Disclaimer: I do not own anything besides my college debt and my sweet new hair cut.
With that said…Twilight, New Moon, Eclipse, Breaking Dawn and all of the characters mentioned in this story all belong to the fabulously talented Stephenie Meyer!
No Copyright Infringement intended.
"I'm not quite sure how to breathe
Without you here
I'm not quite sure if I'm ready
To say goodbye to all we were"
--Need by Hana Pestle
Chapter 1: A New Kind of Love
I looked out over the edge of the cliff through the rain that was stinging against my cheeks. The water was angry, crashing against the rocks below. I could tell a pretty bad storm was blowing in and I could smell the moisture in the air, could almost taste the salt water. For some reason the cliff did not seem as high as it was now back when Jacob and I were spying on the pack cliff diving. I sighed thinking about how much has changed since that day that was not so long ago. I sat down, letting my legs dangle over the edge.
Everything was so much easier then, the pre-werewolf days when Jacob was always my Jacob and not angry, sarcastic Jacob. Of course, easier was not really the right word because nothing came easy to me, not since E---I stopped myself from even thinking his name—after he left. Thinking about him was starting to make it hard for me to breathe again. The familiar emptiness in my chest was getting uncomfortable. I stood up, hugging my arms around myself—a protective mechanism--and realized that I could not wait any longer for Jacob to meet me here, if he would even show up at all. I needed to hear that angelic voice again.
I glanced back down over the ledge and felt the fear rise up through my spine at the sudden realization of my intentions. I swallowed hard, took a deep breath, and closed my eyes.
"No Bella." His voice was velvet and clear. I felt myself relax at the sound of it. It came sooner than expected. I smiled to myself at how easy hearing him was starting to become. I took another step closer.
"Bella, NO, this is too dangerous," his voice growled. I wanted to yell at him and tell him that he did not care about me, because if he did he would be here with me at this moment. I knew this was useless and somehow it would make me even crazier than I already was, so I refrained.
I flung my eyes open, glanced down at the dark, icy water below and shivered. I could already feel the numbness of the cold water and the pain it would inflict on my body once I broke through the surface. I took the final step, preparing myself to jump. I was definitely no Olympic diver but I felt that it would come natural. I lifted my arms above my head and leaned over onto the balls of my feet. I wanted to jump at that instant but the coward inside of me would not let me move. I leaned back up and let my arms return to my sides, instead. I had to work up the courage to do this.
"Bella!" This time the familiar voice did not come from my angel, but from my best friend. I practically jumped out of my skin, almost losing my balance, and turned around to face him. His eyes were wide in horror and he was running up the hill toward me with speed I would have never thought possible had I not dated a vampire.
"Bella, what are you doing? What are you thinking?!" He was yelling at me, his voice frantic, though I could not figure out why. Wasn't this what we were intending on doing today? Cliff-diving?
"Jake, calm down. I was just going to get started without you."
Before I knew what was happening I was in his arms and he was squeezing me so tight I could barely breathe.
"I—I thought…,"he mumbled, his voice an octave higher than usual. His hands were stroking my hair. "Oh Bella, please don't ever do that to me again." I could hear his heart pounding in his chest and I knew it wasn't because of his sprint.
I never saw him so terrified before and it made me feel guilty. I did not like to see him even the slightest bit upset. He pulled away slightly from the embrace so that he was looking me in the eyes. His face was a little too close to mine than I'd like it to be. His forehead was furrowed in concentration as if he were trying to read my thoughts, trying to figure out what he could do to help me heal from my broken heart.
"Jacob I was not trying to commit suicide if that's what you're thinking!" I was outraged by my realization of what brought on his horror. How could he think I would ever do something so stupid and selfish? Then again, I guess I couldn't blame him. I was trying to be reckless just to hear voices in my head.
"Well you could have killed yourself if you would have jumped. Did you not notice the storm coming in and how rough the water is? Would you try to be a little more responsible?" He was still yelling at me like I was child.
I pushed him away from me and crossed my arms in front of my chest angrily. I started stomping away from him heading back down the hill. If he was going to treat me like a child then why not act like one?
"Since when do you like to do things responsibly?" I yelled back after me not sounding as fierce as I wish I could.
