Author's Notes: This is my first attempt at writing, ever. If you are going to read it, please at least read the first 4 chapters to give it a chance, the first two chapters are necessary, but not action filled as such! I have had no bad reviews yet and it seems to be well received! Give me a try! Thanks! The very best first chapters are chapter 9 thru 17. If you read those and don't love it, let me know!
Disclaimer: All the Twilight stuff belongs to Stephenie Meyer. No copyright infringement is intended. I'm just playing in her sandbox.
Chapter 1 Bella
"Jacob, I really want to try."
I said for the umteenth time as he effortlessly pushed the bike into the shed. It was a collection of sheds really, all sort of pieced together to form the warm, comforting workspace where I spend my free time. I was here in LaPush and it was Saturday. We had been riding all morning, Jacob and I.
My russet skinned friend whose laughter and seeming need to make me smile had been my safe harbor. He is always there for me. He never fails to crack a joke, punch me in the shoulder or hold me when I cry. I cry a lot. Cried a lot that is. Less now, the tears have lessened now that I have discovered a way to see "him". Jacob has ridden every road with me, the beach at LaPush, every trail . . . especially the trails! Who would have thought I would be so skilled on two wheels! On my own two feet I was an accident looking for a place to happen, continually bumping into things and inflicting bruises too numerous to count. I have trouble walking a straight flat surface without it rising up and causing me to trip, but on a bike I was unstoppable. I had heard of it - riders who could drink themselves silly so that they couldn't even stand much less walk. Riders who would then get on their bike and ride undaunted, perfectly, like the bike was simply an extension of themselves. An unerring extension that felt the road, sensed it really . . . understood it.
I had started riding as a distraction, of course, something to occupy the time,
"my kind are easily distracted"
and to see "him". It seems as though when I do something dangerous I can see him standing there, looking like a Greek God telling me to be safe, not to get hurt . . . seeming like he cares about me
. . . and for a brief second, I almost feel whole
. . . almost.
I remembered playing together with Jacob as a child. We were kids, carefree, swings, swimming, TV - anything to keep me distracted on my two week summer trips to Forks to visit my dad. My dad and his dad, Billy, were the best of friends, sharing a love for sports - the Mariners to be exact - and a love for fishing, which they did EVERY weekend! My dad, Charlie, had no idea really what to do with me during these visits. He had never been an affectionate man, scared of meaningful conversation almost as much as he was terrified of showing emotion. Now he just avoided it by keping his distance. I didn't really want anyone near - just "him", and that was not to be.
"He" didn't want me.
"He" had told me countless times that he loved me.
"He" had held me.
"He" had left me that day in the forest without even a backwards glance.
It had been months since "he" left, turned his back and walked away with no feeling in his cold eyes. Though I had never felt it around "him", I felt the cold now, an all encompassing void that was my life. The more I rode the better rider I became, so the more dangerous my stunts had to become to see him, and faster - always faster.
That's how they labeled me.
I could care less.
There was no one that mattered,
. . . except maybe Jacob.
Jacob was an amazing mechanic. Thru all the bent handlebars and fenders, all the smashed gas tanks and replaced parts, he stuck by me. He picked me up when I fell, cleaned the scrapes and road rash that was an inevitable part of learning to ride for me, and tenderly stroked my forehead with a damp cloth when I passed out from the smell of blood.
Blood. I hated blood.
Blood had been the cause of his leaving, the cause of his not allowing me to be close enough to him to keep him . . . to be enough for him. Blood was the most important thing to a vampire, and mine was the sweetest of all to him, I was "his brand of heroin". His senses were so heightened as a vampire, he even smelled my blood from across the parking lot at school when I had fallen one day - he was frantic. Frantic with worry for me and with desire . . . for blood.
I can't go there. It was Saturday and I had my bike. Guess enthusiasm for anything was better than the apathy I showed for almost everything in my life. I walked thru my classes at school and my time at home with Charlie on autopilot, speaking if spoken to, eating when prodded, functioning - but just barely. I was a shadow of myself. I knew, logically, that I was still the same. But I had neither the will nor the desire to be myself. Only when I had the possibility of seeing "him" did I come to life.
