"Whoa. Guys, what’s wrong? And where did Jake go?"
Edward and Alice looked at each other then at me. Their faces relaxed a bit but I could tell that they were still tense but I didn’t understand why. What was so bad with Jacob that made both Edward and Alice react the way they had towards him?
"It’s complicated, Bella." Alice said. "You may not have known but I have been keeping my eyes open for you," she said tapping her forehead, "and you disappeared. I couldn’t see you or your future. I didn’t understand it and when we came in here and saw your friend, we got scared."
"Why would you be scared of Jake?" I asked.
"We aren’t scared of him. We are just worried about you," Edward said quietly. "How do you know Jacob?"
"Oh. Well, we were childhood friends. Our fathers are or were friends. We drifted apart a few years back. And he called when my parents died and asked to come over to talk and help out if he could."
"I see," said Edward. "Well, do you have your things packed? I can start bringing some things out."
"Um… yes. I just have these three bags. I know that I will need some more later on, but this will do for now. And I think I am going to take my parents other car and go check on Jacob. He seemed upset."
Alice looked to Edward right away. He nodded slightly.
"I don’t know if that is a good idea, Bella," Alice said.
"Well, I don’t see why it isn’t. Jake and I have been friends for years. Minus the few in between and I am going to check to see if he is okay. Plus, I feel like I should go and see his father too. After all, they were really good friends. He must be taking it hard."
Alice handed me her cell phone. "Here then, if you are going to be so headstrong. Please take it and gives us a call when you are on your way back to the house, okay? Please just do that for me so I don’t have to worry."
"Alright. But I don’t think that either of you need to worry about anything. I will be fine there," I said.
"We will see you when you get back home, okay?" With that they left my room hauling my stuff with them. I took one last look at my once sanctuary and follow them downstairs.
I checked to see if the answering machine was on and ready for more messages. Then moved on to the refrigerator to make sure that it was all cleaned out, grabbed the mail to have Esme and Carlisle help me with and I went out the front door. I saw that Alice and Edward were standing next to the Volvo. They came over to me when I came out of the house.
Alice was first; she gave me a hug and said, "Please, just stay safe, okay?"
"And call when you are on your way back," Edward said. He pulled me close and gave me a kiss on the top of my head. I blushed instantly. When I pulled away from him, I looked down so that they didn’t see me blush as much.
Alice of course saw and she had a big smile on her face. Of course, she knew that I liked Edward and has wanted us together for a long time, but I was always too scared to do anything about it, but since Edward is becoming my protector it is getting easier for her. Me, on the other hand, I have to deal with the embarrassment. I have always blushed too easily.
"Okay, I am going to get going so I won’t be too late. Okay?"
"Alright, we’ll catch ya later, Bella. Have fun," Alice said but it didn’t really seem like she meant it.
I got into my parents car, adjusted everything to fit me, looked in the mirror to see that Alice and Edward were leaving; they were. I started the car up and let out a deep breath. I backed up and started towards La Push. I’ve taken this trip so many times but this time was so different. I have never had to console Jake with anything and now it seems that somehow my friends hurt him. And then I needed to see how Billy was doing. Everything has changed for me and I don’t know if I was ready for it yet.
Before I knew it, I was in La Push. I was just coming up to Billy and Jacob’s house. I noticed the front door open as I parked on the street in front of their house. I didn’t know where Jake would be but I would just go to the door. I got out of my car and walked to the house. I was about to knock when Jacob opened the door.
"What are you doing here, Bella?"
"Is it okay that I came over? I didn’t get a chance to say goodbye before you left so fast. Are you okay?"
"Sure, sure. Everything’s just fine, just as it should be. Billy will be happy to see you. He was hoping that he would get a chance to talk to you. Come in." He stepped back to allow me into his house. It looked the same. He walked ahead of me to lead the way, pausing briefly to close his bedroom door. We walked into the kitchen where Billy was sitting reading a newspaper. He put it down when he saw me.
"Bella! What a wonderful surprise. How are ya holding up kid?"
"Not too bad, considering. I am getting stronger everyday I think. How about you? I was worried about you," I said.
He shrugged. "Charlie is going to be missed around here. He was a good man. And your mother was so sweet. I know Sue Clearwater will miss her. She would visit with your mom when Charlie and I would go fishing sometimes."
"Yeah, I know. Mom used to love that too." Thinking back, mom always enjoyed her visits here just as much as dad. And I was always running with Jake. Those were the days, simple, nothing to worry about. Those days are behind me.
"I will have to tell Sue that you stopped. I’m sure that she would be happy to hear that you are doing so well," Billy said.
"Thank you, Billy. I appreciate that. Uh, Jake, can I talk to you for a bit?"
