Author Notes: Once again, thank you for the love I've gotten from this story, I really appreciate it! I'm glad you guys are enjoying reading it as much as I am writing. I have also been recording this story as an 'audiobook' of sorts and it is on YouTube for anyone interested. I'm only on chapter five but hopefully I'll catch up soon.
Edward inched towards her, the intense stare scared Bella more than anything in her life. She could see his eyes glimmering red even in the approaching night. He paused and closed his eyes, breathing in deeply and gave her a wide smile. Bella's fear was paramount, and she knew he sensed it.
"Bella," he practically moaned, "we could be so wonderful together."
She swallowed and looked out the window and ached for Jacob. "No." She whispered.
Edward's red eyes flashed with anger. "What?"
"No." She said again and she struggled to her feet. Jake, where are you? "I want you to leave." Bella was shocked her voice sounded remotely steady compared to the mess that was happening in her head. He moved towards her and she felt the clique of her life passing before her start to happen.
"Now Bella," his tone was condescending, "you know I'm not going to leave. Not with what I came for, at least."
"What did you come for?" She asked breathlessly and immediately regretting asking.
The crooked grin on his face made her want to throw up. "You. From the moment I saw you, I knew that I wanted your blood more than anything in the world. You must know that anything I want, I get regardless of the consequences."
He cupped her jaw with his hand, such a sweet gesture that now turned her stomach. "Oh honey, you'll be dead before you can even speak the words."
He leaned down towards her throat and she closed her eyes, expecting the end. I love you Jacob. She thought. His cold breath was lingering on her neck and it made her sick to her stomach. There was a loud crash and a sickening growl. She was blasted backwards and watched as a russet-colored wolf leapt onto Edward and pinned him to the ground with his massive paws.
They stared into each other's eyes for a moment and Edward said 'Victoria' in a terse growl. The cold air from the broken door was coming in and Bella began to shiver. Jacob snarled again and bent his head, ripping Edward's throat out easily. Bella gasped and turned away, now trembling from more than just the cold.
She felt something wet touch her arm and she jumped, looking over and Jacob, still in wolf form, laying by her. She sniffed and buried her face in the wolf's neck and the warmth from his body was just the right comfort she needed. There was rustling when Alice stepped through the door.
Jacob growled and stood.
"No! Jacob she's my friend!"
The look in Jacob's eyes told her everything. She's not your friend, she's a vampire. Bella saw Alice's mouth open and a pair of dainty fangs poked from her mouth. "No! Please Alice! Jacob!" It was the final plea she could think of. "Don't do this I love both of you!"
The pair of them looked her broken form.
"Stay out of this Bella." Alice said, her sweet voice now dripping with anger and venom. "Edward. You killed my brother."
"Brother?" Bella stuttered, trying to get over the shock. "You said…"
"Fuck what I said!" She snarled and lunged at Jacob. He knocked her down with one of his paws easily and held her to the ground when Bella thrust herself towards them. "You can't do this! I don't want you to kill her Jacob! Please she's the only friend I have left!"
Alice glared at Jacob. "I'm not running with Victoria and her disgusting little crew. She ruined Edward's life." They stared at each other a few more moments and he let her up and blasted through the door. Night had fallen and darkness was quickly flooding the apartment. Alice turned on the light and looked at Bella.
"He's going to phase back."
She was staring at Alice with a little trepidation and fear. "Why…how…"
"How I could stand to live with you and not drink your blood?" She smirked. Bella swallowed as Jacob returned through the door, fully clothed and a serious look on his face. He winced as he came over to Bella. Alice had the same look on her face.
"Someone needs to take out the trash."
Bella looked towards the kitchen. "Sorry, I forgot this morning I was in a hurry-"
"I would but it's a heavy load." Jacob retorted, looking at Alice angrily. It was then that Bella realized they were talking about each other. She crossed her arms in front of herself and swallowed uneasily.
"What's going on?" She blurted. "Who's Victoria?"
