Learning To Trust

1Chapter One

(Hurt Twice Shame On Me)

Bella's POV

1It has been exactly nine months since he left me alone and broken in the woods to die and now looking back at those first few months I can't believe how I allowed a man to get to me in that way. Yes I had loved him with my whole heart, my very soul and there was nothing I would not have done for him, I would have given up my life, everyone I loved, and even possibly my soul, just to spend eternity in his cold embrace.

When he left, it felt as though he took the essence of life from me, my every reason for living. But now, as I reflect on that time in my life, I wonder how I could have let myself think those things?

I became a zombie, doing everything on automatic pilot. Ii got up each day, went through my personal routine, went to school, though school was the worst and even lost most of my friends because of my non responsiveness and inability to keep up with the conversations going on around me. Each day at lunch fewer people sat with me in the cafeteria and now Angela and Ben were the only true companions I had.

Angela would put her hand on my shoulder before taking a seat, letting me know she was there for me whenever I was ready to talk, which I was grateful for even if talking about him or what happened that day would have me wrapping my arms around myself, holding myself together or fall apart.

After school I would go home, prepare dinner for my dad, Charlie, before going upstairs to get started on my homework. When Charlie came home, I would go downstairs just long enough to try and eat and try to exchange the usual pleasantries. I would catch him watching me out of the corner of his eyes and I knew he was worrying about me. I felt bad about causing him to worry, but I didn't think there was much I could do about it, not now at least.

After dinner I would clean up the dishes while Charlie went to catch whatever sports program was on that day. When I had finished the dishes, I would go through my nightly ritual before going to sleep, hoping I didn't have another nightmare where I would wake up screaming.

The weekends were usually spent cleaning or trying to lose myself in a good book or a television program. This is how life was for six months after he left, until the night Charlie invited Billy Black and his son, Jacob, over for pizza and football.

I had known them most of my life. Jacob and I played together as kids and he had been my best friend during those long summers here in Forks. I felt a little excitement at the prospect of seeing him again.

Jacob wasn't too interested in sports. He was more into cars so that night we ended up in my room just talking. He made me feel good as if I was worth something. Being with him made me feel like and everything would be okay. Jacob was the first person, I was able to talk to about what happened that day and after that night we spent a lot of time together. I would hang out with him in his garage where he was restoring a 1986 Volkswagen Rabbit or we would hang at the beach in La Push, just talking for hours.

Some nights he and Billy would come over for dinner or on weekends I would cook at their house while his dad and mine went fishing. It wasn't long before I found myself slowly falling in love with Jacob Black as I realized he was my own personal sunshine.

When I was around him, I always felt so happy, alive, and safe. He had confessed that he loved me too and would wait for me for as long as it took and would never ever leave me no matter what.

But he did...

Three weeks ago Jacob disappeared out of my life. We were supposed to meet up with some friends of ours to go see a movie but he never showed up. I called, thinking something had happened to him, but Billy answered the phone he told me that Jacob was not well and would call when he felt better.

The first week without Jacob was the worst. I waited two days after the call with Billy to call again, worrying every minute about Jacob and missing him. I got Billy again with the same reply and at the end of the first week Ii called again, but this time it was Jacob who answered the phone and he sounded perfectly fine to me, though his voice did sound deeper.

I was very happy to be finally speaking to him, hearing his voice, until he turned that happiness into sorrow by informing me we couldn't be friends anymore. He said I couldn't come to his house and wouldn't be coming to mine and I needed to stop calling his house, but before I could even reply or ask any questions, he simply hung up on me.

That entire day I stayed up in my room and crying wondering what I had done wrong. I didn't even cook dinner for Charlie that day. I just stayed in my room and cried myself to sleep.

But by the next morning I made a new resolve and in my mind, men couldn't be trusted and I vowed never to trust another one, as long as I lived. I decided that I didn't need a man in my life to feel special or to love me. I was through being a zombie, a shell of the person I once was, so I told myself that I refused to put Charlie or the only friends I had left, Angela and Ben, and most important myself through that ever again.

It was now three weeks since I had talked with Jacob on the phone. It was Saturday and Angela and Ben were coming to pick me up. We are going to have a little picnic at the beach in La Push, but I knew I had to do this, even if the last time I had been there was with Jacob.

