Sorry for the delay with this update, but besides still being sick, the holidays are draining me dry! Not enough hours in the day sometimes.
This chapter was also really hard for me to write for some reason and I'm not at all happy with it, but I hope you guys enjoy!
I still don't own it!
I don't know how long we both stood there, bathed in the dim light from the entry way, I had yet to close the door, and I was debating stepping back inside and slamming the door in his face, it wouldn't keep him out if he had his mind set on getting in, but it would make a statement.
But I couldn't move, I was paralyzed, trapped in his molten gaze, my stomach twisted in pain as I took in what I used to believe were perfect features. Before, Jacob, I would have thought Edward to be the most perfect man out there, but now gazing at him, he looked like a lost little boy, and some of my anger for him melted at the broken look on his face.
"What are you doing here, Edward?" I whispered, finally finding my voice, finding my words.
He ran his hand through his hair, scratching the back of his neck briefly, an old human trait, he had yet to let go. "I just needed to see you, Bella, see that you were well."
I felt my face scrunch up in confusion, "Edward, I'm sure you know how I've been. I'm sure Alice has seen me through the years."
His face crumbled a little before me, "No, she has had trouble seeing your future, Bella. It was always murky. Unclear. Until recently."
I gazed at him for a few more moments, imploring him with my eyes to elaborate, but when he didn't, I felt a small shot of anger and annoyance shoot through me, I hated when I was kept in the dark. "And what has she seen lately, Edward?" I demanded.
"I think it would be best for you to be with the whole family when we tell you, Bella." I was shaking my head before he even got the rest of the words out.
"Edward," I sighed tired, impatiently. "I don't have time for your typical riddles right now. I was in a hurry."
His face hardened, before slipping into an emotionless mask, the same mask he used the night he threw me away in the forest, almost three years ago. I felt a slight ache in my heart at the sight.
"Going to the reservation?" He asked, voice void of any emotion, but the tightness around his eyes told another story.
I hesitated before answering, Edward had always been a little irrational when my safety came into play, but then I remembered that he obviously didn't care much for my safety. Who throws someone they care for away?
"Yes." I simply answered, not really feeling like I needed to justify my actions to him, any more than that.
His face changed once more, and a brief flash of what looked like worry came through his expression before he clamped down on his emotionless mask once again. "I know you won't understand this Bella, but you're not safe there, but you are also not safe here alone, please come back to the house with me, and we will explain everything."
I felt anger surge through me at his words, he was treating me like a child, again. "Edward, I am perfectly safe there, I feel more safe there than I do here standing with you, now, if you'll excuse me."
He blocked my way as I went to head down the steps of my porch and before I could blink I was behind him and he was crouched down in a defensive position. "What the hell are you doing Edward!" I shouted, annoyed and a tad bit scared if I was being honest.
"Get back into the house, Bella." When I didn't make a move to obey, he glanced back at me, "NOW! GO!"
I startled jumping back, he had never raised his voice at me before. "What the hell-"
But the words died in my throat as I saw Jacob in human form, flanked by two wolfs, exit the tree line on side of my house. Even from where I was standing I could see the violent trembles racking his body.
"Jacob," His name feel from my lips without my consent and before I could stop myself I was pushing past Edward to get to him, but before I could take two steps Edward had his hand around my arm stopping my process.
"Bella, they're not safe!" He growled.
"Let her go Cullen, or so help me I'll rip your ass apart right now." Jacob seethed, and the wolfs growled, coming closer.
I winced when Edward's hand tightened around my arm, as a tortured "No." feel from his lips. "No. No. No. NO." He growled, "It can't be possible."
And I knew he was seeing Jacob's thoughts, and I didn't know if I should feel bad for him, or a little satisfaction that he seemed to be pained over the idea, of me belonging to someone else.
His grip tightened further causing me to cry out and his eyes snapped to mine instantly, they were black and tortured and my heart hurt a little for him. "Your hurting me Edward." I murmured.
Eyes darting to my arm, he released me, a tortured sound leaving his throat when he saw the finger shaped bruises forming on my skin. "I'm so sorry, Bella." With on more tortured glance to my face he was gone.
Less than a second later I was surrounded by heat and hard muscle, and comforting words murmured into the top of my head. I let him hold me for a while, my mind to stunned to really function.
