The story so far…
Bella meets Edward, falls in love, drama happens, James tries to kill Bella, Edward kills James. Edward leaves Bella because he's a jerk, Bella is broken inside, grows closer to Jacob. Jacob is a wolf, struggles to tell Bella, Bella eventually realises what he is, accepts it.
The pack realises that the safest place for Bella is at the Res.
Page 350 of New Moon.
I felt awkward, always taking up space at Billy's. I did some studying for another calculus test that was coming up next week, but I could only look at math for so long. When I didn't have something obvious to do with my hands, I felt I ought to be making conversation with Billy. But Billy wasn't one for filling long silences, so the awkwardness continued.
On Wednesday, I arrived at Billy's early in hopes to catch Jake before he headed out. Charlie had gone into work early and I couldn't stand being at home alone, unprotected. I sat on the sofa as Billy ate his breakfast, flipping through the channels. That didn't last long and I began to feel claustrophobic.
"I'm just going to go to the library" I said to Billy as I grabbed my jacked and headed for the door. He barely looked up as he nodded and continued reading his paper.
I knew that there was still so much I had to learn about the wolves and I guessed that the library in La Push would have some books on the subject. I hopped into my truck and set off down the street towards the centre of the village. It was quiet, but then it was still early.
I parked the truck in the abandoned carpark and looked around before exiting the safety of the truck. As I thought about it though, it really was ridiculous how safe I felt inside my locked truck. If Victoria came for me, she would open it like it was nothing more than a tin can.
I wrapped my arms around myself as the thought of Victoria tearing into my truck almost consumed me. With my head between my knees, I took some breaths and started to feel ok. I took one look around at my surroundings, got out of the truck and walked towards the library. It wasn't very big, but I was certain I would find something interesting here.
I browsed the shelves and within half an hour I had a pile of books that I was intent on reading. I took them to the counter and handed over my driver's licence as proof of identity before being granted a library card. I knew I could have sat here to read, but I also knew that if Jake came home looking for me, he would worry if I wasn't there.
Ordinarily, I would have felt trapped by not being able to go where I wanted, but at Jakes, and on the reservation, I felt completely free. I knew that no vampire would hurt me while I was under the protection of the Quileute's. The claustrophobia I would just have to get used to.
I thanked the librarian and took the borrowed books to my truck. There was a little activity on the streets now, children were riding their bikes and people were out getting their paper.
I drove back to Jakes little red house with a new sense of urgency. The books filled me with intrigue and I was desperate to know as much as I could about the supposed legends. The books, of course, were all from the non-fiction section, however, I knew now more than ever that where there were myths, legends and stories, there was truth behind it.
I pulled into the driveway and took my books with me to a beautiful tree in the yard where I sat to get started on the pile.
It was about lunch time when I got up and headed for the house. I found Billy in the living room watching some sporting game on tv and offered to make him lunch. That was something useful I could do, at least.
I ransacked the kitchen till I found something that could feed not only Billy and me, but Jake as well. I knew he would be hungry when he got back, whenever that may be, so I wanted him to have something good to eat when he did.
I found enough to make some sandwiches for lunch and a casserole for later. I took my time creating masterpieces with bread and sandwich fillings before putting a plate in front of Billy. I peeled and chopped vegetables and cubed the beef and put it in the biggest pot I could find. I was quite proud of myself, I hadn't made such a big meal before. I wrapped the left-over sandwiches and put them into the fridge before taking a seat at the small dining table.
As I ate, I thought about how at home I felt here. I moved around the kitchen like it was my own and was overcome with just how peaceful and cosy the tiny house was.
I let my mind wander as I nibbled on my sandwiches and flicked though the newspaper that was on the table. I found myself wondering just where Jake was, was he ok? Had they caught Victoria? Had she gotten a hold of one of them? At that, my body shivered and I pushed my now empty plate to the side so I could get my arms around myself.
I hadn't noticed Billy wheel himself towards me until he was right next to me. He put his hand on my upper arm and spoke in a soft voice,
"I'm sure they're ok sweetheart". I nodded. "Why don't you go and have a lay down on Jakes bed?" he suggested.
"That actually sounds like a great idea, thanks Billy" I said.
I took my plate to the sink and checked on the pot that was now simmering on the stove. It had another few hours till it would be ready so I grabbed my pile of books and headed to Jakes room.
