My feet dangled off the rocks I was perched on. I kicked the rocks beneath me. I couldn’t sit still and I couldn’t
pace this beach anymore. Being alone was one thing but alone with my thoughts
was a tragic mistake.
My mind was racing with endless possibilities.
Maybe the pack wasn’t as strong and prepared as they’d believed. Maybe they were underestimating Victoria’s abilities and overestimating their own. That was a definite possibility.
Maybe Victoria wasn’t even alone.
No, no she’d want to do this on her own. To kill me and claim all the glory, to feel accomplished.
My throat was dry. I was suddenly unable to swallow. I didn’t want to make any noise. Oddly I went still. Only one thing could be as still as I felt, a vampire.
What if Victoria got past the wolves? She was just as deceiving as James and James had tricked the – the Cullen’s.
Surely the wolves were a lot less experienced…
I couldn’t think like this anymore.
I jumped off my perch but the thoughts still swarmed. Quietly and carefully I trudged back up the beach.
My heart quickened and my palms began to sweat. Rocks from behind me clattered together. I couldn’t breathe. I
still wanted to be quiet so Victoria couldn’t hear me even though she was a
vampire with increased senses, it was my immediate reaction.
She was on my tail. The rocks no longer crashed together it was silent but I felt the presence.
My breathing became regular again. I swallowed and tightened my hands into fists at my sides. I prepared myself for
Victoria waiting behind me – not like my weapons could do anything. I couldn’t
even consider them weapons.
Slowly, I spun on my heal trying not to breathe.
I gasped, “Jake,”
“’Sup Bells?” his voice was relaxed.
I looked him over. Not a scratch on him.
“Victoria,” I sputtered.
“Don’t worry about her anymore.”
I eyed him curiously trying to fit the pieces together. “You mean – you – got her?”
A smile stretched across his face. “Told you so,”
“Don’t be a soar winner, Jacob.” I teased finally calming. Waves of relief crashed down on me.
His arms were around me. I sighed and let myself sink into him. His arms tightened in response.
“I would do it all over again. To keep you here, just like this.” He pulled back keeping his arms around my
waist. “Well not a nervous wreck but heart beating and breathing. Even if your
heart is flying.” He teased back.
I giggled and dropped my head into his chest, unwinding.
“Hey,” my eyes popped open, “why’d you scare me like that before?” I demanded, staring him straight in the eye.
“Oh that? I just wanted to see what you would do. Who did you think it was? You’re heart was speeding. It was almost unhealthy.” He laughed.
I flush of anger rose. But then, embarrassment took its place. Looking at Jake and remembering the pack and how
big they were made me feel silly that I ever worried they couldn’t kill her.
And Jacob would never let her get past them if I was in danger. I knew that.
“Victoria,” I mumbled. I couldn’t look at him so my head lowered back into place.
He was silent for a second. He trembled just a little. I could feel his hands begin to shake on my back.
But he composed himself quickly and let out a hardy laugh.
“What?” I demanded pulling out from beneath him to look at his face.
His face was utterly amused. “What did you think you were going to do to Victoria?”
I was stumped. Truth was I didn’t know what I was going to do when I met my killer. “Um, I’m not really sure. I guess, put up what fight I could.”
“You wouldn’t run? Scream?” he eyed me skeptically.
“What would be the point? She could outrun me even if she couldn’t I wouldn’t make it very far. I’d end up tripping and get washed out into sea.”
His face grew serious. “I wouldn’t let that happen. I would find you.”
“Stop being so serious, Jake. Relax, it’s all over now.” I promised. Lightly I pressed my hand into his chest and shoved playfully.
“Sorry, let’s go tell Billy.” As I began to let my hand fall he slipped his hand into it.
The waves were getting bigger, and more vicious. They were battering against the cliffs splashing white water all over.
Deeper out the waves were even more angry. The clouds were dark.
“When are you going to take me cliff diving? You did promise.” I reminded him.
“I will take you. Just not today.”
Today seemed perfect to me. Why not? Victoria was gone and I felt immaculate. Safe.
“Why not?” I sounded like a child.
He picked up the tone and giggled. I laughed along with him. “Can’t you feel it in the air? Smell it? See it? It’s going to rain soon.”
“Humph.” I crossed my arms across my chest and pouted my lips.
“Another day. I promise.” He held his hand up.
“You make a lot of promises Jacob Black, you sure you can handle them all?”
He nudged me. I smiled.
Billy was watching the baseball players in spring training when we walked in.
He looked at us, eyes bulging because of how drenched we were. “What did you jump in the water?”
