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Shooting Star

Summary:
Written before the publication of Breaking Dawn...MY ENDING TO THE TWILIGHT SAGA ----- "Edward, what's going on?" He didn't respond. His golden eyes were far away, like he wasn't seeing me. But then something flashed across his face. An expression of anger... "Matt...ew..." Edward managed to get out through clenched teeth, as if he were fighting something internally. "Or maybe he just takes control of your body. That might be it." Jacob had guessed. "Edward!" I reached out a hand to touch his cold skin, but I stopped--my hand hovering in the air between us. The cold distant look had consumed his face. He then spoke in a voice that had pain and fear shooting through me. "Goodbye, Bella," he hissed as he advanced towards me. Shooting Star Banner


Notes:


9. Chapter 8 - Wounds

Rating 5/5   Word Count 2319   Review this Chapter

CHAPTER 8: Wounds

“Jacob?”

The word was barely a whisper.

I couldn’t breathe.

For one second I stood in the doorway, unaware of Edward tensed behind me, staring. Staring at the deep, bloody gashes across his chest and stomach, at the odd way his arm stuck out, at the dark bruise around his left eye, at Jacob—all Jacob.

“Let him in, Bella,” Edward’s voice was cold and hard behind me. I snapped back, moving aside as Jacob brushed past me. Once he crossed the doorstep, Edward shut the door with a soft click and came back to stand beside me, twining my fingers through his. Jacob’s eyes assessed me for a moment, scanning my face and down my body, but then flickered to the light wood floorboards.

“I had a hell of a time finding this place in the rain—let me tell you,” Jacob said, his eyes darting around the room. I could guess all the differences he was noting, seeing the large white room minus the disco lights, food tables, and crowd of my “graduation party”. I caught him wrinkling his nose as his eyes came back to rest on the floorboards. “Place still smells the same as always,” he muttered under his breath.

Smell.

Was that why my head was spinning, and my balance was suddenly gone? I grasped Edward’s arm for support. The blood dripping from Jacob not only trickled from the wounds from his chest, but now I could also see blood seeping through the fabric of his jeans, running all the way down to his feet , leaving a trail of crimson foot prints across the floor. I could smell the blood—rust and salt—and the walls started swirling.

So much blood…

“Jake—” one hand was outstretched towards him before I collapsed.

“Bella!” Two voices called. A pair of icy arms scooped me up. I forced one eye open, meeting a pair of golden, concerned ones. “Carlisle!” Edward said loudly. He was there in a flash, standing beside Edward. His wide, golden eyes were taking in Jacob’s sudden appearance with surprise. “Take care of Jacob while I get Bella upstairs,” he said. The room was shimmering too wildly for me to see Carlisle’s response.

“But, Jake…” I barely got you.

“He’ll be fine, Bella,” Edward’s cool voice was in my ear. “Carlisle is going to look after him.” I realized that neither Edward’s father figure nor my werewolf friend were in the room anymore. “Now let’s get you upstairs,” Edward continued, “before you pass out.”

“I might before you get there,” I groaned. And before I knew it, Edward was striding towards the stairs, probably taking human velocity as to not upset my already knotted stomach. I kept my eyes closed as he ascended.

“Bella,” Edward’s velvet voice echoed slightly, “Bella, stay with me.” I didn’t want to open my eyes. My ears were ringing now. I could barely tell we were moving. This was one advantage to having a superhuman boyfrie—husband, I guess it was now.

I cringed, and I felt his arms tighten around me. He probably thought it was because I was in some kind of pain. Suddenly, I felt a mattress beneath me, and I assumed we had reached Edward’s bedroom. He’d probably laid me down on the giant golden bed. I concentrated in keeping me breathing even.

It took forever for the spinning sensation to fade, but it did. After a long while, the stars glittering behind my eyelids stared to fade. I slowly opened my eyes, sighing in relief when the walls stayed where they were, only to be stunned by the dazzling golden eyes in front of me.

“I’m fine now,” I assured Edward, and he sat back. Apparently he had been kneeling forward on the bed in front of me now.

“How is—?”

“He’s doing okay,” Edward answered softly; distantly. His eyes were dark. “Carlisle is almost finished dressing his wounds.” I flinched thinking of all that blood. Wait…almost finished?

