Tumblr anon requested a semi spicy slow burn fic with a Jacob x Bella pairing.
Chapter names are lines from Normani's song Wild Side, which is the inspiration behind the ask/prompt!
The original and completed story is on my tumblr musingsofvenus (can find in my writing masterlist or search my tag "pink cheeks two left feet")
Chapter 1: last minute trips
Bella looks up from wrangling her suitcase from the loading cart, squinting through the rain as she turns toward the direction of her father's voice. She grins when she spots him closing the door to his cruiser and hurrying toward her.
In the passenger seat, safe from the rain, Sue Clearwater gives Bella a warm smile and a wave that she happily returns.
One more yank and Bella manages to pull her suitcase free. The momentum makes her stumble, but Charlie catches her before she hits the ground.
"You haven't changed at all," Charlie says between chuckles.
Bella rolls her eyes with an exaggerated huff. "Yeah, nice to see you too, Dad," she grumbles, smoothing away the wet hair plastered to her forehead. "I come all the way here– at the last minute mind you– and that's the first thing you have to say-"
"I told ya you didn't have to come," Charlie interrupts, grabbing the suitcase handle. He throws his arm around Bella's shoulders and ushers her toward the cruiser.
"How could I not come to my own father's wedding?"
She got the phone call from Charlie just last week. He told her he finally got around to asking Sue to marry him after almost nine years of dating. They grew closer after Harry, Sue's late husband and Charlie's best friend, died of a heart attack, but they didn't start officially dating until Bella graduated from high school and went off to college.
He was very nonchalant about it when he told Bella. The wedding was going to be quick and casual; a small affair on the beach with friends and family. He even insisted that Bella didn't need to come since everything is being rushed so they can just get the paperwork over with, but she stubbornly bought her plane tickets to Port Angeles and took off a few days from work.
There was no way she was going to miss watching her father get married.
Charlie shrugs. "It's my second one. It's not a big deal."
"Don't let Sue hear you say that."
Charlie has the decency to look sheepish. He goes toward the back of the cruiser to pop the trunk while Bella slides into the backseat. Bella mops her face with a towel left on the seat and tries to squeeze the water out of her hair.
"Hey, Bella," Sue says in that kind voice of hers. She turns in her seat and curls her fingers in the grates that partition the front and back passengers. "I feel like we're arresting you."
Bella giggles. "It's pretty nostalgic. Dad used to drive me to elementary school in this thing," she says. She glances at the plain gold band on Sue's finger. "I'm so glad this is finally happening. It's been a long time coming."
"Honestly, I don't feel any different. Maybe it hasn't hit yet."
"I think that'll change on the big day."
Charlie hurries to the driver's side after he stows away the suitcase, wiping his face with his hands. He glances in the rearview mirror.
"Hungry, Bells? We can go to our usual spot."
Bella nods. "I'm starved."
The drive back to Forks takes an hour, and during the entire ride Bella gets a play by play of the latest happenings in her hometown and the rez, which really isn't much.
The diner is packed when they arrive, but they manage to snag a seat at Charlie's usual table.
Bella orders her typical fair, a garden burger and fries. She's surprised when Charlie forgoes his staple steak and potatoes for grilled salmon and a side of mixed greens.
Sue meets her surprised eyes with a pleased smile. "I got him on a health kick a few years ago and it stuck," she says in a conspiratorial tone.
Bella nods in awe. There was once a time when she tried to get her father to incorporate more vegetables in his diet to no avail. Sue must have a magic touch with Charlie.
"I just close my eyes and pretend it's steak," Charlie grumbles.
Bella rolls her eyes. Of course he does.
The three share a slice of berry cobbler after their dinner and head back to Charlie's house. These days Charlie spends all of his time in La Push; he has all but moved in with Sue since Seth graduated from high school.
As they come to a stop in front of her childhood home, Bella glances out the window with wide eyes as she's overcome with deja vu. All over again she's her seventeen year old self, just arriving in Forks after spending several years in the sun, struck by the faded red truck in the driveway.
