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Choices

Summary:
Choices Banner This story takes place in Eclipse when Riley goes to Bella’s room to gather her belongings for Victoria. This is what could have happened if Bella had arrived while he was still there, and the events following. Written pre-Breaking Dawn, so that book will be disregarded here. This will include my idea of how the series would have ended.


Notes:
Choices Banner *Written before Breaking Dawn was released, so that book will be ignored with this story.


32. Jacob's Happiness

Rating 5/5   Word Count 2017   Review this Chapter

(Previously):

BPOV

“Aro has requested that our family visit them in Italy,” Carlisle explained, his tone somber.

“We cannot do that,” Edward interrupted. “As soon as we get there, you know he’s going to insist on using his gift - he’ll immediately see what’s going on with Bella, and know about her powers, as well as the fact that we purposefully deceived him,” he said, distraught.

Carlisle met his gaze steadily. “Yes, I am aware of that. That is why we will not be going. I am going to reply, letting him know we respectfully decline.”

“Can you do that? Has anyone ever refused a request of the Volturi?” Rosalie asked, shocked.

“Not many, no. Our response will not be well received. I’m afraid Aro will see it as outright disrespect. He was already interested in Alice and Edward, and he’s fascinated by how Bella is immune to certain gifts, like his. Now he believes we are hiding some incredible power of Bella’s from him, which in reality, we are. Upon realizing this, he will most likely become even more fixated on acquiring her for his empire, and quite possibly Edward and Alice as well. What he would choose to do with the rest of us after deceiving him, well...it wouldn’t be good. I will do all that I can to explain that our family simply wishes to live peaceably, and that we are certainly not a threat. Unfortunately, I believe it will only make him more curious, and possibly angry. When something intrigues Aro, he pursues it - it becomes an obsession. This problem isn’t going to just go away, but for us to willingly go to Italy would essentially be handing Bella over to him - once he sees the depth of her power, he won’t rest until she’s one of them. As for the rest of us, it might as well be suicide,” Carlisle finished quietly.

Silently, we digested what Carlisle had just told us. We all knew what it basically meant - whether we went to Italy or not, we were all essentially trapped.

Chapter 32: Jacob’s Happiness

BPOVThe following day, from the second Carlisle’s reply was sent, the house was full of anxiety. Jasper fought to keep it balanced, but as he was feeling anxious himself, it was mostly a losing battle. I was thankful I hadn’t fed recently enough to add to it even more - that would have driven everyone crazy.

Lying on the couch, watching a movie, I jumped when Edward’s cell rang. It was Jacob, calling to talk to me. I had spoken with him a couple of times since Victoria’s demise. He had mainly been calling to make sure I was handling everything all right, now that she was gone. Edward was his usual polite self, greeting Jacob briefly, then tossing me the phone.

Jake said he had something to tell me, and asked if I’d been hunting lately. Laughing, I told him not recently enough to annoy him, and he asked if I would meet him at Charlie’s grave. I explained to Edward, and asked if he minded. He didn’t - he seemed to trust Jacob more around me now - so I agreed.

Half an hour later, I approached our designated meeting area. Every time I came here, I still couldn’t help but marvel at the beauty of it. Esme had continued to add new flowers every now and then, and her and I both worked to maintain it. It was something we had come to enjoy doing together.

"Hey, Bells. How are things?" Jacob asked as he approached me.

"Ok, Jake. How about with you?" I replied, somewhat dismissive. He didn’t know what was happening with the Volturi, and I really didn’t want to have yet another person worrying over it.

"You’re lying - you suck at lying. What are you hiding from me? What’s wrong?" he asked, concerned.

I sighed. Of course he noticed I was hiding something - he was right, I do suck at lying. As we went to sit underneath one of the giant trees, I began explaining to him what was going on. He knew all about the Volturi from when I had rushed off after Edward to save him, so thankfully I didn’t have to give the entire history lesson there.

Jacob jumped up, cursing, and started pacing. "When are you gonna catch a break, Bells? You’ve got to be the unluckiest person I know. What can we do?" Obviously, he was referring to the pack.

"Nothing, Jake. You’ve got to stay out of it. As far as we know, the Volturi aren’t aware of the pack. We don’t want them to find out, which means you have to stay away. We’ll know more when they receive Carlisle’s response, I’m sure. It’s not worth getting upset over - we’ll figure something out," I hoped I sounded more certain than I felt. "Jake, please. Calm down, and sit back down. What did you want to tell me?"

He finally listened to me, and returned to his previous spot across from me. Staring down at the ground, he hesitated, then glanced up, a bright smile slowly spreading across his face. "I’ve met someone," he said, grinning hugely.

Automatically, I grinned back at him. It had always been this way with Jake - his smile was simply contagious. Raising my eyebrows, I encouraged him to continue.

