The rivalries between the werewolves and vampires had killed two. Sam was gone, and so was Rose. I couldn't help but feeling that somehow, the losses of both of them were my fault. After all, Sam was lost when Jacob and I had gone to the Volturi to save Edward. And then, Rose was lost because I had caused the enmity between the vampires and werewolves to resuscitate.
I slumped to the ground, with sobs tearing out of my chest. How many would I lose?
Jumping at the sound, I shut my eyes tightly. "I'm alright."
"No, you're not." Jacob's husky voice whispered by my ear. He wrapped his muscular arms around my shivering self, and put his lips to mine. "I'm so sorry you had to see that..Leah didn't think."
He cursed under his breath, pulling my head to his chest.
"I'll be f-fine." I stammered. "Don't worry about me. It's Emmett that I'm worried about-"
"Don't you dare blame yourself." he said in a low voice of concern. "I bet that's what you were thinking, aren't you?"
I didn't answer.
"Isabella Swan." He shook his head. "It was not your fault at all. Leah didn't think. All she wanted was revenge. Blinded by anger."
My voice couldn't seem to find itself.
"And if it helps," Jacob continued, his dark eyes smoldering as he gazed at me. He was so perfect, so flawless. "I forced Leah to stop with the Alpha command. Rosalie's body is...er..."
"Getting itself back together." I finished the sentence for him, feeling a rush of relief. "She's going to be fine. Wow. That's so good, I was worrying about how Emmett would cope-"
"Stop." Jacob murmured, pressing his lips to mine with urgency. "It's all going to be alright, so there's no need for unnecessary worries."
"Of course." I breathed, my heart skipping a beat as his hands pressed my lower back to his hot stomach. Wrapping my arms around his neck, I sighed deeply. "I love you."
"I love you more, Bells."
Shaking my head, I smiled lightly, "I love you to such an extent that, well, words cannot even express it."
Jacob laughed, grinning widely. He was my Jacob. "You have no idea how much I care about you. It annoys the pack so much. Whenever I close my eyes, it's you I see. And when I go to sleep and dream, it's always you. You're the first thought in my mind as I wake up and the last as I go to sleep. " He paused, crinkling his nose. "God, that sounds so cheesy."
"Cheesy is fine with me." I whisper. "You're always on my mind. No matter what."
Our noses were brushing together, his hands cupped around my face, keeping my cheeks warm. Gazing into his eyes, I knew that this was right. I could spend eternity right here, in this spot, with Jacob.
"There's something...that I was wondering." I began, closing my eyes. "I've been thinking...and about imprinting...I'm curious...why didn't you imprint on me?"
He tensed, clenching his fists. "The legends claim that imprinting is not common. It's rare. Sometimes it skips a generation. The Blacks never had any cases of imprinting. And we don't need me to imprint on you to make us more 'right' for each other. I love you, and that's all that matters. It's not gravity what's holding me on this planet, it's you. You're the reason for my existence. I can't imagine ever feeling like this for anyone else."
"What if..." my voice was thick, "What if you imprint on someone else?"
"That's impossible. It'll never happen. " Jacob answered. "And how much sweet-talking does it take to get through your thick skull that I love you and only you?" He cracked a grin.
"Oh, Jacob." I rolled my eyes.
"Remind me to convince you on a minute-to-minute basis that I'm completely in love with you. Sometimes I think you forget."
"And remind me not to doubt it ever again."
"Deal." he smirked, standing and holding my hand. "How shall we seal the deal?"
"Hm..." I mused, playing along. "What about a nice, long kiss?"
"That sounds great to me."
And so we kissed.
Billy greeted me with a wave as Jacob and I approached the house. His face relaxed instantly, as if he had been waiting for us to return. We were holding hands, and the rest of the pack was behind us. That is, everyone except for Leah. I had no idea where she had gone off to.
"Where's Leah?" I asked as we walked up the steps to his house.
Jacob's face hardened abruptly, "She ran away."
"Oh." I grimaced, "What happened?"
"She got ticked off at the fact that I stopped her from burning the leech." he explained, nodding at Billy. "She saw me as the traitor. And by using the Alpha command, there was nothing she could do to ignore the command. And she hates me." He laughed bitterly. "She even went as far as to say that I'd never be a good leader, and that I'd never be as grand as Sam."
I saw the pain written on his face, and knew that he had taken everyone of her words to heart. "Jake, she's just-"
"Really angry?" he scoffed. "Sure, I'll believe that when hell freezes over."
"Leah doesn't know what she's talking about. You're probably the best chief that La Push has ever had." I said, placing my hand on his shoulder for consolation. "Leah is just frustrated because she doesn't get to kill something that she's always hated."
"What about my sister?" Seth walked up, his expression concerned.
Neither of us answered.
"Do you have an idea of where she went?" he asked quietly, his lower lip pouting. I felt the urge to wrap my arms around him and comfort him.
"Even if I did, I'd leave her alone." Jacob answered darkly. "She wants time alone. Sometimes you have to respect that."
"But she's my sister!" Seth blurted, loud enough to get the attention of all the pack members and Billy. "You can't let me stand here and pretend everything's dandy!"
