Author: madaboutforks PM
Jacob has Nessie… but can he keep her? When Nessie encounters a tracker with a dark past, her world begins to change and her deepest loyalties are put to the test. A Nessie and Jake love story. Canon.Rated: Fiction T - English - Romance/Adventure - Renesmee C./Nessie & Jacob - Chapters: 64 - Words: 258,164 - Reviews: 395 - Favs: 67 - Follows: 88 - Updated: 05-11-13 - Published: 09-17-11 - id: 7389113
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
Disclaimer: All publicly recognizable characters, settings, etc. are the property of their respective owners. The original characters and plot are the property of the authors. No money is being made from this work. No copyright infringement is intended. This is just a tribute.
Thank you to willowbae for being the best beta ever! :)
Leo – travelling with Jake
Once upon a time my life was simple.
Everything had made sense.
And I hadn't found myself sitting in an airport departure lounge, at five o'clock in the morning, beside a snoring werewolf.
Of course, that was before Kathy had blasted into my consciousness and put me in touch with my 'feelings.'
Since then, fun had been pretty thin on the ground.
It was Thursday morning. Jake and I had been waiting at Sea-Tac all night and I was seriously bored. Even Valerie, the check-in girl, had gone home, so there was no one left to talk to. And it was still two hours until our flight.
I took out my picture of Kathy. I could hardly believe that I would be seeing her soon. For the first time in forever, looking at her photograph didn't make me feel sad, a little nervous maybe, but definitely not sad.
I really liked the fact that I could smell her at the airport, and I knew that I would pick up her fragrance again when we reached Anchorage. It baffled me that I had lived for fifty five years without being able to smell her scent. How the hell had I survived?
Another hour and a half dragged by so slowly that I began to wonder if time had actually started turning backwards. My impatience to see Kathy was getting worse by the second. It took every ounce of my self-control not to start pacing the floor. I just couldn't wait to be with her again. I had to see her. I needed to know that she was ok.
My daydreams were probably slightly more optimistic than they should have been. For instance, I didn't dwell on the fact that she might not give me the friendliest reception. I tried to pretend that vampires didn't have long memories.
Half an hour before our flight, I decided to wake Jacob. He was pretty sound asleep, so I gave him a helpful shove and he awoke with a jolt. He sat up quickly, looking slightly disorientated. It was still dark outside and so it was no surprise when he asked.
"What time is it?"
"Six thirty. I thought you might want a chance to wake up properly, before they called our flight."
"Thanks." He stretched and rubbed his eyes, before glancing around him. "I need to clean up, where's the restroom?"
"Over there." I pointed helpfully.
During the night I'd plenty of time to get to know the layout of the departure lounge. Jake rifled through his backpack and found a toothbrush. He went off to the restroom, and I watched the departure lounge gradually fill with people who'd spent the night in more sensible places than we had.
Once we had boarded the plane I started to feel more cheerful. We were finally moving. The cheerfulness only lasted until I saw our seats. I gave an inward groan. I was six foot four and Jake was even taller than me, so the thought of being squashed together in this cramped pair of seats, for three and a half hours, was hardly inviting.
We sat down and tried unsuccessfully to give each other space. I huffed in frustration; this was ridiculous, there was no legroom. I glanced up the aisle, trying to figure out how to get a better seat. At that precise moment I caught the conversation coming from the food preparation area. The stewardesses were gossiping about Jake and me.
"Hey Nicki, did you get a load of those two big guys? Wow! My boyfriend asked me to call in sick today. I'm glad I ignored him."
"I know. I thought I was going pass out when they boarded. I'm going to take another look. I wonder if they need anything..."
Ten minutes later we were sitting in our upgraded seats.
Jake turned to me with a confounded expression. "Do you always do that?"
"What can I say?" I gave a smug smile. "We're all good at something." He rolled his eyes, and I grinned. "I think the word you're looking for is 'thanks.'"
"Ok, ok… thank you." He laughed and added with a shake of his head. "But that poor girl has my sympathy."
"Are you kidding?" I boasted. "I made her day!"
