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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:


9. Apologies

Rating 5/5   Word Count 6254   Review this Chapter

Chapter 8

"Apologies"

As I had expected Bella was ready to forgive Jacob. I had prepared myself and so when she told me she was going to let her friend off the hook this morning I swallowed my fear and gave her a smile. I had to let her know I trusted her, trusted in her judgment even if I didn't trust the mutt.

Bella grabbed the phone and sat back down at the table. I could hear their conversation but I tried not to pay attention. This was between Bella and her friend. I just had to keep looking at it like that, her friend... not her werewolf friend.

Though try as I might to ignore the sound of Jacob Blacks relieved voice, I couldn't help but tense slightly at his next words.

"Come down to see me...I want to make it up to you."

I knew it was coming sooner or later and I had braced myself for it, but after yesterday it felt nearly impossible. Now on top of Victoria and the
Volturi we had this mysterious vampire out there and we didn't have the slightest idea of his intentions yet.

"How?" Bella asked

"Anything you want, cliff diving."

My hand clenched under the table where Bella couldn't see. It was things like that that made me want to change my mind about this whole situation. But I couldn't, Bella needed this...she deserved it.

"Oh, there's a brilliant idea!" Bella stated sarcastically

"I'll keep you safe...no matter what you want to do."

Bella glanced up at me and even though my mind was screaming... please not now... please not now... I kept my face relaxed and calm as I met her eyes. I could do this. I could do it for her.

"Not right now."

I slowly released a breath too low for her to hear, my fist unclenching.

Good, she knew I would no longer fight with her about going to La Push, but right now was not a good time, at least not until we figured out who this strange visitor was.

"He's not thrilled with me is he?" Jacob asked sounding annoyed and ashamed at the same time.

It was major understatement, but true.

"That's not the problem. There's...well, there's this other problem that's slightly more worrisome than a bratty teenage werewolf..."

"What's wrong?"

"Um..." she hesitated and I held out my hand. It was clear she wasn't sure if she should say anything but it seemed like a good idea. The Pack may know something we didn't and if the dogs were going to be here, they might as well make themselves useful. Since none of us could cross the boundary line, they could keep an eye out on their side.

Bella looked at me and then my out stretched hand, her eyes wary.

"Bella?" Jacob asked when she hadn't spoken.

I sighed, pushing my hand closer. If they had information we needed to know and it wasn't like I was going to kill the dog through the phone... as much as that thought appealed to me.

"Do you mind speaking to Edward? He wants to talk to you."

Silence.

I waited trying to keep my patience.

"Okay...this should be interesting."

Finally Bella handed over the phone and I placed it to my ear. "Hello, Jacob." I feigned politeness. It was harder than I thought it would be to keep my voice calm and polite when I could still hear Bella's hurt filled words from the night before, but I managed.

"What's going on that she isn't saying? What happened?" he asked immediately.

"Someone was here, not a scent I know...has your pack come across anything new?"

"No... not since Victoria anyway...we've been keeping a watch out for her though, we figure it's only a matter of time till she shows up again"

I nodded, that was a good thing. "Here's the crux Jacob," I began "I won't be letting Bella out of my sight until I get this taken care of. It's nothing personal..."

"Oh come on, she'll be here on the reservation. Do you really think a leech will be able to reach her here with se...six werewolves?"

I understood what he was saying but she would still be out of my sight and more importantly Alice's.

"You might be right..." I began, but he cut me off.

"You know I'm right." He said stubbornly "But I'll let Sam know about this, I think maybe we should go over the boundary lines, make a few changes so what happened last time won't happen again. When these blood suckers show up again, we can't let them get away."

"That's an interesting suggestion. We're quite willing to renegotiate. If Sam is amenable"

"Don't worry about Sam. I'll deal with him...we need to take care of whatever this is."

I was surprised at the authority in Jacob's voice, like he knew Sam would agree with him without argument. The kid had clearly grown and was taking his duties seriously. It was nice to know he could act somewhat mature when it came to these things.

