was. I tried not to, but I couldn't help myself. I busted out laughing, holding my hand to my mouth to muffle the laughter. Jacob gave me an embarrassed look and his face brightened to what looked like a blush underneath his russet skin.

"Shut up, Bella! It's not funny!" Jacob shouted.

"I'm sorry Jake," I said, trying to control my laughter, "But you're so cute."

Suddenly, Jacob yanked me into his arms and lifted me up into one of his bone crushing hugs. That stopped the laughter almost immediately.

"Forget what you saw, forget what you saw!" he demanded, squeezing even tighter.

"Okay, okay."

He put me back onto my feet and I tried catching my breath. He smiled at me triumphantly and Sue laughed. I looked away and blushed; I was the embarrassed one now.

We continued organizing until it got dark outside. Sam came down and told us they were getting ready to go. Being part of the pack, Jacob had to follow. Sue thanked us for all the help and escorted us out. Oddly, Seth and Leah were still nowhere to be found; Jacob seemed just as concerned as I was. Outside, everyone but Sam and Jacob had phased into their wolf form and sprinted off into the woods. Jacob kept close to me and looked at Sam curiously.

"Is something going on with those two? Seth and Leah, I mean," he asked.

Sam looked away toward the trees like he was deep in thought. It took him a minute to answer.

"I'll tell you once everything's been settled. You don't need to worry about it now."

It was silent for another minute before Sam spoke again.

"Now, are you coming with us to Emily's or…" he didn't finish. He stuck his arm out toward me and looked at Jacob awaiting his answer.

"No, I think I'll take Bella home," he confirmed.

"Right," Sam agreed, "I'll see you when you're done."

Sam jogged into the woods where everyone else had gone. Jacob took my hand and led me into the forest, opposite the direction of the pack. He ducked behind a tree and came out on all fours. The 'ride' back home was oddly less scary than before and seemed shorter too. We stopped in the back of my house and Jacob turned human again. He took my hand, rubbing his thumb gently into my palm, but didn't move.

"So, we need to come up with some kind of schedule," he announced.

"A schedule? Won't it be the same as always?" I asked.

"It might be a little different. I've got to protect you Bella, so we need to meet every day."

"I thought that was a given."

"Like, where will we meet on which days and what will we do?"

"How about we alternate between your place and the Clearwaters?"

"And on weekends?"

"We can think of something a little more fun."

"Right." He smiled, but then his face turned sullen.

"What's wrong?"

"It's just…I'm suppose to protect you from anything, but what about myself?"

"What do you mean?"

"What if I lose myself around you? What if I get mad and…" He couldn't finish the sentence. His expression was pained, like he was trying to get away from that image.

I wrapped my arms around him, feeling the absolute need to comfort him.

"You won't."

"How do you know?"

"I'll remind you every day. I'll remind you how special you are, how much you mean to me."

Jacob embraced me back. I felt so comfortable being in Jacob's arms like this, I didn't want to be let go. I wanted these moments to last forever.

"Bella," he whispered, "Kwop kilawtley."

He bent his head to mine and kissed me. It was brief, but very sweet.

"I promise, I'll never hurt you."

"I know."

The weeks went by fairly quickly. Every day after school, Jacob would pick me up on his motorcycle and we'd go to his place or to the Clearwaters. On most weekends, the pack would join us for some fun activities. Embry enjoyed the bad movie nights and Paul would suggest video games often. Seth and Sue seemed to cheer up over time, but Leah was still never around. My friends at school were always interrogating me about my relationship with Jacob. Angela and Ben seemed happy enough that I was completely 'de-zombified', but Jessica still kept her distance. Mike still talked to me every now and then, but stopped asking me out once he heard of me and Jake. Charlie was also very happy that I was back to normal again and had no problem with me spending so much time with Jacob. A month had passed and overall, I was very happy.

It was Saturday night and Jacob drove me home after an afternoon with the pack. As usual, he walked me inside, kissed me good night, and drove off. I knew he couldn't stay, even with no sign of Victoria in a month, he still had responsibilities to the pack. Charlie was at the Clearwaters' that night so I was alone for the time being. I hung my coat on the rack near the front door and headed upstairs. I was pretty tired; the pack was good at wearing me out. I walked into my room and closed the door behind me. The first thing I noticed was a figure on my bed. I froze.

"Hello, Bella," the velvet voice greeted me.

The room tilted to its side. Everything went black. My heart stopped.
That was good, can't wait for more
Good chapter
4. Return

BELLA SWAN

I felt as though I'd been out for days. I knew consciousness was returning to me, but I was too afraid to open my eyes. What I had seen last could not have been reality, but I wasn't sure if it was simply a dream or me losing my mind. If it was a dream then how much was real? Did Jacob ever take me home? Was I still at La Push? If I was, it shouldn't be this quite. The likelihood of me dreaming all disappeared when I felt something cold touch my forehead. I knew exactly what it was and it scared me to death. I had to keep my eyes shut, I was not ready for what I was about to see. If I opened my eyes, what I'd see would simply confirm to myself that my mind had finally snapped. I felt the cold fingers stroke across my forehead gently; it was nice just like how I remembered. How long was I going to delay the inevitable? I had to open my eyes eventually; I'd need to just accept the fact that I was now insane.

"Bella," the perfectly smooth voice whispered.

That did it. I slowly opened my eyes and there he was. His beautiful golden eyes stared down at me, his perfect face filled with concern, exactly the way I remembered it. As he saw my eyes open, he removed his hand from my forehead and backed away the slightest bit. I couldn't find the strength to move or even speak, I was frozen. We stared at each other for a good minute before he finally spoke.

"I'm so, so sorry," he apologized, "I should have thought about how you'd react."

I still couldn't speak, he noticed this.

"Bella, you're probably wondering why I'm here."

I couldn't even find the strength to nod, but he seemed to know my answer.

"I'll explain everything, don't worry."

I felt myself sink even deeper into my bed. I hadn't noticed before, but I was in my room. This really shouldn't surprise me, but it did. I thought I was out for days, but after glancing at my clock, I found that only five minutes had passed from what I last remembered. This just further supported the 'I'm insane' theory.

He sat down at the edge of my bed, took a deep breath, and began.

"Bella, I'm sorry. Truly I am. Leaving was the biggest mistake I've ever made. I thought that by leaving, you'd be safer. You'd move on and live a happier, healthier life." -He paused to sigh- "But I was wrong. Instead I put your life in even greater danger. I was wrong about everything, Bella. I didn't know that Victoria," –he growled the name- "would react so strongly to my killing James. I should have seen it; I should have seen her feelings for him. I was mainly focusing on James' thoughts and didn't get much out of her. I think it was her overconfidence in James that kept her from worrying, kept me from reading that worry."

