Sorry, no chapter title for this one yet. In trying to stick with my song themed chapter titles I am at a loss for this one, and totally up for any suggestions! Also, I finished this chapter in kind of a hurry and without much editing, so hopefully it came out alright and I might have a few changes later. Hope you enjoy!
What just happen? Did Bella just kiss me? I could still feel the warmth from her kiss on my lips. I stared after her as she turned and ran into the house with tears streaming down her face. I wanted to wrap her back in my arms and comfort her, but I had no clue what was going on. I saw Charlie peek out the window at me with a confused and angry look on his face. I figured I better get out of here before he could come out and chew me out for something I didn’t even do. Or, at least I don’t think I did anything to upset her. I jogged to the edge of the woods that lined the Swan property and after slipping out of my jeans and shirt I phased into my wolf form. I couldn’t bare to leave knowing Bella was just inside going through some kind of emotional break down that I may or may not have caused and certainly didn’t understand. Perhaps the realization that she nearly died today was beginning to settle in, or the news of Harry Clearwater, or just the entire emotional rollercoaster of a day in general. And though it didn’t make sense it made me feel better to be close just in case she needed me. I made myself comfortable in the pile of leaves that Charlie had raked out of his yard and discarded just inside the shelter of the trees. I starred up at Bella’s window listening carefully for any noise she made. But I heard nothing. To pass the time I replayed the day’s events over in my head trying to figured out what had gone so wrong.
Sam had woken me up early when they had cornered Victoria trying to get back into Forks. We were so close and almost had her before she disappeared into the ocean. Billy had called to tell me Bella was waiting at the beach for me and I was terrified to think that she would be so close to the water with that leach swimming around. I ran as fast as I could back to First Beach. My heart stopped in my chest when I had heard her scream. I thought Victoria got to her before I could and I ran harder. I got to the edge of the cliff in just enough time to see her tiny body hit the raging water and I realized what happened. She was cliff jumping. Why hadn’t she waited for me? The water was getting rough and I knew it had to be freezing, to her at least. That was so typical of Bella to be so impatient. For a moment I considered letting her swim around a bit in the freezing water for doing something so stupid as to do this without me here. I stood on the cliff staring into the water waiting for her to resurface so I could yell at her. But she didn’t resurface. My eyes raced panicky across the water searching for her re-emerge. But she didn’t. I didn’t hesitate and I jumped from the cliff where I stood into the raging waters. I landed with a huge splash and I didn’t bother to swim to the surface for a breath. Bella was down here somewhere and I had to find her. The waves were so powerful I almost couldn’t swim against them. It terrified me because I knew if I was hardly able to endure it then it was likely to crush Bella. I searched frantically through the murky waters. I finally had to reluctantly go up for a breath. As soon as my head was out of the water I screamed her name hoping maybe she had resurfaced and would hear me. But there was no response. No! I took a deep breath and went back under the water swimming around anxiously. I had to find her. If she hadn’t resurfaced by now then she had surely taken in a lot of water and I didn’t have much time. I wanted to curse myself when I had to swim back to the surface for another breath of air. It felt so wrong taking in the relieving breath of oxygen when my Bella was somewhere down there drowning.
“Jacob!” I heard a familiar voice shout. My heart skipped, but it wasn’t the voice I was hoping to hear. I looked up to see Sam standing on the low cliff.
“There Jacob, she’s there!” he shouted at me pointing at some emerged rocks roughly twenty yards from me. I looked just in time to see a wave hurling Bella’s motionless body into the rocks.
“Bella!” I shouted swimming as hard as I could after her. The waves took her under with them and I had to dive down again. I was able to grab her by the arm and bring her back to the water’s surface. Her face was a terrifying grey and she wasn’t breathing. I swam as hard and fast as I was able to the beach. As soon as my feet could touch the sand below I pulled Bella up into my arms and ran for the shore.
“No, Bella, no!” I pleaded with her lifeless body. When I reached the beach I laid her body on the sand and immediately started beating on her chest and blowing air into her mouth.
