At the Cliffs

My take on New Moon / Eclipse - written from Bella's perspective

← Chapter 9: Meeting      Chapter 11: Imprinting →

Chapter 10: Talk

Charlie and Sue returned from Hoquaim while we were eating dinner. I guess Billy had filled Sue in about the whole werewolf thing, because she was so overwhelmed at seeing Seth back in human form that she almost let the wolf out of the bag in front of Charlie. Poor Charlie. He was the only one in the room that had no idea about the supernatural world that had taken over Forks. Though technically, the supernatural stuff predated the founding of Forks by hundreds of years, but either way – it was probably a good thing that he didn’t know. If not good, then at least, easier – for him and for me - that he didn’t know the danger looming over all of our heads.

Something about the way he looked that night worried me. I watched as he picked at his dinner before coming over to make his goodbyes. The grayish pallor on his face alarmed me, but he shook his head when I asked if he wanted me to go home with him. Going through Harry’s things had exhausted him as much mentally as it had physically. He said he just wanted to just head home and hit the sack. I promised to be home by midnight, but my words barely seemed to register with him as he slipped out the front door into the night.

The evening was damp with that heavy moisture and thick mist that rolls off the Pacific ocean in advance of a summer thunderstorm. But the storm clouds were still far off in the distance, so Jake and Quil lit a small fire in the backyard and the gang settled around to enjoy the warm summer evening. It was as if nothing had happened that day. It was just another beautiful summer night on the reservation.

The guys were animated and lively. Though, I guess, things couldn’t be anything but lively with Quil and Paul in the mix, but somehow, I couldn’t get into it. I sat stiffly, just outside of the circle around the fire, and watched as Jake laughed and joked with the rest of them. But I wasn’t fooled. He was too cheerful. Too joke-y. The others actually believed that things would be okay. That the danger in Seattle was no danger at all. And that they would be able to take on whatever arrived at their boundaries. But not Jake. He knew what we could be up against. I could see it in his eyes for all of his light-hearted bantering and teasing that night.

Finally, the fire began to die out leaving only the glowing embers that created spooky shadows on the faces of the people sitting around it. It wasn’t that late, probably just after nine, but folks began to scatter. Jared and Paul headed towards town, trailed by Quil and Embry, to go to some Forks High School party on the beach. Embry glanced at Jake before leaving, but Jake just shook his head as he nodded towards me. I flushed.

Old Quil and Billy went back into the house to watch a documentary on the history channel. Sam and Emily strolled off, hand-in-hand, deep in conversation. My heart lurched at the sight of them. It must be nice to have that sense of absolute security that comes from being in love. If the two of them weren’t the epitome of what it meant to be soul mates, than I didn’t know what was. I felt Jake turn his head to watch them too, as they reached the end of the road and disappeared around the bend.

And then, it was just the two of us. I stared idly at the remaining embers as they burned themselves out. I could hear the faint drone of the television through the back door, the soft chirping of crickets coming from deep within the woods, and the even sound of Jake’s breathing next to me. But otherwise, there was just silence. A deep heavy silence. And finally, for the first time since the Seattle trip, I felt my shoulders slump and my body relax in relief. No more pretending that things were okay. No more pretending that I wasn’t scared. I could just … be.

I looked up to see Jake watching me with a strange expression on his face. I wished suddenly that I could read him as well as he could read me. He always seemed to know exactly how I was feeling at any given point, but with him, there were times, like right now, that I really had no idea what was going on behind his controlled expression. His eyes were dark and intense – not intense in that way (I recognized that look by now) – but intense in a bittersweet poignant way, as if he knew something that I didn’t.

I couldn’t take it anymore. I stood up suddenly, feeling the need to move, to walk out all of the frustration bubbling over inside me. I stalked off towards the direction of the trail that cut through the woods towards the beach. I didn’t look back to see if Jake would follow. I knew he would.

The evening was beautiful and the trail was beautiful. The spicy ferns, the freshly green trees, and the briny ocean breeze, mingled to create the heady scent of a summer forest in bloom. But despite how beautiful it was, or perhaps because of it, there was a primeval edge about the wild untamed forests out here in La Push. If I were alone, I might have been scared of all the things that went bump in the night here. But I was with Jake. And well, he was probably the scariest thing in the forest. Maybe.

