Qahla is the Quileute word for Sun and is the perfect word to describe what Jacob means to me. He is the heat to my cold dying heart. He is the light to my dark endless pain. He is the fire that makes my soul alive again. Things have been tough since Edward left, but since Jacob and I have gotten close, it's become a lot easier for me. I mean, I can think HIS name without crumbling which just a few months ago would have been impossible.
Though these last two weeks without Jacob as he got over his illness and seemingly… me, have been Hell. And I'm not about to let my Qahla walk out of my life like I let Edward. So here I am, waiting outside Jacob's house, waiting for him to finally show his face. I'll wait here all night if I have to.
I was scribbling on my notebook when I heard a sharp tap at the window. I turned and stared at Jake in astonishment as I took in his new look. He'd chopped his long beautiful hair all off and he was big, like steroids big. That was all the proof I needed, Sam and his gang are definitely doing drugs and somehow they got to Jake. His warmth was also gone and in it's place was a hardened expression as he looked out to the trees instead of at me.
There was a darkness in Jacob now, like my Qahla had imploded.
It took me a moment but I realised he was looking off towards the woods where four others stood, all with very similar looking hair cuts. It was difficult through their similarities to even pick Embry out of the group. They stood close enough to send chills down my spine but far enough away that we could talk without them hearing.
"Why are you here Bella?" Jake asked, refusing to look at me.
"I missed you. It's been two weeks Jake! You can't just ignore me forever for this… gang!"
"We aren't a gang, Bella, it's not what you think." His voice was abruptly weary. "It's not what I thought - I was way off."
"So what is it, then? You don't need me in your life anymore? You have Sam. Isn't that nice – you've always looked up to him so much."
"I didn't understand him before."
"And now you've seen the light. Hallelujah."
"It wasn't like I thought it was. This isn't Sam's fault. He's helping me as much as he can." His voice turned brittle and as he looked past me, I could see rage burning out from his beautiful chocolate brown eyes. Just go home Bella. I can't hang out with you anymore."
The silly inconsequential hurt was incredibly potent. Tears welled up in my eyes. "Are you… breaking up with me?" The words were all wrong, but they were the best way I could think to phrase what I was asking. After all, what Jake and I had was more than any schoolyard romance. Stronger. "Please Jake just look at me. You can't do this. You can't leave me. I won't survive it, I love you too much."
I finally said the words I'd been feeling all along and I had no idea if saying them would save Jacob from this mess he'd fallen into or if it would just make me crumble at his rejection.
"Like a brother, right? I have to go Bella." Jake said, still refusing to meet my gaze, likely ashamed of his actions but unwilling to change them.
I walked around him, standing directly in front of him. He looked down, staring at a rock on the ground.
"No! Like the other half to my soul. Now... look at me. You want to leave me then at least have the decency to look at me when you say it." I said, stronger than I'd felt in months, maybe even years but still unsure I'd make it through this unscathed.
Jake looked up and when our eyes met he fell to his knees. "Bella…" he mumbled before sobbing into my shirt.
"It's ok." I shushed away his cries, forgetting about the audience waiting for Jake by the trees.
"I love you so much that I can't even think straight. I won't leave you. I can't leave you. I'm so sorry. I'll explain everything." I brushed my hands through his short hair, wishing it was long again as he gripped my shirt at the small of my back.
He stood up and looked at me as if asking permission before glancing to my lips. Edward and I had only kissed a couple of times and I was always the one trying to convince him to do so. Having Jake ask me was odd because of that, and I couldn't help but shake my head up down while biting my bottom lip.
Jake leaned in, wrapping one hand on the small of my back and another intertwined with my hair on the back of my neck. He pulled me in closer and our lips met. His was hot and soft. They melded perfectly against mine. I closed my eyes and that's when I saw it.
I was sitting on the grass outside a small house overlooking first beach, a baby in my arms that looked a little like me and a little like Jake. Out of nowhere a large reddish brown wolf like the one I saw in the clearing came up from behind me. I don't know why but I didn't feel afraid. I reached my hand out and stroked the fur by it's ear and it nuzzled it's head into my hand like a dog would before tensing. Right then I saw a flash of red in the tree line before it took off chasing after it. I ran inside the small house, closing my eyes in fear and heard howling in the distance.
