A/N: First off, thank you for checking out my story. This is for all of you out there who, like me, felt robbed after reading Breaking Dawn, wishing for a different outcome. S. Meyer went through a lot of trouble writing her last book, but I don't feel it was written for me. She clearly wrote it for her and that's fine. I'm not anti-Edward but I don't feel she ended it well. To me, it didn't fit in with the rest of her books, everything we've come to know about her characters and their world was conveniently changed and/or forgotten. There were more plot holes and questions by the end of the book than were going in. I could have lived with Bella ending up with Edward IF Meyer had convinced me that that was the most natural, ideal course, but it never felt "honest." It felt contrived. My story picks up at the end of Eclipse and progresses from there. I've tried to keep the characters and situations close to the books but ONLY the first three and only to a degree. Things like cursing and technology and real life reactions to things were uncharacteristically absent in her books, so I've added them to my story, hopefully it's not too distracting. Also, any information added after the fact by S. Meyer in interviews, her website, wiki pages, or her other works have not been included here. I have read some and I've abstained from using them on the basis that it gives me a little more leeway to write my version. (So basically if it isn't in the first three books you won't see it here. Just my version.) Also, my story will bear no resemblance to Breaking Dawn at all, I hope that's okay. The differences will be noticeable but hopefully nothing too sudden or outlandish, it's a process. This is not intended to be three-to-four books long with a dozen sequels. This is it, the finale. This is intended to go the way I thought the final installment should have gone if it had stayed true to the previous books' plot and characters and the direction they were heading. I needed finality, I needed closure and I needed an ending I could believe actually could have happened. That's not to say there aren't other equally fitting versions out there, but this one is mine and I'm sticking to it lol. I thank Mrs. Meyer from the bottom of my heart for giving us all such rich characters to work with. Even though I don't believe Breaking Dawn was written for me, I still appreciate all the work she put into it and what sort of internalization a person goes through when writing the final book in a series. She probably didn't want to let it go lol.
1. the act of going back; return.
2. to revert to an earlier or less advanced state or form
Just two weeks into his very public convalescence, Jacob was already going stir crazy. Sitting in his living room, watching yet another movie, he was getting bored.
"Convalescing sucks," he muttered, using Dr. Cullen's word.
As if it isn't bad enough that he has to pretend to be healing (when in fact he was all but completely healed just days after the battle), sitting and doing nothing gave him a lot of time to think, the exact thing he really didn't want to do. There's just no way to keep the mind busy when it's already crammed full of something else...someone else.
I never used to have a hard time saying or thinking her name before, he thought, shaking his head.
Reading seemed to only make it worse. Even non-romance stories have some element of love or sex in them. The more he read about other people's situations the more he thought about his own and TV was no better. Disgusted with the lack of anything to watch, he clicked the OFF button. Still sitting on the couch, he ran his hands through his now shoulder-length hair, closed his eyes and tried to not think of past events. But the more he tried to not think of her, the more he did.
He tried to not think of her while remembering how they shared some pretty intense kissing on the mountain. He tried to not think of her when thoughts of the battle ran through his mind, and he desperately tried to not think of her the last time he saw her, in his room saying goodbye.
Another reason for trying to force all thoughts of her out of his head is because it was hard to think of one and not the other, and the very thought of him made Jacob's blood boil. Of course "the other" is the treacherous leech, Edward Cullen, as Jacob would say. A low guttural noise stumbled out every time his name was either spoken or thought of.
Ever since the battle in the clearing, the pack have been talking of nothing else, much to Jacob's dismay. He didn't need any more reminders. The guys even stopped coming over because Jacob kept throwing them out. Every time he turned around it was, the vampires this and the pack did that. He couldn't even work on his car on the off chance that Charlie might stop by and visit. A regular person with as many injuries as Jacob had wouldn't be in any kind of shape to work on his car. It was maddening.
He was actually glad when vamp doc extraordinaire, Carlisle, forbad him from changing into his wolf form until they were sure that all of his 39 fractures were healed correctly. If it was just a fracture and the bones hadn't broken through, they could heal on their own. But there were plenty of bones that weren't only broken, they were crushed. Some of the bones were shattered so severely they had pierced through muscle, cartilage and skin and were dangerously close to puncturing some organs. Anyone else would have died from shock.