Nicki and Gloria turned out to be pretty nice. During the flight they even managed to magic up two extra breakfasts for Jake, in spite of the fact that he'd already eaten mine as well as his own. I avoided the food by telling the girls that I was 'in training', without bothering to explain what I was training for.
They seemed perfectly satisfied with my vague excuse and didn't press me further. Jake was friendly and polite to the stewardesses, but I could tell that he was far more interested in the food than the girls who provided it. To be honest, he seemed almost entirely oblivious of them.
After Gloria's fourth failed attempt to catch his eye, my thoughts turned to his relationship with Nessie. I found myself thinking about the conversation that I'd had with her, and all the things that Carlisle had told my brother.
Jacob had a special wolf connection with Nessie called imprinting; Hal had explained it to me. Apparently this bond had been forged when she was just a baby, and it made her the focal point of his entire existence. I'd certainly had a chance to witness the intensity of his feelings for Red when he'd enacted that Greek tragedy in his garage.
But I was interested to know more – besides having several hours to kill – so I turned to Jake with curiosity.
"Can I ask you something?"
He threw me a sardonic smile. "If I said 'no', would it make any difference?"
That was good enough for me.
"I've heard some of the history of your tribe and the Cullens, and how you did that imprinting on Red..."
"And?" His eyes narrowed in suspicion.
"Why did you imprint on a vampire hybrid? I thought you guys were supposed to hate leeches."
"I don't know exactly why," he replied matter-of-factly. "It was involuntary."
I pondered his answer for a second. "I guess now you just have to put up with it, right?"
I'd forgotten the whole 'wolf guys are super touchy' issue, but was reminded of it when Jacob threw me an angry glare.
"I don't put up with Nessie," he snapped. "I want to be with her. I love her."
I was still curious, so I ignored his irritation and asked calmly. "So, does imprinting blind you to the whole 'vampire' thing?"
I couldn't imagine what would make a wolf love a vampire, if it wasn't for some supernatural hocus-pocus. Jake gave me an appraising look. He must have decided that I wasn't deliberately trying to piss him off, because his annoyance faded.
"No, it's just the opposite. Some people think that imprinting is like being put under a spell, but it's not like that. Really you're just seeing the truth about the other person. Imprinting allowed me to see Nessie clearly, without being blinded by my prejudices. It gave me a window straight to her soul and showed me how beautiful she is, inside and out."
He then added with obvious sincerity. "I don't want her to be any different; she's perfect. Nessie is the very best thing in my life."
I was interested that he made no effort to play down his complete devotion to Red. He didn't even pretend to care whether or not I approved. Jacob's total disregard for my good opinion did him no harm in my eyes. I was even a little envious of him. He didn't have to hide his feelings. He could openly acknowledge them. He could tell Nessie – hell, he could tell everyone – that he loved her.
I was suddenly struck by the realisation that I'd never been able to do that with Kathy. I had never told her how I felt about her. This was hardly surprising; she'd have been absolutely horrified.
But before I could get any further with this self-pitying train of thought, I remembered why my relationship with Katherine was so bad, and precisely whose fault it was. So instead of getting depressed, I consoled myself with the fact that things were by no means perfect for Jake either. I turned to him with a cryptic smile.
"I guess being with Red almost makes up for the fact that you'll probably end up with Edward as a father-in-law."
For a second his expression was completely unreadable, and just as I was getting worried that he was about to go all touchy again, he gave a short laugh.
"I guess so."
As he didn't seem to be offended, I had to ask. "How do you cope with the guy?"
"I generally get on ok with him," he acknowledged. "In some ways his mind reading has helped. I mean, he understood the way that I felt about Nessie when I imprinted on her, and it would have been really tough if he hadn't. So that was good."
I remembered some of the things that Nessie had told me about her accelerated aging, and frowned. "Didn't Red reach full maturity by the age of seven? That was ten years ago. Haven't things got more complicated since then?"
Jacob shook his head and smiled cautiously. "Not until about eighteen months ago, when she started to see me differently."
"What do you mean?"