"Thank you" I said sincerely.

"So if you come across whoever this is, what are you going to do with Bella? You can't just leave her alone"

I was surprised at his question; did he really think I would leave her alone?

"I'd plan to go alone actually...and leave her with the others"

"She should come here!" he said loudly, "You know it's the best place for her and Charlie. That way the rest of the lee...your family can go with
you. It makes sense and it's less likely they will get away if it's more than one of you."

"I'll try to consider it objectively," I promised. It did seem like the best option, but I still wasn't sure. "As objectively as I'm capable of."

He sighed loudly into the phone but dropped the subject. "Maybe I should come over and get this scent. If I know it the rest of the pack will too, we'll know who we're dealing with if we ever run across them or their trail."

I was once again surprised "That's not a half bad idea. When?"

"How about now, while the scent is still strong...or..." he hesitated.

"No, that's fine. I'd like the chance to follow the trail personally." If he had to be around Bella there was no need to push his control.

"Alright give me ten minutes"

"Ten minutes...certainly."

I held the phone back out, but Bella didn't take it. She was staring at me in confusion and slight shock.

"Bella?" I asked cautiously.

She slowly took the phone from my hand, her wary eyes never leaving mine. It was almost humorous the way she looked. Then her jaw clenched as she put the phone to her ear. "What was that all about?" She asked sounding annoyed now.




"Oh come on, we're all adults here" Bella said exasperated. "Why do you have to leave?"

I raised an eyebrow. After nearly 110 years I hoped I could consider myself an adult. Jacob on the other hand was not. He was sixteen, hormonal, and easy to anger. Add that to the fact he was a werewolf and happened to have feelings for a vampire's love, it would be wise if said vampire wasn't present when he showed up.

Plus I wasn't sure if I was ready to face him yet after what he had done, there was no need to test my patience there.

"It's not that I feel any personal antagonism toward him, Bella, it's just easier for both of us" I opened the door and turned to her, she had her arms crossed around her chest, her face annoyed and somewhat apprehensive.

"I won't be far away," I promised "You'll be safe."

"I'm not worried about that."

I smiled, of course not. Would she ever worry about herself? I guess I did that enough for the both of us, but all the same it would be nice to have a little help every once in a while.

I leaned in to kiss her softly on the lips but stopped. If I had to be the one to leave then I had the right to mark what was mine right?

Smirking slightly, I pulled Bella into my arms and buried my face in her hair before I breathed out softly.

That should do it.

If I wasn't going to be here, then he needed a little reminder of what was off limits.

"I'll be right back" I reassured her, trying to hold in the laugh that was slowly building up. I was unsuccessful and Bella looked at me questioningly.

"What's so funny?"

I just flashed her grin and headed towards the trees.

(LINE BREAK)

"What's so funny?" Jasper asked walking towards me.

"Nothing." I said chuckling softly. I knew it was kind of immature but I couldn't help myself.

"Ok then." He said eyeing me oddly.

I sighed and looked towards the house which was now hardly noticeable through the thick trees. Jacob had arrived. If it wasn't for the fact I could hear his thoughts the smell would have given him away.

"Anything?" I asked without looking asked him, I already knew the answer.

‘Nothing'

"Alright I'm going to follow the trail...could you do me a favor and keep an eye out, make sure..."

Jasper nodded. "Of course" ‘But the trail ends as soon as it hits the road' he reminded me.

"Yes I know... all the same." I hesitated looking towards the house one more time before I took off following the scent. It wasn't as strong as
what I had smelled in Bella's room but there was still enough lingering in the damp foliage to make the trail clear.

It's not that I didn't trust Jasper and Emmet. If that was the case I'd be watching Jake with Bella instead of leaving Jasper there. It's just that I needed to be absolutely sure there was nothing else to pick up on, nothing that could have been missed. The only way I would be completely satisfied and convinced would be if I did it myself... and if that made me arrogant so be it.

If it involved keeping Bella safe I knew my family would be behind me no matter what, even if that meant the Volturi. Bella was one of us now, in all the ways that counted, and they truly loved her.

