Story Title: Midsummer Night's Requiem

Chapter: [Chapter 4: Perplexed]

Rating: M (lemons)

Other Stuff: OOC. AU. I only take characters that you have a clear image of in your mind and then... I manipulate them. Much like a toddler plays with play-dough.

Mutts have their way of imprinting. Vampires have a similar way, called mating... only the bond between vampires is much more potent and volatile than werewolves'. It's both a curse and a blessing... depending on the two that the moon chooses to pair. For Edward and I... well, we don't exactly... get along.


Author's Note(s)

Listening to: I'm On a Boat [cover] by Broadway.
Mood: Pretty okay. Hesitant.

[1.] This chapter has a couple picture updates. On my homepage I added a bunch of pictures of Bella's house. I had a lot of fun looking up luxury houses... sigh... Wishing that was my reality! Haha. Check it out after the chapter... by the way, I just posted the pictures so FanFiction might take a second before updating my homepage.

[2.] This chapter is a bit confusing. I'm rushing this update so I have this sinking feeling that there's mistakes in it. Aim any questions this way please.

Enjoy, loves.


[Chapter Four.]
[Per·plexed : bewildered; puzzled; complicated; involved; entangled]

There is a difference between panic and worry.

When you worry, you are concerned about a situation. However, I discovered that as the wind whipped at my face and bushes brushed against my skin, that I was not just worrying. I was panicking. I had no idea where Edward and Jacob were. The forest in Washington is extremely dense, and no matter how far I ran I had no idea if I was going in the right direction. I could not sense either of them, and I felt as if the silence in my ears was deafening.

I was positive that Jacob had taken Edward up on his threat. I could feel it. My best friend was fighting with the tortured, confusing soul that was the vampire I was inexplicably drawn to no matter how much he insulted me. Jake could be hurt. Edward could be hurt.

My fault.

My phone vibrated for the seventeenth time in five minutes. I groaned and stopped my run, whipping it out of my pocket. Alice's name flashed on the screen and I connected the call.

"Alice," I hissed out.

"The principessa actually answers her phone! Listen to me; I know what you're thinking and I don't want you to run into something that will put you in danger-"

"You don't know what I'm thinking, Alice. I don't even know what I'm thinking. All I know is that I have to find them, but I have no idea where they are. Can't you see them?" I was frustrated.

"I told you I can't! I don't know why... I have always seen Edward in my visions, but I can't see him at all now. I can't see Jacob either- I think... I think that mutt is blocking my visions!"

"That 'mutt' is my friend, Alice! And right now I'm only concerned with finding him before something bad happens, so why do you keep calling?!" I kicked at some of the branches on the ground in frustration, knowing that I was burning precious time.

I heard a sigh on the other end of the phone. "I know I won't be able to stop you, but I want you to be careful. Please."

"I'll fix this... and I'll be fine." I answered. "... Thanks, Alice."

There was a moment of silence, and my ears strained to hear what was happening on the other end of the phone. There was a slight gasp before Alice took a deep breath. I could hear her grip on the phone tighten.

"Bella! That cry-" Alice's voice raised. "Go!"

And in the distance, a chilling howl echoed from across the trees. My phone slipped out of my hand and my feet began to move before my mind began to think; that was Jake's howl. And he was in pain. My chest tightened as nervousness and helplessness for Jake swept through my system. White hot flashes of worry swept through my body, and I tried telling myself that he was alright, but I was already too far gone into defensive mode. I was running fast. I was invisible. And I was heading straight into the lion's mouth.

When I arrived at the location of where the howl originated, the scene before me was a mass of mangled trees and a ground of indented gaps. The sunset made the scene glow red, and it looked like the world had been drenched with blood. Aware that I was still invisible to both of them, I analyzed the situation.

Jacob was in his gigantic wolf form, and he was on the ground. He had one paw extended in front of him; his ears were back and he was gasping and groaning. He was in pain, but he looked like he was ready to attack again if he had to. And that's when I heard a chuckle that breathed across from him. Edward was kneeling on one knee, and his shirt had been completely ripped off. His eyes were a crazed black and with a sharp snap, he locked his shoulder back into place.

"I didn't think you'd put up of this much of a fight, mutt," Edward hissed. "I guess fighting for someone you love really brings out the animal in you, huh?"

Someone you love.

