Main Characters: Jacob Black, Wolf Pack, & OC
Genre/Universe: Post-Breaking Dawn Canon
Summary: He Never Suspected...
I was inspired to write this story by a legend I came across about imprinting on the following website.
And for the simple fact that Breaking Dawn broke my heart!
A canon follow-up to Breaking Dawn with twists, turns, and surprises.
What happens when a wolf is separated from his imprint?
Jacob tries to live without Nessie, selflessly agreeing to give her short childhood to Bella and Edward. Racked by boredom and loneliness, he befriends a girl with an abusive step-father. Will another heart be broken?
What sinister forces are stalking Jacob and the other wolves, and why?
Discover who Embry's father is, if Leah ever finds happiness, and how Sam and Jacob deal with having two separate packs.
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.
A/N This portion of the story takes place after Bella convinces Jacob to give Nessie’s uniquely short childhood to her and Edward.
Agreeing was a side effect of imprinting. Jacob could and would do only what was best for Nessie.
Moving Right Along
All peace and contentment disappeared completely along with his heart, the day Jacob woke to find his life vacant and his imprint gone. His anger at himself for not speaking up when he had had the opportunity nearly drove him over the edge. He couldn't eat, he couldn't sleep, and he couldn't for the life of him, figure out why in the hell he had let her go without him.
Getting through the next several weeks was far more difficult than Jacob had ever imagined.
The days were long and empty. It was like someone snatched the sun from the sky and left him surrounded by cold lonely darkness. He felt as if he was dying a slow death, and he had no idea how he was supposed to survive without being able to see his sweet little Nessie.
Everything had been about Bella for so long, and even during times where he had nothing to do, he had someone to be concerned about, someone to occupy his mind. Then everything became about Nessie, and he always had somewhere he wanted to be. Now that they were gone, there was nothing else left.
Adding to the situation, he had become addicted to all the dangers that he'd faced over the past year, and now he found himself extremely bored.
His best friends, Quil and Embry, moved on without him since he hadn't had time for them in months. Every time he wanted to hang out, Quil said he was too busy and Embry was always grounded. He wasn't about to crash anyone else’s party uninvited either.
Even Billy had plans that didn't include his own son. Serves me right.
Thinking that maybe Charlie would be lonesome by now as well, he decided to stop by his place. It turned out he was wrong. Charlie had Sue Clearwater to keep him company.
He passed on by Charlie's place, feeling sorry for himself and longing for the highly intense days of the past.
The twanging metal reverberation of a typical box guitar cut through the air, capturing his attention. This is something new! Sharpened by the supernatural hearing of his inner wolf, the music resonated loud and clear. The rhythmic flow was very enjoyable for country music, typically not his preference.
Jacob figured he liked the sound of it just because he liked the sound of it.
He listened more intently, making out a faint soft female voice singing along with the strumming guitar. The sweet melodic flavor in the voice urged him forward. Jacob began paying attention to her while she continued plucking away, singing the words: "And you've got a smile that could light up this whole town. I haven't seen it in a while, since she brought you down...."
She stopped singing for an instant, continuing to hum while she strummed. "Jeez, what's wrong with me today?" she grumbled nearly inaudibly, giving him the impression that she messed up somewhere, although it sounded perfectly fine to him.
It took a moment for him to realize, he was trailing in the direction of the strumming guitar with high hopes of getting to see The Voice.
As he turned the corner of Charlie's block, he sensed a delicate but very satisfying aroma. It was a scent similar to vanilla blended with a hint of lavender. He smiled at how good he had gotten at identifying all the various odors he was hardly aware of before the Quileute legends proved true.
Halfway down the street, he spotted the source of the pleasurable nature. The girl handling the guitar was sitting on the porch of a two-story, split-level house. Before he could get any closer to where she sat, a deep gruff male voice shouted, "Raven, get in here … now!"
Jacob made a mental picture of the owner's voice as being a middle aged, average height, stocky built, overweight guy with tattoos on his fat covered muscles. "Ugh, why can't he ever leave me alone?" Jacob heard the girl gripe quietly. She stood up and entered the house, taking the nice aroma with her, answering, "Yeah, Dad?"
When he passed, he couldn't help but stare. On the lower floor of the split-level home, he could see inside a bedroom. A dark haired girl was standing by the window. Even though it was evening, Jacob had a vivid view of her.
Due to the somewhat tanned tone of her skin, he thought she was possibly Native American but wasn't quite sure. She could have been Mexican or maybe not. She stood by the window, peering out for a moment and wearing a very poignant facial expression. He wondered what she might have been thinking about. She seemed to be gazing at him, so he waved to her. She just shut the window and closed the curtains.
Probably thought I was some kind of peeping Tom.
Then the door to the house flung open and the girl's dad stomped out resembling, accurately, the way Jacob pictured him only with dirty blond hair.
Jacob decided the girl was neither Native nor Hispanic.
Catching his stare, the man scowled back at him as if Jacob was nothing but a piece of trash up to no good which really pissed Jacob off.
He got the vibe that the guy was a terrible person with a scent as foul as the vile inner-personality he sensed from him. Christ, to have a dad like that...
After spending another weekend alone, Jacob decided he needed a phone number to contact Nessie, and he stopped by Charlie's to see if he had one. "Bells hasn't called yet, but it's only been a few weeks and I know they're halfway around the world somewhere. When she does, I'll let you know," Charlie promised.
Edward probably told Charlie not to give me the number.
He bitterly wondered if Nessie and Bella would be terribly angry with him if he gave Edward a good size crack in the nose because of it. He inhaled roughly, feeling a strong urge to howl, leap into a run, smash something with his bare fist, morph, and exact some kind of destruction on anything he could attack or rip apart with his teeth.
Instead, he forced himself to take a deep breath. His body trembling as he continued walking up the street. Allowing himself to go berserk and wildly sprint through the woods like a rabid wolf had never pacified him before, and he had no reason to believe it would help this time.
He needed to see Nessie. She was his sanity.
Rounding the familiar corner on his way back home, someone slammed into him and ricocheted off. His arms quickly came out and he caught her before she hit the ground. "I'm sorry," he courteously apologized.
"No. It was my fault," the girl muttered. "I wasn't paying attention to where I was running."
She lifted her head but cast her eyes away from him. Jacob noticed a bright red bruise just below her eye, and it appeared that she had been crying. "Are you okay?"
The girl noticed him gawking at her bruise and pulled away from him. "Yes, I'm fine, don't worry about it." She inattentively darted down the street, appearing just as distressed as him, if not more so.
Jacob knew that the bruised girl was the same girl that he'd heard playing guitar and singing.
He heard the same deep rough grumble from the other night bellowing, "If she thinks she can disobey me and get away with it, she's got another thing coming!"
A female voice responded, saying, "She just wanted to go running, Mike. I know what Raven did was wrong, but she's already been hit, I mean, punished for that. She never goes anywhere else. What's wrong with running?"
"That's not the point, Abby. Raven disobeyed, and she should be grounded. She's probably got a boyfriend somewhere around here. I bet that's where she's always running off to!" the man grumbled.
Jacob’s temperature rose in anger. "Jeez," he mumbled underneath his breath, feeling a fair amount of aggression toward the man.
He crossed the street and was about to enter the woods when he whiffed it.
The repulsive, sickly sweet smell which burned his nostrils, turned his stomach, and brought out his desire to protect, and to kill. A smell he could only tolerate when his precious Nessie was nearby overwhelming his senses with all that was perfect and meant to be.
He breathed in deeply as the hairs on the back of his neck suddenly stood on end. A wave of adrenaline, of pure excitement, washed through him and he felt as if he'd abruptly awaken from a dormant state. Like he was suddenly alive when he'd never even realized he'd been dead.
His body instantly exploded and he was on the run attempting to follow the sickening odor, leaping over boulders, and crashing through trees.
But the stench vanished so quickly Jacob wasn't quite sure he'd even whiffed it at all. Confused, and disappointed, he slowed to a trot and changed his direction toward home.
The week dragged on, and Jacob was about to lose his mind. Every day became harder to get through, harder to merely focus, no matter how much he tried to convince himself he was strong enough handle life without Nessi for a little while. Five years...ten years...twenty years, was nothing compared to forever.
His lonesomeness for her was excruciating and becoming too much for him to bear. He was sure he wouldn't last much longer before his mind began splitting apart.
Topping everything off, his car broke down and he was going to have to go to Hoquiam to find parts. He decided to skip school in an act of frustrated rebellion.
As he drove out of La Push on his motorcycle, he considered stopping by Sam's place and letting the guys know what he thought he whiffed but decided not to jump the gun just yet, concluding that maybe it was only wishful thinking since he was bored beyond belief and lonely to the point of craziness.
The drive to Hoquiam wasn't all that bad. The weather was pretty decent. He lucked out getting the necessary car parts at a fairly cheap price so - all in all - the day was turning out to be better than he'd expected.
On his way back through Forks, he aimed to pass by the high school just for the hell of it. He sometimes got a kick out of the intimidated and dubious glares he got from some of students around there. And a small part of him was hoping that maybe, another vampire had infiltrated the school and was there to make trouble.
No such luck!
