Disclaimer: I do not own any part of this story. It all belongs to the wonderful Stephenie Meyer. Thank you for inspiring me!
Author's Note: This is one of my favourite scenes in Eclipse and I just thought of doing it from Edward's POV for the fun of it. Just a note- I know Alice tells Bella "all the boys are gone" but I took that to mean only Edward, Emmet and Jasper. In my mind Carlisle wasn't with them. I see him being called to an important medical convention, which, though he doesn't really need to go for, he does for appearance's sake =).
Again this was supposed to be a one shot, but my muse had other ideas…
Hunting mountain lions was exhilarating. I loved the challenge of pursuing this majestic creature, of facing it one on one, matching its snarls with ferocious snarls of my own... It was one of the few creatures who put up a fight to my taste.
But today I didn't feel the satisfaction I usually felt after hunting my favourite prey. Something was off. And I knew what it was…
"You okay kid?"I heard Emmett ask.
"You seem a little edgy." Told you we should've gone grizzly hunting!
"It's not the lions. The lions were fine," I said. "I'm just…" I broke off, not really sure what to say.
"Honestly Emmett," came Jasper's amused voice from among some trees. "You really can't guess what's got him so impatient to get back home?"
"What? Oh… Oh!" Light suddenly dawned on Emmett.
I gritted my teeth. One… Two…
"So waiting to get home are we?" Emmett said, grinning suggestively. "Wonder why?"
Amazing! Not even two seconds for the perverted jokes to begin.
"Ha ha," I said dryly. I couldn't be bothered coming up with a comeback sarcastic enough. I was too preoccupied.
Suddenly a wave of calm washed over me. I looked at Jasper.
"You're anxious," he said. It wasn't a question. "And nervous."
What was the point in denying it? "Yeah," I admitted.
"Nervous?" Emmett sounded incredulous. "What the hell are you nervous about? Unless…."
I inwardly groaned at the thoughts forming in his head.
"Want some pointers little brother…?"
I couldn't help it. A snarl escaped my lips.
"Emmett!" Jasper said warningly and I saw him shake his head at Emmett.
"Can we go please?" I asked unable to keep the slight desperation out of my voice. I hoped Emmett wouldn't pick it up. I'd had enough of his one-track mind to last me eternity.
He seemed to have heeded Jasper's warning.
"Yeah. Let's go."
Jasper nodded his assent and we started running towards the edge of the preserve where my Volvo was parked.
My mind was turning in different directions. Part of me was impatient to get home and see Bella. It was difficult to be away from her for any length of time. I missed her the very minute we had left on Thursday. This led to the excited part of me. Bella had never stayed the night at my house. The thought of her sleeping in my room had my mind wandering in areas that I probably shouldn't pursue. Emmett hadn't been completely wrong with his insinuations, though I would never admit to him. I grinned, wondering what her reaction to the king-sized bed in my room would have been. Knowing Bella, it probably would surprise me…
However she wasn't at my house of her own choice. To put it frankly, I'd had Alice 'kidnap' her, for lack of a better word. But it was for her own good, I argued to myself. Yes, for all her perfection Bella was quite unable to keep herself safe.
That's why she's with you isn't it? a small, unwelcome voice whispered sarcastically in my ear. Because it's safe. I winced. As much as I hated to admit it, under normal circumstances, associating with werewolves was as dangerous as associating with vampires.
But this was not normal circumstances.
We reached my car and swiftly got in. I reached for my cell phone and flipped it open.
Three voice mails.
"First message," said the automated voice.
"You are in trouble," a very familiar, angry and yet oh so sweet voice said.
Uh oh, I thought.
"Enormous trouble. Angry grizzly bears are going to look tame next to what's waiting for you at home."
"End of message."
I was torn between feeling amused and slightly abashed. She sounded so endearing when she was angry, it made me smile. Part of me was impatient to see Bella angry. My little tiger, I thought turning the key in the ignition.
