Chapter 8

Naiomi~

High in the sky, the song that I'm singing

A sweet little lie, cry wolf cry

Rabbit out the hat, yes that's what I'm bringing

Tricks up my sleeve for noticing me. . .

"Shark in the Water" by VV Brown

I sat beneath an elm tree in the forest, my hands buried deeply in my now tangled hair, leaning my elbows on my knees and rocking back and forth, trying my best to come up with a reason as to why I shouldn't turn around and drain the life out of Jacob.

This was all too surreal, I had resigned to giving up everything and now here I was, somewhere in Portland's vast forest, fighting against my newly acquired nature. The animal, the predator wanted to turn around and run back to the Cullen's, teeth bared, venom pooling beneath my tongue, and barge through the door straight at Jacob. I could see it now; I'd pin him to the floor and go for that muscular neck of his, enjoying how the blood would come from his jugular, shooting warm streams of crimson into my awaiting mouth. God . . .

"Argh," I groaned, realizing that my animalistic side was taking over and getting the best of me. I wouldn't be able to rein it in easily; I was a new born after all. I needed Jasper to help me right now, but I doubt he'd even know where to find me unless Alice could see me make a decision.

"Okay Naiomi, you'll be fine," I whispered aloud to myself. My voice seemed to echo off the surrounding trees and boulders. The forest was eerily quiet and I knew it was because of my presence. Animals knew to steer clear of me. I was dangerous . . .

Standing up and pacing in a circle, I thought about what I should do. The nearest shelter I knew of was the Cullen's but I just couldn't go back there. I'd kill him and I didn't want to, really. I wouldn't be able to live with myself for eternity knowing that I'd killed someone I once cared about.

"There you are," Jasper broke my thought process. "I was trying to find you, but you zigzagged so many different ways on your way out here it seemed like you were trying to run out of your skin."

I turned to look at him and shrugged, continuing to pace in a circle. I had already made a groove in the ground in the shape of a circle. And the flow of venom in my mouth was relentless.

"Maybe I was," I sighed and paused to stare up at the now darkening evening sky.

"Jacob's fine, you probably couldn't hurt him if you tried," Jasper tried to soothe me while coming closer to me and grasping me by my shoulders.

"How can you say that? He's human and he's got all that blood going through him. Jasper, I could've killed him, but something in me told me to run the other way and I'm glad I listened to it." I shook myself away from his grasp and resumed my pacing, continuing to wear a hole in the forest floor.

"I'm glad you were somehow able to control yourself, but really darlin' Jacob can handle himself. He's – he's not . . . he's not human entirely." Jasper spoke softly; I suppose gauging my reaction to the information.

"What do you mean— he's not human?"

"I know you had to have smelled something funny when you got downstairs. Hell, you probably smelled him upstairs. Jacob's not all human. I don't… I don't think it's my place to tell you everything, since it's his business. Just know you couldn't hurt him,"

"He's not human. You mean to tell me I kissed him and he wasn't human. God." I murmured, trying to get a grip on all my thoughts.

"You kissed me and I'm not human. You're not human either." Jasper answered.

"Anymore! Thanks for reminding me that you manipulated me and landed me here Jasper, I appreciate it a lot. I had my humanity and you took it away from me," I seethed, traipsing away from him. I really didn't need him frustrating me right now. To think I thought I needed him to help me calm down, when all he does is rile me up. And not in the good way.

"Naiomi . . . I'm –"

"Sorry! I know, Jasper and I'm tired of hearing it!" I screeched, my voice echoed back to me immediately through the trees. I could hear his thoughts as I walked away from him. Even though he obviously felt bad for pouring salt in an already open wound, he thought that he'd never seen me look as beautiful as I did when I was mad. Boys . . .

I didn't mean to be so snappy, but there were so many things going through my head and hearing him and his thoughts weren't helping me. I needed to just shut down. I wished I could sleep because my brain could use a break.

Someone please give me a break . . .

Jacob-

There were so many things running through my mind and I wasn't exactly sure which one I wanted to focus on first. It was all too much and not enough all at the same time.

"Esme, what's going on?" I suppose that was a good enough question to be going on with, because everything else sounded so vulgar in my mind. Like 'what the hell, Naiomi?' Did she just up and disappear to come stay with the Cullens? I refused to believe that she was a vampire . . . She wouldn't do that. I couldn't deal with losing someone else to death. I just couldn't.

