Jacob asks Bella a very important question. Oneshot.
I actually wrote this about a month before New Moon was released, so please keep that in mind when reading. Although, I suppose it could still happen in the future. This was the first piece of Twilight fanfiction that I ever wrote, no be nice. :)
1. Worth It
Rating 5/5 Word Count 2312 Review this Chapter
‘We bury love; forgetfulness grows over it like grass,
That is a thing to weep for. Not the dead.'
-- Clarice Stasz Stoll
x x x
This place shouldn't have been so familiar, she realized with an internal cringe; the nostalgic staccato of heavy rain and peels of thunder rung clear in her ears as she pulled the car to a stop. Why she was here was an explanation that eluded her and, being what she was, that was something that never happened. But this time, she really couldn't find any foundation for why she had come. She'd been past this place so many times in the last thirty years...so why was she here now?
It was forbidden.
Returning to one's ‘past life' was an action that surpassed her kind's only, yet most sacred law of discovery. And although the concept of immortality or rather, the possibility of remaining the same age as when you ‘disappeared' was completely mythical to human beings, it was something that they had never risked, as exposure was punishable by death. She knew her kind didn't die easily...and just the thought of how they could kill a vampire was enough to make her shiver.
Yet someone had taken that chance; letting her into his world of impossibility and monstrosity, and now she was apart of it - as reliant on him as he was on her. In the end, he had lost his defiant battle to keep her human. Unable to bear the thought of living without her, he had transformed her into himself-a creature that all around seemed the perfect being of beauty, speed and strength...the only flaw being the absence of a ‘living' body. Blood evaporated from their veins; their hearts never beating; their eyes never closing...
She jumped out of the car without a second thought and half-ran towards the verandah to escape the downpour. She briskly combed the water out of her chocolate brown hair, trying to make herself look slightly less disheveled then she already was.
"You here to see the house?" someone asked from behind her, and she jumped at the sound of their voice. The rain must have covered his scent. "The real estate agent didn't tell me anyone was coming..."
She turned to face him, and was immediately hit with an onslaught of Déjà vu. "Not really," she said distractedly, carefully analyzing his tanned features for some sort of clue that might trigger a long forgotten memory. "Just keeping dry." She shrugged, her topaz eyes shining brightly through the foggy gloom.
"Yeah...didn't think that someone like you would be interested," he said, smiling. "What a beautiful girl with a Porsche would be doing in a place like this certainly has me stumped."
She nodded, uncomfortable with his compliment. She watched him run a hand through his long, black hair. Something about him was familiar to her, which she found irritating for some reason. Perhaps she had known him when she was still human...everything she knew of that life was so vague now. It was just as Edward had said - human memories did indeed fade.
"How old are you?" he asked her suddenly, his lips twitching as he fought a smile.
"Nineteen," she answered promptly. She heard him laugh softly, trying to cover it with a cough. She was miffed.
"A little young to be buying a house aren't you? Although I suppose you aren't short on money," he said more seriously this time, eyes drifting back to her car. When she said nothing, he decided he'd lay off a bit...perhaps he'd come on too strongly with his blunt country humor. "Why don't you come inside for some coffee or something? It's quite colder out here and you look as though you could use something to warm you up. I don't think I've ever seen someone so pale."
She couldn't figure him out...he seemed nice enough, but there was something in his expression that made her believe that he expected her to turn down his request. "I don't really feel like coffee, but I'll come in to keep warm if you don't mind," she said after some thought. She'd mainly been wondering if she might look suspicious refusing coffee, but then decided that she was just paranoid - humans did it all the time.
"Sure," he agreed and opened the screen door without another word, allowing her to enter first.
She couldn't believe that nothing in this house had changed... and she had to stifle a gasp when she saw it. Out of all the human memories she had left; only two had remained sharp and vivid. One being her parents, and the other being the house she'd lived in when she met her vampire boyfriend. The kitchen remained as plain and shabby as it always was, the furniture all still in the right places. Even the lounge room hadn't changed - the somewhat hideous floral patterns on the couches, although faded, still remained the way she had remembered them. Even the light emitting through the windows didn't seem to have altered in the slightest; still muted by the heavy, overcast clouds. She found herself suddenly curious if the rest of the house had changed. Probably not, she thought.
"Have a seat," the man offered, snapping her out of her pleasant walk down memory lane.
"Thanks," she smiled and accepted it willingly as she watched him make himself a cup of coffee.
"What's your name?" she asked, politely trying to make small-talk.
He watched her cautiously, and she wondered why. "Jacob...my name's Jacob Black." He was quiet after that; watching as her face scrunched up in genuine confusion. That name sounded very familiar, yet she continued to come up with nothing - only vague, undistinguishable characters that floated amongst her meticulous recollection of the house.
He decided to distract her. "Do you know this house at all?"
"No," but she had answered to quickly, and he stifled a giggle as she grew more uneasy.
"So what's your name?" he asked casually, watching her over the rim of his cup as he took a swig of caffeine.
But she ignored him. "Do you live by yourself?" she asked calmly whilst looking out the window. She hoped the storm would pass soon. He smiled widely as she successfully dodged that bullet, yet came into the firing line of another one. "No," and he shook his head sadly, his happy demeanor instantly vanishing. "I live here with a friend of sorts...I care for him now because he's too old to look after himself properly...he's always lived in this house; ever since he was young. He kind of went into a guilt spiral after his daughter died. He was convinced that it was his fault that he didn't find her when she went missing...that he didn't try hard enough. He's almost given up on life since then - poor man."