He paused, clenching his hands into fists and began to look away from me. I knew hearing more of this would bring back the pain I thought I had finally gotten rid of, but I was still frozen. I just waited for him to continue.

"That's still no excuse for what I did and what I left you to deal with. To think that you'd need to put your life in the hands of werewolves, immature, volatile, the worst thing out there besides Victoria herself."

Once again I wanted to say something, but my voice was lost.

"Please know that I had no idea this would happen. I feel sick, sick to the core. I'm the most miserable excuse for a creature in existence." He paused again and looked up at me. "But I'm here now, Bella. I know I don't deserve forgiveness, but I'm here for you no matter what."

Oh no. This isn't just me going insane, I realized it now. The other part of me, the part that still clung to him, the part I thought was gone, it was back to cast it's vengeance on me at last. I should've known there was no escape from it. I'd gotten too hopeful, and if this continued any further, I'd be feeling the worst pain in my life. I wanted so badly for Jacob to be with me right now, I wanted to wrap myself around him and never let go; but would that just make the situation worse, would it simply intensify the pain?

"Bella, I love you, I always have. There was never a single moment when I wasn't thinking about you. I'm a good liar, I have to be, but it still pained me to know that you'd accept my lie so easily. I left you broken and unprotected, and I will never do that again. Never."

I finally found my voice. With the desperate need to dispel this false illusion away before the pain hit, I screamed like I'd never screamed before. Shocked by my reaction, he backed away from me immediately. He stared at me in astonishment as I held my head too tightly in order to make the illusion disappear.

"Bella?" he whispered cautiously.

"Please! Stop! Go away!" I yelled.

His expression turned to one of pure anguish. He clenched his fists again, this time not out of anger, but as if he was trying to hold himself together.

"I understand," he muttered, "It was foolish of me to think you'd actually forgive me for what I'd done."

He edged closer to my bed and dropped to his knees. His torn expression became worse as I continued to hold my head and back away from him.

"I just wanted to tell you the truth. I wanted to let you know how things are now."

How was I going to escape this? It hurt to see him like this, it hurt every inch of me; but telling him that it was okay, that I forgave him, it would only be what my other half wants. If I invited him in any further, it would only hurt that much more when he disappears.

"Please," I begged, "Just stop. I know he isn't really here. I love him, but you can't fool me. Just go away, please."

He looked at me confounded and amazed. I tried my hardest to just stare at my bed sheets and ignore his gaze. Easier said than done.

"Bella, love?" he whispered.

I couldn't help but look at him now; it seemed silly that I even tried.

"You don't believe that I'm here?"

I shook my head, still trying to hold myself together.

"Bella, this is real. I'm here, we all are." He waited to see how I'd react before he continued. "We're here, Bella. I can understand that this might be hard to believe after what I did. I lied to you, but I'm being completely truthful now. As long as you're here, Bella, we'll be here."

As sincere as he looked, I still had trouble believing it to be true. I wrapped my arms around my stomach just for good measure and slowly shook my head. I could tell that he was started to get frustrated.

"This is reality, Bella."

"Edward," I muttered, finally able to say his name.

I wasn't completely ready to talk yet; I still needed more assurance that this was real. It scared me enough that I was already this close to accepting my illusion as truth.

"Explain, then. Explain everything, how you got here, why you came, what you've been doing."

Edward nodded and took another deep breath like before.

"When I left, I found that it was much more complicated being away from you than I thought. Every minute of every day was torture without you by my side. The depression was a lot to bear; I didn't want to see anyone. I knew that you'd be better off without me, but every day I was fighting with myself not to go back. As you can see, I wasn't very successful." He laughed to himself. "I never really did much of anything, although I guess testing my skills at tracking counts for something."

"Tracking? What do you mean?" I asked. I had an idea of what he meant, but I wanted to make sure.

"I was practicing at tracking, like how James can hunt down vampires and humans alike. Only difference is that James knew what he was doing and I didn't. I'm not very good at it. Victoria constantly escaped my grasp."

My eyes widened in shock.

"You were hunting Victoria?" I nearly screamed.

"Yes." He nodded. "Even though I didn't know she was after you at the time, it still felt like an obligation to find her. Well, like I said, I was horrible at it. I traced her as far as Texas, but then I followed a false lead to Brazil when she actually came here. I wasn't even on the right continent." He groaned. "But I will do better next time. Victoria won't be tainting the air by breathing in and out much longer."

"No! That's out of the question!" I shouted.

"Bella, she's nothing to worry about. Me, Emmett, and Jasper are more than enough to take her down," he assured me.

"But you don't have to do this. Victoria's gone; she's been gone for a month. Jacob and Sam have made sure of it."

"So they say," he said, putting emphasis on 'they', "And she's been gone doing who knows what."

"Please, don't. If I lost you, I…"

He raised one eyebrow questioningly and smirked. "I thought I wasn't real."

"Oh, right."

He chuckled. "May I continue?"

I nodded.

"Like I said before, I didn't do much of anything. When I wasn't tracking, I basically went into a corner and let the depression have its way with me. Pathetic, now that I look back at it." His expression suddenly turned angry. "Then I got Rosalie's phone call. She told me the one thing that I'd never want to hear in my existence."

His hands, already balled up into fists, started to shake. He looked like he wanted to punch something.

"She told me you were dead. She told me you jumped from a cliff and drowned."

It was silent for a minute that felt like forever. Guilt spread through my body like chills. Edward began to calm himself and his hands stopped shaking. He reminded me so much of Jacob. A small part of me wanted to embrace him and comfort him, like I always did for Jake.

"I needed to find out for myself whether what she said was true. So I called your house."

"Oh!" I gasped.

He nodded and smiled. "When I heard your voice Bella, I…" He began laughing to himself again and sighed. "There are no words in the world to describe the relief I felt."

He continued laughing to himself and I couldn't help but smile. Maybe this is real. Maybe. I'm still not letting my guard down.

"Not much later, Alice came back and told me everything. Just in time too, I was nearly about to burn Rosalie."

I flinched at his words. He saw this and gave me an apologetic look.

"When Alice explained everything that was going on, I knew it was time for us to return. I had a reason now, though really it's just an excuse. Purpose or no purpose, I would've come back anyway. I was prepared to get on my knees and beg you to take me back. I can still do that now, if you want."

"Be serious," I muttered.

"I am," he assured, "Bella, I'm here and I'm not going anywhere. Do you still believe that this isn't real?"

"I don't know," I said to myself.

He smiled his half smile that I loved and gazed into my eyes, not looking away for a second.