I didn't intend on sleeping, I wanted to just be comfortable, relaxed and to read through some more of the books I had borrowed. I kicked off my shoes as I sat down on the bed. I fluffed up the pillows and sat up, reading the first book. After about 10 minutes, I shifted to get more comfortable. I didn't even recall reading more than a page before I fell asleep.
I didn't dream of the horrific things I had dreamt of almost every night for months. Instead, I dreamt of the russet wolf jumping and playing happily in the meadows, laying down next to its warmth. Victoria was nowhere to be seen or even thought of. There was no danger, no fear, just us. The wolf turned into Jake and we were just sitting among the flowers in the field, laughing as though we were carefree teenagers.
I awoke after what seemed like no time at all to the sounds of Jake's light snoring. I opened my eyes and saw that he was asleep next to me. Ordinarily I would have been disturbed by this, but he just looked so peaceful. No angst, no angry lines on his face. There were no obligations, no commitments, just young, carefree Jake, asleep in his bed. I reached over and stroked his face. He didn't flinch in the slightest. I wondered what the time was. It seemed to be dark outside but I was sure I hadn't been sleeping for that long.
I looked over to the clock that was on the wall and gasped when I saw that it was 2am. I had been asleep for over 12 hours. I laid there for a while longer, watching the steady rise and fall of Jake's body as he slept.
I started to think about how much my world had changed in just a few days. It felt like not much time had passed at all since I discovered Jake's fate.
I couldn't believe that I had initially thought he was the monster. The more I thought about it the more it made me realise how insane I was. Jacob just couldn't hurt an innocent person. He was too good. Too pure.
I climbed out of Jakes bed and headed for the bathroom. Once I was done, I went to the kitchen to get a glass of water. The pot that I had created my masterpiece in was empty, washed and on the drying rack along with two bowls and some cutlery. I quickly put it all away before I wandered back down the hall to Jakes room. They must have liked the food then.
I didn't think there was any way I could possibly sleep any more, but I headed back to bed anyway. I climbed back over Jake and settled in under the blanket. It wasn't cold, but I still needed the comfort of a blanket over me.
As I was getting comfortable, Jake rolled over and put his arm around me, pulling me to him. At first it felt a bit too intimate, too close, perhaps it would give off the wrong impression. But then I started thinking about the impression that I wanted to give. Jake was my best friend, he was my rock, my warmth, my heat, my sun. My personal sun. Were we really just best friends? As I contemplated this, I allowed myself to get caught up in this moment. I felt so safe, so at ease, so relaxed and just completely normal here with Jake. I almost allowed myself to compare it to the times I had slept next to Edward, but I intentionally pushed that from my mind before it opened any wound that I felt was almost completely healed.
I drifted off back into a peaceful sleep, wrapped in Jakes strong safe arms. I had never felt so safe and so loved. And I didn't object to it.
When I opened my eyes, the sun was starting to peak through the curtains. I was curled up in the crook of Jakes arm. I smiled to myself, remembering how I felt so at ease with it last night. We must have both rolled over at some point and I seemed to have found my way back into his arms. If I had asked myself 24 hours ago how I would have felt about this, I would have thought it was ridiculous. I was so hung up on Edward and the Cullens, so devastated by the loss of that aspect of my life, had I missed what was right in front of me? Certainly, I knew the option was there, but I never felt like I was able to allow myself to take it, to give myself wholly to a new relationship.
Something had changed.
As I looked up at Jake's face, I saw that he was awake too.
"Hey" he said, a little awkwardly.
"Hey back" I whispered. There was definitely something awkward about the way we were greeting each other this morning. I wasn't sure why, it's not like anything happened between us. Certainly nothing physical. For me though, maybe something was different. Maybe I was different. Maybe we could be different?
"Sorry for falling asleep in your bed" I said, hoping to break the silence that had grown.
"It's ok, you must have needed it… I probably should have slept on the sofa" he said.
"No way, this is your bed" I argued. "Besides, I think I liked having someone to sleep next to". I continued. He raised an eyebrow as he contemplated what I said.
"Yeah, I guess I could tell" he said as he gestured to the way I was still using his arm as a pillow. I suddenly felt my face flush with embarrassment and I sat up, flattening my hair as I did.
"I was gonna say Bells, your hair is a mess" he said with a laugh that was pure Jake.
I didn't say anything, instead, gave him a playful slap on his shin as I climbed over him on my way to the bathroom. I used my finger to brush my teeth and ran my fingers through my hair so I could look at least a little bit presentable.
