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
A/N: Thanks to sillybella for being a great beta and always being willing to listen. I would also like to thank Amor, BHG, Cocoa, and Ambereyes for putting up with my obsessive Jacob phase.
I woke up to the sun beaming through my windows. It was finally nice outside. The week had been pretty wet. There was never much to do on the reservation and even less to do when it rained. I lay in bed thinking about what I the day might have in store for me. My peace was interrupted by a knock on the door.
"Dad, I'll be up in a minute," I said groggily.
My door flew open. "Get up lazy bones." Embry leaned against the doorway, smiling. Quil stood right behind him eating something.
"Hey, Jake," he mumbled between mouthfuls.
"What are you eating? Don't they feed you at home?" I said, rubbing the sleep out of my eyes. The boys were always over here. Luckily I considered them my brothers in way.
"Oh, this, well, Billy said it was getting cold, and he didn't think you'd be up anytime soon," Quil answered, shoveling another large forkful of eggs into his mouth.
"You're eating my breakfast!" I shouted and hopped out of bed to salvage what was left of my food. "Give it here." I grabbed for the plate to find only a forkful left. I glared at him through narrow eyes.
"What?" he questioned with a shrug, knowing full well what the problem was.
"What?" I replied sarcastically. "I'm a growing boy and need all the food I can get, and you come and steal my breakfast."
"Oh, well, I'm a growing boy too, ya know."
"Ha-ha!" Embry was enjoying not being part of this argument. "Will you two stop? Jake, I'm sure you could scrounge up something to eat. Quil, you know how Jake here gets when he isn't fed. Leave the boy's food alone."
"So what are you guys doing here so early anyways?" I asked as I made my way to the kitchen to find something to eat. I couldn't believe they had come here to wake me up and eat my food.
Embry looked at me with a slightly shocked expression. "First of all it's not early, it's after ten. Secondly, it's the first sunny day in almost a week. We should go out and do something."
I stepped out of my room and almost directly into our living room. From where I stood, I could see the kitchen as well as Dad sitting on the couch watching some of the highlights from last night's game. "Morning, Dad. Thanks for letting Quil eat my breakfast," I said a little more sharply then I had intended. I was definitely hungry.
"Hey, you know what they say about the earlier bird," was his only reply.
I started rummaging through the cupboards.
"So what are we going to do today?" Embry was all about having a plan today. I shrugged and poured myself some cereal. I twisted to get the milk, and when I turned back half the bowl was gone.
I reached my arm out and shoved Quil in the shoulder. "Are you kidding me?"
"Quil, will you let the boy eat? He's grown like two inches in the last month. He needs all the food he can get." Embry defended me, making sure to point out my ridiculous growth spurt. "So considering neither one you are focused, I'll tell you the plan." He sounded like a general with an important military strategy. He was definitely up to no good.
"What are you plotting, Embry? You seem stuck on this plan." I looked at him curiously, waiting for an answer. Quil stifled a laugh.
"Go ahead, Embry; tell him what the plan is," he said mockingly. I knew I wasn't going to like it, whatever 'it' was.
"Um, yeah…the plan," Embry hesitated.
I narrowed my eyes at him. This was going to be bad; I could already tell. "Spit it out, Embry."
He bit his lip before he spoke. "Well, you see, I kind of promised we'd hang out with some people today." Quil placed his hands over his mouth to control his laughter.
"Jessica Atila and, uh, Leah Clearwater," he replied quickly. Quil completely lost it and openly laughed…at me.
I stood there with my mouth open, "You what?"
"Well, Jessica called and wanted to hang out, which we all know is something I have wanted for a while. Then she mentioned that Leah was going to be around and asked if you were around because she really couldn't leave Leah alone," he trailed off.
Great, Embry was trying to play matchmaker, namely for himself. Leah was a really nice person, she used to come over when we were little, but lately she wanted to be more than just friends. I wasn't really sure what to do about that. She was older than I was, and really I always thought of her as more of a sister. I hadn't really thought of girl in any way other than friendship.
"Leah, you told Leah I would hang out with her?"
Dad turned from the television for the first time since we had entered the kitchen. "Leah Clearwater? Why wouldn't you want to hang out with her?" This was becoming very embarrassing.
"Ha-ha, Leah has a bit of a crush on our boy Jake," Quil taunted me.
I shot Quil a warning glare. "Not now," I hissed through gritted teeth.
"She is a nice girl, Jacob. I don't understand why you wouldn't want to see her. Her father is an elder. It would be nice for you to spend time with her." Now it was almost impossible to get out of it.
"Fine," I muttered. I was going to get Embry back for this. I just wasn't sure how. Embry smiled tentatively knowing I was only going because it was better than dealing with my dad and a lecture on heritage. At least Quil would be there, too.
Unlike Embry, who was interested in Jessica, and Quil, who was interested in, well pick one, there was no one here that had really caught my attention. I shoveled the rest of my cereal in my mouth and went to change.
Once I was ready we walked into the center of the reservation. There wasn't much to do here. There was only one store in the center of town and that was where we were meeting the girls. As we approached the store I could see them out front. Embry saw Jessica, and immediately his face broke into a huge smile. He was normally a bit shy around girls, but Jessica was different; she seemed to bring out something special in Embry.
