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.
2. Chapter 2 - The Cottage
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My dad and Sue came out to meet us; the scent of whatever Sue was cooking wafting out the door with her.
I had been afraid that my father would starve to death after I moved out due to his lack of cooking ability. There was really no reason to be concerned, he was on his own for 17 years before I moved to Forks and lived to tell of it. Still, I was very happy when Sue moved in. They take care of each other and Charlie is happier than I've ever seen him.
Billy was there too. Both Rachel and Rebecca, Jacob's older sisters, moved far from La Push as soon as they were able to. Billy was thrilled that Jake and I stayed. Charlie and Billy had a tense relationship after Sue moved in with Charlie. The two of them and Harry Clearwater, Sue's deceased husband, had been best friends. Jacob and I were able to heal that rift. Now Billy dedicates his life to teaching his grandsons about the Quileute way of life. Little Billy could sit at the feet of his grampa for hours listening to stories. Soon he’ll be learning to weave bracelets and carve wood, just like Jacob did as a boy.
"Are you sure there is nothing I can get you for your anniversary, Bella," Charlie asked as we left the kids in the hands of their doting grandparents.
"No, Dad. You already do way too much for us."
It was true. He gave us the down payment on our house as a wedding gift. He said it was the least he could do since we had a simple wedding on the reservation. When I got pregnant he arranged for us to get the cruiser because my truck wasn't safe for children. After Jacob and Embry got the grant to open the garage, Charlie had the Forks police department switch their maintenance contract from Dowling's. There were some cries of nepotism but they quickly subsided when Jacob was able to give better service at a lower price.
"I just like to take care of my daughter."
"You take great care of me, dad, too good actually. Between you and Jacob and Billy and Sue I have very little to worry about," I said laughing. I kissed his cheek, squeezed my babies, waved to Billy and Sue and went off with Jacob, dying to know what he had planned for us.
"Alone at last," Jacob said as I snuggled up against his warm body. The incredible heat his wolfish body gave off was such a blessing to me. Even after ten years I still miss the sun and warmth of Phoenix.
"Where are we going?" I asked, looking up to kiss him.
Jacob's eyes danced and a playful smile crossed his lips. He kissed me but refused to answer my question.
The car pulled off the road into a secret drive that we sometimes used. So tonight we were going to run. Sometimes, when we wanted to be alone, Jacob would phase into wolf form and I would ride on his back. He could go outrageously fast and we would travel to far off places in the woods just the two of us. As long as he kept transforming into a wolf he would never age. As much as I loved traveling like this I made him promise when we got married to give up wolf form permanently once I turned thirty. I wasn’t going to age into an old woman while Jacob remained forever in his prime. We had barely over two years until that time and I might as well enjoy it while I could.
In wolf form, the pack could hear each other’s thoughts. Private time could be rough. But they would know that tonight was just for me and Jake. We would have all the privacy we wanted. I watched Jacob undress, marveling at the beauty of his skin, his perfect musculature, amazed that anyone so lovely would want to spend his life with me. As always, I had to remind myself not to throw myself at him at this moment just before he phased into a wolf. I picked up his clothes instead, putting them in my bag, and climbed onto his large back.
And we were running.
The speed was exhilarating. The forest flew by so fast that everything was a blur. I remembered the first time we did this. I had clutched the hair on his neck and buried my face so I wouldn’t throw up. It took only a few runs before I discovered the thrill in the speed.
It’s funny how Jacob being a wolf is what brought us together. We had been good friends since the day I came down to the beach in La Push with a group of friends from Forks. Though we spent every Sunday together and I knew he was crazy about me, I was uncomfortable about our age difference. Because of two little years I went off to UC San Diego planning to eventually settle in a warm state. I should have known better. I never found my niche in Phoenix and San Diego was no better. As much as I love the sun and the warmth, I belong with rainy, cloudy people.
During my sophomore year at college there was an unusually high number of missing persons reports in Washington State. Apparently this is not unusual during particularly cloudy years, depression rates go up. Vampire rates go up too. All of a sudden the boys in La Push were growing at an extraordinary rate and burning up with fevers. The council gathered them for a meeting telling them not to worry about the changes that were happening to them but to be careful.
During the year Jacob, Quil Ateara, Embry Call and Seth Clearwater all transformed into wolves. Jacob was first and the council explained about his responsibilities to the tribe and all humans to fight vampires. He was also reminded of the treaty made with one particular coven that had golden eyes. The treaty had been made over 70 years ago and they were not expected to return to the area but their coven was large and it would not be worth fighting them because they do not hunt humans and in fighting them the pack could loose some members. He was also told that although this coven did not hunt humans, they were not allowed on the reservation for the safety of the tribe.
Jacob’s letters to me were so vague that year and when I came back for the summer I was determined to find out what the big secret was. I was certain that he had a girlfriend and was afraid of hurting my feelings. The minute we saw each other something changed. Jacob had always loved me but all of a sudden I felt as if I was the only girl in the world around him. Imprinting is a very powerful thing in his world of myths and legends and suddenly there were no more secrets between us. He told me everything that was happening to him. I didn’t believe it until I saw it for myself.
Jacob had lost his senior year because of the wolf thing and hunting vampires. He was the alpha wolf and there were a lot of responsibilities that went with it. I spent the summer tutoring him for his GED, forgoing the month I planned to spend with my mother in Florida. I couldn’t help falling in love with him. I loved Jacob anyway and who could ignore that level of adoration.
I transferred to Washington State and he went to Peninsula Community College to study automotive work. We graduated at the same time and were married that summer. I insisted that we get married after his birthday and before mine so we were only a year apart on the day of our wedding. It was silly but I’m allowed an indulgence or two on my wedding day. We set the date for August 13th.
Jacob’s slowing pace brought me out of my musings. We must be nearing whatever it is that he has planned for the evening. I could feel his body tense with excitement as we approached a small clearing in the woods.
When we entered the clearing I saw a little stone cottage so old it looked as if it were made from the bones of the earth. Flowering vines climbed the walls and scented herbs grew around it. There was smoke coming out of the chimney and I realized that someone had been here recently preparing the house for us.
I slid off his back my eyes alight with excitement. The house looked like it belonged in a fairly tale which made me the princess. We were beauty and the beast and the entire forest was singing that we had finally come home.
“It’s beautiful,” I breathed to my wolf, glad that he didn’t phase back to human and distract me from this moment.
And then he was human and holding me in his arms he carried me into the cottage. It was a single room with flagstone floors. The driftwood fire was sending up blue and green flames. There was a very cozy looking bed in the middle of the floor.
“We found it last year. It must have been here for over a hundred years,” Jacob said. “We added a bathroom,” he added with a smile.
Sure enough, through a door I just noticed was a beautiful little bathroom with a wood-burning hot tub. My gift to him was just going to have to wait until the morning.
- 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