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Bella meant to tell her friends about the wedding on her own terms. But when word gets out before she can prepare, the whole town is soon buzzing with rumors about the police chief’s daughter and that Cullen boy.


ATTENTION READERS: DO NOT STEAL MY STORIES. Someone has stolen some of my stories from this website and posted them as their own on fanfiction.net. It is plaigarism, it is stealing and it is illegal. Read, enjoy -- but don't steal. This takes place after the last chapter of Eclipse -- before the Epilogue. I originally meant for this to be a oneshot, but it came out much longer than I'd imagined. So I've broken it into chapters. The good news for all of you -- the story is already written, so I will be able to post updates fairly regularly. I just hope you all still post nice reviews -- they will encourage me to post the next chapter! Also, I'd like to say a huge THANKS to addictedtotwilight. I was got about halfway through this story and hit a wall, so to speak. She kindly helped my get past it.

6. Chapter 6

Rating 5/5   Word Count 1066   Review this Chapter

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We agreed that Edward and I would both go to Jake’s house to talk; true, he wasn’t supposed to be on the reservation according to the treaty, but he and Carlisle had already broken that accord when they helped save Jake’s life after the fight with Victoria and the newborns. That item on the treaty just seemed less important after that, though I’m sure the rest of the pack wasn’t thrilled with how casually we’d thrown aside the agreement. Especially considering last night’s conversation with Quil and Embry.

I tried to clear my head as Edward drove us to La Push. It wasn’t ever a long drive, and it flew by even more quickly with Edward at the wheel. All too soon we had pulled up outside Jake’s house and Edward was looking over at me, waiting to get out of the car until I was ready. From the corner of my eye, I saw Jake standing on his front porch – leaning against a crutch for support. I shook my head once more, trying to empty out all the remembered voices floating around in there – each one telling me what I should be doing; how I was making a mistake. But I knew what I should be doing – and I knew it wasn’t a mistake. But all those words … they came very close to shaking my resolve.

I took another deep breath and nodded, then stepped out of the car. Edward was at my side instantly, holding my hand tightly as we walked at a human pace to greet Jake. “Hello,” I said, my voice low.

Jake rolled his eyes and hobbled down the stairs, gruffly leading the way towards the beach and away from the house. Edward and I followed silently. We sat on some smoothed rocks overlooking the shore. It was gray overhead, but the clouds were high and it was warm outside. Edward pulled me close against his side, his hand burning into my waist; he was obviously perturbed by Jake’s thoughts.

“So,” I said. “What do you want to talk about?”

“Why are you eloping?”

I balked at his question, caught off guard by both his bluntness and the words themselves. “Eloping?”

“Yeah, why are you eloping? I mean, not that I care, but if you’re going to get married Bella, you should do it right. And Charlie – you owe him that much at least.” It seemed like Jake struggled to get all the words out coherently. He was still unhappy with my decision; still hurt.

“I’m not eloping,” I said. “Alice is planning the wedding – where did you hear that?”

He ignored my question. “You’re not pregnant, are you?”

I stood up angrily. “Oh not this again!”

Edward pulled me back down beside him, explaining to Jake. “She just punched the girl who started that rumor.” He seemed oddly proud of me, even if he disapproved.

“All right, Bella! I hope you didn’t break your hand again,” Jake said grinning. I chose to ignore that comment. “I didn’t think you were pregnant,” he continued, serious once again. “I mean, your boyfriend … er, fiancée, being a vampire, and all. I didn’t think you guys could have kids.”

“No,” Edward said. “We can’t.”

I huffed, angry. “Is this what you wanted? To find out which rumors were true?”

“You owe me that much,” Jake replied. I didn’t argue, so he continued. “Are you really planning to break the treaty?”

Ah. I sighed. Understanding hit me like an anchor. He’d spoken to Quil and Embry; he might have even sent them over last night as scouts. “You know what I’m planning, Jake.”

He swallowed loudly, glancing towards Edward. Clearly, he would have preferred to talk to me alone. But he and I had already had this conversation in private; the night I made my choice. Consciously and with great pain and effort. “Just … don’t forget you have another option,” Jake said, his eyes burning into mine.

I opened my mouth to respond – not sure what I would say – but Edward cut me off. “Must you go through this again?” He stared fiercely at Jacob. “She’s already cried enough …”

Jake scoffed and shook his head. “I knew you couldn’t be as selfless as she said you were.”

“I’m hardly selfless,” he agreed. “But I will do whatever makes Bella happiest – even if it means letting her go. But she’s made it abundantly clear to me that that isn’t what she wants. I’m at her service, completely. But I’ve watched her cry over you for long enough. Are you so hurt that you want to put her through this – this torture – again and again? Why can’t you just let her be happy?”

He was silent.

“Jake, are you really going to let Sam come after us if … when we break the treaty?” I’d meant for my words to come out forcefully, but my voice was small and weak despite my best efforts.

Jake glared at us, but still didn’t respond. He didn’t need to. Edward heard his thoughts.

“He won’t let the Pack hurt you,” Edward said.

“And the rest of my family?” I asked. I was less worried about myself and more concerned that the Pack would come after the Cullens, even if they left me alone.

Jake closed his eyes briefly, then stared intently at me. “If it’s what you really want … I won’t let them take it away from you.”

“Thank you,” I said, then stood to leave, Edward still holding my hand. “Goodbye, Jake.”

He let out a huffy breath. “It sounds so final when you say it like that.”

“Isn’t it?” I didn’t want to put him through this anymore. I didn’t want to put myself through it, either. It was just too painful – for both of us; and each time we hashed it out the wounds reopened. If we kept this up, they would never heal; never scar over.

Jake sighed. “I guess …”

“I’ll still come back if you want me to,” I said, reminding him of my promise. The idea terrified me, but I would visit … after … if he asked me.

“Sure, sure,” he said, dismissing me. “Bye Bella.”

I nodded, sighed and turned and walked away – with Edward at my side.

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