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The Inevitable

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


Notes:


4. The Right to Know

Rating 4.5/5   Word Count 7185   Review this Chapter

Chapter Three

"The right to Know"

After a long weekend -of mostly staying indoors- we were finally on our way home.

My plan for taking Bella to Florida however, didn't work out the way I intended it.

Saturday evening, while I was working on my "term paper" and Bella and Renee had gone for a walk I got a call from Alice.

And I had heard the very last thing I wanted to hear...

0x0x0x0

"What do you mean she got away?" I hissed at Alice through the phone.

"Don't get snappy with me...Look she obviously knows more than we gave her credit for. The way she hugged the border line... it's like she knew exactly where to place her feet. Jasper and Emmet nearly had her but then the damn dogs had to butt in"

"Perfect" I growled sarcastically "Did anyone cross the line?"

"Well one of them claimed Emmet had... that got a bit out of hand. It wouldn't have been all that bad but you know Rosalie. If it wasn't for Carlisle and -thankfully- Jasper, we would probably have a war to be dealing with on top of a crazed Vampire."

I knew all too well how protective Rosalie was of Emmet. We all knew that Emmet was hers, not the other way around.

It was yet another side of Rosalie I had begun to understand more clearly after meeting Bella. If you had told me a few years ago that Rosalie was going to start a werewolf war over Emmet I would of said she was out of her mind... but now...I knew I would do exactly the same thing.

"Don't worry Edward, she won't get anywhere near Bella, not on my watch...trust me"

"I do Alice" I sighed, the fierceness in her voice reassured me. She truly loved Bella and that made me love my 'sister' all the more.

"It's just the thought of that wretch being anywhere near Forks with Bella there...." I went on, frustrated beyond reason. If only I had been their Victoria would no longer be a problem. And have mercy on any wolf that tried to get in my way.

"I know, I know...look is there anyway you could stretch your stay their? I don't see Victoria returning yet, but it's only a mater of time, if...?"

"Unfortunately no" I interrupted "Bella's already missed a day of school and Charlie's at the end of his rope as it is, I don't want to make things more difficult for her than they already are."

"Alright then, I guess we'll see you in a few days..." she paused "is Bella there?"

I rolled my eyes I knew it was only a matter of time before she asked to speak with Bella.

"No she and Renee went out"

"Oh"

I chuckled; I could clearly see Alice's small face falling at my words. "Don't worry" I said "She'll be back before you know it"

x0x0x0x

I looked beside me; the girl that had captured not only my heart, but my family's as well, seemed to be half asleep gazing out the window.

Bella hadn't even noticed we were home yet. I leaned over and kissed her forehead. "We're home Sleeping Beauty. Time to awake"

Blearily brown eyes looked up at me and she smiled. I smiled back, and then as she looked towards the house Charlie's thoughts drifted towards me.

I frowned at what I heard... apparently Jacob had been calling none stop asking for Bella. It must have been pretty bad because Charlie seemed extremely aggravated with the boy.

The only thing I could thing of, as to why he would want to talk to Bella - after weeks of refusing any kind of contact- would be about what happened Saturday.

I stiffened, if that mutt said anything to frighten her I'd tear his head off.

"How bad?"

I looked down to see Bella looking at me cautiously. She had, of course, read my reaction wrong.

"Charlie's not going to be difficult...He missed you" I added, nearly smiling at the image of him rushing towards the door.

Grabbing Bella's bag from the front seat we made our way to the house. Charlie was there holding the door open, a huge grin plastered on his face.

"Welcome home kid...How was Jacksonville?"

It surprised me that for once Charlie didn't have any negative thoughts of me...at least not yet. He had truly missed his daughter.

"Moist. And Buggy" Bella answered immediately.

I smiled, that about summed Florida up for me as well. It was a beautiful place, but it was way too...open. I didn't realize how much I truly missed Forks till we were back in the shady trees and cool air.

"So Renee didn't sell you on the University of Florida?"

"She tried. But I'd rather drink water than inhale it"

Charlie laughed before he decided to acknowledge my presence. He turned to me, his face somewhat relaxed. "Did you have a nice time?"

