At First Sight

Twilight - rewritten from Jacob's perspective

← Chapter 8: Accident      In the Shadows:: Chapter 1: School →

Chapter 9: Messenger

"He wants you to do what?!" Quil exploded. "No way, man. Not happening. She’s gonna think that you’re a pathetic loser. Which you are, but you don’t want her to know that!"

"Very helpful," I responded sarcastically. We were sitting in my garage pretending to do homework. I had filled them in on Billy’s request, but was now regretting it. What I wanted, was help justifying my decision to go, not a reminder of why I was an idiot for even considering it.

"You have to admit, Jake, this would not be one of your finer moments," Embry said as he passed me a warm soda.

"Yeah, I know. But maybe it won't be so bad? I mean, I can tell her that Billy bribed me to come and that I'm delivering a message and that it has nothing to do with me. That's not so bad, right?" I asked, trying hard to spin it in a positive light. It had made sense this morning when I told Billy that I would do it, but now – in front of the guys – it just seemed like a stupid idea.

"Right, let me see. Hi Bella. You look nice. My dad paid me to come tell you to break up with your boyfriend," Quil mocked. "Right, that's going to make you sound cool. Just tell him, no!"

"But the master cylinder! And the car parts! It would take me a year to save enough money for all of this stuff." I protested.

Quil rolled his eyes. But then again, Quil would probably be given a car on his 16th birthday so he didn’t really understand my predicament. "I'm not saying that wheels aren't important. They are. But if you want to have any chance with her, you can't do this."

"I don't think I had much of a chance to begin with," I muttered.

"True. It's not like she was going to dump Cullen for you, right?" Quil acknowledged seriously.

Embry punched him in the arm for me. "Hey! What!? I'm not saying that she shouldn't since Jake is obviously the better man. But Cullen's good-looking," he winced as he said it, "and he's got nice wheels. Most girls don't see past that."

"Making me feel better here, Quil" I mumbled. But I knew he was right.

"Well, as long as we agree that you have no shot with Bella, then maybe it's not such a bad idea," Embry mused with a thoughtful expression on his thin face.

"What are you talking about?" I said as Quil and I turned to look at him.

"Well … getting the car done is a big deal. It'll help you out with other girls around here.”

"I like the way he's thinking,” Quill jumped in. “So call it quits on the whole Bella obsession - it was getting old anyway - get the car done and score with some other chicks! Listen to the man here!" Quil cackled as he gave Embry a hi-five.

I sighed. It was easier to play along and pretend that was what I was thinking, as opposed to admit what I was truly thinking. It was stupid. And I never would admit this to them in a thousand years, because I didn't want to hear Quil’s thoughts on it. But part of the reason I wanted to go was because I wanted to see her. I just wanted to make sure she as okay. To see if she was happy. The past few weeks - from the running away to the dreadful accident - had just seemed too unlike Bella. She didn't do stuff like that and I felt this stupid compulsion to check-in on her. To make sure that things were okay.

I put on a blue collared shirt and tie from Billy's closet. I figured I'd try to at least clean-up so I wouldn't look so out of place at the prom. I borrowed Harry's Ford and drove out to Forks High School that Friday night. I almost chickened out when I recognized some of Bella's friends in the black limo driving in front of me. God, this was going to be embarrassing. I pulled into the parking lot and sat there for a few minutes, working up the courage to go into the gym. The Rabbit, I reminded myself, just think about the Rabbit.

I walked through the gym door, pretending as if I belonged. Fake it til you make it or whatever it was that they said you should do. And really, I looked pretty much like any of the other guys in the room. Some had tuxes on and some just had on suits, but all of them looked as damn uncomfortable as I did.

The gym looked as if it had come straight out of some prom night horror movie, with pastel balloon arches and crepe ribbons festooned all over the place. If the goal was to hide the shabbiness of the gym, the plan failed miserably. The garish decorations just managed to date the whole building even more.

I scanned the crowd, looking for Bella. I figured she shouldn't be too hard to spot given that she had a giant cast on her leg. I recognized some of the girls from the beach - the tall thin girl with glasses was dancing with an overly energetic guy, while the peppy brown-haired girl was wearing a skin-tight pink gown and looked like a cat who had caught the canary, as she danced with the letterman jock. I guess she got him. I smiled, remembering how hard she had been trying that day to get his attention at the beach. Apparently, persistence does pay off.

