Chapter 10, Parts 1 & 2, are authored by TeamSpaceHeaters & Meadow Girl!
So here it is FINALLY! Better late (really late) than never! And what I said in part 1 was true 80% was done many moons ago and the wonderful Phoenix and Bean can vouch for me as they read it probably about this time last year except I wanted to add more and well I just never got around to it - sorry! So here it is and it might not be perfect and exactly what I wanted out there but I realised I had hogged the torch for long enough and wanted to pass it on to the next person because after over a year I think its about time someone else gets a go!
I want to say a very big thank you to my fellow big boobed friend and beta OhEdward! You are simply the best and I love you, thank you for everything! To Bean thanks for solid advice on the chapter and I think I took all the points into consideration so I hope you like. MeadowGirl thank you for kick starting the chapter and like I said in Part 1 this chapter is as much yours as it is mine and you were the one that stopped me turning Edward gay no matter how tempting it was! And The Kim's... no I didn't break Edwards dick but I was THIS close! ;-)
So I hope you like it in full glory and slighty messy state but t least finally the torch is passed on... xx
Stephenie Meyers owns Twilight!
Chapter 10, Part 2
My heart skipped a beat.
What the hell? Why was Jake here with Charlie to welcome me home? I mean it was great to see him, but why was he here? He obviously doesn't know about Edward, not that I had exactly told Charlie yet but I just assumed Jake would have heard from Angela or Eric. Angela was one of my dearest friends and I told her everything, as she was always my voice of reason and I hers. When I had called her to tell her about Edward, she had been worried I was rushing from one relationship to the next too soon. She had initially thought Edward was just a rebound until I told her that I had finally scored a 'home run' with him! She was happy for me but whenever we talked she still would always ask how things were going; she felt that sleeping with Edward so early on had mixed up my emotions and with him being all overprotective and overbearing later I hadn't really helped matters. Regardless, I know she wouldn't have made a song or dance about the fact I was seeing Edward to Jake but I know she would have casually mentioned that I was seeing 'someone' to him, if not just to make things easier for a situation like this….So why was he here? …Urghhhh this was all wrong.
My brain was on complete overload and the conflicting thoughts that irritated my head seemed to paralyze me. It was crippling to walk any faster.
God, I hadn't even spoken with Jake in four months! Why on earth would he think that he could come here with Charlie and that everything would bounce back to the way it was before I left? Yes my mind was playing tricks and Jake had been ever present in my thoughts the last few weeks but seeing him here with Charlie, it was just not what I expected.
Frustrated, and completely flustered, I scorned over Jake and his obvious excitement.
But, in my staggered approach, I could see that Jake was not actually returning my stare. In fact, his welcoming smile and energy were directed at someone walking behind me.
I turned to see the direction of Jake's enthusiasm.
A beautiful brunette was walking towards Jake. "Leah? Leah Clearwater?" The words escaped from between my lips before my brain had a chance to catch them.
Fire blazed instantly in my cheeks as embarrassment took hold. My mouth ran dry and my heart – my heart sank low.
Wow! Conceited much Bella? I thought to myself. In a rushed attempt to gain my composure, which was very much spiraling into non-existence, I found myself face to face with Jake, tenderly crushing Leah in a warm, long embrace.
Charlie, still quiet, had been carefully observing my every reaction to the couple's very open public display of affection.
I caught his inquisitive eye.
Mustering up somewhat of a smile, I met him with an over-exaggerated strangle hold. Partially to shield my ears from the amorous reunion. But also to hold on to something steady in order to calm my insides before my airplane meal made a messy re-appearance.
"Uggh!" Charlie gasped, "Good to see you too Bells." He chuckled, at my expense I'm sure, "Everything okay?"
"Yup! Let's go Dad!"
Grabbing Charlie's arm, I lead – no, dragged him towards the luggage carousel. Anything to get us away from the happy couple.
"Bella?" Charlie's irritated voice shook me. "Isn't that your bag, going around for the second time?"
"Oh, yeah." Half dazed, I jumped to grab my luggage before it traveled the loop again. What was wrong with me?
Charlie took my luggage from me and turned for the exit.
It was Jake…holding hands with Leah and carrying her bag.
I managed to muster some kind of scary smile and looked at Leah "Everything going good at Cornell?"
"Yeah, real good, but good to be back home" she said as she grasped Jake's hand a little tighter. "How life a NW?"
"Yeah, the same really good" I looked at Charlie who was waiting at the exit for me "I really gotta go, I am so tired." I was already walking away from them.
"It was good seeing you Bella" Jake shouted after me "Merry Christmas!"
I turned around "Oh…yeah…sure sure…Merry Christmas," and happy Fucking New Year, I spit under my breath. I mean, how dare he show up here and carry on with her….like that….in a public place….IN FRONT OF ME…and…whoa…..STOP! That little voice in my head was telling me to get a grip.
