I've been working on this fan fiction for about a month I suppose and I've been posting it on Fan Fiction.Net. It's called The Twilight Saga - Solar Flare. It's basically the story of what would have happened if Jacob and Bella had kissed in New Moon without that phone call interrupting them. It's the story of what would happen if Jacob and Edward's roles were reversed. I've already got 3 chapters made and I'm working on chapter 4 now. I thought I might as well post them here as well.
The story begins right when they're about to kiss.
"Bella," Jacob whispered.
I was frozen.
No! I hadn't made this decision yet. I didn't know if I could do this, and now I was out of time to think. But I would have been a fool if I thought rejecting him now would have no consequences.
Maybe it would feel nice. Maybe it wouldn't feel like a betrayal. True love was forever lost, so who was I betraying? Only myself.
Keeping his eyes on mine, Jacob began to bend his face toward me. The closer he got, the more unsure I became. Was I really going to do this? How badly would this end up? Would this end badly? He held my face still and closed his eyes as his lips met mine, my eyes shut as well, a little too tight.
As his mouth had discovered my passive resistance, he moved his right hand to the back of my head and his left gently around my waist, pulling me closer now. The closer I became, the more my lips would resist. I wasn't trying to pull away, but wouldn't respond back, I couldn't. Jacob could see this now, he started to rub the back of neck trying to get a response out of me; I just couldn't.
That's when Jacob stopped, his right hand slowly releasing my neck, his left unwrapping around my waist, and his lips fading away. I didn't need to look at Jacob to see the hurt, I could feel it, and his pain was my pain. Something in me broke free just then and I couldn't hold it back. My hands reacted before I could realize it, my left arm wrapping around his waist, my right hand grabbing the back of his head, pulling him closer to me now. Just as I could feel his pain, I could feel his joy now too. Jacob responded almost instantly; he wrapped his arms around me and began kissing me back, his warm lips gentle. I couldn't tell how long we were kissing, it felt like forever, and I didn't want it to stop.
That's when it hit me; I'd been wrong all this time, I'd been lying to myself. Jacob was more than just my friend, he was more than someone I could rely on to make me feel better. I knew I needed him more than I needed most people, but I had no idea just how much until now. I've never felt happier before, after being so abnormal for so long, it's like a breath of air after being underwater for hours. The hole in my chest is completely gone now, I didn't think it were possible, but Jacob cured everything. He is everything to me, I was in love with him. I'd loved him all this time, but I was too afraid to get it through my thick skull. I was too afraid of betrayal, too afraid of him. I wonder if I'll ever hear his voice again, not that it mattered anymore.
Suddenly I felt Jacob stiffen up, he jerked away from me and released his arms. I opened my eyes, ready to pull him back, but he was shaking again. The expression on his face was half angry and half horrified.
He jetted for the front door, grabbing the handle with a little too much force. I stumbled after him with my arm out in front of me.
"No!" I shouted. It was a reflex.
Jacob stopped then, releasing the handle. He looked at me distraught, still standing right next to the door. He took a quick glance at the door handle and back at me, like he was deciding something. I didn't want him to leave, now more than ever. Did he have to leave now? If he did leave, would I go with him? What about Alice?
Jacob turned his entire body in my direction. He slowly walked toward me, wrapped his one arm around my waist, and positioned himself in front of me, as if trying to protect me.
Protect me from what, was Victoria nearby? Did she get past Embry and Jared? Was she attracted her by Alice? That's when it hit me, Alice, of course. Alice came through the back door and walked gracefully into the kitchen, resting her arms onto the kitchen table. Jacob backed us away toward the sink, he was shaking again and his teeth were clenched. Alice's face did not look approving either.
"I see you two get along well," Alice judged, staring directly at Jacob.
I nodded gently, a little embarrassed. Jacob pulled me closer to him.
"Alice this is Jacob. Jacob, Alice," I said, blushing now.
Jacob stabbed me a disgusted look and growled. Alice rolled her eyes at me.
"Bella, I think it's time I left."
Jacob gave a brief sigh of relief, while still holding me tight.
"No!" I shouted. Jacob stabbed another look at me, a look of betrayal.
"Really though, Bella, I think it's time I left. If Edward finds out I'm here…" Alice explained, looking a bit nervous, "He can get really angry sometimes."
I flinched a little and Jacob growled again.
"Do you have to go now? Just a few more weeks, please?" I begged.
"I'm really sorry Bella, but it has to be tonight," She said, looking truly sorry.
"Tonight. Good," Jacob muttered under his breath. Alice seemed to hear that and glared at him again. She looked back at me, suddenly cheerful.
"How about we spend the entire day doing whatever you want together. We could drive around, catch a movie, go to the mall, I'll buy you whatever you want. We won't separate for a second," She said, smiling wide.
I nodded sadly. "Yeah, that sounds good."
"You don't look very happy."
"No, I am. Really."
Alice pouted. "It's the best I can do. All the clothes you want, on me."
Jacob's shaking began to increase, his teeth clenched, and his eyes shut tight. I embraced him, it was almost instinctual.
"Jake, please. Calm," I whispered.
"Right…calm," He whispered back, his body going stiff now with only his hands shaking.
"We can go as soon as you put the dog out," Alice said critically. Jacob began to shake again.
"Calm," I reminded. His shaking only slowed down this time. He released me and started to back away.
"Don't worry, leech. I was just going," He hissed. He looked at me, his expression broken, "Bye, Bella."