“Come on, Bella, breath! Breath, Bella, please breath!” I begged. Sam was standing over me now watching in horror as I tried to revive her. I took another deep breath and blew it into her mouth. I remembered how I often thought about what it would be like to have Bella’s lips against mine. But this was so much different than what I had once hoped for. I never dreamed the first times our lips would meet would be to save her life. I pounded my fists into her chest. As the minutes passed and she still wasn’t breathing tears began to weld up in my eyes. I can’t lose her, I had to save her.
“Bella, please!” I begged as the tears began to flow out of my eyes.
“Jacob?” Sam said unsurely. “Jake, stop, I don’t think she’s…”
“NO!” I shouted at him continuing to pound on her chest. I wasn’t going to let him finish that sentence.
Sam hesitated over me for another minute before trying again.
“Jacob stop. There’s nothing more you can do.” he said. I was painfully glad he didn’t order it in his alpha tone. I had absolutely no intention of stopping until I saw her breath. I shook my head at him.
“Jacob, please, stop. You need to stop, she’s…she’s gone.” He was getting agonizingly close to using the alpha tone, but I kept at it.
“No!” I said vehemently.
And then in the tone I dreaded he shouted my name. “Jacob…”
Before he could finish Bella’s body shuddered. She arched her back and began coughing violently. I stopped pounding my hands into her chest and pulled her up into my arms.
“Bella!” I cried with relief. I glared up at Sam to see the shock and relief on his face. As much as I wanted to be angry at him I couldn’t. Bella was alive. She was breathing and I was holding her in my arms. He body was shaking fiercely from the cold. Her hands felt like ice against my bare chest.
“Get her back to the house, and keep her warm!” he ordered. I stood to my feet with Bella in my arms and ran as fast as I could back to the house.
I pulled Bella close to me trying to force my body heat in to her and I jogged back to the house. Her body felt like ice against the bare skin of my chest. Once I was inside the tiny living room I laid Bella on the sofa next to the radiator and turned the dial to high. When it didn’t come on I slammed my fist into the side of the metal and cursed under my breath at it. With a few sputters it finally kicked on. Though Bella was already fast asleep, or passed out, her body was still convulsing with shivers and her exposed skin was still a sickly white. She resembled someone…something… I refused to think of. I hurried down the hall and grabbed several blankets from the closet and returned to the living room. I lifted Bella up into one arm and with my free arm I wrapped one blanket tightly around her damp body then carefully laid her back on the sofa. I tucked the other blanket around her.
I sat on the floor next the sofa starring at Bella’s pale face and tried not to think about who it reminded me of. Her lips were still trembling and I lifted my hand thoughtlessly to brush her cheek. Her skin was like ice against the warmth of my palm. Without warning the phrase “cold one” went through my mind. I shook my head vigorously trying to push the image out of my thoughts. I refused to think of Bella that way. There was no way I was ever going to allow that happen to my Bella. Nearly losing her today in the water was the worst feeling I had ever had in my entire life. The agonizing pain and disorientation of my first transformation was nothing compared to what I felt today when I thought I lost Bella. I couldn’t imagine my life without her now. She was too much a part of me now. If Bella died, I was sure to die right along with her. If only she knew how deep I was in with her now. I had always felt strongly for Bella, ever since the first day she brought the bikes to my house. She looked like death that day and somehow, being together seemed to bring her back to life. My feelings had only grown stronger for her every day since then, but I had done good to hide them well. I wasn’t sure how I was going to hide it anymore. What I felt for Bella now was so much more than what I felt before. Almost losing her made me realize the fullest extent of my feeling for Bella. I loved her. I was in love with her. My heart hung on every breath she took. My breath caught in my throat as I remembered how close she came to never taking another breath again after this morning. Tears began to weld up in my eyes again at the memory of her ghostly white face and ashen grey lips when I laid her lifeless body on the sand. I shook my head again trying to push it out of my thought. Her lips were faintly gaining more color now and I traced my finger over them. Her bottom lip trembled against my finger as another shiver shook her body where she lay. I turned to inspect the radiator only to find it wasn’t working again. When it failed to revive after several punches into the side of it I decided to improvise. Bella needed heat and I would be darned if I was going to sit here and watch her continue to shiver like that. I scooted her closer to the inside of the sofa and I laid down beside her wrapping my arms around her body and pulling her close to mine. I could smell the salt in her hair as I snuggled up close to her, again tried to force my body heat into her. After several minutes I felt her body begin to relax into mine and her shivers stop. I breathed a deep sigh of relief and I could feel my eye lids begin to get heavy. I couldn’t remember the last time I slept more than two hours straight and the exhaustion was beginning to wear on me. I had so much to worry about with Victoria on the loose and trying to protect my brothers and Bella at the same time. But with Bella here, safe in my arms, where anything that would try to harm her would have to go through me first, I felt at ease. I gave in to the exhaustion then and let the sleep take over.