I had pushed the current version of my bike to its limits. There was not a trail I could go faster on, a turn I could take sharper, or a hill or rut I could jump that I had not already tried. And succeeded. I had not seen "him" in weeks - nor had I wrecked, or even fallen for that matter. I had become something of an enigma on a bike, a force to be reckoned with, unstoppable. I needed more. I needed to see "him".
"Jacob, I really really want to try," I begged again.
All the LaPush guys did it, Sam and his group. Even Jacob. My Jacob. He would go to the ends of the earth to try and bring me back. I wasn't good for him, I wasn't whole. I tried to explain that I just could not be fixed - put back together like the bike after one of my crashes - but he kept trying. It wasn't that I didn't want to feel, to be whole, to be the amazing person to him that he was for me, it's just that I couldn't. Part was missing.
I just could wait no longer.
I had to see "him".
"Jacob, if you won't come with me, I am going to go alone!"
That did it of course. We were in my truck, headed to First Beach, and the cliffs. Cliff diving was fun. Jacob had said so himself. I guess I was about to find out! I parked my red pickup on the pull off on the road where Jacob pointed. It was quite a walk to the edge of the cliff thru the dense undergrowth of the forest. There was a path there, winding thru the ferns and moss laden tree trunks. Most would call it beautiful, really, but it was just too green. Squishy. I missed the hard brown of the desert floor and the beauty that was the rise and fall of the rolling hills, the amazing sunsets filled with pink in the dry desert air, the dance of the last rays of sun as they sunk over the mountains. The warmth. God I missed the warmth. The cold here reminded me of "him" - and I could not leave it. Even in my despair, it comforted me. It reminded me of cool skin, an icy touch, fingers caressing my cheek, a brush of cool lips across my jaw slowly kissing their way to the hollow of my throat, and arms holding me while I slept. Safe, I felt so safe then, so loved. It was all like a dream now, a distant memory yet so clear it cut my heart still. Enough. I need to concentrate, one foot in front of the other, no falling. The line of trees seemed to end just up ahead, as the ocean came into view.
"Bella, loca, are you sure about this?" Jacob had asked.
We were standing on the edge, 50 feet above the waves, a hundred? I wasn't sure. It was mesmerizing. The sun glinted off the waves as they broke against the rocks below sending shimmers of light dancing on the cliff, sort of like . . . "him" in the sunlight . . . no, no - don't go there.
"As ready as I will ever be! Want me to go first?" I called to him.
"Me first, oh anxious one, I need to be in the water before you in case you need rescuing!" Jacob said smugly.
The words had barely left his mouth as he took two steps back, sprung forward, leaped into the air - fearless - free - the embodiment of the feeling I had always gotten on my bike. I stepped to the edge and looked down as Jake entered the water with barely a ripple, waiting for him to emerge, waiting to know that he was alright. I was not disappointed. Soon his goofy smile was looking up at me - his upper torso bobbing in the water a short distance from where I would enter the surf. My turn. As I stepped back to begin my leap, he was there.
"He" was there.
With me on that cliff was my other half. It seemed so real, his hand outstretched to me, his brow wrinkled with anguish, his gaze glaring towards me. His coppery locks blowing gently in the wind, wild and unkept atop his Adonis like body. His beautiful eyes burned molten fire and pierced me with a look I barely remembered . . . a look I craved and needed more than the air to breath . . . he was looking at me as though he loved me, desperate to save me and keep me safe! I closed my eyes, committing that look to memory . . . and jumped.
I was flying, soaring above everything. For a moment, I felt the hole in my chest try to close. Only a moment, but it was enough. Fierce eyes, sparkles dancing on the waves, and cold! Cold. Water. And then I was being pulled - dragged really, toward the shore. I could swim of course, but the current had been more than I could manage and I had been dazed, lost in my thoughts even after the wall of cold that was the surf had engulfed me. I had forgotten to even try and swim, content in my dream and ignoring my need for air. I had "him" . . if only for an instant.