“Raining.” Jacob pointed out the door with his thumb and whispered, “Told you.”
Billy nodded, understanding and turned his attention back to the television. “Want some dinner?” he offered, not really paying attention to us.
“I’ll order a pizza.” Jacob responded.
His stomach growled.
“Maybe two.” I corrected.
Turned out we got the second pie. Jacob finished one all on his own and the other was left for me, Billy, and Charlie who we picked up on our way to get the pizza.
It felt like a family at dinner. Jacob fooled around with Billy and Charlie and occasionally I was the butt of the jokes.
I drove Charlie and I home.
“That was fun, right?” Charlie sounded pleased.
“Yeah, it was great.” I smiled keeping my eyes on the road.
I could feel the peace and happiness emanating from Charlie.
“So you and Jake have gotten pretty close, eh?”
“Don’t be nosey, Dad.”
He held his hands up in defense, “Don’t mind me. Just curious. I’ll butt out.”
“Thanks.” I murmured.
The road looked liquid black and sparkled beneath the moonlight. How could a road be so dazzling?
Er – wrong choice of words. How could a road be, gorgeous?
“He’s good for you,” Charlie spit out. He cowered into his seat but his face was glowing.
“Charlie!” I threw my hands up off the steering wheel for a second not wanting to lose my control and kill us both. Like I once had wanted a long time ago but not Charlie, just me.
That time period seemed like another life I lived, a very long time ago.
He laughed giddily.
Seeing my father this happy brought a smile to my lips.
We were both laughing like little children.
Until something flashed in my rearview mirror. A shiny Volvo was very close to the rear-end of my truck.
The hole in my chest stopped my heart and my laughter.
The windows were illegally too black to see the driver. Unconsciously my foot eased off the gas.
My car was creeping along the road now.
Charlie finally snapped out of his mood. “Bella?” he sounded worried.
My eyes were pinned to the mirror, where there was a silver Volvo.
“Bella what’s wrong?” he gripped my seat glancing behind us to find nothing but the watery streets.
My eyes filled to capacity with water of their own. It dripped over the edges.
Charlie’s eyes were bulging. His face was white as bone, scared to death.
The hole in my chest flared. I winced. “Nothing.” I swallowed and pressed my foot to the pedal once more.
He didn’t look convinced. But he was still scared of what might happen if he pressed the subject further.
“I’m sorry.” He mumbled when we were parked in the driveway.
“Don’t be. You didn’t do anything.” I was shocked that he’d come to this conclusion.
“Yes I did. I pushed you too hard, too fast. You have to heal on your own, I understand that now.”
“Dad,” I swallowed back my tears and tried to make my voice sound strong, “I’m fine. I’m healed. Jake’s done that for me.” I smiled. My voice sounded sure but my face would give me away.
“Well, alright then, baby.” He kissed my forehead and walked slowly inside.
I stayed in my truck alone with my thoughts and my hole once again.
The hole in my chest was unbearable. I was dizzy and began to feel weak. My limbs were like noodles.
My body fell onto the steering wheel.
The horn honked and I jumped up but my head swam and I fell back into my seat.
I dreamt of him. He was beside my unconscious body in my truck.
“Bella,” he spoke. His voice burned with desire.
His voice was just as I’d remembered. “Are you happy?” his face was expressionless.
My unconscious self nodded.
“Then, you don’t need me here.”
He made no motion to move. I wanted to reach out and grab him and tell him that yes I did need him here. I needed him wherever I was whether we were here or across the world.
“Do you love him?”
He let his perfectly composed face slip away for a second but it was a second long enough for me to see the scorching pain beneath it.
This time he winced. “Good for you, Bella.”
I shook my head. It’s not the same love, Edward! I was screaming at my unconscious self. You know me better than this, Edward! I love you!
He lifted me from my seat and brought me effortlessly to my bed. I was oddly warm. “Have
wonderful dreams, my sweet Bella.” Gently he placed his ice cold lips to my
My forehead heated but I shivered anyways.
His perfect face crinkled as if he was disgusted with himself.
“You’re truly safe, now.” That was all he said and then he slipped out of my window.
The sun was boring in through my window. That seemed to be a good sign.
Groggily, I slipped out of bed. My pillow was soaked and my eyes were soar and puffy. I took a quick glance in the
mirror and sighed heavily and the mess of hair on my head. I rolled my eyes and
made do with what I had.
When I was finally ready to go downstairs Charlie was already lounging on the coach.
“Well morning, darling. When did you get in last night?”