"Well, about a week ago, I had just gotten back from a run, when my phone started ringing. It was Sam - there was a house on fire at the neighboring reservation, and they needed help - we’re usually the first to arrive in a crisis situation like this, due to our speed. After having made it to the scene in record time, Sam had just emerged from the front of the house, carrying a man. He explained that there were still two people inside, but the ceiling had collapsed, blocking access. We went around back, and the two of us made quick work of the outer wall, so we could get in that way. Sam pointed me in one direction, him going in the other. When I got inside, I found one of the people, although I couldn’t see anything, the smoke was too thick. The person didn’t appear to be breathing, or conscious, so I threw their body over my shoulder, and got out as fast as I could. Once outside, I set the person on the ground, where I had my first glimpse of her. As soon as I saw her, I realized there was no way I could lose her, so I frantically began CPR. Finally, she began breathing again, and opened her eyes, the most beautiful eyes I’ve ever seen..." he trailed off, lost in his thoughts.

"Jake - do you mean you imprinted on this girl?" I asked, uncertain.

Snapping back to the present, he smiled hugely again. "Yeah - her name’s Ailen - it means clear, or happiness," he said, chuckling.

"That’s wonderful, Jake! I’m so happy for you," I gushed truthfully. It was perfect - now Jake had the happy ending that I had always wanted for him. "Is she all right? What happened to the other person in the fire?" I asked, realizing he hadn’t finished the story.

"She’s doing fine now. The other person inside was her grandmother. She’d been living with her grandparents, taking care of them. Sam found her, but it was too late... she took in too much smoke. Her grandfather is doing well, aside from mourning his wife," he concluded.

"Oh. That’s upsetting, about her grandmother. I’m sorry. Does Ailen know - what you are?" I asked, unsure of how to phrase it.

"Yeah, she knows about me, as well as the pack. She’s handled it quite well, actually - she’s a lot like you, very accepting," he said, smiling back at me. "I was going to wait a bit more, before telling her, but from the second she opened her eyes, it was crazy...I never imagined I could feel so strongly for someone - it’s given me some insight, really," he said, looking pointedly at me. He explained that he finally fully understood the pull between Edward and I. "Anyway, what’s great is that for some reason, she’s felt just as strongly for me, right from the beginning. She calls me her hero," he added shyly.

"Of course she does, Jake - you’re a great catch, and you did save her life, after all. Will I ever get to meet her? Does she know about our kind?" I asked, hesitantly.

He went on to explain that she did indeed know about the reality of vampires, as we’re really the reason for the wolves’ existence. He’d told her all about me, and our unique friendship. She had been completely understanding, and looked forward to meeting me someday. It wasn’t possible right now, because she was too busy dealing with the aftermath of the fire, and trying to help her grandfather, but hopefully one day. I understood entirely.

"I’m so happy for you, Jake," I said earnestly. With this wonderful news, now I wouldn’t have to feel guilty about my happiness, or about my news.

"Speaking of news...I’m getting married, Jake. Edward proposed, and of course, I accepted," I added, smiling.

Jacob glanced down at my left hand, then back up at me. That silly grin made yet another appearance. "That’s great, Bells. Truly, I’m happy for you. You two belong together, even if he does still get under my skin sometimes," he said, grimacing. "When’s the big day? Are we going to be invited?" he asked, the grin returning.

Oh. I hadn’t thought about that - he did know the truth about me, so technically he could come, if he wanted to. "Would you really want to come?" I asked.

"Of course I would - after all, how many guests can you really have anyway? You might as well have someone actually be able to show up," he said, laughing. "Maybe Quil and Embry would come too, who knows? They’ve always liked you, so send out the invites - you never know, right?"

I nodded, surprised.

Jake stood, reaching out his hand to help me up. Once on my feet, he lifted me into one of his bone crushing hugs, before releasing me. "I’m so glad we’ve both found happiness, Bells. Charlie would be happy for you, as well as proud," he said quietly, glancing over toward Charlie’s grave.

"Thanks, Jake. That means a lot," I murmured, following his gaze.

He reached over, draped his arm across my shoulders, and began walking, with me at his side. "Come on, let’s head back - I’m sure you want to get back to Edward, and I’m beginning to get a bit anxious to see Ailen - it’s so hard to be away from her!"

We made our way back towards the house, where Jacob re-entered the forest, most likely changing to wolf form, so he could reach Ailen all the sooner. Still smiling, I found Edward, and caught him up on the latest events. He was happy for Jacob, too. When I reached the part about him attending the wedding, I spoke loudly, purposefully catching Alice’s attention. I was desperately trying to avoid going back up to her room at all costs.

Within moments, she appeared at the foot of the stairs. "Did I hear you say we have some guests to invite?" she asked eagerly, dancing with anticipation. She really was into this - Alice wasn’t a huge fan of the wolves, so for her to be eager to invite them spoke volumes of her level of excitement for wedding planning.

Laughing, I replied, "Yes, I think we may possibly have a few guests, other than just family. I’m not sure if all of them will show, but we’ll send out the invitations, nonetheless." I recited the list of names to her. "Oh - and before you ask, Alice, I don’t care what the invitations look like, just keep them reasonably simple. You may use your own discretion," I added.

Beaming back at me, she bounced back up the stairs, eager to resume her planning. Edward and I shook our heads, laughing together quietly. There really was nothing quite like Alice.