It wasn't until I felt Jacob's fingers brushing away my tears that I realized I was crying, "Are you okay, Bells?"
His voice was broken, pleading with me for reassurance as his eyes studied me intensely. "Yeah, Jake. I was just leaving to come and find you, and he was just there, when I opened the door, I didn't go out looking for him I promise."
I just desperately needed him to know that. It was him I was seeking out, no one else. "I know that honey. I would have been here sooner but he gave us the run around. I had followed you home to make sure you got here safe, I knew you were upset." He explained.
I just nodded into his chest, as his arms tightened around me a little more, "Who else is here?" I glanced in the direction the wolfs had been but all I saw was Charlie's empty yard.
"That was Sam and Jared. They are following the bloodsucker." The last part was said between gritted teeth.
And I suddenly felt a little worried, "They aren't going to kill him are they?"
Jacob pushed me back, studying my face for a moment before answering, "No, Bells, I gave them the order to just follow him home, to not attack unless provoked, but if he so much as thinks about touching you again, I'll kill him myself."
His voice was eerily calm, and I knew he meant every word. "He didn't mean to hurt me Jacob, I know that its hard for you to believe but I know he didn't."
"I know Bella, and that's the only reason he is alive right now. How does your arm feel?" He was holding my arm in one of his warm hands examining the marks there, his heated touch felt good against the bruising.
"Better now." I whispered honestly, studying his handsome features, he glanced up from my arm, studying my face just as intensely.
Dropping my arm, he brought his hands to my face, cupping my checks and stroking my jaw with his thumb. "I know you said you needed time, Bells, and I'll give you all the time you need, but can I kiss you, please."
"You can always kiss me, Jake, you never have to ask." I murmured.
His warm full lips gently kissed my own, tugging my bottom lip between his teeth, before requesting access to my mouth, I gave in willingly, needing to be near him.
One of his hands remained cupping my face as his other hand moved down my neck, over my shoulder, cupping my lower back he pulled me into him, as my hands gripped at his biceps, never wanting him to pull away from me.
Who needed oxygen, when you could breath in Jacob Black.
This kiss was different than others that we had shared, it wasn't a rushed lust fueled kiss, our tongues caressed each others gently and when the need for oxygen became to much his lips never left my skin. He moved his thumb under my jaw tilting me head at an angle as he left hot, open mouthed kisses down my neck and back up to my ear where a soft and reverent "Bells" escaped his lips before they were back on mine.
I'm sure we could have stood there all night, on Charlie's porch, in front of the still opened front door, if a sudden rustling from the woods hadn't grabbed both of our attentions.
Sam and Jared came walking out, donning only cargo shorts, they both seemed hesitant to approach.
Without taking his soulful eyes off of my own he asked, "Well, where is he?"
Sam glanced briefly at me before answering, "Chased him back to the Cullen place, made sure that, they knew not to let this happen again. They must have been watching Charlie's house, to have just been able to show up like that."
Jacob tensed briefly at his words, "We will need to take care of this, it is the second time it has happened. We need too have a meeting, everyone in attendance."
Jared opened his mouth a few times before finally asking what was currently running through my mind, "Bella too?"
"NO!" Jacob snarled, at the same time as I answered back with a "Yes."
Then we were glaring at each other, neither willing to back down. "You are out of your mind if you think you're going to tell me what to do, Jacob Black!"
His eyes narrowed further, his jaw twitching, but he wasn't shaking, "And you are out of your mind if you think I'm just going to bring you to the lot of them!"
"I'm not asking you to wrap a big bow around me and hand me over, they said they have something they need to talk to me about, not you! Me! And I won't be kept in the dark, he did that too me, I won't let you do it too!" I ranted.
His anger visibly melted at my words, "I would never keep you in the dark, Bella, I just don't like the idea of you being so near all of them."
"You'll be there to keep me safe, Jake." I reminded.
His shoulders sagged, before he turned to Sam and Jared who were looking anywhere but us. "What do you guys think?"
Sam shook his head immediately, "I would never be able to let Emily around one bloodsucker, much less seven."
Jared gazed between me and Jake, I could see the internal battle going through his mind. "I don't think they are here to hurt her, and the sooner we know what they returned for the sooner we can put it all behind us and they can leave."
