Author's note: All character's belong to Stephenie Meyers. Please review, it really makes me happy. :)
(This story starts off the same as Jacob's Eclipse, and will detour in chapter 3. They are NOT the same story)
Chapter 1 – WAR
Again! Sam yelled, as I picked myself up from the ground shaking dirt and gravel from my fur. Paul crouched down and we circled and evaded one another, each of us reading the mind of the other. Our pack mates watched closely and their own thoughts mixed in as well intensifying the challenge. We all have been practicing for days trying to sharpen our reflexes, and allowing our wolf to react rather than think and decide. When successful our wolf would move almost completely without thought and catch the other one by surprise, it was fantastic. Sam was careful not to let any of us get too seriously injured, but lets just say it is a good thing we heal fast.
When I returned from Bella's with the knowledge that she wanted the Cullens to make her one of them it became clear that the treaty was going to be broken. We had no idea how much time we would have, but we wanted to be ready.
Our greatest obstacles were Edward's ability to read our minds and Alice's ability to know the future. Her knowing what we were going to do the moment we decided was scary and our only option was to be faster than ever before. There would be no time to hesitate or second guess, no time to think. Jasper's ability to control our emotions was equally scary, and I sure hoped that Sam had some idea of how to counteract that because I could think of nothing. We knew that the Cullen coven would be a united front and we would have to be ready.
Fight training turned out to be a perfect way to vent our pent up anxiety and frustration. None of us took the treaty being broken lightly, and would not hesitate to declare war. However for me it was so much more than a treaty that was being violated, it was Bella, laying herself on the alter as a human sacrifice. How could she not value her life more than that? Does she not see how important she is?
Suddenly I felt Paul's hard head directly into to my chest and I was on my back and his teeth instantly went around my throat making it where I couldn't breathe. Paul stand down. Sam ordered, and Paul's hold immediately released and oxygen refilled my lungs. Great job Paul, Sam acknowledged. Jacob distractions like that are going to get you killed.
Once again I picked myself off the ground and was angry and embarrassed. I hated that Bella still had that affect on me. I couldn't help but think about her, she called all the time and just wouldn't take the hint that we were over. There was never a we to begin without, outside of being her "best friend" and I knew that the love I had for her could not be stuffed back inside the ''friendship box", we had gotten too close for that. That ship had sailed, and along with it my hopes and dreams of a life with Bella.
Pulling myself together I sat to the side and watched the next set sparring with one another, sometimes it was one on one and other times we had two on one. Some days were spent more on the mental training of combat and others were more physical endurance. Fighting against a large coven was mostly likely not going to be over very quickly and we so we ran for hours and hours. Most of the time we could make a game similar to tag, where one or two wolves would be "it" and would try and hit the others to work on dodging and running. After a couple more hours Sam declared training over and we all went home hungry and tired.
Quil had joined the pack about one week after the Cullens returned. He was so freaking excited to be in on the secret, and have his friends back, he didn't care about anything else. He stayed a wolf for just over a week, not in any hurry to get back to his human life and his girlfriend got frustrated not knowing where he was and broke up with him. They had only been dating about a month, so Quil took the break up well and really so did she. I must admit it is fantastic to have Quil with us and to not have to keep it from him anymore.
The pack feels complete and there is a sense of unity among us all, a brotherhood. Well maybe not all, Leah is still as difficult as ever and never fails to remind us of how she feels like an 'outsider' among 'outsiders'. We have all learned to pretty much take her moaning and complaining as just part of her charming personality.
In no time I made it home, landing on two feet, slipped on my shorts and walked inside. It was dark inside with only a handwritten note indicating that dad had gone fishing with Charlie. I cringed at the idea of what those two gossips would plan and scheme while having the whole day together. As much as I loved my dad, he really needed to get a life so he could stay out of mine. I suppose I could try and just pretend like I wasn't dying a little more each day that I ignored Bella, and then he wouldn't worry so much, but I wasn't really good about hiding my feelings. I always seemed to lay things out straight, just how it was. You couldn't sugar coat crap, and that is just how things are right now.
I walked over to the freezer and smiled when I saw three boxes of pizza staring back at me. I got them all out and turned on the oven while I sat them on the counter. I opened one box took the plastic wrap and cardboard off and placed it in the oven. It would need to cook for 20 minutes so I decided to jump in the shower and get cleaned up. The water felt great relaxing my tired muscles and I washed my hair and realized I would need to cut it again soon. I probably should have weeks ago, but I just didn't have the energy to care.
