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Edward leaves Bella for the second time...
Bella has suffered so much already, barely able to be called human almost...
She tries once again to lead a normal life as if nothing had gone wrong...
But when she goes off to college and meets some interesting people who could help her change her eternity, will memories be enough for her to accept?


13. Scolding

Rating 5/5   Word Count 2510   Review this Chapter

It had been all of two seconds before Jacob broke the silence by asking the stupidest question he could think up, in order to distract me, I assumed, and keep me talking, “Alaska still pretty cold?”

It got to me though and I laughed at his understated question. He smiled. “Yes, it’s still pretty cold up there,” I answered, still slightly amused.

“It never gets very hot up there does it?”

“No, not even as hot as it seems to get here.” And it does not get very hot at all, barely warm at all during the summer.

“Yeah, people always say it’s colder up north,” he replied, still happy with himself for having distracted me so easily. It was always like this with Jacob, especially when Maria wasn’t here. It got hard trying to keep Jake’s attention from her. Not that I craved attention much, but I still needed my sun. I felt like a wilting flower at times without him.

“They do say that.”

“Yup,” he nodded to himself, glancing over to watch the expression on my face. “And college?” he added.

“College has a heater,” I smiled, jokingly.

He laughed again. “That’s good news, but I was asking you how it was going,” he chuckled.

I smiled in response, not having needed the amendment, I had understood completely the first time. “Good,” I murmured, looking out the window. Good wasn’t exactly the truth. “I met someone,” I added quietly.

Jake nodded, staring ahead at the road. “Yeah, you told me you were seeing that Eliar guy. How’s that doing?”

I stared at my hands in my lap, keeping my gaze fixed on them as I contemplated telling him about Eliar or the actual thing I was referring to. “Umm, okay. He’s a really nice guy but-”

“But?” Jacob prodded.

“But I wasn’t talking about him,” I whispered, still looking down at my hands.

Who are you talking about then?” He asked me, sounding concerned and a little aggressive for unknown reasons.

“There’s . . .,” I started, hesitating. I sucked in a deep breath. “I met a different coven of vampires in Juneau.”

Jacob gasped, a complex look scribbled on his face, and the car abruptly stopped, just like that, where it had been gliding over the rocks, it squealed forward, pausing and jerking us forward suddenly. My back slammed into the seat and I turned to look at Jacob’s horror-struck expression.

What?” he demanded, hands gripped on the steering wheel, skin tight over his knuckles as everything seemed to freeze around us.

“Jacob! What’s wrong?!” I screeched, nervous. Was it really that surprising to him?

“You’re hanging out with a new pack of parasites? Are you-”

I cut him off instantly, already regretting having told him. “No, Jake. It’s not like that, they’re just like the . . . ,” I tried to force out the name, internally flinching, “Cullens.” I sighed. “They have gold eyes and everything.”

“And just because they have gold eyes you decide to trust them? Are you really that suicidal after all this time - leaving your life in the hands of mythical creatures?” he roared, putting the car back in drive, forcing his eyes away from me, trying to focus on something else, anything that could help the trembling vibrations from presenting themselves.

“You know you’re just insulting yourself by saying that,” I noted.

He turned and glared at me.

I sighed. “Okay, but no . . . I already trust them because they saved my life once. Well, actually one of them did, but the others were near, or at least I heard them. I haven’t exactly met the other two but-”

“Saved you?” he interrupted. “How did they save you? And from what?” he added, skeptical.

“Well, I sort of . . . ,” I paused fidgeting with my hands as I pondered for the right word, not wanting to make him angry again, “ran into the ocean?”

Jacob narrowed his eyes then, glancing over at me as I pressed my lips together, trying to feign complete innocence.

“And what do you mean exactly by ‘ran into the ocean’?”

I pressed my lips together and sneaked a look at him, trying to read his expression and find the right angle to go at this. I sucked in a deep breath and tried to keep my tone as light as possible, innocent again. “By ‘ran into the ocean’ . . . I mean that I walked into the ocean . . . by accident,” I inserted at the end, hoping to take less blame than was really necessary, even though it really was my fault, he didn’t need to criticize me so much.

