Chapter One: Complications

I could not hide my astonishment as we pulled up to Charlie's house and saw the silver Volvo resting in the driveway.

It was absolutely pouring, but I could see Bella sitting in the passenger seat, trapped in the glow of our headlights.

And I could see Edward Cullen behind the wheel.

A pang of jealousy caused the corners of my mouth to pull into a frown, and I tried to think of all the reasons Bella would be getting a ride from Cullen. Had her truck broken down? I thought that possibility through. It seemed highly unlikely; what could Bella have done to cause it such damage? Nothing, I thought to myself, that truck's like a tank, and Bella is too careful. I cringed away from the other option: that Bella and Edward were closer friends than Bella and I. I wouldn't let myself think beyond those limits- I couldn't- it was bad enough that seeing her with another guy did this to me. I had only just met Isabella Swan; what reason did I have for this? I didn't have one- of course- but that didn't stop me from frowning.

My father caught sight of my expression and turned to see what had caused it. I watched as his expression twisted, and was shocked by the anger that flared in his eyes; but only for a moment. I knew very well why Billy would be angry: he believed that the Cullen's were vampires.

I refused to accept the Quileutes legend about the "cold ones" as the truth, but my father did not. He truly believed that my great-grandfather- his grandfather- met the Cullens and made the treaty that kept them off our land. He was tribal elder at the time, and he knew the cold ones were enemies of the werewolves- which were supposedly what we descended from- and that though they claimed to be civilized, feeding on animals, there was still a chance that the thirst for human blood would be too much…

I watched as Billy's mouth flattened into a straight, hard line, and I decided it was time to end the stare off- Edward's eyes had met my fathers' and their glare was cold enough to turn the rain to snow- just as Bella climbed out of the car. Quickly, I leaned out my window and called her name.

"Hey, Bella."

She squinted through the downpour, trying to find my face in the gloom and the glare of my headlights.

"Jacob?"

I felt myself smile involuntarily as she said my name. Ever since that day on First Beach, the day I met her- the day I told her the legends of the cold ones and the werewolves- I'd been…like this. Still smiling, I stepped out of the car. I crossed to the passengers' side and carefully helped Billy into his wheelchair. His eyes conveyed an anxious sort of fear as I rolled him to where Bella stood, even though Edward had sped off as soon as Bella had stepped down onto the pavement. She smiled tentatively at him.

Charlie had pulled up behind her in his cruiser as I had climbed out of my car, and for a moment she was illuminated by the bright glow of the headlights. I felt my smile widen to a grin. Billy continued to scrutinize Bella as we made it to her, and her smile faded. I looked down at Billy, and then back up at her. I felt my grin falter as I absorbed the uneasiness of their silent exchange.

Could Bella have believed the stories? Were they true? Could she know? Could she seen in Billy's anxious eyes that he believed? Could she see that my father distrusted Edward and his family? Could she distrust him for it?

The answer was clear in Bella's narrowed brown eyes as she dissected my father's expression.

Yes. Yes, she could.