In the Shadows

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

← Chapter 4: Perfect Day      Chapter 6: Gang →

Chapter 5: Disappearance

When Bella showed up the next day after school, it seemed as if she had regressed. She looked restless and frightened when she pulled into the driveway.

“Hey, Bella,” I called cautiously as she hopped out of the truck. When she saw me sitting on the porch, she seemed to relax suddenly and a relieved smile broke out on her face. I knew better than to mention her strange mood, so I faked a cheerful grin as I said, "Let's get to work!”

She cocked her head as she smiled at me. "You seriously aren't sick of me yet?"

I almost laughed. I had wanted to ask her the same question myself. I still couldn’t believe that she was here and seemed eager to continue coming back. "Nope. Not yet."

"Please let me know when I start getting on your nerves. I don't want to be a pain,” she pleaded anxiously.

"Okay." I laughed openly now. "I wouldn't hold your breath for that, though." I caught her eye and she smiled, and I felt my stomach doing back-flips in response.

We walked into the garage and I proudly gestured to the red bike that was propped up, looking in pretty darn good shape, if I may say so myself. Clearly, Bella felt the same way.

"Jake, you're amazing," she clapped her hands in delight like a little girl, her whole face lit up in excitement.

I blushed. "I get obsessive when I have a project. Though If I had any brains I'd drag it out a little bit."

"Why?" Bella asked, turning to me suddenly, her eyes wide with confusion and concern.

Damnit. I had not mean to say that. I looked down, scrambling for something to say that wouldn’t scare her off. Finally, I asked, "Bella, if I told you that I couldn't fix these bikes, what would you say?"

She didn’t say anything at all for a long time, forcing me to glance up at her. She was biting her lower lip, which was really cute. But she was also avoiding my eyes, which was not so cute.

She gave a small wry smile as she finally looked up. "I would say… that's too bad,” Her voice was soft but firm. “But I'll bet we could figure out something else to do. If we got really desperate, we could even do homework.”

Suddenly, the weight lifted off my shoulders and I could have sworn that the sun was shining outside too. I sat down next to the bike and picked up a wrench, while I continued to press my luck. "So you think you'll still come over when I'm done, then?"

"Is that what you meant?" Bella laughed before she continued. "I guess I am taking advantage of your very underpriced mechanical skills. But as long as you let me come over, I'll be here."

"Hoping to see Quil again?" I teased.

"You caught me,” she acknowledged with a sigh.

"You really like spending time with me?” I still couldn’t quite believe it.

"Very, very much. And I'll prove it. I have to work tomorrow, but Wednesday we'll do something non-mechanical."

"Like what?"

"I have no idea. We can go to my place so you won't be tempted to be obsessive. You could bring your schoolwork–you have to be getting behind, because I know I am."

I grimaced. That was an understatement. "Homework might be a good idea."

“Yes,” she agreed. "We'll have to start being responsible occasionally, or Billy and Charlie aren't going to be so easy-going about this.” She gestured to the two of us.

I was smiling so hard that my face hurt. “So homework once a week?"

"Maybe we'd better go with twice," she suggested with a frown.

I knew how she felt. I could just see all of the work that was piled up on my desk. I grabbed the grocery sack with the snacks that I had remembered to grab this afternoon. I opened a soda and passed it to her before opening one for myself.

“Here's to responsibility," I toasted lifting my soda can ceremoniously. "Twice a week."

"And recklessness every day in between.” Bella raised her glass with a twinkle in her eye.

We toasted our cans before we broke out laughing.

When I got back to the house the following night after hanging out at Bella’s house, Quil was sitting in the living room. He was waiting for me with a book in his hand. Now Quil and books didn’t usually go together, so something was clearly up. Billy was sitting with a book too and he shrugged when I glanced at him. Quil motioned for us to hit the garage as soon as he saw me, so we excused ourselves and headed out the back door.

“Everything okay?” I asked, suddenly worried at the sight of Quil’s uncharacteristically dour expression.