Jacob began to walk towards the front door. I wrapped me arms around him, trying to get him to stop. "No, please. Stay. Please," I begged.
Jacob turned to look at me. "Bella, I have to go. I was only supposed to come here and get information. I have to report back."
My face fell, of course he was right. He was a werewolf, she was a vampire, and Jacob had responsibilities. But I didn't want to let him go, it was either go with Jacob and abandon Alice or go with Alice and leave Jacob betrayed. Stupid conflict. Why couldn't they just get along?
"Can't you just tell Embry and Jared, and then come back?" I insisted.
Jacob made a disgusted sound. "I don't think so, Bella. Besides, we've been neglecting treaty lines enough as it is."
Alice sighed. "Well, I'm the only Cullen here. So I guess if I say it's okay for now, than there shouldn't be a problem. For now." She grumbled.
My face lit up giving Alice a look of thanks. Jacob looked at her half angry, half confused, and back at me.
"You seriously want me around her? Remember what I said earlier, Bella."
I hadn't forgotten. This could end badly, very badly. By the end of the day, both of them might end up… I couldn't even think about it. I'm not going to let my selfishness hurt them both. I had to choose.
Before I could say a thing, Jacob wiped a tear from my eye. I was crying, I hadn't realized. He stood there for a few seconds, once again distraught. He then grabbed my arms and freed himself from my embrace. He stomped out the front, slamming the door behind him. My legs started to shake.
Alice made her way next to me and put her arm around my shoulder. "Sorry." She mouthed the word.
I rested my cheek on her head trying to fight back the tears that were welling up. This was for the best, right? I can manage to be away from Jacob for today, couldn't I? Just then, Alice groaned and released her arm from around me, folding them over her chest.
"Great. Just wonderful," She said with heavy sarcasm.
"What? What's wrong?" I asked, my voice breaking.
"The dog's tagging along."
I gasped, my eyes widened at the thought. I then heard a shout coming from outside, followed by angry and irritated voices. Were they arguing? My eyes were locked on the front door now. After a minute, I heard the sound of an engine starting up, followed by the squeal of the tires driving off, all a little too quickly. My eyes were still locked onto the door, my heart was racing.
The door slowly opened and Jacob came through. He looked at me and smiled, I smiled back wiping the tears that had escaped my efforts. Jacob glared at Alice, eyes very distrustful. Alice stared back at him with the same eyes.
"You better watch yourself," Jacob warned.
"Oh please, I should be saying that to you." Alice turned toward me, changing her expression to cheerful again. "So, where to first?"
"Really, you should decide. I'm sure you have better ideas than me."
"Oh, but I'm doing this for you."
"I think your last day here," I grimaced at the words, "Should be exactly what you want."
"Hmm…" Alice looked far off in concentration. Jacob put his arm around me again and backed away from Alice.
"It's okay," I whispered to him.
"Don't wanna take any chances," He whispered back through his teeth.
Alice groaned loudly, suddenly very irritated. She glared at Jacob.
"This would be so much easier if I could see our plans and go by those." She put extra emphasis on 'see'.
Jacob raised one eyebrow in confusion, but his face quickly lightened into one of understanding. He laughed once mockingly. "What? The future to blurry for you?"
Alice's mouth fell open for a split second, she gave me an accusing look. I let my head fall, looking up at her with apologetic eyes.
Alice sighed. "Yes, because you're around."
Jacob's eyes widened in surprise. "You can't see the future when I'm around?" That's great!"
Alice let a growl escape her teeth. I changed the subject. "Why don't we go see a movie first? Sound like a plan?"
"Sure," Alice agreed, "As long as we take Carlisle's car."
Alice headed out the front door leaving it wide open. Jacob hesitated to move, I tried nudging him with my elbow, no effect. Alice came back into view, seeing her clearly through the open door, she gave Jacob a mocking smile.
"Scared?" She called back.
Jacob rolled his eyes, but it seemed to do the trick. Jacob kept his arm securely around me and headed out the door slowly. Alice had already gotten in the driver's seat and the car door to the backseats was already open. Alice must have guessed that we'd want to sit together. Jacob walked up to the car at the same pace and hesitantly got in with me alongside him. I closed the door.
"Ugh, it stinks," Jacob groaned silently.
Alice turned the keys in the ignition and drove off immediately. Alice drove fast, almost as fast as Edward did; to think that I was frightened by the speed of the motorcycles. Jacob was very restless the whole way. He fidgeted, shifting his body from side to side and re-adjusted his arm around me. This was ridiculous, the point of this was to have fun with Alice, have fun while she's still here. How are we suppose to have fun when she and Jacob will be at each other's throats the whole time, it defeats the purpose. Maybe this is what I deserve, for being so selfish.
We were almost there, took no time at all, Jacob groaned and started staring at the car floor. He then, to my surprise, started to laugh.
"I cannot believe I'm doing this," Jacob laughed at himself, "Not only am I tagging along for your girl time, but with a bloodsucker as well. I've really lost it."
I hung my head down, slightly turning to look at his face. I was about to apologize, but Alice caught me off guard.
"We're here!" Alice sang, "So, what're we going to see?"
My head snapped up at her voice, that was a good question. I suggested the movies, but had no idea what to go see. I just wanted to get out of the house before Alice and Jake killed each other. My past experiences going to the movies were not entirely pleasant ones, I hoped that this wouldn't be the worst.