Jake was obviously happy…and I was definitely happy….and life was moving forward…or was it? There should be no hold backs from the past. Right? Only lessons in growing up. Everyone could (should) move on, right? I half expected an outside answer to my internal questions. Regardless, Jacob Black couldn't affect me like that again…could he?
The house hadn't changed much during my time at school. But it was comforting to be in the secure environment of my bedroom.
Charlie had helped me up with my stuff, but then quickly retreated for the stairs. He half turned before descending and spoke in his fatherly tone.
"Is everything okay?"
"You seem….a little distracted."
Distracted? Yes! Okay? That was still up for debate.
"I'm just tired Dad, really! I'll grab a nap and then I'll be fine."
Charlie seemed hesitant to leave.
"Does it have anything to do with seeing Jake and ….."
"NO!" I cut him off practically biting his head off "It's just been a long day," I lied.
I faked a yawn, hoping that he would take the hint. He did.
I dug into my carrier bag, frantically searching for my phone. My birth control pills fell on the floor. I picked them up and laughed to myself remembering the look on Edward's face when he realized he hadn't used a condom the last time we were together. Ha! Like I would leave it all up to him, now that I was with Edward these pills were my life. There was no way I would ever be getting pregnant! That was one thing mom told me when I'd gone to visit her and she had taken me to the clinic. "Never trust a guy Bella, even if you think you love him, always be prepared." I remember thinking she had sounded like a girl scout especially as I had told her time and time again that Jake and I were waiting… waiting for what I have no idea…maybe we shouldn't have waited. WHAT? I did not just think about that. But the more I tried to get it out of head the more the image was getting clearer. Jake and I lying on the bed, making love. LOVE? NO! I did not just think about making love, I saw sex, just sex. .GOD. Stop it Bella get a fucking grip on yourself. I threw the birth control pills on the dresser saying a small thank you to my mom for her advice. I carried on rummaging through my bag to finally find my phone, I looked at and realized then that it was completely dead. Fuck! I fished around for the charger and plugging it in, sinking down into my bed, I closed my fingers around the phone and closed my eyes for just a moment, contemplating the events of the day…I fell asleep.
When I woke it was already evening. I looked at the phone and saw that I had two missed calls. One from Edward, shit I can't believe I missed him and the other was from Angela. I quickly dialed the voicemail and saw there was only one message… please be Edward "Hi Bella I'm just calling to hear your voice. I hope the trip home was ok…..wait a minute….shut up Alice! Bella do me a favor and call Alice when you get a chance she is driving me crazy. Anyway I miss you already I don't know how I will survive the two weeks. Call me when you get a chance." I hung up and quickly redialed his number his number. Fuck voicemail! "Hi Edward, it's just me. I will try you again later. I lo….miss you." I hung up and stared at the phone. What the fuck just happened. Why did I pause, why couldn't I say I love you. This was all Jake's fault, seeing him had obviously affected me more than I thought it would. I slumped back on the bed and closed my eyes.
At dinner that evening Charlie made it clear that we would be following through on our tradition to have Jake and his dad Billy over for a pre-holiday dinner tomorrow. Fucking great, this was so not what I needed. But I had composed myself and told him I would do it and that it was fine. . It was tradition after all, and in the past, it had always been a good time, the last few years had been fun especially when Jake and I were together but now…. I would just follow through. I could do it. I closed my eyes. You can do it Bella and Jake doesn't have a problem with coming over so I should be fine about it too. I'm taking the high road! It was nothing, just one dinner…Jacob, Shmacob!
I had fun preparing everything for dinner the next evening and it kept me occupied and stopped me from constantly thinking about Edward. Charlie always appreciated my culinary efforts, and Billy and Jacob had such monstrous appetites that there was never any fear of food going to waste.
Strangely, I was genuinely excited!
I jumped at the noise from the doorbell, but didn't hesitate to answer. I felt very together and prepared for the evening Jacob and I were just friends now and this would be fine.
I was grinning with confidence as I opened the door, but what awaited me on the other side was enough to rattle any shred of confidence I just had. My well groomed spirit faltered as I stood there, hopelessly unraveling before Billy, Jake….. and Leah. Oh crap I wasn't expecting this….
My face was instantly hot and I scrambled to gain my non-existent composure.
"Welcome!" I cringed "Please, come in! Leah, nice of you to join us! Here, let me take your coats."
Dialogue was spilling out of me as if someone had forgotten to press the stop button on the idiot player.
"Charlie said it would be fine," Jake smiled, "and that you had prepared enough food to feed an army!"
"Oh no…it's great. I'll just set another place." I flashed them a cordial smile. I hid behind my fire as I steamed off to the closet with their coats. Charlie took over my post as the welcoming committee.
I was bothered. There was no denying that. But, why? Why the hell was I so flustered when it came to Jake…..with Leah. Jake and Leah, Leah and Jake. A thousand thoughts raced through my mind before I settled on the most logical one. Jealousy! Really? Yup…I was jealous… of Leah! I was jealous of her delicate, charming nature and the fact that Jake seemed to be so happy with her, and that her hand was causally on his hand as she slowly caressed it with her thumb and the ….
