This is NM from Jacob's pov (and a little from Billy). My goal is to stay true to Stephenie's story so there will be no major different from her plot to mine. I also should say that all conversations where Bella is present will be directly quoted from SM (or summarized). I am not trying to change the story but simply add Jacob's side of the story. So lets get started.
Disclaimer - All character belong to Stephenie Meyers. This is New Moon as she wrote it, simply from Jacob's POV, so any conversation that Bella is present for will be directly quoted from the book. No copy write infringement is intended.
Chapter 1 - CHEATER
Saturdays were the best, I could do anything that I wanted to do, except for sleep in. Dad always needed my help getting into his clothes and starting the day. I don't mind, he was always real patient with me and would usually sit in his bed and read until I woke up and got him ready. I left the warm comfort of my sheets and raised my arms above my head to stretch. There was a loud crack as I stretched my back and it felt great. I grabbed a random pair of jeans and shirt and went to my dad's room. After getting him out of bed, I left him to use the restroom and brush his teeth. He was a very strong man and could lift himself from his chair and back again when needed.
I walked into the kitchen and got two bowls of cereal, one for myself and one for dad, poured them with shredded wheat, and added milk. I used to love frosted flakes but with dad's diabetes it was just easier if we both ate the same foods and the sugary cereals had to go.
Dad got two spoons out of the drawer and rolled over to the table. I carried the bowls and sat one down in front of him and I sat in the chair across the table from him.
“So Jacob, what will you be doing today?” Billy asked.
“I don't know, probably just work on the Rabbit. Why did you need something?”
“Nope. However your room is a disaster you should probably clean that up.” I took a deep sigh and realized he was right. I was not even sure if the clothes I wore were clean or dirty, the piles had sort of blended together into a disastrous mess.
We sat in comfortable silence and finished our cereal and then dad rolled into the living room, turning on the TV while I poured myself another bowl of cereal. After finishing I went to the sink washed mine and Dad's bowl before heading to my room. I decided it was time to do laundry. I gathered all my clothes from my room and stopped by my Dad's to gather his as well. Dad and I had a good system, I would put it in the wash and then transfer it over the dryer. Dad would take it out, fold it, and put it away. We were a good team.
Three loads later I was sitting on the couch, waiting for the last one to finish in the wash desperate to go to the the garage where I really wanted to be. When I heard a sound that I knew I would never forget. It was loud as it huffed and puffed and I knew it was the truck that belonged to Bella Swan. I could remember working on the engine of that truck and there would never be another sound like it. Instantly I thought something was wrong with it and Charlie had brought it over for repairs. I peaked out the window and saw only Bella.
I was so excited to know that Bella had come here, until I saw Bella's face through the window. She looked absolutely awful. She was so skinny that I felt I could see her bones through her clothes, her face was extremely white except for the large dark circles under each eye. I had heard Billy talking to Charlie and so I knew that Bella was not doing well but I had no idea how bad it was until I saw her.
Despite her sad appearance I was still excited that she came. I jumped from the couch and half ran out the door, trying to act calmly. I had a huge crush on Bella and while I guessed that my dad already knew I didn't exactly want to make it so obvious with him in the same room. But despite my attempts I couldn't get the silly smile off, it was always plastered to my face any time Bella's name came up. For her to actually be right outside my front door, it was too much for me to handle and I had to move quickly. I stepped outside and hoped off the porch towards her truck when Bella's eyes finally looked up at my.
“Bella!” I shouted, I just could not contain my excitement.
“Hey, Jacob!” Bella said with a hint of excitement and a weak smile. Though it was small I could tell it was real.
“You grew again!” she said amazed.
“Six five” I answered, I couldn't help but be proud of my size. Though it was embarrassing to be so uncoordinated, it just felt like my body was growing so fast I barely could keep up with myself.
“Is it ever going to stop? You're huge.” Bella shook her head like she could not believe it.
“Still a beanpole, though” Growing so fast I just couldn't put on the weight like my friends and it made me feel skinny and awkward.
Suddenly I realized that it was raining and she would probably like to come inside. “Come inside! You're getting all wet.”
I turned around and she followed me towards the house. My long hair matted to my face from the rain so I reached for the band in my pocket and pulled it back without thinking, it was simply a habit. I opened the door and ducked as I entered the house. I remembered the first time I hit my head on the door frame, I was late for school and ran out the door, I couldn't believe that I had grown that tall.
“Hey, Dad” I called. “Look who stopped by.”
I noticed that the TV had been turned off and a book was in his hand. Was he watching us from the window? I swear him and Charlie gossip more than any grown men should, but I never really thought he would spy on me. All of a sudden I was extremely nervous that he would embarrass me. He sat the book in his lap and wheeled himself towards us, reaching out to take Bella's hand.
“Well, what do you know! It's good to see you, Bella. What brings you out here? Everything okay with Charlie?”
One of the few times that I was glad to have my dad in the room. He was able to ask these questions without it coming across as desperate or rude. I wanted to know the answer to those questions so badly but I didn't have the courage to ask her.
“Yes, absolutely. I just wanted to see Jacob – I haven't seen him in forever.”
I did not think I could be happier. Bella was standing in my house and now to know that it had nothing to do with her father or my father, but rather it was to see ME! The smile that was plastered to my face stretched to a whole new level. I wanted to be embarrassed but I was too happy to care.
“Can you stay for dinner?” Billy asked.
“No, I've got to feed Charlie, you know.”
“I'll call him now,” Billy suggested. “He's always invited.”
“It's not like you'll never see me again.” She promised. “I'll be back again soon – so much you'll get sick of me.” Bella said with a nervous laugh. I do not think she had any idea that it was not possible for me to get sick of her, but it might be interesting to see what she came up with to try and make that a reality.
Billy gave me a quick wink, so quick that I almost missed it and I know there was no way that Bella saw it. I knew that dad and I were real close, but I never in my dreams would have thought of him as my wing man. But there was something different, I quickly realized that this was not just for me, but also for his best friend. Charlie has been beside himself with worry over Bella and if Bella spending time with me would help Charlie then I knew my dad would help in any way he could.
Billy chuckled in response. “Okay, maybe next time.”
This was getting awkward quickly so I knew I had to do something. “So, Bella, what do you want to do?” It had been so long since my sisters lived here so I wasn't sure what kind of girl stuff we had available, and I had no idea what Bella might find interesting.
“Whatever. What were you doing before I interrupted?”
I really did not want to bore her with car stuff, and took a second to rack my brain to think of anything else more interesting. Coming up blank, I decided to just go with the truth. “I was just heading out to work on my car, but we can do something else. . .”
“No, that's perfect” Bella interrupted “I'd love to see your car.”
I couldn't believe that Bella would really want to see my car. She just looks too tiny to be interested in cars and such. “Okay, it's out back, in the garage.”
Was it just my imagination or did she seem to get more excited about that? It was like she wanted to be alone and isolated. We walked over to the garage in a comfortable silence. Bella walked in and looked the place over. I know to most people it wasn't much, but I loved this garage it was “my domain” and made me feel useful. Cars made sense to me there was a predictable rhythm to the engine and the parts worked together in a way that I understood. The oil and dirt that surrounded everything could be smelt at any time, it was fantastic.
“What kind of Volkswagen is that?” Bella asked.
“It's an old Rabbit – 1986, a classic.”
“How's it going?”
Suddenly I remembered the last time I saw Bella was at prom when my dad had bribed me with car parts and money to go and speak with her. I wondered if she remembered why I was there, it was so embarrassing but I wanted her to know that it was really all my dad's doing and I had nothing to do with that. “My dad made good on his promise last spring.”
Well that was awkward and at first I could not think of why she was so resistant. Then I remembered that she was at prom with Edward Cullen and clearly his memory was painful. I made a promise to myself to try and not say anything that would bring him into the conversation. I wanted to say something, but I didn't know what would break the promise I had just made to myself so I remained quiet.
“Jacob, what do you know about motorcycles?” Bella asked.
Well that seemed to come out of no where. “Some. My friend Embry has a dirt bike. We work on it together sometimes. Why?” I just could not figure out how we went from prom to motorcycles.
“Well. . .” Bella seemed to struggle with her words, not knowing what to say. “I recently acquired a couple of bikes, and they're not in the greatest condition. I wonder if you could get them running?
My goodness Bella is so adorable when she is nervous and I wanted to put her at ease. “Cool.” That was an understatement. I was so freaking excited. This was my chance to actually show skills that I am really good at to a girl that I was crazy about. How did I get so lucky? However, I did not want to seem overly confident. “I'll give it a try.”
Bella lifted her finger as to warn me. “The thing is, Charlie doesn't approve of motorcycles. Honestly, he'd probably bust a vein in his forehead if he knew about this. So you can't tell Billy.”
I didn't even have to think twice, this was an easy decision. “Sure, sure.” I smiled. “I understand.”
“I'll pay you,” Bella continued.
“No. I want to help. You can't pay me.” Was she crazy? She was volunteering to spend time with me and she wants to pay me, absolutely not, I couldn't help but be a little offended. I didn't want to be some “professional employee” that she paid to work on her motorcycles, I wanted to be her friend and maybe more if I was lucky.
“Well. . . how about a trade, then? I only need one bike – and I'll need lessons, too. So how about this? I'll give you the other bike, and then you can teach me.”
I swear this girl keeps getting better and better. I was so excited. “Swee-eet” I said with two syllables. Geez, I sound like I am in junior high, I hope that Bella didn't notice.
“Wait a sec – are you legal yet? When is your birthday?
Well crap it seems that she noticed. “You missed it, I'm sixteen.” I said with a teasing smile.
“Not that your age ever stopped you before,” she muttered. “Sorry about your birthday.”
“Don't worry about it. I missed yours. What are you, forty?”
Bella sniffed. “Close.”
“We'll have a joint party to make up for it.”
“Sounds like a date.”
Holy cow! Did Bella just suggest that we have a date? That was totally awesome, I would pinch myself but if that was a dream I never wanted to wake up.
“Maybe when the bikes are finished – our present to ourselves,” Bella added.
“Deal.” I could tell that she was trying to make the conversation more casual and I did not want her to be uncomfortable. “When will you bring them down?” Suddenly Bella bit her lip, looking really embarrassed. What did I say? Umm . . . why does Bella look so embarrassed?
“They're in my truck now.”
Well for all the things to be embarrassed about that was one I could certainly handle. It was turning out to be one of the best days ever “Great.”
“Will Billy see if we bring them around?”
Without thinking I winked at her and said “We'll be sneaky.”
I was beyond excited as we started heading towards her truck. Just to prove my sneakiness I stayed in the trees and made myself walk casually, part of me wanted to run but I knew that would draw Billy's attention. I walked around the truck, removing the tarp that covered them. For a second I wondered if I would be able to lift them on my own, they looked pretty sturdy. I cautiously lifted the first one and found it surprisingly light and put it on the ground. The second was a little heavier and I had to concentrate to set it down gently. I have enjoyed the added strength that I have had the past few months, but I was never more grateful for it until that day. I do not know what I would have done if I couldn't get the stupid bikes out of her truck.
Looking over the bikes they were in better condition that I thought they would be. “These aren't half bad.” We each pushed one into the cover that the trees provided. “This one here will actually be worth something when I'm done – it's an old Harley Sprint.”
“That one's yours, then.”
“Are you sure?”
I still didn't like the idea of accepting the more profitable bike. I started looking them over closely and could see that there was certainly some significant damage to them. “These are going to take some cash, though.” Maybe she will at least let me contribute money for parts. “We'll have to save up for parts first.”
“We nothing,” Bella disagreed. “If you're doing this for free, I'll pay for the parts.”
“I don't know. . .” Everything about this just felt wrong to me, but I didn't really have a good reason to argue with her.
“I've got some money saved. College fund, you know.”
I didn't know what to say so I just nodded my head. This was going to turn out to be the best thing that had ever happened to me. I got to spend time with Bella and show off my mad mechanical skills. Or possibly, this will be the death of me when Charlie killed me for endangering his daughter and spending her college fund. I simply thanked God that I was a teenage boy and no one would fault me if they were given the same situation. It's the code: When the girl of your dreams asks you for a favor - do what she says!
After Jacob and Bella walked out of the house I took a deep breath. Charlie was not kidding when he said that Bella was not doing well. I knew Charlie was not one for theatrics but I honestly did not know how to help him. Neither Rebecca nor Rachel had gone through anything like this and I said a silent prayer of thanks.
I rolled back into the living room prepared to watch some ESPN, not sure which game I would watch first. I loved all sports and was not really particular. As I settled in to watch the game the phone rang. I rolled back into the kitchen to answer the phone.
“Hello” I said trying to mask the mild irritation at being interrupted.
“Hey Billy, it's Sam”
“Hey Sam, how's it going?”
“Nothing too much, I was just wondering how Jacob was doing? I noticed he has grown quite a bit in the past few months.” Sam asked with a mixture of concern and curiosity.
“Yes he has grown fast. I am watching him closely, he has started eating more and I fear it will be affecting him soon.” Though I knew this was an honor, I was also scared for my son. Not experiencing this myself I didn't know what it would be like.
I remember the day I got the call from Quil Sr. that Sam had phased. It took us all by surprise even though it shouldn't have. When the Cullen's returned I became fearful of the affect that it would have on the youth of our tribe. All the council members were keeping a close eye on the male teenagers in the tribe. How Harry missed the signs of Sam's transformation was beyond me. Maybe he just didn't want to see it because he feared it would break his daughter's heart. After Sam, Jared, and Paul's transformation I thought maybe Jacob would be spared, legend only had 3-4 wolves at one time except for extreme circumstances.
“I'm sorry Billy, I figured this would come, but no one really wants it.” Sam replied with sympathy, bringing me back to the present.
“Thanks,” I said not really knowing what else to say.
“Billy what do I do if he phases? Won't he be the alpha?” Sam asked not sure if he will like the answer but knew he needed to ask.
“Look Sam, lets cross that bridge when we get there. I know that with our family heritage that Jacob's transformation will affect you greater than any of the others. I will do the best I can to keep you informed.” I really did not want to have this conversation but didn't want to be rude either.
“Thanks, Billy that will be a great help. Well I will let you get back to whatever you were doing” Sam quickly said, clearly trying to wrap up the phone call.
“Well you take care, I'll talk to you later Sam.”
Taking a deep breath I could see Jacob and Bella through the trees walking back to the garage. They each had something but I could not quite tell what it was, but I just hoped that Jacob would be able to help Bella through this rough time. And maybe, just maybe Bella would be what Jacob needed to get through his own rough time that would be quickly approaching.
- Billy is in a wheelchair due to nerve damage from diabetes. I honestly have no idea exactly how limited that makes him so what Billy is able to do on his own and what he can't is all my imagination.
- Jacob built the engine in Bella's truck.
- Jacob has a particular smile that Bella considers to be "hers".
- All conversations that Bella is present for will be either directly quoted or summarized.
- Charlie would call Billy looking for help with Bella, but Billy did not know what to do because Rebecca nor Rachel had gone through anything like this.
- Jacob admits to Bella that he does wash dishes at home, so I assume that he would have other chores as well.
AUTHOR'S NOTE: I did some editing and unless you want to read the comments of other readers I would recommend going here for chapter 2.
Great, I am glad that you enjoyed this story. This is sort of the start to Bella's Sun, you get to see how Jacob fell in love with Bella, and it was really a lot of fun to write. It was my first fan fiction and so it has a special place for me.
There is also Jacob's Eclipse, if you want to see Jacob's pov of that one as well.
Re-edits coming soon.
Chapter 2 FRIENDS - Jpov
Once Bella and I got both bikes back into the garage I immediately started taking the red one apart. Not wanting to be a complete idiot I opened the Rabbit's door to give Bella a place to sit. The only people who came out to the garage were Quil and Embry so I never really needed chairs out here. Bella was so easy to talk to, I was able to chat about school and my friends.
I do not know why I was surprised when I suddenly heard Quil and Embry outside the garage. They typically came over each Saturday to hang out, and check out the progress that I had made on the Rabbit. Normally I enjoyed their company, but today it was slighting irritating that they were taking up the time I was spending with Bella.
The guys walked into the garage oblivious to the fact that it wasn't really a good time. When they saw Bella they were clearly shocked that I had a girl in here and raised their eye brows, giving me a “knowing” look. I made introductions and did my best to not punch Quil in the face for his blatant flirting. Quil always figured if “How you doing?” could work for Joey on Friends then “Hi, there” would work for him. He was such a dork.
However their excitement about the bikes fueled my own enthusiasm, and for a second I completely forgot Bella was there. We were so wrapped up in the different pieces that I had already taken off of the red bike, and talked about the new parts that would be needed to be purchased. I felt terrible for not including Bella, but I didn't really know what to say to include her in the conversation.
I gave her an apologetic look. “We're boring you, aren't we?”
“Naw. I just have to go cook dinner for Charlie.”
“Oh . . . well, I'll finish taking these apart tonight and figure out what more we'll need to get started on rebuilding them. When do you want to work on them again?” I was nervous to ask this in front of my friends. What if she didn't come back for a while?
“Could I come back tomorrow?”