“How long was I trying not to pass out?”

“Half an hour,” Edward replied in the same vague tone.

“Half an hour?!” I exclaimed. Wow. There had been so much blood—it must’ve taken a toll on me. I remembered another time Jacob’s blood had almost made me sick—when he’d sliced his hand open in my kitchen. I recalled the jagged, bleeding wound reduced to a puckered, pink scar in a matter of minutes.

“But Jake heals so fast. Why was he still bleeding?” I asked. Edward stopped, hi eyes focused on something far away. Then he shook his head infinitesimally.

“I think…” Edward paused, staring at our intertwined fingers, “I think we should go talk to Jacob.




Jacob’s eyes were guarded as we walked into Carlisle’s office. My best friend was lying on a couch across the room from Carlisle’s desk, a thick quilt covering the half of him closest to the wall. Carlisle was bent over him, working on part of his right arm as we walked him. As we approached, he straightened up, turning to us.

“Are you feeling better, Bella?” Carlisle asked.

“As long as Jake’s not bleeding anymore,” I turned to Jacob, wanting to run to him and see if he was okay, but I forced myself to walk slowly.

I’d promised I would not hurt Edward again.

I knelt down in front of the couch, my hand hovering in the air between us. “How are you feeling,” I murmured, blushing as I dropped my hand.

“Fine,” Jacob said shortly, “Dr. Fang finally figured out how much morphine I need.” His lips twisted up into what I guessed was supposed to be a smile, but it didn’t touch his chocolate eyes.

“His arm is broken,” Carlisle said from behind us, “along with a few of his ribs.”

“Not to be rude,” Jacob spat from the couch, “but I wish you wouldn’t talk about me like I’m not here.”

“Jake,” I said, wondering why his tone was so hostile.

“I’m sorry, Jacob,” Carlisle apologized. I could tell from his voice that he meant it. I heard Jacob sigh.

“Jake,” I said, my voice soft, “Why are you being so mean to everyone. Carlisle helped you. Stop it, okay?”

“Thanks for the lecture on behavior, Mom,” Jacob said sarcastically. I could feel the hurt on my face; could see it reflected in Jacob’s dark, almost black eyes. But his expression didn’t waiver. I turned to Edward, barely able to compose my features before he got a look at my face.

“Could I talk to Jacob alone for a minute?” I asked Edward. The hand he had on my shoulder tightened, but he let me go. “Thank you,” I managed in a whisper.

He had thought we were past the whole Jacob mess…no, I wouldn’t think of it like that. He had thought we were past me having to make up my mind about my future. He had thought that night that I cried myself to sleep in his arms had been the last of it. He had thought he was done having to deal with Jacob. But here we was, lying on Carlisle’s couch, bandaged and hostile.

He reminded me of a raccoon I’d once found at Charlie’s house during one summer in my childhood. The raccoon’s paw had been broken, and was snarling at everything that came close to it, for fear of being hurt again, I’d guessed. Charlie had ended up having to shoot it so it wouldn’t give anyone a disease or something.

Lying there on that couch, I think Jacob was just scared.

“Jake, what’s wrong with you?” I asked, trying to keep my voice from shaking. It was finally sinking in. He was finally back. He was bruised, and bloody, but still alive.

“Besides the broken bones and sliced up middle, nothin’ much, you?” The sarcasm didn’t touch his eyes. I stared him down.

“Jacob Black, I’m serious. What the hell is wrong with you? This is not the Jacob I remember.”

“Maybe you’re not remembering right. I haven’t changed.” His tone held an edge that scared me.

“Dammit, Jake, you tell me why you’re acting this way, or I swear—” he cut me off.

“What? You’ll go get a baseball bat?” The hurt was starting to turn into anger inside me.

“That’s starting to sound like a good idea,” I muttered. “But that’s not the point. Tell me what’s going on. You can trust me, Jake.” My words seemed to have broken through whatever barrier he had placed around himself. “Please,” I said, reaching out a hand to stroke his cheek. He lashed out his other arm and batted my hand away with more force than necessary, the barrier flaring back up, stronger than before.

