My second Twilight fic. I'm combining to separate ideas to make this happen. The next chapter will be up as soon as it's written. This chapter took three days to write so by the end of the week the next chapter will be up. I'm experimenting with Bella's character a little so tell me what you think.


I had stayed out later than I usually did, later than I would have liked to. But, with Jake, it's like time stops. Like the world would stand still forever and I'd never have to face reality. Although this isn't true, I like to pretend. As I pulled into the small driveway in front of Charlie's house, I contemplated throwing the thing in reverse and heading back to La Push. I reasoned with myself that Charlie would be safer if I just didn't come home. My real reason was selfish, I just wanted to see Jake and take the pain away again. But I couldn't do that to Charlie, I couldn't just disappear. He needed me.

I finally killed the engine and slid out into the dark rain. I didn't really mind the rain anymore. If I did, it would keep me away from the people I love. I wish it did, and then they would all be safe. My afternoon with Jacob had been cut short by an uninvited guest, although, I saw her coming but I'm not Alice.

It was my fault we were all in this mess, if I hadn't been there, that one night; we might have avoided all this. But no, because I was selfish and had to be with him, I've put everyone I love in danger.

I continued my way to the door, absentmindedly noting that Charlie wasn't home yet. I had to make dinner for him, and then I'd call Jake. Or, since I'd want Jake here, I'd call him while I was making dinner. If he was going to come, he should at least have some say in what I made.

I was so absorbed in my thoughts that I hit the door with a surprising force. I fell backwards and started at it through the darkness, thinking it might fall as well. The force I made contact with was like walking into a vampire who was moving in the other direction. I almost wanted to curl up there and cry over my loss, but I had to make dinner for Charlie and at least pretend I was alright. I'm a terrible liar, and I know he sees through it, but he also knows; I'm doing this for him.

I finally got up off my butt and opened the door. As soon as I was inside I took my boots and wet jacket off, the seat of my jeans was also wet, and proceeded to locate the light. Even after living here for almost a year, I still couldn't find the light when it was dark. I found it and flipped it on, staring around as if I was expecting someone to be waiting for me. I didn't know who I expected; him, Alice, Jake, or Victoria, but I was alone. I was thankful of that, needing to change and possibly shower before Charlie got home.

I made my way around the house in the same paranoid fashion I did every day. When I was sure that there was no one on the main floor I headed upstairs to the one place his memory still remained fresh. I opened my door and entered my small room without turning the light on. I figured, if there was someone waiting for me, they didn't need to see me like this. I gathered up my favourite sweat pants and a grubby t-shirt and my shower stuff. Maybe this would clear my head, and then I'd call Jake.

I was about to leave the room when I heard a faint mumbling, like someone talking in their sleep. I could have sworn I heard whoever it was say my name, but I ignored it, passing it off as the wind. I didn't dare turn the light on. I had a feeling I knew who it was, but if I was right and found out for sure now there was no way I would be able to stop myself from running all the way back to La Push. I'd go shower, then I'd check. Or maybe I would shower, make dinner for Charlie, call Jake and have him check. Honestly I was too afraid to look. If it was her I'd be dead soon, so I'd wait.

I left the room as soon as my eyes began to adjust, I couldn't risk proving myself right. I know it's her, but I will not look. I went into the communal bathroom and locked the door, even though I knew it wouldn't stop a vampire it was still reassuring. I striped completely and stood in front of the mirror. I knew I was going to die soon so I let my mind wander to the people I couldn't think about without falling apart. I looked at my naked body and mentally compared my awkward build to Rosalie's perfect one. Even though I could feel my heart ripping itself to pieces at the mere thought of the blond vampire I could still remain sane enough to be jealous and contemplate a serious diet. I choose to step on the scale, genuinely curious. I didn't like the number I saw. Despite the depression and lack of appetite, I had still gained weight. I was almost ten pounds heavier than the last time I'd stepped on the scale. With the Cullens temporarily forgotten, due to my new problem, I tried to deduce a reasonable explanation to my weight gain. I hadn't eaten much in the past seven months, and in the last two; I had been extremely active. Just like I had always thought, there was something wrong with me.

I almost wanted to give up on a shower, but I was sticky from a long day with Jake and needed to warm water to wash away all it could. I knew I had too many problems already to worry about something as trivial as my weight. I turned the water on and stepped into the shower, not waiting for it heat up and immediately regretted it. I let out a sharp cry and jumped out of the water's direct flow. Then I froze.

Silence greeted me, as did my echo. I was overreacting, very clearly paranoid. When I was sure of no movement through the house I stepped back into the shower, this time it was lukewarm. I decided that was good enough and proceeded to wash my hair. I spent more time than necessary in the water, allowing it to slowly get hotter and hotter until I was burning my skin and had to get out before developing 3rd degree burns.

