In the Shadows

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

← Chapter 3: Surprise      Chapter 5: Disappearance →

Chapter 4: Perfect Day

I woke up the next morning with a start. For a second, I thought that yesterday had all been a dream. But then it all came back to me. Bella had come by and she was planning to come back again! I jumped into the shower in record time. Billy was looking at me with an amused grin as I walked into the kitchen, but I was too elated to care.

Billy had been on the phone with Charlie when I got home last night, eagerly reporting on Bella’s visit and how she had actually smiled a few times while she was over here. The memory of that sent a ridiculous thrill through me. I was the one who had gotten her to smile again – me, Jacob Black - for the first time in months according to Charlie. My daydreaming was interrupted by the phone ringing.

“Hey Charlie,” Billy said just after he picked up.

I looked up quickly, suddenly worried that something might have happened to Bella.

“That sounds great … ten minutes … okay, see you soon.”

Billy hung up and looked at me with a knowing smile on his face. “Harry is going to give me a ride down to Charlie’s to watch the game. I guess Bella is coming up to visit again.”

I blushed as I mumbled, “Yeah, we’re just going to hang out this afternoon.”

Billy just chuckled as he went to his room to get ready. I washed the dishes quickly and sat down to wait, absent-mindedly sorting through the stack of mail on the table. I just still couldn’t believe this was actually happening.

I heard the roar of the Chevy as it pulled into the driveway a short while later. The sound had been muffled up the street due to the pouring rain. I grabbed a huge black umbrella and ran out to greet her.

"Charlie called – he said you were on your way," I explained with a grin.

As she slid out of the truck, she smiled brightly at me in response. A full smile. A real smile. And for a moment, she looked like Bella from the old days and it made me catch my breath.

"Hi, Jacob."

"Good call on inviting Billy up,” I praised as I held up my hand for a high-five. She reached up on her tippy-toes to slap my hand, and yet was barely able to graze my palm, which made me laugh.

Billy was ready and waiting for Harry on the porch. He greeted Bella warmly and patted her hand as we passed by. We could hear Harry’s car rumbling up the road. As we waited for Billy and Harry to take off, I gave her a quick tour of the house.

As soon the sound of Harry’s car driving off in the rain died off, Bella turned to me with a teasing smile on her face, "So where to, Mr. Goodwrench?"

I pulled out my notes from my pocket. "We'll start at the dump first, see if we can get lucky. This could get a little expensive," I warned her. "Those bikes are going to need a lot of help before they'll run again." She didn’t look the least bit worried, so I pressed on. "I'm talking about maybe more than a hundred dollars here."

She pulled her checkbook out of her pocket and fanned herself with it while doing an exaggerated eye-roll, "We're covered."

We both cracked up as we made our way back to the truck. As I got in, I noticed that there was a gaping hole in the dashboard where the stereo should have been. "Did the stereo break?" I asked curiously as I fingered the broken cords dangling out onto the dashboard.

"Yeah," she replied with a strange look on her face. I looked at her sharply. I could tell there was more to the story, but I knew not to pry. I didn’t have to ask to know that it had something to do with him.

I poked around in the cavity. "Who took it out? There's a lot of damage…"

"I did," she admitted.

I laughed. "Maybe you shouldn't touch the motorcycles too much."

"No problem,” she responded with a small smile.

And like that, the mood had passed and she was okay again. Not to say that Bella was happy by any means. Because she wasn’t. I wasn’t stupid enough to think that she was. It was clear from looking at her, and from what Charlie had said over the past few months, that she seemed to exist perpetually in a state of indifference. Occasionally, when something came up that reminded her about him, the pain and grief that lay just below the surface broke through – as it did just now. But for the most part, she just seemed indifferent to what was happening around her.

Except, of course, the times when I was able to make her smile and to cheer her up. And I lived for those moments. I was careful to observe her discretely as I tried to learn more about what made her tick. I sensed that she was frustrated with Charlie’s constant hovering and I didn’t want her to feel the same way about me.

I knew that I needed to let her call the shots – let her decide how often she wanted to come hang out, what she wanted us to do, where she wanted us to go – and to not push her in any way. I could sense that she was trying to rebuild and reinvent her life – her life without him – and I was just happy that she was letting me tag along as she did it. Hopefully, that meant that I would be a more permanent part of this new life.

We had a great day shopping for auto parts. Of course, I loved this stuff, so it would have been a great day for me regardless, but Bella seemed to enjoy herself too. We first drove down to the dump where we lucked out with a few parts and then we drove out to Checker Auto Parts down in Hoquiam – almost two hours away. The drive passed quickly as we chatted easily about friends and school. Once again, despite what Quil would say about me, we just clicked.

"I'm doing all the talking," I complained after telling her about Quil’s latest fiasco in asking out this senior guy’s steady girlfriend. "Why don't you take a turn? What's going on in Forks? It has to be more exciting than La Push."