“Don’t touch me, Bella,” he snarled. “You went and decided to go marry him without telling me. You chose him over me. You broke my heart. You shattered my life, Bella, don’t you dare ask anything of me.”

I couldn’t speak. My words were locked in my throat with shock for two reasons.

The first: Jacob… my Jacob would have never said anything like that to me. Not like that. He wouldn’t have stared at me with such hate in his eyes.

The second: He was right. I had no right to ask him for anything anymore. I’d done so much damage. I’d chosen Edward, and by doing so, crushed his world. I’d told him I’d loved him, but even so, it made no difference…I’d only given him a glimpse of a life he would never have. I had no right to ask anything of him.

“I’m…sorry, Jake,” I whispered. Jacob didn’t respond. His dark eyes flashed in the soft light filling the room.

“Whatever,” he retorted, turning his head away from me.

“Jake?” My voice was barely a whisper. There was a long silence that stretched for several minutes. I was ready to assume he wasn’t going to respond before he suddenly said:

“Yah?” His voice was quiet, all the anger gone.

“I need to know what happened.”

“Why should I tell you?” He spat, the anger returning. “It’s not like you care.”

“You should have told me to go die,” I remembered him saying “that’s what you want.”

“Jacob, please stop this. I need to know what happened to you.” Another long pause stretched.

“I was in Canada,” Jacob finally said, his eyes staring straight up at the ceiling. I was relieved he was at last giving me his story. “Since a few days after you came to see me, I’ve been in my wolf form. I couldn’t take being human anymore. I didn’t want to feel all the human feelings I was having. All the pain.” He stopped, not wanting to go there.

I cringed, thinking of the pain I’d endured when Edward had left. If Jacob’s pain had been even close to that, I deserved whatever treatment he gave me. For me to inflict that kind of pain on another person…on a person I loved?

“So I was somewhere in Canada,” he went on, eyes still scanning the ceiling. “When I came across one of them.” My breath caught in my chest. “They weren’t like your bloodsuckers or any of the others I’ve ever seen. They were different. There was only one when I first came found his scent. I followed it, and he was alone. He was big with black hair. His eyes were red, so I knew he wasn’t one of your bloodsuckers. I took him down easy, even though he was big as…the big one.” Jacob searched for a name.

“Emmett?” I suggested, my tone expressionless.

“Yah,” Jacob said, never tearing his eyes away from the ceiling. “But that’s when the rest of them came. They all looked like him. Red eyes, black cloaks—”

“Black cloaks?” I repeated, my voice so low and horrified it scared even me.

“Mm,” Jacob muttered non-commitally, obviously oblivious to my revelation. Red eyes, black cloaks…a large vampire almost as big as Emmett— “Then the rest of them came. They didn’t know what to make of me. There was a little girl, and a little boy who seemed to be leading.” My eyes widened with horror, my voice lost.

No…no.

Not them, not now…

Not Jacob.

“I figured if I could take out the little girl, the rest of them would back off. So I attacked.

“Then the girl…” his voice faltered. “The girl did something. One minute I was jumping at her, and then if felt like something was exploding inside my head. Finally, it stopped, and then they attacked. I barely got away after taking another one down.”

“No…” My horrified whisper drew his attention.

“What?” Jacob’s voice returned to the hard, scornful tone he had been using.


“It was them.” My mind was racing a million miles a minute. They were here still. They had seen Jacob, attacked him. Then that must mean they knew about the existence of the werewolves now. They were close. And now that Jacob had come to the Cullens, he’d led a trail right back to—

“Them who?” Jacob asked, tone hard.

“The vampire government from Italy,” I told him. “The Volturi.” I looked over at him, and for the first time, he was looking directly at me. Understanding flickered in his eyes. I had told him about the Volturi when I’d explained my trip to Italy to rescue Edward this past spring. He knew about them…but not the full story. He didn’t know exactly what he was up against.

“Volturi?” Something flickered deep in his black eyes. Fear? “Bella, what’s going on?” For a moment, his face was that of my Jacob. The one who was worried about me, and cared about me. The sweet little boy I’d grown to love. But at the moment, my world was no place for sweet things. The danger was very, very real.

“They’re after me, Jacob.”