“You know how Embry’s been sick all week?”

“Yeah, Billy talked to his mom and said that he’s got some bad flu or something. It’s contagious so we should stay away until he’s better,” I replied as we entered the garage and I flicked on the light. I pulled out my hidden stash of Snickers and threw one to Quil. Instead of devouring it immediately, he sat down with a heavy thud.

“Well, he’s not sick. He’s fine. I saw him today hanging out with Sam and the gang out by the beach,” Quil ground out. Then he jumped up and started to pace back and forth with a lumbering tread. “Can you believe he’s hanging out with them? How did that happen? It doesn’t make any sense!”

I didn’t want to rush to judgment. “Are you sure it was him?”

“Yes, I’m sure. I may wear glasses but I’m not blind,” he muttered. “You’ve just been too wrapped up with Bella to notice that he’s been acting weird lately.”

Stung by the accusation, I retorted hotly. “Well he was sick, of course he hasn’t been his usual self … “

“No no no. I’m talking about before he got sick. The last few weeks, he’s been weird. Losing his temper over little things. Freaking out if things don’t go as planned. It was just weird …”

“You mean, he was acting like you.” I pointed out the obvious.

“Shut up! I’m serious, man!” Quil flung the Snickers bar back at me. He wasn’t a JV pitcher for nothing. I caught the bar only seconds before it would have beamed me on the nose. “He was acting weird and then he got sick. And now he’s avoiding us and hanging out with Sam.”

“Do you know that he’s actually been avoiding us?” I asked tentatively. “I know I’ve been hanging out with Bella a lot … so when I didn’t hear from him, I just kinda assumed that he was still sick.”

“He’s avoiding us. Trust me. I went by after school the other day – thinking I’d sneak him some junk food or something – and he told his mom he didn’t want to see me. I heard him. And then today, I was down by the store to ask his mom if he was feeling better. That’s when I saw him by the beach with Sam. I called out to him, but as soon as they heard me, they walked off into the forest and disappeared.”

Quil sat down with a loud thud and motioned for me to toss back the Snickers bar. I threw it to him lightly and the two of us sat there silently as we ate. I felt bad. I knew that I had been blowing off my friends lately, but for Embry to start hanging out with Sam? That just didn’t seem possible. I mean, Embry hated Sam’s gang and all of their stupid antics as much as I did. More than I did, in fact.

Sam had gotten to him somehow. I remembered suddenly, that Sam seemed to be around more than usual lately – he always “happened” to be at the store when we were there or stopping by the school just as classes ended or visiting Billy whenever we were hanging at my house. He must have been trying to recruit Embry, and it worked.

“You know what pisses me off the most?” Quil said suddenly, with a mouthful of chocolate. “That he couldn’t bother to include us too! I mean, he’s now part of the “cool” crowd – I get it. But we’ve helped him out all these years -you know, since he’s not officially a Quilleute and all. You’d think he’d try to include us as opposed to dumping us. Whatever happened to love me, love my friends?”

“I think the expression is love me, love my dog,” I corrected before I could stop myself. My head was swimming as I tried to process what Quil had just said. “Let me get this straight. You’re not pissed that he’s joined Sam’s cult. You’re just pissed that he hasn’t paved the way for us to join too?”

“It’s not a cult,” Quil retorted. “But yeah, I guess so. I mean, dumping your lifelong buds to hang out with the cool kids. How cliché is that?”

“Who the f*ck cares about being a part of Sam’s crowd?!?!” I exploded. “There’s something strange about all them! It’s not normal the way they do whatever the heck he says. It’s like he’s brain washed them or something!” I had assumed that we were both worried and pissed about the same thing, so it was a shock to find out that we weren’t.

“Look, I know you’ve got some weird-*ss ideas about what Sam does. But Embry is fine,” Quil said holding his hands up in an attempt to defuse the situation.