I towelled off and stared at the clock that Charlie had decided to hand in here. Charlie got off at nine tonight and it was seven, I'd have two hours still to make dinner and call Jake. I quickly pulled on my t-shirt and sweats and took the rest of my clothes down to the laundry room. I keenly avoided my room, thinking it best to take my bathroom supplies back there at bedtime.

The first thing I did when I got to the kitchen was check messages. There were two missed calls, one from Charlie from ten minutes ago and one from this afternoon from a number I didn't recognize. There were no messages though. I decided to call Charlie before I spent the next two hours talking to Jake.

I dialled the familiar number and listed to it ring once, twice, three times and then finally a voice on the other end. "Forks city police, Chief Swan speaking."

"Hi, Dad. It's Bella." I replied and heard his stance shift. "Sorry I didn't get the phone, I was in the shower."

"Oh, hey Bells. I was just calling to see if you were home yet." I noticed how uncomfortable he sounded as he voiced his concern.

"Um, yeah. Sorry I was out so late, Jake and I lost track of time. Hey Dad, what do you think of the Blacks coming over for dinner? I mean we're always eating over there, it'd be a nice change." I didn't really want Billy coming, but I thought Charlie would get suspicious if I just invited Jake.

"That's a great idea, Bells! And ya know, there's a game on tonight, too." Perfect. They would be distracted.

"I'll give them a call now then. Okay, love you Dad, see you later."

"You too, Bells. Take care." The line went dead.

I let it buzz for several more seconds before I hit the end button and dialled Jake's number. It rang once before I heard his familiar voice answer concerned. "Bella? What's wrong? Did something happen?"

I laughed wholeheartedly at his tone. "No, no Jake. Everything's fine. Charlie just wanted to invite you and your Dad for dinner and to come watch the game. What do ya say?"

I hear the smile in his response. "Sure! I'll wheel my Dad right over." I laughed again, more for my own benefit than anything else. I hadn't heard the sound in so long. "I'll see you in like ten minutes then, okay?"

"Yeah." I breathed the word in a breathless manner. "I can't wait to see you." It sounded stupid; I had spent the whole day with him. But he didn't laugh at me.

"Okay. Love ya Bella."

"Love you too, Jake." I responded in the same tone he did. Not really noticing what I'd said until I'd hung up. "Oh my god! I'm such an idiot!" He was going to take the wrong way, like he always did. I tried to take my mind off of the unfortunate conversation that was destined to come from my comment but boiling water for pasta. I didn't know what I was going to do with it, but I needed to do something that took my full attention. We had had spaghetti the night before so that was out of the question, then I thought of boiled potatoes. I left the water to boil and went down to the seller to get the potatoes.

The doorbell rang as I finished dropped the last of the potatoes into the water and placed the lid on. I was about to go get it when it opened and a loud boisterous voice called out to me. "Hey Bella!"

"Hey Jake, I missed you! How ya doing Billy?" I called back. I didn't bother with going to greet them; the house was so small that the only logically place to go was the somewhat spacious kitchen.

"I'm fine, Bella. It was very nice of you to invite us over like this." I turned to face them as they entered the room.

"Yeah, no. Just, ya know, returning the favour, right?" I replied awkwardly. Ever since I'd moved to Forks, Billy and I have been on uneasy terms. "Do you have any preferences for dinner, I'm kinda lacking ideas."

"Lucky for you, we thought of that." Billy smiled and I noticed Jake had left the room. He was just retuning with four brown paper bags. "Harry Clearwater's fish fry, Charlie's favourite."

"And I, um, started to make potatoes, I could mash them up when their ready." Billy smiled at me in a way that made me feel very uncomfortable.

"I'm home!" Charlie called as he I heard the door slam. He had perfect timing, breaking the awkward silence that felt to span hours, where in reality it had only been a couple of minutes.

"Hey, Dad! Dinner's almost ready." I replied, using this moment as an excuse to escape Billy's gaze. I moved into the front room and gave Charlie a hug and a kiss on the cheek. "The Blacks beat you home."

"Well sorry to keep everyone waiting. Hey, Billy, has the game started?" Charlie called over my shoulder to the kitchen. I heard the wheels of Billy's chair move from linoleum to carpet as he went to go check.

"Bella! The potatoes!" Jacob called to me urgently. Oh no! I'd totally forgotten.

I raced into the kitchen just as Jake moved the overflowing mess of water off of the stove. "Thanks, Jake." I quickly took the pot from him and drained the water. I mashed the potatoes and Jake helped me to set the table and make up the plates. "Dinner's ready!"

We ate in silence. It was an uncomfortable silence, but silence nonetheless. When we were all done Charlie wheeled Billy back into the family room and Jake and I cleared the table. "Sorry." Jake finally broke the silence.