The shrill of the phone interrupted my inner rant. I hung up the coats and ran for the kitchen, anticipating Edward's voice on the line; please be Edward I so need to hear your voice right now.
"Hi Bella, Merry Christmas!"
"Angela, Merry Christmas to you too!"
"I tried to get a hold of you when you arrived yesterday, but you never answered." Crap I was supposed to call her back but never got around to it.
"I'm sorry Angela, I was meaning to get back to you. It's just been a bit…"
She cut me off. "Oh it's fine Bella I figured as much. I was just wondering, I know it's Saturday night but I'm having a party tonight and..."
"PERFECT," I blurted before she had the chance to finish. "I'll be there as soon as we are finished with dinner."
"Can you skip out earlier from dinner? I need help getting things together and we can catch up before everyone gets here. I'm sure Charlie won't mind; he'll have you for the rest of the week."
"It's not just him," I put my hand around the receiver to help muffle my voice "Jake is here… with Leah," I whispered.
"What? Why? Oh jeez Bella I should have told you about the two of them but I just found out myself."
"It's fine Angela." I could see Charlie looking over in my direction trying to eyeball me to put the phone down. "Anyway, I will try my best to get there when I can."
"Good, because I want details Bella! I can't wait to see you!"
I returned the phone to the cradle and made my way to the dining room. I could definitely make it through dinner now, knowing that I could vent and drink away my frustrations later at Angela's.
The meal, I have to say, was delicious I'd surprised myself as I hadn't cooked properly in so long. But with dinner came awkward dinner conversation. Most of it centered around Charlie's recent bout of starvation while I'd been at school and his wanting to know more about Jake's life in big bad New York City. Jake played it all down constantly trying to change the subject. I flitted in and out of the kitchen trying to avoid any topic of discussion falling on me.
"So Bella, how is school?" Billy asked. "Lots of new faces I bet!"
"School is great," I said trying to end the conversation there.
"You must have made a lot of new friends now," Billy was pressing for more information and I knew exactly what he was fishing for.
" Errrrm yeah I've met a lot of new people but…." No time like the present I thought. "my immediate group of friends is quite small. It's just Alice and her boyfriend Jasper, and myself and Edward."
I felt a slight flush in my cheeks as four pairs of eyes searched my face for more definite explanations.
"Oh! Are you and the Cullen boy…?" he paused raising an inquisitive eyebrow, as had Charlie who was now frozen and looking directly at me. I half expected this question to come from Charlie, not Billy. But what the heck; why hold back on the deets now?
"Yes!" Oh, there was my confident voice. "Actually we…" I looked at Jake who was now pushing food around his plate. He looked sad. The confidence I had ten seconds ago vanished in a flash seeing Jake like that. "We just kind of…. got together when we left for school." I searched Charlie's body language for any sign of a heart attack…all good…I'm safe!
"That didn't take long," Jake muttered to himself, apparently not out of earshot for Leah though.
She fidgeted awkwardly and Jake continued playing with his food to avoid any eye contact with me. Obviously, the green-eyed monster was alive in him as well. But that was damn cheeky of him to make it seem like I jumped the next guy available, especially while I was sitting next to his girlfriend. It's not like he had waited long either!
The remainder of the dinner was quiet. Conversation was light. It was comfortable, for me anyway, probably because I felt a strange sense of empowerment as a result of Jake's comment earlier. It seemed that the news of mine and Edward's relationship had struck a chord with him.
Dinner was finished and there was no longer an apparent need for small talk. Charlie loaded Billy's lap with dirty dishes and rolled him into the kitchen. I knew Dad would clean up after dinner since I spent the whole day cooking. This left me plenty of room to close up my end of the evening and leave for Angela's party.
"Dad? That was Angela on the phone earlier. She asked me to come over and visit after supper for a while. You okay with that?"
Charlie shrugged and opened his mouth to answer, but before he had a chance, Leah spoke up from the doorway behind me "Oh, we're going to Angela's too Bella! We can travel together if you like?"
Fuck. My. Life.
Charlie, half smiled at the flush in my cheeks before he agreed to my "visiting" with Angela. He knew damm well it was a party, but he trusted me enough to let me go…with Jake and Leah…UGGHH!
I ran upstairs to touch up my make up and grab my phone. Good. I had a full charge but still no call from Edward.
I grabbed my coat off the bed and headed back downstairs to where my escorts awaited.
"Angela better have lots of liquor," I sighed to myself.
This had to be one of THE longest drives ever. Talk about uncomfortable. Not only did I have to sit through dinner with Bella, but Leah had been invited by Billy to come with us. It was never my intention to have her there. It was never my intention to go at all, but Billy wouldn't stop and so I thought it might be a good chance to talk to Bella alone and try and clear the air …and who knows maybe even work things out. I could explain Leah, but apparently she had moved on too…with Edward Cullen of all people.
What had I overheard my cousin Emily saying when she had come over during a summer break and met him at the beach? "Edward is every girls dream; he is perfection." Perfection my ass, perfect prick more like.
