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Sweet Tangerine

Summary:
"What else could I possibly say to her? Was there anything new I could say that would make her believe my cries and at least let me in? I was risking boundaries already just showing up at her house. Sam wouldn’t be pleased when he found out, and neither would Billy or one of those stupid bloodsuckers." After Edward returns to Forks, Jacob struggles with the idea of knowing that Bella may never love him, and that he might not see her again. In a missing moment, he stands outside her house, demanding to enter, when Edward answers the door. Love-triangle arguments ensue. One-shot. #3 in the Like Vines Series Sweet Tangerine


Notes:


1. Sweet Tangerine

Rating 5/5   Word Count 1662   Review this Chapter

Sweet Tangerine

Fanfiction Three

Of the

Like Vines Series

I was quickly learning to hate the rain.

I was standing on the portico outside Bella Swan’s house, the wind-driven moisture seeping into my clothes from outside the roof. I had been standing there for a rather long time, and I wasn’t exactly happy about it.

“Bella, could you please just open the door? I know that I haven’t been as good a friend that you deserve, but at least I didn’t leave you when you needed someone most! Come on, Bella!” It was the same old chant I had been saying for the last hour, if it’d been an hour. I knew she was home; I watched that stupid leech drop her off just as I was arriving. He told her he had to go, and that he hated leaving her, and kissed her and bla bla bla…

Grr. I wasn’t used to this.

For almost a whole year, he hadn’t been around, and I was the only one she could talk to, and the only one who really visited her or cared about her outside her somewhat quiet, noncommittal father. When I could have spent time with the pack, I didn’t, because I knew she needed me. And how does she bother to repay me? By totally ignoring me the second he comes back to Forks, sword raised. The only thing he was missing was a noble white steed.

I don’t know why I want to be around her so much. It’s not like I can’t get any girl on the reservation to go out with or befriend. Sam’s wolf pack is the elite, and all of us are envied, and thus wanted by anyone who isn’t part of us. Why can’t I just meet a nice Quileute girl and imprint, and that would be the end of it?

“Don’t you miss being around me?” I yelled, pounding on the door again. “I never get to see you anymore, Bella! Why the hell would I stand out here in the pouring rain all alone if I didn’t care about you?”

The wind howled, mocking me.

“Okay, make whatever werewolf jokes you want, but it’s getting really cold out here. I don’t want to phase if I know the chances of seeing you are at least a little stronger than they were before. Please?”

I thought I saw the curtains of her bedroom rustle on the floor above, but figured it was probably just my imagination looking for a glimmer of lost hope, and fabricating some kind of response.

“I know you love him, but I’ve always been yours, Bella! For a long time, I was all you could ever have!”

What else could I possibly say to her? Was there anything new I could say that would make her believe my cries and at least let me in? I was risking boundaries already just showing up at her house. Sam wouldn’t be pleased when he found out, and neither would Billy or one of those stupid bloodsuckers.

The rain was surprisingly starting to subside a little, the clouds overhead giving way to small increments of light as the moments passed. Sunshine in Forks? Weird. It wouldn’t last.

I leaned against one of the pillars, my feet growing numb from standing for so long. I closed my eyes and let the wind draw over me, smooth and soft now that rain wasn’t driving it forward. I found myself drifting off.

It wasn’t long before the door creaked open and a soft, cold voice spoke, “What the hell do you want?”

Smiling, I opened my eyes, expecting to see Bella, but instead looking into Edward’s dark pupils. “What are you doing here?” I asked angrily, eyes narrowing automatically.

“I didn’t ask you that,” he continued. “What the hell are you doing here?”

“Oh, I just thought I’d play up some boundaries and see how the leeches react,” I said sarcastically. “Why the hell do you think I’m here?” I boomed. “If you’ve been reading my thoughts this whole time, you might as well know.”

“It’s always polite to ask,” said Edward, his teeth gritted.

I scoffed. “I don’t deserve politeness.”

“Yeah, I noticed. But old habits die hard.”

We stared at each other for several freezing minutes.

“Look, you’re driving her crazy just being out here, okay? Just leave her alone. She feels bad enough already.”

“Bad enough already?” I repeated. “For what? I don’t blame her for almost committing suicide, becoming a recluse for five months and forgetting everything good about the world. I blame you.”

