At the Cliffs

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

← Chapter 30: Girl Talk - Part Two      Chapter 32: Epilogue - Ten Years Later →

Chapter 31: Home

Billy, who looked like he had aged about ten years in the past day, let me into the house with a grim expression.

“How is he?” I asked tentatively.

“He gave us a good scare, but Carlisle says he’ll be okay,” Billy replied gruffly.”He’s been asking for you ever since he woke up.”

I flushed. “Can I see him now?”

“That depends,” Billy said, still watching me with guarded eyes. “He’s in critical condition. The next few days are important to his recovery. I don’t want anything upsetting him.”

“Neither do I,” I replied calmly, looking at Billy in the eye. “But I’ve heard that good news will often speed up a recovery.”

Billy raised both his eyebrows in surprise. “So … you’re not …”

“No,” I said with a slow nod. “This is where I belong.”

Billy smiled suddenly, one of his old happy grins, as he reached over and patted my hand. The door to Jake’s room opened suddenly and a tired looking Carlisle, bag in hand, slipped out and closed the door gently behind him. He smiled warmly when he saw me.

“How is he?” Billy asked anxiously.

“Pretty good. The bones have been reset properly, and he’s already healing quickly. I think I’ve got the medication dosage right finally - he was burning through it so quickly before – so that should help with the pain. He just needs to take it easy and he should be fine in a week or two.” Carlisle looked towards me anxiously then, “Jake does need to rest now. The first few days are critical. I don’t want to upset-“

“-Bella won’t be upsetting him,” Billy said softly.

Carlisle’s eyes widened for a moment, before he nodded sadly. “I see.” He looked away for a moment with a sad smile playing at the edges of his mouth before he turned to look at me again. “Well, then Bella may be just what he needs right now. But try to get him to sleep. He really needs it right now.”

Billy wheeled himself over to Charlie and extended his right hand. “Thank you for everything. Please thank your family too. If you hadn’t returned, who knows what might have …” Billy’s deep baritone broke off.

“We created the problem,” Carlisle replied with a half nod in my direction. “It was our responsibility to help fix it. If something like this happens again, I hope you will call on us.”

“We will,” Billy replied. “And we expect that you will too.”

Carlisle nodded as the two men shook hands heartily, then he walked towards me and reached out to take both of my hands in his steady cool ones.

“I’m sorry, Bella. About everything that we put you through-”

I shook my head frantically, as tears began to stream down my face. The last thing that I wanted to do was cause this gentle man pain, but Carlisle just smiled sadly as he moved his hands to cup my face

“I am sorry about how things … turned out. I would have loved to have you as family, but at least we part as friends,” he said as he dropped a gentle kiss on my forehead.

I nodded mutely. Carlisle paused at the door. “I’ll be back tomorrow morning to check on Jacob. Call me if anything changes, but he should sleep for the next day or so.”

I watched through the window as Carlisle crossed the front porch, his pale iridescent skin sparkling in the sunlight, before he slipped into his car with the heavily tinted windows and drove away.

“I’ll let Jake know that you’re here,” Billy said softly behind me.

I nodded as I followed him towards Jake’s room. I heard him go in and murmur a few things. Then he came back out and motioned for me to go in behind him.

I walked into Jake’s little bedroom, unsure of what to expect. What I saw brought a fresh flood of tears to my eyes. Jake looked terrible. His entire right side was bandaged in a full body cast – from his right shoulder, arm, chest, down to his right leg. The skin on his left side that was exposed was covered in dark red, almost purplish, bruises that had swollen up in a painful way.

“I look that good, huh?” he teased with a wry grin, which only made me burst into tears at the sight of the gashes and bruises mottling up his handsome face.

“Bella, don’t … I’m alright …” Jake said softly, his eyes pleading with me.

“It’s not that, it’s just … I don’t .…” I sobbed, barely able to get my words out, as the tears were pouring out of me. I was trying to tell him that I was crying because I was just so damn relieved that he was okay. That he would recover. I didn’t care how bad he looked. As long as he would be okay.

But Jake misunderstood me, because his face fell. He squeezed his eyes shut before looking down with a pained expression. “I see.”

“No, Jake,” I muttered when I realized that he had completely misunderstood me. “It’s not what you think. I …”

“No, no, Bella, before you tell me. Just let me … just let me say what I have to say,” Jake pleaded. “How can you say no to a guy in a body cast, right?” He teased with a wry grin.

I snorted through my tears. This was why I loved him. He could always make me laugh. No matter what.

Jake looked out the window, composing himself, before he turned back to me to continue.

“I practiced all afternoon for this,” he acknowledged with a rueful grin. “And now, I can’t remember any of the things I was going to say. I had all of these arguments prepared about why you should choose me-“

“- But, Jake!” I tried to interrupt, but he just waves his free hand at me.

“Please, just let me say this. I had all these arguments prepared. I was ready to try to convince you any way I could. But … not anymore.”

“What?” I said feeling my heart drop into the pit of my stomach. He didn’t want … us?

“Trust me. It wasn’t easy to get here. But I thought about it all day. It was the only thing that got me through the bone resetting. My God, that was painful.”

Jake winced suddenly, so I moved towards him in alarm, but he just waved me off with his good arm.