Jake just nodded, even though I could tell he wanted to agree with Sam more than Jared, "Call their leader, set up a meeting for tomorrow night, at the treaty line." He ordered, dismissing the men at the same time.
I watched as they jogged off into the tree line without another word, I could tell by the look on Jacob's face that he wasn't all to happy with the way things worked out, well if he thought that was bad, "I could always just go over to their place, Jake, talk to them alone if you'd prefer."
His eyes narrowed once again and a small growl escaped his chest as my words registered to him. "Don't even think about it, Bella. We don't know if its safe!"
"Well then stop looking like I just kicked your puppy or something, they won't talk to you guys about what's going on, only me! So how else am I supposed to find out, it's the safest way! And you know yet!" I snapped, "Even though I think you are all over exaggerating!"
His demeanor changed once again and he wasted no time taking me back into his arms. "There is no such thing as too safe where your concerned, Bells. You are the other half of my soul."
My anger melted completely at his words and I sagged against him, "Imprint." I murmured.
He just gripped me tighter, "You figured it out?"
"Yeah that's why I was coming to find you, I had to tell you I wasn't afraid of you, I just had to let you know that, I had to see you that you were alright." I explained. "I didn't mean to hurt you." I mumbled against his chest.
"I understand, Bella, its a lot to take in, yeah?" He pressed a kiss to my hair, "So do you still need more time?"
"No." I answered immediately, I didn't want him to doubt me.
"Good, now lets get out of here, this is Cullen territory, and I'd feel safer having you in La Push, tonight." He released, "Do you have everything you need?"
I held up my stuff nodding, as he reached up grabbing the spare key and locking the house up. I handed him the keys over easily, just wanting to get to La Push as soon as possible.
It was a draining night, all in all.
"The rest of the pack must hate me?" I muttered, leaning against the plush seats as Jacob took off out of Charlie's driveway, heading toward the reservation.
I saw him glance at me out of the corner of his eye before his hand came down on mine, flipping it over to twine our fingers together, giving me a reassuring squeeze before he answered.
"Honestly, you are the only imprint, who didn't completely freak out, when they saw their wolfs for the first time. No one hates you Bella, you are family now, you always have been." He ended it with a soft brush of his lips on the inside of my palm, and I melted a little bit.
The next thing I knew I was being lifted from the truck, my eyes blinked open disoriented, noticing that we were at the Jake and Billy's house. "Go back to sleep, honey, I've got you."
I nodded, already well on my way to sleep when he laid me down in his bed, pulling my shoes off. I was still in my sweats from before, and I knew this wouldn't work. "Jake can I have one of your t-shirts, and turn the A.C. on will you?" I mumbled.
He let out a chuckle before grabbing me a shirt, "I'm going to give you a minute." Then he was out the door, and a couple of minutes later I heard the Air Conditioner kick on, and I shivered as the cool air blew against my skin.
"I'm dressed." I whispered, knowing he'd hear me anyway. "But it is getting cold in here without you."
The next moment he was walking into the room, a hesitant smile on his face, "I didn't really think, you'd want to share a bed, Bella."
I just reached my hand out to him and when he moved in the bed, I cuddled my body against his, "Not going to get rid of me that easy, Jake."
"So you really don't mind that I turn into a huge wolf?" He asked in a nonchalant voice, but I could hear the need for reassurance under it.
"No, Jake, you're my wolf." I was doing my best not to fall asleep as his warmth seeped through me, but I was fighting a losing battle.
And the last thing I heard before drifting off was, "And you're my, Bells."
I was so pissed off, even as I laid here, doing something I didn't think I'd be doing again for along time. Holding, Bella.
She had drifted off a couple of hours ago, but I couldn't turn my mind off long enough to do the same, all I could think about was, "What if I hadn't gotten there in time?"
I believed Bella, when she said she was going to see me, but he could have taken her so easily, right from me before I ever even had the chance to love her, to show her what she meant to me, he could have snatched her up and ran.
All it takes is one bite, and she'd be lost to me forever, and that was my biggest fear about this upcoming meeting. I could tell by the anguished look in his eye, that the bloodsucker was still in love with her, what if he changed her, just to spite me. Less than a second was all it would take for one of those parasites to bite down on her perfect skin, and then what?