"Jacob, it's not what it seems," She began in her usual motherly soft spoken tone; she knew I had a temper. Any sentence that starts "It's not what it seems" usually meant that it was exactly what it seemed like . . . except it was worse.

"Then what is it, Esme?" I muttered while pacing. I could feel my heartbeat racing and I was pretty sure that I was gonna phase within the next five minutes if someone didn't tell me something about why Naiomi was here.

"Calm down Jacob," I heard Carlisle's voice from behind me, then I felt his hand land on my shoulder. A shudder rippled through me as I fought to keep myself calm.

"Carlisle, why is she here?"

"Something's happened, Jacob. We didn't have the slightest idea you knew Naiomi." Carlisle spoke to me while watching me intently, gauging how I was going to react to that small bit of information.

"And if I hadn't known her, how would you have explained to me about another human's life being taken by the hand of someone in your coven?" I muttered, running my fingers through my hair. I didn't want to have a problem with the Cullens anymore, really I didn't. After I separated myself from Sam's pack and began my own, things were better. I felt like the Cullens and I had an understanding. I accepted the whole Bella-Edward situation simply because I didn't seem to have a choice, but now it all seemed to be happening again.

"Well, eventually when you came to visit we would have told you. You're like our son Jacob, you know that. We love you and we never really intended for this to hit so close to home with you again." Esme said, chiming in on the conversation.

"Who did it this time?" I couldn't figure out, in all my confusion, who would be the culprit.

"Jasper," Carlisle sighed before motioning with his hand that I take a seat with him at the dining room table.

I sat down, grinding my teeth and clenching my fists. I should've known it would've been Jasper. That whole empath thing he had going on was probably how he had managed to get Naiomi doped up enough on feeling good, so that he could bite her without her suspecting a thing.

"How did I miss his scent? I was around her all the time," I wondered aloud as I relaxed my hands on top of the table.

"Maybe you didn't remember his scent. You have been away from us for a long time… I don't know Jacob." Carlisle sighed. I could tell that not being able to figure out how I wasn't able to pick up on Jasper's scent bothered him a bit.

"I guess I wasn't as focused. Maybe he was more careful about touching her; I don't know." That was the only way I could figure things. Nothing else came to mind, but none of it made any sense at the moment. It could simply be down to me staying away for as long as I had. I suppose my brain tried to make me forget all the other little things that made life too complicated to think about.

"Possibly. You know we would never intentionally want to hurt you. I know Jasper feels terribly about what he's done. Naiomi and he were friends, maybe more, before this all happened . . . he blames himself." Carlisle said as Esme came up behind him and placed both her hands on his shoulders.

"More than friends? Right." I inhaled deeply taking a moment to get myself together; my heart felt like it was on fire. I guess I didn't need any other confirmation that I felt deeply for Naiomi. I wasn't even going to think about imprinting at the moment. I could feel myself on the verge of phasing. "Like he knows enough about her to like her like that…"

"She's his singer," Esme hedged as if that would make it any better.

At that confession, I could feel the tremors making their way through my body, doubling their efforts. I felt sick from holding them off. I needed to phase, but I knew if and when I did I was going to go find Jasper and tear him limb from limb, so I suppose the best thing to do would be to stay put.

"And what the hell does that mean? It's nothing like an imprint!" I yelled, slamming my hands against the table, efficiently putting a crack in the thick cherry wood. "Sorry," I murmured while staring down at Esme's expensive dining room table that I had just ruined.

"It's alright dear," Esme said, before walking past me on her way to the broom closet to clean up a few of pieces of splintered wood that had fallen on the floor. "Between you and Naiomi I'm going to have to go shopping for all new door fixtures and furniture." Esme mused, shooting a glance at Carlisle who was shaking his head at her. She disappeared into the kitchen to empty the dust pan and Carlisle and I resumed our conversation.

"I understand that an imprint is a very serious thing in your tribe Jacob, but in our existence finding a singer is serious too."

"I know, but see you guys can have more than one singer in your existence, but for us an imprint is once in a lifetime." I explained already shaking my head at myself, I was done for.

"So . . . are you saying that you've imprinted on Naiomi?" Carlisle asked while giving me a worried look.

For a moment I sat there staring at him and then I hung my head. The one thing that I wanted to avoid my whole life may have happened to me without me even realizing it and with someone who wasn't even alive anymore. This is something that would happen to me.

Things could never be normal, not even a little bit.

I was, Jacob Black after all.