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Summary:
JacobOC Everything reminded him of her. He knew he had to get over this and home was not the place to do it. So, he ran away and it seems like a stranger and her family will be the ones who can heal him. JacobOC ECLIPSE SPOILERS Book One of the Imprints of Life series. FINAL CHAPTER HAS BEEN POSTED! AU


Notes:


2. Chapter 2

Rating 3.5/5   Word Count 2596   Review this Chapter

Ben Dawson was an interesting human. After all, how many men take thieving five feet seven inched teenagers into his home and make them feel like family? Well that's just what Ben did and I am forever grateful. He has no idea how completed my life now is.

I remember the five mile walk to his farm. Ben chatted about his work and what my duties would be. He told me about his wife Emily and his four children s. Sally, who was eight, Brittany who was twelve, Samara who was sixteen and Jack who was twenty. He joked about having to pay for help because none of his girls wanted to break their nail and he only had one son. He amended his statement right away saying:

"No one works harder then my girls. They aren't just strong enough to handle something's. Like that fence you re-broke." He looked at me with that raised eyebrow look I soon knew meant he was being serious. It wasn't menacing, but when he used it everyone jumped to obey.

I had given him a sheepish smile. "I'll fix it right after breakfast."

"Good boy." He starred at me again, as if waiting for something.

"Without pay," I added, as if I would let him pay me for fixing damage I had caused.

His grin widened. "I knew you were a smart kid."

That was all he said for the rest of the walk and soon we were at his house.

It was what you would describe as...lovely. It was obvious in the bright sun that Emily Dawson loved her home. The large porch was covered in pots of flowers and a patio set sat waiting for the family to relax in it. The house itself was white with light violent trim. Not very farm like in Jacob's opinion. He could hear the women talking before he was even mounting the steps of the porch.

"Brittany, set the table."

"But mom, I'm studying."

"Please."

There was a huff and the clatter of plates and cutlery as Ben opened the screen door. Jacob looked over the shorter man's head at the scene before him. A woman with blonde hair stood with her back to them, stirring away at a sizzling pan. A girl, presumably Brittany, was walking around putting forks and napkins at everyone's place. A smaller dark haired creature sat reading a book. She was biting her lip on concentration.

Brittany looked up wide eyed, passed her father's shoulder. "Dad, who is this?"

Emily turned from the stove clutching her spatula. Her surprised face turned wary as Ben stepped inside. "Ben?"

"This is Jacob Black. I'm hiring him to take Al's place." The tone in his voice left no room for argument and Emily sighed in defeat.

She smiled at Jacob, though the wariness didn't leave her eyes. "Welcome to our home."

Jacob nodded his head. "Thank you ma'am." Might as well be polite.

The littlest one, Sally, was starring at him. "You're gigantic. Does that run in your tribe?"

"Sally!" her mother warned.

Jacob on the other hand smiled. "Only sometimes."

"Oh." She paused. "What tribe are you from?"

"Quileutes," he said after a pause.

"Do you live in Washington."

There was a longer pause then the first. "No," he said finally. Great, a genius. Hopefully she doesn't know the Legends. The thought nearly made him laugh.

"That's enough Sally," her mother said transferring the breakfast meat from the pan to a plate. "Put your book away, it's almost time to eat."

"But, I can almost solve the Cartesian Plane problems." She turned to Brittany. "We weren't counting correctly, you had the negative and positive sides mixed up."

Brittany blushed, but glared at her little sister.

"Sally, do as you're told."

"Fine," the eight year old muttered climbing from her chair. She was shorter then Jacob first expected. The top of her head hardly met his hip. She was dressed in a navy skirt and white top. Sally looked at he mother reproachfully before flouncing out of the room.

"Does she have school?" asked Jacob confused.

Ben nodded. "Summer school. She wanted to be a grade ahead. She gets the brains from her mother, by the way. No school today though, it's Sunday. Now that I think about it, it's over. She just likes the uniform."

Sally came back and sat primly back in her chair. "You can sit next to me," she told Jacob with a grin. "This is Samara's chair, but she's staying with her mom until next week. Samara's my sister. She's the oldest." Sally paused to take a breath and Jacob slid into his seat, sitting sideways so as his long legs could not fit comfortably under the table.

