A/N: This is a Bella/Jacob story. For the record, I am Team Edward all the way. I do, however believe that Jacob is a great guy. He does deserve a lot more credit the Edward fans give him. Which is why I decided to write this story. It was inspired by Hinder's Without You. I have ideas to expand on it but it could stand alone as a one shot. I'll let you guys read it and tell me what you want me to do. And forgive me, I'm unsure of the time line between Edward's leaving in New Moon and Bella's graduating in Eclipse. So please forgive me if I'm a few months off. Also, so there's no confusion. The story starts four months after the cliff diving incident. Alice never came back and Bella let herself love Jacob.
It's been nine months since Edward left me. And four since I finally gave in and allowed myself to love Jacob. To tell the truth, I couldn't be happier. I'm not saying that I don't miss the Cullens or anything because I do. I'm just saying that thinking about Edward doesn't send pain through the gaping whole in my heart anymore. In fact, Jacob has done a wonderful job of filling the whole.
There is a little pain from time to time. Edward was, after all, my first love. That doesn't go away. That pain, however is managable. Whenever I start feeling it, I just have to remind myself what I've got because he left.
There's Jacob, of course, he is the most amazing man I could ask for. I enjoy the fact that I don't always feel like I'm comparing myself to Jake. I feel like he is my equal in every way. He protects but not in the same way Edward did. He was always too protective. Jake respected my right to know things and do things, even if he thought they were dangerous. I'm not saying he let's me put my life in danger. He just doesn't scoff at everything that has the potential to be dangerous to me.
Then there's Emily. Over the past four months she's become like a best friend and sister to me. Sort of like Alice was. Not that she's replacing Alice. If the Cullens ever come back, there will be plenty of room in my heart for both of them. I do, however enjoy Emily's company a little more. Unlike Alice, she never tried to force me to go shopping or play dress up. She was perfectly content to just sit and have girl talk or watch a movie.
Sam had become the older brother I
had always wanted. He did whatever he could for me. He was there for
me the first and only time my Edward drawer came open. I didn't want
to hurt Jacob to see me like that so Sam held me while I cried it
out. Those were the last tears I shed for Edward Cullen. Like I said,
with my new family, I didn't feel the need to cry over him anymore. And yes, I do count the pack as part of that family. They
were like the annoying, overprotective little brothers, I didn't
want. I was glad for them, though. They made me happier when I was
around them. The entire pack took care of me when I really needed
them. I didn't think I could've gotten this far without them.
And yes, I do count the pack as part of that family. They were like the annoying, overprotective little brothers, I didn't want. I was glad for them, though. They made me happier when I was around them. The entire pack took care of me when I really needed them. I didn't think I could've gotten this far without them.
Their all coming to the ceremony tomorrow. That's right, I'm graduating tomorrow. I'm so proud of myself. School was the hardest thing for me to get through without Edward. It was hard to go to class without him but once I began to concentrate more on my studies and less on him, I did really well. In fact, I'm graduating validictorian.
It also had a lot to do with Jake. He pushed me to do the best I could in every class. He also insisted that I not go see him after school until I finished my work every night. The torture paid off. I even have enough scholarship money to go to whatever college I want.
I think I"m going to take some time off first. I'm still trying to figure out what I want to do with the rest of my life. I figure, I'll get a job and travel. Maybe move back to Pheonix with my mom for awhile. I don't know. I have so many options that I don't think I want to tie myself to one thing. I'm just going to take things a day at a time.
Well, it's getting late. I think I'm going to go to bed. Big day tomorrow.
I closed the diary Jacob had given me as an early graduation present. My old one had too much stuff about Edward in it so I chucked it. I laid it on the table next to my bed. My room was a little chilly so I walked over to close the window. I pulled it closed and noticed a big dark shape running across the front lawn. I laughed at my brothers' over protective behavior. Victoria was long dead but they all still instead patrolling my house at night. I shivered as I remembered the day Victoria was destroyed.
It was about a month after the cliff diving incident. A month after I decided to give my heart and soul to Jacob. I was much happy because of it. Jacob was quickly repairing the Edward hole. To be honest, at that point, I sometimes enjoyed Jake's company more than I did Edward's.
We were laying on the cliff, talking about random unimportant stuff. Somehow we ended up kissing. Kissing Jake was the most amazing thing in the world. It was like fireworks and an Hallelujiah chorus in my head. I enjoyed kissing him more than Edward too. I didn't have to hold anything back. I could put all the emotion that I was feeling into it. I loved that part of our relationship. We still had to be careful but I was able to do things with Jake that Edward would've deemed dangerous. (A/N: No sex, though.)