I had bought a brand-new red bikini which I was wearing with a pair of jean shorts. I had just finished pulling my hair up into a pony tail, when I hear the honking of the horn. I grabbed my bag with everything I would need for the day and my keys and ran downstairs, writing a quick note to Charlie to let him know where I would be and grabbing the picnic basket full of sandwiches and sodas for our picnic as I ran out and locked the front door behind me. I was ready for a day of fresh air to help clear my mind. This was a day of moving forward for me.

"Hey, Angela. Hey Ben," I said as I opened the back door of Angela's silver SUV, setting my things in the back before getting in.

"Hey Bella," they both replied, as we took off to the beach.

"So are you ready to have some fun?" Ben asked me.

"I sure am," I said, as I rolled the window down and let the wind blow against my face.

We made small talk during our trip to La Push and twenty minutes later we had arrived, parked, and headed down the beach to find a good spot for our picnic. We found a perfect spot where we spread out a blanket and the food we bought. We sat for a few minutes basking in the sun before racing off into the water for some fun.

We swam and splashed around for a while until we got hungry and tired then we went back to the blanket and sat down, while Angela and I dished out the food. We began eating and talking and enjoying the rare sunny, very hot day in La Push.

After we ate Angela wanted to go look for sea shells so I went with her while Ben decided to just relax and wait for us. We came close to an area where there were logs that looked almost like benches surrounding a bunch of firewood which looked like it was ready to be lit for a bonfire or something.

I noticed that there were five young Quileute men and few girls sitting over there, talking, laughing, and having a good time. The first person I thought of was Jacob and I felt a pang when he crossed my mind, but I was determined I wasn't gonna let it get me down. Besides all those guys were huge and looked to be in their twenties. I knew Jacob wouldn't be there with them.

I looked away and continued to walk down the beach, stopping every now and then to pick up a shell, until I heard Angela say, "Isn't that your friend Jacob? Wow. He's gotten really big."

I looked back over to the small group where she was pointing and sure enough it was Jacob with a girl hanging off his arm. It looked as if he was either trying to get her off him or kiss her and as if he had heard Angela, or just felt someone looking at him, he looked up and stared straight into my eyes.

So many emotions went across his face, then his eyes got huge and his mouth hung open. Seeing him made me happy for a moment then I remembered he had left me, when he promised he never would. It looked as though he was coming over to talk to us, but I wasn't in the mood to hear what he had to say, so I turned and started walking away with Angela following right behind me.

I heard him calling my name asking me to stop so he could explain but in my mind he said all there was to say over two weeks ago. The thought entered my mind as I walked away that the two men I had loved in my life both broke every promise they ever made to me. I knew I would never forgive Edward or his family, and I didn't know if I could forgive Jacob.

Just as we reached the blanket where Ben was now asleep, I felt a very warm hand grab my arm. The hand latched onto my arm and wouldn't allow me to go anywhere. I turned around and it was Jacob standing there with the most pained expression on his face.

"Bella, please let me explain," he said with such agony in his voice. I almost gave in, almost.

"Why should I? You had the chance to explain two weeks ago when I called but instead you told me we couldn't be friends anymore, breaking every promise you made to me," I said, trying to pull my arm free of his grasp.

"I know and I'm so sorry Bella. I didn't want to but I had no choice. It hurt like hell saying those things to you. Please if you'll just let me explain you will understand and I hope you can forgive me and trust me again."

"Okay, fine Jacob, I'll listen to what you have to say, but I'm not promising anything." I figured why not? It seemed this was the only way to get out of there without a scene.

He led me over to a tree limb that looked like a bench that was growing right out of the sand. He sat at one end and I on the other. It was not that big so there wasn't much space between us. That's when I noticed just how much Jacob had changed.

His long hair was chopped off above his ear, he seemed to have grown over a foot taller and his arms, chest and legs were muscled and well defined. He even had a six pack. Wow! Jacob was hot really hot now and didn't look at all seventeen, but rather more like twenty something, just like the other guys I had seen earlier and I wondered how someone could change so much in just three weeks. He looked good before but now...

