A/N I am so, so, sorry! What more can I say? Thank you so much if you're still with me on this story... I certainly don't deserve you! This chapter hasn't been beta'd so I apologise for any errors, especially as I'm a bit rusty. I hope this is okay and you enjoy it. As always I'd appreciate any feedback. Ali
All characters belong to Stephanie Meyer... But Jacob's mine! (In my dreams)
It had been three days. Three long days since they'd spoken in the kitchen and he said he'd leave her alone, and sure enough, he'd stayed true to his word.
It was fine when she was at school. Bella threw herself into her school work and was able to avoid thinking about Jacob, but all other times were useless. Any spare time she had was spent reliving every teasing comment and conversation they had ever had, or trying desperately hard to forget how good Jacob's lips felt on hers when he'd kissed on the hiking trail.
She'd hardly seen him in the past three days. She'd heard him rummaging around in his bedroom, listening to his music, and sometimes she'd hear him talking to his mum and dad; his deep voice reverberating through the house, but as soon as she made an appearance he would quickly head out the front door or go to his room. Obviously eager to fulfill his promise of leaving her alone. It was ridiculous, especially when every time she saw him retreating she desperately wanted to call out to him and tell him to just come back. This was his house after all.
It had only been three days. How in the hell could this go on for the rest of her stay?
Bella was sat reading in her room on the Wednesday evening when her cell phone rang. Looking at the display her stomach suddenly flipped. It was Paul. She'd been so caught up in her thoughts of Jacob that she'd completely forgotten they'd exchanged numbers and he was going to call her.
"Hello." She answered tentatively.
"Hey, Bella. I hope you don't mind me calling, but I was wondering if you still wanted to go out sometime?"
Bella bit her bottom lip nervously, wondering what to say. Did she want to go out - on a date - with Paul? Wouldn't it just complicate things with Jacob? Wait! There was nothing going on with Jacob, so why would it complicate things? She liked Paul, she'd even had a crush on him when she was younger. He was funny, handsome and had been very sweet when he'd walked her home from the beach. Okay, so he had a reputation, but as long as she was careful, what harm would it do?
"Er, yeah of course." She tried to sound eager, but failed. Maybe that was a good thing though, with Paul's reputation she wouldn't want to sound too eager to go out with him.
As Paul continued to speak, she shook her head and rolled her eyes at herself for over analyzing everything.
"Great! Well, how about I pick you up Friday night at six?" Bella couldn't fault to detect the eagerness in Paul's voice and her stomach clenched at it.
"Six, should be good. Where are we going?" She didn't know what type of stuff Paul was in to, but wanted an idea of what they'd be doing so she could at least dress appropriately.
"Do you like Mexican food?" He asked.
"Sure, I love Mexican food." Her mouth watered at the thought, she really did love it.
"Well, there's a great little Mexican restaurant in Port Angeles, it's a bit of a drive, but so worth it... and then we'll just go with the flow, maybe see a movie or go for a walk. Whatever, you feel like doing."
"Okay, that sounds great... I'll look forward to it." And a part of her was looking forward to it. She really needed a distraction.
"Great! See you Friday at six... Bye, Bella."
Bella stared at her phone. She was going on a date with the infamous Paul Lahote. A nervous fluttering ran through her stomach as she bounced back on her bed and threw her arms over her face.
"Oh god, Bella, what the hell are you doing?" She asked herself quietly.
Jacob was finding it pretty easy to avoid her. He'd always seemed to have a sixth sense where Bella was concerned, so it just aided him in keeping away from her.
Yeah it was easy, but it was still torture. He'd got a glimpse of her face a few times as he darted out of the door or passed her quickly on the way to his room, and - unless he was mistaken - she certainly seemed to be paying a bit more attention to him than she had done before. He was sure she'd even tried to make eye contact a couple of times or was just about to say something to him, but he quickly looked the other way and disappeared to wherever he was heading.
The worse though, was when he knew she was in her room. He could only imagine what she was doing, and he had a pretty vivid imagination. Whenever he could hear her, he thought of her getting undressed. He'd hear her music and think of her laying across her bed - most likely naked or wearing next to nothing - wiggling her hips and singing along to the songs. Yeah, it was safe to say, Jacob's imagination wasn't helping him one little bit. It was for the best that he just get out. Go out to his garage and work on the bikes or his car. Anything to just keep away from her. He had made a promise to Bella, and for once he wasn't going to be a complete ass and fuck it up.
He had - kind of - explained as much to Quil on Sunday night, after he'd broken up with Lauren.
He hadn't told Quil everything - he'd conveniently left out how he felt about Bella - but he had told him about the break-up with Lauren. He'd also told him how he'd been a complete dick to Bella over the years and was going to lay off being a jerk.
