Disclaimer: Stephenie Meyer owns the Twilight series. This is just for fun.
Introduction: Takes place just after Jacob takes Bella home with her broken hand and Charlie finds out Jacob kissed her. This is what could have happened if Bella had a little more backbone and was thinking clearly about the significance and impact of imprinting, as it would affect her and any relationship she could possibly attempt with Jacob. I'm also betting Bella got her perceptiveness, intuition, and innate intelligence from her father, as they would be crucial to his line of work. He's had a lot more years to develop a 'poker face' though. Some of you may have seen a TV show 'Columbo' where the star is a police detective who acts sheepishly clueless, causing the villains to always underestimate him. He doesn't miss a thing though, and always gets his man in the end. I would think Charlie would be like that, acting like just a small town guy, easily fooled by a good liar, but really seeing, hearing, and knowing a lot more than he ever admits.
"Good for you, son," Charlie chuckled. Jacob smirked smugly back. Bella froze in her path toward the kitchen and swung back around to stare at her father in disbelief.
"Good for you?" Bella mocked. "Are you kidding me? Jacob forced himself on me, molested me against my will and you congratulate him? What kind of father are you? What kind of policeman are you? He committed sexual assault against me! If he kept going and full out raped me, would you still slap him on the back so proudly?"
Charlie's mouth dropped open at her accusation.
"Hey," Jacob protested.
"Shut up!" Bella growled, glaring at him. "You belong behind bars, you smug bastard. I have made it very clear to you from the beginning that I do not have any romantic feelings for you. I considered you my best friend, my brother, and I trusted you, but you betrayed me in the worst way by forcing your sexual attentions upon me, knowing full well I wasn't interested. You disgust me. I was warned that you were nothing more than an animal, a beast in heat who couldn't be trusted to control himself, but I didn't listen. I defended you! Oh, no, Jacob would never hurt me. I was wrong."
"Now, Bella, calm down," Charlie protested weakly, looking back and forth between the two. He could see the anger and hurt on Jacob's face, as well as the scorn and rage on Bella's. "I'm sure it was just a misunderstanding."
Bella turned the full force of her glare on her father. He winced and felt himself shrink a bit inside.
"A misunderstanding?" she shouted in frustration. "No, Dad, there was no misunderstanding. Not only does he know that I'm in love with and committed to Edward, but he knows there's no future for us even if Edward wasn't here. You see, Dad, what Billy and Jacob haven't told you is that Jacob is betrothed to another woman. He has never even met her yet, but he is committed to marry another woman, his soul mate. Even if he and I got married tomorrow and had children together, when the time comes and she is ready, he would divorce me and marry her. Because of his position in the tribe, he wouldn't even have a choice. It's already written in stone, signed in blood. It's just a matter of time. So you see, Dad, Jacob is being extremely stupid and selfish to even attempt to be in a relationship with me when he knows full well he will leave me for someone else someday.
It's not a secret on the reservation either. You remember Leah? Yeah, she and Sam were in love and planning to get married until the decree was handed down for Sam to court and marry her cousin Emily instead. The entire Quileute council, including Billy, as well as all of Jacob's friends, know he belongs to another woman. He has been warned by his elders against developing a relationship with anyone, let alone me, yet he continues to persist. He doesn't care that anything we have would only be temporary, or that I would be devastated once he left me for this other girl, or how his abandonment of me might affect your relationship with his family. He doesn't care what I want or need. He is only thinking of himself and the pleasure of having me temporarily sharing his bed until his future wife is ready to be married to him. If Jacob truly loved me, he'd want me to be happy and want me to be with someone who would love only me forever and never leave me for someone else. Instead, he wants to take me away from my soul mate just so I can warm his bed until his soul mate is available.
So, no, Dad, there was no misunderstanding. Jacob is a selfish bastard who hurt and betrayed me because he can't stand the idea of Edward and I being happy together. Even though Jacob knows he and I are not soul mates and have no future together and that I have no romantic feelings for him and am not sexually attracted to him, he still felt the need to try to force me to be sexually intimate with him. Do you know why we fought before, why he begged for my forgiveness, why I wasn't talking to him for a few days? Do you know what he said to me? He said he'd rather I died than have a future with Edward. That's the kind of boy you're so proud of for kissing me against my will. One that would rather I died than be happy in the arms of another man.