I walked out and found Jake in the kitchen, making tea.
"mmm, just what I need" i said with a smile. "Where's Billy? Isn't he usually up early?" I asked.
"Yeah, he went out early with Charlie this morning... Fishing" he said, as he imitated reeling in a fish.
"I hope they catch something, I can cook up a decent meal with a couple of good fish" I said.
"Speaking of which…" he began, "that casserole last night was amazing Bells" he said.
"it was nothing really, just something simple I threw together. I'm actually surprised it was eatable". I said.
"I had to call Emily for advice because Billy hadn't touched it, but it was amazing. I had four helpings" he said with a laugh.
"Yeah, I imagined you would" I said as I sat down at the table.
As Jake handed me the cup, I thought about last night and how I had begun to think about our friendship in a new light. It certainly didn't help that Jake was wandering around shirtless, with low slung cut off sweats. I shook my head as I found myself staring and thought I heard Jake snigger.
"This tea is great" I said, breaking the silence "What is it?" I asked.
"Just some herbal stuff from the res. Can't get it anywhere else" he said with a hint of pride. That's one thing I loved about Jake. He was so proud of who he was and where he was from. The wolf thing was a complication to him, but I got the impression he was proud of that too.
"Well, it's great" I said with a genuine smile his way. He returned the smile and took the one stride it took to get from the kitchen bench to where I was. He leant over and for a second I thought he was going to kiss me. I braced myself for it, wondering just how much I may object to it, if at all, when he ruffled my hair and whispered into my ear, "If you're good, they might let you take some home". At this, he walked off into the bathroom.
The effect of having Jake so close to my ear, his breath on my neck, gave me goosebumps. I wondered if he was doing it intentionally. Surely not. I walked over to the sofa and sat down, trying to shake off the feelings that were coursing through my body. I picked up the remote and began flicking through the channels much the same as I was 24 hours earlier.
Jake wandered out shortly afterwards, dripping wet, wearing nothing but a towel. If the sight of him shirtless made my mind wander, this sent it into overdrive. He was dripping wet from his head to his toe, a towel low on his hips. He walked over to the armchair and picked up a bag.
"I forgot to mention, when you were asleep last night, I had Embry go get you some clothes from Emily's… I hope they fit or whatever". He said. I got up and took the bag from him, eyeing the contents. They were all my size.
"They should be good, thanks Jake. Or I should say, Embry…" I said. He turned and walked towards the hall, but stopped as he got to a small cupboard. He reached in, pulled out a towel and handed it to me. I felt grateful but slightly awkward. Best friends or not, we were still two teenagers, alone in a house together. I took it from him anyway and headed for the bathroom. I knew I had to say something, otherwise it would turn into the elephant in the room.
"This is only slightly awkward for me" I said, trying to be light hearted.
"What is?" he asked, a grin on his face. He knew damn well what I meant, of that I was certain.
"Jake, you're almost naked, standing there in front of me, dripping wet. We just slept together…." I began.
"Woahhh, wait, Bells… We didn't sleep together, we just slept together" he said.
"Well, of course I know that, but, Jake…." I started, as I gestured to his lack of attire.
"wait… Bella, you're blushing…" he said.
At that, I shook my head violently, stormed off into the bathroom and shut the door. As I stood under the steaming shower, I thought about what had just happened. If I was correct, I think we just flirted.
After a nice long hot shower, I wrapped my towel around myself, realising I left the bag of clothes outside of the bathroom where I dropped it in my haste to retreat from the conversation. I knew that if I went out, wearing a towel, that Jake would think I was somehow extending this little game he was playing. Then again, maybe the game was fun.
I checked myself in the mirror and fixed the towel to ensure it was covering everything. In a moment of madness, I hoisted up my cleavage in an attempt to do what? I wasn't sure.
I opened the door and peered out of the bathroom. I set off, walking down the hall to where the bag sat. I picked it up and headed back up the hall to the bathroom, somewhat grateful that I hadn't run into Jake. As I entered the bathroom, Jake walked out of his bedroom and we just about ran into each other.
"Woahhhh Bella" he said, as he put his hands up in defeat. "You win" he continued. I turned as he said this with one hand holding my towel in the middle and the other holding the bag and on my hip at the same time.
"I win? I didn't realise we were playing a game" I said with a grin.
