A/N: Hard chapter to right. Next ones gonna be even harder D: Review please!

Chapter Forty:

When Secrets Kill

Chapter Song: Breathe Me by Sia / You Could Be Happy by Snow Patrol

I lied to my mom when I told her I'd start packing this week. I couldn't bare the thought of touching any of my belongings and placing them in boxes, which I had none of. I couldn't even bare the thought of telling everybody of my departing. It was still a secret that would kept locked inside me till the very last moment possible. While sitting on my bed, a hundred million thoughts running through my head, pictures mound in frames around my room were staring daggers at me. A smiling portrait of the girls and I was looking directly into my soul at one end of my room, it was screaming 'can't wait to have you back'. At the other end, there was a photo of Jacob and I being all loving and romantic with each other. He was smiling in the picture, but when he found out about me leaving, that'd disappear along with our relationship. Stop staring at me, I silently yelled at the photos. A squeak emitted from my mattress as I stood up and walked over to the photo of Jacob and I, picking it up in my hands and brushing my fingertips over the two of us.

"You've got to start somewhere." I whispered feeling quite defeated to myself. Taking the photo of us, I started by placing it on my bed. I did the same with the one of the girls and I. There had to be a box somewhere, anywhere in the room. I proceeded to go through my closet and search for a box, a container…something. I threw my closet doors open and kneeled down to the floor. Before I knew it, I found myself throwing clothes and shoes around my room even after finding a box or two in the depths of my closet. I raided my closet, finding books, shoes, and several long sleeved shirts I started piling in the boxes. I even found old journal entries I wrote when I first arrived in Forks, complaining how much I hated being here and how much I hated my life. I took them in my hands and shredded them, rolling them up into crinkly little balls. I sniffled from both the dust clogging up my nose and the tears that refused to fall from my eyes. Grabbing one of the boxes, I plopped it onto my bed, carefully placing the two frames in it after one, long, last look. Packing all this stuff up was pulling at my heart. Pulling? No, pulling was the wrong word. More like taking my heart and yanking it out of my chest. A sickening feeling sat in my stomach and wouldn't go away.

"Looks like you're up early." Footsteps entered my room; what was Sam doing back so early, I thought he went out?

"If you call two in the afternoon early." I retorted, not realizing exactly what situation I was dragged into now. A gasp hitched in my throat as I realized the voice didn't belong to Sam but none other than Jacob, who had now turned silent. I could feel his eyes examining around the room and burning into my back.

"What's all this?" Jacob curiously asked. My jaw clenched and my head began pounding. I couldn't face him, this wasn't supposed to plan out like this.

"Ariana," Jacob asked more seriously, "what's all this?" His voice rose a little bit. With a big heap of courage and a painful bite of my lip, I turned around to face Jacob with glassy eyes.

"Jacob…" I started but couldn't seem to finish.

"Why the hell are you putting things in boxes? Why does it look like you're…packing? Why the hell are you packing?" He exclaimed, his frustration rising. I took in a sharp breath of air.

"Do you remember, two weeks ago, when my mom called?" Jacob harshly nodded. "And I told you that she was just checking in," I whimpered, pressing my lips together to form a line, "but I lied. She called, to tell me she got transferred back to Australia."

"What?" Jacob sounded like he had the wind knocked out of him. He was breathless.

"Jacob," I started, "I'm going back."

Boom. The bomb was dropped. It had exploded and demolished everything in its path. Heat flushed over my body and my skin felt numb. My fingertips prickled and tingled with very little sensation while the rest of my hands couldn't feel anything except a wave of heat. Why wasn't Jacob saying anything? Why wasn't I saying anything?

"Jacob, please say something." My shaky voice cracked.

"Two weeks? You've known about it for two week and you kept this from me?"

"I couldn't bare to tell you. I love you to much to hurt you this much."

"Who else knows about this?"

"Alice. That's it." My voice was so timid compared to his. I was like a little girl being reprimanded for her actions. I was so vulnerable. And stupid.

"The bloodsucker found out before I did?" He yelled.

"She saw it in her vision! I didn't say a word to her. She saw my answer before I knew it."

"You're leaving?"

"I don't want to, Jake. I really don't."

