A Beautiful Mess

Chapter Four

Subtitled: It's Like Picking Up Trash In Dresses

Nessie giggled as she shimmed awkwardly through the window. She wasn't used to being clumsy but she didn't care. With the alcohol running through her veins she felt free, normal and most of all forgetful. She landed next to Jasper's desk with a soft thud. The room was as dark, and therefore soundproof, as before, so she turned around utterly unconcerned and then, her eyes adjusting, she screamed. Her hands flew to her mouth a moment too late as she realized the person sitting calmly on the couch was no evil enemy.

It was much worse.

"Jacob," she gasped, stumbling forward. All fear left her and she felt oddly euphoric. She launched herself at him, hardly noticing that he wasn't hugging her back.

"You're drunk." He said stiffly.

She stepped back, as though stung.

She stared at him for a moment, her mind far more sluggish than usual. She blinked several times, aware that even in the dark he could see her every moment. She had nothing to say. After one horrible moment of silence, Jacob turned on heel and strode out of the room without looking back. Nessie barely had time to register anything as her happiness quickly turned to despair. She crumpled to the ground and sobbed.

Jacob ignored Jasper and Alice as he strode angrily from the living room and out the screen door. He needed to think. He needed to breathe.

He took in the cool October air furiously. It stung his lungs but nonetheless he gulped, grateful, hopeful even that it would give him some clarity –some clue where to go from here. Eighteen months ago Nessie was a little girl with a princess gown, and now…

Her gold, glittering, revealing top ran relentlessly through his head. The way she swayed uneasily…

He could just see those disgusting teenage boys leering at her.

He pounded his fist onto the deck, splinters flying everywhere.

He had left a child and found a teenager so utterly out of control, it was dangerous. Unbidden an image flew to his mind of Bella jumping recklessly onto her motorcycle, though she had known only the emergency room awaited her. He though he'd left those days behind him. He thought he'd left childhood behind.

As usual, he was wrong.

How could Bella and Edward have let this happen? How could anyone have let this happen? He shot a furious glance through the window, half-hoping one of them could see. If only one of them had cared as much as he did…

He paused, knowing he was being unfair. He let out a tortured breath, unaware that he had even been holding it.

The cold air was working its magic. He could feel his muscles begin to loosen, the tension slowly leaving him. He glanced down at the dent he'd made. He was going to have to make this up to Esme. He took one last glace at the dark night, suddenly struck down by the loneliness. A feeling the night had never given him before. He took a deep breath and walked back into the house.

They were all waiting for him, not that it surprised him.

"Jacob –" Esme started but he held his hand up to silence her.

"How did this happen?" Jacob asked, his pacing looking frenetic next to the unnatural stillness of the vampires.

"We're not sure." Carlisle said. The words sounded strange and heavy coming from Carlisle's lips. "Shortly after you left she became restless. Then this summer she met some local kids and started spending all of her time with then. By the time school started she was sneaking out, drinking, lying."

Jacob cringed. This was all his fault. He was suddenly suffocating under the guilt. He despised himself.

Jasper grimaced, overpowered by Jacob's feelings. "Jacob, you couldn't have known." He said.

"No one blames you." Carlisle said.

"Speak for yourself." Rosalie muttered, her arms crossed, face hostile.

"Enough." Carlisle said.

"No, she's right." Jacob said struggling under the weight of his emotions. His mind was spinning. He knew Nessie better than anyone, better then himself, even.

He thought he did anyway…

Nessie struggled to open her eyes, which had swollen from crying the night before. Her hand flew automatically to her neck. She rubbed the kink in it gingerly. She had curled into a rather awkward position on the couch after crying herself to sleep the night before. She didn't care what Rosalie said to Emmett – couches were definitely not for sleeping (or in his case exiling) no matter what the crime had been.



Any relief, however minimal, sleep had given deserted her without ceremony. Nessie nearly threw up, and for once, it had nothing to do with alcohol.

She saw his disgusted face in her mind. It was a curse that her memories were sharp, so sharp she could replay them perfectly to herself or anyone else on whim. And there Jacob's face was, replaying on a loop in her head. Over and over and over.

She swallowed he lump in her throat, her eyes prickling painfully. She glanced about herself, suddenly at a loss. She was still wearing her sequined, gold top and had her skin been more human it would have an angry indentation from the straps. She sighed and got up though her heart begged her to stay, to crawl back on the couch and wait for it all to pass…wait as long as she could.

But she knew that it wouldn't do any good so she slowly opened the door. She walked quietly down the hallway, though she knew it didn't matter. She could have floated and her family would still have heard her.

