You guys asked for it... here it is. Angela hears the truth :D I hope you guys like it!
Same ol' thing... I don't own Twilight.
Chapter XII: Shades Of Truth
When Jacob was clean and dressed he sauntered into the living room, grinning at the sight in front of him: Bella was laid out on the couch, sleeping, a plate full of ham and cheese sandwiches on the coffee table in front of her.
He picked up the plate, chuckling quietly when he realized that there were six whole sandwiches for him and one half-eaten sandwich for Bella.
He drifted into the kitchen, his ears perking up as he caught the unmistakable sound of Bella's beast of a truck approaching. He opened the front door and stood in the doorframe, smiling at Angela as she and Embry exited the cab.
Quil jumped down from the truck bed and jogged over towards the house. "Jake, dude, toss me a sandwich," he held up his hands as he approached the bottom of the ramp, Angela and Embry in tow behind.
Jacob shrugged his shoulders before complying, throwing one of the sandwiches like a frisbee.
Embry, two steps behind when the sandwich left Jacob's hand, jumped past Quil and caught it first, shoving it almost completely into his mouth before Quil even had a chance to protest.
"Fuck you, asshat!" Quil quipped, shoving Embry forward onto Billy's ramp and motioning for Jacob to send another one his way.
Jacob rolled his eyes and threw his arm across the door, stopping Embry's passage. "Bella's asleep on the couch. Keep it down," he jabbed his friend in the ribs before stepping out of the way to let him through.
Quil was close on Embry's heels. He reached for a sandwich but Jacob poked a finger on his chest, stopping him before he had a chance. "You get one," he insisted, holding the plate out for Quil to take. "There better be four and a half sandwiches on this plate when I get inside."
"Ay aye, captain," Quil saluted Jacob before grabbing the plate and disappearing through the door.
Angela smiled warmly at Jacob. "Hi Jake," she spoke quietly, stepping onto the porch with slight trepidation.
Jacob shook his head slowly at the realization that this tiny, nervous girl in front of him was the only reason that they'd found Bella alive today.
She gave him a queer look, puzzled at the expression on his face, before she found herself wrapped up in his tight embrace.
"Jake," she squeaked, completely caught off guard.
"Yeah, yeah… break it up," Embry shoved the screen door open and joined them on the porch, soda in hand. "I'm pretty sure Quil already hugged the stuffing out of her," he clapped Jacob on the back, hard, before he jumped off the porch and headed towards the shed.
Quil joined them a moment later, grinning happily as he ate a sandwich. "Yeah, and the poor girl doesn't even know what she did to deserve it," he grinned and licked the mayonnaise from his lip. "Garage, right?" he asked, following Embry without waiting for an answer.
Jacob set Angela back on her own two feet and took a large step back, steadying her with a hand on her shoulder.
"Sorry," he grinned sheepishly, pulling the door open and motioning her into the house.
Angela raised an eyebrow at him but accepted his offer nonetheless. He followed her into the house and grabbed the plate from the kitchen table before stepping into the living room to check on Bella.
Angela followed him in, smiling as Jacob brushed Bella's hair out of her face before leaning in to kiss her on the forehead. Bella smiled sweetly, nuzzling herself further into the pillow. "That's my girl," Jacob whispered, before he stood up and headed back into the kitchen.
Angela followed him silently.
"You want anything to eat or drink?" Jacob offered, reaching into the fridge.
"No thank you," Angela's quiet voice responded.
"Alright… so, shall we," Jacob stood up with a Coke in hand and shut the refrigerator door, motioning towards the front door again.
"Umm, sure?" Angela's voice was unsure; Jacob wanted her to be at ease.
"I thought we could hang out in the garage until my dad gets back from his meeting with the Council… give Bella a chance to sleep a little longer," he was at the door, waiting for Angela.
"Yeah… alright," she glanced over her shoulder one last time at Bella's sleeping figure.
They walked to the garage in silence, Jacob eating, Angela thinking. Quil and Embry were talking, loudly, but shut up when Jacob and Angela joined them.
The foursome shuffled around the small garage quietly until they were all sitting comfortably… sort of. Angela had been given Bella's usual seat - an overturned crate with an old seat cushion on top. Jacob cleared a space and perched himself on his tool bench, Quil and Embry throwing themselves unceremoniously on the floor where there was space.
