Disclaimer: for the last time, I do not own twilight or the twilight saga or any sparkly vampires or an Aston Martian Vanquish. A girl can dream though.
She stared at me, obviously waiting for me to say something along the lines of, just kidding, Bella!
When she realised no words were forthcoming, she answered me with a curious mix of emotions, curiosity, indignation, chagrin, and suspicion.
"Okay. What's the punch line?"
I sighed. I knew she would react something like this. It was so Bella.
"You're wounding my ego, Bella. I just proposed to you, and you think it's a joke." I tried to keep my exasperated face, hiding the tumult of emotions of underneath. What had I expected her to say? I had always known she would never jump up and down, screaming yes. I had hoped though. she didn't know how much I wanted this. Couldn't she tell, by what I was offering in return?
"Edward, please be serious." She looked at me, slightly anxious.
"I am one hundred percent serious." I answered, gazing into her now worried eyes.
"Oh, C'mon," she said, her voice climbing through the octaves and sounding slightly hysterical. "I'm only eighteen."
But I wasn't giving up that easy. "Well, I'm nearly a hundred and ten. It's time I settled down."
I saw the hint of panic she was trying to hide as she looked out the window.
"Look marriage isn't exactly that high on my list of priorities, you know? It was sort of the kiss of death for Renée and Charlie." She looked back at me, her face under slightly more control, but her eyes gave her away.
"Interesting choice of words." I commented mildly.
"You know what I mean." She muttered, annoyed.
I inhaled deeply and unnecessarily. Why didn't she want this?
"Please don't tell me that you're afraid of the commitment." I asked disbelievingly.
"That's not it exactly." She said slowly. "I'm...afraid of Renée. She has some really intense opinions on getting married before you're thirty." And the look on her face proved it.
"Because she'd rather you become one of the eternal damned than get married." I laughed darkly and the unbelievable words.
Bella looked at me quite seriously. "You think you're joking."
I was being selfish, and I knew it, but I wanted this so much. Time to pull out the ace. I knew something she wanted just as much.
"Bella, if you compare the level of commitment between a marital union as opposed to battering your soul in exchange for an eternity as a vampire..." I shook my head, wondering how long it would take for her to interrupt. "If you're not brave enough to marry me, then—" I didn't wait long.
"Well," she interrupted. "What if I did? What if I told you to take me to Vegas now? Would I be a vampire in three days?" she asked, attempting a look of innocence.
I smiled widely, calling her bluff instantly. "Sure," I answered quickly. "I'll get my car."
He face fell. "Dammit." She muttered. "I'll give you eighteen months."
I almost felt like laughing. "No deal," I said, grinning. "I like this condition."
She tried her stubborn face. "Fine, I'll have Carlisle do it when I graduate."
"If that's what you really want." I shrugged nonchalantly, smiling my most innocent smile. I was pretty sure she would change her mind before graduation.
"You're impossible." She groaned. "A monster."
I chuckled. "Is that why you won't marry me?"
All she did was groan again.
I didn't want to wait though. I wanted this now.
I leaned in closer, trying to keep a hold of my thoughts as her deep brown eyes scattered my concentration.
"Please, Bella?" I breathed, trying my best to dazzle her. She stopped breathing for a moment before shaking her head quickly, obviously trying to clear her mind but answering a stubborn no at the same time.
"Would this have gone better if I'd had time to get a ring?" I asked, smiling.
"No! No rings!" she very nearly shouted, throwing me off balance but also waking Charlie.
"Now you've done it." I whispered.
She looked at me apologetically. "Oops."
"Charlie's getting up; I'd better leave." I said with resignation. I would keep an eye on her, but I wouldn't be near enough to feel the warmth of her body, or stare into her gorgeous eyes.
Bella's reaction was much stronger than mine. Her heart stopped beating, and her whole face filled with fear and pain. I gauged her expression for a second. It was painfully obvious she didn't want me to leave. I thought about it for a very small portion of a second. "Would it be childish of me to hide in your closet, then?"