“I realized that at the end of the day, that I have nothing left to say,” Jake’s eyes were glowing intensely as he spoke. “You know how I feel. You know who I am. And if you … well, if you … if he’s the one…”

Jake looked down now, swallowing hard, as he squeezes his eyes shut tightly. When he opened them again, he was blinking back tears, as he muttered, “Damnit, I told myself I wasn’t going to …”

“Jake, please. Let me-“ I pleaded, reaching out to touch him, but he pulled away from me.

“-No, just, one more thing. Bella. I love you. I want you to be happy. And if he makes you happy. If he truly makes you happy. Then I’m not going to stand in your way. I don’t …. the whole vampire thing … I can’t pretend that I understand or that I approve, not that it’s my place to approve, or anything … I don’t get it and I can’t deny that I think it’s crazy for you to be with a vampire. Maybe when the morphine wears off, I’ll feel differently. But Dr. Cullen … he’s a good man and I guess his son would be too … so I’m just … “

Jake shook his head in frustration “I know I’m rambling, it’s the drugs, I swear. What I’m trying to say is that I love you enough to let you go. I promised to never hurt you. I promised to always to do everything I could to make you happy. And I will keep that promise. And if … he …. If he is …if he is the person that makes you happy, then what I’m just trying to say … really badly obviously … is that I understand. It’s your decision to make. I just want you to be happy. And I accept … whatever you decide. There. I’m done. I swear. No more painkillers for me. They’re obviously turning my brain to mush.”

I started laughing. I couldn’t help it. The unconditional love and support radiating from his deep brown eyes as he said what was probably the hardest thing in the world for him to say filled every part of me with a joy that was uncontainable.

“You idiot,” I muttered softly as I put my hands on his face.

Jake looked up at me in confusion as I leaned in and gave him a soft gentle kiss on the lips. The look on his face after the kiss was priceless. I wish I could have taken a photo to carry it with me always as a reminder of how lucky I was to have someone love me that much.

Then Jake broke out in a teasing grin. “Idiot, huh? I thought I was being quite romantic, you know, being all self-sacrificing and stuff.”

“You were,” I acknowledged with a smile as I sat down on the bed and leaned in for another gentle kiss. “It was a very touching speech. But you wouldn’t have had to make it, if you had just let me say what I wanted to say.”

“These damn drugs. Making me say a bunch of sappy things that I’ll deny ever saying when I’m not high,” he joked as he reached his good hand up to pull me in for a few more kisses.

“Yeah, yeah, blame it on the drugs.”

Jake pulled back suddenly, his eyes now serious and dark, as he used his free hand to tilt my head up to look at him.

“Are you sure?”

“Yes, I’m sure.”

“Why?”

I laughed at the skeptical expression on his face. “I don’t know how to explain it.”

“I have some drugs that might help with that,” he teased as he gestured towards the medication drip on his right side.

I just laughed. “Because you let me just be me. Because being with you makes me feel strong and alive. Because you help me be the best version of me. I don’t know. This all sounds so stupid and cliché. I mean, how do you know… you know, about me?”

It was his turn to chuckle as he brought his free arm around to try to pull me to his chest. It was a little awkward at first, trying to find a spot that was comfortable for me but wouldn’t hurt him, but we finally settled in.

“I guess I don’t know either. You’re just … you.”

“That’s a much better answer than mine,” I teased back. A low chuckle rumbled in his chest.

We lay there comfortably in silence for a few moments before Jake spoke again.

“I don’t want to make any promises that I can’t keep,” he said sadly, his arms tightening around me. “I don’t know what will happen with the imprinting thing. And I don’t know … if … when…”

“I know,” I interrupted him, patting his arm with my hand gently.

“And you’re okay with it?” he asked, the surprise evident in his voice.

“It’s not like there’s some guarantee when it comes to relationships. You could leave me because you fall in love with someone else all on your own – no imprinting needed.”

“I doubt that.”

“Don’t make promises you can’t keep,” I admonished lightly. “Who knows what will happen in the future. So maybe you’ll imprint on someone and leave. Maybe you’ll fall in love with someone else and leave. Maybe I’ll fall in love with someone else and leave. Who knows?”

Jake’s chest rumbled with laughter. “Point taken. All I can promise is to do my best to make us work.”

“And that’s all that we can do. As for the future … we’ll see.”

“I had no idea you were this philosophical,” Jake teased as he squeezed me slightly with his arm. “It’s kinda hot in that sexy librarian way.”

“Now that’s definitely the drugs talking,” I laughed.

“What?” Jake said in mock protest. “I can’t say that my girlfriend is hot?”

“Girlfriend, huh?” I said with a soft smile. It was a long time coming, but somehow, it sounded so right.

“Yeah,” he replied with another affectionate squeeze. “Sounds pretty good to me. But let’s not tell Billy just yet or else he might not you stay here overnight.”

“You’re in a body cast and doped up on morphine. What could he possibly think is going on?” I said with a deep belly laugh.

“Let me show you,” he laughed as he used his good arm to pull me onto him. I wasn’t quite expecting it and so I flopped onto him, jamming part of his cast with my elbows, causing him to wince in pain. Jake reached up with his arm to help me right myself immediately. “Maybe you’re right … for now.”

“For now,” I chuckled as I rearranged myself into a better position. “Are you good? Am I hurting you?”

“No, I’m good,” he sighed in contentment, as he pulled me just a smidgen closer, and reached over to stroke my hair. “Are you good?”

“I’m good,“ I replied with a smile as I snuggled in just a bit closer. And I really was.

← Chapter 30: Girl Talk - Part Two      Chapter 32: Epilogue - Ten Years Later →

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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