"So, any news?" Embry broke the silence, turning to look at Jacob.
Jake shook his head in the negative, swallowing the large bite he'd just taken. "She took a bath before, but otherwise she's just been sleeping all day," he shrugged his shoulders, pointing his chin back at his friends. "You guys get everything cleaned up at Charlie's?" he asked, shoveling half a sandwich into his mouth.
Quil grinned widely at Embry before he turned back to Jake.
"Whah?" Jacob demanded, mouth full of food.
"Nothing," Quil put his hands up defensively. "It just took longer than we thought it would…" he trailed off, grinning again at Embry.
Jacob was quickly losing his patience and turned his glare onto Embry.
Embry rolled his eyes at his friend's immaturity. "It's fine. The big, burly Cullen stuck around to help… he and Quil just had to wrestle it out in the backyard…" Jacob growled low in his throat, shooting Quil a death glare. "Dude," Embry interrupted, shaking his head, "it's fine. We fixed Bella's door, and the kitchen table. Charlie'll never notice," he moved his hand with an air of finality.
Quil snorted and moved his hand, palm out, in an arc in front of his chest. "These are not the droids you're looking for," he quoted, earning a groan from everyone in the room, including Angela.
"Will someone please tell me what happened?" she spoke in frustration, drawing the attention of her three compatriots.
"Ummm, yeah… Jake?" Quil turned towards his friend, shooting him a grin.
Jacob sighed and shoved the remains of his last sandwich in his mouth before he chugged his soda and threw the empty can at Quil. "Go play dress-up with Claire," he muttered, giving it the air of go jump off a cliff.
Quil blushed and ducked his head. "Fucker," he mumbled, crumpling the can and tossing it into the brown-paper bag labeled, recycle, in Bella's neat handwriting.
Jacob rubbed his hands roughly across his face and into his hair. "Right… easier said than done," he dropped his hands and turned his attention to Angela.
"Angela…" Jacob cracked his knuckles, frustrated at not knowing where to start. "Alright… so this morning you called my dad, right?" he asked, pausing to give Angela a chance to agree.
She nodded her head, crossing her arms across her chest.
"When we got to Bella's this morning she was…" Jacob swallowed audibly, recalling the position he'd found Bella in, cowering in her bedroom. He closed his eyes and leaned his head back, working hard to overcome the tremors he felt idling inside him. When he spoke again it was through clenched teeth. "We ran Edward off…"
Angela gasped loudly, bringing both of her hands up to cover her mouth in shock.
Jacob opened his eyes and turned his gaze to Angela. "If you hadn't called this morning… I don't know what we would have found," he shook his head, dropping his eyes to oil-stained floor in front of him.
No one spoke for several long minutes. Jacob glanced up at Angela every few moments, waiting for… something. Angela's eyes teared up as she considered all of the horrible possibilities. She tucked her hands inside the sleeves of her sweatshirt, balling them into tiny fists.
Eventually, Angela's mumbles broke the silence. "Oh my God. I can't believe… I just can't believe…" She looked up after a moment of silence and met Jacob's eyes. "What happened?" She briefly turned to look at Quil, then Embry, before searching Jacob's face again. "Please tell me what happened."
"Yeah… umm, about that," Quil added, eyeing Jacob carefully.
Angela looked like she was about to protest but Jacob spoke up first. "Shove off, Quil," he said, rolling his eyes before he turned his body to face Angela. "Look. There are certain things that we'll tell you now, here, in the garage without Bella…" he shot Quil a pointed glance, reminding him to keep his mouth shut, "but there are other things that will have to wait until later, okay?"
"Okay," Angela all but whispered, giving Jacob her full attention.
"Alright," Jacob took a deep breath and ran his fingers through his hair. "So we don't have all the details… Bella hasn't really had a chance to open up about all of this yet. What we do know is that he disconnected the battery in Bella's truck this morning to keep her from leaving the house. He also cut the phone line so that she couldn't call for help."
Angela cringed and shuddered visibly, horror apparent on her face.
"My thoughts exactly!" Quil joked, quickly becoming serious with a low growl from Jacob. "Sorry," he mumbled, pulling his knees up to his chest.