But this was my duty; it was my responsibility to fix this. I had been the one to steal her from the real world. I had taken her from a safe life and thrown her into this one. I had made her vulnerable and I had to make it right.

Just like Emmet had said the night before the scent made a clear turn towards the South. There was no doubt about that.

I continued on and it wasn't long before I hit the road, breaking out of the trees.

A dead end.

Though I had expected this I was still infuriated. It seemed to always be a dead end. Out of everything that was currently coming at us we had no kind of lee way...no advantage.

In every singe situation we were left waiting. We could do nothing but wait and watch.

I hated feeling so helpless. There were so many things that needed to be done, things I knew I needed to do to make my love safe, and yet I had nowhere to start.





When I reached Jasper again he was chuckling softly and shaking his head.

"What is it?" I asked curious.

"Do you know how long it's been since I actually felt nauseous?" He asked turning towards me.

"No idea, but I'd imagine it's been quite a while." I said, smirking slightly. "What are you talking about?"

And then I smelled it.

Blood.

I felt myself tense and was a millisecond away from dashing towards the house when I realized the blood was way too foul to be Bella's. I relaxed and let myself drift into Jacob's mind. He was standing in the middle of the kitchen looking at Bella. Her face was pale and there was a sheen of sweat on her forehead.

I now understood why Jasper had felt nauseous. He had been picking up on Bella's reaction to the smell of blood.

"Werewolf remember?" ‘Cheesh why is she so shocked? it's not like she hadn't seen anything like this before.'

"Right" Bella answered and Jacob laughed.

"I told you this... you saw Paul's scar."

"It's a little different, seeing the action sequence firsthand."

I pulled back and Jasper was still chuckling softly beside me. "So what happened...did Bella stab him or something?" I asked again, grinning as
that idea ran through my head. It was a rather pleasant thought all things considered.

"I have no idea" he answered. "They had started talking about when she was going to be changed and I could tell his emotions were going a little crazy. I was about to go and check to make sure everything was okay but then he yelled and I smelled the blood."

He started chuckling again. "You know I still can't believe Bella is so nauseous to it. I mean I had heard about it but experiencing it first hand is
different...there was minute there when I thought I was going to faint." He shook his head. "It almost makes me want to go back on my bet with Emmet. If this particular trait carries over when she's changed there's no telling what could happen."

I rolled my eyes. Bella had a lot of characteristics that could define her as one of us but I highly doubted a disgust of blood would be one of them.

As silence fell between us again my ears picked up Jacob's voice.

"Do you have obsessive compulsion disorder?"

Jasper snorted ‘Sometimes I wonder'

I looked at him.

"What?" he said seeing the look on my face.

"Very funny" I mumbled. Bella did not have O.C.D. After a few medical degrees I think I would be able to notice something like that.

Curious at this question however, I let my mind be pulled back into Jacob's thoughts.

Bella was standing in front of the washer. I saw her throw a bloodied towel into the machine, dumping a full cup of bleach on top. She closed the lid and looked up at Jacob with an odd expression; she seemed to actually be thinking over what he had said. But then she shrugged her shoulders.

"We're a bit sensitive to blood around here. I'm sure you can understand that"

"Oh" ‘That's honestly beyond sick...I still don't get it'

"Why not make it as easy as possible for him? What he's doing is hard enough"

I heard Jasper begin to laugh again and I pulled myself back. "God Edward, Bella is the only human who would make her vampire boyfriend more comfortable by keeping blood to a bare minimal." He continued to chuckle softly as he shook his head "I love that girl, she's definitely something."

I couldn't help but grin in response. I knew that all too well. But I hated how she thought me being around her was hard, because it wasn't...not
anymore. There were many things my body craved from her but her blood had fallen down the list a long time ago.

I still felt the hunger, but it had no control. It didn't matter now if I hadn't fed in months and she was bleeding in front of me, there was no way I could hurt her. My mind had experienced what life was without her, and so had the monster. Both sides of me now knew what her death felt like and anything that could make me experience that again was impossible for me to comprehend.

