I pick up the story mid-way through 'New Moon'. Bella and Jacob were about to share what would have been their first kiss, when the phone interrupted them. The part in italics is an excerpt from 'New Moon' by Stephanie Meyer.

Someone answered, and Jacob altered in an instant. He straightened up, and his hand dropped from my face. His eyes went flat, his face blank, and I would have bet the measly remains of my college fund that it was Alice. I recovered myself and held out my hand for the phone. Jacob ignored me. "He's not here," Jacob said. And the words were menacing. There was some very short reply. A request for more information it seemed, because he added unwillingly, "He's at the funeral." Then Jacob hung up the phone. 1

And the rest, as they say, is history. But here is one way things might have gone differently.

1. Funeral

Someone answered, and Jacob altered in an instant. He straightened up, and his hand dropped from my face. His eyes went flat, his face blank, and I would have bet the measly remains of my college fund that it was Alice. I recovered myself and held out my hand for the phone. Jacob ignored me. "He's not here," Jacob said. And the words were menacing.2

"Jacob," I said loudly, more than a little angry at the rude way he was talking to my friend—my family, as I still thought of Alice and the Cullens, in spite of everything—and angrier still that he was spoiling what should have been a very tender moment between us. He had a bad habit of doing that. Why couldn't he be a little more mature? It wouldn't hurt him to be a little more like...

I didn't finish the thought. I could hardly believe I even started to go there. I was mad at myself for thinking about... him, and even madder at myself for having such an uncharitable thought about Jacob. He was trying to deal with some difficult emotions and an awkward situation. And it was a very bad time for the phone to ring – from his perspective. I was kind of grateful for the reprieve, for the chance to really think about where our relationship was going before taking such a big step. But if our relationship was going to go anywhere, I couldn't constantly be comparing him to Edward's perfection. Still, I shook my outstretched hand at him, insisting that he hand me the phone.

"Yeah, that's her," he said. And his voice was softer now, chastened, either by my rebuke or by the tone of the person on the other end of the line. "Do you want to speak to her?"

He handed me the phone without waiting for an answer. He started to turn away, and I knew that this time he wouldn't stop until he was back in the truck with Jared and Embry. I held up one finger and gave him a stern look that said, "Stay." He stayed, his eyes downcast in embarrassment. I couldn't help but chuckle inwardly at the image that invoked. My big bad werewolf looked for all the world like a scolded puppy.

"Hello," I said to the phone.

"Bella." The word came as a sigh of relief, and at first I thought it was Edward; but when he continued, I recognized Carlisle's soft baritone. "I... You had us so worried."

"Oh, Carlisle!" I exclaimed, simultaneously happy and chagrined. "I'm sooo sorry. You must have heard about Alice's vision."

"Yes," he replied, "are you alright?"

"I'm fine. It was all a big misunderstanding." I wondered how short I could get away with making my answers, so desperate I was to keep him talking, to hear the beautiful sound of his voice. But I guess that was too short, since he didn't say anything in response, so to the silence I added, "I was just... cliff diving."

"So, you're not... You're alright then?" he asked hesitantly. Too hesitantly. I don't remember Carlisle ever being that way, and I wondered what it could mean. Then I realized: Alice was sometimes off as to the timing of her visions. Carlisle was worried that I was still going to kill myself.

Tears began to well in my eyes, as I struggled with what to say. "No," I said, "I mean yes, I'm alright. I just... I miss you all terribly, but I'm getting better. Alice is here for a visit, and my friend Jacob is here right now."

It wasn't exactly what I meant to say, and I wanted to try to rephrase it, so I didn't sound so pathetic and needy. But just then, Jacob stiffened and glared past me. I turned, knowing what I would see. Alice stood in the doorway, just outside the room.

"Is that my brother on the phone?" she asked, ignoring Jacob.

"No, it's Carlisle," I answered.

She pursed her lips and said, "Would you have him call me on my cell as soon as he can, please?" Then she left so fast that if I had blinked she would have seemed to simply vanish.

"Did you hear that?" I asked Carlisle. "That was Alice."

"Yes, I heard," he said. "I had better call her. I'll call you again soon, when we can talk longer, all right?"

"Yes," I replied, sad to let him go but grateful for his promise. "I'll talk to you soon. Goodbye, Carlisle."

