Out of the Bag

JPOV

"What have you done, Jacob?" Sam demanded as Bella and I sidled up to the side of the road opposite him, Paul, Jared and Embry.

Paul shoved through the guys, glaring furiously at me. "Why can't you just follow the rules, Jacob?" he yelled angrily, and flung his arms into the air. "What the hell are you thinking?! Is she more important that everything—than the whole tribe? Than the people getting killed?!"

His anger threw me off guard. My brave-faced resolve faltered.

"She can help," I muttered pathetically quietly.

"HELP!" Paul screamed. Tremors shivered down his arms. "Oh, that's likely! I'm sure the leech-lover is just dying to help us out!"

"DON'T TALK ABOUT HER LIKE THAT!" I yelled at Paul, my own fury exploding from somewhere deep inside my chest.

A shudder ripped through Paul's shoulders and down his spine.

"Paul! Relax!" Sam commanded sternly.

Paul shook out his head, his black hair flopping over his forehead. I knew he was trying to calm himself, but we all knew he was far too gone by now.

"Jeez, Paul, get a grip," Jared muttered, kicking at the dirt below his sneakers.

Paul threw a violent glare over his shoulder at Jared, and then turned it on Bella's wide, pale face. Instinctively, I shifted in front of her. Jared would be able to protect himself if Paul lost his temper on him. Bella most definitely wouldn't.

But in the next instant, I knew that my movement shifted everything in a tilt too far to stay in control.

"Right, protect her!" Paul charged. Another tremor, more violent than the other ones had been, rippled through is entire body, shaking the bones in his legs and ribcage. He lifted his face to the empty, gray sky—a feral growl tore from his chest and ripped from between his teeth.

"Paul!" Sam and I shouted—our last attempt to calm him. But that only seemed to anger him more.

He lurched forward, folding in on himself. For only a moment, I saw his arms wrap around himself, attempting to hold himself together. And then he exploded into a mass of silvery fur. His muzzle wrinkled and he snarled again. It thundered off of the trees, and then his black outrageous eyes focused on Bella once more.

Before he could make a move toward her, I took off across the street, aware of Bella's panic stricken call behind me.

I ignored her, zoning on the shudder shaking down my body. It set my spine ablaze, and the fire smouldered out to the other bones of my body. I exploded from the inside out, mid-air, and when I landed, my claws dug at the dirt. I didn't stop to check Bella's reaction, I kept going—headed for Paul.

He was screaming so loudly and so angrily in his head that at first I couldn't make out what he was saying.

I can't believe you! You're such a—

I cut off his words when we came into contact.

I didn't tell her! I yelled back in my own mind. My thoughts escaped my body with an angry snarl to which Paul responded. Our voices echoed off of the trees. I began to shove him back toward the trees. If someone came upon us, man, everything would be over.

Sure! Paul roared, Then how do you explain—

She figured it out! I replied, jutting him backward.

He snapped at my throat angrily. Paul didn't like to be shoved around.

"Jacob!" Bella screamed.

"Stay where you are, Bella," Sam commanded.

I snapped at Paul's shoulder.

Get back! I ordered.

Don't tell me what to do, kid, he snarled.

I slashed my teeth at him again, this time catching his skin between my teeth. He yelped in pain, and I continued to jar him toward the trees, taking advantage of his weakened surprise.

Do you want people to see us, Paul?! This is why you were so angry in the first place!

His flank slashed a tree, and I shoved him past it, toward the mossy darkness of the forest.

You ruined everything! He shouted in rage, completely disregarding that I had the overhand, now.

Paul, listen to me! She guessed what we were! It's better this way anyway!

Sure it is! She runs with vampires, you dim-witted child! She could tell them all of our secrets, and then we'd be ruined!

"Take her to Emily's," I heard Sam call over his shoulder toward Jared and Embry as he jogged toward where we were.

They're gone, anyway, Paul! She's not gonna tell them anything.

Paul's anger flooded his mind, ridding it of all logical thought. He began to cuss me out just as Sam phased.

STOP IT! He snapped.

Both of us fell silent, and Paul whimpered, falling back onto his haunches.

Sorry, Sam, I apoligized.

Paul snarled angrily.

Brown noser, he coughed.

Paul, you be quiet. What you did back there, that was unacceptable, Sam ordered angrily.

He bowed his head, licking at the bite I'd taken out of his shoulder.

Jacob, you knew the aspects of the injunction. How could you tell a—

Hold on, Sam, I interrupted, that's not what happened. She guessed what we are. There was no harm done.

Sam sighed, rubbing his shoulder against a tree. Jacob, she knows the Cullens. What if—

Sam, the Cullens are gone. You know that. And she won't tell them anything.

He eyed me with dark, suspicious eyes.

The chirp of a bird rang out above us as it flitted from branch to branch.

Let's go, Sam finally said, I don't want to keep Emily waiting.

With barely a thought, he phased back into human form, and dissapeared into the trees, up toward the road. In ten seconds flat, he was back, gesturing for us to hurry up, fully clothed.

After stopping off at our respectiable homes to gather a fresh change of clothes, we headed to Emily's.

"Guess the wolf's out of the bag, hey?" Paul muttered as we trudged past Bella's truck, across the front lawn.

I raised one eyebrow. "Isn't the saying cat?"

Paul shrugged, laughing. "Whatever."

I joined in on the laughter.

"You know I totally owned you back there," I pointed out.

Paul laughed in skeptism. "Yeah, right, kid. Sure you did!" he chuckled.

I socked him in the shoulder, still laughing.

He responded with a kidney jab.

We both stumbled into the kitchen.

I looked up, searching the room for Bella. I found her leaning against one of the counter, holding a half-eaten muffin in one of her hands. Her arms were folded tightly across her chest.

I grabbed two muffins as I passed the table to stand beside her.

"Hey, Bells," I said, resting my hip against the counter. "Sorry about before," I apoligized quietly, "how are you holding up?"

"Don't worry," she assured me, "I'm okay. Good muffins."

"Oh, man!" Jared cried, and both Bella and I turned our attention to the kitchen table—as did Sam and Emily.

He and Embry were examining Paul's forearm, where I'd gotten a bite at. Embry was grinning like an idiot.

"Fiften dollars," he replied, exultant.

"Did you do that?" Bella whispered in my ear.

"I barely touched him," I told her, "he'll be perfect by sundown."

"By sundown?" Bella questioned, confused. She turned her dark eyes back to Paul's quickly healing arm.

"Wolf thing," I responded in a low pitch.