Oh was this jealousy seething through me? I shook my head. Come on Jake don't be stupid. Leah and I really seem to have a great connection, it's taken a while but I had moved on. I have moved on. Bella is with the Eddypuss now and I'm with Leah. I am very happy with Leah. I sighed to myself, it didn't matter how many times I told myself that I had moved on, that Leah was great, funny and I really liked her but ….she wasn't Bella. Bella still has my heart… and I just need to accept that she doesn't love me anymore and I need to just need to let go and find love again… Leah is great.
The drive to Angela's seemed to take forever. Bella was being her usual awkward self and just trying to make conversation. Leah was doing her best to smile and act like she wasn't bothered that she had just had dinner at my ex's house and was now sat in a car with her. I can't believe Leah had invited Bella to drive with us. Of all the ways to be spending Saturday night, I would never have thought this would be possible.
Finally, I saw Angela's place as we pulled into the street. Hallelujah! We had arrived.
We walked into the house and it seemed like everyone was there. People from Bella's grad class, kids still in high school, kids from our reserve. Everyone! Too many people for my liking but hey, when you're leader of the pack, you travel with the pack.
"Thanks for the ride guys. I'm going to go find Angela."
Bella practically tripped over the air trying to get away from us. She was still the same, clumsy Bella.Northwestern hadn't changed that. She just wasn't my Bella anymore.
I turned around to see that Leah had also slipped away into the party being dragged away by her girlfriends.
"Hey! What's up your ass, Black?" Paul's voice boomed from somewhere across the room. Through the sea of people I could see his massive form cutting through the crowd. Then there he was, in my face, with beer in hand. Good ol' Pauley. Always on the look out for my … happiness!
"Not tonight man, gotta drive."
"Shit man, this is like the party of the year. C'mon. Just one?"
I grabbed the beer from Paul who was smiling now at the fact I had caved... "Just the one!" I said to him as I took a swig from the cup.
"You say that now!" he smirked. I rolled my eyes.
"So did I just see you come in with Bella AND Leah? Maaaan that must have been awwwwk ward! 'Hey ex-girlfriend meet the replacement, hey replacement meet the one you will never match up to,'" he laughed as he hit me on the shoulder.
"Shut the fuck up, man!"
"Oh come on, I had to deal with you moping around for long enough and now I can't take the piss?" he chuckled. "I bet you could have cut the atmosphere with a knife. So how did she take it, you know," he pointed to the direction of the crowd with his eyes "about Leah?"
"She's seeing Cullen now," I said not really answering his question.
"As in Edward Cullen?"
"The one and only," I nodded "They're both at Northwestern so you know." I shrugged my shoulders. "Whatever man, I'm happy with Leah; she's happy him - so whatever."
Paul was my oldest friend; I had known him since Kindergarten and he was the brother I never had but at times he could still be a pain in the ass. Never the less, I could trust him with my life and vice versa. The girls always fawned over Paul. Despite having a line of girls to chose from, he stayed grounded and faithful to his girlfriend Miranda of four years who, come to think about it, was no where to be seen.
"Hey, no Miranda tonight or is she already in the bathroom throwing up? You should just tell her to walk around with a bucket around her neck and it would save her the need to fall asleep on the toilet!"
He laughed "Hardy har har Jake, very funny, is it pick on my girl time now? Her cousin Jenny is in town over the holidays so she is out with her giving her the grand tour of Forks. But you know Miranda, never one to miss a party so I'm sure she'll drop by at some point." He took another gulp of beer and added, "So I'm guessing she still doesn't know that you are at IIT?"
I sighed and shook my head. It was supposed to be a surprise for Bella. She had gotten into Northwestern and I got a scholarship to study engineering at Illinois Institute of Technology. Though I had wanted to stay in local college and be able to care for Billy, he was adamant that he was not going let me put my life on hold for him. He'd been carefully investing the payout he had gotten from the accident that had put him in the wheelchair and it had made a tidy sum to put me through college and then some. The scholarship on top had just been a bonus. I was going to tell Bella over the summer but before I got a chance, she started to get distant and then just broke up. Part of me wanted to tell her, thinking that would make a difference. But I didn't want to make her stay with me if her heart wasn't in it. So I let her go. It was hard spending this last semester knowing she was only 30 minutes away, but I made sure I just stayed away from parties where I knew there would be a NW crowd. It worked out well. I hadn't seen her once and I made Billy promise not to tell Charlie and to just say I was at NYU instead.
"No she doesn't and she doesn't need to know. Leah understands that this is all part of me trying to move on too and has agreed not bring it up. I don't want to see her while I am there and if I am trying to make a go of it with Leah then it's a good thing."
"Dude, come on," said Paul as he took another swig from his beer cup. "When Miranda set you two up we were both sick to death of you moping around and we'd put up with it through most of the summer. We just thought you needed to loosen up a little before going to college and she really didn't expect you guys to do the long distance thing; it was just supposed to be a bit of fun. You know she was just supposed to be the rebound chick to help you move on."