“If that’s why you’re here, you and I can figure things out for ourselves, later, when I’m not worried about taking care of her.”

“You’re always worried about taking care of her,” I growled. “And besides, it isn’t all about you, narcissistic vampire. I want to spend time with Bella.”

“Well that’s too bad. You’re too explosive for her, too dangerous.”

“And you aren’t?”

His temples pulsed. “At least I know how to control myself-”

“So do I-”

“Don’t pretend!” he boomed angrily.

I raised my eyebrows. “What are you doing here, anyway?” I repeated, “ I saw you drop her off hours ago. Now you’re suddenly back? Came for a snack?”

Edward rolled his eyes. “Alice saw you coming over in a vision. She thought she saw the two of you fighting.”

“I wasn’t planning on fighting,” I defended quickly.

“Werewolves never intend to do things, they just do them,” he muttered.

“You’re so ridiculous,” I said under my breath, though he could obviously hear me, whether I had said the words or not.

“And then you sounded so angry pounding on her door. There’s only so much the wood can take before falling to the ground, you know.”

“It’s a freaking mahogany door!”

“It looks weak to me.”

Everything looks weak to you.”

“Yeah, including you, when you’re at my girlfriend’s house, being a stupid boy-wolf and demanding to get in because you’re so much in love with her, you can’t exist a few measly weeks without her.”

If I thought I’d hated Edward before, it was nothing to what I felt now.

“All I know is that I never get to see her anymore.”

“I had weeks and months of not seeing her,” he said quietly, looking to the floor.

“Yeah, of your own volition! You chose to leave her, remember? I didn’t, and I’m not going to, so you can just-”

“I won’t back off.”

“Stop doing that!” I bellowed, putting my hands to my head, which was spinning and yelling in protest. I hated it when he read my thoughts. “God, it’s like you’re invading my mind and killing it off piece by piece.”

“Sorry.”

We didn’t look at each other for a while. I took deep breaths and stared at the house, past Edward, and he stared into the small rays of light descending from the clouds, past me.

“Edward?”

That was one voice I recognized for sure. I glanced to see her pretty brown eyes glancing out the door and into his back.

“Bella,” I breathed happily. Without thinking, I walked to embrace her, but Edward stood in my way, a hard stone I wasn’t expecting. “Guh,” I moaned in protest, my right shoulder partially numb from hitting his chest accidentally.

“Edward, it’s okay, just let us talk for a little while. I’ll be all right.”

“I can’t let you do that, Bella. I told you he isn’t safe to be around, especially when he’s angry.”

You made him angry,” she pointed out.

I grinned.

Edward snorted. “Fine. I’ll just…I’ll be in the kitchen.”

The front door slammed closed. “Like that isn’t going to kill the wood,” I muttered.

“Jake, you know you shouldn’t come to my house when Edward’s here.”

“He’s always here! I have to see you sometime!”

Bella didn’t respond with words, only sighed.

“I don’t really know what happened between us after Edward left, but…”

“I fell in love with you, that’s what happened,” I murmured. “You know I did, so don’t try to deny it.”

“I wasn’t going to,” she defended quietly. “But he’s back now, and everything I ever felt for him is doubled ten times over.”

I took her hand. “I’m not just going to dissolve into the background. I’ve done that before, and I don’t like it at all.”

“Well you can’t be in the spotlight,” she said, looking me in the eyes.

“Wasn’t asking for that.”

“Then what do you want?”

I took a deep breath. “I don’t know. You.”

She shook her head sadly. “You know that isn’t going to work. You shouldn’t even pretend.” Bella took a deep breath, preparing to tell me something. But she looked at me and backed off.

“What?” I asked, confused.

“Nothing,” she murmured. “Nothing of importance, anyway.”

“You don’t have to make a decision, Bella. You can still come to the reservation any time you want. Once a week, twice a week, whatever works with uh…the two of you? I know you miss me.”

“Yes,” she replied affirmatively. “I know I miss you, too. Just give me some time to think. Everything’s happening so fast I don’t even have time to think.”

I nodded, knowing exactly what she meant. “Come back to me?” I whispered. “Even if only a little bit at a time? Come back to me.”

“Okay,” she agreed. “That’s one promise I can try to keep.”