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The Inevitable

-Eclipse in Edward's Point if View- ~*~"It's more Inevitable than the sun rising in the East." -Alice Cullen Midnight Sun~*~


10. Strike One

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Chapter Nine

"Strike 1"

I looked into my rear view mirror and smiled as I met Bella's eyes. She was following me back to the house so she could pick up her bike. She told me she wanted to take it back to Jacob's because that's where it belonged. I didn't argue or disapprove, though I hated the idea of her riding it out of sight...or ever for that matter.

But I pushed back my pathetic paranoia and gave her smile before climbing into the Volvo while she got into her ancient truck.

I sighed as I listened to the groaning motor behind me. I couldn't wait till the day I could get her a real car. My angel needed a vehicle that fit her...something a bit faster but safe. I knew it would take a lot of persuading but I would give it my all, and when her truck finally died it would just give me that much more leverage.

At the moment however I had another problem. Well two really. I still had to persuade Bella to wear the helmet and jacket and my new bike was still in the garage. To be honest I felt rather stupid buying it in the first place. I knew Bella wouldn't stay angry with Jacob long and I should have known she wasn't going to keep her bike there.

I pulled into the garage and cut the engine. Bella's thundering motor was still echoing off the walls as I stepped out and closed the door.

Who knows maybe if I was lucky she wouldn't even notice the bike. After all it wasn't like it was the only new shiny thing in here.

"What is that?"

Wishful thinking of course or stupidity... The damn thing was right next to her bike, what did I expect?

"Nothing" I said quietly

"It doesn't look like nothing"

Walking up next to her I ignored the silver motorcycle and wound my arm loosely across her back "Well, I didn't know if you were going to forgive your friend, or he you, and I wondered if you would still want to ride your bike anyway." I shrugged "It sounded like it was something you enjoyed. I thought I could go with you if you wished"

I looked down to offer her a grin, but her face stopped me. She was gazing at the two bikes frowning, her eyes full of some unknown sadness.

Why was it that the one mind in the entire world I truly wanted hear was silent to me?

"I wouldn't be able to keep up with you" she whispered her eyes never leaving the bike.

What happened to that beautiful care free smile I had seen not even an hour ago? I placed my hand under her chin and lifted up her face to see her eyes.

I didn't understand... why was she suddenly so sad?

What did I say...do?

Placing a finger at the corner of her mouth I lifted up her lips and gave her a smile, trying to bring back the image I had seen earlier. "I'd keep pace with you" I said lightly.

The things that bother her, the things she sees are so complex and confusing, I wish I could understand. I loved her with every fiber of my being and then some, but I had yet to figure out how that beautiful mind worked.

I felt my face fall when she didn't return the smile.

"That wouldn't be much fun for you" she mumbled trying to look away but I still held her chin trying to read her eyes.

What was wrong?

"Of course it would, if we were together" I was glad her bike couldn't go as fast as mine. Her bike scared me enough as it was.

"Edward, if you thought I was going too fast or losing control of the bike or something, what would you do?"

What kind of question was that? She knew what I would do; I would never allow her to get hurt.

And then as I stared into those chocolate orbs realization washed over me.

I understood now.

That's what she loved about the bike so much. She could be free and careless...I cringed at the thought...reckless.

I always found it a bit amusing and aggravating at times when Bella seemed to forget my real age, forget how many years I had walked this earth. But I just now realized I made the same mistake with her only in reverse.

The way she acted it was so easy to forget -when compared with me- she was still a child. She was fresh and new, still blooming at the tender age of eighteen. And though I knew she loved me and I loved her, there would always be that gap in reality; there would always be a part of her I could never touch because that part of me -the part that could have related- died in1917.

Regardless of how mature and beautifully grown up Bella was that piece of child was still in her and it was that part that could surface when she was rode

She was a normal human teenager when she was riding, when she was with... him. Because he had what I could never and would never have again.

I forced a smile "This is something you do with Jacob I see that now"

"It's just that, well, I don't slow him down so much, you know I could try, I guess..."

"Don't worry about it" I said lightly. Then I laughed, at this rate I would soon have to buy Rosalie and Emmett a new toy because I knew who was getting this. "I saw Jasper admiring it. Perhaps it's time he discovered as new way to travel. After all Alice has her Porsche now"

Bella was her biting her lip, a guilty look on her face "Edward I..."