"We're definitely playing something" he said as he smiled, looked me up and down and walked off down the hall.
I walked into the bathroom and got dressed with a smile on my face. How did we get to this carefree, flirty easy place? Just yesterday there was no way I would have contemplated behaving this way with Jake.
I finished getting dressed and threw the towel into the dirty clothes hamper before I walked out. I felt so much better and Emily's clothes fit perfectly.
Jake was sitting on the sofa watching a cartoon that I hadn't seen since I was a kid and I plonked down next to him.
"What time do you have patrols today?" I asked him.
"No patrols for me today, I've been running so many the last few days, Sam gave me the day off" he said.
"So, you're all mine then?" I asked, not realising the potential innuendo behind my words.
"I am" he said, seemingly certain of the hidden agenda in his own words.
At that, we both relaxed into the sofa and laughed at the cartoon for the next 20 minutes. In that time, we were young and carefree, without a single worry in the world. We were free, nothing to burden our dreams, fill our lives with nightmares or fill our minds with doubt and uncertainty. For those 20 minutes, we were kids again, laughing at cartoons on the sofa.
When the show finished, Jake got up and headed for the kitchen.
"Do you want breakfast?" he asked.
"I'm not really a breakfast person"
"Yeah me too"
"You're turning down food?"
"seems I am…. What do you want to do today?"
I thought about this question for a while and I knew that there was one thing I had been wanting to do for a long time but hadn't had the opportunity.
"How about we go cliff diving?" I asked.
I wasn't sure that my reasoning for cliff diving were the same as they once were. In the past, I wanted so desperately to see Edward that I did these things that would make me hallucinate him. Those times would get me through the days when I missed him so much it was too much to bear.
Now though, I wanted to see him, but the feelings associated with his impending appearance were more about a final goodbye. Last night, although innocent and unintended, had changed something within me. I was seeing Jacob in a different light, wondering how it might be to kiss him, thinking about running my hands over the muscular ridges of his chest, thinking about his hands on my body.
I shook my head out of the dangerous trail that its thoughts were travelling down looked up at Jake who seemed to be waiting for me to speak.
"uh, what?" I asked, feeling stupid that I hadn't heard a word he just said.
"I said, I think that's a great idea, the weather is perfect for it. Jees Bells, where were you just now?" he said, cautiously considering my odd facial expressions.
"Oh trust me Jake, you don't want to know" I said, hoping it didn't give me away.
I wasn't sure why I so desperately wanted to hide my newfound ideas from Jake. I know how he felt about me and I knew that he would be the happiest person in the world if he knew I had thought about him this way. But I knew that if I told him now, he might want to rush into something I wasn't prepared for. I loved Jake, that was a given. He was my best friend. But the events of the night and morning had sparked something more, something lustful that made me want more.
Once again I shook myself out of my thoughts as Jake headed for the door. I followed him out into the fresh cool air. I inhaled the scent I had grown to love and realised that not only was it the scent of the forest and the earth, but it was the scent of safety, of home, of Jake.
"We'll drive to the path and hike up from there" Jake said as he headed towards his rabbit. I followed like a puppy.
"Good idea, I think I'll need my energy for the swim back to shore" I said with a laugh.
We drove to the pathway without speaking as the radio played. Music, that had once been a sound that made the wounds in my chest open with new ferocity, was actually relaxing and enjoyable. I tapped my foot to the tune as Jake gawked at me with interest.
"Keep your eyes on the road, hey Jake?"
"Are you… Bella Swan, tapping your foot to music?" he asked, mock shock all over his face.
"So what if I am" I said, smiling. I liked this new banter we were having. Were we flirting?
"It's nice to see" he said, turning back to concentrate on the road.
Without taking his eyes off the road, he reached down, grabbed my hand, holding it as though it were the most natural thing, and rested it on his leg. At his touch, I felt electricity pulse through me. A feeling that I hadn't felt in such a long time. However, this time, the touch was warm and soft. I knew at that moment that everything had changed. Whether I liked it or not, Jake and I were headed somewhere different.
Jake pulled the car over to the side of the road where he finally let go of my hand. My palm was hot and sweaty from the temperature of Jakes skin, but I didn't mind.
"You ready?" he asked.
"Absolutely" I said with determination.
Jake got out of the car and began walking around to my side. I quickly opened my door and jumped out, fearful that having Jake open the door for me would bring back memories of Edward's supposed chivalry. I didn't need that, nor did I want it. I was an independent woman with feminist views running through my veins – I could open my own damn door.