I got out of the shower, dried myself off, and walked to my room for some sweat pants. As I entered the kitchen I could smell the pizza and my mouth began to water. I removed the hot pizza from the oven and got the second pizza out of the box placing it in the oven to cook. I ate the first pizza while the 2nd cooked, and when it was ready did the same with the third. Once I was finished eating I sat down in front of the TV for some mindless relaxation.
It didn't take long before I heard my dad rolling in the front door.
"Hey Dad, there is some pizza on the counter if you are hungry." I said from the couch.
"Okay, thanks." Billy replied as he rolled over to me and dropped a folded square piece of paper that said 'Jacob' across the front into my lap.
"What is this?" I asked picking it up. He completely ignored me as he rolled back into the kitchen, I assumed for pizza. I opened the paper and my eyes about jumped out of their sockets as I read.
Please Jacob, talk to me! I didn't read any further as the paper dropped from my hands and floated like a feather to the floor, as I bolted from the couch and stormed into the kitchen.
"What the hell was that!" I yelled.
"Jacob she's trying. Give her a chance to fix things." Billy took two slices of pizza and set them on his plate and rolled in front of the kitchen table.
"What on earth for? Do you want me to just pretend that she isn't suicidal? Or has she given Edward up?" I asked sarcastically while pacing back and forth in our small kitchen.
"No. She hasn't. But she cares about you, maybe you could get her to change her mind."
"Like that'll ever happen."
"Well maybe it would if you would stop sulking, put on your big boy pants and read that damn note. You might just learn something."
I stopped dead in my tracks in the middle of the kitchen, "Did you read it?" I was so shocked I didn't know what more to say.
"No, good grief Jacob. Neither Charlie nor I have read it. But the fact that she sent it in the first place is all I needed to know."
I pulled my chair out and slumped into it, "I can't believe this." I said shaking my head.
"Come on Jacob, she needs you and I know you need her too."
"But that's the problem Dad, I need her far more than she needs me. I can't go back to being the friend she wants me to be, too much has happened."
"Wouldn't her friendship be better than nothing at all?"
"I don't know. What would be the point?"
"And I think she needs you even more than you need her, she just doesn't realize it."
"I know." I looked up and I could see the note, shouting at me from the living room floor. "I can't deal with this right now, I'm going for a walk." I said, as I stood from the table.
"Okay. Hey there is a bucket of fish outside, would you mind bringing them in."
"Sure, sure." I said as I got up and walked outside grabbed the bucket and brought inside next to the kitchen sink. "I'll be back before too late."
As I stepped outside I could see the sun start to descend and I knew it would be slipping away into darkness soon. I walked over to the beach and listened to the waves come and lick my feet before receding back into the ocean. My mind was a mess, I didn't know what to do about Bella. Why was a friendship with me so important to her if she wasn't planning on giving up Edward and her desire to be one of them? I did the best I could to avoid thinking about that last part, how her skin would ice over, her beautiful heart would no longer beat, and her chocolate brown eyes would be lost forever.
A silent tear slipped out of the corner of my eye and my heart ached at the possibility of Bella being my enemy. The instinct to attack and kill would spread through my body regardless of the face that stood before me. I felt helpless as I sat down in the rough sand, laying flat on my back as I watched the sun continue to slip away. I felt someone come and sit beside me, but I didn't bother to turn my head to see who it was, instead I just watched as the sky filled with blazing oranges and pinks until slowly the colors slipped away into black.
I felt a hand, small and cold, settle itself into my own. For a second I didn't move, had Bella driven out here? I had never known Bella to be this silent, and I'm sure she would have had plenty to say if she were here. Also I knew Bella's scent by heart and this was very different. I could smell sweat mixed with a sweet apple smell, like a lotion or perfume. I lightly moved my hand and could feel the delicate fingers and my thumb rubbed the soft skin at the wrist, it felt so different that I had no idea who's hand it could be. Slowly out of curiosity I turned my head and saw the dark russet skin and hazel eyes that I knew to belong to Jackie.
I laid my head back down and relaxed my hand, which she didn't let go of, and looked out across the night sky. "What are you doing?" I asked.
"You just looked so lonely."
"Did it ever occur to you that I wanted to be alone?"
"Yes." She took a deep breathe. "Something has happened to you Jake, and it scares me sometimes." Her voice trembled some and I looked at her arms covered in goosebumps. She had a tight sleeveless shirt, matching pink and brown pants, and running shoes, I guess she had been running along the beach when she found me.