He couldn't even run around in human form for fear of being seen by some stray camper or hunter. It's just as well he couldn't change. He definitely wasn't in the mood to share his thoughts right now.
It was strange having a vampire as his physician. Aside from his smell, each time Carlisle had to go in and re-break a bone that had set wrong was a test in strength and willpower for Jacob and the pack. Even stranger than that was how being around him didn't instill the same hate and instinctual behavior that the other Cullens induce. Still, to sit and watch a vampire effortlessly break your bones in front of the wolves was disturbing. It took great trust and strength on their part not to do what came naturally.
But Carlisle really is different. Bella had told Jacob so, but it took something like this for him to see it. It didn't occur to him until later that this was probably every bit as uncomfortable for Carlisle, too. They literally couldn't have gone anywhere else for this kind of care. The pack was grateful to him, as were the Blacks.
Jacob could feel the tender spot over his knee that Carlisle had re-set just the day before. The memory flooded back to him:
"Well, it's all looking really good, Jacob," Carlisle smiled as he was putting the finishing touches on the bandage over Jacob's knee. "We have nearly all of your fractures aligned properly now so your recuperative powers can do its job. As long as you don't move around too much for a few more days or transform, it all should repair itself. It'll be as if nothing happened. It really is amazing to watch you boys heal. It's like nothing we Cullens have ever seen. Even to a vampire, it seems almost instantaneous. We heal very differently. Fast by human standards and we can almost completely undo any kind of injury, but it can take days, even weeks to completely reassemble. But you boys..." Carlisle shook his head. "I thought we had seen everything. We're a hard lot to surprise," he said, chuckling to himself.
Carlisle was clearly trying to pay Jacob a compliment, and Jacob could tell the good doctor was really trying. Jacob smiled back but only a little. Carlisle really does seem like a nice guy and a good physician, but Jacob wasn't in a socializing mood these days. Carlisle seemed to understand, and they were both careful not to mention any of the events of that fateful day in the clearing or the events to follow, even though some masochistic part of himself really wanted to. He was sure Carlisle had heard everything there was to hear from Edward and maybe Bella, too, by now.
Jacob knew he wouldn't be seeing either one of them any time soon, but somewhere in his heart he did hope to see Bella again. Hope is an ugly word. He didn't like how it made him feel like things were possible when he knew it wasn't. Because even though somewhere inside he really did want to see her, he knew she would only come out of pity, and nothing would be different. He really didn't want to go through that again. He didn't like the look in her eyes the last time he saw her.
He only wanted to see her if she came to say she had changed her mind or had some other unlikely epiphany. And for this reason, even though he wanted to see her, a large part of him knew he shouldn't. Too much has been said. Too much has been done. They could never go back to being what they were and they would never be what they ought to have been. It was hell.
Knowing Carlisle was Jacob's only link to her made being around him that much harder. Jacob was tempted to ask about her, but forced himself not to.
"It'll be as if nothing happened…"
Jacob marveled at those words. In fact, so much had happened it was hard to remember it all, and almost nothing he cared to remember.
I wish nothing had happened. I wish all of it hadn't happened, he thought.
Feeling agitated, Jacob got up to pace the room. His living room was small but he didn't care, moving was moving.
He thought, it's almost worth it not being able to change just to keep from hearing Seth go on and on about HIM. Of course Seth is just a kid still, but one fight with a baby Drac and all of a sudden his high step is a little higher and he thinks he's really something. That pup better bring himself down to earth before I remind him just how far down the totem pole he really is.
But always having a soft spot in his heart for Seth, he really couldn't blame the kid for his fascination with the vampires. After all, Seth didn't fight alongside his pack, he fought with Edward, Jacob rationalized. They were a team. Naturally the kid's gonna feel some kind of something about that. Maybe I'm a little jealous, Seth used to idolize me once upon a time.
