Chapter 18- Clarity

This could be the last chapter, I dunno yet. All I know is I like happy endings

I also really like jul5857, who is probably the best reader/reviewer/confidence boost ever!


"Why did you even come back?"

The words sliced through me like a hot poker. I had known that Jake's reaction would be violent, possibly extreme, but the pain and betrayal that filled his voice still left me nearly blind with hurt.

I brushed a strand of hair back from his eyes, took a deep breath, and said a quick and silent prayer to whomever was listening that he would understand.

And then I started to talk.

I told him all about how I had been in Emily's house, filled with fear and worry that this afternoon would have been the last time I would ever see Jake. I told him how Emily had tried to calm me down, telling me that Sam had gone out plenty of times, into danger and sometimes blatantly flaunting himself in the face of death, and had always come back, sometimes a little worse for the wear, but never so bad that some homemade food and rest and relaxation couldn't fix.

She didn't understand, though. No one knew Edward's propensity for blind fury except me.

All of the werewolves were afraid he would come after me, but I knew he wouldn't. not until the "threat" was out of the way. A threat named Jacob Black.

I trusted that Jake was a strong fighter, but nothing could compare to Edward's black hatred, combined with his despair from unrequited love. He would fight to the death, unlike Jake, who had a pure heart and wanted to end the fighting so he could be with me.

I did the only thing I could do: Fool them both.

With only moments to spare, I gave Emily a synopsis of what I was going to do. Convince Edward I loved him, break Jake's heart, and while Edward was focused on me and the unspoken agony emanating from Jake, I would kiss him, at which point the werewolves could take advantage of his complete distraction and end the fight.

I knew it was risky to all involved, especially since it involved sending Seth as a messenger, and the possibility that the pack could have a moment's weakness in guarding their thoughts, allowing Jake to hear the plan and rendering it useless. If Jake had any idea, Edward would know it, and it would never work.

Emily tried to fight me for a moment, and then quit. She knew the strength of my love for Jacob; she saw it mirrored every day in her feelings for Sam, and she knew no force on heaven or Earth could stop her if she needed to save her imprint's life.

I stopped to take a breath and looked at Jake. His eyes were wide but alert, and there were no longer any tears present on his face. He looked as if I was telling him how to grow a third arm in case of emergencies, but he was clearly listening to what I had to say.

"And the rest.. well, you sort of saw." I looked down at the covers, trying not to remember the look on Jacob's face when I had appeared in the forest, calling to Edward.

I looked up suddenly, filled with the overwhelming need to make him understand.

"Jake, I never would have been able to do any of it if I hadn't been thinking of you the whole time!" I was beginning to cry, but I didn't care. "I thought of you every second of the way, from the first step I took in the forest to when I had to kiss that disgusting creature. I had to sell it, give one hundred percent, or he would have seen the doubt in my eyes. The only reason he thought I loved him was because I concentrated on how much I was in love… but with you."

I felt the hot tears coursing down my cheeks, and sniffled heavily. "I love you Jacob. And I understand if you feel betrayed and might not trust me, but you have to. I kissed him so that his mind would be focused on me instead of the thoughts of the werewolves. As soon as I kissed him, Seth jumped on me, shielding me, and Sam attacked Edward."

An unwelcome thought struck me. I have no idea what happened to Edward. Pushing it to the back of my mind, I focused on the most important thing in my life… the man laying on the bed next to me.

He was staring at me as if he had never seen me before, opening and closing his mouth like a fish gasping for air. Frowning heavily, he finally settled on a question.

"Seth was hurt." Well, it wasn't much of a question, but I got the gist of it.

"Not bad." I cringed inwardly at the thought of the young boy getting hurt at all. "As you've noticed, Carlisle is unusually perceptive, and also heard the message that Seth conveyed to Sam. Seth was just knocked out and got a nasty cut on his leg, and Carlisle decided to…" I paused for a moment, struggling with how to phrase it and not make Carlisle sound like a sadistic asshole. Deciding it wasn't possible, I just continued with what I was planning to say.

"Carlisle decided to milk Seth's injury so you'd get more upset and have something else distracting you in case there was a chance you'd overhear the plan. They weren't worried about Carlisle, he'd lived with Edward long enough to know how to guard his thoughts when necessary. Anyway, Esme carried Seth outside of the fighting and waited with him until he woke up, which was only about three seconds. He was fine."

I remembered how fast the rest of the newborns had gone down once the werewolves saw a way to get rid of their leader. While I was distracting Edward, the rest of the vampires had disappeared in a matter of moments, their body parts strewn across the forest.

Jacob nodded slowly, and I marveled at how quickly he seemed to be recovering not only from his injuries but the mental barrage that must have come with seeing me "betray" him. I touched his face, wondering if I would be allowed to kiss him. After kissing Edward, seeing Jacob get injured, and basically putting everyone I loved in serious danger, I wanted nothing more than to cuddle up next to Jake and have him kiss my worries away.

No such luck.

As I leaned in closer, he pulled away with a funny look on his face. I felt my heart twist as I wondered if betrayal could break an imprint. Does he not love me anymore?

In a move that would had been comical in any other situation, he reached up and patted me on the head.

"I love you Bells, and I can't tell you how happy I am to hear all of what you've just told me, but you stink and I don't want to kiss you until you brush your teeth."

I stared into his eyes with my mouth hanging open stupidly. He raised his eyebrows.

"I'm serious, Bells. It's the least you can do after this godforsaken day."

I got up, stumbling slightly, and ran to the bathroom at a full out sprint.

If the only thing keeping Jake and I apart was vampire-breath, I couldn't get to the bathroom soon enough.


