A huge Thank you to my two wonderful beta's butterscotch and sillybella.
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
I pushed my lips harder into Bella's and gave her one last squeeze before pulling away. "Bella, you need to go inside." She looked at me, confused, then slowly followed my gaze to see our audience. She inhaled sharply and scrambled to get out of my lap. The leech looked pained. I was always so shocked to realize they could feel anything resembling human emotion.
"Edward." Bella's voice shook and had a note of pleading to it. She moved towards him. I felt a twinge of jealousy from that gesture. It was still important to her to comfort him. He held up a hand to stop her.
"Go inside." His voice was forceful and not a suggestion. She stood there looking between us, unsure of what to do next. I stepped in front of her protectively. I deserved his anger, not Bella.
"Go, Bella," I whispered, hoping she would listen. Bella was too stubborn to allow us to tell her what to do; a look of defiance crossed her face as she moved to stand between us.
"No, I most certainly will not." She crossed her arms and stared back and forth between me and the leech.
"Yes, she is always like this, Jacob Black." I looked at the parasite in disgust, once again unnerved by his ability to read my mind. His eyes were hard, yet there was a sadness to them. His posture was rigid, fists clenched — so unlike that day he returned and Bella left with him instead of me. I stood on the balls of my feet, ready to spring into action if necessary, even though I felt no need to phase. I was in complete control. I didn't feel the anger and pain he did. Bella was an equal distance from both of us. Confusion was clear in her posture. Choose the eternal damned, or a new life full of warmth? She hadn't totally decided her fate or whom she loved more. The bloodsucker looked defeated, and I didn't have to say anything. He could knew his grip on her had lessoned.
"Of course I know," his angry words flowed quickly through the air. "I'm not stupid. I understand she feels for you, dog." His venomous tone showed his true nature as he again answered my thoughts.
"Edward," Bella gasped at his cruel statement. It didn't matter — the look on his face was priceless when she chastised him. Anguish. Her words caused him more pain than I ever could.
"Well, I guess now you know exactly how she feels for me, leech." He clenched and unclenched his fists, calming the urge to attack me. Bella glared at me, not pleased in my choice of words either. "And besides, there are things I can do for her that you can't," I added, just to see how much he could take. I allowed him to see the kiss for all it was worth. If he wanted to invade my privacy, he would have to take the good with the bad — although little about this was bad for me.
A growl erupted from him as the thoughts ran through my mind. The bloodsucker started to rub his temples as if to erase the images.
"Edward, what's wrong?" Bella whispered, seeing his obvious physical pain. She began to move towards him again. For a second time he held up his hand to keep her away.
"Don't come near me," he snapped, looking up at her with eyes dark as night. Bella flinched as if she'd been slapped. "Go inside. I need to speak with Jacob alone."
"I am not leaving you two out here to kill each other. I caused this; I kissed him…" her last words trailed off in a whisper. Admitting that she had kissed me was a big deal for Bella and me. I moved forward, placing my hand on her shoulder.
"I'll be fine, Bella, just let us talk." I gently tried to move her towards the house. Again she stood still, stubborn as ever.
"Don't touch her," the leech hissed, grimacing at the closeness between Bella and me. I thought of how my hands had freely roamed her body before we were so rudely interrupted.
"Stop it! Just stop it, Jacob Black!" he screamed, all composure lost. He was breathing heavily through his nose, looking enraged.
"Funny, she didn't ask me stop," I replied nonchalantly.
Bella turned on me. "Jacob! Do not make this any worse." No sooner had the words left her mouth than I was knocked to the ground. Edward was on top of me, hands tightening around my neck. Bella gasped at the sight of us fighting for her. He was strong for a leech. I pulled my arm back and threw it forward as fast as I could, knocking the bloodsucker squarely in the jaw and sending him across the lawn.
"Stop, both of you!" I faintly heard Bella say as the leech moved forward again. He jabbed at my abdomen, landing several shots and ducking several of mine. Then I realized he was reading my moves, lifting them straight from my mind. I lunged forward in frustration, missing his body but catching his arm. I pulled him to the ground, and we rolled around jockeying for position. I could feel my lip split open as his elbow smacked me in the mouth. My body started to shake, urging me to change into a wolf. I fought hard not to. Seeing two boys fight over a girl wasn't that suspicious — seeing a giant wolf and bloodsucker fight was something completely different. We continued to fight — both wounded and snarling — ripping at each other's flesh out of rage and jealousy for the special moments we had each shared with Bella. We may have continued like that until one of us destroyed the other, if not for the sudden gunshot that caught our attention.
The leech and I looked up from our position on the ground and saw a very angry Chief Swan standing above us.
"Inside. Now!" He barked the order as if we were his deputies. The parasite and I glared at each other, knowing we had to follow Charlie's order. Once standing, I saw Bella cowering off to the side. She looked terrified, and I instantly regretted my participation in the fight.
"Bells, I am so sorry," I whispered, my heart aching from the pain in her eyes.
"I'm sorry too, Bella." The leech sounded like he meant it. She eyed us both, as disheveled and scratched up as we were. We would both be healed soon enough on the outside, but I wasn't so sure about being healed on the inside. I guess that would be up to Bella.
We followed Charlie to the living room in silence, sitting as far apart as possible. The room felt too small with both of us in there. Charlie stood before us, taking us both in before speaking.
He inhaled sharply as he started his speech. "Boys, fighting like that in front of my daughter is not acceptable. I am not sure what is going on here, but I am willing to bet it has something to do with Bella going on vacation with the Cullens." Vacation — if that's all it was, I wouldn't be so upset. This vacation would take Bella straight to hell, and she'd never return from it. "So I have decided that Bella is not going with the Cullens." Instinctively, I waited for Bella's rebuttal, her many reasons why she had to go. They didn't come. The leech and I both looked at her in surprise. Charlie even seemed to brace himself for the fury that didn't come.
The bloodsucker spoke next. "It is for the best, Charlie. I think Bella needs some time. She needs to think about what she really wants." His stone façade seemed almost cruel; he had closed off all feelings on the matter. For the first time, I was not surprised by the leech's reaction.
I could see Bella out of the corner of my eye, tears silently sliding down her cheeks. She looked wounded, reminding me of the first time she brought me the motorcycles. Bella finally looked up at us, staring at what the situation had become.
She breathed unsteadily, looking back and forth between us. "I think I need to spend time with both of you. I don't know how to choose." My mouth fell. The pit of my stomach lurched at the idea of her being with him. But I couldn't argue. If I did, she would go to him — I was certain of it. I could see the leech's muscles go taut at her suggestion. He liked it even less than I did, but we were both stuck with the situation.
"Ahh…okay then. This seems to have gone better than I had hoped. Boys, you will not fight again, is that clear?" The authority in his voice was almost frightening, and I could see why he was the Chief of Police.
"Yes, sir," we mumbled together.
"Good. Now go home and get those cuts cleaned up." I almost laughed. I was already healing; luckily, Charlie wasn't paying too much attention. I glanced over at Bella. My whole being hurt at the sadness I had brought her. Bella felt me looking at her and lifted her eyes to meet mine.
"I'm sorry," I mouthed, and she nodded and gave me a slight smile. Everything would be okay now — it had to be. I quickly left the house and headed for the woods. I could feel the bloodsucker watching me, but I didn't care. There was a chance Bella would choose me — love me forever, not him. A chance she would stay human, and I was not going to ruin it by fighting again. I knew the others wouldn't be happy with what had happened, but I would find a way to explain. I phased quickly and ran towards the reservation. As dangerous as hope is, I allowed myself to hope that Bella would call soon.