A/N: I have been dying to do a story about James. This story won't update as fast as JBU because I'm not entirely sure where it's going yet ;) I'll try to update at least every 2 weeks.
Disclaimer: I own nothing but the story line, SM owns the characters I'm just having fun with them.
Chapter 1- The Game
As Edward's car pulled further away, I felt my headache growing. Lately it felt like I had a constant migraine anytime I was away from him. It didn't let up until I could see him again; I was starting to feel like a vampire addict. He called me his personal brand of heroin; did the cravings go both ways?
I tried to shake off the pain as I went inside to start supper for Charlie. I was really not looking forward to this meal; Edward wanted me to tell my dad that I had a boyfriend. Boyfriend, that's a joke. More like beautiful predator who I hope loves me enough not to kill me, accidentally or otherwise. Wait- where did that thought come from? Of course Edward loves me, and I love him. He is perfect, yet still he somehow wants to be with me.
I was brought from my musing when I heard a car pull up outside. Going to the window I saw Jacob get out and go around to get Billy's wheelchair from the back. He gave me a warm smile when I opened the door, but Billy had a stern glare on his face. "Hey Billy, Jacob. Charlie's not home yet, but you can wait inside if you'd like."
"Thanks Bella! We brought this fish fry by for him, it's Harry Clearwater's recipe. Maybe you can cook some up for us for supper!" Jacob's enthusiasm was catching, he had such a sunny personality. I held the door open for him to push Billy through but he stopped just inside the doorway. "Been cleaning, Bells? Smells like bleach pretty strong in here."
"Umm, no? Not really. I mopped the floor yesterday but I just used vinegar water like always." I sniffed carefully but couldn't pick up any bleach smell. I did catch a hint of Edward's sweet scent and my headache eased slightly.
At Jacob's comment, Billy's face hardened even more. He turned to glare at me and said, "Jacob, I think I left the beer in the car. I know Charlie was getting low so I brought his favorite. Will you go check for me?"
"Sure, Dad!" Jacob bounced out the door again.
Billy turned to look me straight in the eye but didn't say a word. I was starting to get nervous when he finally said, "So, you've been spending time with the Cullens?"
My breath caught and I froze, locked in his knowing gaze. "Um, yeah, um, they're my friends at school." Where was he going with this?
"Bella, Charlie is my best friend. I see you like one of my daughters. I can't stand by and watch you get hurt." His tone was deadly serious.
My teenage rebellion kicked in and anger replaced my shock, "And who do you think is going to hurt me? What are you implying?"
"You know the Cullens have a bit of a... reputation on the rez."
"Really? Because I'm pretty sure they have never even been to the reservation. They aren't allowed there." I shot back.
This seemed to give him pause. "You seem to know a lot about the Cullens."
"I do. Maybe even more than you do." Our stare down continued until Jacob came back in.
"I don't see anything in the car, Dad. You must have left it at home..." he trailed off, finally noticing our tense postures. "Everything ok in here?"
Billly sat up and looked at me a moment longer. "Yeah, son. Everything's fine. Why don't you take me in there in front of the tv and you can help Bella with the fish."
The next hour was spent with Jacob, cooking and joking around. He completely took my mind off the argument with Billy and he was so much fun to be around. He told me about his friends at school and I told him what I missed about Arizona. Just like that day at First Beach, he was so easy to talk to. Before I knew it, Charlie was home and we were all sitting down for dinner. The conversation flowed easily, with the dads acting like complete teenagers, and Jacob and I laughing at their antics.
The guys moved into the living room after supper to watch whatever game was on tv and I started working on the dishes. I was elbow-deep in soap suds when the doorbell rang, shocking me back to reality. I was supposed to tell Dad that Edward was coming and I completely forgot! I didn't get a chance to dry off before Charlie had asked Jacob to get the door. I made it to the entryway to find them locked in a glare, nostrils flaring, and fists tensed by their sides. Edward wasn't moving at all but Jacob was shaking slightly from head to toe.
