WRITER'S NOTE: I'm all over the place right now xD please bear with my schizophrenia re. updates, I'm just going with whatever I feel like writing when I feel like writing it. There will still be updates from at least SOMETHING every day--just trying to get my muse back in line. For those of you still confused at when the heck I showed back up again, see "Axis" for details of my absence. Love you all, feedback is awesome! That is all.
Bella could tell who the text was from by the way that Jacob flushed and shut his phone too quickly--halfway between embarrassed for him and morbidly curious, and she had to ask. "Rosalie?"
"Uh," Jacob said, his hand coming up to rub at the back of his neck. "Yeah."
"What did she say?"
"Nothing," the answer came too quickly, and there was another blush of color immediately up the back of his neck. Bella had never seen Jacob blush before. Even back when he'd been really going for her, inappropriate comments and gestures right and left, he hadn't blushed. Always so sure of what he was doing, always one hundred percent behind his decisions even if they weren't the smartest. Maybe that was the problem, though--when you were six foot two and could be easily mistaken for a pro wrestler if you just grew out your hair a little more and adopted a culturally offensive moniker like Blood Eagle, you weren't really used to being pushed around.
Rosalie was a little much to deal with, though, for a teenage boy, and definitely not used to taking the backseat. She clearly wanted Jacob, for whatever reason--he'd read her texts out loud to him at first, with an air of puzzled amusement, before getting one that had made his mouth drop open and create the first recorded moment of Jacob Black Blush in recorded history. At the time, she'd teased him and claimed that she wanted a picture of it, but it seemed now that there would be more than enough opportunities for that.
"This is insane," she declared, not for the first time--statement of the obvious but nonetheless true, as if pointing out that in the last two and a half minutes or so of thinking about it, it had failed to become less insane.
"Agreed," Jacob said fervently, putting his phone back in his pocket and his eyes back on the road in front of them as Bella drove. "So just so we're on the same page--we're going to go ahead and rule out that Edward might have spontaneously out of love with you, and Rosalie might have spontaneously fallen in love with me? Not the magic of spring or anything?"
"Definitely not the magic of spring," she confirmed. "It's that girl--she's doing this, I just don't know how."
"Excellent hypothesis," Jacob said solemnly. "...Now what do we do about it?"
"...I don't know," she responded just as firmly after a moment. "Clearly we need help here, but uh--calling the police is out. Can't tell my dad. Usually I would tell Edward or Carlisle, but--"
"We could tell Sam? The Council? Someone in La Push might know what to do."
"'Hi, werewolves'," Bella said, mimicking how the conversation might go. "'Remember me? The vampire's girlfriend? Right, yeah, well we seem to kind of be having relationship problems over in Forks. Any chance you want to step in?"
"Well, what does that leave us?" Jacob said, throwing up his hands in frustration. "Dear Abbey and Oprah?"
"Yes, Jacob, perhaps we should send it in to Seventeen magazine," she said--practically yelling. It wasn't really him that she was angry at, but having one's boyfriend supernaturally snatched was bound to build up a little stress.
"Maybe we should," he snapped back, slumping down in his seat again. "I can just see it in next month's issue. 'What To Do When That Cute Undead Carnivore Won't Return Your Calls."
"You've read Faulkner?" Angela's eyes could be described accurately and with no irony whatsoever, for a moment, to actually be shining. Reflecting her mild adolescent wonder from behind the lenses of her glasses.
"I met Faulkner," Jasper said, smiling. His coffee was still untouched--the whipped cream melted into the hot surface.
The adoration disappeared for a moment to give way to a small frown, her forehead creasing wrinkles. "...What?"
"...Joking," Jasper said quickly, his expression betraying nothing but that. He'd forgotten how very difficult it was to date human girls. Still, at least this one looked cute in a scarf.
"Because it's wrong, Chelsea." Edward was being remarkably patient--more than he realized, considering that his response to vampires in the past who'd tried to feed from the town he lived in had been a swift right to the jaw. Love, he supposed, made you a little bit blind.
"It's what we do, Edward." There was an edge to her voice now that belied the eyelash-batting sweetness she'd been pretending so far. He'd been charming, solicitous, more than willing to take her shoe shopping--everything that a magically bound boyfriend should be. With the one exception of him objecting to her getting a bite to eat. "We're animals."
"We don't have to be," he said firmly, his hands still wrapped around her wrists as if he suspected she might go after that freshman after all if he let go--and for fairly good reason, he could still hear her thoughts to that effect. "It's just something you're going to have to get used to, if you want to be with me."
She stared up at him--he was incredibly good-looking, which helped, but that didn't stop him from being head-smashed-repeatedly-into-wall irritating sometimes. "...What about a hobo? No one will miss a hobo."
"Fine!" It wasn't so much giving up as it was deciding that she'd simply have to be sneakier about it in the future--which thoughts she was careful to try to keep out of her head. "But you'd better buy me a lot of shoes."
"YOU'VE ALWAYS LOVED THAT PIANO MORE THAN YOU'VE LOVED ME."
"WELL MAYBE IF YOU WERE A PRICELESS STEINWAY, I WOULD LOVE YOU MORE, NOW WOULDN'T I?"
Rosalie had been listening to her parents escalate in volume and ridiculousness for over an hour now, and it was starting to get to the point where Joan Jett couldn't drown them out anymore. She huffed--pulled her headphones out of her ear, and walked directly through where Carlisle and Esme were standing on either ends of the hallway, screaming at each other, hoping to break up their concentration the way you could with static waves.
"Carlisle!" she announced, after she'd gotten to the other side of them with still no real effect. "Esme! I'm GOING OUT."
"Oh, are you?" Esme's voice was suddenly perfectly calm as she turned to her adoptive daughter, and the change was jarring. As if the insanity was only very localized and directed solely at her husband.
"Where are you going?" A similar shift from Carlisle, now looking at her with interest and mild concern.
"Jacob Black." It was an immediate and easy answer--she'd hardly thought of much else for the last few hours, and he wasn't responding to her texts anymore. Even Joan Jett was starting to sound like she was singing about him. "I want to go see him."
"Dear, are you sure that's wise--"
"Esme! Why do you have to constantly interfere? As if no one could possibly have a relationship without you matchmaking first?"
"I didn't say that at all--I was just saying, that with the state of things--"
"Oh, and what's the state of things?"
Rosalie sighed--put her headphones back in, and walked out the door.