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.
7. Chapter 7 - Birthday Present
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Somehow word of Edward’s behavior didn’t make it back to the reservation and the following week passed without him returning to school. The Cullens agreed that Jacob and I could use the cabin so long as they knew when we would be traveling so that we wouldn’t cross each other’s paths. We went out Saturday night to celebrate a successful first week of school. Sue convinced Charlie to spend the night at our house to watch the boys.
“I don’t like this, Bella,” Jacob said as we were getting ready to leave. “How do we know this isn’t a trap. There are seven of them and I will be a lone wolf.”
“Don’t be silly. Dr. Cullen and Alice at least want to make this as easy for us as possible and the rest have shown no desire to do any harm.” Okay, so that wasn’t entirely true. Edward did look like he wanted to harm me, but he went away.
“Besides, the cottage was a gift from my husband and I want to go,” I pouted.
“Okay, we’re going! But if we die it’s all your fault.”
“Sure, sure.” I jumped up on to the bed to kiss him.
“Gramma and Grampa are here!” Billy called from the front room.
Jacob grabbed me and carried me out to greet the folks. It always made Charlie uncomfortable to see us so affectionate with each other. I used to be just like him but Jake is very demonstrative and I figured I could either die of embarrassment or just get used to it.
I jumped down and squeezed my children goodbye, glad that they have such a big loving family. I knew that the pack would be over for dinner, Sue is a better cook than I am. Jacob didn’t say anything to me but I also knew that they would take turns running patrols in pairs, he didn’t trust that the Cullens wouldn’t use this opportunity to attack.
Jacob drove us to our secret driveway in his VW Rabbit. This car was his first love. He got it before I moved to Forks and I spent many Sundays sitting in his makeshift garage watching him build it. He still doesn’t know that I got him the master cylinder. It just appeared one day and he never asked me about it because I don’t know anything about cars. All these years later he still drives it.
I watched my huge, beautiful husband undress and phase into a wolf. I used to think the change that occurred in him was instantaneous. Over time I saw that it happened in stages that were very fast starting in his back and working out to his extremities. I gathered up his clothes, climbed onto his back and we were off.
It had been nearly a month since our last run and it was exhilarating. After weeks of feeling cooped up because of the vampires the freedom was palpable. I ran my fingers through Jacobs fur while the wind whipped my hair back from my face. When we got to the cottage I was breathless with the thrill of the run.
When we got to the cottage I found a package while unpacking my bag.
“Happy birthday,” Jacob said, grinning like a cat who got the canary.
I had forgotten that my birthday was only a few days away.
“Oh Jake, you shouldn’t have. How did you even get it into my bag?”
“Open it, Bells.”
He watched impatiently as I fumbled with the ribbon and opened the box. Inside was a statue carved from a single piece of wood. It was a wolf family, one large and two small, with a woman who was carved from a naturally lighter streak that ran through the wood. The woman looked so strong, like she was protecting her wolves instead of them looking out for her. The carving looked so permanent and ageless, as if our family were a part of Quileute legend.
“It’s beautiful,” I breathed.
“Not as beautiful as the woman I made it for,” he replied.
“Oh, I thought it was for me,” I said playfully.
I wanted to hold the sculpture in my hands all night, stroking the smooth grain of the wood. More than that I wanted to hold my husband and stroke his soft, hot skin. I put the sculpture on the mantle. No one would have known that it hadn’t been there since the cottage was built.
It was a chilly night and the cottage was drafty, but I was warm in the arms of my Jacob. Sometime in the middle of the night I got the strangest feeling that I was being watched. It was silly and impossible so I forgot about it and drifted back to sleep.
When I woke Jacob was gazing at my face as if he were a blind man seeing the sun for the first time. I always felt a little uncomfortable when he did that, knowing that I would never deserve the level of adoration he felt for me.
“Morning sleepyhead,” he said.
“Morning,” I said, reaching up for a kiss.
“I have an uneasy feeling and want to leave early today.”
“Okay.” I was reminded of feeling watched last night.
I packed quickly, brushing my fingers along the statue of my family once and followed Jacob out the door.
“A vampire was here.” He swore and phased.
For a moment I was afraid to go near him, not certain if he was preparing to travel or to fight. Jacob whined impatiently and I mounted his back. We were off, running as quickly as he could go to the relative safety of the car.
“We’re going home,” I said when we approached the car. “We’re safe now and no good can come of you chasing after vampires in the woods right now.”
“I knew we shouldn’t have gone. We’re never going back.”
“My statue.” I whispered it under my breath but I knew he could hear me. Wolf hearing was much better than human hearing. I considered having Alice bring it to me if Jacob was serious about not going back. I would have to be sure though. Jacob would be furious if we returned only to find the smell of vampire inside the cottage.
“You’re back early,” my father said when we arrived at the house.
“I have to talk to Embry,” Jacob said, giving Sue a pointed look. Because Jacob and Embry were co-owners of the auto repair shop it was what Jacob always said in front of Charlie when he needed to discuss pack business.
Sue got Charlie out of the house under the pretense of having a lot to do at home. I was glad to see them go, I needed to think about what just happened and how it would affect my life. I would definitely have to speak with Alice tomorrow at school.
- 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