Disclaimer: Twilight, New Moon and the characters found in those books are the property of Stephenie Meyer. This story is written for entertainment purposes only. No money is being made from this story, nor is any copyright infringement intended.
I breathed deeply, the sea air filling my lungs. The water stirred below the cliff. I closed my eyes, listening to the pleading voice in my head. That beautiful, velvet voice. I hesitated, preparing to jump, when something slammed against me. I expected to hit the ground, but spiraled in the air to land on a warm chest instead. A very familiar warm chest.
Jacob smelled like the forest after a rainstorm – clean and fresh. Natural. His arms felt good around my body. Safe. He kissed my forehead. I could handle that. I wasn't ready for more, at least, not yet.
"Get a room, you two!" Embry laughed.
He and Jared stood nearby, tall and nearly naked. Embry threw something at Jacob, who caught it in one hand. He stood, still holding me, and set me gently on my feet before turning his back to me. It was then that I realized Jacob was naked. Embry had thrown him a pair of cut-off shorts. I couldn't resist a peek, blushing as I noticed his tanned skin rippling over his muscles. The golden brown covered him from neck to heel, and unbroken line of color. I glanced away.
"Bella! What were you thinking?" Jacob said as he turned to face me.
"Cliff diving. I was thinking cliff diving. Just because you couldn't jump didn't mean I had to change my plans."
He frowned, exasperated. "There's a hurricane blowing in. Did you even think about that?" He pointed toward the ocean, shaking his head. "You could have drowned."
I turned, noticing the dark clouds moving in quickly, the water churning below. "I guess it was a stupid idea."
"A dangerous idea. Promise me you'll wait for me to even think about cliff diving again." He glared at Embry and Jared, who stood in the same place snickering. "The two of you can go back on patrol while I take Bella back to my house," he said to them dismissively. They rolled their eyes, loping off into the edge of the forest. I assumed that they'd change into wolf form there.
Lightning flashed, shaking the ground as the rain began. It poured from the sky, drenching us immediately. "I was hoping to beat the storm. Or at least, to make it to the truck so you wouldn't get wet," Jacob grumbled. He pulled me against him, nearly lifting me off the ground as we ran to the truck. Between the darkness and the rain pelting against the glass, I could barely see through the windshield. I wondered how Jacob could drive in weather like this.
When we reached the house, Jacob sheltered me as we ran inside. He ran his hands over my arms to warm me. I stood in front of him, shivering, and he pulled me against his chest. He was better than a blanket, his heat reaching all the way through to my bones. He left momentarily, returning with some towels and a bundle of sweats. I stared at his glistening wet chest as he wrapped my hair in one towel and began to buff me dry with another.
He handed me the sweats. "These are the best I can do for dry clothes. We can cut them off so you don't trip on them." He laughed like it was a joke, but I knew he meant it. He led me to his room and shut the door behind me so I could change.
"Where are Sam and Paul?" I asked on the way back to the living room. I could see Jacob in the kitchen.
"At the hospital," Jacob murmured somberly. "Harry Clearwater had a heart attack." He glanced up, his face marred by sorrow, but grinned when he saw me. "You look like a little kid wearing grownup's clothes. Let me find the scissors."
I felt bad about cutting up Jacob's clothes, knowing that he was ripping out of them left and right as he phased into a werewolf. "Really, it's not necessary."
"It is. I'm just going to cut them off into shorts later, anyway." He rummaged through a drawer until he found the scissors. He crooked his finger, and I joined him in the kitchen. He dropped to his knees beside me and carefully pulled the material away from my leg to cut it.
When he finished, he stood, ruffled my hair like I was a child, and said, "Rest there on the couch while I check on Harry."
Jacob sounded worried, but I couldn't tell much from this side of the conversation. He frowned as he turned to face me. "Nothing's changed. It doesn't look good, though," he whispered hoarsely. "Charlie's there. Why don't you rest here until we hear something more?"
Exhausted to the bone, I sank to the couch. Jacob sat on the floor beside me, his warm hands gently rubbing my back. I was so warm. So safe. I slipped quietly into darkness.