Alice waited for my answer; I grimaced at having to be the one to decide. Jacob raised his head and sighed.
"I hear Tomorrow and Forever's pretty popular," He suggested, looking directly at me, ignoring Alice.
I nodded my head, eager to agree, I was up for anything. Then it came back to me, I remember I'd turned down this movie before, back when Mike asked me. It was back when I was too broken to handle a romance. How would I feel now? I truly believe that the hole in my chest is somewhat gone at least, plus I have Jacob and Alice, for the moment. Maybe it won't be so bad.
"Bella," Alice looked at me doubtfully, "Is that what you want?"
Alice got out and opened the door on my side. She reached out and took my hand, a warm smile lit up her face. Jacob, with his arm still securely around my waist, pulled me back. Alice grabbed my hand again and yanked, while Jacob firmly resisted. It was a brief match of tug-of-war with me as the rope, both competitors glaring each other down.
"Jake!" I snapped at him.
Jacob grimaced but gave up, releasing me hesitantly. Alice yanked me from my seat, causing me to stumble, but she caught me before I could cause any damage to myself.
"Sorry," She apologized, "Forgot how fragile you were."
"You sound like Edward."
Jacob got out on his side and made his way next to me, Alice to my right and Jacob to my left. We headed toward the theater; Alice bought two tickets for herself and me, leaving Jacob to pay for his own.
There weren't that many people in the theater, I'm assuming everyone had seen the movie already. It had been out for a while, this might be it's last week in theaters. We sat down, Alice to my right and Jacob to my left like before. I kept my eyes on them both cautiously; they wouldn't fight in here would they?
Alice suddenly started giggling, I looked up at the screen and a man was coming up with every excuse in the book to keep from getting fired. I was so occupied with watching Alice and Jake that I hadn't realized that the movie started already, for who knows how long.
I actually began to watch now; the man that got fired meets a rich woman who enjoys working with children. They fall in love and the man begins to help out with the children too, while still jobless. The man is secretly involved in some shady business involving loans and dangerous favors. The woman finds out what he's up to and the man confesses all that he's done, which in turn gets the woman involved.
So far the movie was pretty good; I wasn't feeling any pain from what I've seen up until now. Unfortunately, I'd spoken too soon. The man felt terrible for burdening the woman in his problems and decides to leave her.
I winced at the words "I don't want you to come." The man had spoken the same words as his. My head sank, I didn't want to look up at the screen anymore, I felt tense.
Jacob saw this; he put his arm around my shoulder and leaned his head against mine. I rested my head on his shoulder and shifted closer to him. Normally, something like this would set me off. I could see myself breaking into tears, screaming, and running out of the theater after witnessing this. But Jacob made everything so much better, he was my own personal sun again, but something else radiated from him besides the usual happiness and comfort. Love.
I let out a deep sigh of relief and looked up at the screen. Apparently I had missed a lot; the man was already begging the woman to take him back, saying that they can work something out as long as they're together. The woman all too happily takes him back and they agree to start a new life together somewhere far away.
The credits started rolling and the lights came back on. Alice eagerly got up and started toward the exit, Jacob and I followed.
Back in the car, Alice started the engine immediately but left it in park for a few minutes.
"Mmm, cliché ending," Alice said, looking thoughtful. Jacob nodded his head, looking past Alice.
"Yeah," Jacob looked at me now, "It's better than that other movie you took me to, though."
He laughed and I joined in; comparing it to Tomorrow and Forever just makes Crosshairs seem even more ridiculous. Alice looked back at me, a wide smile across her face.
"Shopping now?" Alice asked, delighted. I rolled my eyes.
"Of course, Alice."
"I'll make sure you have the most beautiful clothes in the store."
"Don't overdo it."
Alice pouted; she started driving straight for the mall which wasn't far from the movie theater at all. It took only two minutes to get there.
I told her not to overdo it, but in the end she ignored me. We went to every clothing store the mall had to offer, buying at least three things from each one. Every so often Alice would find something that she wanted for herself and get me the same one in my size. Jacob was enjoying the ordeal even less than I was; Alice was making him carry all the clothes. I could tell Jake was trying very hard not to lose his temper, I had to tell Alice to ease up a little. Alice was having the time of her life however, at least she was happy.
By the time we were done, it was dark out. The bright headlights of cars were passing by, avoiding people as they walked out of the mall and varies other stores around us.
"Well, I'd better get you home," Alice reminded.
I nodded slowly, knowing what will happen afterwards. The drive home felt longer, either Alice wasn't driving as fast as before or I was just trying to cling onto this moment for as long as I could.
Charlie wasn't there when we walked in. He must still be at the Clearwater's, probably doing whatever he can to help out. I felt bad that I wasn't there too, felt even worse that I was keeping Jacob away. I sat down on the sofa and Jacob joined me. Alice was arranging the clothes she bought in one pile and the clothes for me in another on the kitchen table. In a flash, she darted upstairs and my new clothes disappeared. The next second she was back, looking as cheerful as before.
"Hope you don't mind, but I'm sure you'll find your new beautiful clothes in perfect order," Alice said confidently.
Alice started to stare off into the distance, her expression lost. Jacob shifted himself closer to me in a protective position. Alice let out a gasp, her cheerful expression didn't return.
"It's time for me to go."
I couldn't speak, I just let my head fall.
"I'm sorry Bella, but it's time. I can't stay any longer."