"Then don't!"

"Do you understand how hard of a decision this was for me? I've never been so conflicted in my life!"

"You can't go." He pleaded. "You can't leave all of us."

"And I can't leave my mom, my friends. They need me."

"We need you! You can't go." Jacob repeated, I noticed his hands shaking. That wasn't good, none of this was good!

"Jacob, I have to. Look at what happened this week. How much longer is it until I get exposed? I can't risk that."

"How could you leave us?" He sounded nothing but betrayed.

"Jake, don't do this." I whispered. Jacobs face scrunched up in utter anger and he stormed out of my room.

"Jake, no, wait!" I yelled, running out of my room and to the stairs. I leaned myself over the banister just as the front door shut.

"Ariana?" Emily called from downstairs. I didn't bother answering her as I ran back into my room and over to the window just to see a furry tail disappear into the woods. I straightened myself up and began pacing my room, hyperventilating into my hands that covered my mouth and nose. This is exactly what I wanted to prevent. Please let this be a dream, please let this be a dream! Or a terrible nightmare. I wanted nothing but to closed my eyes and reopen them to find myself safe and happy in my bed.

"Ariana, what was that about?" Emily came rushing into the room. My tears blurred her petite figure. "Honey, what's all this?"

"Em," I sobbed, "there's something I need to tell you."

"What's," she noticed the boxes, "what's going on? Did you two have a fight?" I nodded. "Tell me what's going on."

"This is my fault." I bawled. And I cried and cried, and finally sunk down on my knees. I pressed my hands to my mouth, trying to catch my racing heart but it was no use. I clutched my stomach in pure agony. This was more painful than being tortured. My heart felt like it was torn out of my chest and ripped apart on the floor in front of me. I fell back onto the floor and pressed my back against my bed, hugging my knees tight. I stopped my sobbing and tried to take hold of myself, but my cries just turned silent. There was an elephant sitting on my chest, specifically on my heart. There was no possible way I could have told Jacob in a worst way. Emily walked back in my room minutes later, cups of steaming cocoa in her hands. She joined me on the floor and handed me a mug. I wrapped my hands around it and pressed the ceramic to my lips, sniffling as the heat hit my nose.

"Now why don't you tell me what's going on." She suggested. The next breath I took in was shaky, and I didn't want to tell her, but I had to eventually.

"I'm leaving." I said in the strongest voice I could muster…which was a whisper.

"You're leaving?" She repeated.

"My mom called two weeks ago, they transferred her back."

"Back? Back to Australia?" I nodded to answer her.

"Ari, that's great!" Well, that certainly wasn't the response I was expecting. I looked up to her, more confused than ever. Great? How was this great for everyone? Even I was kind of upset about it!

"How is it great?"

"Of course we're all going to miss you more than words can say and you've become more like my daughter than anything, but honey, you're supposed to be smiling and excited, not in tears crying."

"I can't help it. This was hands down the hardest decision I've ever made."

"I can only imagine. You don't want to leave your family here but you don't want to leave your family there either."

"I'm still so torn."

"You should be happy." Emily smiled, tucking a lock of brown hair behind my ear.

"So why do I feel like crying so much? Like I'm shattered into a million unfixable little pieces."

"Because you're heartbroken. It happens to the best of us. You're leaving Jacob, but it's for the best. As hard as it may seem now, the moment you land in Australia and see your mom, your friends, it'll all be better." Emily persuaded. My head hung low and I clutched it in my shaking arms.

"So now I understand why you've been so distant the past week. I've felt bad you seemed a little depressed."

"I feel like I'm drowning."

"Says the mermaid." Emily chuckled but became serious beside the slight smile on her lips, "you're depressed, and you're conflicted. It'll all go away with time. Here, why don't I help you pack?" I nodded, squeezing my eyes shut to block away the tears.

"Thank you." I whispered, leaning in to give Emily a hug.

"I'm going to miss you so much, baby." After she said that, all my words were caught in my throat. I just nodded, agreeing with what she said. Emily has been more like a mom than my real mom, and I loved her just as much. This hurt just as much as the first time my mom left on her first job. Actually, maybe it hurt worse.

After a few hours of packing and remaining with Emily, the front door finally opened and Sam called to his fiancée.