Jacob closed his eyes, breathing in and out, "Seth. Please. She needs to be alone, and once she's calmed down, we can go looking for her. I promise you."
Seth's chest rose and he opened his mouth to exhale. "Fine."
"I'm so glad you all survived." Billy said nonchalantly, in an attempt to lower the tension wavering in the air. "I was so worried when Seth ran up here and told me there was a war going on. How did it start?"
"Jacob and Edward, I believe." Quil said, tossing himself on the couch. "Enemies for life."
"Shut up." Jacob scowled.
I felt myself sway, and Jacob scooped me up, catching me before I could fall against the wooden floor. "All that action got you tired, Bells?"
Embry guffawed, "Ooh, Bella's getting some action from Jake? Bow chicka wow wow." All the pack members hooted. My cheeks grow red and pressed my face into Jacob's chest to avoid humiliation.
Quil added, "Didn't know you had it in ya, Jacob." I felt Jacob tighten his grip on me and punch him. I sighed. They were being werewolves: playful and joking.
Soon enough, Jacob took me outside, walking down the beach. The quiet roars of the ocean and the cawing of the stray gulls made me light-headed and sleepy. It also didn't help that Jacob was carrying me; it was like being hugged by a space heater. I felt him place me down on the sand and opened my eyes.
The dark night sky was spread out before us in all of its perfections: twinkling stars and constellations. "So beautiful." I murmured.
"Just like you." Jacob replied, folding his arms behind his head. My eyes widened as the biceps rippled. "Actually, I take that back."
I laughed. "Oh?"
"You're even more beautiful than the sky."
Blushing, I leaned over and kissed his neck, breathing in his musky, woodsy scent. It was an intriguing smell-one that made me want him even more. He groaned. I smiled: he liked it. I continued kissing his neck softly, then put my leg over his body so that I could straddle him. Brushing my lips across his jawline, neck, chest...
The gruff voice was that of Charlie. I immediately leaped off of Jacob, tumbling into the sand. "Um, hi." I could feel my cheeks flushing furiously. "Er, we were just-"
"Don't worry about it." Charlie said, though it seemed like I should be worrying about it. His face was turning purple with embarrassment. "I came over to check if you were here. I was worried 'cause you didn't get home."
"Oh. I'm fine."
"Clearly." He tilted his head in Jacob's direction. "What were you two up to?"
"Just hanging out all day." Jacob said, his voice cracking. I fought the urge to giggle: he was clearly very affected by our make-out session.
"Is that what kids call it these days?" Charlie inquired, scratching his head. "I suppose 'hanging out' is equivalent to 'fooling around'?"
Looking at my feet, I stammered, "W-we're not having sex, Dad."
I thought I heard Jacob mumble, "Unfortunately." Looking up from my feet, I gave him a questioning look. He shrugged and flashed a white grin that contrasted against his russet skin.
"I find that hard to believe," Charlie said, shuffling his feet. "Two teenagers that are going out are on top of each other, one is shirtless..."
"Dad!" I covered my ears childishly. "Please. Trust me-Jacob and I didn't have sex today."
Charlie's eyes widened with alarm.
"That came out wrong," I muttered, then corrected myself. "We've never had sex. And we don't plan on doing it in the near future." Jacob rolled his eyes, as if he knew how much of a lie the last statement of mine was.
"I wouldn't worry about your beautiful daughter having sex, Charlie." Jacob added. "After all, I'm still a minor. Bella wouldn't want to do anything illegal, especially with a sheriff for a dad. Right, Bells?"
"Right." I nodded.
"Alright." Charlie grunted. "Well, I'm going to take her home. And make sure she gets a nice full night of uninterrupted sleep." Great. That meant he'd be checking up on me all night.
Jacob winked at me. "Sure hope she does."
I followed my father to his police cruiser, feeling Jacob's steady gaze on my back. If only Charlie hadn't interrupted us, I thought wistfully. As Charlie began to drive, I looked out the window, seeing the dark silhouette of a wolf following us. Jacob.
"I was also worried for another reason." Charlie said abruptly, keeping his eyes on the road. "Why the hell is there a gargantuan hole in the wall in the living room?"
I cannot even begin to say how sorry I am for taking so long to update. I am so, so, so sorry. Dark Hour will be completed by August, I promise you. You might wonder why I took so long to finish. Well, I've had intense schoolwork and extracurricular activities. I also run a FictionPress awards website, so that keeps me insanely busy on a daily basis. Lastly, I kind of lost Bella's "voice". I would sit with Word open and not know where to begin. I knew that watching Eclipse would make me feel strongly about Team Jacob, and I was right. It worked. Hence the update today. :) I'd love to get encouraging reviews, so if you have the time, please review. It would make me very happy.
There are about two or three chapters left in the story! I almost find it hard to believe myself. I have yet to finish a story. Ever. This would be the first. I'm considering doing a sequel. There will be a poll on my profile, so please drop by and vote.
Thanks to anyone who stayed with this story through the rough times. You guys stuck with me even when I failed to update on a weekly basis. You guys helped me when it was plagiarized. I remember when I started this story in a fury after reading New Moon for the millionth time and realized that something had to be done about Bella's stupidity. Dark Hour was the result. I am so thankful for each and every review, and will reply to all of them from this point on.