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.
9. Chapter 9 - Accident
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When school began there was so much going on that I got out of the groove of my life but it began to return. Sue came over every morning to watch the kids. I knew that Billy, Jacob and the other wolves took turns relieving her. That pleased me because I sometimes felt that I took advantage of her generosity. When Billy was a baby and I had just gone back to work Seth had to reassure me constantly that she was happiest when she had someone to take care of.
As October was winding down the days started getting colder and rainier. I was glad that Charlie’s old cruiser handled the weather so well because I hated driving on the rain slick roads. I always felt that my reflexes weren’t quite up to the job. That was a problem living in Washington.
Driving to school on a particularly rainy and windy day I heard a rumbling on the road ahead. The noise generally meant a huge logger’s truck was on the road but it was approaching too fast. As I came to a curve in the road I saw the truck. The cab was in the inner lane as it should have been but the rear had swung out across the road as it made the turn. We were a few yards apart and about to crash into each other at a combined speed of well over 100 miles per hour.
I felt myself begin to break apart, like shards of a broken mirror, in preparation for the impact. Each shard reflected the face of my family. Little Billy, Charlie and Jacob were on the largest shards near the center. Charlie, Renee, Billy, Sue, Quil, Embry and Seth all looked back at me from the pieces of my shattered consciousness. Edward Cullen was there too, which confused me.
I heard the impact first, the sound of metal tearing and crumpling. I waited for the pain as I heard the cruiser get flattened under the truck but it didn’t come. It felt like I was flying and the most magnificent scent lingered in the air, wrapping itself around me.
I opened my eyes and saw the face of an angel.
“Am I dead?”
The angel laughed and I realized that it was Edward Cullen. That explained why he had been in my hallucination.
“No, but it was close. Lie still.” He had the most musical voice I had ever heard. If I were to imagine a guardian angel that’s exactly how he would sound.
“How did you get here?”
“I’m not here. You jumped from the car when you saw the truck coming towards you so fast.”
And he disappeared.
I don’t know how much time passed before the ambulance came. I was wondering how Edward knew to save me. I understood why he wouldn’t want anyone to know what he had done but I was starting to panic and I had felt very safe when I was in his arms.
“O my God, Bella.” I heard Charlie call my name. Of course he was here; he was the chief of police.
“She’s not here chief Swan,” his deputy called back.
“Dad,” I called, trying to sound more injured than I was. “I’m over here.”
“O, thank God. How did you get way over here? The cruiser was crushed.”
“I jumped out the car.”
Before he could say anything else the EMTs took over. They put me in a neck brace and on a board in case I had broken my back. I would have complained knowing that I was fine but I wanted to protect Edward’s secret.
On the way to the hospital I realized that Jacob would be furious. He didn’t like me teaching in the school with vampires and most certainly wouldn’t want me receiving medical treatment from one. He had decided that he would stitch up Billy’s wounds himself if he needed to. But if I were fine I couldn’t see just any doctor.
I wondered how he would respond to a vampire saving my life. Jacob couldn’t live without me and I had gotten a glimpse of the cruiser when I was being carried to the ambulance. The logging truck had gone over it and the top was sheared off. If not for Edward I would be dead.
When I got to the emergency room Dr. Cullen rushed to my side.
“I’m okay,” I said. “You should be worrying about the other guy.”
“Mrs. Black, the cab of the truck crashed into the side of the cliff. The other driver didn’t make it.”
The room started spinning. Someone had died. I was in an accident and someone had died. If the room didn’t slow down I was going to be sick.
There were voices but I could not hear what they were saying. I think there were two of them but they were speaking so softly that I couldn’t tell. Slowly things came back into focus. I was in a different room and there was a curtain around me. I recognized one of the voices as my guardian angel.
“… passed out? I thought she was fine.”
“She was concerned about the other driver. It happened when she heard he had died.”
“He was drunk and speeding around the curve in the road. He deserved to die. If I hadn’t been there she would have been dead. Why would she worry about him?”
“Edward, it is not our place to decide who should or shouldn’t die. You should know that better than anyone. Mrs. Black is a caring person; she has sacrificed a great deal for our family. I’m sure our presence has cost her more than the use of her cottage. It makes sense that she would be concerned for the life of the other driver.”
“Carlisle, I think you’ve met your match in compassion.”
A few seconds passed and then Edward spoke again.
“I don’t know, Carlisle.” Another pause and then he said “I know.” It sounded as if he were responding to an unspoken question. He sounded hopeless.
Dr. Cullen entered my room. “You just came through a pretty serious accident. While everything looks okay we have to send you to radiology for some x-rays to make sure there is no hidden damage.”
It was a long day at the hospital. I underwent several unnecessary tests. At the end of it all I was alone in a room with Dr. Cullen. He was wrapping a large bandage around my chest for appearances.
“You should take the rest of the week off of work,” he said.
“We both know that isn’t necessary.”
“You were in an accident. Someone died. Trauma like that can leave psychological scars too. Take some time to make sure you are doing well before going back to work. Is there a doctor on the reservation you can talk to if you need to?”