I looked around the room and saw Leah with her friends. She caught my eye and smiled. I knew this wasn't ideal. I'm sure she knows this but with her being at Cornell she'd given me something to focus on and keep Bella out of my mind. We hadn't planned on turning this into a relationship or whatever it was, it just kinda happened. She'd been great over the summer and then when she left for Cornell and I left for IIT I assumed that was it, but we just stayed in touch via email; and then one weekend she just decided to come out to see me and it just sort of turned into a long distance thing. We'd spent Thanksgiving together and ….she made me happy….she made me forget about Bella, she was helping me to move on.
"Leah helps me forget Bella," I turned to Paul. "Anyway, I thought this was a party and the life of the party seems to have just arrived!" Miranda was walking in with a tall leggy brunette who must be her cousin Jenny. God help this party with Miranda here now!
The next three hours passed quickly. Catching up with everyone and as I stood looking around the room, there was a tap on my shoulder and I turned around to find Bella. "Hey," I said trying to be casual but slightly surprised. But the look on her face told me Bella hadn't approached me for a casual chat.
"Errmm it's Leah, Jake. She's upstairs," she bit her lip. "One too many Jello shots I think."
"Oh jeez, I got her," I said as I started toward the stairs. I got to the bathroom to find Leah resting her head against the toilet seat. "Hey baby, how you feeling?" I kneeled down to the side of her. She mumbled something. I leaned in closer, "I can't hear you Leah."
"She hasn't been sick yet, I brought her upstairs because she just went pale all of sudden. I guess she's just feeling it but you might want to get her back home. Here, make her drink this." I turned around to find Bella handing me glass of water. I took the water and turned to Leah and made her sip the water slowly.
Bella was still standing in the doorway, "Do you need a hand?" she asked. Part of me was wondering why she was being so nice after all, she couldn't have gotten away any sooner when we walked in.
"I'm ok," I said as I lifted Leah into my arms. "I'll take her home. Are you ok getting a lift with someone else?"
"Actually, erm. I'm ready to leave… if it's not a problem. I don't think anyone else is going my way but I can get cab if it too much trouble." Bella looked at the floor.
Wow, I wasn't expecting that. I thought she'd jump at the chance to get away from me. Focus, Jake focus. I looked at Leah in my arms and she seemed to have passed out and then I looked at Bella who now had a slight smile on her face. It was the smile I knew well. This was the smile that gave her away. I knew she wanted to say something but instead she hid behind it.
"That's fine. I'll drop Leah off first if that's ok."
We got into the car and I lay Leah down on the back seat and strapped her in. Bella sat beside me at the front. The 15 minute drive to Leah's house was made in silence. I pulled outside Leah's house and went to help her up from the back seat so I could carry her in. Just as I managed to get her out the car she slurred, "You won't ever love me Jake… …. you never will, not while you still love her."
I looked at Bella who was biting her lip now and back at Leah who seemed to have passed out again. I took her inside apologizing to her mother as I carried her to her bed. I assured Mrs. Clearwater that she would be fine and that she would just have a sore head in the morning. I reminded her to give her plenty of water and then I left.
I got into the car and Bella was still biting her lip with her body slightly turned away from me staring out the window. "She'll feel like crap tomorrow," I said as I fastened my seat belt. "Thanks Bella, I know you didn't have to do that but thanks." She didn't move but I could see in the reflection from the window that she had stopped biting her lip. I started the car and pulled out to make my way to the Swan residence.
I had a million things running through my head…Say something Jake. Now is your chance. Come on Jake…anything. Oh God, should I say something… but Leah…. My mind wondered back to Leah and then back to Bella. I have to say something… I need to say something …anything…if she would just tell me she was in love with fucking Eddypuss then I would know it's game over.
I yanked the car over to the side of the road
Bella looked at me, "What wrong Jake?"
I started "I….I ….I ….I just want to talk to you Bella. What Leah said back there…"
Bella cut me off, "Its fine Jake, she was just drunk and didn't know what she was saying."
"But Bella," I reached for her hand and put my hand on hers. I looked her right in the eyes. I missed getting lost in those dark brown eyes of hers. I sighed and paused… "She's right Bella."
She didn't pull away she just looked at me.
Oh shit. Shit shit shit shit shit. This is not what I wanted to hear. No, no, no, NO! But he still loves me and I still….. I can't be hearing this now. I'm confused as it is and now...
I should never have listened to Angela, I shouldn't have told her how I was feeling about Jake and Leah and how much I had been thinking about him these last few weeks. I should have just let her tell Jake about Leah having too many Jello shots. But oh no, Angela and her master plan of trying to see if I still had feelings for Jake and now…. I closed my eyes.
Breathe Bella. Breathe.
I could feel myself shaking on the inside and my heart was racing, but I knew I was perfectly still and I opened my eyes and looked at Jake. He was looking into my eyes like he had so many times before.