As I planted my feet in the soft earth, I slipped on some mud and headed toward the ground. I reached out for the door of the car to catch myself and failed, so in that split second, I braced myself for impact. With my eyes shut, I waited to hit the ground, but instead, I found myself caught by strong, warm arms.
I opened my eyes and looked up into the face of Jake, who was seconds from laughter.
"I can't take you anywhere, can I?" he asked, a small chuckle coming from inside him.
I felt my face flush as I attempted to steady myself, although Jake still hadn't let me go. That was wise because with my feet still planted in the mud, I slipped once again.
At that, Jake, with me still in his arms, took two big steps backwards and stood me on the grass, closer to the trail. I felt silly, but at the same time so natural.
"Thanks" was all I could think to say.
Jake made sure I was standing up straight and with his hands on my shoulders looked down into my face.
"I will always catch you Bells, you gotta know that" he said with such intensity that I didn't think he was talking about my clumsiness.
"Of course I know, Jake" I said as I wrapped my arms around his torso and pulled him into a hug. It seemed like Jake had learnt to not squeeze me, because he held me firmly but not too much so that I couldn't breathe. It felt so good, so natural to be in his arms. He was strong and warm and smelt like home. It was unnerving.
I released him but he remained holding on to me so I wrapped my arms back around him as he rested his chin on my head. We stood like that for a minute or so before he took a deep breath and released me. I carefully let go of him and turned to head towards the trail.
"So, are you ready to do this thing?" I asked, breaking the awkward air that had somehow wriggled its way between us.
Jake nodded as he shut the door of the rabbit and stashed the key inside the wheel well.
We set off on the trail, slowly because I didn't want to fall again.
"So, about last night" I said in an attempt to create some kind of understanding between us.
"What about it?" he asked.
"It wasn't… awkward… for you?"
"Absolutely not. Bells, you're my best friend. If we can't innocently sleep next to each other, then there is something wrong with our friendship" he said.
I thought about the way he used to word innocent and it got me thinking about how not-so-innocently I was thinking about him this morning. While us sleeping next to each other was innocent and unintentional, it had changed something within me. With my thoughts getting the better of me, I lost concentration on my footing and stumbled, only to be caught by Jake.
"I think I should hold onto your hand from now on" he said. "Unless it's too awkward for you" he added with a grin.
I huffed and grabbed hold of his hand, playfully punching him in the arm with my other hand.
"It wasn't awkward for me" I said. "I just wanted to make sure you were ok with it" I added.
He just looked at me and pulled me along the track, getting deeper into the forest.
"Actually, I slept better last night than I have in a long time" I said, breaking the silence that had grown in the couple of minutes that had passed as we walked on.
"Hmm" he began, seeming to really think about something. "Maybe we should do it again some time… Innocently, of course" he added.
"Of course", I said with a laugh.
We continued walking through the forest, chatting about the most recent adventures of the pack. They had almost gotten hold of Victoria. At one point, Paul had gotten a hold of her arm and tore it off from her elbow. This was promising. She was weakened. It would only be a matter of time before they caught her and took care of her once and for all.
We suddenly came to a clearing and I could hear the ocean roaring below. We still had a while to go before we reached the top, but Jake pulled me toward the cliff edge.
"This is where we'll jump from I think. It's not as high" he said
I looked back towards the trail, feeling like we should keep going, jump from the very top. I wasn't sure whether jumping from lower down would have the same effect. Jake pulled me closer to the edge so I could have a look, and when I peered over the edge, I knew that this would suffice. The water looked so far away, so menacing, crashing onto the rocks below.
I began to question the safety of this insanely crazy idea. Suddenly it all seemed a bit dangerous.
"Is it safe?" I asked.
"As long as you go when I say, and take a run at it, you'll be fine. The rocks are only shallow at the edge. It's pretty deep just there" he pointed to a spot that was only a foot or so from the edge of the rocks.
As I stood, looking down into the water, adrenalin coursed through my body. My heart accelerated and I felt like I could do anything.
I waited for the voice to come, and like clockwork, it arrived. Edwards voice, clear as anything.
"Bella, don't do this" the voice pleaded with me.
I didn't answer out loud for fear that Jake would think I'm nuts.
"You wanted me to be human, you left me".
"Please, for me", it pleaded.