Well that definitely was an improvement, though I doubted it would last long. He was just too excited about having Bella back he didn't want to ruin the mood. I was thankful for this; because it obvious Bella had also missed her father.

"Yes" I answered "Renee was very hospitable"

He nodded "That's.... um good. Glad you had fun" He turned from me, his face breaking into another wide grin before he pulled Bella into a tight hug.

I smiled, though it hurt to see what Bella would be leaving behind in a few short months. I could tell by their actions and thoughts that both Renee and Charlie loved their daughter dearly.

She was their life just as she was mine... yet it would be me who got the dispensation to take that away from them, to make her solely mine.

It was wrong, I knew, but it was what she wanted...or at least what she thought she wanted and I would never try to sway or force her from that choice again. I had learned my lesson the first time.

And regaurdless of what it made me I wanted it too, wanted it more than anything.

"Impressive" I heard her whisper.

Charlie chuckled "I really missed you, Bells. The food around here sucks when you're gone"

"I'll get on it"

She pulled away heading towards the kitchen. "Would you call Jacob first? He's been bugging me every five minutes since six o' clock this morning. I promised I'd have you call him before you even unpacked."

I clenched my jaw, trying desperately not to grab Bella's hand to stop her. The last thing I wanted to see was that frightened look in her eyes again, it brought back too many painful memories. If the dog truly cared for Bella the way I thought he did, I hoped he would keep his mouth shut.

"Jacob wants to talk to me?" Bella asked surprised.

"Pretty bad, I'd say. He wouldn't tell me what it was about...just said it was important"

I was about to open my mouth to say something, I wasn't sure what; I couldn't very well tell her not to call him. It would make both Bella and Charlie angry with me, but I didn't want her to suffer over something she needn't worry about.

I was relieved of having to find the right words however, because at that moment the phone rang.

"That's him again, I'd bet my next paycheck"

Bella rushed towards the kitchen calling over her shoulder "I got it"

Charlie's eyes were on me, clearly gauging my reaction.

I ignored him and followed after Bella.

"Hello?" she said somewhat cautiously as she put the phone to her ear. For some reason I didn't quite understand she had turned around putting her face towards the wall. I stood back, leaning against the counter... waiting.

I prayed Jacob would keep silent.

"Your back" My sensitive ears picked up on his shocked and relieved voice.

Bella's heart picked up speed. She was silent for a moment and I once again wished I could read her thoughts. To be able to understand her reactions... why she had stiffened up and then relaxed before she finally said. "Yes"

"Why didn't you call me?" He now sounded angry, which I knew would only make Bella go on the defensive. I couldn't help but smirk at her answer.

"Because I've been in the house exactly four seconds and your call interrupted Charlie telling me that you'd called."

"Oh. Sorry"

"Sure. Now, why are you harassing Charlie?"

"I wanted to talk to you"

I stiffened, resisting the urge to run across the room and snatch the phone away.

"Yeah, I figured out that part all by myself. Go ahead"

He paused for minute then...

"You going to school tomorrow?"

This confused me, what would Bella going to school or not have to do with anything? And why should he care, he goes to the school on the reservation.

"Of course I am. Why wouldn't I?"

"I dunno. Just curious"

Well I didn't buy that, he was obviously up to something. I didn't have the faintest idea what but at least he hadn't mentioned Saturday yet.

"So what did you want to talk about, Jake?"

As my fist clenched, I wondered why it bothered me so much every time she said his name. It took me a moment to realize it was that human emotion rising up again.

"Nothing really, I guess. I....wanted to hear your voice"

"Yeah I know. I'm so glad you called me, Jake. I..."

A familiar pain I had felt last week pushed forth again before I could stop it.

The wistfulness and eager tone of her voice nearly made me cringe. I knew she had missed him but knowing and hearing it is something entirely different.

Her voice had instantly pushed away the small bout of jealousy I had been feeling. It made me want to give over whatever it was that she wanted, whatever it was that made her sound so longing and sad.

It scared me a bit because I knew that if it was anything else other than something that would put her in immediate danger; I would willingly step aside and give it to her.

Anything...anyone....

Pushing those thoughts from my head like I had done before, I waited for her to finish whatever she was going to say, but it became obvious she herself wasn't sure on how to continue.