"Emily, I'm back."

"Oh no." I whispered.

"You can do it, don't worry." Emily forced me out of my room and out into the hallway. "Go!" She urged, waving me down the stairs. Sam had to find out sooner or later. But in my mind, later was still the better. Shakily, I walked down the stairs with legs that felt that they could cave at any given moment. My right hand clamped onto the banister so tightly my circulation was being cut off. What if my brother reacted like Jacob? What if he reacted worse? What if he was so ticked off at me, he'd kick me out right now? I mean, how could I betray all of them like this? My hand let go of the banister as Sam turned around and saw me come down the stairs.

"There you are." He commented. My mouth stayed glued shut. I took my last step phone. "What's up?" He looked up and noticed my soft glare. I blinked a few times, staying silent. His thick brows pushed together in wonder.

"I'm leaving." I said.

"Okay, bye." His brows stayed in a tight knit.

"No, Sam, I'm leaving. I'm leaving, leaving. As in leaving Forks."

"You're leaving Forks?" He asked me in disbelief.

"I'm leaving Forks. I'm leaving La Push. I'm leaving Washington. I'm leaving the freakin' United States!" I cried and took in another sharp breath that seemed to pierce my aching lungs. "Mom called two weeks ago, she got her old job back. We're going home. I'm sorry, I'm so sorry." My voice turned into but a whisper. I expected Sam to storm out of the room as did Jacob, or yell and do something. He did do something…something completely unexpected.

He hugged me.

His muscular arms pulled me in for one of the tightest hugs of my life. I could barely breath, but I liked it.

"Why should you be sorry? This is what you wanted since you got here, I'm happy for you little sis." He pulled away.

"You're really not mad?"

"Why would I be mad?"

"I told Jacob earlier. We had a huge fight and he ran away." Sam stood there silent for a minute, realizing how this was affecting Jacob. His imprint was moving away, and he was feeling the pain before it was even happening. He couldn't even imagine what pain Jacob would be in once I left.

"Call Billy later, see if he's home." I nodded my head and wrapped my arms around Sam, enjoying the moment since our time was now limited.

Hours passed and I spent most of them staring at the kitchen clock, glaring down the ticking hands as the seconds and minutes passed. It was quarter to ten and I was sitting in the kitchen alone, the lights dim. I picked up the house phone sitting in its cradle on the counter and held down the blue sticky note Sam gave me with the Black home number on it. I punched in the numbers and pressed the phone to my ear. What was I supposed to do if he didn't pick up? Drive over to his house to see if Jacob was there? It was almost ten, what if Billy was asleep?

"Hello?" Okay, maybe he wasn't asleep. He definitely wasn't, I could hear a football game blaring in the background with Charlie Swan rooting for his team.

"Hey, Billy." I began, my voice timid and nervous. "Sorry for calling so late, it's Ariana."

"No problem, kid, what's up?"

"Sorry if this is a bad time, but is Jacob there?"

"He hasn't been home all night. Is he not with Sam? I've been starting to worry I've usually heard from him by now."

"No, we got into a fight earlier and he ran off, I haven't seen him in hours."

"Alright," he sighed, "if I hear anything I'll let you or Sam know." Sam entered the room and watched me curiously.

"Okay. Thank you." I whispered. The phone beeped when I hung up.

"Anything?" Sam asked.

"Nothing, he hasn't been home. He hasn't heard from him."

"I'll go out and look for him." Sam offered.

"It's fine, he hates me right now. He'll show up soon."

"Give him some space, he'll come around eventually."

"I hope." I sighed loudly, resting my head down on the counter.

The following day, I headed down to the beach to clear my head, if that was even possible. Forks was beginning to warm up, well, for Forks that is. There weren't anymore days where it was so cold I was almost positive I was going to get hypothermia—average temperature was now ranging to about forty five-fifty degrees. Delightful, right?Well, I wouldn't have to worry about that for long. The warm Australia sun was soon in my reach.

It'd been thirty and some odd hours since my fight with Jacob and not a word has been spoken by him via anything. He hadn't called, texted, sent one of the pack after me. Nothing. He disappeared in his wolf form into the woods, gone with no trace. Billy called back this morning, much to my dismay with no good news. I thought he was calling to tell me he found Jacob and he was sitting at home waiting for me, but he only called to ask me if I'd seen him because he never returned home last night, and he was severely worried.

