When I arrived at Charlie’s, Bella was asking permission to go to La Push. Charlie’s thoughts were ecstatic that she was finally going to be talk to Jake. He didn’t care that it was the middle of the night. Quicker than a human eye could detect, I opened the mui xe of Bella’s truck, and quickly incapacitated it. I hopped in the passenger’s ghế, chỗ ngồi and waited in the dark. It was cloudy tonight. Too cloudy for even the moon to shine through. I was rather annoyed that Bella would go behind my back to see Jacob, but I did warn her that I would stop her if she tried. Apparently she hadn’t taken Alice into account in this little plan of hers.
“Thanks, Dad!” I heard her call to Charlie as she slipped out the door. She looked around her, though with her human eyesight there was nothing to be seen. It was pitch black outside. She felt her way to the driver’s side door, and got in. I watched in silence, still as a statue, as she put the key into the ignition and turned. The engine clicked, but didn’t turn over. She tried again, and nothing. I moved a little to catch her attention.
“Gah!” She screamed.
“Alice called,” I said, not meeting her eyes. “She got nervous when your future rather abruptly disappeared five phút ago.” Her eyes widened in surprise. “Because she can’t see the wolves, bạn know. Had bạn forgotten that? When bạn decide to mingle your fate with theirs, bạn disappear, too. bạn couldn’t know that part, I realize that. But can bạn understand why that might make me a little…anxious? Alice saw bạn disappear, and she couldn’t even tell if you’d come trang chủ hoặc not. Your future got lost, just like theirs.”
I was rambling now, thêm to myself than her, although she sat listening in silence. “We’re not sure why this is. Some natural defense their born with? That doesn’t seem entirely likely, since I haven’t had any trouble đọc their thoughts. The Blacks’ at least. Carlisle theorizes that it’s because their lives are so ruled bởi their transformations. It’s thêm an involuntary reaction than a decision. Utterly unpredictable, and it changes everything about them. In that instant when they shift from one form to another, they don’t really even exist. The future can’t hold them…” I trailed off, and we sat in silence for a moment. “I’ll put your car back together in time for school, in case you’d like to drive yourself.” I told her, not knowing just how angry she was.
She didn’t say a word as she grabbed her keys out of the ignition and got out of the car.
“Shut your window if bạn want me to stay away tonight. I’ll understand,” I said, as she slammed the door. Even though I would understand, it would be agonizing to not be near her all night.
She stomped into the house and had a brief conversation with Charlie before clambering up the stairs to her room. She went to the window and slammed it shut hard, almost breaking the glass. I watched for a moment as she sighed, her tim, trái tim rate decreasing to normal speed, and opened the window wide.
I smiled to myself, knowing I was forgiven.
Chapter 3: Motives
The trip to Florida that weekend had gone well. I kept to myself in the house as much as possible, staying out of the sun, and letting Bella and her mother enjoy their quality time together. This gave me plenty of time to keep a constant eye on what was going on back in Forks. Renee’s thoughts were interesting, and, surprisingly enough, she tổng thể approved of Bella and my relationship. Of course, she thought that we were too serious for our age, but unlike Charlie, she genuinely liked me. That was a plus.
Now we were on our way home, with myself in the driver’s seat, and Bella staring out the window. She had barely đã đưa ý kiến two words since we left Florida. “You’ve been very quiet,” I observed. “Did the plane make bạn sick?”
“No, I’m okay,” she replied.
“Are bạn sad to leave?”
“More relieved than sad, I think,” she replied. I raised an eyebrow at her, surprised, as usual, bởi her answer.
She sighed and continued, “Renee is so much more…perceptive than Charlie in some ways. It makes me jumpy.”
I laughed, thinking of the look I had gotten of Renee’s mind. “Your mother has a very interesting mind. Almost childlike, but very insightful. She sees things differently than other people.”
Bella seemed Mất tích in her thoughts then, and we enjoyed a comfortable silence the rest of the way to Charlie’s house. I pulled up to the curb, leaning over to Kiss Bella’s forehead. “We’re home, Sleeping Beauty. Time to awake.”
We looked towards the house as Charlie was pulling back the curtains.
Good she’s home. He thought. She better be in one piece. That was the longest weekend of my life. I have to remember to have her call Jacob right away. He’s been calling all day, poor kid. He really misses her.
Bella sighed. “How bad?”
“Charlie’s not going to be difficult,” I told her, trying to hide the tension in my voice. “He missed you.”
She looked at me questioningly. She was too perceptive for her own good. I got out of the car and opened her door, grabbing her bag as we walked to the front door. Charlie greeted us there.
“Welcome home, kid! How was Jacksonville?” he exclaimed, excited to see his daughter.
Bella was taken aback bởi his upbeat attitude. “Moist. And buggy.” She replied, always brutally honest.
“So Renee didn’t sell bạn on the trường đại học of Florida?” He asked, only half joking.
“She tried. But I’d rather drink water than inhale it,” she joked.
Better be nice to the Cullen kid. He won’t be happy when he hears how much Jake has been calling. Heh Heh… ”Did bạn have a nice time?” He asked, turning to me.
“Yes,” I đã đưa ý kiến calmly. “Renee was very hospitable.”
“That’s…” annoying. “…um, good. Glad bạn had fun.” But hopefully not too much fun, he thought before turning to Bella and embracing her.
“Impressive,” I heard her whisper to him.
Charlie laughed. “I really missed you, Bells. The thực phẩm around here sucks when you’re gone.”
