Disclaimer: All characters belong to Stephenie Meyer. This story is Rated M for adult themes and strong language. Per site rules, you need to be at least 16 to read this story.
A/N – This is my first attempt at writing an all human story. Those familiar with my work know that I usually write imprint stories only. (And to my readers…in case you're wondering, yes, I'm still working on my other stories, Stormy Imprint and Absent Imprint. They will continue to be my top priority.) I'm writing this because I wanted to branch out and try a different genre. There aren't a lot of Jacob/Nessie stories out there that are all human, and usually the AHs make them the same age. This story is a little different as Jacob is Bella's age. When I was a teenager, I would go to used book stores and buy the cheesy 1980's Harlequin Romance novels where the girl always fell in love with the unattainable older man. They were some of my favorites, and I'm writing this story with them in mind. I hope you enjoy it!
I turned away from the mirror where I'd been adjusting my tie to look at my 13-year-old god-daughter Renesmee. She was the image of her father with the exception of her warm chocolate brown eyes…Bella's eyes.
I felt the familiar ache that I always did when I thought of Bella, my ex-girlfriend.
"Nessie, what are you doing here?" I asked in surprise. I was 10 minutes away from getting married to Leah Clearwater. I turned back to look into the mirror as I eyed my tux one more time.
"Jacob…please don't marry Leah," Ness's voice interrupted my inspection.
I looked over at her with a frown. Nessie's eyes were filled with tears. I quickly walked over to her and cupped the side of her face. I'd always been close to Renesmee. From the moment she was born, I'd watched over her and protected her. I loved Bella with all my heart and soul. As Ness was an extension of Bella, I made sure that she never had a care in the world. Edward told me on numerous occasions that I was spoiling his daughter, but I knew that was impossible. Ness was one of the most selfless, caring people I'd ever met…even if she was just a kid.
"Ness, what's got you so upset?" I asked in concern.
"You're making a mistake," Ness suddenly said. "You don't love Leah."
My stomach twisted painfully at her words. Did I love Leah as I loved Bella? No. I had been in love with Bella for over half my life, from the moment she moved to Forks when she was 12 and I was 10. We had become instant best friends. She'd been my first kiss…my first girlfriend. Of course, as soon as Edward Cullen moved into town that all changed. Edward swept Bella off her feet. He was rich, sophisticated, and I'd never stood a chance.
Bella broke up with me and began dating Edward their senior year. We'd miraculously remained friends, and I'd even sucked it up and become amicable towards Edward. I'd rather have had Bella as a friend than not have her in my life at all. When Bella and Edward had turned 18, they'd gotten married and a year later, my god-daughter was born.
I swallowed as I met Nessie's unrelenting stare. "Why don't you think I love Leah?"
"You're only marrying her because she's pregnant," Ness stated firmly.
My hands began to shake in anger. I had told Bella that fact in confidence. How could she discuss that with anyone, especially her impressionable daughter?
"That's none of your business, Renesmee," I snapped and felt instantly ashamed as tears streamed down her cheeks.
"So it's true?" Nessie whispered. "I overheard Mom talking to you about it on the phone but I…I wasn't s-sure."
I sighed before grabbing her hand and pulling her over to the couch that was set up in the room. How did you explain to a 13-year-old girl about facing the consequences of your actions? If Bella hadn't told me that she and Edward were expecting another baby after trying for so many years, I probably wouldn't have slept with Leah that night. But Leah had been my friend for years…even longer than Bella and I had been. She'd just found out that her ex-boyfriend had gotten engaged to her cousin and we'd turned to each other in comfort. Now, I was doing what I felt was best to rectify the situation. I was going to marry the mother of my child. Since I knew I'd never love anyone as much as I loved Bella anyway, why not do the responsible thing and do right by Leah?
"Yes, Leah is pregnant," I admitted.
"But Jake…you don't have to marry her! That idea is so outdated!" Ness insisted.
