Show some love for Jacob! I always loved him, and loved to hate him, and thought he deserved to be part of this story. After all, he was one of our heroes in the original saga.
Important stuff happens!
Rating: (T) This chapter has some sexual situations and mild cursing.
Disclaimer: All publicly recognizable characters, settings, etc. are the property of their respective owners. The original characters and plot are the property of the author. The author is in no way associated with the owners, creators, or producers of any media franchise. No copyright infringement is intended.
Highway between Metropolis and Forks, Washington, USA
June 22, 2012 6:00PM
Chapter 11: Jacob
Ow, my ear. "Calm down, Bella-"
"Calm DOWN? You are kidnapping me! Stop this ride, I'm getting off." That was silly, we were on a highway. I put some weight down and sped us up in response.
"You are totally overreacti-"
"You JERK. You are 100% jerk, Jacob Black!"
"You wouldn't be so upset if you didn't know you were putting yourself in danger, and your dad wouldn't approve."
"Yeah, its a good thing I'm going to college, with a full scholarship, so I can be independent, and make my own decisions!" Ouch. I felt like she was digging at my high school graduate status. We couldn't all get full scholarships- and I was going to run a business, damnit!
"Well, sorry princess, but we can't all be perfect. If you want so badly to be an adult, act like it! You're being irresponsible!"
"What do you know about responsibility?! Not any more than me, you traitor-oaf. You realize you're basically saying you know what's better for me than I do, and that I can't handle myself in a city, right?" She sounded tearful, and I was beginning to doubt my master plan.
"I don't mean it that way, Bells. I just... you don't listen to reason when it comes from me, so I thought-"
"You thought you had a right to try to take my choices away from me? Thank you sooo much, Jacob. Really, I appreciate this." Damn, but Bella's sarcasm could be biting. She sounded choked up when she began again, "And I have work tomorrow, you doofus, so I hope you have a plan for getting me home tonight if you aren't going to turn around now."
Uhh, "I didn't know about work, Bella. Who works on Saturdays?"
"Newspapers," She spat, like it was the most obvious thing in the world. Well, yeah, okay.
"Did you tell him?" She asked, after a few minutes of silence. We were only about twenty minutes outside of Forks now.
She really wasn't going to like my answer, "Yea, pretty much." Rip off the bandaid.
For a moment I felt her seething, but I didn't get any more hearing damage. I waited, and the silence made me more anxious. "Bella?"
Nothing. Shit on a stick, the silent treatment. This was not really going to plan at all. How was I supposed to ask her out like this? It had been so great, with her laughing, and smiling, and holding me. I couldn't wait to hear about her week, and see her eat a proper meal, and possibly run my hands through her hair...
Now my stomach was sinking to my feet, and I felt queasy on the bike. When I pulled into her father's driveway, and dropped the kickstand, she flew off the bike in under a second. The helmet I brought for her was flung to the ground she slammed that patio door as she went inside.
Presumably, Charlie was asking Bella how her day had been, I walked into one of her responses, "Jacob was helping me consider the benefits of high speed road diving."
"Hey now," I protested. She acted like I didn't exist.
Charlie was skinning and gutting some fish he'd caught... and the plan was to let Bella cook it, since she was the best of us, and loved to cook. I was currently a little afraid she would spit in my food.
"Now, Bella, Jake was just concerned for your safety, and from what he told me, he tried to talk some sense into you before he called me."
Bella started grumbling. I heard, "Sense? ..show him, 'some sense.'" She unpacked the freezer, slamming down each item of food on the kitchen island. Even Charlie was looking weary of her.
"Bella, baby, you have to know that tracking down criminals should be left to the authorities. I always taught you how to defend yourself, but I didn't do it so you could go looking for trouble."
"I wasn't going to go looking for trouble!" She seemed to consider the truthfulness of that statement and backpedaled. "I was just going to canvas a neighborhood! It was basically going to be a neighborhood blog, with highlights of local news. It was just practice!" She filled a pot with water, and put it on the stove. Great, now there was fire involved. And pans.
"As soon as you start asking questions, you'll become a target, Bella."
"That's what journalism is, dad!" She had angry tears in her eyes, and I kind of wanted to fade into a wall, or plug my ears and cover my eyes. "I never gave you crap for doing your job! You go out and put yourself in danger every day, and I never complained!"
"It's not your job to look after me, whereas it is my job-"
"To let me grow up!" She finished. "You did great, dad. I'm great! I wanted to start the blog because I didn't think I was going to be accepted by my mentors at work. I had to rely on my own initiative. I'm not going to do anything dangerous, but I have to do something. It's not like there are just jobs hanging from trees for inexperienced high school graduates! This is what I want to do, so I have to start doing it." She took a trout from him and massaged some marinate into it with a little more gusto than necessary.
"Journalist have training, and connections. They don't go into dangerous neighborhoods alone and start digging up dirt." Charlie's voice was softer, and I started to think that Bella was going to win this argument.
Bella paused for a moment, her shoulders tense. I thought perhaps she was cracking. "I'll go with you, if you want, Bella." That earned my a death-glare level ten. She was not going to be forgiving me any time soon.
"Dad, I can do this..." She sounded defeated though, like this had really hurt her confidence in some way. Damnit, why didn't I understand her better!
The fish started frying, and I started drooling immediately. The veggies were boiling, and Charlie looked around for some dishes. He got close to her and put a hand on her shoulder, "It's not you I'm worried about, but you don't know what kind of freaks are out there. Any one of us could be taken down by some of these crazies, and you would be putting yourself in their way."