I looked up into his eyes and they were the same eyes. He had that look again, but his eyes were the same as I had remembered, but with a little more wisdom behind them.

"Okay, Jacob, say what you have to say. I don't want to keep my friends waiting too long." I found myself wondering what he could possibly have to say and what reason he had to do what he did.

"Bella, please keep an open mind? You might not be able to believe what I'm about to tell you but every word I say will be the truth."

I didn't reply. I just nodded my head for him to continue. That's when he began to explain about what happened the day he was to meet up with me for the movies and how all that day he felt strange and would snap for no reason.

He said his dad asked him if he was okay and he got really angry and ran out the house. His whole body began to ache and stretch, then the uncontrollable shaking began. He said the next thing he knew he had morphed into a giant wolf and there were other voices in his head, which he later found out were, Paul, Jared, Embry, Quil and Sam.

"Sam, who is the Alpha of the pack, helped him calm down and morph back. He also explained the rules to him and that we were protectors. We are all about protecting our people from the cold ones, vampires, the Cullens."

"So you know what the Cullens are?" I asked him.

"Yes, that is the reason we are morphing into wolves now. Whenever there are vampires in the area, our wolves are called forth to protect our people, even though they are not in the area any more, the process had already started."

"So, why did you not tell me any of this when you called? I would have understood and wanted to be there for you."

"I wanted to. I even planned on meeting you for the movies anyway that day but Sam said I could not tell or even be around you because it is too dangerous. If I get too angry, I could morph and hurt you," he replied, "Plus only people in the pack and their imprints are allowed to know about us. I'm sorry Bella. It was hell being away from you these past weeks," he said, as he sat there staring at me intently, waiting on my response.

"Isn't safe to be around me or people in general?" I asked him.

"Yes, people in general. We never know what will set us off so we had to learn to control ourselves before we could even go back to school. We basically stick to ourselves not getting personally involved with anyone, just our families, tribe members, and the pack."

"You know, Jacob, you were my best friend. I told you everything. I kept no secrets from you. You and Billy are like family to me and my dad. You could have trusted me with your secret. I would not have told anyone. And you say you don't get personally involved with anyone, but what about that girl you were just with, that looked like you getting personally involved to me? We were best friends and I was even falling in love with you but you couldn't take the chance to be around me?"

I'm surprised how calm I was being when my insides were in turmoil, "You say you were upset not being able to see me," I continued, "but you didn't look upset when I saw you. You were having a good time with that girl on your arm. I don't want you to be unhappy but I don't need you to lie to me either. I'm a big girl and I can take it. I believe you about the wolf thing and that you were ordered not to tell me but don't try to tell me that you were miserable being away from me."

"What you saw with me and that girl is not what it looked like. I don't even know her. My brothers and I were just relaxing when they came by and decided to join us. She sat down and put her arm through mine, asking my name. I didn't want to be rude so I told her and was trying to find a polite way to excuse myself, that's when I saw you."

"Well Jacob, isn't that nice. You trying to find a polite way to tell a girl you knew for only a few minutes to get lost but you had no such problem when it came to me. I guess it's better to hurt your best friend than a stranger," I spat out sarcastically, and now I had tears running down my face.

"I had no choice. Sam ordered me to do it and to do it in a way to make sure you did not try to see me. He is the alpha and when the alpha gives an order, we have no choice but to obey, it's the way it is for us as wolves."

I sat and thought about this for a minute.

"Okay, Jacob. I believe and forgive you, but...."

He didn't let me finish, saying what I wanted to say.

"Thank you Bella. I really do miss you and our times together. Maybe we could start hanging out again. I love you now more than ever, Bella."

"I love you too, Jake, but I don't think I can trust you again. How do I know that if we start hanging out again, something won't come up where you send me away again? What if for some reason Sam decides again you shouldn't be around me and orders you to stay away from me again? You know of my involvement with the Cullens and he could use that as a reason."

"No, he won't, Bells. He can't. Not now."

"What makes you so sure, Jake? And how is it you can tell me all of this now, when you couldn't before?" I asked him.

"Well, there's this thing called imprinting...."

"Jacob, you coming back to join the party?" a female voice asked, before he could finish explaining.