Jacob saw the knowing look on his friend's face. He also saw the slight curl in Quil's upper lip, hinting at the grin he was suppressing, but Jacob chose to ignore them both.
Quil had slapped Jacob on the back in his attempt at consoling his buddy over the break-up, and added that it was a shame that Jake and Lauren hadn't worked out.
Jacob couldn't help the quizzical look he gave Quil. He knew that none of the guys really liked Lauren and would most probably be at least a little happy that he'd broken up with her.
Quil saw the question in Jacob's eyes.
"Okay, okay... look Jake, I truly am sorry that it didn't work out, but honestly? She was good to look at, but hard work, man!" Quil shook his head at his admission. "We tried. All of us really tried talking to her and welcoming her to the group, but she wasn't having any of it. You seemed pretty taken with her and we just wanted you to be happy." Quil shrugged his shoulders apologetically, "But I have to say Jake, it'll be great to have you back. We missed you, man!" he added affectionately punching Jacob in the arm.
"Hey, I didn't go anywhere, you know?" Jake retaliated with a playful shove.
"Yeah, yeah, I know, but..." Quil threw his hands up in mock surrender, "...I'm not saying for one second that you were pussy whipped, Jake, or anything like that, but we really didn't see much of you while you were with her."
Jacob nodded his head in acknowledgment.
"I know man, and I'm sorry about that. What more can I say?"
Jacob thrust his hands in his jean pockets and focused his gaze on the rug in Quil's living room, suddenly feeling a little embarrassed about putting Lauren above his best friends.
"Forget it Jake. Like I said, we're just glad to have you back."
"Yeah, about that. Look, I was kind of hoping you wouldn't mention about me and Lauren to any of the other guys - just yet."
Jacob rubbed the back of his neck. Quil was a good buddy, and if Jake asked him not to mention it, he was pretty damn sure Quil would keep quiet, but he still felt a bit bad asking him to keep it from the rest of the guys. Also, he hadn't thought about the reason he'd give Quil for keeping it on the down low. He couldn't very well tell him it was so the news wouldn't get back to Bella.
"Sure, Jake. You know me, the soul of discretion. I won't say a word."
Thankfully Quil didn't ask questions as to why Jacob didn't want the others to know. Maybe he thought Jake just needed some time to get over the break-up, which was fine by Jacob.
He obviously wasn't devastated by what had transpired between Lauren and himself, but of course he did feel a little sad. He cared about her. Yeah,
he never loved her, and realized soon into the relationship that it was unlikely that he'd ever actually 'love' Lauren, but they'd had some fun times. Some pretty damn hot times too... and there was definitely going to be a few aspects of the relationship he was gonna miss. But ultimately, he knew he'd done the right thing. Regardless of how he felt about Bella or whether anything would ever actually come of 'him and Bella', it would have been unfair and just wrong to carry on having a proper relationship with Lauren, when he was spending a hell of a lot of time thinking about another girl.
Friday came way faster than Bella could cope with, and to say she was a nervous a wreck was an understatement, but that was normal, right? Any girl who was due to go on a date would be a nervous wreck, wouldn't they? Especially a date with the Paul Lohote!
She was sat on her bed, wrapped in a towel, with an hour left before Paul was due to pick her up. She'd been through her closet a number of times and still hadn't decided what to wear, which was ridiculous, as she hardly had any clothes in it. Bella wasn't a huge follower of fashion at the best of times - throw in the fact that most of her better outfits were in storage - what small amount of clothes she did bring with her consisted of jeans, a couple of hoodies, a few shirts and more jeans.
She'd glared at her cell phone contemplating whether to call Paul and say she had come down with some kind of virus. She was certain she could attribute the sweaty palms, racing pulse and unsettled stomach to a rare case of Lohote-itis?
Bella shook her head at her own stupidity. If there was any kind of illness she was suffering from, surely it would be a longterm case of Black-itis, since, in truth, she'd always had these symptoms whenever he was near. It just so happened that today, the symptoms were caused by a different member of the male species.
Bella sighed, and combing her fingers through her damp hair, she stood up and walked back over to the closet. She'd go with jeans - as if she had a choice - and picked out a fitted red button up shirt. It was smart, casual and most importantly not too sexy. She certainly didn't want to be giving Paul ideas. As she pulled the shirt from the closet her hand brushed against the soft leather of Jacob's jacket. She tried not to breath in the masculine smell which still lingered. It was subtle, but it was still unmistakably there. She'd decided to hang the jacket up. Seeing it over the chair all the time was such a distraction and it just seem to be taunting her. Reminding her of everything that had happened between them, especially the good things, like their trip, the whales, the flirting, the kiss, and ultimately the sweeter side of Jacob. She really didn't want to be reminded of those things, especially now that he was avoiding her. 'Out of sight, out of mind,' she'd thought, but no matter how much she tried, he was still there, very much at the forefront of everything.