"I can prove it to you, right now," he promised.

Edward caught my face securely into his hands and brought his lips slowly to mine. It was in that brief moment that something in me broke free, and I was wide awake. I began to struggle and turn my head away from his. He ignored it. Once his lips were nearly half an inch from mine, I instinctively pushed against his chest. I knew that I couldn't physically get him away, but he seemed to finally respond. He released his hands and slowly moved his face away from mine. He continued staring at me, his eyes filled with confusion and sadness.

"Bella, love?" he whispered.

"I'm sorry," I murmured, "I can't."

"Why? Is it true then, that you can no longer love me after all that I've done?"

"That's a stupid question."

"Please, tell me."

I sighed. "Of course I love you, I always have. There's nothing you can do or say to change that."

"Then why? I want to prove to you that I feel the same."

"It's just, I…I…" I struggled to find the right words.

I tilted my head down and Edward followed, refusing to lose my eyes. For about a minute he studied my expression carefully, before shock spread across his own. Realization.

"Oh," he finally said.

I continued to tilt my head down, but Edward raised his; he looked like he was deep in thought. I kept silent because I did not know what to say. How is he going to respond to this?

"Did what I originally intend to happen come true after all?"

I remained still and silent. Now I actually wished that this was all in my head.

"Am I too late, Bella? If you have moved on, then that would be quite fair. Please, don't spare my feelings. I just want to know for sure."

I nodded my head reluctantly. I could not look him in the eye; would he be heartbroken? I knew that it never made sense for him to love me, so maybe he'd get over it quickly.

Suddenly, Edward started laughing. I couldn't help but look at him now; he was laughing, but his eyes told a different story. He was hurt, and that hurt me.

"Well, that's that I suppose." He chuckled; I could tell he was putting on a brave face for me.

"Edward, I love you."

"But you love him too? Maybe even more?"

I remained silent; I refused to say anything else that might hurt him. He put both of his hands on mine and leaned in closer to me.

"Bella, it's okay, I'm still here for you. Whenever you need me, I'll always be there. I promise."

"Really?" I whispered.

"Of course, and this is the last time I'm going to say this. I'm. Not. Going. Anywhere," he assured.

I launched myself at him and embraced him tight; I now knew he wasn't lying and that this was reality. As he wound his arms around me, I heard him sniff my hair.

"Ugh," he muttered silently.

"What?" I asked. I looked up to see his nose wrinkled.

"Nothing." He shook his head.

He set me back down and sat at the edge of my bed. I smiled at him and he smiled back. It felt so wonderful knowing that Edward really was here from now on; I was elated.

"So, who is the lucky basta-, I mean fellow?" he asked, giving me an obvious smirk.

I raised one eyebrow at him and he chuckled.

"Is it Mike Newton?"

"Don't be ridiculous!" I said critically.

"Really?" He actually looked a little surprised. "I always thought he was the closest one. Did Eric Yorkie finally turn up the charm or maybe Tyler?"

I might as well tell him. He'd find out eventually, so what's the point in hiding it.

"It's Jacob Black," I whispered the name.

Edward's expression took a dramatic sudden change; from playful cheeriness to what looked like terror.

"No. Bella, no!" he shouted and grabbed both of my arms too tight.

"Edward!" I complained.

"Please tell me you're not serious."

"I'm completely serious."

"No!"

He sprung to his feet and balled his hands into fists. His teeth were clenched and his eyes looked as if they were glowing with anger. For the first time in a while, he looked frightening, like a vampire.

"You know what they are, don't you?"

"Yes," I said, raising my voice a little, "And I don't care, Edward."

"They could kill you Bella, they have no control."

"Jacob is not going to hurt me."

"Not intentionally, but it could happen someday."

"He knows what he's doing."

"How are you so sure? How do you know he won't slip, as immature and destructive as they are?"

"You don't know him!" I yelled.

A low growl came deep from his chest and I sank further into my bed.

"I should've known. The evidence was obvious from the start, but I refused to accept it," he said to himself, then glared at me, "No offence Bella, but you smell like a dog."

I grimaced and looked away from him for a brief moment. He began to pace back and forth from each side of the room. I wish things hadn't turned in this direction. I knew that vampires and werewolves were enemies, but I at least expected Edward to understand. He finally stopped at the end of my bed and let his hands drop to his sides.

"This changes things," he muttered.

"What?" I asked surprised. What did he mean? How much did this change?

"I need to talk to him, as soon as possible."

"Talk to Jacob?"

He nodded. I hadn't thought about how Jacob would feel about this. He wasn't pleased at all when Alice came to check on me, but now the entire family was here to stay. If he and Edward met, would there be a fight?

"No!" I said in panic. He seemed to notice that.

"I just want to talk to him, Bella. He needs to know what's going on and I need to tell him something specifically."

"But…"

"Bella," he said, cutting me off, "If your werewolf is as controlled as you say he is, then there shouldn't be a problem."

I couldn't argue with that.

"When do you want to see him?"

"Tomorrow morning would be best."

I nodded. "That's fine. I had plans with him tomorrow so…"

"It'll work," he finished for me.

"What about time and where do we meet?"

He rolled his eyes and sighed.

"You should know that better than me."

"Oh, right," I murmured, "Jake usually picks me up at 10 in the morning."

"Then 10 a.m. in your backyard it is."

He started heading toward the window and I panicked. I knew he was here to stay, but when would I see him again? I always spent my time with Jacob, so when would I be able to see Edward?

"Wait!" I shouted, reaching my arm out at him.

"Yes?"

"Could you stay, just a little longer? We could just talk; I'm in no hurry to sleep."

And of course, right after I say that, I let out a long yawn. Perfect.

He chuckled. "You need your sleep, Bella. I think it'd be best if I went home now."

"Please?"

"Tomorrow," he promised.

Before I could say another word, he was gone. I sat in my bed worrying about how things would turn out tomorrow. Would there be a fight? How mad would Jacob get? What did Edward mean by "This changes things?"

I let out another yawn and I couldn't deny that I was tired. I tried not to think too much about tomorrow, I wanted to dream sweetly. As I laid my head on my pillow, I thought of nothing but Jacob's smile; the smile that brightened my day, no matter how dark it was. Just like that, I drifted off.
Please write more soon
I'm sorry,PK,you are not a good writer.
You are a GREAT writer! I've read 1 and 2,and I love it!
If only SMeyer made this true...

Keep writing!
Thank you!

5. Meeting

BELLA SWAN

My room was gloomy as I woke up. Even though my curtains were draped around the window, the sun barely shined through. I could see just fine, but turning on my lamp definitely made a difference. I stretched myself out before looking at the clock, which displayed the time as 10:05 a.m.