Though, he was pleasantly surprised when he spotted the guitar-playing girl strolling home from school. My chance to get a better look at The Voice. He sped up on his motorcycle until he was right behind her, stopped the bike, and climbed off to walk, wheeling his bike along. "Hi," he greeted casually.
"Hello," the girl replied, uneasily turning away from him.
"My name is Jacob, Jacob Black," he said in a straightforward way. He'd never been too shy to meet someone new.
"Name..." then she cleared her throat and glanced down in obvious, blushing discomfort, "my name is Raven Myles."
"Aren't you the girl with the guitar?"
"Aren't you the guy that pushed me down?" she returned, using a very serious tone and a look that matched.
"Oh. Yeah, sorry about that," Jacob said flustered, unexpectedly caught off guard.
Still looking down but only partially, Raven laughed. "Just teasing. I know it was all my fault."
A girl with a sense of humor. Jacob grinned. "Are you new here?" He was trying to ignore the now healing yellow bruise below Raven's eye. He suspected that the bruise was the reason for her unwillingness to look directly at him.
"Uh huh, about six months," Raven replied.
"Really, where from?"
"Texas. San Antonio, Texas"
"Hmm... So you go to Forks High School. What grade are you in?"
"The eleventh, and you?" She almost had her head all the way up, but she was still trying to hide her bruise with her hair.
"Me too, missed way too much school last year. Anyway, I go to school in La Push," Jacob offered. Then he curiously asked, "Are you Native American? I can't tell."
Raven giggled, lifting her head completely, gazing up. She fingered a lock of her hair, tucking it behind her ear. "Actually, I'm part Native, part Hispanic, and part White. My mom is Hispanic and White and my father was Native." She smiled, finally allowing him to make eye contact with her. His eyes popped wide open when he saw how cute she was.
He noticed that her eyes were really dark, nearly black, like liquid black, even darker than his own eyes were. They were large almond shaped with a trace of narrowness to them. She had long, thick wavy hair, the same nearly black color as her eyes. Her skin was fair with a natural sun kissed glow about it, which caused the difficulty he'd had in determining her ethnicity. She was also very petite, maybe just a little smaller than Bella. She was curvaceous, not as thin as Bella but slight just the same. Jacob wondered if he looked like a giant walking beside her. They were almost behind Raven's house when Jacob heard the voice he was already sickened of, roaring, "Raven!"
Raven jumped unnerved, quickly saying, "I have to go." And just like that she was gone, running around from the backyard to the front and disappearing in doors.
Jacob heard the man swearing at Raven, something about schoolwork, friends, and who the hell was that guy? He tensed, getting more heated by the second, while fighting the slight trembling triggered by just the sound of the despicable jerk. He started up his bike, pushing himself to hurry up and get away just so that he didn't have to listen anymore.
That night, Jacob dwelled incessantly on Raven. He remembered a conversation that he'd once had with Quil, in which Quil told him he didn't see girls anymore. He thought about how he must have misunderstood the entire discussion. Seeing as his perception of Raven was clear and exceptionally vibrant. In fact, he was stunned by how appealing she was when she lifted her chin completely up and freed her eyes of her hair. Hmm ... Maybe I had my concept of imprinting all wrong?
Raven ran into her house answering her dad. Actually, he was her stepdad. Since he married Raven's mother way before Raven could remember, Mike was the only dad she'd ever known. Raven's biological father, Reed, had passed away before she was a year old. Her older brother River was nine at the time. This left her young mom in a very vulnerable position. Well, at least that's what Raven told herself to explain why Abby even married the terrible guy.
Raven did all her homework then she tried to watch some television. Mike told her to go read a book. That's just the way Mike was, and he had been that way ever since she was a little girl. If she asked for water, he would make her drink milk. If she wanted milk, he would make her drink water. If she asked to play, he would make her take a nap. If she wanted to nap, he made her do chores. Raven knew that Mike's behavior was a cruel power trip that he freakishly enjoyed. She couldn't wait for the day when she would at last be free of him.
"Who was that man you were talking to?" Her mother asked when Mike was out of hearing range.
"Just some guy from the La Push Reservation," Raven replied. "It was the first time he'd seen me here, so I guess he was curious."
"You're lucky your father didn't flip out. You know how he gets."
Raven rolled her eyes, stomping down the stairs to her bedroom. She had just turned seventeen, yet Mike refused to let her have any boyfriends or friends that were boys. Abby said it was to be protective, but Raven knew Mike was just a controlling butthead. Raven had guy friends regardless. As long as she kept them away from her home, it wasn't a problem.
She recalled how a boy once called her house. Mike picked up the other line cussing, telling the boy not to ever call the house again, along with some choice names. Word must have gotten around because no boys called Raven again, and she never gave out her phone number either. That was just as well, too, because Raven didn't want to give Mike any excuse to hit her.
Mike had been hitting her and her brother for as long as Raven could remember, not all the time, but enough times for her to know to fear him. Abby and Mike both came from families that believed in good old-fashioned spanking. But in Raven's opinion, Mike took it to the extreme when he lost his temper.
Just like the other night, Mike had given Raven permission to stay overnight with her friend Kristy. Raven was told to go straight to Kristy's and nowhere else. She didn't tell him that she and Kristy had already planned on going to a movie because she knew he wouldn't allow her to go. Raven was unaware that one of Mike's co-workers was somewhere in the theater that night. Kristy's brother and a few of his friends showed up and sat with her and Kristy. All the while, Raven couldn't even enjoy herself because she was so afraid that Mike was going to find out that she disobeyed, perhaps call Kristy's house and find out she wasn't there.
The next day when Mike returned home from work, he sneered, "Clarissa wanted to know if you enjoyed the movie this weekend."
Raven knew she was busted.
Mike had been so upset he smacked her in the face, which left an ugly bruise below Raven's eye. Abby comforted Raven as usual, but added that Raven should have known better. Raven loved her mom, and in spite of Mike, Raven and Abby were actually very close. Raven never understood what Abby saw in the guy because she was such a loving person.
Abby later explained that Mike was in a bad mood because he had just been notified that his work hours were going to be cut. Raven was furious that Abby was always making up some excuse for Mike's behavior.
"I guess I'll pick up more home healthcare patients, maybe out at La Push," Abby was thinking out loud. She was just a part-time certified Home Healthcare Nurse, but Abby loved it. She'd always said she wanted to be a Registered Nurse and a Certified Healthcare Nurse was the next best thing.
Raven lay on her bed thinking about the guy with the motorcycle. He looked like an adult at first, from afar. He was very tall - Raven wondered how tall - and extremely well built. After she talked with him, she could see that he almost had a baby face. Jacob Black is terribly gorgeous. She sighed.
She stood up, drifting over to the window wishing she could go for a run. Raven liked running. She was able to be alone and let her mind wander when she ran. It was one of the few times she could get away from Mike. She'd often imagine running forever and never going back.
She hadn't been able to get out much these days. When she'd first arrived in Forks, she'd heard that people were being attacked by wild animals in the woods, and she was too big of a chicken to go anywhere near the walking paths after that. She was forced to run in town. It wasn't the same when you had to watch for traffic.
Sensing probing eyes ogling her, Raven's mind drifted back to earth. A strange man sitting in a parked car precisely across the street from her house caught her attention. Has he been watching me all this time? The thought gave her the willies. She jerked herself away from the window, taking a quick breath. Slowly, she reached for the curtains and yanked them closed, shuddering with fright.
A/N This installment was actually a condensed version of the original chapters 1 thru 3. I did this because, since this was my first stab at fan fiction, it took a bit for me to find the flow. And to be honest, I was never quite satisfied with the first two chapters. No matter how hard I tried, I just couldn’t get them to gel with the rest of the story the way I wanted them too, so, Moving Right Along, the story and the writing is much, much better from here.
As many of you probably already know, the lyrics Raven is singing belong to Taylor Swift from her song You belong to Me
Don't know if I'm adding these chapters the correct way. If anyone has some helpful advise please share =) thanks
Something about Raven
Jacob was anxious for school to let out because he was planning to take another ride by the Forks High School. He was optimistically eager to see Raven again. He figured he needed to get to know more about her just to satisfy his insatiable curiosity.
As he drove to Forks, Jacob became aware that he hadn't thought about the Cullens or Nessie for the past couple days, which was unusual for him. He also hadn't been out to see any of the guys because he really hadn't wanted to be around any of the others guys with their imprints after Bella and Edward took Nessie away. Even though it was only temporary, it still hurt indescribably that she was gone.
Jacob made himself a mental note to go by Sam's place later, just to touch base and see if anything was up.
Exactly as he wished, Raven was walking home from school. Jacob slowed up beside her and smiled. "Hi," she said, cocking a bewildered eyebrow at him.
He started to say he was just in the neighborhood but stopped short and boldly stated, "I just wanted to come by and see you."
Raven quickly shifted her focus straight ahead. He noticed a glint of rosy coloring seeping through her cheeks. She turned back to face him, her lips parting briefly then falling closed, without uttering a response.
Jacob chuckled. "Sorry. I didn't mean to embarrass you."
"You didn't. I'm just not that comfortable talking with guys," she candidly revealed. "I never know what to say."
"Well lucky for us, I'm good at talking with girls," he grinned. "Can I walk with you?"