I couldn't risk that, I couldn't risk losing her, she was my life and I was her protector, and I'd protect her against anything.
As she said I was her wolf.
And I would never fail her.
Bella shifted further into me wrapping her small arms around my waist and nuzzling my neck, we still had so much to talk about, me and her. Imprinting was a complex thing and I didn't want to burden her with it, but I knew I'd have to sit down and tell her all of the finer details of pack life, that dad had left out during the bonfire.
But for now, I needed to rest my weary mind, so nuzzling my nose into her thick mahogany hair, I allowed her scent to calm my overwhelmed nerves, and put the wolf to rest for the night.
I jerked awake, looking around. Bella's side of the bed was empty and I started to panic, wondering exactly what it was that woke me up, where was my girl?
Without to much thought I dashed out of my room, skidding to a halt when I spotted Bella, wearing nothing but an old t-shirt of mine, absentmindedly scratching the back of her leg with her other foot. She still had a serious case of bed head, and she was flipping pancakes onto a platter next to the skillet.
A brief imagine of her in our own home, doing this exact thing put a huge smile on my face. Bella was simple, she didn't need the biggest, best things, but if she did, I'd find away to get it for her. I'd make her happy, no matter what.
She must have been up for a while, because the pile was rather high, and I leaned up against the door frame, as she leaned over, turning the fire off on the stove, I didn't want to startle her and have her burn herself, so I waited for her to notice me.
And I wasn't disappointed when she did, looking up from the sink that she was placing the dirty skillet into, she broke out into a huge smile. "I know its late, but I know pancakes are your favorite."
I moved purposely over to her, wrapping her up in my arms, "Anything you make is my favorite, Bella."
She hummed into my chest, giving a little contented sigh, that made my heart race. "Well lets eat before the food gets cold."
After stocking the kitchen table with everything we'd need for breakfast, I took her chair and pulled her next to me. Wrapping my leg around hers under the table. Her eyes met mine and I could see the mirth there.
"Are you playing footsie with me, Mr. Black?"
Deciding to be honest I replied, "No, I just couldn't stand not touching you for another minute."
She blushed a little, "I know how you feel, it was hard getting out of bed this morning, p.s. you totally sleep like a dead person." She shook her head in mock exasperation.
"Do not!" I faked a hurt expression and she smiled.
"Yeah you do, I was banging around in her for at least forty five minutes before you showed up! And then with as loud as your bed is, geez, we're going to have to get a new one for the new house." She stopped and her eyes widened, as she realized what she said.
But I couldn't help the huge smile that came over my face at her words, "You can pick it out." I replied, not letting her off the hook.
"Oh no I mean its your house, Jake." She wouldn't even look at me.
"Bells, look at me honey." It took her a moment to do so, and I could tell she felt embarrassed by the look in her eyes, "Anything that is mine, belongs to you. My house included. You will be the only other person besides me to sleep in that bed, and I could sleep anywhere, so you're picking it out."
She studied my face for a moment before giving me her shy smile, the one that was just for me, "Okay." She murmured, and I couldn't resist stealing a kiss from her sweet mouth.
The rest of breakfast went by quickly, as much of the afternoon did, and before we knew it, Billy's, small living room was filled with pack members, all arguing over Bella coming with us or not.
They seemed to be evenly divided on the idea, all arguing their own side while, Bella and I sat on the couch watching them, and I think we were all surprised when Bella stood, placing two fingers in her mouth as she let loose one of the loudest whistles I had ever heard, and it stopped everyone in their tracks.
All eyes turned to her, including mine. "Alright guys, first of all, you are all talking about me like I'm not sitting right here in front of you, secondly this is my decision, and while I love each and everyone of you for caring about me, I've made that decision. Me and Jake have talked it over, and we have both decided that its best that I go. That way you can all be there for the meeting, because either way I will talk to them, with you there or alone, they have something to tell me, not you. Now, I'm going get some warmer clothes on its almost time to go."
With that she turned down the hall leaving the rest of us gaping for a moment.
"Don't tell me you're okay with this!" Leah demanded.
"Yeah, Jake, this is seriously fucked up, man!" Embry agreed.