I wasn’t sure how long we had been sleeping when I awoke to the phone ringing. I carefully tried to pull away from Bella without waking her then raced into the kitchen and got to the receiver just in time before the machine picked up.
“Hello?” I said, sleep still heavy in my voice.
“Jake, where have you been? I have tried calling several times!” Sam said with irritation.
“Sorry, I was, uh, I was sleeping.” I said sounding confused. My brain must still be asleep.
“Where is Bella? How is she?” he said, concern clear in his tone.
“She is still here; she is sleeping on the sofa right now.”
“Did you check her for any injuries?”
“Well, no.” I hadn’t thought about doing that.
“How long has she been asleep?”
I turned in circles around the kitchen until I found the clock that read 4:28 PM. Wow, had we really been asleep that long?
“Um, about six hours I suppose. Ever since I got her back to the house.”
“And you didn’t check her head for any injuries?” he said with shock in his tone. “Jacob, she could have a concussion! You shouldn’t let her sleep, she needs to see a doctor!” he ordered.
“Well, how was I supposed to know that, I’m not a doctor? And you are the one who told me to take her back to the house in the first place!” I snapped back.
“Well, wake her up. Check her out and then get her to the hospital for a check up, first thing!” he said, trying not to sound as irritated.
“Sure, sure.” I replied hanging up the receiver.
I was just headed back to the living room when I heard Bella gasp sharply. I raced to her side not able to hide the worry on my face. She was grasping at her sides defensively and agony clear in her eyes. I begged her to tell me what hurt and what was wrong, but she wouldn’t tell me. I decided not to waste any more time. Bella needed to get to the hospital at once, and I wasn’t taking no for an answer. Of course she refused to let me help her, which I wasn’t going to allow. As much as I hated to admit it Sam was right and I could have kicked myself for not taking her to the hospital sooner. And though I hated to see her in any pain I was relieved it seemed to be her side hurting her and not her head, and that she was awake and not lost in some deep coma from head trauma. Bella was just as stubborn as ever and wouldn’t let me help her to the car until she proved to herself she was incapable of a simple of task as walking to the car. I quickly swept her up in my arms and gladly carried her the rest of the way. While she was going through many tests and x-rays at the hospital I internally I was a panicky mess. What if something was really wrong with her that I could have prevented had I just thought to bring her sooner. I paced back and forth impatiently in the waiting room until they finally released Bella with the conclusion she had a few cracked ribs. Though that was bad enough to make me want to rip myself apart, I was relieved it was only that and nothing worse.
