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Bridging the Gap

Summary:
so... Charlotte is a kid whose Dad moves her to (surprise surprise) La Push as he believes to have fallen in love with a woman who lives there. whne she meets her new step-brother Embry and his friends, will there be a spark between her and a certain reasently returned runaway wolf...? yes there will be. but as if finding true love at sixteen, leaving your beast friend and moving to a new county isn't enough, Charlotte has a problem, but can she let anyone help before it's too late? Note:DO-NOT-OWN


Notes:
Note:i own nothing, Fanfition Pizza, Veggitarian, extra cheese, hold the law suits.


4. change

Rating 5/5   Word Count 3379   Review this Chapter


Jacob’s pov
“Bella!” I chase after her fleeting figure. Cullen’s eyes glint demonically in the darkness. He sinks his poison teeth into her elegant neck and I feel myself die a little inside. Her flesh accommodates him easily like soft butter. He drinks her blood until there is barely any left, all the time she’s calling out to me “Jake! Jake save me! Help! I need you!”

Then before my eyes, she changes into something unnatural something that was never meant to be, something terrifyingly beautiful. She screams in pain as her skin pales, her eyes crimson, her heart freezes over.

And then as I stare dumbstruck after the woman I love, she gets up. She attacks me and everything goes black.
Bella’s stone fingers clutch me and jab at me until her claws feel less marble and more human, until I hear a voice, distinctly not Bella’s calling me. “Jacob?” The voice is nice, soft. Wake up it tells me. But I don’t want to so I fight the light, hiding in my pillow. She’s asking me. Her hands warm but not like mine. I tell this strange girl to go away. I’m tired, and I just got home after two months of little or no sleep. Two months of the same nightmare.

“No Jacob, I’m not allowed to do that, I’ve been sent in to wake you up.” She tells me. What? Who sent her? To wake me, what?

I turn my head to meet her slowly. I open my eyes to her, they squint in the light and the world stops it’s rotation for a moment, my eyes focus on a goddess kneeling on my floor to see me eye to eye. Her face is lovely, milky white with freckles. Not an imperfection to be seen. Her eyes are wide open and green, a fringe of black mascara-ed eyelashes frame them. Her glasses are plastic frames and held together with tape and her hair…

Thick shiny waves of red and purple hair hang a couple inches past her shoulders. She’s perfect. Suddenly absolutely everything makes sense. Every win and loss and action in my life has brought me to this specific moment, to be awoken by a beautiful redhead. And I want nothing bad to ever happen to her. I want to protect her. I want to make her happy forever. I can’t help myself but to reach out to her and touch her cheek. “Red,” I whisper.

“Yeah, nice to meet you too, buddy.” She looks uncomfortable but curious. “I’m Charlotte, but friends call me ‘Charlie.’” She explains. “We met last night.”

“Jake” I breathe never taking my eyes off her. Did I just imprint, finally?

“I know.” She smiles getting up. I get up too without making the conscience command to. “C’mon, we’re going to Emily’s for brunch and the boys are impatient.”

“We?” I ask. I’m going somewhere with her? “Wait who else?” I ask. Why am I jealous? She may be mine eventually but she doesn’t know that yet. What if she has a boyfriend? What if he’s a pack member? Oh boy, this could be trouble.

“My brother Embry and Quil of course.” She laughs. “C’mon, those guys can hardly wait four seconds before eating, if we don’t hurry, they might just chomp that door down!” I hear a miffed ‘HEY!’ come from outside my room. I laugh, for the first time in a long time. After Bella and before Red, nothing was funny, the world weighed down on me but now with Red-er I mean Charlotte here, everything is light. Easy. Fine. I don’t know her last name but I know I love her.

I get out of bed and notice I’m only wearing cut-offs, no shirt. She politely looks away and I yank on a t-shirt. We leave the tiny closet that is my room.

Embry and Quil both look amused by their little joke of having a stranger wake me up and yet confused by my expression. Could my face be showing how very happy I was? Would they pick up on the contrast between the depression I’d been drowning in ten minutes ago? Maybe. But I hadn’t really been around to make my sadness known. Could I have possibly been that angry only last night?

“Well good morning sunshine,” Chuckles Quil in surprise. “What’s with you?”