My hand was still under Jake's. Why hadn't I pulled it away, did I like it there? This can't be happening. His hand was warm, nice and the touch felt familiar and comforting. Jake wanted me to say something, and I didn't know what to say. It was easier when I just thought I was being jealous and he had moved on. But now, Oh God, I wanted to lean over and feel his lips and embrace again but….Edward. Edward's face flashed before my eyes.
I pulled my hand away quickly. Edward, I love Edward now….. at least I thought I did but I have these feeling for Jake that just wouldn't go away and now…
"I'm sorry Bella," Jake looked away, interrupting the million thoughts running through my head.
I still hadn't said anything and I knew if stayed quiet I would be denying a part of me that was conflicted and…. I closed my eyes again and for the first time I admitted to myself something I was trying to bury. I still loved Jake. I did. He was my first love I would always love him; he had my heart first and being here with him now had brought all my feelings and emotions back.
Jake was still talking but I didn't even know what he was saying. My heart was racing and I loved Jake. I love Jake. Present Tense. I. Love. Jake. I couldn't stop repeating it. But what did I feel for Edward… was that just lust? I know I loved the sex with Edward, I REALLY loved the sex but did I really love him?
I realized I still hadn't said anything.
"Stop talking Jake."
He looked at me, with his big brown eyes. "Jake," I sighed "I don't know what you want. You're with Leah now and I'm with Edward. We had something yes, and I love you Jake. A part of me always will, but something wasn't right between us and that's why we broke up…. I'm with Edward now."
Jake looked away and then turned to me.
"Bella, do you love him?"
"I … I could … I want to….I think I do ….it's different with him, it's more…"
He cut me off, leaned in to me, and whispered, "But you don't love him yet... you still love me." he said as he moved closer to me. I could feel his breath on my lips. We were just inches apart now.
We looked at each other and before I had a chance to think, I leaned into him and gently caressed his lips with my own.
The kiss was soft and familiar… slow. I pulled away. "I'm sorry," I said looking down and biting my lip. "I shouldn't have done that."
He slowly moved his hand to my chin and pulled my face close to him again, "Don't be sorry…." And with that, his lips were on mine again. This time he sucked my lower lip before slowly parting my lips open with tongue. I massaged my tongue against his, and felt his sweet breath entwined with mine. He moved his right hand down my back, pulling me closer. His left hand moved to my waist and down to my thigh. I instinctively grasped his hair in my hands and did something I never thought I would do. I just went for it. I kissed him deeper; he moved his lips to the nook of neck… Jacob's little nook that he knew I loved. "I have missed you," I managed breathlessly with my eyes still closed. He stopped. I opened my eyes realizing what I had just said. Jake was looking at me as though he had 100 questions running through his mind at the same time and I knew the first one would be Why?, so I broke the silence knowing that I shouldn't have kissed him. "This is wrong. I think you should take me home Jake."
He didn't say anything and just started the car but turned to me and said, "This isn't over Bella, it never was. We were never over." With that he pulled out and drove me home. Neither of us spoke, I had million things running through my head. But the loudest question was WHAT WAS I THINKING? I shouldn't have kissed him. This was all wrong. Maybe I had rushed into a relationship with Edward; maybe the sex just made me think I had to have a relationship with him. I was beyond confused and I just wanted a giant hole to suck me up and just take me away forever.
He pulled up outside the house and I didn't move. Why couldn't I move? My body was frozen.
"Bells we can't pretend that didn't happen back there," he said slowly and without any remorse. I nodded. I think the power of speech had left me as well as the power of movement. "You obviously still have feelings and I know we were both trying to move on but if there is still something there…," he paused and took a deep breath, "Don't we owe it to ourselves ….you still love me. I felt it in your kiss Bella. I won't give up on us….not until you can look me in the eyes and tell me you don't love me." He placed his warm hand on mine and then slowly stroked it with his fingers.
I looked at him, looked into his eyes and I couldn't do it. I couldn't say it. I didn't want to. What I wanted was to put my arms around him and kiss him again but that would just make it worse. I moved my hand and stroked the side of his face.
"I need to think Jake. I'm not going to pretend that this hasn't happened but can you give me time to think and process all of this?" He took my hand and cupped it in his.
"I'm not going anywhere Bella."
I stumbled out the car and walked toward the house. I turned around to see Jake pulling away and driving away. What had just happened? I wrapped my arms around myself and slowly walked into the house.
Thankfully Charlie wasn't slumped asleep in front of the TV and had actually managed to drag himself upstairs for once.
I went to my room, closed the door and slumped down against it.
My interior monologue was on steroids. I couldn't think straight and didn't even know where to start. Why hadn't I had more than two drinks at the party at least then I could have blamed the alcohol. I can't believe I just kissed Jake….I can't believe I finally admitted to myself that I still loved Jake. I was so confused now. Did I really love Edward? Had Angela been right that by sleeping with him…losing my virginity to him before we'd properly dated had played with my emotions? The more I thought about it the more I realized that I loved the idea of Edward. He had been the most popular guy at school; all the girls loved him. It was hard not to notice him all those years at school and I had had a crush on him…all the girls did.
