The Twilight Saga

Author:  EMHW_Bear

Pairing: Jacob/Bella

Genre: AH, Romance, Angst, Tragedy, and Comfort

Rating: PG13

Beta by: Project Team Beta

Work In Progress

Featuring: Bella & Jacob, along with Seth, Leah, Jasper, Emmett, Edward, Alice, Rosalie & several of the cast  from Stephenie Meyer's Twilight Saga.

When first love goes from wonderful to tragic, embodying every other emotion in between, it becomes nearly impossible to get over. Bella discovers just how difficult a love eternal can be. 

Jacob Black, an Olympic boxing hopeful, dreams to be great. Bella Swan, a lifetime romantic, dreams to be his.  After an unexpected tragedy occurs, everyone close to them is left pondering the outcome.  Starts at the awkward ages of preteens & follows through to young adulthood.

Disclaimer: All publicly recognizable characters, settings, etc. are the  property of their respective owners. The original characters and plot are the property of the author. The author is in no way associated with the owners, creators, or producers of any media franchise. No copyright infringement is intended.

                        This lovely Banner was created by Cat (Rhodes11) 

A/N First and foremost, I would like to give a special the staff of Project Team Beta for their help and fine tuning. This particular story was inspired by a friend of mine very much like my Jacob character. The situations are intended to be relatively relatable, true to life so to speak. The story is told mainly from Bella and Jacob's POV's, but other characters will share their POV's to shed light on the situations. Thank you for taking the time to read. Enjoy!                      

Tags: Bella, Boxing, Jacob, Seth, Tragedy

Views: 862

Replies to This Discussion

Oh boy...I was getting excited for Bella and Jake, but by the last few sentences...you brought me down again :( grr, why you doing this to me? Lols.

I seriously hope that things work out between them. I like Seth don't get me wrong, but if he ends up with Bella instead of Jake, I'll scream! 

Oh, but don't you think Seth is such just such a sweetheart?? =) lol, just teasing, but I can not say nothing about who she ends up with right now. :p

(Pouts and whines) you really are killing me over here. Lols

Hahaha, I told him nobody was going to like him if he did that. You'll be hearing from me some more later in Immortals. Can't wait to get off work today. I've been too busy to have fun here, lol.

He should have listened lol.

But no...Gosh he's more stubborn then Paul.

Does he still think there is something more between her and Seth and she did not tell him, or is there something else?  Why did he just stop talking to her again when she thought things were going well for them?  Will they be able to sort things out when they see each other again?  Things are really messy right now.  Something's  got to give.  It will be interesting to see what. I hope it's not bad.

Hi Seugnet,

Yes, Things have gotten quite messy for them. It stems from all of them being young, and insecure and just plain green as far as relationships go. Thanks for the comment. =D

Chapter 13

Bella

It sounded like a stampede drove the door down. Jasper's anxious yelling of "Bella! Bella? You up there?" set my blood racing.

Darting down the stairs in a panic, I slid from the corridor into the living room, prepared for something horrible.

The sound of Seth's jolly laughter startled me. I hadn't expected the Chemawa kids to get back home so soon, and to be honest, I had been successfullywell, maybe not successfully, but semi-successfully ignoring any thoughts of the imminent summer vacation.

I was just so tired of assuming and imagining and overthinking everything in my life. I was just done. 

"Look what we found at the Dairy Queen!" Jasper exclaimed.

"Seth." I met him in the center of the living room and gave him a hug. He looked good, handsome. "When did you get back?"

"Early this morning."

I was about to ask for Leah when I heard Emmett in the kitchen chatting rapidly and quite loudly. I turned my attention to his words. "Not much, except for practically getting jumped," he said.

"Who's he talking to?" I asked, although I already had a fairly good idea who was on the other end of the line.

Not waiting for an answer from Seth or Jasper, I followed Emmett's adrenaline-laced voice into the kitchen. 

He was facing away from me, leaning on the kitchen counter with the phone pressed to his ear. The back of his shirt was ragged and grimy, and his short brown hair was dirty and mussed. I approached, worried. He glanced over his shoulder at me and scrunched his brow, prompting me to shush while he continued to talk about a fight over the telephone.