As Bella reached out to stroke the jacket again, she suddenly jumped at the sound of her cell phone ringing. The thought that it could be Paul calling off their date quickly entered her head as she made her way across to the bed to retrieve the device. Checking the call display, she quickly answered.
"Hey, Leah." She said, with a tinge of disappointment in her voice.
"Bella Swan, I can't believe you didn't tell me you were going on a date with Paul tonight! What the hell were you thinking saying yes to him?"
"Er... I would have told you, but this week has been so busy with school, and we only arranged it Wednesday night... So... There really wasn't much time to let you know."
"But why did you say yes to him? You know what he's like, Bella. Do Billy and Sarah know? Where is he taking you? I cannot believe you said yes!"
"Leah, calm down! I said yes because I like him... and yes, I know what he's like - well, I know about his reputation - but he was really sweet when he walked me home from the beach and he's hot. Billy and Sarah know about it, and we're going to a Mexican restaurant in Port Angeles... Does that answer everything for you?"
Bella had known Leah since they were little and even though she wouldn't have described her as a best friend, they were pretty close and Bella knew that Leah had a tendency to be pretty bossy. But she also knew Leah's heart was in the right place. Although, Bella was finding it a bit hard to see why Leah was being so dramatic. Yes, this was Paul she'd agreed to go out with, but they all knew him and he wasn't a bad guy, so what was the problem?
"Look, Leah, I don't really understand why you're so worked up. I'm sure I can trust Paul, we've all known him for years. Unless... you know something about him that I should know about?" Bella asked a little concerned.
"No, other than that he's a complete womanizer, which you already know. Paul's okay... I guess."
Bella breathed a small sigh of relief.
"Great, so apart from the fact that I didn't tell you I was going on a date with him, everything's okay, right?" She prompted.
"Yeah I guess so, but Jake is pretty pissed..."
Bella suddenly felt her stomach lurch at the mention of his name.
"Wait. Jake... I mean, Jacob...? Wh... Why...? What's this got to do with him?" Bella's words came out so fast she stumbled over them as her heart pounded loudly against her chest.
"I don't know, but he turned up at Embry's all mad, asking Em if I knew you were going out tonight with Paul, and why hadn't Em told him. He calmed down when we told him I didn't know anything about it. But then he asked Em and me to go to the same place you're going to... to keep an eye on you."
"Oh my god, he wanted you to spy on me and Paul? Seriously? What did you say?"
"Em told him we had already made plans for tonight, so we couldn't do it..."
"So that was it? Everything's okay, right? Because I really need to get ready Leah."
"Well... He was pretty mad when Em told him that we had plans, and I kind of got mad at him then too, and said a few things..."
"Oh no. What did you say, Leah?" Bella wasn't really certain that she wanted to hear what her friend had said, but her curiosity got the better of her.
"Look, I know how he used to treat you when we were kids and I should have told him then..."
"Just Spit it out, Leah, what did you say to him?" Bella was beginning to get very nervous about what had been said between Leah and Jacob.
"I just asked him who he thought he was, getting all protective over you. Especially when he was such a fucking dick to you before..." Bella groaned into the phone as Leah continued, "...I said just because you were staying with him, doesn't mean he has to be all big brotherly and pretend like he cares and stuff!"
"Oh god, Leah... You didn't? Please tell me you didn't." Bella could imagine Leah nodding her head proudly as she replied.
"Oh yes I did, and he had it coming. I really should have said something ages ago."
"What did he say? Was he mad?"
"Hell yeah, he was raging. Then he stormed out mumbling something about how he shouldn't care or something, I'm not sure, but I'm glad I said it. He needed to know what an idiot he is sometimes."
Bella had heard enough, and was also aware of her impending date, that she still needed to get dressed for.
"Well, thank you for sticking up for me, I guess, and I promise to keep Paul at arms length, okay?"
"Sure, and, Bella... I do hope you have a good time, just be careful... he's smooth!"
Bella couldn't help the nervous giggle that escaped her lips as she said goodbye to Leah, then quickly got dressed for her date.
Having no girlfriend meant Jacob had a bit more time on his hands, which also meant he could drop by the auto shop in the hope he could get a couple of extra hours of work in, before heading home each day.
He'd stopped by as usual on Friday and shouted out a greeting to Paul and the other guys. Grabbing a pair of overalls he wandered over to join Paul under a car hood.
"Man, am I glad to see you. I need to finish up a bit earlier tonight... could you take a look at the old Chevy for me?"
"Sure, where you headed? Off with Jared to Port Angeles for the usual chick and dick lottery?" Jacob asked grinning.