"Maybe it is…but Ness, I'm 30-years-old. I've always wanted a family and this is my chance. I know given the circumstances, it doesn't seem like I love Leah, but I do," I told her and watched her flinch. I continued gently, "Maybe it's not with all the fire and passion I thought I would have with my wife, but Leah and I have been good friends for a long time. We've talked this over at length, and we both want this."
There was a knock on the door and I heard Leah's brother Seth call out, "Jake, it's time. Are you ready?"
"Yeah, I'll be right there," I returned, standing up.
Nessie stood up too and grabbed my hand, halting me when I went to walk away.
"Jake, please…" Steady tears continued to run down her face. "I…I have something I need to tell you…"
I looked at the door and then back down at my god-daughter. "Can it wait?"
She instantly shook her head before swallowing. "J-Jake…I'm begging you. Please don't marry her. W-wait for me to grow up. I love you, Jacob."
My heart turned tenderly as I stared down at my beautiful, brave girl. Leaning down, I kissed her gently on the forehead and pulled away. Her eyes were closed as tears seeped out from behind her closed lids.
"Nessie," I said softly, grasping her chin lightly. When she opened her liquid brown eyes, I told her, "Someday…you're going to make some guy a very lucky man."
Defeat and heartbreak filled her expression. Pulling away from me, she turned and went to look out the room's window. I could hear music begin to play in the church. Looking back at Ness one more time, I turned and headed towards the door.
Just as my hand reached the doorknob, Nessie spoke up.
"You'll regret it, Jacob," she told me in a voice that was suddenly wise beyond her years. "Someday, you'll look back on this day and wish you'd listened to me."
I stared at her, trying to think of something to say to make her understand. I felt for her. I'd been in her exact position when Bella married Edward 14 years ago.
"I'm sorry, Ness," was all I could get out, before opening the door to face my future.
Chapter 1 – My Angel
Nine Years Later
Pain. Every single molecule in my body was screaming out in excruciating pain. What the fuck happened? One minute I was riding my motorcycle and then…
"Mr. Black? Can you hear me?" An unfamiliar voice asked.
I tried to answer, but I couldn't open my mouth. I felt like I was drowning. All I could taste was blood. Something was shoved down my throat making me want to gag, but I was suddenly, blessedly able to breathe again. My eyelids were shoved open as a light was flashed into my eyes.
People were asking me questions, but I couldn't respond. I wasn't able to move at all, which was beginning to fill me with blind panic. I could hear one authoritative voice order that I be given a sedative and soon after that welcoming darkness overtook me.
From there on out, I was in and out of consciousness. I thought I recognized my sister Rachel's voice and her husband Paul's. Another time, I heard Leah mutter something about how she couldn't handle living with a "cripple." A cripple? What the fuck was she talking about?
Every time I tried to speak, I found that I couldn't muster up the energy to form a single word, let alone ask the questions that were torturing my confused, exhausted brain. At one point, I heard someone crying softly next to my bed. I was conscious enough to realize that they were touching me. One soft hand was holding mine…it felt so delicate and tiny. The other was running soothingly through my hair. It felt good. The sobbing tore at my heart though. I wanted to comfort the person. When I was unable to, I internally began screaming in frustration. What was wrong with me?
"Jacob, please keep fighting," an achingly familiar voice said. "I need you so much…I-I'm not ready for you to leave yet."
Concentrating with every ounce of strength I had, I finally whispered, "Bella."
The caressing hands suddenly disappeared. I groaned and this time, I heard it echo around the room. I tried to turn my head but couldn't. I didn't want her to go away…my angel. The room was suddenly filled with activity.
"It looks like he's coming around," a male voice said. I moaned again. I didn't want that voice. I wanted the one who'd just been speaking to me…my angel.
"Jacob, my name is Dr. Carver. Can you hear me?"
"You gave us quite a scare," the doctor said. "Do you remember what happened?"