Spotting blood heavily lacing the inner rim of his lips and a noticeable red gouge on the side of his nose, close to his eye, I looked at Jasper and Seth and demanded, "What's he talking about? What happened to him?"

"He almost got jumped by James and that bunch of losers he hangs out with," Jasper answered. He began to spill all the particulars. "Seth and I were standing by the tables outside the Dairy Queen, toward the back of the building. We didn't even realize James and his boys were on the other side. Emmett was in the truck by himself, talking to some girl on the phone. As soon as he hopped out, James was thereI didn't even see him walk past pointing his finger and saying, 'It's you and me.'

"It was crazy. Emmett told him that he wasn't going to fight him, and he tried to step around him. The next thing we knew, Emmett had James pinned down on one of tables, and he was pummeling him good. There were so many people collapsing around them we had to force our way through the bunched crowd in order to break them apart."

Seth joined in. "By that time, some of those other guys were grabbing Emmett by the face and hair, trying to pry him loose to help James. But Emmett was going berserk, like a bear, too strong and too focused to notice. He didn't stop swinging until he was sure it was Jazz and me that had a hold of him."

Jasper nodded, retaking the conversation. "And then it seemed like we passed through a dozen hands, everyone pulling and pushing us backward until there were a whole lot of people standing between us and James and his crew, telling us to leave because someone had called the police."

"Frick. Emmett was fast!" Seth laughed. "One second he was shaking his head saying, 'I'm not going to fight you,' and the next second he had James by the throat , pinned down, and was blasting him in the face. James had a swollen, wicked-looking black eye, already shining before we even got 'em separated, which was only a moment or two later. That's how fast it happened."

I was horrified, but Seth and Jasper acted as if they were getting a big rush out of itas well was Emmett, by the sounds of it.

Turning back to see him, I found that the conversation had switched to a party. "It's going to be at the pit ... We had to move it when the police started watching the road out by the cliffs ... Yeah, it's that big crater-shaped dip in the woods a mile past Newton's cabin. You remember?"

"He's going to a party. Are you going? I want to go," I said to Jasper. I hadn't been to a big party ever since Leah had gotten drunk out behind the cliffs last summer.

"I don't care if you come, but it's not up to me," Jasper said. He tilted his head toward Emmett. "Gotta clear it with him first."

Emmett clicked the phone off. I went over to evaluate his wounds better. "Let me see." I reached out and adjusted his head to get a closer look at his eyes and his mouth.

He pulled down his lower lip and showed me a deep cut inside where, he explained, one of his teeth had sunk in. I cringed. "Ouch, Emmett. That looks really, really bad. Are you sure it doesn't need any stitches?"

"Nah," he replied, shaking his head. "I've seen worse on some guys after a match. It'll be fine once the swelling goes down."

Feeling apprehensive with his reply, I followed him into the living room and suggested, "You better have Mom take a look at it anyway."

"Don't need to. In fact, we're out of here. I already told her we're staying at Jake's place tonight. We better get going, too, before she catches us home."

He leap-strode up the stairs. "Wait a minute, Emmett," I called out.  When he stopped, I used a casual tone with just enough pleading in my statement. "I want to go to the party with you."

Keeping his back toward me, he slouched in an exaggerated manner and grumbled as he turned to face me. "What else is new?"

My forehead wrinkled as I wondered what he was grumbling about. I had never asked to go with him to a party before.

"Look, Bella, Mom's on her way home. I don't have time to argue with you, so I'm going to tell you exactly what I told those two when they asked," he said, glancing over at Jasper and Seth as they took turns bouncing quarters off the coffee table and into a glass of water, acting as if they weren't listening to us. "Number one, I'm getting drunk. Number two, you're not. And number three, Mom and Dad better never hear about it!"

Excited, I grinned and then quickly added, "Agreed. I swear I won't tell, but Leah gets to come with me."

He made a growling noise deep in his throat but didn't object.

As he reached the top of the steps, I shouted, "Wait, what should I tell Mom?"

He laughed callously. "That's your problem." The door to the bathroom banged closed.