I wanted to sigh, and realized I had been holding my breath. I saw Quil and Embry nudge each other and exchange grins. I couldn't even be upset with where I knew their minds had gone, I was just too happy and smiled. “That would be great!”
“If you make a list, we can go shop for parts,” Bella suggested.
I still did not like the idea of her paying for everything and wanted her to know. “I'm still not sure I should let you pay for everything.”
“No way. I'm bankrolling this party. You just have to supply the labor and expertise.”
“That doesn't seem right,” I couldn't help shaking my head.
“Jake, if I took these to a mechanic, how much would he charge me?”
I smiled. “Okay, you're getting a deal.”
“Not to mention the riding lessons,” Bella added.
Oh how I wish she had kept that last comment to herself. Quil, that dirty little pervert, whispered to Embry, and I knew exactly where his mind went. My hand flashed out, and smacked the back of his head. “That's it, get out.” I muttered.
“No, really, I have to go,” Bella protested and headed towards the door. “I'll see you tomorrow, Jacob.”
Bella's back had not been turned for two seconds before my boys let out a chorus of “Wooooo!”, which I am actually amazed they were able to hold in until Bella left. I launched myself at them both trying to see if I could knock their heads together. They were quick, but I was able to grab Quil, and gave him a noogie then throw him into Embry.
“If either of you set so much as one toe on my land tomorrow I am going to beat the living day lights out of you.” I wanted them to take me seriously, but their friendship has always been important to me. “Now help me tear these two bikes apart.”
They were curious about when Bella got here, and where the bikes came from so I filled them in on my conversation with Bella. Time flew by, and I soon heard dad calling. “Jake, it's time to eat.”
“Hey guys I have got to go. Please, whatever you do, do not come here tomorrow. We probably won't even be around if I can figure out what parts we need tonight.” Thankfully they took me seriously, and headed out of the garage.
I followed them out, and we said our goodbyes and see ya laters. I opened the door, and went to the kitchen sink to wash my hands. Billy was taking some grilled cheese sandwiches off the stove top, and it seemed that we would have some tomato soup as well. I got two glasses out, and walked over to the refrigerator, poured milk into each glass, and set them on the table next to the soup and sandwiches.
“So did you have a good time with Bella?” Billy asked.
“Yeah, I just showed her around the garage. She seemed really interested in the Rabbit, she will probably hang out in there while I work on it” I knew that I needed to have an excuse for how much time we were going to be spending in the garage.
“Did she say if she would be visiting again?”
“Yeah! She is coming over tomorrow.” I wanted to act cool like it was not a big deal, but I knew that silly grin was back on my face, and I just couldn't help but be happy.
“Well, good. I think that you both will be good for each other.” There was a look in his eyes like he wanted to say more but didn't really, all at the same time. I decided to let it go and just finish dinner.
After two bowls of soup and three sandwiches, I was full. I couldn't believe how much I could eat. Dad put his bowl and plate on the counter next to the sink, and rolled into the living room. I heard the TV turn on and I stood up, and started washing our dishes. It didn't take long, and I went to my room.
I couldn't help but think of Bella. She seemed so different today than the girl that was described by Billy based on his conversations with Charlie. Clearly Bella had seen better days, but I thought I saw a little life in her smile, and I dreamed of a day that her eyes would sparkle.
I thought back to the day we walked on the beach. The way her eyes looked at me, and her eye lashes danced over her eyes. She has the most beautiful brown eyes I had ever seen. I knew that she could get me to do anything. Never in a million years would I have figured I would have told her those “scary stories”. I had heard them all my life, my father was such a wonderful story teller. I just wanted to try telling them to someone who I knew had never heard them. I knew that my dad would kill me if he ever knew that I had told her, so it would just be one more secret that I had to keep.
I wanted to just be able to day dream into the night. I walked to the living room to find Billy.
“Hey dad, you about ready for bed?” I asked. I never felt like I should be telling him when to go to sleep, but at the same time knew he needed my help to get bathed and ready for bed.
“Yup, lets wait for the next commercial break and then I can watch from the TV in my room.”
I had a little reading that I needed to do for my English Lit class so I sat down, and read until dad was ready. Without a word he turned the TV off and headed for his room. I read until the next paragraph put my marker in place, and went to help him get ready for bed. It was simply part of our routine so neither of us were embarrassed, it was just life.
After dad was comfortably in bed, I went to the bathroom showered, brushed my teeth and got ready for bed. I laid my back down on my bed, with one leg hanging over the edge because it really wouldn't fit on this tiny bed and just thought about my day. I knew instantly “that” smile was back on my face and it was going to be a great night.
I awoke the next morning to the sound of the phone ringing. I dashed out of bed, and into the kitchen to answer the phone.
“Hello,” my voice was still thick from sleeping, and I coughed a little to try and clear it.
“Hey Jake, this is Charlie. Harry is coming over to watch the game, and Bella thought that Billy might want to join us.”
I swear the girl is a genius, having both of our fathers away together. “That is a great idea let me check.”
I covered the phone with my hand and yelled. “Hey dad, Charlie wants to know if you want to go to his place for the game.”
From the bedroom Billy answered. “Duh! You should know the answer to that, Son.”
I couldn't help but laugh, these three men were so predictable when it comes to sports. I brought the phone back up to my face.
“Hey Charlie, my dad is in.”
“Great, Harry is going to come by and pick him up.” I heard a little shuffling in the back ground and a door slam. “And by the way Bella is on her way.”
“Oh, thanks for the heads up, I had better have breakfast so I'll be ready when she gets here. I'll talk to ya later bye.”
I hung up quickly, hoping that I had at least waited for Charlie to say bye before I hung up, but to be honest I wasn't sure. I dashed back to Billy's room to help him get dressed, and he went to the bathroom to freshen up and start the day.
I went to the kitchen, and grabbed two bowls poured them with cereal and milk and set them both down at the table. I was eating so quickly that I was on my second bowl when Billy joined me at the table.
“My goodness Son, slow down. You do know it is best to actually chew your food.” Billy said with a knowing smile.
“Dad, I do not want to keep Bella waiting.”
With that I was finished with my breakfast, and put my bowl and spoon in the sink, dad could do the dishes this time. I raced back to my room, and threw on a clean pair of jeans and a long sleeve shirt. I grabbed the list of parts that Embry and Quil had helped me make yesterday, and put it in my pants pocket. Then I did a quick look over thankful that dad had encouraged me to clean my room before Bella showed up, and I didn't have anything too embarrassing sticking out anywhere.
The rain outside was coming down strong so I grabbed the big black umbrella from the closet, and waited by the front door for Bella. It was not long before I heard her truck pull up. I quickly went outside to her truck, and held the umbrella high over her door so she could get out without getting too wet.
She seemed a little surprised that I was so prepared, and so I knew I needed to explain why I was so ready when she got here. “Charlie called – said you were on your way.”
She smiled. “Hi, Jacob.”
“Good call on inviting Billy up.” I reached out my hand for a high five, forgetting how small she was. She had to reach high on her toes, and then just barely reached my wrist with her hand. The effort was so cute that I just had to laugh.
I took Bella throughout the house. There really wasn't much to see. My bedroom was so tiny that with the bed, chest of drawers, Bella and me crammed inside we seemed to take up all the available space.
Harry arrived, and he got dad into his truck then they took off. Once the door was shut Bella asked. “So where to, Mr. Good wrench?”
I wanted to give them a few minutes head start before we went anywhere in case they needed to come back for something. I thought we could go over what we needed with Bella before we started out. I pulled the list out of my pocked, and smoothed out the paper. “We'll start at the dump first, see if we can get lucky. This could get a little expensive,” I warned. “Those bikes are going to need a lot of help before they'll run again.”
Bella did not even seemed phased, maybe she did not really understand the amount of money were were talking about so I wanted to be clear. “I'm talking about maybe more than a hundred dollars here.”
She pulled her check book out of pocket, fanned her face, and rolled her eyes. “We're covered.”
That was the first time that I realized that Bella might actually be a little bit crazy. But I also realized that I didn't care. I was so impressed that Bella would just hop from one muddy place to the next with me as we went from one salvage yard to the next. I knew that I could never handle being around a girl that was scared to get dirty and so it seemed that everything about Bella kept getting better and better. The yards were a great success and we were able to get some really great parts for really cheap.
Even though I was thankful that Charlie had bought this truck from my dad, it always was a soft spot for me, being that it was the first major vehicle that I had worked on. I had done a few repairs here and there to my dad's truck and even figured out how to give it hand controls that my dad could drive it if needed. I still remembered the look on Charlie's face the first time dad drove it to his house. For a second I thought Charlie would arrest him for reckless endangerment before he realized that I had installed the hand controls. This monster of a truck that I was riding in was once my baby. I had put the engine together wanting everything to be perfect. I had tried everything I could to make it go faster, but the stubborn old thing would not budge.
I instantly noticed the mangled piece that was once a car stereo. I had debated saying anything, but the curiosity was eating me alive and so I had to ask. “Did the stereo break?”
“Yeah,” Bella clearly lied, she was just so terrible at lying.
Taking a closer look. “Who took it out? There's a lot of damage. . .” I really loved all kinds of music, not really having a favorite type and could not imagine going without music.
I laughed. “Maybe you shouldn't touch the motorcycles too much.”
I always wondered if the Bella that Charlie had described was going to suddenly resurface, but she seemed calm with a sweet smile on her face. She was just so easy to talk to that I found myself chatting away. I wanted her to be able to take part in the conversation.
“I'm doing all the talking. Why don't you take a turn? What's going on in Forks? It has to be more exciting than La Push.”
“Wrong,” she sighed. “There's really nothing. Your friends are a lot more interesting than mine. I like your friends. Quil's funny.”
Great another person that admired Quil. “I think Quil likes you, too.”
She laughed. “He's a little young for me.”
Ouch that hurt. Quil was the same age as me and she knew it. I couldn't keep the disappointment off my face. “He's not that much younger than you. It's just a year and a few months.”
“Sure, but considering the difference in maturity between guys and girls, don't you have to count that in dog years? What does that make me, about twelve years older?”
Wanting to lighten the mood, I rolled my eyes and laughed. “Okay, but if you're going to get picky like that, you have to average in size, too. You're so small, I'll have to knock ten years off your total.”
“Five foot four is perfectly average.” She sniffed. “It's not my fault you're a freak.”
I loved this playful side of Bella, and just wanted to encourage our communication even if it was something as silly as pretend ages. But anything that seemed to get her mind off my real age was just fine. By the time we made it back to La Push I had advanced to age 30 and she was just 23, which was actually perfect. I got to brag about my many skills and surpass her in age.
As we pulled back up to the house I jumped inside real quick to see if Billy was home. He was not so I went back to the truck and helped Bella carry everything to the garage. I laid a large plastic sheet on the ground to keep the pieces from getting dirt in the crevasses. I cleaned the new pieces and started a pile for each bike.
I loved working with my hands. It felt therapeutic to see how the different pieces fit together perfectly, and worked in harmony with one another. I would glance at Bella while I talked, and she would just watch my fingers glide over the different pieces. It just felt so natural to have Bella with me, like it was meant to be.
Time went quickly, and soon I heard my dad. Bella stood and looked like she wanted to help put things away. When working on a project it was just easier to leave the pieces where they were, that way I could easily remember where I had left off.
“Just leave it,” I said. “I'll work on it later tonight.”
“Don't forget your schoolwork or anything.”
Immediately both our heads snapped up recognizing Charlie's voice wafting through the trees, sounding closer than the house.
“Shoot,” Bella muttered. “Coming!” She yelled towards the house.
Seeing the panic on her face was so cute, that I could not help but smile. “Let's go.” I snapped off the lights to the garage and it was completely dark. I knew this place like the back of my hand and grabbed Bella's hand to help her out. Her hand was so tiny in my large hand and felt so cold.
Between Bella's 'grace' and my own awkwardness we were tripping all over each other by the time we made it in view of the house. We were both laughing when we came into view of Charlie and Billy.
“Hey, Dad,” we both stated together, which just made us laugh more.
I still had my hand clasped around Bella's when I noticed her dad staring at my hand. Though it was completely casual I had to admit that I liked the feeling of her hand in mine. My hands were calloused from working outside but hers were so soft and smooth, and I never wanted to let go even though I knew I should. I dropped her hand as we entered the house. Dad started preparing his 'special' spaghetti dinner while Harry had gone to his house to pick up his family, who were coming to dinner with us.
I enjoyed the Clearwaters, whom I have known my whole life. Dad and Harry had always been great friends and so naturally mom and Sue had been close as well. After mom died, even though Sue never said so, I knew she would always be here for me if I ever needed a 'mom moment'. I used to have a small crush on Leah, she was just so beautiful, but she started dating Sam. It didn't really matter to me at the time, but I knew that they were having some serious problems in their relationship. I never took the time to actually learn all the details. Seth had always been such a nice guy, but he was getting to the age where he followed me around like a lost puppy. Being the baby in the family I really didn't know how to handle being looked up to the way Seth did to me. It made me a little uncomfortable so I tried to ignore it as best as I could.
Bella was relaxed but quiet with a simple smile on her face. I couldn't help but noticed Charlie watching her throughout the evening. Not sure why I did not notice earlier but it seemed that Charlie had the same dark circles under his eyes that Bella had. It seemed that her lack of sleep was affecting him as well. I hoped that if I could help Bella, that I would be able to help Charlie too. Though I didn't know Charlie well, he was very important to my dad and so I wanted to do what I could for both Charlie and Bella.
The clouds started gathering, and soon rain started coming down, signaling that the party was over. Charlie road with Bella in her truck, and I stood at the window and watched it pull away from the house. The Clearwaters also decided it was time to head back to their own home and left as well.
Billy gathered the plates, dumped any left over food in the trash and placed the plates and forks in the sink. There was extra pasta and sauce so Billy grabbed a storage container and placed them inside and put it into the refrigerator. I rinsed the pots and pans while the water started to heat up. Once it was hot I added soap and washed and rinsed while Billy dried. He would put the forks away and place the plates on the counter, he couldn't reach the cabinet from his chair so I would put them away once they were all dry, except for one so dad could always have a plate if he ever wanted something.
We talked about the game and he asked what Bella and I did. I lied about needing more parts for the Rabbit and explained that I took Bella to a few stores for parts. I could tell this was not what my dad expected having the place all to ourselves, but really what did he expect me to do to her? We were just friends, while I could dream it would one day be more I knew that she wasn't ready for any type of relationship.
Billy rolled into the living room and turned the TV on. I went to my room and pulled out the homework that I had neglected all weekend. I was okay in school, but never really enjoyed it. School was just a place for me to see my friends and to get through. I have always assumed that I would use my hands, hopefully working on cars so I didn't really see the point in Civics or Geography. If I really need to know where some place was, that was what mapquest was for.
I was finishing my last math problem when I heard Billy's chair come down the hall and stop in front of my room.
“Sorry Dad, you ready for bed?”
“No rush, I'll be in my room when you're ready.” He continued down the hall to his own room.
I got up, and helped Dad to bed then went to the bathroom and got myself ready. It had been a great day, I was not really sure what I was expecting, but it went far better then I ever could have dreamed. And that was what I did all night. I dreamed of Bella and of her beautiful brown eyes and the way her long brown hair shined in the sunlight.
Monday arrived bright and early, well maybe not bright but at least early. The alarm went off at 6:30 and I got up went to the bathroom and showered. Draped in a towel I went back to my room to get dressed, it was just me and dad here so neither of us cared about modesty. Then I went by dad's room to help him start his day and finally made it to the kitchen to make breakfast.
My favorite was biscuits and gravy with eggs. I turned the oven on and opened a can of biscuits. I placed them in the pan and put them in the oven. Dad rolled in and got a packet of gravy and a measuring cup for the water. He measured the water and placed it in the microwave to get hot, while I got six eggs, cracked them, added some milk, and scrambled them together. By the time the eggs were cooked the biscuits were ready and we were ready to eat. Dad rolled over to the table and brought the gravy with him.
We ate in a comfortable silence. After we finished I went back to the bathroom, brushed my teeth, and then gathered my school supplies, putting them in my backpack, and headed out the door. It was a ten minute walk to school. Embry's house was on the way and so he always waited for me at the corner and we walked the last five minutes together. Quil lived just on the other side of the school behind the store that his family owned and so he always met us at the school. However to my surprise today I saw both Quil and Embry as I walked up to the corner.
“Hey! What's up?” I called out, while giving Quil a questioning look.
“I didn't want Embry getting the Bella scoop before me.”
Embry just rolled his eyes, but I could tell that he was really curious as well. “So how did it go yesterday? Did she come by like she said she would?”
I gave them the 'scoop' on my day with Bella, having to tell them bits and pieces of it between classes.
It was finally lunch time. We stood in line and got our food. Quil got two slices of pizza and a chocolate milk. I had two hot dogs, a regular milk, and joined Quil, who was sitting at the table. Embry sat moments later with both pizza and hot dogs.
“Hey man, I thought you could only get one or the other.” I complained.
He shrugged. “I guess the perks of being able to charm the ladies.”
“It's not charm when your mom works at the school, you dork.” Quil added.
I laughed and gave a hive-five to Quil. His hand popped mine and I couldn't help but think of how Bella had tried so hard just to barely reach my hand. A small smile stretched across my face.