"Oh crap!" I gasped.

I hadn't thought about setting an alarm to wake myself up and now it was already time. I rushed into the closet and grabbed the first things I saw, a blue long sleeve shirt and black jeans. In the bathroom, I fixed myself up at lightning speed; I'm sure my hair was still a mess after going so fast. I sped down the stairs but stopped when I saw Charlie and Jacob sitting on the coach talking and watching ESPN. Jacob had already gotten here; I really messed up by waking up late. They both looked at me once I came down.

"Morning sleepyhead," Jacob greeted, smiling my favorite smile.

"Good morning," I replied. I headed over to them and noticed Charlie had an empty bowl in his lap. From the remains, it looked like he was eating cereal.

"Oh. Dad I'm sorry, I…"

"It's fine," Charlie insisted, holding his hand up to cut me off.

"Yeah, you don't have to cook all the time. I'd rather you didn't," Jacob said.

Charlie stabbed Jake with a look of slight betrayal and he shrugged innocently. Jacob got up and wrapped his arms around me gently. I embraced him back, looking up to stare into his deep black eyes. He bent in closer to kiss me lightly. Charlie was use to this by now so he didn't respond, though it was still a little embarrassing near him. Jake grinned at me and I immediately grinned back.

"So, you ready to go?" he asked.

"Jake," I whispered.

"What's wrong?" He looked at me concerned as he could read the worry on my face.

Charlie overheard and looked at me with the same concern.

"Um, I…" I stopped to think of the best way to tell him. "Just, come with me outside."

I grabbed Jake's large hand and tried pulling him with me outside. Of course I was no good at forcing him anywhere, but he knew to follow.

"Is this a surprise or something?" he asked.

"Sort of, yeah," I admitted.

I wonder if Edward was already in the backyard. He said he'd be here at 10 a.m., but was he just going to wait outside or knock at my door? I guess the best solution would be to check. If he wasn't there, then I could just call him.

I led Jacob to the side of the house and let go of his hand. He could still see the worry on my face.

"Wait here, I have to check something."

His eyes narrowed in suspicion. "Okay."

I started toward the backyard, but before I took my third step, Jacob grabbed my arm and yanked me away. He held me protectively and dashed us to the front of the house. There, he ducked behind a nearby tree, set me on the ground, and started shaking with anger.

"What? What's going on?" I shouted.

"There's a vampire here," he snarled.

Oh. So Edward was here after all. I tried to keep my voice calm as I explained.

"Jake, it's okay."

"What are you talking about?" he growled.

"There's someone who wants to talk to you."

"Bella, no!"

"Please, just trust me."

I knew Jacob would stop me if I tried to get up, but I didn't need to. Jacob's teeth clenched, his hands balled into fists, his whole body was shaking, and his eyes were filled with rage. I gasped as Edward appeared right in front of us in an instant. I knew where this was going. I wrapped myself around Jacob and squeezed him tight. He was shaking so much that I could barely hang on.

"Jake, calm!" I shouted.

He didn't stop. I squeezed even tighter and he growled.

"Please! Please, Jake!"

Slowly, Jacob's shaking became less violent. His hands were still in fists, but I could tell he was trying to settle down. I was paying so much attention to Jacob that I didn't notice Edward's stance. He was crouched like a lion ready to spring and his eyes showed almost the same anger as Jake's.

"Both of you, please!"

Nearly ten minutes passed before they both settled down. Jacob stood close and held me securely to his side. Edward backed further away from us but kept his attention on Jacob. I couldn't stand this tense atmosphere and the gloomy sky did not help.

"I'll answer all of your questions Jacob, and I'll make it quick," Edward finally spoke.

"Then explain," Jacob demanded.

It was quiet for a moment before Edward began.

"Sorry, but yes. We have returned."

"For how long?"

"For as long as we're needed. And yes, it is for her."

"We do not need you here!"

"Please, just let me talk for now. I said I'd explain and I will."

Jacob glared him down before finally nodding his head.

"First, I just wanted to thank you. I want to thank you for protecting Bella. For being there for her, when I wasn't," Edward said in a clear voice.

"No, you weren't. It wasn't for your sake, trust me," Jacob muttered.

"I'm still grateful."

Another brief moment of silence passed.

"Yes. We are," Edward said, answering a question I didn't hear.

"No! You stay the hell away from her!" Jacob threatened.

"Let me finish, dog. It's my turn to talk."

I flinched at his word. I was use to Jacob's derogatory slurs for vampires, but hearing one from Edward's mouth seemed so much harsher. Jacob waited for him to continue.

"You're aware of the red haired vampire, Victoria. We're here to make sure that she doesn't get anywhere near Bella. You have your side and we have ours. With Alice keeping an eye on her, Victoria won't even have a chance of getting close. I also trust you in protecting Bella, that's your job after all."

Jacob nodded. "Yes."

"That being said, I don't believe it's necessary for us to come in close contact with her," he said, gesturing toward me.

"What do you mean?" Jacob asked before I got the chance to.

"What I mean is; I understand that Bella will be safer with you than with us. I don't want to endanger her life anymore than it is. We'll keep an eye on Victoria and you protect Bella no matter what. That being said, you don't have to worry about us being around," Edward assured.

Jake raised an eyebrow. "You mean, being around her?"

"Yes."

"Wait, what?" I finally asked. They both ignored me.

"We'll be around technically, but we'll keep to ourselves. I've already talked to my family about it and they all agreed. This means that we're putting our entire trust one you. It's definitely not something that I wanted, but it is what it is," Edward explained.

"Do you know if she's coming back?" Jacob asked in a calmer voice.

"It's possible. Alice can see that she's preoccupied by something, but there's still that chance."

"And once she is taken out, what will you do?"

"I'm sure Victoria won't be the only vampire to ever come to Forks."

"Just remember, hunting vampires is more our job than yours."

"No, you can't!" I shouted. I just couldn't bear to imagine any of them getting hurt, especially for me.

"Bella, we've got this. You don't have to worry, you'll be fine," Jacob whispered in a soothing voice. This was the calmest he'd been today.

"That's all I have to say for now. Is there anything you wanted to ask me?" Edward offered.

Jacob rolled his eyes. "Why would I need to ask?"

Another brief moment of silence went by.

"Yes, I'll stay away and yes, it's a promise," Edward answered, "If I break that promise, then." He stopped to think about it for a moment. "I'll accept any punishment."

"Good."

"Now wait just a minute," I said, demanding attention.

Both of their heads shot towards me. They'd been talking this entire time and it was my turn to have my say.

"What do you mean stay away? Like, stay away from me?"

Edward sighed. "Yes Bella."