She turned the corner, and then she saw them. If it was possible, her heart sunk even further. Her parents were back and were sitting in the living room with out the buffer of her extended family. She was denied even that comfort. She turned her head slowly to the left and there he was – Jacob. He was leaving against the glass sliding door, nearly as tall as the door itself and far more imposing. Nessie could quite easily break the door – Jacob was another story entirely. She could barely look at him.

Her heart skipped a beat.

No one spoke for a moment. Her father's face was like stone – completely unreadable, terrifying in its blankness. Her mother looked pained, her hands clasped tightly in her lap.

"Put on some decent clothes. We're going for a walk." Jacob said. It wasn't a question.

Her face flushed as she realized her shirt was a little too revealing for present company.

"It's too revealing for any company." Edward said coldly, ignoring Bella's unasked question. Nessie knew better then to argue and left, reemerging a moment later in fresh jeans and a sweatshirt. She walked past her stoic parents, her heart beating out of her chest. She held her head high, following Jacob, as though marching to her own execution. Her mind was numb. She could barely think, barely even breath.

They walked in unbearable silence for a few miles. The deceptive calm was eerie and threatening to tear her carefully woven control, each moment fraying at yet another thread.

A few miles into the woods Jacob stopped abruptly, turning to face her. He towered over her, shaking silently with fury. Nessie had never been afraid of anything around Jacob. And yet she stood there afraid of Jacob.

She knew what would happen. She knew what was coming.

"Sit!" he ordered, barely controlling his voice. He pointed almost violently to the log behind her. His tone brooked no argument and she sat obediently waiting for the inevitable.

"I don't know what to say to you…" he began. Somehow, Nessie seriously doubted him. She was right. "I have been up all night with your family. I don't know what happened, and I don't care. You're behavior is so completely out of line…so utterly reckless!"

Nessie stared, wide-eyed. He was yelling now.

"I never though I would say this, but you have turned into a spoiled, selfish, arrogant brat, Renesme!" she flinched at the use of her given name. "I'm so glad you've conviently forgotten, but let me remind you. Every person in that room including dozens of their friends – and mine – almost gave their lives to save you. Your mother, in fact, actually did!"

Nessie couldn't believe he had actually gone there. Tears streamed silently down her face but Jacob was unperturbed. He loved her too much not to say what needed to be said.

"This is over. You will not go out anymore. You will not lie and you will not manipulate. I don't know if you've noticed but your father doesn't sleep and my needs are minimal. If necessary one of us will guard you day and night until your eighteenth birthday. Are we clear?" he asked menacingly, drawing himself to his full goliath height.

She nodded miserably, her vision entirely obscured by tears.

"Good, go back to your parents' home. I'll be over with your mom and dad in a few minutes."

Nessie stood without and word and turned and ran towards the cottage.

Jacob took off too towards the main house, arriving a few minutes later.

He entered to find Bella and Edward deep in conversation. Bella turned immediately. "What did you say to her?" she asked.

Edward raised his eyebrows. "How did you manage that? I thought you had to give an imprint whatever they wanted."

"What they need supersedes what they want." Jacob said gruffly.

"What did he say?" Bella pressed.

"He called her a selfish, arrogant, brat and told her her behavior was a fine way of repaying you for your sacrifice, and if need be one of us would be with her at all times." Edward explained, impressed that Jacob had succeeded where he had failed.

"What did she say?"

"Nothing at all." Jacob sighed, feeling thoroughly miserable. After all a necessary evil was still and evil. His hopes so high just hours before were now thoroughly dashed.

And now, the hard work of living had to begin.

Nessie sat softly on the bed, her eyes unfocused. She'd know this day was coming for a long time. She knew eventually Jacob would see what she had seen all along. She didn't fit and she never had. She didn't belong with her family. She didn't belong with him. She didn't belong with anybody.

This is over

The words rang in her head. She had no fight left. She was never going to fit with her family, or with Jacob, and now she was never going to have the chance to fit at school.

She heard the door shut downstairs. Her parents were home, and Jacob, she could smell him.

She sighed and lay back on the bed. She didn't know why he was still here. He'd made it quite clear that she disgusted him, that she was a brat, that he hated her.

If anything she thought he should be grateful that she'd let him off the hook. Now he could go home to his pack for good – he didn't have to stick around humoring freaks – but even as she thought it she prayed he wouldn't leave her, though he had every right to.

Her heart constricted painfully at the very idea of him leaving …again.

A/N – So I know this was shorter, but now that Jacob's back things should start moving along. Can you guess why Nessie's acting this way yet?

Anyway please review!