"Anyways," Jacob scowled, continuing, "after you talked to my dad, he tried calling the house too. When he couldn't get through he called Sam to go check on Bella, then he called me at school, then he called the Cullens. The Cullens made it to Bella's first, blondie and the big one; Sam got there a minute later."
Angela listened to Jacob intently, shaking her head minutely at his words.
"By the time Quil, Embry and I showed up, Edward," Jacob spit the name with malice, "was cornered. He took off out the back as soon as he saw us. We couldn't catch him," Jacob shook his head, disgusted at the turn of events.
Jacob paused, reflecting for a moment before he continued. "The doc came by afterwards and gave Bella a once-over before we brought her back here."
A little squeaking noise escaped Angela's mouth. "Is she okay?"
"Yeah," Jacob nodded solemnly, "for the most part she's okay. She's got some bruises, and her left wrist is pretty sore, but nothing's broken," Jacob sighed as he mentally checked off Bella's laundry list of injuries. "Luckily all of the bruising is hidden by her clothes. It'll make things easier for her, not having to lie to people about it… especially her dad."
Angela's mouth fell open. "You're joking!" she demanded, incredulously.
Jacob, Quil and Embry all traded glances.
"You're not!" Angela stood up from her seat angrily. "You have to tell Chief Swan about this. Edward needs to be arrested. You basically just told me that Edward would have killed Bella today and you're going to pretend like none of this happened?" Angela glared at Jacob harshly before she turned and marched towards the open door of the shed.
All three men jumped to their feet but Jacob motioned for his friends to stand down. He strode after Angela purposefully and caught her elbow just as she rounded the trees next to the shed.
"Jacob Black!" Angela whirled around to face him, anger blazing in her eyes; she poked him hard in the chest. "You claim to love Bella and yet you won't take the appropriate action when her life is in danger. You think you and your friends can protect her… too macho to get help when you need it. You men are all the same!" She threw her hands up in the air in frustration and turned around to face the house.
"Hey Angela," Bella's quiet voice rang out softly. She waved, bringing her thumbnail up to her mouth nervously.
"Bella!" Angela stood stock still for a moment in shock before she dashed to the house, pulling Bella into a strong hug on the front porch.
"Oww," Bella groaned meekly before Angela released her and held her at arms length.
"Oh my God, Bella," Angela whispered, her tears finally overflowing.
"I'm okay, Ang," she responded, hugging her friend to her softly.
Jacob smiled at the two women, acknowledging Embry and Quil's presence behind him with a small nod of his head.
Bella released Angela and grasped her friend's hand before she turned towards the boys. "Hey Jake; Quil; Embry," she nodded, walking towards the edge of the porch with Angela in tow.
"Hey Bella," the trio spoke in unison.
"Jake, umm, did you eat my sandwich?" Bella asked, eyes shining sweetly.
"No baby girl," Jacob chuckled, "I've got it here for you." He held his hand out, reaching for Bella across the yard.
She squeezed Angela's hand and led her down the ramp, releasing her when she came within a few yards of Jacob. He opened his arms towards her and caught her in a warm hug, breathing in deeply as his nose touched the crown of her head.
"Did we wake you?" he whispered, brushing Bella's hair off of her shoulder as he rocked them gently.
Bella shook her head, burying her face into the crook of his arm. "I woke up a couple of minutes ago, hungry." She leaned her head away from Jacob, looking up to meet his eyes, "I didn't hear you until I came outside."
Bella turned in Jacob's arms to face her friend; Angela had a distrustful look in her eyes.
"Angela, I'm not sure what the guys told you," Bella met Jacob's eyes for a moment before she turned back towards her friend, "but there is a reason why my dad can't know about any of this."
Angela looked unconvinced, but just as Bella opened her mouth to speak again, Angela's eyes widened. "Oh my God, you're pregnant!" she practically shouted, covering her mouth with her hands the moment the words had passed her lips.
Quil roared with laughter. Embry rubbed the back of his neck uncomfortably. Jacob cleared his throat as Bella buried her face into his chest. She quickly reeled herself in, shooting Quil a glare as she turned to face her friend, cheeks beet red.