"Sure. Come on. Be back in a bit dad." He walked out of the kitchen and I followed him to his room. His room was dark and small. Maybe it seemed small to me since Jacob was so big. He sat down on his bed and motioned for me to sit as well.
I sat down and folded my hands in my lap. "Jake, what happened back at my house?"
"Yeah, sorry about that. Like I said, it was going to be interesting. I was right." He said with a smile.
"What are you talking about? What was interesting about that? All I know is that there was a blur and you were gone and Edward and Alice were standing in my room alone and angry. What happened?"
He smiled again and this time he didn’t look like he was sorry about anything. He had that "little boy acting innocent" look to his face. "Bella, do you remember when we were younger and we always sat around listening to the stories of my ancestors?"
"Yes. I do. What do those stories have to do with what happened at my house today?" I was getting really irritated by not knowing what was going on around me.
"Do you remember where we were said to have come from? How we came from wolves? And the stories of the cold ones?" I think he was enjoying toying with me. He was never going to change. He was always going to be the same Jacob that liked to joke around and always have fun.
"Yeah, I remember the stories. What are you saying? That the stories are true? You are a wolf in sheep’s clothing?" I laughed to myself.
"Ha ha, Bella. You are witty today, aren’t you?"
"Well you haven’t seen me in a long time, so I could just be this witty all of the time. But answer my question."
"I don’t think that I am wearing sheep’s clothes but yeah. Sorta. Now don’t freak out on me here okay?" Jake said.
"Okay, I’ll do my best. Now how can you "sorta" be a wolf?"
With a deep breath he went into his story. "Well, you see when the "Cold Ones" come into our territory, the sons of our tribe change to protect our lands and people. That has always been the ways of the Quilente tribe. We "phase" into our wolf form and patrol around our land to make sure the "Cold Ones" do not come to hunt our lands. We protect the innocent."
"And who do you think the "Cold Ones" are?" I asked. I really didn’t believe him, however he was huge. Did that explain why he was so tall now?
"Can you think of no one, Bella?" He asked raising his eyebrows.
"No, of course I can’t. And I can’t believe that you are a wolf. That was just a story Jake." I can’t believe that he was taking the story as fact.
"You don’t know of anyone that is deathly pale, cold to the touch, with a menacing appear to them? You really can’t think of anyone that would fit that description? And as far as you not believing that I am a wolf, I can show you. You are one of those innocents that I would protect Bella."
"Are you thinking that the Cullen’s are the "Cold Ones" from your stories? That would make them hundreds of years old. I know that they are not that old. They are my age!"
"Believe what you want, Bella. If that makes it easier for you to sleep, then believe that. But I know otherwise." He said with a shrug of his shoulders. I knew that he wanted me to believe him, but how could I believe that the ones that I cared for the most right now were capable of the horrors that his tribal legends told. I couldn’t possibly imagine that.
"Okay, say that what you are telling me is true, why didn’t they tell me?"
"Would you really expect them to come out and tell you that they are monsters? Come on, Bella, you should know better than that. They usually try to keep what they are secret. They are different in that they actually have befriended a human. You."
"No. I cannot believe this. It’s not true." I said shaking my head furiously. Not true. What was happening in my world? When did the world turn upside down? When did my former best friend turn into a wolf and since when did my current best friend become a vampire? None of it was true, it couldn’t be.
"Bella, come outside with me. I want to show you something." He got up, took my hand and led me outside. I walked out with him and he led me back to the woods by his house. Then he walked in a little ways and told me to stand back a bit.
"Just stand there and don’t move, okay?"
"Fine," I said.
He then went just inside the wooded area and all of a sudden his whole body started to shake like he was in serious pain. I almost went to him when I remembered that he asked me to stay put. I watched him as he closed his eyes tight and he shook even more. Then before my eyes I saw his clothes shred into a million pieces and there where he once stood was a huge russet colored wolf. He looked bigger than a bear. This was not happening at all, how could Jacob be a wolf?
He stepped out of the wooded area, walked slowly up to me. I had to look up at him since he was so tall. He nudged my chin, I reached up to touch his cheek and he closed his eyes. I heard a little whimper and I saw his eyes look back at me and I could tell that it was him. It was Jake; this creature was my friend.
"What are you doing Jake?" I heard from behind me. I turned around and I looked into the face of a girl that I’ve never seen before. At that moment Jake trotted back to the woods, phased back, and came out wearing only shorts.
"Oh hi, Ashni! This is my friend Bella. Bella, this is my girlfriend, Ashni." He said with a smile.
His girlfriend! My god, what happened when we weren’t talking? He used to want to be with me all of the time and wouldn’t take no for an answer and now he is glowing and introducing me to his girlfriend? Once again, I was left for a lack of words.