But I came here to get my mind off of Jacob, I had to focus on someone else now. Actually, three someone else's.

Sitting myself down, my boot clad feet dug into the sand. I pulled my phone out of my pocket and began scrolling through pictures of the girls and I. There we were, wide smiles and not a care in the world sitting at the Juice Net sipping away at brain-freezing Blueberry Blitz's. And here was one with Zane, the two of us looking like brother and sister. I missed these days. I missed my friends. And it was time for them to know that I was coming home. Of course I mentioned it to my mom not to say anything to the girls if they called, which, why would they? But this was supposed to be kept secret, a secret from everybody. Sure my original plan of showing up at their house might have been extravagant, but it had been used—unplanned that one time of course. I had to tell them eventually, and eventually was now. My growing cold fingers pressed the numbers on the screen and dialed Emma's number. One ring, two ring, four rings went by until she picked up.
"Hello?" She picked up.

"Guess who." I replied.

"Ari! Wow We thought you must have died none of us have talked to you in weeks."

"Yeah, I know, and I have a good reason for that, I swear."

"So, what's the latest?" Here we go.

"Are you with the girls?"

"Uh, they're upstairs I'm in the kitchen. What's going on?" I could hear her shuffling through the refrigerator.

"Go upstairs and get them, will you?" I begged.

"No problem." She suspiciously said. The proceeded minute, all I heard was shuffling and a quick 'no thanks mum, see ya' later' from Emma to Mrs. Gilbert. I could hear Emma quickly rush up the stairs and then enter her room, Rikki and Cleo's voices now quite evident.

"Who's that?" Rikki asked, her mouth filled with something.

"Rikki! Don't be nosy!" Cleo scolded. I could almost guarantee that Rikki rolled her eyes with me. Cleo should be used to this by now.

"I'm with the girls, what's up?" I knew Emma like the back of my hand, she was suspicious and terribly curious, I could tell by her voice. She pressed a button on her phone and put me on speaker.

"Are you all sitting down?" I asked, knowing that when I told them someone was bound to fall over. I wasn't supposed to be coming home this early…or possibly ever. A squeak came from Emma's bed as she sat on the mattress.

"Yes, can you tell us what's going on? You're not pregnant are you?" I smiled, no that'd be much easier to deal with, with Jacob than this. I took a deep breath.

"I hope you guys didn't get to used to being a trio. Think you have room for one more?"

"What?" All three girls gasped.

"Does this mean…" Cleo began.

"Are you…" Rikki's voice faded.

"Guess who's coming home." A chorus of screams came from the other line.

"How is this possible?" Emma exclaimed in happiness.

"My mom got transferred back. I'm coming back. I'm coming home." The words tasted like poison on my lips. I could hear Emma's alarm system beep, indicating that someone walked through the door.

"I can't believe it!" The girls screamed in excitement.

"Guys, guys? Are you okay?" I heard Louis shouted as he entered the room.

"Ari's coming home!" They yelled.

"What? No way!"

"Yes way." The smile plastered on my face finally dropped and the hype took a dive. I suddenly felt sad, and back to the same depressed state I was in.

"Listen guys, I got to go, I'll see you in a few days."

"A few days?" Rikki questioned.

"Next week. Text me." I hung up and with a long needed, exasperated sigh I began to stare out into the ocean. Where the hell in Washington was Jacob? Was he even in Washington? His disappearance was killing me and I was heartbroken. I missed him, and I've never been more sorry. And I—

"I figured I could find you here." Jacob's voice startled me from behind. His voice tugged at my heart. He was here! He was here! So why couldn't I find the courage to turn around and look at him?

"I'm sorry." I whispered, a tear burning down my face, "I'm so sorry."

"I am too." What was he sorry for? He had every excuse to be angry. He came up behind me and sat beside me. I let my head sink onto his shoulder while his arm snaked its way around my waist.

"I love you." He said, pressing his lips to the top of my head. "And no matter whether you're here or Australia, I'm still going to love you just as much."