"Although she was physically and intellectually advanced at the age of seven, in other ways Nessie was still really emotionally immature. She'd only had seven years of life experience under her belt and a pretty sheltered upbringing. She did gradually grow up, but it took longer. She wasn't ready for an adult relationship until fairly recently."
I gazed at Jake in awe. He must be the most restrained guy on the planet. "So didn't it bother you, hanging around for years, waiting for her?"
"No, it didn't," he explained calmly. "It's an important aspect of imprinting that you are always responding to what the other person needs. So during that time a whole side of my nature was basically put on ice. I hardly noticed what I was missing, just being around her made me happy; it was enough.
"Maybe I was even a little relieved, I didn't want her to be forced into adulthood at the age of seven, she was still so young. I would have felt like I was robbing her youth. I didn't start to see her in any other way until her feelings about me began to change. That didn't happen until she was sixteen."
I could relate to this more than I thought I would. My happiest memories were of the months when Kathy and I had travelled together, and we were never a couple – let's face it, for weeks she would hardly even speak to me – but I'd still enjoyed spending time with her. I nodded appreciatively.
"That must have been good."
I could only imagine how I would have felt if Kathy had fallen in love with me, and I was suddenly envious again.
"It was pretty stressful at first." Jake gave a rueful smile. "For both of us. But it's working out ok."
"So now you just have to deal with Edward."
"Most of the time he doesn't bother me that much…"
Jake glanced at me warily, unsure of how much he should be revealing. He didn't need to worry; I wasn't about to go telling tales – well, not deliberately – so I prompted him.
"But, I worry about Nessie."
At this moment Gloria reappeared to offer us drinks. She tried for a fifth time to catch Jake's attention, and failed – again. When she finally went away, I returned to the conversation.
"What do you mean?"
"It's hard for Nessie; she's under a lot of pressure from her family. They're never obvious about it. They probably don't even realise what they're doing. They let her have a controlled freedom." His mouth was drawn into a hard line as he added. "But they yank hard on that leash the second she strays."
There was obviously some background here. I narrowed my eyes. "What do you mean?"
"Like the way that Edward stopped me taking Nessie surfing at Mavericks. We would have been there this week if it wasn't for him." He frowned in frustration. "She was so excited about it and had made all these plans. I'd promised her that we could go, but then Edward stepped in, so I had to let her down and she was really disappointed. I felt terrible."
As I listened to his tale, I suddenly realised that I had screwed up this guy's life even more than I'd previously thought. Although I'd advised Nessie to seduce Jacob on a romantic vacation – which was doing him a favour – it was through me that Edward had found out about her plan.
I had accidentally given her away by thinking about it in front of Mr Psychic. There was no way that Edward was going to let her go away with Jake after that. I didn't exactly feel like confessing my little slip-up to Jake, so I decided not to say anything and stuck to the problems at hand, which were his girlfriend and her father.
"You know, it sounds to me like someone's just about due for a little teen rebellion," I said cheerfully. "I'd love to be a fly on the wall when Red gives Edward the brush off. That promises to be one hell of a showdown."
I smiled at this mental image and I noticed that even Jacob perked up. No wonder the idea of Nessie asserting her independence appealed to him. After all, he had been practicing superhuman levels of self-control for years, and Nessie's family had shown their gratitude by encouraging her to lie to him. Even if he quite liked the Cullens, Jake must have just about reached his limit with their interference.
"Do you think she will?" He asked, looking hopeful.
"Yeah, totally." I nodded. "But I wouldn't get too excited, if I were you. When she kicks back at her family, you'll probably be left picking up the pieces."
His face fell as he realised that this was true. "That'll be something to look forward to."
He had my sympathy, he'd accidentally imprinted on a high maintenance girl with a mind reading father. If the last couple of weeks were anything to go by, Jake was in for a rough ride; but that being said, I could still see a light at the end of the tunnel. There was certainly no need for him to get downhearted; at least she loved him back. I smiled encouragingly.
"Don't worry; in the long run it will still work out better when she does, especially for the two of you. Like I told you before, you're already in a battle, so you have to expect some trouble. But she's worth it, isn't she?"
