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Woman's Best Friend

Summary:
Everyone deserves love. No matter their flaws, no matter their problems or their crimes. Love is what lets us call ourselves human. Even if we aren't.


Notes:
Spoilers: New Moon. Major OC. Jacob-focused.


2. Chapter One

Rating 0/5   Word Count 2081   Review this Chapter

Chapter One

Jacob Black went back home in a somewhat dazed state that his father did not fail to notice.

Instead of trying to get through to him, which Billy immediately knew would be impossible, he instead called Sam Uley. Sam said that he could sense it now that he was paying attention, and if Billy wanted he could go over and speak with Jacob. Billy thought about it, decided it wasn’t serious, and that it could wait until the next day—so that Emily wouldn’t get annoyed, and to allow it a chance to go away on its own.

It didn’t.

Jake could hardly sleep that night, which in and of itself was odd, since werewolves need all the rest they can get. At breakfast he wouldn’t eat, once again, very odd, for they need as much energy as they can get as well. Billy decided that it was getting serious when Jacob wandered back into his room, still out of it, to lay back down, eyes never closing. Billy called Sam, who came right over.

Sam didn’t even go into Jacob’s room. He knew as soon as he had arrived that human methods of communication would be useless to attempt. Instead he spoke with Billy in the kitchen, trying to figure out the details of the situation.

"I don’t know much," Billy admitted. "Jacob left last night at around mid-afternoon, to survey the area. He didn’t find anything, but didn’t come back until after sunset. Sometimes he likes to walk First Beach or go for a swim." He smiled, as did Sam, knowing perfectly well Jacob’s motivations in such cold weather.

Sam pondered Billy’s words for a long moment. "I’ll go check out First Beach. To see if I can find some sort of clue. Perhaps you could call...?" He trailed off.

Billy frowned. "Do you think that this might be serious?" Disbelief and worry colored his tone.

Sam paused at the front door. "Not dangerous, if that’s what you are asking. The rest of us would have sensed a true threat. But something has changed, that much is obvious in how Jacob is behaving, and it never hurts to check out all possibilities." He smiled a carefree smile. "Don’t worry about it, Billy. Jake is a teenager, afterall, and part-wolf. That can’t be good for his hormones."

They shared a laugh, but it was short and heavy. Sam left, and Billy was left to brood, wondering if something was wrong with his son, and if it was indeed more serious than Sam led him to believe.

XXX

Lyn didn’t have any sort of problem living in Forks, Washington. Everyone was exceedingly nice to her. She had just moved there with her aunt and uncle, who travel a lot, and run separate businesses that rendered them busy most of the time. The small town was a good environment with her, small and safe, cozy even. She was a very warm person. The first day that she was out and about she got a job working at the local bank, and the next day she was all registered and ready to start as a Senior at Forks High School.

Everyone already knew about her as she drove into the parking lot. She was early, but not terribly so, and about the time she emerged from the front office, ready to start, people had already begun to arrive. Soon a small flock of her peers surrounded her. Jessica had already met her, thanks to her mom, a fact she didn’t neglect to brag on. But Mike had his first class with her. Lyn felt as if she was a piece of bread being fought over by angry geese, though the sensation didn’t bother her. She had been fought over by worse.

The day went smoothly, and she didn’t catch even a single glimpse of Forks’s main attraction until lunchtime. And then there they were.

In fact, the Cullens noticed her before she noticed them. She was speaking animatedly with Jessica as they emerged from the lunch-line when Edward looked up and physically saw her for the first time. He frowned, his nostrils flaring, something that Alice did not fail to notice.

"What is it?" she asked under her breath, but at a human pace, so that Bella could hear. Actually, Bella was the entire reason she was speaking out loud in the first place.

Edward frowned. "It’s the new student."

Alice looked back swiftly, almost too quick to be noticed. Lyn was being escorted to the other half of their table. "So? She’s ‘just another human’, as you always put it."

Edward rolled his eyes. "She’s different, I mean. Like Bella. Not...boring." He struggled to explain it without offending the human girl sitting next to him.

Bella looked up and spotted Lyn. She was ivory-skinned, very much like her, but with more red in her long, thick hair, and more wave; her eyes were also brown, but leaning towards hazel, tinted in green; she wore black jeans and a long-sleeved blouse in a pleasant teal. Lyn didn’t appear shy to her, but something about her eyes betrayed the fact that she wasn’t much interested in the peers that surrounded her, that she was just being polite—naturally more sociable and comfortable than Bella, but just as removed from the world around her, and just as obligated to pretend.

"We should invite her to sit with us," she said innocently, which shocked both of her companions, who gaped at her openly. She frowned, flushing slightly. "What?"

"That would be a rather odd request to voice to her, don’t you think?" Edward hissed, somewhat amused.

Alice giggled. "He’s right. You might scare her away."

Bella shook her head and stood up. "No. I won’t." She sounded confident. As she began to approach the new student, her vampire family began to realize that she was serious. Where had all this bravery come from? Finally she was showing some signs of change; after everything she had been through, it only made sense that she would be a bit less self-conscious around mere humans.

Lyn looked up when the rest of the table fell silent. Bella stood over her, smiling kindly. She saw in Bella what Bella has seen in her earlier; a kindred spirit. Her smile brightened and warmed, much more sincere than before, proving Bella’s hypotheses true.