"I have to go" Jacob said abruptly. I felt angry again; I knew those words would hurt. Bella had been so worried about him and now he finally calls just to cut her off again.

"What?"

"I'll talk to you soon ok?"

"But Jake..."

Before she finished the dial tone rung in my ears as well as hers. Bella stood motionless for a minute and I was unsure of what her reaction would be, on what I should say to comfort her.

"That was short" I heard her muttered as she put the phone back on the receiver.

"Is everything alright?" I asked cautiously. Still unsure of what went on, of what Jacob was up to, and what her reaction, or lack of, meant.

She turned back around, her face a clear mask of confusion. "I don't know. I wonder what that was about."

You and me both, I especially wanted to know what he meant by ‘we'll talk again soon'

"Your guess is probably better than mine" I said trying to smile, it didn't quite make it through though.

"Mmmm"

I watched as she began to gather together Charlie's dinner. Usually when I read her face it took a lot of observing and wrong guesses to get it right. Tonight however her face was oddly open. Whatever it was she was thing about...or whoever it was she was thinking about, she was doing so very strongly.

She seemed alone with her thoughts.... the kitchen no longer existed and I was no longer present.

Watching closely I became alarmed as her face went from bewilderment, to uncertainty, and then to comprehension.

I didn't know what it was she had figured out and frankly I didn't care. All I cared about was the fact that her already pale face drained of all color as she froze in the middle of the kitchen. The package of meat she had been holding slipped from her fingers.

When I saw the somewhat frightened pain fill her eyes I nearly cried out.

Rushing forward I snatched the falling meat from the air and threw it towards the sink. Before it even landed in the metal basin I had her in my arms.

"What's wrong?" I whispered urgently into her ear.

Her head moved back and forth against my chest. She was too stiff in my embrace and could feel her trembling slightly. I couldn't take it. I needed to fix what was wrong, but I didn't understand what it was I needed to fix.

"Bella?..." My voice was anxious and scared. I shook her gently, trying to pull her away from whatever the tormenting thoughts were.

"I think...I think he was checking" she finally mumbled, her voice somewhat distant "Checking to make sure, that I'm human I mean."

My breath hissed out from between my teeth. I wished she would understand that there was no hurry...wished that she would listen to me when I told her their was nothing to fear, she could have all the time she wanted.

It hurt that she was so willing to give up everything for me, but it hurt even more because I knew the idea frightened her, regardless of what she says. For she is only human, and -though I wonder sometimes- I know those human instincts are there... even if they are buried deep.

"We'll have to leave" she whispered into my shirt "Before. So that it doesn't break the treaty. We won't ever be able to come back"

My arms instinctively held her closer, trying in vain to wash the pain from her voice and heart.

"I know"

"Ahem"

I have to admit it would have been a bit funny under any other circumstances...Emmet would of found it hilarious... A human had managed to take me by surprise. I had been so absorbed in trying to calm Bella, that I forgot to pay attention to Charlie's thoughts.

But I was too worried and angry at the interruption to find the humor in it just yet.

Bella jumped and quickly pulled away, I had to catch myself before I reached out to pull her back to me.

"If you don't want to make dinner, I can call for a pizza" he said

"No, that's ok... I'm already started"

"Ok" Charlie leaned up against the door frame, apparently intending to enforce his "parietal supervision" once more.

He kept looking between the two of us, but I didn't meet his gaze, my eyes stayed locked on Bella's now red face. I could see that she was embarrassed at her father finding us in such a moment but I could also see that she was still upset.

I did not know how to make it better though, how to make the fears and worries go away. Because they were real, I could not hide this.

I could not cover up the consequences of her choice. The only thing I knew I could do was hold her, comfort her... but I couldn't even do that at the moment.

All I could do was watch.

All the confusion I had over Jacob's phone call last night was washed from my mind when we were a few blocks from school. The first thing that alerted me to his presence was the fast running thoughts of the students.

Then I could see him through their eyes. He was standing on the side walk, leaning against one of the two motorcycles he had fixed up.

My hands tightened on the steering wheel when my mind reached his thoughts.

