Disclaimer: I don't own it, only wish I did, it all belongs to Stephanie Meyers, just the plot is mine.
The Fears That Made Me Flee
I was now driving down the now all too familiar road; I was heading to the place I hadn't seen in many months. I took a glance at the clock on the dash. It was later than I expected. I wanted to get to Charlie's before it got too late. I had a lot to do and wanted to do it all before dark.
Right now I really didn't want to be driving around at night. Especially now that I knew I was being hunted again. I had gone months blissfully believing that I was safe and couldn't be found. How naïve I had been. I had spent more time in the last two years being the object of evils ill intentions than I truly cared to think about. Now I no longer had the option to believe I wasn't ever out of danger. I wasn't the only one in danger now. If it was just me that was in danger I wouldn't have returned, wouldn't have brought trouble back with me. I don't have that option. I am in need of the pack of werewolves that are close to my heart. I need their protection more than ever before.
Though I need the protection more, now is ten times harder to ask for it. That is one thing I'm dreading more than showing up on Charlie's door step after being gone for over half a year and a giant surprise trailing behind me. I feared going to see the pack more than when I went to the ballet studio to face James. I had fled Forks, Charlie, the pack and Jacob without an explanation, a note or goodbye. I left my family; pack included and in facing them I didn't know what I'd find and it scared me. Though I feared the pack's reaction to my return and request, I feared Jacob's more. I knew what I had done to him was what Edward had done to me. Except it was worse because I didn't have the decency to give him his goodbye or explanation; even if what Edward told me was a lie, it was something. I held onto Edward's words because they were all I had left of him. What did Jacob have, nothing. I most likely broke him like I had been broken. Now I just prayed there had been no one to fix him like he had done for me, because surely he'd be lost to me. It hurt to think of him moving on from me, when I knew I never would. But that was the consequence for my actions as wrong as I now believed them to be.
I pulled up in Charlie's drive a little later than I intended but still plenty of time to do what was needed. I parked the car and climbed out. As I was about to close the door I heard the front door open and close. I turned to face my father, and was surprised when I came to face Billy, my father's best friend and Jacob's father, out on the porch. A look of utter bewilderment, and shock crossed his face before he replaced it with his usual calm visage. Seconds later Charlie rushed out.
"Hey, Billy who's here?"
The second he spotted me, he froze, his face shown shock, amazement, and even a little anger. Before either had a chance to speak, I did.
"Hi dad, Billy."
My voice was shaky, but that was to be expected. I had been gone for nearly seven months with only one call two weeks after I left, just simply saying 'I'm alive' and then hung up. Before I was able to say more or before they could respond a distinct sound came from the backseat of my car. I quickly turned my attention to the backseat and ignored the two men with bugging eyes.
I opened the back door to look on the very wide awake faces of my beautiful angels. I knew if one awoke the other was sure to follow.
"Hello angels do you want to go inside and have a chat?" I asked as I unhooked both carriers and set them outside the car and grabbed the diaper bag. Now that my big secret was out might as well begin to explain myself some. I picked up the carriers and headed to the house and to the two men still frozen in their spots. I climbed up the stairs, walked around the aged statues and made my way to the living room where I set down the two carriers and plopped on the couch. I anxiously awaited the long and lengthy conversation that would follow. I would give them the answers that were needed but I had to make it to La Push to talk to Sam well before dark.
While I was waiting I uncovered the carriers and saw that they were wide eyed and alert. They were looking at me with the eyes I longed for more than my next breath. Every time they would look at me my heart would lurch and pang. I searched for their pacifiers, gave them to them and again waited for my inquisition to begin.
Charlie walked in pushing Billy. Both now looked deeply angry. Charlie's expression was still filled with shock and many questions while, Billy's was deeply contemplative. Charlie pushed Billy in front of the couch I was on and then set himself beside me. As they had entered I had dropped my eyes so that I couldn't see their anger, now I warily raised my eyes to the two men I knew would love my angels as much as I and one other but who would also be terribly angry at me. Billy's gaze was the harshest and I quickly dropped my eyes to the carriers to help give me strength.
"Bella…" Charlie began a little hesitant. I looked up at them again.
"Bella is this why you left." Billy finished and it was a statement not a question.
I nodded my head. I took a deep breath and prepared to give my reasons for leaving. I needed to be careful. As much as I'd love to give them both all the reasons, I couldn't. My reasons though mainly in the realm of normal life still involved things from the supernatural. A world Charlie was not a part of, a world I intended to keep him from. If it was just Billy and me in a room I could tell him everything without restraint, not that I would, but I wasn't going to get that option. I was attempting to sort out what I was going to say, so to procrastinate I created a distraction.
"Would you like to meet them?" Uncertainty filled their eyes.
"It's okay, you can hold them, and I know you'll be careful." They nodded and I leaned down and unbuckled the closest one.
