In the Shadows

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

← Chapter 2: Search      Chapter 4: Perfect Day →

Chapter 3: Surprise

I was sitting in my room when I heard it, the roar of a Chevy truck as it came down our street. For a moment, I thought I was imagining things. I dashed out into the living room where Billy was reading and saw his equally confused face. But the sound grew louder as the truck turned onto the driveway. I sprinted to the kitchen window, my heart beating faster than I ever thought possible, and hoped desperately to see an orange truck in front of the house.

It was there. And so was she.

I was stunned, for just a moment, unsure of what to say and do. But then I saw her get out of the truck and before I could stop myself, I tore through the door to greet her.

“Bella!”

A gigantic smile had broken out of my face to the point that it was actually hurting my cheeks, but I couldn’t help it – she was here!

But then I saw her more clearly and my smile faltered. This wasn’t the Bella that I had known. Charlie hadn’t exaggerated when he said that she was nearly catatonic from her break-up with the Cullen guy. She looked so much worse than I had ever thought she could look. Her once rosy skin was now a ghastly white, which only emphasized the dark circles underneath her dull nearly lifeless eyes.

She had lost so much weight that she seemed ridiculously breakable, as if the slightest touch would shatter her to pieces. I stared at her, helpless and frustrated, wishing I had gone to visit her the past few months, while instinctively knowing that it wouldn’t have mattered anyway. What had the bastard done to her to make her look like this?

“Hey Jacob!”

She was examining me closely too, with an almost puzzled expression on her face, as if she were seeing me for the first time. And then, she started to smile.

It was a shadow of her old smile, but it was a smile nonetheless. And as it grew, things started to click back into place - her skin flushed just slightly and a glimmer of life appeared in her eyes. I realized suddenly that she was smiling because of me. Bella was genuinely happy to see me. Stunned by the realization, a happy warmth surged through my entire body as I returned her smile.

“You grew again!” she accused as she stared up at me through the rain.

I laughed, smiling even harder if it was possible. “Six five,” I acknowledged, unable to keep the satisfaction out of my voice.

"Is it ever going to stop?" She shook her head in disbelief. "You're huge."

"Still a beanpole, though." I shrugged as I gestured to her. "Come inside! You're getting all wet." I pulled my hair back from my face using a rubber band as I turned back to the house. I was nervous suddenly for the first time since seeing her.

"Hey, Dad," I called as I ducked through the front door. "Look who stopped by."

Billy looked up from his book with an exaggerated pause, pretending as if he hadn’t been peeking through the window the entire time.

"Well, what do you know! It's good to see you, Bella," he said with a broad smile as he shook her hand. "What brings you out here? Everything okay with Charlie?"

"Yes, absolutely. I just wanted to see Jacob–I haven't seen him in forever," she replied shooting a shy half smile at me. I felt my head spinning in response and I couldn’t stop grinning back at her like a fool.

"Can you stay for dinner?" Billy asked eagerly at the sight of her smile.

"No, I've got to feed Charlie, you know,” she apologized.

"I'll call him now," Billy suggested. "He's always invited." He was clearly thrilled to see Bella out and about after all that we had heard from Charlie the past few months, and he wanted Charlie to witness it too.

She laughed uncomfortably. ”It's not like you'll never see me again. I promise I'll be back again soon–so much you'll get sick of me."

Whoa. She was planning to come visit? Often? My head was going to explode from excitement.

Billy nodded in response. "Okay, maybe next time."

"So, Bella, what do you want to do?" I asked cautiously, concerned suddenly about the lack of entertainment options here in La Push.

"Whatever. What were you doing before I interrupted?"

I hesitated. "I was just heading out to work on my car, but we can do something else…"

"No, that's perfect!" she interrupted enthusiastically. "I'd love to see your car!"

I gave her a weird look. She had never been interested in cars before, but if that’s what she wanted to do, I wasn’t going to say no. She could have said that she wanted to go shopping or get a manicure and I would have been game. Anything to make her smile at me like that again.

"Okay. It's out back, in the garage…"

"See you later." She waved at Billy as she followed me out. We headed out the front door to the garage. It was really just a bunch of sheds that I had bolted together to form a makeshift space where I could just hang out and work on my projects.

"What kind of Volkswagen is that?" Bella asked looking at the car sitting in the middle of the shed jacked up on a few cylinder blocks.

