A/N: Entry for the Summer in La Push contest on Jacob Black n Pack. This one shot was greatly inspired by the song Don't Quit! Not Quite! By HeyHiHello. This is a Jake/Bella story and is set before Twilight and is nice a fluffy :D. Some of the details are wrong but that's just the way I roll. If you have any suggestions to for any one shots you think would be great or would like to see happen, leave a comment :)
Oh and I own nothing. Not the lyrics or Twilight or any of the characters. But if SM wants to lend me Jake for the weekend I won't complain.
The temperature seldom rises
Past that wintry thermometer line
Now I'm tempted to travel to your state
Just to steal some sunshine
But if ever you come back with me
And turn my gray skies a bright blue
I'd feel right at home to hold your hand
And chase the clouds with you
Don't Quit! Not Quite! – HeyHiHello (.com/watch?v=fvqjyRNy2Wc)
I sat on the front porch with my chin on his hands. Rachael and Rebecca were laughing and screaming but I couldn't see them, they were hidden by the trees. I glared at the thick rain. I didn't know how Rach and Beck could stand being out in the rain, it was so cold. I zipped up my puffy black jacket.
I could hear Mom banging around inside. Mom was smart, she had the oven on and the whole house was warming up. But it still wasn't hot. This was supposed to be summer vacation but the sun wasn't even out. I hadn't seen the sun in weeks. And it was so cold, why did they even call it summer vacation?
I couldn't remember it being hot, ever. I leaned forward to look at the sky again, hoping for a glimpse of blue. But all I could see was dark grey clouds and big fat raindrops. I sighed and my breath misted a little. Summer in La Push sucked.
I reached into my pocket and pulled out the postcard I had been carrying around for ages. It had arrived months ago, just a little bit after my tenth birthday. It was bent and dirty now but that was ok. I could still see the shiny picture of the deep orange desert, purple hills and clear blue sky. There was even a cactus like in the cowboy films my Dad loved. Phoenix looked hot. Bella lived in Phoenix and she said it was always hot there.
I wanted to go to that desert in summer, I wanted to feel the heat instead of the cold and rain and snow that was always in La Push. I would wear shorts and a t shirt outside, which I could never do here. It would be wonderful. I turned the postcard over and read the familiar messy writing.
Happy Birthday! I have a special present for you. Mom said I can come to Forks for two weeks this summer. We can go to the rock pools and the beach. I miss you lots.
Bella was Charlie's daughter and even though I had never told her I thought she was the prettiest girl I had ever seen. Even prettier than the girls in my class I think. Rach and Beck knew that and they always teased me about it. They teased me about having Bella's postcard as well. Sisters were mean.
I heard the heavy stomping of my Dad's boots and turned as the front door squeaked open. Dad was limping a lot now. Mom had bought him a walking stick but if Mom wasn't looking Dad wouldn't use it. His long hair was pulled back and he crossed the porch and sat on the step next to me. Dad set down his tackle box on his lap and zipped up his jacket.
"Are your sisters still out in that?" he asked me, opening the box and sorting through all of the shiny hooks.
"Yeah they are crazy," I said, folding Bella's postcard and putting it back into my pocket. I zipped up the pocket too so I wouldn't lose it.
"I'll kill them, I told them to get inside ten minutes ago," Dad grumbled, closing the tackle box shut with a snap.
"They are girls Dad. Girls don't listen," I told him as if it wasn't plainly obvious. Everyone knew girls never listened. Well most girls anyways. Bella always listened to me.
"Too right son. Why are you so down in the dumps? I thought Quil was coming over?" Dad asked while stretching out his right leg. That was the bad one, the one that Mom always had to prop up on one of the dining table's chairs when Dad sat down on the couch.
"Nah. We were going to go to the beach but it's raining," I explained dejectedly, holding my hand out and watching cold drops of water splash onto my skin. I hated the rain.