I felt myself frown as I tried to focus. I couldn't remember a thing at first and then fuzzy memories began to filter through my mind. I remembered fighting with Leah…again. I was upset because it was the anniversary of our son's death, and she'd wanted to go to some party.
That was the problem about having a ton of money. There was always some place we had to be seen. I had stated, yet again, that I wanted a divorce and Leah had just laughed. I'd gone for a ride on my Harley to cool down when a car suddenly went through a red light and-"
"Accident," I finally answered.
"That's right," Dr. Carver responded. "You've been in a coma for the past two weeks. However, your vitals are looking good."
I opened my eyes and found myself looking into the elderly face of the man speaking to me. I glanced around the room and saw a couple of nurses working over me. I also saw Rachel and Paul standing on the opposite side of the room. I didn't see anyone else. Uncontrollable anger began to swell inside me. Where was she?
"Angel," I murmured.
"What angel, Jake?" My sister asked, looking worriedly at the doctor. He just shook his grayish brown head.
I sighed and repeated, "Angel."
"It's just us," Rachel said, trying not to sound as frightened as she looked.
"You know…why don't you just try to relax, Jacob?" Dr. Carver insisted, his blue eyes looking at me intently as the nurse standing next to my bed injected something into my IV. My eyes rolled in my head and I was out again.
Over the next few days, my room became a flurry of activity. Rachel came to visit me every day. Even my other sister, Rebecca, flew in from Hawaii and spent a couple of days with me. The three of us were all that was left of our family. Our mother had died from cancer when I was still a teenager, and our father had passed away the year before from a heart attack. I really wished he was here right now. I could have used his wisdom to get me through what I was dealing with.
Aside from a concussion, broken arm, and collapsed lung, we also found out that I'd been paralyzed from the waist down. The doctors told me that there was a possibility it was temporary. A body scan showed that I hadn't severed my spinal cord when I flipped off my bike, but there was massive swelling throughout my back. I was able to move my upper body, but my lower half was useless dead weight.
I tried to keep my spirits up, but it was hard. What if I remained paralyzed when the swelling went down? Evidently my beloved wife wondered the same thing. About a week after I had woken up, Leah finally made an appearance.
"Here," she said, handing me an envelope.
"What's this?" I asked, not even bothering to open it.
"I've decided you were right," Leah said, pulling out a cigarette from her purse.
"Leah, you can't smoke that in here," I reminded her. Sighing, she put the unlit cigarette back, and ran her hands through her expertly dyed hair.
"Look Jacob, this marriage was a mistake. If I hadn't gotten pregnant, you wouldn't have married me in the first place. I think it's time we both accept that what we had is over."
Ironic. I'd been telling her that for months…hell, for years, but she would never hear it. We were part of high class society…the toast of Seattle. Leah refused to lose her throne as one of the wealthiest socialites in the state of Washington. I could understand her insecurities in some ways. We'd both grown up poor on the reservation. I'd worked my ass off to build my empire, and Leah had been the perfect trophy wife. But it was an empty existence.
As I glanced at her, I tried to remember that we had been friends at one time. I had even convinced myself during the early years of our marriage that I was in love with her. But when I looked at her now, all I could feel was disgust and anger. Sometimes I thought she was glad that our son died. He would have interfered too much with her social life. I should have never married her. If there were ever two people more incompatible for each other, it was Leah and me.
"So why the divorce now?" I asked her, before waving at my motionless lower body. "Is it because of this?"
"Jacob, I'm sorry," Leah said, holding her chin up in a way that emphasized her plastic surgeon's excellent work. "I'm not good with this."
She nodded in the direction of my body, but wouldn't look at it. It was as if I'd suddenly grown scales and a tail. I couldn't really say I blamed her. If I could escape from myself, I would too.
"Fine," I sighed, closing my eyes to block her out. I was trying very hard not to lose my temper. It seemed that I was always ready to lash out anymore.
