Monster

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

← Chapter 13: Waiting      At the Cliffs:: Chapter 1: Cliffs →

Chapter 14: Cliffs

Bella seemed better after that day in the garage. But I didn’t know for sure, since I wasn’t around as much. After more weeks of finding nothing, Sam had become ruthless about running patrol beyond our traditional boundaries. And I had to admit that I was just as maniacal as he was. I had to get the red-haired leech. Not just because she was trying to kill Bella, but also because she was the last remaining link Bella had to the Cullens. And I would have been lying if I didn’t admit that I wanted desperately to sever that last remaining tie.

We ran patrol nonstop, barely stopping to rest, the pack often just sleeping as wolves in the woods in shifts. I felt as if I knew every rock, tree, or blade of grass in the forest at this point. I had seen them all so many times. But we were coming up with nothing. Not even the faintest scent. But I kept going. I had to.

Spring break rolled around. Bella worked during the mornings, but always came by La Push to spend the afternoon. That was our time. It was the only thing that kept me sane and grounded me the long weeks of waiting and hunting. But I was almost always late and Bella would hang out at the beach by herself until I came to find her. I knew all of that alone time couldn’t have been good for her, but there was nothing I could do. She seemed particularly dejected a few days later when I found her curled among a patch of semi-dry rocks off of Second Beach.

Second Beach lacked the silky sand and perfect crescent half-moon shape of First Beach, so it was significantly less popular with the tourists. It was also further north, closer to the towering cliffs, and the waves were stronger out here, pummeling the rocky coastline furiously with the evening tide. It was a little more secluded too. Almost desolate this time of year. It wasn’t a good sign that Bella picked this beach to roam.

“Hey, sorry,” I apologized as I walked up. I pulled her up from the ground and wrapped both arms around her shoulders. She was cold and shivering. But that was something I could easily fix. If only the other stuff were as easy.

Pretty soon, she felt warm – even to my touch – so we separated. I took her hand and we walked down the beach companionably. We were so used to holding hands or touching these days, that it seemed natural. I knew everyone thought we were together. And we were. Just not quite the way they imagined. I knew better than to press Bella on it. For now, this was enough.

“I’m ruining your spring break,” I murmured apologetically.

"No, you're not. I didn't have any plans. I don't think I like spring breaks, anyway."

"I'll take tomorrow morning off. The others can run without me. We'll do something fun,” I promised.

"Fun?"

"Yes, fun!, Fun is exactly what you need.” As I scanned the horizon, I had a flash of inspiration. The cliffs! She had always wanted to cliff-dive. And it was getting warm enough to do it sanely.

"Got it!" I crowed. "Another promise to keep."

"What are you talking about?"

I pointed toward the northern edge of the beach, where the flat, rocky beach disappeared and the forest took over, leading up to the cliffs. Bella stared at them and then back at me utterly confused. "Didn't I promise to take you cliff diving?" Her mouth fell open. "Yeah, it'll be pretty cold–not as cold as it is today. Can you feel the weather changing? The pressure? It will be warmer tomorrow. You up for it?"

Bella looked out at the ocean skeptically. The waters looked rough and choppy, even from here. But she nodded, "Sure, I'm up for it. Fun, right?"

"Yep, fun. It's a date," I said as I draped my arm back around her shoulders.

"Okay–now let's go get you some sleep." Bella insisted as she steered me back towards the truck. I wanted to protest, but I was just too tired. I passed out as soon as my head hit the pillow.

I ran patrol again that night, this time with Jared, crawling back into bed around 6 am. I was looking forward to sleeping in and spending the afternoon with Bella. But that wasn’t quite meant to be. Embry shook me awake frantically three hours later. I almost fell off the bed in shock.

“Jake, get up!” He tugged at my arm to drag me up from the bed. “Now!”

“What? … who? … where?” I said, probably slobbering, as I struggled to make my sleepy brain function properly.

“They caught her scent. She’s here!”

I snapped awake instantly. “Where? When?”

He didn’t bother responding. It would be easier for him to explain in wolf form any way. I pushed past Embry to the hallway, and we both tore out the back door. We took off running instantly and phased as soon as we were out of sight. Even though I had barely gotten any sleep, the adrenaline fired me up and the routine of running patrol took over.

Sam’s voice flooded through my head instantly, barking commands. “Paul found the scent on the southwestern edge of the rez, right where it meets the state park at the edge of the Forks town line. Meet there in five. Paul – don’t do anything rash!”