"Samara needs to be picked up next week. Her mom lives in Salem which is fifty or so miles from her. Dad doesn't want her driving that far by herself. He said I could go with him. The town where I go to school is only five miles, but it's small. I want to see something bigger."

"Sally, can you be quiet long enough so we can say grace?" Emily asked setting the platter of sausage next to her husband and sitting down.

Sally obediently bowed her head and fell silent. Out of respect, Jacob did the same.

Ben cleared his throat. "For what we are about to receive, let us be truly grateful. Amen."

"Amen," the family repeated.

After that Emily served everyone. For the first time in weeks, Jacob took a bite of home cooked eggs. They were scrambled, not his favorite, but still they were the best thing he had tasted in awhile. Raw rabbits did not taste to good after awhile.

"You know, Sally," Brittany said with a smirk, holding up a sausage patty speared by her fork. "I think this might be Pearl. Or a part of her anyway."

"What! That's preposterous. Dad said Pearl went to the vet and had to be put down. She was to sick to eat."

"No. No. I think this is Pearl."

"DADDY!"

"Brit, I mean it. Don't start it."

Sally stuck her tongue out at her sister and looked back at her plate. A frown marred her small face as she starred at her meat. Using her fork she pushed it to the side and started on her eggs."

Emily sighed. "Sal, we told you the truth. She was to sick and the disease infected the meat. It's safe to eat."

Sally starred at her mother for a long time before spearing her meat and taking a bite. Jacob was thankful. He wanted the meat, but he didn't want to upset the little girl.

"Pearl was my pet pig," Sally informed him. "I'd never eat her."

"I see."

"She was a sweet pig. Liked to be scratched behind the ear. A lot of pigs do. Do you know anything about pigs?"

Jacob frowned. "My friend had a couple. We used to have to feed them."

"They eat a lot." She looked wryly at his plate which held a third helping. "A lot like you."

"Sally!"

Jacob narrowed his eyes in mock aggravation. "That's not very nice. I happen to need all the food I can get."

"I know!" Sally said cheerfully. "You run differently."

Jacob blinked at her, but didn't answer. Strange child.

After breakfast Jacob and Ben headed out the door. Before they were far Jacob heard Brittany asked. "Where did dad find him? The woods?"

"Brittany Anne Dawson, don't talk about people like that."

"Sorry," the girl murmured.

Jacob's attention was drawn away by Ben. "The men have an off day. It's Sunday and that's the off day...usually."

"I deserve this work." Jacob paused. "Sir, what day is it today?"

"Saturday the 11th of August."

Jacob almost stopped in his tracks. She had to be married by now. "Thank you, sir."

Jacob worked the rest of the day, hardly stopping to accept a glass of ice water from Sally. She stayed and watched for a while, chatting his ear off about her day, so he was careful about using his strength correctly. Finally he was done and headed back to the yard.

He was met by Ben who showed him the showers and his new bunk. It smelled strongly of tobacco and cologne. Around eight, Jacob passed out from exhaustion happy to be in a bed again.

He was startled awake the next morning by a pair of boots thumping against the wooden floor. Cracking his eyes he could see Phil pulling on his shoes. The other men were doing various morning routines. Jacob cursed himself for letting even more people sneak up on him in his sleep. Thank God he was practically indestructible.

He stirred and sat up, drawing a grin from Phil. "So, here's the guy who stole my clothing."

"He told you, eh," Jacob replied with a bland smile.

Phil shrugged. "Welcome to the team. I didn't know I had a good enough fashion sense to attract a teenager's taste."

"I had to take what I could get,"

Phil snorted. "Anyway, this is Jack and Patrick. I'm Phil."

"Jacob."

"Well, Jake-"

"Jacob," he interrupted tightly. Bella called him Jake, so did his dad and his friends. No one else would.

"Jacob, we'll be working out in the field. I think you'll be staying in the barn with the hey and the horses."

Jacob wrinkled his nose. The scent of manure would be ten times as strong to him now. His eyes narrowed. "Can Sally get to me?"

The men laughed. "Met her have you?" Pat asked. "She show you up yet?"

"Nah, not yet. I don't doubt it's coming though. She talked my ear off yesterday."

"She does that," Jack put in. "Don't worry though she'll get bored soon and start a new hobby. If not her older sister's coming next week. Sally adores her."

"I noticed. She talked nonstop about her."

"Yeah, Samara's a sweet girl. Quiet though. She's been working her butt off to get a scholarship to a good college," Phil said proudly.