Urggggh. I dragged myself from the floor and got ready for bed.
I crumpled down onto the bed knowing that I wouldn't be sleeping at all tonight. Staring at the ceiling I was startled by….
I took the phone from the night stand and was shocked to see the name flashing on the screen. Edward? Why was he calling me at this hour….did he know… how would he know, no one here even knows we're together. I hit accept thinking something was wrong; he would never call me so late otherwise.
"Edward is everything ok?"
"Hey, yes everything is fine. I tried calling you before and then when you never picked up I called the house and Charlie told me you had gone over to Angela's. I figured it would be a late one for you and knew you would still be up," he paused "it's quiet for a party though," he said inquisitively.
I can't talk to him. Not tonight, not after what just happened.
"I came back early. Anyway I am super tired and I was just about to fall asleep."
"Oh, I stayed up to talk to you because we keep missing each the last few days."
He was waiting for me to say something and I didn't know what to say. After what seemed like a minute he spoke, "I miss you Bella."
"Hmmmm" was all I could manage to muster.
Deafening silence for the second time tonight.
"Bella are you there?"
"Yes, I'm still here. I'm just tired."
"Oh," he sounded dejected. "Get some sleep Bella and I will call you tomorrow."
"Goodnight Edward." I hung up before he could say anything else.
That's was horrible and awkward and I had just been a bitch to him on the phone. Why me? I need to sort my head out and for that to happen, I need no contact with either of them.
I closed my eyes and though it took a while, I did eventually fall asleep.
I awoke the next morning with the hope that last night hadn't happened. It was all a dream, but the illusion of it being a dream was shattered when I looked at the phone and saw two text messages from Angela.
"Come on Bella, spill! I've been waiting all morning to hear from you. Did anything happen?"
Then the next one…
"Bella! Ccome on. I'm waiting here… If you don't text me back I swear I'm going to come over and get it out of you!"
I tapped out my message back "I need you….come over when you can"
I put the phone back on the night stand and slowly got of bed. I walked to the window. Charlie's car wasn't there; he'd left for work already. Thank God, I would not be able to deal with his questions, not today.
The morning was no better than last night; I still had so many mixed emotions and thoughts in my head. I couldn't even eat my breakfast, but I forced myself to because I knew I would feel even worse if I didn't.
When Angela arrived at the house I felt a sigh of relief to just get some things out.
"I kissed Jake…and then he kissed me and I kissed him and …."
"You did what? How, when?" exclaimed Angela with a sudden energy burst.
Both of us sank down onto the couch and I filled her in the events of last night.
"I don't know what to do Angela. I knew the feelings for Jake had begun to surface again a while ago but seeing him…being close to him again … it's made me realize that I still love him. Do you think it's possible to love two guys?"
Angela turned to me and crossed her legs, "Look Bella, you told me yesterday you weren't sure about why you were feeling like this and that's why I pushed you to go home with him. It would give you the time to talk and well…" she smiled "you certainly did more than talk!"
"Angela! That's not helping!" I rolled my eyes. "And anyway what about Leah and Edward? Jake and I are both awful people to do this to both of them. I have to tell Edward!"
"Leah probably knows she's the rebound chick, Bella. I'm sure it won't be a shock to her if Jake calls it all off, especially after what she said. People always speak what's on their mind when they're drunk and she certainly did. If Leah and Edward are out of the picture then this is just about you and Jake. Look Bella, I can't make a decision for you. I'm here to listen, but you need to decide who you want to be with. You know I was never keen on how quickly you bounced into a full on relationship with Edward, but maybe it was good thing. Maybe you needed a rebound relationship to put your feelings in order. With Edward, you jumped into bed with him the first second you got and then tried to build a relationship based on sex. Sex is great Bella; sex can be real good but if that is all you really have together, that isn't a relationship."
"I thought... think I love him. Our chemistry is different to what Jake and I had. He can be possessive but he's trying to change and I love that he is trying to change. I really like him Angela." I sighed…. Like. I knew that like didn't mean love and the more I thought about Edward the more I had come to realize that our relationship was just based on sex. Whenever I saw him that was all I wanted to do, now that my cherry had been popped I was like some horny teenager and Edward fulfilled me.
"He called me last night after I got home," I said.
"No, Edward." I paused and remembered how bitchy I had been to him on the phone "I was such a bitch to him. He just wanted to talk; it was the first time we'd managed to get hold of each other since I came home to Forks and I just told him I was tired and hung up. But I can't talk to him when I'm cheating on him Ang. Not 'till I know what I want."
"Oh for Christ's sake Bella it was ONE kiss!" Angela proclaimed strongly. I raised my eyebrows, "Ok fine; it was TWO kisses! You haven't started some sordid affair. And if you decide that you still want to be with Edward then I'm sure he will understand and if he doesn't…well then it just goes to show that he's a sex crazed wanker!" she laughed. "Only you can decide Bella, and I will be here for you for whatever decision you make…you need to be true to yourself. If you still love Jake like you say you do…."
