At the Cliffs

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

← Chapter 25: Battle      Chapter 27: Confession →

Chapter 26: Battle Part Two

I pulled myself out of the rocks where I had been hiding. Seth had shifted back into human form and had the presence of mind to pull on some shorts. Collin was patrolling the edges of the forest. Brady had disappeared into the forest after Jake.

“Where did they go?” I asked, my voice coming out hoarse and raspy. I cleared my throat and asked again,

“The battle is still happening,” Seth confirmed my suspicions. “Jake went to help out. Brady is doing border patrol for us. As long as Collin is in wolf form, we’ll be able to hear what’s going on … you know … in case others come here.”

“Right.” In the elation of seeing Victoria burn to pieces – she was still burning in fact as I watched the bonfire continue to create a gigantic smokestack in the sky – I had forgotten that there were still a bunch of other vampires out there that wanted to kill me.

“Don’t worry,” Seth said with a cheerful grin. “It sounded like the battle was going well. No one was hurt or anything. And the newborn vampires were distracted by your scent, as we expected them to be.”

“Good,” I said faintly as I slumped down to the ground, to hug my knees to my chest as I leaned my back against the nearest rock. Seth gave me a grin as he sat down next to me.

“Don’t worry. Brady is running a wide loop around the field. Collin is running a tighter patrol. They’ll let us know if anyone is coming at us. I figured I’d phase to keep you company. I can phase back in an instant if needed,” he said with a proud little boy grin.

I could still barely believe that Seth was old enough to be a part of this. Now, in his cutoffs and bare-chested, he still looked like a 15 year old boy. A freakishly tall 15 year old boy with gigantic hands and feet, but he definitely hadn’t quite filled out into his body the way the older wolves had.

I nodded, but he must not have been convinced because he chuckled as he continued, “Don’t look so worried, Bella. We’ve got it under control.”

“I just don’t want anyone to get hurt,” I replied softly in my best older sister voice.

“They’ll be okay. Especially now that the Cullens are here. Man, you should have seen the stuff that Jasper showed us. He’s got some major fighting skills,” Seth marveled, with unabashed hero worship in his eyes.

“Aren’t you guys supposed to be mortal enemies or something?” I teased with a half-smile, appreciating how he was taking my mind off things.

Seth looked surprised. “Yeah, I guess so. But not all vampires are bad. The Cullens are pretty decent if you ask me. I never understood why Sam harshed on you so much for being … err … friendly with them.”

I shrugged. “I’m just glad they came back in time.”

“Yeah, tell me about it. We would have been toast otherwise,” Seth replied matter-of-factly. I cringed which made him back-track. “I mean, not really, we could have put up a good fight. Really. We could have.” Then seeing that I was unconvinced, he muttered, “Nevermind. No point in putting up a brave front. We totally would have been toast. So it’s good that your boyfriend showed up.”

“He’s not my boyfriend anymore,” I replied automatically.

Seth didn’t say anything, but his face turned beet red as he looked away from me.

“He isn’t,” I insisted. “We broke up. He left if you recall.”

“But he’s back now,” Seth replied, still looking away, his cheeks a flaming tomato red in embarrassment.

“Yes, but not because he wants to get back together,” I said without looking at him either. “They’re just here to help.”

“That’s not what he said,” Seth pressed on, “He said he was here for you.”

“I don’t think that’s what he meant,” I said slowly, trying hard to squelch the faint tide of hope that I could feel rising up within me. Was it hope? Or was it fear? Fear of what his being back might mean for me? Fear of making the wrong choice? Fear of hurting people I cared about?

“That’s what Jake thought,” Seth said bluntly, looking up to meet my eyes now for the first time.

“What do you mean?” I stumbled over my words under his friendly but direct gaze that reminded me so much of Jake.

“Wolf mind-connection, remember? I couldn’t help overhearing,” Seth acknowledged with a sheepish grin. “I just thought you should know, that’s all. He’s a good guy.”

“All of you Clearwaters seem to feel the need to tell me that,” I said with a wry smile as I thought back to Leah’s admonishment at the quarry field.

“Because it’s true,” Seth said simply with a shrug. “Of course, my sister thinks that she’s always right.”

Suddenly, a new thought zinged through my head. “Do you think she … “ – I stumbled, unsure for a moment about what I was going to ask – “… it’s because she has feelings for Jake?”

“Jake?” Seth snorted. “God no! You’ve got to be kidding me!”

“She just seems to be very protective of him… I just thought maybe …”

“No way. There’s no way,” Seth replied emphatically. “He’s like a little brother to her. There’s no way.”

“Alright,” I said with a smile, but I was secretly unconvinced. Seth probably wouldn’t be the most perceptive person on this anyways being Leah’s little brother and all.

“So, what are you going to do?” Seth asked.