"For a little while," she replied, scanning the area with a worried expression on her face.
In one swift, nearly invisible move, he slipped off the bike and was standing beside her. She did a double take, mildly confused, reminding him that he needed to be careful around her.
Lightly clearing her throat, she tilted her head, tugging gently at her earring. It was easy to see she was far more edgy than she was the first time he spoke to her.
"Is there something wrong or is it just me?" Jacob teased, attempting to lighten up her mood.
"Can we walk through the alley again?" she asked.
"Sure." He shrugged. Jacob didn't need her to explain why. He was already certain that it had something to do with her callous, domineering father.
"Do you have any brothers or sisters or is it just you?" Jacob was walking slowly, not sure how long Raven would allow him to walk with her. He considered how much trouble she might have gotten in to the last time and didn't want to put her in that position again.
"It's just me now. My older brother is in the army." Raven seemed more at ease once they got into the alley way. "We moved here because my dad has relatives in the area."
He asked her how she liked Forks so far and how she was adjusting to life in a small town, an obvious gigantic change from a big Texas City like San Antonio. He felt her tense disposition diminishing, getting more comfortable with every step and every word she spoke. He smiled, delighted when he realized he no longer had to pry to get her to say something. She was asking him several questions of her own.
"Hey, I thought you weren't good at talking to guys?" He squinted, pretending to be suspicious.
A warm blush emerged at the remark. "Well, you got me talking, so now you're just going to have to shut up and listen." She smirked, playfully snarky.
Jacob laughed under his breath. "Talk all you want. I like it. You have a nice voice. You sounded good singing, too, by the way."
"What?" she questioned in sudden surprise.
"A few nights ago when you were sitting on your front porch playing guitar, I heard you singing."
Raven furrowed her eyebrows, puzzled. "You're kidding? I thought I was barely making any noise at all."
Shoot! Super sharp hearing. I forgot."I meant. It looked like you were singing. I thought I heard you. Probably was only my imagination."
"Oh. I'm not very good at it though. The guitar belonged to my brother. He taught me some chords, but I don't think my hands are built for playing guitar."
It sounded excellent to me, he silently confessed. Jacob realized how much he was enjoying her company. "It seems like forever since I've talked with a pretty girl," he surprised himself by saying.
Tightening her lips, Raven held on to her smile. "You're purposely trying to embarrass me, aren't you?"
Jacob shook his head back in forth, displaying wide-eyed innocence. "Not intentionally, but I do like the color though."
They were a few houses away from hers when she stopped walking. Jacob knew that she wouldn't walk any further with him. She told him her parents, Mike and Abby, weren't home yet, however, she still wouldn't move any further up the path. "So can I call you then?" he asked, spur of the moment.
"Okay," she hesitated then quickly retracted. "I better call you," she said, raising her eye brows in query as she reached into her backpack and brought out a notebook and a pen.
"Sure." Jacob rattled off his telephone number then he climbed on his bike and started to drive off. He glanced back at her and waved.
She had a nice, bright smile as she waved back. He felt good, in happy anticipation of her phone call, before the brief angst that maybe she wouldn't call nipped at him, causing him to question what he would do if she didn't. He shook it off, taking a deep calming breath and reassuring himself that she would.
Seth met Jacob in the woods beside the beach. You're early, Jacob thought.
I know. I got bored, Seth sulked, not his usual chipper self. Thought I'd get out here early then get back early. You know? It's no fun not being able to hear any of the other guys when we're running.
Hey, Jacob snapped in irritation, you know you could…
I know. I know. I could leave anytime, Seth interrupted. Anything going on?
Nah, been pretty quiet. Thought I heard Leah for a bit but she must have heard me, too, and quickly phased out.Jacob knew that Leah liked to be alone, and Leah knew that he did, too. Unfortunately, this left Seth alone as well.
Leah had moved into her own place now and was taking some boring college courses.
She's getting pretty good at hiding and blocking her thoughts, Seth mentally admitted.
It figures, he thought. After all the grumbling Leah got from the guys every time she thought female stuff, she's probably been practicing ever since Sam.
Seth nodded in agreement.
Jacob ran with Seth for a while and saw that he had also come across traces of unfamiliar vampire stink on his last patrol.
Maybe just some nomads left over from The Conflict, as they'd come to call the time they stood on the field prepared to defend the Cullens. Hopefully just passing through. Besides, I haven't heard about any attacks or disappearances lately.
Seth thought he hadn't either.
He let Seth know he was planning to head over to Sam's and hang out with the guys. Then he had to get home because he was looking forward to a phone call.
So you met a new friend?
I know. I know. Mind my business, Seth woofed.
Every one except Paul was at Sam's place. Jacob was glad he'd dropped by on that particular day to visit. They all kidded each other, laughed, and emptied out Emily's refrigerator as usual. It seemed just like old times with a few extra people.
Quil was giving Claire a piggy back ride around the yard, and Claire was giggling and pulling Quil's hair. For a moment, Jacob felt a huge wave of guilt for not worrying as much about Nessie as possibly he should be. He brushed it away, assuring himself that Nessie was having the time of her life with her mom and dad and the rest of the Cullen clan. There was no better protection than Bella's shield, and he made the right decision for Nessie's benefit. If that wasn't the case, he figured he'd be going crazy and unable to find the slightest bit of peace with himself.
Raven smiled letting out a sigh of relief as she watched Jacob drive out of sight. The entire time she walked and talked with him she was shaking inside, worried that he would be able to tell how much she wanted him to like her. She didn't want to come off as being as lame as she felt sometimes when she was truly interested in somebody. The last time she felt that smitten was when she was in San Antonio and had developed a crush on the starting point guard of her high school basketball team. Although they were friends before the shift in her desires occurred, she was hardly able to hold pointless conversations with him without making a total loser out of herself.
She had told Jacob that she wasn't good at talking with guys, which wasn't completely accurate. She was on a comfortable basis with lots of guys from her school. It was exceptionally easy for her to get along with the opposite sex, even more than it was for her to get along with some girls, at least the really frilly ones. She always considered herself to be more of a guys' girl with the tomboyish attitudes that were second nature to her. She loved playing basketball and frequently joined the guys on the court during her free hour at school, so she knew quite a few of the popular jocks very well.
It was only those guys she was highly attracted to that put a stumble in her steps and a stutter on her lips.
Raven decided to call Kristy to give her the scoop. Kristy was a tall, slender blond with pretty green eyes and over done hair. The type of girl that thought she was much too sophisticated for high school boys. She and Raven had nothing in common, and despite the obvious differences they became really great friends from the moment they first met.
Raven was barred from spending time with Kristy ever since she disobeyed Mike about the movie. They were only allowed to hang out at school for the time being. Abby told Raven to put some space between the incident and asking for permission to hang out with Kristy, and eventually Mike would come around. Raven was so wound up she needed to tell someone about Jacob and didn't want to wait until the next day at school. As soon as Kristy said hello, Raven gushed, "Remember that guy Jacob I was telling you about?"
"Jacob from La Push? Yeah, I know who you mean, now. I have seen him around before. I just always assumed he was way older than us though," Kristy remarked.
"He's about our age. I saw him again today. He walked with me home!" Raven excitedly revealed. "Oh… my… gosh Kristy, he's so, so, handsome and muscular and his smile."
Kristy chuckled. "Okay girl, slow down, take a deep breath, and tell me everything."
Raven ecstatically told Kristy all about Jacob and him asking for her number. "Did you give it to him? Of course you did. You better have," Kristy retorted.
"Ah, not exactly, I took down his number instead, which unfortunately puts me in the awkward position of having to call him first. You think I should? Or what should I do?"
"Of course you should. You know I would."
"When? Should I call him tonight? Or is that too soon?"
"Go ahead. Call him tonight. It sounds like he wants you to. Wow, Rave, it's a good thing you met someone because I was just about to hook you up with my brother," Kristy admitted.
"Not!" Raven cringed, realizing what she'd implied and abruptly rambled, "He's cute and all, but he's your brother and you're my best friend, and that kind of thing typically never works out."
"Whatever, Raven." Kristy laughed.
Raven did nothing but think about Jacob for the rest of the day. She waited until Mike fell asleep and hoped that it wasn't too late. Very carefully, she closed her bedroom door, locked it, and nervously dialed his number. A man she assumed was Jacob's dad answered the phone.
"Hello is Jacob there?"
"Jacob, it's for you. It's, uh… I don't know who it is."
"Hey," Jacob greeted with a low burly voice that sounded even huskier over the phone.
"It's Raven. I hope it's not too late?"
"Nah, it's just me and my dad around here so it's okay. I'm glad you called. I was hoping you'd call tonight."
Raven grinned, skipping happily inside.
Determined to plow through the uncomfortable awkwardness she was experiencing from having to make the initial call, she brazenly stated, "There's a problem with my phone call to you though."
"Oh, yeah…? What's that?" he questioned, sounding amused.
"I really don't have anything to talk to you about."
Jacob chuckled breathily. "Yeah… we'll see about that. You didn't seem to have any problems this afternoon."
Raven rolled her eyes, feeling silly. "Well, since I already talked your head off once today…" she mumbled sardonically.