“You walked into the ocean,” he stated calmly, too calmly. He was trying to not go off on me.

“Yes,” I answered him, folding my arms in my lap, terrified.

“What were you thinking?!” he growled, keeping his eyes straight ahead, I could swear I saw his hands twitch.

“I -”

“You weren’t thinking! That’s what you were thinking!”

“Wh- huh?” I stumbled for a way to keep the conversation from going south, or not so much south as dangerous. Jacob would never forgive himself if he harmed me in any way.

“Don’t change the subject Bella! You know what I mean. Seriously - why would you walk into the ocean?” his voice seemed the tiniest, tiniest bit softer. Maybe that had helped . . . a little, at least.

But my voice cracked and my lungs suddenly felt strained. “Don’t be like that Jake,” I whispered, tersely, annoyed at my reaction. What the hell? “You sound . . . just like . . . ,” I took in a deep breath and finished in a shaky voice, “him. He would be acting like that too, if he cared.” But deep inside I wondered if he actually would care. He didn’t want me hanging around forever, so what if I made it less unbearable and disappeared right now? Instead of in sixty some odd years. But the image of him in pain flashed before my eyes, and I thought that maybe, that would just make it more unbearable for him. I had to believe that.

His eyes turned soft and he turned to look at me, reaching out with one of his large hands to hold one of mine. “Sorry. I’m just worried about you Bella. You get depressed so easily and it doesn’t help not having you near, being able to help and know if you’re okay, or managing it and moving on. I know it’s hard Bella, I too, know what it’s like to lose someone you love, but you can’t let that rule your life, you have to proceed. And what if the bl-dude hadn’t seen you, hadn’t been able to save you? That wouldn’t only kill Charlie, Bella. Think about Renee, think about me. I would feel terrible, guilty all the time, that I couldn’t have been able to get to you.”

“You shouldn’t feel guilty, it’s my decision to make, you had nothing to do with it. You know that.”

“I do know that, Bells, but it wouldn’t keep the guilt away. My imprinting . . . that had to take some effect on you, especially since it was after the . . . episode. Bella, I would feel . . . deranged, horrible, that I could not do anything about it. I worry. For you,” he finished in a sadder tone.

I sighed and stared back into his pretty black eyes and saw the deep grief lying there; I stroked his hand with my thumb in an effort to comfort him. “Well, you don’t have to worry about me walking into the ocean any time soon. I made my promise . . . and I’m sticking to it.”

He sighed in relief and leaned back, more relaxed now, but still slightly tense. The frequency of houses on the sides of the road was increasing by minute, I knew we would hit the outskirts of town pretty soon. “And what about those vampires? You still going to trust them, just like that? Because of the color of their eyes?” He seemed to think for a second and then reluctantly added to that question. “Even if the vamp did save you?”

I leaned back in my seat as well and looked out the window as we entered town, watching the drops of rain trace little pathways on the glass frame. I should have known by now the conversation would come back to this.

“Well, I don’t think you have to worry about that either. I don’t even see them at the university, and I don’t have plans on having to relive that short experience.”

“What do you mean?” Just curious, now.

“Well, the guy - Jonathan - wouldn’t leave me alone. He was very kind to me, but he kept wanting to know what was wrong, like he wanted to help. It was . . . weird, having a stranger wanting to help like that is all.”

“Oh, so he is pretty alone, huh.” Jake nodded, seeming to understand him, but having a joking tone trace over his words as well.

“Well . . . ,” I hesitated, very glad that the worst was over, that I hadn’t gotten into too much trouble, or caused him any trouble for that matter. “No, I mean, there’s two others with him. Or I think so.”

“Naw, but like . . . he doesn’t have any girl in his life or something. Must be why he’s so clingy to you.” Jacob observed through his own little point of view as I told him about my new vampire acquaintance.

“I don’t know . . . There’s a girl with him, and another guy I think, but I was pretty out when I think I heard him, so I really have no idea. And I was asleep any other chance I did have to meet them. So that doesn’t help.”

“So there you go, the other guy must be with that other chick, and he’s alone, so he stuck to you.”

Or,” I added onto the options, knowing that most likely the guy was trying to be nice, “maybe he didn’t have anything else to do at the time.”

