The previous night's announcement still weighed on Anna as she sat pushing her grits around in the bowl the next morning, lost in thought. When he said everything he did the night before, had he meant it, or had it been a result of the imprinting process he told her about?
Why not tell her about his being a shifter when he told Bella, years ago? Did he think she was that weak, that she didn't deserve to know? He was after all, her oldest friend. Before Bella came along and took him from her, of course. Nothing made sense anymore and as much as she wanted to give in and be happy, just let herself trust him, trust that he did love her, without the imprinting having happened, she was having a hard time doing that very thing.
"Are you gonna eat that or just stab at it all day?" Charlie asked as he eyed his daughter with concern and waited on her to answer. Anna shrugged and muttered something he couldn't really make out, and he asked her calmly, "What's wrong? You only stab your food within an inch of it's life, Anna, if you're angry."
"Not angry, just really, really confused, dad." Anna said quietly as she looked up and then took a bite of grits, pausing as she thought, then asked her father, "Say someone you've known pretty much forever tells you something. And he's known about it for a long time. And so has your sibling, but neither saw fit to tell you.. This same person says he loves you."
Charlie groaned inwardly, remembered what Jacob said that he'd had to tell Anna the night before as he took a sip of his morning coffee. "Well? Do you still believe he loves you?"
"Yeah, Dad, but see, the problem lies herein. Now I'm just not sure if he loves me by choice, or because some fucked up gene in his DNA tells him that he has to love me. It's confusing. I don't know what to do with what he told me, really. I mean do I still love him? Yes. Do I want to see where things go with us? Yeah. But am I sure I can deal with spending a lifetime with the guy knowing that he's only here because of some quirk in his DNA makes him stay? That I'm not so sure about."
Charlie sighed and said calmly, "What if I told you that maybe the fact that he loved you to begin with is the reason the quirk in his DNA singled you out in the first place? What if you're looking at all this backwards, Anna?" as he looked at his daughter.
When Jacob had told him everything, he'd of course, turned to Billy to answer his remaining questions, and Billy had sort of confided in him that Jacob really loved Anna all along, but Anna always seemed to avoid him or distance herself, so he'd turned to Bella in a desperate attempt to make Anna notice him.
Not once realizing Anna already did like him back, she was just too afraid to open up, let herself fall for someone and be hurt by it.
Anna mulled it over as she rubbed her forehead, wrinkling her nose in disgust at herself. It did make sense... And she did know now that he had felt something for her before he'd imprinted on her. What he'd felt, she wasn't entirely sure of, but she knew he wouldn't just lie about it.
Her cell phone rang and she eyed it, nervously, not sure if she could actually talk to him right now. She just had to be sure he loved her without the genetics thing coming into play. She needed proof. Normally, she'd have went on blind faith, but given all she and Jacob had been through, she just wasn't sure if her blind faith would be enough.
"Your phone's ringing."
"I know, dad. Just trying to decide how I feel about this." Anna muttered as she bit into a slice of toast. The phone kept ringing and finally, she picked it up, walking outside. "Jacob.. Hey."
Jacob groaned inwardly. She'd obviously been upset and confused by last night, now she was either freaking out and distancing or just trying to decide how she felt about his being what he was, his having imprinted on her. He sighed quietly as he asked, "You okay?"
"Yeah. I'm just thinking." Anna said as she sighed and then asked, "Dad says that he agrees with you, what you told me last night.. maybe what happened was because you felt something all along.. That you don't just love me because of the imprinting thing.. Is he right?" Anna asked as she bit her lower lip, paced the length of the patio.
Jacob laughed a little and said calmly, "He is right, Anna. I thought this was all behind us.."
"I just can't get my head around you keeping this from me, Jacob. I mean my sister knew. My fucking sister knew and I had not a single clue. What am I supposed to do with that?" Anna asked as Jacob sighed quietly and then asked, "So you're mad because Bella knew and I didn't tell you."
"Mhmm. Yeah, I'm mad and I'm jealous and it sort of hurts too." she said as she stopped pacing, sank down on a chair and sighed, saying quietly, "But I love you. I can't just turn that off. "
Jacob smiled, pacing his bedroom as he asked, "Are you okay with this?"
"I think so, yeah. But we're not rushing off and going to Vegas or something. Understood? We're going to at least see how all this works before we make any permanent decisions. And we're still moving slow." Anna said as she bit her nails, studied the phone, smiled a little to herself. She'd put him through what he put her through, and she'd tortured him with how she'd felt for a while now since she'd been back. So maybe they could do this, they could make this work.
She had to hope so. She still wanted him, she still pictured her 'ideal' or perfect life with him as a part of it, a huge part of it. Most girls couldn't say what she could, they couldn't say that they'd met their Prince Charming at the age she had.
They also couldn't say that they'd actually wound up with the same person they pictured to be that right guy for them. But no matter how hard Anna had tried not to, she just instantaneously pictured Jacob whenever she tried to picture her future.
And there really wasn't any sense in deluding herself when she knew that nobody else would ever do it for her, nobody would ever make her feel the way he managed to make her feel, even when he was pissing her off completely.
So yeah, she wanted to hang onto that as tightly as she could. Even if it meant having to embrace this new development, what he'd told her finally, last night.
Jacob sighed as he nodded to himself. He knew if she had rejected the whole thing, he wouldn't have been able to blame her. He also knew that he loved her, with or without this happening to them. She was his, she was the girl he pictured the rest of his life with. She always had been, he'd just been too stupid to realize that before.
"Okay, I can deal with that." he said quietly as he asked, "Do you have to work today?"
"Nope. This girl owes me for covering her shift. And my classes got cancelled. Why?" Anna asked as she managed a smile, convinced herself, without even really having to try and do so, that everything would be okay. That she was going to do this, trust that it wasn't just his being a shifter that made him want her.
"Because, I just kind of thought we could do something today?" Jacob asked as Anna laughed and said "What if we just sit around and do nothing today? I hate admitting this, but I need to slow down and rest. I was gonna be lazy and watch movies or something. You can come over if you want."
"I'm on my way." he said as he hung up, smiling to himself, bolting out the door of his father's house. A few minutes later, he was sitting in the den at Anna's, and she was making him groan, pouting as he tried to point out that he didn't want to watch chick movies. But of course, the pout she gave in response made him give in and he found himself getting sucked into An Officer And A Gentleman.
Charlie laughed to himself from the doorway as Jacob looked up and said "Taking one for the men." as Charlie laughed and said "That's always been her favorite movie. She's not in there mouthing the lines.. Is she?"
"Mhmm. And she's used half the Kleenex." Jacob joked, Anna scowling playfully at both of them as she pointed out, "Hey.. You cried at a movie once."
"It was sad. They demolished a perfectly good Mustang."
"Jacob, it was a car chase." Anna said as she looked at him, brow raised. He shrugged and took a bite of the chips in his lap, to keep from saying anything dumb before pulling her into his lap for the rest of the movie. Maybe they could make this work.
Now all he had to do was get his hand on the damn leech threatening her, demolish the bastard. Then neither of them would spend every second together looking over their shoulders for incoming danger.