"You'll recover Jake…I just know it," Leah tried to assure me, but it was half hearted at best.
"Just go," I responded through gritted teeth.
I heard the taps of her heels on the linoleum grow distant. I opened my eyes again to stare at the wall. So what now? I was a soon-to-be wifeless cripple. Before I could wallow any further in self-pity and depression, my door opened and Bella and Edward Cullen walked in. My heart did its familiar tug of longing as I looked at Bella.
Even at 41, she was just as beautiful to me as she'd been when we were teenagers. Her hair was still a rich dark brown. She normally wore it just past her shoulders, but today she had it back in some kind of twist. There were lines around her mouth and eyes, but they only defined her features in a good way. To me, she was even more desirable than she'd been 20 years ago.
"Jacob, hey," she said as she approached me, giving me a hug. I tried not to dwell on her familiar, incredible scent.
"Hey Bells," I murmured.
"I'm so sorry we weren't here for you earlier. We just got back from taking Oliver to Disneyworld in Florida."
My stomach lurched as I thought about Edward and Bella's son, Oliver. My son would have been about the same age as Ollie, but my son had been stillborn. He'd been beautiful though, with dark hair and perfect features. My little J.J.
"How was the trip?" I asked casually, trying not to dwell on the past.
"It was good, Jacob," Edward spoke up for the first time. "Ollie had a blast."
He looked at me in sympathy. I had a feeling it was because he saw some of the torment on my face, rather than any pity he felt towards my present condition. Edward had always been very good at reading people. I was pretty sure he knew that I had never gotten over Bella.
Pulling my thoughts away from that dangerous path, I wondered, "What about Nessie? Did she have fun?"
My relationship with my god-daughter had grown strained over the years. At one time, I'd been closer to her than anyone. After my marriage to Leah, Ness had avoided me at all costs.
"She didn't go with us," Bella spoke up. "She's studying for her exams right now."
"I'm surprised she didn't come and see you," Edward said with a frown.
Truth be told, I was too. Even with our differences, I couldn't believe Nessie was so unfeeling towards me that she wouldn't come and visit. She lived and attended school in Seattle, for Christ's sake. She probably lived only a few minutes from the hospital. I took a deep breath as I forced myself to rein in my temper again.
"It sounds like she's pretty busy right now," I replied through gritted teeth, trying not to show my hurt.
"It's probably that guy she's involved with," Bella said disdainfully.
Edward chuckled. "He's pre-med Bella. I don't think he's out to corrupt any souls."
"He's not good enough for our daughter," Bella remarked.
"Well, who is though?" I tried to joke.
"Who is indeed," Bella murmured, her eyes lingering briefly on my face before she turned to her husband. "We should probably get going."
"We're going to be staying with my sister and Jasper while we're here," Edward told me. "Ollie's with them right now, in fact."
"Oh…okay," I replied, trying not to look too disappointed. They just got here after all.
"We'll come see you tomorrow," Bella assured me. "And if I can track down that daughter of mine, I'll make sure she comes to visit you too."
"Thanks Bells, I'd like that," I said, suddenly drained.
She leaned down and kissed my cheek. "You'll get through this Jacob. You're one of the strongest people I know."
And with that, she and Edward left me alone with my thoughts. What was I going to do with my life if I remained impaired? I really didn't need to work. I had started off as a mechanic in a garage when I was a teen. By the time I was 20, I owned my own shop. When I reached 25, Edward's sister, Alice, talked me into growing my business and buying another shop outside of Port Angeles. She was an investor and convinced me that it would be a good idea. She also took some money I gave her and put it into the stock market. Even in a recession, she knew when to buy and when to sell. By the time I was 35, "Jacob's Garage" was a successful chain throughout the state of Washington, and I was a millionaire several times over. Now, I worked behind a desk…something I could easily do at home. If there were complaints, I had well paid managers who could handle them.