Jake rose up off the ground and let out a vicious growl. There was a deep gash in his side and right back leg; both oozing blood. Compared to Edward, Jake looked mangled. Edward stood up to face off against Jake again, cracking the knuckles in his right hand.

"I could do this all night if you want to, because I have the feeling you're going to collapse before I do. I have had many years more experience with fighting than you have. You're just a kid- a puppy!"

Jacob's ears went back as he grumbled, speaking back to Edward through his thoughts. Edward apparently found something funny with what Jake said because he started laughing.

"Is that what's driving you? You think that she's yours? You say that you're protecting her, but you can't even protect yourself! You hypocrite! She's not going to be incredibly impressed with you if you walk out of this with a few new scars," Edward mocked.

Jacob leaped at Edward and Edward was ready for him. Catching Jake's jaws in his bare hands, he snapped them shut and twisted Jacob's entire body around in a one-hundred-and-eighty-degree spin. Jake landed on his back and howled in pain.

"NO! You don't seem to understand- a wolf and a vampire will never be coupled- it's impossible!" Edward kicked Jacob's side, and Jacob flew through the air and towards a line of towering oak trees. Jake twisted in the air and positioned himself to use his feet to use the trees as a means of ricochet. The way he landed was flawless, and he used that momentum to shoot towards Edward, claws out.

Edward dodged easily; Jacob was very tired and not as experienced. His control over phasing was extraordinary at his age, but he was still learning how to fight.

"Your feelings are misplaced," Edward spat. "She would never be happy with you!"

Jacob whirled around and snapped at Edward, missing his face by less than an inch. I was transfixed by the blurring images before me, movement that was much faster than any human could keep up with. The two were very fast and very strong. Edward had the upper hand, it was easy to see that- as Jacob was huffing and growing sluggish while Edward's fighting style resembled a dangerous dance. Jacob was acting irrationally; not thinking things through completely. Jacob shouldn't have even approached Edward in the first place; I had warned him, and he hadn't listened.

" There is no connection! I will never allow it!" Edward roared, sending Jacob flying upwards before punching him into the ground. "She's a piece of wolf chow; a second-grade material that no vampire, nonetheless me, could possibly want. " He stalked forward to where Jacob laid on the ground. Jake's torso was moving up and down rapidly with his breath intake, and he made no move to attack or get away. "This little fight between the two of us? Consider it a warning to you and your little girlfriend. Keep away from me. I want nothing to do with a species-confused vampire or her adolescent dog."

I felt like I was breaking. Although theoretically impossible, I felt a strange sensation that started at my heart and ripped and cackled through my body. No one wants me, I thought. Is that why I didn't have a coven of my own? Am I repulsive to other vampires?

Jake spun around and with an immense amount of strength, he pinned Edward against the ground. Jake's teeth were inches from tearing Edward's flesh.

This fight- the entire fight- was about me. Edward's voice would forever be ingrained in my mind, and his words would haunt me, I was sure of it, in my future.

"NO! You don't seem to understand- a wolf and a vampire will never be coupled- it's impossible!"

"Your feelings are misplaced. She would never be happy with you!"

" There is no connection between her and I! I will never allow it!"

"She's a piece of wolf chow; a second-grade material that no vampire, nonetheless me, could possibly want. "

"This little fight between the two of us? Consider it a warning to you and your little girlfriend. Keep away from me. I want nothing to do with a species-confused vampire or her adolescent dog."

Who would want you, anyway? My subconscious snickered. Species-confused vampire. Can't you make friends with your own kind?

My past came back to haunt me and I let out a shaky breath through my lips. The moment I realized my fault, their heads had whipped to the side. Edward took a deep breath and broke out of Jacob's grasp. Jacob growled at Edward, expecting an attack, before he too froze and inhaled again. I quickly kneeled down in the underbrush to mask my scent. Merda! Shit! Edward looked all around the area I was hiding, searching for the scent that reminded him of me. He glared at the underbrush I was hiding in before a gust of wind came and rustled the trees around the three of us. Edward's nostrils flared before his lips curled up in the slightest of smiles before it was quickly covered up by a scowl. He swung around to face Jacob again while Jacob took on a defensive position.