I moved up behind him and put a hand on his shoulder when Edward lashed out, "Get back, Bella. Now." I was stunned by his harsh tone of voice but it only served to make Jacob angrier.
"Who the hell are you to talk to her like that?"
"I'm her boyfriend, mutt. What's it to you?"
Jacob stepped back like he had been slapped and looked between us before pushing past Edward to run out the front door. "I have to get out of here," he threw back over his shoulder.
"Jake! Wait!" I called after him and tried to follow, but Edward was blocking the door. It took me a few tries before I looked up and realized there was something really wrong, and he wasn't going to let me come outside.
Edward was still seething on the front porch, his black eyes making me nervous. About this time Charlie called out, "Who was at the door, Bells?" I looked at Edward and he shook his head quickly and whispered, "I'll be outside. Just make your excuses and meet me in the car." As his sweet breath fanned out across my face, I relaxed and found myself nodding.
"It was nobody, Dad. Just a vacuum cleaner salesman. Hey, Dad? I'm gonna walk down to Angela's, see if she wants to catch a movie or something. Ok?" I held my breath, hoping he wouldn't push me for answers.
"Sure, kid. Just don't be too late." With that, I grabbed my coat and walked out the door. Parked on the street in front of my house was a huge 4-wheel-drive Jeep. Edward was pacing back and forth in front of the passenger side door, waiting for me. As soon as I walked close to him he grabbed my upper arms and pushed me back against the door, and not too gently, either.
"What was he doing here?" his voice whipped out sharply, harder than he had ever spoken to me before. "You can't be around him anymore, I forbid it."
It took a minute for my brain to catch up to the strange turn in circumstances. When I realized what he said, I was the one who was furious. "You forbid it? What the hell, Edward? You don't own me. Jacob is my friend, you can't tell me-" I was cut off when Edward grabbed my chin in his hand and moved his face an inch from mine. His face didn't look normal; for the first time since I saw him in our biology class, he actually looked like he wanted to kill me.
"You will not speak to me that way, child. For all practical purposes, I do own you. It is my job to protect you and that mutt is dangerous. I will not allow him near you." His face changed abruptly and his eyes were swirling golden again. His grip on my face lightened and he looked straight in my eyes. "You know how I worry about you, Bella. I couldn't survive if something were to happen to you. You are everything to me. You won't challenge me on this, right?"
As I breathed in his sweet scent again, I forgot why I was mad at him. He smiled and leaned in to gently kiss my lips, causing my knees to go weak. He caught me around the waist and proceeded to hoist me up into the jeep and buckle the harnesses around me. We were flying down the highway before I realized what was happening.
"Where are we going?" I asked him cautiously.
He shot a look my direction before answering slowly, like he was speaking to a child. "We're going to play baseball with my family, remember? We'll have to run part of the way but the Jeep will take us deeper in the woods than my Volvo."
I shook my head trying to clear away the hazy feeling. I did remember Alice asking us if we would come tonight. She and Jasper had looked at me strangely, almost like they were expecting something from me, but I had no idea what it would be. Edward had accused them of hiding something from him but she managed to talk him into agreeing anyway.
Edward stopped the jeep deep in the forest and came around to pull me out of the door. I couldn't unbuckle the complicated harness by myself, so I waited patiently for him to help me. For a moment, I felt strangely like a baby waiting to be removed from a carseat. His quick kiss on my forehead before lifting me onto his back didn't do much to dispel the illusion. I just sighed and tucked my head down and closed my eyes. I really didn't want to be sick in front of his whole family this time.
After running for several minutes, he set me down gently and wrapped his arm around my shoulder as we walked into the clearing with his family. Alice flitted over to us with a large smile and reached to hug me but Edward's arm tightened around me and he shook his head at her. "How did you miss the fact that Bella's friend is one of the La Push dogs? I thought you were watching her future? She spent the whole afternoon with him! Do you realize what could have happened?"
