Jacob was 16, which he guessed was probably young, but there were two things he knew for sure.
Thing 1 was that life was unpredictable - but it got easier if you rolled with the punches. (So he did.)
Thing 2 was that he was born to always, always love Bella Swan. (So he did.)
He'd learnt thing 1 the hard way. He didn't ruminate on it now, he hardly ever did (but there were those rare times he couldn't not think, like when he'd sat in his bedroom with his door shut the day his aunt was visiting, clutching his head in his hands and crying as quietly as possible - because with the muffled voices wafting through the door - he could almost believe it was her. That's how alike they sounded.)
He'd never forget her voice.
Thing 2 he knew since before he knew what love even was. He knew it when he was a toddler, wanting to play with her alone (he recalled now, the pealing laughter, a slightly older girl pinching his cheeks and pulling him along to play, his little heart filling with happiness.)
And he knew it in a deeper, clearer way when he saw Bella that summer he was 10, she was 12, the last summer she visited Charlie before she stopped coming altogether.
But by then he knew anyway. After that it was just the wait.
So it was that he was aware of who exactly she was when he saw her walk into his garage 6 years later, out of the blue, eyes flashing with too many emotions to tell them apart.
She hadn't yet said hello. Jacob was madly in love.
She wanted to ride a bike of all things. The first time she took a hard fall he ran to her in a desperate panic, only to find her she laughing like it was the funniest thing. She gasped between choked laughter, "He'd never have let me do that."
Jacob weaned her off the bikes pretty quickly after that.
And still she kept coming. Somedays she'd talk, but usually she'd lose herself in her thoughts. He could guess which day it was going to be as soon she stepped through the door.
As long as she came everything was all right.
He hated everything about being a werewolf. It was a full time job - no hope for change - and not exactly rewarding.
And this was before you even got him started on imprinting.
Or on how Sam ran the pack.
"Why can't we push the Council to let us tell our families Sam? Embry's mom is losing it."
"If you want to change things you're welcome to be Alpha."
"Aww fuck Sam!"
Jacob was annoyed as hell about the whole thing.
The only time in his life he really liked the fact that he was a werewolf - the rush of power that came from being able to protect - was when he sank his teeth into the dirty long haired leech that had cornered Bella in the woods.
Moments like that made it all worth it.
He'd known Bella had had a lot going on. He hadn't pushed her to talk, and tried instead to take her mind off things, whenever he could.
But then he phased.
He almost went wild when Sam's edict hit him ("You can't tell Bella anything. You can't talk to her or go near her until I am convinced you are perfectly in control. Yes Jacob - I am aware it could be months.")
But then he found out, that when he really wanted something, Sam's orders couldn't really stop him.
When he told Bella all she said was, "Am I the only one without any supernatural powers?"
Huh. Like being a werewolf was a good thing.
He'd lectured her intensely the day they'd killed the long haired leach near the meadow. That she wasn't to take these crazy chances. She'd just laughed and said, "You're so adorable Jake."
His lecture came to an abrupt end after that while he blushed. Bella laughed a bit more and went home.
Realising the danger of his inability to explain the danger to her he went to her again that night to talk some sense into her.
This time she wheedled him into taking her to their pack meeting.
Putty, meet Bella's hand. Sheesh.
Yes, Jacob had known she had a lot going on but even he didn't expect it when she told Sam she wanted to work with the werewolves.
What was he going to do with this girl?