"I'm not pregnant, Angela," Bella assured her. Jake elbowed Quil in the gut to stop his laughter.
"Oh…" Angela's own cheeks flooded with color and she ducked her head down slightly in embarrassment.
They stood in an uncomfortable silence for a moment until Jacob, Quil and Embry heard a vehicle approaching. The trio whipped their heads up, drawing the girls' attention to the driveway as Sue and Billy pulled into the driveway.
Sue waved sweetly at the kids as she unbuckled her seatbelt.
Bella and the boys waved back.
Embry trotted over to the car and stepped in front of Sue at the hatchback of her station wagon. She threw him a teasing glance, but relented when he insisted on grabbing Billy's chair for her.
Jacob gave Bella a quick kiss on the cheek before releasing her and ducking back into the garage. He returned to her side a moment later and offered her her half-eaten sandwich.
"Thanks," she took it and started walked back towards the house, smiling at Billy as she quietly munched her sandwich.
"How you feeling, Bells?" Billy asked her, happy to see her up and about and looking decidedly more like herself.
"Good… Pretty good," she amended, turning to settle into the hug that Sue offered her.
"It's good to see you, Bella," Sue spoke quietly, holding Bella at arm's length to examine her.
"It's good to be seen," Bella smiled, eyes twinkling. "Thanks for the bath salts. I think they helped," she turned towards Angela, motioning between the two of them. "Sue, this is Angela. Angela, this is Sue Clearwater, Seth and Leah's mom." Sue and Angela shared a strong handshake.
"It's wonderful to meet you Angela," she smiled and nodded before turning to walk towards the house. "We discussed you at the Council meeting this afternoon…"
Angela froze, shocked, but Sue continued walking; it wasn't until she reached the door and opened it that she realized that Angela wasn't following her anymore. Her eyes sparkled as she caught Angela's.
"Billy told the Council the role you played in saving Bella this morning," a warm smile spread across her cheeks as she motioned for the boys to join her on the porch. "As an unofficial member of our tribe, and a close friend and loved one to many important members of the tribe, Bella is important to us. There are other reasons why her case is significant, but that will come later," Sue patted Embry on the shoulders as he and Quil walked past her to enter the house.
Sue smiled like a loving mother at Bella and Jacob before turning her gaze back to Angela's figure. "If you three would join the rest of us in the house, I think we have some things to discuss…" she left it open-ended, nodding at Jacob before entering the house, Quil and Embry's laughter wafting through from the living room.
Angela looked at her friends questioningly. Bella smiled and nodded, reaching up to plant a kiss on Jacob's cheek before she motioned for him to join his family in the house. "We'll be right in," she murmured, squeezing Jacob's hand before he dashed away.
Bella walked over to her friend and pulled her into the strongest hug she could muster. They held each other, quietly, until another loud round of laughter from the house broke the air.
Bella giggled and leaned back, wiping the tears from the corners of her eyes before they had a chance to fall.
Angela mirrored her friend's actions. "Really," she giggled, shaking her head in disbelief. "You're Quileute?"
Bella couldn't help but laugh out loud. "Yeah… wish I wasn't the palest member of the tribe though," she picked up Angela's hand and pulled her towards the house. "With great power comes great responsibility," Bella breathed, nervous to let Angela in on the secrets of the pack.
"What was that?" Angela asked as she followed Bella up the wheelchair ramp and onto the Blacks' front porch.
"Nothing," Bella smiled to herself as she reached for the door. "Nothing."
Bella and Sue prepared two casseroles for dinner while Billy retold the old Quileute legends. Leah and Seth joined the already crowded living room for dinner; the stories pausing just long enough for Billy to eat his share before he continued.
Sam arrived after dinner. Leah stood up from the couch and carried her plate into the kitchen. Bella caught her eye just before she disappeared from the room. They shared a silent nod; Leah would not be rejoining them.
Billy surveyed the room meeting each person's gaze. Bella, Angela and Sue sat quietly on the Blacks' couch; Jacob on the floor, leaning against Bella's shins. Sam sat in the armchair, across the room from Billy's wheelchair, while Seth, Quil and Embry lounged in various positions across the floor, respectfully bored.
Billy sighed when his gaze settled on his son, and then, lastly, on Bella. He nodded in encouragement.