After Angela left, I knew what I had to do. I picked up my phone and was about to speed dial Edward when the phone rang. It was Alice.
I opened one eye, or at least attempted too, because at that point it seemed that was all that I could do.
From where I laid I could see that my legs were tied up in some sort of contraption.
What the fuck was this shit?
Last thing I remembered, I was following Emmett down the slopeand next thing I was French kissing a tree. I don't even think it was the impact of that affectionate run in with the 20ft pine, but the up close and personal introductions to every branch on the way down to the ground that resulted in the searing pain that I was feeling now.
Yes, I was starting to see it all a little more clearly now. There had been an accident, and I was the main character in the events that had unfolded.
A tree…of all things, a fucking tree….why did Bella have to foresee this…
"BELLA!"…I shot up in the bed…and screamed with the agonizing pain that enveloped every inch of my body.
Esme was instantly at my bedside, easing me back down onto the hospital bed, which is where I realized I was. Seeing as the place smelled like a sterile toilet bowl and there were loops and wires attaching me to a machine that beeped in time with my heart in my aching chest.
"Try to stay calm honey. Bella is fine. We are still in Banff." Esme stroked my forehead with a touch only a mother could get a way with.
"But someone needs to call Bella. Or no, wait…Let's not call Bella. She'll just worry… and then she'll blame Emmett."
"Hmph…it's not my fault you can't navigate around the trees," Emmett chided from the corner of the room."
"It's too late Edward," Alice said, rubbing my hand in hers on the opposite side of the bed from Esme. "I already called her. She is waiting for me to call her with an update today. And…" turning to face Emmett, "she doesn't blame you, you big oaf, but it was pretty stupid for both of you to be out on that hill after dark."
"Good news" Carlisle said as he entered with the hospital doctor. "Only 2 broken legs, a cracked collar bone, displaced shoulder, and plenty of bumps and bruises to show for your act of stupidity last night there, son of mine!"
"When can I get out of here?" I shifted my body weight in an unsuccessful attempt to get up.
"Not so fast son." Dr. Malally, Chief Orthopedic surgeon, had stepped up to answer. "Well, the shoulder is back in place and we'll keep you in the sling to help immobilize your arm so that collarbone can heal. And, luckily the fractures in both legs were very clean so we were able to reset them with just the one surgery. However, you are going to have to use a wheel chair for the first few weeks of recovery until your physiotherapist is confident that you can walk, aided with crutches.
"You can do physiotherapy at home in Forks," Carlisle added. "You will need it to build the muscle and strength in your legs again and…"
"I know what physio is for Dad. When can I get back to school?" The bigger question hiding under that was when I could get back to Bella.
Carlisle and Esme looked at each other across the bed.
"We have already decided that you will spend this semester at home Edward. We've spoken to the dean at NW and they have approved a medical leave of absence this semester for your recovery." Esme whispered softly and tenderly squeezed my hand. She was anticipating the thunderous uproar that she somehow knew was coming from me.
"Like fucking hell that's gonna happen."
Edward's accident changed everything. Christmas and New Years seemed to merge into one. That day I was ready to call him and tell him about Jake. And tell him that I just needed a break from the both of them so that I could decide what I wanted to do. But I couldn't tell him that, not when he was in this condition. I was getting daily updates from Alice and she'd told me that he'd finally agreed to take the semester off so that he could recover. I was going to return to NW and Edward wouldn't be there; I guess in some weird twist of fate I was going to get the space I needed away from both Jake and Edward. I finished packing my bag and walked down the stairs where Charlie was waiting.
"All set dad," I said putting the bag down.
"It's been great having you here. Try and come back more often; the food is definitely better when you're here. Now let's get you to the airport." Charlie kept it simple. I think it was his way of making sure he didn't get emotional about my leaving home again.
The trip to the airport seemed quick. Charlie asked me about Edward's recovery and said he'd drop in on the Cullens when they bought Edward back home from Banff. I told him he didn't have to but when Charlie gets an idea in his head it's there to stay.
At the airport we said our goodbyes and I made my way to my gate. I looked around to find an empty seat and JAKE? What's he doing at my gate? I walked over. "Errrrm Hi Jake? Are you heading to Chicago?" I asked.
"Bella! I…" He paused. "I didn't hear from you after the party and I was giving you space like you asked."
"So you thought you'd come and stalk me at NW instead?" I joked. "I've had a lot to think about and Edward was…"
He cut me short. "No, Bella I'm not going to Chicago to see you." I felt slightly deflated and realized how presumptuous I probably sounded.
Jake sighed and continued, "I was going to tell you if you had called during the holidays but I go IIT not NYU."
I looked at him shocked and my jaw dropped.
My mind went into hyper speed. Jake goes to a college in the same city as me! Why hadn't he told me this before? This was not good. I want space from the both of them and now Edward would not be around this semester and instead Jake would be in the same city.
This was not good, not good at all. Fucking great now what was I going to do!
Ruh roh! Please review and thank you!