I could hear my brothers snickering at her message, which they had obviously heard.
"You're in for it bro," Emmett said punching my shoulder.
"I know," I said grinning slightly, lifting the phone to my ear to listen to the next message. I was curious. Bella again? This message was from this morning. Had she cooled down?
"Edward," It wasn't Bella. Alice. Instantly my mind was focused. "I'm sorry, she took off just now with that dog!" The disgust in Alice's voice was palpable. Jasper and Emmet let out a hiss simultaneously. I clenched my fists and growled. "He showed up at school. At school! Can you believe it?" I could actually. I wouldn't put anything past the mongrel. "I couldn't do anything. I'm sorry. I'm really, really sorry. Please forgive me…" Her tone was beseeching at the end.
I went to the next message with lightening speed. Alice again. My stomach clenched with panic. Was she all right?
"She just got back. She's fine." I let out a sigh of relief which was echoed by my brothers. For now that was all that mattered. "She looks a little down though." What? "I see you coming back in a bit. See you home."
I dialed Alice's number. She picked up on the first ring.
"Edward I am sorry a thousand times. You know I can't see them. Stupid mutts! I could've…"
"Alice, its fine. I understand," I said, reassuring her. "I know you can't see them. What did you mean she looks a little down?" This was what was worrying me.
"I'm not sure. She looked a little upset. She didn't want to talk about it so I didn't press her. She went to sleep early…"
I took my frustration out by speeding up. If that stupid dog had done anything to hurt her I'd break him to pieces.
"All right. We're on our way. See you in a bit".
"Bye," she said somewhat subdued. I snapped the phone off.
I was glad it was night and a relatively straight road ahead. I needed to think. I wanted to break something. Something big. A big rock maybe…
Suddenly I calmed down. Not much but enough that I didn't want to destroy anything anymore. I looked sideways at Jasper. He smiled slightly.
She's safe now. You can calm down. He thought. I know you wouldn't want to ruin your Volvo. I couldn't help smiling a little myself. Though the mongrel is still a problem…
Yes, the mongrel was a problem.
I recalled what Bella had asked me only days ago in her room. The last time she sneaked off to La Push…
"Is this something else altogether? Some vampire-and-werewolves-are-always-enemies-nonsense? Is this just a testosterone fueled -"
I'd been so angry I'd cut her off. But now that I thought about it, there was more truth to her words than I'd cared to admit at the time.
We were natural enemies, the wolf and my kind. Our instinct was to attack each other on sight. But I couldn't ignore what he had done for Bella the time I'd left her.
I had only myself to blame for that. She had been hurting, under the impression that I didn't want her anymore and turned to someone to lean on. I couldn't begrudge her that. I only wished it had been anyone except Jacob Black. For more than one reason.
Because he was a creature who morphed into a ferocious, unpredictable wolf without control was the obvious first reason. I only had to imagine Bella's face like Emily Young's to want to bodily remove her from any area within five hundred yards of La Push.
But my earlier argument couldn't help but worm itself back to me. She was in a relationship with me, a vampire. A creature to whom she was natural prey. She spent almost every waking minute, and all her sleeping ones as well, with at least one person who could easily drain her dry. Even though I found myself incapable of harming her, after thinking she was dead for twenty four hours, this was beside the point. Could I really keep convincing myself that she was safer with me than with Jacob and his pack? As much as I hated to admit it, Jacob was probably safer company for her as long as he was human.
My second reason was the one that worried me more.
Jacob Black was in love with her. And as much as I wanted to kill him for daring to so much as lay eyes on what was mine, this again was my fault. It was my absence that brought them closer… And how could I blame him for falling in love with her, when I was under the same spell? Of course I knew the mongrel's feelings were nowhere as strong or intense as mine but nevertheless I, however grudgingly, understood.
This made Bella absolutely correct when she asked if I was jealous.