She stopped breathing.
"What about your father?" she asked, trying to keep him from noticing how pathetic she must look, but ridiculously her voice broke. When he looked up with concern, she tried to brush it off. "You're good at telling stories, did you know that?" she said as if to excuse herself for the tearless sobs building in her throat.
"I did, actually. Someone had told me that, once upon a time."
"They were right."
"So?" she prompted, merciless in her pursuit for a distraction.
"My father died a few years back." He shook his head and rolled his eyes, "superstitious until the very end."
This confused her. "What do you mean?"
He sighed. "Well you see, my father was a very good friend to the man I take care of now" - he was careful not to mention his name she noticed, and that unnerved her - "and he was convinced that she didn't die." He grew angry as he finished, watching his guest carefully as he folded his arms loosely over his chest and reclined in his chair. There were no real visible signs that she was uncomfortable with the conversation, so he decided to turn it up a notch.
"What did he think happened to her?" she was failing miserably in her quest to sound indifferent.
He was blunt. "That she ran away with her boyfriend."
"And what do you think?" she asked anxiously, and he sounded livid when he answered. "I knew her quite well...and I would never have thought that she'd be heartless enough to leave her parents and friends to suffer like that. So she has to be dead," his tone sounded honest, yet she couldn't help but hear some sort of sarcasm laced in his words. Perhaps she was imagining it.
He slumped back in his chair and waited...watching. She seemed to be fighting within herself over some decision. He waited patiently for her to decide on how to respond.
"She must have loved him though - her boyfriend I mean," she said firmly. "I mean, to give up her family must have taken a lot of willpower."
"Speaking from personal experience?" Jacob asked suddenly, leaning forward on the table. She backed away, taken aback by the intensity of his stare. "Not really, no," was all she was able to mumble.
"Tell me something," he started, approaching the conversation from a different angle. "Do you have someone you love?"
Despite her minds assurance that this man was by all means a stranger, she didn't find herself uncomfortable with answering that question at all. "Yes."
"Would you give up anything for him?"
"Yes," she said curtly.
"Would you give up your own parents?"
She stumbled over her words for a moment, and decided to close her eyes hoping that it would make it easier to answer. ‘I did give up my own parents.' "Yes," she replied finally, although her voice was breathless and shaky.
Jacob's voice was barely audible...and sad when he responded. "Why?"
"I don't expect you to understand," she snapped.
"Try me," he challenged, leaning towards her once more. It was the first time in the hour that she'd known him that she picked up on the scent of the blood pumping through his veins. The familiar feeling of venom churning in her mouth made her realize that she hadn't fed for nearly ten days straight. She would have to leave soon, she realized, if she didn't want to hurt this poor human. But first, he deserved an answer to his question.
"I love him more than life itself," she said simply.
His expression was unfathomable when she opened her eyes. "Are you happy?" he asked.
She smiled despite the tense atmosphere. "Very."
"How old are you, Jacob?"
"Forty-five," he answered, the corners of his mouth dipping into the shape of a frown.
She smiled. "You seem younger to me," she said in earnest, rising to her feet.
"I could say that same of you...but you seem older to me - your eyes say that you know a hell of a lot for someone your age," he said skeptically whilst raising an eyebrow. She only nodded nervously without meeting his eyes and then he noticed her reaching for her coat. "You leaving?"
"Yes. The rain has stopped now."
"I'll walk you to the door then," he offered, and although she thought it completely unnecessary, she allowed him to anyway. When they reached the doorway, they stopped. "Thank-you for your hospitality," she said formally, feeling slightly intimidated. He was very tall - well over six feet. "Goodbye, Jacob...it was nice meeting you." He only nodded and watched as she walked towards the car. She opened the door and just before she got in, he called out.
"Hey Bella! Was he really worth it?" her hand froze on the door as she whipped around towards the man on the porch in shock. Something inside her mind snapped open and it all came flooding back to her then - Jacob was Billy Black's son; the boy who wanted to be a mechanic...they'd both been friends with her father, Charlie Swan...Jacob had never believed in his father's story's of vampires...
...until now, that is.
She smiled widely back at the fully matured man on the balcony, grateful that he'd turned into such a nice guy. She always hoped he would. She would always been in debt to him for taking care of her father; the last she could do was give him the answer that her family had agonized over these past thirty years.
‘Was he worth it?'
Edward had often asked her that himself and her reply was always the same, and dangerously easy to say even after everything Jacob had just told her.
"He was worth everything and more," she proclaimed loudly so he could hear clearly...so that everyone could hear. She was surprised when he answered; she could tell he was on the verge of crying. "Then why did you come back?" he called desperately.
She thought for a moment, and while the answer was impossible to give at the beginning when she first arrived, now, it seemed ridiculously obvious. "To tell you just that," she said contently. She had every intention of getting in and driving away, but her body froze half-way there. She had to ask him before she left for good. "Hey Jacob," she called, and he looked up at her curiously. "How did you know it was me?"
He smiled for a moment, and his audible sharp intake of breath told her that he was crying, but he laughed through his tears. "Who do you think took over as head of the Quileute tribe when my dad died?"
"Ah," she said lamely, flashing him one last bright smile before she got into her car and drove away without another word.
Jacob stayed outside on the verandah, staring after her even after she had long since left. "I'm happy for you," he whispered, his words lost on the strong breeze. "Really..."