"She's the queen bee of the vampire colony, spare the Volturi." Alice spat, looking more angry than she'd ever seen her before. "She recruited Edward decades ago and he's been trapped ever since. She tortured him and made him into her little plaything. Then she told him about you, Bella and how he had to kill you."
Jacob tensed next to her and Bella's mouth fell open. "M-me? Why?"
Alice's eyes turned to Jacob. "The dog came back. The deal was they would leave you alone if he never came back to Forks. Obviously the little runt couldn't help himself."
"Pot calling the kettle black." Jacob sneered. "Blood sucking midget."
"Stop!" Bella shouted. "What? Are there more? Who's after me?"
"They're never going to stop now that he broke his end of the bargain. You need to leave and never come back. I mean it – never come back again. It's not too late. They still don't know anything. I can persuade them…they haven't picked a new leader yet – that could take decades. Edward's death will be lost on them." She glared at Jacob. "If I ever see you again…just watch your back."
Jacob stepped forward and Bella grabbed his arm. "What about you? What are they going to do when they find out you told us all this?"
"I'll be fine." She said shortly. "Get out of here. Now."
Jacob put his strong arm around Bella's waist and started to lead her out. Bella looked back to see Alice crouching by Edward and it hurt her heart to leave her but she knew she didn't have a choice. She needed to leave this life behind and start a new one. A new life with Jacob. It was hard to wrap her head around that as they drove off.
"Where are we going to go?" She asked softly.
Jacob took her hand in his and kissed her fingers. "We're going to leave for a little while Bella, but we're going to come back to Forks. I'm not going to take you away from your home because of something I did."
"We're not safe in Forks, Jake."
Jacob turned onto the highway. "You heard what the vampire said. It will take centuries. It isn't fair to you."
"I thought you couldn't trust vampires?"
Jacob's grin calmed her like a warm blanket after being caught in a rain storm. "You did."
This didn't calm her like it should have. "They're strong, Jacob. What if she's mistaken and they really are after us? We can't come back to Forks…ever." The gravity of this was finally laying itself thick on top of her. She would never see her father again. He would die someday without seeing his daughter…he'd begged her to stay just this morning and now she would have given anything to have agreed.
"I'm sorry." Jacob whispered, gripping the wheel. "I shouldn't have come back. I should have let you live your life without knowing the truth – now I've ruing everything because I was selfish. I just wanted to come by that one last time to see…" His voice trailed off and she knew he went to La Push to see the house one more time. To be in the garage, to hold his father's things before it was all lost to time.
"Live my life?" She asked and shook her head. "Jacob, I had no life without you. I was on autopilot. I was existing but that was pretty much it. You're everything to me and I would do anything to stay with you. You can't ask me to live without you again – it's something I just can't do."
Jacob's smile was once again radiant. "I love you so much Bella. I have since I was about ten years old. You've never not been on my mind. It killed me to do what I did, but I didn't see another way out of it." He kept exchanging glances from the road to her, admiring her intense beauty in the moonlight.
"It's okay Jacob. I understand now." She held her hands in her lap. "I'm scared."
His warm hand reached over and covered both hers and squeezed gently. "We'll be okay Bella. We'll think of something once we get out of the danger zone." As if he wanted to prove this point, he pressed down on the gas harder. The car lurched and sped faster on the stretch of highway.
She closed her eyes and was enveloped in the warmth of Jacob's hands in her own. She pulled her thumb out and traced the delicate veins of his hand with it. She was so happy she was with him again and never wanted to leave his side. "Do you remember the night before I left when we were teenagers? You told me that story about those boys and the stars?"
The lines in Jacob's forehead creased as he thought then nodded. "Oh yeah. I remember…why?"
"I always remembered that story because I thought of you as one of those boys…always fighting. I knew you'd protect me and be there for me. You were always my star, Jake."