Bella touched Jacob's shoulder, letting him know that she wanted to shift her position.
"Angela," Bella turned towards her friend, tucking one leg underneath herself as she moved on the couch. "There's…" she frowned, but continued, "there's a reason Billy told you the legends just now. There's more to them than that… they're not just legends."
Angela listened carefully to her friend, confused about what exactly Bella was alluding to. "What do you mean?" she asked quietly. She felt significantly out of place, not only because she was one of only two white people in a house full of natives, but also because she was obviously the only person in the room who was not in the know. About what, she couldn't say, but she suddenly felt an ominous weight hovering over her.
"That last bit," Bella's eyes were wide but her voice was quiet, "wasn't just a silly old story. It's true. All of it."
Eight pairs of eyes settled on Angela, waiting, anxiously, for something.
It was Billy who finally broke the silence.
"Angela, what do you think about the Cold Ones?" he questioned, a collective shudder passing through the members of the pack present.
"Um. I don't know. You said they drink blood, right, so, like vampires?" Another shudder rippled through the crowd, this time a few low growls accounted for as well. Bella reached across her lap and took Angela's hand in her own, nodding in agreement.
Angela could barely contain her instinct to roll her eyes.
Bella caught her friend's eye and squeezed her hand. "I know it may seem hard to believe, but, yes, there are vampires in the world; real, live…" Quil emitted a quiet pfft, earning a glare from Bella, but she ignored him and continued, "vampires."
Angela's lips pressed into a thin line, but she refrained from commenting.
Bella glanced down at Jacob before she continued her explanation to Angela. "The other part of the legend: the Quileute Protectors…" she breathed, a small smile evident on her lips. "Jake's great-grandfather, Ephraim Black, came across a group of Cold Ones hunting on Quileute lands. It was the Cullens, Angela."
Angela's eyes widened at Bella's implication, but she kept her thoughts to herself and nodded for Bella to continue.
"When Jacob first told me this," she giggled slightly at the memory, "I asked him if he meant an ancestor of Doctor Cullen, just like it was his own ancestor who made the agreement. I know now… it wasn't a relative. It was Carlisle."
Jacob shook his head, mortified that he'd revealed his tribe's greatest secret to Bella without realizing the truth of it himself. Bella took in Jacob's movement out of the corner of her eye.
"Jake didn't even know the truth of the legends that day." She smiled sweetly at Jacob, then at Billy, before she turned back to Angela. "He didn't realize the truth of it all until it happened to him a few months later."
"What happened to him?" Angela blurted out, her curiosity getting the best of her before she could censor herself.
Billy straightened up in his chair, silently drawing the attention of everyone in the room. "Angela, I know that we're asking a lot of you today, telling you these seemingly tall tales and asking you to believe in the stuff of myths and legends, but it's important that you understand that we are only telling you the truth."
"Jacob and his friends," Billy motioned to the pack members in the room, "are the Protectors of our tribe. They have become wolves, just as their ancestors were, under the threat of the vampires in the region. Taha Aki was the first of their kind. He passed the gene to his children, who in turn passed it to their children."
"In the past, when vampires moved into the area, the gene to phase became active in the young generation and the pack would wipe out the threat. When my grandfather met the Cullens, things changed. Carlisle and his family claimed not to feed on the blood of humans, but only that of animals. They led civilized lives and asked not to be exposed. A treaty was formed; we would not seek their destruction or expose them, as long as they stayed off Quileute lands and refrained from hunting humans. Unfortunately, it is the nature of things that vampires are often drawn together by forces unseen," Billy gave Bella a meaningful glance. She picked up where he left off.
"Last year a coven of three nomadic vampires passed through the area. Do you remember all of those disappearances?"
Angela's forehead wrinkled. "You mean the bear attacks in the woods?"
Quil snorted. Even Jacob couldn't suppress a grin.
Bella nodded in agreement. "There were no bear attacks, Angela. The people who disappeared were the victims of those vampires."
"No, Bella," Angela shook her head. "I saw it. It was black and huge; Ben and I saw it up by the..." Angela's words were drowned by laughter and teasing.
"Sam, you are sooo busted…"
"Aw shit, Sam. That's two laps!" Jacob chimed in.