I just nodded. I was starting to feel the pain come back to me.
"Come on." Alice grabbed my hand and lifted me off the sofa. She led me outside to her car, Jacob followed quickly.
She let go of my hand to give me a hug. Her hard cold skin felt strangely soft and gentle when her arms wrapped around me. The wind blew her sweet clean scent toward me, I'd remember it for a while. I embraced her back, trying very hard to fight back tears. It seemed to last for a lifetime.
"Bye Bella," She said quietly in my ear, "I promise I'll be back."
She nodded, "Promise."
It's really nice taking a break from Bella's head and getting in Jacob's. He's a lot of fun to write from and it feels a lot more fast paced. I love working with his mind, because even though Bella's head is a bit more relaxed, Bella can be boring sometimes. :P I'm really happy that this chapter is one of your favorites. :D
He sighed heavily and placed his right palm to his forehead, looking both embarrassed and irritated. I just looked at him, waiting for a response, as the high-pitched beeps from the TV and Quil's groans gave the room sound.
"So, you lost?" I asked, since he wouldn't answer.
Jacob sighed again and nodded.
"Don't beat yourself up about it. It's just a race and I know Leah is the fastest in the pack."
"Yeah, but I went in so confident. It just made Leah's constant bragging even worse," Jake responded.
"But that happened a week ago. You're still upset?"
"I wouldn't be if Leah would stop bringing it up. I lost, I get it, she can shut up now. God!" He shook his head in irritation.
I leaned my head on his shoulder and smirked. "Would it have helped if I was there petting Quil?"
"Wait, what?" Quil yelp, his head snapping up toward us. As he did, the tiny character on screen that he was controlling looked like it fell off a cliff. "Gah! Dammit! Thanks a lot, Bella."
Jacob chuckled. "Maybe that would have helped. I should bring you along the next time we race."
"I can never see what's going on."
"Someone should tie a camera to their neck."
"I would totally do that," Embry volunteered, "I could be the cameraman and add commentary and stuff."
"With all that running, don't you think you might drop the…Oh, come on!" Quil exclaimed as his character on screen apparently died again.
Embry snickered at his mess up. "I won't drop it. And next time, don't lose, Jake."
"No promises," Jake groaned and continued watching Quil play.
It was pretty late in the evening and all four of us were just hanging out at Quil's house. For the past two hours, Quil had been playing this rather old looking video game, and judging by his many growls and outbursts, he wasn't doing so well.
"You've gotta be…Ugh! Can anyone beat this damn Grim Reaper?" Quil asked, irritated.
Jacob gave him an apologetic look. "Sorry, dude. I couldn't get past this guy without cheating. You're on your own."
"What game is this anyway?" I asked, curious.
"Castlevania. Quil figured that considering it's been a while since we've killed a vampire in real life, he'd settle for killing one in a video game."
"Yeah, but this is turning out to be ten times harder than reality. I have to go through all this crap just to get to one vampire?"
"Well, it is Dracula," Embry commented.
We continued to watch, though I didn't really understand what was going on. There were a whole bunch of blocky objects flying around on the screen and it looked like Quil was trying to avoid them, but kept getting hit.
"Oh my god!" he growled.
"Don't wolf out, dude. It's just a game," Embry warned.
He rolled his eyes and sighed heavily. "I'm not Paul."
As exciting as it was watching Quil take on a pixelated Grim Reaper, I started to feel sleepy as I yawned loudly next to Jake.
"Tired? It is kind of late," Jake asked.
I nodded. "Yeah. Take me home?"
Jacob put his arm around my shoulder and helped me off the couch. I yawned again and rested my head back onto his shoulder, slightly closing my eyes.
"Aw, Bella's leaving?" Embry whined in exaggeration and pouted.
I giggled. "Sorry, Em. Time for me to go."
"I'll be right back, guys. Just gonna take her home," Jacob informed.
"By the time you get back, Quil will probably still be fighting this guy."
Quil sighed. "You're probably right."
Jake walked me to the door and opened it before I turned back around to face the guys. "Good night, boys. See you Saturday."
"Night, Bella," Quil and Embry both responded.
Jake walked me to my truck parked in Quil's driveway and opened the passenger door for me to get in. He got into the driver's seat and started the truck up.
"So, tomorrow's another vampire day," Jacob sighed.
I nodded slowly. "Yep."
Tuesdays and Fridays were never easy for us, especially Jacob. For him, it wasn't just spending a day without me, but knowing that I was around his "enemies". Jake never liked me being around the Cullens, but he was beginning to tolerate it more. He knew that the Cullens wouldn't hurt me and he knew I'd be safer with them than alone. At least, I hoped he knew that. Sometimes though, I wondered if the reason he was allowing me to visit them was because Edward wasn't a part of the equation; Jacob worried about him most of all. I wasn't sure if it was out of jealousy or concern for my safety, but he had no reason to worry about either. I'd be just as safe with Edward as the rest of the Cullens, I just wished I could convince him of that. But how could I when Edward was never around?
Jacob began to drive down the road to my house at a moderate speed my truck could handle. Once we arrived, we both got out and Jake walked me up to the door. He kissed me good night like always, but this kiss was different from the usual good night kisses. On the nights he knew I'd be visiting the Cullens the next day, he'd kiss me with much more passion and would always hold me close, like he didn't want me to go. I'd always kiss him back with the same amount of need for him, assuring that I would always be back. As we finally parted lips, he sighed sadly and backed away into the dark shadows of the trees. He waved goodbye and finally darted away until I couldn't see him. It was never easy seeing Jacob leave and I whimpered a bit as I went inside.
