I stretched myself across the Cullen's white couch, flipping through the channels at high speed. There was nothing on the TV that I wanted to watch but I desperately needed something to preoccupy my mind. The last hour before Nessie and her "siblings" came home from school always dragged on the longest. It was near impossible for me to think straight while she was gone and I found myself everyday relaying more and more on Esme and Carlisle to distract me, though they weren't much help.
Every moment of the day it seemed that Esme was doing something that related to cleaning, fixing, or decorating the house. I used my massive height to help her reach a high corner or assist her in hanging something but other than that she insisted that I just relax. Carlisle, when he was not at work, would read books that seemed way above my intellectual level so I couldn't really count on him as a distraction. Sure he attempted to get me interested in all these scientific and medical books he enjoyed so much but I realized I rather be worrying about Nessie then dying of boredom. It was very quiet in the house at this time. I had kept on a cooking show on the Food Network thinking that maybe it would tempt me into getting some food hence creating another distraction. But I wasn't hungry and I knew it was a pointless effort.
Truth was I wasn't worried that Nessie would get hurt, or that she would get into some kind of trouble at school. Her family looked after her very well and I knew she was perfectly safe, especially with her overprotective father hovering around at every corner. No, I was more concerned that she might find someone at school, who would obviously be instantly drawn by her beauty and grace, and that she would also take an interest. Although she was only seven years old, she had the body and brains of a 17 year old. She was too beautiful for her own good and I knew that I had made a mistake not telling her about the imprinting sooner. But it really wasn't my fault, it was Bella's.
I had wanted to tell Nessie that I imprinted on her two years ago, but her mother insisted that I wait and let her lead as close to a normal teenage life as she could. I should have told her to just mind her own business and to let me handle things, but no of course I gave into Bella's pleading and here I am nearly shaking with fury at imagining her with another man. Surely the guys at the high school noticed what a catch Nessie was and are trying their hardest to muster up the courage to ask her out.
Or perhaps all the guys are too intimidated by her family to actually pursue her or even better Edward would break any guy's neck who ever tried. I smiled at the thought that maybe Edward's over-protectiveness might actually become useful at fighting off the adolescent boys. Not only has the thought of Nessie dating other guy's been driving me insane but I have also been exerting much energy into coming up with the perfect way to explain to Nessie how I feel about. I was curious about how she would react when she knew that I had some bizarre wolf claim on her. Oh and that I am madly in love with her.
We had known each other since she was a baby and I have went from being her protector, her playmate, her gossip buddy, to her best friend. She tells me everything and I mean everything that she is feeling or thinking with not even a hint of embarrassment or hesitation. She trusts me and now I feel I have betrayed her by waiting this long to tell her the biggest secret that in turn affects both our lives. I desperately hope she will be understanding and love me back because I know rejection all too well. It had stung when Bella chose Edward over me, it had been a painful blow when she agreed to marry him, and it nearly killed me when she decided that as much as it hurt me, she wanted to become a vampire in order to secure herself with him forever. However, none of that would compare to how it would feel if Nessie were to reject my love and choose another.
I wanted to get her alone and in a quiet place, maybe out in the woods on one of our hunting trips. I would sit her down and say that I wanted to talk while taking her hand in mine. I've come up with a few ideas on how I would start such as, "Hey Nessie, so you know we have been friends for a long time, and you are the most amazing girl I have ever met. I'll always be here and I would do anything for you, you know that. There is something I have been meaning to tell you but your mother has been begging me to wait till you're older but I think you are old enough to know now…see there is this thing called imprinting… it's happened to Quil and Claire and to a bunch of other wolves in the pack…and well it's this thing…"
Suddenly the door burst open and in came seven vampires talking loudly and laughing at some joke Emmett had made. Bella smiled in my direction and little "hello's" and "hey there Jake" came fluttering my way. I nodded toward everyone being as polite as I could. Then I saw a pair of big brown eyes surrounded by copper curls and my heart sank. There was Nessie throwing aside her backpack and running toward me. I moved my legs over to give her room and she popped next to me while wrapping her tiny arms around my shoulders.
"Hey Jake! What have you been up to all day?" Her voice sung sweetly and if possible my heart sunk lower. I couldn't stop staring at those soft pink lips and that beautiful smile which made small dimples form in her cheeks. I realized then that I must look like an idiot just staring at her. Nice Jake.
"Um… nothing really just watched the Food Network and read a…a book," To be perfectly honest I couldn't even remember what I had done today. I was pretty sure I spent the whole day trying to find stuff to do and then just sleeping when I couldn't. I thought I was busted because she knew as well as anyone that reading books was just not my thing.
