Hello. Aren't you proud of me for updating so quickly? Thanks for sticking around, guys. Thanks for all of the amazing reviews that everybody has sent me! It really means a lot to me.
This chapter is dedicated to Hanine! All of you will soon be able to read Ms. Swan in French thanks to her!
Disclaimer: This doesn't belong to me.
It was a deep sleep that Alice pulled me from the next morning, but I was up for her nonetheless. Leah was already up, Jake was not. I got up, took some clothing from Leah (she said it was too small for her), brushed Alice's and my teeth with my finger, and helped Leah with breakfast. By the time it was ready; Jake had come down in just sweatpants and was playing with Alice, his hair completely knotted. I wanted to brush it, but nobody in this house would approve, especially not Jake!
After breakfast, Alice and I left their home and headed to Charlie's house. I knew Edward would not be there in the daylight! And, sure enough, he wasn't.
The day had been uneventful, and Jake had come over to check out the house after nightfall. He confirmed that no vampires had come by the house since the previous night, and the most recent trail of Edward's that they had found was heading back toward New Jersey. It seemed as if he had given up, I acted relieved, but a small part of me was upset. He had given up on me that quickly? I knew Edward better than that…he was up to something!
No matter, I put Alice on her mattress and told her to go to bed, she stayed up 'reading' a little bit, but when I turned out the lights, she instantly fell asleep. She had been beat from a day on the beach. I quickly changed, and got into bed. I was just as tired as Alice!
When I woke up, it was still nighttime, and Edward was standing in my room. There was no trace of Alice, no trace of Charlie, and no sign of any wolfish activity outside. I was confused for a moment, and then realized that I was asleep. I yawned heavily, since this was a dream, nothing bad would happen if I got out of bed a bit early! I wouldn't be sacrificing any sleep. "Hey, Edward!" I said brightly, perhaps I was a teenager again in this dream!
I looked down at my hands, nope; they were still the calloused and wrinkled hands of a woman in her thirties. Edward looked fairly confused. Oh. So this was one of those dreams! It was the classic dream where Edward shows up in my room, Alice is at Jake's for the night and Charlie's fishing with Billy. Edward and I do highly questionable things together and then he leaves. I cherish these dreams. 'I suppose that I'd better make use of the time we've got!' I thought quickly.
I walked up to him, put one hand against either side of his face, and kissed him. "Mmm, I've missed you Edward." I whispered.
He looked horrified, I paused, that never happened in my dreams! I drew back for a second, pouting. "What's wrong?"
"I thought…I thought that you didn't want me in your house…I…" He stuttered and stumbled over his words, something was wrong, very wrong, with this dream. I tried to wake up; I had gotten good at that as many of my dreams were nightmares. I pretended that I was in the forest…with Edward…seventeen years ago…I clenched my eyes shut and concentrated, I knew that I would wake up if I could. It didn't work.
"You're right, Edward, I don't want you in my house…so why are you here?" I decided to go along with the dream; it wasn't as if anything bad was happening.
"I was…well, I was watching you. And I saw that your father had taken Alice to his room, so I thought that it would be alright. I managed to throw off the wolves, it's alright, and we won't be bothered." He smiled tentatively. "Of course, if you want me to go, I will."
"Go? Wolves? What? You aren't supposed to say things like that! Alice is at Jacob's isn't she? What do you mean?" My eyebrows drew together, and my mouth pulled up into a grimace. "I don't understand why you're not following my directions!"
"What are you talking about?"
"You're in my dream, you follow my directions!"
"What? Dream? I'm not in a dream, and neither are you! I'm here, right now, and you just…" He was horrified; upset…I could see it in his eyes. He was a good liar, yes, but I could see right through him. It was a shame that I couldn't have seen through him seventeen years ago when he lied to me in the forest.
I screamed a long, high pitched scream. "You're not a dream? Get out of my house! Get out! Oh God!" Edward looked scared of me; he crossed the room quickly and left out of the window. Suddenly, but not unexpectedly, Charlie came running into the room.
