Monster

New Moon - Part 2 - rewritten from Jacob's perspective

← Chapter 12: Patrol      Chapter 14: Cliffs →

Chapter 13: Waiting

I had to admit that the next time I saw Bella, I stared long and hard at her face, willing something to happen. But nothing did. No rush of tender emotion or joy like what Sam experienced in his memory of seeing Emily for the first time. Nothing except the usual light-headed happy feeling that I got when I saw Bella, but apparently that wasn’t enough. And I didn’t know what to do about it. It was just one more crappy thing to add to the mess that was my life.

The next few weeks passed in a blur. I went to school during the day, spent the evenings with Bella, and spent the nights hunting the red-headed leech. I was thankful when spring break rolled around. I needed sleep desperately. Bella spent all of her free time at La Push these days too. She came directly after school. The reservation school started and ended earlier, so it gave me just enough time to dash over to Forks and be waiting by her truck when she got out of class in the afternoons. We were taking no chances with Victoria.

She and Charlie usually spent the evenings with us or Harry. And when they returned home, one of the wolves – usually me – followed silently through the forest. And we took shifts standing guard by Bella’s house. It was stretching us pretty thin and everyone was exhausted. I felt bad for the pack, but I also felt bad for Bella because I knew that she could do nothing but wait around all day - in lockdown at La Push until we could catch the leech. I could tell that the waiting was draining her emotionally.

One night, we slipped away from Billy and Charlie and the rest of the gang that had gathered to watch March Madness, so we could actually talk. We stumbled into the garage and stretched out in the Rabbit. I leaned my head back and yawned loudly.

"You need some sleep, Jake,” Bella commented.

"I'll get around to it." I reached over and patted her hand. Her skin felt cool to my touch.

"Is that one of those wolf things?" she asked tentatively. "The heat, I mean."

"Yeah. We run a little warmer than the normal people. About one-oh-eight, one-oh-nine. I never get cold anymore. I could stand like this"–I gestured to the cutoffs and t-shirt that I was wearing–"in a

snowstorm and it wouldn't bother me. The flakes would turn to rain where I stood."

"And you all heal fast–that's a wolf thing, too?"

"Yeah, wanna see? It's pretty cool." My eyes flipped open and I grinned. This was probably the coolest thing about being a werewolf. Either that or the speed. I reached over to the glove compartment to pull out my pocket knife.

"No, I do not want to see!" Bella shouted as soon as she realized what I was thinking. "Put that away!"

I chuckled, but shoved the knife back. It figured that Bella would be queasy about blood. The girl dated vampires and ran with werewolves, but couldn’t deal with blood. "Fine. It's a good thing we heal, though. You can't go see just any doctor when you're running a temperature that should mean you're dead."

"No, I guess not. And being so big–that's part of it? Is that why you're all worried about Quil?"

I frowned. "That and the fact that Quil's grandfather says the kid could fry an egg on his forehead."

I looked away in to the distance. "It won't be long now. There's no exact age… it just builds and builds and then suddenly–"

I broke off, not sure if she wanted me to continue, but she nodded.

"Sometimes, if you get really upset or something, that can trigger it early. But I wasn't upset about anything–I was happy." I laughed bitterly. "Because of you, mostly. That's why it didn't happen to me sooner. Instead it just kept on building up inside me–I was like a time bomb. You know what set me off? I got back from that movie and Billy said I looked weird. That was all, but I just snapped. And then I–I exploded. I almost ripped his face off–my own father!" I shivered as I remembered that night.

"Is it really bad, Jake?" Bella asked anxiously. "Are you miserable?"

"No, I'm not miserable," I said. "Not anymore. Not now that you know.” I reached over to take her hand this time. We were used to holding hands these days. I knew it didn’t mean quite the same thing to her that it meant to me, but it was progress. “That was hard, before."

But she had no idea how much harder it was going to get soon enough. I couldn’t even wrap my head around all the imprinting stuff that Sam told me. Or what it meant for me and Bella. Even though Sam insisted it would happen to all the wolves, I couldn’t help holding out hope that it wouldn’t happen to me. It didn’t seem possible that I could feel more strongly about someone else than I did about Bella. It just wasn’t possible. And I had been different than the other wolves so far – more controlled, more focused, more skilled - who was to say that I wouldn’t be able to evade this part of the curse too? So I pushed it all to the back of my mind and locked it firmly away for now. I couldn’t deal. I had enough on my plate as it was.

We sat there quietly for a few minutes. I slouched in the chair and pulled my hand away so that I could rest my arm against the back of Bella’s seat. She scooted closer to put her head on my shoulder, shivering slightly from the damp night air coming in through the door. I smiled as she snuggled in.

"What's the hardest part?" she whispered softly.

"The hardest part is feeling… out of control," I said slowly, trying to find the right words to explain it."Feeling like I can't be sure of myself–like maybe you shouldn't be around me, like maybe nobody should. Like I'm a monster who might hurt somebody. You've seen Emily. Sam lost control of his temper for just one second… and she was standing too close. And now there's nothing he can ever do to put it right again. I hear his thoughts–I know what that feels like…”

My voice was shaking now. That fear that I would somehow accidentally hurt Bella was constant. I kept me on edge all the time. Even now as we were relaxed against each other, I was conscious that I always needed to be in control of myself. That I couldn’t let myself relax, for even just a moment. Because the consequences were too horrifying to imagine.

“How does that feel like?” Bella prompted me to finish my thought.