"It's an old Rabbit–1986, a classic.”

"How's it going?"

"Almost finished," I said excitedly. And then I remembered the reason why I was almost finished and I continued awkwardly, "My dad made good on his promise last spring."

"Ah," she replied. She turned away immediately, but not before I could see her eyes fill with pain. She wrapped her arms around herself as if she were trying to hold herself together. Cursing myself for bringing it up, I wracked my brain for something else to say when she suddenly spoke. "Jacob, what do you know about motorcycles?"

I raised my eyebrows. "Some. My friend Embry has a dirt bike. We work on it together sometimes. Why?"

"Well…" She paused and bit her lip as she mulled over what to say. "I recently acquired a couple of bikes, and they're not in the greatest condition. I wonder if you could get them running?"

I was surprised. Bella did not seem like the biker chick type, but I could see the desperation barely masked in her eyes. This was clearly important to her. Maybe she was trying to reinvent herself, do something different for a change. I was suddenly happy that this was what she had chosen to do, because it was definitely something that I could help her with.

"Cool." I said with a big smile. "I'll give it a try."

“The thing is,” she held up her finger in warning, "Charlie doesn't approve of motorcycles. Honestly, he'd probably bust a vein in his forehead if he knew about this. So you can't tell Billy."

"Sure, sure. I understand,” I laughed. Boy did I ever understand. Charlie would kill me if he knew I was helping Bella ride a bike.

"I'll pay you," she continued.

Offended that she would even consider this, I protested, "No. I want to help. You can't pay me."

"Well… how about a trade, then? I only need one bike–and I'll need lessons, too. So how about this? I'll give you the other bike, and then you can teach me."

Wow, this deal was getting better and better. Getting to spend time with Bella and a bike? It was like Christmas and my birthday all rolled into one.

"Swee-eet."

"Wait a sec–are you legal yet? When's your birthday?" she remembered suddenly.

“You missed it,” I teased, pouting and narrowing my eyes in mock resentment. "I'm sixteen."

"Not that your age ever stopped you before," she replied. "Sorry about your birthday."

"Don't worry about it. I missed yours. What are you, forty?" I joked. I didn’t exactly want her dwelling on the fact that I was younger than her by a year or so.

She sniffed. "Close."

"We'll have a joint party to make up for it,” I teased as I gently nudged her arm.

"Sounds like a date,” she smiled nudging me back. Even though I know she didn’t mean it that way, I couldn’t help but grin stupidly in response. "Maybe when the bikes are finished–our present to ourselves," she added, clearly trying to set boundaries.

"Deal. When will you bring them down?" I didn’t want her to forget about this or even worse – change her mind.

She bit her lip again, an endearing quirk of hers when she was nervous, as she replied, "They're in my truck now.”

"Great!”

"Will Billy see if we bring them around?"

I winked at her as I motioned her to follow me. “We’ll be sneaky.”

We made sure to stay far from the view of the windows as we circled behind the trees in the front lawn to get to the truck. There were two bikes in the bed of truck, a black Harley Sprint and a red bike that was so dirty and warped that I couldn’t tell what it was I unloaded them swiftly from the trunk and wheeled them into the shrubbery where Bella was hiding. I kept a careful watch at the window, but I didn’t see Billy’s face at all.

“These aren’t half bad,” I said as we pushed them back towards the garage. "This one here will actually be worth something when I'm done – it's an old Harley Sprint."

"That one's yours, then,” she said with a smile.

"Are you sure?" I looked up excitedly. A Harley Sprint! I couldn't believe it.

"Absolutely."

This day was just getting better and better. But as I looked more closely at the blackened and warped metal frame, I realized that the bikes actually needed a fair amount of work and money.

"These are going to take some cash, though,” I admitted with a frown. "We'll have to save up for parts first."

"We nothing," she disagreed. "If you're doing this for free, I'll pay for the parts."

I flushed. I didn’t want her paying for the stuff, but I knew I had no money to chip in. "I don't know…"

"I've got some money saved. College fund, you know."

I still felt uncomfortable, but I nodded my head. I figured we could work this out later. We brought the bikes into the shed. Billy’s wheelchair couldn’t get out here, so we didn’t need to worry about him finding out. I started pulling apart the red bike first so I could assess the damage. Bella sat in the passenger seat of the Rabbit as I worked and we chatted lightly, catching each other up on our lives. I marveled at how easy it was to talk with her. It was like we had done this every day for the past year. We just clicked, like we always have.