I knew why he was here, and it wasn't the fact that he had picked a crowded school parking lot to have meeting between two mortal enemies that bothered me. It was the fact that I knew Bella would not stay in the car... she would walk right beside me and face the mongrel.

And to add to the problem she would more than likely over hear the very thing I had been trying to keep her safe from.

"If I asked you to do something would you trust me?" It was pointless, but I had to try.

She looked at me and what she saw made her heart beat faster. I tried to relax but it was impossible, the last thing I wanted was for her to be anywhere near a werewolf, and a young one at that.

"That depends"

"I was afraid you would say that"

As we pulled into the parking lot his thoughts became clearer. He had spotted the car and now on top of thinking about what he was sent here to do, Bella was now added to the equation.

"What do you want me to do, Edward?"

"I want you to stay in the car" I said as I pulled into our parking spot. I turned to her to find her eyes looking at me, curious and anxious. "I want you stay here until I come back for you"

"But...why?" She said in confusion looking around. It was only a matter of time before she spotted him. Jacob Black's abnormal genetic gene was still in effect, the boy had grown even more since the last I saw him.

"Oh" she said, finally laying eyes on him.

I became even angrier at the hurt expression that crossed her face. I wasn't sure what caused it, perhaps finally seeing her friend after weeks and weeks of the silent treatment, but I knew who caused it. It was the same expression from last night when he had hung up on her so abruptly.

She was still seeking out that friendship that was no longer there, or the friendship that could no longer be there.

"You jumped to the wrong conclusion last night" I murmured, still not looking away from her even though her eyes were staring out the windshield. "He asked about school because he knew that I would be where you were. He was looking for a safe place to talk to me. A place with witnesses."

I wanted to ask her to stay in the car again, but I knew it was useless. If only she knew how difficult it was for a young werewolf to keep his form when in close proximity to a vampire, maybe then she would understand the risk.

Then again knowing my Bella she would more than likely do it anyway.

"I'm not staying in the car" she said stubbornly

I groaned softly, "Of course not. Well, lets get this over with."

As soon as I stepped from the car I smelled him. That pungent, wet-dog odor over powered the other scents of the passing humans.

I stopped breathing till Bella was next to me; grasping her hand I took a deep breath and was grateful her sweet aroma was so strong to me. I gripped her hand as tightly as I could without causing harm.

As we got closer my instincts began to kick in, my muscles tensed urging me to crouch into the offensive position.

Stopping a few yards away was still too close for my liking. Pulling my hand backwards- which was still interlocked with Bella's- I made her take half a step back, so she was slightly behind me.

I paid close attention to his thoughts and body movements, ready to pounce at the slightest movement. I had seen what little control Jacob Black had over his anger the last time we had met, and though I knew he didn't want to purposely hurt Bella -physically anyway- once he changed it would be the people near by that got injured.

"You could have called us" I said in a hard voice, but keeping my tone level all the same.

"Sorry" he sneered "I don't have any leeches on my speed dial."

I was surprised at how well he was holding back his instincts at the moment. His exterior revealed none of the struggle he was currently having in his head.

It was natural for him to become defensive and guarded just at my mere presence, but seeing me with Bella, seeing me hold her hand had just added to the fire. I briefly wondered why Sam had chosen Jacob, of all people, to deliver this message.

"You could have reached me at Bella's house of course" He obviously had the number and he should know by now how often I am over there.

At my words however the angry and jealous thoughts in his head intensified and I saw his jaw clench.

This was getting us no where, at our current progress all that would happen would be... the kid would loose control, transform, lunge, and then I would have to kill my love's best friend right in front of her.

I let out a silent breath "This is hardly the place Jacob. Could we discuss this later?"

"Sure, sure. I'll stop by your crypt after school" he snorted "What's wrong with now?"

Considering we were standing in the middle of a school parking lot on a Monday morning this was a rather dumb question in my opinion.

I looked around, some kids had actually gone to class but a large portion remained and we were now nearly surrounded by curious and eager eyes.

The little bit of thoughts that leaked through made it obvious they were expecting a fight, but I paid little attention, my focus was still strongly on Jacob's mind waiting for a slight slip in his control.

