At the Cliffs

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

← Chapter 21: Night      Chapter 23: Reinforcements →

Chapter 22: Surprise

Jake had me in the cover of the forest before I even fully realized what was happening. I heard the sound of paws as nine wolves came through the forest and skidded to a thundering stop ahead of us in the moonlight. The large black one in lead morphed immediately into human form.

It was Sam. And he was buck naked. I averted my eyes quickly. Then I chastised myself for even being embarrassed. It was hardly the time. I could barely see the others in the dimmed moonlight within the forest, but I could see enough to know that if seeing one of them at night was scary, seeing the whole pack together was terrifying. But I wasn’t afraid right now. In fact, their collective size was making me feel better about the upcoming battle. I didn’t have time to reflect more as Sam was shouting commands.

“Leah saw some movement coming up the river a few miles off. It looks like there are only a handful of them. Maybe an advance party. Brady will take Bella back to La Push. It’s a good thing her scent is out there, we’ll use the ambush attack as planned. They’ll be here in minutes.”

Jake nodded and briskly moved to put me onto the back of a smaller tawny brown wolf, who had loped out from the pack when Sam called him. Brady turned his head to give me what I think was a friendly grin and then took off, before I barely had a chance to get a good grip around his neck.

I held on desperately as I tried to turn my head to catch one last glimpse of Jake over my shoulder. But he had already phased and all I saw was the giant russet-colored wolf in its place, its dark brown eyes watching me, glowing even in the darkness of the night.

I clung to Brady’s neck tightly as the smaller wolf made his way through the dark forest. He wasn’t as coordinated as Jake had been so the ride was jerkier and there were a few times I felt sure that I would fly off. He also hadn’t filled out quite as much either so his frame was rangier and skinnier, so each leap that he took was a bit more jarring for me.

The miles raced by and I recognized the markings that indicated our entrance onto La Push Reservation land.

“Take me to third beach,” I shouted at Brady, wondering if he could hear me over the thundering of is paws. If Victoria was going to come get me, there was no way I would sit in Jacob’s house endangering Billy, Sue, and all the other people living in La Push. Not that I hadn’t already ruined their lives already given that their children were out there back on the field fighting for me.

But Brady just ignored me as he continued towards Jake’s house. He must have been given orders by Jake or Sam, and there was no way that he was going to disobey them. I was beginning to get the hang of holding on when suddenly, Brady screeched to a grinding halt, practically pitching me over his head in his haste to stop.

He stood there for a few minutes, as if he were listening to something. That’s when I realized that he probably was. Listening to something in his head. I didn’t know if he was getting new orders or if he was hearing the chaos from the fight through the minds of the other wolves.

“What? What happened?” I shouted, freaking out now, but Brady just whined at me, which I had no idea how to interpret. Did something bad happen? Was it a false alarm?

Then, he turned around and began running full speed back towards the quarry field. I didn’t know whether to panic or not. Surely, if the fight had been bad, he wouldn’t take me back. Unless, it had gone so badly that he wanted to be back to help. My mind was racing with possibilities until I felt like my skull would burst open.

I saw the quarry field coming up in the distance and I strained to hear something over the sound of Brady’s paws hitting the ground. I didn’t hear anything. No sounds of fighting, howling, banging, ripping, or yelling. Nothing at all. I was suddenly optimistic. Maybe nothing had happened. Maybe it was a false alarm.

Brady skidded to a stop again in the cover of the forest. I knew better than to ask. He was following orders and nothing I could say would sway him. I made the move to slide off his back, but he shook his head vehemently and shifted his weight so that I stayed on.

Frustrated, I sat up straight and tried to peer over the boulders to see what was going on, but despite the added height of being on Brady’s back. I couldn’t see a thing in the darkness. I could barely see the field itself that was illuminated only by moonlight.