"What if I don't want you to?"

Jacob glared at me, clearly upset with my response.

"It's for the best, Bella," Edward said in a low voice.

"But you promised me. You told me that you weren't going anywhere."

"Yes and I'm keeping that promise. I'm not going anywhere and I will make sure that you're safe, and this is the safest way Bella."

"What about being there for me?"

"I will in a way. The best way of being there for you is making sure you're safe."

"You know that's not what you meant."

"I meant what I said."

"Edward!"

"Hey, you three," said a low rough voice.

We all looked in the direction the voice had come from. There stood an old man on the side walk. He was rather tall for an old man and looked like he could support himself without a cane easily, though he had one.

"Is everything alright here?" the old man asked.

"Everything is fine, sir," Edward answered politely.

"Well, okay now."

We waited for the old man to pass by. I'd forgotten that we were at the front of the house. This neighborhood wasn't too active, but it still made me wonder how many cars passed by and witnessed our argument. I wasn't aware at how loud I could've been shouting and I hoped Charlie didn't hear. Getting back to the matter at hand, I focused my attention on Edward.

"Please don't do this," I nearly begged, "Don't leave me again."

"Bella," Jacob muttered. I could tell that my persistence hurt him.

Edward had almost the same pained expression on his face. Now I regretted bringing that up.

"Never again Bella, but this is different. I'll always be here, but for your safety it has to be this way," he said and let out a depressed sigh.

I didn't argue anymore, I just whimpered knowing that this would be the last time I'd see him for at least a while.

"I'll miss you," he murmured.

"Miss you," I whispered back.

The next second, he was gone. I still didn't understand. This really wasn't much different from leaving, for me at least. I buried my face in Jacob's chest to keep myself from sobbing. Jacob held me close.

"Bella, please don't cry," he whispered.

Holding onto Jacob and keeping him close always made me feel better. Edward was gone, so I refused to let Jacob go too.

Edward was gone.

Edward was gone.

Edward was gone.

Suddenly I felt the ground vibrating underneath me. I opened my eyes to see that we were in my truck.

"What's going on?" I asked.

"We're going to La Push, like always," he answered.

We had gotten in my truck and I didn't even realize. Jacob was still holding me tight with one arm and the other on the steering wheel. He was tense, I could tell. He kept his eyes locked on the road and looked like he was concentrating on breathing steadily.

"Man, you weren't lying about him reading minds." He shivered and I felt it.

I nodded my head, though I really didn't know the feeling. A minute passed in silence and the atmosphere was still tense.

"Listen, let's just forget about this morning and focus on the rest of the day," I suggested. I didn't want what happened to ruin anything, and although it hurt, I knew it'd be best to get my mind off of Edward.

He sighed in relief. "Yeah, you're right."

"So what are we doing today?" I asked, eager for anything.

"First." He hesitated to continue. "I should tell Sam about the Cullens."

I grimaced at the name and he saw this.

"But after that then it's whatever you want," he promised.

"Then, the usual?" I suggested.

"The usual it is."

It didn't take too long to get to Emily's house. As Jacob eased to a stop, I noticed that everyone was already outside and in their wolf forms. They all looked our way once we got out of the truck.

"This should just take a minute, hopefully," Jacob said.

He ran behind Emily's house and emerged on all fours in mere seconds. He joined everyone else in the wide wolf circle that they had made and the growls and barks began. Even though I knew Jacob would be the one announcing the news to them, he was the one who seemed the most upset. What was wrong? Did this morning bother him more than I thought? I hated being out of the loop. It's times like these when I wish I were a werewolf too.

I waited anxiously by the truck for about ten minutes before Jacob finally came over. He looked at me and gestured his head toward everyone else as they headed into the forest. It was time for their usual sparring matches. Jake lowered himself and I hopped on. He raced to catch up to everyone and ran at a steady pace once he did. I'd finally gotten use to riding on Jacob in his wolf form. It was exhilarating; I loved how the wind blew against my face and the warm feel of Jake's fur as I clung on.

I was always disappointed when the runs ended and this time was no exception, but I made myself comfortable and stayed on Jacob's back. Everyone stopped at a wide open field with patches of dirt spread throughout. Quil and Jared immediately stepped into the middle of the field while everyone else sat down on the outside. Quil's already gotten pretty good at being a wolf; I remember when Jacob was so worried about how it would affect him once he eventually phased. In the end he didn't need to worry too much, Quil thought being a wolf was the coolest thing ever. He always makes me laugh, no matter if it was one of his corny jokes or just always trying to outdo everyone as a wolf.

Quil wasn't the only new member of the pack though, as we finally found out what was wrong with Leah and Seth. Jake told me how they both phased shortly after their father died, but were too afraid to tell anyone. Sam figured it out quickly though and they both joined around the same time Quil did. Leah and I haven't spoken a word to each other since she joined. She's always kept to herself, even now while she sits off to the side by herself. Little Seth Clearwater wasn't so little anymore. He always reminded me of a younger Jacob; he even had a similar happy grin. Seth was still learning the ropes of being a wolf. Sam keeps him away from important duties like looking out for Victoria or other vampires that might show up. It doesn't take a genius to see that Seth really wants to do something else besides practicing all the time. I'd imagine that he'll be staying out of today's matches. Looking back, a lot has happened in a month.

Sam was the usual judge of all the matches besides his own. The rules were simple, pin your opponent to the ground for three seconds or push them out of the field area. Sam barked the signal to begin and they both stared each other down. I remember watching everyone fight was frightening at first, but now it's really fascinating. The way they dodged each other's moves and waited for the right moment to attack was almost mesmerizing. Quil was the type to charge head on and Jared waited for this. He leaped out of the way almost gracefully and tackled Quil to the ground. Now it was a battle of keeping each other down as Quil would hop to his feet and pounce on Jared and he'd followed up with the same thing. They moved so fast that it was hard to tell which one was on the ground and which one had the upper hand; it was almost a blur. The skirmish finally stopped with Quil pinned for three seconds. Jared gave his wolf grin and Quil barked a laugh as they both headed off to the side to sit down.

The rest of the matches continued in a similar way. Embry pushed Paul out of the field area in two minutes, Quil came back and pinned Embry for a win, Paul finally pinned Jared after a long losing streak, and Jacob pushed Leah out of the field area effortlessly. I was very proud of the fact that Jake's never lost a match, at least not to my knowledge. An hour had passed and it was time to head back to Emily's. Everyone ran there in a group, but Leah headed in a different direction. She did this very often and I wanted to know why? She always seems so upset and bitter all the time, which is a reason why I haven't gotten up the courage to ask her straight up; another reason being that Jacob thinks that's a 'dangerous' idea.

