Disclaimer: I do not own the Twilight saga or its characters. That right belongs to Stephenie Meyer.
Calm Before the Storm
He watched her from a distance as she walked along First Beach. Static flowed through his body as a faint reddish glow sat along the horizon. The sun had yet to break the barricade of clouds. An eerie silence crept upon the land, as if they were the last two people on earth. Even as the ocean became restless, the waves crashed mutely against the rocky shore.
It was the calm before the storm.
They had been on the beach for hours. He sat on a large piece of driftwood watching her walk up and down the beach. It was all she did. Even as the tide ebbed and flowed further up shore, soaking the hem of her white, cotton dress, she remained in the same line of pacing.
It had been two years since they left. Since he left. The leeches fled from Forks without a feasible explanation. He could still smell the burnt wood from the fires of celebration. The tribe threw a big party when news broke out of their departure. He didn't have the heart to celebrate. He just couldn't.
Knowing that she was suffering because of him leaving was heartbreaking. In the moments when she openly cried in front of him, he could not imagine a prettier site. Tragic, but beautiful. He wasn't sadistic—no—but it proved that she was still part of his world. She was still human. She was still perfect for him.
And after months of waiting. Pleading. Loving. Watching.
She was honest with him.
He remembered their conversation clearly.
"I'm no good for you, Jake." She blurted out as they watched another episode of Monster Garage.
He almost laughed at how random she was; he was never bored with her. "You haven't given me a stomach ache yet, Bells, so I think I will keep you around."
"You know that's not what I mean." She breathed evenly, staring at him sadly. "I'm damaged goods."
"That means I get you at a discount," he chuckled lightly. Smiling broadly, he lifted their entwined hands, brushing his lips against her knuckles. "I will take you for who you are, Bella."
"I don't care what you say. I won't leave you like he did." Hurt flashed through her eyes as he spoke, but his words had to be said. "I love you." Her brown eyes widened, and he mentally cursed himself. "Well that wasn't exactly how I pictured it."
"No, I love Quil, of course I love you, Bella!"
"You don't have to say it back. I understand. It is too soon. I get it. I won't force you. But I want you to know that I am all in, Bella." He allowed her space, watching as she absorbed his words. They sat for what seemed like an eternity, but a glance at the clock said ten minutes.
"I can't promise you anything, Jacob."
"I know." He thought of the possibilities of what could occur in the future. Their wedding. The birth of their children. It all seemed so perfect. But there was still something unnerving that bugged him. The possibility of him returning. "I need to know one thing. Be honest."
"If, you know, Edward came back—" He watched as her face contorted in pain, both her arms hugging her chest with dear life. "Sorry, but I need to know. If he came back for you, would you go with him?"
"Yes," she whispered, as if she knew what he was going to ask.
"Just promise me…promise me that you won't disappear. That you'll say goodbye."
"I promise, Jake."
And with that he kissed her.
And two years later here they were. He asked her to marry him right when he graduated from high school. She accepted. The small diamond faintly glimmered on her left ring finger. Each moment brought him closer to their future. The wedding would be small and would take place right here. He made sure of that.
Lightning streaked across the skies, a mix of purples, blues, and pinks. The low rumble from the thunder boomed in the strong silence. The waves got angrier, splashing around, destroying anything that would cross its path. He called her name, worried that she would be touching the ocean when the lightning would strike.
She turned around, hair whipping with the wind, tousled and messy. The hem of her dress flowed in the direction of the wind, wrapping around her knees. He swore he fell in love with her again at that moment. She reminded him so much of an angel. Waving his hand, he beckoned her to join him.
He tugged for her to sit in his lap, but she shook her head. She sat down next to him, goose bumps running down her arms, and shrugged off the shoulder he attempted to wrap around her lithe body.
"Jacob," she whispered.
A strike of lightning violently hit the ocean, sparkling and illuminating the vast waters.
The calm before the storm was over long ago.
Bella took off the ring, unclasped his hand, and placed it in his palm. She curled it back up, kissed his knuckles, and rose. "Goodbye."