I brought my hands to my side, making her drop mine, and pushed myself to a sitting position and brought her to my side. "Where's your jacket?" I could feel her cold arm against my hot skin and brought my hand around to her other arm.
"In my car, I get really hot when I run so I don't usually need it. I didn't exactly plan on being out so late."
"Oh." It was painfully obvious that I was the reason that she was still here and I didn't really know what I thought of that. Jackie was a nice girl when she wasn't spreading rumors about our romance, a romance that was about as real as the Easter Bunny. She had kissed me once in the school parking lot, I didn't kiss her back so it didn't really count as a real kiss, however no matter what I said no one believed me that nothing was going on. I knew it was bad when even Quil and Embry thought I was holding out on them and keeping it a secret from them. Truth be told there was nothing to tell, other than today the only times I saw Jackie was at school and these days the pack pretty much stayed to ourselves.
I heard Jackie take a deep sigh and felt her body relax so that her head rested on my chest. "You're really hot Jake."
I couldn't help but chuckle. "Thanks."
She lifted her head and smacked me in the chest with her hand. "Not like that, you dork. Well maybe that is true too." She ducked her head embarrassed. "But that wasn't what I meant."
"Sure, sure. It's no big deal."
"Why are you so hot? You're not sick are you?" She asked as she reached her hand out to probably touch my forehead.
I leaned out of the way. "No I'm not sick. The heat is just genetic, just part of who I am."
"Your dad's not this hot."
"Glad you think so."
She just rolled her eyes. "Ha, ha. Okay, I admit I walked right into that one."
"The heat skipped his generation, and my mom's family had this issue as well." We were both silent for a moment, and I hoped that explanation was good enough. "And speaking of my dad, I need to be heading home."
We each got up and brushed the sand from our legs and back side. "Do you need me to walk with you to your car?" La Push was a pretty safe area, but I thought it would be rude to just leave her there.
"Sure, thanks." She said with a smile.
Her car wasn't far and we walked in silence. I watched as she unlocked her door and I waved 'goodbye' as she climbed in.
What an unexpected evening this has turned out to be. When I got home I helped dad get to bed, neither of us speaking and I crawled into bed shortly after. The note was still on the living room floor exactly where it had landed and stayed there for two days, neither of us wanted to touch it. However the longer it stayed there the bigger it seemed to grow, soon it would fill up the whole living room.
Finally as I was eating breakfast before school, dad wheeled himself in to watch some TV as he straddled his chair over the note he had had enough. "Jacob pick up that note or I will. And if it is still there I'm reading it this time."
I glared at him as I finished my last bite of cereal and placed the bowl in the sink. I went to the bathroom, brushed my teeth, and then gathered my books, placing them in my backpack for school. As I walked back in, I planned to simply walk right out the door until I saw my dad with the note open on his lap. "What the crap Dad?"
"Hey, I warned you fair and square. If you didn't want to know what she had to say, that is your problem, but I sure as hell did."
"I can't believe you." I walked over and yanked it from his lap and shoved it in my backpack and walked out the door making sure that it slammed loudly behind me. I knew he hated it when I slammed the door and I could hear him grumbling inside.
He totally deserved it nosy old man. I never dreamed he was serious with his threat, but I knew I should have. He never has handled secrets very well. I approached Quil and Embry who were both waiting for me at Embry's house, I hoped that they would be able to see my irritation and just let it go, but I guess nothing was going my way today.
"Hey Jake!" Embry called.
"Hey." I answered sourly.
"Dude Jacob, what crawled inside your pants and died?" Quil snickered.
"Ohhhh." They both said together.
"Are you still ignoring her calls?" Quil asked.
"What did she do this time?" Embry asked.
"She sent a freaking note from her dad, to mine, to me!"
Quil clutched his stomach and started laughing so hard he almost tripped. "Man, that is awesome." Quil stammered once he could breathe again.
"You are seriously messed up." I said, shaking my head.
"So what did the note say?" Embry asked.
"You'll have to ask my dad, he's the one who read it." This time is was Embry's turn to almost fall over laughing.
"Why haven't you read it?" Quil asked.
"If I wanted to know what she had to say I would answer the damn phone, not pretend I was in 2nd grade." I gave a frustrated sigh.