"It's my turn now," Jacob interjected. She could hear the smile in his tone. "To prove how glad I am you called, I'll let you off the hook and do the stressing about what to talk about. Fair enough?"
Several times during the course of the conversation, she caught herself giggling a little too loud, and she constantly reminded herself to keep her voice down. Even though Mike and her mom's room was upstairs, she remained uneasy and fearful Mike would somehow catch her on the phone with some supernatural ability he evolved just to continue to make her life miserable.
It was incredibly easy for her to open up to Jacob, sharing with him how her dad, Reed, had died of leukemia when he was only thirty-one years old, leaving her young twenty-seven year old mother alone with no money and two children to raise. "My brother joined the military as soon as he graduated just to get away from…just to get away. He doesn't come home much."
"Sounds like you miss him."
"I do." Raven said, trying not to sound as sulky as she suddenly felt. Changing the subject, she asked, "What about you. Tell me about your family?"
Raven could hear the sadness in Jacob's voice when he talked about how he'd lost his mother in a car accident, the same accident that left his father in a wheelchair. She frowned, sorry she'd even asked.
When he began to tell her about his friends Quil, Embry, and several others in La Push, his demeanor noticeably lifted. "I can't wait for you to meet them," he anxiously stated, then paused as if he thought he'd said something wrong.
"Me, too," Raven immediately agreed so that Jacob wouldn't feel like he had misspoken. She glanced at her alarm clock. "Umm, Jacob, I just realized how late it is. I better go or I won't want to get up for school in the morning."
"Sure. No problem. Hey, ah…I have some stuff to do tomorrow afternoon, but will you call me again, later on?"
Raven beamed. "Same time tomorrow then," she assured him. She hung up the phone feeling utterly elated, replaying her entire conversation with Jacob in her mind. She was in awe of how comfortable he made her feel. He kept his word and did most of the talking, but he got a few things out of her as well. He even had her telling him all about River. She never talked with anyone about River, not even Kristy. River had been gone for so long she didn't know much about his life anymore.
Images of the illustrious big brother Raven adored with all her heart quietly wafted through her mind as she got ready for bed. She let the memories flow, warming her as she happily reminisced: She and River playing basketball together, and River picking the guitar while she sang. All the times he would take her out horseback riding, they'd stay gone all day just to avoid Mike.
River had always been acutely protective of Raven. He took the blame for everything just to keep her from being spanked. She remembered the last time he had lived with them, she was about nine years old at the time. River joined the army before his senior year because he always knew that it was what he wanted to do after high school. Their father had been trained in Delta Force and River wanted to be just like him.
Several weeks before River was to go to basic training, he got into a huge argument with Mike. Raven couldn't remember why River was in trouble. It was probably something really small. Just one of the many instances Mike lost his temper over nothing. Mike approached River with his leather belt in hand, cracking whips all over River's body. That particular day River justly snapped. He grabbed the belt out of Mike's hand, threw him down, and popped him a few times. Abby was screaming for River to stop, and Raven was sobbing, terrified. River and Mike scuffled for a few more minutes until River just stopped fighting. He got up off Mike, turned toward Abby, and announced he was leaving.
"That's right you are!" Mike shouted. "Get the hell out of my house and don't you ever come back here!"
Raven shivered, remembering how scared she'd been that day. Scared and surprised because usually River just covered up and took it. He never had to; he just always did. Simply, in order to keep Mike from taking anything out on Abby or Raven. River was very tough and athletic. He had been lifting weights since he was twelve years old, always preparing for the Delta Force. He was also trained in mixed martial arts and was exceptional at it.
After the fight Raven clasped her arms around River's waist trying to hold onto him while he attempted to stomp into his bedroom to pack. "Let go Raven!"
He took Reed's old green army duffel bag from the closet and began stuffing it with clothes.
"I always knew one day I would lose it on that kid hitting coward and I'd have to leave here earlier than I planned," he angrily spouted. Raven knew he wasn't necessarily speaking to her.
He had a slight amount of tears in his eyes, not because of the fight with Mike, but because he had to leave Abby and Raven behind, unprotected.
He told Raven that he would come back for her as soon as he was able. He also made her promise that she would always obey Mike because River couldn't stand the thought of Raven getting hit. She promised him that she always would. He said when he came back he would make Abby leave as well, but River never came back. He wrote to her and Abby once in a while but rarely called because at first, Mike kept hanging up on him. Raven didn't blame him for not coming home. She knew that Abby would never leave Mike and she would never leave Abby.
She sniffled, wiped her nose, and tried to fall asleep with tiny tears in her eyes, considering how such initially wonderful memories unpredictably gravitated toward one of the worst times of her life. She was certain she missed him more than he would ever know.
The next day seemed brighter than usual. Jacob was extremely energetic during his routine run. There wasn't a cloud in the sky and the pure wholesome smell of the forest was invigorating. He couldn't remember the last time he'd felt so alive. He briefly considered making a pass by Forks while on patrol, tempted to swing by Raven's house but decided against it. I'm not a stalker. She said she would call again, so I'll just have to wait.
He had almost finished his run when he felt an unexpected sensation of danger gnawing at him. He followed his instincts and ended up at the beach, but there was nothing out of the ordinary to be seen, except for Rachel and Paul acting all lovey-dovey, holding hands, and melting all over each other. That wasn't out of the ordinary, but it was enough to make Jacob want to puke.
The threat of danger was strong enough to cause the telltale tremble of his body. Jacob scouted the beach thoroughly. All he saw was a guy jogging behind Rachel and Paul and a few camera crazy whale watchers. He took a few deep sniffs but there was no burn to accompany the bizarre feeling. Paul doesn't seem to be troubled. Maybe I'm losing it?
He snorted, unable to shake the feeling that someone or something was out there somewhere.
I started reading this story and it becomes more and more intriguing. I am looking forward to read more.
"Got here just in time," Jacob said enthusiastically as Billy stretched the telephone toward him. He was eyeing Jacob curiously as if it was some big deal Jacob got a phone call from the same girl twice, and she wasn't Bella. Jacob rolled his eyes annoyed. He snatched the phone away from Billy. "Hey, what's up?"
"Hi, it's me," Raven stated, an uncomfortable tone underlying her words.
Jacob wondered if she was that discomfited by him or if there was something else bothering her. "Is everything okay?" he asked, flicking his hand toward Billy and glaring at him until Billy rolled himself all the way into the kitchen.
"Uh huh. Why do you ask?"
Because I can sense the tension in your voice. "No reason." It suddenly occurred to him how in tune he felt with her demeanor, thinking it was strange that he could pick up on subtle elements of her voice when he hardly knew her. "You're not still stressing over what to talk about with me, are you?"
She giggled. "Well don't say it like that," and openly pointed out, "you're supposed to try and make me feel better, not make me feel like an absolute freak."
Jacob grinned, appreciating the fact that she could be just as straight up as him. "I just did, didn't I?"
"Nope," she refuted, although Jacob heard the tension disappear. "So what'd you do today?"
"I went to school, worked on my car, went for a run…"
"You run?" she blurted excitedly.
The running she was referring to wasn't the same kind of running he did, but running was running, whether it was on two legs or four. "Yup," he replied, unnecessarily asking, "do you?"
"Uh huh, I ran long distance track and cross country at my last high school."
"Really?" Jacob was impressed. He knew she ran but he hadn't figured her for the competitive athletic type of a girl, which he assumed accounted for her shapely form.
She told him that she'd hardly been able to run since she moved to Forks because she was afraid to be in the woods alone and it was too hard to run in the streets, and too boring to run around the track. Jacob promised he would go with her sometime. She looked hot running. He shook his head in confusion. What the hell am I thinking? He quickly asked her what kind of Indian she was just to change the subject.
"The people called themselves Sanish, but the government had a different name for them. I can't remember that one. I don't like to ask about my dad's family. It upsets my stepdad. Causes trouble between him and my mom."
"That's too bad."
"I did get to meet my grandmother when I was younger, about five or six years old. My parents let us go stay with her for a few days one summer. 'Cause she was getting up there in age. Then, I idiotically told Mike that I knew he wasn't my real dad."
"And I bet that was the last time you ever got to see her."
"Yeah, my dad's kind of a strange guy like that."
The saddened vibe of Raven's voice tugged at Jacob's sensitivity. He wouldn't have asked if he'd known it was going to make her feel bad. He wished he never did. At the same time, the mere mention of Mike's name raised an awful flaming anger in him. "How were you supposed to know that was the wrong thing to say?"
"I know. River blamed himself for not warning me, but it wasn't his fault either. Oh! She did take us to a celebration when we were there. I just remembered."
"How'd you like that?"
"It was one of the best dances I ever saw. I remember thinking how beautiful the people looked all dressed up in their native regalia."
The excited rise in Raven's voice when she mentioned the celebration offered his conscience a little relief. He was also pleased to hear her refer to the celebration as a celebration, instead of a powwow like non-natives called it. "I could take you to the next one we have here, if you want? We have them on special occasions, but we have our biggest one during the summer."
"Oh, that'd be great. I'd really like that." She yawned.
Jacob was enthralled by the soft sound of her breath, finding an enormous amount of satisfaction in that he made the attempt to get to know her. "So when can I see you?" he asked on impulse.