“Yeah seriously man, what’s going on?” Embry presses then the two of them look at each other, then me, then they manage to mouth ‘Did you imprint on her?’ in sync. I nod turning back to Red’s gloriously bewildered expression.

“Yeah um Jake,” She says my name awkwardly, like she isn’t sure if my nickname is okay yet. “You were moping around last night and now you’re like a ray of sunshine.” She laughs, a pretty, timid feminine sound. Everyone else laughs at her boldness, I hear Billy chuckle from the kitchen.

“I just woke up different I guess.” I smile down at her unintentionally. She can’t take the force of my gaze and looks away quickly. She’s so cute. I just want to grab her and hold her, keep her from any fear or worry.

Charlotte’s point of view.
“Red,” Jake calls “C’mon, let’s go in.” I continue to sit in the truck; not feeling compelled to move really. “Red?” He raps on the window. I sigh dramatically and open the door. “There you are.” he smiles down at me offering his russet hand to me. It’s very warm, nice.

“Yes here I am.” I smile back. I can’t help but to smile with him. His grin is so infectious. So sweet, I can’t resist. “My name’s not ‘Red’ you know.” I tell him as we walk up the path. “And by you not knowing my name that makes you a stranger and I don’t think I should be holding hands with strangers.” I say cheekily.

“Oh I’m sorry Charlotte.” He stops and looks down at me with his brow creased. “Do you mind?” He actually looks worried.

“No,” I admit “But nicknames like that, the kind that seem pretty permanent are the kind of thing you might check with me on, okay?” I ask.

“You got it.” He tells me. “Now that we’re not strangers can we go in? I’m starving!” He pats his muscular stomach to illustrate his point.

“Yeah, of course.”

Once we get in, the sweet little house is packed with all the boys from last night’s fire and twice the food. Naturally Embry is already waving a full plate at me, while stuffing his face. I roll my eyes and take it receiving a quizzical look from Emily and Jacob.

“Don’t ask; it’s not your cooking Emily, I just don’t feel like eating right now.” I shrug hoping to look natural.

“Oh, okay sweetie, don’t worry.” Even as Emily says this there’s a look about her. She will talk to me about my unwillingness to consume anything later. I am not looking forward to it. Jake doesn’t press the issue, or any issue for that matter. He tells me I can tell him anything or not and that it’s all up to me, between bites. I nod appreciatively but unsure of whether I will in fact spill my guts (so to speak) to a really good-looking older boy.

“Thanks Jake,” I smile. “New friends are always good.” It may sound insanely self-obsessed but I feel like everyone is watching me, me and Jacob that is, their eyes flitting between us with interest. Jesus! I feel like cursing I only met the boy today! It’s not like we’re together. He’s just really friendly and blind to my repulsive appearance.

I nibble on the edge of my toast, it takes the time of the boys having 6 servings a piece but to my surprise and shame, I finish my food. “That was fantastic.” I inform Emily who smiles prettily and nods thanks. Seth mumbles agreement over a mouthful of egg and ketchup.

I catch Sam nodding to Embry. Embry nods back in understanding. “Well Charlie, it’s time for some boy stuff. I can give you a ride home, I’m sure you’d like to unpack and stuff. The plane guys brought it all by, I forgot to mention. Wanna get your room all homey and junk right?”

“No, I’m okay thanks. Just cause I’m a girl doesn’t mean I’m a homemaker, you jerk!” I mock scold. Everyone laughs.

“Whoa Em, I think your new pint-sized sister just pwned you.” Laughs Quil “Up top Chuckie!” I reach to high five it but he’s too tall. They all laugh again.

“But seriously Charlie…” Embry trails off suggestively.

“What, more secret meetings to be had?” I frown. “No fair, I don’t want to be home alone with the love birds.”

“Well I’ll take you home if you’d like Red.” Jacob smiles hopefully. What the hell is with him? I should encourage him I guess. He’s probably just awed by my novelty, by the one-month mark he might just drop me, I may as well just reap the benefits of this short relationship.

“Sure Jake, that’s nice of you,” I turn to the group. “Or do you need him for your little club?”

More laughter follows as Jacob drags me by the hand out of the cottage. He hops into Embry’s car and I don’t question how he’ll get back. “Carpool.” explains Jacob before I can even phrase the question.

“So Red, why’d you move out here? You came from Canada right?” Jake asks as he drives the car down seemingly familiar roads.