My heart was racing as I considered the voice in my head. How dare he ask that of me. He couldn't stay, for me, why would I consider his request for him?
"No! No more. I'm done. This is it, this is the end… Goodbye Edward". I closed my eyes and felt like a weight had lifted off my shoulders. The voice was gone and all that I could hear was the steady breathing of the boy, no, the man, standing next to me.
I realised I was still holding Jakes hand and I was grateful because I think that was the only thing keeping me upright.
Jake seemed to realise something was wrong so he turned me toward him and spoke
"Are you ok, you seem a bit shaky?"
"I'm fine, I'm just keen to do this" I said.
"Ok, well, we're going to jump together so I can make sure you're safe" he said. I felt like no matter what, Jake would keep me safe.
I looked into his eyes and at that moment, everything disappeared. The trees, the cliff, the sound of the ocean. All I saw was Jake.
Without thinking, I leant forward, inhaling his scent as my lips met his. He didn't pull back, instead releasing my hand and wrapping one arm around my lower back and the other on the side of my neck.
I wasn't thinking about what I was doing, I was just letting my instincts take over. I was kissing Jacob Black. And Jacob was kissing me back. He was a fantastic kisser. In fact, I hadn't been kissed like this, ever. At first it was slow, out tongues dancing around the edges of our own mouths, testing the limits of each other's willingness to go on. Before long, we were overcome by the full force of our combined passion. Jake was warm and tender, like nothing I had experienced before. Despite the intense passion, there was tenderness in the way he gently caressed me.
My hands wound their way around Jake's body, up his strong arms and into his hair. My tongue entwined with Jakes in perfect synchronisation. While I knew I wanted this moment to go on forever and I desperately wanted to never break this connection, I knew that sooner or later it had to come to an end. Life was still moving outside of our perfect bubble of passion.
The sounds around us started coming back to my awareness and I felt the ground underneath my feet. I took this as a sign that this moment was coming to an end. Our mouths gradually slowed and our tongues stilled and retreated.
I kissed Jake softly, once more on his warm lips before taking a step back. I was steady on my feet, which came as a surprise to me. Jake, cautiously held on to my hand as though he was certain I would fall backwards and over the edge of the cliff.
"Bella… I.." he began. There were no words that I could think of that could make this moment any better. Only ones that could diminish the wonder that I was feeling.
"Jake, please, don't" I said. "Let's jump"
Jake looked at me, confusion settled on his perfect face. He looked almost sad.
I squeezed his hand in hopes that it would reassure him that this was all ok. I just wanted to absorb the moment. Not spoil it with words.
Jake seemed to shake off the intensity of the moment and turned to focus on the ocean below. He watched the waves carefully for a few moments before turning to me.
"We will have to do it quick, the tide is starting to turn" he said. I nodded.
"So on the count of three, we'll jump" he said.
Suddenly, my heart sped up and my palm started to sweat. Jake held my hand tighter as he began to count.
"One….." he turned to look at me.
"Two…." He tucked a strand of loose hair behind my ear and turned back to face the water below.
"Three!" he shouted as we both took a step forward and launched ourselves off the edge of the cliff.
I screamed as Jake and I dropped through the open air like meteors hurtling through space. It wasn't a scream of fear but of exhilaration.
As our bodies broke the surface of the water, Jake's hand slipped out of my grip. The water was icy, colder than I had anticipated. I felt a thrill as I plunged deeper into the water. Jake was nowhere to be seen in the dark cold depths but I knew he was somewhere nearby.
I kicked hard against the strong undercurrent and fought to reach the surface. It was harder than I expected and at first, I didn't know which way was up. I let out a bit of air so I could follow the bubbles to the surface and kicked in the direction they were headed. I soon reached the surface and took a deep breath. I looked around for a sign of Jake but couldn't see him anywhere.
I dove back under the water to see if I could see him but it was so dark I could barely see two feet in front of myself. I was kicking myself for not holding on to him tighter. As I reached the surface again, I looked around for Jake. I was beginning to panic, fearing that the ocean had taken him at the precise moment I realised how much I wanted him, when he finally popped up only a few yards from where I was now treading water.
I felt the relief wash over me when he started swimming towards me. He seemed fine.
"Are you ok?" I called.
"Yeah, the current tried to drag me down but I'm a pretty good swimmer" he said.
"I started to worry" I said as a wave washed over us without crashing.
