One Shot: Charlie's POV
I took a bite of my casserole, occasionally casting glances toward Sue Clearwater. She seemed to be holding up fairly well, but as a friend of Harry's, I was ready for anything she might need help with. I was not much of a talker, but Renee had told me once that meant I was good at listening.
Billy was talking and I tried to tune back in. "As long as you don't mind, I would definitely like to watch the Mariners play next weekend."
"No trouble at all. Bells already said she would prepare some of the fish I caught for us for dinner. So, of course Jake is invited so he can keep her company."
I glanced over and watched Jacob and Bella laughing. It was so good to see her laughing again. She had scared the hell out of me after the Cullen's left. Even after awhile, with Jacob, I would still see the pain lingering in her eyes. Could see her drowning in it.
She thought she had me fooled. I would see her wrap her arms around herself as if holding something in.
It hurt to watch.
Lately, though, the pain in her eyes had eased a great deal. There might be a trace here and there, but it was much less than it had been. Nothing major had happened that I was aware of that made this change come about, but Bella wasn't exactly forthcoming.
We were too much alike.
I may see these changes; see her moods shift; be more in tune with her than she realized, but she could still be quite an enigma to me.
My phone rang. Caller I.D. told me it was dispatch.
"Chief. Some of the guys are out dealing with a minor disturbance. I hate to bother you, but there has been a car accident on the highway."
"I'm close by. I'll head over." I quickly snapped my phone shut and stood.
"Sorry Billy. Hate to cut this short, but there's been an accident. I'm going to head over and take care of things."
He gave me a nod. "No problem."
Bella and Jacob were walking toward me as I looked for her.
"Bells, I got a routine call and have to head out. There was a car accident. I'll be a little while. You okay to head home?"
"Sure Dad. Jake was going to go back with me. We were just going to watch a movie." She looked a little uncomfortable, but I had no idea why.
I hurried to the cruiser, flipped the lights on, and drove out to the scene of the accident. The ambulance was pulling in right behind me. I grimaced at the slightly mangled front end of a Toyota Corolla smoking up against a tree. I saw the couple sitting in the grass by the car, the woman crying and her husband trying to comfort her. He was looking a little dazed and sick.
I recognized them as I walked over. The Marks's. They had two boys; the one was in Bella's class.
"Mason, Tammy. Are you okay?" I asked, kneeling down next to them. The EMT's came over with the stretcher.
Tammy was shaking visibly. "My arm really hurts. I think I broke it."
Mason had a pretty big gash on his forehead, but otherwise seemed okay. I was thankful that it wasn't more serious. Mason told me that he had been coming around the corner and hit a slick spot and skidded out of control. The speed they were going was enough to cause some damage, but thank God it wasn't serious.
I talked to them a few minutes, got my report written, and had the towing company cart their car away as the ambulance took them to the hospital. I stood and stretched, ready to go home to a cold beer and a little baseball.
I stopped in at the station to drop my report off to deal with the next day and headed for home.
I saw the lights on in the living room and remembered that Jacob was there. Looks like I would either be watching on the little television in my room or waiting for them to finish the movie. I was beyond relieved that Bella had Jake to lean on and that he had helped pull her out of that indescribable depression. That kid was a lifesaver.
I pushed the door open, kicked my boots off and hung my coat up. As I reached the living room, I froze in my tracks. My eyes nearly popped out of my skull. My mouth opened, but I had no voice.
Jake and Bella were lying on the sofa, plastered to each other. As if they were glued together. I'm rubber, you're glue, whatever you say bounces off of me and sticks to you. In the briefest of seconds, I wondered where the hell that came from. Oh good God, there mouths were fused together. It was like there was no goddamn tomorrow! And his hand was up her shirt. His hand was up her shirt?? In the seconds that I got an eyeful of all this, I managed to find my voice.
"Bella? Jake?" I managed to choke it out around the rising mortification and anger.
They scrambled away from each other so fast it would have been comical. If I wasn't quickly becoming freaked out that is. Then it felt like my senses clicked back into working order, and I backed out of there so fast I nearly tripped over my own damn foot.
What the hell? Bella and Jake were dating and it had progressed to this? Why hadn't she told me? She had told me when she begun dating Edward. I had suspicions it could be moving toward dating with Jacob, but that's all it was. Suspicions! Oh God, the image of them popped into my brain again – as if the first time wasn't horrible enough. I wished I could bleach my brain and kill it. I scrubbed my hands over my face. I needed to talk to Billy. I needed to talk to Jacob. I gritted my teeth in anger.
I was going to have to have the sex talk with her.
I cringed at the thought.
I felt like calling Renee and telling her to take care of this. What good was I with a teenage girl? Her mother should be talking to her about this, not me. I barely felt like I had the right to, considering the last time anything had ever happened sexually for me was that date that ended up being a disaster. And that was quite a few years ago.
I heard movement from the living room and turned around to face the music. I would save Jacob for another day; right now I would just focus on Bella.
They came into the kitchen. Bella's face was probably as red as mine felt. She wouldn't even look at me. Jacob – that punk – was calm and collected. No trace of embarrassment there. Though I thought I saw a little bit of regret in his eyes.
Inwardly I cringed as I met his gaze. "Jacob, you should go home. I need to talk to Bella."