All of a sudden, I felt Jake start trembling. I had enough experience with him by now to know to roll away at that point.
"Jake, what is it?" I asked.
"Victoria." he said. I gulped. "I want you to run back to your truck, as fast as possible. Then drive to my house and stay inside until I come get you."
"No way, Jake." I argued. "I'm not letting you fight her alone!"
"I won't be alone for long. Now go!" he yelled.
I was about to protest when I heard a growl coming from the trees to my left. I whipped my head in that direction and saw Victoria coming out of the trees. I looked back to Jacob but instead of my boyfriend, there was a dark russet wolf standing in front of me. He looked at me and let out a growl.
I knew it wasn't meant to scare me. He was telling me to get going. I waited until Victoria's attention was completely focused on Jacob before I took off into the woods. I prayed the others would make it before it was too late. I ran for a few minutes before three more wolves came into view.
I had spent enough time with them by now, to know which ones were which. These three were Quil, Embry, and Sam. The stopped in front of me. I had a feeling Jake wanted them to get me to safety. I wouldn't have it. He needed them.
"Help him!" I yelled and pointed in the direction of the cliff. They looked at each other for a moment then Sam nodded at me. They took off to help Jake.
I continued running towards my truck. I didn't even see the tree root that my foot got stuck in. I hit my head on the edge of a rock and everything went black.
The next thing I remember was waking up in Jacob's warm embrace. We were laying in his bed. He laughed at how easy Vicotoria's destruction was. Apparently, she was so intent on Jacob that she didn't even noticed the others sneak up behind her. From there it was a simple matter of ripping her limbs apart and burning them. He laughed at how he was the one who fought a deadly vampire and I was the one to get hurt. I actually laughed with him.
I curled up in the bed staring up at the ceiling. A feeling of peace washed over me as I fell into a restful sleep. My nightmares slowly went away after I started dating Jacob. Another thing I'm grateful to him for.
The next morning I woke up and grabbed my bag of toiletries. I knew I had most of the day but I thought I deserved a nice bubble bath after all the hard work I put into graduating. I laid in the warm bubbly water for almost an hour before I started to clean myself off. It was a nice relaxing feeling.
Once finished, I wrapped myself in a towel and made my way to my room. I opened my closet examining my clothes. This was one of those days where I missed Alice even more. As much as I hated her overenthusiastic attitude about fashion and playing Bella Barbie, she had a knack for making me look my best when I needed it most.
I sighed as I finally decided on my khaki skirt (The only one I owned.), with my favorite red blouse and a pair of white dressy sandles with a half inch heel. I put on the locket that Jacob had given me for our three month anniversary. I blow dried and straightened my hair. I had only ever done that once with Alice. We wanted to know what it would look like straight. I had decided that I liked it but it was too much of a hassle to do on a regular basis. I figured this special occassion warranted it. I applied some make up and looked myself up and down in the mirror.
For once in my life, I actual looked very pretty. I smiled to myself as I grabbed my cap and gown, stuffed the note cards that contained my speech in my pocket and headed downstairs to make sure that Charlie was ready. I ran into him on the last step.
"Perfect timing Bells." he chuckled. "I was just coming to see if you were ready."
"Yes, I am." I said. "You look good dad."
He was wearing a pair of black dress pants with a white collared button down shirt. He even put on dress shoes. I was very impressed. I got my hate for dressing up from him.
"You look beautiful." he replied. I blushed.
"Thanks, dad." I said. I looked around the living room. Jacob's was late. "Jake's not here yet?"
"Oh, he called while you were getting ready. He said that something came it. He and Billy are going to meet us at the school." Charlie stated.
My heart started beating a little faster. Something came up. There was only one thing that he would allow to make him late today. Vampires. I didn't know details. I needed to know how many. If they were that much of a threat. Mostly though, I needed to know if I should be worried about my new family.
I fumbled in my purse until my hand closed around the cell phone. I started punching in Jake's number and looked at Charlie.
"Dad, you can go to the car. I just wanna make sure that everything's okay." I said putting the phone to my ear.
He looked at me for a minute then walked out the door. I got several rings but no answer. My heart was pounding furiously now as I shut the phone. Were they out there now fighting whoever had wondered here? Would I ever see Jacob again? I knew it was stupid to worry. I had experienced at how good they were at their job. It still killed me to think of any of them in a position that they would come to harm.