It was useless, he wasn't going to drop the subject till we were alone, preferably without Bella, so I had to at least end it as soon as possible. I had to be able to explain things to her so she didn't panic, make sure she understood that this was under control.

Lowering my voice I said "I already know what you came to say." I knew it was said too quietly for the bystanders to hear but Bella, who was right next to me, did. "Message delivered. Consider us warned."

I looked quickly at Bella, worried she would jump to conclusions.

"Warned?" she asked "What are you talking about?"

Before I could speak to tell her I'd explain later, Jacob opened his mouth... not bothering to keep his voice down.

"What you didn't tell her?...What were you afraid she'd take our side?"

Not likely, taking a side had nothing to do with it.

Bella's pulse picked up, I had to fight to keep my voice even.

"Please drop it, Jacob"

"Why?"

"What don't I know?...Edward?"

I kept silent, glaring at the dog...my eyes warning him to keep his mouth shut.

"Jake?" she asked turning to him when I didn't give an answer.

He broke eye contact with me and turned to Bella. I knew then it was too late, his mind told me what was going to be said before it even came out of his mouth.

"He didn't tell you that his big...brother crossed the line Saturday night?"

The growl that had been building in my chest rumbled out between my teeth. Bella was unaware of it but Jacob heard. His head snapped back up to me.

"Paul was totally justified in..."

"It was no-man's land!"

"Was not!"

I took a breath to rein my anger back in because he was loosing control. His hands had begun to tremble and in his mind he was repeating to himself to calm down.

Instinctively I slid over a few more inches putting Bella further behind me. My arm was tense as I held her hand, prepared to push her back at any moment.

Jacob took a deep breath and shook his head... he was in control again but not as much as before.

"Emmet and Paul?" Bella whispered to herself. Her heart began to beat faster. "What happened? Were they fighting?" she asked her voice rising in panic. "Why? Did Paul get hurt?"

"No one fought...No one got hurt." I said quietly to her, still not taking my eyes away from Jacob who was still staring at us in disbelief. "Don't be anxious"

Something finally clicked in Jacob's mind and before I could do anything to stop him, he once again opened his mouth.

"You didn't tell her anything at all, did you? Is that why you took her away? So she wouldn't know that..."

"Leave now" I said warningly, he had already said too much and if he went any further I would physically shut him up.

Any kind of respect I held inside for Jacob Black -either for watching over Bella or truly caring about what happened to her- was quickly falling away. Did he not know what Bella had gone through? What mentioning that name would do to her? Or did he just not care?

He could see the threat on my face, and his mind had begun to go over defensive methods. Out loud he said "Why haven't you told her?"

So here I was, staring down an adolescent werewolf in the middle of a school parking lot, surrounded by children. A voice in the back of my head was telling me to remain calm, but another part, the part that I had no control over when it came to keeping Bella safe was roaring forth.

I knew that if he opened his mouth to speak what he was thinking about speaking I would loose it.

Quick gasping reached my ears and all thought of a pending fight vanished. My head snapped to Bella and I realized it was too late. She had figured it out.

I should have known... my Bella was far from being ignorant.

"She came back for me" she choked out. There was no color in her face, even her usual pink lips had gone pale. Her heart had gone into over drive and her breathing was fast and shallow.

But it was her eyes that got me.

It was the look I had tried to keep from her face, it was the same raw fear I had seen two years ago on a television screen in a hospital room in Phoenix.

That helpless terror as she tried to run from something she had no chance of escaping.

I had vowed that very day to never put her in a situation where she would feel that again... I had failed.

But this time was going to be different. This time she would not be touched. She would receive not one scratch from that worthless creature.

I pulled Bella closer to me, "It's fine" I whispered, my hands going anxiously to her face trying to coax her eyes to mine, to wash away the horrifying memory she was reliving. "It's fine. I'll never let her get close to you, its fine." It was no use, her eyes landed on me but they did not focus, they were still wide and full of fear.

"Does that answer your question, mongrel?" I snapped glaring back at Jacob.

I saw that his face had fell slightly while he took in Bella's reaction but when he met my eyes it was back to the hard set loathing as before. "You don't think Bella has a right to know?" He challenged. "It's her life"

My jaw clenched at the truth in his words. She did have the right to know, but this was something that could have ended without her ever knowing or fearing.