And then I saw her. Bella was wearing a blue dress. It was rapidly becoming my favorite color on her, because it brought out the richness of her hair and the delicate blush in her cheeks. I gulped as I felt my entire face grow warm. She was gorgeous. And she looked ridiculously happy dancing with him. It hurt. It hurt a lot. She was clearly head over heels in love with this guy. And I felt that strange tug of war within me. The burn of jealousy warring with the contentment that came from knowing that she was happy.

Cullen turned suddenly to look at me, even though I was still only at the door, much too far away for him to have heard me walk in. His eyes narrowed and he stared me down as I entered the gym and walked towards them. I looked down as I remembered why I was here. Right, this was going to be awkward. I knew that. But I could do this. Just ask her to dance so that I get a few minutes to pass on the message and then I'm out of here.

He was still glaring at me when I looked up. I wondered suddenly if he would cause a scene and pick a fight with me. Not that I was afraid. Not that I could blame him. With all the crap that the Quileutes had said about him and his family. I couldn't blame him for being a little ticked off at us. In fact, I would have tried to apologize for it, if I could figure out how to do it without feeling like an idiot. I struck that thought from my head. I had a difficult enough conversation ahead of me, I didn't need to add another one to my plate.

Bella looked around in confusion at Cullen’s expression. She stretched on her tippy toes, peering through the crowds, until she saw me. I could read the shock of recognition on her face, and then her forehead furrowed. I did a palms up as I walked up to them, hoping to diffuse the situation and set the right tone.

"Behave!" I heard her hiss as I approached them. I watched him visibly relax, his shoulders slumping slightly and his face wiped smooth of all the emotion I had seen just then.

His replied curtly, "He wants to chat with you."

I flushed as I heard him and I began to second-guess my decision. It wasn't too late for me to back out. I could just say hi, make up some excuse for crashing, and then head out. Tell Billy he could find someone else to do his dirty work. As I reached them, Bella turned to me with a warm smile and I was momentarily dazzled again.

"Hey, Bella, I was hoping you would be here." I said returning her smile with a tentative one of my own.

"Hi, Jacob," she continued warmly, as if I wasn't butting in on her prom with her boyfriend. "What's up?"

"Can I cut in?" I asked politely, catching Cullen’s eye for the first time. I was surprised to realize that I was as tall as he was. He was no longer glaring at me, his face composed, his expression blank. I tried to convey my apologies in my eyes, but he didn't seem to want to read it. His only answer was to set Bella down and take a step back. Well that was better than him punching me I guess.

I almost wrinkled my nose as I caught a strange sickly sweet smell coming off of him. With that much money, why the hell was he wearing such nasty smelling cologne? It was strange, but the smell seemed to permeate through my whole body, causing my skin to tingle with a strange burning sensation.

"Thanks," I said amiably. What was he so worried about anyways? It's not like I was going to steal his girlfriend or anything. Not that I wouldn’t want to, but it was clear she wouldn’t be up for it.

I put my hands around her waist and we started to sway awkwardly to the music. Her cast made it impossible for her to dance and putting her onto my feet - like he had been doing earlier - might be pushing my luck too much. Plus, I was feeling gangly and uncoordinated suddenly.

Bella smiled warmly again as she reached up to put her hands on my shoulders. "Wow, Jake, how tall are you now?"

I grinned smugly. "Six-two."

"So, how did you end up here tonight?" she asked curiously, cutting right to the chase.

"Can you believe my dad paid me twenty bucks to come to your prom?" I joked with a wry smile.

"Yes, I can," she muttered. "Well, I hope you're enjoying yourself, at least. See anything you like?" she teased as she nodded to the line of girls sitting across the bleachers.

"Yeah," I gave a mock sigh. "But she's taken." I could feel her curious gaze and I glanced into her eyes for a moment— and then we both looked away, embarrassed. What the hell was I doing? This was not part of the plan that I had rehearsed in my head. "You look really pretty, by the way," I added before I could stop myself. Hanged for a lamb as well as a sheep, I figured.

"Um, thanks," she said awkwardly with an adorable pink flush on her cheeks. "So why did Billy pay you to come here?"

I looked away, trying to figure out how to word this. Even though I had rehearsed this in my mind a million times on the way over, I was suddenly drawing a blank. "He said it was a safe place to talk to you. I swear the old man is losing his mind," I laughed weakly. She laughed softly with me, which I took as a good sign. "Anyway, he said that if I told you something, he would get me that master cylinder I need," I confessed sheepishly.