He heard plenty of stories of what Paul and Jared got up to at the weekends, so could hazard a guess at what they had planned for tonight.
"Funny Black!" Paul laughed, "As a matter of fact I have a date tonight... and if this chick wants a piece of my dick... I sure ain't gonna disappoint her!"
"So who's the lucky lady tonight?" Jacob prodded as he made his way over to the Chevy.
"Miss Isabella Swan!" Paul stated proudly.
Jacob stopped in his tracks, but kept his eyes locked on the dark blue car in front of him.
"So you asked her out?" He kept his voice steady as he clenched and unclenched his fist.
"Sure did! Didn't she tell you?"
"No she didn't... why would she? We're not even friends..." Jacob caught himself and walked over to the car.
"But you're living under the same roof. I thought she might have mentioned it." Paul continued.
"She has her life, I have mine... she's got nothing to do with me." Jacob shrugged, not wanting Paul to see how this piece of news was really affecting him.
"So you're okay with it?"
Jacob chuckled bitterly, "Why wouldn't I be? I hope you both have fun!" He popped the hood of the Chevy and lifted it, with a little more force than was necessary, when Paul replied smugly.
"Oh, I'm sure we will!"
Jacob finished up around a half hour after Paul had left. He couldn't believe that Paul had asked Bella out, and what surprised him even more was that she'd said yes.
What the fuck was she thinking?
Jacob had known Paul for as long as he could remember and he knew that he was a good guy who wouldn't do anything that Bella didn't want him to, but what if she did want him to? What the fuck? That thought just didn't bear thinking about.
After filling out some paperwork in record time, Jacob called out a farewell to the rest of the guys and decided to head over to Embry's place. The last thing he wanted to do was go home, knowing she'd be there dressing herself up for fucking Paul... God he hoped she wouldn't be fucking Paul! Leah was bound to be with Embry, and Jacob wanted to know if he was the last one to find out about Paul's date!
Bella surveyed herself in the mirror and nodded in appreciation of her reflection. A little make-up, not too much, she knew Paul like his girls to look a little slutty, and Bella was most definitely not one of those girls!
As she turned to grab her purse off the chair, she heard a knock at the front door, and a sudden wave of nausea swept over her.
"Don't be so stupid, you can do this! Enjoy yourself and have fun... just not too much fun!" she whispered to herself.
Walking into the hallway Bella could hear Sarah and Paul talking about the weather, she had obviously opened the door to him and invited him in. As she came through the door her heart sped up at the sight before her. Paul had his head thrown back in laughter, and her eyes raked down his body. She could see his tan neck disappearing into the collar of his white button down shirt. He looked casual, with his sleeves rolled up slightly exposing his forearms. His hands were in his pockets and her eyes continued their descent to his jean clad legs. Paul was looking hotter than ever, and Bella blushed at the realisation that at this moment in time she was finding him extremely attractive.
It was at that moment the front door opened and in walked Jacob, covered in grease and looking as menacing as ever.
"So, you're going out then?" Jacob's eyes were on Bella as he stood at the door looking past Paul and his mom.
"Um... yeah..." It was barely audible but Jacob must have heard her reply, as a nod of his head acknowledged it.
Paul and Sarah watched the exchange before Paul chuckled, "What? Did you think she'd stand me up, Jake?" If Paul had sensed the intense atmosphere that had invaded the room, he didn't show it.
"Whatever... I need a shower." Jacob mumbled as he walked past his mom and headed towards the hallway.
Bella moved to let him pass, and quickly ducked her head to avoid the glare he was shooting her. As he reached her, Bella couldn't resist looking up at him. His gaze seemed to soften slightly and she heard him whisper, "Have fun Bells." Then he continued passed her.
Bella moved towards Paul and Sarah, who were still standing together by the door watching her. She smiled at Paul as she approached them.
"Hey, Bella, you look gorgeous." Paul said winking at her.
"Thanks." She replied shyly.
"Okay, well, shall we get going?"
Paul placed his hand on the small of Bella's back and turned to face the door.
"It was good to see you again, Mrs Black, and I'll make sure I don't get her home too late."
"Good to see you too Paul. Enjoy yourselves and look after her, otherwise you'll have the two chiefs to answer to!"
"Sure thing" Paul replied as they stepped through the doorway.
"Bye, Bella." Sarah quickly clasped Bella's hand, then let go. "Oh, and you have your key don't you?"
"Yes, I have it. Bye..."
Paul and Bella walked down the path towards Paul's car, as Sarah closed the door behind them.
Being the perfect gentleman, Paul opened the passenger door for her, and after waiting for Bella to get in, closed it.
He got in his side and turned the key to start the engine.
"So..." He began as he pushed the gas pedal down and pulled away. "What the hell is going on with you and Jacob?"