I stared at her, wondering if I was still dreaming. What she was telling me made sense in a really odd way, and I wondered for a second if maybe I had just been asleep for a really long time, she missed me, and came up with a dynamite excuse for everything that had happened.

As I looked into her eyes though, I didn't think so. All of her little actions: ignoring me, crossing her arms behind the leech's back as she kissed him, everything—added up to her having a plan.

Bella continued to talk, color rising in her cheeks, causing her to look like a blooming rose. I was starting to notice things again, like her hair tickling my elbow lightly as she hovered over me, spilling the whole story, how beautiful she looked even though she obviously hadn't slept in days, and that my leg felt like it had been run over by a Mac truck.

Ah, who gives a shit.

Bella stopped talking, her story completely spent and I believed every word. I could see her love in her eyes and could feel it in my heart, and as she leaned forward, I closed my eyes, wanting nothing more than to taste her sweet… Ew.

She smelled like leeches. And not just like when she gave Alice a hug, but like they had rolled her in leech juice and put her in a mason jar to pickle in it. I wrinkled my nose automatically, pulling away.

Bella noticed, looking like she had been sucker-punched. I felt super guilty for making those brown eyes look like that, but I figured it would be better to offend her a little than to puke in her mouth while making out.

"I love you Bells, and I can't tell you how happy I am to hear all of what you've just told me, but you stink and I don't want to kiss you until you brush your teeth."

She looked at me with a half-smile on her face, obviously unsure if I was joking or not. I repeated my sentiments firmly, and before I could even squeeze her hand, she darted out of the room. I heard the water running and a furious scrubbing noise reached me, and I laid my head back on the pillows, smiling so wide I thought my cheeks would split in a way I thought I never would again.

After a few moments, the door creaked open and Bella edged back into the room, looking a little shy and absolutely reeking of mint. I breathed deeply in relief and extended my hands to her, wiggling my fingers in a "come-hither" gesture.

She scurried over to me, too intent on her destination to even trip over the clothes and various trash littering my bedroom floor, and crawled into bed next to me. I could feel her heart beating a million beats a minute, and she was breathing heavily. I felt the space under my covers grow a little smaller as I pulled her half on top of me, carefully avoiding my nasty-ass leg.

She was on me in an instant, her mouth covering mine, her hands pulling me up to her face. I closed my eyes, my head spinning a little in ecstasy as she raked her fingers through my hair, desperate to get closer.

Her skin was cool on mine, and I pulled the remains of her shirt off of her, pressing her bare stomach to mine as my hands wandered towards the clasp at the back of her bra.


We both started; she jumped so much she fell onto the floor, and I glared at the door that I hadn't even heard open, seeing….Embry!

Joy like I had never felt until today filled me as I stared at my best friend, his stomach wrapped in gauze and a thoroughly obnoxious smile plastered on his face. I tried to get up, but fell back heavily as pain from my leg seared up my body.

Bella had righted herself and was now the color of a maraschino cherry, trying desperately to cover her half-naked body with my cover.

"Embry! How are you feeling, man?" I was too happy to see him to even care that he was openly ogling Bella

Bringing his attention back to me with obvious difficulty, he shrugged. "Fine, dude. The witch-doctor fixed me up after the fight, and I guess he did an awesome job because I already don't feel like stepping in front of a train anymore."

I laughed. "Well where is Dr. Fang? I'd like to thank him!" And maybe get some TLC for my leg… it hurts like a bitch.

Embry's expression faltered momentarily. "He's gone."

He glanced in Bella's direction, and she looked at me, nonplussed.

Embry sighed. "Sam took care of Cullen.. literally ripped him limb from limb before he even noticed. Esme gathered up the pieces and said she'd take care of them, but we're not sure what she did with them. Carlisle left about an hour ago in a real big hurry, so we're not sure what's going on. Before he left, he shook everyone's hands and said that we wouldn't be seeing him again."

I swore under my breath. Sounded like Mother Leech's non-beating heart had won her over, and she had assembled Humpty-Go-Fuck-Yourself again. My best guess was that they all together somewhere, hopefully cultivating a strong suicidal tendency in Cullen.

As I looked at Embry, broken but healing fast, I suddenly realized that I didn't care. My pack was safe, my girl loved me, and the leeches were gone, possibly for good. For some reason, I trusted the other Cullens to control Edward now that they knew his intentions, and as for the rest…

I picked up the nearest heavy object and threw it at Embry, clocking him in the side of the head with my nightstand lamp.

"I'm really excited you're alive and all, but can you get the hell out of my room? In case you didn't notice, you interrupted something."

Bella turned an even deeper shade of red than she had been previously, looking like she was about to explode with embarrassment.

Embry tossed me an obscene hand gesture, and with a loud "DON'T NAME THE KID AFTER ME!" vacated the room, closing the door behind him.

I reached over the side of the bed to where Bella was still sitting firmly, like a red tulip planted in the dirt, and pulled her up to me. Unsnapping her bra with a deft flick of the wrist, I cupped her perfect breasts and kissed her face.

"Now… where were we?"

She tilted her head adorably, leaning down to pepper my neck with little kisses and nibbles.

"Here," she whispered.

I tilted my head back, groaning in bliss. I had my girl and she had me. We loved each other, and we were both safe, and that was enough.

The rest could wait.

A/N: Well, that might be it! I'm thinking of someday adding on to this since Edward isn't actually dead (I felt bad killing him.. he's so pathetic and I hate his character but it didn't feel right.) but I don't know yet. Anyway thank you all so much for reading and if you have any plot twists that you really want to see…. Let me know!

I'll update when I get any sort of news about the book and at some point I'll tell you the title and a brief teaser ;)

Love you all!