Sam stood up and crossed his arms, growling.
Jacob brought his hands up defensively. "Dude, I don't make the rules," he laughed. "You dug your own grave this time," he added with a toothy grin.
Angela shook her head to clear her thoughts. When she spoke her voice held a sarcasm that Bella had never heard her friend exhibit. "Seriously? You're telling me that these guys are werewolves and the Cullens are vampires." Angela turned to Bella in disbelief. "Bella… Edward is a vampire… Doctor Cullen? Come on. Seriously," she shook her head, a short, hysterical laugh erupting from her mouth.
Bella grasped Angela's other hand, pulling her friend's attention to her. "Angela, I want you to think about this for a minute; everything that you've ever noticed about the Cullens, all the weird things that they say and do. Their pale features; they're gone whenever it's sunny outside. There's a reason for that… just like there's a reason that Jacob and the guys look the way they do…"
Bella held Angela's gaze for a moment before her friend let out another laugh. Bella sighed in frustration. "I don't know how to explain this so that you'll believe me," she mumbled, more to herself than anyone else.
"We could show her," Seth piped up from across the room.
"No," Sam growled.
Sue stood up quietly from her spot and reached a hand out to touch Sam's bicep. She looked like she was about to speak, but Billy's voice reached him first. "Sam, you know the council's decision."
Sam clenched his jaw and looked towards the kitchen, unresponsive.
"Boys, why don't you all head out back?" Billy's eyes were trained on Sam as he spoke with authority to the others in the room. "The girls and I will join you in a few minutes."
Seth, Quil and Embry stood without question and walked towards the back door. They pulled their shirts off and tossed them to the floor, joking and laughing with each other the moment they escaped the somber atmosphere of the house.
Jacob pulled his shoes off, stowing them underneath the couch at Bella's feet, before he hopped up to join his friends. He leaned down to give Bella a quick kiss on the cheek before taking off out the door.
"Sam?" Billy questioned.
Sam stalked into the kitchen silently, throwing a glance over his shoulder just before he reached the front door. "I'll be there in a few."
Angela watched quietly as the house emptied of young bodies. A strange panic filled her and she felt as though she was on the verge of hysterics. Everyone seemed so serious, but there was no way for her mind to grasp what they were saying.
"Come on Ang," Bella stood up and tugged her friend's hand.
Angela looked up at her, slightly dazed. She shook her head slowly back and forth. "I… I can't… it can't be…"
Sue grasped Angela's shoulder firmly. "You can, Angela," she nodded, giving Angela a gentle push.
Bella led her out the door, stopping when she reached the edge of the back stoop. She guided Angela down and sat next to her, wrapping one arm protectively around her shoulders.
"It's okay, Ang," she soothed. "Actually, it's pretty damn cool," she grinned, earning a chuckle from Billy.
"Bells, what are we going to do with you?" he joked.
Bella caught movement in her periphery and turned her attention to the trees. Angela went rigid in Bella's embrace.
Seth emerged first; the smallest of the pack, he was still three times the size of a normal wolf. He took several long steps, sitting back on his hind legs as the others materialized on either side of him.
Quil trotted out from behind Seth. He panted loudly, lolling his long tongue out of the side of his mouth.
Embry paced silently behind the others, just outside the shadows of the trees.
Jacob stopped a few paces in front of Seth, mimicking his pose. He towered over the others, his broad shoulders dwarfing Seth's relatively small stature.
Jacob ducked his head at Angela in warning; Bella felt her friend shudder and turned towards her just in time.
Angela was white as a sheet, a cold sweat broken on her brow. She shuddered again as her eyes grew heavy. "Bell… I don't… feel…"
"Head down. Breathe!" Bella guided Angela's head down between her legs, supporting her weight as much as she could from her awkward angle.
"You okay Angela?" Jacob hollered.
Angela whipped her head up in shock to see a human Jacob buttoning his shorts, three wolves at attention behind him.
Bella faltered as Angela turned to dead weight in her arms. "Dammit Jake!"
"Woops," he grinned, jogging towards the porch.
Once again I would love to know what you guys thought. Thanks to everyone who's been reviewing. It's lots of fun hearing from the same people, chapter after chapter.
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