I looked up to see the same girl I had seen draped over his arm, when I first laid eyes on him today. Before he could respond to her, she came up behind him, draping her arms around his neck as if marking her territory.

"Who is this?" she asked.

That was it. I was out of there. I had no intentions of staying and watching that display. I got up and rushed over to where Ben and Angela were waiting, telling them I was ready to go. I could faintly hear Jacob telling that girl, "I thought I told you before? I'm not interested in anything you have to offer. Do you know what you just did? Now go away and leave me alone."

I never turned back to look at them. We were at the car about to get in, when I heard him call my name.

"Bella, please wait? Let me explain. Please give me another chance?"

We jumped in the car and as we were driving away I looked back and there was Jacob, on his knees on the beach, his face in his hands. It broke my heart to see him like that and I almost went back but I was afraid to trust him again.

I felt this strange ache in my heart and the further away from La Push we got the more it hurt. This was very strange.

The ride back from the beach was somber. I knew Ben and Angela were curious as to what was going on between Jacob and me, but they could sense that I didn't want to talk about it, at least not yet. That was one of the reasons why I loved them so much. They knew when I needed space with my thoughts or when I truly needed to talk

And right then, my thoughts kept wondering back to the look on Jacob's face when I left. I believed him about that girl and that he loved me, but I wasn't sure I could trust him not to leave me again.

When we pulled up in front of my house, I noticed my dad's cruiser was not there. Thank God for that. I didn't feel like explaining to him why I was crying. I gathered my things, jumped out the car, thanked them for taking me, and apologized that it had to be cut so short.

As I was walking to my front door, I thought I heard a soft whine coming from the woods across front my house. I turned and scanned the area, but I saw nothing that would have caused that noise, so I went into the house. In the kitchen I found a note from my dad, saying he hoped I enjoyed myself and that he was at the Black's for a while.

I went upstairs and cleaned myself up, putting on a pair of shorts and tank top then I stretched out on my bed, trying to think of things that would keep my mind off of Jacob.

School will be out for summer break in another week, so maybe I should talk to my dad about spending summer vacation with my mom's in Florida. That would give me plenty of time to sort things out and give me a break from all this emotional stress.

I jumped up quickly and looked around. It was really dark now. I must have fallen asleep, but something must have woken me. I sat still and listened, there it was again. Something was tapping at my window.

I slowly walked to my window and cautiously move the curtains peeking out. There was nothing there. I must be hearing things, I thought. I turned on my night light and looked at the clock on the wall which indicated it was three o'clock a.m.

I might as well get some more sleep, I thought as I climbed back into bed. Thank goodness it is Sunday and there was no school.

The next time I opened my eyes it was daylight. I pulled the curtains back and looked outside. Amazingly, it was another sunny day in Forks.

I got my bath stuff, went to the bathroom, took a quick shower, dressed, and went downstairs to find something to eat. I found another note from my dad.

Bella, I've gone fishing with Billy. Also, Jacob called and he wants you to call him back. He said it was important. Oh, and I've invited the Blacks over tonight for dinner and to catch a game on television, but don't worry about cooking, I will pick up some take out.

See you later.


Well that is just great, I thought. I'm not ready to talk to Jacob yet. Maybe I could spend the night at Angela's. But then Charlie would wonder why when I knew Jacob was coming over and I really didn't want to get Charlie mixed up in this. If he notices anything strange between me and Jacob tonight, I'll have to tell him about that phone conversation three weeks ago. And Jacob can forget me calling him.

I made some cereal and sat at the table to eat. When I was finished, I went over to wash my bowl. Glancing through the window, I could have sworn I saw movement at the end of the forest, but whatever it was moved too fast to be human. I am not only hearing things, now I'm seeing things too, I thought, as I finished rinsing my bowl.

Then the thought hit me, a vampire, Then, I thought of Edward, but I knew it couldn't be him. He and his family wouldn't dare come back here thinking everything will be fine. Yes, I had loved them, especially Alice, she was my best friend, but she abandoned me too. They all did, even if they had to leave, she could have at least called friends don't treat friends that way. Leaving for my own good indeed, so I will be safer, right, I thought.

Sometimes I think it would have been safer if Edward had stayed away from the beginning, like he started to, not after they have opened me up to the dangers of their world, then leaving me to fend for myself. What did he think? That the vampires would just forget about me once they were gone?

