What if the Cullens had not been in Forks when Bella went to live with her father. What if she had the life she was supposed to have with Jacob on the reservation in La Push. What if after several extremely happy years of marriage the Cullens did return to the area and Bella had to interact with them every day. Disclaimer: All publicly recognizable characters, settings, etc. are the property of their respective owners. The original characters and plot are the property of the authors. No money is being made from this work. No copyright infringement is intended.
13. Chapter 13 - Consequences
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“Bella, where were you?” Jacob cried as I walked in the house.
“I needed to go for a walk to clear my head,” I said. “I got lost.” He had to notice that I was a little bit shaky but I had just been up all night and lost in the woods.
“I have to shower so I can get ready for school.”
Jacob didn’t look happy with my thin excuse but I was exhausted and did need to get ready for work.
When I was showered and dressed I came out to see that Jacob had made me breakfast and that the boys were playing in the front room with Embry. I sat down to a cheese omelet and juice, prepared for whatever he had to say.
“Bella, what’s going on? You don’t come to bed and then you wander through the woods in the middle of the night.”
“I was up reading a book for class. About halfway in I wanted to go for a little walk but I lost my way.” This was all true, which was good because I was a terrible liar. As long as Jacob didn’t ask me any specific question I was okay.
“I feel like you’ve been avoiding me and I was so worried when you weren’t in the house this morning. I thought maybe you ran off with that bloodsucker, just like in that book you’re reading where everyone runs off with the wrong person.”
I took a deep breath. Jacob was probably just voicing his fears, there was no way I could let him know how close to the truth he came.
“Jacob, you haven’t seen me so much recently because yesterday morning you were not here. You were gone when I woke up. It was the second time in as many weeks.”
He started to say something but I stopped him.
“I figured you were just in the shop so I wasn’t worried and I’m not mad. I understand that things have been difficult for you recently. Everything has been all screwed up since the Cullens arrived.”
“Did you go to see him tonight?”
A direct question. What could I do but tell the truth. Jacob probably smelled Edward on me from when he touched my face so there was no point in lying and the truth was harmless enough.
“When I got lost I foolishly called for help and he found me. I wasn’t on reservation land anymore. All he did was show me how to get to the road and back home.”
“Are you in love with him?”
“I don’t know,” I admitted. “Maybe in a damsel in distress kind of way. But Jacob, you are my life.” I looked him in the eye when I said this so he would know how much I meant it.
“I don’t want you working there any more, Bella.”
“But you’re not going to leave are you.”
I looked at my Jacob. He was so forlorn. There was no way I could allow him to hurt like this. My big, young, beautiful, loving husband deserved so much better than what I was doing to him. I took a deep breath, remembering the decision I had made walking through the woods last night.
“I will put in my resignation this morning. I will leave at the end of the semester. I’ll tell them that Billy is having health issues and that I am staying home to take care of the old man.”
The school would find someone to replace me. Plenty of people finish their degrees in December and then have to wait to find job. I’ll offer to mentor whoever they hire so I know that the students are in good hands. At least I’m not a science teacher. They are impossible to replace.
Jacob pulled me onto his lap and wrapped himself around me. I felt warm and safe curled up in his body. “Thank you,” he breathed into my hair. I put my hands on either side of his face and kissed him, it was a more passionate kiss than we’d had since our anniversary. I really didn’t want to go to work after that. The idea of staying home with Jake was much more pleasant. But I had to face the music and he and I would have plenty of days to stay home together in the very near future.
During my free period I met with the principal and handed in my resignation. I gave the story about my father-in-law being ill. He wouldn’t know that as a tribal elder Billy would never have to worry about who would take care of him if he were ill. The pack at least could be counted on, especially Seth. He became the reservation police officer just so that he could spend his days helping the members of the tribe.
Mr. Greene wasn’t too thrilled about it but English teachers are literally a dime a dozen so he couldn’t argue much.