It wasn't that I had better control; it was the fact that it was now impossible for me to harm her, at least in that way. Regardless of the fact that our relationship seemed to go against all the rules of nature, to me it was the most natural thing in the world, being with her was like breathing air...there hardly any struggle or effort on my part now.

"What's it like...having a werewolf for a best friend?" The question drew back my attention and I found myself waiting curiously for the answer.

I heard Bella's beautiful laugh and couldn't help but smile at the sound.

"That's nothing" Jasper said, ‘you should have been here when he was asking questions earlier.'

Before I could question him on this I heard Jacob speak again.

"Does it creep you out?"

"No" she answered and I could tell by the sound of her voice she was sincere, not that I expected anything less. "When the werewolf is being nice, it's the best."

"Thanks Bella." Jacob said.

I hated hearing his hopeful thoughts and I hated it more when I realized he had pulled her into a hug. I cringed at the picture I saw in his head, but
before I could feel anymore aggravated I felt his senses kick in through his mind as his nose burned.

"Ugh...your hair smells worse than your room."

Laughing full out now I looked at Jasper who was looking at me highly amused and somewhat confused. No doubt he was wondering about my range of emotions...I had went from curious, to aggravated, to jealous, and finally hilarity.

After my laughter had died down, I heard a vehicle come up the road. I looked over my shoulder through the trees to see the small mail truck stopping in front of the house. After he had driven back off I sped over to the box and pulled out the mail. Feeling the thick envelope in my hand I couldn't help but grin.

Bell's acceptance letter from Dartmouth had finally come.

I already knew it was an acceptance; I wouldn't have it any other way. I knew she would enjoy it if she just gave it a try... it was just convincing
her to go. I knew she would complain about the money but I wish she wouldn't.

The rain had begun to pick up again as I made my way towards the house. Jacob was finished with what he had come to do and I was becoming more and more impatient. I knew Bella was safe and I had nothing to worry about when it came to her physical well being, but I was still anxious to see her again.

I'm not sure why, maybe it was because of their happy reunion or maybe it was because he had hugged her. I didn't know. All I knew was I wanted to hold her.

Stopping by the side of the house I leaned against the wall and waited. I knew he would have heard me approach and there wasn't a doubt in my mind that he could smell me now.

"See you around Bells."

"Are you leaving?"

"He's waiting for me to go. I can hear him outside."

"Oh"

"I'll go out the back."

Hearing this I made my way towards the front door and waited.

"Hold up a sec..." Hearing Jacob's thoughts I sighed softly. I knew he wasn't going to let it drop. He wanted Bella to come over tonight.

"Hey, do you think you could come to La Push tonight? We're having a bonfire party. Emily will be there, and you could meet Kim...And I know Quil wants to see you too. He's pretty peeved that you found out before he did."

This time I let out a much louder and frustrated sigh. He heard it. ‘Oh, come on...she'll be safe and I know she wants to go. You're not her father you know, you can't constantly make decisions for her'

I lowered my head and pinched my nose trying to get my patience back. But as I looked into Jacob's mind I could see Bella and I realized his words were true. She really wanted to go, it was written all over her face despite the fact her eyes were hesitant and she was biting her lip.

"Yeah, Jake, I don't know about that. See it's a little tense right now..."

"C'mon, you think someone's going to get past all s...six of us."

My head snapped up as I heard Jacob's real words. So there were seven wolves now? I became even more shocked when I realized this new member of the pack was female...it was Leah Clearwater.

How very strange. From the little of the legends I had heard, there was nothing said about the gene being past on to strictly male, but as that was
the case it was assumed over the years that it only passed from father to son.

Due to the fact Jacob was now mentally cussing himself, he remembered I could read his thoughts and had in fact heard his slip up.

"I'll ask." Bella said doubtfully.

I frowned at the brown door. She didn't have to ask anything, it was her choice. It was true I didn't want her to go but I had no right to give or refuse permission.