He pinpointed the problem perfectly. There was nobody I could talk to about this. Not without being locked up in the loony bin or having it get back to Jacob. I was the wife of the chief of the Quileutes and I was fascinated by a vampire. One who just saved my life.
“How did Edward know?” I asked.
“He was hunting and heard the truck approaching a car. He doesn’t like people getting hurt.”
Carlisle lied smoothly. I would have believed him if I hadn’t overheard their earlier conversation. Edward had no problem with the truck driver dying. Would he have risked exposure for anyone other than me? Maybe that was it. I already knew so he was free to save my life.
“Thank him for me.”
“Bells, you’re okay. I was so worried about you.” Jacob gently lifted me out of the wheel chair and carried me to the parking lot. He wrinkled his nose and set me down in his car. “Aren’t there any other doctors at that hospital?”
“I couldn’t see them, I wasn’t injured.”
“Charlie called. He said you saved your life jumping from the car. Why couldn’t you see another doctor?”
“I didn’t jump, Jacob. Edward Cullen pulled me from the car and set me down away from the road. I didn’t get so much as a scratch.”
“I thought that leech was gone.” Jacob’s face went hard and his eyes narrowed into slits. “It’s the only reason I didn’t insist that you quit your job after he scared you like that. I don’t want you anywhere near Edward Cullen.”
“How…” I began. No, that wasn’t the most important thing. “Jacob, he saved my life. If it weren’t for Edward I’d be dead right now. The car was flattened”
Pain twisted Jacob’s face as he contemplated that.
“You talk in your sleep, Bella,” he said, putting off responding to the other part for a moment.
So that’s how he knew. Sometimes I’m my own worst enemy. Jacob takes his job as my protector a little bit too seriously. Sure I’m uncoordinated to the point of being disabled and I spend more time in the emergency room than most people do but I seldom get really hurt. He only had to save me twice. Why doesn’t he trust me when I say something is safe?
“I’m not leaving my job, Jacob. If Edward had wanted to harm me he would have done it today. He could have simply done nothing.”
“I hate being in debt to that stupid bloodsucker.”
“Call it even, they took our cottage away.”
Jacob laughed a little at that though it was rough and forced.
“At least I still have you, Bella. I can live with anything else, even feeling grateful to a vampire, as long as I know I have you.”
That night I dreamed about Edward. When I woke up the next morning Jacob had already left for work. I must have been talking in my sleep again.
Charlie had told Sue that I was doing well but wasn’t going back to work this week so I spent the morning doing housework and playing with the boys. After lunch I read to them from the book of Quileute legends and put them down for a nap. I took the baby monitor with me and headed down to the garage, glad that Jacob worked so close to the house.
When I got there Jake was under a car and Embry was working on some paperwork.
“Oh, hey Bella,” Embry said as I walked in. Then he called to Jake, “I’m going to get some lunch do you want me to bring you anything?”
There was a grunt from under the car but nothing else.
Embry left with a sad smile for me. Jacob must have been really upset. Usually we couldn’t get the guys to leave us alone. Things sure have changed since the Cullens returned to Forks.
“What do you want, Bella?” Jacob asked, rolling out from under the car.
“I just want to have lunch with my husband,” I said, lifting a bag of food I had brought with me. “We haven’t had lunch together since the summer.”
“Are you sure there isn’t someone else you’d rather eat with?”
There was no sense in playing dumb. It would only be insulting to both of us. We had never had secrets before and this was a bad time to become evasive.
“No. I want to have lunch with you, the one and only love of my life.”
“You said Edward’s name last night in your sleep.”
“Jacob, he saved my life. I would have to be a very hard hearted woman not to notice. Last night I was reliving a nightmare and Edward got me out of that nightmare. What do you want me to say?”
“For starters, I don’t want you to say his name in your sleep anymore.”
“I’ll get right on that. Anything else while we’re asking for what we can’t control? What kind of weather would you like tomorrow?”
“Bella, everyone loves you so much. Until now I always knew you loved me best. How can I compete with someone who can pull you out of moving vehicles?”
“You don’t have to, Jacob. You’re the reason I wanted to be rescued.”
And it was true. Before Jacob I never knew anyone I felt really comfortable with. I had hardly any friends in Phoenix and no boyfriends. Things were better when I moved to Forks but Jacob was the person who felt like home. I had been stupid enough to try and throw him away once, but even if he hadn’t gone all wolfy and imprinted on me I probably would have come back anyway.
We leaned against each other eating the sandwiches I brought. I curled up as close as I could, greedily absorbing as much of his body heat as I could.
“I really shouldn’t worry about that vampire, you need all the warmth you can get and he’s way too cold.”
“Mmmmmmmmmmm,” I said, snuggling deeper.
But I had to go, the boys would be waking up soon. “Hurry home,” I said, kissing Jacob as I left.
Dr. Cullen was right. I did need a few days off. Jacob and I needed this time for us. There had been too much pressure on our relationship recently. No wonder I was starting to have inappropriate thoughts about one of my students, however old he may be.
- 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