It was pretty quiet; all I could hear was the faint sound of Charlie snoring upstairs. Last night, I went all out after watching this cooking program and prepared a huge dinner of ham, mashed potatoes, green beans, corn, macaroni and cheese, and steamed vegetables. I wanted to try out some new ways of cooking each and Charlie was thrilled when he saw everything. There were plenty of leftovers, so it wasn't necessary to cook tonight. I went up to my bedroom and was very eager to get some sleep. I put on my pajamas quickly, turned off my bedside lamp, and fell onto my bed, not caring too much to put the sheets over me. I hugged my pillow softly and easily drifted to sleep.
The next morning went as usual. I got up, went to the bathroom to take a quick shower, and got my clothes on. As I went downstairs, Charlie got up to get himself ready for work. I went into the kitchen and settled for a bowl of cereal and orange juice. Not long after I finished eating, I heard the familiar sound of Alice's Porsche humming outside. As she honked her horn twice, I grabbed my school bag and headed outside. She was sitting in her bright yellow car smiling, though it wasn't as cheerful of a smile as it usually was. I got into the passenger side and looked to see Charlie standing at the doorway, waving at us. Alice waved back and put the car in reverse to back out onto the road, heading toward our school.
"Bella? Exactly how much do you hate parties?" Alice asked.
I cringed at the word. "A lot."
"A lot, a lot?"
"Why are you asking?"
"What if it were for an occasion that called for it?"
"Alice, why are you asking?"
She sighed. "Well, we'll be graduating pretty soon and I was thinking…"
"A graduation party?" I half shouted, cutting her off.
"Something like that."
"Alice, I'd really rather not."
"Come on, I'm sure it'll be fun."
"I really doubt that. Unless you just mean me, you, and the rest of your family."
She made a guilty face and I cringed again. I knew Alice would go all out; she'd probably invite the whole graduating class.
I groaned. "Alice."
"I was thinking we could go shopping today. You know, for some party dresses, maybe."
"I mean, we could just look. It's not for a few weeks so there's no rush."
"Maybe by then, I can convince you to change your mind."
She smiled in triumph, but her face gradually fell. I watched as the closer we got to our high school, the more tense and irritated Alice looked.
"Um, Alice, are you alright?" I asked, concerned.
She frowned. "Yeah, just okay."
"Then, what's keeping you from being better than okay?"
She looked at me and back at the road, though it seemed like she was debating with herself more so than focusing on driving.
She sighed. "Edward's been getting on my nerves lately."
I flinched at the mention of him. Alice saw this and looked like she regretted bringing him up.
"Edward? Why?" I asked.
She looked at me unsure again and I nodded, telling her I could handle whatever she had to say.
"I told you that Edward was mad after I started hanging out with you, right?" she reminded.
"Well, ever since then, he's been so bitter and aggressive with everyone. You can't say a thing to Edward without him responding negatively. He's no fun to be around anymore."
"Edward?" I was finding this hard to believe.
"Yes. I never told you this, but Edward gave me this Porsche after I agreed to leave you alone."
My mouth popped open for an instant. "Really?"
"Mm-hmm. But our friendship is worth way more than this silly car. This silly…" She sighed sadly. "Beautiful car."
"You sound like it might be taken away."
She nodded. "I know it's coming, I knew it the moment I decided to stop avoiding you. After I took you home, I came back and Edward was staring down my Porsche in the garage."
I grimaced, trying to wrap my mind around the image. "Oh."
"It's only a matter of time." She said it in Edward's voice, imitating him so perfectly it made me gasp. "I recently saw a vision of him tearing it apart. But like I said, I don't care. He can have it if he wants."
Even though she said that, I could tell she really didn't want her bright yellow car to be destroyed.
Once we arrived at school, we both got out of the doomed car and headed to our classes, waving goodbye to each other as we went. Classes were pretty light, mostly preparing for finals that were coming soon. Each class seemed to go by quicker and that was a very good thing for me, because the sooner everything was over, the better. When it was time for lunch, I headed to the cafeteria and met Alice on my way there. I got in the food line while Alice sat at our usual table with all my other friends. Once I picked out everything I wanted, which wasn't too much, I went over to sit with my friends. Mike, Angela, and Ben were relieved to have me back again, but a little surprised that I brought Alice along with me. They all still thought she was a bit odd, but it didn't seem to bother them. They were slowly getting to know her and seeing that she was just like us; more or less.
"A party? At your place?" Mike asked surprised as Alice announced her plans, much to my dismay.
"Yep, graduation party," Alice said with a smile.
"I've never seen your house before," Ben noted nervously.
"There's a first time for everything. Maybe you guys can help spread the word. Graduation party at the Cullen House."
"Noooo," I whined, letting my head drop to the table.
Alice hugged me comfortingly. "It'll be fun. Promise."
Angela sighed heavily. "As exciting as graduation is, it only makes me think of how much work I have to do."
"Work?" I asked, curious.
"Yeah. Have you sent out your graduation announcements?"
"No, but there's no point really. Renee knows when I graduate, so who else is there?"
Alice smiled. "All done."
"Well, that's my work. My mom has a thousand cousins and expects me to hand-address each one. I keep putting it off, but graduation is coming fast. I want to try and do them tonight but..." She stopped to think about her work and grimaced. "It's a lot."