“So have you kissed her?” Embry asked.
It took me a second to realize he was speaking to me. “Who?”
“Bella, you idiot.” Quil replied.
“No! Are you kidding me?” I had to work hard to chew my food so I didn't choke. “It's not like that with Bella, she just needs me to be her friend.”
“Oh, the 'friends only club', careful dude that can be hard club to get out of,” Embry laughed and Quil snickered.
“Cut it out guys.” I grumbled, while standing up to throw my trash away.
“Look, I'm sorry. I was just kidding” Embry trying for 'damage control'.
“I know you are. Bella is important to me and I want her to be taken seriously between you two.”
Quil trying to change the subject. “Have you started your paper for American History?”
“What paper?” I hated history class and tried to block it out as much as possible.
“It's a five page paper on a past American general. It is due on Thursday.” Embry added.
“Oh crap, I completely forgot about that.” With that the bell rang, signifying lunch was over. And I knew I owed these guys big time for reminding me of my homework.
Author's Note: FACTS
- Jacob admits to Bella that he does wash dishes at home, so I assume that he would have other chores as well.
- Jacob also makes mention of Ragu which is a premade spaghetti sauce so I assume that they don't make things by scratch but rather preprepared meals.
- Quil's family does live behind the only small store in town.
- Embry's mom actually works at that small store, not at the school.
Chapter 3 – REPETITION Part 1
As the last bell rang I ran to my locker so I could get out quick not even bothering to wait for Embry or Quil. As I stepped out of the school I saw Sam standing just past the trees that lined the area of school. He seemed to be waiting for someone and then I saw Paul and Jared join him and together they walked into the cloud of the trees. Something about it just didn't feel right and so I picked up the pace towards home.
Billy was in the living room watching the usual afternoon talk shows. I wasn't really sure when Bella was coming over, but I wanted to be ready when she came. I had some homework, so I decided to work on it at the kitchen table, so I could easily hear her truck when it pulled up. The moment I heard it I bolted out the door and was waiting for her by the time she pulled up in front of the house.
Bella had an odd expression on her face like she had been running from something. It seemed strange and I wanted her to feel safe, so I decided to not bring it up. “Hey, Bella.”
She smiled and it seemed relief washed over her face. “Hey, Jacob.” I saw her wave at Billy who had rolled over to the window. I'm not really sure why, anyone would know who it was simply by the sound of her truck. I decided it was best to go ahead and get started.
“Let's get to work.”
“You seriously aren't sick of me yet?” She laughed.
Bella must be crazier than I thought. How could she possibly think that I would get sick of her. If anything I was scared to death that she would get sick of me. I walked around the house towards the garage, and Bella followed.
“Nope. Not yet.”
“Please let me know when I start getting on your nerves. I don't want to be a pain.”
“Okay” I just couldn't help but laugh. There was nothing more enjoyable than to have Bella around. I was actually nervous that she knew about my crush on her, but it didn't seem so. That was a relief, but also a little annoying because that showed that I was definitely in the 'friends only club'. “I wouldn't hold your breath for that, though.”
As Bella walked into the garage she clearly was shocked at the progress that I had made on the bikes. Most of that was due to Quil and Embry when they stayed and helped me.
“Jake, you're amazing,” she breathed.
“I get obsessive when I have a project.” I shrugged. “If I had any brains I'd drag it out a little bit.”
I was scared to answer, mostly because I was nervous about her response. Did she really not see that currently the bikes were the only things keeping us together? “Bella, if I told you that I couldn't fix these bikes, what would you say?”
I was so nervous that I could hardly breathe. Part of me wanted to rip out my tongue and pretend that it had not come out of my mouth. The fact that Bella did not respond immediately showed me that she took my question seriously. With butterflies in my stomach I glanced up at Bella's face to try and read her expression.
“I would say . . . that's too bad, but I'll bet we could figure out something else to do. If we got really desperate, we could even do homework.”
I couldn't help the smile that appeared on my face any more than I could relax my shoulders, the worst was behind me, and the butterflies started doing a happy dance. Bella simply enjoyed my company and I was thrilled. With new determination to get this project finished I sat down by the bike to get started. “So you think you'll still come over when I'm done, then?” I just wanted to be clear.
“Is that what you meant?” She shook her head. “I guess I am taking advantage of your very underpriced mechanical skills. But as long as you let me come over, I'll be here.”
“Hoping to see Quil again?” I teased, feeling the need to lighten the mood.
“You caught me.”
I chuckled. “You really like spending time with me?” I was just in such shock and awe that it was really me that she enjoyed so much.
“Very, very much. And I'll prove it. I have to work tomorrow, but Wednesday we'll do something nonmechanical.”
“I have no idea. We can go to my place so you won't be tempted to be obsessive. You could bring your schoolwork – you have to be getting behind, because I know I am.”
“Homework might be a good idea.” I remembered the butt load of stuff the teachers had given me today, not to mention a paper that was due that Embry had reminded me about today.
“Yes,” she agreed. “We'll have to start being responsible occasionally, or Billy and Charlie aren't going to be so easygoing about this.”
Bella had motioned her hands between us like we were together. The thought of being any type of us with Bella was extremely exciting and “that” smile stretched across my face. “Homework once a week?”
“Maybe we'd better go with twice.”
I knew she was right and sighed deeply. Suddenly I felt the need to make this an official arrangement, or at least as “official” as warm soda could make it. I reached over and grabbed two cans opening one for Bella and handing it to her. After I opened my own I held it high for a toast.
“Here's to responsibility, twice a week.”
“And recklessness every day in between,” she emphasized.
I think right there on the spot I fell a little harder for Bella Swan. Completely speechless I touched my can to hers and we each took a drink.
After a little time I walked Bella back to her truck and we said our goodbyes. I walked in the door and dad was preparing dinner. He had some steak and he was placing them on an indoor grill.
“Hey dad, I'm a mess. Do you mind if I jump in the shower before dinner?”
“Sure, just make it quick.”
I went to my room and grabbed some clean boxers and some sweat pants and went into the bathroom. As quickly as I could I shampooed and conditioned my long hair. After I dried off and put my clothes on I ran a brush through my hair and left it down to air dry.
When I returned to the kitchen dad had pulled two large baked potatoes out of the microwave and set them on the table. I grabbed the butter, sour cream and cheese from the refrigerator and placed them on the table. We each prepared our own potato the way we liked it; I liked lots of cheese and dad liked lots of sour scream. Already on each of our plates were the steaks, which I carried to the table and sat down while dad rolled into his place.
“Thanks, Dad, this all smells fantastic.” Despite being extremely hungry I couldn't help a huge yawn escape.
“You are very welcome. Jake you look exhausted I hope that spending time with Bella is not taking too much out of you.”
“Don't worry about it, I'll go to bed early tonight.” I didn't want him to stop me from seeing Bella. “Besides Bella and I have decided that we will completely focus on homework twice a week.” I added for good measure.
“Well that is good to hear, I do not want your schoolwork to suffer.” Billy tried to sound serious.
“I'll be going to her place after school on Wednesday. Do you need anything?”
“Nope. Have a good time.”
After dinner I was really tired so I got Billy comfortable and in bed and then I hit the sack myself.
I awoke the next morning and I could hear Jacob in the shower. He was such a blessing to have, and I literally do not know what I would do without him. I turned on the TV checking out the morning news, the closest thing to “local” was either Port Angeles or Seattle and so something really major had to happen around here to catch their attention. Jacob came in and got me in jeans and handed me a sweatshirt that I could put on myself and I started my day.
Jacob seemed preoccupied with thoughts as we each sat at the kitchen table with a bowl of cereal. I know he really enjoys a hot breakfast but it just isn't always practical to expect it every morning. Food has never been real important to me and with the diabetes cereal was actually easier then trying to guess how much sugars were in what. I found that I pretty much just ate the same things over and over.
I looked up at the clock and realized that Jacob would be late for school if he didn't leave soon.
“Hey Jake, just put your bowl in the sink when you are finished and I'll clean up.”
“Thanks dad, I forgot to set my alarm and over slept.”
With that he grabbed his backpack and was out the door. He didn't even take his jacket, that crazy kid was going to freeze in just a long sleeve shirt and jeans. It made me nervous to think about his body getting warmer due to the transformation that seemed so certain.
I took my bowl to the sink and washed mine and Jacob's dishes. Afterwards, I rolled down the hall to what used to be Rebecca and Rachel's room. There were still bunk beds over in the corner but that was all that remained of a 'bedroom'. There was not a lot I could do from my chair, but Jacob was not the only one skilled with his hands. I loved carving and making beautiful creations out of wood.
I would look at a stick and it was no longer just a stick, but a majestic eagle gliding through the sky, or a gigantic wolf howling into the night. There was a small shop in town that would sell my crafts, and while it wasn't much, it helped make ends meet.
I was partial to the wolf even before I knew the legends to be true. I'll never forget the day that I saw Grandfather Black make the great transformation. I was young, but my father thought it important that I know the truth of our family heritage. It would have been the same for Jacob, but I just didn't know how to make him see that it was all true. I was afraid that his introduction into this new world was going to be sudden and traumatic. These thoughts rolled throughout my mind as my hands carved and carved.
Suddenly I heard the phone ring, and I rolled to the kitchen to answer.
“Hello” I answered.
“Hey Billy, it's Charlie.”
“Hey Charlie, how are you?”
“Great, actually. It seems that Bella is starting to come back, and I know I have Jake to thank for that.”
“Look Charlie, I know that Jake is glad to be helping.”
“And believe me he is,” Charlie paused trying to decide his words. “I'm just worried with her getting involved with another guy. The last one just about killed her.”
“You have no idea.” I mumbled and coughed to try and cover it up. “I know that Jake cares a lot for Bella and enjoys having her around. He also knows that she is just his friend.”
“Well that's great. It is nothing personal, you know I think Jake is a great kid.”
“Do you know when they will be seeing each other again?”
“My understanding is that they will be doing homework at your place Wednesday.”
“Homework sounds good.” Charlie took a deep breath. “Well I need to get back to work, I'll talk to ya later. Take care.”
“Later,” I said as I hung up the phone.
I just hoped that Jacob knew what he was doing.
Tuesday was not much different than Monday except that I was not able to see Bella. I know that she has only been in my life for a couple days, but I was surprised by the void that seemed to be there when she was not around. I was so thankful for the distraction that working on the bikes offered. It was a great way to keep my hands busy, but nothing could help keep my mind off Bella
I figured it was my turn to make dinner so I looked in the refrigerator and was excited to see some hamburger meat. I pulled the meat out and set it on the counter. I washed my hands at the sink and started forming the meat into patties. Billy was in the living room and I could hear the TV on. He seemed to just usually have the TV on whether he was actually watching it or not.
I grabbed some frozen french fries from the freezer and got out a cookie sheet. I turned on the oven to let it heat while I poured the fries on the cookie sheet and spread them out. Soon it was ready, I placed them inside, and set a timer. I can't even tell you how often I would burn the food before I remembered to set a timer.
Soon the burgers were cooked and the fries were ready. I divided the fries on two plates and put one burger on my dad's plate and two on mine.
“Hey, Dad. Dinner is ready.” I called.
He rolled in and took his place at the table. “Thanks for dinner, Jake.”
I smiled. “No problem.”
“Did you have a good day at school?”
“Yeah, it was fine. I have a math test tomorrow, so I will need to look over that tonight. And I have a paper to work on for History.”
I stood up and got another hamburger. Dad just looked up and rolled his eyes.
“Well, I'll do the dishes tonight.”
“Thanks, Dad. I'll be in my room. It will probably be a late night for me so just come get me when you are ready for bed.”
“Will do,” he said rolling to the kitchen sink.
He washed, dried and put away what he could reach and left what he couldn't on the counter. I would find it in the morning and finish putting it away. After I finished eating, I went to my room to finish my schoolwork. It was a late night and by the time my head hit the pillow I was thankful the day was over. But even more thankful that tomorrow I would see Bella again.
Wednesday was basically a blur. I was so excited to see Bella again today that I couldn't think of anything else. I was pretty good at math so I was sure I did fine on the test. However, most likely Quil and Embry want to shoot me because I just wasn't listening to anything they said. But part of that was because I was a little angry at Embry. As I walked to the corner to meet him before school I saw him talking to Sam. Embry swore that Sam just happened to be passing through and he just didn't want to be rude, but I can not figure out why Sam hung around the high school so much. I didn't mean to, but I could tell that Embry was really pissed off at me and by lunch time he was no where to be found.
As soon as the bell rang to signify that school was out for the day I raced home. I knew that there were a few things around the house that I was neglecting. I walked into the house and saw a note on the table from Billy. “I am out with Harry and will have dinner with them, have fun with Bella.” Well that was nice that I knew Billy would be taken care of.
Bella pulled up to the house and I grabbed my backpack and headed out. We talked comfortably about school and our friends there. I was not completely sure but it seemed that the circles under her eyes were starting to fade and there seemed to be a little bit of life in her eyes. As we pulled up to her house I was a little nervous, I had never been to her house without my dad or her dad around.
Bella parked the truck, opened the door and grabbed her own backpack as she walked to the door with me following right behind her. She unlocked the door, set her backpack down in the living room and walked over to the kitchen. She got out several ingredients from the cabinets and started preparing dinner. I wanted to help but felt I would just be in the way. Bella was such a natural in the kitchen, it reminded me of how I felt being in the garage.
In a short time Bella had finished preparing dinner and we settled on the living room floor to work on homework. Time went quickly and I was surprised by the amount I was actually able to complete. Maybe this would actually work. I was honestly doubtful how much I was going to be able to concentrate and remember sitting next to Bella. Soon Charlie walked in the door. I was a little concerned that he would freak out with me being alone with his teenage daughter but he seemed perfectly at ease. I decided I was going to have to give Billy a huge thank you when I got home for making this transition smooth.
“Hey kids,” he said. He was clearly heading to the kitchen where Bella's lasagna smelled absolutely wonderful. I was thrilled when I was able to stay for dinner and brought some for Billy. Even though he ate at the Clearwaters it was always a good idea to have extra food in the house.
I had just finished eating lunch still seated at the kitchen table when I heard a knock on the door and Harry walked in. We were the best of friends but we didn't normally just walk into each other's homes.
“Hey Harry! Is everything ok?” I asked with concern.
“You haven't heard?” Harry ran his fingers through is hair.
“No, what? Was it Jacob? I swear I have been watching him like a hawk.” I could feel my heart rate increase and my breath catch.
“No, calm down.” Harry walked over to the kitchen table and sat down. “It's Embry. He phased.”
“I know, it took us all by surprise. We just assumed that his father was Makah like his mother.”
“Wow! I'm sorry, I don't know what else to say.”
Harry looked down at the table like he was clearly uncomfortable. “I don't know how to ask, but I have to. . . Um. . . uh . . . Is Embry yours?
I do not think I could be more shocked if he had poured a bucket of ice water down my back. What's worse is I did not have an answer. “I don't know.”
“What do you mean? How is that something you don't know?” Harry asked clearly shocked.
“Look Sarah was three months pregnant with Jacob we had a huge fight and I went driving to blow off some steam. I drove and drove and ended at a bar. I do not remember anything at all from that night. I didn't even know that I was at the Makah reservation until I woke up the next morning.”
“Where were you when you woke up?”
“I was in my truck. But the last thing I remember was sitting inside the bar so either I walked back to my truck or someone took me there. I have always felt guilty, but I never really had a good reason for being guilty so I just decided to let it go. I never even told Sarah, just told her I slept in the truck.”
“Well thanks for your honesty.” Harry shook his head.
“Sorry that I couldn't be of more help.” I paused, exhaling a breath that I did not realize that I had been holding.
“No problem.” Clearly glad that part was over and desperate to change the subject he added, “Would you and Jacob like to join us for dinner tonight? I know Sue is making extra.”
“Jacob's going out, but I'll be there. I want to be available if Sam needs any help with Embry.”
“Alright, take care and I'll see you tonight.”
I knew that Jake was already having difficulties with Sam, with Embry joining him I knew that this was only going to make things more complicated. I was going to have to try and talk to Jake again and try to do the best I could to prepare him for what was to come.
- I do not know if Billy sells anything but he skilled at carving and is who taught Jacob how to do it.
- I also assume that there is a third bedroom in the house that would be for the twins, but I do not know that to be true.
- No one knows who Embry's father is. I simply created a possibility of it being Billy's but it is a mystery.
Chapter 4 - REPETITION Part 2
I awoke the next morning with 'that' smile on my face. I was not one to dream very often so I always found it exciting when I did. And for Bella to be the star was even better. The dream was not much different than real life, we were just together in the garage. She would hand me tools and smile. Her laughter would reach across her face and brighten her eyes. Her hair was thick and healthy and hugged her shoulders.
I took a deep breath bringing me back to reality. Yesterday it was clear that Bella was doing better, but she was still a far cry from being healed.
I heard dad shift in his room and decided to go to him first. I really didn't see much of him yesterday. He wasn't home when I got back from Bella's so he must have stayed with Harry longer than he expected.
I walked into Dad's room and he was sitting up in bed, however exhaustion was still clearly on his face.