Thwarted by his answer, I sat down on the sofa between Jasper and Seth, frowning. "What am I supposed to do now? She'll never let me go to a party unless I tell her I'm going with you guys. But then, she'll probably have twenty questions for Emmett, and if she sees him like that, she might not let him go, either. And how are we supposed to get home if you're all staying at Jake's and Emmett gets drunk?"

"No problem," Jasper said. "Just tell her you're spending the night at Leah's, and Leah will tell Sue she's spending the night here with you." Seth agreed with a nod. "And we'll just ... figure out the rest later." Jasper decided with a shrug.

I grimaced. "That won't work. And I'm pretty sure we're a little too old for sleepovers."

Jasper focused on the quarter in his fingertips for a second, then bounced it high off the table into the water glass and smiled. "You and Leah haven't seen each other in so long," he said as he picked up the cordless telephone that Emmett had placed on the table and handed it to me. "Mark my words. A sleepover will be expected."

Upon hearing Mom's trusting ‘yes', I gave the thumbs-up sign to him and Seth along with a thankful sigh when, suddenly, my stomach clenched into a huge anxious-feeling knot. After months of loving Jacob, of missing Jacob, then of hating Jacob, it occurred to meI was about to see him again.


Seth

Bella's face shimmered, reflecting the yellowish-orange glow of the fire in the center of the clearing.

I was leaning against the car where we had parked, high on a mound across from her, sipping on a Coke and remotely listening to Emmett, Quil, and Embry joke and raise hell with one another.

She fiddled with her long, chestnut hair without moving her glare even a little from the blaze, as if she hadn't been standing smack in the middle of the joyous, first-party-of-the-summer celebration.

As far I was concerned, she would always be beautiful.

The way she held her eyes, though, squinted from the smoke and heat radiating in her direction, and the somber way she positioned herself were so out of place from the energetic raucous moving about her that it was impossible to stop staring. It was like observing the focal point of a bland painting, where the only image outlined with definition and color is that of the subject, and nothing else in the setting ever really mattered. That was the way I felt as I looked at her.

She'd seemed excited and happy for little while after we'd first arrived. But now, it wasn't hard to tell she was hurting bad.

In the background, Emmett was re-capping his street fight to Quil and Embry.

"Then I saw Seth reach into the masses and grab hold of this babe of a blonde standing in the crowd. Come with me if you want to live." Emmett mimicked, doing a hilarious Arnold Schwarzenegger impression and backhanding me on the shoulder to draw me back to the conversation.

Quil and Embry broke out in laughter.

"There I am getting jumped, and this guy over here is creeping on some hot little bystander."

I tossed Emmett's arm off me, smiling as I clarified. "No way. I was afraid she was gonna accidentally get hit."

"Sure you were!" he mocked. "I saw you get her number."

I grinned. "She gave it. I didn't ask."

"Too bad we weren't there. James wouldn't have had the balls if we were," Quil said.

My attention drifted back to Bella. She still hadn't moved a muscle. I didn't like seeing her exhibiting all that depression. I thought I should go down and talk to her, but I didn't know what was wrong with her. Well, I kind of had an idea, but I didn't know how to make it better, and I was unsure whether or not I honestly wanted to.

"It is what it is." Emmett took a big chug of his beer. Then he lightly dabbed his busted lip with his hand. "That's the price for messing with a psycho's ex-girlfriend."

"Wait a second, Emmett. Whose ex is Victoria again? Yours or James'?" Quil joked.

Grinning, Emmett laughed, clanking his bottle against Quil's. "Touché." He took another swig. "Just glad Seth and Jazz showed up when they did to pull me off, or I'd most likely be in jail right now."

"Self defense," Embry said. "What else could you do?"

Leah and some of Bella's other friends gathered around her, momentarily blocking my view.

"Tell that to my parents. I hate to see the look on Charlie's face tomorrow when he sees me. Maybe I could hang out in La Push with Jake for a few days, 'til it goes down a little."

Not even Leah could get Bella to smile and join in on the festivities. She and the other girls eventually wandered away, leaving Bella to her apparent misery.

"Should we take a stroll around the grounds? See who else is out here?" Embry asked. "Looks like a hundred cars are here now."