"No," she whispered eagerly, her face brightening instantly with a smile. "Stay. Please."
I smiled before moving over to her closet and shutting the door in much less than a second.
I peered through the hole in the doors, watching her face. She was waiting for Charlie with a mixture of longing and frustration. I watched, amused, as she mouthed the word 'cheater' to herself.
The bedroom door creaked open, Charlie slightly hesitant.
"Oh, hey, Bella." He sounded embarrassed at being caught. "I didn't know you were awake."
"Yeah." Bella replied smiling. "I've just been waiting for you to wake up so I could have a shower."
She started to get up, but Charlie wasn't having it.
"Hold on," He said gruffly, turning the lights on. Bella blinked in the sudden light.
"Let's talk for a minute first."
Bella grimaced. I remembered we had forgotten to ask Alice for an excuse.
"You know you're in trouble." Charlie tried to sound angry but relief was evident even in his muffled thoughts.
"Yeah, I know."
"I just about went crazy these last three days. I come home from Harry's funeral, and you're gone. Jacob could only tell me that you'd run off with Alice Cullen, and that he thought you were in trouble. You didn't leave me a number, and you didn't call. I didn't know where you were or when-or if-you were coming back. Do you have any idea how...how..." words failed him as he drew in a sharp breath. Bella sat still, guilt thick on her face.
He moved on. "Can you give me one reason why I shouldn't ship you off to Jacksonville this second?"
I watched as Bella's eyes narrowed. She sat up straighter, pulling the quilt around her.
"Because I won't go." She said, blatantly.
I stood there silently in Bella's closet, her beautiful floral freesia scent engulfing me, listening as Charlie's anger began to build. I didn't know what Bella was playing at. Did she want to get kicked out? Then she could live with me...
"Now just one minute, young lady—"
Bella cut in. "Look, Dad, I accept complete responsibility for my actions, and you have the right to ground me for as long as you want. I will also do all the chores and laundry and dishes until you think I've learned my lesson. And I guess you're within your rights if you want to kick me out, too—but that wouldn't make me go to Florida."
I could imagine the colour Charlie's face would be right now. He breathed deeply a few times before continuing.
"Would you like to explain where you've been?"
I peered at Bella again, watching as her face as she realised she had no excuse.
"There was...an emergency." She stated, somewhat hesitantly. I wondered how she would get out of this.
She took a deep breath in before blowing the air out noisily.
"I don't know what to tell you, Dad. It was mostly a misunderstanding. He said, she said. It got out of hand."
Well, she was mostly sticking to the truth.
"See, Alice told Rosalie about me jumping off the cliff..." I watched her scramble for words then stop suddenly. Charlie obviously didn't know about the cliff diving.
"I guess I didn't tell you about that," she managed to choke out. "It was nothing, just messing around, swimming with Jake. Anyway, Rosalie told Edward, and he was upset." That was putting it mildly. "She sort of made it sound like I was trying to kill myself or something. He wouldn't answer his phone, so Alice dragged me to...L.A, to explain in person." She shrugged and I was left thinking about how incredibly close to the truth she had gotten. Unfortunately, this fantastic excuse was almost lost on Charlie.
"Were you trying to kill yourself, Bella?"
"No, of course not. Just having fun with Jake. Cliff diving. The La Push kids do it all the time. Like I said, nothing."
Anger began to creep back into Charlie. "What's it to Edward Cullen anyway?" his words left me dazed. His anger brought back what I had done to Bella. "All this time, he's just left you dangling without a word—"
Bella cut in quickly, her face like stone. "Another misunderstanding."
"So is he back then?" he demanded.
Confusion crossed her features. "I'm not sure what the exact plan is. I think they all are."
"I want you to stay away from him, Bella. I don't trust him. He's rotten for you. I won't let him mess you up like that again." Each word was like a blow, because it was true.
"Fine." Bella answered quickly and I froze. Did she mean that?