These guys knew my frustration with Bella more than anyone. Despite my best intention I couldn't help but have her on my mind each and every time we patrolled and they probably wanted me to move on. Or at least settle things so that I could pretend to move on, having Bella tangling in the air wasn't good on anyone. However, I couldn't think of anything that she could possibly have to say to me.
We made it to class and as I pulled out my stuff from my backpack I saw the crumbled note buried deep inside, calling to me, begging to be heard. I know I was being stubborn and stupid, but I couldn't handle feeling the hope that she still cared about me or the pain of knowing it was really over. Finally by 3rd period I had had enough and I couldn't take it any longer, so when I pulled out my books and notepad I reluctantly pulled out Bella's note. I smoothed out the ruffled edges.
Please, Jacob talk to me! There has got to be something that I can do. I'm sorry, I know that it hurts you that I am friends with the Cullens, but they are part of my life too. You are my very best friend and I know that we can make this work. I miss you and I need to figure out a way to be your friend as well, if you would only just talk to me, please Jake, please.
After reading the note, I knew I should respond. There is just something so personal about hand written words that is so much harder to ignore. Maybe it was because it was such a physical reminder, as soon as the phone stops ringing than your window of conversation is over, but with a note that window never closes. I flipped to the next page of my notebook and started to write.
What were you thinking! I do not want to talk to you.
No that wasn't really what I wanted to say and I ripped the page from my notebook and it made a loud tearing sound and everyone stared at me, including my teacher who stopped and looked confused.
"I'm sorry. I won't do that again." I stammered.
I don't know why you're making Charlie carry notes to Billy like we're in second grade – if I wanted to talk to you I would answer the . . . Well that wasn't really what I wanted to say either, but instead of ripping the page out, I just crossed it out, and tried again.
You made the choice here, okay? You can't have it both ways when . . . It is not like she could have us both she needed to understand that.
What part of 'mortal enemies' is too complicated for you to . . . I had been writing so hard that I broke the tip of my pen and ink leaked over the page.
Look, I know I'm being a jerk, but there's just no way around . . . Dammit it was no longer just the tip that broke as the pen shattered between my fingers. I grumbled to myself as I reached inside my backpack for another pen, making sure that I didn't hold it quite so tightly.
We can't be friends when you're spending all your time with a bunch of . . . Oops should probably stop there, she hates when I use the terms 'bloodsuckers' or 'leeches' to describe her 'friends'.
It just makes it worse when I think about you too much, so don't write anymore . . . Nothing I could think of was coming out the way I wanted it to.
Yeah, I miss you, too. A lot. Doesn't change anything. Sorry.
Angrily I put a dark black line through every word I had written, I was afraid that my arm would start shaking and give away the pain and anger that I felt. I got to the last line and I just couldn't mark it out, the truth of the words sprung from the page. So I simply added my name to the bottom and folded it. I was about to put both notes back in my backpack when the bell rang and Quil leaped from his desk grabbed Bella's note and sprinted out the door.
Quil was going to be one dead dog by the time I got to him as I sprung from my desk to follow him down the hall.
"Oh come on Jake, you know we all were going to know what it says anyways." Embry tried to reason with. "This will just save you from having to think of it later."
"That is so not the point Em."
Embry and I caught up with Quil in the cafeteria with a huge tray of food, looking completely innocent, like there was no reason for me to punch him in the nose. He was very wise to remain in a public place otherwise I certainly would have. The rest of the day was uneventful, Quil grew a conscious (black and blue in color) and gave me the note back before walking to my house.
We had an afternoon snack, that would probably be two full meals for a normal person, and then hung out in the garage. I was still in a pretty sour mood, but thankfully they chose to ignore me and just let me sulk. The best of friends knew when to push you on an issue and when to let it go, and these guys were the best.
At dinner Dad apologized for invading my privacy with the note and I easily accepted, but I could still feel the tension between us. Bella had become a thick cloud hanging over both our heads and I knew it would burst at any moment, I just wasn't sure what the damage would be once it started. As I got Dad ready for bed I placed my note back to Bella on his dresser.
"This is my response to Bella, you can read it if you want to, I don't care. I won't reply to another one so if another comes, read it, burn it, whatever, but don't give it to me. I'm done."
I saw the sadness mixed with understanding in his eyes as I walked out the door. I just wish that my heart would be as "done" as my brain was. I hated the powerful affect that she still had over me, but I was going to simply take one day at a time and keep putting one foot in front of the other. I would make my dad proud and continue to serve the pack to the best of my ability.