I had never seen Alice unsure of anything but her mouth popped open and she shook her head in disbelief. "Edward, I swear, I had no idea! I didn't see anything about Bella's day until you picked her up to come out here. I would have told you that! I know how unstable the wolves are!"
Despite Edward's proximity, I felt my anger rise again. "Isn't it a little hypocritical of you to say that Jacob is dangerous when I'm practically a paper cut away from being dinner for your whole family?" Edward's arm became a vice around me just as I felt calm wash over us. I smiled timidly at Jasper and he winked at me before staring down Edward in a rather intimidating manner. I had a feeling there was a lot more to Jasper than just being Alice's mate.
Carlisle came up to our tense group and laid a hand on each of the boys' shoulders saying, "Everything ok over here? We can start the game now if you like." Edward shook his hand off and stalked away without a backwards glance at me. I felt a chill at his absence and my head began to ache more with each step he took. Carlisle cleared his throat and I looked up to see he and Jasper looking at me in concern. "Is something wrong, Bella? You look as though you don't feel well."
"No, I'm fine. Just a headache." I saw the three of them exchange a glance before looking back toward Edward. Jasper and Carlisle smiled cautiously at me before running off to join the game.
Alice wrapped her arm around me and leaned so her mouth was right next to my ear. She whispered so quietly I could barely hear her, "Don't worry, Bella. Everything will be fine shortly. You have good things coming for you, I've seen it." She squeezed my shoulder before sprinting to the pitcher's mound, where she pirouetted like a ballerina. I couldn't help but smile at her antics.
Esme walked over to me and said, "I'm so happy you came, Bella. Would you like to call the game while I catch?" I nodded, and her arm was much more gentle than Edward's as she guided me over behind home plate. "Just call them as you see them!"
We had been playing for about thirty minutes when all of the vampires on the field stiffened and looked the same direction. I saw Alice and Jasper exchange a glance before Jasper darted over to stand beside me, but slightly in front of me. Edward seemed frozen as he listened to something and then he whipped his head around to glare at Alice. "What the hell is going on? Why didn't you see this?" She bowed her head and I guess she must have shown him something because he threw his head back and roared before racing to my side, snarling viciously.
I was shocked when Jasper pulled me behind him, growling at Edward. "You don't wanna do that, boy. I won't let ya interfere with this. She ain't yours and you know it." Jasper's voice was low and his accent was deeper. It almost sounded like he was a completely different person.
The rest of the family was frozen, looking between the four of us and the trees on the far side of the clearing. Carlisle finally spoke up saying, "Does someone want to let me know what's going on? Who is coming? They're moving at a pretty fast run. Do we need to get Bella out of here?" Someone was coming? Someone as in another vampire? Or vampires? I felt a shiver, but I also felt a strange urgency. The desire to run filled me, but what shocked me was the fact that I wanted to run in the direction the others were approaching from.
Edward snarled a harsh, "Yes", just as Jasper growled "No." Alice finally spoke up and said, "We need to spread out and step back. There are three nomads coming, and they are coming for Bella. We can't interfere or we will bring the Volturi down on our family."
"NO!" Edward roared. "She's MINE! She belongs to me!" He tried to move around Jasper to get to me but my attention was suddenly drawn to a noise at the edge of the woods.
Three vampires materialized from the trees and the urgency I was feeling suddenly increased. My eyes went immediately to the blonde in the middle. At first glance he was perfectly average; only his red eyes marked him as a vampire. His facial features were even, balanced, but not strikingly beautiful like the Cullens. His dirty blonde hair was pulled back in a low ponytail and I found myself wanting to run my fingers through it. His clothes were simple, if a little worn, and the hem of his jeans were frayed above his bare feet.
Time seemed to freeze when his eyes locked on mine. As he studied me, his face lit up in a bright smile and he raised his hand to beckon me to him. Jasper stepped away from me and I walked forward without even thinking about it. I made it three steps in his direction before all hell broke loose.