He caught up with me easily in one stride and put his hand on my shoulder, pulling me back around to face him. "Since I thought you were going to die. You know my life would really suck without my partner in crime." He smiled at me softly, his voice returning back to a neutral level. It was the smile that belonged to my Jacob. The smile that made me feel almost human again.
I rolled my eyes but then smiled back and dropped my arms.
"I'm sorry I scared you," I sighed.
"It's alright Bells, I guess I will forgive you." He brought his brown hand up to my cheek and brushed some of the wet strands of hair out of my eyes. It was a gesture that made the boundaries of our friendship a little more blurry than what I liked them to be. His eyes were staring intently into mine and I could see my best friend's innocence inside them. I glanced down and seemed to notice his bare chest for the first time.
"Holy crow Jake, its freezing out. Let's get you back to the house to get you some clothes."
Now it was his turn to roll his eyes, but he did not object. He took my hand in his as we walked back toward the direction of my old beat-up truck.
Once inside his house, I realized how cold I really was. My teeth were chattering and I couldn't stop shivering inside my wet clothes.
"Hold on, let me go get you some dry clothes," Jacob said, already heading toward his bedroom.
For a minute I looked around the small house, half expecting to find Billy, even though I knew he was still at Harry's funeral. Billy's missing presence made the house seem lonely, maybe even ominous. Jacob returned in an instant with the clothes for me and then left the room again to give me some privacy. Once I had the warm clothes on, about three sizes too big, I sat down on the sofa, leaning my head back and closing my eyes. I was extremely tired and the quiet ticking of the wall clock accompanied by the rain clattering on the roof was soothing.
Without making any evidential sounds of his return, Jacob sat down beside me and put his arm around my shoulder, pulling me closer to him. I felt myself instantly warm up in his embrace. He was my own personal space heater. I glanced up at his face and noticed how horrible he looked. He had dark, puffy bags under his eyes and his hair was a tangled disaster. "No offense, but you look terrible."
"The soaking wet--rat look doesn't do anything for you either," he teased, smiling wryly.
"I'm being serious," I said nudging him playfully. "Maybe I should go; you need to get some sleep."
"No, please stay," he begged tightening his arm around me. "I don't get to spend nearly as much time with you anymore as I'd like, you know with all of the patrolling necessary lately."
I didn't feel like arguing with him, because honestly I missed spending time with him, too. He yawned and laid his head back, closing his heavy eyelids and loosening his arm on my shoulder a little.
We sat in silence for a few minutes. I was so comfortable and warm and I liked the way I felt with his arm around me. It was safe and familiar, as if the hole inside of me was getting smaller. It wasn't much longer when I heard his snore echoing throughout the tiny room.
I scooted away from his arm and glanced up at him. He looked so peaceful and innocent. He certainly did not look like the werewolf capable of such deep hatred toward the family I once thought I belonged to.
My mind started to wander, something I did not often allow for fear of it catching up with things I intentionally tried to forget. Looking at Jacob now made my heart ache. I knew how he felt about me; it was obvious in the way he looked at me. How could I enforce that behavior when I did not feel the same way? What kind of person—kind of friend—did that make me? In that instant, I came to the harsh realization that I had to make a decision. I could not have it both ways. I needed to either be what Jacob needed and wanted me to be, or I needed to say goodbye to him and allow him to go on with his life, without messing it up. I knew I was not capable of the second option, so what did that leave me with? Could I belong to Jacob? Of course I loved him, but it was the same kind of love I felt for Charlie. Would that kind of love be enough?
I looked back up as his russet-colored face and sighed. I brushed some stray hairs out of his peaceful, resting eyes and felt my heart sink. I was broken and did not have much left of myself to give him. He deserved so much better than damaged goods. I held back the tears that were starting to wet my eyes with the sudden knowledge that he would accept me the way I am in an instant, without even thinking twice. He would be patient and wait for me to be whole for him—if that were even possible. I could try do that I suddenly decided, I could make Jacob happy, and why not? It was always so easy to just be around him. He could belong to me and no one else. Certainly I could trade in my absent heart for a chance to at least live again. I knew it would be selfish on my part but I could not go on without him by my side, and the more time we spend together, the more it becomes impossible to be just friends.
His eyes fluttered open slowly, as if he read my thoughts, and I didn't realize I was still leaning slightly over him with my hand planted on his cheek. He looked at me with curious eyes for a moment and then smiled. He brought his hand up to his face to cup my hand that was already there and closed his eyes as if taking in the moment. He sighed and opened his eyes again.