"Bella? Are you alright?"
"Yeah. Yes, I'm fine, thank you. Bad dream, that's all." I was still panting, I didn't know why. I sat down on my bed.
Charlie came to sit next to me; Alice padded into the room, she made almost no sound in her footed pajamas, and sat on my lap. "Are you still having nightmares, Bella?" my father asked.
"Yes, at least twice a week." I said truthfully.
There was a banging on the front door, Charlie went to get it. "Was it another spider, Mommy?" asked Alice, "No, Alice, but what would you say if I told you it was a bloodsucker?"
"Vampires aren't real, Mommy." Alice smiled happily, presumably because I remembered our conversation.
I giggled halfheartedly and tickled her tummy with my index finger. "I'm sorry for making you wake up, Ali. Do you think that you can go back to bed?"
"Only with you."
"Alright. C'mere." I lay back with her in my arms. Apparently she really was tired, she was asleep within minutes. I pulled on a bathrobe that had been hanging in my closet and made my way downstairs to see who had come to the door. I was guessing that Jake or Leah was there.
I was right, Jake was sitting at my kitchen table, and Charlie was in the kitchen. "Jake." I said weakly. "Thanks for coming over."
"Yup, I heard your scream and got here as fast as I could. There was a bloodsucker in your room. It was him, Edward, wasn't it?" He seemed angry, upset.
"Yes. I'm sorry. I…he came in through the window, I swear I didn't let him in!" I knew, suddenly, what he was upset about.
"Oh, no worries, Bella." Okay, so maybe I didn't know why he was upset, "I'm just angry that he slipped by us. We were watching him, keeping our distance of course, but keeping track of him. And suddenly he disappeared. So, we thought he went back to the house, and we aren't allowed to go that far over our border by Sam even though there's only one Cullen here. We went home, and only Quil and I stayed on patrols. 'Course we were joking around and totally distracted. Your scream was probably the only one, besides one of the other wolves, which I could recognize from that far away. I still hear it in my sleep sometimes." He said jokingly. "Anyway, raced back here, heard you screaming at him to get out, saw the coward running away, fought the urge to pursue him, phased, and knocked on your door." He shrugged. "I should have chased him a bit. I hate vampires, that one in particular." He growled…almost…it wasn't as good as some that I had heard. But I didn't want to think about that.
Charlie walked in laughing, "Vampires? What?" He was carrying a kettle, and a teacup for each of us.
"Oh," I laughed nervously as I poured the tea, "just discussing work with Jake. We're going to start Dracula after we finish Shakespeare. Jake was telling me how he dislikes Dracula." I opened my mouth to say more, but didn't, just in case Jacob hadn't actually read Dracula.
"Well, that sounds like an interesting lesson plan." Charlie said good-naturedly.
"That's that I was saying, Charlie." Jake said sarcastically. I sighed with relief; we had dodged this particular wooden stake. We all sipped our tea slowly.
"Anyway, Jake, what brings you here at this time of night?" said Charlie.
"I was actually wondering if I could grab Bella and take her out for a bit. I know it's strange, at this time of night, but Leah really needs to see her. She wouldn't say why, though." Jake lied quickly.
"Is everything alright?" Charlie said concernedly.
"Of course!" Jake assured him, "If it wasn't, she would have told me. I'm sure it's just something that, well, just isn't for us guys to ever know!" He flashed Charlie a grin. Charlie looked sort of confused, but nodded when I got up and out my jacket on.
"Take care of Alice, she's in my bed. And I'll get the dishes when I get back, alright Dad?" I said.
"No way, I've got them now. You baby me too much." He said. I remembered him saying those exact words to me when I had just moved in with him. I smiled slightly.
Jake took my hand and we trotted off into the forest. "Where are we going?"
"I don't know. I needed an excuse, and you just happened to be sitting there…" Jake grinned.