Bella coiled her arms around herself. It couldn't have been from the cold; she was too close to the fire. I downed the last of my Coke, squeezed the can, and tossed it into the trees, never removing my eyes.

She seemed to be reaching out to me with her misery and taking my spirits to Hell with her.

"You coming, Seth?" Emmett asked, turning around and looking up at me from a few feet already down the mound.

I didn't realize they had all walked away.

Emmett waved Quil and Embry to go on without him, muttering, "What's so freaking interesting down there anyway?"

A couple leaping strides and he was standing beside me again, stretching his neck, narrowing his eyes, and combing over the crowd.

"Nothing," I denied, signaling him to follow me with a tilt of my head. "Let's go then."

All of sudden, Emmett let out this annoying from-the-gut cackle, a laugh that lasted for at least fifteen seconds.

"What?" I played innocent, hoping he truly wasn't thinking what I thought he might have been thinking.

"I don't believe this." He snorted, continuing to laugh, shaking his finger at me in a gotcha sort of motion.

I swatted his jeering hand out of my face. "How many beers did you have?"

"Too many. But that's beside the point." He shined a razzing gloat. "I don't know how I could have missed this after all this time."

I turned and took a long step downward from him, mulling how I could get him to shut his mouth and quit following me as I resisted the urge to soar into a run.

He's bluffing! He doesn't know anything. I slowed my pace and shoved both hands into the pockets of my jeans, deciding to ignore him.

When we got to the bottom of the clearing, he clasped on to my arm and began dragging me toward Bella. Setting a rigid stance, I shook him off.

"Just come here for a minute," he insisted.

Warily, I let him pull me toward her, speculating what he had up his sleeves.

"I may be drunk, but I'm not drunk," he said.

We grabbed Bella's attention as we stepped past the invisible barrier that she occurred to have created around herself.

"Seth Clearwater, this is Bella Swan. Bella Swan, Seth Clearwater."

Bella questioned me with her eyes. I shrugged with a shake of my head in response.

Emmett stepped back, surveying us for an instant. Then he placed his hands on Bella's shoulders, maneuvering her close to me. He lifted my arm, positioning it around her, and took another comedic look. "I like it," he said relatively serious, cheesy-grinning at the two of us before rambling off to who knows where.

"He went too heavy on the sauce tonight," I tried to explain and slipped my arm off her the moment Emmett's back was turned.

Smiling warmly, she replied, "I gathered."

"I'm not even sure what that was all about," I alleged.

She shrugged, unconcerned, letting me know that it didn't matter to her.

The heat from the fire hit me like a blast. Uncomfortable, I ran the back of my hand across my forehead, wiping away the beginnings of perspiration.

"Where's Jasper?" she asked, gazing around us.

Stuffing my fists back into my pockets, I rested my backside on the car beside her. "He wandered off looking for cellphone reception, I think," I replied. "Are he and Maria still together? He hasn't' said, and I don't want to ask. "

She didn't answer, already back in a world of her own. I nudged her with my shoulder. "Bella."

"Oh. Sorry, Seth. They've been fighting an awful lot lately. That's all he's told me." She bit her lip and fidgeted self-consciously. "Sorry about that; I just ... I guess ... I shouldn't have made Emmett and Jasper bring me with them, because now that I'm here, all I want to do is go back home."

I didn't say anything, waiting to give her a chance to confide in me if she was willing.

"I didn't realize it at the time, but I only came tonight because I thought" She abruptly quit talking and smiled sheepishly. "Never mind what I thought. It doesn't matter anymore."

But it mattered to me. I hated to see her so unhappy, and I knew I was about to do something that would probably end up being an action I'd later regret. "It's Jake," I casually stated.

Her short, airy gasp startled me. She tensed a little, and her face lit up, becoming more animated than I had seen her since we'd first arrived. "Where?" she asked energetically, her eyes darting all over the crowd.

That told me all I needed to know. I swallowed hard. "I meant, it's Jake. You came with us just to see Jake. He's the guy, isn't he?"

She dropped her head down, twisting her foot in the dirt, and then lifted her face back up with slightly reddening cheeks. "It is Jake," she finally admitted.