"Goodbye," he said, in an almost ghostly tone that made me shiver. It was easy to forget that Carlisle and Edward were not biological father and son, so alike they were.

"Jacob Black," I said with a scowl, as soon as I hung up.

"I've got to get to the funeral," said Jacob, sounding like a little boy trying to get out of the scolding he so richly deserved.

"Yes, you do," I said, sternly but not harshly. "But there's something you need to think about, long and hard, before we get together again. You were about to kiss me, and I was about to kiss you back. And it would have been very nice, Jacob. At least, I know it would have for me. But I'm not sure it would have been a good idea. For one thing, I'm still in love with Edward—hopeless and stupid as that sounds. And a part of me always will be. But even more importantly, Jacob, I could never, ever, live in a home where the Cullens weren't welcome. Do you understand me?"

"Bella..." he objected.

"No, Jacob. That's non-negotiable. So think about it long and hard before you come over again."

He didn't meet my stern gaze. I knew this was no small thing to him, no more than it was to me. The antipathy between the wolves and the vampires ran deep. I worried that if I pushed him too hard right now I really would push him away. So, not knowing what else to say, I stretched up on my toes and kissed him lightly on the cheek. "Or the Blacks," I added in a whisper. "Now go. You can't be late."

Jacob did not leave as quickly or as gracefully as Alice had, but he was still quicker and more graceful than any of my human friends, quicker and more graceful than either Michael Jordan or Fred Astaire, I believed. I watched him go, and then I just stood there for several minutes. I didn't cry. In fact, I was happy. I was glad to have the Cullens back in my life, even if it was long distance. And glad that I wasn't angry with Jacob anymore. I had told him how things stood with me, and either he would come around and accept that, or he wouldn't. And if he wouldn't or couldn't, then I would accept that about him. I wouldn't be angry with him, even though it might mean that he couldn't be my companion or my protector any more. Some things just were the way they were, no reason to get upset about them. No, I wasn't upset. But I sure was scared. I had no illusions about how much I needed both his friendship and his protection. I wanted and maybe needed his love too—as selfish as that was, because I didn't think I could return it.

And that got me thinking about Edward, in a way that I had not allowed myself to before. Comparing Jacob to Edward. It seemed unfair before, but now it seemed like a necessary exercise. For all his fast-forward growth, life experience and natural maturity, Jacob was still only a child, even compared to me, much less compared to immortal Edward. But Jacob was quickly growing into a man. One who anyone would respect. He made mistakes, as all men must, but he quickly worked to try to set them right, once he recognized them. Edward, in the way of an immortal, almost never made mistakes. One of his few had been to fall in love with me. But, when he did, he was very slow to rectify them. And even though he was over a hundred years old, in some ways he was still a boy and always would be. Maybe I had been wrong to compare us to Romeo and Juliet. Maybe the better literary analogy was Peter Pan and Wendy. But even that was hubris on my part. If there was a Wendy in this story, she was Esme. Esme was Edward's mommy and always would be, even though - technically - she was younger than he was. I was just one of the lost boys, the children who tagged along with Peter for a time, and then were left to try to find their marbles and make their way back to their own time and place.

I couldn't blame Edward for being a playboy, for wanting to go back to his carefree life, gallivanting all over the world. Most men would want that, if they could have it; and almost all seventeen year olds would, male or female. The fact is most people, whatever their ages or sex, would not only take advantage of Edward's amazing gifts, they would take advantage in ways that he never had, lording their power and beauty over others and gathering harems that would make the richest sultan green with envy. I wasn't disappointed in Edward. Far from it. I was proud of him. Proud of the grace with which he carried the burden of his extraordinary talents. And I was still in love with him. But even though I still loved him, I was beginning to lose my obsession with him.

Another fictional couple I had once compared us to was Superman and Lois Lane. But I realized now that I wasn't Lois. I was Lana Lang, the girl Superman loved but left behind in Smallville. And, as I recalled, Lana wasn't a tragic figure. She had gone on to have a rich and fulfilling life, probably a much happier one than Lois, forever worrying and pining away for her perennially absent globes-trotting lover. Lana got the plumb role, as Superman's first love and lifelong friend. With the Cullens back in my life, at least I was back in the running for that part.

[1] [2]: New Moon by Stephanie Meyer