When we reached Emily's house, I got off of Jacob and brushed off any loss fur that stuck to me. Jacob looked at me, pointed his head towards everyone else, and winked. We'd established that that gesture meant 'Remember to close your eyes.'

"Don't need to remind me about that," I said to him and covered my eyes.

I remember the first time this happened and it was terribly awkward. They had apparently forgotten that a lady was among them and Jake didn't know how to warn me. Everyone claimed they were 'too use to it' and that it was embarrassing for them too, but I was the one who had to witness five naked men phase in front of me. Jared jokes that I'm officially part of the family for seeing that.

"Okay, you can open your eyes," Jacob's voice announced.

I uncovered my eyes and Jacob stood next to me fully clothed and smiling. I always wondered how fast it took them to put clothes on because it never seemed to take long at all. Everyone else was heading inside and as the door opened, I could smell Emily's delicious muffins from all the way out here.

"So we eat first definitely." He laughed. "And after that, everyone's in the mood for video games."

"That's cool, I guess," I muttered.

He chuckled. "You guess? What, are you afraid I'll kick your butt again?"

"Maybe."

The last time everyone played, Embry offered me the controller. It was some fighting game and I just picked the first character that caught my eye, a kung-fu woman in blue who kicked a lot. I managed to hit Jacob twice before he completely owned me.

"Next time could you go easy on me please? I have no idea what I'm doing."

"Sure, sure." He chuckled again.

I knew that I shouldn't have, but seeing Jacob laugh made me remember earlier when he wasn't.

"Hey Jake, when you told Sam about what was going on, you looked upset. Did Sam say something to you?" I asked.

"No," he said, his face suddenly irritated, "Apparently Sam already knew about the Cullens returning."

"What?" I shouted.

"Yeah, that's why he gathered everyone here. He was planning on telling me once I arrived, but I already knew."

"How did he know?"

"He was keeping an eye out for the red headed bloodsucker, but spotted the Cullens instead. However, he didn't know that they were after her too."

"So, what does this mean?"

"Just that we have extra help in catching her now. Everyone's not so pleased about it though. We wanted to kill her, not them."

"Stop treating this like a game. They're dangerous, what if you got hurt?"

"Bella," he whispered.

He grabbed my arm and pulled me into his warm embrace. Like always when he hugged me, I never wanted to let go.

"You don't have to worry about a thing. It's you I'm worried about."

"Jake," I whispered back.

"I love you. So as long as you're safe, it doesn't matter to me who stops her, as long as she's stopped."

There was a brief moment of silence as we stayed together like this.

"Well," he said, pursing his lips thoughtfully, "It wouldn't matter to me much, I guess."

I raised one brow at him and he laughed. "Come on, let's go in."

Inside, everyone was already devouring the plate of muffins on the table. Jacob rushed to grab two before they were all gone and handed one to me. Emily watched happily as everyone ate her creations and Sam stood close with his arm around her. Embry, Quil, Jared, and Paul headed into the room where the video games were already set up and we followed with muffins in hand. We sat down on the couch and I rested my head on Jake's huge shoulder. I ate my muffin slowly as I watched the four play; Jacob decided to watch for now too. From what I could tell, they were playing cooperatively rather than against each other.

"What the hell? You threw me into that pit!" Paul complained.

"Oh man, sorry. I meant to throw you over the pit. Here, lemme try again," Embry offered.

"No!"

"Oh come on, I can do it this time."

I felt Jacob rumble as he laughed at their bickering. As I watched them play, my vision started to blur. I yawned and nearly dropped my half eaten muffin. Jacob looked at me and smiled.

"You sleepy?" he asked.

"A little, yeah," I admitted.

"The sun just started setting, y'know."

I shrugged. "Rough day."

"Yeah." He nodded his head in agreement.

I settled in closer to Jacob and he held me comfortingly. He adjusted himself and me along with him so that we were both lying down on the couch. Quil looked back at us and snickered.

I tried to stay awake a little longer, long enough to watch the four pass another two levels, and then I heard snoring. And here I thought I was the tired one, but Jacob was fast asleep. I always found Jacob's snoring soothing, even when it got really loud. This time, his snores were soft, like a lullaby. With his arms still gently around me, I quickly drifted into a long rest.

Awesome chapter,PK! Hope the next one comes soon.

that wuz great cant wait 4 more

 

6. Imprinting (Part 1 of 2)

BELLA SWAN

"Huh. That's weird," Mike murmured.

"What is?" Angela asked.

"I know that the Cullens are in school today, but they're not at lunch."

Angela shrugged. "Maybe they weren't hungry. I had Calculus with Alice just last period, so…"

"Yeah, it's not like lunch is mandatory. I saw Edward not too long ago too. He kind of looked irritated." He paused for a second. "Well, he always looks like that."

"True that," Ben joined in, putting down the comic he was reading, "But it's only Edward and Alice. The rest already graduated, right?"

"Yeah, they did," Angela assured.

"It's pretty amazing how they already got caught up after being gone for so long," Mike said, taking a bite out of his slice of pizza.

"Well, they're all super geniuses, right?" Ben chuckled.

"I guess. Well, Bella would know more than any of us."

Their heads all shifted towards me. I put down the sandwich I was concentrating on eating to glare at Mike.

"What do you mean?" I asked sourly.

"Well, do you know why they're not here or why they suddenly came back? Rumors are flying every-"

"Why would I know?" I interrupted him.

Mike's eyes widened, surprised by my harsh tone no doubt. "Um, I mean you're around the Cullens more than anyone. You'd most likely be the one to know anything."

"I haven't seen them at all." My face started to fall.

"For real? Everybody's seen them around. I figured you of all people would've…"

I was nearly about to smack him before Angela put her hand on his shoulder and whispered something in his ear. Mike nodded his head and shut his mouth, thank goodness.

The Cullens' return was the talk of the school. It was nearly impossible to walk around without hearing somebody go on about seeing Edward, Alice, or both. They were here, that was certain, but to me it didn't seem like it at all. If it weren't for all the gossip, I'd have never known they were around. I don't have either of them in any of my classes, even the ones that I use to have with Edward. I haven't seen them in the slightest anywhere, no trace or any kind of evidence. I couldn't believe the length they were going to avoid me. It was ridiculous, it made no sense, and I wanted answers now.

Just then, Jessica came dashing into the cafeteria and slammed her hands on our table, making everyone flinch. Her eyes beamed at me and she had a grin on her face so huge it looked like it hurt. It wasn't often that Jessica talked to me; when she did, it would either be for small favors or anything that would help her unravel the latest gossip. That being said, I knew what she wanted from me and I was in no mood.

