In the Shadows

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

← Chapter 5: Disappearance      Chapter 7: Worry →

Chapter 6: Gang

Time really does fly by when you’re having fun. And I couldn’t have been happier, except for the part of me that worried about what was going on with Embry. But when I was with Bella, all of that slipped to the back of my mind and I was caught up with the enjoyment of just hanging out with her.

On Wednesday, Bella came to pick me up and we were sprawled out on the living floor of her house diligently doing homework when Charlie came home. We spent Friday working in the garage again. But on Saturday, after work, Bella came to get me again and we did homework at her house all afternoon, before I convinced her to watch a Monster Garage marathon on the Discovery Channel. It was my favorite show, but I couldn’t tell you a thing that happened in any of the episodes that day. I was too busy trying to secretly observe Bella, still unable to believe that all of this was actually happening … to me.

I wasn’t the only one who was thrilled either. Charlie was delighted that Bella was “living again” – as he told Billy - and could barely contain his enthusiasm every time he saw me. He and Billy spent hours on the phone as Charlie related all of this to him. It still seemed unbelievable to me that she not only enjoyed spending time with me, but that I was the only one who was able to help her heal.

And she was definitely healing. Every day that passed, I watched as she became a little more like her old self again – smiling and laughing more, getting excited about our little plans, bantering back and forth about silly things – and I was grateful, to whatever God that was out there, that I was the one who could help her heal.

As the Monster Garage marathon wrapped, I nudged Bella who had half fallen asleep on my shoulder.

"I probably ought to go." I reminded her. "It's later than I thought."

"Okay, fine,” she grumbled as she stretched lazily. "I'll take you home."

I laughed at her unwilling expression, but inside, it made me feel like a million bucks.

"Tomorrow, back to work," she said as soon as we were safe in the truck. "What time do you want me to come up?"

I grinned. I had gotten more work done on the bikes this week than I had expected and they were almost ready – just a quick tune-up tomorrow morning and they would be ready to go. Excited at the thought of seeing her excitement, I replied cryptically, "I'll call you first, okay?"

“Sure,” she said with a frown and a confused look. I just laughed and patted her cheek before I slipped out of the truck.

The next morning, I got up early and made the final touches on the bikes before ringing Bella.

“Hello?” she asked breathlessly on the second ring.

"Bella," I said in as serious of a tone as I could muster.

"Hey, Jake."

"I believe that… we have a date,” I drawled out the last word, hoping that she would understand what I couldn’t say with Billy eaves-dropping behind me.

It took her a few seconds. "They're done? I can't believe it!"

"Yeah, they run and everything!"

"Jacob, you are absolutely, without a doubt, the most talented and wonderful person I know. You get ten years for this one."

"Cool! I'm middle-aged now.”

"I'm on my way up!"

She parked the truck on the main road, just before our driveway and close to the trees, right next to where I had hidden the two shiny almost brand-new looking bikes. I had found a blue ribbon among my sister's things and tied it around the handlebars of the red bike as a joke. Bella was cracking up about it when I ran out of the house to greet her.

"Ready?" I asked, excited at the prospect of spending a beautiful afternoon riding bikes. She smiled gleefully, before glancing over my shoulder to check for signs of Billy. I loaded the bikes into the bed of the truck, laying them on their sides so that they couldn’t be seen. “Let’s go! I know the perfect spot–no one will catch us there."

I directed Bella to drive north out of town on a dirt road that wove in and out of the forest and ended up by an old abandoned logging field. It was a gorgeous spring day and the Pacific Ocean sparkled whenever the sun peeked out from among the clouds. The road wended its way up the cliffs, and there was a secluded flat stretch that I knew would be perfect for this first attempt on the bikes.

Lost in my anticipation, I was almost thrown against the dashboard when Bella suddenly stomped on the brake and shouted, “No!”

"What's wrong?" I shouted back completely freaked out. I didn’t see anything on the road in front of us, but Bella had unbuckled her seatbelt and thrown open her door to run across the street. I hopped out quickly after her.

Standing at the side of the road, Bella pointed towards the cliff that could be seen just on the other side of the road. It was an impressive sight. A 100-foot straight drop down into the ocean. "That guy–he just jumped off the cliff! Why didn't they stop him? We've got to call an ambulance!"

I glanced quickly at the few tiny figures standing at the top of the cliff and I felt my good mood deflate. I couldn’t help but let out a bitter laugh and Bella spun around to look at me with alarmed and wild eyes.

"They're just cliff diving, Bella. Recreation. La Push doesn't have a mall, you know,” I joked, sarcastically, knowing full well that it was Sam and his stupid gang up there.

"Cliff diving?" she repeated in a dazed voice as she turned to watch the second person – I could tell it was Paul even from this distance due to his size – step up to the edge and then jump over.

"Wow. It's so high,” she murmured as she stared at the two remaining guys who were hooting and hollering as Paul entered the water in a perfect dive. "It must be a hundred feet.”

"Well, yeah, most of us jump from lower down, that rock that juts out from the cliff about halfway,” I pointed it out to her, resolutely keeping my eyes away from the guys left on the ledge. "Those guys are insane. Probably showing off how tough they are. I mean, really, it's freezing today. That water can't feel good."