That was where Bella and I used to go hiking, close to that meadow where we first caught and killed the black-haired leech. Embry and I took off, as I gleaned info from Embry’s memories about what had happened. Paul and Embry had been running patrol separately, Paul taking the southern boundary and Embry taking the northern boundary, when Paul found fresh tracks. Embry raced down, alerting the rest of the wolves on his way, and now we were racing down to track down the scent.

We were the last ones to arrive. Sam, Jared, and Paul were already waiting impatiently for us.

“About time, Black. Too busy snoozing while the rest of do all the work?”

“Bite me, Meraz,” I snapped. It was too early in the morning for this crap.

We took off, now that the pack was assembled, tracing the fresh sweet sickly scent through the forest at full speed. The scent couldn’t have been more than a few hours old, which was promising, but after a few miles, we came to a dead end. We had reached the southern cliffs that jutted out towards the ocean – which weren’t as imposing as the northern cliffs that Bella and I were planning to cliff-dive from later this afternoon – but were far more dangerous because of the mess of shale and rocks that were hidden just below the deceptively shallow water.

You think they can swim?” Jared asked skeptically as we paced along the cliffs, scanning the ocean below, hoping to catch a glimpse of fiery red locks. But nothing.

It wouldn’t surprise me if they could. They don’t need to breathe, remember?” Sam sighed. “This was a strategic error on my part. It didn’t occur to me that she would turn to the ocean to evade us. That’s why we haven’t caught any scent trails.”

“HA! I guess this means we’ll need to learn to doggy-paddle better,” Paul snorted as he laughed. The rest of us rolled our eyes at him.

Alright, false alarm. I’ll do a perimeter run to be safe. But I’m pretty sure she’s gone back north.” Sam continued, “Jake, you tell Bella to stay away from the beach.”

Right. I was an Idiot. I had been letting her hang out at the beach for weeks by herself, never thinking that Victoria might resort to water. It was a damn miracle that nothing had happened yet. And it looked like cliff-diving was out of the question today. Especially with Victoria hanging out in the ocean. I looked up at the sun – it looked like it was mid-morning right about now - Bella wouldn’t be by until about 12 after she got off from her morning shift at Newton’s Outfitters. I had some time before she arrived.

We all nodded at Sam and took off. Embry and I ran together again, slower this time, basking in the warmth of the morning sun. Embry suggested that we hit up his mom’s store for some breakfast, so we switched directions and headed towards town instead of my house.

We phased quickly in the forest by the beach and tugged on our clothes. The convenience store where Embry’s mom worked was located just at the edge of town. We could usually slip in and out without getting seen, since it was frequented mostly by tourists instead of locals due to its proximity to First Beach. We were so caught up discussing the new vampire development that we weren’t paying attention as we rounded the corner and walked smack into Quil.

Sh*t. Quil’s face went blank – first in shock at the sight of us – and then his face darkened. His eyes were hard behind the glasses that were perpetually slipping down his nose and his lips were drawn together so tightly that they were practically white. He unconsciously straightened up his shoulders, as if he were preparing himself for a fight.

Sh*t sh*t sh*t! After a month of successfully avoiding him and avoiding a confrontation, it was there, right in front of us. I could feel Embry holding himself tensely next to me, waiting for me to make the first move. I finally appreciated how hard it must have been for him – the time that he had run into me and Quil after he had transformed – and was forced to fend us off with the same stupid things that we were about to tell Quil.

But I didn’t get a chance to say anything because Quil suddenly pivoted on his heel and walked away from us without a second glance. His shoulders were shaking with – anger, frustration, sadness, I wasn’t sure what – but his steps were quick and deliberate as he walked away from us.

“Quil, wait!” I called before I could help it. Embry hit my arm. I knew he was telling me to let it go. That it was better if we didn’t even talk to him, but I had to. Quil’s angry retreat stung me. It was bad enough when Embry deserted us, but at least I still had Quil. And now … he was alone. And it wasn’t fair.

“Quil!” I shouted again. Quil paused but didn’t turn around.

“Quil!” I called again as I closed the distance between us. Embry followed at my heels, dragging his feet. He clearly didn’t think this was a good idea. “I’m sorry. I really am, man. I can’t explain. I wish I could. You’ll understand soon, I promise …”

I winced as I realized that I sounded like Billy. I was saying exactly the same things that Billy had said to me when Embry disappeared and I remembered that it had infuriated me at the time. But I floundered helplessly, unable to find any other way to explain it without giving away the secret.