Bella's tears fell into the frying pan and burned. She gasped back a sob, and started nodding her head. "Okay... I won't."
Charlie gave her an awkward one armed hug, and said, "That's my girl. I'm sure there's another way to impress them- what about a cooking blog? You know you're the most naturally gifted cook in Forks!"
Bella laughed tearily, and the tension dispelled. We sat down to dinner shortly.
I kept looking at her across the table, but she wouldn't meet my eyes. It was frustrating, and though she didn't seem upset with Charlie, she was clearly not talking to me. "This is amazing, Bella, thanks!" I tried not to talk with my mouth full, but it was too good not to shovel, and I was a growing boy.
As the meal wound down, I fingered the gift I had for her in my pocket. I didn't think now was the best time to be presenting her with gifts... or maybe her being epically pissed at me was the perfect time?
We were putting away washed dishes, and I was starting to compose my offer of a ride home when Bella asked, "Dad, is there any chance you can drive me home tonight? I have work tomorrow."
Charlie looked up from the dishes, to me, and back to Bella. "Uh, its a little late for a ride back into the city..." he considered, "for either of you." Damn it Charlie!
"It's no problem for me," I said.
"Okay then." Bella said at the same time.
I looked at her in surprise. Didn't she want to be independent? But she had flipped her hair, and was heading to the stairs. "Goodnight Dad. I need a ride in the morning then."
That was it? I was totally cut off because of this? "Bella, wait."
She ignored me and got to the base of the steps. I grabbed her hand to stop her, "Bella, c'mon, let's talk about this."
She ripped her hand away, "Just because I do what Charlie says, doesn't mean I'm going to do what you say, Jacob Black." She started climbing again.
"Please, just come outside and talk to me for a second, please?" I grabbed her hand again, and she gave me a furious look, but I was so much stronger than her, and she knew Charlie was going to take my side. "Please?" I was not above begging. Or bribery. I pulled the present out of my pocket with the other hand, and slipped it over her captured wrist. "I'm sorry."
She looked from the wrist to my face. I'd given her a hand-woven bracelet with small patterns and beads integrated into the texture. She hesitated, then said, "I'm going outside with you, because then I can yell at you more easily." I smiled as she came back down the stairs.
I could take my punishment, as long as she was talking to me. "See ya, Charlie!" I called over my shoulder. The porch door slammed behind us, and we stepped out into the starry night, the wind coming down from the mountains, and the crunch of gravel. It was romantic.
"You have a hell of a lot of nerve, Black." See? Romance. She was adorable when she was angry. Her face got all pink, and her fists went to her hips as she leaned in, showing me a bit of cleavage and a white bra.
Oh, right. Focus. "Bella. I know you're angry, but-"
"Angry doesn't really cover it, Jake! You have no respect for me as a person!" she emphasized each word and why out of breath by the end of the sentence.
This got my attention. "I do respect you Bella! But, in a battle between keeping you safe, and letting you make stupid decisions, I'm going to keep you safe!"
"You aren't my guardian, that isn't your job! You're supposed to be my friend, not my protector!" Her hands were thrown up, and I couldn't help it, I grabbed the wrist and pulled the knot of the bracelet.
I massaged the inside of her wrist, "Couldn't I be both?"
She blushed, still pissed. "No."
I knelt down on one knee so that I was a little below her face, still caressing her forearm. "Then I'd rather make it my job to protect you."
She was having trouble looking me in the eye, "I would rather you didn't. You aren't my father."
"I don't want to be your father, but I'm not so sure I want to be your friend either." I looked into her nighttime eyes, which were dark and reflective. She was confused.
"You don't want to... be my friend anymore?" Her anger faded, and I saw tears well in her eyes, making them even more shiny and reflective.
Danger Will Robinson. "That's not what I mean! This bracelet is a sign of a bond, of an obligation. Even if I anger you, or you hate me for what I do, I want to always make your safety and happiness my priority."
I stood up, and Bella was fixated on her bracelet, and my thumb on her pale skin. I stepped toward her, and she stepped back into her truck. That brought her eyes back up to mine, and I decided to go for it. The mood felt right, and this was important. "I want to be more than your friend." I whispered, and then I leaned in, and kissed her.
She didn't move at first, so I opened my lips and tried to fit ours together. She was soft, and beautiful smelling, and absolutely still for three or four glorious seconds.
Then, her lips tightened, her hands came up, and she used her pathetic upper body strength to push my shoulders away. I hadn't even gotten to really hold her yet, and it took me a second to understand that this was not encouragement. I wanted to slide my hands over her arms and back, but she wanted me to step back, so I did.
"You idiot!" The tears from earlier were spilling, and she brought her hand up to cover her newly touched lips. "You just ruined it!"
Huh? "What did I ruin?"
"That was my first kiss, Jacob!"
It was? So what, mine too... sort of. Mostly. "Yea? How was it?" I smiled.
She reared back and smacked me. Ow, that stung. Then she shook out her hand, yelling, "It isn't funny! This isn't a joke!" She was crying.
"Why are you crying?" I was concerned, also, "I wasn't joking!"
She looked at me with fear and tears leaking from her eyes, "That's even worse!" With that, she ran inside.
Fuck me, what had I done?
A/N: I forgot a favorite line from last chapter:
"I thought he was perfect from afar? Rodin and Michelangelo had a sculpture baby that wished it was Edward Cullen."