Author's Note: The definition of a Saros Cycle from Wikipedia: A Saros Cycle is an eclipse cycle with a period of about 18 years 11 days 8 hours (approximately 6585⅓ days) that can be used to predict eclipses of the Sun and Moon. One Saros after an eclipse, the Sun, Earth, and Moon return to approximately the same relative geometry, and a nearly identical eclipse will occur.
Thank you to my betas MarcyJ and Midnight Walking.
Disclaimer: All the characters appearing in this work are copyright Stephenie Meyer and are not used with permission. No infringement of these copyrights is intended, and all original characters are the property of Stephenie Meyer. No financial gain is being made by this work. Quotes taken directly from Stephenie Meyer's work are in italics. No copyright infringement is intended by the use of these quotes.
The Saros Cycle
I looked up at the angry sky from my bedroom window. The day was gray and gloomy, and thick dark clouds tussled and rolled across the vast sky fighting to block out the sliver of sunshine that tried to escape. The weather was fitting for the funk I was in at the moment. I had received Bella's pleading note from Billy who had received it from Charlie who had received it from Bella. The day I had returned her motorcycle I was stunned by her choice, she actually wanted to be one of them, but as horrific as the thought seemed to me, her eyes twinkled at the prospect of an eternity as a leech. When I looked into her eyes that day I realized she meant what she said – the determination to carry out her plan was obvious on her face. So she was preparing to give up her life, her family, and her friends to be a bloodsucker, but she just couldn't leave me alone – and this new attempt to get me to talk to her was childish.
But in my heart I knew why she did it, I knew the kind heart that beat in Bella's chest, and I knew that heart did care for me, which made being angry with her all the more difficult. I crumbled the sheet of paper in front of me and tossed it with the rest of my half-written responses that littered my small bedroom. I had spent the last hour cooped up in my room, pacing back and forth across the limited floor space trying to find the right words to describe what I was feeling. A flash of light brought my eyes to the sky again and the clouds seemed to mock me with their own fury and a clap of thunder vibrated the windowpane. I recalled that day outside Bella's house again, and how he had shielded Bella from me and the very thought of her cowering behind him – holding him – ignited my own rage and it seemed to match the intensity of Mother Nature's at that moment. The clouds were as dark and angry as I was and all I wanted to do at that moment was run and release the charged up anger that flowed in my veins. I ran down the stairs with a notebook in hand, the pen clipped into the spiral binding. I looked around and listened carefully for any signs of movement – either Billy was taking an afternoon nap or no one was home. Instead of stopping to leave a note, I flung open the screen door and dashed for the trees. I stripped down completely and let the anger have me.
Under the cover of trees my body rippled, convulsed and exploded, the change was a combination of excruciating pain and pleasure all rolled into one. Once the change was complete and my enormous frame filled the tiny opening I stood in, I raised my muzzle to the drizzle and howled releasing the tension in my body. Even on all fours my fur covered ears brushed against some low hanging branches, so I ducked my head and captured my clothes and the notebook between my teeth. I headed in the direction of the cliffs at a full out run. My paws hammered the muddy ground while the rhythmic beating pounded into my mind pushing away all thoughts of Bella – a welcome reprieve from the inner turmoil. I had been prisoner to my tortured emotions since the leeches had come back to town, and I welcomed the peaceful emptiness of my mind. Instead, I focused on the mechanical tempo of my legs, the rush of wind through my fur, and the ground flying beneath my paws.
I slowed my pace as my heart took up a ferocious pounding in my veins and the sound reverberated in my mind, as I focused on my surroundings I realized now where my body had unconsciously brought me – the meadow Bella had so desperately wanted to find. I slowed to a walk as I saw with my keen eyes the opening in the heavy green canopy of trees ahead – I stood in this exact spot as I watched with horror as the black haired leech prepared to pounce on Bella. I bared my teeth at the thought of the bloodsucker and the delicious victory of destroying it and for a moment I rejoiced in the image of its mangled body as we tore it apart limb by limb. Another spark of lighting shot through the sky followed moments later by the powerful rumble of thunder. In response, I released a pelt of thunderous howls that echoed along with the booming noise, and imagined the power of Mother Nature coursing through my body, and I felt indestructible.
As if to snap me out of my childish delusions, Mother Nature opened up the floodgates and poured down buckets of the torrential rain, drenching my russet fur till it clung together in matted clumps. I headed toward thicker tree cover and found a wide ancient trunk to lean against. I morphed back into my human skin and shoved my now wet but still warm body into the damp clothing. I sat and leaned against the tree facing the circular meadow as I envisioned that day so many weeks ago. Bella's life had almost ended here – that dark haired bloodsucker had almost killed her, yet at this very moment she was probably with a leech, since she now spent every available moment with them. I knew this because despite Sam's warnings to stay away, I couldn't help but go check on her, and sure enough the shiny silver car was always parked in front of her house, and at night when the car wasn't there, the scent of him wafting from her room broke my heart every single time. Couldn't she see that past their deceiving exterior there resided within each of them a vicious animal that desired and hungered for blood? That it could drain her dry just as the black-haired one had almost done? Or worse, make her an undead just like them? But she wanted that. For some unfathomable reason she wanted to be just like them. Now wouldn't that be a kicker - if Chief Swann found out that when his precious Bella grows up she wants to be a vampire. My bitter thoughts betrayed my heart – because as mush as I wanted Charlie to know everything, even if I could tell him everything, I remembered the flush of anger that had colored Charlie's face, making him look like an over-ripe tomato ready to burst. There was no doubt in my mind that the news of the motorcycle had elevated Charlie's blood pressure, and I couldn't deny that Bella was right – I had made an error in judgment by involving Charlie, and I wouldn't make the same mistake twice. I wanted to protect Bella and Charlie too, not hurt them.