"You'll be waiting awhile to go then if you're hoping for the rain to stop," Dad chuckled, nudging me with his elbow. He fished the silver keys out of his pocket. I could see his breath as well as mine now.
"I know," I sighed, leaning my chin back on my now wet hand. It never stopped raining here. I wanted it to be sunny and warm like in Bella's postcard. Maybe the sun would come out tomorrow for long enough to dry the ground out so I could walk outside without slipping over in the mud. But looking at the sky now made that seem unlikely.
"Guess who just got here Jake?" Dad asked with a smile on his face. I turned away from the stormy sky, wiping my still wet hand on my pants.
"Its not Aunt Nora is it?" I groaned. Aunt Nora was ancient and blind as a bat. She always had bad breath and made me put her slippers on for her each morning when she stayed with us. Her toenails were really ugly and yellow.
"No not your Aunt Nora," Dad laughed, his eyes going all crinkly "Charlie picked up Bella from the airport yesterday." Bella was back? I felt a huge rush of excitement and a big grin broke out on my face.
"Can we go see her today?" I asked excitedly jumping up to my feet. I stumbled a little in my wet sneakers. Dad caught hold of my arm before I tumbled down the steps and into the mud. Bella was my best friend since forever. She used to stay in Forks all the time with her Dad. When she had told me she had to move away to Phoenix with her Mom two years ago I had stayed in my room for three days because I didn't want Rach and Beck to pick on me if they thought I was sad that she was leaving. I was sad and they did pick on me though.
"They are going to come around tonight for dinner. If the rain decides to stop we may even have a bonfire," Dad told me, standing up with a groan. Fat chance of that, I thought, glancing back at the heavy rain again. Dad rubbed at his knee before reaching behind a wooden chair on the porch and grabbing his long fishing pole. I though Dad was just as crazy and Rach and Beck for going fishing in the rain.
"Cant we go see them now?" I pleaded, passing dad his tackle box. I hadn't seen Bella since Christmas and I missed her. Bella didn't talk much but she always listened to me. She never teased me like Rachael and Rebecca no matter what I said. She was my best friend.
"Charlie and I are going fishing but Bella will come over tonight Jake," Dad promised me gently. I sighed and scuffed my toes against the wooden porch.
"Fine," I mumbled. Dad chuckled and rumpled my hair before heading down the steps.
"I'm going to find those girls and send them in. You be good for your Mom while I'm gone ok Jake?" I nodded and watched dad limp slowly to the old red pickup truck. Rach and Beck dashed out of the trees and toward the house, covered in mud and leaves. Dad yelled after them to take their shoes off before going inside whilst climbing into the truck.
"Hey Jake missing your girlfriend?" Rebecca teased as she kicked her dirty sneakers off.
"Shut up Beck," I growled frowning at them.
"Oh little Jakey is in love!" Rachael giggled, darting out of the way as I picked up one of her shoes and chucked it at her. It sailed past her and thumped into the red wall, leaving a big dirty stain next to the front door. Sisters were mean andannoying.
"Shut up! Bella is not my girlfriend," I yelled at them but it just made them laugh at me more. They started singing together, dancing out of the way of a second flying sneaker. I picked up a third shoe.
"Jake and Bella sitting in a tree. K-I-S-S-"
"Girls, don't tease your brother," Mom yelled from the kitchen, cutting them off. Rachael stuck her tongue out at me as the twins disappeared inside. I dropped the muddy shoe onto the porch and sat back down on the top step, just out of reach of the rain. Bella was not my girlfriend, she was my best friend who just so happened to be a girl. There was a difference...right?
Dad was already gone and I stared out at the soaking wet front yard. I couldn't wait for this evening; even if Rach and Beck were going to tease me for it. I hadn't seen Bella in months and that's just far too long to go without seeing your best friend who was a girl but not your girlfriend. I think.
"What time is it?" I asked again, following Mom out the backdoor. The rain hadstopped and a small bonfire was burning in the middle of a little circle of chairs.