"Does she still run?" Bella asks, eyes glued to the truck.
"Like a dream," Charlie says. "Jake tuned 'er up in his shop the other day. So you'd have a way to get around."
"That's really nice of him," Bella says absently, stepping out of the cruiser.
She can't remember the last time she spoke to Jacob Black. Nowadays she only hears about him through Charlie; they didn't keep in touch with each other after she moved away, but he did cross her mind every once in a while. There was always an effortless chemistry between them that Bella could never forget.
Everyone always wondered why they never dated, and sometimes Bella asked herself that question too.
"You'll see him at the wedding, Bella," Sue says. "He'll be standing with Seth."
Charlie has always viewed Jacob like a son, so it makes sense for him to be part of the wedding. She and Leah would also be standing with Sue during the ceremony, completing the wedding party as a family. Family she hasn't seen in years.
Bella nods. "It's been a long time since I've seen everyone."
"I'm sure you'll all get along just as well as before," Sue assures her.
Charlie brings her suitcase upstairs to her childhood bedroom. They chat for a few more minutes, and finally Sue and Charlie make their way out of the house and back to the rez.
The house feels large with just Bella in it, but everything is still familiar. The house looks untouched, just the same as it was when Bella lived here in high school.
The living room is still filled with an assortment of family photos, mostly pictures of Bella at various ages. The constant drip from the kitchen sink is still the same. The fifth step on the staircase creaks just as loud as she remembers.
Her room is still as hideous as ever– the light blue walls, the yellowed lace curtains, the ancient computer on the desk… Even the rocking chair that Charlie seems eternally hard-pressed to get rid of.
Bella eyes the pictures tacked to the bulletin board above her desk with a smile. She never told Renee, but she's actually quite pleased that her mother gifted her a camera for her 18th birthday and insisted on her taking pictures. The highlights of her Forks High School memories were captured thanks to that camera.
"Oh, wow," Bella laughs, pulling a familiar polaroid free. It was a picture of herself and Edward Cullen, the only picture she ever had of her ex-boyfriend, posed together and smiling.
What an odd, whirlwind romance that had been.
Edward was her first boyfriend. Her first everything really. From the moment she met him, she thought he was the only man for her. The one.
Her head was filled with nothing but thoughts of true love and happily ever after concerning him– until it all came crashing down after a crushing break up.
Bella was so wrapped up in him, she could've sworn the world was ending when she got dumped. They eventually got back together, but inevitably broke up again for the last time a few months after they graduated. They simply realized they wanted different things and drifted apart. She has no idea where he and his family are now.
Bella yawns, returning the picture to the wall and puttering to the bathroom to get ready for bed.
She falls asleep to the sounds of the rain and wind against the windows, snuggled beneath her favorite old quilt.
The air is covered in a thick fog the next morning, forcing Bella to drive even slower than her usual as she makes her way to the town center. She made plans to meet Angela Weber, a high school friend of hers that Bella is still fond of and keeps in contact with.
Bella steps into the coffee shop, squealing when she spots Angela in a booth toward the back.
Angela stands up slowly, a familiar face with her pink glasses and tall stature. The only thing that's changed about her is her hair, now chopped to a blunt bob, and her newly rounded belly.
Bella carefully wraps her arms around Angela's middle, a smile nearly cracking her face in two. "I can't believe it! A baby! I'm almost afraid to hug you!"
Angela smiles softly. "It's a boy," she says, sitting back down. "We can't decide between Jason or Isaiah for his name. Ben's really excited."
She's been married to her high school sweetheart for the past five years, a sweet guy who was part of their friend group long before Bella joined them.
"Wow," Bella breathes. She props her chin in her hands. "How's everything been going with the baby?"
"Pretty good so far, although these days I don't see much of my feet anymore. And this little guy likes to play soccer with my organs at night," Angela replies with a fond shake of her head. "How are you, though? Still enjoying the sun?"