My thoughts turned to La Push. I was technically supposed to have inherited the title of "Chief." It was my father's before me, but since I didn't live on the reservation, I passed the title to my sister, Rachel. She was the first woman chief in our tribal history and she excelled in the role. I hadn't forgotten my roots though. I had donated plenty of money to the rez over the years, and the people used it to make improvements. La Push was now building up a reputation of being an "eco" tourist place to visit for bored suburbanites.
Maybe my next step in life would be to go back to La Push for awhile. I owned property there. After donating a million dollars to the reservation, they had let me build a green home that sat on the cliffs overlooking the ocean. It might be just the place I needed to go to recuperate. And if my body didn't heal, then I could always throw myself off the cliff…or should I say, roll myself off. I chuckled at my own dark humor as I waited for Dr. Carver to make his rounds. When he came to check on my progress, I told him my idea of returning home.
"I'm okay with that," the doctor replied hesitantly. "But you'll need to hire someone to go with you. You're going to need assistance with your physical therapy exercises. You'll also need to set up an appointment with the hospital in Forks so that you'll continue to get monitored care."
"Okay," I replied, my spirits lifting for the first time since I'd regained consciousness. The longing to go home was suddenly overwhelming. I told Edward and Bella my plans when they came to visit me the next day.
"You know what," Bella said excitedly. "This is perfect. Nessie is training to be a physical therapist. She's already certified as a physical therapy assistant. Her summer break starts soon. I'm sure she'd be willing to help you if we asked."
I snorted. I was pretty sure given Ness's disdain for me that she'd sooner help me off a cliff than assist me…how convenient that one would be so readily available for her.
"What do you think, Edward?" Bella asked her husband.
"I'm not sure," Edward frowned.
Bella rolled her eyes. "C'mon Edward, it's not like Jake is going to seduce our baby. He'll be the perfect gentleman, won't you Jake?"
"Yeah, there's no problem there. I can't seduce anyone right now," I reminded them both.
"That's the thing…there's a possibility that you can," Edward replied, crossing his arms over his chest.
I sometimes forgot that Edward was a doctor. Granted he was a psychologist, but I was pretty sure he dealt with patients in my condition before. I also had the humiliating feeling that he talked to his dad about my case. Carlisle was a world renowned doctor who lived and worked out of Forks. I could just imagine the two of them discussing my sex life.
"Well, Ness and Jacob are both adults," Bella told her husband dismissively. "Besides, I trust Jake to do the right thing."
"Thanks Bells," I muttered, my cheeks burning. I eyed Edward who was still looking at me suspiciously. "Look…even if Ness agreed to help me, which I doubt she will, I can promise you I won't touch her. She's just a kid."
"She's not a kid. She's a 22-year-old woman," Edward reminded me. I was actually a little startled to hear that. When had Nessie grown up?
"You still have nothing to worry about…she's my god-daughter, Edward. I don't have any intention of seducing her. I'm too old for her anyway."
"You're 39. I don't think you're ready for the retirement home just yet," Edward huffed.
"Edward, enough," Bella finally said in an exasperated tone. "If Ness can help Jacob, then she's going to help him. I'd feel better knowing that Jake's being cared for by someone he knows rather than some unfeeling stranger. I'm going to call Renesmee right now."
Edward and I stared at each other uncomfortably before he broke away and went over to glance out the window. Bella left the room to make her call. I was left staring up at the ceiling, trying not to get too hopeful. I seriously doubted Nessie would help me. I'd have to go through the hassle of finding and hiring someone else, but at least I'd be back home.
Still…I really hoped it would be Ness that oversaw my care. Bella came back about 10 minutes later. She had a satisfied smile on her face.
Renesmee had said yes.
A/N - Please review and let me know what you think! If you'd like to see the story's banner, go to my profile page and click on the link to my photobucket account. It's in the "Story Banners" album.