"About thirty seconds more than when you last asked Jacob," Mom sighed, setting down a big jug of fruit juice on the fold out table. Dad was supposed to be home by now with Charlie and Bella. He was taking forever.
"Yeah but what time is that?" I asked again pushing the heavy stack of plates onto the table next to the jug.
"Its six thirty Jake," Mom told me as we headed back into the house. It was still warm from the oven being on. I watched Mom pull a big dish of lasagna out of the oven and set it on the kitchen work top. I paced impatiently around the kitchen, shooting glances at the clock every time I passed it. It was still six thirty, how was that possible?
Mom was busy fixing dinner and I had no idea where the twins were so I slipped out of the room and into my bedroom unnoticed. I turned on the lamp by my bed and dropped onto my hands and knees reaching under my bed a pulled an old shoe box out. I opened it and rummaged through the torn baseball cards and spare coins until I found the little white box at the bottom.
I had done extra chores for weeks and saved up all of my allowance to buy this. Bella's birthday was in a few months and I knew I wouldn't see her so I wanted to give her something while she was here. I pulled the lid off the box and pushed the pink tissue paper out of the way.
The silver necklace was shiny and the small heart pendant that was attached wasn't even the size of my thumb. It had cost me eighteen dollars and ninety five cents to get this which was roughly three car washes, two hours of sorting fishing hooks and helping Mom clean out the garage. But it was worth it. I hoped Bella would like it.
I carefully wrapped the pink tissue paper around the necklace and put the lid back on. I would give it to Bella tonight when she got here. I switched it for the postcard that was still in my pocket. I propped the postcard up in its usual place, leaning against my lamp, facing my bed. I always left it like that so when I woke up to cloudy skies out of my window on the left I knew the sun was there on my right. I left my room and wandered out to the kitchen. It was empty but I could hear voices from the back yard. I dashed outside eagerly.
Charlie and Dad were laughing; Dad's foot was resting on one of the chairs. Rach and Beck had reappeared and where helping Mom with cups and stuff. They had changed out of their muddy clothes and their hair was braided. I glanced around and found Bella sitting on the far side of the bonfire with a big blue blanket wrapped around her shoulders, her face bright and yellow in the fire light.
I tripped down the steps and made my way around the bonfire as fast as I could without slipping over in the mud. My best-friend-who-was-a-girl-but-not-my-girlfriend-I-think was sitting on one of the big white logs Dad and Harry had hauled up from the beach.
"Hi Bella!" I greeted her. Bella smiled up at me and it was such a sunny smile that it didn't matter that I hadn't seen the real sun in weeks. Bella was a good replacement.
"Hey Jake," she replied. I sat down next to her and wrapped my arms around her shoulders. Bella hugged me back. As my best friend of course, not my girlfriend. Friends hugged each other right?
"Oh look at the love birds," Beck squealed loudly in my ear. I jerked away from Bella and shot daggers at my sister.
"Go away Rebecca," I scowled. Beck pinched my arm before running off. I wish I had brothers instead. You were allowed to hit brothers. I glanced back at Bella. She was watching Rebecca make her way back over to Mom and Dad, her face still full of sunlight even with a frown.
"Does she always do that?" she asked looking back at me.
"Pick on me? Yeah but that's what sisters do," I told her with a nod, slipping my hand into my pocket. I ran my fingers over the white box nervously.
"I wish I had a sister," Bella sighed, picking at the blanket with her fingernails. They were painted purple.
"You are lucky you don't. Sisters are evil," I assured her, "I want a brother."
"Maybe you will have some one day," Bella said turning her face away from the fire to look at me. She seemed all lit up and bright like she was glowing next to the fire. Bella had always been pretty to me but now she was even more so with the light of the fire making her look even brighter and sunnier than usual. I swallowed nervously.
"I got you a present Bells," I said cautiously, pulling the little white box out into the light.
"What for?" she asked, her frown back in place. Bella didn't like presents and I could never figure out why. Birthdays and Christmases were the best because you got presents. Bella was pretty and warm but sometimes she was a little strange too.