“So how’s school? Have you sent in all your college applications?” I asked, curious about her plans for next year.

“No, I haven’t sent any in,” she replied with a guilty expression on her face.

“But … you’re so smart,” I stammered in my confusion. “You don’t want to go?”

“I don’t really know,” she admitted with a rueful smile. “I guess I just figured that I wasn’t in any shape to be making any major life decisions this past fall.” I nodded as if I understood, because I knew she didn’t want to talk about it. But deep-down, it bothered me that she was making no plans for her future. That jerk really did a number on her. “Well, what about you? Is school any tougher now that you’re a sophomore? ” she asked, clearly trying to change the subject.

“It’s going okay. It’s been pretty easy actually, I don’t have to work too hard,” I admitted sheepishly.

“Well that’s because you’re so smart,” she teased. I grinned at her, but then dropped my head so she wouldn’t see me blush. “So are you thinking of going to college?” she asked curiously.

I chuckled. “Rachel might kill me if I don’t. But I don’t know where I want to go.”

“Well you’ve got time, you’re just a sophomore,” she reminded me.

“Yeah, but our school isn’t very big or challenging. I could always graduate early like Rachel did,” I said, and for the first time, I actually considered doing it.

“Would you stay in Washington? Or go far away?”

“Probably wherever I got the most scholarship money,“ I responded truthfully. “What about you?”

“I don’t know,” she responded with a shrug. “I think I’d like to stay near here I think.”

“Not tired of all this rain, yet?” I waggled my eyebrows as I jerked my thumb at the drizzly mist outside.

“No, not yet,” she responded wistfully with a strange look in her eye. I knew then that it wasn’t the rain or even Charlie that kept her here. It was him. And the memories of him that she wasn’t ready to let go of just yet.

“It depends on the person I guess. My friend, Embry, is hoping to go to University of Washington in Seattle, to stay close to home. But my other friend, Quil, I’ll bet he’ll try to go as far away as possible. He’d go to college in Hawaii if they let him-”

"Quil and Embry?" she interrupted. "Those are unusual names."

I chuckled. "Quil is a hand-me-down, and I think Embry got named after a soap opera star. I can't say anything, though. They fight dirty if you start on their names–they'll tag team you."

"Good friends,” she commented as she raised an eyebrow.

"No, they are. Just don't mess with their names, “ I said with a smile.

Then suddenly, as if I had conjured them, I heard Embry’s voice in the distance, “Jacob?” Damnit. I had forgotten that they had planned to come over tonight.

"Is that Billy?" Bella asked, standing up in panic at being caught with the bikes..

"No," I mumbled as I waved her to sit down again. Sh*t. Sh*t. Sh*t. Quil had better behave or I was going to kill him. "Speak of the devil and he shall appear."

"Jake? Are you out here?" Embry’s voice was closer now. For a second, I contemplated pretending that I wasn’t here. But I knew that wouldn’t work.

"Yeah!" I shouted as they rounded the corner into the shed. Embry came in first, holding a bag of snacks from the store, with Quil trailing just behind him. They both stopped abruptly at the sight of Bella sitting in the Rabbit. Embry glanced swiftly at Bella and then at me again, while Quil just stared at Bella with a smile on his face that I did not want to see. Great. Way to be subtle, man.

"Hey, guys," I mumbled in greeting.

"Hey, Jake," Quil responded without taking his eyes off of Bella and then he winked at her. "Hi, there."

That’s it. I was definitely going to kill him.

"Quil, Embry–this is my friend, Bella,” I muttered through clenched teeth.

"Charlie's kid, right?" Quil said as he reached out to shake her hand. His arm was held out awkwardly, at an angle designed to show off his newly developed biceps.

"That's right," she said with a friendly smile as she shook his hand. She looked amused at his tactics.

"I'm Quil Ateara," he announced proudly.

"Nice to meet you, Quil."

"Hey, Bella. I'm Embry, Embry Call–you probably already figured that out, though." Embry was at least behaving, as he smiled and waved at her in greeting.

Bella nodded towards him. "Nice to meet you, too."

"So what are you guys doing?" Quil asked, still staring at Bella. He hadn’t even glanced over at me yet since he entered the shed.