“Hey, you feeling ok?” I asked a small frown on my face, showing my concern.
“Fit as a fiddle,” he tried to laugh.
I just raised my eyebrows and didn't say more.
He sighed. “Yeah, it was just a tough day yesterday.”
“Really? Why?” I walked over to the closet and grabbed a sweatshirt and tossed it to him. He started pulling it over his head while I grabbed some jeans from the dresser drawer.
“Well I was planning on talking to you about this anyways. Embry is really sick. It came pretty suddenly and you aren't going to be able to hang out with him for a little while.”
“Don't you think it is pretty rotten timing to abandon my best friend just because he happens to be a little sick?”
“Sue, said it was some form of mono.”
“Well, I swear I won't kiss him,” I couldn't keep the chuckle inside. “I just want to help.”
Billy had a small laugh and smiled.“I know that you want to help, but Embry told me to tell you that he just wanted to be alone.”
“Well, ok.” I said as I lifted him into his chair.
We didn't say any more to each other as we got ready. Embry being sick had put a dark cloud over my morning and like God agreed, it started raining as I stepped out the door towards school.
Once at school I had to go straight to the library to print off my History paper, and I had to run in order to get to my first class on time. I wasn't even able to see Quil until lunch time. I was starving and carried my tray to the table and sat down next to Quil. I had two sandwiches, an apple, a bag of chips and two chocolate milks.
“Hey, have you heard about Embry?” I asked.
“Yeah, my dad told me this morning. Mono, huh?” Quil mumbled between bites of his sandwich.
I took a bite of my apple chewed and swallowed. “I know, he did seem a little off yesterday that must have been what it was.”
Quil snickered. “I wonder who he has been kissing.”
I laughed. “There's no telling.” I opened my milk and took two long drinks and it was empty. When did these cartons get so stinking small?
“Speaking of kissing, have you kissed Bella yet?”
“I told you it is not like that,” I said as I rolled my eyes.
“But, I remember the way you talked about her for days and days after she walked with you on the beach.”
“Yeah” I couldn't help but think back to that time and just how beautiful she was. I could have swore she was flirting with me. “Well a lot has changed since then. She just doesn't see me like that.”
“Well that sucks man, sorry. You never know things might change.”
“I can only dream.”
I knew that lunch would be over soon so I stuffed the sandwiches and chips down my throat as quickly as I could and washed it down with the other milk. The rest of the day went by in a blur. It seemed that every class had assigned new homework and I was dreading the walk back home.
I was about half way home when I saw Sam. He was standing a small distance away near the trees, he looked like he was expecting me like he had heard me coming. His face was intense like he was measuring me from a far. Yes, I keep growing, get over it, I thought to myself. He took a couple steps forward and opened his mouth like he was going to say something, however the glare that was plastered to my face seemed to make him change his mind.
I picked up the pace, deciding that maybe a run home would do me some good. When I entered my home, dad was in the living room. I must have still had the irritation clearly written on my face.
“Hey Son, bad day today?” Billy asked.
“Not the whole day, just the return home. There is something about Sam that just irritates.”
“Why is that?”
“Well on some days he just seems like he thinks he is better than everyone else. Then on other days it seems like he watches me like he knows my next move even before I do. It's creepy as hell and I don't like it!” I moved to my room to place my backpack down and just be able to breathe again. I heard his chair following me down the hall.
“It's nothing you need to worry about now, Jacob. In a few years, if you don't . . . well, I'll explain later.” Billy grimaced like he wanted to say more but it just wasn't the right time.
“Well, whatever Dad.” I knew it wasn't really my dad I was angry at, but I just really needed some time to myself. “I've got homework that will keep me in here the rest of the evening. Just let me know if you need me for anything.”
Dad took the hint just fine and rolled out of my room. The TV was already on down the hall and I just assumed that he parked himself in front of it. I grabbed my Ipod and just pushed play not really caring what song it was on. I laid on my bed, pressing my shoulder blades into the mattress and just let the music release the tension that had built in my neck and shoulders.
Friday was pretty much a blur. I soon noticed that any time I knew that I would be seeing Bella my brain just couldn't concentrate on anything else. I was glad to see Quil, but still missed Embry. Quil had mentioned that he had tried to call him several times and he was not ever available, so he wanted me to stop by his house on my way home from school. That was easy to agree too because I felt like a pretty crappy friend for not thinking of that on my own.
So after school I approached Embry's house and knocked. I was surprised to see Harry there, he reassured me that Embry was feeling better but still couldn't have company. I was going to try and argue, but Harry emphasized that this was what Embry wanted. I couldn't help but be offended, this was the second time that Embry has specifically said that he didn't want to see me. I didn't like the strain that this was having on my friendship, but I knew I didn't have time to focus on it today. Bella was coming over, so I hurried home.
She knew by know that if I didn't greet her at her truck that I was already in the garage. When she walked into the garage all other stress and disappointment vanished. More than anyone, Bella could make me happy. It didn't take her too long to learn all the basic tools so soon I could just call out and she would hand me what was needed. I had worked alone for years so I didn't really need the help, but it made her feel useful.
I would work on both bikes at the same time because I found that I was able to compare one to the other and determine what worked and what was broken easier that way. As we worked I noticed that less and less on the red bike looked broken and I had a theory that it was complete. So I shifted my focus to the large black bike that would be mine and was surprised that it also looked very close to being completed.
I always hated to see Bella go, but it was important for her to continue cooking for Charlie so she usually just stayed for a couple hours. Now that the bikes were ready to be tested I knew I had to come clean with Billy about what Bella and I have been working on. Dad was always laid back so I really did not expect him to care, but I decided that if I made dinner tonight it might help seal the deal.
I walked into the house and it was completely quiet. I figured dad was working on his carvings down the hall. Despite wanting to butter him up, a cook I was not. I opened the freezer and pulled out a Stouffer's lasagna and placed it in the oven and set the temperature and timer. I knew that this usually took over an hour to cook so I decided I could shower and get cleaned up.
Forty-five minutes later I returned to the kitchen and got a box of sugar free Jello and starting preparing the Jello. It was quick and I placed the bowl in the refrigerator so that it could solidify. Then I grabbed a couple cans of mixed vegetables opened them and poured them into a bowl and placed it in the microwave. In no time the table was set and I was pulling the bubbling lasagna out of the oven and placed it on the stove top to cool.
I walked down the hall and opened the door. “Hey Dad, dinner is ready.”
“Wow, I can't believe time got away from me so badly. Thanks, I am starving.” He placed the carving down that he was working on. It looked like it was going to be a bird but the details were not there yet to determine what kind.
He rolled into the kitchen and washed his hands at the sink. I grabbed our plates from the table and gave us each a large portion of lasagna.
“Goodness, Son. I know you are a growing boy, but I am trying to not need a larger chair.”
I chuckled. “Well you just eat what you can, and you know I'll finish up whatever is left.”
He gave me a knowing smile. We ate in a comfortable silence. I knew the whole point of this meal was to bring up the motorcycles but I was nervous. I would push my food from one side of my plate to the other and just couldn't quite get the butterflies down in order to get the food into my mouth.
“Everything alright, Jake?”
I took a deep breath. “Dad, I know you are smart and had to know something was going on with Bella in the garage besides just my Rabbit.”
“Yes, I'm glad that you do not think I am an idiot.” Billy sat his fork down for a minute adding, “Am I going to like this something or going to have to kill you for it?
I forced myself to take another bite and take a long drink. “Well, I do not think you are going to care, but Charlie might kill me for it instead.”
“Just tell me it is not a motorcycle and you will be fine. Charlie hates those things.” He said as he took a drink from his class of water.
I knew I couldn't keep the panic and fear off my face and Billy just about choked on his drink. Soon tears of laughter were streaking down both of our faces.
“How did you get motorcycles?” Billy asked, taking another bite.
“Bella brought them to me.” With that my appetite had returned and I started scarfing down the meal.
“Wow, she is a brave girl. So why are you bringing it up now?”
“Well they are both almost finished and I need to start test driving them.”
“Ah, I see.” Billy said as he took his last bite. I knew he was going to eat it all, this was one of his very favorite meals.
“I know I shouldn't have to say this, but you do know that you can't tell Charlie about this.”
“Yes, I know. As long as you keep Bella safe then I don't think you will have a problem.”
“Don't worry Dad, she won't get a scratch.” I stood to get the Jello out of the refrigerator and got two bowls out of the cabinet to put it in, then handed one of the bowls to my dad.
Billy laughs. “You do know this is Bella we are talking about. She is going to fall down.”
“Oh Dad, I know but I just wish that I could wrap her in bubble wrap or something so that she never gets hurt again.”
“She means a lot to you doesn't she Son.” he said with a smile.
“She means the world to me,” and I knew that he would understand.
Saturday morning I got up and I had a quick breakfast, and then went down to the garage. I put the cosmetic casing on the each bike to protect me from the engine and prepared my first test run. It has been six months since I was last on Embry's dirt bike and so it took a few tries to remind myself of what to do. Despite a little bit of user error on my part it seemed that both bikes were working. I found the clutch was sticking and wanted to try to add some oil to make the gears shift easier.
In no time at all it was lunch time. After three sandwiches I decided to take a nice hot shower. I loved to feel the hot water on my skin, it was so relaxing. I dried myself off and got clean clothes and decided to gather what books I would need to study with Bella. I had a little bit of reading to do for English Lit and I knew I would never be able to concentrate on the words with Bella around. So I decided to read on the couch until she arrived.
After a productive day of homework, Bella and I decided to watch some TV. Bella was never particular so I decided that Discovery Channel would be a nice neutral option. It just so happen that Monster Garage was on which I found to be fantastic and Bella seemed to take more interest in then I would have thought. Charlie walked in and seemed pleasantly surprised to see us simply sitting on either end of the couch.
“I probably ought to go.” I sighed. “It's later than I thought.”
“Okay, fine,” she grumbled. “I'll take you home.” I was pleased that she seemed reluctant to see me go and it brought a smile to my face.
I stood up and walk to the front door and opened it as Bella walked under my arm and through the door. She walked to the driver side while I jumped in the passenger side.
Once inside the truck she added, “Tomorrow, back to work. What time do you want me to come up?”
The bikes were close to working and I wanted to keep that a secret, afraid that my smile was going to give me away. “I'll call you first, okay?”
“Sure.” She frowned, while thinking.
I made myself be quiet on the rest of the ride home with a deep smile on my face. Bella dropped me off and we said our goodbyes.
I walked inside and found Billy asleep in the living room. I took his chair and rolled him to his room, pulled back the blankets and placed him in bed. He must have been really tired for there was just a mumbled “Thanks” and he was back asleep.
I walked back to the kitchen and grabbed the cordless phone, bringing it with me to my bedroom. I was so excited because I knew that there were just a few last minutes touches that needed to be done on the bikes, and then they would both be finished. I wanted to see if Quil and Embry could help me with testing them I wanted to make double sure they were safe before I let Bella on one.
I quickly punched in Quil's number. Quil was such a night owl that I was not worried about the time. It rang twice and he answered.
“Hey dude, I wanted to see if you could help finish up the bikes tomorrow morning.”
“Wow! You are already finished, that is insane.”
“Yeah, I know. I even surprised myself with how quickly they came together.”
“So does this mean, you get to have your date with Bella?”
“Yep!” I was so excited that I could feel my face stretching into an even bigger smile. “As long as I don't kill her. I want to test drive them both tomorrow so that they are completely safe.”
“Great, what am I your guinea pig?”
“No, but you are tough and can handle an accident or two. I do not want Bella to end up with a scratch.”
“Geez, is someone a little over-protective.” he chuckled.
“No, I'm just scared to death of Charlie and want to live long enough for a second date.”
“Well, good luck with that. I'll come by first thing tomorrow.”
“Fantastic! You're the best! Oh, that reminds me have you talked to Embry today?”
“No, I saw him with Sam!”
“What? What was he doing with Sam?”
“I have no idea but it is creepy.”
“No joke! He gives me the creeps worse then anyone.”
“I don't blame you. The way he looks at you would creep anyone out.”
“Well thanks.” I said sarcastically. “I was hoping that it was just my imagination.”
“Nope, sorry dude.”
“Well on that sour note, I'm going to bed. I'll see you tomorrow.”
I awoke the next morning and helped Billy get dressed and then went to the kitchen. I wanted a big breakfast and got out the eggs, bacon, and bread. I was already hungry so I grabbed a banana and decided to eat while I prepared breakfast. Billy rolled in and put two slices of bread into the toaster and got some grape jelly out of the refrigerator.
We ate in a comfortable silence, neither of us really had much to say in the mornings. Billy was the type who didn't really speak until about mid morning, and then I was usually gone and there was no one to speak to. Silly old man.
As I ate my last piece of bacon, I heard a knock on the door and assumed it was Quil. I was right, dad mentioned he would do breakfast cleanup and I was out the door. We rode the bikes for about an hour making sure that everything worked perfectly and they were warmed up. Quil brought with him some blue ribbon and tied a bow to each handle bar when I wasn't looking. I was in too good of a mood to care.
I walked to the kitchen and picked up the phone and dialed Bella's number.
“Hello?” she said seeming breathless.
“Bella,” I wanted to try and make things as official as I possibly could.
“I believe that . . . we have a date,” I said with a grin, trying to be clear the double meaning behind the words.
She paused for a moment, and I was scared that she wouldn't get it. “They're done? I can't believe it!”
“Yeah, they run and everything.”
“Jacob, you are absolutely, without a doubt, the most talented and wonderful person I know. You get ten years for this one.”
My confidence soared. “Cool! I'm middle-aged now.”
She laughed. “I'm on my way up!”
I went inside and took a lightening fast shower and put on clean clothes. This was not just some random 'work-with-Bella-in-the-garage' day, it was a date! There was also a small chance to get out of the “friends only club” and I was going to take it.
It seemed in record time Bella arrived at my house and I quickly loaded the bikes into her truck. We were on the road heading to a secluded portion of the beach where I knew it would be safe and in no danger of Charlie finding out. I was in my own little world telling Bella the details of the last finishing touches to her bike when suddenly Bella slammed on the break and screamed “No!!”
I seriously thought I was going to have a heart attack. “What's wrong?”
“That guy – he just jumped off the cliff! Why didn't they stop him? We've got to call an ambulance!” She threw open her door and got out of the truck.
I was so relieved that a nervous laugh spilled out of my mouth, which clearly she did not appreciate. “They're just cliff diving, Bella. Recreation. La Push doesn't have a mall, you know.” I looked over at the cliff and immediately could tell who the people were. I told Bella about cliff diving and I couldn't believe that she wanted to do something so dangerous.
It bothered me that Sam could irritate me without even trying now-a-days and told her about Sam's gang as we got back in the truck and started towards the beach. Even with Bella I could feel the anger rising in my chest, it was a small burning sensation almost like heart burn. Today was not a good day to be sick and I clenched my fists trying to control my emotions.
I closed my eyes in concentration and when I opened them I realized that we had driven past the turn off. Bella turned around and I made myself pay attention until we came to a stop. We each got out and I went around to the back to unload the bikes. I wanted to move past Sam and the issues that I had with him. I got her red bike out and leaned it towards her.
“Happy late birthday. Are you ready for this?”
“I think so,” she said with fear in her eyes.
“We'll take it slow,” I promised. I walked back to the truck and got my own large black one out and leaned it against the fender.
“Jake . . .”
“What's really bothering you? About the Sam thing, I mean? Is there something else.”
I grimaced, I wasn't angry but it was just awkward to talk about. So I took a deep breath and sighed and then I just couldn't figure out how to shut up. I told her all about how Sam was treating me, and even how I missed Embry and was hurt that he seemed to be ignoring me. Despite my rambling I could tell that she took my concerns seriously. It was amazing, like she really understood the struggles that I had with Sam, Embry and 'the gang'. It was so meaningful to me that I could feel myself start to cry.
I desperately did not want to cry in front of Bella. And suddenly her arms were wrapped around my waist. “Oh, Jake, it'll be okay!” She promised. “If it gets worse you can come live with me and Charlie. Don't be scared, we'll think of something!”
Holy cow! Did Bella just suggest that I move in with her? I was so shocked I couldn't move to save my life. Then slowly my brain remembered how to move my arms and I wrapped my arms around her. “Thanks, Bella.”
It felt so good to have my long arms wrapped around her and her tiny body pressed against my chest. The top of her head was just under my chin and I could smell her hair. This was a moment that I had been waiting for, but I was scared that I was going to embarrass myself if we stayed in each other's arms much longer. “If this is how you're going to react, I'll freak out more often.” I made my voice be soft and tried to be as normal as I could.
I couldn't be this close and not touch her soft hair. It felt like silk as it slipped through my fingers. She pulled away and I could tell that the shield she put around her self came back up.
“It's hard to believe I'm two years older than you. You make me feel like a dwarf.” As she leaned her head far back in order to look me in the face.
“You're forgetting I'm in my forties, of course.”
“Oh, that's right.”
I reached over and patted her on the head. “You're like a little doll,” I teased. A porcelain doll.”
She rolled her eyes, taking another step away. “Let's not start with the albino cracks.”