Charlie rocked back on his heels, obviously relieved. The exact opposite to what I was feeling.
"Oh." He scrambled quickly, exhaling loudly in surprise. "I thought you were going to be difficult."
"I am. I meant, 'Fine, I'll move out.'" Bella looked at him strongly.
I breathed out silently in relief.
She went on quickly. "Dad, I don't want to move out." Bella said in a much softer tone. "I love you. I know you're worried, but you need to trust me on this. And you're going to have to ease up on Edward if you want me to stay. Do you want me to live here or not?"
"That's not fair, Bella. You know I want you to stay."
"Then be nice to Edward, because he's going to be where I am." She said it with such conviction that I smiled.
"Not under my roof." Charlie refused to accept what Bella was saying.
She sighed heavily. "Look, I'm not going to give you more ultimatums tonight—or I guess it's this morning. Just think about it for a few days, okay? But keep in mind that Edward and I are sort of a package deal."
"Bella—" Charlie stuttered.
"Think it over," she insisted. "And while you're doing that, could you give me some privacy? I really need a shower."
Charlie hesitated before leaving, slamming the door and storming down the stairs.
I moved at inhuman speed, settling into the rocking chair in the corner. Exactly where I used to sit and watch Bella sleep before she knew what I was.
"Sorry about that." She whispered, gazing at me lovingly.
"It's not as if I don't deserve far worse." I murmured quietly. "Don't start anything with Charlie over me, please."
"Don't worry about it." She breathed as she gathered up her things for her shower. "I will start exactly as much as necessary, and no more than that. Or are you trying to tell me I have nowhere to go?" she widened her eyes in false alarm.
I couldn't help but smirk. "You'd move into a house full of vampires?"
"That's probably the safest place for someone like me. Besides..." she grinned cheekily. "If Charlie kicks me out, then there's no need for a graduation deadline, is there?"
I flexed my jaw. "so eager for eternal damnation." I muttered.
"You know you don't really believe that."
"Oh, don't I?" I fumed quietly.
"No. You don't." She stated, sure of herself.
I looked angrily at her, before opening my mouth to speak, but she cut me off.
"If you really believed that you'd lost your soul, then when I found you in Volterra, you would have realized immediately what was happening, instead of thinking we were both dead together. But you didn't—you said 'amazing, Carlisle was right," she reminded me, triumphant. "There's hope in you, after all."
I was speechless, because she was absolutely right.
"So let's both just be hopeful, all right?" she suggested, looking over to me. "Not that it matters. If you stay, I don't need heaven."
I got up slowly, putting my hands on her perfect face and staring into her eyes.
"Forever." I whispered.
"That's all I'm asking for." She said, stretching up on her toes so she could press her lips to mine.
Almost everything went back to normal. Carlisle was welcomed back to the hospital with open arms, many of the female employees unable to hide their delight that Esme had found life in L.A so little to her liking. Bella have missed work while abroad, so as it stood, Alice and I had better grades to pass than she did. Finding Bella a college became a top priority, as I knew I would be accepted pretty much anywhere. I had a new stack of applications for her to fill out every day, with varying degrees of bribery needed. I hid that particular little fact from Bella, but I'm sure she had guessed.
Charlie was very unhappy with Bella, and tried to pretend that I didn't exist with different levels of anger. I was allowed to visit Bella, but only in my designated visiting hours. That might have worked with any other boyfriend, but being able to silently climb through Bella's upstairs window defiantly had its perks.
I had resumed school, but now had every class with Bella. Mike's expression and thought on my first day back had left me near hysterics. The hatred he felt towards me only seemed to have increased.
Bella was happy again, with one little expression. She still missed the dog. I tried to control my feelings and language when she brought up the subject, which was annoyingly a lot of late. He was ignoring her completely, refusing to answer her calls, and because of her 'house arrest' she wasn't at liberty to go and see him. I was secretly relieved at this. I knew I couldn't cross the treaty line without provoking a war, and I couldn't let Bella near that dog in fear of her getting hurt. He had so little self control because he was still a child. He may have been taller than me, but that was all he could lay claim to.
