In the Shadows

New Moon - Part 1 - rewritten from Jacob's perspective

← Chapter 9: Valentine      Chapter 11: Movies →

Chapter 10: Confrontation

Quil was so excited about the prospect of “senior girls” that I was a little worried about him coming to the movies with us. Not that the guy would intentionally say anything to Bella, but let’s face it, the guy had a big mouth. Things just accidentally slipped out. But it ended up not being a problem.

On Thursday after school, Quil and I were walking into town to get some snacks, when we ran into Kim Smith. We had known Kim since we were in diapers and she was a nice girl, but she was always kinda bland – a wallflower if you will - until a few weeks ago, when she started dating Jared Gordon, aka, Sam’s second in command.

It was the weirdest pairing you could imagine. I mean, not for Kim I guess. She had been crushing on Jared forever. I still remembered seeing her doodle “Mrs. Kim Gordon” all over the inside of her binder in 5th grade, alternating with her pink and purple pen. But as Quil pointed out, Jared could have had his pick of girls, and Kim just seemed like an unlikely choice.

And it all happened suddenly too. Kim had been away for a few months, spending the fall semester with her dad down in Oregon. When she came back a few weeks ago, she and Jared hooked up immediately. It was like love at 10,000th sight or something – since he had seen her everyday since we were five and only fell head-over-heels for her last month. And he was REALLY head-over-heels too. PDA was the name of the game for them. They had been caught making out all around school. Gag me.

Kim was coming out of the grocery store, her arms full of bags, and I had to say that hooking up with Jared was doing wonders for her. Even though she would never be considered pretty, she just had that radiant glow of being in love that just made you want to smile with her. And I was glad. Because if anyone deserved it, she did.

“Hey guys.” Kim greeted us with a megawatt smile. Quil and I waved in response and automatically hustled over to help her with her bags. “Oh no, it’s alright! They’re not heavy…” Kim protested as we pulled the bags out of her arms.

“What kind of gentlemen would we be if we didn’t help a damsel in distress?” Quil teased as he waggled his eyebrows suggestively.

“I’m hardly in distress,” Kim pointed out logically. “And my car is only down the street.” She pointed to a beat-up blue Camry parked a few stores down.

“A damsel in drudgery then,” Quil amended with a gallant bow. Seriously, I had to hand it to him sometimes. I didn’t know where he pulled this crap from.

We turned to head towards Kim’s car. The sidewalk was too narrow for the three of us to walk together, so when Kim started chattering away about some frivolous school stuff, I let Quil walk ahead of me so that he could deal with her babbling. That was the one thing I couldn’t deal with when it came to girls, the constant need to fill silence. Thank God Bella wasn’t like that. Kim was so wrapped up in telling Quil about the plans for the spring formal that she didn’t notice she was walking straight into a pothole that was overflowing with some disgusting grey viscous liquid.

“Watch out!” Quil warned just in time. He grabbed her shoulder to steer her around the pothole, but Kim lost her balance and reached out to grab Quil’s other arm to steady herself. Just then, we heard footsteps approaching us quickly from behind.

“Hands off my girlfriend, Ateara!”

I turned around to see Jared and Paul striding over to us. Jared was clearly teasing – he had a wide grin on his face - but Paul looked pissed. Which I guess wasn’t a surprise, Paul always looked pissed these days.

Quil dropped his arm from Kim’s shoulder immediately, but Kim just laughed it off. She walked over to greet Jared with a hug and a kiss, which he returned affectionately. Man, the guy was totally besotted.

Jared turned to us, “Thanks for helping my girl out here.”

“No problem,” I responded warily, not taking my eyes off of Paul who was still glaring at us.

Jared motioned for us to hand the bags to him, which we did. Then he and Kim strolled off hand-in-hand towards her car leaving us standing awkwardly with Paul. The three of us stared at each other for a few seconds.

“So, Meraz, what are you doing here?” Quil taunted. “Shouldn’t you be out bullying some kids or something?”

Paul just continued to glare at us. Seriously. What was up with the guy? He always looked pissed.

“What? Too cool to talk to us, huh? I get it,” Quil continued. “Now that you don’t have Gordon to watch your back, you’re too chickensh*t to deal with us.”