“Seriously, Bella, are you sure you're not?” I pulled my arm out next to hers in comparison. “I've never seen anyone paler than you . . . well, except for . . . ” Oh crap, I so should not have said that. “So are we going to ride or what?” Clearly not one of my finer moments, but what can I say; I'm an idiot!
“Let's do it,” she agreed, with a new enthusiasm.
It is about two weeks from the time Bella brings the bikes to Jacob, till they they are finished. (that is why I assume that Embry and Quil help him, until Embry phases then only Quil).
- Mono is the excuse given to Bella about Jacob, so I figured it could work for Embry as well.
- Sam seems to stalk Jacob and give him strange looks. Jacob tries to talk to his dad about it but is not taken seriously.
- Jacob is very confident that the bikes work before him and Bella ride together, so I assume that he has test driven them.
Chapter 5 - ADRENALINE part 1
We walked over to her red bike and I gave her a crash course on bike 101 going over the clutch, shifting gears, and most importantly the BRAKE. The bike was so big compared to her tiny body that it would rock unsteady with her every move. I put my hands over hers to help steady the bike and so that she could feel the amount of pressure it would take to operate it, motorcycles are not delicate and she needs to be strong.
The determination that Bella had was amazing. She had moments where she seemed completely fearless and then sudden realization of what she was about to do would cause anxiety to inch across her face. With several tries I started the bike for her, she revved the engine looking ready.
Suddenly, a look of complete shock came over her face, she dropped the clutch and the bike bucked yanking her forward then falling to the ground on top of her. “Bella?” I called easily jerking the bike off of her. “Are you hurt? Bella?”
“I'm fine,” she mumbled, dazed.
I reached down and pulled her to her feet. “Did you hit your head?”
“I don't think so.” She shook it back and forth, checking. “I didn't hurt the bike, did I?” She seemed more worried about the bike than herself.
“No. You just stalled the engine. You let go of the clutch too fast.”
She nodded. “Let's try again.”
“Are you sure?” She was making me far more nervous than I thought I would be. I was so scared that she was going to get seriously hurt.
This time she starts the bike herself while I watched closely with my hands out ready to catch her if she fell over again. “Easy on the clutch.” I reminded her. “Ease off slowly.”
She smiled. “I will.”
The gears caught and suddenly she was moving forward. She moved fast and she was going much farther than I figured she would go. She was going straight and then I realized that I never told her how to turn. Well that was stupid of me.
Bella panics and is thrown from the bike with it landing on top of her. “Bella!” I yelled as I ran to my bike started it quickly and went as fast as I could to her side. When I got there she had kicked the bike off her. “Bella!” I bent over her. “Bella, are you alive?” I'm a dead man, Charlie is going to kill me.
“I'm great!” She moved her arms and legs as proof. “Let's do it again.”
“I don't think so. I think I'd better drive you to the hospital first.”
“Um, Bella? You've got a huge cut on your forehead, and it's gushing blood.” How did she not feel that? So much for her not getting a scratch, I should have known better.
She immediately clapped her hand over her head, like she just now realized it herself. “Oh, I'm so sorry, Jacob.”
“Why are you apologizing for bleeding?” That did not make any sense, everyone bleeds. I wrapped one arm around her waist and brought her to her feet. “Let's go. I'll drive.” I held out my hand for the keys.
“What about the bikes?” she asked as she handed me the keys.
That was a good point. Clearly her head was not life threatening. “Wait here. And take this.” I pulled my shirt over my head, and threw it at her. She took it and placed it tightly to her head to stop the bleeding.
I got my own bike and rode it back to the truck threw it in the back and drove the truck to Bella. I didn't know much about head injuries but there was so much blood that it seemed pretty serious. I got her in the truck and loaded up her own bike as well and started towards the hospital.
“Now, let's think about this for a second,” she began. “If you take me to the ER like this, Charlie is sure to hear about it.”
“Bella, I think you need stitches. I'm not going to let you bleed to death.”
“I won't,” she promised. “Let's just take the bikes back first, and then we'll make a stop at my house so I can dispose of the evidence before we go to the hospital.”
“What about Charlie?”
“He said he had to work today.”
“Are you really sure?”
“Trust me, I'm an easy bleeder. It's not nearly as dire as it looks.”
I prayed that she was right as I did what she suggested. After she cleaned up at her house she did look much better but I was still a nervous wreck. I was not going to feel better until someone more official said she would live.
On our way to to the hospital, I began to wonder exactly how painful a gun shot wound from Charlie was going to be. Do you think he shoots to kill?
“We should have grabbed you a jacket.”
“That would have given us away”, I teased. I had actually completely forgotten that I didn't have a shirt on. “Besides, it's not cold.”
“Are you kidding?” She shivered and reached to turn the heat on.
That was the first time that I realized that maybe I should have been cold. I hadn't been cold for days and I just figured that it was starting to get warmer. Well that seemed nice and so I draped one arm over the seat and relaxed. Or at least tried to relax, I kept seeing Bella looking me over out of the corner of my eye. I knew that some muscles had filled out around these long bones of mine but I still felt self-conscious, especially with the way she kept looking at me.
“Nothing. I just hadn't realized before. Did you know, you're sort of beautiful?”
Sort of beautiful, what in the world does that mean? I rolled my eyes. “You hit your head pretty heard, didn't you?”
“Well, then thanks, Sort of.”
She grinned. “You're sort of welcome.”
At the hospital I contemplated what Bella had said to me as I held her hand while the doctor treated her head. Despite it's awkwardness of being in a public place without a shirt, it was so thrilling to know that Bella liked the way I looked.
It took forever at the hospital and by the time we were finished Bella needed to make dinner for Charlie so she dropped me off before returning home. However the following Wednesday we were back in the hospital when Bella fell off again and had a mild concussion. She would be riding so well and then suddenly something would happen that would seem to capture her attention. Each time Bella would fall from the bike I felt like I was going to have a stroke. I worried that maybe motorcycles weren't such a good idea but I was also scared because Bella and I really didn't have anything else keeping us together.
I walked out of the house Thursday morning to what seemed like a tropical thunderstorm and I just had a feeling it was not going to be a good day. On my way to school it seemed that my monster feet seemed to find every puddle and my jeans were soaked from the knee down. It wasn't really cold but the fabric clung to my leg and it was annoying.
It was third period before I realized that I had not really looked at anyone in the eyes, not even Quil who sat right next to me. Suddenly I felt the sharp corning of a piece of paper poking into my rib.
“Ouch” I whispered giving Quil an irritated look.
“Just take it.”
“What is this third grade?”
“Yes, now check yes, or no.”
I had to stifle the chuckle as I opened the note.
Did you see Embry is here?
What? How did I miss that Embry was back?
No. I scrawled back.
He nodded his head to the back right corner and I felt like my eyes were going to pop out of my head.
Embry barely looked like the same guy. I had only seen him a few times from a distance. He wore a t-shirt that seemed to be stretching to the max over his massive chest and pair of cut off jean shorts and tennis shoes but no socks. He made the desk look like doll furniture. I had to admit that the desks were pretty annoying and wondered if I got much bigger if I was going to fit.
As soon as the bell rang I was on my feet and walked right up to Embry. “Hey, man.” I wasn't really sure if I needed to apologize for the stupid fight that we had gotten into the last time we were together or if so much time had passed that it didn't really matter.
“Hey.” Embry said and picked up his book and quickly walked out.
“What's the hurry?”
“Just leave me alone, Jacob.”
Jacob, I had not been Jacob to him in years. All my friends called me Jake, his reaction had just made me angry so I stormed to my locker and got the supplies needed for my next class. I couldn't concentrate and just hoped that maybe lunch would help put me in a better mood.
But I found no luck there either, it was meatloaf my least favorite meal that the school offered. I put a dollar in the vending machine and decided I would have chips and soda. I wasn't watching where I was going and walked right into someone crushing the chips in the process.
“Hey punk! Pay attention where you're going!” He yelled.
“Hey, Embry?” Confused that such anger would be from my best friend. “Chill out dude! I didn't mean to hit you.” I yelled back.
Embry took a deep breath and clenched his fist up like he was going to punch me. I couldn't believe this was MY friend that was about to hit me over an accidental bump.
I wanted to confront him about avoiding me for the past week. “Why have you been avoiding me?”
“I can't talk to you.”
“Embry, I'm your best friend. What is going on?”
“Just drop it, Jake.” He scowled. “Please,” he added sarcastically.
“What are you afraid Sam might see you talking to me?” I taunted.
“It's none of your business.” He turned his back to me and walked out the emergency exit door.
I was just about to follow him out when I felt a hand grab on to my shoulder. “That is not a good idea. I'll handle it” Paul said with a mean scowl on his face.
“Why? As of a week ago you barely knew each other,” confusion, hurt and anger mixed together to form a dangerous combination.
“Well things change.” He said. “I'm sure you will figure that out for yourself.” he mumbled in a low voice I don't really think I was suppose to hear.
“What does that mean?” I was furious.
“It's nothing for you to worry about now.” With that he went out the same exit door running to the woods nearby. Those were the same words that my father had said to me last time I had tried to talk to him and it just fueled the burning inside of my chest.
The storm outside continued to rage throughout the day and my irritation continued to fester. I returned home in the exact same condition I arrived at school, soaking wet and crabby. I walked in the door slamming it behind me.
“Hey Son, we've only got the one door, lets keep it that way.”
“Now come on, what is going on?”
“My life sucks.” I said as I went to my room throwing my backpack on the floor.
I heard Billy's chair as it rolled down the hall following me. “Don't you think that you are being a little dramatic.”
“You know you can tell me anything right.” He paused. “Is it something with Bella?”
“No, Bella is the only good thing in my life right now.” I took a deep breath I never liked to fight with my dad. “It's Embry. He returned to school but whatever the hell Sam did to him it seemed to have fried his brain.”
“It's not Sam.” He defended.
“Don't you dare defend Sam to me!” I yelled. “Not only does he have to creep the living day lights out of me but he has to warp the minds of my friends.” I walked to the other side of my room just needing some distance. “You can't tell me Sam has nothing to do with this, Embry has not left his side in days.” I knew that I shouldn't be taking my frustration out on my dad but he wasn't exactly helping himself either.
Billy look down with hurt in his eyes. I could tell that there was more to it, but I just didn't know why he couldn't just tell me. “Look Dad, you let me know when you can tell me what is really going on, until then I'm going for a walk.”
It was still pouring rain but I didn't care, before long my walk turned into a run. I was never much for exercising just to exercise but lately I began to feel like muscles were sprouting all on their own and it seemed like they begged to be used. So with each long stride I could feel the muscles in my legs contract and they seemed to celebrate.
The rain stopped and my smile returned. I slipped the rubber band that was holding my hair back out and as I ran I could feel it flowing in the wind. It felt amazing to have my hair blow behind me, it made me wonder why I had not started running sooner. After an hour I returned home and even though life wasn't really different I felt like a weight had been lifted for the time being.
Chapter 6 - ADRENALINE part 2
By the time school was out on Friday I had never been more thankful it was a weekend. In less than an hour I would see Bella and I could just forget all the turmoil over Embry. I found that school was quickly becoming torture. Instead of it being a place to see my friends it was a daily reminder of the friend that I had lost to Sam, and my bitterness towards him grew.
As I walked home from school I was determined to shake off all thoughts of Sam and Embry, and instead I would focus on Bella. Each day that we were together I could see that she was doing better. The circles under here eyes were almost completely gone and her hair was starting to get its healthy glow back. Based on phone conversations between Billy and Charlie it seemed that Charlie was giving me the glory for bringing Bella back to a better place. I couldn't help but feel the pride that I was good for Bella. I knew that she was everything to me, and I just wanted us to be together. I could feel myself falling for Bella more and more each day.
I walked in the house and found a note from dad saying the he was out with Harry, they were having a Council Meeting tonight so he would be home late. I went to my room and put down my backpack and could feel the rumble in my stomach. So I went to the pantry and grabbed a package of cheese and peanut butter crackers. It was a nice day, the sun shown bright in the sky so I decided to just eat on the front porch while I waited for Bella to arrive.
It didn't take long until I heard her truck, but for some reason it took longer for it to pull up in front of the house. Either my hearing is getting better, or she was driving slow. She got out of her truck and smiled as she walked over and took a seat on the bottom step. Just seeing her smile made me feel cheerful and light, like there was not a care in the world.
“Charlie's getting nosy,” she complained.
“Maybe we should cool it with the bikes.” I saw her face object. “At least for a week or so. You could stay out of the hospital for a week, right?”
“What are we going to do?” she griped.
I smiled cheerfully. “Whatever you want.” I didn't realize that it would be such a complicated statement, but clearly Bella took it to heart and started thinking intensely. The crease between her eyebrows deepened and she squinted her eyes in concentration.
“What are you thinking about so hard?” I asked.
“Well . . . I found this place in the forest once – I came across it when I was, um, hiking. A little meadow, the most beautiful place. I don't know if I could track it down again on my own. It would definitely take a few tries. . .”
“We could use a compass and a grid pattern,” It seemed like an easy solution. “Do you know where you started from?”
“Yes, just below the trail-head where the one-ten ends. I was going mostly south, I think.”
“Cool. We'll find it.”
Hiking was certainly not something that I expected from Bella, but then she would do some of the most random things sometimes. Just when I felt like I had her almost figured out, then something new would arise. It was actually really fun learning new things about Bella.
It seemed that Bella stayed a little lost in thought the rest of our time together, and I just decided to be quiet and let her think. Our friendship had settled into a comfortable place where we could just be together without it having to be a big production, and I really liked the comfort that peace provides.
After Bella left I decided to make a simple dinner for myself. I got a pan and added some water and set it on the stove top turning it to high. I got a box of Mac-n-Cheese out of the pantry and once the water was boiling added the noodles. While the noodles cooked I grabbed two hot dog wieners and put them in the microwave. Once the noodles were fully cooked I drained them and added the butter, milk, and powder cheese, and stirred. After it was fully mixed I cut up the hot dogs into chunks and added them to the cheesy pasta.
I took the bowl, knowing that I was going to eat it all, into the living room and decided to watch some TV while I ate. I started with the History channel which was counting down the top US Generals. This just reminded me too much of school, so I changed to Animal Planet where they were trying to “Understand the Wolf Pack”. There were two wolves fighting each other and it seemed that the winner would be alpha. To me that seemed like a silly way to transfer power but it was fascinating to watch them circle each other, biting and dodging. Once it seemed that the black wolf was winning I decided to move on. TNT was having a Law and Order marathon so I figured that would keep me entertained throughout the night.
Saturday morning I woke up covered in sweat. I couldn't remember my dream but I remembered the feeling, like spiders or snakes had crawled all over my skin. I kicked off the blankets, and rubbed my arms to get the feeling to subside.
In a few minutes my heat rate was back to normal but I knew there was no way I was going back to sleep. My long hair was sticky from the sweat so I decided to shower. The hot water felt good and relaxed my muscles. I stayed under the water until it started to get cold, it was a rare treat because knew I had plenty of time. I got out, dried off and put on some clean clothes and headed back to my room.
I couldn't believe it when I looked at the clock to realize it was 3:30 in the morning. I knew I needed to get back to sleep so I laid back down on the bed and thought of Bella. Despite her effort I could see that Bella was still in a lot of pain. At times she would wrap her arms across her chest like she was giving herself a hug and I felt like my own heart was breaking.
I knew that her pain was from the Cullen family, or more specifically from Edward. I just couldn't believe anyone could hurt Bella so much. But I figured that Edward is just a teenager and if his family moves he has to move with them, so at first I gave him the benefit of the doubt.
Soon I could feel my eye lids get heavy and I fell back into a deep sleep.
The next thing I remember was hearing my dad calling my name. I looked at the clock and it 10:12, oh crap, how long had he been waiting for me. I jumped out of bed and ran to his room.
“I'm so sorry Dad, I can't believe I over slept like that.”
“Don't worry about it Son, I was out late myself so I have only been awake for about 20 minutes.”
I took a deep sigh and could feel the relief wash over me. “Well, that is good.”
Dad needed a bath since he was out so late the night before so I helped him get ready. Forty-five minutes later we were both in the kitchen and we were starving. I decided that pancakes would be both quick and easy. Dad got the mix out of the pantry while I measured the correct amount of water added the powder and Dad stirred. I chatted away about school, and told him about my frustrations with Embry.
I got the electric griddle out and plugged it in so it could start to heat. By the time it was hot the pancake batter was ready so I poured eight round circles. Once there were several bubbles then it was time to flip them. There had been many trial and errors along the way, either I would burn one side of the pancakes, or I would accidentally flip one on top of another. However after much practice, I now felt confident that they would be golden brown on each side.
Dad got the syrup out and warmed it in the microwave, and got the butter out of the refrigerator as I carried our plates stacked high with pancakes to the table. Though there had certainly been plenty of opportunity I noticed that Dad had not really said anything other than “uh huh” and “okay” to my constant chatter. It made me think he had something he needed to say but didn't really want to.
“Hey, Dad is everything ok?” I asked
“Well Charlie called, and said that he doesn't like how often Bella is going to the hospital. I can't really blame him. So I told him that I would talk to you.”
