Until Our Hearts Give In and Pull Us Under.
The drive was quiet at first.
Jacob didn't think about anything in particular, and he drove silently. I didn't say anything either, for fear of setting him off when he seemed calm. Ironically, it was scarier when he was quietly angry.
I wanted to ask where he was taking me, but he just drove, in the direction of La Push, where I first guessed we were going, but the turns he was making didn't indicate that that's where he was heading. Finally, after what felt like an eternity, Jacob cleared his throat and asked, eyes still on the road, "So what did you do while I was gone, Edward?"
I retorted quickly, lying having always been one of my better abilities. "Mostly read, played the piano a bit. You weren't gone long enough for me to do anything terribly constructive."
At this, he actually laughed; a dark, hollow laugh, and I edged closer to the door of the car at the sound. "Are you lying to me, Edward?" he asked, laughter ceased. He was much too calm for my liking.
"No," I said shakily, and I bit my tongue for it; I bet he could hear the truth in the wavering of my voice. I forced some confidence into my next words. "That's really all I did."
Jacob was quiet for a few minutes. "See, there's something that's not making any sense, Edward."
"Is there?" I asked, gripping the edge of my seat.
"Yes, there is. You see, I asked you if you were lying to me, which you obviously were. And on top of that, you go and lie again."
"I wasn't lying, Jacob."
Jacob clicked his tongue in disapproval. "You're just digging a deeper hole for yourself." And, you know, once you dig deep enough, you'll be digging your own grave.
I felt my eyes widen impossibly. "Jake-"
"Shut your mouth," he said sharply, and I obliged, shrinking into the seat and trying to make myself as small as possible.
"Edward, we both know you were listening to a conversation that just wasn't for you to hear. Are you going to continue to deny it?"
I didn't say anything.
"I'm not angry," Jacob concluded, obviously not needing me to reply as he shrugged and made another turn. "In fact, I knew that you were going to eavesdrop. But what I want to know is, what were you expecting?" Jacob looked at me, curious. I took a deep breath, not completely sure if any noise would come out when I spoke. "I wasn't expecting much," I said slowly. "But... what you said..."
"I said a lot of things, Edward," Jacob interjected coldly. "You have to be more specific than that."
I lowered my gaze. "The... the imprinting part." Swallowing hard, I waited for him to say something, anything, but he stayed quiet, listening to me. I continued warily. "I don't quite understand it. What does that entail? I mean..."
But Jake was already gripping the steering wheel as hard as he could, hands tremblings, knuckles fading to white. "It's just a theory," Jacob said quietly. "I'm not sure if it even happened."
"Let's say that, hypothetically, you did." Jacob's driving was starting to speed up; I watched as the trees started to blur into green masses and the speedometer's needle started to edge passed 85. "How does that work?"
"Well, that would mean that, hypothetically, I would be bound to you and only you for the entirety of my existence," he explained. He made it sound very simple.
"So, that would mean you fell in love with me? Involuntarily?" At his expression, I quickly added, "Hypothetically, of course."
"Not necessarily." Jacob pulled onto the shoulder of a deserted road, putting the vehicle in park. Had it been sunny at all, the trees surrounding us would be blocking it out anyway, but the cloudiness of the sky made the moment all the more ominous. "It's... deeper than that. When you imprint on someone, that person becomes your life. Everything revolves around that person, because you just know that they're the one you're meant to be with." Jacob's eyes were closed, and I watched him shiver as he thought about what he'd just said.
"And you... imprinted on me?" I was a little breathless after his explanation that sounded suspiciously like a confession.
"I told you, I don't know. It's just a theory. Imprinting is rare. But it would explain why I..." He set his jaw firm, gripping the steering wheel again.
"And when did you come to this conclusion?" I asked, a bit timidly.
Jacob sighed, leaning back into his seat in a frustrated manner. "Some time ago."
"And how long ago was that?"
When I first met you.
"Oh," I exhaled sharply. "That was... a long time ago."
"So, how do we know?" I asked him after a long silence.
"I know," he said quietly, almost a whisper. "It's just a matter of what you want to believe and what you want to accept."
"Hypothetically," I added, and the pained smile he flaunted next made me feel just a bit smug. "Of course," Jacob chuckled, looking at me out of the corner of his eye, mood lightening ever so slowly.
"Now it's your turn," Jacob said, turning himself toward me a bit so I wasn't talking to his side. "What would you do if it was you that I... imprinted on?"
"What would I do?" I blinked, choosing not to voice the fact that I thought it was a pretty pointless question. "It probably wouldn't change anything; I think we'd still be in the situation we're in."
"Hm." He was quiet for a moment, pondering.
"Jake?" I asked him, purposely pulling him out of his reverie.
"I'm not..." I bit my lip, not quite knowing how to say what I was feeling at that moment.
Jacob quirked an eyebrow at me, warm hand reaching up to touch my face briefly. "You're not what?"
"I'm not going to leave."
He looked confused. "What do you mean?"
"I mean, nothing can make me stop wanting you. If you were to imprint on me... it wouldn't bother me."
My words seemed to stun him into speechlessness.
Jacob stared at me, trying to figure out if I was telling the truth, and after he seemed to decide that I was, he tried to think of reasons why in the world I would feel this way.
To be honest, it didn't quite make sense to me either.
"I'll take you home now," he mumbled, almost incoherently. He switched gears and glided back onto the road, shaking his head.
