A/N: Hello, everyone! Been a while, no? Just a short drabble full of Jacob angst. Because you can't write a Jacob fic post-New Moon and NOT have it be full of angst.
Warnings: Spoilers for Twilight/New Moon. And Edward bashing.
Disclaimer: Twilight and New Moon are the property of Stephanie Meyer. This is a fan creation and isn't intended to infringe on any copyright.
She smells like fear.
Beside the fire, he can't help but notice that. It's weird, he knows, to smell pretty girls who sit next to him. But he can't help it. It's like he's always been able to figure out what people are feeling by their smell. And right now, Bella Swan smells like fear.
He watches her through the green glow of the fire, the chalky gray smoke rising high into the sky and creating an almost protective barrier between them. She's looking down at her shoes, embarrassed at something he said (is he acting stupid? He hasn't been paying attention...) and her cheeks light up, bright pink against her black hair. She's beautiful, he finds himself thinking, the most beautiful creature he's ever seen.
That's when it all goes to hell for Jacob Black.
She smells like blackness.
He hasn't seen her for eight months, and if he hadn't known that she was coming he might not have recognized her. She looks like something out of his childhood nightmares, black hair uncombed and unbound, face pale and gaunt, and eyes holding no light. He'd known that it was bad, after they left (snarling in his mind, a burst of flame and fire and unchecked hatred and the urge to scream into the night) but he hadn't known it was... like this.
She smiles, and steps forward. The smell grows more defined, like newly dug earth around a tombstone. He wants so much to step back, to run away from this creature trapped in the hell of her own making.
Instead he steps forward and wraps his arms around her, rocking her back and forth, just like he's supposed to.
She smells like sorrow.
Which is odd, because she's happy. He sees it in her smile as she greets the female in the morning, and her eyes as she watches the one who broke her heart pull up in the driveway. She is healed in the eyes of everyone around him.
Except for him.
Because Jacob Black knows Bella. Jacob Black was Bella's rock for one year. Jacob Black has been inside Bella's mind, past where even he has gone, and he has seen her suffering.
And she smells like sorrow.
Jacob sits in the tree, watching her close the door of the car. She laughs at something he says, and the smell increaces. They drive away, happy as can be.
Jacob Black watches Bella drive away, and realizes that oh, god, his heart is breaking.