Bella nods enthusiastically. "Oh god, yes! I thrive in the sun. Moving to San Diego was the best choice I ever made."
She exclusively applied to colleges in warm, sunny states to get away from the rain, and ended up in California. She's lived there ever since, in a small condo in Pacific Beach.
Angela laughs. "Yeah, you seemed pretty tortured by the weather when we were in high school."
On those rare sunny days, Bella would almost cry with relief during lunch hour when they could sit outside and bask in the warmth of the sun on the benches.
Bella groans, staring up at the gray skies through the window as she mentally curses the rain. "Don't remind me."
They share a light breakfast and tea together, catching up on each other's lives before Bella has to make her way back onto the road to run last minute wedding errands. She walks Angela to her car, making her promise to bring the baby to visit in California some day, and drives off the La Push.
Sue's one and only request for her tiny wedding party was for them to complement the decorations, which are purple and white. She managed to get Tiffany, Embry Call's mom and the local seamstress, to tailor dresses for Bella and Leah.
Today was the final (and only) fitting before the wedding.
Bella parks in front of Tiffany's home and is greeted with a kiss on the cheek when the door is opened.
Tiffany hurries Bella inside and immediately has her try on her dress. It's a simple, floor length lilac dress with thin spaghetti straps. It fits Bella perfectly.
Leah walks in a few minutes later, looking like she wasn't quite ready to get out of bed yet. She gives Bella a half hug, mumbling a "hello" before Tiffany pushes her into the bathroom to try on her dress as well.
"She's been working from home on some big case. East coast hours," Tiffany explains with a shrug. "Her brother is coming by with some coffee. She'll perk right up."
"Leah is an attorney, sweetheart. She works at a law firm in New York now."
Bella whistles. "That's… Wow. She practically moved to the other side of the world."
Tiffany hums in agreement.
Leah still looks like a zombie when she shuffles out of the bathroom in her dress, but a pretty one. The purple compliments her skintone very well.
Leah's jaw cracks as she yawns. "Mom's gonna love it."
Tiffany clucks, tugging on some loose fabric around Leah's waist.
"I'll have to take yours in by an inch," she says, already pulling out pins and tucking the fabric away.
"Can you hem the bottom, too? I'll be barefoot most of the time anyway," Leah says.
Tiffany hums around the pins in her mouth. "Sure."
They all look up when the doorbell rings.
"Bella, would you get that for me?" Tiffany asks. "It's probably Seth."
Leah gasps, suddenly coming to life. "Yes! Let him in. Need coffee. Ready to pass out over here."
"No passing out until I finish pinning!"
Bella laughs, gathering the skirt of her dress so she doesn't stumble as she makes her way to the front door. The rays of the sun peaking through the clouds gets in her eyes and she blocks the light with her hand.
A shadow is cast over her eyes and covers the bright rays, and Bella blinks away the spots in her eyes. To her surprise, she finds herself staring at a broad chest clothed in a tight black t-shirt and a hand holding the coveted styrofoam coffee cup.
Bella looks up, up, up– ready to complain to Seth about how he's grown into a giant, until she's met with a smile so bright it almost blinds her as much as the sun did.
Bella blinks once. Twice.
Even without the familiar huskiness in that voice, she'd recognize that smile anywhere.
Bella's jaw drops. "J-Jacob?"
He's a familiar sight from their teenage days: long ponytail, destroyed jeans, dirty work boots… but grown. He shot up like a weed since she last saw him.
"The one and only," Jacob says, his smile growing impossibly wider. He surges forward, wrapping an arm around her shoulders and pulling her close. "S'good to see you again. It's been so long."
What used to be awkward, lanky arms have not-so-subtly transformed into sinewy, thick muscle that make Bella want to melt on the spot.
It was completely unfair.
Bella reaches up to pat his back, trying very hard not to let her hands linger too much as she weakly replies, "It's good to see you too, Jake."
Really good. Too good.