I know Edward screwed up when he broke up with me, but at least he had good intentions. He thought it would be better for me. He was trying to make it easier on me. He knew how much it would hurt him to be separated from me, but he underestimated my feelings for him and didn't realize it would hurt me just as much. He was just as depressed, if not more so, than I was for the months we were apart. I know you like Jacob more than Edward, but you need to understand that Edward truly loves me and would sacrifice his own life and happiness if he thought it would be better for me, which is what he thought he was doing when he 'set me free' to move on when he left. In fact, if I told Edward I only wanted to be friends, he would honor my wishes, no matter how much it broke his heart. He would never force himself on me.
Jacob, on the other hand, cares nothing about what is best for me and wants only what is best for himself. He has known from the start that I only wanted to be friends, yet he still refuses to accept it. I told him this, even before I found out about his commitment to another woman. In fact, it was after he found out that he will eventually be expected to marry someone else that he starting pushing so hard for a relationship between us. He was given the details of Sam's betrayal of Leah and subsequent attachment to Emily and informed that he shouldn't get into a committed relationship, since he too was obligated to someone, a specific woman he was destined to marry due to his position in the tribe. Yet after that he began getting more aggressive about showing physical signs of affection and trying to force physical intimacy between us, all while knowing how hurt and bitter Leah was after Sam abandoned her, and fully cognizant of the fact he'd be condemning me to the same fate.
I didn't tell you before, because the obligatory betrothals of certain young men of the tribe are considered a secret, known only to the council and the people directly affected. The council is well aware of the modern opinion of arranged marriages and has thus sworn the boys and their brides to secrecy. However, after hearing your approval of Jacob's actions, I felt you really ought to know the truth of the matter. As far as I'm concerned, Jacob is no better than an adulterer, intending to cheat on his future bride with someone else's future bride. I'd be nothing more than practice for him, the warm up to the main event."
Charlie's eyebrows were up at his hairline in shock at the revelations in Bella's speech. He knew from Jacob's reaction, as much as Bella's body language, that Bella was telling the truth. Jacob's face had expressed various emotions over the course of Bella's rant, including shame, remorse, protest, frustration, anger, doubt, possessiveness, loathing, and denial, not necessarily in that order. Charlie could see how much Jacob hated the thought of Bella with Edward and how much the boy wanted Bella for himself. Charlie was disappointed and angered that Jacob would choose to pursue Bella when he wasn't free to offer her a lasting relationship. He could see in Jacob's eyes and his body language that he was aware of his commitment to another woman, yet he was in denial of it and didn't see it as a hindrance in his current pursuit of Bella. With this new information, he could see how selfish and immature Jacob was being.
Charlie was concerned for his daughter now, as he had experience with men like Jacob, who were obsessed with women who neither wanted them nor belonged to them. Men like that usually ended up committing violence against the women they obsessed over. Unable to accept rejection from the objects of their twisted affections, many would resort to kidnapping, rape, or even murder. While Jacob didn't appear to be at that level yet, he had already begun a campaign of lies, coercion, and emotional blackmail. It was apparent that Bella's rant had not deterred Jacob from trying to win her over, that Jacob still fully intended to try to break up Bella's relationship with Edward and get her to choose him instead, even knowing all he could offer was a temporary relationship.
Charlie now understood Bella's reluctance to further her relationship with Jacob, her resistance every time he had hinted at his hopes of the two of them ending up together. He regretted all the times he had taken Jacob's side against her, all the times he had alluded that Jacob was better than Edward. In his ignorance, he had undermined her trust in him, created a hostile environment in her own home. She was right to accuse him. He felt deep shame then, as it finally truly sank in that a boy had forced physical intimacy against her will, had illegally and immorally molested her, forcing her to defend herself against him with violence, and instead of comforting her and protecting her from him, he had actually congratulated the boy for assaulting her. What kind of father was he? Not only had he repeatedly defended her attacker, taking his side over hers, but he had essentially forced her to spend time with the very boy who had betrayed and broken both their trusts by molesting her, all while extolling the virtues of the perpetrator!