"This lil' bean is Juliana Emilia; she's the oldest by two minutes." I said as I handed her to Charlie. Awe crossed their faces as they took her in. I quickly moved to the other carrier.
"This peanut is Charlotte Sarah," I said as I took her out of the carrier and handed her to Billy. At the mention of Sarah, his eyes darted from Juliana to me. His eyes were sad at the mention and quickly were filled with questions. He dropped his gaze to stare at the bundle in his arms. He looked at her a moment and then returned his eyes to me the question in them never leaving. I knew what he wanted to ask, but wasn't the answer obvious by just looking at my girls.
Both girls had dark black curly hair. Even as young as they were they both had a head full. While Charlotte's eyes were closer in color to mine, a milk chocolate; Juliana's were nearly black in color. They both had my lips but everything but their skin color was all their fathers. They were feminine miniatures of him. Their skin was a creamy russet. Nowhere near my ghostly pallor and several shades lighter than his.
I decided to just come out with the answer to Billy's unspoken question. It would ease some discomfort in the room.
"Yes Billy, their Jacob's," my heart panged at the mention of his name.
His eyes grew sad and he nodded his head, he looked at both girls and then back at me.
"Why'd you leave Bella? Why'd you keep this from him, from us?" He asked his voice held nothing but sadness.
I sighed, my momentary distraction over and I still hadn't come up with what I was going to say. I needed to organize my thoughts and shut my emotions down. If I didn't they threatened to topple me and make functioning impossible, much like the night I found out I was pregnant.
I had to do this, not for me, I had to do this for the little girls in their grandfather's arms. I had to do this for their grandfathers and most importantly I had to do this for Jacob.
I knew I had hurt him by leaving. Now I feared I would hurt him more with my return. With shaky breath I steeled myself and began.
"The day before I left, I woke up and felt terrible. I rushed to the bathroom and vomited. It had been the sixth day in a row, I had a feeling it wasn't the flu, so I went to the store and got the tests. When all four came back positive, I did the normal thing and got really scared. Scared for myself and the responsibility now placed on my shoulders. Scared at how you two would react, what you'd do. How Jacob would react and how he'd feel. I knew what this would mean for me but what about Jacob. He already had so much responsibility on his plate. With school and his work on the reservation, his other job also along with him home responsibilities he was only sleeping three to five hours a night and we only saw each other one day a week if we were lucky. How would he fit our child into that life? Not to forget he was sixteen." I took a large breath and began again.
"So I made a decision. I wouldn't put this on him. If he found out, I knew that he would try to take it all onto himself and he'd run himself more raged. He would have to give something up. The only thing he'd be able to give up was school; he'd have to drop out. I knew eventually he'd regret quitting school and giving up his dreams and goals. He would come to resent this life that was forced on him and it would be the end of what little adolescence. Along with the end of his adolescence and his resentment of this new life he'd eventually come to resent me for forcing this on him. I wouldn't have been able to survive him ever hating me; I wasn't going to stick around for that to happen. The next morning I packed up and left. I ran away from safety, family and friends so that I could protect him from himself and I ran before he could hate me or leave me."
I took a giant shaky breath and wiped the tears that were threatening to fall. I looked to Billy to try to tell him with my eyes that there was more to my reasoning. Billy, being Billy seemed to see that and gave me a small nod. Both men were digesting what I had told them and remained quiet.
"How old are they Bells?" Charlie asked.
I small smile played on my lips. "They'll be two months Tuesday. I was three and a half to four months along when I left and they were born five weeks early." Charlie gave me a nod and became contemplative.
"Not that I'm not happy your home, and there's no way I'm letting you leave now, but why'd you come back now? I mean from what you just said you were trying to protect Jake, so why come back now?
My breath caught my singular reason for coming back today was the one thing I couldn't tell Charlie. He was thankfully free of the world I had immersed myself almost from the moment I moved to Forks. I couldn't share with him the life I shared with the Cullen's or the life that I shared with the pack. I have spent over two years lying to him and I have to continue to do so. Through lying I'm protecting him from that life. My ghost continues to haunt me and now hunts my daughters, I can't have Charlie know the truth and have him in more danger than he is. Even if I believed he could handle the truth, I couldn't take the looks of horror, revulsion and disappointment he'd give me and the pack. So I came up with part truth. It was something that would have had me come home, just not the reason I came so quickly.
"I came back because I realized I can't do this by myself. I can't properly raise two children on my own. It would've been easier with just one child, not two. I came back because I decided I couldn't continue to do Jacob what Renée did to you. I couldn't keep him from his daughter anymore and I couldn't keep them from him. I see now I lost a chance to grow into a relationship with you as a kid. A chance to have a fatherly presence in my life and that caused me to lose my childhood early. I don't want the life I had for my girls. I want to give them what I never really had, a childhood with both their parents in their lives every day. Even if Jake and I don't ever get back together, I want him in our lives. I came back before too much time had passed and he lost out on them being babies."