I stood up, tired of the bickering. "Bella is right, and as much as I hate the idea of her being within a hundred miles of any bloodsucker, it will be a hell of a lot more safe with us there, than if she just saw them alone. So stop with the bitching, she may not admit to it, but its stressing her out, she's worried about causing problems in the pack as it is, so cut the shit out." I demanded.
"Whatever." Leah snapped, heading out the door with a slam.
I just shook my head at her, she really needed to cut it with the dramatics, as Bella made her way back to the front room, this time in jeans, a sweater and one of my pullovers. I smiled at that.
"You just love my clothes don't you?" I teased, giving her a chaste kiss on the lips.
"I didn't have a jacket." She pouted.
"I'll keep you warm baby."
And just as I was about to lean in, kissing her again we were interrupting. "Okay, I think I speak for everyone when I say lets get this thing moving, bad enough we have to see this in your mind when we are phased, we don't need front row tickets too."
I glared a Quil, thinking about doubling his patrols, but he was right, we only had five minutes to get there.
Making our way out to the tree line beside my father's house, I turned to Bella, "So, ever rode a horse before."
I know my mouth must have dropped open when he asked me that, but now, from my spot and Jake's back, my body all but buried in his soft fur, as I held on to him. I thought it was going to be hard to keep myself on his back, but his movements were steady and fluent, and I was barely jostled even when he leaped over fallen trees and darted around branches. He moved almost as fast as Edward had, but with Jake I wasn't getting that motion sickness feeling I used to always get after riding on the back of a vampire.
I had a feeling he could go faster, that he was just taking it slow for me, and the pack didn't seem to mind much, they stayed around us at all times, keeping us surrounded, I knew that they were all worried about what the Cullen's return would mean for me, and I loved them for it.
All to soon we started to slow down and Jake dropped to the ground allowing me a easier way off his back. I slide off and was immediately surrounded by wolfs on any side of me, as Jake trotted off behind a near by tree, reemerging a minute later in only a pair of cut of pajama pants.
He came straight over to me, throwing an arm over my shoulder and studying my face. "You sure about this?"
"Jake, stop worrying about me. Lets just get this over with, see what's so important." I didn't want to let on how much I was starting to worry about what the Cullen's had to say.
I had a couple ideas but I didn't want to freak out before there was reason too.
Jake just nodded, leading us forward a little ways. It was dark and I couldn't see all that far in front of me, but it wasn't long before I could make out the shapes of the seven vampires lining the trees in front of me. Their skin glowed in the weak light from the moon as they all stood their immobile, I wasn't sure they were even breathing.
And my chest tightened as I gazed at each of them, all of them even more beautiful than my weak human memory could remember. Their expressions varied from Rosalie, who unsurprisingly looked bored to, Alice, who was all but busting at the seems to get to me, it was Esme who caught my attention the must she looked so heartbroken yet hopeful and beside her Emmett was giving me his patented grin, dimples included.
Jasper gave me a small nod when I looked his way and Edward just studied me with a remorseful look on his tortured faced, he was barely making eye contact with me. Carlisle was at the front of the group which wasn't a surprise and he had a gentle smile on his face as he watched me, watch them.
"Bella, its so lovely to see you dear." He smiled as my eyes locked on him.
My eyes narrowed, "You too Carlisle, though I don't imagine you've missed me too much, with how you all abandoned me and all."
His smile dropped but he never broke eye contact with me, "We can explain that-"
I stopped him before he could continue, not really wanted to rehash that just yet, "You guys said you have something important to talk to me about, so lets just focus on that for now."
Carlisle just nodded, glancing back at Alice, as she stepped forward. "Bella, about a year ago, I started getting visions. Of a fight, a war really. It happened here in Forks, in the same field we all played baseball in that one time, do you remember?"
I nodded my answer, "Good, well for a while none of it made any sense, then I started seeing flashes of Victoria, one of her in your old bedroom gathering some of your things together, of her passing them out to the others. She's been patiently waiting for you to return Bella, because she couldn't find you after you moved. She's planning on attacking, her and her newborn army. She wants you dead and she doesn't care what she has to do to see it happen, she wants you for herself, and after she has that, she plans on turning the rest of the newborns loose on the town, its why we came back, we were waiting for you to return as well."
Before I could even think about how to respond, the air was filled with horror inducing growls, my pack was not very happy to hear the news.