We were in the middle of another one of these Jacob conversations as I picked Bella up from work. The windscreen fogged slightly as Bella entered the car, the driving rain making it even harder to see, if I had been human of course.
I patiently listened to her angry outburst, speaking quietly and trying very hard not to hurt her feelings. As much as I hated him, Bella liked him, and so I had to be civil and understanding when this topic came around.
Bella finished her little rant and looked at me, smiling half-heartedly. I wasn't paying much attention though.
Charlie's head was filled with undiluted anger. Something red flashed through his mind, but I wasn't quite able to hear it.
"Your already in more trouble, Bella." I had no doubt about who he was angry with. His yelling was almost as loud as his thoughts.
Bella slid closer to me, her heart beat rising. She looked out, following my gaze.
"What? What is it?" she asked in a timid voice.
I took a deep breath. I knew what Charlie was angry about now. "Charlie..."I started.
"My Dad?" she yelled sitting up straighter.
I turned my face towards her, my calmness managing to settle her heart rate a little.
I could hear the dog as well, his cussing quite loud.
I started again. "Charlie... is probably not going to kill you, but he's thinking about it."
I started driving again, realising I had stopped in my concentration. The rain had also slowed to a light drizzle.
I pulled past the house, parking slightly before the trees of the surrounding forest.
Bella was still staring at me, shock distorting her features. "What did I do?" she asked me, sounding highly uneasy.
I looked back towards the house, there, sitting loud and proud on Charlie's driveway, was Bella's motorbike from her daredevil days.
"No!" she gasped. "Why? Why would Jacob do this to me?" she looked absolutely appalled, before anger began to colour her cheeks. Tears sprang to her eyes, tears of anger.
"Is he still here?" she hissed.
"Yes he's waiting for us there." I told her, nodding towards the slender path that split the dark fringe of the forest in two.
Quickly she launched herself out of the car, her slender hands curled into tight fists. What did she think she was doing?
I quickly followed her, wrapping my arms around her warm, delicate waist before she made the path.
She struggled slightly before yelling. "Let me go! I'm going to murder him! Traitor!" she shouted the epithet towards the trees.
"Charlie will hear you." I tried to quieten her, but she still tried to escape my grasp. I didn't let go. There was no way she was going near the pup. "And once he gets you inside, he may brick over the doorway." I wasn't exaggerating either. Charlie had heard her, and his anger was rising.
"Just give me one round with Jacob then I'll deal with Charlie." She struggled futilely to break free.
"Jacob Black wants to see me. That's why he's still here."
Bella became completely still and I almost dropped her. Fear began to creep into her eyes. She mouthed the words Paris falls. Was that a Romeo and Juliet quote?
"Talk?" she asked very quietly.
Jacob's thought were starting to annoy me, so my answer wasn't very articulated.
"More or less." I muttered staring at Jacob through the trees, his face bitter.
"How much more?" Bella asked, her voice shaking.
I looked down at her. She was scared. Then I realised the significance of the quote. They were the stage directions for the return of Romeo. They fight; Paris falls.
I knew that was Bella's favourite Shakespeare, and both her and I had previously pointed out parallels to our love. Obviously she associated Jacob with Paris. It was a fair association.
I brushed some stray hair from her face. "Don't worry," I murmured soothingly. "He's not here to fight me. He's acting as... spokesperson for the pack." I struggled to complete the sentence without hurting her feelings.
"Oh." She said, calming slightly.
A particularly large swearword caught my attention as Charlie's impatience grew.
I tightened my arms around Bella's waist and pulled her quickly towards the woods.
"We should hurry. Charlie's getting impatient." I offered as way of explanation.
We found Jacob waiting further up the path, his face twisted in hate. A low snarl made its way up my throat, to low for Bella to hear. Jacob's hearing was better however.
His mouth stretched into a humourless sneer, and he shrugged away from the tree.