"I was going to mention something about that to you today." She sounded just as eager to see him. "My mom has some work in La Push now, so she'll be going there on Wednesday and again on Saturday. I can go with her if you want me to?"
"Wednesday's perfect." It was the closest day. "I can't wait." After she hung up, Jacob remembered that he'd forgotten to tell her to call him again. He hoped that maybe she would regardless.
The next night the clock ticked by. It was getting later than the other times that she called. Jacob sat at the kitchen table, impatiently shaking his leg and tapping his fingers. Each second felt like an eternity. He was certain she wasn't going to call. He couldn't wait any longer. He jumped up, took off his shirt, and kicked out of his shoes. He was already out the door by the time the trailing sound of Billy's voice asked him where he was going.
Before Jacob knew it, he was standing across the street from Raven's house. He waited, contemplating whether or not to just turn around and go home. He saw the lights turn on in Raven's room. Heck with it! I'm already here. He took a couple of soaring bounds, practically flying across the street. He knelt down and tapped on her window. A second later the curtain moved. "Jacob!" Raven gasped throwing herself back, astounded.
"Sorry, sorry," he uttered. Raven put her finger to her lips, opening the window. A more potently intoxicating vanilla-lavender fragrance than he scented the last time he saw her, floated at him, hitting him heavily. He gulped hard.
"Shh…I'll get in trouble. What are you doing here?"
There was more confusion than anger on her face. "I forgot to tell you to call me," he whispered.
She shook her head, scrunching her brow incredulously. "How did you know this was my room?"
Raven leaned to the side and peered around him into the street. "Never mind that, how did you get here? And where's your shirt?"
Damn, I forgot about that. "Hold on, one thing at a time," Jacob took a deep breath, thinking of his response while he slowly exhaled. Then he attempted to explain. "I was out running tonight. The light turned on. I figured it was your bedroom, being it was on the bottom floor. I thought I'd say hi."
"Well, lucky for you, you were right," she said a little calmer, whispering extra low. "Wait a minute, you ran all the way here from La Push, at this hour?"
"No, I parked my car at my friend's house. You know, the Sheriff around the corner. I run with him sometimes. He likes to run in the dark," he rambled. "He doesn't like people to see him." That doesn't even make sense. "Don't ask me why."
The confusion in her eyes seemed to get worse.
"All righty then, guess I'll see you later," Jacob mumbled, feeling like a complete moron. He knew it was time to go, and was about to do just that, when he found himself unthinkingly leaning into the window and kissing her on the cheek.
Her eyes popped out of her head, even more shocked than before. "Hurry, you have to go," she urged, shooing him out with both of her hands.
"Okay," Jacob whispered then added, "call me…..if you want to… if it's not too late for you, that is." He got to his feet, striding away from the window. Now I'm acting like a freakin' idiot, and it's a good thing she didn't notice my bare feet. Mentally scolding himself, he headed in the direction of Charlie's house. Once he was sure he was completely out of Raven's line of sight, he crossed the street and sprinted home.
When he stumbled back into his own house, Billy was baffled. "What in the world was that all about?"
Jacob raised his eyebrows, shrugging his shoulders. He couldn't answer because he had no idea what set him off his rocker. Twenty minutes later Raven finally called. "I just called to say, you really scared me tonight!"
"I know. I know. I'm sorry."
"Nobody heard you so I guess it's all right. I'll see you tomorrow, four-thirty, in front of the resort, if that's okay?" she whispered.
"Sure, sure, and yeah, that was really dumb on my part. I could have got you in some serious trouble. I'm glad you found it in your heart to call me anyway."
Jacob arrived a few minutes early and waited at a table in front of the resort. Raven and her mom drove into the parking lot about twenty minutes later. He didn't know whether or not he should go over and introduce himself because he wasn't sure what Raven had told her mother. He stood up and Raven waived him over.
"Mom, this is Jacob. Jacob, this is my mom, Abby," Raven introduced, while hopping off the car.
Jacob leaned down and waved at Abby. "Hi, Mrs. Um…Raven's mom." He flinched, realizing he didn't know if she and Raven had the same last name.
"Mrs. Engle. It's very nice to meet you, Jacob. You'll have to forgive me, I'm too late to ask you a thousand questions and read you some sort of intimidation act." Her expression was composed. He got the idea she didn't smile all too often. Her eyes were soft and kind though. "Next time for sure." She winked.
When she did smile, it was apparent she was Raven's mother, an older, tired version of Raven. He smiled back, gathering she wasn't very worried about leaving her daughter with a huge Indian stranger guy. "Raven, I'll be back here in two and a half hours. Two and a half hours," she repeated sternly, resting her eyes on Jacob. She handed Raven a cell phone and gave her a phone number just in case Raven needed to get a hold of her but told her not to answer it if Mike called.
"So, two and half hours, what do you want to do?" Jacob questioned optimistically, as soon as Abby drove away.
"This is your town, you decide."
"Let me see, we could stay on the beach," he suggested, kicking himself for not thinking to make any kinds of plans ahead of time. "Take a drive somewhere or go to the Rec Center?" He pointed toward the little town.
"What's at the Rec Center?"
"Just some old video games, pool table, pinball machine, basketball court, stuff like that. It's where everyone hangs out. All my friends hang out there."
"I don't think I'm really ready for that yet. Could you show me around this place?" she asked, gazing around the resort.
"Sure, sure," he agreed.
There were tourists taking pictures of the whales. The clicking sounds of camera flashes were going off consecutively. For a moment, Jacob thought someone had taken a picture of him and Raven. They took a few steps, and he got that eerie feeling that they were being watched. He spun around in a full circle, surveying all around him.
"Is something the matter?"
"No, just one of those weird somebody's watching me moments."
Raven smiled. "I know exactly what you mean."
They walked around the resort and up the beach, talking about school, their friends, and their teachers. The ones they liked and the ones they didn't. Along the way, Jacob showed Raven little monuments and carvings strategically placed around the resort and up the coastline, explaining to her what each one signified. They paused at a six-foot carving of a wolf. Jacob observed Raven as she traced the wolf with her fingers. Her hair was fluttering gently in the light airy breeze. "It's beautiful."
"It's sort of like our mascot." Jacob searched for a way to help her understand its significance. "Did you ever hear any legends about your dad's tribe?"
Raven thought for a moment then told him all she could remember was that they were from the Bear clan and something about a white buffalo. She also remembered a bedtime story her grandmother told her where the entire tribe hid underground during the great flood and a corn woman, Mother Corn they called her, led them back out when it was safe. She was sacred to them." Raven smiled thoughtfully. "Like I said, it was a long time ago. I was really little."
"Well, it's something like that with my people and the wolf," he wasn't sure how much he should tell her. Raven was clenching her fists in her coat pockets, causing Jacob's sudden awareness of the dropping temperature. The clouds were glowing amber from the rapidly setting sun. Looking up at the sky, Jacob said, "We should probably get back. I'm sure it's almost time for your mom to pick you up."
He grabbed Raven by the hand, rapidly tugging her in the direction of the resort. "Slow down, Jacob. She won't leave without me."
"Sorry, I just don't want to get you into trouble." He slowed his pace. "That way you'll be able to come back."
"What's wrong with you? Your hand feels like it's on fire."
Startled, Jacob immediately let go of her hand and wiped his sweating palm on his trunks. "I get hot sometimes." He heard his words as soon as they came out. Shaking his head, he laughed at himself. "That didn't come out right."
Raven erupted with laughter. "It's nice to know I'm not the only one who trips up on occasion."
"Yup, it feels like it's happening to me more than I'm used to. It's really starting to freak me out, actually."
"Maybe I'm just rubbing off on you."
She doesn't know the half of it. When they got back to the parking lot, Jacob was relieved to see that Abby wasn't there yet. He and Raven sat down at a table to wait. "You never said what kind of work your mom was doing around here," he reminded her.
"Oh. She's a home healthcare nurse. She takes care of people that are sick or elderly. She checks their blood pressure, cooks and cleans, keeps them company. Whatever it is they need."
"Hmm, I wonder if it's anyone I know," he mused out loud, considering who it might be. "I'm sure it is. I know everyone in La Push."
"She told me the names but I don't remember. I think one of the names was Walker, Ella Walker."
Jacob spotted Abby pulling back into the parking lot. As he walked Raven to the car he said, "Hey. I'm going running again tomorrow after school if you want to come. If not, will you come back Saturday? I thought that's what you said."
Raven grinned. "Sure, I could come back Saturday. I can go running tomorrow, too."
"Sounds good, I'll meet you on the path in the woods across the street from your house. About three?"
"Three's perfect, Mike won't be home."
Jacob opened the car door and waited for Raven to get inside, then leaned into the car and waved goodbye to Abby. Watching them drive out of sight, he admitted to himself he had no idea what he was attempting to do by hanging out with Raven. All he knew was that she was growing on him, in a way he didn't think she should have been. He tensely rubbed the back of his neck, feeling heavily concerned.
A/N Anyone out there reading? If so, it would be great to hear from you just to let me know if I should continue posting...
These two seem to be developing a special bond. I wonder where this relationship will take them?