More time passed but not enough to matter. After Jacob received the happy couple's wedding invitation, he no longer cared about appearances and removed himself from the pack. This isn't unusual behavior for guys, or wolves. But Jacob was more than just a teenager. And while the wolf did not define him, today he needed it more than ever.
The wolf could take him places no one could go, in every possible way. The last thing Jacob needed was an audience to watch his pain, and the last thing he wanted was to accidentally bump into Bella or her beloved nest of killers.
He had had a pretty tough six months already, and it was only getting worse. It was a strange, lonely time for him.
Being a wolf has its advantages. Nobody expected Jacob to come back right away and he was certainly big enough to take care of himself, but they still worried. There are many dangers out there for a lone wolf to get into. If he runs into trouble he will have no help from his pack, no one to talk to when he's lonely and no one would know if he's seriously hurt or dying. It's the loneliest kind of existence there is, and that's what Jacob loved about it. Among the things he hoped to find in the wilderness was the kind of peace he simply couldn't get at home.
But there were a lot of miles to go before that would happen. Feeling better is simply too far in the future, and out of his reach. The best he could hope is to feel numb and he so wanted to feel numb. So, he did the only thing he knew to do. He, and the wolf, would run.
Running, hunting. Running, sleeping. Running, swimming, and then run some more. Day in, day out. It was freeing in a way that cannot be described. As long as he ran he didn't have to feel, or think. As a wolf alone in the wilderness, there was no room in his head for human thought. Without the security of the pack around him, it was a good way to get careless and get himself killed.
The day-to-day, moment-to-moment wolf existence is repetitive, addictive, and neverending. But even the day-to-day monotony that he sought would get boring and human thoughts would trickle in. I don't need anyone or anything else, but I need this, Jacob justified. Even as a wolf he couldn't not think of Bella and the events that separated them, but the longer he was a wolf without changing back to human, the easier it was to somehow separate himself from his past life - to watch all of the memories and thoughts from outside of himself - as if looking through someone else's eyes. Like a movie.
I feel bad for that poor dumb guy, Jacob, he thought. He seemed like a nice enough guy, just had lousy timing is all and just didn't have a clue, the wolf thought.
It all makes perfect sense to me now. All the little mistakes, all the places Jacob could have pulled back and didn't. All the stupid things he said and shouldn't have said. Bella was upfront from the get-go, and this poor dumb guy just kept beating his head against a brick wall, expecting something to change. What was he thinking?
Why couldn't he see what was plain in front of his face? All the signs were there, weren't they? It's not like she lied to him or lead him on, exactly. I mean, she needed him, right? What was he supposed to do, turn her away? She needed him like she needed air. She knew how he felt about her and she kept coming back, she kept going to extremes to see him. Was that wrong? I know they were friends and just friends, but is that how friends who are just friends act? She didn't have other friends she could have leaned on in that dinky little town? And what about Leech Boy and his whole bloodsucking, murderous family? No, she wanted Jacob, and her cake too. What a bitch!
Why was she going to such lengths to be with Jacob if he wasn't at least as important to her as her tick fiance? Maybe SHE doesn't even know. Dang, and she seemed so smart. Maybe her tunnel vision blinded her. She never even saw Jacob, not really. She didn't even see her own feelings until the very end, and then it was too late. Her mind was made up like it's set in stone or something. Like it wasn't even up to her to change it. It's so weird.
Jacob shouldn't have kissed her on the beach that's for sure, that was stupid. Jacob should be ashamed. Not one of your smarter moves, dummy. He must have completely misread her. What was he thinking? Maybe only one part of him was doing the thinking.
Jacob laughed a wolfy laugh.
Hunting proved unsuccessful tonight so he was making his way to a bed of needles that he had been using off and on for sleep. It wasn't completely in the open but the trees spread out enough to see the sky, which was the only thing that gave him comfort now. Even the wind was different for him now. It used to be something he would really enjoy back home - the feeling of a cool breeze blowing through his fur. Even as a human he found it relaxing, but now it only served to antagonize him. With exceptional hearing means never sleeping well. Every time the wind blew through the trees, pine cones were tossed to the ground like anvils, birds fluttering to keep hold of their perches sounded like helicopters, Jacob heard it all. He was only able to get an hour or two of sleep at a time. As usual, the trees swayed mercilessly like gentle giants whispering secrets to each other.