Ha, Bloodsucker's shorter than I am. He noted with pleasure.
As soon as I was sure Bella could see him I stopped, leaving as much distance between us as possible.
I turned my body, shifting Bella so that she was behind me. I hated her being even this close to him. I watched with anger and unease as his fists shook, showing his lack of control.
I felt Bella lean around me to stare at him, and felt slightly happier when her anger registered with him.
"Bella." Jacob said as a greeting nodding once to her without taking his eyes off me.
"Why?" Bella's little heartbroken whisper asked. "How could you do that to me Jacob?"
Pain rippled through the dog as he realised how much that hurt her. He didn't want to hurt her, but thought it was for the best.
His sneer disappeared, but his face was still hard. "It's for the best." He voiced his thoughts.
"What's that supposed to mean?" she demanded, anger creeping back into her voice. "Do you want Charlie to strangle me? Or did you want him to have a heart attack like Harry? No matter how mad you are at me, how could you do this to him?"
His resolve faltered, his eyebrows pulling together in thought.
I replayed what he thought to Bella, she deserved to know.
"He didn't want to hurt anyone—he just wanted to get you grounded, so that you wouldn't be allowed to spend time with me." Anger and outrage flashed across Jacob's face at the intrusion into his mind, but quickly disappeared again.
"Aw, Jake!" Bella groaned. "I'm already grounded! Why do you think I haven't been down to La Push to kick your butt for avoiding my phone calls?" again, I was thankful for Charlie's stringent rules.
For the first time, the Dogs eyes flashed to Bella's face, confusion showing through.
"That's why?" he asked her. Damn, I thought it was him that was stopping her.
I explained again. "He thought I wouldn't let you, not Charlie."
"Stop that." He snapped, and I let out another very soft growl. Who was he to tell me what to do?
Jacob shuddered once, gritting his teeth.
"Bella wasn't exaggerating about your..." his mind flashed to that memory, him and Bella on the beach. "...abilities. so you must already know why I'm here."
"Yes, but before you begin I need to say something." I wondered how he would take this. I needed to do this but I didn't know if he could take it.
"Thank you." I said, sincerity ringing with every letter. "I will never be able to tell you how grateful I am. I will owe you for the rest of my...existence." I tried to find the right word. Jacob was looking at me in shock.
"For keeping Bella alive," I clarified, watching as he cast a look to Bella. "When I...didn't."
"Edward—" Bella started to say, but I held my hand up, intent on Jacob.
Understanding rushed through him before his cold mask returned. "I didn't do it for your benefit."
"I know. But that doesn't erase the gratitude I feel." My change from hatred to gratitude startled him, leaving him slightly off balance.
"I thought you should know. If there's ever anything in my power to do for you..." I trailed off.
Jacob eyed me suspiciously, raising one brow. How about you leave?
I shook my head. "That's not in my power."
"Whose then?" he growled.
I looked down at my beautiful Bella, enjoying the sight of her. "Hers. I'm a quick learner Jacob Black, and I don't make the same mistake twice. I'm here till she orders me away."
Bella looked up at me a slight smile turning her lips upwards.
"Never." She whispered, and my heart swelled.
Jacob made a gagging sound and Bella turned towards him, a slight frown replacing her happy expression.
"Was there something else you needed, Jacob?" I noticed how she was using his full name again and I smiled. "You wanted me in trouble—mission accomplished." She went on. "Charlie might just send me to military school. But that won't keep me away from Edward. There's nothing that can do that. What more do you want?"
Jacob kept his eyes on me, going through the rules of the treaty, but keeping something from me.
"I just needed to remind your bloodsucking friends of a few key points in the treaty they agreed to. The treaty is the only thing stopping me from ripping his throat out right this minute." Then he let it slip. The thought he was trying to hide from me. This couldn't end well.
"We haven't forgotten." I said at the same time Bella demanded, "What key points?"
Jacob was still glaring at me, but he answered her.