"You don't have to," I told him, staring at the road behind us, disappearing slowly. Jacob was gradually speeding up, trying to get back to my home as fast as he could without getting in an accident.
"I have somewhere to be."
"And where's that?" I asked with curiousity.
I stared out the window again, estimating how many seconds it would be until the trees started to look similar to the ones surrounding the Cullen family residence. Damn it, damn it, damn it, I just know Sam's going to chew me out about this one. Especially since I'll be going back smelling like him... Jacob's thoughts were pretty drenched in despair, and I was almost heartbroken when we turned onto the path leading up to my house.
"Can you come back tonight then? Later, after the meeting?" I asked, maybe with too much anxiety coating my plea. Jacob parked neatly before killing the engine and drumming his fingers on the steering wheel in thought. "I'm on patrol tonight," he said flatly.
I huffed; it simply wasn't fair. I'd barely gotten to see him today, and his stupid pack was taking up all of his time. I resisted the urge to insult the wolves aloud, knowing that that would make him angry no matter how upset he was with them.
"I can try," Jacob finally decided, shrugging. "It'll be late though..."
"You do realize I don't exactly have a bedtime, right?" I chuckled darkly, and he laughed too, seeing the humor in his own words. "Alright. Until then, Cullen."
I exitted the vehicle with familiar grace. "Likewise, Black."
This thought rang out louder than the rest as I was walking back into the house. And surprisingly, it wasn't Alice who had thought it, though it was Alice running down the stairs before I'd had time to shut the door properly. It had been Jasper, who followed suit, but less eager, curiousity etched into his face.
I raised an eyebrow at my sister. "Alice...?"
She tried to look innocent for a second, blinking up at me through her lashes like I'd seen more than a hundred girls do before. "Salutations, Edward!" she greeted brightly. I heard nothing from her mind. Not quite satisfied, I pushed further, trying to get around her mental blocks, but she wouldn't have it. And that could only mean one thing.
She was hiding something.
"Salutations," I replied respectively, turning my gaze to Jasper. His head was silent as well. I tried what I'd tried on Alice, and it frustrated me to no end that they succeeded in keeping their thoughts from me. I was either losing my touch, or just getting too old. One hundred years isn't terribly elderly, wouldn't you agree?
My siblings stood there, motionless, waiting for me to make the next move. And I did; one step forward. No one made a sound. No one made to leave. This was starting to get weird. "Okay, what the hell is going on?"
Alice tilted her head, dark hair curtaining one side of her face. "How do you mean?"
"You two are hiding something, particularily you," I said, narrowing my eyes at her. "So, let's hear it."
Alice's lips pursed, and she said firmly, "I haven't the faintest inkling of what you are talking about, Edward."
I tried once more to get inside her head but to no avail. I could practically see the determination in her eyes. Well, fine. If that is the game she so wishes to play...
"Okay. I'll see you two... later, then?" I carefully side-stepped them and headed up to my room, locking the door behind me. I strained my ears to hear any sort of conversation that they exchanged after my exit, but there wasn't anything except the sound of their footsteps as they headed back to their room.
I huffed; I'd been cheated. They were keeping something from me, and I wasn't given any idea of what it was. I suddenly realized how early in the day it was, and that my schedule was empty, save for the late night... meeting with Jacob. I suddenly needed something to do, so I spent the next hour and forty-seven minutes deciding what to wear to said meeting. If I hadn't been so ticked at Alice, I would've asked her to help me, but I must say, she would've been proud of the effort I put into it on my own.
Finally, there was a knock at my door, a small clicking noise, and then it opened. Alice had lockpicked my door, with her fingernail, I presume. She'd probably foreseen that I wasn't going to let her in willingly. "Can I help you?" I greeted, not turning away from the closet as I spoke.
She shut the door, relocking it, before replying with, "You were with Jacob earlier."
I didn't say anything, just went on with my business. I pretended to be interested in a pair of faded black jeans that Alice had recently added to my wardrobe. Out of the corner of my eye, I saw her get a bit excited that I was considering them, and then deflate when I put them back with a small sigh. "Oh!" she said, distracted for just a moment by her disappointment. "But those would look wonderous on you, Edward! I tailored them specifically-"
"Was there something you needed, Alice?" I finally turned to look at her, and she had her hands on her hips in a slightly irritated manner, miffed because I'd interrupted her rant. "Well, yes, actually. I just wanted to ask if anything exceptionally eventful happened today?"
It was a fairly strenuous struggle to keep the mocking grin off of my face as I responded. "I haven't the faintest inkling of what you are talking about, Alice."
Yeah... that was sucky (childish vocabulary FTW!). I bet you all hate me for building up a cliffhanger in the last chapter and then... nothing, nada, zippo, zilch. Just a calm, uneventful car ride, and then my failed attempt at humor at the end. Hope you enjoyed it, nonetheless, because it was necessary for me to move the plot along a bit.
Also, thank you so much everyone who has reviewed! We're close to hitting 150 reviews. I literally cried when I hit 100. Like, I was almost drowning; it was pretty gruesome. I was in a friend's basement, on my laptop, and there were about 30 people in there, and I swear to you, every single head turned to look at me as I burst into tears. I blame each and every one of you :)
Also, I wanna work out a schedule for udates so you guys aren't bugging me about not posting anything for months (my fault!). So, lemme know what you guys want: two updates a week? Once every Friday? You just let me know and we'll work something out.