"Okay Bella, spill! Tell me everything you know!" she squealed.

I dropped my hands to the side and clenched them into fists.

"You're asking the wrong person. As far as I know, they're not here," I said, trying to keep calm.

"Oh don't give me that, I know you know something. I just saw him down the hall." She stopped to sigh. "Why'd they come back? Are they staying? Are you and Edward still a thing? What about Jacob? Oh! Did you two get into a fight?"

"Uh Jess, maybe you should…" Angela began to warn. It was a wise thing to do, but unfortunately too late.

"Be quiet! Everybody just shut up and stop asking me everything! I said I don't know!" I screamed.

Everyone jumped from my outburst and all eyes were on me. Not only were my friends staring, but every head in the cafeteria was turned in my direction. My face quickly reddened; I wasn't sure if it was from anger or embarrassment, but I couldn't take it anymore. I left my food on the cafeteria table, grabbed my school bag, and rushed out. I looked straight forward, making sure to ignore any eyes pointed in my direction.

Once I was out of the cafeteria, I didn't stop walking. I knew this would do me no good, but the search was already on and I couldn't keep my feet from moving. I walked down the hall leading to the first floor lockers, frantically examining every face I saw. There's no way I could mistake Edward or Alice's face with someone else's, yet I didn't let anyone escape me. I knew I was making a spectacle of myself; almost everybody eyed me critically as I got into their personal space, but I was too determined to find them. I repeated my searches as I went through each building. People were actually starting to get verbal with me, but I didn't leave any area unturned. I had gotten all the way to Building Seven when the bell for next period rang. I was so far away from my next class that I knew I'd be late regardless of how fast went, so on my way back to class I continued to search. No luck at all.

I just wanted this day to be over with. The rest of my classes were a blur to me, I just spent my time concentrating on ignoring the Cullen gossip. I wanted the last bell to ring so badly that when it did, I all but sprinted out the main entrance, trying not to trip or bump into anyone. I failed at both.

Outside, Jacob was waiting for me with his black motorcycle. Jacob came to pick me up every day and almost everybody recognized him. As tall as he is, reaching up to 6'7'' now, I guess he'd be hard to miss. Jake wasn't alone though, Mike was with him as well. They were having some type of conversation, though it looked like Mike was doing most of the talking. It was nice to see that Jacob and Mike became friends over the weeks. I walked over to them and every step closer I got to Jake, the more at ease I felt. They both looked at me as I made my way to them.

"Bella," Jacob greeted.

"Jake," I sighed in relief.

"Oh, Bella. Um, you feeling any better?" Mike asked.

"I am now at least," I answered.

"Cool, uh, I hope I didn't make you too upset."

Jacob stared at Mike suspiciously and Mike grimaced slightly.

"It's fine, I overreacted," I assured.

"Well anyway, sorry."

"Don't worry about it."

"I'll see you tomorrow."

He waved goodbye to us as he walked away. Jacob got on his bike and I hopped on right behind him. He revved the engine twice, looking back at me to grin.

"Ready?" he asked.

"Let's get out of here," I said eagerly.

I wrapped my arms around him tightly as we jetted forward across the blacktop.

"Hold on tight," Jacob shouted.

I planted my face in his back as we road down the highway. Motorcycles were fast, but I always preferred the speed of riding wolf back. The way the wind pushed against my skin and the blur of the scenery was something I missed. This was nice though, not too fast and I could still hold him close, it was comfortable.

"So, you had a rough day today?" he assumed.

I grimaced, though he was looking forward and couldn't see. "Yeah."

"Tell me about it."

"I'd rather not get too much into it."

"You can tell me, Bells."

He was right. I could tell him more so than anyone.

"Is it them?" he asked in a low voice.

"Yeah," I admitted. I knew exactly who he meant by 'them'.

"What's going on?"

"It's just," the words came pouring out, "They're avoiding me; they don't want to have anything to do with me. I know that they're there, but I didn't see them at all. All I hear is how the Cullens have returned, but to me it's like nothing's changed. I can't believe they're going through all this."

It was quiet for a moment, only the roar of the engine being heard.

"Well that's good," he whispered to himself.

Reflexively I jabbed him in the gut, hurting my knuckles in the process. His head spun back to look at me for a second. I took my face from his back so he'd see my angry expression.

"What? They're keeping their promise, that's all," he said to me.

"I didn't promise or agree to anything," I shouted.

"It's for the best Bella."

"How? Explain!"

"I promised to protect you, Bella. That's my job. How will I know that you're safe when you're around a bunch of bloodsuckers?"

"They're not going to hurt me."

"It's still going to worry me to death. You're one of us now, Bella, and it'd be better that we're separated as much as possible."

"If this is some kind of vampire and werewolf rivalry, then I just want to let you know that I'm a neutral country."

He looked back again with a questioning stare.

"I mean it. Switzerland," I assured.

He let out a sigh and turned around to look at the road.

"Well they made the decision, not me. So I can't do much about it."

"Right," I muttered.

I held on to Jake even tighter, not trying not to fall off but for comfort. As we got closer to his house, I noticed that his steady breathing became a bit more irregular. He didn't say anything else for the rest of the ride and I remained silent as well.

Once we got there, Jake walked the motorcycle into his garage and I followed. He still wasn't saying anything, it was starting to worry me. In the garage, he placed the motorcycle off to the far left with the rest of his tools and equipment. Right in the middle laid his Volkswagen Rabbit, which shined off the sunlight that beamed through the open entrance. He opened the door to the passenger's seat then walked around to open the other side. He got into the driver's side and patted the seat next to him, offering me to sit down. As I sat down, I took in the expression he had on. It was a mixture of sadness and what I believed to be fear. He was sitting completely still and his hand gripped the gear shift too tight.

"Jake, what's the matter?" I asked, grabbing him by the arm.

He took a deep breath before answering. "There's something I need to tell you, Bella. I've known it for a while, but I think you should know too."

"What?" I gasped, "Is it about the Cullens?"

"No, Bella," he groaned, "It's another one of those wolf things."

"Oh." It surprised me a little. I thought Jacob already told me just about everything.

I waited for him to tell me, but he remained silent.

"Jake?"

He sighed. "First, I think I should tell you a little more about Sam."

"Sam?" This came as a surprise too.

"Yeah, there's more to Sam's story than what I already explained."

Jacob already told me the story of how Sam was the first to phase into a wolf and how hard it was for him. How he was alone, how no one could tell him what was happening, and how it affected him so much. It really made me look at Sam in a whole new way.

"Would Sam get mad if you told me?"

He thought about this for a second. "Well, he might, but it's important."

He was silent again, but I waited patiently for him to begin.