I also wonder who is watching them/ her. I have my suspicions though!
Waiting to Exhale
"I can't believe your mom's helping you sneak around like that," Kristy remarked, shaking her head in awe. She was spread across Raven's bed, wiggling her feet. Mike had recently started letting her come around again.
"It's not like that," Raven defended. "She remembers what it was like when she was a teenager. Apparently, my grandpa didn't let her hang out with guys either."
Raven also got the impression that Abby loved going out to La Push just as much as she did. Abby was always in a cheerful mood on the drive out and seemed to always be smiling gleefully and contented on the way home. Raven concluded, perhaps Abby didn't like to be around Mike all that much herself.
"It seems like I hardly get to see you anymore," Kristy whined. "I finally get to come over and hang out, and you're always gone. Remember, guys will come and go, but your female friendships will last a lifetime."
Raven frowned, feeling like a terrible friend. It was true. Abby's regular La Push schedule was Wednesday afternoons and most of the day on Saturdays, which was fine by Raven. In addition, Jacob started coming by a couple times a week to take her jogging or just to hang out so there truly was little time left for Kristy. "Maybe, you could come with me out to La Push sometime."
"I'd feel like a third wheel," Kristy groaned. "Besides hiking, biking, fishing, watching boring sports on television, and whatever else you two do doesn't sound anywhere near my idea of a good time."
"Then I feel sorry for you." Raven flipped her hair over her shoulder and turned up her nose, faking arrogance. "I guess you're not sophisticated enough to know what a good time is."
"Sheesh, if that's the case, I hope I never am." Kristy smirked.
"Jacob's going to take me to the Rec Center tomorrow. I'm kind of nervous because the only person I've met so far is his dad and one of his friends, Seth."
"Is he hot?" Kristy jerked upright to a sitting position, going from inattentively bored to excitedly curious in one second flat.
"He's pretty cute, I guess, but he's only like fifteen or something."
"Oh," Kristy glumly replied. She plopped herself back down on the bed, staring up at the ceiling with her hands behind her head. "Let see, you've been hanging out with Jacob now for what? Nearly a month and he still hasn't kissed you?"
"No, he hasn't. Just on my cheek, and sometimes he very gentlemanly kisses my hand. I just can't figure him out." Raven was baffled. "He puts his arm around me all the time, and he always holds my hand. Just when I think he's going to kiss me, he just doesn't. It's almost as if he purposely stops himself, purposely changes the subject to something else."
"Or someone else. Maybe he's got a girlfriend," Kristy suggested. "Are you sure you're not just a gal pal, Rave?"
"He better not have a girlfriend." Raven was horrified at the thought. "It has to be more than the friendship thing. He's always so happy to see me. I could see it plainly in his eyes. I talk to him every night, only because he asks me to call him every night. Even on the nights of the days I've already seen him, he wants me to call him."
"Weird!" Kristy exclaimed. "He sounds like one needy strange puppy to me."
Raven pretended not to hear her. However, Kristy's words weren't entirely baseless. Raven reflected on how odd it was that Jacob always generated so much body heat. She loved resting near him, especially when it was cool out. Nevertheless, she couldn't deny the irregularity of his body temperature.
He rarely had his shirt on - a definite plus – although not at all normal, considering the general climate in the area. A few times, he even went without shoes. Whenever Raven questioned him about it, he gave her some lame excuse about getting them wet or needing to give his feet a break. How could they get a break being exposed to the rough forest terrain? He even jogged that way sometimes, never breaking a sweat.
Occasionally, when Jacob thought she wasn't paying attention, he'd lean over and inhale, almost as if he was breathing her in. That was actually sort of nice, in a peculiar, kinky kind of a way. She smiled internally at the sentiment. Aside from him being gorgeous, witty, and smart, it was the way he emotionally touched her that had her hooked, line and sinker. He always knew exactly what kind of mood she was in and was very considerate of her every need. He made her feel special. He made her feel safe.
Furthermore, there were the physical aspects she underwent in his presence. Every time he gave her his bright sunny smile, she lost her breath, her heart raced, and her tummy tumbled. She couldn't deny she was deeply in love with him. She thought about how she might possibly die if she ever found out none of it was real and he had a girlfriend somewhere, as Kristy suggested.
"Raven, are you okay?" Kristy asked, nudging Raven from her disheartening thoughts.
"I was just thinking about what you said. You know, about him having a girlfriend. I'm not naïve, Kristy, there has to be a reason he hasn't kissed me." Her voice cracked. "It's just that…well, there's so much about him that I love. It's really starting to worry me."
"Ah, Rave. Never mind what I said. You know him better than I do. If you genuinely believe he has feelings for you, I'm sure he does," Kristy comforted. "He probably cares so much about you he doesn't want to rush you into anything. You did say he's gentlemanly. Don't worry about it. I'm sure it'll happen soon."
Jacob was hoping that Quil or Embry would be at the Rec Center. He didn't check with either of them ahead of time because he never found a way to approach the subject of Raven with them. He was already confident that he'd be badgered out of his mind once they got wind he was hanging out with an unfamiliar girl. He decided it would be better to spring it on them with her around. That way, they'd be less likely to ask him any questions.
He glimpsed Raven as she exited his car. She had her head tilted into her palm and she was fiddling with her earring, a sign that typically indicated she was nervous or distressed. He came around the car, sensing the rapid increase in the beats of her heart. "Is everything okay?" he asked.
She nodded, smiling sweetly, with one corner of her lips turning up. It was a smile he never saw on her face before. He wasn't exactly sure what it meant. "Sure, everything's perfectly fine," she replied.
He reached for the lock of hair that was obstructing her deep dark eyes and smoothed it behind her ear, then clasped her by the hand. "Good because there's nothing for you to worry about."
She exhaled, flashing him a more sincere grin.
As soon as they walked through the doors, he spotted Quil and Embry on the basketball court, playing a game of one-on-one. Stopping the game, their eyes simultaneously dropped to his and Raven's entwined hands. Embry's eyebrow rose speculatively as he and Quil exchanged curious glances. Jacob clenched his teeth. If he could have gotten away with it, without her seeing, he would have cuffed both of them upside the head for the indiscreet faces they were making.
Raven had lowered her eyes, flushing bright red, much the way she did when he'd first met her. He relaxed, glad she didn't see their rude glances. "Hey guys, what's up?" he greeted, glowering at them sternly. "This is Raven."
Raven lifted her eyes. "Hi."
One look at her and Embry staggered back with his hand over his heart. His eyes went ecstatically wide, and not taking them off Raven, he breathily flustered, "I th-think gravity just moved!"
Jacob instantly froze in panic. Fire blazed within him, and his entire body began to ripple.
Embry laughed uproariously and slapped Jacob on the arm. "Just messing with you, dude. You should have seen your face, priceless!"
"Don't do that to me, Em." He pressed his lips together, breathing in through his nostrils, willing his body back to calm then took a big sigh of relief. Jacob knew that Embry imprinting was entirely possible and his joke hit way too close to home, causing Jacob to rethink taking Raven around any of the other guys. If that should happen, there'd be nothing he could do about it. He emerged from his thought noticing Raven's confused expression.
"So, you're the one he's been disappearing with," Quil kidded.
"I guess I am," Raven answered, blushing bashfully.
Jacob grabbed the basketball from Quil's hands and began taking shots at the hoop. Raven turned toward a bench that was beside the court. "Where do you think you're going? You're playing, too," he challenged.
"What are we playing?" Raven brightened, readily holding her arms out for the ball.
Jacob passed her the ball. "Do you know how to play whale?"
"No, never heard of it."
"Ah, it's just a fancy name for horse," Quil said.
Raven appeared to be momentarily sizing them all up, one by one. She grinned. "Okay, I will, but no one's allowed to dunk it."
Jacob, Quil, and Embry eyed each other comically, laughing out loud, as if they'd just become aware of their height. They played a few games and Raven was actually able to win one of them. She was a pretty good shot for tiny little thing, Jacob silently admitted. Raven showed them a game called lightning that River taught her how to play, and they played a few rounds of that.
He was pleased by how well Raven was fitting in with the guys, but every once in a while, he caught Quil staring at him and Raven peculiarly. Jacob and Raven teamed up and played a couple games of table hockey against Quil and Embry until Quil announced it was time for him to take off. He was supposed to babysit Claire later that afternoon.
Raven checked her phone and realized she missed a call from Abby. "I have to call my mom." Raven began to walk toward the door. "I'm going outside. I need better reception."
They watched Raven walk away. Embry nodded his head appreciatively, drawing out the word "nice" as she drifted out the door.
Jacob scowled and took a pretend swing at Embry. At that moment, Quil began to grill Jacob about what was going on. I should have known this was coming, Jacob thought. At first, he tried to convince Quil that he and Raven were just friends hanging out, but Quil didn't buy it. "It looks like a hell of lot more than that to me!"
The conversation was interrupted when Raven strolled back inside to ask Jacob if she could wait at his house until Abby picked her up. One of Abby's elderly patients had gotten sick, so Abby was at the hospital and wasn't sure how much longer she would be. Jacob offered to drive Raven home, but Raven insisted that she had to return with Abby.
"Stay as long as you need to," Jacob offered.