“I’ll get on it.”
Well here goes. “Would bạn call Jacob first? He’s been bugging me every five phút since six o’ clock this morning. I promised I’d have bạn call him before bạn even unpacked.” He told her, purposely avoiding eye contact with me.
I tried to keep up my nonchalant façade, but I’m sure I wasn’t fooling Bella. I couldn’t stop the tension from consuming my body as Charlie spoke that mongrel’s name.
“Jacob wants to talk to me?” Bella asked in a small voice.
“Pretty bad, I’d say. He wouldn’t tell me what it was about – just đã đưa ý kiến it was important.” He finished just as the phone rang.
“That’s him again, I’d bet my tiếp theo paycheck,” Charlie mumbled silently. Wonder what’s so important, anyway?
“I got it,” Bella said, her tim, trái tim stuttering in her chest. I followed her into the phòng bếp, nhà bếp as Charlie left to watch the game. She picked the phone up and turned away from me, facing the wall.
I’m sure this gave her action gave her a feeling of privacy, although I could still easily hear everything đã đưa ý kiến on both ends of the line. “Hello?” she đã đưa ý kiến breathlessly.
“You’re back,” Jacob replied. I heard her tim, trái tim stutter again as he spoke, and an inexplicable wave of jealousy swept through me. It was not a natural feeling for me, and was very uncomfortable.
“Yes,” she answered, her voice sounding rough.
“Why didn’t bạn call me?” He demanded. I had to suppress a growl at his tone, he shouldn’t be speaking to her so harshly.
“Because I’ve been in the house for exactly four giây and your call interrupted Charlie telling me bạn called,” she explained defensively.
“Sure. Now, why are bạn harassing Charlie?” She asked.
“I need to talk to you.”
“Yeah, I figured out that part all bởi myself. Go ahead,” she replied, sounding confused.
There was a pause on the other end of the line, and I was suddenly wishing he was in close enough proximity to read his mind. I needed to know what his motivation was with this conversation.
“You going to school tomorrow?” he asked suddenly.
Bella’s brow furrowed, getting thêm confused as the conversation continued. “Of course I am. Why wouldn’t I?”
“I dunno. Just curious,” he replied.
There was another pause. This was becoming ridiculous.
“So what did bạn want to talk about, Jake?”
“Nothing, really, I guess. I…wanted to hear your voice,” he replied, as I suppressed another growl. I would need to work harder to control this new emotion.
“Yeah, I know. I’m so glad bạn called me, Jake. I…” Bella trailed off, not knowing what to say.
“I have to go,” he đã đưa ý kiến suddenly.
“I’ll talk to bạn soon, okay?”
“But Jake –“ Bella started, but he had already hung up.
“That was short,” she muttered under her breath.
“Is everything all right?” I asked smoothly, my face composed into a perfectly emotionless mask.
She looked so Mất tích and confused. I couldn’t blame her, I didn’t understand what the mutt had wanted either. “I don’t know,” she đã đưa ý kiến slowly. “I wonder what that was about.”
“Your guess is probably better than mine,” I said, trying to lighten the mood with a small smile.
“Mmm,” she answered, distracted bởi her thoughts.
She started pulling ingredients out of the cupboards for dinner, her eyes a million miles away. I leaned against the counter and watched her emotions play across her face, from confused, to wonder, to a sadness I didn’t fully understand. That look pained me the most. I knew she missed him, and that killed me. I didn’t understand what she saw in a mutant dog, especially one as immature and smug as Jacob Black. If she only knew the things he sometimes thought, maybe she’d understand why I didn’t want her near him on her own. But Bella was always too trusting, too easy to grant forgiveness. She would never see Jacob like I did.
Suddenly, Bella froze, the meat in her hands slipping to the ground. I grabbed it and tossed it on the counter, putting my arms around her waist for support. It looked as if she were about to faint. “What’s wrong?” I breathed softly in her ear.
She shook her head, almost like she was trying to wake herself out of a bad dream. “Bella?” I asked, anxious now, her unresponsiveness making me anxious.
“I think…I think he was checking. Checking to make sure. That I’m human, I mean.” She murmured so quietly I wouldn’t have been able to hear her had it not been for my heightened senses. I stiffened, and couldn’t hold back the hiss that escaped my lips. Of course the dog thought that it was his business if Bella was changed. The Quileute pack was looking for any reason to start a war, and Bella being changed would be a perfect one.
“We’ll have to leave,” she whispered. “Before. So that it doesn’t break the treaty. We won’t ever be able to come back.”
I tightened my hold on her. “I know,” I said. I couldn’t stand all the pain she was going to go through just to become one of us. Maybe now she’d realize all she’d have to give up, and I could finally change her mind. Not likely, I thought to myself.
Oh great…in my own kitchen. “Ahem,” Charlie cleared his throat, causing Bella to jump out of my arms, her face red.
I went back to my original position, leaning against the counter, but I couldn’t stop thinking about Jacob Black. I knew he had an ulterior motive for his phone call to Bella, and checking to see if she was changed was the most logical explanation, but I wished I knew for sure.
“If bạn don’t want to make dinner, I can call for a pizza,” Charlie said.
“No, that’s okay, I’m already started,” Bella replied.
“Okay.” Charlie leaned against the door frame, his eyes shifting between us. I better not let them out of my sight anymore tonight. I don’t want to know what they were up to when I walked in here.
I sighed resignedly, and watched Bella cook, my mind still far away on Jacob Black.