"Charlie, it's not…" he started to say, but I cut him off by lifting my hand.
"We'll take later, Jacob." I gave him the evil eye.
He didn't react. I sighed. Oh well. It's not like that kid was ever intimidated by anything before. Maybe I'll show him my gun next time.
Jacob nodded, though, seeming to understand I didn't want to deal with him right now. Bella was still staring at her feet. I glanced down at her feet, too. I was distracted by Jake's feet, though. Damn, that kid had huge feet. I shook my head trying to dislodge my random thoughts.
Bella opened the door and Jake stepped through. I could see them through the glass panes in the door. I saw him cup Bella's face in his hands and press his lips to hers. My blood started boiling again. The nerve of that kid.
I cleared my throat and saw Bella jump. Not the reaction I wanted, but it would do. Jake leapt lightly off the porch and I turned to face Bella as she closed the door behind her.
"Bells…" I sighed. My brain did not seem to want to settle down. I was so out of my league with her.
She was biting her lip.
"You know… some warning that you and Jake were dating would have been nice."
She still wouldn't meet my eyes. "I'm sorry, Dad." Her voice was faint. "I didn't mean to… to…" She couldn't even finish her sentence.
"Bella, if you're going to… um, start having sex… well, I don't necessarily support it, but I hope you'll be safe…" I felt like banging my head off the wall. This wasn't going quite the way I thought it would.
Bella turned a shade redder, if that was possible. I think I did, too.
"Dad, we don't need to have the sex talk," she muttered, fidgeting. "You're like ten years too late."
Her mother told her about sex when she was eight?? God, that woman made me question her sanity. But I was thankful she knew about protection. This was the twenty-first century; you could talk till you were blue in the face about not having sex, but in the end, your kid would do whatever the hell they wanted. At least Bella was a smart girl.
Wait. She hadn't had sex with Edward had she? Or with someone before him? Oh God, what if I didn't know my daughter at all? What if she was some sort of sex fiend? I knew I was being ridiculous, but I had to ask. God, this sucked.
"Bella, you haven't… um… had sex yet, have you?" That nearly did me in. I waited, not sure if I wanted to hear her answer
She finally glanced up at me, shock evident on her face. Then she groaned. "You're really going to make me say this?" She sighed heavily, her eyes sliding away from mine again. "No, I'm still a… a… virgin."
Relief coursed through me. Thank God. Though the way Jake was going, that wouldn't last too long. Irritation flooded through me yet again at the kid I'd come to think of as my son. Now all I wanted to do was brain him for corrupting my daughter.
"Oh… good," I managed to mutter.
"Okay, I'm going upstairs," she murmured and practically flew up the steps.
I groaned quietly. I loved Bella so much; but having a teenage daughter around full-time was ending up being harder than I thought. I even loved Jacob, too, though my feelings toward him right now weren't exactly friendly. I figured I did okay with the talk, but it certainly felt like my daughter would be the death of me yet.
I was glad Bella was like me in so many ways, but I had seen the look in her eyes. When it came to relationships, Bella was pretty intense about them. And it scared me.
I desperately wanted that damn beer, but I needed to call Billy first. I really hoped Jake was out or in his room - kicking himself hopefully - for slobbering all over my daughter.
With an irritated grunt, I stabbed out the Blacks' number. I tapped my fingers on the wall, looking longingly over at the fridge. Billy answered on the fourth ring.
"Billy? Where's Jacob?" I figured I'd get that part out of the way.
"Um…" he paused. "He's out with Sam and the rest of them. Why? He came in and told me you would be calling, but left without another word. He seemed a bit amused over something."
Amused? Did that kid have a beat-down wish? Not like I could really take him. Kid was too damn big.
I growled. "You want to know why I'm calling? I'll tell you. I get home from taking care of that car accident and find him and Bella on the couch. He was all over her!"
Billy had the nerve to laugh. "So, they are dating?"
I could practically feel the vein popping out in my forehead. "Yes! And he was not exactly keeping his hands to himself, Billy! Did that not sink in? He was all over her. He was like some damn fungus on a rock! The rock being my daughter!"
I was getting too worked up.
He chuckled again. "I'm sorry, Charlie. I'll talk to him. I don't mean to laugh, but you know Jake's a good kid. Sounds like things got out of hand, but it'll be fine."
"How is it fine?" I growled. "I want to talk to that kid. I had to suffer through a sex conversation with my daughter; I need to blast his ass for making it come to that."
Billy sighed. "It was coming to this, Charlie. I think even you had some slight suspicion. I have seen them together and even though they act pretty much the same, I just had this feeling. The way they look at each other…"
I leaned my forehead against the wall. "I guess we have to suck it up and deal with it. I still want to talk to Jake, though. He's not getting off that easily."
"You got it."
"All right, Billy. I need a beer. I'm going to try and dull the image with a little beer."
Billy was laughing heartily as I hung up. He had no idea what it was like seeing them like that.
I heard Bella come out of the bathroom and close the door to her room. I grabbed a beer and collapsed onto the armchair. No way was I sitting on the sofa. I turned my back to it, propping my legs up on the arm of the chair and flipped the television on.
Hopefully a little baseball and a little beer would help cleanse my mind of images that I was sure would haunt me till the day I died.