I thought about the car ride back to her house. At first everything seemed fine. Then Bella began to look and feel tense beneath my arm. She said she wasn’t in any pain, but I knew better. A few cracked ribs had to hurt, but that was typical Bella, trying to be strong and brave. But I could tell her discomfort was more than just physical pain. Something more was wrong with Bella, and I couldn’t put my hand on it. I hadn’t done anything out of the norm. I usually rode with my arm around her, especially if she was cold. So I hadn’t thought that was what upset her. We hadn’t said much of anything to each other either. And as far as I could remember there was nothing I could fathom that could set off the reaction she had when we finally arrived at Charlie’s house. She seemed dreadfully sad and it broke my heart to see her that way and not knowing how to fix it or make it better. I was so confused about what was going on when Bella all but ran into Charlie’s house that it completely took me off guard when she turned around and flung herself into my arms and kissed me the way she did. I was so stunned I think it even took me a second before I began to kiss her back. When her lips touched mine it was like a shot of electricity through my body and I was frozen in disbelief. I was so sure that she couldn’t have actually meant to do what she was doing. I was convinced that perhaps she just tripped into my arms instead of throwing herself into them and her lips just happened to land right on mine instead of intentionally locking into a passionate kiss. But when she didn’t pull away and realization set in it didn’t matter to me the reason why. I was just so happy to finally have her in this moment with her body so close to mine and her soft lips pressed softly against mine that there was so reason at all that mattered right then. Part of me was thinking I shouldn’t be allowing this to happen right now, while she was so emotional and clearly not thinking straight. I knew Bella felt differently for me then I did for her. I knew she said she wasn’t sure she could ever feel the way for me as I did for her. And I certainly couldn’t expect her to return the love I undoubtedly felt for her now. I knew I should stop this and not continue to let her do something I knew she would later regret. And I knew letting this happen would only torture me more later when she did regret it. But all I could think about was wanting to feel her body closer to mine. I wrapped my arms around her lifting her up and pulling her closer to me feeling the length of her tiny body against me. I placed one hand on the back of her neck and pulled her face closer in to mine. Her lips moved smoothly and sweetly over mine and my heart ached at the nearness of this moment’s end. I knew it was inevitable and too soon Bella pulled away. I starred into her eyes for a moment searching desperately for the meaning behind all this before she lowered her face into my chest and breathed heavily. My heart was racing and my hands shaking. Scared I had let it go too far and terrified to already see the regret I reluctantly released my grip on her and took a few steps back. I was scared to look into her eyes, afraid of what I would see there. Certain I would see regret and knowing it would tear me apart when I did. But I risked on glance into her eyes anyway. I must be a sucker for torture. I was surprised when it wasn’t regret that I saw on her face, but crushed to still see that terribly sad look in her eyes that I didn’t understand. I was sure there was something I should say at this point but I was honestly at a loss for words.
“I’m sorry Jake.” she choked out in such a sad voice I thought it would crush me. “I have to go…I’ll talk to you tomorrow, ok?” She didn’t wait for a response before she turned and ran back into the house.
“Bella…” I called after her, but she was already closing the door behind her. And there I stood with a blank look on my face and utterly confused about everything that just happened.
I looked up to Bella’s window again from where I laid in the brush. Still no sight or sound of her and it was killing me not knowing what was going on. A few hours had passed since I saw the chief turn in for the night and his bedroom light go out. Surely he was sound asleep by now and wouldn’t notice a larger than normal wolf walking across the back yard. I wasn’t sure what I was doing, but I couldn’t just lay there in the woods any longer without knowing if Bella was alright. I needed to see her. When I reached the bottom of the tree outside her bedroom window I realized climbing it in my wolf form was going to be nearly impossible so I trekked back into the woods and transformed back into my human form. After slipping back on my clothes I walked out to the tree again, this time climbing right up it with no difficultly. It still amazed me how easily seemingly difficult tasks were for me now. I perched on the branch outside Bella’s window and peeked in. I could see Bella lying in her bed and her body appeared to be shaking. Was she cold? Then I heard it; he heartbreaking sound of Bella crying and sobbing loudly. I thought my heart would shatter and I nearly jumped through her window and wrapped her in my arms. Whatever was tearing her apart so badly I desperately wanted to make it better. I felt helpless and furious that there was nothing I could do. Whatever was making her cry now was nothing I could physically fight away and that thought enraged me. I had to get away, I couldn’t bare to sit here any longer listening to her helpless sobs. It felt like my heart was being ripped out with every cry she made. I leaped to the ground in one smooth motion and landed soundlessly on the grass below.
I jogged back to the edge of the forest and barely had my clothes off before transforming back into my wolf form. But I didn’t have time to think after that. As soon I was in my wolf form I heard the voices of my brothers screaming in my head.
“Jacob, she’s coming for Bella!” I heard Jared’s panicked thoughts.
“She tricked us! She slipped right passed us! I don’t know how it happened!” Paul thought.
“We’re almost there Jake, hang in there, we’re coming!” Jared assured.
Then a chill ran down my spine as I head Sam’s thought “Look out Jake! Behind you!”
I turned just in time to see a red flame headed straight for me.