"I'll go call her back. I'll be outside waiting for you." She was smiling comfortably as she walked away.
When she got out the door again, Quil started in, again. "What about Renesmee?" Quil murmured.
Jacob instantly saw red. Quil was pushing his patience to the limit. "What about her?" Jacob demanded, raising his voice. He was infuriated by Quil's remark. "She's a kid."
"Ah, leave him alone, Quil!" Embry interceded. "If the guy wants to sow his oats while he has time, more power to him."
Quil glared at Embry.
"That's not what I'm doing," Jacob clarified. He paused then said, "I just can't seem to help myself."
"Well, of course he can't. Did you not see her, Ouil?"
This time they both glared at Embry.
"What are you doing then, Jake?" Quil prodded. "Have you seen the way she looks at you? She looks like she's in love with you or something!"
Jacob did see the way she looked at him. It was one of the main reasons he kept going back. He enjoyed hearing her heart rate increase and seeing her eyes light up when he came around. But Quil was right! Jacob would never be more than a friend to her. His destiny had already been revealed. Jacob cast his eyes to the floor, feeling ashamed. "She's just fun to be with. That's all, guys. I just like being with her."
"Look, I'm not going to pretend to understand what's going on with you and her. And I'm happy for you. I really am. If anyone deserves this, it's you, especially after everything you've been put through," Quil explained. "I just hate to see someone else with a broken heart. We all know what that feels like, remember? Accept it, Jake. You're an imprinted man."
They were all outside now. Jacob told Quil not to worry and that he'd work everything out. Hurting Raven was the last thing Jacob ever wanted to do.
They drove to his house in silence, while he considered how easily the day went from fantastic to sucking. He felt really, really depressed. He couldn't ignore Quil's remarks, or the guilt that followed them.
"What's the matter, Jacob? You're being awfully quiet all of a sudden," Raven asked, her happy eyes filled with concern.
"Everything's good. I was just thinking about something that Quil said earlier, but it's not important. Well, it is important but I'll figure it out later."
Jacob and Raven pulled into his yard. There was a brand new Jeep parked in the driveway. Jacob wondered who was there, until he spotted Leah and Sue. "It's Sue and Leah Clearwater, Seth's family," he mumbled. Great this is all I need.
Sue and Leah were wheeling Billy out the door. Billy explained that they were going over to Old Quil's place to have another sweat lodge ceremony.
"You must be Abby's daughter," Sue said, smiling at Raven.
"Yes, do you know her?"
"I do. We met over at Old Quil's house one day, and she was very nice," Sue complimented. "This is my daughter Leah," she said, gesturing toward Leah.
"Hello," Raven said, lifting her hand and waving at Leah.
Leah grumbled, rolling her eyes and tossing her head away from Raven.
"I was at Charlie's house the other day when Bella called." Sue was trying to read Jacob's face. "She asked about you. She said she's tried to call you, but no one is ever home."
Jacob turned and walked away, following after Leah to help her with Billy.
"She said to tell you hi, from all of them." Sue noticeably emphasized the word all. "She left a number for you."
"Well, tell her I said hi to all of them back." Jacob grimaced, not trying to hide his irritation one iota.
He really didn't want to have to hear about it, let alone think about it anymore, not at the moment anyway. He finished loading Billy's wheelchair and they drove out of sight. As soon as they were gone, he lightened up.
"I don't think Leah liked me," Raven stated matter-of-factly.
"She doesn't like anybody," Jacob admitted. "Something happened and now she's just pissed off at the entire world."
They walked into the house, Jacob turned on the TV, and he and Raven sat down on the tiny love seat.
"So, who's Bella?" Raven asked, eyeing him inquisitively.
"Oh, she's Charlie's daughter. She's married. She moved away a few weeks before I met you… she has a daughter herself." He reached for Raven's hand. She smiled, seeming satisfied.
"Billy said something about a sweat lodge ceremony, what's that?"
Jacob was trying to lift his spirits from their sudden heaviness. He didn't want Raven to feel the least bit neglected by his preoccupied behavior. None of it was her fault. He attempted to force Quil and Sue's conversations with him out of his head while he described how the elders had built a sweat lodge and how they used it, fasting and praying until spiritual things were made known to them.
Jacob told her the men who were sweating sometimes had visions or were visited by the spirits of their ancestors, the ones who traveled the path before them. As Jacob spoke, he realized that Billy had been going over to sweat a lot more than usual the past few weeks. He only did that when he had serious concerns to attend to.
Jacob studied Raven, who was staring at him totally absorbed while he continued to describe the ceremony. "That sounds amazing. I'd love to see something like that," she offered, intrigued.
The melody of her voice and the look in her eyes captured him. He focused on her every quality in return. Her thick dark hair was tied up loosely behind her head with a few strands hanging subtly in front of her face. Her lips were pink and so were her cheeks. Her eyelashes were extraordinarily long and thick. Jacob could see hints of her Native American features clearly. She was astonishingly beautiful.
He was unexpectedly overwhelmed by the desire to kiss her, a desire he didn't think twice about trying to fight. He wrapped his arms around her tightly, his eyes sinking into hers as she tilted her head up toward him. Their lips touched, and Jacob instantaneously felt her body liquefy within his arms.
Abruptly, he was aware that all five of his sharp senses were feverishly at work. He was seeing the enticing glow of her beauty, drowning in the savory fragrance of her skin, and tasting the tangy essence of her lips simultaneously, along with the enchanting sound of her sigh and the soft delicate feel below his fingertips. It was unbelievable! His heart frantically pounded in his chest and his body temperature soared through the roof, electricity shooting from every single nerve ending, causing his body to burst with pleasure from the nape of his neck to the tips of his toes.
Trying to regain control of himself, he attempted to slow the movement of his mouth, loosening his grasp. Raven urgently pressed her body further into his. Perceiving the sudden quickening of her heart and breaths, she became even more irresistible to him. He tightened his arms around her and continued letting himself drown in her kiss.
A car horn roared deafeningly in the quite, pulling them apart, and it was probably good that it did. Raven stood up quickly. She was beaming with blissfulness. "I'm going to the movies in Port Angeles with my friend Kristy tomorrow. Will you come? Maybe bring Quil or Embry? If they're not already seeing someone, I mean."
"I'll call you later and let you know."
"I'll try to bring Embry. He thinks he's some kind of a ladies' man, already been out with most of the girls around here."
The horn blared again. Raven kissed him swiftly and ran to the door. She turned back just as she stepped outside. "Finally, for a while there I thought I was going to have to ask," she teased with a playful grin.
Jacob smiled back at her, noting the odd irony of her comment and thinking, Jeez, what the hell's wrong with me?
Some interesting questions! What is happening between them?
Raven waited for Mike to leave before she asked Abby if she could go to the movie with Kristy, Embry, and Jacob. She knew that if she did it ahead of time or while Mike was home, Abby would make her ask him. It was a good thing Mike had a fishing trip planned that he'd been looking forward to, for weeks. It was always difficult for Abby to say no, whenever Mike was gone. "Are you falling for him, Raven?" Abby nosily inquired.
"I don't know, Mom," she protested, transitioning her initial surprise at the question to a mask she was hopeful Abby couldn't read.
"I think I know what it looks like, Raven," her mother declared with a pleasant smile on her face. "And I'm quite certain I remember precisely what it feels like, as well."
A pensive air glazed Abby's expression as she relived falling in love for the first time with Raven's father, Reed. He was in the Army stationed at Fort Sam Houston in Texas when they first met. Abby had lived with her parents in a little town not far from San Antonio. Reed was twenty-two years old at the time and Abby had just turned eighteen.
"Your grandpa was really strict back in the day, especially because I was an only child. Of course, I always obeyed because spankings were more common back then. My father had been a hell raiser when he was growing up, so a lot of people around our little one horse town were intimidated by him. He kind of had a reputation. There were no boys brave enough to hang around me. Then I met your dad. For the first time in my life, I didn't care if I disobeyed and snuck around. There I was climbing out my window, at eighteen years of age, just to see him. He was a very handsome Native American. In fact, Jacob reminds me of him in a lot of ways.
"When I was a young girl, I used to watch the old time John Wayne westerns with my mother. I always thought the Indians were the best-looking men, riding their horses around bare chest, wearing those leather skins they use to wear. Finally, they started using real Native Americans in the movies, and they were so handsome and so regal. I remember telling myself that someday I was going to marry one.
"So when I met your dad that was it for me. Reed was about to be re-stationed to Fort Bragg because he was accepted to Delta Force, as River is now. He came to my house to ask for my hand. My dad was furious that I had been keeping Reed a secret from him and my mother for as long as I did, although he wouldn't have allowed me to see Reed even if I hadn't been so secretive. He would have found a reason to dislike your father.
"Your grandpa was very controlling. He threw Reed right out of our house, threatening him to never come back. He forbade me not to ever see your father again. That night I climbed out my bedroom window and we eloped to Mexico. Your grandpa never forgave me, not even when he was dying, so I never returned home."
The sorrowful veil on Abby's face was heartbreaking for Raven to see. "You never told me that story before, Mom. Why don't I have any pictures of my dad?"
