Here's chapter 18, after three months to the day. I'm so sorry guys. Excuses suck, but I've been really busy with a family issue coupled with a ridiculous case of writer's block. I was afraid I was going to have to abandon the story, I seriously opened the document like a hundred times and I wasn't able to continue it. Until now. I'm almost sure that I know what direction this story is now going in, so there will not be any huge waits in between chapters. I hope I haven't lost all the readers, and I hope you enjoy this update!
After Alice's visit, I felt even more comfortable in my relationship with Jasper than before. Somehow the knowledge that she had seen me coming and that we would be together made me feel better about the fact that he had just gotten out of this relationship that had lasted longer than my mother had been alive.
When he asked me if I would ever consider changing into a vampire to be with him, I agreed immediately. I couldn't think of anything that I would want more than to spend forever with him; the knowledge that he felt the same way just cemented that even more.
New Years Eve came and went without much ado.
Jasper and I were arriving at the house after school one afternoon when the phone rang. "Hey Bells," a cheerful voice said on the other end.
After the first of the year, I started receiving more phone calls from Jacob Black, which I thought was a little strange, but since I had barely had much contact with others besides the Cullen family, I was glad to have an outside friend, and someone that I could talk to without four other pairs of ears listening in.
For the most part, Jasper was fine with my spending more time with Jake, though he was more than a little suspicious of his motives, though for a good reason (for him), as he had told me a few days earlier.
"Come on, Jasper. I know you don't feel threatened by Jake calling me, so what's the deal?"
"I don't think 'threatened' is exactly the right word," Jasper said, leaning back on the couch.
"Then what is?" I sat back and pursed my lips at him, waiting for a response.
"Don't give me that face," he said with a chuckle, effortlessly pulling me into his lap and gently pecking me on the lips. "I have a decent reason for feeling…suspicious."
"I'm not interested in Jake," I informed him.
"I know. I'd know if you were, remember?"
"I always forget. It's not every day that you have an emotional barometer with you all the time." I realized that my remark sounded a little snappier than I had intended. "Sorry."
"I don't mind, it's cute when you get snarky." Jasper said. "Anyway. It bothers me that you go to the reservation and I'm unable to come to your rescue, should you need it of course."
"What the hell do you mean?"
"I guess Jacob hasn't mentioned the treaty that the Quileutes have with my family," he replied. "Though I wasn't living with them yet, I want to say it was about 1920, the Cullens were living in Forks. They were out on a hunt and apparently they were on Quileute land. Since they only hunted animals, the Quileute elders agreed to a treaty with them; they'd leave the Cullens alone as long as they never harmed a human in the area and as long as they stayed off of the reservation, thus my being unable to come to your aid when you're there."
"Or what? I thought you guys were pretty much indestructible," I argued.
"Not against the wolves," he said cryptically.
I laughed. "What wolves?"
"The Quileutes are actually werewolves," Jasper told me. "Or shape shifters, actually. Some of them, anyway, not all of them. I suspect your friend Jacob might be one as well."
"That's ridiculous!" I exclaimed. "You can't be for real."
"I am, you could ask Carlisle about it when he comes home from the hospital if you like," Jasper insisted. "Ephraim Black, his great grandfather, was the elder that made the treaty with Carlisle. I wouldn't be surprised if he was. I have a question, have you noticed any changes in his appearance lately?"
"He got a lot taller I guess, but all teenage boys have growth spurts, he's sixteen after all," I told him.
"Listen Bella, I'm not going to tell you what to do, but please be careful when you're with him because I can't come and save you if you're on the rez. Try not to get him angry, and if he starts to shake and lose control of his anger, get the hell away from him fast."
Therefore, Jasper wasn't particularly against the idea of my driving out to La Push after school one day to hang out with Jake, aside from just one stipulation. "Please please take this phone with you," he begged, pressing a sleek silver cell phone into my hand. "I won't be able to come for you due to the treaty, but you can at least call Charlie if something goes wrong." I couldn't really argue with his logic, so I took the phone without protest.
As I pulled up to the little red house that Jacob lived in with his father, he burst out through the front door. "Hey Bella! It's been ages!" He engulfed me in a huge hug that rivaled one of Emmett's as soon as I got out of the car.
"It's great to see you, Jake," I said, hugging him back. Maybe I was just used to Jasper, but he was extremely warm. "You feeling okay Jake?" I asked.
"Uh…yeah, why?" he asked.
"It feels like you're running a fever," I replied.
"I always run warmer than most people," he replied quickly, his face expressionless for a moment. "So," he said briskly, changing the subject. "What do you want to do?"
"How about showing me that car you said you were working on?" I suggested.
His face lit up. "Really? It's out back in the garage. It's an '84 Volkswagen Rabbit…it took me forever to find all the parts but now I pretty much have everything I need to get her running," he said excitedly. "Hey, you wanna help me?"
"If you don't mind my not knowing a thing about car repair," I replied.
"That's okay, you can still help. You never know, you might learn something," he said with a wink.
For the rest of the afternoon, I happily sat next to Jake handing him tools. "So what have you been up to lately, anyway?" he asked. "I feel like I haven't seen you in forever. It's been a few months."
"Not much, just hanging out with Jasper a lot," I shrugged.
"Wait, what?" he asked, rolling out from under the car quickly.
"My boyfriend," I replied.
"Jasper who?" he asked suspiciously.
"Jasper Hale, why?"
Jakes eyes widened. "You need to stay away from him, he's dangerous!"
I rolled my eyes. "Not to me he's not. Come on Jake, I don't need you telling me who I can and can't hang out with."
