Disclaimer: I do not own Twilight….
A/N: My beta for 'Fate', Buff82, has been so kind as to edit the beginning chapters of 'Torn' for me. So there's some new stuff, some removed stuff, but overall it's hopefully improved. Enjoy.
I will hold onto this hope that I have
You gave me a promise, you game me a promise
I'll push through this moment, I'll never give up
You gave me a promise, you gave me a promise
--Fireflight—'You Gave Me a Promise'
Chapter 1: Leaving Me
Nine days. That's how long it had been since I last saw my best friend, Jacob Black. Nine days since he promised to always be there for me.
Nine days since he broke that very promise.
I called every day after school and every time the phone would ring continuously - never answered. One evening I tried calling every hour. From the time I got home from school until the time I went to bed, only to fall asleep that night with lingering disappointment.
Tired of the never ending silence that Jacob seemed determined to keep towards me, I made up my mind to try again for one more day. Then I was going to drive myself down to his house; he could tell me in person that he didn't want to talk to me. The entire situation had become ridiculous—I thought only elementary children gave the silent treatment.
I knew he wasn't sick. Charlie had seen him two days ago hanging out in town with a group of guys—shirtless AND shoeless, I had been told. There was only one explanation I could think of... it had to be Sam Uley and his gang. What I didn't understand was what was going on…Jacob didn't like Sam. He was scared of him and now he was hanging out with them?!
As I sat in the last class of the day, my eyes continually pulled to the clock on the back wall, mocking me. Seconds ticked on like slow grinding minutes. The last bell rang, signaling my freedom. Grabbing my bag, I ran out of the doors of the school for my truck, not even bothering to stop by my locker first; it would only delay me further. Pressing my foot down eagerly on the pedal, I pushed my truck's maximum speed of fifty-five to its limit.
No sooner had I pulled into the driveway before I jumped out, barely remembering to throw the truck in park and take my keys from the ignition. Once I unlocked and opened the front door I dropped my bag to the side. Stomping into the kitchen I went straight for the old corded phone that hung on the kitchen wall. Quickly dialing Jacob's number from my memory, I listened to the ringing on the other end.
My hope at hearing Jacob's voice began to dissipate by the third ring. I was ready to hang up when someone's voice sounded through the receiver as they picked up.
"Hello?" a gruff voice answered. My heart momentarily skipped a beat until I realized it was Billy speaking, and not the person I longed to hear from.
"Hey Billy, its Bella. Is Jacob home?" I asked while trying to act as casually as possible.
"Nope, sorry Bella, he's out with friends."
Of course he was. I needed some sort of confirmation that he was in fact part of Sam's group, but without coming right out and asking.
"Is he with Quil?" I knew he wasn't, but it would get me the answers I needed.
"No, I don't think so." Billy sounded slightly annoyed, which was unusual, and definitely peaked my curiosity further.
"Is he with Embry then?" I held my breath while waiting for him to answer. Holding onto a shred of hope, even though I knew what he would say.
"Yeah, I think he's with Embry. I'll tell him you called." With that Billy quickly hung up the phone, not even saying goodbye. My heart dropped to my stomach. Even though I'd expected that answer, it still hurt to hear it from someone else.
Jacob, My Jacob, was now part of that 'gang' as he had once called it.
My heart was heavy as I remembered how angry Jacob had been at the possibility of having to join them. I'd made him a promise, I'd told him that wouldn't happen. Had I failed him? Rubbing my palms against my forehead in frustration, I tried to understand what was happening with him. Nothing made sense. Jacob should have come to me; he shouldn't have been ignoring me.
Figuring sooner than later would be better in confronting him, I grabbed my keys to the truck and stomped out the door with newfound determination. I was worried and scared for my friend and I was going to find out just what in the hell was going on.
It didn't take me long to get to La Push. I was used to driving the distance between my own house and Jacob's since we had spent nearly every day together over the last couple months. Parking my truck, I glanced up at the front of the little red house that was all too familiar to me.
Knots found their way to my stomach—I was not ready for a confrontation, but it had to be done. Getting out of the driver's seat I tried not to stumble onto the gravel drive. I slammed the door shut, took a deep, calming breath, and started to walk towards the front door.
My entire body was shaking with anxiety and fear, terrified of Jacob no longer wanting to be my friend, that I had finally pushed him too far. He was my sun, my last piece of something good, and I selfishly never want to give him up. Perhaps I could learn to love him the way he wanted me to? For him, I'd try if it meant keeping him close. Jacob healed my heart, he brought me back from the dark place that He had left me in.
As I climbed the steps and stopped in front of the door, I took one more deep breath to steel my nerves and slowly raised my fist to knock.
I tried knocking again, but still no answer.