Quil must have sensed my anxiety, because he turned around to look at me critically. He looked me up and down and then did the same thing to Embry, taking in all of the changes that had happened – the hair, the tattoo, the clothes - then he made a strange sound between a laugh and a snort.

“That’s the best you can come up with - after a month of just blowing me off?” He held up his hands as he saw me move to speak. “Forget it. I don’t want to hear it. I’m done here.”

“No, Quil, really!”

I reached out to snag his arm. The blazing heat of his skin jolted my fingers and I pulled my hand back in shock. I stared down numbly at my fingers. Sh*t sh*t sh*t. This was not good news. I knew that it was inevitable, but I was hoping that it wouldn’t happen for a while. Embry nudged me and I looked up at him. I could see the same question in his eyes. I nodded abruptly and his face fell. It looked like Quil was going to be joining us sooner than we had thought.

“What!?” Quil demanded as he watched the little exchange between me and Embry.

The two of us started guiltily and immediately mumbled, “Nothing, nothing.”

“Fine. I’m outta here. Don’t come after me. Don’t talk to me. I’m done.” He reiterated as he stalked off. I made a move to follow him, but this time Embry grabbed my arm.

“Don’t,” he said in a low warning voice.

“But … we can’t just let him …” I sputtered.

“If we make him angry, it’ll set off the transformation earlier,” Embry replied thoughtfully, though his eyes dark and unhappy. “The best thing we can do for him is to give him a few more days of normalcy. I don’t want to force the change before it has to happen.”

“Oh, right. Sh*t.” I sighed heavily as I pushed my hands through my hair in frustration. “This sucks.”

We stood there and watched as Quil disappeared onto a side street and out of sight. That’s when I heard Embry’s watch ping softly. It was noon. And I was late meeting Bella. I made my apologies to Embry, but he just waved me off as I took off.

When I arrived at home a few minutes later, there was no orange truck in sight, but I saw the recent tire marks in the muddy grass. Bella must have come and left. Sh*t. I hoped she hadn’t gone to the beach.

Billy barely looked up from his paper as I dashed into the house. “She’s said she’s waiting for you to keep your promise. She said you would know what that meant.”

He looked up at me then, his eyebrows raised quizzically. I just grinned at him in response before taking off again. I didn’t bother to phase since the cliffs were only a few miles away. I spent enough time as a wolf these days that it was nice to get to spend some time in my human form.

I hugged the coastline as I ran north. The morning had been warm and sunny, but I could see the dark ominous grey clouds rolling in across the ocean. The wind was getting rough. You could tell by the choppy waves that were pounding the shoreline, pummeling the rocks with the type of fury that indicated a big storm was brewing. I was glad to have the weather as an excuse to beg off without having to tell Bella about Victoria. I didn’t want to stress her out more than she already was.

I saw the orange truck parked in the parking lot of Second Beach, so I scanned the beach but it was entirely deserted. Not a surprise given the weather. Frowning, I followed the hiking trail that led north from the rocky beach and climbed up to the cliffs where I had promised to take Bella cliff-diving. I expected to see her at any minute, hiking up the trails, after all – I wasn’t that late - but I didn’t see her on my way up.

My stomach was beginning to churn now. What if Victoria had gotten to her? We knew she was probably heading north after her foray this morning. Maybe she saw Bella waiting at the beach and took her. I figured that I should just get to the summit and make sure Bella wasn’t there before I panicked, so I picked up my pace. The trees whipped by me in a blur as I ascended the cliff in minutes.

I saw her just then – her back to me as she stood at the summit looking out onto the ocean – her purple hoodie was a stark contrast to the bright green budding leaves on the trees around her. I breathed a heavy sigh of relief. She was safe. Victoria hadn’t gotten to her just yet.

And that’s when I realized where she was standing. Right at the precipice. I saw her clench her fists as her whole body tensed up. She bent her knees slightly and took a deep breath. She was going to jump. I started sprinting – the pounding of my heartbeat racing in my ears - somehow, I knew even then, that I had to get there in time or else my life was never going to be the same again.

← Chapter 13: Waiting      At the Cliffs:: Chapter 1: 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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