I turned back to Bella when I smelled her tears. They had pooled up to the corners of the beautiful brown, threatening to flow over at any minute. This was why I had tried to keep this silent to her, she had shed enough tears, been through enough pain.

"Why should she be frightened when she was never in danger?" I whispered this mostly to myself but I knew he had heard.

"Better frightened than lied to"

I had never wanted to lie to her, but as I saw the tears begin to slide down her white cheeks I knew why I had done so in the first place, and knew if given the chance I would do the same thing again.

The guilt I had felt and the anger she would have towards me for lying was nothing compared to seeing this, to seeing her in pain.

When it came to something like this, as far as I was concerned, the truth wasn't worth it.

"Do you really think hurting her is better that protecting her?" I murmured as I gently wiped the moisture from her cool cheeks.

"She's tougher than you think" Jacob said "And she's been through worse.

Until that point I had zoned out of Jacobs thoughts, my full attention on Bella, but as he was talking an image flashed to forefront of his mind and what I saw roughly drew me back.

Bella behind the wheel of her truck, her arm wrapped tightly around her chest, she seemed to be in pain.

Jacob reached over to try and tug her arm away. "Why do you do that?" he asked "You do that when you're upset. Why?"

"It hurts to think about them" she whispers "It's like I can't breathe...like I'm breaking into pieces..."

It was just a quick flash, a memory conjured up from Jacob's mind that went along with his words, but it cut painfully through my head and I could not stop myself from flinching at the pain.

This had happened many times before, especially with Charlie. For a long time after I had returned every time he saw us together glimpses of Bella, after I had left her, would go through his mind.

He had been really frightened with what his daughter had gone through and was still scared - to this day- it was going to happen again. That's where ninety percent of his hostility towards me came from.

Though Bella had not noticed my slip, Jacob had.

You can hear and see what I'm thinking?"

The silent question came with another image...

Rain was pouring down. Bella climbing out of her truck. She looked small and fragile, her hair and clothes already soaked.

"Bella!"

She looked up, her face was thin, her eyes bloodshot like she had been crying, dark purple shadows surrounded them.

"Hey, Jacob" she said, a tired but sincere smile gracing her pale lips.

As soon as this one ended they began to flow, one after another...

"I'm not going to change"

"It's still the other one isn't it?"

She flinched back.

"You don't have to talk about it"

x0x0

"I don't think so...he would have mentioned it" she said quitley.

"He? Oh, you mean Edward--oops, sorry. I forgot. You don't like to say his name. Or hear it."

She squeezed her chest, holding it tight. "Not really, no."

x0x0

"You're still pretty unhappy, aren't you?"

she nodded unseeing.

"Did you ever thing...that maybe...you're better off?"

She inhaled sharply and breathed "No"

x0x0

"Is that what happened? Why the Cullens left?"

She shrugged weakly "I'm nothing but a human aftger all. Nothing special"

Bella had noticed the pain on my face and felt me flinch at what I had just seen and heard, but before I could recover myself another thought was thrown directly into my mind.

This one cut to the core and it took everything I had to remain silent...

The dark familiar forest... a thick layer of rain was falling.

A figure lay curled on the ground, mahogany hair soaked and splayed across the dark foliage.

Soft mumbling was coming from her... but it was hard to make out over the loud downpour.

A light shined onto the coiled form, it lit up a pale and seemingly half dead face. She took no notice of the other presence; chocolate brown eyes stared into nothing.

The mumbling became clearer and two words were distinguishable.

"He's gone"

I forcibly pulled myself back...my head had begun to throb painfully.

Bella was staring up at me, all the fear she had had in her eyes was now gone, replaced with worry. I tried to focus on her face and relax my own at the same time.

"That's funny" I heard Jacob laugh. I tried to ignore him but it was impossible. I couldn't block thoughts and when they were sent to me so intently and with such force it was impossible.

I worked to focus my eyes on Bella again... On the Bella standing in front of me.

She was looking back and forth between me and Jacob, her eyes wide. She then glared in his direction, apparently making the connection.

