In the Shadows

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

← Chapter 1: School      Chapter 3: Surprise →

Chapter 2: Search

The next few weeks of school passed by quickly. I didn’t have much homework just yet as classes were only beginning to ramp up, so I was watching a Mariners game with Billy when the phone rang. Billy reached over to grab the phone.

“Hello … Hey! How’s it going? … WHAT?!”

Billy dropped his beer on the floor with a loud clank. The bottle didn’t break but beer spilled everywhere. I cursed as I grabbed some napkins to mop it up, but Billy didn’t seem to notice.

“What happened? … How long? … When did you last talk to Bella?”

My head snapped up and I banged it so hard against the coffee table that I was seeing stars.

“Yes, yes … of course, we’ll be right over.”

Billy slammed the phone down. He was breathing shallowly but loudly, as if he were fighting to control whatever emotion was raging through him. His face had turned a splotchy red from his efforts and the look in his eyes scared me. I had never seen him this way before. Billy was pretty even-keeled normally. But right about now, he looked like he wanted to kill someone.

We both turned our heads at the sound of a car making the turn onto our driveway. Billy snapped out of his reverie and abruptly rolled towards the door.

“Hey! What’s going on? What happened to Bella?” I demanded angrily as I followed him.

“She’s disappeared,” Billy ground out as he started stuffing gear into a backpack. “Charlie wants to set up a search party. Harry has come to get us.”

“What do you mean disappeared?!”

“She isn’t home and she isn’t answering her cellphone.”

Was he kidding me? It was barely 10 o’clock right now. It didn’t seem necessary to sound the alarm just yet. She was probably just hanging out with friends and lost track of time. Geez.

“Don’t you think Charlie’s over-reacting a bit? I mean, it’s not that late…” My voice trailed off as I saw Harry hop out of the car looking as freaked out as my dad.Billy had the door open before Harry got to the porch. They gave each other a long hard look, before Harry broke away suddenly to glance at me.

“Do you think …” Harry asked hesitantly as he turned his eyes back toward my dad.

“Yes,” Billy responded emphatically with a brusque nod.

Harry let out a loud sigh. He looked off into the distance for a moment, his brow furrowed and his lip curled, lost deep in thought. Then he snapped out of it. He nodded curtly at Billy and pushed past us into the house. “Jake, get your dad into the car now,” Harry ordered as he grabbed the phone.

“What’s going on?” I asked even though I did what I was told. Their fear was rubbing off on me and I felt a knot begin to grow in my stomach. “Don’t you think this is a bit extreme? Maybe Charlie should call one of her friends? When’s her curfew anyway?”

Billy ignored my questions. I helped him into the passenger seat and was stowing the chair in the trunk when Harry came out of the house. We both hopped in and Harry took off, tires squealing in protest.

We were silent all the way into Forks. As we pulled onto Charlie’s street, I couldn’t contain myself anymore.

“Seriously, what’s the big deal? It’s 10:04 right now. Maybe Bella’s hanging out with friends and lost track of time.”

Billy sighed deeply. He continued to look straight ahead as he replied, “Neighbors saw her going for a walk in the forest with the Cullen boy after school and she hasn’t been seen since.”

“Okay …” I said, dragging out each syllable slowly as if I were talking to a five-year old. “So maybe she’s hanging out with her boyfriend and lost track of time. Charlie should ground her, not call out a search party.”

“She hasn’t been seen since, Jake!” Billy barked back, his voice laced with frustration.

“I know, but ….” My mind reeled as I realized what Billy was saying. “Wait a second. You think that he… Bella … “

I couldn’t finish. I couldn’t even say what I was thinking. Despite all our fights about this in the past, I still didn’t want to think that Billy actually believed in all that superstitious crap. It wasn’t even superstitious at this point, it was downright crazy. I shook my head in denial, but my head began to throb as my blood pressure officially went through the roof.

“We just want to make sure that Bella’s okay,” Harry said, seeing that neither Billy nor I were able to speak.

I couldn’t trust myself to respond. We pulled up to Charlie’s house just then. The driveway was full of cop cars. Well, three cop cars. But there were only three cops in all of Forks so I guess Charlie was treating this as a big deal too. A bunch of people were huddled in front of Charlie’s car that was parked right under the streetlight, peering over some kind of topographical map.