“Yeah Dad ‘fell in love’,” I use finger quotes, which he laughs at, “With Dorothy so now Embry and I are step-siblings. Whatever though,” I say, “I think it happened too fast to last and it’ll be over and I’ll be back home in no time.” I finish with a confidence filled crossed-arm-lean-back.

“Oh yeah? Well I sure hope not.” He actually seem like he means it.

“Uh huh?” I raise a skeptical eyebrow, “And why pray-tell? You don’t even know me.” I point out.

“Sure, that’s just it. I don’t know you.” he watches the road but his eyes flicker to me. “But I want to.”

“I want to know you too Jacob. I don’t even know your last name or favorite color but you know where I live.” We laugh.
“Jacob Black and Red.” He answers. “You?”
“Charlotte Bartlett, Purple” I giggle as he pulls up near the Call residence.
“There you go Red, now we know each other.” He takes the key out of the ignition. “Now we just need details.”
******************************************************
I guess his muscles are for real ‘cause they come in handy when he can lift 6 full boxes to my room without breaking a sweat leaving me to huff and puff my way with just one.
“So shall I help you get settled or do you want me to go or wait or…” Jake says as he leans against my wall.
“No, please stay, I like your company.” Am I being too obvious? If only I knew what to say. I like him, officially.
“Good, I like yours too Red”. He touches the back of my hand, not breaking eye contact.
I think I might have blushed a little. My cell-phone buzzes. I scramble to find it, nervous under Jake’s amused gaze. Finally I find it. “It’s a text message from Lids. “

“Hey. How’s day 2?
Miss you a ton.
Mom says she misses u around the house my little sister 2.
The summer’s too long without you!
Oxox
Luv ya
Lids.”

I read it out loud.

“Who’s Lids?” Jacob asks from a seated position on my bed. I fumble around the tiny keypad typing mini mistakes.

“A friend.” I answer, concentrating on the screen. He lets me finish, it now says:

“Hey yourself, it doesn’t suck here 2 hard.
Can’t wait ‘till you can visit.
Already like my step-bro’s friends.
He’s helping me unpack. So hott.
Jealous yet? <3
Love you back.”

“Who’s Lids?” repeats Jacob patiently.

“My best friend from home. So great, just wanted to know how things are going.” Laugh at my lame and ill-fitting explanation of my BFF.

“What’d you say?” He asks putting down a hat he had been twirling in his large hands.

“That I’m okay and I already have some new friends.” I answer. “All right time to organize. That is if you’re still in?”

“Always.” He smiles ready to work.
*****************************************************************
We lie side by side on my bed not moving from the place we flopped down. My eyes move around my room taking in the decoration and sorting we just did.

“Wow, we make a good team.” I say; my arms crossed over my stomach, a feeble attempt to hide it from him.

“Glad you think so. But I think it was really all me.” He smiles angelically. I laugh and hit him. “So maybe you helped a bit.” He admits.

“Whatever Jake, there’s no winning with you.” But strangely I don’t even want to. I don’t even care. It’s so easy to be with him, to joke. The two of us we lie smiling together, looking into each other’s eyes. Well I look at his eyes and watch the look at my whole body. I wish he wouldn’t, at least eyeballs can’t get fat. They’re probably the most normal bit of me.

“Why do you always do that?” he asks furrowing his brows.

“Do what?” I ask in surprise.

“That, with your arms.” He tries to wrench my hands away from their protective position. “It’s like your hiding from me.”

“I dunno.” I lie and turn my head the other way. I can feel his eyes burning into me. His soft hand creeps across my neck to turn me back to him gently with my cheek.

“It’s okay. You don’t have to talk about it. It’s cool. Tell me, or don’t, whatever just don’t ever feel pressure or cornered around me okay?” he whispers caressing my cheek.

“Is this how you start all friendships Mr. Black?” I joke. The seriousness scares me. I don’t want that powerless feeling. Jokes I can control, emotion, no way.

“Not really, I’m trying something new.” He answers truthfully. ‘We’re going to be friends for a long time, I know that for sure Ms. Bartlett. May as well get right into it. I don’t like putting things off.” He laughs and I do too.

“Hey Charlotte, I just thought I might bring up some-oh hello Jacob.” Greets Mrs. Call. “I didn’t realize you were here honey.” We sit up, that small secret atmosphere is gone. Now it’s just time to nibble on cookies and stay part of the conversation.