My chest tightened ... though not a whole lot. It wasn't as if I didn't already suspect that answer, but it still hurt to hear it coming directly from her lips.

"Jake ... "she mindlessly repeated, her voice a dream-laced whisper as she said, "he's always been the guy," making me realize just how much he'd always been the guy. "Has it been that obvious?"

"No," I quickly replied, pushing my own wounds and disappointment aside. "Not at all. I just sort of figured."

"I didn't think I cared if I ever saw him again, but I guess I do," she said, "and I know that I shouldn't."

We fell silent, and the quiet tension between us started to get prickly. "He said he was coming. I thought he would have been here by now," I offered. True, but words used only to break the silence.

"He probably found out I was going to be here," she muttered, soft and unemotionally; but, the pain in her statement sliced me deep. I couldn't stand for her to feel that way. She was Bella, and all I wanted was to see her happy and feeling good about herself.

"Come on, Bella. You don't honestly believe that. Do you?"

She swayed her body from side to side, like a tiny flower shifting with the breeze, contemplating, and slowly answered. "I don't know what I believe anymore, Seth."

Looking me deep in the eyes, she asked with a hopeful glimmer, "Has Jacob ever said anything to you about me?"

I had no choice but to answer truthfully. "Well ... no. But you haven't talked to me about him, either. So, that doesn't mean anything."

She rolled her eyes away from me.

Ugh. That was all I could take. "Let's go," I said sternly, standing upright and taking her by the arm.

"Where to?"

"To find Jacob! There's about thirty or more cars out here, and everybody isn't standing at the fire."

We trekked from car to car, asking anyone and everyone we knew if they had seen Jake and getting loads of different answers, depending on who we questioned. I started to wonder myself if he was purposely avoiding us because several people claimed they had seen him earlier, directing us to the routes they'd thought he'd gone or to whom they'd thought he was with.

Due to the darkness beyond the illumination of the fire, I steadied Bella at times, helping her stay on her feet in case she stumbled. But I didn't mind I was used to watching over her that way.

After she almost did fall, she threw her arms up in the air, frustrated. "It's no use. We're never going to find him. Let's just go back to the fire, Seth."

I didn't argue. I was tired of searching for him, too.

When we situated ourselves back on the hood of the car we had been sitting on before, Bella sighed. "We're never going to find him because he doesn't want to be found." She lifted her finger to one of her eyes, and I recognized the twinkling of tears. "He doesn't want to be found, not by me. I just don't understand what I ever did to him, Seth."

I do. Or, at least, I thought I might.

It was all I could do to not look away; guilt was tearing at me, and I didn't want to see her cry.

The only thing I did want more than anything else at that very moment was for Jake to show up and take her pain away.

"If we can't find him, it's because he isn't here." I stringently maintained, attempting to provide her some words of comfort. "He's training for Nationals, and you know how he feels about partying and drunk people. When I get home, the first thing I'll do is call him and let him know you were looking for him. I'll bet you any money he'll drop whatever he's doing to go find you." I hoped.

She shook her head, disregarding my comments. "Then why do you suppose everyone else has run in to him, except for us?"

"Pfft, they're all drunk." I reminded. "They probably don't know who they've run in to. Leah didn't see him, and neither did Paul, Jared, or Sam. Anyone who wouldn't be mistaken hasn't seen him." Which was true.

"Maybe," she slowly replied, yet added a sad sigh of surrender. "Either way, I give up."

She tilted herself to the side, her shoulder lightly brushing against mine. Briefly, I thought to put my arm around her to give her a supportive hug but pushed the thought aside because I didn't want her to get the wrong ideaconsidering my past screw-ups.

She needed a comforting friend, not a dope trying hit on her while she was fragile.

Gradually, I let myself relax against her, arm to arm, and I felt her lean against me, as well.

"Enough of this gloom," she asserted, her head slightly touching my shoulder as she lifted her eyes to meet mine. As I inhaled the thick, smoky scent caught in her hair and clothes, she smiled and asked, "So, now you know my secret, Seth. What's yours?"

"Jacob, where you been all night?" someone sounded out.

Be careful what you wish for.

I glanced over to the group hanging closer to the fire. Jacob was making small talk with different individuals, casually threading his way toward us amongst the crowd.