“About what?” I looked at him in confusion.

“About Jake and Edward?” he said smoothly, his eyes wide and innocent.

I narrowed my eyes at him. “Did Leah put you up to this?”

Seth laughed but shook his head.

“Did Jake?”

He laughed again and shook his head again. “Not, not exactly.”

“What do you mean ‘not exactly’?” I asked shrewdly.

Seth shrugged as he ignored me to press on, “So what are you going to do?”

“What did Jake tell you?” I demanded through gritted teeth. “Tell me.”

“He just wanted me to distract you. So that you wouldn’t worry about what was going on … out there,” Seth said as he jerked his thumb. Now that we had stopped talking, I could hear a faint rumbling sound in the distance. My jaw dropped when I realized that for a few minutes, I had forgotten about the battle going on. What kind of terrible person was I?

“There’s no reason for you to worry. Our odds are good …” Seth continued as he saw the panic rising in my eyes, “Seriously. We’re in good shape last I heard. Apparently the redhead and her boyfriend came in advance of the rest. The newborns showed up right on schedule in the field. We’re just executing our strategy now.”

“Seth,” I said with an unsteady voice. “I appreciate what you’re doing …”

“Jake made me promise to do what I could do get you to not worry,” he continued anxiously.

“So he told you to ask me about Edward?” I said, my voice sounding unnaturally high and squeaky.

“No no!” Seth replied in a panic. “That was my idea! I just figured that would be a good thing to talk about, because it would distract you.”

I laughed bitterly. “Well it worked. I guess I just am that selfish.”

“Not selfish,” Seth said encouragingly. “Just ….”

He didn’t finish as he whipped his head in the direction of the quarry field. I felt my stomach drop when I realized that it was silent. There was no faint thundering sound anymore. It was just silence.

I looked up at Seth to ask him what was going on, but he had gotten up and moved quickly to the middle of the field. Then, I heard the rustling of trees and the thundering of paws coming closer. The wolves. They were coming here. What did it mean? Was there a retreat? Did something happen?

A few seconds later, Collin and Brady burst into the field.

I let out a huge sigh of relief. They were celebrating. The two of them jumped up and gave each other a high-five, which was a frightening sight actually, seeing two such large wolves tackling each other. They were practically grinning in excitement, if wolves could grin. I felt the air pumping through my lungs again and a huge weight lift off my shoulder.

Seth let out a whoop and he pulled me into a bear hug as he swung me around in a full circle before putting me back to my feet.

“What did I tell you? You didn’t think we could do it,” he teased with a cheeky grin, but even I could see that the strain had left his eyes now.

“It’s not that I didn’t think you could do it,” I replied weakly. “I was just …”

“I’m just teasing, Bella, geesh!” he said with a wink as he leapt forward to greet Brady and Collin who were now rolling around on the ground in a friendly game of wrestling. As Seth approached, he instantly shifted into a wolf, his clothes and sneakers shredding into pieces during the process, but he didn’t care. He leapt into the fray and the three of them celebrated.

I felt the warm morning sun flow over me now, feeling its warmth in every pore as I soaked it all in. It was over. The long months of worry. Terror. Fear that I would cause the death of the people that I loved the most. It was all over. That slightly sweet burned smell from the pile of ashes behind me was the sweetest thing I had ever smelled. It was the smell of freedom.

The three wolves rolled around in the sunshine happily, when suddenly, they stopped. Seth, who had been wrestling with Brady, stopped so suddenly that he was thrown onto his back near me. I made the move to see if he was okay. When he rolled over and stared at me, his eyes blank and unseeing.

The other two were equally immobile, their eyes staring in the distance as if they were watching some invisible TV screen. Then all three wolves flinched at the same time, as if they were watching the same action sequence in their head.

“What happened?” I demanded, my voice a near-screech, as I knew that nothing good could come from that look.

All three began to whimper suddenly, looking at each other with frightened eyes.

“What? You told me it was over! Is it over?” I demanded as I moved to stand right in front of Seth to force him to look up at me.

Seth nodded quickly.

“It’s over. The battle is over.”

Seth nodded again, but his eyes still looked out at me sadly.

“Okay, so it’s over. But what just happened?” The words stumbled out of my mouth in a flood. “Are there more of them? Are they coming here?”

Seth shook his head abruptly.

I felt the dread rising over me. Suddenly, I knew exactly what had happened.

“Did somebody get hurt?” I choked out as I felt my skin begin to prickle all over as if I were being prodded by invisible scalding hot pins from the inside out.

Seth nodded then, his eyes pained as he met my gaze.

“Was it Jake?” I heard myself ask. I didn’t even recognize the sound of my own voice.

Seth nodded.

And then I couldn’t feel anymore. The world went black as I crumpled to my feet.

← Chapter 25: Battle      Chapter 27: Confession →

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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