The hole in my heart that I thought long gone came back in full fury at the thought of Jake no longer wanting me. That would be the only way we wouldn't be together. I knew from the day I let him in and we finally became a couple that I would never not want him. These last few months without him were a hell I would wish on no one, yet I brought it on myself.
I truly believed long before Jake and I began our romantic relationship, long before I realized I wanted one, that he was integral to my existence. He had decided to fix me, mend my shattered broken heart and soul. He did it and expected nothing in return. For the longest time I was unable to give him anything in return. I couldn't even give him the hope that while I knew he felt more for me than I him, that I would ever be able to return those feelings. He always accepted and loved me without condition. He took me as is and fixed what he could. As he fixed me he began to take a permanent hold on the pieces he fixed; taking more and more of my heart with it.
I realized while he was fixing me that the pain I was in was me holding onto Edward's Bella; the life that Bella had wanted. I held it in my death grip all the while dragging me down with it. But she died that day in the woods. The empty Bella didn't know who she was without that life and that family. But even the Bella that Jacob was building back up, piece by agonizing piece, was still clinging to that nonexistent life. That caused pain to both Jacob and me.
I fought Jacob and I fought Jacob's Bells. I was pushing him with one hand while I held onto him with the other. I'm sure it confused him to no end. In truth I was afraid, afraid to give myself to another, to risk my still fragile heart. Especially to the one who had painstakingly fixed it? Because if I gave him my heart and he broke it, there would be no one left to fix it. I would become unfixable. So with much hesitation I let Edward's Bella go and became Jake's Bells.
I knew without a doubt I couldn't live without Jake in my life, he was my solid base. He kept me safe and protected both from the mystical and myself. He let me see that I was enough, that I was wanted and loved as is and he would still love any changed that came along. He loved and adored me with all that he was, he held nothing back from me and in time I held nothing from him. I had told him everything. About the monster that had taken hold of my chest, my feelings about all the Cullen's. I even told him about his voice and my actions to get that voice. I believed that last thing would destroy us. Of course he was angry that at the beginning I had used him but he forgave me quicker than I deserved. I had a feeling this time I wouldn't be forgiven so easily.
Even after my vent of everything he accepted and loved me. I loved him all the more for it.
Not only had Jacob fixed me but the pack had to. After I found out their secret they had welcomed me with open arms, well most of them did. I felt I belonged with them. I felt more at home and loved than I ever did with the Cullen's. With the Cullen's I believed I didn't fit their level of perfection. I wasn't infallibly beautiful and pristinely perfect; I was human with human flaws. With the pack I belonged, I was like them, just really pale. I didn't need to do or be anyone to fit in, I just did.
Kim and Emily and then eventually Rachel became my closest friends. While Quil, Embry and Seth were like my little brothers who just happen to be freakishly tall. Hell even Sam seemed like an older brother to me. When I let Jake in, they all let me in; to them I was a part of the pack. I loved my life with them, but with them came my greatest fear, the fear of losing Jacob. One word controlled my happiness on tiny cable so easily cut would destroy my entire world. Imprinting, it was a curse and a curse word to me. Nothing was more foul and poisonous to me, yet it brought happiness to most of the people in my world. Only two other people shared my hatred for the wolfy voodoo Jacob and Leah.
I understood all the implications involved in imprinting but I chose to ignore them, the fear of letting Jake go so he could imprint was too strong so I pushed it to the back of my mind. I settled my fears with his promises that he would never imprint, that it wouldn't happen because I was his soul mate and the ancestors were wrong, he loved me too much to imprint. While the fears were tempered they never settled. I was constantly reminded of the power of imprinting. I had witnessed two imprints; I had seen the looks that crossed the faces of both Quil and Paul. I seen the shift in them the moment it happened. There was no denying if Jake imprinted, I would be but a distant memory. Even if I hadn't actually seen it I would have been reminded what would await me by the one person that hated me more than Victoria, Leah. Hell she made the hatred that Rosalie threw at me look tame and kitten like. I've never figured out completely why she hated me.
In the beginning of our relationship I feared every woman he would see. I would wonder if that was the woman that would take my happiness and sanity with her. I feared that one day Jacob would come to see me to say goodbye, that he no longer loved or wanted me. The fears of losing him made the pain of losing Edward pale in comparison.
I finally had decided I would live my life with Jake as if there was no mystical threat to our happiness. I would enjoy each and every moment I was given with Jake for however long I had him.