"Jake I…" I started as I removed my hand from his cheek.
"Shh," he interrupted bringing his free index finger up to my lips to quiet me. "You don't need to say anything."
"But I—I'm sorry. I didn't mean to wake you," was all I managed. There was an unspoken knowledge of a different kind of intimacy between us. An intimacy I tried to avoid time and time again.
He ignored my statement and his finger started to trace the lining of my lips. I could feel that his hand was trembling, but not out of anger like it so often has in the past. I froze. I looked into his dark eyes, at the way he was looking at me. His eyes were burning into mine and I was very aware of what was to come if I did not look away from his gaze. I could not bring myself to move an inch. I knew that if I rejected him now, it would hurt him more than anything I have ever done. I also knew that I was not ready for this. I was still completely undecided. My heart belonged to someone else, someone who did not even want to accept it.
Just as suspected without taking his eyes off of mine, he brought his hands up on each side of my face. His eyes were questioning mine, perhaps trying to get an okay to go on with it. I was still frozen, too scared to even breathe. I was sure that when he looked at me the only thing he would see was utter sadness and confusion. Yet, he still slowly leaned in toward me never taking his eyes of mine.
When his lips meant mine they were warm and soft, in contrast to the icy-cold marble I was used to. I closed my eyes, concentrating on not ruining this moment for him. His lips moved carefully but I could not find it in me to kiss him back. I could feel my heart practically beating out of my chest. Jacob must have taken this the wrong way and started to kiss me more forcefully. His arms slid down off of my face and wrapped around my waist, practically pulling me onto his lap.
I wanted so badly to feel something in that moment, but I could not think of anything else except for Edward's face and the way I felt complete bliss when he would kiss me the way only someone so in love would do. But it was all wrong, because he didn't love me after all. I felt moisture roll down my cheeks. I hadn't even realized I was crying.
Jacob must have finally caught on that I was not responding because he removed his lips from mine and pulled back to look at me. His eyes reflected hurt at first, but when he saw the tears I shed his expression shifted to concern.
"Bella…" he whispered wiping the tears off of my cheeks. "You're not ready for this?"
He asked it as a question, though we both knew it was a statement. I just shook my head and looked down at my lap. I hated the person I have become.
"It's still him, isn't it?" he asked coldly.
"It will always be him…" I choked. I did not allow myself to look back up at him because I knew the hurt in his eyes would kill me.
I could feel his body shaking, this time surely out of anger, and quite possibly frustration. However after a few awkward minutes, he calmed himself down and slowly brought his hand under my chin and tilted it up so I would look at him.
"I Love you, Bella." He said. His eyes were intense and it was obvious he meant every word.
"Listen," he interrupted, "I don't expect you to say anything in return. I know you don't feel the same way about me. I just wanted you to know that I really do love you and I am willing to wait for you, no matter how long that wait might be. Believe it or not, someday it will get better for you Bells, I see it happening more and more every day, your eyes are changing and your smile gets brighter. Someday you will realize that he is not worth your pain and you will be ready to move on. Just so you know, I will be here for you, helping you get to that day."
I was silent. I did not know how to respond. My mind was having difficulties wrapping itself around what Jacob was saying. He looked so vulnerable I could barely stand it. I took both of his hands into mine and lifted them up to my lips. I kissed them softly and then smiled at him warmly.
"I love you too, Jacob." I paused just a moment because I wanted him to know I meant it just as much as he did. "Just not in the same way you love me."
A/N (updated May 28, 2009) : I wrote the first like ten or so chapters of this story a long while ago with no experience whatsoever with writing. *cringes* Everytime i go back and read the beginnings of this story I get sorta embarassed because I realize its not my best. Unfortunately, I have no time to go back and rewrite. Please bear with me through my growth process and if you continue to read I can promise you, you won't regret it (esp when you get to Ch 32 *sighs*). Also, if you are Team Edward and a Jacob hater, I challenge you to read this entire story and still have the same feelings. I bet I can change your mind--even if its just to make you rethink Jacob a little. Don't beleive me? Still feeling a little hesitant? Read it and you'll see. I was Team Edward until I wrote this story--now I can't decide between the two (can't I just have em' both?) I do beleive my writing and this story gets better as it progresses and it will probably become evident when I eventually snagged some awesome betas . :-)