"The treaty is quite specific. If any of them bite a human, the truce is over. Bite not kill." He emphasized. He looked at Bella.
I felt her stiffen next to me. "That's none of your business." She said coldly.
"The hell it—" Jacob began, but then the implications of her words hit him.
He almost started convulsing, but didn't phase. He was close though.
"Jake? You okay?"Bella asked anxiously.
She took a half step towards him, but quickly pulled her back behind me. "Careful! He's not under control." I warned her. She was too compassionate for her own good.
Jacob scowled at me, pure hate evident in his eyes. "Urg. I would never hurt her."
Neither me nor Bella missed the inflection, or the accusation it contained. A slightly louder hiss escaped my lips, and I knew Bella heard it.
"Bella!" Charlie's roar echoed from the direction of the house. "YOU GET IN THIS HOUSE THIS INSTANT!"
We all froze, listening the silence that followed.
Bella spoke, but her voice trembled. "Crap."
Jacob's furious expression faltered. "I am sorry about that," he muttered. "I had to do what I could—I had to try..."
"Thanks." The tremor in her voice ruining the sarcasm.
I could quite clearly hear Charlie pacing, and decided to finish the conversation.
"Just one more thing," I said to Bella before turning to Jacob. "We've found no trace of Victoria on our side of the line—have you?"
"The last time was while Bella was...away. We let her think she was slipping through—we were tightening the circle, getting ready to ambush her, but the she took off like a bat out of hell. Near as we can tell, she caught your little female's scent and bailed. She hasn't come near our lands since."
I nodded. "When she comes back, she's not your problem anymore. We'll—"
"She killed on our turf," he hissed. "She's ours!"
"No—" Bella began, only to be cut off by Charlie.
"BELLA! I SEE HIS CAR AND I KNOW YOU'RE OUT THERE! IF YOU AREN'T INSIDE THIS HOUSE IN ONE MINUTE...!" Charlie didn't bother to finish his threat.
"Let's go." I said quickly.
"Sorry," he whispered so low, Bella wouldn't have heard him. "Bye, Bells."
"You promised." She reminded him desperately. "Still friends, right?"
He shook his head slowly.
"You know how hard I've tried to keep that promise, but...I can't see how to keep trying. Not now..."
He looked upset, and of course Bella immediately forgave him for everything. She was just like that.
"Miss you." He mouthed stretching his arm out in a last ditch effort.
"Me too." Bella choked out, moving her hand out in an imitation of his.
"Jake..." she tried to take a step towards him, but I held her back. I just couldn't let her go. Not to him. What if she never came back? What is he took her from me? I just couldn't handle it.
"It's okay." She looked up at me, trying to show me the trust she felt.
I knew my expression was cold. "No, it's not."
"Let her go." Jacob snarled at me, furious again. "She wants to!" He took two long steps forward. A glint of anticipation flashed in his eyes. He shuddered, getting ready to phase.
I pushed Bella behind myself, wheeling to face Jacob, my expression identical to his.
"No! Edward—!" Bella tried to cut in.
"Come on! Charlie's mad!" her voice was panicked again, but not for Charlie.
They fight; Paris falls. Yeah, I wish.
She tugged on my arm, and I relaxed again. Another time then.
I pulled her back slowly, always keeping my eyes on the dog as we retreated.
Just as he vanished behind the trees, pain crossed his features, but it was nothing, nothing, compared to how I would feel if Bella left me.
We walked back to the house, but Bella dragged her feet, looking in panic towards the house that contained the very angry Charlie.
I squeezed her gently. "I'm here." I whispered in her ear.
She took a deep breath and walked towards the house.
Yes, I was here, and he wasn't. Jacob Black would fight dirty, I knew that.
But just because I was a gentleman didn't mean I wouldn't fight harder.
That was the last chapter of new moon! Yay!! I hoped you all liked it and I was up to scratch with Edward's POV. Thankyou so much for all of the reviews! I love to read them :) so maybe you can give me one for finishing this story because they make me smile
Thanks for reading.