The Black house at the edge of the woods has not changed much over time. It's outer walls are still a clean white color and the shutters on the windows are still a deep blue. No wolves roam that house or the surrounding woods. The wolves have been gone for fifty years. After the Cullen's left there was no need, vampires stopped venturing through once there was no coven to cause controversy.
Isabella Cullen wondered if her visit would cause any problems.
The wooden door was unlocked. The living room looked different since the last time she had been there. Toys were strewn about the living room, pictures hung on the wall, the couch was large and lumpy. The house looked lived in. Isabella could hear a single heartbeat in the house, faint and aged. His bedroom door is open but his eyes are closed as he lies in bed. Isabella stands in his doorway, just as she had eighty years ago.
Jacob Black is aged at ninety six years old. His skin is wrinkled and etched deep. A cane rests next to his large bed where he lays alone. His frame is still large but he is visibly weaker than he once was, Isabella supposed that came with age. She wouldn't know.
Slowly his eyes, those beautiful brown eyes, open and rest on her. He must have known she was coming. He's always been one step ahead of her. A smile climbs on his face and the wrinkles around his lips deepen.
"Bells." His voice sounds like his father's once did. It's an old drum that rings deep and powerful. "I was wondering when you would show up."
"It's been awhile, Jake." Through years of training Bella has learned how to hide her emotions. It nearly comes crumbling down when she speaks to Jacob.
"You haven't changed a bit, though." He laughs and it fills the room with his warmth. "Now be honest, how do I look?"
She looks him up and down and a small smile forms on her diamond lips, "Old."
He laughs again and her chest is filled with somethings it's been missing for years. "Well don't forget you're two years older. You always used to get me on that."
Isabella, she doesn't really feel like Bella anymore, closes her eyes and tries to remember. After a few seconds of thinking she finds a memory behind the cloud of venom and time of her pushing of Jacob's advances with the ruse of age. She just hadn't been ready. She pulls the memory out and keeps it in a safe place. With each passing year more memories of Bella Swan's human life are forgotten. Still, when she thinks of her final years with a heart beat Jacob's warmth shine through. Even if she doesn't remember why.
"How have things been?"
The question sets of Jacob's life story and Isabella finds herself hanging on to every word, living a lost life through his own. He married Melanie, of course. Their two children, a boy and a girl, both grew up on the stories of wolves and vampires that stared their parents and friends but never faced the magic themselves. They raised their kids well, with love and tradition and Christmas with the Pack and bonfires on Sunday nights. Once their children had grown and married and had kids of their own, which explained the toys in the living room, Jacob and Melanie had traveled. They crossed the country with a road trip, visited all the presidential libraries, walked the sands of a east coast beach. But they always returned home, to La Push.
He told her the Pack's stories too. Sam and Emily had two kids of their own and they spit their time between La Push and Emily's family home. Paul had imprinted on Rachel, Jacob's sister, and while they never had kids they lived long and happy lives. Quill married a girl who was not Claire, who was the last remaining imprint, but he ound a girl who made him just as happy. Leah Clearwater left. Seth stayed and married a girl he fell in love with on free will. Embry never married but taught the stories of the Pack to the tribe youth until his death.
Isabella doesn't have much to say. The Cullen's may have moved eight times since she was turned but it's always the same. Nothing ever changes.
"Melanie died about a year ago." Jacob's eyes filled with tears but he blinked them away. "I can tell it's my time."
"How?" Isabella asked him.
"I know you can hear my heart beat, Bells." He gave a chuckle. "I can still feel the pull. It's stronger now than it' ever been. Now that all the loose ends are tied up, it's time."
That's what Isabella was. A loose end that was tied up. She couldn't lie to herself and say Jacob wasn't a loose end I her life too, someone she loved that was left dangling in empty space.
Jacob's heart beat flutters for a second and he coughs. His heart beat slows even more.
Isabella looks at her watch. She has been here for four hours. She had told Edward that she was visiting her old house, she hadn't gone to Charlie's funeral and she needed some closer. She couldn't bring herself to tell him she was going to see Jacob. A bitter resentment had formed in her heart over time, not enough to drive her away but enough to regret things. She would always live with that regret.
"I should go." She doesn't exactly remember but she said this once before to him. He does and smiles.
"Love you Bells." He smiles at her. His heart beat slows more. It's his time.
"Love you more."
"I'll be there soon, love." She hears it from down the hall, Jacob talking to Melanie. He doesn't lie to her.
She sits in his living room, on that lumpy couch, for twenty seven minutes and thirty six seconds. Until his heart stops beating. Vampires can't cry but she tries. It comes out as raw, dry gasps. When she was turned she froze in time, not just her body like she thought. Her likes, dislikes. She would always hate the smells of fish. She would always like the sound of rain splashing on the pavement. And she would always love Jacob Black.