He nodded and answered in a low voice. "Always."
"Just make sure that you're there when it kicks off with her family," I advised him. "Because she'll need your back-up."
As I let Jacob digest these words, my mind returned to Katherine. Even though Jake was unaware of my connection with her, I still had no idea how much his girlfriend knew. Whatever happened, they would all discover the truth as soon as Kathy saw me. But I didn't really want to cross that bridge until I came to it. It was easier to say nothing, for now.
But I was still desperate to find out how she was and what she'd been doing all these years. So after a few minutes, I started a new conversation and tried to sound as if I was only speaking out of idle curiosity.
"Red told me about her cousins in Denali," I said casually. "Seth said that they'd invited her friend to stay, and that was why they both decided to go to Alaska."
"That's right. They heard that Katherine was a vegetarian and asked her to visit them." He then threw me a mischievous grin. "I'm surprised that Nessie hasn't talked them into inviting you to Denali yet."
"Why's that?" I asked suspiciously.
Jake gave a smirk. "So you can fall in love with her cousin Tanya." He noticed my puzzled expression and explained. "Nessie is an enthusiastic matchmaker. The fact that you're both single vegetarians will be a good enough reason in her eyes. She'll see you fair game. For that matter…" he added cryptically. "So will Tanya."
I smiled. "Thanks. I'll consider myself warned."
"Luckily for you, the other girls have mates, so Nessie can't get too carried away," he added reassuringly, and turned his attention to the fruit salad that Gloria had just lavished upon him.
Jacob was too busy searching for a fork to notice the effect that his words had upon me. What was he saying? The other girls had mates. Wait a second…! His innocent statement sent me reeling with shock.
Did Kathy have a MATE…?
I couldn't believe that it had never occurred to me before. Maybe I hadn't wanted to face the possibility. I'd just accepted that because Kathy was alone in Forks, she must be unattached. But I suddenly realised that there was no reason to assume that she was single.
As his words sunk in, my thoughts remained in a state of chaos. I may have accepted that she wasn't mine, but apparently I had a little more trouble with the idea that Katherine might now belong to someone else. I actually found myself fighting back a snarl, as I pictured her with another man.
Screw the idea of wanting her to be happy, or the fact that I hadn't seen her in over fifty years and had absolutely no rights in the matter. I didn't give a damn that Kathy didn't belong to me and probably hated my guts. At that moment I just wanted to kill any son of a bitch who dared to claim her.
I was stunned by the sheer intensity of the jealousy and rage that coursed through me. I'd never been a sadist – I preferred to deliver death quickly – but I knew that I would happily make an exception of any guy who thought he could have Katherine. I would enjoy ending his existence slowly and painfully.
Averting my face, I pretended to inspect my armrest, while battling the temptation to rip the seat in front of me from its fittings and vent my anger by trashing the plane. Thankfully, Jacob was completely unaware of the little drama being played out in my head. He took a bite of his fruit salad and added, without looking up.
"Apart from Katherine, that is."
"Huh…?" My head shot round. What the hell was he saying now?
"Yeah, I forgot…"
His eyes were still on his food, and I held my breath. I wasn't sure if I could handle any more of Jacob's revelations.
"Nessie's friend, Katherine, is single too."
The relief that this simple statement produced in me was overwhelming. I could only be grateful that Jake wasn't watching me, because there was no hiding the extreme changes in my expression. I stayed silent, fighting to get a hold of myself.
The strength of my feelings was starting to worry me. I had been so excited by the possibility of seeing Kathy again, that I'd given very little thought to what would happen next. It was pretty clear that I didn't have any emotional detachment when it came to her. Just two minutes spent talking about her had thrown my feelings into hopeless disarray.
How was I going to cope if she told me to get lost? Would I fall apart completely? My God, would I burst into tears? Crying had never been my thing, and I knew that I couldn't produce real tears, but I was probably still capable of sobbing. It had never crossed my mind before, but I was starting to worry that when it came to Kathy anything was possible.
And what if she was generous enough to speak to me, and agreed to hang out for a couple of days in Denali. What was I going to do when she went away at the end of them?