"I don't need this," Edward spat. "You're wasting my time." He reached into his pocket and pulled out a necklace I had given to Jacob last year. It was a Native-American-styled one that, in Quileute, said that I would forever be with him. And it was broken into pieces. Edward threw the necklace on the ground as if it offended him and without a glance back, he shot off into the thicker part of the forest. And he was moving very very quickly. Even if I tried to follow him, I would not be able to catch up. Jacob stared at the necklace on the ground and slowly walked towards it. Leaning towards the ground, he nudged the split necklace with his nose and whimpered.

After taking in a shallow gulp of air, he raised up his face and howled to the rising moon. His howl was filled with sorrow and pain and frustration; it was an apology. It was to me. After his jaws shut, he lowered his worn out body onto the ground and laid his head next to the pieces of the necklace. Then I heard him start to whimper.

He had started to cry.

-::-

I should've stopped them while I could. I should've helped Jacob. I should've done something besides hide in the bushes! I was frustrated with myself. And I was still in the bushes! I was warring with myself; with two choices. Should I run or should I go to Jake? I watched as Jake continued to whimper with his snout buried between his paws.

He needs me.

I felt myself fill in; my color returned and I knew that he could now see and sense me. My emotions had calmed and broken down my defensive mechanism. Jake's ear twitched and he froze as his senses were caught off guard with how close I managed to get and why he hadn't sensed me coming sooner. His head snapped in my direction and he growled. To him I smell like any other... bloodsucker.

"Jake," I whispered to him. "It's me."

Jake grumbled and looked away, crossing his paws and resting his head on them. He was angry and upset and he was pushing me away. I walked forward slowly, reaching my hand out and rubbing his russet coat. He didn't react to me, so I sat down against his side and closed my eyes. The side of my face was pressed against the side of his coat, and sighed at his refusal to change into a human. Maybe it was because he knew I loved his wolf form; maybe it was because he was still angry with me.

But something made me want to sing. So I did. I sang the lullaby that my mother sang to me when I had trouble going to sleep.

"Lucciola lucciola vien da me... che ti darò il pan del re; pan del re e della regina... lucciola lucciola vien vicina..."

Jake's heartbeat slowed and he started to snore.

I stayed with him, looking up at the sky and thinking about things. I moved my hand through his coat several times, and that seemed to calm him when his heartbeat accelerated. He was dreaming.

A couple of miles away I heard the padding of wolf steps coming towards here, but I couldn't tell which one it was. I waited, and eventually it was Sam who emerged through the brush.

"I found him through the link," Sam said in his human form, walking up to me. "The pack started searching for him a little while ago. I told them to turn back since I found him."

I smiled at him, grateful I didn't have to face them all now. "He's really angry with me."

Sam shook his head. "He needs to understand that there will be vampires in your life; that you're one of them. You just hang around with us so much that it's easy to forget."

I nodded. " He was fighting with Edward a couple of hours ago. Literally... fighting. Edward left before either of them got seriously hurt but... I've just never seen him fight with so much effort before. He was fighting for me when I should have stopped it. I just... watched. It was like I couldn't even move. Jake could've gotten seriously hurt. I told him to stay away..."

"Edward attacked Jacob," Sam replied. "Not the other way around."

I gave him a questioning look, and he tapped his head. "The link the wolves have with each other. I learned on my way over here."
"Oh," I replied. Edward had been the one to start the fight? I was confused. "It seemed like Jake was angry enough to be the one to want to fight."

Sam gave me a smile, but there was something hidden behind it.

"What?" I asked.

Sam shook his head and came next to me and laid down, looking up at the stars.

"Have you ever given much thought in the sky's patterns?" He asked. "Stars are created and destroyed all the time... little explosions of fire and heat..."

"Sam..." I drawled. "You're avoiding my question."

Sam nodded. "I know."

"Why?"

"Because in this world we live in, some things are meant to be said from the lips of those who keep the secret. Not the one who has eavesdropped and learned the secret upon his own means."

"You don't mean to eavesdrop... it's just the weird wolfy link thing you guys have. Where you can speak to each other through your minds and you can feel what each wolf is going through-"

" 'The wolfy link thing...' " Sam quoted.

I ignored him. "You're telling me I have to eavesdrop?"

Sam furrowed his eyebrows. "Not exactly. Jake just... has to tell you how he really feels about Edward in the picture now. Jake can see a connection between the two of you which... naturally... he isn't thrilled about."

"Jake sees a connection between Edward and I? Has he lost his mind?"

"No," Sam whispered. "Just his heart."