"I'll help you," I volunteered, "If you don't mind my awful handwriting."
Angela looked relieved. "Really? Oh, that's so nice of you. What time did you want to do it?"
I thought for a second. "How about around six?"
"Six?" Alice asked, disappointed.
"Six sounds good," Angela agreed, "I'll be over then."
"Actually, how about I go to your house if that's okay?" I suggested. I was in the mood for some new atmosphere.
"That's fine. Thank you so much, Bella."
"So, no movie tonight?" Ben asked, re-adjusting his glasses.
"Sorry, honey. Bella and I have got work to do."
Alice pouted and leaned in close to whisper into my ear. "I thought we could go shopping at six."
I looked at her like she was missing the obvious and Alice groaned as she quickly got it. I did not want to go shopping for party dresses or anything related.
For the rest of lunch, Alice continued talking about party plans. Mike said that he would try spreading the word, but once he'd tell Jessica, that job would be pretty much already done for him. I really didn't like this at all and hoped something would happen to change Alice's mind. Classes continued after lunch at the same speed as earlier, fairly quick and easy. When school was finally over, I grabbed whatever I needed from my locker and met Alice at the main entrance. As we went outside, my eyes instinctively searched for Jacob. I knew he wouldn't be here, but I couldn't help but look around. Ever since the first time he surprised me by being here on his patrol day, part of me would always hope he did it again, even though I knew it was inconvenient for him.
Alice quickly got inside her Porsche and I followed. As she backed out of the school lot and onto the highway, she sighed.
"I guess today'll be a short one, huh?"
I looked at her apologetically. "Yeah, sorry."
"I bet you planned that, didn't you?"
I swallowed hard. "Not exactly."
"Right, just jumped at the opportunity." She shook her head and shrugged. "So, do you want me to drive you there at six and pick you up afterward?"
"You don't have to pick me up. Just drop me off at my place and I'll drive there myself."
We ended up talking about what we could do with the short amount of time we had the rest of the way there. Alice suggested having me try on dresses that she already had rather than shop for ones, but I immediately came up with other alternatives; a movie, chess, baseball, I'd prefer anything else. When we made it to the house, Alice was still set on dressing me up.
"Anything else?" I insisted as we walked in.
"Remember when I painted your nails and you ended up liking it?" Alice reminded.
"That was a onetime only thing."
"Are you sure about that?"
She laughed at my unwillingness, which she probably found to be silly. "You're going to look beautiful, I promise."
"That's not exactly what bothers me." It was part of it, but I just didn't like the dressing up process.
She grabbed my hand and led me to the stairs. As we went up, I could see Rosalie at the top of the stairs looking like she was waiting on something. She was just as breathtaking as ever; tall and statuesque with an elegant figure suited of a model. Her long, wavy, golden hair that matched her eyes perfectly, would hang down the middle of her back and flow like a curtain in the wind as she moved. She looked at Alice and then me in little interest.
"Hello, Bella," she greeted indifferently, though her voice still sounded so angelic.
"Hi, Rosalie," I responded, a little nervous.
"Hey, Rose, do you have any good party dresses?" Alice asked in excitement.
"Why do you ask?" Rosalie wondered.
"I told you about the graduation party, right? I just wanted to see what kind of dresses we had for Bella? You're just a little bit closer to her size, so I just thought you might have something."
She looked at Alice critically for a second, but her face quickly lightened up. She then turned toward me and examined my face and body with her eyes thoroughly.
"Hmm," she murmured, holding her hand to her mouth in a thoughtful manner, "Let me see what I have."
Alice grinned. "Thanks, Rose."
In an instant, Rosalie disappeared to her room down the hall and Alice led me to her closet eagerly. Alice's closet was even bigger than bedroom. Shirts, jeans, dresses, jackets, and shoes were neatly organized all around the room on hangers and shelves. There was also a large mirror embedded into the wall next to where the shoes were. It was like walking into a small clothing store.
It didn't take long at all for Rosalie to get back with three dresses she thought suited me. None of them were over the top, which I thank her for. They were simple dresses, but still all very pretty. One was a shiny dark blue, the other rose red, and the last two were different shades of brown. As Alice had me try on the red dress first, I saw Emmett poke his head in.
"You ready to go, babe?" he asked Rosalie and then looked at me, "Oh, s'up Bella."
I smiled. "S'up, Emmett."
"Playing dress up, are we?"
I grimaced. "Unfortunately."
"Emmett, how do you think this looks on Bella?" Alice asked, hoping for a good answer.
"Um, well…she looks," he muttered, looking at my dress thoroughly. He then smiled and his voice went higher in octave. "She looks fabulouuuuuuuuus."
Both Alice and Rosalie started laughing and I couldn't help but giggle at his silliness.
"Thank you, Emmett," I said through my giggling.
"No prob." He winked and turned toward Rosalie. "Ready to go?"
"Yes," Rosalie responded as she followed Emmett out of the room to wherever they were headed.
Alice continued to dress me up in different outfits. Alice's dresses were a bit tight on me, and although Rosalie's were kind of long, I still preferred those because of their simplicity.
"So, which one do you like the best?" Alice asked as I started putting my normal clothes back on.
"If I have to choose, then I'd pick the dark blue one," I answered, point it out.
"Then it's yours."
"Are you sure Rosalie won't mind?"