We finally made our way through the woods and ended up on the north edge of First Beach. To the south of us, was the beautiful half-moon sandy cove that made the beach such a tourist attraction. But there was a roaring bonfire in the distance, probably the party that the guys were headed to, so I turned right instead and headed north towards the cliffs. I walked blindly, determinedly, as if I could shake off everything that was bothering me just by putting one foot in front of another. I didn’t know where I was going. But when I arrived at the bleached driftwood log, the place where everything began between the two of us, I knew that’s where I had been heading all along.

I slid down onto the sand and leaned my back against the tree trunk. It was the perfect height. I curled my knees up against my chest and wrapped my arms around them, hugging them close for warmth and security. Jake sprawled next to me, close enough that I could feel his every breath and every move, but not close enough that we were actually touching.

We sat like that for a while before he finally spoke. “What’s wrong, Bells?” he asked as he reached over to take my hand in his large warm one.

Even though the night was relatively warm, there was still a bit of a chill in the air. I shrugged as I slid over, closing the few inches between us, to nestle in next to his warm body. I was so used to turning to Jake for comfort that it didn't even register anymore. It was something that I just did. He pulled his arm up so that he could wrap it around me. He tilted his head back to lean against the tree and closed his eyes, his whole body relaxing as he settled in. I snuggled in too, in the crook under his arm, and felt myself relax, my body easing into that warm limp state that happened whenever I was around him.

“She’ll come back. I know she will,” I finally admitted softly. “I’d like to believe Sam, but I just can’t …”

“I don’t it either,” he replied softly as his fingers stroked my upper arm sending tingles through my right side. “Unless … well It’s just ….” His voice trailed off. I knew then that this was what he had been thinking about earlier.

“It’s just what, Jake?”

“Maybe she found out somehow that you and … him … aren’t together anymore. So there would be no point in killing you,” he blurted out. His eyes were on me then, watching my reaction like a hawk.

I took a deep breath to compose myself before I lifted my head to reply coolly, “That’s possible. But I doubt it. She and the Cullens weren’t exactly friends. And I didn’t get the impression that they knew anyone in common.”

“So you don’t think … that she found out somehow?”

I sighed. I almost wish that she had. It would be so nice to believe that something as simple as that would end this nightmare that had taken a hold of my life for months. Our lives.

“I know it sounds vain but somehow … even if she did know … I don’t think it would stop her.”

Jake frowned, “I guess you’re right. But it seems odd she would continue holding a grudge against you – a human - unless …” He was quiet for a long time before he spoke again. “Do you think it’s possible that maybe … she found out the opposite?”

“What do you mean?” I asked, turning towards him in confusion.

Jake looked down, not meeting my eyes, which was a rare thing for him. “Maybe she knows that he still cares. Even if he’s not here. So it still would be revenge on him if she were to kill you.”

I laughed. I couldn’t help it. “No, trust me, Jake. It’s over. He’s over it. He was pretty clear about that. I don’t think he’s going around the vampire world mooning over me or anything.”

Jake smiled a little, but didn’t say anything. We sat there in a comfortable silence. I still couldn’t believe I was speaking so casually of Edward and of what we had been, but somehow, here, in Jake’s arms, it was all okay.

“So what are we going to do?” I asked. “About Victoria,” I clarified quickly when I realized my question could be interpreted in many ways.

“I don’t know.” Jake’s body stiffened in frustration next to me. “We’ll just have to stay vigilant. Keep tabs on the news. See if any info comes up that might help change their minds. But until then, Sam is the Alpha. So it’s his call.”

“You sound bitter about him being the Alpha.”

“Not bitter,” he corrected with a sigh. “Just frustrated. I’ve never wanted to be the Alpha, even though I could have been. But now, I don’t know. I could call the shots differently.”

I turned to look at him in amazement. “Alpha? You never told me that you could have been the Alpha.”

“It’s in my blood,” he quipped with a wry smile. “I’m the only direct descendent of the last Alpha – Ephraim Black – so that means I should be Alpha by lineage. Sam offered to hand it over, but I didn’t want it. He was older. He had more experience. I didn’t want the responsibility. I was worried I couldn’t live up to it. But now …”

“Well you can’t do anything about it,” I said gently seeing that he was getting too worked up over this.