-::-

Dolce casa dolce. Home sweet home.

I was happy to get back to my house and away from the fight scene. Sam insisted I go home and re-cooperate and collect my thoughts; that he'd remain with Jake until he woke up. It was around 3:00 in the morning by the time I walked into my house, and I had a couple of hours to burn before school started. The first thing I did was go upstairs to my room and collect a set of fresh clothes and a towel. I made my way into the bathroom that was attached to my room and started a steaming hot bath. I knew that it didn't matter whether the water was hot or cold; that neither would really affect me. The cold wouldn't make me shiver, not matter how cold, and the hot would not burn me, no matter how hot. I did thoroughly enjoy the feeling of hot water better than cold, however. It warmed my cold skin.

I was given time to think. My mind drifted to Jacob in the forest, who was asleep and broken. Sam had literally forced me to return home. At the time my mind was a mess of cloudy thoughts; something that is not common for vampires. Usually I could think of many different things, a virtually endless barrage I could store and come back to. But tonight I had felt so confused, and so vulnerable.

I went deeper into the water, my eyes and the tops of my knees being the only visible parts of my body above the hot water. I closed my eyes and sighed. All my thoughts were running back to Edward; I wanted to know what his problem was. I wanted to know why Edward was the one who attacked Jacob, and not the other way around. Was it really a warning like Edward had said? And what connection does Jacob see between Edward and I?

After my bath- which lasted about an hour, around which time the water was much cooler. It was around 4:00 when I went to my library and pulled out one of my favorite books, a play by Shakespeare called A Midsummer Night's Dream. I had read it many times, but I had the urge to read through this classic with my time tonight. I went over to my music player and started Alexandre Desplat's song- "The Meadow" before I took the book and started a fire in the fireplace; it was one of those fancy fireplaces where you push the button and it electrically starts. A soft orange glow warmed the room and I laid on my stomach in front of the fireplace, on the throw rug. I skipped through some of my favorite pages, skimming my favorite quotes.

"Night's swift dragons cut the clouds full fast,
And yonder shines Aurora's harbinger;
At whose approach, ghosts, wandering here and there,
Troop home to churchyards."

I smiled at Puck's comment to Oberon, telling him that it was almost dawn. I looked over to the window and saw a purple shadow appearing; the sun would show her rays. In the back of mind came the flaring obvious sense that something was approaching my house very quickly. I stood up and stretched before nonchalantly walking over to the wall-sized window of the library. Who was visiting me this late at night? Perhaps Alice was coming to visit. It wasn't a wolf- that much I was sure. I knew it was a vampire.

In the next second I realized the smell of this particular vampire. My eyes widened before his form appeared in front of me, on the other side of the glass wall.

"Edward-?" I questioned, knowing full well that even through the thick glass he could hear me if I whispered.

His gaze was thoughtful and far away. His eyes were golden and his lips were slightly parted. His bronze hair was a mess, as it always was- and his brows were furrowed, as if he was attempting to say something that would not come. He still hadn't said one word to me, but he was still here. I thought in this very moment, if he would just look this beautiful all the time and not open his mouth to insult me, things between us would be pretty okay.

"I shouldn't be here," he said softly, as if he was going to get caught.

I gripped the book in my hand up to my chest, cocking my head to the side. "Are you... alright?"

"No," Edward replied. "I'm not. And I'm positive that it's your fault." His eyes looked to the book against my chest and he smiled before reaching one of his hands up against the glass.

I looked back at his face and his eyes were pleading. And... I found that I... wanted to. I put one of my hands against the glass as well, over his.

"Jack shall have Jill... nought shall go ill... the man shall have his mare again, and all will be well," Edward said before pulling his hand away; he had repeated a line from the book in my hand.

What do you mean, Edward?

And then he was gone.

I pulled my hand away from the glass, dropped my book to the floor, and tried to decipher why my hand was shooting electric shocks through my body.

-::-

I realize a half hour before school that I've been put in a strange position. I want to know if Jacob wants me to take him to school or not, but I don't have the courage to call. I'm left staring at my phone, completely afraid. I miss him already, and we haven't spoken for about half a day. I huff and sit on my bed and throw my phone into the pillows.

How come the Cullens show up and everything goes haywire? Edward's early morning visit still confused me. I had already planned to confront him today about it. I looked at the hand I held up to the glass and remember the electric shock I had felt.