I helped Billy into his chair as Charlie came over to give us the lowdown. Mrs. Plum next door saw Bella and the Cullen boy walk into the woods behind the house at around 3 pm. No one had seen or talked to Bella since. Charlie had called all of Bella’s friends and no one had talked to her. Bella wasn’t answering her cell-phone. Charlie was worried that she might have gotten lost or hurt. And there had been reports recently from hikers of huge bears in the area, so he wanted to send out a search party and they were currently strategizing about which trails to tackle.

“Where are the Cullens?” Harry asked pointedly. “If their boy is missing too, why aren’t they worried?”

Charlie’s face was grim. His deputy, Mark something or other, jumped in. “The Cullens left town this morning. All of them, except for the boy apparently, who left this afternoon.”

“Left?!” Billy choked out. He and Harry looked at each other, the panic rising in their eyes.

“Yes, apparently, Dr. Cullen got an amazing job offer in LA,” Mark continued. “He resigned this morning and left immediately. I stopped by their place just now to ask them about Bella, but the house was vacant – no furniture – nothing. Don’t know how they moved out of here so fast.”

We all stood there, stunned by the news. I felt my skin start to prickle. This was weird. Something was fishy. I felt a sudden sharp wave of fear at the thought of never seeing Bella again. I could see that Billy was also reacting badly to the news. But I knew that he thought Bella had been harmed by a vampire, while I was thinking that she had run away from Forks with her boyfriend. It wouldn’t have been the first time. She had run away last spring, only to return a few days later.

The other deputy, whose name I didn’t know, coughed slightly. “I hate to ask, Charlie, but are you sure Bella didn’t run away with the Cullen boy?”

Charlie’s eyes were haunted but he shook his head resolutely. “No, no, she wouldn’t do that …” His voice wavered but he pushed on. “Not Bella. She wouldn’t leave without telling me.”

“Well, she’s 18 now. She’s legally an adult. She doesn’t have to tell you anything,” Mark continued gently.

“No, I know my daughter. She would at least tell me.”

We stood in silence for a moment, unsure of what to do. Then, as if we were all suddenly jolted by the sound of the same alarm, we snapped into action. The plan was for Charlie, Harry, the two deputies, and a few others to split up and follow the three main trails that cut across the forest in this area. I wanted to go, but Billy wouldn’t let me. I started to argue, but decided that it wasn’t worth it based on the expression on Billy’s face. Billy and I were left in charge of the search station back at the house. Billy told Charlie that Sam and some of his guys were also searching the woods. I guess that’s why Harry had to make a phone call before we left our place. Good ole' Saint Sam. At least he was being useful for once.

The next few hours passed in a blur. I was on the phone for hours, calling every person in town to see if they had seen Bella or the Cullens before they left. But no one had seen anything. It was strange how the Cullens were able to clean out their house and leave town without a single person having seen or talked to them. It was as if they disappeared in the middle of the night.

At around midnight, the initial search parties reemerged from the woods, dejected and half-frozen. Even though it was just September, the night air had a distinct chill to it and a light but stinging rain had begun to fall. We were huddled around the map again as the searchers marked off the areas they had covered with no success.

I looked up when I heard quick footsteps behind me, as if someone was running through the forest towards us. I turned my head and peered through the darkness, but I couldn’t see anyone. The others didn’t seem to notice, so I started walking towards the trees, my heart pounding, as the footsteps became louder but slower. The person was slowing down.

Then suddenly, Sam burst through the trees into the clearing, with Bella’s limp body in his arms. My knees buckled. I was frozen, unable to move or speak, as I stared at her pale lifeless body.

“She’s okay, she’s okay,” Sam shouted upon seeing our panicked faces.

Charlie and the others pushed by me as they rushed towards Sam. I didn’t move. Slowly, I began to feel my limbs again, as a warm heady wave of relief crashed through me. I stumbled slightly and ran my shaky hands through my hair. For a moment there, I thought Bella had died. And there were no words to describe how I felt for that one split second when the world around me had stopped.

Charlie pulled Bella out from Sam’s arms and rushed into the house, flanked by the deputies and followed by Dr. Snow– the new head doctor in town now that Dr. Cullen had left. The others who had come to help out started trickling away. Bella was safe. We could go home now.