I growled in frustration and pulled her note from the pages of the notebook and re-read it. I crumbled the yellow lined paper in aggravation and hit my head against the trunk of the tree. I flipped open my own notebook and clicked the pen so that I could somehow coherently respond to her note.
I started with the easy part – her name, pressing the pen firmly to the page, engraving each letter into the soft paper, I paused for a moment to read her name aloud.
"Bella," I sighed. "Bella, Bella, Bella," I sighed again "Bella…why? Just make me understand, why? Why would you-" My voice trembled, "How could you choose them?"
This was pure agony for me. I didn't want to think about her, I didn't want to remember what almost was or the choice she had obviously made about her future – I just couldn't hold all these broken pieces inside me. I wasn't answering her phone calls so why couldn't she just get the hint? Couldn't she understand that this was killing me inside?
I put the pen to the paper again and started,
I don't know why you're making Charlie carry notes to Billy like we're in second grade – if I wanted to talk to you I would answer the
"Argh…that's not right. I don't want to point fingers. I don't want to fight with her…" I mumbled to myself as I cut a line through the words and tried again,
You made the choice here, okay? You can't have it both ways when
"When you're in love with that goddamn leech," I finished bitterly. I wanted to put those words in writing, but thought better of it. I was mad, but I still couldn't bring myself to push her away. Avoiding her phone calls was difficult enough, letting her think I hated her would be unbearable. I viciously crossed out that line as well.
Couldn't she understand that happily ever after was just not possible, not when she intended it to be with a bloodsucker?
What part of 'mortal enemies' is too complicated for you to
I couldn't insult her either. No matter how much I wanted to grab her and shake her, I also wanted to grab her and kiss her at the same time. And what if she needed me? What if she changed her mind? She needed to know she could still come to me, that I would be waiting with open arms.
I tried to subdue the anger in my words and speak to her from my heart,
Look, I know I'm being a jerk, but there's just no way around
There was no way around the leeches…if she chose them how could she also choose me? It just didn't work that way. It had to be one or the other. Just her coated in his smell was enough to push my restraint to the limits, and I would never hurt her, not the way he thought I would have that day outside her house. Not to mention what would happen if I ever did come face to face with him or any of his bloodsucking family, again. I needed to make her understand what I was going through, how hard this was for me, and she needed to know that it was so impossibly difficult because I desperately loved and cared for her.
We can't be friends when you're spending all your time with a bunch of
There was that word again, the one Bella hated to hear; luckily, I stopped myself before I wrote it and sighed heavily. This was impossible! I roughly ran a hand through my hair, and then slammed the pen down into the dirt next to me, leaving my hands free to cradle my aching head. How could I possibly explain this to her when she couldn't even accept the fact that they were blood suckers, they sucked blood, did she not see how wrong that was? I sighed and the ache in my heart was reflected in my face as it scrunched up in agony.
I retrieved the dirty pen, hurriedly wiped the mud on my pants and tried again,
It just makes it worse when I think about you too much, so don't write anymore
Anger at what I was, anger at her choice to go back to them, hatred for the 'man' she choose – if I put all those raw emotions aside – the real message became clear. I loved her and I desperately missed her and there was nothing I could do about it. I leaned my head back and realized that the rain had stopped and the dark clouds had moved along letting a few rays of sunshine reach me under my leafy umbrella. Bella was my light, my ray of sunshine; she was the part of me that went missing when she wasn't around, it was how I had been feeling since the moment she stepped off that porch to head to Italy on her suicide mission. If Bella was my sun, then I was the moon, a side of me always in the dark, never experiencing the light of her love, because she didn't love me that way. I felt like I was always orbiting around her world, and ever so slowly I had moved towards her – I had thought, no hoped – to finally be in sync with her - to be in her line of sight, and I'd had my moment that day when I choose to answer the phone instead of kiss her, but just like a solar eclipse, I was close enough to feel her warmth but sadly the moment never lasted long enough to become reality, and then I was off, drifting away from her again. Solar eclipses were rare, as was her love, and I didn't know if I would ever get another chance.
Yeah, I miss you, too. A lot. Doesn't change anything. Sorry.
That said it all - all that there was for me to say. I looked up at the now sun filled meadow and then it dawned on me why Bella had wanted so desperately to find it. The peaceful romance of it had escaped me before, when her life was at stake, now it seemed so obvious that I felt like I had been kicked in the gut. She had wanted to find this place because it had something to do with her bloodsucker; it must have been a special place for them. I felt the anger boil inside me again and uncontrollable tremors shook my body. With the pen still clutched in my hand, my body exploded into wolf form, breaking the delicate pen in the process. I looked down at it still grasped between the claws of my paw, and the blue blood of the writing instrument dribbled specks of ink across the page of my note. The pathetic pen broken in my hand, oozing the dark liquid, was somehow satisfying to see, for it represented the state of my own heart. I looked down at the notebook and flipped the cover closed with my snout. Surveying the mess of shredded clothing and the oozing pen, I picked up the notebook in my mouth and turned to leave. I cast one last backward glance at the meadow and realized that I had never saved Bella's life here, for her life had ended the moment she came here with the bloodsucker. Not wanting to imagine the two of them in this romantic setting, I turned and ran all the way home.