|The Passing Years
Author: rainypromise PM
After Eclipse,Jacob came back, got his life together and did pretty good,then he found out that for the last two years, Bella had been living in Port Angeles, that she was still human and unmarried. So now, of course, all bets are off.Rated: Fiction M - English - Romance/Drama - Jacob & Bella - Chapters: 40 - Words: 114,949 - Reviews: 2,035 - Favs: 1,280 - Follows: 1,065 - Updated: 09-23-10 - Published: 11-12-08 - id: 4652621
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
The Passing Years
A Twilight Fanfiction
It's been four years, but the memory of her was still fresh in Jacob Black's mind.
Hard for it not to be, since he was surrounded with familiar places and familiar faces.
She never called.
He hears about her once in a while from Charlie, trivial stuff, ordinary stuff. He can't believe Charlie—a cop—bought her false assurance and half lies. 'I'm fine, I'm good, college is great' were her usual responses. She never went into the personal stuff, never went into details.
Jacob wonders about her change.
The bitterness left him two years back and he was able to function without thinking of her for long periods of time, so he don't know what it was about today that made her scramble across his mind.
He almost muddled an oil change, a task that he could do with one hand tied behind his back and two of his eyes close…when he was eight.
He passed high school—barely—and started a garage with Embry and Quil two years later. It was hard, sure, and they almost didn't survive the first year, but they persevered and fumbled through. It was a good thing that Jacob already had a name for fixing stuff on the rez, and those same people said some things to the right people. It helped that there was no decent—reasonably priced—garage around Forks for people to go to.
Besides, it was fun working with his brothers—most of the time.
They have our strengths and weaknesses, and their contrast in character blended into their work seamlessly, complementing each other with their different skill sets. Quil was the people person, Jacob was the machine whisperer, as they jokingly call him, and Embry was the man for the details and paperwork who nagged both of them constantly.
If they needed some extra hands, the pack was always ready to help.
Jacob's hands fumbled with the box wrench and he cursed silently. He was never going to finish this in time if he kept going like this. He ducked out of the hood and picked up a bottle of water.
The sky was darkening, and from the scent of the air, it looked like rain.
"Jake, man. You're not done yet?"
He rolled his eyes at Embry's arrival, his voice already taking on that needling tone that he got whenever something didn't fit in his schedule. "It will be."
"I'm just saying, that Mike kid will come to pick it up at-"
"Nine. I know, Embry."
Embry eyed him the way a good friend would when they noticed something was wrong. "You've been distracted all day."
Jacob wiped the sweat off his face with the bandana that he kept in his back pocket. "Just some things on my mind."
"What kind of things?"
He turned back toward the car and ducked under the hood, fiddling with the machine without really thinking, hoping Embry would go away, knowing that he wouldn't. Embry saw the look on his face. "Jake-"
"You have to-"
"I know, Embry. Give it a rest." He can sense his friend's eyes on him, but ignored that too. Whatever Embry was going to say was cut short when footsteps entered the garage. "Boys, how's it going?"
Embry stepped up to the plate, knowing he wasn't in the mood for visitors. "Good, Parker. How are you?"
Peter Parker was an amiable man who knew nothing about machines and had a fondness for a good chat, so he was a familiar face around the garage. Well-rounded and white-haired, they've joked often enough that he looked like Santa Claus and behaved like one too. Always good-natured, always had candy for the kids that followed him around like he was God, always had a smile for everyone, and the name was enough to have some kids do some hero-worshipping.
He was one of our customers that Jacob didn't hate for what they did to their cars. At the very least, Parker admitted his ineptitude and followed his orders to a T.
Jacob smiled and waved hi with the bandana to the older man.
"How are you, Jacob?"
"I'm good, Parker."
"My." He squinted his blue eyes at the both of them. "Are you guys still growing? You look bigger every time I see you."
Embry snorted. "Unlikely, Parker. If we get any bigger, we'll be giants. You came for your sedan, then? It's ready."
"Yes, yes." He nodded. "You boys are always so punctual."