"For what?" I knew later I'd be the one apologising.

"For leaving you today. I should have been the one to stay behind and protect you and Emily, not Paul." His tone was harsh and I cringed as he spat his wolfen brother's name.

"No, no, Jake…" I tried to reassure him that it didn't matter; I didn't want the pack fighting amongst themselves over me.

"No, Bella, hear me out. Sam called me to go and help cuz I'm the second in command, but as soon as I got there her scent was gone. It just vanished. It was a wasted effort. And I had to waste time I could have spent with you." I didn't like how he'd said that last line. But he wasn't done. "And you wasted your afternoon waiting for me. I'm so sorry, Bella."

I knew what had to come next. It was time. "Um, Jake… Maybe your afternoon wasn't wasted."

He turned to face me with such a puzzled expression, and then it turned to one of realization and then, finally, anger. "Bella, if you tell me that she's here right now or was here this afternoon and you let her leave I am going to kill you."

He took a step towards me as if he was really going to go through with his threat. "Jake, Jake, wait!" I put up my hands defensively in front of my face. "I don't know if she's here or not, or if it's even her. I was too scared."

"Where is she?" He was shaking. I didn't want him to phase here, in the house, or anywhere near Charlie. I started to walk toward the stairs, too afraid to speak. We ascended the stairs quickly, and I was praying that, if she had been there, she was gone.

Jake threw open my door but, miraculously, it didn't make a banging sound as it bounced off the wall. He turned the lights on and I gasped. Lying on my bed was a tiny girl, maybe smaller than Alice even, with flaming red hair. Her body rose and fell in a steady pattern as if she was asleep. "Victoria…" I breathed her name. She shifted slightly, and I held my breath afraid that she'd heard me, but remain lying there.

Jake walked over to the bed, his stance was that of Paul just before he got into a fight, and walked around to the side by the window. "The bitch! I'm our searching for her all afternoon and she's here sleeping."

"Sleeping?" I exhaled. I took a couple slow steps forward. "Vampires can't sleep."

"Well this one can." Jake looked more annoyed then angry. "Honestly, Bella, you should have told me right away."

"I didn't know for sure." I said, but I was lying. Jake could tell, too. "Jake…" I didn't know how to phrase my next thought.

"I'm staying here tonight." He said it so firmly there was no room for argument. "I'm not letting you stay alone in a room with a blood sucker, especially that one!"

"Jake, she hasn't hurt anyone." I couldn't understand why I was defending her, but I was. "She at least called before she came!" I gasped and covered my mouth.

"What did you say?" Jake walked over to me and stood over me with a menacing look on his face.

"Jake, Jake, don't! Don't do this!" I started backing up until I was against the door.

"She called you?" I nodded deftly. "What did she say?"

I couldn't find my voice. I gasped and sputtered for several moments before I was finally able to answer his question. "She didn't say anything. The time of the call was about three thirty. I was with you, no one was home. She didn't leave a message. She came knowing no one was home. Maybe she's not here to kill me…" I didn't honestly believe my own words but I hoped he would.

"So she just came here to get killed? That's what you are trying to tell me!" Jake turned around and walked back over to the bed. The way he stood, looming over her, reminded me of how Edward used to stand over me as I slept. He leant down and slid his arms around Victoria's sleeping form. "I'll take care of this now."

"Put her down!" I was surprised at the force in my voice. I walked right up to Jacob, took Victoria out of his arms, and smacked him right across the face. I gently laid the tiny girl back on my bed, off to one side.

"Bella…"

"Don't even talk to me!" I sat on the bed next to the red haired vampire and proceeded to pull her bangs out of her face. "Jacob, she is mine. Do you understand me?" I looked at him, right in the eyes with cold calculation.

"What are you going to do? You can't stop me!" The look on my face told him he was screwed. I reached for the phone on my night stand and dialed a number. "Bella, what are you doing?"

I listened to the buzz as I waited for the receiver to pick up. "Hello?" Came the response of the very confused alpha wolf.

"Sam, I need to make a deal with you."

"Bella, don't do this." Jacob reached for the phone and I refused.

"Bella? What is it? Have you found her?" Sam's questions came all at one.

"Yes. Sam, give me til tomorrow." I said it very flatly.

"I don't know about this, Bella. Is Jacob there?" Sam was hesitating, and I didn't like it.

"He is, but that has nothing to do with it. Give me until tomorrow at noon. Then," I paused, "the whole pack can come."

"Alright, Bella. See you at noon." The line went dead and I placed the phone back on its stand.

"Bella, what are you doing?" Jacob asked me. I could hear the fear in his voice.

"Have you ever heard of a group imprint?"