I took a deep breath and put on a good face for Charlie. I had to remember to interrogate them later. I slid the phone back into my purse and walked out the door.
When we pulled into the parking lot of the school, (Graduation was being held in the gym.) I looked frantically around for Jacob's rabbit or Sam's truck. Neither were there yet. I was starting to panic. Jake wouldn't miss this. Not unless something serious happened.
"Bells, calm down." Charlie said. "He'll be here. He's never let you down before."
That statement was the truest thing in the world. Jacob had never given me a reason not to trust him. When he said he was going to do something or be somewhere, he was true to his word. I knew he wouldn't let me down on one of the most important days of my life.
After making sure Dad got a good seat, we blocked off that entire row for Sam, Emily, Jacob, Billy, and the rest of the pack. I then went back to the room the graduates were to get ready in.
I was met by a teary eyed Angel. She threw her arms around me, sobbing something indistinct. The two of us had become pretty close over the past few months. She welcomed me back with open arms after my zombie days. She easily took Jake's place as my best friend after Jake and I moved on to bigger and better things. We did everything together.
"Can you believe it?" she asked when she pulled away. "We're graduating. And you top of our class. I'm so proud of you."
She pulled me into another hug as I muttered my thanks. Then I had to go to the very front of the line. I had to lead the march to our seats. As we slowly made our way through the aisles, I looked to the row where I left Charlie. I smiled when I saw Billy, Jacob, Sam and Emily sitting with him. They were all dressed nicer than I had ever seen them. I did noticed the rest of the row was empty.
Was the threat that bad? They had to leave the others patroling just so they could come see me. I really wanted to know what was going on. I had half a mind to step out of line and drag Jake outside. I thought better of it as I remembered how important this day was to Charlie. Put on a happy face for him then deal with Jake later.
Once my classmates and I were seated, the ceremony began. It was long and boring. I heard so many speeches, in those couples hours, they eventually began to sound like blurred words, even mine. I felt guilty for subjecting the audience to another one. Finally, the began calling all of the graduates, starting with me.
I stood blushing and walked to the podium where the principle was holding my diploma. I, of course, couldn't make it without tripping. The audience laughed a little. I did too. I looked to my half a family and smiled as I recieved the diploma. They clapped with wide grins across their faces.
I hated being first. There weren't that many kids in our class but it still to forever. Finally, the last person, Katherine von Asherton was called. Once she was back to her seat, we turned our tassels and everyone through their caps and cheered. We marched out with the same grace as we marched in.
By the time I fought my way through friends and strangers and got to my family, I noticed that Billy and Charlie had already left. I walked over to Jacob, Sam, and Emily.
"Billy and Charlie took the cruiser back to La Push to finishing setting up for your party." Jacob said before I had to ask.
Then he wrapped his long warm arms around me. He had learned to hug me without cutting off my air.
"I'm so proud of you." he said into my hair.
Emily, Sam, and I had a similiar exchange then I wrapped my arms around Jake's waist. He put his arm around my shoulder and we started heading for the parking lot.
"So what came up?" I asked.
Sam and Jacob exchanged a look. I was pretty sure they hadn't decided whther or not to tell me.
"It's up to you." Sam told him.
"Embry was circling your house last night." Jacob said to me.
"I knew one of you were there. Is it really nessescary right now?" I asked. He ignored the question.
"He caught a vampire scent and alerted us right away." he continued.
"I figured it was vampires." I stated.
"We decided it was best to spend the rest of the night and this morning checking our borders. We also checked all places we knew the vampires liked to hang out." he continued as though I hadn't said anything.
I had a feeling the he was dancing around something. I didn;t understand why he just didn't tell me. I've been nearly killed by several vampires in the past year. I could handle another threat.
"We found something. Only were not sure if it's a threat. The others are currently monitoring the borders. They didn't want anything to ruin this for you." he said.
Now I was confused. The last threat to me was dead. It would be a complete coincidence if one happened to attack her in La Push.
"Jake, is that really nessesecary?" I asked. "I mean how much of a fluke would it be if a random vampire came to attack me. Victoria was the last one after me. She gone."
Jacob looked to Sam again. I looked to Sam to. He still had an it's your desicion look on his face.
I looked at Jake. His features were torn between pain, anger, and jealousy. I didn't understand.
"Jake, just tell me." I said.
"We didn't think there would be an attack on you." he answered trying to keep his breathing level. "We were worried about the wrong bloodsucker showing up today."
It took a minute for what he said to sink in. Was he talking about Edward? I looked up at him. It was like he could read the question in my face. He nodded.
