A Light at the End of Darkness

Chapter 9

AN: Sorry for the long wait, I've been busy! Getting back into school is a pain in the ass, let me tell you. But without further ado I give you the next chapter! Sorry for any errors, I try and catch them, but sometimes they go over my notice!

I see into your future.

I'm still surprised every time I look down and see the small body curled up against mine. To tell you the truth, I'm wondering when I'll wake up and realize it's a dream and I'll feel that same horrible pain when I look across the room and see her smiling on that leeches arm. But here she is, cuddled up against me, soft breath raising the hair on my skin as it ghosts over me like a lovers touch. She's sleeping, face lax in slumber, her small hand resting on my bare chest. I'm an idiot I realize with a tight smile, as I brush the hair out of her face.

Only hours ago she had been let back in the circle of half-truths and lies; Hours ago she had faced her enemy out on my front lawn; Hours ago, I had burst into fur and teeth to protect her; Hours ago we had come close to becoming one and the same…

I took a deep breath at the thought and calmed myself. God, being with her was damn near perfect, our bodies meshing together like a puzzle. And the passion, all mind and body consuming; I could and would never believe that there was someone out there that would call to my soul like hers did to mine. With Bella, there was no rhyme or reason; it was only her and I, descending in a haze of feeling and awareness unlike anything I had ever experienced.

When running as the wolf and filtering through the pack mind, I saw the imprints together, I felt what they felt, and sometimes it was hard to see the difference between what I felt for Bella. Sam had once told me that the distinction was so meniscal, and that thought kept me believing that I would never imprint on another. Bella shifted next to me, murmuring sleepily, face nuzzling in the crook of my neck.

I smiled, kissing her forehead gently. No there could be no other, she was it for me, just like my dad had said. "No, I want to brush you, your hairs all tangle!" Bella mumbled and for a moment I thought she was awake. When she only scrunched her face up in annoyance, I grinned. 'What could she be dreaming?' I pictured my wolf sitting patiently on the front steps of a cottage, wagging his tail beseechingly with his hair matted with sticker burs as Bella shook a thick brush at him. The visual proved to be my undoing, because I snorted with laughter.

I calmed after struggling with myself for a moment, though the grin could not be contained as I stared down at the girl who I'd do anything for. She knew and she wasn't afraid. She had approached my wolf, and asked for his protection, and he just like me would do anything for her. 'Can't believe the packs stayed away for this long.' The thought disturbed me, she knew about us again, although she had yet the put faces with fur. 'She'll know about the others soon too then.' A nagging voice said in the back of my head and I frowned heavily. 'Edward.' The wolf inside me snarled and I tugged Bella closer, as if that alone could protect her. I felt so guilty when it came to what had happened between us. She said she could never hate me, but I feared it, especially knowing that it was wrong, no matter how right it had felt.

'If she did remember, would she use it as a means to end us or would it open her eyes to see just how amazing this could be.' I mulled, and sighed when I could give myself no answer. Only Bella would be able to answer that, if she ever did remember. 'But what if she doesn't? Does that mean I'll always feel like I'm betraying her?' Have I mentioned how much I hate my brain.

"Jacob." A quiet voice said from the hallway of the living room. I looked up, instantly wary from my place on the couch. "Sam, what's up?" I nodded, keeping my voice quiet, not wanting to disturb Bella. He threw his head to the side gesturing for me to follow him, and I frowned not wanting to leave, but gently detangled Bella's limbs from around me, laying her down on the couches pillows. Padding on silent feet to the front door and then the porch. Silence prevailed and I took notice that the rains had stopped and it was reaching dusk.

"I had to go to them Jacob." Was all he said and instantly the burning anger was there. I stayed silent as I didn't trust myself to speak. He glanced at me from the corner of his eye, and I just glared out into the forest. "They mentioned that he's the head of the Voltori and it's as Alice saw, he's come for her." I couldn't contain to growl that ruptured from my throat. "What else." I gritted my teeth. He nodded. "You're not going to like this part at all, Jacob." He paused and leaned against the rail of the porch, looking me in the eyes. "They believe they have no other option but to reintroduce her to her past. They want to tell her everything."