I was. Insanely so. How could I not be? No matter how much I blamed myself for leaving her, and I would for the rest of eternity, I still resented how close they had become. I wanted her to be mine and only mine. But I would have to live with the consequences of my actions. There was no way around it.
Was I right to stop her this way? I had to admit, I was behaving like one of those psychotic, controlling boyfriends seen on TV.
But I only wanted her safe… I argued with myself.
But hadn't I just decided she was as safe with Jacob as she was with me? I sighed. That argument was out.
So what was my problem?
I knew the answer to this already. Jacob Black's feelings were one-sided, true, but only for now.
I couldn't be sure what Bella was thinking but I knew she thought about him a lot. At these times I was both glad and not glad I couldn't read her mind. As much as I wish I could see how she thought of him, I was also afraid to know.
But one thing I knew for certain was that the connection Bella and Jacob had went beyond friendship. Maybe it hadn't progressed to love, at least on Bella's side, but it was somewhere there. She just hadn't realized it yet. I wasn't a fool to miss it. But it didn't mean that I had to like it.
And I suddenly realized that part of my stubborn refusal to let her see Jacob Black had nothing to do with age-old feuds… It had more to do with very, very human feelings.
I had been unconsciously unwilling to let her spend time with someone who she could very well leave me for. The thought of this caused me physical pain… Saying I loved her, was too tame a way to express the depth of my feelings. But it was selfish motives that were partially the cause for me to keep her so close to me.
Who was I to keep her from where she wanted to go simply because I didn't like it? I was hurting her. Again. I was horrified when this occurred to me. All this time I had told myself it was worry for her safety that made me stop her from doing what she wanted to do but it was not. It was true, yes, but not the whole truth.
I sighed. I had to face facts. Bella had spent a considerable amount of time with the wolves in our absence and she had been safe. She was right. The chances of her getting hurt when with Jacob were the same, if not less, when she was with me.
I didn't have a plausible reason to prevent her anymore. And if I wasn't careful this would drive us apart. I wasn't prepared to allow that to happen under any circumstance. Not for something as trivial as this. I winced when I remembered our argument last Saturday. I loathed moments like that with her.
I didn't want to fight with her. I didn't want her angry with me. And Jacob Black had been the reason for discord, brief, but still discord, between us more times than was necessary. It had to stop. If I pushed her, I might lose her and that thought was unbearable.
My life was a brighter place since Bella walked into it. I saw a reason for my miserable existence. I still wasn't quite sure why she wanted me but I wasn't idiotic enough to question what I had been blessed with. And I was thankful I had been shown how my own foolishness nearly cost it.
I loved her enough to let her go if and only if she wanted it. But I wouldn't force her. I wouldn't push her into a situation that would compel her to choose between us. Like I had told Jacob, I was hers, until she ordered me away.
For once I felt like I had made the correct decision. It stung a little around the edges but it felt right.
I would concentrate on the present. For now, beautiful Bella Swan wanted me and that itself was more than I deserved. And I would love her and care for her and never begrudge her anything she wanted.
Now I was impatient to see her. I wanted her in my arms, to touch her soft skin and kiss her sweet lips.
I finally drew my attention to the road. I had been mindlessly driving all this time. I suddenly realized I hadn't heard any thoughts from my brothers. They would have been thinking other things to allow me privacy. I was grateful.
I glanced at Jasper sitting in the passenger seat. He saw me.
Better? He inquired.
I can feel it.
I could hear Emmett randomly thinking of baseball and grizzly bears. He was even keeping his normally lurid thoughts involving him and Rosalie under the surface.
I felt a rush of affection for both. Not normally my reaction.
"Thanks," I said gruffly to both.
Don't mention it they both thought.
We finally reached the outskirts of Forks. I was driving three times the average speed of a human and yet it felt I couldn't get home fast enough.
Just a few more minutes and I'd be with my Bella.
A/N: Well? How does it sound? The part in Eclipse will be the next chapter. Let me know what you think about Edward's thoughts...