Sam was leaning against Harry’s car, breathing deeply but not looking overly exerted. It suddenly occurred to me just how buff he really was. He had carried Bella from wherever he found her through the forest without breaking much of a sweat. He was shirtless and barefoot, wearing just a pair of shorts low on his hips. But he didn’t look uncomfortable at all despite the cold rain that was really beginning to come down. I noticed then that Sam had the same black cord hanging loosely off of his right ankle that Jared and Paul had. It was probably some stupid gang symbol or something.

Sam turned then to look at me. His face was expressionless but his eyes were intense and dark. I shivered under his gaze but refused to be stared down. Harry and Billy showed up, and Harry patted Sam on the arm before getting into the driver's seat. Sam walked around to help Billy into the passenger seat while I stowed Billy’s chair in the trunk. Then we hopped into the backseat without talking and we rode back to the rez in silence.

Billy wouldn’t let me go visit Bella afterwards. I understood the first time I asked. After all, she probably needed some time to rest and recover. But the second time it happened, it started to really piss me off.

The official story was that Bella and the Cullen guy had broken up. They had gone for a walk where he had broken up with her and then left her in the forest. To give him some credit, it was the middle of the afternoon and she was on a clearly marked trail. But Bella had somehow gotten lost in the forest and was curled up under a tree when Sam found her.

That was the official story. But I got the impression that the real story was very different. It all just seemed too … strange. Bella getting the lost. Bella with a nasty cut on her arm that she wouldn’t tell Charlie how she got. The Cullens leaving Forks within a day. It just didn’t feel right. I knew Charlie felt the same way too. But I also knew that he didn’t want to press Bella for answers just it.

And it didn’t sound like Bella was in much shape to talk anyway. Charlie called to thank Billy the next day for our help, but I answered the phone. He said that Bella was resting but that she’d probably be up for visitors in a few days.

When I mentioned it to Billy, he said that it was out of the question for me to see Bella. I was annoyed, but didn’t push it. We had already argued that morning. The elders were organizing a bonfire that night to celebrate the Cullen’s departure. I thought it was tasteless and rude, and made the mistake of telling Billy so.

But when I asked a week later about visiting Bella, I got shut down again. When I asked why I couldn’t go. Billy said that I knew why. He said that it was dangerous for me to see her. Clearly something had happened between Bella and the Cullens and he didn’t want me to get involved, in case the Cullens decided to come back.

I’d like to say that I held my tongue, but I didn’t. The whole situation just frustrated the hell out of me. I couldn’t believe how these silly legends had completely taken over the tribe. I told Billy that it made us look like backwards superstitious natives. He told me that I would understand one day. What the heck kind of answer was that?

And so things were a little tense in the house for a while. I had no way of getting out to Forks without a car and none of Billy’s friends would lend me one. Quil offered to “borrow” a car from his dad’s garage, but I was pretty sure that wouldn’t end well.

Charlie called often to give us updates. At first, things seemed to be going well. Bella was unhappy and restless, but we assumed that was just the aftermath of her break-up. I had to admit that although I was worried that she was suffering, there was a small part of me, buried deep inside, that was doing somersaults at the knowledge that she was no longer seeing Cullen anymore.

But soon enough, Charlie started calling every day, worried about Bella’s lack of progress. He said that Bella had turned into a zombie. She barely ate, barely moved, barely talked, barely breathed. Except at nights when she would wake Charlie with her bloodcurdling screams due to a reoccurring nightmare. He didn’t know what to do to help. And neither did Billy. Neither of my sisters ever went through a phase like this. Charlie no longer came by the rez to watch games or go fishing. He was too worried to leave Bella alone in the house.

That’s when I stopped pestering Billy about seeing Bella. I had originally wanted to visit to see if she was okay, to see if I could help in any way. But now, I knew instinctively, that she didn’t want to see anyone. That I would just be in the way if I went. And that I needed to let her reach out - if and when she needed a friend.

And so the rest of the fall flew by. School picked up but things never got too busy. I had lots of time to hang out with the guys or work on the Rabbit. I now had money from my summer jobs to buy parts and a ton of motivation to get wheels of my own, so I made progress and the days passed quickly. And before I knew it, it was January.

← Chapter 1: School      Chapter 3: Surprise →

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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