Jacob had draped his long arm around me and brought me to shore with him, easily swimming for both of us.
"What the hell, Bells! Do you want to die!" Jacob had yelled.
He was shaking with the intensity of his emotion, quivering really, but I thru my arms around him and thanked him for being there, for being with me, for being my best friend. Slowly the shaking stopped, and he calmed down. I tried to explain that I had just been stunned by the cold of the water, but he saw right thru me. Maybe I was crazy, that's okay.
I had seen "him".
We had combed the woods all morning and found nothing. Not a footprint, not a trace of the wolves that Bella had seen. She said she saw them. I wanted to believe her, to feel confident in her. She had run into the house so animated, so certain of what she had seen that I had gathered a few of the guys from LaPush and my friend, Harry Clearwater, and we had gone to search for tracks of the animals she had described. She said she saw them, but could I be sure of anything she said anymore. She hardly spoke. I had threatened to send her to Florida. I had even called Renee to come and get her, to help her pack and go to live in Jacksonville with her. A fresh start. I just wanted her to have a life, to be interested in something, to feel something - anything. She had been this way since he had left.
My mind wandered from the trail, worrying about my frail little girl. She seemed barely there, a shadow of the vibrant girl I remembered. I had been so excited for her the morning of her eighteenth birthday - my daughter was growing up and soon would be leaving me, attending college, attending to her life.
Her future had looked so bright. She was alive with energy and enthusiasm! She bounced off the walls with excitement around her friend Alice and cooked and cared for me almost like she was the parent and I was the child. She had almost a glow radiating from her bright eyes, eyes that were cold now.
She wasn't like that with him.
Her eyes danced with a fire and glow at the mere mention of his name, let alone his presence. Looking back, I see now the spark of electricity that was in the air any time they were together, palpable, an energy that was alive and boundless. I suppose I knew she was in love with him, I just hadn't wanted to admit it at the time, but when he left he took all that was her with him.
If I only knew where he was, I would end him myself . . .
"Charlie, which path do you want to take?" Harry asked. I was abruptly pulled from my musings and brought back to the present - we had still found no trace of giant wolves - or any other large creatures for that matter. It seemed as if the forest was quiet this morning, tense, almost as if a predator that was a threat to even the grizzlies and wolves lurked there.
"Let's start over the ridge and circle back by the cliffs," I told Harry.
I headed up the ravine towards the cliffs to circle back towards the village. That's when I saw her.
I was sure it was her, though I had only caught a glimpse. I could hardly believe it. I didn't want to believe it. She had jumped. As I rushed to the edge, memories flashed in my head - her face when I had first given her truck, how beautiful she had looked when she was dressed and out the door to prom, her face when I had suggested she had a grey hair, her excitement whenever that boy came over - it all filled my head. In the seconds or hours it took me to close the short distance to the cliff's edge, a hundred memories crossed my eyes. I was afraid to look.
There was nothing but water and waves at the base of the cliff. My eyes ventured a little farther and spotted what looked like someone swimming - wait, two people swimming. As I clutched my chest I watched my daughter walk out of the water onto the beach, followed by a boy, a dark haired boy.
Jacob was there? I stood silently as I watched them cross the beach. I was overcome with relief . . . and rage. I was headed home, and God help me, she had better have been headed home as well! Harry tried to settle me down, having had limited success. He had been tracking with me in the woods and had seen as clearly as I had what had happened on the cliff.
He had explained that all the LaPush teenagers did it. Not that he condoned it, just that it was something that they had all done, even since he was a boy, and he was as old as I was. By the time I got back to Billy's to drop Harry off I had calmed down. My face had lost the red tinge and my eyes were less wild, until I saw the motorcycles. Jacob and Bella, laughing and talking, dismounting black and red bikes and pushing them into the makeshift garage in back of the house.
All hell was about to break loose, but it was not the hell that I had envisioned. A voice rang out from the cabin, it was Sue Clearwater,
"Harry, Charlie, get in here . . . its Billy!"