"Tell me, then. I want you to get your car finished," she grinned at me. 

I looked away, almost squirming with embarrassment. "Don't get mad, okay?"

"There's no way I'll be mad at you, Jacob," she reassured me. "I won't even be mad at Billy. Just say what you have to."

"Well — this is so stupid, I'm sorry, Bella — he wants you to break up with your boyfriend. He asked me to tell you 'please.'" I shrugged awkwardly as I delivered the message. I could feel my face turning a bright tomato red. Even my ears were burning up.

"He's still superstitious, eh?"

"Yeah. He was… kind of over the top when you got hurt down in Phoenix. He didn't believe…" I trailed off self-consciously.

Her eyes narrowed. "I fell."

"I know that," I said quickly, lowering my gaze to her cast.

"He thinks Edward had something to do with me getting hurt," she stated angrily. We had stopped moving to the music. "Look, Jacob, I know Billy probably won't believe this, but just so you know,” I looked up at her sensing the urgency in her voice. "Edward really did save my life. If it weren't for Edward and his father, I'd be dead."

"I know,” I insisted though I had no idea what the heck she was talking about.

"Hey, I'm sorry you had to come do this, Jacob," she apologized. "At any rate, you get your parts, right?"

"Yeah," I muttered. I still had one more thing to say.

"There's more?" she asked in disbelief.

"Forget it," I mumbled. "I'll get a job and save the money myself."

She glared at me until I looked up. "Just spit it out, Jacob."

"It's so bad."

"I don't care. Tell me," she insisted, her hands gripping my arms tightly.

"Okay… but, geez, this sounds bad." I shook my head before continuing. "He said to tell you, no, to warn you, that — and this is his plural, not mine." I lifted one hand off her waist and made little quotations marks in the air. '"We'll be watching.'"

I watched her warily, but instead of being outraged or angry, she cracked up. I felt my body suddenly loosen up with relief. I should have known it would be okay. This was Bella.

"Sorry you had to do that, Jake," she snickered, her eyes glittering with laughter.

"Yeah, that was pretty lame." I grinned at her in relief. "So, should I tell him you said to butt the hell out?" I asked hopefully.

"No," she sighed. "Tell him I said thanks. I know he means well."

That was the Bella that I knew. Looking for the good in everyone. She dropped her arms abruptly, which is how I noticed that the song had ended. I hesitated, unsure of what to do next. "Do you want to dance again? Or can I help you get somewhere?"

Cullen cut in at that moment, his hand, cold and heavy on my arm. "That's all right, Jacob. I'll take it from here."

I flinched. Oh right. Her boyfriend. I was so relieved that she hadn't freaked out that I had forgotten about that. "Hey, I didn't see you there," I muttered. "I guess I'll see you around, Bella." I stepped back and waved at her.

She smiled warmly. "Yeah, I'll see you later."

"Sorry," I said again as I turned and bolted for the door. I couldn't get out of there fast enough. That nasty cologne that Cullen was wearing was doing odd things to my head. It made me dizzy and my skin tingled with a strange burning sensation, as if something deep inside me had been triggered by the smell. I gulped in the fresh air as I got to the door, grateful to clear my head of that strange red haze. I turned to watch them once more as they danced.

She looked so happy. Her eyes locked on him as if nothing else – no one else – existed. She didn't notice me still standing there, but I knew he did, because he looked up and shot me a hard glance. I returned his stare heavily. I wasn't doing anything wrong. I was just looking. And wishing. And hoping.

Like I had said. It was stupid to hope for something that was never going to happen. I couldn't explain it. And I knew that I was being as irrational as Billy, but I had this nagging feeling deep down inside that she was meant for me, as if this all should have turned out very differently.

As I stood there, watching her dance in the arms of the man she thought she loved, I was sure about three things. One - she was head over heels in love with him. Two - I was head over heels in love with her. And three - this was just the beginning.

← Chapter 8: Accident      In the Shadows:: Chapter 1: School →

About Me

I'm a Twilight fan who believes that Jacob Black is better for Bella than Edward, so I wrote these Team Jacob fanfiction stories to try to convert as many people to my side as possible. :)

I've tried to stay as faithful to the original books as possible up through At the Cliffs, which is when I break off from canon and write out Eclipse the way I wish it had happened!

So ... what do you think? Good? Bad? Ideas for other stories?

Please let me know!

Jane

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