"Is he your warden now too? You know I saw this story on the news last week about controlling, abusive teenage relationships and..."

I clenched my teeth...how could one sixteen year old be so aggravating?

"Okay!" Bella said loudly "Time for the werewolf to get out!"

I couldn't agree more. The thoughts he was sending my way was making me more and more irritated.

"Bye, Bells. Be sure you ask permission."

I felt the urge to growl in frustration but before I could I heard a different growl. It surprised me and I had to suppress a burst of laughter. Bella, my sweet innocent angel had growled. It was so amusing and cute; I instantly felt the aggravation the boy had given me fall away.

But that too was replaced with caution and slight worry as I turned the door knob and opened the door. I hoped she wouldn't be angry with me if she figured out why I had been laughing earlier or angry at the fact Jacob had ribbed her about asking my permission.

"Did you two get into a fight?" I asked when I stepped into the kitchen. I could tell by her face she was angry. I just didn't know who she was angry
with. My eyes left her and scanned the kitchen quickly; Jacob's blood was still overpowering the small space.

Then I spotted it. A crimson stained knife sitting on the counter. Hmm, maybe she did stab him. Before I could ask or even smirk at this splendid discovery Bella was in my arms

"Edward!"

"Hi there." I said catching her in surprise and wrapping my arms around her. It was nice to know she wasn't angry at me. But she still hadn't answered my question and the curiosity was overwhelming.

"Are you trying to distract me? It's working."

"No, I didn't fight with Jacob. Much. Why?"

"I was just wondering why you stabbed him. Not that I object." I gestured towards the knife.

"Dang! I thought I got everything" She pulled away from me and headed towards the counter pulling out the bottle of bleach again. "I didn't stab
him," she said over her shoulder. I cringed slightly as she took her eyes off the sharp object in her hands. "He forgot he had a knife in his hand."

I laughed... the idiot. "That's not nearly as fun as I imagined it." I said truthfully through my chuckles.

"Be nice." She said, though I could tell she was smiling.

When she had turned around, finished with her thorough cleansing, I pulled the acceptance letter from my pocket and tossed it on the table. "I got your mail."

"Anything good?"

"I think so."

She unfolded the thick envelope and her eyes widened "Dartmouth? Is this a joke?"

I ignored her question. "I'm sure it's an acceptance." I said with a smile "It looks just like mine."

"Good grief, Edward...what did you do?" she asked, looking up at me.

"I sent in your application, that's all." I had told her I was going to fill it out and sign her name, what did she expect?

"I may not be Dartmouth material, but I'm not stupid enough to believe that."

"Dartmouth thinks your Dartmouth material." It was true. She got accepted on her own, the only thing I had to work on was the deadline date.

Bella's face was red and I could tell by her intense glare she was angry. There was a long moment where we just stared at each other and finally she took a breath and spoke in a forced calm voice.

"That's very generous of them. However accepted or not, there is still the minor matter of tuition. I can't afford it, and I'm not letting you
throw away enough money to buy yourself another sports car just so that I can pretend to go to Dartmouth next year."

"I don't need another sports car. And you don't have to pretend anything" I said quietly, unable to keep the sad pleading out of my voice. "One year of college wouldn't kill you. Maybe you'd even like it. Just think about it Bella. Imagine how excited Charlie and Renee would be..."

Her eyes slid from mine as she stared down at the envelope in her hands. I felt myself gain a little leverage as I hung from the edge. She was clearly thinking over what I had said. It upset me that she was so willing to damn herself but it infuriated me how she seemed to do so without even thinking first. She was so eager...I hated it.

I watched her closely, her brows knitted together and as she spoke she kept her eyes down. "Edward, I'm worried about living through graduation, let alone this summer or next fall"

I swallowed painfully and walked towards her. I wrapped my arms around her waist as she placed her head on my chest. "No one is going to hurt you," I promised, "You have all the time in the world." How many times had I told her this? When would she finally believe me?