Then I hear a soft noise and a buzz come from my buried phone, and I dive to get it. I don't even check the caller ID, but I desperately hope it's Jake- hope that he has called me and saved me the worry.

"Hello?" I question.

"Bella! It's Alice!" Her voice projects from the other end in a high pitched, excited tone.

"Oh- Alice," I say, slightly disappointed that she's not Jake.

"You don't sound like much of a morning person," Alice chastised.

"That's not even possible, Alice- I don't sleep!"

"Well MISS ROSALIE," she raised her voice and I heard Rose hiss at her in the background. " doesn't sleep either and is definitely NOT a morning person, so I totally understand."

"Very funny, Alice," I sigh. "So what's up? Why the call?"

"I can't call you to see how you're doing?" I could almost see the pout on her face.

"Of course you can, but I'm seeing you in about..." I looked over to my clock. "Twenty minutes. So... what's so super exciting that you couldn't wait to tell me?" Alright, so I was a little bit grumpy. I had a rough night.

Alice excused my tone. "Well, I wanted to let you know that someone very important to you wants to say hello."

"Alice, if this is some joke between Edward and you I really don't feel like dealing with it right now-"

"Bella." A different voice came on the phone. I would recognize that voice anywhere.

"ZIO?!" Uncle?! I shouted into the phone. "Carlisle, is that you?"

"La mia nipotina," he said with a soft chuckle. "I just arrived in Forks... my wife and I were moving some things from the old house and Alice neglected to mention you to me. What a coincidence... I'm amazed- this big world and we end up in the same state, same town-"

"Uncle..." I said, overjoyed. "Alice is your daughter? The rest of the Cullens are your children? I've met so many Cullens, so when I heard that their last name was Cullen I didn't even think twice-"

"So many questions, la mia nipotina, and I have many for you as well. I would love to see you again. Perhaps after school today?"

"How about now?!" I said quickly.

He laughed on the other end of the line and I pouted. "After school, dear one. I'm going to be out for awhile today and I would love for you to visit my new home while I'm there."

"But Uncle..." I stopped myself because I didn't want to be rude. "Alright. After school then... I'll have Alice give me directions."

"Very good. I can't wait to see you, Bella. I want to see how much you've grown. My wife will be so pleased to meet you-"

I was so very happy.

I heard the phone being passed to Alice and she giggled through it, "Isn't this awesome!? I can't believe you guys are practically related and never told me anything about it! See you at school!"

The call disconnected and I smiled and held my phone close to me as I laid back on my bed. My uncle was here in Forks! I couldn't wait to see him again- it had been such a long time. My phone buzzed in my hand and I looked at the screen.

One new text message from: Jake

Message: Are you going to open the door for me or what?

What is with me today? My senses weren't working correctly since last night. I could sense him now that I was thinking about it, but I hadn't even heard him coming. I jumped off my bed and ran to my front door, slightly embarrassed. I swung it open and there stood Jake. He was wearing a pair of jeans and a gray long-sleeved shirt, and he looked remarkably... happy.

"Bella," he smiled.

"J-Jake?" I was hesitant.

He noticed my hesitation and his smile died down a little. "I'm so sorry, Bella..." he said softly, before pulling me into his arms. As he held me, I felt him shift something around my neck then click it into place. When he pulled away, half of the Quileute necklace I had given to him was around my me. I looked to him, puzzled, and he shuffled with his shirt collar for a moment before showing me a similar black-stranded necklace with the opposite piece on it.

"This will be my reminder for when I forget," Jake said softly, adjusting the piece around my neck. "That you will always be one of us."

I grasped the small trinket at the end of the rope with my hand, and then I jumped at him, putting my arms around him.

"Jake- I... don't know what to say..."

"You don't need to say anything, doll. I'm just... really sorry about everything that happened yesterday. I know you were there last night, watching Edward and I fight. I should've stopped him when he first attacked, Bella- I shouldn't of let it drag on."

"Jacob... don't blame yourself."

He shook his head. "I was angry yesterday... frustrated that you'd left us. So I left school to blow off some steam. I came across the king of the forest himself, well... I guess he came across me. You were brought up and then he went crazy."

" I was brought up? How, Jake? Another insult?"

"No," Jake shook his head. "He told me that he was destined to love you, and that he'd never allow himself to."

-

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[to be continued...]