That was until I found out I was pregnant. I knew if I stayed and we raised our child together and one day he came home to tell me he imprinted, he no longer would be leaving just me. He'd be leaving me and our child. That would kill me to see the pain on my child's face. The insecurity it would cause of not being good enough for their father, I couldn't do that. So I resolved to leave. Leave to avoid him leaving me. Leave to avoid him resenting me. Leave to avoid him leaving his child. Leave to give him a break from some responsibility. I was going to free him from it all, and put it all on me.
I was so truly scared of the truth of it all, I ran. Never understanding the implications of my choice; I didn't even completely think out what I needed to do to support myself. My thoughts were solely focused on running away from the pain and heartache that hadn't even happened. Heartache that grew worse from my choice.
I drove until my emotional pain and physical exhaustion was too much to continue. I had subconsciously stopped in a town near a large forest. I stayed in the town; I no longer had the energy to run farther, I was unable to put further distance between me and home. The first day in that town I found a decent job, found an apartment and a doctor. The most important thing in my life to date occurred in that town but never for one second did I live in there. I subsisted on a basic level to provide for myself and my girls. I had no friends and my thoughts never left Forks or La Push. My heart remained on the beach with Jacob. I cried myself to sleep every night.
The only thing that consumed my thought was Jacob and what I'd done to him and how he was doing without me. I knew he'd never forgive my leaving and the fact that I'd kept his daughters from him. I would never love another but if he didn't take me back, if he was sans imprint, it would be my rightful punishment. I just prayed my actions wouldn't have a negative effect on our daughters.
Over my many months away and my constant thoughts of Jacob and my actions, I came to terms with many of reasons for leaving, especially imprinting. I decided it no longer mattered that he hadn't imprinted on me. We had a connection that was special. Had the supernatural never existed we would have been considered soul mates. People outside our small circle, like Angela, saw this and she commented on it often. He knew me better than I knew myself and he could read me better than I've ever read my favorite classics and I could read him just as well. He hid nothing from me and I hid nothing from him. I didn't think even his imprint could compete with that. As much as it hurt he would forever be my Jake and I would forever be his Bells, even if we were together.
I ended my mental rant, thankful that Charlie and Billy let me have that. They let me be and just took in their granddaughters. I realized that the girls needed to be changed and sometime in the next hour or two fed. I took Jules from Charlie and changed her first. While I was changing her, Billy handed Charlotte over to Charlie. When I was done with Jules I gave her to Billy and went to take care of Charlotte and handed her back to Charlie. I got up and went in the kitchen to throw the diapers away. On my way back into the living room I took in the scene before me. Billy and Charlie were smiling broadly at their granddaughters and cooing contentedly. As much as it made me happy, it also hurt my heart that I'd kept this from them, even if it was only for a short time. I glanced at the clock behind Billy on the living room wall and knew I needed to head to La Push soon if I was going to make it back before sunset.
I gave a heavy sigh, not ready to try to explain to Charlie why I needed to go to La Push, if I wasn't going to go talk to Jake. I knew Billy would understand mostly at the mention of Sam but I was going to leave both with more questions than answers. I just needed to be vague for now. At my sigh they both looked up at me.
"I was wondering if you two could watch the girls for about an hour. They've been changed and hopefully they won't get hungry for another hour or two. If they do get hungry there's two bottles in the diaper bag, just warm them in some hot water but make sure to check the temp first. I'll try to get back as quick as possible." I said quickly.
"Where you headed Bells?" Charlie asked, his eyes full of more questions than the one asked.
"I've got to La Push to talk to Sam. When I get back how bout I make us all some dinner, K?" I tried to ignore the look of surprise that flew onto both their faces at the mention of Sam's name instead of the one they expected but I was hopeful the mention of some home cooking would distract them from asking about it.
"Why do you have to go talk to Sam, I thought you said Jake's their dad?" Charlie asked, sounding a little angry. I felt my jaw drop. While I had been expecting him to ask why I wanted to see Sam, his paternity comment just pissed me off. What would get into his head that either I would lie about the paternity of my children or the fact I would cheat on Jake and Sam would cheat on Emily was beyond my realm of understanding.
"Jake is the father dad, it's just really important that I speak with Sam." I replied very irritated. I flashed my glance to Billy, trying to convey the importance of going to La Push. I was praying he'd see it so that I wouldn't have to come up with another lie to pacify Charlie. He must have and subtly nodded his head towards me.
"That sounds great Bella, it's been a while since we've had some of your home cooking and I think us to old farts can handle two babies for an hour, we did raise kids ourselves you know." Billy said smiling.
I nodded my head to Billy in silent thanks and then rushed to my babies to say goodbye. I kissed each on their foreheads and then I placed one on the cheek of each Charlie and Billy. I turned and rushed out of the house and made my way to the car. I sighed, started the car and began making my way to La Push.
A/N: This hasn't been beta'd, so if anyone is interested in betaing this story, please pm me and please review. Thanks.