“Quil…” I warned. The last thing I needed was for Quil and Paul to act out on their stupid beef. I mean, sure, Quil had bulked up in the past few months, but I still didn’t think his odds were good against Paul in a fight.

Paul laughed loudly then. He took two steps closer so that he was right up in Quil’s face. “You think I’m afraid of you, punk?

“Yeah. That’s what I think. Not so brave now that you don’t have your posse, huh?” Quil replied, refusing to budge an inch. They were standing so close that Paul’s breath was fogging up Quil’s glasses.

“Down, boys,” I said but I doubt either of them heard me because suddenly – and I couldn’t tell who had thrown the first punch – the two of them started whaling away at each other right on the sidewalk. Quil must have surprised Paul because he had managed to gain the upper hand first, pinning Paul down against the ground head-first. But I could tell that he wasn’t going to keep his advantage very long. Paul was seriously strong. Even stronger than he looked, which was saying something.

“Stop it, guys!” I yelled as I launched myself at Quil, trying to pry him off Paul. “Cut it out! Quil, I’m serious! Get off him!” But it was no use. The two of them were intent on beating the stuffing out of each other. All I was getting for my trouble were some misplaced punches. After Paul – or Quil – I wasn’t sure who, landed one right into my gut, I staggered away from them, hunched over, breathing hard as I recovered. Damn sucker punch. Quil was on his own. Stupid idiot.

Suddenly, they stopped. Or really, Paul stopped. It was so weird. One minute, he was kicking the crap out of Quil, and the next minute, he was lying on the ground, flat on his back, gripping his head in his hands as his eyes bulged out and his whole body convulsed. I grabbed Quil and pulled him to his feet. He was disoriented, his glasses hanging brokenly from his noise, his t-shirt torn and stained from what looked like a pretty bad nosebleed. I reached down to try to help Paul to his feet too, but he swatted my hand away.

“Don’t f*cking touch me!” Paul shouted as he shut his eyes and started taking deep breaths while counting to ten. Quil and I stood there staring dumbly at him, not sure what the heck was going on when we heard someone else shouting nearby.

“Sh*t!”

I didn’t realize who had said it until two seconds later when Embry had raced over and dragged Paul to his feet. Paul seemed slightly better now – he wasn’t shaking as badly as before – but he still looked freaked out.

“What happened!” I heard Jared shout, his footsteps coming in quickly from behind us. The commotion must have penetrated his deep make-out session with Kim. Jared took one look at Paul and then he barked something to Embry, something that I didn’t understand, but it didn’t matter, because Jared had grabbed Paul and was dragging him away down a side street. Before Quil and I could get a word in edgewise, the two of them had disappeared.

“What the heck was that?” I sputtered in shock.

“The jerk was a total pansy. I told you I could take him,” Quil replied as he took off his glasses and examined the damage.

“Right, you tell yourself that.”

And then, I realized that Embry was still standing there. He was looking at us awkwardly, as if he couldn’t decide whether to leave or to stay. It was the first time that we had even been within 10 feet of him since he had fallen off the face of the earth only to resurface as Sam’s Goon #4. And I couldn’t help staring at my friend – or I guess my former friend – taking in all the changes that had occurred in the past month.

Embry literally looked like a Paul/Jared clone now. He was wearing jeans and a t-shirt, no jacket or anything, even though it was February and freezing cold. His hair was cut really short and he was ridiculously tan for the winter. But more than anything, it was the expression on his face that got to me. He was looking at us tensely, every muscle in his face was taut. I could tell he was thinking that it was a bad idea for him to be talking to us, that he should have just taken off with the others while he had the chance.

“So why don’t you go then?” I spit out angrily before I could help myself.

“What?” Embry blinked at me. His voice sounded hoarse.

“Look, I get it. You’re too cool for us now. Go run along after your new friends,” I continued as I waved my hand dismissively at him.

“I …” Embry’s voice wavered. He looked away from us and shuffled awkwardly from side-to-side, something he had been doing ever since he was a little kid whenever he was about to tell a lie. It pissed me off that he didn’t think I would know this about him.