“He is not fine if he’s hanging out with Sam,” I ground out as I began to pace back and forth, getting more revved up with each step. “Sam got to him and we have to figure out a way to get him out.”

“He’s fine. I saw him today and he didn’t look like he was a zombie or had his brain removed or anything. He’s just moved on from us, I guess.”

“No, Embry wouldn’t do that. He’s not like that. There’s something else up.” I insisted.

“Hey, I’m not here to fight with you,” Quil got up as he spoke. “I just thought you should know since you’ve been so … busy lately,” He started to head out of the garage before he stopped and turned back. “She better be worth all this …” he continued awkwardly as he motioned to the two bikes in the corner.

I held up my hands in surrender and shrugged. He nodded and turned to head out again.

“Hey! I’m sorry… I didn’t mean to bite your head off.... thanks for telling me,” I called out, suddenly remorseful for having jumped down his throat.

He turned back and waved his hand. “I know, I know. This whole thing just sucks.”

“Stop by tomorrow?”

“Bella won’t be around?”

“Oh yeah, during the day, but how about at night?”

“Alright, I’ll be by after dinner.” He grinned before he left. That was the good thing about Quil. We might blow up at each other all the time, but we were always good in the end.

Billy was waiting up when I got back to the house. “What did Quil want?” he asked. “The boy couldn’t sit still while he was waiting for you.”

“He just wanted to tell me that he saw Embry hanging out with Sam,” I muttered as I headed into the kitchen to grab a snack. Billy rolled his chair into the kitchen blocking the hallway.

“What’s wrong with Embry spending some time with Sam? Sam’s a good guy.”

I looked at him. I could feel my blood begin to boil with frustration, but I clamped down hard. It wasn’t worth getting into this with him yet again. He knew how I felt about Sam. I knew how he felt about Sam. And we just weren’t ever going to see eye-to-eye on this.

“Fine. It’s just weird, that’s all. First he was sick and couldn’t see anybody. And now he’ll only see Sam,” I said as I made myself a peanut butter and jelly sandwich. I frowned as I tore a hole in the bread with my overly vigorous application of peanut butter.

“Maybe he’s just looking to hang out with some other kids in the tribe. I wouldn’t hurt you to do the same,” Billy said pointedly. “I know you’ve spending a lot of time with Bella. And I’m glad, but maybe you shouldn’t spend all of your time with her. I don’t want to see you getting hurt ….”

“Dad, I got the message,” I replied curtly as I stuffed the peanut butter jar back into the cupboard. I had lost my appetite. I felt bad being this rude but this uncomfortable prickling heat was spreading over my entire body. It felt as if I were developing some kind of rash. If I didn’t get out of this conversation soon, I had a feeling that I would erupt and lose control of my temper and say stupid things that I didn’t mean.

Billy didn’t say anything as he examined me carefully, taking in my uncomfortably flushed skin and bright eyes. Then he nodded as he rolled back to the living room and returned to his book.

Apparently, Quil did get things right on occasion, because the next day, Embry returned to school. And he sat with Paul and Jared on the other side of the cafeteria, studiously ignoring me and Quil. He had cut his hair and looked like a carbon copy of the others, even down to the black cord around his right ankle, the jean cut-offs, and the muscle shirts. And that was also shocking too, the fact that Embry had muscles. I mean, I had known the kid since we were in diapers, and he definitely didn’t have muscles that looked like that a few months ago.

Quil and I planned an intervention, to try to talk some sense into him. But somehow, Embry was always able to avoid us. We stopped by his house every day after school the rest of that week, but the place was always empty. When we asked Embry’s mom, she just shrugged and said that Embry went out most nights and returned late. We even resorted to asking Embry’s little sister, enduring her friends’ giggles and whispers at the sight of two high school guys talking to a middle school girl, but Ellie had no useful info for us either, other than the fact that Embry was being a “jerk.” It looked like Sam had found himself another recruit.

← Chapter 4: Perfect Day      Chapter 6: Gang →

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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