It was typical of me to make snap decisions with no thought of the consequences. But I was starting to realise just how badly this reunion could go. Apart from Katherine's potentially negative reaction, there was the added complication of how Jake and Red would feel when they discovered the truth. I couldn't imagine that they would be pleased.
But even as I considered these problems, I realised that my resolve to see Kathy was unshakable. Whatever the future held, I wasn't going to turn back now. Even if I was turned to ash, I would still blow in her direction.
By the time Jake glanced up from his food, I'd managed to compose my features. He was still thinking about his girlfriend's possible matchmaking, because he turned to me, meeting my eye with a serious expression.
"Tanya would probably be the better option…" was his slightly unexpected comment.
"Why's that?" I tried to keep the challenge out of my voice. Why would anyone want this Tanya girl, when Kathy was in the offing?
"She's had loads of guys, she doesn't care. But Katherine isn't like that. I think that she could be hurt if things didn't work out."
He was still watching me, trying to gauge my reaction, but I deliberately kept my expression passive. Analysing his words, I realised that I had completely misunderstood Jacob's previous comment. He didn't rate this Tanya above Kathy. He just thought that I was a user and was politely telling me which girl he would prefer to see used.
Apparently, Tanya was already a slut, so he didn't care if I got involved with her. I wasn't offended by his unflattering assessment of me. Jake showed pretty good instincts. If he'd been thinking of any girl but Katherine, he would have been right.
"Ok, fine." I nodded in agreement.
Jake seemed relieved. I was genuinely surprised that he cared enough about Kathy to try and protect her from me.
"To be honest, there was probably no need to say anything, anyway." He gave a slight smile.
"What do you mean?"
"I can't really see Katherine giving any guy the time of day. She's kind of… suspicious. Some of the things she told Nessie…" He paused for a second, seeming reluctant to give too much away and then ended with a note of finality. "I don't think she's looking for a relationship."
"Sure." I shrugged and affected unconcern, while inside I felt anything but.
Jake had revealed that Kathy had a distrust of men. Even though I should have expected it, his words made me feel really guilty. I remembered the part I had played in forming her outlook, and for the first time, instead of being glad that she was single, I just felt sorry that she was all alone. She deserved better than that.
Being unaware of my internal stresses, Jake continued straightforwardly. "Having said that, you'll probably get on ok with Katherine, she's pretty friendly." He smiled and added cheerfully. "And she's got some crazy stories about her travels, though she always keeps the worst for when Nessie isn't around.
"Like the time she had to escape from four vampire pirates off the coast of Thailand, who thought she was a witch, because of her golden eyes. Or another time, when she got shot by marines and the bullets bounced off, but she had to pretend to be dead anyway. She was nearly buried in a mass grave!"
Although I pretended to be entertained by these anecdotes, they in reality they chilled me to the bone. It seemed that Kathy had survived a number of hideous experiences since escaping from my tender mercies. This knowledge made feel me even more remorseful.
She should never have been left unprotected. Everything that had happened to her was my fault. If I hadn't driven her away, she wouldn't have been so vulnerable. How in the hell was I ever going to make up for this? I didn't have any answers, so I tried to put it from my mind, with limited success.
For the rest of the flight we stuck to more impersonal topics of conversation. Jake told me some more background to his history with the Cullens. It was entertaining to hear the story from a wolf's point of view. I suddenly realised that there were some important details that the vampires hadn't really bothered to mention.
The battle with the vampire Victoria sounded cool. But I was surprised that the Cullens had let things get so out of hand. Didn't they know the first rule of vampire slaying? Never leave the mate alive. You were only setting yourself up for trouble, if you did. 'No loose ends' was my motto when I was tracking.
But I wasn't surprised that she'd been defeated in the end. From what I could tell, she was an amateur with no clue of how to train an army. Her feral pack of newborns wouldn't have stood a chance against any mature coven, especially one containing guys like Jasper and Emmett. Throw the wolves into the equation and she was a lost cause.