Jacob’s point of view

“So Jake dear, when did you get back? Embry and I…” She sighs. “We’ve just been so worried about you, worried sick.” She scolds me but I couldn’t care less. Red sees me watching her. She smiles at me timidly and sticks her little pink tongue out at me. When Dotty turns around I return the childish gesture. We both laugh but Ms. Call thinks it’s her. “No honestly bunny, I for one had no clue. I was scared. You’re just a little baby after all.” She starts coming towards me with her fingers ready for serious cheek-pinching action. I have to think fast or I’m going to have a blush almost as permanent as…Bella’s. It still hurts to think of her. The rejection still stings but not as hard, and not in the aching, pining death-on-Cullen-wishing way, just a dull pound. She was my friend before she was my first love.

“You know I think I should go pretty soon.” As much as it pains me to leave Red’s side I can’t embarrass myself in front of her. I just can’t chance her not liking me, if that means going before I have to, then hey, ‘a moments pain for a lifetime’s pleasure’ right? “It’s like you said Dotty, I just got back, last night in fact. I’ll bet Billy wants me home.” I smile and make my way to the door, catching the briefest of glimpses of Red’s lovely face, could that be…sadness? Does she want me to stay?

“Oh okay. Thanks Jake. You really helped me out here-“ My sweet is cut off by Ms. Call.

“Oh Jacob, it sure is. Very nice, did he help you set up shop in here?” She touches Red’s shoulder and I know it’s ridiculous but I get a twinge of jealously. I can’t touch her yet; she doesn’t know me well enough yet.

“Yeah well, she’s got some picture of how it should be in her head, I just took orders.” It’s hard for me not to look at her. Painful, I just want to stay with her.

“Well you two make and excellent team.” She makes for the door, finally! I’ve always liked Embry’s mom but I’ve never wanted her to leave so much in my life. “I have to go, your dad’s making muffin, burning them all I bet!” She laughs conversationally and leaves the door open a crack. Red stands in her room across from me, twirling a broken elastic band in her little fingers. With her not looking at me, I have a chance to look at her. All in all she might be a 150 pounds but it’s not obvious. She stares down at the rubber band with focus and concentration. Her hair swirls and spirals off her shoulders, getting in her way.

“Well thanks for coming anyway. It was nice of you. I’m glad I got my room ready-er I mean I’m glad you helped me and I-," She can no longer speak, as my lips are pressed to hers. I feel bad, making her super pretty voice stop but I can’t help it. She’s perfect in every way. All I want is to be as close as possible. The kiss started with a rough first bump, when I pulled away to see if she was okay and just like in the movies, she pecked me back. Then it grew to be sweet, so sweet. I run my fingers through her soft hair as I pull her back closer.

She toys with my dark hair and rests her hand softly on my shoulder. I want to stay like this forever but we can’t breathe. When we pull apart, she takes a small step back and sits on the bed, her eyes wide and trained to me. She’s awkwardly shuffling her hands in her lap. We catch our breath. I look at her and she looks at the window.

Until I break her focus, “Is this seat taken?” I ask hovering over the space beside her. I watch her pretty face transform into a smile. She bites her lip and looks away.

“Nope,” She breathes.

“I’m not one to play footsie Red. I don’t beat around the bush.” I tell her, taking her hand in mine. The fact that she didn’t push me away immediately gives me confidence. Her hand has chipping dark purple nail polish on it and I stroke each shiny surface. “I like you, a lot. I want to be with you. I know I was cold last night, I know we only properly met this morning. Honestly, I know but I think this could work. I know it. I really like you. I’m not going to ask you out right now, I don’t wan to spring something on you. Just think about it okay?” I take one of my hands to lift her chin from its former position of staring at out hands. “Okay?” I repeat.

She nods. Not speaking, the room is filled with my words. I want her to speak; I want to hear her voice. So we look at each other for a while until I realize she hasn’t got something to say. I release her hand and get up. Her eye close and that’s all I can see because I’m running down the stairs. I get into the woods and strip down, tie up my clothes and phase. I’m euphoric; a human body cannot contain my enthusiasim. I look once at her bedroom window before running.
I run away from an old, unbelievable, and towards a newer love with a fighting chance.