"It looks like it was too much to hope that he wouldn't show." Emily stated.
We were in the parking lot by now, heading towards the cars that were parked next to each other. Emily was pointing to a spot about ten cars away from where we were headed.
I looked at the spot. Sure enough, there was a silver volvo parked in the space. I didn't have to looke very closely to know that it was Edward's. He was leaning against the car with his arms crossed over his chest.
We were close enough that I could see his face. His features looked torn. I saw happiness and relief but there was also, pain, sadness, jealousy and anger. I didn't understand those emotions. He was the one who told me he didn't love me anymore. He was the one who left me. He wanted me to move on and live a normal life. Why did he look so hurt to see that I had given myself what he wanted for me.
I wrapped my arms tighter around Jacob as I stared at Edward. Everything but the anger and jealousy had disappeared from his features. I felt a small pinprick of pain at seeing him again but that was all I had left for him. The was no guilt or sadness. I didn't feel the need to hold myself together as I stared at him. I didn't even feel the need to cry. I felt at peace with the way things turned out.
He got what he wanted. I wasn't going to sacrifice my happiness because he didn't like that I moved on.
I felt my body trembling. At first, I thought I was involuntarily reacting to seeing Edward again. Then I realized the shaking wasn't coming from me. It was Jacob. I looked up at him. He looked like he was trying very hard to stay in control. It wasn't working. I knew how hard it was for Jacob to control his hate of Edward, especially after everything he put me through.
I looked back to Sam. He was shaking too and trying to get back in control. Now, you knew Sam was angry when he had a hard time controlling himself.
"Calm down, guys please." I begged. "I'm fine. Really I am."
I knew in my heart that it wasn't a lie. I had Jacob beside me. He was all I needed.
My words didn't seem to calm them. I had to take drastic measures. There was only one certain way to calm Jacob down. I learned it one night, two months ago, when we were discussing Edward. I stretched up and began planting kisses on his neck.
I knew there was still a lot of people standing around. This kind of PDA was something I always scoffed at and tried to avoid. However, I felt it was better that our audience saw this display rather than the one where two men turning into wolves before their eyes.
After a minute or so, Jacob calmed. I stopped the kissing and looked back to Sam. Emily had her own way of getting him calmed. Whatever it was had worked. Sam had stopped shaking and was whispering his thanks to Emily.
"Are you alright?" I asked Jake.
"Thanks to you." he said.
I stole one last glance in Edward's direction, the parking space he was in, however, was empty. The four of us continued to the cars in silence. The boys weren't completely calmed down yet. Nobody wanted to say anything that would set them off. Jake and I jumped into Jake's rabbit as Sam and Emily got into Sam's truck.
When Jake was in the car, I took his hand in mine.
"Are you sure you're okay?" I asked.
"Yes." he said. I could hear sadness and pain in his voice. I saw the same things on his face. "Are you?"
"Yes." I reached my hand up and gently turned his face to look me in the eye. "I'm not going anywhere. Edward had his chance and blew it. You haven't. I'm staying right where I am. I love it here."
He smiled and leaned down to kiss me. I had to force him away.
"Come on." I said. "I don't wanna be late for my own party." I said.
"I suppose not." he replied putting the car in gear and backing up.
When we arrived in La Push, Billy and Charlie had everything ready. The rest of the pack was there. They apologized for not being at the ceremony but we didn't discuss anything more. We silently agreed not to dampen the mood with details. I tried not to noticed when the boys switched shifts. Half would patrol for awhile and the other half would party. The switched every couple hours.
I danced and talked with all of my human friends. I had the time of my life that night and never once thought about Edward.
The party began to break up at one o'clock in the morning. Everyone was gone by two. Charlie was still talking to Billy and I was tired. I didn't want to ask Charlie to leave. Instead, I went into Jake's room and curled up in his bed. I fell asleep into a restful and happy sleep.
I had gone the whole day knowing Edward was back but I didn't shed a singel tear. I even saw him for a mintue or two but it had no effect on my.
At some point, I felt Jacob curl up next to me putting his warm arms around me. I knew then that I'd be just fine, whether or not, Edward was staying.
A/N: Yes, I know the likelihood of this story isn't good. Like I said, I'm team Edward all the way. I do, however believe Jacob deserves credit. He is, after all, a great guy. I also realized that I didn't state whether or not the whole family came back. I'm not sure yet. That's all going to depend on whether or not you guys think I should continue with the story. I hope you enjoyed the change. Review please? Flame if you want. They'll just get deleted.