Quil cleared his throat as he put his glasses back on. “Look, what Jake is saying … “

“You know what does piss me off though?” I cut Quil off without a second thought. Embry’s eyes flashed up at me then. I stared him down. “What really pisses me off is that you couldn’t bother to tell us. You don’t want to hang out with us? You want to join Sam’s cult? Fine. But at least have the decency to tell us. Quil and I freaked out when you went missing. We thought something bad had happened to you!”

Quil put his hand on my arm to calm me down. It was strange having him as the mediator for once.

“Cool it, Jake. Look, Embry, it just wasn’t cool how you did it, alright? I mean, trust me, I understand. Sam is the man. But couldn’t you have said something? I mean, I wouldn’t have pestered your mom with all these question about you if I had known.” Quil stopped to take a deep breath. But now that he had gotten started, he seemed to be on a roll. “Plus, couldn’t you have let us in on this? I mean, how on earth did you and Sam … I just don’t get it-”

“-I can’t explain,” Embry interrupted. His voice soft but firm. I glared at him. After a month of avoiding us, this was all he had to say for himself? I must have looked pretty angry because Embry put up his hands in protest. “Look, I really can’t. I want to, but I can’t,” he said firmly again as he started backing away. “I’m sorry, guys. I really shouldn’t be talking to you. Sam won’t like it …”

“What are you Sam’s lapdog now? What do you mean you can’t talk to us?” I took a few steps toward him angrily. I wasn’t going to let him get away with this. Damnit. He owed us an explanation.

“Look, Jake.” Embry enunciated each word slowly but firmly. His teeth were practically clenched shut and he looked like he was struggling to control himself. “I can’t talk about this. Don’t make this harder than it has to be.”

Embry was staring me right in the eye as he said that. And I noticed suddenly that the expression in his eyes didn’t quite match what he was saying. His words were cold, but he looked haunted almost – his eyes were pleading with me – but I didn’t know what he wanted. I was suddenly worried. I was no longer mad that he had ditched us. Instead, I was worried that Sam had done something to him.

“Embry, we can help … if Sam is …”

“No,” Embry cut me off quickly. “Jake, you’ll understand soon. I promise you will. I wish you didn’t have to, but you’re next. I’m sure of it.”

“What do you mean I’m next?” I shouted back, but Embry had already turned and dashed away – down the same side street where Paul and Jared had just disappeared a few minutes ago.

Shaking my head, I turned back to Quil as I said,“What the heck did he mean?”

But Quil wasn’t looking at me. He was looking over my shoulder with a look of total and utter fear on his face. Which was saying a lot because the guy was a mess – bloody nose, broken glasses, ripped shirt, and some fresh bruises beginning to discolor his face. I tensed as I turned to see what he was looking at.

“Quil Ateara Junior!! Have you been fighting again?!!”

It was Quil’s mom - who was my third aunt once removed or something like that - had just come out of the grocery store with his youngest sister, Lily. Oh damn. He was totally busted. She thundered over to us in a rage. She reached up and grabbed Quil by the ear and twisted it hard, which was quite comical, since she was about a foot shorter than he was.

“Ow, mom! Stop!” Quil muttered as he hunched over to try to stop her from twisting. “Quit it, it’s embarrassing!”

But she was taking no prisoners. “Embarrassing?! I’ll tell you what’s embarrassing? Seeing my son all bloody because he got into a fight. Again! Look at Jake, he’s not bloody! Why can’t you be more like Jake?”

“Hi Aunt Jane, it’s nice to see you,” I acknowledged politely but I felt myself flushing slightly with embarrassment. I saw Quil mouthing “suck-up” at me but I just shrugged and winked at Lilly who was cracking up too.

“It’s nice to see you, too, Jake. Tell your father that we want you guys over for dinner on Saturday. I’m making pot roast,” she said with a warm smile as she patted my arm before scowling and turning back to Quil. “As for you, young man! You are grounded for a month! Let’s go home!”

So in the end, it worked out fine. Quil didn’t go to the movies with me and Bella after all. And given what happened, it was probably just as well.

← Chapter 9: Valentine      Chapter 11: Movies →

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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