Jake had now reached me and was treading water alongside me. I looked up to the cliff to see how far we had jumped.
"That was probably the craziest thing I've ever done" I said.
"So it's out of your system now?" he asked.
"Definitely" I answered.
We both started swimming towards the shore, which was an effort considering how exhausted we both were.
Just as my feet felt the sand beneath the water, I looked back at the cliff and thought I saw something flaming red among the trees. I continued towards the shore but kept my eye on the top of the cliff.
If I wasn't mistaken, I had seen that flaming red before. The thought stabbed at me like a knife through my stomach. Jake noticed something was wrong as we were now knee deep in water.
"What's up Bells? What are you looking at?" he asked.
I didn't have to answer, he saw it too. Victoria had just launched herself off the cliff and was falling to the ocean, much like we had done only minutes before.
"Jake…" I said, as she disappeared below the surface. I was now in full panic as I watched Sam, Embry Paul and Jared launch off the cliff in their human forms, after the red head.
My eyes frantically searched the water for a sign that she was there somewhere. I knew that she could stay under, indefinitely, which meant she could pop up anywhere.
Jake seemed as frantic as me, ripping off his shoes and unbuttoning his pants. I quickly turned so not to see more of Jake than I needed to right now and heard the woosh of his transformation into his wolf form.
The giant wolf now patrolled the edge of the water as four men began to emerge. As they got to waist deep water they all transformed as well.
I watched them with keen interest as they looked to each other, obviously communicating telepathically.
Just when I thought enough time had passed and Victoria had gone, I saw a flash of red below the surface near the shore. The black wolf, who I established was Sam, didn't miss it either and soon the wolves had their ears up, waiting for her to emerge.
Victoria didn't disappoint, as she leapt out of the water in full sprint towards me. Her teeth were bared and her eyes gleamed bright red.
She didn't make it far before the Jake-wolf leapt onto her back. She tried to dodge him but she was too late. His teeth tore at her shoulder, ripping a chunk off her marble body. At this, three of the other wolves that I guessed were Paul, Jared and Embry roared towards her and tore off a limb each.
I looked to Sam, the black wolf, who was watching on, his influence and superiority apparent. He looked to me and then to a pile of wood that was laying on the bench. I ran over to where Jake's pants sat and felt in his pockets where I found a lighter. I knew he carried one for such occasions and I hoped the water hadn't ruined it.
I raced towards the pile of wood and struck the lighter twice before it sparked. For some reason, there was the beginnings of a fire already built, so I struck the lighter again and lit the kindling at the bottom. Within a few minutes, there was a roaring fire and as I turned, I saw the remaining parts of Victoria's body being ripped apart by the wolves. I looked back to Sam and with a nod I signalled to him that the fire was ready. At once, the wolves stopped ripping the pieces apart and began dragging them towards the fire.
Jake phased back to his human form and with his back to me, put his clothes back on. He ran towards me and held me tight in his arms.
"Are you ok Bells?" he asked.
"Yeah, I'm good Jake, it's you I'm worried about" I said, attempting to look him up and down, checking for signs of injury.
"I'm ok Bella, we're all ok. She got a scratch on me but it's already pretty much healed, see?" he said as he showed me a gash that looked weeks old on his thigh.
The remainder of the pieces of Victoria were now being tossed onto the fire out of the mouths of the wolves.
I stood next to Jake as he held his arm around me. It felt completely natural and watching the object of my nightmares burn before my eyes gave me a feeling of freedom and happiness that I could only associate with Jake.
The wolves watched on briefly before quickly retreating into the forest.
"They don't want to be seen" Jake said, answering my unasked question.
As the fire burnt down to ashes and the sun started to set, Jake and I turned to head back to the start of the track where we had left his car.
It wasn't far to walk, as most of the walking was done to get to the top. We got back to the car mostly in silence but holding hands the whole way.
Jake reached under the car, grabbed the key and walked to the passenger side of the car. He put the key in the lock, turned it and pulled the door open for me. I didn't balk at this act of chivalry, instead I thanked him and moved to get in. Before I sat in the car, I leant in and kissed him softly on his lips. This time there were no fireworks, no intense passion, just a sweet kiss that meant so much more than the one we shared at the top of the cliff.
I pulled back and smiled at Jake before hopping in the car. He walked around to the driver's side a bit slower than usual. Dazed perhaps? He got in, flashed me my favourite 'Jake smile', grabbed my hand and started the engine.
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