"Oh. So this is totally a random walk?" I asked.
"Yeah, pretty much. In about an hour or two, we'll go back and Charlie will think that you've actually been to my house."
"Sounds good." I was content to walk around with simply Jacob. Maybe Leah would join us later. "Is Leah going to meet us anywhere?" I asked him.
"Nah, I don't think so. She was running patrols last night, she needs to rest."
"You're so considerate, Jake. Did I ever tell you what a great boyfriend you were? You don't need to answer if I'm making you uncomfortable, but you were. Right when I needed you most, you know?" I didn't want to offend him, I mean, he was dating somebody else, but I couldn't remember if I'd ever thanked him properly for being so awesome.
"Um, you're welcome, I guess?"
"You know, Jake, I'm sure Leah would love it if you proposed to her. You guys get along so well, and you're both such amazing people. I'll bet that she's only waiting until you pop the question, she'll pretty much die of happiness!" I patted his hand.
"I'd better not ask, then! Wouldn't want that to happen!" he laughed.
"Okay, maybe I didn't exactly phrase that correctly…" we laughed together this time.
It was about half an hour before something exciting happened. Jake stopped in his tracks, grabbed my shoulder, and steered me in a completely different direction, telling me to go this way. I readily agreed, knowing that Jacob could get me back home, no matter where we went. Ten minutes later I tripped and fell, cutting my hand on a rock. Jake turned us again after that.
It was about thirty minutes after that that we came to a very familiar place. I hadn't been here since I figured it out about the wolves…but I'd never forgotten it. Our Meadow.
He had taken me here, once only, but it was the most beautiful place that I'd ever seen. It looked much different in the night, though. As we approached, there was something in sitting in the center. It was pale white, and sort of glowing in the darkness. How strange, I had thought that vampires only glowed in the sunlight. I looked up. It was a full moon. So, I guess vampires sparkled in the sun, and glowed in the moon. "Edward." I whispered.
The creature in the meadow who I had called Edward, for it was he, turned its head and stood. The leonine grace took my breath away. And then the tremors began. I would say that a pretty substantial earthquake was going on if I hadn't been standing next to a werewolf. Edward was making leaps and bounds, going just above human speed, toward us. Jacob didn't even bother to take his clothing off; he just burst out of his shoes and shorts, growling. "Jacob!" I screamed.
Jake placed himself in front of me, slipping into a crouch. Edward didn't come within Jacob's range, but he was snarling fiercely, shaking his head at some thought of Jacob's. "What were you doing out here with her…at this time of night? What were you going to do, propose to her?"
Jacob didn't say anything, he couldn't, obviously, he only crouched down further. Perhaps he was thinking an answer. I didn't care. "If he was? Then what would you do Edward? It is really any of your business?" I shouted over Jacob's noise.
"I don't know, Bella, rip him to pieces? I love you! I told you this already." He shouted at me.
Jacob's eyes bulged. "You're right, Edward, you did tell me, but you're too damned late! You should have told me years ago! Look, you can't read my mind, but you can read Jacob's. He'll show you what I was like when you left, maybe. Maybe I should forgive you, maybe not. Then, there's the small matter that you stole my stuff, lied to me, and didn't even let me say goodbye to Alice, my best friend!"
"I never really stole your things, Bella; I hid them…under your floorboards." His eyes were in pain, probably for the same reason Jacob was grinning. I was sure that some unforgiving images were being sent his way.
"I know. I found them. Went to a shrink because of them, you know." I wrenched up my sleeves, "Made these cuts 'cause of them." I let him make of that what he would.
"You're ruining my life, Edward. Either leave, or tell me what exactly you're after!" It was true that he was ruining my life, he was separating me from Alice, having me force her on others more and more frequently, he was separating me from what I loved to do, teach, he was keeping me away from my home, and keeping me from having a good night of sleep. But at the same time, I couldn't bear to let him go. I wished that he would just back off…or stick around forever, I couldn't decide which!