“Couldn’t he have gone hunting or something? I mean, really he could’ve thought up any other thing to be busy with,” he finished, holding on to his thoughts, and defending them quite well, if I do say so myself.

“Maybe he was being nice and trying to be a good hostess to his guest.”

“Maybe he’s just creepy.” Jacob laughed.

“No, he didn’t seem creepy. Could be it though,” I added only joking. “Maybe he didn’t want to leave me alone in his house.”

“Yeah, that’s it,” Jacob chuckled.

I just shook my head, laughing.

We were turning around the curb of my street by then. Home, sweet home. The trees bordering the house looked the same as always, the house as well. Charlie’s car was in the driveway, which meant he was home. I sucked in a deep breath and turned to Jacob. “I don’t look too sad do I?” I asked him, knowing this would be even worse for Charlie.

“Nope, not too sad. You’ve got a little more color in you. See, laughing does you good,” he murmured, smiling.

I took in another deep breath before opening the door of the cab, “Thanks Jake. For everything.”

He just smiled, “Anytime.”

I pulled the hood of my jacket up and went to the trunk of the Rabbit, waiting until Jacob came around and popped it open for me. I grabbed the few bags I did have and climbed up the stairs, Jacob carrying my larger bag behind me.

Charlie opened at once, didn’t even have to knock. He smiled and got out of my way so I could set down my things.

I put them down and turned back to hug him, smiling. “It’s good to see you Bells,” he muttered, hugging me back just as well.

“You too dad. I almost missed my flight,” I laughed, pulling away.

“How did you do that?”

I bent down and got my things again, walking up the stairs to my room to put them up. Charlie followed behind, Jacob also. “Well,” I sighed, turning to look at him as Jacob put my last bit of luggage on the floor. He looked up at me curious; he hadn’t heard the story, either. Of course, I would tell him the rest of it later. I couldn’t exactly tell Charlie the whole bit. “I woke up late is all; I had forgotten to set my alarm.”

“Huh,” Charlie huffed, not completely buying it.

I decided to go on, just a little further. “Yeah, I was late in last night. I worked a late shift at the library.” Crap, I had missed work, something that had slipped my mind completely. “But I called to announce a delay - or however you would call it - and I was able to board the plane after all.”

“Interesting,” Jacob mumbled.

“Right,” I smiled. It felt off again though, and I knew Charlie would be able to see through my pretense, so I turned around and started fumbling with my bags, getting out a couple of clothes. “Well, I’m going to go take a shower; it’s been a long day.”

Jacob eyed me knowingly behind Charlie, eyebrows furrowed over his deep-set eyes.

Charlie just kept looking at me, then, a short moment later he turned around and called over his shoulder. “Have you eaten yet?”

That surprised me but I went ahead and answered, “No, why?”

I could hear as his feet thumped down the stairs, leaving Jacob and I alone in my room. Jacob looked just as surprised by Charlie’s question as I felt.

“Sue cooked dinner and brought it over today.”

“Oh,” I sighed, not realizing that I had been holding my breath. “Um, okay. I’ll be down in a little.”

I turned to Jacob as his questioning expression turned to one of humor. He burst out in a string of guffaws, startling me and soon I was laughing along with him. “I . . . thought . . . he . . . was . . . going . . . to say . . . that . . . he had . . . cooked food . . . himself,” Jacob panted between laughs.

I laughed too and sobered up quickly, grabbing the rest of my things and walking to the restroom.

“It’s not that funny!” Charlie called from downstairs, offended, though he couldn’t be surprised by our reaction.

I just chuckled and heard Jacob’s laughing finale as I turned on the water.

The food was good and I quickly finished my plate. Lasagna. Jacob went home just after dinner, when I had had the chance to explain the whole missing-my-flight thing in private, after which Charlie had excused himself to eating his plate in front of the television set.

I caught a glimpse of the moon peaking out through a fissure in the clouds as I slipped into bed, and continued watching it until it said goodbye. I sighed and stared up at the blank ceiling, waiting for my eyelids to get heavy. I didn’t have to wait long. Just as the last piece of color leeched into black, I fell asleep.

Only too soon, and more vivid than the first, the images came back.