Finally, Brady must have been given the order to approach, because he started to move. Slowly this time. Instead of climbing up and over the boulders, which I assume he would have done if he didn’t have me on his back, he took the long way, skirting around the edge of the rock formation so that he could enter the field more easily. We rounded the curve as Brady stepped out into the fields, into the moonlight, and I caught my breath.

It was him. It was all of them. They were here. Edward was here.

For a moment, he was all I could see, standing in the middle of the field, with the rest of the Cullens flanked behind him. It was like seeing a mirage in the desert and I didn’t dare breath or blink for fear that he would disappear.

I felt numb with shock at seeing him again after so long. Even my most vivid memories or hallucinations had never quite captured him in all of his perfection. He was even more beautiful than I had remembered. The gleaming bronze hair, the Adonis-like features and build - it was both familiar and yet alien at the same time. I had long ago accepted that I would never see him again. And despite what Jake had said, I had accepted that. Seeing him in front of me now was as if the world had tilted on its axis.

I didn’t realize that Brady had continued to walking, until we came close enough so that Edward was able to catch my gaze. And then I stared, marveling at the amber golden hue of his eyes that I didn’t think I’d ever see again. He returned my stare evenly, but his face was impassive and was as devoid of emotion as the marble that it seemed carved out of. I couldn’t read anything in his reaction. I was glad suddenly that I was the only person’s head that he couldn’t get into. I had never had anything to hide from him before. Until now.

I saw movement out of the corner of my eye and I turned to see Alice waving at me with a small flutter of her fingers. I stared at her in shock too, taking in her dainty features and pixie-esque hair that was still perfectly and artfully spiked despite whatever trip they must have just taken to get here. My shocked eyes moved then to take in the rest of them, Jasper, who was standing behind Alice, with his arm fully wrapped around her, Carlisle nodding with a grave smile, Esme with her warm eyes, Emmett who was standing just in front of Rosalie, whose golden beauty was glowing lushly in the moonlight.

Brady had come to a stop and before I realized what I was doing, I had slid off his back and taken a few steps towards Edward. He didn’t react as he watched me come towards him. Suddenly, I felt shy. Stupid. And so I stopped in my tracks, still unable to take my eyes off him.

A sound behind me broke my concentration and I turned to realize that the entire pack – in wolf form – were flanked on the other side facing the Cullens, but watching me and my reaction. I looked to the middle to see Jake and Sam standing side by side at the head of the formation, and the pain in Jake’s eyes was too much to bear. I realized then that he had watched every moment of my reaction to seeing Edward again for the first time.

Jake didn’t meet my eyes as he turned to glare behind me at Edward, who gave a slight nod that was barely perceptible. Then Jake turned and took off for the cover of the forest.

“Jake! Wait!” I cried out as I watched him disappear into the trees.

“He’s just going to phase,” Edward said. “He’ll be back.”

I turned to look at him again, the sound of his velvety voice for the first time in months, making my knees shaky. I didn’t say anything. I couldn’t say anything. And so I just nodded.

We waited for a moment before I realized that Sam had disappeared too. They both must have gone to phase and change. The rest of the wolves hadn’t budged though and they looked out at the Cullens with distrustful – though not quite hostile - glares. Brady had deserted me to stand next to Collin, so that I was left literally in no-man’s land between the Cullens and the pack.

In the distance, there was the sound of some rustling, followed by footsteps as Sam jogged into view. A few feet behind him, walking slowly, was Jake. His head was up and his eyes were defiant, but he wouldn’t look me in the eye. Instead, he kept his gaze fixed firmly on Edward, his eyes glittering with hostility.

Finally, he met up with Sam as they stood to my right, in front of the rest of the pack, who had gathered to form a tighter circle around their Alpha and Beta.

Jake didn’t bother to wait for Sam to speak. “What are you doing here, bloodsucker?” The hostility and anger rolled off of him in waves and I flinched at the hardness in his voice.

Edward didn’t seem fazed. He continued to stare at Jake for a few moments before he replied, “I’m here for Bella, of course.”

← Chapter 21: Night      Chapter 23: Reinforcements →

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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