"To be a monster?” I said with a wry smile. "I don’t know. But I do know that it comes so easily to me. I'm better at it than the rest of them. I don’t know what that means. Does that make me even less human than Embry or Sam? Sometimes I'm afraid that I'm losing myself."

"Is it hard? To find yourself again?" Bella pressed on.

"At first," I acknowledged. "It takes some practice to phase back and forth. But it's easier for me."

"Why?"

"Because Ephraim Black was my father's grandfather, and Quil Ateara was my mother's grandfather."

"Quil?" I could hear the confusion in her voice.

"His great-grandfather," I clarified. "The Quil you know is my second cousin."

"But why does it matter who your great-grandfathers are?"

"Because Ephraim and Quil were in the last pack. Levi Uley was the third. It's in my blood on both sides. I never had a chance. Like Quil doesn't have a chance,” I explained bleakly.

"What's the very best part?" I asked suddenly in a much-too-obvious ploy to try to cheer me up. I chuckled and squeezed her affectionately in response.

"The best part," I admitted, "is the speed."

"Better than the motorcycles?"

"There's no comparison."

"How fast can you… ?" Her voice trailed off as she didn’t know what to call it.

"Run?" I finished her question. "Fast enough. What can I measure it by? We caught… what was his name? Laurent? I imagine that means more to you than it would to someone else."

She was quiet for a long time. I knew that I was going into dangerous territory now, but I just had to know. It had been bothering me for months now. And tonight, the strain of the past few weeks had made me bolder about wanting to know the truth from Bella. The whole truth. And nothing but the truth.

"So, tell me something I don't know," I said quietly. "Something about vampires. How did you stand it, being around them? Didn't it creep you out?"

"No," she said curtly. She had stiffened up against me and seemed to want to pull away. I wouldn’t let her.

"Tell me something else then. Why did your bloodsucker kill that James, anyway?"

"James was trying to kill me–it was like a game for him. He lost. Do you remember last spring when I was in the hospital down in Phoenix?"

I sucked in my breath as I finally connected the dots. "He got that close?"

"He got very, very close." She started stroking her arm, and that’s when I remembered her scar. I reached out and grabbed her hand before she could pull away.

"What's that?" I pulled her right wrist closer. "This is your funny scar, the cold one."Then suddenly, my eyes bugged out. I stared at it again. The scar was the perfect replica of a human bite mark. I could even see the thicker scar around the edges where the pointer teeth had penetrated.

"Yes, it's what you think it is," she said, telling me what I already knew. "James bit me."

I felt a wave of rage like nothing I had ever experienced before flood through me. I couldn’t catch my breath. The blood was pounding so furiously through my veins that I was shaking.

"But if he bit you… ? Shouldn't you be… ?"

"Edward saved me twice," she whispered. "He sucked the venom out–you know, like with a rattlesnake."

That put me over the edge. I pushed her away from me as I sat up abruptly. I had my eyes closed tightly and I was clenching the steering wheel in my hands so tightly that I could feel the metal bending under my grasp. I counted to ten.

"Careful, Jake. Easy. Calm down." Bella said soothingly, her hand reaching out to pat my shoulder.

"Yeah," I panted, reacting instantly to her cool touch. "Calm." I shook my head back and forth quickly as I took a few more deep breaths. After a moment, only my hands were shaking.

"You okay?"

"Yeah, almost. Tell me something else. Give me something else to think about."

"What do you want to know?"

"I don't know." My eyes were still closed as I searched for something to take my mind off of this. "The extra stuff I guess. Did any of the other Cullens have… extra talents? Like the mind reading?"

Bella hesitated a second for a second. "Jasper could… sort of control the emotions of the people around him. Not in a bad way, just to calm someone down, that kind of thing. It would probably help Paul a lot," she added, teasing weakly. "And then Alice could see things that were going to happen. The future, you know, but not absolutely. The things she saw would change when someone changed the path they were on…"

Her voice broke off. I opened my eyes and turned to look at her. She had that familiar blank expression on her face again. Her eyes were vacant and dull. Her arms were wrapped around herself protectively.

"Why do you do that?" I asked suddenly, tugging lightly at one of her arms. I hated it when she did that, but she refused to let them loose. "You do that when you're upset. Why?"

"It hurts to think about them," she whispered, her eyes glossing over with unshed tears of pain. "It's like I can't breathe… like I'm breaking into pieces…"

I stared at her, my own eyes glossing over with unshed tears of frustration. After all this time, she was still hung up on him. After everything that he had done to her. After everything that had happened. For the first time, I began to doubt that I would ever break through. The stranglehold that he had on her – even when he was gone – seemed unbreakable. It hadn’t diminished even the slightest bit in all this time.

I wished she could see herself the way I saw her. The lifeless empty shell that she became whenever she thought of him compared to vibrant laughing bright-eyed girl that she was with me. How anyone could think that he had been good for her was beyond me. I smoothed her hair away from her face and bent to give her a soft kiss on the forehead. She turned to me then and burrowed herself into my arms.

"It's okay, Bella, it's okay. I won't bring it up again. I'm sorry."

"I'm fine." she mumbled, her voice muffled against my chest. "Happens all the time. Not your fault."

"We're a pretty messed-up pair, aren't we? Neither one of us can hold our shape together right."

"Pathetic,” she nodded in agreement.

"At least we have each other," I responded as I continued to stroke her hair.

I felt her smile against me and relax again. “At least there’s that.”

← Chapter 12: Patrol      Chapter 14: Cliffs →

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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