"Sam and Emily weren't always a thing, y'know. Before Emily, Sam was with Leah."

My mouth popped open. "Sam and Leah were together?"

"Yeah, they were old high school sweethearts. They really loved each other too."

"Then how-"

He raised his hand to cut me off. "Don't worry, I'll explain everything."

I nodded; eager for him to continue.

"So, like you know, Sam phased for the first time. Things were hard until the elders told him what was going on. At that point, things got better…well, almost I guess. See, Sam wasn't supposed to tell anyone that didn't need to know, that included Leah. Plus, it wasn't really safe for him to be around her. You know how that goes."

I nodded again. I wanted to ask him about Emily, but I let him continue uninterrupted.

"You remember how I kind of cheated in order for you to understand the secret? Well, Sam did something very similar. Leah was furious that he wouldn't tell her what was going on, but they were working it out. They were really trying."

His expression tightened, like he was preparing for what was next. Judging from his face, it couldn't be good.

"Then Leah's cousin, Emily Young, came down from the Makah reservation to visit one weekend."

"Emily is Leah's cousin?" I gasped. I couldn't help but say something now.

"Second cousins, but they're really close. They were like sisters when they were kids," he said.

"That's horrible! How could Sam…?" I trailed off, shaking my head.

"Hold on, I was just about to explain that part." He exhaled an uneasy breath.

I waited eagerly, but it took him about a minute to continue.

"Sam had no choice. He…" Jake hesitated to say the next part. "Sam imprinted on Emily."

I furrowed a brow in confusion. "Imprinted?"

"Another one of those bizarre wolf things we have to deal with. It's really rare. We'd heard the stories, but never dreamed that…" He trailed off.

"What is it?"

"Imprinting is, like when you see her, everything changes. Sam really did love Leah, but when he saw Emily, that didn't matter anymore. We don't exactly know why. It's kind of how we find our…'soul mates'." He murmured the word so quietly, I barely heard it.

"You mean like, love at first sight?" I snickered.

Jacob's dark eyes became critical at my reaction. "It's a little bit more powerful than that. More absolute. When we imprint, suddenly gravity isn't what holds us to the earth, it's her. You'd do anything for her, be anything for her. Nothing else matters."

"You're serious."

"Yeah. That's one very big reason why Sam hates vampires for changing him. He broke Leah's heart. Every day, he has to see the accusation in her eyes and know that she's right."

I finally understood why Leah was always so upset all the time; why she always kept to herself. I couldn't imagine how painful it must be for both of them having to see each other every day like that.

"Poor Leah. Poor Sam. And Emily, she…" I whispered.

"She was pretty angry about the whole situation at first. But, it's hard to ignore that level of commitment and adoration. You know how Emily got hurt?"

"Yeah, you told me Sam lost control."

"Exactly. Sam was so disgusted at himself; he was horrified at what he'd done. He would've jumped in front of a bus if it made anything better. Hell, he might have done that anyway just to escape the pain. Well, strangely enough, Emily started comforting him after that."

"Wow, I can't believe it."

Imprinting. I was starting to realize why Jacob was so hesitant to tell me this.

"And Sam isn't the only one who's imprinted," he announced.

My eyes widened in shock and my heart began racing. He saw this easily; the same look of shock crossed his face.

"It's Jared," he said immediately.

I let out a deep sigh of relief. "What happened with him?"

"No drama there." He half smiled. "It's just this girl he sat next to in school. Her name's Kim. Jared never used to look twice at her, but once he phased, he never looked away. Kim was thrilled; she had a huge crush on Jared for a while."

"Have I ever seen Kim?"

"No, Jared usually spends time with her at school or whenever he's at home. I think Sam wants to wait a little while before Kim can hang with the wolves like you."

He smiled at me and I returned it. A brief moment of silence passed and the sadness on Jacob's face returned.

"Are Sam and Jared the only ones who've imprinted?" I asked cautiously. The question had to come up, though I was scared to death of the answer.

He sighed. "Yes, they're the only ones."

"Do you think it'll ever happen to anyone else?"

"Like I said, Bella, it's very rare."

My head hung down at the information. Oddly, this wasn't the answer I was hoping for. If Jacob hasn't imprinted yet, did that mean I wasn't his 'soul mate'? What if the day came that Jacob did imprint, would I be another Leah? No, I couldn't imagine it.

"Bella," he whispered.

I looked back at him, my pained expression matching his own.

"I've said this before, Bella, and I'll say it again. I promise that I will never, ever hurt you. You know that, right?" he said, looking directly into my eyes.

"But…" I muttered.

"Never, Bella."

I nodded slowly. "I know."

We spent the rest of our time in the garage. I decided to just forget about imprinting and enjoy my time with Jake. He was working on a new project, another motorcycle he got from a classmate at school. It apparently broke down and the guy thought it was pretty much useless, but Jacob was determined to prove him wrong. I was his little assistant, though I didn't do much other than pass him any tool he needed. It was nice to just watch Jacob as he worked and he worked pretty fast. He was able to handle delicate pieces with his big hands so easily and never had to try very hard when tightening a built or lifting anything heavy.

Once it got dark, Jacob put away all of his tools and drove me home in the Rabbit. He was smiling nearly the whole way there and I was glad that my sweet and happy Jacob was back. He slowed to a stop at our driveway, walked me to the front door, and kissed me good night like always. When I got inside, I immediately got started on dinner. Charlie wasn't home yet, but he would be pretty soon; I wanted to have it ready before he got here. I was actually pretty hungry myself; the sandwiches I had over Jacob's were good, but not that filling. I decided on lasagna and it was ready almost the instant Charlie walked it. He hung his coat on the nearby rack and came into the kitchen to grab a plate. As we ate, Charlie asked me about my day. For the most part I was fairly honest with him, only avoiding any mention of the Cullens or the story Jake told me. When I got done eating, I rinsed my plate off in the sink and headed upstairs, saying 'Good night' to Charlie as I went. When I got upstairs, I selected the clothes I was going to wear tomorrow, placing them neatly on my rocking chair in the corner. I didn't have any homework today and only one new e-mail from Renee showed on my computer. Once I responded back with the usual message, telling her that I'm fine and so was Jake, I went straight to bed. Though I had a pretty rough day, I dreamed pleasantly. Jacob was running full speed through a vast forest, holding me close in his arms. A flurry of leaves in a wide assortment of colors, some I knew weren't even possible for leaves, fell gracefully from the trees and disappeared into beautiful dust before hitting the ground. Jacob was human, but he ran at the same speed as if he were a wolf. I didn't know where we were going, but I really didn't care. His bright smile kept me at peace, that's all that mattered.

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