"Trust me, she would never offer any dresses that she was attached to."
"Oh!" Alice suddenly gasped and her head darted toward the door in shock.
I flinched from her reaction and felt panic reach me as my heart started racing. I turned toward the door but didn't see anything, which just worried me more. Was Victoria here? Did she find me?
"What's wrong?" I asked in panic, turning back to look at her.
Her shocked expression seemed to lighten, though she was still clearly surprised.
"What's going on?" I asked again.
"Well…what do you know?"
She laughed once to herself. "So he finally came around?"
"Bella?" said a velvety smooth voice that came from the doorway behind me.
I immediately froze in place as I couldn't believe what I just heard. I couldn't seem to look behind me to check who it was; I just stared at Alice wide eyed, unable to move.
"Bella?" the voice repeated.
"Great. You broke her," Alice criticized.
The voice sighed. "I need to judge her reactions better."
"Think you'll get a repeat of the first night?"
"I really hope not."
I felt two cold hands touch my shoulders as they turned me around to look at the figure that was now before me. I gasped as his golden eyes looked into mine. He smiled at first, but as I shook my head in disbelief at what I was seeing, his face became serious.
"Bella, I know, and I'm sorry. But this is real. It's all real," he assured.
"Edward?" I gasped.
He grinned happily. "Yes."
Like a magnet, my arms immediately wrapped around his statue-like body and I planted my face into his chest to cover the tears that began welling up. I squeezed him tight as his arms wrapped around me in response and he rested his chin on top of my head.
"Edward," I sighed.
He chuckled. "Not exactly what I was expecting, but I'll take it."
We stayed like this for an amount of time that I couldn't judge. Like Alice, his body was cold and hard, but strangely so comfortable. I liked it, though it was definitely different from the heat I was used to. Just then, my brain started to catch up to me as I remembered why I should be angry with him. I pushed him away and he let me go as I folded my arms across my chest, scowling at him.
"I thought you said you didn't want to see me," I said angrily.
"Bella," he sighed, "I know. Please, just come with me. I have a lot to explain."
He started toward the door and turned back around to face me. I stared at him defensively as he held his hand out, wanting me to follow him.
"Go on, Bella. Hear what he has to say," Alice allowed.
I groaned and followed him out the door, though I kept my arms folded as I was not ready to hold his hand yet. I followed him outside where he led me to their backyard. He stopped in the middle of the yard and sat down on the grass where a few tiny white wildflowers grew. I really hoped this wasn't some kind of signal telling me that he was going to try something. He knew better, didn't he? Edward looked up at me, waiting for me to sit down next to him.
"I'll stand, thank you," I said with my arms still folded across my chest.
He nodded. "As you wish."
He started staring out into the trees as the wind began to pick up, blowing my hair sideways. I tapped my feet impatiently as I waited for him to start. He looked like he was trying to gather his thoughts, but I wasn't in the mood to wait.
"Well, explain," I demanded.
He sighed. "Alright. First, I just wanted to say that I'm sorry and that you're right."
"Right about what?"
"Right for when you said avoiding you was just the same as leaving you again. I was a fool to think otherwise."
"Yeah, you were." I said it in a soft voice that I hoped he didn't hear, though I was sure he did anyway.
"But this time I promise, I'm not leaving."
I scoffed. "Are you really saying that or is there going to be another loop hole?"
"No. Bella, I promise, whenever you want me. Whenever. I'll be there, and I mean physically too."
"And that's not a lie?"
His face saddened. "Of course, I'd understand if you didn't want me around. I hurt you twice, after all. It'd be fair if you couldn't forgive me for that."
I gasped in panic. "No, I do. I do want you around, Edward, but…" I felt my anger vanish as sadness took its place. "I never understood. Why couldn't we still be around each other?"
"I was worried." He paused and took a breath before going on. "You're involved with werewolves now and I wasn't sure how they'd respond to you being involved with us too. I saw how angry Jacob got when we met and I wasn't sure how controlled he'd be if you were around the people he considered his enemies. I know that if I was in his place, I'd feel the same way." I groaned at that, but he ignored it and continued. "I was concerned about the possibility of him losing control and trying to take you back. Someone could get hurt, the treaty could be broken."
"Jacob wouldn't do that," I eagerly defended.
"Of course, that's how I thought then. When Alice started being around you again, I got really worried that this would cause your dog to attack."
"Jacob," I corrected.
He half smiled. "I apologize. Jacob. I saw you and Jacob arguing the first day Alice was about to bring you here. I was terrified that he would lose control and hurt you." I was about to tell him Jacob would never hurt me, but he raised his hand to stop me. "But I was wrong. He was much more controlled than I gave him credit for. When I learned that he was actually allowing you to stay with us on certain days as protection from Victoria, well…" He paused and looked at the sky in thought, as if remembering the moment. "That really surprised me."
Right then, I sat down next to him on the grass and he smiled, pleased that I joined him. Cautiously, he put an arm around my shoulder and I allowed it. It felt nice, nothing romantic, but nice.
"Then I started thinking about you and how much I was hurting you by not being around. I really was a fool. I promised to never leave you again, but I did." He started rubbing my shoulders in comfort. "But that's changing from now on. I'm not going anywhere, Bella."
"Does that mean I'll see you at school too?"
"Yes, if you'd like. I'll be joining your table at lunch."
I smiled wide, but my smile quickly turned into a grimace as I remembered how Jake acted toward Edward specifically.