"What are you doing to him" she demanded, a slight panic in her voice again.

"It's nothing, Bella" I said quietly, trying to drown out the image that felt like it was tearing a hole behind my eyes. "Jacob just has a good memory, is all"

"My name is Sam Uley...Charlie sent me to look for you"

"He's gone...he's gone...gone..."

I couldn't help but flinch again, I tried to fix my features but apparently I wasn't quick enough.

"Stop it! Whatever your doing!" She yelled.

"Sure if you want" Jacob said with a shrug.

Thankfully the images stopped.

"It's his own fault if he doesn't like the things I remember, though."

I looked back at Jacob to see him smiling at Bella. I swallowed and pushed down the growing pain in my chest. Though he had stopped sending them, the pictures of her agonized face remained burned behind my eyes.

Another's thoughts came to focus this time. I leaned down and murmured, "The principle's on his way to discourage loitering on school property...Lets get to English, Bella, so you're not involved." The last thing I wanted was for her to be caught and get into even more trouble with Charlie because of me.

"Overprotective, isn't he?" Jacob said as I began to walk her towards class. He was speaking only to her and I tried to ignore him. "A little trouble makes life fun. Let me guess, you're not allowed to have fun are you?"

I stopped and glared back at him. If his idea of fun was riding a motorcycle top speed with no helmet and cliff diving in the middle of a storm... then No, as a matter of fact Bella was not allowed to have fun.

"Shut up, Jake" Bella snapped in his direction.

I couldn't agree more, though it would have been better if he took that advice to begin with.

Laughing he replied "Sounds like a no. Hey, if you ever feel like having a life again, you could come see me. I've still got your motorcycle in my garage"

"You were suppose to sell that. You promised Charlie you would" Bella said Shocked out of her anger.

"Yeah, right. Like I would do that. It belongs to you, not me. Anyway, I'll hold on to it till you want it back"

I tried not to see the eagerness light up her eyes; she wanted that friendship back so badly...she was so worried for him

"Jake..." She hesitated, and I knew it was because I was still next to her, my arm wrapped securely around her waist. I tightened my hold as he leaned in closer.

It took all I had not to pull her away, but she needed this... I'm not exactly sure what it was she needed, or maybe I just didn't want to understand what it was... either way I didn't act; I stood there patiently waiting for them to finished.

"I think I might have been wrong before, you know, about not being friends. Maybe we could manage it, on my side of the line. Come see me"

"I, er, don't know about that, Jake"

More regret and guilt washed over me. She wanted to say yes...to agree, but I just couldn't allow it.

It hurt enough whenever she wasn't in my sight but sending her there...the whole pack was still so young and Alice could not see... if anything went wrong, I had no way of knowing, I could not be there.

No.

If there was anyway for their friendship to last it would have to be on this side of the line.

Jacob's mind had crumbled under her words and I felt my self sympathize a bit. It was clear Jacob Black had fallen in love...it was hard not to fall in love with Bella.

But she was mine, and even if she sent me away I would always be hers.

"I miss you everyday Bella. It's not the same without you"

"I know, and I'm sorry Jake, I just..."

He sighed, and his thoughts became resigned to the facts he had already known.

"I know, Doesn't matter right? I guess I'll survive or something. Who needs friends?'

That's it, make her feel even worse.

This was all so very wrong and out of hand. It was like I could here my Bella tearing in two.

I felt her arms twitch as if she yearned to reach out to him. I selfishly held her tighter towards me and she did not fight. I just couldn't find it in myself to allow her to get any closer than she already was.

"Okay, get to class" The principle had finally managed to show his face, it would have been more welcome about ten minutes ago, but all the same.

"Move along, Mr. Crowley"

"Get to school Jake" Bella whispered towards him. I released her and took her hand once more, pulling her behind me.

I could tell from his aggravated thoughts Greene had begun to go into detention mode and I wasn't about to let her get into trouble over this.

"I mean it" the man threatened as he finally managed to push through the gathered crowd. "Detention for anyone who's still standing here when I turn around"

The crowd scattered in less than ten seconds. Leaving just us four standing there.

"Ah, Mr. Cullen. Do we have a problem here?"