Charlie cleared his throat and commanded, "Jacob Black, you listen to me! You are not welcome to date my daughter, not now, not ever, and if I ever hear about you forcing your attentions on Bella or anyone else, I'm gonna shoot you where the sun don't shine, you hear me, boy? Bella thinks of you like a brother, nothing more. She and Edward are clearly in love, and if you do anything to interfere in their relationship, I will make it my life's goal to make your life a living hell. So, until you can accept that Bella is with Edward and will never be with you, then you're not welcome in this house. When you're ready to act like the brother and best friend she wants you to be, then you can come back. I'm going to call your daddy and let him know that you forced your unwanted attentions on my daughter, sexually assaulting her, and forcing her to resort to physical violence against you to defend herself from your attack. You do realize that is a crime, don't you, boy? That you are lucky she is choosing not to press charges against you? That if she did, you'd be arrested and sent to jail?"
Jacob stared at Charlie in disbelief before becoming sullen. "Yeah, well Edward's even worse than me," he sneered.
Before he could continue informing Charlie of all the reason's to hate and distrust Edward, Bella interrupted, "Just leave now, Jacob. You've done enough damage for one night. Don't dig your hole any deeper than it already is." She pointed to the front door, giving him a determined stare.
"Yes, Jacob, you need to leave now," Charlie solemnly agreed. Jacob growled in frustration, then stomped out the front door, slamming it shut behind him.
"I'm so sorry, Bella," Charlie began. She smiled tiredly and gave him a brief tight hug.
"I know, Dad," she murmured. "It's okay. I'm going to call Edward now though to come and get me. I think Carlisle better take a look at my hand. I'm pretty sure it's broken."
Charlie sighed and nodded, leaving her to have some privacy on the phone while he settled into his favorite chair in the living room. He waited for her to get off the phone before using the extension for the unpleasant task of informing Billy of his son's transgressions. His disappointment and anger grew as Billy was unable to deny Jacob's obligation to another woman, his destined soul mate. Billy couldn't honestly guarantee that Bella wouldn't suffer as Leah did and reluctantly admitted the council had recommended against Jacob entering into a formal relationship with anyone other than his future bride. He then tried to caution Charlie against Edward and the Cullens, but Charlie, feeling betrayed by his best friend, was no longer interested in his opinion and hung up on him. He vowed to himself then and there to give Edward a real chance, recognizing he had been prejudiced and rooting for the wrong young man.
When Charlie heard Edward's hard knock on the front door, he beat Bella to answer it. He saw the love, concern, and rage in Edward's eyes as the boy's gaze quickly sought out his beloved. Edward acknowledged him politely before rapidly moving to Bella and ever so gently taking her injured hand into his own. Edward's eyes were pained as he observed the swelling and bruising on Bella's knuckles.
"I think you're right, love, it is broken," Edward murmured. His jaw clenched as he fired his gaze around the house, as if expecting Jacob to pop out of hiding.
"I kicked him out," Charlie gruffly explained. His eyes met Edward's dark, angry ones and for once, he no longer felt the need to flinch away. He was suddenly comforted by the strange sense of danger Edward projected, rather than put off by it, like he usually was. He finally understood, deep in his soul, just how much Edward loved Bella and knew he would never hurt her again. He knew with every part of himself that Edward was not only willing, but also fully capable of protecting Bella and providing everything she could ever want or need. His instincts, which had always warned him that there was more to Edward and the other Cullens than met the eye, now recognized that Edward truly was 'the One' for Bella, her forever love. He had sensed from the beginning that the love between the two was far beyond that of normal teenagers, which had frightened him with its intensity. Now he grasped that the love between them was a blessing, not a curse.
Bella and Edward moved to leave, but Charlie stopped them by reaching out to grab Edward's shoulder. Edward met his eyes once again, this time his expression surprised and wary, his irises returning to their usual golden hue.
"I haven't been fair with you, Edward. I know you and your family are different, and I know my daughter knows this as well. I know what the Quileutes think of your family. They haven't been subtle, certainly not subtle enough in the presence of a police chief for me not to know more than I should, but I have always preferred to sit back and observe things for myself before drawing my own conclusions. I believed if Bella chose Jacob, it would keep her close to me. I wouldn't be losing her. It scared me the way your family up and disappeared in the blink of an eye. I'm a lawman. I know just how thorough one has to be to erase one's trail the way you all did, especially for such a carefully regulated position as a medical doctor. I knew if my daughter chose you, she could disappear on me just as quickly and easily as the rest of you did.
