At the Cliffs

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

← Chapter 14: Visitor      Chapter 16: Plan →

Chapter 15: Idea

I finally dozed off around sunrise. The fact that someone had been in my room, touching my stuff, tracking my scent, hunting me, creeped me out big time. I got up a number of times in the night to look out my window to make sure Embry was still sitting up by the tree in the front lawn. Every time I checked on him, he looked up to give me a cheerful wave. I couldn't even bring myself to feel bad that I was depriving him of yet another night of sleep. I was just happy that he was there.

When I woke up the next morning – well the next afternoon really - there was a yellow post-it on the pillow next to me.

“I'll be back at 4. Pack meeting tonight. Don't worry. We're all okay.”

It wasn't signed, but Jake's scrawl was familiar. I flushed when I realized he must have stopped by while I was sleeping and left it there. I hoped that he was sleeping now. He needed his rest. Now more than ever.

I dragged myself into the shower to make myself presentable for Charlie. I heard him moving around downstairs, probably making lunch given that it was just past noon. I was proven right when I dragged myself into the kitchen twenty minutes later. Charlie had heated up some tomato soup and made grilled cheese sandwiches and was just settling into his chair when I came in.

“Afternoon, Bells,” he said with a wry smile as he gestured towards the empty chair opposite from him. I gratefully sank down, filled my soup bowl and snagged a slightly burnt sandwich that was oozing cheese from its sides. I was starving.

“Late night, huh?”

I nodded. I had just taken a bite of the sandwich so I couldn't exactly respond.

“I didn't hear you guys come in. I was out like a log. Jake get home, okay?” he continued chatting away cheerfully.

I nodded again, looking down at my soup. I didn't trust myself not to respond to that question.

“Had a good time?”

I nodded again, blushing, not sure if I wanted to be giving Charlie the lowdown on the night.

“You gonna talk or you just gonna eat?” Charlie teased, the edges of his eyes crinkling up as he grinned at me.

I rolled my eyes and pointedly held out the sandwich that I had just taken a big bite of. Charlie just chuckled as he took a big bite of his own sandwich. We finished eating in silence and piled our dishes into the sink. I figured it was my turn to wash since Charlie had actually cooked – if popping the lid off a can of Campbell's could be counted as cooking – so I sudsed up the dishes while Charlie grabbed a beer from the fridge and sat back in his chair with a deep sigh of satisfaction.

“I take it you're feeling better,” I commented over my shoulder. He was looking good. More like his old self, with the twinkle back in his eyes and the color back in his cheeks.

“Fit as a fiddle,” he proclaimed. “I'm even thinking of going fishing later with Mike.”

Mike was the deputy at the station and his new fishing partner now that Harry had passed away.

“Where are you going?” I asked with a frown.

“Probably La Push. The trout are biting pretty well out there I hear.”

I nodded as I turned back to the sink, thankful that I didn't have to ask the pack to patrol yet another area of town just to keep Charlie safe.

“So, Jake's coming by this afternoon?” Charlie asked suddenly.

I dropped the plate I was rinsing with a loud clang. Had Charlie seen the post-it note on my pillow? Did he think that Jake had stayed overnight or something? And was he pissed about that? I mean, Edward had stayed over all the time, but Charlie hadn't exactly known about it.

“Something, wrong?” he asked, his beer paused at his lips.

“No, nothing, slippery plate,” I stammered. “How did you know?” I asked as casually as I could even though I could feel my face growing warm in embarrassment.

“Jake called earlier while you were sleeping. He was the one who suggested that Mike and I head out to La Push for the trout.”

“Oh, of course,” I mumbled as I let out a quick sigh of relief at Jake’s ingenuity.

“What have you guys got planned for the day?” Charlie pressed on. “Graduation’s coming up tomorrow. It’s a big day for you Bells. You should get out and celebrate.”

“Not much, we’ll probably hang out at La Push,” I said quickly as I finished up and wiped my hands on the dish towel. I badly wanted to get out of here. I don’t know what had come over me, but I was suddenly afraid that I would break into tears at the strain of pretending that everything was normal.

“Everything okay?” Charlie asked, staring at me critically, with a frown playing at the edges of his lips.

“Yeah, just tired,” I said lamely with a shrug. “I think I'm going to lie down until Jake comes.”

Charlie didn't look convinced but he nodded as he watched me leave. As I made my way up the stairs, I heard the scrape of his chair as he got up and headed into the living room where he busied himself assembling his fishing gear.

It was a beautiful day outside so I pulled my bedroom window wide open. Embry was gone from his perch in my front lawn, but that didn't mean he wasn't out in the woods somewhere. Having him hanging outside our house in broad daylight might have been hard to explain to Charlie.

I flopped down on my bed in frustration. I hated this waiting game. I hated knowing that they were out there putting themselves in danger to protect me. I hated feeling helpless; sitting around while the pack ran around trying to fix all the problems that I had caused. I hated feeling like I was the only weak link in a world of superheros and supervillains.

I reached over to my bookshelf and aimlessly pulled out something to read. I stared at the blue-cover hardcopy in my hands. It was the book that I had bought last year in Port Angeles about Quileute Legends; the book that had started it all. After reading it that one time, I had stuffed it to the back of my bookshelf and never looked at it again. Until now.

I opened it up gingerly and started flipping through the pages. Reading it now – after all that I knew about the Cullens and the Quileutes – sent shivers down my spine. I wondered how many people would read these stories innocently, thinking they were just tribal legends passed down through the generations. If only they knew.