Epilogue – Ten years later
The sun was shining brighter than it had in days. Bella was scurrying around the house in a sad attempt to gather everything before their trip down to First Beach…for the first time in ten years. They never thought it'd happen, but they were now back in the house her husband Jacob called home, right by First Beach.
They moved in a week ago and everything was a blur, but Bella was thrilled to be back.
"Mama! Lookit!" A little girl of four years old skittered into the small kitchen with her bathing suit, flippers, snorkel, and inflatable duck inner tube around her waist. Bella turned to her daughter and laughed joyfully at her little girl.
"Well Billie Charlotte, aren't you ready for the beach!"
She beamed at her. "I'mma showin Daddy!" She ran off in the direction of the garage as Bella watched her go, smiling and putting a hand on her stomach. It was swollen with their second child, a son. Life had turned out beautiful.
Just as she finished the remainder of packing, Jacob entered the house with their daughter on his hip. "She's ready to go!"
Bella laughed and kissed her cheek. "She is! Billie, go wait for us on the porch, okay?"
She nodded as Jacob put her down and she waddled back out the door. Jacob kissed her neck and put his large hands on her stomach, rubbing gently. "How's my boy and lady?"
"A little bit swollen around the ankles, but other than that we're just happy to be home." She looked up and him and beamed, accepting the kiss he tenderly planted on her lips. "Let's go before she busts. She's so excited to go swimming and have you toss her high in the sky like a bird…her exact words."
Jacob grinned and took the basket from her hands and took her hand with the other. The pair of them walked out and collected their daughter and began their walk to First Beach. The ideal spot wasn't far from their home, and the walk was like taking a trip down memory lane.
She never believed that her life would have ended this way, but she couldn't have imagined it differently. She was married to the love of her life in the most literal way, and they had a beautiful daughter with another on the way. She smiled and tilted her head towards the lingering warmth of the sun, soaking it in through every pore in her body.
"I'm happy to be back too," Jacob whispered to her. He must have been watching her when she didn't realize it.
She blushed and they stopped at their favorite spot. Jacob laid out the towels and helped Bella lower onto it.
"Mama! You should come in the water with me and Daddy!" Billie's voice was shrieking with excitement. She kissed her dark brown hair and saw the same Jacob sparkle in her big brown eyes. "Oh my gosh, oh my gosh, it's gonna be so cold mama! Isn't the water cold?"
Bella smiled. "It's definitely going to be cold, but Daddy will keep you warm, I promise."
"Okay mama! Daddy! Let's get goin'!" She shouted and galloped towards the water. She didn't even seem to notice the flippers were making it harder than necessary. Jacob smirked and slipped his shirt off to follow and the sight still made her breath catch. Her husband was so unbelievably beautiful in every way, she couldn't find the words to express it.
"Whatcha looking at?" Jake's smirk was so incredibly cocky.
She leaned back and pulled her sunglasses onto her face. "Oh, I think you know what I'm looking at. This time I'm lucky enough to be able to order off the menu."
Jacob wiggled his butt at her as he ran off after Billie.
She watched the two of them play in the water and she saw just how alike they looked. It felt so good to be relaxed and just enjoy watching two of the three loves of her life play. It took years for Bella to come to terms with what happened with Edward, Alice, and Victoria. She'd written one letter to Alice when they were between states, but she never got a reply back. Instinctively, she knew that her relationship with Alice was behind her.
She'd saved their lives, and that was the last thing she could do, or was willing to do, for them.
Jacob returned with Billie in his arms. "She got a little taste of sea water."
"It tastes yucky!" Billie sniffed and rubbed her eyes. Bella pulled her over and kissed her hair gently. Billie rested against her mother happily and it was Jacob's turn to admire the simple beauty of this vision. He snatched the bucket closest to them and retrieved some water and sand.
"What are you doin' Daddy?" Billie asked, now over her last episode.
He stuck his hand in the bucket and gently swirled the water around. "Billie…do you know how to make a dribble castle?"
Bella couldn't help but grin.