My determination was not going to be deterred easily, so I decided to go look down by First Beach for him. If he wasn't there, then I'd go home and try again tomorrow. Now that I knew he was with Sam, there was no way I could let the situation rest without speaking to Jacob.
As I walked very carefully in the sand towards the beach front, I tried not to think about what exactly I was going to say to Jacob when I saw him next. I refused to believe he didn't want me around until I actually heard it from him with my own ears.
I looked up as I neared the water and caught sight of a tall, dark-skinned boy with jet black hair. My breath caught in my throat and my heart began beating erratically. Upon a second glance, however, I realized that it was not in fact Jacob.
The boy was a little wider and his hair was shorter. He looked familiar though…Quil…my memory finally supplied me with a name. It was Quil whom I'd met in Jacob's garage the first time I'd come to La Push after he left me.
"Quil!" I called out when I was a few feet away. He turned around slowly to the sound of his name being called, his face looking sad and solemn.
"Oh, hey Bella," he murmured as I drew closer.
My heart broke for him and I was slightly enraged with Jacob and Embry for abandoning their best friend. "Hey, can I sit with you?"
It was a cool and overcast day; thick, gray clouds hung in the sky. The rain had yet to make an appearance. I took a seat next to him in the sand and stared out at the same rolling waves as he did. The ocean seemed angry, the tide crashing harshly against the sand. It was as if the water understood our pain and was reflecting it for us.
"So, what brings you to the beach?" I decided to start the conversation out slowly. He looked like he could really use a friend.
"Just thinking," he replied quietly. I nodded my head in understanding. I had done quite a bit of thinking myself over the last week.
"Wanna talk about it?" I asked, trying not to pressure him but letting him know I was there if he needed me.
"Not really." I nodded and returned to my wave watching.
We sat in silence for awhile longer just side by side there in the sand. There was no need for frivolous conversation. Sitting with Quil was almost as comfortable as when I would hang out with Jacob. My chest ached a little at the thought. I missed my best friend.
"Have you seen Jacob or Embry lately?" I almost didn't ask but it seemed like an appropriate question and I was curious if he knew anymore about the situation than I did.
"Yeah, I saw them. They wouldn't acknowledge me even though I know they heard me call their names. They just kept walking away with their new friends," he spat the last word with a bit of acid in his tone.
"I'm sure this was all just a misunderstanding and they will come back to us," I tried to reassure both him and myself. Jacob had to come back to me. He was my best friend and I loved him. Maybe not in the same way he loved me, but I loved him nonetheless.
Quil's sadden expression did not lessen, his eyes remained unfocused on the crashing waves. There was hurt there, emulating my own, and I couldn't help but feel kindred to him in that moment. Unthinking, and in an attempt to soothe us both, I grabbed his hand into mine.
He made no motion or acknowledgement, but let me hold that part of him. His warmth covered my fingers as they wrapped around his palm, and I was reminded of my best friend. Still staring out across the ocean, Quil let out a light sigh.
"Thanks," he simply said.
Just then we heard laughter coming from the other end of the beach. I looked up and standing several yards away was none other than Jacob Black himself.
My jaw dropped slightly, but I knew it was him even if he looked nothing like the last time I'd seen him—he was taller, more muscular. Looking him over he looked like he'd grown several inches and his body had hardened, aged. His hair had been cut completely off against his head; all the beautiful locks gone.
He was standing with a group of four other boys of similar appearance. At first glance one might have thought they were all related, brothers even. They all were standing there in nothing other than a pair of cut off shorts.
From the corner of my eye I saw that Quil had noticed the group as well. I released his hand softly, giving it a light squeeze before I let go. I stood up suddenly, not even bothering to brush the sand from my clothes, and started to make my way towards them. They stopped laughing immediately as the whole pack of overgrown boys caught sight of me. Every one of their faces abruptly turned cold and harsh.
"Jacob!" my voice called out.
He stared at me with eyes that were not those of My Jacob. One of the guys, the oldest looking one that I took to be Sam, reached out and touched his arm. I stopped when I was still a few yards away, unsure if I should attempt to go any further.
Sam seemed to say something to him before heading towards the woods just next to the beach. Jacob glared at me wearing a face - no a mask - a hard mask that I had never seen before, and then he slowly turned away.
"Jacob, wait!" I tried to call out again, making my way closer once more. He ignored my pleas and started walking in the same direction Sam had gone. The other three boys followed immediately behind him.
"Jacob! You promised!" I tried one last time. His steps seemed to falter for a second before he continued walking into the trees and out of sight.
My chest ached with such intensity that it caught me by surprise, and I dropped to my knees. Tears were flowing freely down my face and I stifled a sob in my chest— I hadn't even realized I was crying.
Jacob didn't want to see me. Jacob didn't want to be my friend. I barely recognized the boy that I saw…Jacob, My Jacob, was gone. A new hole ripped open in my chest, and I was consumed with pain once again.