"Your birthday," I explained, pushing the box into her hand.
"But my birthday isn't for ages yet," Bella said shaking her head. The fire light caught the red in her hair when she shook it.
"I know but I wanted to give it to you now," I insisted. I waited nervously as she slowly pulled the lid off the box and brushed the pink paper out of the way. Bella's frown disappeared as she pulled the necklace out of the box.
"Thank you Jake. It's really pretty," Bella turned to me, her smile back on her face.
"You like it?" I asked her eagerly, leaning closer to her and she put the empty box into her pocket.
"Yep," she said with a smile, pulling it over her head, "I'll wear it all the time. Does it look nice?"
I nodded as she fixed the heart so it was in the middle of the chain. The silver necklace was even more shiny and sparkly in the firelight. Bella reached behind her and grabbed a little pot and pushed it into my hands.
"I got you a present too Jake," she told me, looking just as nervous as I had been before. It was a little cactus in a pot. The pot had been painted a bright orange and blue and I turned it around and realized it was the desert. It was perfect.
"Thanks Bells. It's like your postcard," I grinned and traced the painted sand with a fingertip. The sand at first beach was never orange like that. It was always just a dull grey and wet in between the stones.
"I painted the pot myself," Bella said proudly.
"It's great," I assured her, placing the cactus plant on the log next to me. I shivered in the wind and Bella slipped her hand out of the blanket and grabbed a hold of mine. Her hand was warm and her fingers felt nice against mine.
"Hey Bells what is the desert like? Is there cactuses everywhere like on TV?" I asked her, looking down at her fingers touching mine. She was so much paler than me; her fingers seemed to shine in the darkness around us.
"In some places," she murmured. I shivered in the wind and she shuffled closer to me, the blanket brushing my shoulder now. Her hand in mine was hot, burning my cool skin.
"Can you tell me about it?" I asked her. Bella looked at me funny before opening the blankets and wrapping one side around me. I huddled closer to her, our fingers still joined. I heard a snicker and looked over the fire. Rachael and Rebecca were making loud kissing noises at me. I glared at them. I was cold and Bella was just trying to help. Best friends did that sort of stuff. Embry had given me a pair of his shorts when I had gotten them dirty the last time I was at his house and that was the same thing wasn't it?
"Don't worry about them," Bella told me as we huddled closer. The wind was freezing and stung my face. I was so close to her I could see the bonfire reflected in her eyes. It made them shine. I held my side of the blanket closed and I felt much warmer. I didn't know how much of that was because of the blanket, the fire or Bella though.
"The desert is big Jake, you have no idea how big it is," Bella whispered to me leaning in so close I could feel her breath on my face, "It's like it goes on forever and the sky is huge. And really blue. Much more blue than it ever is here."
"And is it hot?" I asked her closing my eyes.
"Yes, but at night its cold, colder than here. But during the day it's very hot," Bella continued and I let myself imagine we were standing in the desert from the postcard. We were both wearing shorts and t shirts.
"What's the heat like?" I whispered not wanting to talk too loud in case the blue sky in my mind disappeared. Bella turned to me in the desert, her hair all red and brown and playing in the wind.
"It's everywhere. The sun burns your skin and heats up everything. And the ground gets so hot too it feels like the heat is coming down from the sun and up from the sand at the same time. But it's like its inside you too. Like you are breathing it in," Bella continued her voice just a quiet as mine had been. In my mind she was smiling at me and the bright sunlight was everywhere.
"The shadows are really long and seem to stretch out until you can't see them anymore. There are no trees or birds just sand and wind," she whispered and I opened my eyes, the desert disappearing as I did. Bella was glowing in the fire light. She could make my world hot just by talking. Bella was flushed and full of light. Bella was summer. She even smelt like warmth to me.
"I want to go there one day. Summers here are cold and wet," I told her. Bella giggled at me, pushing her long hair off her face. It made the heart around her neck sparkle and swing.