“Yeah Bella mentioned something about that yesterday. So we are going to lay off the bikes for a while.”
Dad took a deep breath between bites of food. “Well that is certainly wise. What will you be doing with your free time?”
“Bella has some meadow that she wants me to help her find.” I got thirsty and went to the refrigerator and got the milk and poured it into two glasses.
“So Bella wants to start hiking? Do you really think that is going to keep her out of the hospital?” he laughs.
I couldn't contain my own chuckle. “I”ll do my best to take care of her.”
“I know you will Son. I swear sometimes it is like she was born with two left feet.”
“Tell me about it.” There was a comfortable pause while we both enjoyed our breakfast.
“Do you know where you will be hiking?”
“Some place just south of where one-ten ends. I was planning on using my compass and do a basic grid search.”
“Sounds like you got it all worked out.” He smiled and brought his empty plate and cup to the sink.
“Thanks!” I really appreciated my dad and how just how honest we were with each other. I knew that I could tell him anything, and I believed that he could tell me the same, except for that one secret that I knew he was keeping from me.
Soon Bella arrived, and to my surprise had a new map with her and what looked like brand new hiking boots. I grabbed the map and immediately started drawing the grid pattern, the last thing I needed was for us to get lost in the woods. This was suppose to be our safer activity and I planned to make sure it stayed that way. It didn't take long and soon we were ready to go.
We walked to the truck and I was really excited to be doing something new with Bella. It seemed like no time at all and she stopped her truck, and we got out. There was a clearly marked trail not far and I naturally assumed that would be where we started from, and found the location on my map.
“I went this way,” she murmured, pointing directly in front of where we had parked.
“Hmm,” well that was certainly surprising.
I looked over at the trail and back. “I would have figured you for a trail kind of girl.”
“Not me.” She smiled, “I'm a rebel.”
I laughed and readjusted my map and made sure the compass needle lined up perfectly. Quil and I each got compasses for our 12th birthdays and we spent the next several months exploring. Once I even made a map for him that was suppose to lead us to hidden treasure but really just ended up at an old pond. It was a lot of fun and we both got really good at using our compass.
It was really pleasant walking with Bella. The ground crunched loudly under our feet from leaves and rocks, and the greenery of the Fir and Pine trees really added to the woody look and smell. It really is beautiful around here, and I have always appreciated the wild life that surrounded us as well.
We often did not feel the need to talk, and I would swing my long arms and whistle some stupid song that I couldn't get out of my head, damn that Taylor Swift. Bella walked pretty slowly but it gave me time to stop and check the compass and map to make sure that we remained on course. I could see Bella watching me and it looked possibly like admiration was in her eyes; she didn't say anything and I didn't press it.
“Hey . . . Jake? She asked hesitantly.
“Yeah?” I questioned not really sure where she was going with this.
“How are things . . . with Embry? Is he back to normal yet?”
Embry was a rough spot for me and I didn't know what to say. So I just paused and let her catch up, not realizing that I had gotten so far ahead. I had to pay close attention due to my long stride or I could easily leave her behind. I realized I would have to work on that.
“No. He's not back to normal,” I couldn't keep the frown off my face. And now that she had caught up it was like my feet forgot how to move.
“Still with Sam.”
“Yep.” I remembered the last time she had asked me about this and how she had suddenly wrapped her arms around my waist. It wasn't the same but I still felt like I needed some physical contact so I wrapped one arm around her shoulder.
“Are they still looking at you funny?” she half-whispered.
“Sometimes.” I just couldn't make eye contact with her. She was hitting all the areas that I was currently struggling with, and trying to not think about.
“As helpful as ever,” I just couldn't figure out why dad was being so evasive with me.
“Our couch is always open,” she offered.
This was the second time she had offered for me to come stay with her. It made me wonder if maybe she was thinking about the amazing hug we had shared. The thought seemed to break me out of the gloom I had been in and I laughed. “But think of the position that would put Charlie in – when Billy calls the police to report my kidnapping.”
She laughed as well and my legs remembered how to move so we started walking. At six miles we headed west and started down another of my grid lines. The terrain was not the easiest to walk in, we had to go around trees and rocks, and I would offer my hand to help Bella over large fallen trees. She would smile in appreciation and I felt a little disappointment each time her tiny hand left mine.
Bella assured me that she knew where she started from so I felt confident that we would find it. I grabbed her hand as we made it around a group of ferns as we approached her truck. “Trust me.”
“You're good,” she admitted, looking at her truck. “Next time we bring flashlights, though.”
“We'll save hiking for Sundays from now on. I didn't know you were that slow.” I teased.
She yanked her hand out of mine and stomped over to the driver's side, and I couldn't help the small chuckle escape from my lips. Her reaction was just so cute.
“So you up for another try tomorrow?” I asked as I slid into the passenger seat.
“Sure. Unless you want to go without me so I don't tie you down to my gimpy pace.”
“I'll survive. If we're hiking again, though, you might want to pick up some moleskin. I bet you can feel those new boots right now.”
“A little,” she confessed.
“I hope we see the bear tomorrow. I'm sort of disappointed about that.”
“Yes, me, too,” she agreed sarcastically. “Maybe we'll get lucky tomorrow and something will eat us!”
“Bears don't want to eat people. We don't taste that good.” And suddenly the thought of kissing Bella was all I could think about, as I grinned. “Of course, you might be an exception. I bet you'd taste good.”
“Thanks so much” she said. I couldn't see her face to see if she caught my double meaning for she had turned her face away, but I knew that there was always tomorrow.
- This chapter is pretty straight forward from the book, no additional facts included.
Chapter 7 – THIRD WHELL
My life was starting to find its rhythm. At school Embry had apologized to over reacting and we made small talk at school. It wasn't the same but it was better. After school he never seemed to be available, so Quil and I seemed to be joined at the hip. Now that the motorcycles were finished I had started working on my Rabbit again. Though the bikes were fun and different there is something about a car's engine that just really makes me happy, and every moment that I wasn't with Bella was filled with either school or car.
Bella was getting more skilled on the bikes so that made for less ER visits, but we couldn't avoid them all together. It seems her obsession with the meadow was a little strange, but I really enjoyed being able to walk and talk. It seemed that the opportunity would present itself more naturally for me to take her hand and it felt like a piece was missing if my hand wasn't wrapped around hers.
I wasn't sure exactly how it happened, but I knew that I was in love with Bella. Maybe it was just watching her physical appearance start to slowly reshape into the beautiful girl that I had once walked with on the beach. Maybe it was the day that I realized that she needed me almost as much as I needed her. Maybe it was the way she laughed and smiled, and how it made me feel like I was putting her back together again.
Valentine's Day was fast approaching and I was a nervous wreck. What do you give the girl who you love, but considers you to be her best friend? I thought about making something but that seemed too personal and I was scared that it would make her uncomfortable. Quil and I bantered all through school, most of his ideas were terrible. I really didn't have the money for a big box of chocolates or teddy bear, and to be honest they didn't really seem like Bella to me.
As I was walking home I passed by the local gas station which advertised half price conversation hearts and suddenly it felt perfect. With one simple box, you could say anything. Be Mine. My BFF. Kiss Me. Love You. Marry Me. The options were endless and I felt that Bella could perceive them to mean anything she wanted. I went into the store and bought two boxes and could almost skip I was so happy.
I got home and set my backpack at the kitchen table and knew soon Bella would be joining me for one of our homework days. It was a beautiful day outside so I decided to wait for Bella on the front porch. Still a little nervous, I opened my box of hearts and suddenly it was empty. I began to wonder if she had possibly gotten me something as well as I heard her truck pull up. She got out of the truck and walk around towards the porch.
“Happy Valentine's Day,” I smiled and handing her the box of hearts.
“Well, I feel like a schmuck,” she mumbled. “Is today Valentine's Day?”
I knew I shouldn't have been surprised, this was so Bella. “You can be so out of it sometimes. Yes, it is the fourteenth day of February. So are you going to be my Valentine? Since you didn't get me a fifty-cent box of candy, it's the least you can do.” I'm not really sure where the boldness came from, but I decided to just go with it.
“What exactly does that entail?”
“The usual – slave for life, that kind of thing.”
“Oh, well, if that's all . . .” she said as she took the candy. I wasn't really sure if I actually made any progress with the whole Valentine's thing but I tucked it away knowing that I had a slave for life if I ever needed one.
“So, what are we doing tomorrow? Hiking or the ER?”
“Hiking,” she decided. “You're not the only one who can be obsessive. I'm starting to think I imagined that place. . .”
She looked so sad that I wanted to assure her. “Well find it. Bikes Friday?” I offered.
“I'm going to a movie Friday. I've been promising my cafeteria crowd that I would go out forever.”
My face fell. I must admit that I really had not even thought much about her school and the possibility that she would have other friends there. She never talked about them so I just assumed that there was not anyone significant. I immediately realized that was a huge mistake. I was too nervous to look in Bella's eyes so I just looked down at the ground.
“You'll come too, right?” She added quickly. “Or will it be too much of a drag with a bunch of boring seniors?”
And just as quickly my confidence was back, but I still couldn't believe that she would want me to be around her friends. “You'd like me to come, with your friends there?”
“Yes, I”ll have a lot more fun if you're there. Bring Quil, and we'll make it a party.”
“Quil's gonna freak. Senior girls.” Any girl was good for Quil, but for them to be seniors I knew would make it even better. I pictured the look on his face and couldn't help but laugh and rolled my eyes.
She laughed, too. “I”ll try to get him a good selection.” With that we went inside and started our homework.
Billy was inside watching TV in the living room. There was something exciting about having him watch us being so “responsible”. I knew that he didn't really care specifically what we did, but each time Bella's smile stretched across my face I felt like he took a deep breath. I hadn't gotten angry at anyone in weeks and we both knew that Bella being in my life was the real reason, but being able to see my dad relax was an added bonus. There for a while it looked like he expected me to completely loose it at some point.
After Bella left I went directly to the phone and called Quil. On the third ring I heard his familiar voice.”
“Hey man! Say you love me.” I wanted my voice to be serious, but I thought I was going to explode soon.
“Um . . . ok? I love you?” Quil paused. “Now why did I say that?” His voice thick with confusion.
“Cause it's Valentine's Day!” I couldn't contain my laughter any longer.
“You are such a dork. A gay dork?”
“Hey, I'm not the one who just told another guy he loved him.” I was still laughing, but I could tell that Quil was starting to get a little irritated and not getting why this was so funny.
“Ha, ha”, he said sarcastically. “Is there a point here Jake?”
“Yes, Bella just left, and said that a group of her friends are going to the movies Friday.”
“And I care, because . . .”
“Did you just say we are going to the movies with a bunch of senior girls?
“Yes! And Bella promised to get you a nice variety.”
“Wow! You are the best, Jake. I love you, I really do.” We both cracked up laughing.
I was laughing so hard that Billy came in the kitchen to see what was so funny. I motioned that I would tell him later and he went to the pantry to get out ingredients for dinner. He pulled out a box of fettuccine noodles and a jar of Alfredo sauce.
I covered the phone with my hand. “Hey Dad, do you mind if Quil joins us for dinner?” I whispered, still a little breathless from laughing so hard.
“Sure, no problem.”
I put the phone back up to my ear I could still hear Quil's laughter on the other side. “Have you got some time to help me with the Rabbit?” I asked.
“Sure, any time.”
“Great. Why don't you head on over, I'll see ya in the garage.”
“Sounds good, bye.”
“Bye.” Quill and I worked hard on the Rabbit throughout the evening making a lot of progress.
I have never been more nervous in my whole life. I feel like I am walking on egg shells around Jacob and he doesn't even notice. I thought for sure he was going to phase the day that Embry returned to school and they got into such a big fight. What was I thinking defending Sam, it was the stupidest thing I have ever done. But for a moment he wasn't an “almost werewolf” he was just my son who needed to treat me with the dignity and respect that everyone else gave me. I had never been more thrilled to know he was going to walk it off. I have seen Sam phased, and if Jake was anywhere as large as him, his tiny bedroom would not be able to handle the size. The thought of the house, or more importantly my chair, getting mangled in the process of his transformation was not a pleasant thought.
Jake was out hiking with Bella so I thought this would be a good opportunity for me to consult with Sam and see how the pack was doing. Things have gotten a little awkward after Embry phased and I found that phone conversations were just so much easier. I rolled into the kitchen and grabbed the phone and dialed Sam's number.
I heard a female voice answer and assumed it must be Emily. “Hey, is Sam there?”
“Sure Billy, he is right here.” I heard the shuffling of feet and a mumbled “why don't you take this to our bedroom.” Emily was such a wise woman, I couldn't think of anyone who was better for Sam.
“Hey Billy, hows Jacob?” Sam said.
“We'll, get to that. I wanted to know how Embry was transitioning.”
“He is doing fine. It is hard for him to not be around Quil or Jacob, but I can't really blame him.”
“Yes, it has been hard on Jake as well. Has there been any new activity with the pair of leeches?”
“No, not really. We have only smelled their scent together once. It doesn't really make sense, I would think they would work together more, but what do I know about how leeches think.”
There was an awkward pause and I knew that I had promised to keep him informed on Jake, and now I wished I hadn't. It really wasn't Sam's business until after a person phased, but I could see where he wouldn't feel that way about Jake. If and when Jake phased it could easily turn Sam's world upside down.
I took a deep breath. “I need you to back off of Jake. Each time he sees you if infuriates him and I am honestly not sure how he is going to handle being under your leadership.”
“I was afraid of that.”
“I wanted to ask a favor.”
“When Jake phases, I would like Embry to help him with his transition. I think he will be much more receptive to him and less likely to kill someone.”
Sam lightly chuckled. “Sure, that shouldn't be a problem. I'll make sure to talk to Embry so that he will be ready. Do you have any idea what kind of time frame we are talking about?”
“To be honest I am surprised it hasn't happened already. He is extremely hot.”
“What do you think is holding him back?”
“My only explanation is Bella.”
“I honestly was thinking that myself as well. Do you really think it is a good idea for him to be so involved with her?”
“Why? Bella is a lovely girl and they have been so good for each other.”
“You do realize that he is going to have to leave her after he phases? He is not going to be able to tell her his secret and . . . um . . .” There was a short pause as Sam stammered a little over his words.
“I know you don't want her to get hurt.”
“I understand your concern, but I honestly think that Jacob can keep the secret and keep Bella in his life. He is going to need her more than ever.”
“Well, I guess this is another bridge that we will cross when we get there.”
“Oh, that does remind me. I was thinking that you should probably keep the alpha thing a secret from Jake. At least for a little bit.”
“Wow, um . . . why? Sam asked clearly shocked.
“Well as I mentioned, Jake might have difficulty following you and if he actually knew that there was another option he might take it without really understanding what he is doing.”
“Oh, well if you think it is best, that is fine with me.”
Suddenly I heard Bella's truck pull in and I knew this needed to end. “Hey Sam, I just heard Jake come back, so I need to go.”
“Alright, take care.”
“Bye.” I said taking a deep breath.
I sure hope that I know what I am doing. Part of me is so proud that Jake is going to be able to experience something that I never have. Though I never want vampires around, I can't help but be disappointed that I will never be a wolf protecting our people. The council treats me differently because of Grandfather Black being the last chief, but I have never really felt like I deserved the added respect given to me.
If I had only phased then I would also know better how to help Jake through this transition. However, I felt like a blind man leading someone, but without actually knowing where we were going. So we both wandered aimlessly not knowing if we were to go right or left when we reached the fork in the road. I wasn't even sure that there was a fork to begin with.
It was extremely frustrating and I felt like less of a Black even though I knew I shouldn't have. More importantly I also feel like a failure as a father. I have told the legends to Jake so many times that I don't know how to make him believe they are true. I don't want him turning into a huge wolf before he actually believes them to be true, but I don't feel like I have any other option.
After school was out I raced home, running faster than I think I have ever run before and got to the garage in about half the usual time. I already had the keys to the Rabbit in my back pack and pulled them out. Last night all I had time for was to start the engine and watch in amazement as everything seemed to be flowing perfectly.
I got inside the car and started the ignition, it was a perfect sound as she came alive. I pressed the clutch and put her in first gear for the first time. Driving the standard gear shift was not all that different than shifting gears for a motorcycle, but every standard was a little different and took some adjusting. I was wanting to drive Bella to the movie tonight and I didn't want the car to be hiccuping down her driveway. First gear to second is always the trickiest so I practiced several times on my way over to Bella's.
It wasn't until today that I realized that my school must get out before Bella's because I was honestly surprised that her truck was no where to be seen when I pulled in front of her house. Deciding this was a gift from God I put the car in reverse and practiced again backing out of her driveway and then parked the car again in front of the house. I got out of the car and leaned on the hood feeling the happiest I have been in such a long time.
It wasn't long before I heard Bella's truck pull up to her house, and my smile stretched further across my face.
“No way!” She shouted jumping out of her truck. “You're done! I can't believe it! You finished the Rabbit!”
I beamed. “Just last night. This is the maiden voyage.”
“Incredible.” She held out her hand for a high five.
I smacked my hand to hers and interlaced our fingers together. “So do I get to drive tonight?”
“Definitely,” she said and sighed.