"Wrong," she sighed. "There's really nothing. Your friends are a lot more interesting than mine. I like your friends. Quil's funny."

I rolled my eyes. "I think Quil likes you, too."

Bella laughed. "He's a little young for me."

I frowned suddenly as I wondered if that was how she felt about me too. I replied seriously, "He's not that much younger than you. It's just a year and a few months."

She responded lightly in a teasing voice, “Sure, but, considering the difference in maturity between guys and girls, don't you have to count that in dog years? What does that make me, about twelve years older?"

I relaxed again as I rolled my eyes, "Okay, but if you're going to get picky like that, you have to average in size, too. You're so small, I'll have to knock ten years off your total."

"Five foot four is perfectly average." She sniffed. "It's not my fault you're a freak."

We bantered back and forth arguing over the correct formula to determine our ages. Bella lost a few years because she couldn’t change a tire, run a 6-minute mile, or make a fire , while I lost a few years since she could balance a checkbook, make killer cookies, and do a cartwheel. When we got to Checker, I was enjoying myself so much that I had almost forgotten what it was that we were trying to do.

We lucked out at Checker big time, snagging everything on my checklist. Billy still wasn’t home when we got back from La Push, so we were able to unload all of the stuff without worrying about getting caught. Bella seemed fascinated by the work that I was doing and I couldn’t help wanting to show off a little. We spent the rest of the rainy afternoon in my shed talking and laughing as I made progress on the bikes. It was the best afternoon of my life.

The day passed too quickly and soon enough, we heard a car pull up and Billy’s voice calling to us. Bella jumped up quickly from the Rabbit to help put things away.

"Just leave it,” I said as I motioned for her to stop. "I'll work on it later tonight."

"Don't forget your schoolwork or anything,” she reminded me with her best stern-teacher face.

"Bella?" Both our heads snapped up as Charlie's familiar voice drifted into the garage.

"Shoot," she muttered. "Coming!" She yelled towards the entrance.

I pointed her towards the door as I snapped the light off. “Let’s go!”

The garage was now pitch-black, as it had become dark outside without us realizing it. I heard Bella stumbling through the unfamiliar space so I reached out and grabbed her hand to guide her through the garage and onto the path to the house. Her hand was tiny, just like the rest of her, and it was so soft and smooth that it could have easily slipped out of my hand.

As we made our mad dash through the garage and out into the darkness of the night, Bella started laughing, giggling really, in the silliness of the moment. It made me chuckle too and by the time we came into view of the front porch where Charlie and Billy were waiting for us, we were both laughing our heads off.

"Hey, Dad," we both said at the same time, and that set us off again. I laughed until I was almost doubled over, my stomach muscles spasming helplessly in response. Bella wasn’t doing much better as she pressed her free hand against her mouth, trying unsuccessfully to stop herself from cracking up.

Charlie’s eyes widened as he watched us and widened even more when he glanced down at our hands. Bella had made no move to remove her hand, so I just continued to clasp it lightly – with no pressure – content to keep it for as long as she would let me hold it.

"Billy invited us for dinner," Charlie said absent-mindedly, his energy focused on examining every inch of Bella’s face, drinking in the rosy flush on her cheeks and the bright laughter in her eyes.

"My super-secret recipe for spaghetti. Handed down for generations," Billy said with a grave nod.

I snorted. "I don't think Ragu's actually been around that long." I heard Bella giggle again and I squeezed her hand slightly in response.

As Billy turned towards the door, Charlie reached out to help Bella up the steps and so she let go of mine. The house was crowded, with Harry, Sue, Leah, and Seth spilling out of the kitchen into the living room. Since there was no room to seat everyone inside the house, we moved chairs out into the yard and the porch and we ate off of plates on our laps in the twilight.

It was the perfect evening. The rain had stopped but the mist hadn’t rolled through, so the air was clean and fresh. Sue bustled around making sure everyone had enough to eat and managed to whip up amazing cookies with the limited ingredients available in our kitchen. Leah spent the entire evening on the phone in our house, which was better than Seth who couldn’t take a hint and kept butting into my conversation with Bella.

But mostly the evening was perfect because Bella seemed truly happy. She laughed at Billy’s lame jokes and smiled a lot as we chatted lightly, bantering back and forth about stupid things. I could almost see her opening up her shell little by little and letting the warmth and camaraderie of the evening soak in. I knew she probably thought she was forever scarred from the break-up, but watching her that night as she soaked in the happiness around her, I knew that she could recover. The question was whether or not she wanted to.

Soon enough, because this was the Pacific Northwest after all, it started to drizzle again, and the rain broke up the party since our house was far too small to accommodate everyone. I walked Bella to the truck and she mentioned stopping by after school tomorrow. I nodded eagerly as she and Charlie pulled away. It really had been the perfect day.

← Chapter 3: Surprise      Chapter 5: Disappearance →

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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