"Would you mind if I stole Lyn for the rest of the lunch hour?" she asked the others politely, smiling a sweet smile. From the other end of the table Edward’s eyes widened. Then his smirk returned. Once again, And you accuse me of dazzling people.

Jessica stuttered, an expression of shock that the entire table shared, unused to having Bella acknowledge her on cloudy days, and Mike was the first to answer. "S-Sure," he allowed, trying to get on Lyn’s good graces where he had long before failed with Bella. "If Lyn wants to, and all."

Lyn smiled warmly at him, and he fairly melted in his seat. "Thanks, you guys." She stood slowly, graceful in her care, and took her tray with her. In silence she followed Bella back to where she sat before.

Bella took her seat beside Edward and Alice scooted over to make room. The two human girls sat diagonal from one another, and for some reason Lyn didn’t consider it odd that Edward and Alice had no trays of food set before them.

"We haven’t met yet. I’m Lyn Starling," Lyn introduced, holding out her hand to shake Bella’s.

"Hello, Lyn. I’m Bella Swan," Bella reciprocated, taking the proffered hand and grasping it familiarly.

Something flashed in Lyn’s eyes, and Edward read her thoughts. So this is Isabella Swan. Why am I not surprised? He thought that the words were odd, but the intent and feeling behind them was not malicious, and so he figured she had just heard about her before—but why wasn’t she surprised, exactly? Had Mike gushed on about her, or one of the other boys? Or was it something else?

"You were a newcomer last year around this time, correct?" Lyn inquired, taking a bite of her apple after she asked her question.

Bella nodded, taking a sip of her lemonade to wash down her pizza. "You heard about me, then?" she laughed.

Edward nodded minutely, to himself. She senses that Bella is as out-of-place here as she is. It’s obvious to anyone with half a brain.

Lyn laughed as well, and nodded. "Forks doesn’t get much fresh blood," she observed.

"You’re even fresher than I was," Bella pointed out. "My father, at least, lives her, and has lived here, and I used to. You are a completely new arrival."

"Like the Cullens?" she inquired softly. She looked to Edward and Alice, but not in an awkward or pointed way, just politely as she had just made mention of them.

Edward hid a smirk and Alice narrowed her eyes at him. Don’t start, Edward!

"But oh the irony," he breathed, unnoticed by the human element.

Alice kicked him under the table and turned her gaze back to Bella and Lyn.

Lyn seemed very comfortable, not only to be near the Cullens, but also to—basically—act as if they did not exist. Not in a rude or negligent way, of course, but in a way that they obviously preferred when it came to outsiders.

"Yes, like the Cullens," Bella laughed, less adept at hiding her amusement. She drowned it in another bite of pizza, and though Edward’s eyes widened for a moment at the possibility of her choking on it, Lyn didn’t notice the difference.

From there, Bella and Lyn’s conversation trailed off to more human things, although their discussions were ones Edward could easily appreciate. They spoke of books, and music, and the ocean—things that adult women spoke of, not teenage girls. On the other end of the table girls giggled over boys and celebrities and magazines. These two were of a different world, Edward observed, and there was something about Lyn that struck him as odd beyond that—not in an unfamiliar way.

After lunch Bella walked with Lyn to her next class. It turned out that they had it together. Edward was ignored but not forgotten, Bella’s hand resting gently in his as he followed along idly.

After school Bella and Lyn ran into one another again, in the parking lot, before getting into their respective vehicles. It was then that they realized, by some twist of ironic fate, that they had parked next to one another, and that both of their cars were trucks—Chevies. Only Lyn’s was black and newer, paint glossy and frame lighter. It could go over fifty miles-per-hour.

They laughed over the situation and before Lyn could climb into her car Bella stopped her. "Wait, Lyn," she called, trotting up to the driver’s side door. Edward caught her before she stumbled, and she blushed.

Lyn smiled understandingly. "Yeah, Bella?"

"I was wondering," she began, catching her breath, "if you’d like to go to the movies in Port Angeles sometime?"

The expression on Lyn’s face confused Edward; it conflicted with her words and her feelings and intentions. Her brow furrowed; she thought, But I wanted to go find puppy-boy first—no, that’s not a good idea!; she said, "I would love to!"; and she meant that she really wanted to spend more time with Bella.

Edward’s head spun. Now he understood what boys meant when they said teenage girls were confusing. He had just never found human teenage girls so complex before these two.

Bella smiled happily. "Great. When are you free?"

Lyn laughed softly, as if the idea of such a question was silly. "I have all the time in the world." As if I have a curfew. Or a life.

Bella nodded. "Good. How about tonight?"

Lyn smiled at the thought. "Sounds good." I really shouldn’t go after him, anyway. "I’ll meet you at your house, if you give me instructions."

Bella frowned. "Well, I figured that you don’t know your way around like I do, so I thought I would drive..."

Lyn nodded innocently. "You will. I can park my truck at your house until we get back."

Bella’s frown deepened in her confusion; she finally felt the missing puzzle-piece that Edward had been aware of since lunch. "Wouldn’t it make more sense for me to pick you up?"

Lyn shrugged as she hopped into her Chevy. "I’ll meet you at your place, okay, Bella?" she asked, and suddenly her deep brown eyes were guarded, warning. It’s not safe here, for you, for anyone; not even before dark.

Bella nodded mutely. "Okay. See you then."

Edward didn’t speak until Bella was belted in and Lyn already on the highway. "I don’t understand what’s going on here," he whispered, and that sent shivers up Bella’s spine.