As I leafed through the section about the Cold Ones, the story of the “Third Wife’s Sacrifice” caught my eye. It told of a vampire attack a few hundred years ago that came close to decimating the Quileute Tribe. With only one werewolf left to defend them, the chieftain’s wife, whose name was never recorded, sacrificed herself, distracting the vampire with the scent of her blood, which gave the lone werewolf the chance he needed to attack and finish the vampire off. I marveled at her bravery or was it stupidity? Either way, I doubted that I had that type of courage in me.

I turned the page and an illustration caught my eye. It showed an attack on the tribe by a newborn vampire, whose eyes were bright ruby-red compared to the darker maroon-hued eyes of the older vampires in the other etchings in the book. The footnote on the page said that not only were newborn vampires insatiable, but because they were still full of human blood due to their recent transformation, they were also much stronger than older vampires.

I felt the book slip through my fingers and crash to the ground as the events from this past week, from last night, finally pierced through the thick wall of denial I had vainly put up in my mind. New vampires were stronger than normal vampires. Who knew how many new vampires Victoria had created. The morning newspaper had reported another handful of unexplained disappearances. The total had to be at least 20 now. Not only was the pack hopelessly outnumbered, but these vampires were a lot stronger than any of the vampires they had ever encountered before. Stronger than Victoria. Stronger than Edward. Stronger than even Emmett. My brain couldn’t even process what that meant.

I felt the hot tears of frustration spilling over as I let myself indulge in the crying fit that I had been holding back all week so that Jake wouldn’t worry. I curled up in my bed and pulled the sheets over me as I felt myself sob uncontrollably and helplessly.

It was all my fault. I was dooming the pack to die because of me. I was the one that Victoria wanted. If she had gotten me this past spring, then none of this would have happened. Jake and the others would be safe. But now, to protect me and to do what they believed was right, they would fight her and whatever army she had raised, even if they knew it meant certain death, because it was the right thing to do.

Suddenly, the story about the third wife’s sacrifice popped into my head. It was as if a cartoon light-bulb had gone off above my head. I stopped crying as I realized that I did have a choice. I could do something. I could go seek out Victoria and end this. She had no reason to take on the pack if she got her revenge. If I went to Seattle and let her take me out, this would be over. I just had to figure out a way to get to Seattle without Jake knowing, which was easier said than done.

But I had to figure out a way. It wasn't fair for me to do this to them. To Quil, Jared, Embry, and to Paul – who despite their rough and tumble frat boy antics had hearts of gold and would fight to their last breath for me. To Sam – who would always look after the tribe's interests – but still would not have the heart to sacrifice me for the pack. To Jake – the best friend that I didn't deserve but somehow had. Him especially, I could not sacrifice.

I let out a choked sob as I burrowed deeper into the bed, desperately seeking some warmth and reassurance. I had done this before I reminded myself. I had made the decision once before to go to James to save Renee. Couldn’t I do the same thing now for Jacob? Yes, yes, I could. I had to. I couldn’t let this happen. I did have the power to stop it. And I was going to use it.

I heard footsteps coming up the stairs. I pulled the sheet down slightly so that I could glance at the clock. It was 4 pm. I sat up hastily, trying to wipe away the evidence of any tears before Jake saw me like this. But I knew my eyes would still be red and my skin blotchy no matter what I did. The door opened as I pulled the rest of the sheets down from over my head.

“Oh great, you're having a meltdown.”

 It was Leah. And she looked as unhappy to see me as I was surprised to see her.

“Where's Jake?” I asked without bothering to be polite. It would be wasted on Leah anyway.

“No point in having him come out since I was already here,” she rolled her eyes. “I figured that I'd give him an extra hour of sleep.”

“Were you visiting friends?” I asked curiously, taking in Leah’s ratty tanktop and shorts.

“Uh, no,” Leah replied curtly. She was staring at me as if I were crazy. “I was outside, hanging out in your woods, watching for bloodsuckers?” My eyes widened. I hadn't realized that Leah was also taking shifts watching over us. Leah blew out a sigh as she rolled her eyes. “Alrighty then. Glad someone can live in la-la land while the rest of us do all the work.”

“I thought it was Embry,” I apologized profusely, tripping over my words as they tumbled out of my mouth. “I didn’t realize you … I appreciate your help … I thought-”

Leah waved me off. “-Embry had to run patrol so he called around. I, unfortunately, was the one who picked up the phone.” She raised an eyebrow as she looked around my room, which didn't look that dissimilar to her own. Her eyes fell on the post-it on my pillow, which I hadn't bothered to remove; somehow I liked seeing it there next to me. Her lips quirked as she looked up to catch me blushing. “Better put that away. Don't want to give Charlie any ideas,” she drawled lazily.

I snatched it up and jumped up to put it into my desk drawer. I pulled an elastic out to tie my hair back. When I turned around, Leah was flipping through the Quileute Legends book that she had picked up off the floor. It was open to the story of the Third Wife Sacrifice. She looked up at me with an odd expression on her face.

I looked at her blankly, wiping my face smooth of any emotion, I couldn't let any of them know what I was thinking. Jake would go ballistic if he knew. Leah’s dark brown eyes bore into mine as she stared me down.

“Doing some light reading?” she asked raising a perfectly arched eyebrow.

“Just wanted to do some research,” I shrugged casually, trying to keep my tone light. “Read up on the enemy and all that.”

She looked unconvinced but she shrugged as she pivoted on her heel to head out of my room. She paused at the door before turning back, “You’re not planning anything stupid, are you?”

“No, I try to avoid stupid things at all costs,” I replied lightly with a small smile.

“Right,” Leah said with another careful look at me. Then she tossed her head and headed back down the stairs without another word.

← Chapter 14: Visitor      Chapter 16: Plan →

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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