"I like coming here for summer. Sometimes it's too hot in Phoenix. The cold is nice too you know," she countered, wrapping the blanket around her shoulder a little tighter. We were sitting so close our knees were touching.
"You're nuts. Summers are supposed to be warm and sunny like on the TV," I explained with a frown.
"Maybe one day you can come to visit me for summer," Bella suggested. I felt my heart jump. I had never thought about staying with Bella for summer. There would be no annoying sisters or cold or rain. But there would be lots of beaches and sunshine and Bella. I grinned at her and could see my refection in her big eyes.
"That would be awesome," I sighed happily before coming to a realisation, "But how would I get there? I don't think Mom and Dad would let me go."
"I can hide you in my suitcase," she suggested thoughtfully.
"What about the x-ray scanner at the airport?" I asked shaking my head.
"Oh yeah," Bella sighed. She bit her lip her brows coming together in the same way they always did whenever she over thought something.
"I don't think I'll ever get a real summer," I mumbled. The momentary leap of hope had disappeared. I would always have cold, gloomy summers.
"Well then we will just have to do it here," Bella said with a shrug. That didn't make sense. Couldn't she feel how cold and wet it was here?
"But it's not hot here," I said slowly, not understanding what she meant.
"Yes it is its just different to the desert. This blanket is warm and the food is hot and makes you warm inside. And the fire can be our sun," she said wrapping a skinny arm around my shoulders. I held the blanket shut for us so the frigid wind wouldn't sneak its way in. Her skin was warm and I wasn't shivering anymore. If Bella was here for every summer in La Push it wouldn't be so bad. Bella was like my sun, she brought the desert heat with her.
"I don't know," I mumbled hesitantly. Bella shifted even closer to me in our cocoon of blankets, her arm still around my shoulder. She smelt like strawberries and heat.
"You just have to close your eyes and imagine that we are there and we will be. We can just pretend," she told me in a low voice.
"You think that will work?" I asked hesitantly.
"Yep you just have to try," she assured me and squeezed our still joined fingers. I squeezed them back. I closed my eyes again and pictured the desert from before. I could see the bright sand and endless sky and Bella was there with me just like before. I could feel the sun and her hand in mine. It was everywhere, the warmth from our desert. I opened my eyes and the heat stayed with me. I glanced at Bella and her eyes were still closed, a little smile on her face.
"Bella?" I whispered, nudging her with my shoulder.
"Yeah?" she whispered back opening her eyes too. She was so pretty, definitely prettier than the girls at school. But it was making me feel different than before. Even though she was my best friend but not my girlfriend maybe Bella with her smiles and sunshine would be my girlfriend one day. I squirmed nervously at that. But we were already holding hands and that wasn't a big deal. So maybe it would be no big deal if Bella was my girlfriend one day. But not today.
"Thanks," I told her and she smiled at me.
Bella turned her face toward the fire and it seemed to me that she drew the light of the bonfire into herself, making it seem like she was lit from within. She was right. I didn't have to go to Phoenix. For the first time in summer in La Push I was warm. Of course Bella could make me warm, Bella was my best-friend-who-was-a-girl-but-not-my-girlfriend-but-might-be-later and she knew how to fix everything. She made La Push summers hot.
For the next two weeks even though the sky stayed grey and cloudy I wasn't cold like I had been before with Bella by my side. She always wore her necklace and her fingers would find mine when we would run down the beach in our jackets and rubber boots. When she left and the cold would creep back I would look over at her postcard and the little cactus that lived next to it and I would see the desert again, Bella right by my side.
Years later Bella told me that I was like her own personal sun. I don't think she realised that if I was warm and sunny the only reason was because she had taught me how to be. I may have been Bella's sun then but she was my sun first.
I never did make it to Arizona but every year after that when Bella came to Forks for summer vacation she would always bring a little bit of the heat of the desert with her. Bella made summers warm and happy. She brought me sunshine in La Push. She lit up my rainy world and made it glow.
And I loved her for it.