"Phil's in love with her," Patrick laughed.

"I watched her grow up and I was a comfort to her when that witch of a mother cheated. She's like my daughter," he told Jacob, ignoring Patrick's comment.

"She still goes around her mother?" Jacob asked, pulling on a clean shirt. If his mother had cheated and broken his family, he would hate her.

Phil fell silent and shrugged.

"It's more of a economical thing," Jack whispered. "Mom pays for her painting classes you see."

At Jacob's questioning look he added. "I was at the wedding when you all had breakfast. Sorry I couldn't meet you earlier."

"Well, enough yapping. Lets get to work."

It turned out Jacob was to mend more fences. This time it was the ones around the yard. He had the feeling that Ben was keeping him close to keep an eye on him and Sally was a spy yesterday in the field. He couldn't be offended, as he would have done the same in Ben's place. The mending soon became mindless and he was able to think...unfortunately.

He did a good job at controlling his thoughts most of the day, though thoughts of her did break through every once and a while. He felt that pain deep in his chest, like it was empty. I will not be pathetic! he growled to himself.

Once when he imagined Cullens' lips on hers, Jacob was tempted to drive a nail through his hand, just to distract himself. He drove that quickly from his mind. His mother had died because of self harm and Rachel nearly did. He would not dishonor his mother in that way.

After lunch he was joined by Sally. She had ditched the uniform for jeans and a tank top, but only because her mother had insisted on washing her school uniform. He had been informed about this right away. Soon, she began to talk about the Jane Austen book she had read.

"Personally, I think Colonel Brandon could have done better. He deserved more then Marianne could give him."

Who? Jacob made an agreeable sound and continued working.

"You have no clue what I'm talking about do you?"

"No. But when you talk about this book you go into a very good British accent."

"Really? I've been practicing. I'm talking about Sense and Sensibility. It's a novel."

Jacob shrugged. "I figured. I've never been one for reading for fun."

Sally looked scandalized.

"I rather play outside or go for a hike. Running is fun to." Especially if you can go faster then a jet!

Sally wrinkled her nose. "Running?"

Jacob continued his work with out commenting.

"What are you doing?"

"Making sure your chickens don't get out."

"But that's the pig pen."

"Exactly."

"What? You don't make sense...ever."

"Don't worry, neither do you."

"You're trying to make me mad, huh?"

"Only a little."

Sally was about to comment when Emily called from backdoor. "Sals, Samara's on the phone."

Sally squealed and ran towards her mother. "Bye Jacob!" she shouted over her shoulder.

Jacob just chuckled and shook his head.

After a week of mending fences, Jacob was done and able to go work with the men in the fields. He found digging fun. Proof that Edward Cullens was right about the dog thing. Damn him! It didn't matter, Jacob was distracted and only in his sleep would he think about her. Good thing he didn't need as much sleep as everyone else.

On the nights that he didn't sleep, Jacob would creep out of the bunk house and leave his clothes in an old log on the border of the woods. He would then spend his nights running. His favorite thing was to see how well he could dodge trees and other obstacles. Sometimes he cut it so close that he would clip his shoulder and go sprawling. He would have to wait a good hour for the bone to heal.

On off days he would hang around the farm, watching the animals graze. He even read, on Sally's recommendation and found he liked it. Jacob was a little miffed about the girl's collection of Anne Rice books and briefly wondered if her mother knew she had them.

"Samara's mom, Diane, loves vampire books so she buys them for Samara," Sally explained. "Sammy hates them though and gives them to me."

Jacob found he liked the girl already. He ended up reading a lot of Tom Jones books. They were interesting to him even if Sally hated it.

"I hate Anne Rice," he told her. "So to each their own."

Sally just huffed and stomped into the house.

Life had taken on a routine and he loved it. He was feeling at home again, though far from the happy person he knew he once was. He doubted he would find that again, but he would try to get some of it back. When his first paycheck was delivered Ben invited him to come to Salem with him and Sally.

"You can get some more clothes. Two is not enough unless you want to do laundry everyday. You're not paying for living expenses so get what you need."

Jacob agreed and prepared for the trip on the twenty first. As the day approached, Sally got more and more exited, jumping around and talking even more then usual. Jacob couldn't wait for the elusive older sister to arrive so she could distract the chatty genius.