When I opened my eyes again Jake was pulling away, seemingly out of breath. "Wow."
I instinctively brought my finger tips to my lips, surprised by the way everything felt and even more by how much I enjoyed it, but also confused at my strange daydream. I tried to shake it off but I just couldn't.
"What's wrong? Did you not li…"
"I did. I really liked it." I had to interrupt him. It felt too good to let him think otherwise. "That's not what's wrong."
"Then what is it?"
"Just a strange daydream."
"Did you imprint on her?" a voice came from behind me making me jump and turn around, Jake at my back. Sam Uley, Embry and two others stood by my truck . "Might not be a daydream."
"What are you talking about? What is he talking about Jake? Imprint?"
Jake didn't look at me. His eyes were locked on Sam's. He nodded with a smug look on his face before gesturing away from the house.
"I'll catch up." Jake said.
"My place. Emily made cupcakes." Sam turned and was followed by the 3 boys, Embry cheering loudly for food.
"What's going on Jake? What's imprint mean?"
"I need you to keep an open mind, just like you did for those – Cullens." The way he said their name sent a shiver down my spine, there was just so much anger and hostility. I nodded, biting my lip. I felt like I had to act like I didn't know what he was talking about, there was no way he knew. Another part of me though refused to let me lie to him. So I nodded.
"Do you remember those stories I told you about on First Beach? The Cold One's and the men who phased into wolves to protect the tribe from them?" He raised an eyebrow and I just nodded again. "Well it's all true. The cold ones, you know them and what they are, vampires. The wolves, werewolves, destined to protect the people from the vampires that threaten our people. The Cullen's, and us, this 'gang' of Sam's, we're a pack. We're werewolves."
"You're saying you're a… a werewolf? Like a giant reddish brown, stalks vampires out of large clearings away from the damsel in distress werewolves?" I audibly gulped, not intentionally and Jake noticed.
"He was going to kill you so we killed him. He wasn't part of the Cullen family, our treaty hasn't been broken right?" Jake looked worried.
"No he, uh, Laurent was definitely there to kill me."
"You know his name?"
"He was here last year. He's been up in Alaska trying to fit in with animal drinking vampires but he said he liked to cheat and he was hungry and I just happened to be there." Why was I telling him all of this? How was I so openly talking about things I was forbidden to speak of? What was it about Jacob Black that made me speak everything I thought like that time I called him beautiful?
"Ok, well he's gone now. Onto the next thing. Uh, werewolves sometimes imprint… it's kind of like finding your soul mate. You look into her eyes and you just belong to her. I imprinted on you. I mean, I've always loved you, since mud pies and worms in my back yard while our dads drank beer on the porch. I've loved you for as long as I can remember."
I could feel the heat of a blush creeping into my face, bringing a hand up to hide it. He didn't like that. He took my hand away and brought it to his lips, planting a soft kiss on my knuckles. Soul mate? The idea of him never leaving me was nice.
"You are my soul mate Bella. And the daydream thing Sam mentioned? There are rumors that when the true leader of the pack - which would be me down the road when and if I'm ever ready to step up – imprints, his imprint either becomes prophetic or maybe she always was and that's what made him imprint on her specifically? We'll never truly know, but it means that your day dream might have been more like, a premonition."
"Oh." I couldn't think of anything else to say. That was a huge bomb to throw at me. I might be prophetic? And what does that mean for my daydream? I gulped again.
"Listen, if you want we can head over to Sam's place. His girlfriend, his imprint, Emily makes really good food and I'm kind of starving. You can tell me about the day dream on the way or after we get there?"
"Yeah, we can do that. And if uh it's a premonition, I'm sure Sam would want to hear it too." We got in my truck and Jake drove to Sam's house.
"Wait… those hikers… did you guys?"
"We tried to save them from the filthy bloodsuckers but we didn't get there in time." Jake looked ashamed that he wasn't fast enough to save them.