I'm a simple man, Edward, but I love my daughter with everything I am. I don't want to know the details, because I have a feeling I'm not supposed to know, but I don't want to lose her. I don't care if she looks, sounds, smells, and feels different in the future. I promise to be content with whatever story you two want to give me, like you did when you came back from Phoenix, and again when you came back from wherever you were before, which wasn't L.A. I'm not stupid, you know. I know Bella's passport was used for an international flight to and from Italy. I also knew she was eighteen and had left of her own free will, so I had to trust her to return to me safe and sound, which thankfully she did.
Look, son, Bella is my daughter, and she always will be, no matter what else she happens to be. Capiche? I don't care if she suddenly has pale, cold skin, yellow eyes that change to black and back again, or dark circles under her eyes that never go away. I don't care if she never eats or drinks anything around me and goes on frequent 'camping' trips, she will always be my daughter. Even if she kills people, I will always love her. Just don't tell me anything I don't need to know. Okay?"
Both Bella and Edward were staring at him in shock now. He smirked smugly. "Do you really think I'm as oblivious as I seem? Do you think I don't notice that my daughter's room smells more like Edward than it does her nearly every morning? Do you think I haven't noticed how well oiled her window is, unlike the rest of the windows in the house? Do you think I haven't seen how trampled the grass is under her window and on a pathway from there to the woods behind the house? Somehow I doubt it would surprise you to learn that Bella talks in her sleep, Edward, but perhaps you haven't thought about how she calls out for you on the nights you aren't here, the nights you are away 'camping' with your brothers? You might be surprised to learn that she subconsciously looks for you on those nights, searching for your body with her hand, complaining in her sleep about how hot it is without you in the bed with her. Or perhaps how she wishes you would just change her to be like you so she could go hunting with you."
Bella's and Edward's eyes were even wider now as they looked at each other in consternation and back at Charlie, unsure of what to say or do.
Charlie grinned and patted Edward on the shoulder. "I've made my peace with it, Edward. I don't care what you and your family are or are not. My daughter loves each and every one of you, and I trust her judgment. I love her enough to want her happy, and I finally recognize that not only does she love and want you, but she also needs you more than air. There is no life for her without you in it. So no matter what my daughter becomes in the future, I still want to be a part of her life, even if she isn't exactly human anymore. You can tell me only what I truly need to know, and I won't press for more. In return, I'll give you my blessing on your union with my daughter and accept your family as my own. You'll be my son forever, no matter what, as long as you take good care of my daughter and never abandon her again. If you hurt her again, I'll find some way to hunt you down and destroy you, though I have a feeling regular bullets won't do the trick. We on the same page now, son?" He offered his hand to Edward who stared at it in amazement and then shook it with pride.
"We are, sir. I promise I'll do everything in my power to keep her safe," Edward promised, his face splitting into a wide, happy grin.
"You do that," Charlie huffed, his lips twitching as he pretended to stay stern.
"Oh, Dad, I love you so much," Bella sobbed, throwing her arms around him. She hugged him tightly, careful not to hurt her injured hand, burrowing her face into his chest. "Thank you so much. You don't know how much that means to me."
"I love you too, baby girl," he murmured quietly into her hair, squeezing her back. He cleared his throat and pulled away. "Go on now and let Carlisle fix your hand. Might as well spend the night there tonight too, seeing how late it is. I have a feeling Carlisle's going to want to have a talk about all the things that have happened tonight. Just make sure you get to school on time tomorrow morning."
"Yes, sir!" Edward eagerly agreed.
"Thanks, Dad," Bella grinned. "You're the best."
They dashed out the door and over to the Volvo at human speed, Edward making sure Bella didn't trip and fall. He held the door open for Bella, helping her into the car and shutting the door gently, before hurrying over to the driver's side, all while Charlie watched, reassured by the caring Edward exhibited in so many small but significant ways. Yes, his daughter was in good hands now.
AN: What do you think? Sickeningly sweet? Too easy? What can I say - I like happily ever afters. Of course, this would probably screw up the whole alliance with the wolves against Victoria. Oh, well. You win some, you lose some.