An annoying voice in the back of my head answered that question. ‘When she was no longer being hunted by known and unknown enemies.'

She sighed into my shirt before she spoke. "I'm mailing the contents of my bank account to Alaska tomorrow. It's all the alibi I need. It's far
enough away that Charlie won't expect a visit till Christmas at the earliest. And I'm sure I'll think of some excuse by then." She took a
breath before she added, "You know this whole secrecy and deception thing is kind of a pain"

The words were out of mouth before I could stop them. "It gets easier. After a few decades, everyone you know is dead. Problem solved"

I felt her flinch against me and instantly regretted it. "Sorry, that was harsh."

"But still true"

I nodded and kissed the top of her head. The words were insensitive but they were fact. I knew she understood what immortality was but she had yet to grasp what it meant.

But there was no way for her to get it. She was human, mortal. Ten years was a long time for her. A time where she would grow, change, and adapt to the world around her. But for me ten years was nothing...just another decade added to the ever growing stack. I could not change, could not grow...I was forever stuck in this seventeen year old body. The world around me became more different everyday and yet I stayed the same.

Even now after a century of practice there were times where I was still stuck in 1918. No matter what I did, or how the world around me developed a part of me would always be there in that time.

I wish there was a way I could show her what forever meant. I could talk and try to explain to her till her ears went numb and she still wouldn't get it. Immortality was something that could only be completely understood by experiencing it. But there was no trial run, the experience was permanent, there was no turning back.

And that's what I feared above all else. Once she was one of us she would regret it, she would be angry.

Rosalie had grown to love Carlisle like a father but there was still that part in her that resented and hated him for choosing this life for her. I
couldn't handle it if Bella ever felt that way towards me.

"If I get this resolved, whatever it is we're dealing with, will you please consider waiting?" I asked still hanging on in vain.

"Nope." She answered immediately.

"Always so stubborn."

"Yep"

I was about to do some more shameless begging when I heard a loud clunk come from down the hall.

"Stupid piece of junk" Bella mumbled as she pulled away from me.

I followed her down the hall and into the laundry room. Leaning on the door jam I watched her rearrange the towel in the washer.

"This reminds me," She said hitting the start button again "Could you ask Alice what she did with my stuff when she cleaned my room? I can't find it anywhere"

"Alice cleaned your room?" I asked in confusion.

"Yeah I guess that's what she was doing. When she came to get my pajamas and pillow and stuff to hold me hostage...she picked up everything that was lying around, my shirts my socks, and I don't know where she put them"

Why would Alice clean Bella's room...Now the closet is a different story, but her room? And if Alice had taken her shirts and things I had no doubt Bella would have brand new ones to replace them. Alice had threatened numerous of times that she was going to wipe out Bella's closet and refurbish it. The only thing stopping her was the fact she knew Bella would be furious with her.

Wait.... socks, shirts, her pillow. Why would Alice taker her pillow?

"When did you notice your things missing?" I asked quickly, feeling the panic rise up in me.

"When I got back from the fake slumber party. Why?"

"I don't think Alice took anything. Not your clothes or your pillow. The things that were taken, these were things that you'd worn...and touched....and slept on?"

No, no, NO!

"Yes. What is it Edward"

I met her gaze unable to pull up the mask that would cover the fear this realization brought on. She still didn't get it. "Things with your scent."

"Oh!" Bella stared at me her eyes full of understanding and fear "My visitor?"

"He was getting traces...evidence. To prove that he'd found you."

Why? Who was this, what did they want? I got a bad case of Deja vouz as James's face ran through my head. Whoever this was... he could be taking Bella's things to a tracker.

Someone could be out there right now with my angel's scent biding there time. But if they already knew where Bella's house was why would they need her scent? Nothing was making sense.

"Why?"

Bella's whisper was so helpless and confused I couldn't help but pull her towards me again.

"I don't know. But, Bella, I swear I will find out. I will."

"I know you will." She answered resting back on my chest. I smiled softy as I laid my cheek on the top of her head. She trusted me, after everything I had done, said, and put her through, I still had her trust. That meant more to me than anything else...made me even less worthy of her than I already was.