"Bella and I are going to fix up these bikes," I explained, saying the magic words that I knew would distract them. It worked, because they both turned away from Bella immediately to check out the bikes and we started chatting away about the work. Suddenly realizing that we had been ignoring Bella, I looked up to see her sliding out of the Rabbit.

"We're boring you, aren't we?"

"Naw," she said with a smile. And it didn’t seem like a lie. Her smile was genuine. It was strange how I could read her so easily. "I just have to go cook dinner for Charlie."

"Oh… well, I'll finish taking these apart tonight and figure out what more we'll need to get started rebuilding them,“ I explained. Not wanting to seem too eager, I tried to maintain a casual voice as I asked, “When do you want to work on them again?"

"Could I come back tomorrow?"

I was thrilled. Or I would have been thrilled if I hadn’t seen Quil and Embry nudge each other and grin stupidly on my behalf. I really was going to kill them both.

I smiled back at her, forgetting all about playing it cool, "That would be great!"

"If you make a list, we can go shop for parts," she suggested.

I hadn’t forgotten about the money thing. "I'm still not sure I should let you pay for everything…"

She shook her head firmly. "No way. I'm bankrolling this party. You just have to supply the labor and

expertise." Embry rolled his eyes at Quil at her mention of my expertise.

"That doesn't seem right,” I protested.

"Jake, if I took these to a mechanic, how much would he charge me?" she pointed out.

"Okay, you're getting a deal,” I acknowledged with a reluctant nod.

"Not to mention the riding lessons," she added with a smile to seal the bargain.

Quil broke out into a ridiculous grin just then and whispered something to Embry. I didn’t have to hear what he said to know that I really was going to kill him as soon as Bella left.

“That’s it, get out!” I muttered as I smacked the back of his head, hoping desperately that she hadn’t heard anything.

"No, really, I have to go," Bella protested as she headed for the door. Her face was lit up by a teasing grin. "I'll see you tomorrow, Jacob."

I waved as she headed out the door. As soon as she left the shed, Quil and Embry immediately chorused, “Wooooo!”

Completely exasperated with their antics and paranoid that Bella could still hear them, I shoved Quil hard. Taken off guard, he stumbled into Embry, causing them both to crash in a heap against the Rabbit.

“Ouch!”

“Hey dude!”

"If either of you set so much as one toe on my land tomorrow, I swear that I will kill you both.” I threatened angrily. “I will dismember your bodies and feed them to the wolves!”

“Please, I’d like to see you try!” Quil scoffed as he flexed his arms before reaching over to help Embry up.

“He does have a point, Jake. How are you going to stop us?” Embry teased as he brushed himself off.

“I’m serious. Do not show your faces here tomorrow!”

I glared at the two of them as I started to clean up. I wasn’t too worried. They might give me a hard time now and then, but they had my back. I was just going to pay for it with a lot of teasing in the meantime.

“You know, she’s prettier than I remembered her,” Quil reflected.

“You need glasses. She looked terrible. That break-up really messed her up bad.”

“Are you sure you want to get involved then?” Embry asked his forehead wrinkling in concern.

“I’m not planning to get involved,” I responded truthfully. “She’s clearly not ready. Any idiot could see that.” I glared at Quil but he just rolled his eyes at me. “I just want to hang out with her. I like spending time with her. We … click,” I admitted sheepishly.

“You click? That is the most girly-thing I have ever heard you say, man!” Quil mocked. “Did you seriously say that you guys ‘clicked’? It’s like I’m listening to my sisters right now!”

“Shut up!” I muttered. “Look, of course I want to … I just … I know she’s not ready and I don’t want to mess this up … I can wait … I just … I just want her to be happy.” I finished lamely.

Quil’s expression was priceless.

“What about you? How does that make you happy?” Embry asked thoughtfully.

“I’m happy if she’s happy,” I replied ignoring Quil’s gagging in the background. “Look, just don’t come by tomorrow, okay? In fact, call me before you come over in the future. Just in case … you know …”

“Are you ditching us for a girl?” Quil asked suddenly serious.

“No! No way!” I explained. “I just … please … this is important.”

Quil and Embry looked at each other and then back at me. Then Quil shrugged and said, “Man, she better be worth it!”

“She is,” I replied emphatically. She definitely was.

← Chapter 2: Search      Chapter 4: Perfect Day →

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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