"My dad thought bears were killing them. I… crap. I told him I saw five huge wolves in the woods."
"Ok. We'll have to let Sam know and we'll be extra cautious. Don't worry Bella. We know what we're doing."
We pulled up to a home with a wraparound porch and Jake was at my door before I even realised he'd cut the engine, helping me down off my beast of a truck.
"So about this daydream, I was on some grass overlooking first beach, with a house in behind me."
"There are no houses there."
"I know. Um there was also a baby in my arms, a darker skinned baby. And uh, a large reddish brown wolf came up behind me and I saw a flash of red in the tree line and it, you I guess, took off howling while I ran inside with the baby."
"Bella." Sam's voice came from the open door to the house. I looked toward it and saw a pensive look on his face. "I believe that was a prophetic vision. The flash of red is a vampire we've been hunting. She's escaped us every time, looking for something. Bright red hair. We could stop her if only we knew what she was after."
"Me." I said, the fear in me rising. Every member of the pack went on high alert, their bodies tensing to be more ready for a fight. "Her name is Victoria and she wants to torture me. Her mate came after me, that's why I took off last year but he was a tracker and he found me. Almost changed me. Edward killed him, stopped me from turning and now she wants me dead, or worse." I rubbed the crescent scar on my wrist, and Jake noticed, gently reaching out and inspecting my scar. I could feel his body vibrating and before I could even blink he let go and next to me stood an angry snarling humongous reddish brown wolf.
"Bella back up, he could hurt you. Not on purpose but… accidents happen." Sam said, sadness in his voice. I glanced over and saw him looking at a woman in the doorway with claw marks down her face but even seeing that, I felt no fear. No Edward adrenaline telling me to move. If anything my body screamed at me to be near him.
I reached out my hands rubbed the same spot I had in my dre… my prophecy. I could see him calming down as I looked in his eyes and brushed my fingers through his ha… fur? Next thing I know, Jake's human again and my hand is on his cheek, his eyes closed.
"Jake." Embry called out. "You're naked."
My eyes went wide, I was standing too close to even notice, I looked at Embry then back at Jake before realising he definitely wasn't wearing a shirt like he was when he got here and I noticed there was a small two inch jagged piece of denim on my shoulder. I turned my whole body away, closing my eyes as Jake ran inside the house and every man at the house burst into laughter except for Sam.
"Bella what were you thinking? He could have killed you." Sam said. He sounded worried. "I didn't pull you out of those woods just to watch you die by one of my own brothers.
"I… I forgot that was you. Thank you Sam. And sorry for being stubborn. I just, knew I'd be okay."
Jake reappeared with some jeans and no shirt , with two cupcakes, handing one to me before devouring the other. I took a bite and it was definitely edible but I also knew mine were better, though I was a bit biased.
"Ok so… werewolves and vampires exist and hate each other and I can predict the future, sometimes. Got it. Alright. So what do we do about Victoria?" I asked.
"Nuh uh." Jake mumbled through the cupcake in his mouth. He shook his head, swallowed the cupcake then continued. "There is no we. There's us and you but no we. You are not getting put in a situation where this…" Jake grabbed my wrist and brought it in view, "might happen again. Not on my watch."
"Alright. She's probably the only thing I'm actually afraid of so agreed. What will YOU do about this?"
"Rip her to shreds and burn every piece of her. Listen, I know this isn't a fool proof plan since she doesn't obey the treaty, but I think it might be best that you stay on the reservation until she is dealt with. There will be more eyes and ears on you here."
"That makes sense but what do I tell Charlie?"
"You're 18, just leave him a note or something?"
"Jake. He's the chief of police. You really think, especially after I left last year and everything that has happened with me that a note would be sufficient?" I laughed. "I need a better alibi."
"Bella?" Emily spoke up, "I could use some help with a local bake sale. It's to raise funds for the youth center. Do you have any baking experience? You could say you're staying here to save money on gas or girls retreat with snacks and movies while we bake." She shrugged and I agreed.
I decided since the day was almost over it would look suspicious to go home then leave now so I agreed to having a couple of wolves circle my house while I slept and I'd be back in the morning.