The smile on Embry's face was sharp as he turned to look at Jacob. "We try. I'll get it for you."
He patted Jacob on the back. "I'll wait here with Jacob, then.
How is your father, Jacob?"
"Sam and Emily? Still wrapped up in marital bliss?"
He smiled at the thought of Sam and Emily's wedding a year ago. "Sickeningly."
Parker laughed. "Glad to hear it. When you're old like me, Jacob, you relish any kind of good news that you get."
They turned at the sound of a dying engine at the front door and saw Embry getting out of Parker's car. "Here you go, Parker. Don't let it tempt you to let loose on the highway now."
Parker grinned. "And here's your check." The check disappeared into one of Embry's jacket pockets the way Quil's money does whenever he enters into a bet with him.
Parker was on his way outside when he turned as in afterthought. "You know Chief Swan's daughter, Isabella, don't you, boys?"
Embry slid his dark eyes at Jacob, probably sensing his tension. "Yes."
"I saw her in Port Angeles the other day, so I wondered whether she was back."
"That's not possible." Jacob muttered through stiff lips.
The man nodded. "Yes, I did hear she was in…Alaska? Was it?"
"Yes." He breathed out against the wild thump of my heart. "So it can't possibly be her."
"I'm pretty sure it was her, Jacob. I saw her from up close. She was even wearing that unique bracelet of hers." He rolled his eyes. "I remembered because my granddaughter wanted one just like it – the one with the charms; a wolf and a seashell."
Jacob felt the blood drain from his face and his heart clenched tightly in remembrance.
"Oh well. Maybe she was just visiting." He waved at us, not realizing that Jacob was frozen in place.
He shook my head and turned away from Embry's probing eyes. "Leave it alone."
"I saw her too, Jake."
He turned back to him. "What?"
"I saw her at Charlie's when we were patrolling. " He smiled warily at him. "She left us cookies and milk." He shifted his feet. "She's back."
Jacob blinked at him; his mind wasn't able to process this new piece of information. "What?"
"She's back. She's been back for months."
Jacob tossed down the remaining water that he had, but my throat still burned. "…matter."
"It doesn't matter."
Embry looked at him like he was nuts. "I'm telling you that the girl you've been driving yourself crazy over is back and you say it doesn't matter?"
"Jake, don't you get it? She's still human. She's not in Alaska with them. The vampires didn't follow her. She wasn't even wearing a ring."
"What?" He repeated dumbly, his brain numbed with shock.
"I don't think she's married."
He shook his head, trying not to hope, but it gripped his heart with tight, slippery fingers. "No, I was there, Embry."
"You were there before it even started. It was delayed – she was sick or something. Then the next thing we know, they moved. Who knows what happened? Maybe she changed her mind."
Jacob turned away and kicked the toolbox. It clanged loudly as it slid to a corner. "Damn it, Embry. Why are you telling me this? For years, you guys kept telling me I should move on."
He glared at him, trying to smother the pain with anger. "Have I what?"
He didn't have an answer to that, so he just stomped away to pick up the toolbox. "I don't want to talk about it. For once I'm listening to you guys, ok? I'm staying far away."
"She asked us not to tell you."
The taste of betrayal was slick and acidic, though Jacob wasn't quite clear on whose betrayal hurt most. "Whatever."
"She probably didn't want to lead you on again. But since now you already know, I just thought I'd clear it up for you."
"It's clear." He narrowed his eyes at the tangle of wires he was supposed to be working on.
"She has a bookstore/café in Port Angeles. It's quite popular."
Books and food, it suits her.
"It's called Bells."
When he didn't react, Embry threw his hands up in the air. "Look, she asked us not to tell you, but come on, this is a small town. Sure, she doesn't live at Charlie's anymore, but you're bound to see one another. She knows that. She's probably waiting for you to notice."
"Fine." he wrenched my tools out of the box and dove into the hood.
"Didn't you say this should be done by nine?" he asked Embry without looking his way. He kept up his pretense well after he heard Embry's feet shuffle back into the office, and then he just sat down on the floor and relearned how to breathe.