"Hi guys!" Jessica said brightly and waved. Embry was instantly at her side giving her a gentle, quick hug. Leah beamed at me from Jessica's side. I could hear Quil laughing behind me. This was going to be a long day. We headed for the beach it seemed like a nice enough afternoon for it.
As we walked toward the beach Leah tried to hold my hand several times. Each time I skillfully avoided her by swinging my arms and pretending to stretch. We stopped at Quil's house on the way to beach to pick up some sodas. The girls sat outside on the picnic table while we gathered drinks and snacks.
"So you and Leah seem to be getting along ok," Embry said with a smirk.
"Yeah, great, thanks a lot," I replied sarcastically. "Oh, and Embry, don't think I'll forget about this anytime soon." I turned to find Quill staring out the window at the girls.
"What do you think they are talking about?" Quil asked me over his shoulder as he looked at the girls huddled together, whispering at the picnic table.
"They're girls; who knows?" I replied. We all laughed because girls would always be a mystery to us.
We headed out the door to rejoin them and continued on our adventure. Again, Leah joined me in the walk. We talked about our families and how my sisters were, but it seemed a little forced. She laughed at everything I said and slapped me gently in the arm, telling me to stop it. Trust me, I would have if I could have. I just didn't know what "it" was.
We continued to walk along the wooded road to the beach. Two figures emerged from the forest to our left. The girl stared as Sam and Paul approached. Sam was nineteen and had graduated the year before. He had planned to go off to college, but changed his mind during the summer before he was supposed to go. He had given up a scholarship and no one knew the reason why. Even stranger, no one fought him on it. Sam had also started to hang out with some younger guys. Paul was the same age as us, and then there was Jared as well, but he wasn't with them today.
"What are they doing here?" Quil whispered to me.
"Probably just enjoying the weather," I didn't want to feed into Quil's dislike for the older guys. He had a tendency to cause fights.
After talking briefly to the girls Sam acknowledged us. "Hello, boys."
"Hey, Sam, Paul. What are you guys up to?" Embry was trying to be cordial.
"Not much, we just heard there were some townies on the beach, thought we'd say hello." All the while Sam spoke Paul stared at me seething. I was unsure of what had gotten him so angry, but I wanted no part of it. Paul had a reputation of being even more of a hot-head than Quil. "Do you guys want to join us? I hear Charlie's daughter is there." I had heard that Charlie's daughter had moved to Forks. Although my dad and Charlie had a bit of an argument over something completely ridiculous, Harry and Charlie still went fishing. He kept us informed.
The girls walked over to join us. Leah came over to me and touched my arm "Jake, what are we going to do now?" I could see Paul's expression change from an angry glare to complete disgust.
"Um…" I said and stepped away from her touch. The last thing I wanted was an enemy in Paul. That, and I didn't want to give Leah the wrong idea. "We're all going down to the beach to see the townies." Quil picked up on the situation and began to laugh, this time at Paul's expense. Embry smacked him in the back of the head.
"Hey!" Quil looked like he was ready to retaliate.
"Let's go," Sam spoke authoritatively and we listened, even Quil.
As we approached the beach we could hear the laughter and music from the group at the beach. I made sure to keep my distance from Leah as we walked. I was curious to see Charlie's daughter. When I was little I remember her coming to play with my sisters. I didn't remember what she looked like, just that she used to visit. When we reached the group there were only a few people sitting around a bonfire. Sam introduced himself and then the rest of us. The group of was friendly enough and invited us to join them. I looked around, but none of the girls looked like Charlie. Maybe she hadn't come after all.
Not long after we started to pass out the food a group returned from hiking. I was sitting on the far side of the bonfire with Quil. Again, I looked for someone resembling Charlie, but there was no one. I did notice another girl though. There was just something about her. She trailed behind the group with another girl and sat at the far side of the driftwood circle. Eric, I think his name was, began to introduce the hiking group as they found seats. Her name was Bella. Was it possible that she was Charlie's daughter? The name was close enough, Bella, Isabella, but she looked nothing like Charlie. She was beautiful, in a girl next door kind of way. She was tiny with porcelain skin that was offset by chocolate brown hair. As Sam introduced us her eyes met mine. They were amazing warm brown eyes; deep, rich, earthy brown. My heart raced as she looked at me. I was definitely interested but knew I had no chance. The kid with the blond spiky hair seemed to at her beck and call, even though I wasn't convinced that she was interested in him at all. I was way out of my league, but the least I could do was thank her for the taking the truck off my hands.
"Hey Jake. Earth to Jacob." I turned to face Quil, who had been watching me stare at Bella. "So you like the new view?" He grinned, teasing me.
"Be serious Quill. I was just trying to figure out if that was Charlie's daughter that's all." Quil smirked at me knowingly and let the subject drop. We talked with the people on our side of the circle and every now and then I would look at Bella out of the corner of my eye and my heart would race. I was definitely in trouble.
I spent a lot of time sneaking peeks at the intriguing girl. I took a deep breath and decided that I should go introduce myself. After all, I did know her dad, and she did own my truck. Once a group of kids headed out to for another hike I headed over to her. I walked slowly, trying to take in every thing about her. When I reached her I took a deep breath and spoke. "You're Isabella Swan, aren't you?" I looked at her hopefully, if she wasn't I was definitely making a fool out of myself.
"Bella," she said with a sigh, clearly not interested at all. I had come this far; the least I could do was introduce myself.
"I'm Jacob Black."