For some unknown reasonprobably the get-the-hell-away-from-my-girl look that he gave meI sprung up and away from Bella as if I'd been doing something wrong.

"It's about time, dude. I've been ..." I felt Bella move in close beside me. Her hands were hiding in the pockets of her zip-up sweatshirt, shoulders tucked together like she was trying to make herself appear smaller. "We," I rephrased. "We've been looking for you all night."

"So I heard," he replied, honing in on Bella, gluing his eyes to her like I wasn't even there.

"Where you been?" I asked, but received only silence.

I slid my attention back and forth between the two of them, suddenly feeling like I was interrupting a personal moment, tempting me to back away and out of their circle, and getting the feeling that if I did, they wouldn't know or care.

They were swimming in each other's presence, practically drowning in it. It was weird and annoying, and it sucked to have to witness it. 

Bella's eyes were glowing with adoration, and her blush corresponded perfectly with her cherry-glossed lips. Staring at him, she looked more beautiful than I'd ever saw her, except for one other time I could remember the time she slipped off her porch.

She had the look that I first fell in love with, and she had it because of him.

Jake gulped, trying to take his eyes off her but appearing unable and then, at last, blankly replying, "I was here for a little while. But I needed to go home to c-call my mom." He looked as if he was answering her instead of me.

I coughed, uneasy. That seemed to do the trick for Bella. Fleetingly looking over at me and shuffling forward a step, she asked, "How are you, Jake?"

"I'm good. How about you?"

Awkward.

"So, how'd you get here, Jake?" I interceded, in order to thin out the uneasiness and bring back some bit of normalcy to the atmosphere.

"Dirt bike," he dazedly replied, giving me a minimal amount of attention.

"You mind switching places with me? I'll take your bike back to Billy's, and you can head home with these guys." I needed to get the hell out of there, quick. "I'm pretty drained, and I don't think Emmett's going to be ready to head out for a long, long while. He's ridiculously trashed at the moment."

Jake seemed to be thinking about my question, becoming more lucid. He instantly reached into his pocket and drew out his bike keys, giving them to me.

As I started to walk away, I replayed Jake's expression as he came face to face with Bella after several months. It was mixture of intense longing, deep affection, and simple heartache. He's flippin' in love with her! Getting a taste of what Emmett must have been feeling when he had his revelation.

I paused, scratching my head and wondering, for the life of me, how in the hell had I not seen it before.

The bald-faced knowledge frankly really pissed me off! All he had to do was tell me.

"Clearwater!" one of the residential staff members hollered. Yahshort for his traditional name Yaha Utawas a brawny, middle-aged man. He was about six foot two, and he wore a long, thick, black braid. He looked younger than he was and had a reputation, which warned us not to break any of the house rules when he was on duty. "Mail delivery."

Practically jumping out of my skin, I was excited beyond belief to read Bella's return address on the upper left corner of the purple envelope. She was hardly speaking to me before I left home.

I hurriedly began to tear open the envelope, being reminded that I had an audience when Yah mentioned that he also had one for Jacob, asking me if I minded taking it to him since I was already heading in that direction.

"No problem!" I replied, plucking it from his large, calloused hands before tugging my own card out of its envelope.

It was a simple birthday card. Bella wished me good luck in the upcoming year and told me that she would miss me. But I appreciated the sentiment like she'd just said she loved me.

Jake's card was from her, tooa black envelope. His was a little thicker than mine, but what really caught my attention was the smell. It was obvious it had been sprayed with some type of perfume. Bella wasn't the flowery type of girl. What the hell? I stood in the hallway, holding the envelope to my nose, speculating.

Then, when I remembered it wasn't his birthday, my curiosity kicked me in the rear. I couldn't stop myself. I didn't even try. Ducking into the nearest restroom, I swiftly opened it up.

It wasn't really a love letter. Just a few miss you words, some good wishes stuff on the upcoming boxing season, and an "I can't wait to see you again" signed "Bella" with a smiley face, and there was a picture of her.

The most I could get out of it was that she had a possible crush on him, unless I was reading too much into it. After all, she did tell me she missed me, too, and might have said more if we had gotten along better the weeks before I left.