“What's wrong?” I said trying to keep the panic out of my voice.
“I'm giving up – I can't top this one. So you win. You're oldest.”
Well that was a relief, for a moment I thought it might be something more serious. I shrugged, pleased with her assessment. “Of course I am.”
Then I heard a large Suburban coming around the corner and Bella pulled her hand out of mine. It was rather irritating and I tried to keep my face hidden from Bella as she turned to look at the van. I looked through the glass and saw the same guy that had interrupted Bella and I when we had walked on the beach. I remember the way he looked at me, like I was infringing on his turf, in that moment I had thought that Bella might be his girlfriend. I was so pleased that Bella had looked over her shoulder encouraging me that this guy was not.
“I remember this guy.” He parked his van across the street. “The one who thought you were his girlfriend. Is he still confused?”
“Some people are hard to discourage.”
“Then again,” I thought about all the time I had been spending with Bella, wishing for the same thing that this other punk wanted, “sometimes persistence pays off.”
“Most of the time it's just annoying, though.”
Then Bella made introductions between Mike and myself. Mike seemed to flinch when I shook his hand, granted I know I squeezed harder than I needed to but really it wasn't extremely hard, that stupid wimp. I thought I was going to get extremely lucky when Bella's other friends weren't able to come and had I kept my big mouth shut Mike might have bailed as well. Clearly the three of us going to the movies together was bound to be awkward.
As I drove us to the theater I did what I could just to completely ignore Mike and gave Bella my undivided attention. Mike was sulking in the back and Bella almost seemed like she would rather him not be there at all. Until he seemed like he got some kind of second wind and leaned in to what I knew to be Bella's personal space. If I didn't already know that Mike was clueless his stupid music comment solidified it for me.
We got to the theater and all exited the car. I walked over to Bella and gave her a ten dollar bill.
“What's this?” she objected.
“I'm not old enough to get into this one.”
She laughed out loud. “So much for relative ages. Is Billy going to kill me if I sneak you in?”
“No. I told him you were planning to corrupt my youthful innocence.” She snickered like I knew she would and I follow them inside.
The movie was absolutely terrible the only thing that made it enjoyable was having Bella by my side. I could tell it was suppose to be a blood bath but it was so over the top that instead of gruesome it was just silly. I placed my hand on the arm rest palm up and Mike being the insecure dork had to mimic my exact movement. I wanted to just reach out and grab her hand and see how Mike liked that, but I knew that Bella wouldn't appreciate it. If she wanted my hand she knew where to find it. I was really hoping that she would, but I took comfort in that she didn't take Mike's hand either.
About 30 minutes in I couldn't hold the laughter in any longer and started snickering.
“What?” she whispered.
“Oh, c'mon! The blood squirted twenty feet out of that guy. How fake can you get?”
It seemed after that Bella and I laughed together as the movie got worse and worse. Our heads were just inches apart as we whispered to one another and quickly this was turning into one of my favorite movies.
About half way through the movie I heard Bella whisper to Mike and he bolted towards the door. Bella followed him but based on Mike's face I figured he was probably heading straight to the men's room so I thought I might be needed. After checking on Mike it seemed that he was going to be in there a while.
“Oh, he's in there, all right,” I said while rolling my eyes. “What a marshmallow. You should hold out for someone with a stronger stomach. Someone who laughs at the gore that makes weaker men vomit.” I wasn't sure what any girl would see in him, least of all Bella.
“I'll keep my eyes open for someone like that.” Bella commented.
Hello, Bella! You're looking at him! I thought, and just didn't have the courage to say.
Well maybe this night was going to turn out better than I thought. There was no one else around so I decided to take a seat on the bench near the wall. I patted the seat indicating for Bella to join me. “He sounded like he was going to be in there for a while.” I stretched out my legs making myself more comfortable.
She walked over and sat with a sigh. As she settled I shifted closer to her and draped my arm over her shoulder.
“Jake” she protested and leaned away. I let my arm fall naturally and took hold of her hand instead. She tried to pull away but this was a conversation that we have needed to have for the past several weeks and I didn't want to let this opportunity pass.
“Now, just hold on a minute, Bella,” I said calmly. “Tell me something.”
“What?” She muttered sourly.
“You like me, right?”
“You know I do.”
“Better than that joker puking his guts out in there?” gesturing towards the bathroom.
“Yes,” she sighed.
“Better than any of the other guys you know?” I felt like I knew the answer to that one, but just wanted to be clear.
“Better than the girls, too,” she pointed out.
“But that's all.” I have to admit I was pretty disappointed by that answer and just couldn't believe that to be true. Sometimes I wish that she could see herself around me and the way she looks at me. She was in some serious denial, but I was thankful there was still plenty of time.
“Yes,” she whispered.
I grinned knowing that I certainly had patience on my side. “That's okay, you know. As long as you like me the best. And you think I'm good-looking – sort of. I'm prepared to be annoyingly persistence.”
“I'm not going to change,” she said filled with sadness.
I knew that it was Edward that had caused her to feel so negatively towards herself. At one time I gave him the benefit of the doubt, that was long gone. I just could not believe in the world of email and cell phones that he could just drop off the planet and never speak to her again. It's not that I wanted him in her life, but I didn't want her hurting so badly either.
Saying Edward's name was not going to do me any good, but I knew that we needed to talk about him. He had become the huge elephant in the room and I wanted it removed. I took a moment to try and choose my words carefully. “It's still the other one, isn't it?”
“You don't have to talk about it,” I said deciding that her comfort was more important.
She nodded seeming grateful.
“But don't get mad at me for hanging around, okay? I took my hand and patted it across the back of her hand. “Because I'm not giving up. I've got loads of time.”
She sighed. “You shouldn't waste it on me.”
It broke my heart to hear her talk about herself that way and I could feel my anger for Edward burn in the back of my mind. “It's what I want to do, as long as you still like to be with me.”
“I can't imagine how I could not like being with you,” she said honestly.
This was my Bella coming through and I couldn't help 'her smile' coming across my face. “I can live with that.”
“Just don't expect more,” she tried to warn, but there is no way she really expected that warning to be taken seriously.
She tried to pull her hand away as to add emphases to her words, but I also wanted to be clear and decided I wouldn't let go. “This doesn't really bother you, does it?” I wanted to be persistent, but not at the sake of making her uncomfortable.
“No,” she sighed.
“And you don't care what he thinks.” indicating towards the bathroom.
“I guess not.”
“So what's the problem?”
“The problem is that it means something different to me than it does to you.”
Well that was probably true, but I decided that I didn't want her to worry about that and tightened my fingers around hers. “Well, that's my problem, isn't it?”
“Fine,” she grumbled. “Don't forget it, though.”
“I won't. The pin's out of the grenade for me, now, eh?” I said while poking her in the ribs to lighten the mood.
I looked down at her wrist and noticed a crescent shaped scar on her. It had a weird rippled feel to it and seemed colder than the rest of her. “That's a funny scar you've got there.” I twisted her hand up taking a closer look. “How did that happen?” I asked while I traced the scar with my finger.
She scowled. “Do you honestly expect me to remember where all my scars come from?”
She had a good point. “It's cold.” I pressed my finger over the cold spot.
Suddenly Mike resurrected from the bathroom, looking and smelling terrible. It was certainly a mood kill, and my moment with Bella was certainly over. Bella gave him the attention that I could tell he craved and it just irked me. The last thing I wanted was him to taint my car so I got a popcorn bucket and played nice so that Mike agreed to take it.
We rolled down the windows to give Mike some fresh air, however it was clear that Bella was cold as she tried to wrap around herself. I leaned towards her draping her in one long warm arm. It amazed me how cold she felt to me, but it felt good.
“Whoa, Jake – you're burning up!”
“I feel fine,” I shrugged. “Fit as a fiddle.”
Bella frowned and pressed her cold hand to my head again. “Your hands are like ice.”
“Maybe it's me.”
Bella and I were snuggled together, well as snuggled as two people could be in this car, me warming her and her cooling me off, as if on cue Mike leans over and throws up into the bucket. Or at least he better have, I tilted my head back to make sure that he had not defiled my car. Once again the irritation filled my chest and for the first time I could feel the burning sensation inch down my legs and up my arms. It was weird and I didn't know what to say so I just remained quiet and kept my arm around Bella.
We arrived back at Bella's house and she went with Mike to his van. She drove his van while I followed her so that she could have a ride back. I kept thinking about the day and how different it could have been if Mike had not been with us at all. It seemed that at every turn his timing was terrible, between Bella dropping my hand when he first showed up, stopped the private “comedy” that we were making of the movie, and finally the “Define The Relationship” talk that we had while waiting. With each passing thought the burning seemed to thicken and intensify, and the feeling was unlike anything I have ever felt before.
“I would invite myself in, since we're early, but I think you might be right about the fever. I'm starting to feel a little . . . strange.” The burning that I had felt off and on for weeks lingered and it concerned me that it hadn't gone away.
“On no, not you, too! Do you want me to drive you home?”
“No,” shaking my head. “I don't feel sick yet. Just . . . wrong. If I have to, I'll pull over.”
“Will you call me as soon as you get in?” she asked clearly anxious.
I was nervous and it seemed that it was making the heat feel worse. I frowned and bit my lip as she opened the door to get out. There was more that I really needed to say and I was going to just have to bite the bullet and do it. I reached out and grabbed her wrist, just enough to keep her with me.
“What is it, Jake?”
“There's something I want to tell you, Bella . . . but I think it's going to sound kind of corny.”
She sighed. “Go ahead.”
Before I lost my courage I stated quickly. “It's just that, I know how you're unhappy a lot. And, maybe it doesn't help anything, but I wanted you to know that I'm always here. I won't ever let you down – I promise that you can always count on me.” I took a breath hoping that didn't sound as stupid to her and it did to me. “Wow, that does sound corny. But you know that, right? That I would never, ever hurt you?”
“Yeah, Jake. I know that. And I already do count on you, probably more than you know.”
A smile stretched across my face that would only be for Bella, I felt so relieved. Her words were perfection, exactly what I needed to hear. Until I saw the regret that she tried to mask flash across her face. My relief quickly turned to anger and something inside of me ordered me to go.
“I really think I'd better go home now.”
She got out quickly. “Call me!” she yelled as I pulled the car away from her house.
I knew that Bella's greatest fear was that I was going to leave her and I had Edward to thank for that. When the Cullens first left I didn't understand why it felt like everyone around me was celebrating. They had bonfires every night for a whole week. I thought back to the night that Charlie had called asking my dad for help because Bella was missing. I wanted so badly to be out there searching, but my dad just told me that I would get lost myself and to leave it to those who knew the forest better.
But I was frustrated and decided that I would walk over to Bella's house. By the time I arrived it was 3am and Bella had already been found. I saw Sam, Paul, Jared and Mr. Weber exiting her house. I didn't want Sam to see me because I knew he would tell my dad, so I crouched down. Sam's gang headed straight for the trees on the other side of Bella's house, and so I turned around and started walking back. It wasn't long before Mr. Weber saw me and offered me a ride home, now that Bella had been found I was extremely exhausted and thankfully accepted the ride.
A blaring horn brought me back to the present and back to my side of the road. Even though I knew it was my fault and I deserved to be honked at it fueled my anger. I suddenly hated Edward with a passion that I had never experienced before. He had made Bella love him, when I couldn't. He had gained her trust, when I couldn't. He had left her, and I was suffering the consequences that should have been his. He destroyed her.
With a vengeance my foot slammed on the gas and I was going faster than I had ever gone before. It seemed like within minutes I was home. I parked the car, slamming the door behind me and the car rocked from the force. I could feel my hands shaking. With long steps I reached the front door almost bending the metal in my fist as I opened the door and slammed it as well. It felt like the house shook from the force.
“Jacob Black! Don't you dare take your frustrations out on this house!” I heard his voice from the living room.
“Dad, now is really NOT a good time!” I didn't even look at him as I started down the hall towards my room.
“Son, you look at me when I am talking to you.” he yelled.
I turned around quickly returning to the living room and my whole world exploded.
- Jacob was in love with Bella before he phased.
- I refuse to believe that one awkward "date" with Bella and Mike would send Jacob over the edge. But rather the "bad timing and interruptions" of Mike and the resistance of Bella that is from Edward that did it.
- When Jacob learned that Bella was missing he did walk to her house, and he saw Sam, and his gang there and Mr. Weber did give him a ride back home.
Chapter 8 – THE TRANSITION
As I entered the living room I was so angry I couldn't see straight. I looked my dad directly in the eyes and he immediately started backing up into the kitchen.
“Jacob, please calm down. You are overreacting. Did something happen? You don't look so good?” Billy stated rambling, while he continued to back up.
HE was the one who wanted to press the issue tonight, of all nights, and NOW he was retreating. I don't think so. I knew that me being this frustrated was over the top and irrational, but I couldn't stop it. I wanted to respond to his questions and be able to explain myself, but nothing made any sense.
I tried to take another step closer and it felt like all the muscles in my body started contracting and I could feel my arms and legs start to shake uncontrollably. Had I not known I was perfectly healthy I would have thought that I was having some sort of seizure. Fear gripped me and I looked towards my dad to see equal fear all across his face. I didn't want his fear, I wanted his help. Never in my life would I ever hurt my dad and his fear added fuel to my already heated emotions.
I reached my hands out, grabbing my head. It hurt, not like a headache, but more from information overload. It felt like my brain was trying to teach me a new trick and I couldn't understand, like someone speaking a foreign language to me, but expecting me to know every word perfectly.
Then suddenly all oxygen left my lungs as I screamed like I have never screamed before. Before I knew what was happening heat soared through every crevice of my body and I thought I was going to burst into flames. Then in a split second my head was hitting the ceiling of our house and my screams had turned into a fierce roar. What the hell just happened? I wanted to yell, but instead one long howl escaped from my lips.
If I thought my dad looked scared before it was nothing compared to the complete terror that was on his face now. But despite the terror there was no shock. Was he expecting this!?!
Billy turned his chair and grabbed the phone that was resting on the kitchen counter. He just about jumped out of his skin when the phone rang.
“Hello?” he asked.
“Billy, it's me, Bella – did Jake make it home yet? He left here about twenty minutes ago.” I was surprised to realized that I could hear Bella's voice perfectly through the phone. It was so wonderful to hear her voice, and I wanted her so badly.
“He's here,” Billy answered.
“He was suppose to call me.” I could hear the irritation in her voice. “He was getting sick when he left, and I was worried.”
“He was . . . too sick to call. He's not feeling well right now.” Well that was an understatement.
“Let me know if you need any help,” she offered. “I could come down.”
“No, no,” Billy said quickly. “We're fine. Stay at your place.”
Real smooth Dad, that isn't going to make her suspicious at all. I thought.
“Okay,” she agreed, to my surprise.
I wanted so badly to have been able to talk to her. I reached out my hand to dad and as I moved my hand a large paw came out. Quickly my dad moved his chair further back in order to not be hit. It was at that moment that I looked down and saw massive amounts of fur and four legs under me. I panicked and started moving around in circles, knocking over the kitchen chairs and almost broke the table in half.
Billy had a death grip on the phone and started dialing like his life depended on it. I heard it ring five times and with each ring I could see the anxiety increase on my dad's face.
“Hello” I could hear Emily's voice.
“I need Sam! Please tell me he is there.” Billy pleaded.
At the mention of Sam's name I could feel the growl that developed deep in my chest escape. At the same time my lips moved back exposing my razor sharp teeth. I could hear Emily call to him and the shuffling of small feet, she must be running.
“Billy, are you okay?”I heard Sam say.
“Yes,” Billy took a deep breath. “I don't know what to do.” His voice shook with fear.
“Where is he?”
“In my kitchen.”
“Have you spoken to him.”
“He is still your son, he will understand you. Try to get him to go outside and I'll send Embry over.”
“Thank you.” Billy quickly hung up, taking a deep breath.
At the mention of Embry I started to relax and the growl stopped. But I still did not understand what had happened to me.
“Jake, are you ok?” Billy asked, his voice smooth like he was speaking to a small child.
Apparently asking stupid questions was a genetic trait. I didn't know how to answer, but I figured that I could still shake my head, so I shook it right to left.
“Are you hurting?”
To my surprise I wasn't.
“I need you to come outside.”
I turned towards the door and suddenly I started hearing voices in my head. I turned my large head around trying to find who was speaking.
“Son, you are hearing the wolf pack. They will help you from here.” he said.
The wolf pack!! You mean there are more of us? Dad opened the door and I pushed the screen door with my snout, squeezing my large shoulders through the door frame. With each step I took it felt like the ground shook.
It wasn't long before the different voices in my head seemed to lose some of the clutter and I could distinguish one voice from another. I could hear Sam speaking to the others, it was very wise of him to not speak directly to me. Then both Paul and Jared made their introductions, it is not like I didn't know who they were, but they seemed like completely different people now. Then my life line spoke and I was never more glad to hear Embry's voice.
We all met together in the trees just past my garage and they indicated for me to follow them to a more private area so that they could fill me in on the details on what was now to be my life.
Between Paul, Jared, and Embry explained to me that the legends were true. We were werewolves and we were to protect our people from all threats, but more specifically from vampires. If it were not for vampires none of us would be like this. It was then that I realized what the Cullen family were and I hated them all the more.