“Mr. Mason will be retiring in a few years, Bella. If you want to come back we would be happy to have you.”
I thanked him and said that I would consider it. If he retired after the Cullens left I might consider returning to Forks High. Of course by then I may have become attached to the students on the reservation.
Alice was in my room when I returned after lunch.
“You’re leaving because of us,” she said looking sad.
“That’s not true, Alice.” I was leaving because of Edward, not the rest of the family. In all honesty, I was going to miss Alice a great deal.
“You’re leaving because of Edward. I told him he shouldn’t follow you, that even if it didn’t bother you it would bother your husband. After you nearly died in the crash there was nothing we could say to change his mind.”
“Edward isn’t the problem, it’s more complicated than that.” I was the problem. Falling in love with Edward was the problem. If I got out now then I could still salvage what was left of my heart and my marriage.
“Please, call me Bella. I won’t be your teacher much longer and this is not a conversation I can have with one of my students.”
“Bella,” Alice smiled, “I’m really going to miss you. I don’t get many opportunities to make friends outside of my family.”
“I’m going to miss you too, Alice.”
“Since we’re friends now,” she got a mischievous look in her eye, “you can tell me the real reason you’re leaving.”
“I can’t believe you haven’t figured it out to be perfectly honest. You knew I was leaving and I only just told the principal last period.”
Alice looked uncomfortable. I had obviously called her out on some big secret. But I had noticed that she and Edward both frequently knew things that they shouldn’t know. At first I thought it was a vampire thing but I had never noticed the same foreknowledge in any of their siblings. There was something different about those two and while I did not care what it was, I enjoyed seeing her squirm when she realized that I noticed.
“Alice, how could I not notice something? I’m too used to looking for the differences. But how could you not know this? Between you and Edward it seems there are no secrets in all of Forks.”
“Except you, Bella. Only you are a mystery to us.”
It was with more than a little guilt that I faced my afternoon classes. I had already resigned but was not ready to tell the students yet. I figured I would let the rumors spread a bit and then confirm them when asked. As long as I told them by Monday I wouldn’t feel like too much of a coward. At least I was seeing my freshmen; I wasn’t as attached to them as to my seniors. The guilt wasn’t eased by the looks that Alice gave me as she entered class, as if her heart was breaking. I had never seen anyone pull such a sad face in my life and being a sucker for guilt trips I found myself wanting to run to Mr. Greene’s office and take back my resignation. But I couldn’t. No matter how badly Alice wanted me to stay, this was about Jacob and saving my marriage.
It was with a wry smile and a sense of irony that I announced to the class that we would be starting A Midsummer’s Night’s Dream the following week. Edward looked right at me and half of his mouth went up in a crooked grin. It was the first time I had ever seen him smile and it was glorious, like gazing upon the eighth wonder of the world. I lost my train of thought and forgot to breath for a few seconds before I could go on. It was in that moment that Alice got the strangest expression. She looked briefly between me and her brother and then her face went blank. I’m not sure if she so much as breathed for the rest of the class. I wasn’t certain but I remembered hearing that they didn’t really need to.
- Chapter 2 - The Cottage
- Chapter 3 - Dr. Cullen
- Chapter 4 - Council Meeting
- Chapter 5 - Message
- Chapter 6 - First Day of School
- Chapter 7 - Birthday Present
- Chapter 8 - Please Help Me Name This Chapter
- Chapter 9 - Accident
- Chapter 10 - Forbidden
- Chapter 11 - Cold
- Chapter 12 - Walk in the Woods
- Chapter 13 - Consequences
- Chapter 14 - Goodbyes
- Chapter 15 - Stolen Moments
- Chapter 16 - Party
- Chapter 17 - Lost
- Chapter 18 - Stranger
- Chapter 19 - Saved
- Chapter 20 - Decision
- Chapter 21 - Return
- Epilogue - Bella Turns 30
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- 06 Feb 09
- 12 Jun 09
- In Progress