I began to feel a definite surge of anger, though, and unsure of who withBella, Jake, or myself. So, when Jake walked into the restroom, I reacted without thinking, stuffing his card into one of my books.

"There you are. I almost left without you," he casually stated. When I didn't say anything, he asked, "What's up?"

At that moment, I needed him to know what had transpired between Bella and me, and that I still felt strongly about her.

"Nothing. Look. I got a letter from Bella." I waved my card in front of him, grinning as wide as a clown.

"Oh, yeah. What'd she say?"

"She said she really misses me. I never got a chance to tell you what happened between us."

But even after I gave him the opening, he never admitted a word about her to me, and I chose to ignore my suspicions, passing them off as paranoia and trying not to think about it any further.

Scowling, I angrily continued toward his bike, deeming he was just at fault as I was, maybe even more.

That's what he gets.

Still, Bella didn't deserve any of it. I rubbed the back of my now stiff neck.

I thought about Jake's lack of reaction when I descriptively and over exaggeratedly told him what went on between Bella and me at the Holiday dance and again after my fight in the locker room.

Maybe I had been in such denial back then that my mind was playing tricks on me, because now the memory appeared a lot like he'd sucked in his breath as if he'd just taken a hard fist to the kidneys.

I considered what his response might have been toward me, had I been "the guy" instead of him.

Assessing the intensity of emotions I witnessed, and finally allowed myself to understand, my head told me: there was a high possibility I would have been in for a good fight.

But my gut ... my gut feeling was: however difficult it might be, he'd find a way to be happy for me. Sincere encouragement was all he'd ever shown me before, and he deserved far better from me than what he'd gotten back in return.

Debating, I hesitated, tensely running both of my hands through my hair. Blowing out a sharp breath of air, I reluctantly spun around and headed back to face the music.

Bella sat extremely close to Jake on the trunk of Jessica's car. She just as well sat on his lap. I almost didn't want to disturb them.

Freezing about a good ten feet away, I lifted my voice. "Jake!"

He leaned away from her, tipping his chin at me inquiringly. After whispering something in her ear, he stalked toward me. "Whats up?"

"It never happened the way I said it did." I straight up confessed, watching his brows furrow in confusion.

"Huh?"

"Bella didn't kiss me. She didn't kiss me either time." His furrow began to transform into a scowl. "I was the one that kissed her, Jake, and ... I'm not even sure she kissed me back."

The cat seemed to have taken a hold of his tongue, so I continued, "I had no business making you believe it was more than that. I was being stupid! You can tell her that. She'll probably hate my guts, but go ahead and tell her if it'll make things better between you two." I tossed his keys back to him, muttering, "I'll find another ride home." I turned away. 

He could hate me, too, if he wanted.

"Seth!" his burly voice deeply bellowed, a tone demanding me to stop.

I did, bracing myself for the anger that was sure to follow. When I turned around, he softly lobbed the keys back to me. "I'll see you tomorrow, okay?"

I snatched them from the air, surprised, and nodded a yes.

"We'll go do something," he said. "If you want?"

I grinned, nodding another yes.

A few different emotions weren't hard to readmostly understanding, some forgiveness, and there was something else. Pride. Jake was proud of me.

I couldn't say I was happy as I hopped on his bike and drove away, but I wasn't exactly sad, either. It was more like satisfied or content.

Happiness, I would work on.

When I got to the top, I curved around on the mound and stopped to take one last look at Bella. A little too far, but I bet she was blissful.

Jake was a tower in comparison; although, somehow, they also seemed to be the same size.

I shrugged, guessing I was more able to see them as Jake and Bella "the couple" versus just Jake and just Bella than I'd have thought.

Wow...I wonder what will happen with Jake and Bella, now that Seth has confessed.

Which may I say-was very wise of him to do and the right thing.

Hi Infinite Love,

Seth does have a good heart and he's been carrying that guilt for a while.

Thanks for the review. =)

I really hope things will work out now that the truth has been revealed.

Hi Seugnet du Toit.

Oh, if things were ever that easy for the. =)

Thanks for the review, I'm about to get back to work on this piece.

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