What? “What – wh – what do you mean? You didn’t come get me and bring me in? I didn’t come in soon after you?” I was
lost. I thought it was either one of those because how somehow I ended up in my
“I didn’t hear the door. I stayed up past twelve. I figured you would come in when you were ready so I didn’t bother you.”
“So, you – didn’t come and get me?” I gulped.
“No?” It sounded like a question. “Was I supposed to?” now he sounded guilty.
“No, no. I guess I fell asleep out there and came in pretty late. Sorry, Dad.” I paused after I took another step towards the door, “for everything.” I added.
“No worries, Bells.” He feigned happiness.
I walked out into the sunshine. I shivered, oddly, at the change in environment.
Before I got into my truck, I took a second to soak up as much warmth as I could.
I climbed into the truck and leaned my head on the back of my seat. I sighed and took a deep relaxing breathe.
The oddest sensation of déjà vu rolled through me. I caught my breath.
The Volvo was there and it wasn’t, the hole consuming me, fainting, dreaming, and Edward. He was there. It all was. Or at least I thought it was. It all seemed so real.
I knew the whole beginning wasn’t a dream. But the part with Edward talking to me, visiting, and bringing me into
my room…I wasn’t sure. It surely felt like a dream but how else did I end up in
My eyes were wide and my thoughts were jumbled. I had no one to talk about this with, no one I wanted to. Except
Jacob. But I could predict the hurt I would inflict on him – talking about
The drive down to La Push was quick because of all the things that kept my mind occupied.
Jacob ran towards the car.
“Hey, beautiful, Jacob said warmly.
“Yeah right, my hairs atrocious,” I laughed uncharacteristically nervously.
“Wow, imagine how it would look if you actually slept all night in the car.” He tucked my hair behind my ear.
He smiled slyly. “I stopped by after you got home, the storm picked up pretty badly after you left. I figured I would check in.” he smiled.
“But–” I attempted to cut in.
“You were asleep in your car and boy did you look like you were uncomfortable. You should have seen your face.” He
suddenly became very, very serious. “It was like a replay of your face when…”
he trailed off.
“When?” I urged.
“Nothing, never mind. What do you want to do today?”
“When, Jacob?” I was growing angry.
“We could go cliff diving?” he offered.
My hands balled up, “When?” I growled.
“The waves calmed down. It’s a good day to go.” His eyes flickered to my fists.
“Damn it, Jacob!” I hissed.
He caved, “When Edward left you.” He shouted. The way the hatred curled around Edward’s name was almost frightening.
The hole pushed its control over my legs and I suddenly couldn’t stand without Jacob standing there. I held onto him, involuntarily. “Oh,”
“Bella?!” his voice was scared.
“Whatever you do, don’t let go of me.” I barley whispered.
“Okay,” he seemed afraid.
Déjà vu overwhelmed me again. The same feeling of being carried was replaying. I was lying in Jacob’s bed when I opened my eyes.
“What happened last night?” I asked. I had a strange feeling he would know the answers I wanted.
“You were in your truck, fast asleep. I carried you inside through the window because it was pretty late, I didn’t want to wake Charlie.”
I stared at him, waiting for anything more but he concluded, “That’s all.”
I blinked. I couldn’t tell if I was grateful or mortified. It all seemed so real. He was so real, so there.
That would explain why I wasn’t shivering when he held me.
I let out a quick breath and it felt like my heart was going to fall through the hole that was growing by the second.
“Bella,” Jacob was shaking my arm.
I couldn’t focus my gaze on Jacob. He saw that.
“You look disappointed.”
I shook my head.
“Bella, I know you. You’re lying, and you suck at it.”
I shook my head again keeping my eyes away from his.
It was obvious that if I told him that he was dead on about that disappointment thing that it would be just as powerful as crushing him with a wrecking ball. I wouldn’t tell him.
“Hey, hey take it easy. I’m not the half dog here.” My eyes found his. His face visibly softened, response to my humor.
“So cliff diving?” I used the same tool of distraction he used on me.
“That was merely for distraction purposes. Let’s do something more interesting.”
I grunted. “You’re right, let’s do something more interesting then jumping off a cliff. How about we watch the game?” Sarcasm burned in my voice.
“Now you’re on the right track.” His old Jacob smile seeped through the hard casing.
“Lovely.” I rolled my eyes as he towed me into the living room.
Jacob eventually got fed up with all of my questions. “No matter how many questions I answer you’ll never understand the game, Bella. Let’s go for a walk,” he offered.
“I’ll get it, eventually.”
Jacob smiled at something to himself.
I eyed him suspiciously.