"Bastards!" I seethed, body shaking. After everything they had said about it being bad for her, how it could cause a mental breakdown, they wanted to tell her. "Well that's just not going to happen." I said with gritted teeth as I began to pace the front porch. Sam nodded and crossed his arms. "I would agree with you and do for the most part Jacob, especially since its more than likely for more selfish reasons rather than her wellbeing." "Damn right!" He glared at me when I interrupted him and I huffed. "But with everything she's seen and the fact it may become more dangerous for her, she should know what she's dealing with."

"I can protect her Sam." I glowered at him, not liking the fact this was heading towards the command I could hear in his voice. "She has a right to live a normal life, one that doesn't involve her jumping at every noise in the dark." I said quietly. "She has a right to know what she's up against. She needs to know Jacob."

"She doesn't need to know anything!" I shouted, glaring at him for all I was worth. I focused on him, livid, that he of all people didn't understand. But then I noticed his eyes weren't on mine, but behind me where the doorway was. With a sinking feeling in my stomach, I turned my wide eyes on the person I knew was there. "Bella…" I whispered.

She stood in the doorway, holding herself in that way I so despised. When I started towards her, her head which had been bowed so I couldn't see her face through her thick curtain of hair snapped up. Wet deep pools of brown met mine, awash with so many emotions. "You stop right there Jacob Black!" she shouted, backing up. "Bella, please…let me explain." I started towards her again, but she shook her head, biting hard on her bottom lip. "After everything that has happened, even though you know how lost I am, you want to keep me in the dark? How could you Jacob?"

Sam cleared his throat, and both us snapped our attention to him. "You either tell her or they will Jacob. I got to get on home to Em, but we have a meeting tonight and you're on patrol for early morning." He paused after addressing me and turned a gentler look to Bella, one I had never seen before. "I'll see you around Bella. Be safe." He then turned and walked towards the woods, becoming shrouded in the dense forest quickly.

Tension was thick in the air, and it tore at me. I heard her feet stomp towards the edge of the porch, where she sat on the swing, pulling her legs up and hugging them. "Explain." She all but spat, and I frowned at her. "No Bella. I'm not going to damage you anymore than you already are." I said turning to look at her fully. "I heard everything Jacob, I need to know." She glared at me and if looks could kill, I'd be under five times. "I said no and that all I have to say." I sighed running my hands through my hair, frustrated. "I'm not doing this because I want to honey, I just don't want you to get hurt or be more involved than you already are." Liar. 'Scared.'

She stared me down for a moment and nodded rising from her place on the chair, her arms still wrapped around her tightly. "Fine." I couldn't stand it any longer and I took four large strides and enveloped her in my arm. "I'm sorry Bells." She remained stiff in my arms, and I tightened my embrace, feeling like I was losing her. Her next words made me feel that even more. "If you won't tell me, then they will."

Body tense, wolf howling inside me at the thought of that I pulled away from her and looked at her in pure disbelief. "Seriously Isabella? You're going to fight that dirty?" she looked visibly shocked when her full name came from my lips, and I have to admit it felt like the ugliest of cures. But I was angry so words spouted from my lips like vomit. "Just like old times then, you don't get what you want so you back to him? Fine! Fucking make me feel like shit for trying to protect you from yourself!"

I threw up my arms and walked down the stairs quickly, getting away from her so I could phase. Fuck this day, it had started like shit, and then just when I thought it couldn't get any better, it combusts into flames. "You said that too." I barely heard her whisper, but damned if my entire being wasn't attuned to her. "What did I say Bella." I said through gritted teeth. The pain was coming back, and it was worse because I had had a taste of the forbidden fruit. "In my dream." I heard her shift and the light sound of her footsteps. Arms wrapping around me from behind, she laid her head between my shoulder blades and sighed.