"Seriously, all of the Cullens are bad news. Why are you hanging around that loser?" Jake looked absolutely livid.
In the back of my mind, I knew I ought to not be surprised that he was reacting this way, based on what Jasper had told me, but something in my snapped at him referring to my Jasper as a loser. "Who the hell do you think you are?" I asked incredulously. "You don't even know him, how dare you call him a loser!"
"Listen to me, Bella," he pleaded. "Stay away from them! There's something not right about them. I'm not joking when I say he's dangerous, all of them are! You need to stay as far away from them as possible. I don't care what it takes, but—"
His tirade was interrupted by the phone that Jasper had insisted I take ringing. Knowing it could only be one person, I answered it without looking. "Hello?"
"Bella! Oh thank god, you're all right," the high soprano voice rang in my ears. This was definitely not Jasper.
"Alice?" I asked, surprised to hear from her of all people.
"I had a vision of you driving somewhere, and your future went fuzzy!" she exclaimed. "I've been trying to see you all day and I can't get anything, it's gone! I had to call to make sure you were okay! Where are you?"
"I'm in La Push," I replied.
"You're WHERE?" She yelled. "Bella! How could you be so stupid! To go there alone! Do you know what kind of danger you're in right now? Get the hell out of there! I'm calling Jasper if you don't leave immediately!"
"That won't be necessary," I clipped, "because I'm leaving!"
"YOU'RE NOT GOING ANYWHERE!" Jake roared, and as I looked over at him to tell him just what I thought of that, I noticed him starting to tremble.
"Oh shit. Shit. Jake calm down." I started to slowly back away towards my truck.
"What's going on? Bella!" I was still on the phone with Alice. "Bella listen to me, run. Just fucking run to your car!" she commanded. "Get the hell out of there right now!"
She didn't have to tell me twice, I turned towards my truck and broke out into a sprint, thankful I hadn't locked my doors and that, unbelievably, I hadn't tripped and fell on my face. I turned the ignition and slammed the car into reverse right as Jake burst into a huge russet-colored wolf with a loud crackle. Oh my god, did that just happen? And why didn't this truck go any faster? I was flooring the pedal and only going 55. I looked in the rearview mirror to see the wolf starting after me before, out of the tree line, another huge wolf, this one black in color, emerged in a blur and to collide into it, the two of them tumbling in a flurry of black and brown.
Luckily, Jake didn't live terribly far from the border of the reservation, and I soon reached the sign that welcomed me to Forks, and almost ran right into a very angry-looking blonde vampire. In a flash he was pulling me out of my truck. His eyes were black, and for once, he looked horrifically frightening. "Isabella, are you alright?" he asked anxiously, carefully looking me over.
"I'm fine!" I exclaimed, just happy to see him, throwing my arms around him.
He pulled back and held me at arms length, and examined my face. Already I saw his eyes start to lighten back to their normal golden color, and I knew he was starting to calm down. "Jake turned into a huge fucking wolf, Alice called to warn me…wait…how did you know to come here?" I asked.
"I was hunting in the woods and I felt a shock…I think I felt your fear or something…I think it's because I'm so in tune to your feelings but I just started running towards the boundary line…" He didn't finish because in another flash, I heard a menacing growl and Jasper was crouching defensively in front of me.
"Protecting your snack, leech?" I heard Jake ask nastily.
"I'm protecting her from you, Mutt!" Jasper fired back.
"So you can drain her later," Jake snapped.
"Isabella, darlin', could you please call Animal Control? There seems to be a stray dog here, and it might have rabies," Jasper said calmly, though he was leaning menacingly close to Jacob.
"Fuck you, leech!" Jake yelled, stepping up to Jasper's challenging posture.
"Would someone like to clue me into what the hell just happened?" I asked, trying to pull Jasper back by his stone arm. He, unsurprisingly, didn't budge. "Jasper. Hey Jazz?"
"Get in your truck, Isabella."
"The hell I will," I said. "What the hell was that back there?"
"I told you I thought he would phase soon," Jasper said quickly. "Please get in the truck," he said in a softer tone. "I just want you to be safe."
"She'd be safer with me than with you, you bloodsucking piece of—"
Jasper snarled at Jake, and I just knew his eyes were black again. "Really? What if she had been standing a little closer to you, huh? She would have ended up like your leader's mate. Or worse. What then, Dog?"
"Bella. Bells. You want to come with me?" Jacob turned to me, his eyes pleading. "Please. You're safer with me."
"Really Jacob?" I asked. "Jasper has never hurt me. He never would."
"You know. I can't believe it! You know what he is and you don't even care! This is unbelievable!" His face went from shocked to angry in an instant. "What would Charlie think about this?"
"You wouldn't!" I yelled at him. "You can't anyway, not without exposing yourself as well. What's he gonna say then, Jacob?"
Jake glared at me. "I will protect you from this bloodsucker, Isabella."
"Correction, dog. You will stay away from my mate," Jasper said in a carefully measured tone.
"Your WHAT?" Jake yelled.
"You heard me, dog. Now kindly get on your way so I don't have to smell you anymore. In the car, Isabella."
I knew there was no arguing, so I quickly scrambled into the passenger side of my truck and slammed the door shut. In the rearview mirror I saw Jasper snarl at Jacob once more before he gracefully swung into the drivers seat of my truck, slamming the heavy door.
"This isn't over!" Jake called after us, and a shiver ran down my spine. The look on his face was pure, unadulterated rage, and for the first time ever, I was terrified of him.
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