Knowing he wasn't going to get any sleep he rolled onto his side and looked at the moon rising. Judging by the phase, it had been two weeks since he left, but it felt so much longer. Jacob was beginning to feel the effects of his loneliness. It had to be around the middle of July now. He never actually noticed the date of the wedding on the invitation, but he knew Bella. It would be soon.
Why put it off if you don't have to? And knowing her she'd want to hurry up and get it over with.
It wasn't just his best friend he missed. He missed his dad, his friends, his pack, the life he knew. He missed the simplicity of his before-life, before the change, before Bells. He felt bad knowing that he let some silly girl run him off of his homeland, away from the support of his family. Even though this wasn't just any girl, he knew that wasn't an excuse. People were relying on him, plus they had to be worried about him by now. Jacob had traveled further than the pack mind link could reach. He was truly and utterly alone and the pack had no way of knowing how or where he was - or if he was even alive.
He had to go back - it was time. But he didn't know how he was going to be able to face it all when he returned. Being a wolf numbed the pain to a bearable state. He would miss this. What will he feel when he's human again? What will he find? Will it be as hard as it was before? Will everything remind him of her? Maybe things have changed.
Maybe some miracle happened and the bats all ate each other, he chuckled. While Jacob enjoyed that thought, another one hit him just as hard...Or maybe Bella is married now and has red eyes…with sparkly white skin that feels as cold and hard as the rock she now wore on her wrist, the rock from her beloved Edward….worn on the very same bracelet I made for her!
Suddenly realizing his own pain again and no longer able to believe the pretense his mind created, a scream of distress rocked Jacob back to the present. More shocking than that was realizing it was his pain, his voice he was hearing. The human emotions and pain forced itself away from the wolf mind, no longer able to protect him.
His mind was reeling. He could see it all clearly now. The very thought of his bracelet being defiled was enough to make Jacob shudder and ache with every feeling he had denied himself the past four weeks. The anger, the pain, the betrayal, the rejection all felt like lava burning him from the tips of his ears to the claws in his feet. But the wolf wasn't in agony, Jacob was. He wanted desperately for it to stop, but no amount of screaming helped.
The Wolf, being rendered useless was pushed out by Jacob's human emotions. He transformed back to his former self. He lay on the ground, shaking and weary, and unprotected. He tried to push himself up but it was no use. He fell to the ground and lay helpless. If something had attacked him right at that moment it probably could have finished him because he had no strength to fight anyone, nor the will.
The mountains of British Columbia were breathtaking. He could almost forget the reason he came here, but all the beauty and majesty around him made him miss her that much more. It was a never-ending lonely cycle, one where he realized there eventually comes a time when you meet yourself in this lonely place and realize you don't like what you see or what you've become. He did not find what he came to find. The peace he thought he'd found was an illusion. How could he be at peace, when he was the very thing he was running from?
As the sun was setting, just when the last of the day's warmth could be felt, another heart-wrenching, soulful cry cut through the chilled air of the snowcapped mountains of B.C, echoing for miles. A herd of moose simultaneously turned their heads; becoming anxious, they scattered into the thick underbrush to safety, kicking up snow, dirt and grass as they retreated.
A full moon continued its slow rise over the mountains.
A/N: Don't worry it gets better, for Jacob I mean. I did the best I could to channel my days of heartbreak into Jacob's pain. He doesn't know it yet, but he'll survive this. We all do. If anyone would like to submit a picture that would sum up this chapter please feel free to PM me and show me what you got. Any style is fine with me. I would like pictures for every chapter which I will at some point turn into a video. A little leeway is fine (artists like to go in their own direction) but the pic should be a clearly understood representation of that chapter. Thanks, I appreciate it.
***Disclaimer: The characters setting and familiar situations belong to Stephenie Meyers. References to films or music also do no belong to me. No copyright infringement intended. I'm not making any monetary profit from this.***
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