"You told me you would always protect me, even if it was from myself." Tears ran down my skin and I was hard pressed not to turn to her. "I'm sorry for whatever I've done to you in the past, I don't know what it is, but you need to know that though Edward means a great deal to me." She paused taking a shuttering breath, and I couldn't stop myself when I threaded our fingers together. I felt her lips curve in a small smile, and some of my anger bled out. "I mean I know there's a connection between him and I, I've felt it when-" the anger again "-but nothing compares to what's here Jacob. Like I said I feel like I'm tied to you, I feel better when you're around. I feel like I a whole person and not so lost."

I couldn't take it any more so I turned to face her, her arms grasping at my biceps. "Bells, I know you may feel that now-" "STOP!" she shouted. "I don't know what's happened in the past, but I know I've always felt this way. I have to have felt this way, it's so strong. It scares me sometimes." She cried and I pulled her closer, shushing her. I held her tightly to me and shuddered at how badly this would hurt if this ended the way that I kept predicting. But what was I if not glutton for punishment. "It's getting late Bella, and if I remember correctly you're going back to school tomorrow."

'Sam's right.' I thought. "Jake-please I need to-" I chuckled and stepped away from her, and her hands reached out to catch me, I barely alluded them. "So I'll take you home, and then pick you up from school tomorrow and we'll talk then okay?" her mouth opened in shock and then she nodded quickly, running to catch up with me and I walked towards the woods. "Really?" her voice sounded so hopeful. "Sure sure, now step back."

"Wha-Why? Oh." I pulled off my clothes and quickly phased, and my wolf preened himself as Bella amazed eyes analyzed him. "You're so pretty Jake." I snorted and leaned down. She looked shocked. "You're not serious? You want me to ride you?" I barked at her and she shook her head and shrugged, approaching me to throw one leg over me, settling lightly on my back. "What do I hang on to?" I shook a little as I stood and began padding deeper in the forest. She took grabbed onto my thick fur and I leaned back to lick her. "Really Jake!" she giggled and I felt like we were okay again. Once she had a good grip I took off in a faster, barking happily when she'd squeal in surprise or a laugh in excitement. 'How it should be.'

'Maybe, Jake, maybe." Leah answered.

'Go get 'er man!' From Embry.

'A Dual then!' Quil shouted.

With any luck after all this mess blew over, and Bella regained her memories, and the king bloodsucker was burned to ashes, I might just get my chance with Bella. She nuzzled deeper into my fur as we reached the edge of her yard and I leaned down to let her down. I stepped into the shadows and once I had phased back, pulled my pants on. Walking back out into the moonlight, I caught my breath as I stared at the girl I loved. She turned and looked at me, eyes full of something I had never seen in them. I reached her side, cupping her face in one of my hands and we just stared at each other, communicating with the feelings in our eyes, rather than words. "Tell Charlie that I'm doing maintenance on your truck, and I can pick you up after school. I'll see you about 3:30?" I whispered, tucking her hair behind her ear. She smiled, nodding. I grinned back, ready to retreat and patrol, when I felt her lips graze my cheek quickly. Stunned yet again, I must have had a dumb look on my face because she laughed.

"Thanks for the great night Jake, I can't wait for tomorrow." She released my hand and began making the trip to her door, when she turned. Her eyes slightly haunted, she released a shaky breath. "I'll be safe right? That guy won't come around here." My smile was tight, but it must have reassured her. "I'll be around here with another one of the guys all night; we'll keep you safe honey." She nodded and waved making her way into the house. I didn't turn until I heard the lock click shut. "You can come out now."

"Her futures disappeared again; you are making this very difficult to see when you are around her constantly." A light voice scolded. "Alice, long time no see." I grunted. Out of all the leeches she was the one I didn't actually have too much of a problem with. "What can I do for you?" I asked nonchalantly while I continued to scan the area trying to detect if there were others around. "I'm alone dog." She sniffed and walked more in my direct line of sight. "I came to see what your thoughts on Bella are, and to ask how she's doing." I looked in her direction and noticed her perturbed look. "Why don't you ask her yourself?" Again she frowned. "Bella's not exactly close with anyone but you now, as much as I displeased to say. She'll barely speak to me at all if Edwards around, he makes her nervous."