"You jump off the cliff?" Bella turned to look at me now, with a new glint in her eyes.

"Sure, sure." I shrugged. "It's fun. A little scary, kind of a rush." I grinned at the way her eyes lit up.

She looked back at the cliff for a moment and then suddenly turned back to up, her whole face lit up with excitement, “Jake, you have to take me cliff diving."

What was her deal with thrill-seeking these days? Motorcycles and now cliff-diving?! I frowned slightly. "Bella, you just wanted to call an ambulance for Sam.”

"I want to try," she insisted as she started pulling off her jacket to walk towards the cliff.

I grabbed her wrist and pulled her back towards the truck. "Not today, all right? Can we at least wait for a warmer day?"

"Okay, fine,” she agreed reluctantly as she put her jacket back on."But I want to go soon."

Right. What on earth was up with her? "Sometimes you're a little strange, Bella. Do you know that?"

“Yes.” We smiled at each other.

"And we're not jumping off the top,” I mentioned before she got any ideas.

She watched, fascinated, as Sam took a running start and threw himself out over the edge doing somersaults all the way down.

“Fine," she agreed. "Not the first time, anyway."

She winked at me and I sighed loudly. I knew I’d never be able to say no. Trying to get us back on track, I demanded, "Are we going to try out the bikes or not?"

"Okay, okay," she said as she hopped back into the truck and started the engine again.

Out of the corner of my eye, I could see the last person waiting on the cliff – Embry – pacing back and forth. I looked away quickly before he threw himself off the cliff, completely ungracefully, nearly belly-flopping into the ocean below. I blocked it from my mind. I didn’t want to think about this right now.

Sensing my bad mood, Bella glanced at me periodically as she drove in silence. Finally, she asked tentatively, "So who were those guys – the crazy ones?"

I snorted and scoffed at the same time, which resulted in a weird sound in the back of my throat. "The La Push gang."

"You have a gang?” she said, her eyes wide with shock that sleepy boring La Push could have anything quite so interesting.

I laughed at her reaction. ”Not like that. I swear, they're like hall monitors gone bad. They don't start fights, they keep the peace." I snorted at that thought. "There was this guy from up somewhere by the Makah rez, big guy too, scary-looking. Well, word got around that he was selling meth to kids, and Sam Uley and his disciples ran him off our land. They're all about our land, and tribe pride… it's getting ridiculous. The worst part is that the council takes them seriously. Embry said that the council actually meets with Sam. Embry also heard from Leah Clearwater that they call themselves 'protectors' or something like that."

I shook my head, trying to swallow the frustration I had been feeling all week about this. I clenched my fists without even realizing it and I was alarmed to feel this strange prickly heat of rage rising up inside me in a way I had never experienced before. It was like the other night when I talked to Billy, but much worse.

"You don't like them very much,” Bella observed.

"Does it show?" I asked sarcastically.

"Well… It doesn't sound like they're doing anything bad." Bella said soothingly. It felt strange for her to be trying to cheer me up for once.

I felt bad instantly for taking my frustrations out on her, but I couldn’t hold back. I hadn’t been able to talk to anyone about this. Billy ignored my concerns about Embry, saying that he was sure that Embry had a “good reason” for doing what he was doing. Quil was worried, but wouldn’t take my concerns seriously. He just thought it was cool that Embry had managed to infiltrate Sam’s gang and was pissed that he had forgotten about getting the two of us in too.

Bella continued, "So just sort of annoyingly goody-two-shoes for a gang."

"Yeah. Annoying is a good word. They're always showing off–like the cliff thing. They act like… like, I don't know. Like tough guys. I was hanging out at the store with Embry and Quil once, last semester, and Sam came by with his followers, Jared and Paul. Quil said something, you know how he's got a big mouth, and it pissed Paul off. His eyes got all dark, and he sort of smiled–no, he showed his teeth but he didn't smile–and it was like he was so mad he was shaking or something. But Sam put his hand against Paul's chest and shook his head. Paul looked at him for a minute and calmed down. Honestly, it was like Sam was holding him back–like Paul was going to tear us up if Sam didn't stop him." I groaned at the memory, “It’s like a bad western. You know, Sam's a pretty big guy, he's twenty. But Paul's just seventeen, shorter than me and not as beefy as Quil. I think any one of us could take him."

"Tough guys," Bella agreed quickly. "Isn't Sam a little too old for this kind of thing?"

"Yeah. He was supposed to go to college, but he stayed. And no one gave him any crap about it, either. The whole council pitched a fit when my sister turned down a partial scholarship and got married. But, oh no, Sam Uley can do no wrong."

"It all sounds really annoying and… strange. But I don't get why you're taking it so personally,“ Bella looked at me anxiously.

I ignored her question. "You just missed the turn.” I pointed at the dirt road that we had just whizzed by,

Bella cursed softly as she made a u-turn, nearly hitting a tree in the process, and pulled onto the side road that was our destination. "Thanks for the heads-up," she muttered.

"Sorry, I wasn't paying attention." I was quiet, hoping that she would drop the topic. "You can stop anywhere along here.”

She pulled over and cut the engine.

← Chapter 5: Disappearance      Chapter 7: Worry →

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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