The phone vibrating in my pocket pulled us from the silent moment.

I looked at the number. "Just the person I need to talk to..." I flipped it open and placed it to my ear "Carlisle I..."

But he was already talking "Edward there's been more murders in Seattle. I heard a little bit on the news and everyone's been talking here at the
hospital. Can you do me a favor and check the paper, I'm kind of in over my head right now and I'm not going to get a break for while..."

"I'll check it out...listen..."

I explained everything that had happened with the wolves and Bella's missing things. He agreed with me when I said I thought it was someone
collecting evidence but he didn't have any further insight on the matter than I did.



After I had fished today's paper from Charlie's trash can I read over it. It was the same as last time but it seemed like they were getting even sloppier. I was no longer in doubt and nor was Carlisle that these were newborns. Freshly made and ignorant to the rules. The way they acted it was as if they had never heard of the Volturi, which probably was the case.

It wouldn't be long now and Seattle would be getting a visit from Italy.

"What a mess." Bella mumbled over my shoulder. I couldn't agree more. If it wasn't one thing it was another.

"It does feel that way doesn't it? Like it's coming at us from all sides these days." I sighed and looked up at her from the paper "Do you ever think that your life might be easier if you weren't in love with me?"

"Maybe." she said "It wouldn't be much of a life, though."

"For me." I corrected her quietly. She stared into my eyes for moment and I knew she was about to argue so before she could speak I quickly changed the subject.

"And now, I suppose you have something you want to ask me"

"I do?"

"Maybe not" I said grinning at her clueless expression "I was rather under the impression that you'd promised to ask my permission to go to some kind of werewolf soirée tonight."

"Eavesdropping again?" she said raising her eyebrows.

"Just as bit...at the very end."

She looked down at the table before she answered "Well, I wasn't going to ask you anyway. I figured you had enough to stress about"

Me? I had enough to stress about? What about her? If anyone deserved a break from all this madness Bella did. I couldn't understand how she dealt with it all. Any other girl her age would have pulled all her hair out by now or be running and screaming as far away from Forks as possible.

Unable to see her eyes -the only thing that gave me a clue as to what she was truly thinking- I reached over and lifted her face back up.

"Would you like to go?" I asked her, watching closely.

"It's no big thing. Don't worry about it" Despite her words I could see the eagerness in her eyes just as I had before.

She wanted to go.

"You don't have to ask my permission, Bella. I'm not your father Thank heaven for that. Perhaps you should ask Charlie though."

"But you know Charlie will say yes."

"I do have a bit more insight into his probable answer than most people would, it's true." I knew for fact he would agree and be overjoyed at her
decision. I often found myself wondering what Charlie would do if he knew the truth. Would he be more disappointed at his daughter hanging around a werewolf or Vampire?

Then again if he knew the truth he would probably snatch Bella up and run as faraway as possible. Not that it could keep me away.

Bella was looking at me closely. Obviously confused by my words. It was true that I didn't want her to go. I didn't want her to be anywhere that I
couldn't see and especially where Alice couldn't see. But I would not fight with her on it. If she wanted to go she could go and I would not try to
stop her.

"Bella," I said when she still hadn't said anything "I told you that I was going to be reasonable and trust your judgment. I meant that. If you trust the werewolves, then I'm not going to worry about them." Much.

"Wow"

I smiled softly at her reaction. "And Jacob's right about one thing anyway...a pack of werewolves should be enough to protect even you for one
evening."

"Are you sure?" She asked her eyes pleading and full of hope. How could I possibly say no to that anyway?

"Of course...Only I hope you won't mind taking as few precautions? Allowing me to drive you to the boundary line for one. And then taking a cell
phone, so that I'll know when to pick you up?"

"That sounds...very reasonable."

And then she did something that made it all worth it. She looked into my eyes, the chocolate brown sparkling and smiled a true carefree smile.

I grinned back "Excellent."