"Well can you blame her, he kind of radiates predator now that she doesn't remember how much she cared for him." I spat the last part in distaste. Alice studied me and I felt like I was under a microscope. "What?" She just shook her head. "You really love her right?" she said lowly and I snorted. "Come on Alice, haven't I proved that over and over again. I mean she pretty much stomped on my heart. But I'm still here. I'll always be here." I mumbled the last part.

She nodded again and we stood in the stillness of the night. "Her future keeps changing, and disappearing over and over. But I keep getting flashes of it. Sometimes she's one of us. Others she's holding a child and I've never seen her more happy." She stared me down and I met her gaze evenly even though my heart was pounding. 'A child.' "The only reason I'm telling you any of this is because I love Bella like she's my own sister and I won't stand for her to be unhappy. I've thought about this a lot and I was disturbed by what I saw."

"Don't you want her to be like all of you though; I thought that would make you happy." I growled. She smiled looking down, sad, and I stopped all the hatred that was flowing through me. "I would be happy if she was turned, that would mean we would be together forever. Like I said she's like a sister, I love her." She looked up at the moon and if she could cry I'm sure she would have been. "In the vision where she's turned, she's beautiful, more beautiful than she already is. She's powerful, she has two gifts. One is she has the ability to block others of our kinds power, and the other is far more remarkable. She doesn't need to feed; she has no need, no drive to kill. She just exists." She looks towards me, her head tilting to the side studying me once more. "In all of these visions, the one thing that sticks out the most is how unhappy she is, and the other is that even though Edward is there, she will not accept him."

I'm shocked, eyes wide and unseeing and the only thing that brings me back is the sound of her voice again. This time it's more amazed and less sad. "The other future I've seen is more in pieces. Only flashes, it never comes quite into focus." She smiles sadly shuffling her feet and looking down. "I've seen her being thrown into the ocean and laughing outrageously, her tripping as Charlie walks her down the aisle. But the one piece that convinced me that I needed to see you was the one that has made me feel something I have not felt in decades."

Damn cryptic vampires and their need for suspense. "What was it Alice, please." I rasped. "She's making cookies in the kitchen, one I've never seen before. She's so happy though, she's glowing and I realize it's because she's heavy with child. But she wears it so well." She grins. "She's still clumsy though, because she trips, but catches herself on the counter before there's anything to worry about, but not before someone sees her." Warmly she describes the next part while I'm in awe. "A boy, about three comes into view."

"Mommy, yous havta be more careful, I's supposed to make sure you be okay. That's what Daddy said."

Bella looks probably chastised, though she's playing her part. "I see, and you have to keep you're promises to Daddy right, we always keep promises." He grins a sunny grin and raises his arms, begging to be picked up. She does just that, and hefts him on her hip.

"Sure sure! Can I have a cookie now mommy? You should too, babies hungry, it told me." She laughs warmly and nods and they both grab a cookie.

"I've never seen Bella happier than in that vision." Alice leans back, pulling her arms behind her back and grins. "She's a great mom, and I want her to be." She begins to walk towards me and I'm rooted to the spot, staring at the ground, dumbfounded. Could it really mean what I thought? "Jacob, you must know, the reason I'm telling you this. If Aro succeeds the first future I told you will come to pass, she will live and we will be with her, but she will always be unhappy, and tortured. However if we succeed in protecting her, then she will have the other future." She passes by me, her form almost disappearing along with her scent. But I hear the whisper that filters through the tree's like a promise. "She will have the future with the boy that looks an awful a lot like a certain Jacob Black."

I think I'm crying and despite losing some ground on the war between the Quileute's and the Cullen's I whisper back just loud enough that I know she'll hear me. "Thank you Alice."

AN: That's it for now folks. Hopefully you're all still enjoying ALATEOD and I look forward to posting the next chapter. I'm hoping to have some time this week, but I am beginning school this week as well as studying for a college exam. Let me know what you think and I'll update as soon as possible! Review!