I just could not believe that my Bella had fallen in love with a vampire, not really just one, but a whole coven of them. I refused to believe that she actually understood what they were. None of them knew Bella like I did, and they made a wise decision to not challenge me on it tonight. Regardless of whether she knew they were vampires she had still grieved over them. It made me sick to know that she could have lost her life so easily to any one of them.
If I thought my head hurt before I phased it was nothing compared to the massive amount of information I received afterwards. As they talked and explained we maintained a steady pace and it was so new to feel my claws in the dirt with each step as we galloped along, and to smell the difference between the small creatures in and around the trees.
Though the speed was nice I began to wonder if I was going to remain a wolf forever. So Sam explained to me the process of phasing back and forth. It seemed extremely complicated and it didn't surprise me that it often took new wolves days or even weeks to figure it out for the first time.
We had to use our mind to take the heat that raged throughout our body and focus it back inwards. It was similar to a pop-up book and all the pieces had to bend properly so that it could close and reopen again without tearing the design.
I began to think of Bella and began to feel the pieces of my body shifting and resizing down to my human self. In an instant I was naked and fell to the ground. My muscles had been stretched beyond anything close to normal and I couldn't even walk. Thinking of Bella might have brought me back, but it also tore a hole in my chest and I started crying. I cried like I have never cried in my life. I didn't know exactly how being a werewolf was going to affect my relationship with her, but I knew it couldn't be good. I was a monster, and I hated it.
It took Embry and Jared a moment to phase back because they were so shocked that I was able to phase back so quickly. They put on their shorts and carried me back home. They walked in the door and went straight to my room laying me on the bed. Embry mentioned that he would see me tomorrow and soon the house was completely quiet. I assumed that maybe Harry or someone had put my dad to bed. I could see the sun starting to rise as my eyes began to fall, and I slept.
I had more dreams than I had ever had in my life. Sometimes there were images from the other night of Paul's or Jared's first phase or them all together chasing some leech with blazing red hair. Other times it was of Bella and myself riding our bikes or walking in the woods. I knew I was dreaming when I saw Bella riding the back of a large reddish-brown wolf.
When I opened my eyes I had the strangest sense of deja-vu, the sun seemed to be in the exact same place it was when I had closed my eyes. I had never slept for 24 hours before but that was the only logical solution.
I stretched my arms and legs, and I felt like I was going to die. The muscles had been so stretched that they felt like I had run a marathon without any training, and my entire body felt like one huge cramp.
“Ohh. . .” escaped my lips.
“Welcome to the land of the living.” Embry said, from my bedroom floor where he had been sleeping. “Let me know when you're ready to move. You are going to hurt like hell all day, but it gets better after each phase.”
I pulled my legs over the edge of the bed and tried to sit up. My muscles were so worn out that they might as well have been made of jello and I slumped over face first into my pillow.”
Embry chuckled. He reached over and grabbed my shoulders, pulling me up to a sitting position. I was like an over grown infant that had no control over my movements.
“You ready to stand?” Embry asked.
“Yeah.” I said, still too weak to even nod my head.
Embry moved around in front of me and put his hands under each of my elbows taking all my weight as I tried to stand. I started to think that it might be easier if he just carried me, but I didn't want to be a wuss. With help I made it to the bathroom, and then landed on the living room couch.
Embry and Dad worked together making breakfast. The plan was that after breakfast Embry and I would phase again, apparently the best thing for the muscles were to stretch them out again. The only way to do that sufficiently was to phase.
I had not been sitting long when the phone rang. The cordless phone was sitting on the arm rest of the couch so I decided to answer it.
“Hello?” My voice broke and cracked, somehow even the muscles in my face were sore.
“Oh, Jake,” Bella groaned sympathetically. “You sound horrible.”
“I feel horrible,” I whispered. I could hear Dad and Embry in the kitchen, but the look on Embry's face told me he was paying more attention to me than to my dad.
“I'm sorry I made you go out with me. This sucks,” Bella replied.
That silly girl, how does she not know that I always want to be where she was. “I'm glad I went.” I could only whisper. “Don't blame yourself. This isn't your fault.”
“You'll be better soon.” She said with such confidence. “I woke up this morning, and I was fine.”
“You were sick?”
“Yes, I got it too. But I'm fine now.”
“That's good.” I meant it, I just didn't have the energy to put life into my words.
“So you'll probably be better in a few hours,” she encouraged.
“I don't think I have the same thing you did.” Embry shook his head and made eye contact with me, silently reminding me that it must remain a secret. I rolled my eyes, he really should have given me a little more credit.
“Don't you have the stomach flu?”
“No. This is something else.”
“What's wrong with you?”
“Everything,” I whispered. “Every part of me hurts.”
“What can I do, Jake? What can I bring you?”
“Nothing. You can't come here.” There, maybe that would get Embry to relax.
“I've already been exposed to whatever you have,” she reasoned.
“I'll call you when I can. I'll let you know when you can come down again.” I said trying to keep the sadness out of my voice.
“I've got to go.” My dad rolled in and sat a large plate of food on my lap, and with one look I was starving.
“Call me when you feel better.”
“Right . . .”
We both paused and I realized that I wasn't really sure when I would hear her voice again, and I never wanted the call to end.
“I'll see you soon,” she finally said.
“Wait for me to call.”
“Okay . . . Bye, Jacob.”
“Bella,” I whispered one last time as I pressed the end button on the phone. What exactly was ending I wasn't sure, but I did not have a good feeling about it.
After three plates of food my body began to feel better. I could simply move any part without grimacing and felt that I could probably stand. Embry had been here while I slept taking care of dad and I insisted for him to head home, we could phase together later. He had mentioned that Sam needed to speak with me. I must admit that I could not help but admire the patience that Sam had given me. Though he did not say much when I first phased, Jared had given me Sam's story and I just couldn't imagine going through this process alone. Everyone feels like a freak the first time, but to see Sam trapped inside his wolf form for two weeks not knowing if he would ever be a man again was gut wrenching.
After Embry left it was just dad and me in the house. I realized that we have not spoken to each other since I came home in a viscous rage. “Dad, I need to apologize for my behavior the other night. I had no right to speak to you the way I did.” I hung my head feeling the guilt.
“Thank you, but I should have prepared you more for what was coming. I just didn't know how.”
“And I should have prepared myself more as well.” He rolled his chair over in front of me.
“What do you mean?”
“I have seen the guys as wolves so I knew that you would be massive. But I wasn't prepared for the rage, even though I know I should have been.”
“It's not your fault Son. You know though, you about scared the crap out of me.” He said with a chuckle.
“I'm sorry. I know I keep saying that but it's all I have,” I mumbled, keeping my eyes down.
“I love you, Son. This is a proud moment in the Black family. To have a wolf in our family again.” He reached out and placed his hand on my knee giving it a light pat.
“I love you too, Dad.” I had never really considered the impact of my phasing would have on our family tree and I instantly felt proud.
We had fallen into a comfortable silence. By dinner time we had watched ESPN all day and I was bored out of my mind. I ran my fingers through my hair and found it to be a knotted mess. “Dad, do you mind getting my hair brush for me?”
“Sure, no problem.” He went to the bathroom and returned shortly.
As I worked on getting all the grass, leaves, and knots out of my hair I saw Dad over in the corner. It seemed that one tear had fallen down his cheek and I wasn't sure why.
Immediately, there was a knock on the door and Sam walked in. He sat what looked to be hair clippers on the kitchen table and I instantly knew why Dad was so sad. The last time that either of us had our hair cut was for mom's funeral and we had both shaved our heads as a sign of mourning. Since that day we have both been growing out our hair, neither of us had the courage to ever cut it again.
Dad rolled over to me and I used his chair as a walker in order to get into the kitchen, pushing Dad with each step that I took. I sat in my usual chair at the table. With nervous hands I reached into my pocket for my hairband and put my hair in a loose pony tail, probably for the last time. Sam plugged the clippers into the wall and then brought them to the front of my head.
“Wait!” Billy called. “Let me do it.”
“Nooooo!,” I breathed. “Dad, are you sure?”
Billy took a deep breath and Sam handed the clippers to him. With each stroke over my head a new tear slipped from my eyes and soon both mine and Dad's face were completely soaked. Sam stood in the corner not saying a word. Once it was finished he went to the closet and grabbed the broom and dust pan, and swept up what hair had not been contained in the pony tail. With my hair draped over his knee my dad rolled himself to his bedroom and closed the door.
Sam walked with me to the bathroom, but I found that I could move on my own. I took off my clothes and got in the shower. It felt so strange to have water hitting my bare back instead of being cloaked by my hair. I used way too much shampoo and the water never seemed to actually get hot. I guess one of the many changes that I would have with my skin being 108 degrees, showers were never going to be hot again or we would needed a hotter water heater.
I got out of the shower put some basketball shorts on and went to the kitchen. Dad was still no where to be seen, however placed on the kitchen table was one large pizza with a note from Sam.
It said “I'm so sorry, lets start first thing tomorrow”.
That was really nice of him, I thought. I got a plate and placed two slices for dad and left it on the counter. The TV had never been turned off from earlier today so I took the pizza box with me to the living room and ate while channel surfing.
An hour later dad emerged from his bedroom, his eyes were red and swollen.
“There's pizza on the counter if you're hungry.” I said.
“Thanks,” he mumbled.
He rolled over to the counter and put the plate in his lap, not bothering to reheat it, and parked himself next to me. Neither of us said anything the rest of the evening, but just took comfort in knowing the other was there.
The following morning I awoke to the sound of one long howl. I stumbled out of bed and started heading towards the trees behind the garage. It was still early and it appeared that the sun was thinking about peaking across the horizon. As I approached I suddenly became very nervous, I had never phased on purpose before. I started thinking about the other night and the only correlation that I knew of was the anger. I started thinking about Edward and how he had left Bella alone in the woods. How could anyone be so irresponsible? Within seconds I was on four legs again and my shorts were in pieces. Mental note: remove shorts before phasing, I said to myself.
I felt a small chuckle in my mind, but I couldn't identify who it was. I started walking, not really anywhere in particular but what I knew to be further into the woods.
Welcome, Jacob, thought Sam, as he approached me from the east.
When you said first thing in the morning, you weren't kidding, I thought
I need to show you our patrol routes and there are some other pack things we need to discuss.
Okay, I'm ready.
Follow me. Sam said as he broke out into a run.
Running was fantastic, the closest I had ever come to it was on my motorcycle, but even that was not fast enough. We kept a steady pace as we hurdled over fallen trees and my paws fell in love with the feel of the earth under me. I was amazed at the clarity of my eyes, how I could see every detail on the leaves of the trees and the smallest of sounds were magnified and easy to identify.
As Sam and I galloped he began to show me from one edge of our land to another. Once we had crossed all four corners he began to tell me about the treaty. Of course I knew the legends and the moment he started speaking my mind wandered to my walk with Bella.
You WHAT!?! yelled Sam, stopping abruptly. His eyes were pitch black and full of rage.
On instinct my legged buckled under me in submission.
Tell me ALL, NOW!
I instantly replayed my full conversation with Bella to Sam
I can't believe you, Jacob Black! You broke the treaty!! I could tell he wanted to growl, hit or bite but was too shocked to do it.
I'm sorry, but I didn't know. I said, keeping my nose to the ground filled with shame.
He replayed my own words to me 'I guess I just violated the treaty,' and I cringed, and if I could have sunk further into the ground I would have.
I never did understand how Bella figured out what they were. But you told her!
For the first time the ramifications of what I had done, hit on a whole new level. Immediately my stomach twisted and I started throwing up. I'm sorry, I thought. I'm not really sure if I was speaking to Sam or to Bella, but the pain in my chest told me it was probably Bella.
You can never speak to her again. Sam's voice trembled with authority.
Sam, that is not going to be reasonable. Her dad is best friends with mine, I'm going to see her. I felt a sliver of hope that Sam could be reasoned with, and see the truth and logic behind my words.
Not anytime soon you aren't.
What do you mean? I asked filled with worry.
Sam started moving again and I followed along.
I was already going to discuss Bella with you today, but that was before I knew that you can not be trusted with her. Sam said with disappointment in his eyes.
That's not fair, it was different then.
How is that?
It wasn't true then. I didn't understand. I knew I was pulling at straws, but I had to do something.
And what if Bella wants to know if it is true. She knows that vampires exists, how much do you really think it will take her to figure out the rest of the story is true as well.
That is not going to happen, I said trying to build confidence in myself as well as Sam.
Damn right it's not.
This did not seem like a battle that I was going to win any time soon and I truly felt sick over my betrayal. It didn't just feel like a betrayal of my direct family or the whole Quileute tribe, which it certainly was, but I also felt like I had betrayed Bella. But who in their right mind would know that the Cullen family were vampires, and have any type of association with them? My telling her should have protected her not thrown her into their arms.
Look Jacob, there are other reasons that you are not to be around Bella. The reasons that I actually came out here to talk to you about. When the gene gets triggered then it is like we become a ticking time bomb that is ready to explode at any time, but it is like our body doesn't know how. It takes skill and practice to be able to phase when you want to, and even more importantly to not phase when you need to. You could easily hurt someone. Sam said with certainty.
I would never hurt anyone, especially Bella. I said with confidence.
I thought the same thing once. Sam's eyes were so sad. Pay attention.
Sam started thinking, I could see him walking inside of a small house and there was a woman inside. She was absolutely beautiful with clear tan skin and long black hair that accented her graceful neck. I could feel Sam's love and devotion towards this woman, and I had no doubt to how important she was to Sam. The picture was so clear that it was like I was there and it was my memory instead of being Sam's.
Mixed with love and devotion I could also feel desperation in Sam. It was clear that this woman was rejecting Sam and that she wanted him to leave. Suddenly images started swarming around as words mixed together and I saw Sam reach out his hand towards the woman. I didn't even feel the anger that must have rose up in Sam before I saw this beautiful woman clasp to the floor in a puddle of her own blood. I thought for sure that Sam had killed her, but instead Sam showed me the same woman with deep red scars down her face and shoulder.
I could barely breathe, from the swarm of emotions that have over come me. And I knew that this was serious, but despite the graphic representation given I still felt deep in my soul that I could never hurt Bella. I knew that Sam would know my thoughts, but I wasn't stupid enough to actually express my doubts on purpose, so I just remained quiet.
If that weren't enough, that is not the only reason that you should stay away from Bella. Sam said, his eyes filling with pain and regret.
This time I could see Sam walking down the beach and I could hear the most amazing laughter coming from someone obviously female. She had an amazing body, long smooth tan legs encased in cut-off shorts that were worn low on her hips showing her tight stomach, and I felt like I should be embarrassed looking at the tiny bikini that supported her full chest. She was running, and I saw Sam lift her in the air and kissing her passionately. She was extremely excited, telling Sam there was someone he just had to meet.
Suddenly I felt my gut drop to the ground as I later saw the same girl in the sand curled up in a ball with her arms wrapped around herself like if she were to let go she would explode or crumble into a million pieces. She lifted her head and I dreaded to think that another scar would be there, but instead I saw the face of Leah Clearwater. For a moment she looked exactly like how Bella had looked when Sam had found her in the woods.
I started throwing up again and I thought for sure I was going to pass out. I laid my head to the ground wishing for anything to remove the images from my head. I couldn't make sense of it. What did becoming a wolf have to do with breaking Leah's heart?
Why? I breathed.
I didn't have a choice. Sam said, his voice thick from disgust at himself.
I don't understand.
Leah brought me to meet her cousin, Emily, and I imprinted.
Sam took a deep breath and started telling me about imprinting and the gravitational pull that he now felt towards Emily. He explained that it was Emily who he had hurt, and that through the accident it brought them together. And I could feel their love for one another, as I saw Sam place a kiss on Emily's forehead, her scarred cheek, ending at her mangled lips.
In that moment I knew he was right about Bella. I never wanted to put her in physical or emotional danger, which seemed so certain. I was going to have to keep my distance from her.
With great difficulty I picked myself up off the ground and it seemed clear that Sam's work was done. As I followed Sam I realized that due to the onslaught of emotion I had lost all sense of time, easily hours or days could have passed and I would not have known which. Too distraught I simply mimicked Sam, when he jumped I jumped, when he swerved I swerved, not caring where we were going.
We soon arrived at a small house, the same house that Sam had walked into in the first vision that he had given me and I immediately stopped in my tracks. Sam phased, and I was shocked by his nakedness.
“You get used to it.” Sam said with a smile. Then he reached down at his ankle and pulled on a pair of shorts, that had been rolled there. “Stay here, I'm going inside and I'll bring you some shorts.” He walked inside the house and returned shortly with a pair of basketball shorts in his hands.
With the day that I have had I figured it wasn't wise to think about Bella, so I thought of my dad instead and soon I was standing on two legs again. I pulled the shorts on and stepped inside the house. There was Embry and Paul as well as Sam and Emily, and more food than I thought possible to be inside one house. I had never been more hungry in all my life and I ate an embarrassing amount of food.
Once my belly was full the exhaustion set in, and I found myself passed out on their couch in a matter of minutes.