He growled as he pounded his left fist hard against the tree. I was surprised the old dried log didn’t splinter under the impact. “No, we could do something. We could run extra shifts! Put some more wolves on guard at your house!”

“No, Leah’s right,” I insisted, not wanting to side with her, but her logic was unquestionable. “I’ve seen you guys when you run double shifts. You get totally exhausted and run down. She’s right. You need to be well-rested and ready when … when she …. for whatever may happen …”

My voice broke off as my eyes filled with tears. I couldn’t pretend anymore as the raw emotion of the evening swept through me. I had spent most of the spring knowing that my life was hanging in the balance. That Victoria could come get me at any time once she figured out how to get past the pack. But I had at least had the comfort of knowing that if it did happen, it would only have impacted me. If she got past the wolves, she would take me out, and then vanish. She wasn’t stupid enough to pick a fight with the pack. And so in the end, the only casualty would be me.

But now – if our fears were right and she had created these vampires to help her come get me – then I was bringing death not just to myself, but to the people that I loved the best. To Billy, Sue, and the rest of the Quileutes, who had taken me in when I needed them and protected me with no complaints – well except maybe from Paul – as if I were one of their own. To Charlie, who if Victoria didn’t kill outright, would live through a pain worse than death at the loss of his family and friends in one fell swoop.

To the boy sitting next to me, who had been willing to ask nothing of me that I wasn’t able to give. Who gave me everything he had, and more, just to see me smile again. All of their lives could end soon … because of me. And the numbing horror of that thought – which I had tried to cage up in the back of my mind all evening– flooded through me.

Now it was Jake’s turn to soothe me - to pat my arm and whisper words of comfort in my ear. “Don't worry, Bells. We'll figure it out.”

“I don't see how that's possible given what we know,” I muttered. But I regretted it instantly when I saw the anger and stress in Jake’s eyes dial up ten notches.

I blinked away the few hot tears of anger and frustration that had leaked out and refused to let myself totally succumb to a crying fit. I knew that it would only make him worry even more, seeing how much this was preying on me. And that was the last thing I wanted to do. He had enough on his plate as it was.

“No, you’re right. I’m being a baby. We’ll figure something out,” I said as I gave him a soft smile, but he just chuckled softly.

“Not very convincing, Bells,” he teased with a mock eye roll.

I laughed softly as I said with more conviction, “I said, I’m sorry. You’re right. We’ll figure it out.”

“I’m sorry, but did you say that I was right? Can I get that in writing?” he teased again as I jabbed him in the ribs. And just like that, I did feel better. Jake worked his magic, as he always did, managing to make me smile, no matter what the world was throwing at us.

“So, what do you think we should do? I can ask Charlie to look into the police files about the missing Seattle victims to get some leads and …”

“Let's not think about it now,” he cut me off, his arm tightening around me. “We'll face reality tomorrow and think about it then. But for now, let's just pretend that it's not happening. That it's just us.”

I chuckled then. It was such a Jake response. He smiled and squeezed me again.

“Okay … so what do you want to talk about?” I asked softly, not daring to look up at him.

“I don’t know,” he whispered back, with an unmistakable tone in his voice.

I caught my breath as a chill went down my spine. This was it. Was I ready? Did I know what I wanted to do? No … yes … I don’t know, damnit! No wait. I was done with pretending tonight. Done with pretending not to be worried about Victoria. Done with pretending that I didn’t know what I wanted to do with Jake. Because while I wasn’t sure if it was a good idea, I definitely had a good idea of what I wanted to do.

We sat there quietly, both looking straight ahead of us as the ocean waves pummeled the sand in the distance. But it wasn’t a comfortable silence because we were both waiting for the other to say something first. Finally, Jake spoke …

← Chapter 9: Meeting      Chapter 11: Imprinting →

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

All publicly recognizable characters, settings, etc. are the intellectual property of their respective owners. No money is being made from this website. The original characters and plot are the property of Stephenie Meyer. No copyright infringement is intended.

Terms of Use      Privacy Policy