To be honest, she sounded like a total dumbass. Just your typical grudge-bearing vampire chick, making pointless trouble because her loser boyfriend had gone and got himself killed. She didn't care about her army; she'd only used them as a distraction so she could get to Bella.
What a wasted opportunity. If this Victoria taken more trouble, she would have trained up a decent fighting force and taken over some valuable hunting grounds instead. Of course, to maintain control of an army, she'd have to be more than just vicious. She'd have to be a real leader, which she clearly wasn't. I knew that Brandon would enjoy this story. I grinned as I pictured the look on his face when I told him about it.
Our conversation made the flight pass more quickly than I was expecting, but I was still relieved when it was finally over. I was eager to catch up with the girls, and there had been someone on the flight with a small cut. The smell of fresh blood had been circulating through the plane, making my throat burn, for the whole journey.
We said goodbye to Nicki and Gloria, and thanked them for all their help. And I got to enjoy the spectacle of Jake trying to refuse Gloria's number without hurting her feelings. He should have done what I did. When Nicki slipped her number into my back pocket, I just smiled and thanked her. You didn't actually have to tell a girl that you were never going to call. Jake's problem was that he was too honest.
At least we got through baggage collection without any further drama. We went to the Tourist Information desk and discovered when the next bus was heading out to Denali. It wasn't for a couple of hours, so we debated whether or not to just run there instead, but Jake pointed out that if he slept on the bus, he could run all night, once we arrived. This seemed like a reasonable suggestion, so I agreed and we spent the next two hours killing time at Anchorage International Airport.
Jake went to make a call home, and I entertained myself by following Kathy and Nessie's scent trails around the airport. Nessie had taken a look at the stuffed polar bear, which stood in the front entrance. And Kathy had bought a map of Denali from the gift shop. I was pleased that she was still following my advice after fifty five years. I was the one who'd taught her to read maps. Anyway it seemed like a smart idea, so I bought one too.
I then went to find Jake. I spotted him sitting near the exit. He was staring at the floor with a furrowed brow.
"Hey, what's up?"
"I just spoke to my dad." He glanced up at me. "He had Charlie on the phone this morning."
"That's Red's grandpa, right?"
"Yeah." Jake nodded. He was still frowning. "Apparently, Bella called Charlie last night, and it turned out that Nessie hadn't told her parents anything about her plans to go to Alaska. They're pretty pissed about it."
This made me smile. "Cool."
Red's revolution had finally started. And I had a feeling that it was going to be pretty funny. I had to hand it to the kid; she had real entertainment value. Unfortunately, this fact seemed to be lost on Jake, because he was only managing to look stressed. I sat down beside him.
"What's the problem? I told you they'd push her too far and I was right. You should be glad."
"I should be glad that she's gone AWOL?" He retorted angrily. "Right now, I don't even know if she's safe. And I've just discovered that she's also been lying to her family, and you think I should be pleased about the fact?"
"Sure. I mean it's a good sign. She told you where she was going, didn't she? So that means she's switched sides."
"I don't care about sides. I just want to know that she's ok." He leaned forwards and rested his elbows on his knees, burying his head in his hands. "I'm so worried about her."
In his current state, Jake forcibly reminded me of Brandon, and I tried to cheer him up. "Don't worry, that's why you've come here. You'll have caught up with her by tomorrow. Nothing's going to happen before then."
As I said the words I realised that I was still really worried too, about Nessie, Kathy and the whole damn mess. That sense of unrest was still lurking in the background and I would feel a lot easier when we had caught up with them. Not that I was going to escalate Jacob's anxieties by telling him that.
"I don't even know what I'm going to say when I see her," he sighed.
I hadn't really thought about this, but now I was curious. "Are you going to tell her what you know?"
"No." Jake looked up. His expression was tense. "I don't think Nessie wanted to lie to me, so I'd like to give her the chance to tell me herself. I think it would be better that way."
"What if she doesn't?"
"Then I guess I'll have to say something." He shook his head wearily. "Damn."
"She'll probably tell you," I reassured him. "I've never met a girl who can keep a secret."
Jake took a deep breath and glanced towards me with a slight smile. "I'm sorry for being like this. I don't know what the hell's wrong with me."