"I said not to worry" I reassured her before I leaning down to kiss her softly on lips.

Regardless of the fact it hurt like hell to discover yet another thing I could never give her, it wasn't her fault and she had no reason to feel bad over it. "But would you do something for me?" I asked seriously, looking into her eyes.

"What ever you need" She answered quickly

I smiled; perhaps this would be easier than I thought.

Finally dropping my hand I walked over to the bike and picked up the new gear. Turning around I held up the red helmet. "Please?" I asked.

Just the thought of her getting back on the bike was torture but if I knew she was somewhat protected I at least wouldn't go too crazy while I waited.

She took the helmet from me and eyed it, twirling it in her hands. "I'll look stupid" she said looking back up.

"You'll look smart. Smart enough not to get yourself hurt"

I threw the jacket over my arm before I cupped her warm face in my hands. "There are things between my hands right now that I can't live without. You could take care of them" I said softly letting my eyes bore into hers... pleading.

"Okay fine" she mumbled.

I smiled feeling the tight tension in my chest loosen a bit.

"What's the other thing?" she asked raising a suspicious eyebrow at the black mass in my arms. I chuckled and held it up.

"It's as riding jacket. I hear road rash is quite uncomfortable, not that I would know myself"

She looked at the jacket and then back up at me and then the jacket again.

I waited.

Finally she heaved a loud sigh and threw her hair back before she placed the helmet on her head. I held back a smirk of victory as she shoved her arms into the leather sleeves.

After I had zipped her up I took a step back to observe the outcome.

"Be honest how hideous do I look?"

Hideous? That would be the last thing I would call it. I took another step back admiring her from head to foot. Seeing the dark leather jacket on her small form, the way it fit tightly in all the right places, it was such a contrast to the way she usually looked... and it wasn't in a bad way.

My little Isabella looked tough and...

"That bad huh?" Her voice drew me back from my shameless ogling.

"No, no, Bella. Actually...you look...sexy" And I liked it, I liked it a lot. She had always been beautiful but this was different. If I didn't know any better I'd swear the mutt was going to turn me permanently green. Why was it he got the reward of seeing my Bella so exquisite?

"Right" she laughed rolling her eyes.

"Very sexy really"

"You're just saying that so that I'll wear it" she said sarcastically. I raised an eyebrow. It didn't matter if the jacket made her look like a beach ball I would find a way to get her to wear it, but I wasn't lying.

My eyes skimmed down her body again and then back up to her eyes.

No I wasn't lying in the least.

"But that's okay" she went on "you're right it is smarter"

I pulled her towards me, wrapping my arms around her waist "You're silly." I chuckled "I suppose that's part of your charm" I went to kiss her on the top of the head, a reflex reaction, when I remembered the helmet.

"Though, I'll admit it, this helmet does have its drawbacks."

Pulling the offending blockage from her face I leaned down and captured her lips. It wasn't one of the soft kisses I covered her in daily. It was passionate. I couldn't help myself. The thought that I would have to let her go in a short while coupled with the incredible new look urged me forward.

This time it was Bella who drew back first, her lungs no doubt needing oxygen. I suppose there were draw backs to be human as well.

"Wow" she said breathless.

I chuckled. That seemed to be her new favorite word lately.

"I may learn to like this jacket too" she mumbled.

As we rounded the corner Jacob was waiting about ten feet from the border line leaning against a tree. His face was neutral though as soon as he saw me his mind filled with mocking laughter. He wasn't surprised in the least that I had driven Bella here.

Trying my beast to ignore his aggravated and angry thoughts, which he was deliberately throwing my way I looked over at Bella to see her waving in his direction, her brown eyes shining with excitement and eagerness.

It would be fine...it would be fine.

I just kept telling myself that. It would be aright, it's not like this was the first time she was going to the reservation. She had been numerous of times and had returned home safely.

I took a steadying breath and was glad she didn't seem to notice the way it shook slightly...I could do this. "Call whenever you're ready to come home...and I'll be here."

She looked at me and smiled her beautiful smile "I won't be out late promise"

The panic was growing towards its peak when I pulled the motorcycle from the trunk. Jacob was surprised at seeing it but then his thoughts turned instantly to euphoric. It seemed this more than anything proved he was forgiven.