"Oh…well that's fun…but in my opinion the Food Network doesn't show any recipes that can surpass the wilderness."
She broke out into a mischievous grin and I immediately broke out in one too. Suddenly, my stomach seemed to catapult as I realized this was the opportunity I was looking for to tell Nessie. I felt very uneasy and she looked me over in concern.
"Hey Jake are you alright?"
"Yeah I'm fine, just realized how hungry I am. Let's go."
But before I could move I caught Edward whispering something to Bella. Damn mind reader. Bella then turned a bitter glance at me and moved toward us.
"Jake before you go could I speak with you?" I knew exactly what was coming as I shrugged and followed her into the kitchen.
"Alice, Emmett, Jasper could you give me a moment alone with Jacob please," Bella asked the three of them and they left, their faces appearing very confused.
"Jake what are you doing?"
"You know what I mean. This is not the right time and you know it. Wait another year and then tell her. She's only had a few months in school and the last thing she needs now is to have…"
"Stop it Bella. I am getting so tired of you preventing me from telling her this. She has the right to know it's been seven years! I can't keep worrying that she is going to find someone else. I know you keep telling me that you won't let that happen, but I can think of a few vampires in this house that wouldn't mind if I she dated someone other than me."
"Jake you know Rosalie would never do that!"
"I'm not talking about Rosalie Bella."
"Then who…you don't seriously think that Edward would do something like that!" As I arched my eyebrow her response was to stare at me; opening and closing her mouth as if she was trying to say something but obviously having trouble deciding what.
"What Bella you seriously think Edward wants me to be with your daughter. You see the way he stares at us when me and her are together."
"That's only because he can read your mind which I'm sure is not exactly full of things a father wants to hear being thought about his daughter. Oh don't give me that look I know exactly how your mind works Jake. Nessie is our daughter and if you want my blessing, along with Edward's you are going to have to do things our way. I do not want you saying anything about imprinting to her at least for another month."
I couldn't believe what I was hearing. "Another month! Bella who knows who she will find by then!"
"Jake trust me both Edward and I along with the rest of the family are trying our best to keep any boy that shows the slightest interest in her at bay. Trust me Edward doesn't want Nessie dating any boy at that school especially since he can hear every disgusting thing they think about her. I honestly didn't think boys that age had such repulsive thoughts but you should hear some of the things Edward tells me. Believe me he is doing everything he can to keep them away from her."
I felt a little more at ease but still couldn't believe Bella was making me wait a whole month. Doesn't she realize how much keeping this from Nessie is killing me? I sighed and nodded my head as I started back to the living room.
"Thank you Jake," I heard Bella whisper behind me. Nessie stood ready to go with a weary smile plastered on her beautiful face.
"Is everything ok?" She asked, looking back and forth between Bella and me.
"Yeah perfect let's go."
We started out slow, just racing each other through the forest, catching a deer or two. We didn't go too far from the house which was fine because I wasn't really that hungry in the first place. It felt like there was this big gaping hole in the pit of my stomach that was growing bigger and bigger every second I didn't tell Nessie. It was obvious that she noticed something was wrong but she didn't say anything. Every now and then she would hold my hand and smile at me, raising her eyebrow as if to persuade me to tell her what was on my mind. I didn't budge and eventually she couldn't take it anymore.
"What's wrong Jake?"
"Nothing's wrong. Just tired."
"Tired? From what watching the Food Network?"
"Yeah…well no…I mean just tired from worrying about you all day."
"Worrying about me? Why would you worry? I am half vampire you know and surrounded by other vampires so there really isn't much danger."
She smiled half-heartedly, trying to understand what I was saying. She must have thought I was such an over protective fool, which is true, but she didn't understand exactly what I was worrying about.
"I know that. I know your strong Nessie and I know you can take care of yourself…it's just…" I was so close to giving in. Telling her how I feel and what I was actually worried about. We were far enough away where no one could hear us or read our thoughts. I imagined how good it would feel to get off my chest. I imagined the smile that I hoped would break out on Nessie's face when I told her how I felt. And I imagined her saying the three words I have been dreaming she would say since I laid eyes on her. But then Bella's words came into my mind and I knew she was right. I had nothing to worry about and I wanted Nessie to live life as close as possible to normal.
"Then what are you worried about?"
I took a deep breath. "Nothing Nessie, I guess I'm just being stupid is all."
"Yeah I'm sure. You ready to go?"
"Yup, you wanna race home?" She raised a perfect eyebrow and started running even before I could answer. I laughed and prayed that Nessie wouldn't be thinking about what I had said when she got home.