"Jacob is worried about you most of all though. That I can't really deny," I admitted.
He nodded in understanding. "Yes, I figured that. But I understand how you two are. I know that you…love him." He hesitated to say the last part and I could see him cringe at the words. "So he should also know that, as of now, I'm just another Cullen. Adding one more piece to complete the puzzle shouldn't anger him too much, unless of course, I am giving him more credit than he deserves."
I shook my head. "No. He's never lost control before. He won't now."
"Well, you make sure he doesn't."
I looked into his eyes and smiled as he returned it with that crooked smile I loved. My arms found their way around him again as I squeezed him tight, leaning in until he fell onto his back in the grass and I lay on top of him. He held me close as I rested my head on his chest and he sighed in contentment. We laid there for a minute before my body naturally started anticipating the wave of heat that usually came from this kind of embrace. When it didn't come, I gasped as I realized what I was doing. I recoiled away from him as he looked at me surprised. I folded my arms over my chest again and stared down at the grass, trying to hide my embarrassment and awkwardness with a bit of defense.
"Um, by the way, are you still going to destroy Alice's Porsche?" I asked.
He looked confused. "Why would I do that?"
"Well, you gave it to her for staying away from me right? She didn't exactly keep up her end of the bargain."
"I'm not going to destroy it, it was a gift. Besides, I'm breaking my own rule now. There's no point anymore."
"It would be a shame to break a car like that. The interior and exterior is really beautiful and it's got power too. From the looks of it, I'm guessing it has a three point eight liter flat-six engine and some insane mileage. Its gearbox is probably interchangeable too, because it seems like it'd be great for racing. Am I right?"
Edward just stared at me in what looked like slight shock and amazement.
"What?" I asked.
"That's new. Since when do you know so much about cars?"
I blushed. "I guess when you're around Jacob so much, you pick up a few things."
"So Jacob is into cars?"
"And other mechanics. He's almost finished with this motorcycle his friend gave him. He thought it was broken, but Jake is proving him wrong."
His eyes widened. "Motorcycles? Bella, don't tell me you were on one."
I snickered. "Of course. Jacob has a bike for both of us. We ride them sometimes and it's really fun."
"But, isn't that dangerous?"
I rolled my eyes. "Please, Edward, you sound like Charlie. If I ever get hurt, Jacob always takes care of me."
"Do you at least wear a helmet?"
My face filled with guilt. "Um…I never really thought of that. I haven't hurt myself in a while and Jacob's always nearby in case I lost control so…"
He sighed. "Please wear a helmet."
"Fine, father. God!" I groaned, though honestly, wearing a helmet was a good idea. I probably should've thought of that sooner.
He chuckled. "This new attitude of yours."
"I don't have a new attitude."
"Yeah, you kind of do. Something you learned from Jacob, no doubt."
I rolled my eyes and prepared the sarcasm. "Sure, sure. And I also learned how to morph into a horse-sized wolf, run at extreme speeds, howl at the moon, and walk around without a shirt." I growled, trying to imitate Jacob. "I've learned quite a lot."
"Yes you have, and there's that attitude again."
I looked away, slightly embarrassed. "I'm still Bella."
He smiled. "Yes, you are. That'll never change."
"And neither will you."
"Is that bad?"
"Of course not." I smirked. "I like my Ed just the way he is?"
"Ed?" He stared at me stunned for a few seconds. "That's definitely new."
I blushed again. "Well, I call Jacob 'Jake' all the time. I can't shorten your name?"
He grimaced. "I'd prefer you didn't."
"Fine, Edward Anthony Masen Cullen II. I won't"
He raised a brow and looked at me like I lost my mind, but then he burst into laughter while holding his forehead with one hand, causing me to blush more.
His laughter lightened to a snicker. "That's new."
He smiled at me and I couldn't help but smile back. We sat there for a few minutes, just watching the sun as it would slowly sink and disappear into the clouds. Edward inched his way closer to me until our shoulders touched and he rested his cheek on top of my head. I knew that this would seem romantic to most people, but I also knew where we stood on that. Edward was an important friend that I couldn't do without, someone I was completely comfortable with, and I was beyond happy that he was someone I could count on too. Someone I could count on to be there. As the sun became less viewable in the clouds, I remembered another friend who was counting on me.
"Edward, what time is it?" I asked.
He went into his pocket to check his cell phone. "Four minutes past six."
I gave him an apologetic look. "I've gotta go."
"But you just got here. You usually don't leave this early."
"I know, but I promised Angela I'd help her with graduation announcements."
"I see. Always wanting to help, that's Bella."
I sighed. "That's me."
Edward stood himself up and held my hand to pull me with him. We both looked at each other smiling as I gave him one last hug.
"I've really missed you, Edward," I whispered.
He rubbed my back comfortingly. "I've missed you too."
Author's Note: Okay...new rule. Whenever I give a date for when a new chapter will be out...ALWAYS expect it to be a day or two late. Ugh! I'm so bad at deadlines. Even though this chapter was released July 2nd, it's still the second June chapter. Meaning, for this month of July, expect two more chapters before July is done. Though the second might end up being an August 1st chapter or something. :/
Also, for those curious on what Quil was playing, go here (the guy in the video made it look easy, but it really isn't).
Though I LOVE this story and can't wait to see what you have planned for it, I understand you gotta have a life, too! Espeecilly being college student on ummer break!! Namaste!
Great chapter can't wait for more!