Bella threw the jacket over the seat and tucked the helmet under her arm. She looked so tiny standing there next to the bike, and as her pale hands held the handle bars she looked so...breakable.

"Do you have it all?" I asked, keeping my voice calm and face relaxed. I couldn't let see how panicked and frightened I was. It would tear her apart. I knew she wanted to go but I also knew if she understood how hard this was for me she would stay. I wasn't going to make her choose like that. Not anymore.

"No problem" she answered, that smile still glued to her face.

I sighed, this was it.

When she turned her face up I could tell she was intending to give me a small kiss of farewell but my body and mind would not allow it. My arms snaked around her waist pulling her towards me; I held her as tightly as I could and kissed her with everything I had. All the while my insides were screaming for her to stay, to not go.

She was able to last longer than she had in the garage but the need for air once again pulled her away from me sooner than I liked. And as I released her, coming back to reality Jacob's thoughts hit me.

They were disgusted and I realized it was the first time he had ever seen us kiss.

I laughed out right, unable to restrain myself. He had actually thought over this part of our relationship a lot. He wondered if we even had a physical relationship.

"Goodbye" I said still smiling at the thoughts running through the dog's head. If he was really so curious all he had to do was ask, I would have gladly given him a demonstration.

"I really do like the jacket" I added.

Bella smiled, her cheeks filling up with that beautiful pink before she rolled her eyes and turned away.

Dread crashed into me and as soon as her face turned from mine I felt my mask fall away. I prayed she wouldn't turn back around because I didn't have the strength to wipe away the panic...not now.

I could do this... I could do this.

Bella seemed to be walking in slow motion towards the boundary line, towards the place I couldn't follow.

This was the best way I kept reminding myself. She was giving up enough to be with me I couldn't make her erase her best friend while she could still have him.

"What's all that?" I heard Jacob ask though it seemed to be coming from far away. He had caught sight of the helmet and jacket and his thoughts were angry again except this time it was aimed at himself.

A helmet!, ugh...why the hell didn't I think of that? It would have saved us a few hospital visits...and heart attacks.'

His silent words came with an image -like so many thoughts do- and what I saw pulled me from my bubble of panic.

Bella swerving on a dirt road, hitting the ground, and sliding across the dirt before the bike dragged her into the embankment.

Jacob running towards her his thoughts frantic.

I told her left foot...left foot... '


He threw the huge machine from her body; she was face down in the moss.

Suddenly she rolled over a huge gash visible on her forehead

She seemed oblivious to the fast flowing crimson as it slid down the side of her face.

"Wow" she breathed

"Bella!...Bella are you alive?"

"I'm great...let's do it again"

"I thought I should put this back where it belongs" Bella's answer pulled Jacob from his flash back releasing me in the process.

I took a deep breath and closed my eyes. I needed to leave now, Jacob knew I had seen what he had just relived and I was glad to learn he had the decency to be ashamed.

What was wrong with him? As much as I hated to admit it he knew Bella, knew her as well as she knew him. What the hell had he been thinking that day?

A growl was building in my chest and I knew I had to leave before I gave into my instincts and crossed the line to drag her back.

In a flash I was behind the wheel of my car turning the key. Jacob had obviously mistaken my reaction for his thoughts instantly turned smug as he pulled Bella into his arms.

I can do this without giving her frost bite' he threw at me, no doubt trying to patch his ego.

It wasn't so much his childish behavior that raised my nerves it was the fact that Bella was in the arms of a werewolf right now, her feet tangling inches from the ground.

My foot hit the gas petal and my engine growled at the same time I did.

Yes it was defiantly time to leave.

I spun the car around and headed back towards the main road.

That damn dog didn't deserve her forgiveness or friendship anymore than I deserved her love.

I could forgive his immature actions; he was after all only sixteen.

I could even forgive his lack of intelligence for not insisting Bella wear a helmet.

But I could not and would not forgive his words.

He had told my angel he preferred her to be dead...and that had hurt her immensely. The pain in her voice and the tears that had followed that night told me as much.

He said he'd rather see me dead'

Those words and their meaning cut too deep for him to gain my forgiveness.

As I drove away, leaving my world behind, I couldn't help thinking... 'Strike one Jacob Black.'