Then again, I couldn't blame it all on them. Some of it was caused by my stupidity of hanging around vampires, yeah that was safe. Any one of them could have slipped at anytime, just like Jasper did the night of my eighteenth birthday party.

I had to get a grip on myself and stop this kind of thinking. It was just pissing me off. I had to get the house cleaned before tonight. So I started starting in the kitchen. My thoughts went back to Jacob, preparing myself mentally for one tension filled night.

Once the house was spotless, I cleaned myself up and changed into more decent clothes. I grabbed a book, sat against my headboard to read, while waiting for one of the longest night of my life. I must have dozed off, because I was awakened by the sound of voices downstairs.

"Bella, we're here," my father called to me, "Come on down, I'm sure Jacob doesn't want to be stuck with two old men all night."

Well here goes nothing, I thought, as I made my way downstairs. When I reached the bottom steps, I saw him standing there. I had to admit that he looked good in his dark loose jeans and tight fitting black T-shirt.

I figured I might as well say something, "Hello, Jacob. How are you?" That did sound a little too formal, but I wasn't in the mood to be really friendly right now.

"I'm doing okay, thanks, Bella. And you?"

"I'm okay, thanks."

I stepped around him to go say hello to Billy and my dad in the lounge.

"Hey, dad, Billy, how was the fishing?"

"It was good. How was your day, hun?" my father asked.

"It was good. I did get some cleaning and reading done."

"Hey Bella, long time no see," Billy finally replied.

Whose fault is that, I thought to myself? He must have realized what I was thinking by the look on my face, so I just said, "Yeah."

The smell of Chinese food reached my nose. That's when I noticed the big bag of food. I picked up the bag, saying, "I'll carry this in the kitchen and set the table."

As I turned to go into the kitchen I walked right into Jacob, who grabbed me around my waist, before I could fall and destroy our dinner for the night. I quickly pulled out of his arm and continued to the kitchen.

Taking all the containers out of the bag and placing them on the table, I started gathering plates, silverware, and glasses to set the table. I felt someone watching me and turned around. There was Jacob, leaning against the wall, with his arms crossed, biting his bottom lip, as he watched me.

"Need any help?" he asked, while pushing away from the wall and walking toward me.

"No thanks. I think I can manage," I replied.

"Are you ever gonna speak to me or trust me again, Bells?"

"Jacob, if I hadn't run into you at First Beach yesterday, would you have called, or tried to contact me?"

"Bells, you have to believe that I had no choice. I have thought of every loop hole I could think of to come see you. Sam was just always one step ahead of me. It's not like I didn't want to see you. I couldn't. I missed you like crazy every day."

"Look, Jacob. I believe you were not allowed to see me and I forgive you for that, but I'm afraid of getting close to you again and then having something else come up where you have to go away again. I'm tired of giving my heart to someone, just for them to throw it back in my face."

Before he could respond to that, Billy and my dad came into the kitchen ready to eat, so we sat around the table and began passing around the containers and every once in a while I would look from the corner of my eye and catch Jacob staring at me.

You could feel the tension in the air, and I know Charlie noticed the tension between Jacob and me by the way he would look at us, almost perplexed. Billy already knew what was going on.

After dinner Billy and my dad went into the lounge to watch the game, while I cleaned up our mess.

Jacob cleared the table, while I washed the dishes. I just wanted to escape to my room as soon as possible and I tried to do just that.

"Dad, I'm gonna head up to my room," I called, as I started up the stairs.

"Okay, Bella, maybe you and Jacob can watch a movie up there. Just leave the door open," he said.

Well great. There goes my quick escape, I thought. I trudged upstairs with Jacob right behind me. I walked over turning on my television, putting in a movie to watch then sat on my bed, while Jacob sat in my computer chair.

We were both lost in thought as we watched the movie, though I would catch him watching me with the most intense look I had ever seen. It was almost a look of devotion. But we never talked.

Before we knew it, it was time for them to go and as he was leaving, Jacob walked over to me, bending down he kissed me on my cheek, and whispered into my ear, "I love you so damn much Bells. I'll wait forever for you if I have to." Then he left.