"Not at all, Mr. Greene. We were just on our way to class"

"Excellent" he said, then his eyes slid back to Jacob...annoyance and a slight twinge of fear went through his mind.

His thoughts told me he knew where the trouble was coming from, but considering Jacob's height and attire, he was a bit apprehensive about dealing with it.

"I don't seem to recognize your friend" he said glaring at the boy who was at least two heads taller than him. "Are you a new student here?"

"Nope"

"Then I suggest you remove yourself from school property at once, young man, before I call the police."

"Yes, sir" Jacob said mockingly before got back on his bike and kicked it started. Then with one last grin in our direction and one finale, silent, warning sent to me he speed out of the parking lot and out of sight.

My muscles finally relaxed.

"Mr. Cullen, I expect you to ask your friend to refrain from trespassing again"

"He's no friend of mine, Mr. Greene, but I'll pass along the warning" And a lot more if I ever got the chance to speak to him alone.

"I see. If you're worried about trouble, I'd be happy to..."

"There's nothing to worry about, Mr. Greene. There won't be any trouble"

"I hope that's correct. Well, then. On to class. You, too, Miss Swan"

I nodded and quickly pulled Bella along side me. Looking down at her face I saw she was still too pale and I knew she had a head full of questions.

"Do you feel well enough to go to class?" I asked quietly as we walked away.

"Yes."

As soon as we took our seats Bella ripped a piece of paper from her notebook and began to write quickly. I glanced side ways at her but she kept her eyes on her writing. Her jaw set stubbornly.

She shoved the note across the desk and I took it already knowing what it said.

What happened? Tell me everything.

And screw the protecting me crap, please.

I sighed and began to write. I really wished I could talk to her... but this was Bella.

Quickly writing down what Alice had seen and what had happened Saturday I passed it back to her.

She read the words and I felt her shudder. It was exactly why I didn't want her to know in the first place. She quickly erased my paragraph and began again. I watched her words form on the page.

What about Charlie? She could have been after him.

I shook my head before she had the chance to pass the note. We had all made sure Charlie was safe. He nearly took care of the job himself by staying at Billy's in his free time.

Alice had assured me Victoria wasn't headed that way just yet. Though it confused me as to why, I didn't question her...I have always trusted Alice.

I held out my hand for the paper and pen to explain this to her but Bella ignored me and began to write again, she was clearly upset...

You can't know that she wasn't thinking that, because you weren't here. Florida was a bad idea.

A bad idea for who?... her or me? Did she expect me to put her on a plane by herself?

Not likely.

Besides I wouldn't last a day with her being so far away. Just leaving to go hunting hurt both of us enough. Taking the paper from beneath her hands and ignoring her glare I wrote...

I wasn't about to send you off alone.

With your luck not even the black box would survive.

She read my words and I was overjoyed to finally see some color rise in her cheeks again, even if it wasn't much. She narrowed her eyes at me and nodded her head slightly, the look on her face made it all too clear what she would be saying if we weren't in the middle of class. ‘Alright Mr. Know it all'

She began to write and I tried hard not to smile.

So let's say my bad luck did crash the plane.

What exactly were you going to do about it?

Why is the plane crashing?

The pilots are passed out drunk.

Easy, I'd fly the plane.

She pursed her lips and I could almost hear the gears turning in her brain. Finally she nodded again to herself and wrote...

Both engines have explodedand and we're falling in a death spiral toward earth.

Once again easy...

I'd wait till we were close enough to the ground, get a good grip on you, kick out the wall, and jump.

Then I'd run you back to the scene of the accident,

and we'd stubble around like the two luckiest survivors in history.

When she had finished reading she looked up at me, her mouth slightly opened.

"What?" I whispered. I hadn't been joking. Her expression was funny and I couldn't hold back my smile this time.

"Nothing" she mouthed.

She turned back to the paper.

You will tell me next time.

I sighed as I looked into her face. And though she still looked too pale, her brown eyes were determined as they stared at me through long lashes, still damp with tears.

Knowing the next time I saw Victoria would be the last, I caved.

With a sigh I nodded my head... Like the damn dog had said she had a right to know.

Thanks