"That's ok, I get it. Wolves are drama queens… not like vampires," I added with a smug smile.
This drew an unexpected laugh from Jake. "I thought you'd met Edward!"
"Maybe he's the exception that proves the rule."
"Do you always have to get the last word?"
"Only when I'm awake." I grinned.
We waited at the airport until the bus for Denali arrived. Jake ate some more food – I hadn't been human for decades, but I swear the amount he consumed wasn't normal – and I used the time to memorise the Denali map. I hadn't visited Alaska before and I was looking forward to crossing some new terrain.
When the bus finally arrived, I was relieved to discover that it was almost empty, which meant that Jake and I didn't have to be squashed together for the whole six hour drive. He took over a pair of seats at the back of the bus and promptly fell asleep. I spent my time gazing out of the window as the wild, frozen scenery flashed past.
When we climbed off the bus at Wonder Lake, I caught Kathy's scent immediately. It made me feel strangely exhilarated; she was finally within my grasp. I glanced at the sky. It was already getting dark. The evening was overcast, but the weather was mild. It would be easy running. I couldn't wait to get going.
No one else alighted at the bus stop and the campground was completely deserted. It was probably too cold for most humans to want to camp out. Jake opened his backpack and pulled out a harness.
"Nessie made this for me ages ago," he explained with a smile. "She didn't want to get dumped carrying everything when we went camping."
He then proceeded to attach the harness to his backpack.
I raised my eyebrows. "How much did she end up carrying?"
He laughed. "What do you think?"
"I think your girl is spoiled."
He grinned and started to show me how the harness worked. I agreed to strap it onto him after he turned into a wolf.
When Jake phased, I finally realised why the Cullens had made a treaty with the wolves. I couldn't imagine any vampire faring well against a pack of these. I had to admit, I was impressed. He was very powerful looking, with a thick coat of reddish-brown fur covering his massive frame. It was funny to think of little Nessie ending up with a monster like this.
As I strapped on his backpack, I couldn't resist saying. "I guess you're a pretty good lap-dog for Red." I'd never seen a wolf roll its eyes before. It looked pretty funny, so I added with a smirk. "If she bought herself a cute little Chihuahua, would you get jealous?"
This was answered with a rumbling growl, which I decided to interpret as a 'yes.'
The sun had set by the time we were ready to go and it was absolutely freezing. I was glad that Nessie wasn't a normal human; otherwise I'd have been worried that she'd get hypothermia in this place. I could see that Jacob's thick fur was very useful; he didn't seem cold. I met his eyes.
"They won't have been able to get too far, Red isn't that fast. I guess we should just follow their trail until we catch up to them." He nodded in agreement and I asked. "You've got good night vision, right?"
There was another silent nod, before Jake turned towards the trail. It was leading through the pines in the direction of the lake. I could feel that his eagerness to get moving matched my own. He glanced back at me and then took a few strides forward and broke into a run. I followed immediately, heading towards the trees and into the waiting darkness.
The next chapter of this story will be posted on Saturday 28th July.
I generally make weekly updates to this story, and I know that many regular readers are used to those Saturday updates, so I always like to give warning if there is going to be any break in the routine, so that no one panics! (Ha ha. You never know, it could happen...!)
I've been planning to take a little time off posting for a while, though it is surprisingly difficult to do, because I love putting up new chapters. This is probably the most natural moment to take a break, because next chapter is moving into a new section of the story.
The truth is that I really need to spend a few weeks just writing new chapters, without editing older ones. There are already a number of new chapters written, waiting to be edited, but it takes at least a week to go through each one, and this drastically cuts down on my writing time. And I know that the upcoming chapters will need loads of work, so I'll have even less time!
Anyway, I hope that this is ok, and I look forward to posting again in July. And I also hope that you will still be here when I do *crosses fingers*.
Apart from that, I just want to say a big thanks to last week's reviewers (including the people I couldn't PM; Joanna, Leigh-Ann and Olivia). All the comments were so nice! And thank you to everyone who added this story to their lists :)
Thanks for reading, have a really lovely month,