"Well, after I married Mike, I didn't feel it was appropriate to keep pictures of your dad around. I mean, I couldn't have two husbands in one house. However, I did give River a box of pictures and old letters that we wrote to each other when Reed was in the field. Didn't River ever show you?"
"He might have. I don't remember."
"You should ask him. I'm sure he still has them," Abby said. "I suppose that's why I allow you to see Jacob as you'd like. I didn't want to put you through what your grandpa put me through, and I'd rather know where you are, what you're doing, and who you're with, than see you having to sneak around."
When Kristy arrived, she was peeved when Raven told her who else was coming. "Well, I needed to see him," Raven justified. "Besides, he's bringing a friend."
"Whoop-dee doo," Kristy said sarcastically. "And you're sitting up front with me, too!"
"Just be nice and I promise I'll make it up to you. We're meeting them around the corner where the Sheriff lives."
Kristy pulled up alongside Jacob's parked car, and Embry and Jacob both got out.
Raven opened the door and climbed off Kristy's vehicle to let them squeeze in to the backseat. Jacob went first then grabbed Raven's arm and yanked her into the back seat with him. Kristy turned around and sneered at her. Raven shrugged innocently.
Embry plunked himself in the front seat. "It's Embry Call, what's up beautiful?"
Kristy groaned, rolling her eyes. She and Embry bickered all the way to Port Angeles. Embry kept trying to change the radio station and Kristy kept slapping his hand away and changing it back. Raven and Jacob chuckled at Embry's humorous attempts to flirt and Kristy's irritated and snobbish replies. "Raven, that guy's freakin' annoying," Kristy complained as they walked into the movie theater.
"Sorry," Raven mouthed back silently, trying to ignore the angry daggers in Kristy's eyes.
The movie they were seeing had already been out for a few weeks, so the theater was practically empty. Raven peered around to be sure no one was there that she knew. They all sat in a row about halfway down with Kristy and Raven in between Jacob and Embry. Jacob positioned his arm on the armrest, holding his palm wide open for her to comfortably place her hand in. She smiled, hardly able to take her eyes off him to watch the screen.
Not long into the movie Jacob griped, "This movie is too slow for me, no wonder this place is empty."
It was some gooey love story that would probably have been better watched alone. Raven leaned her head against Jacob's shoulder and gazed up at him. He turned his head slightly and stared into her eyes. Letting go of her hand and putting his arm around her, he softly kissed her.
"Oh, brother!" Kristy groaned in aggravation. "I'm going to get some popcorn. Move out of the way!" She huffed, pushing through Embry's long legs.
"I'll go, too," Embry said, jumping to his feet to follow her.
"Ugh," she grumbled, rolling her eyes.
Jacob and Raven were quietly kissing when it occurred to Raven, that Kristy and Embry never came back. "I hope nothing's wrong."
"I'll go see what happened to them," Jacob volunteered. "She probably killed him by now, and if she did that's what he gets. He doesn't always know when to quit." Jacob stood up and stepped into the isle then quickly turned around and sat back down.
"What is it?" Raven asked.
"Maybe she's trying to strangle him with her lips." Jacob tilted his head toward the back of the theater. Raven turned around and caught sight of Kristy and Embry violently making out in the corner seats of the theater. Jacob crowed, "Get…A…Room!" using a deep voice with his hands cupped around his mouth.
Kristy and Embry didn't pay any attention, either unable to hear Jacob or purposely refusing to come up for air.
Raven elbowed her on the way out. Kristy glanced away, uncomfortably. "You just blame yourself. I know I do," she scoffed.
Raven couldn't help but giggle, comparing Kristy's defeated scowl and Embry's victorious grin. They continued to bicker all way home, but Raven could tell Kristy wasn't quite as annoyed as she had been during the ride up.
At least they seemed to be having a halfway good time, Raven told herself. Jacob's attitude did a complete one eighty once they left the theater. His silence during the whole ride home was wearing on her profusely. Even though he was holding her hand, she could tell his mind was somewhere else.
Chalk it up to another part of the Jacob Black mystery. She tried to not let his aloofness get to her, but she was becoming seriously concerned.
Before he got out of the car, Jacob said, "Hey, ah, I'm going to be really busy this week, so I doubt I'll be able to see you. Call me though."
Raven nodded climbing out of the car to sit up front with Kristy. Jacob pressed his lips against her forehead. "Remember, don't forget to call me."
Jacob smiled his normal smile; however, something about his behavior filled her with anxiety. What troubled her the most was that for once he didn't seem to recognize that she was troubled.
I could have sworn I smelled another bloodsucker, Jacob thought to Seth.
I know, more of the other guys have reported that, too. It's happened enough for us to really take notice. What do you think it means?
Definitely means we need to step up patrols, you know, just to be safe. Even get out and do some hunting. The scent doesn't smell like anyone I know, Jacob thought.
Yeah, I'll stop by Sam's on my way home for another update. Can I go ahead and take off now?
Sure, I got it from here.
You know my mom said Bella called again. You never stopped by to get that number.
Jacob stayed quiet and pictured a blank dry erase board - a techinique he'd witnessed Leah use on occasion - until Seth phased completely out. He just can't seem to mind his own business.
Jacob was running his usual course along the borders of La Push. He was mulling over how Raven never tensed when he held her hand and how she never froze when he put his arm around her. She also never turned away when he kissed her. He hadn't let himself see her since that night at the movie theater, and for some reason it felt like hell.
Why can't you just be normal, like all the other imprinted wolves, and leave that girl alone already?
Ugh, it's Leah. He winced, speeding up.
It's not that I want to see you with a leech, but face it, boy, you're a big disgusting leech lover, and that's all there is to it. Leah was running faster now as well.
Not you, too! First Quil, now you… Why can't anyone just mind their own damn business?
It's not right, and you know it, Jacob. Leah was running top speed now. What's going to happen when Renesmee calls for you? You may tell yourself you don't want that, but you know you will, and you'll be overjoyed about it, too. She reminded him of her pain when Sam imprinted on Emily. I wouldn't wish that on my worst enemy.
Jacob snarled, incensed. What am I supposed to do then? Just disappear? I've seen what that can do to someone. He pictured the night Sam found Bella and how sick Bella became after Edward left.
Leah countered, remembering how awful Jacob had looked and felt and acted when Bella chose Edward over him.
Jacob growled enraged, feeling the urge to sink his teeth into Leah's interfering brain.
She internally chuckled, woofing at his ridiculous impulse, while she filled her mind with thoughts of Renesmee, showing him how all his hurt vanished with one chance dip into her chocolate brown eyes. A few minutes later Leah walked out of the trees.
Jacob covered up his head with his paws and whimpered.
I'm not here to pester you, Jacob. I'm just here to understand. Leah sat down beside him, cocked her head, and twitched her ear at him supportively.
Jacob considered it for a moment then agreed. He focused on Raven, letting his thoughts linger over her entire face and body.
Okay, I get it! She's very pretty! Leah snapped.
Jacob growled, baring his teeth. Pay attention, I'm trying to show you something here.
He concentrated on Raven's face, her lips, her skin, and her eyes. Gradually, Leah began to see Jacob being caught up in her stare. In the next instant, she wasn't seeing Raven anymore. Now, she was seeing Jacob. Jacob was amazing in Raven's eyes, and he was losing himself in her feelings for him. Leah became aware that it wasn't the way Jacob saw Raven that had him hooked, but it was the way she saw him. Raven's adoration for Jacob was powerful.
Wow, I had no idea!
Jacob listened as Leah wondered if that was the way that Sam hooked Emily. Leah knew that Sam had the strong imprint bonds of love drawing him to Emily, but was it the look of Sam's deep adoration for Emily that drew her back to him, causing her to disregard Leah's feelings about her relationship with her so called favorite cousin's ex?
So now what, Jacob?
I guess I'm going to have to talk to Raven. Tell her how I feel. I know that I want to be with her. It even feels like I need to be with her. But there's no way…
You're ever going to love her!
Jacob lightly pushed Leah's head with his muzzle. I was about to say, there's no way I can because of reasons she wouldn't understand.
Really though, Jacob, people usually do choose the one they love, not the one that loves them. You know, based on what you've showed me, those words are really going to hurt that poor girl.
He howled in agreement, feeling all the energy drain from his body. He had no choice. He made up his mind. He had to tell Raven that he couldn't be more than a friend to her. If she wanted to hang out with him after that, it would be her choice.
Next, he would give Bella and Nessie a call. He hadn't done so up until then because he was afraid that he would lose his desire to be with Raven. Maybe it was even time for him to go for a visit. It would probably be better for Raven if he wasn't around, probably be better for both of them.
This really is a complicared situation. I am looking forward to see how everything turns out.
I've been meaning to read this :)
I will read it soon-I've been busy with work/college and didn't have much time. I'll read it as soon, as I can :)
Thanks, but this one wasn't the J&B I was referring to. Its good never the less. I plan on leaving this story on this chapter for a while to see if it draws any interest. I see that this site has so many members, but I also note a lot of outdated discussions and groups. I suppose its because of the passage of time and the movies being completed and premiered. I still wanted to join it anyway.
The other story Time Won't Let Me Go is a more popular Story. But yeah, I know what you mean about being busy. If I could write full time, and not have to work, that would be heaven.