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The Edge

What if Alice never saw Bella jump? Will Bella ever be able to let go of Edward? theedge22.jpg The Egde image by hatchick113

Bella continues life in Forks with out Edward. Jacob has picked up the pieces, will she finally realize he is there for her? Will she ever be able to let go of Edward?

3. Chapter 3

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Bella’s Point of View

By the time Jacob dropped me off the sky was dark with only a hint of yellow gold fading around the western horizon. I knew tonight was going to bring unpleasant thoughts. I had allowed myself to completely break through the protective barrier I have spent months building up around my fragile mind. Not to mention Jacob. I could feel our relationship changing, growing. I couldn’t really put my finger on it but I knew I was going to have some serious thinking to do on that front.

Jake walked me up to the door when we finally made it to my house; he kept his arm around my waist the entire time. Whether it was to support me or to reassure himself that I wasn’t going to disappear, I’m not sure. But I like it, it felt like home. The door was unlocked when we reached in and Charlie met us just as we stepped in the house. “Thanks for bringing her home Jake.” Sadness filled his tone. Charlie wound his arm around my shoulders, but Jake’s arm didn’t budge from my waist.

“No problem.” He let go of my waist slowly and brought his eyes up to meet mine. “I’ll see you later Bella. Call me tomorrow?” His eyes were serious and smoldering.

“I will. Good night, Jacob.” I said hoarsely, my voice weak from crying.

Charlie shut the door quietly behind him, and took my jacket from around my shoulders to hang it up. That’s funny; I hadn’t even noticed I was wearing one. I slipped my arms around Charlie. “I’m so sorry Dad.” I just whispered.“I know Bells, I know. Its gonna be tough. But we’ll get through it. All of us, together.” He sighed and pressed his ear to my hair. “Are you hungry Dad? I think there’s some left over’s in the fridge. I can heat them up for you if you want.” I offered.

“No, Bells. I think I’m just gonna head to bed, busy day tomorrow. I’m heading out pretty early to Sue’s to help her take care of things. Will you be ok on your own?” He asked, concern leaking into his voice. “Yeah Dad, I’ll be fine. I’ll call Jacob and we’ll probably spend most of the day in La Push.” I stopped for a moment. “Dad, really I’m so sorry.” I hugged him once more and then let him go. He walked stiffly up the stair, each one seeming like more of a labor than the last.

My thoughts were racing around my head and at the same time I couldn’t quite catch one and hold onto it long enough to really understand what I was thinking. I went to the kitchen, flipped the light on and headed over to the sink to clean the few dishes that were there, looks like I wouldn’t be able to escape my thoughts for long. I finished the dishes and moved on to the table, tossing out the news paper, an empty bag of chips and an old soda can. I wiped of the counters next and even organized the fridge magnets. Wow, I was just stalling now. Soon enough I’d have to face the pain of my chest being ripped apart, so I might as well just get it over with. Hopefully I wouldn’t scream too much tonight, I really didn’t want to wake up Charlie.

I went up stair and took a quick shower to calm my nerves. I toweled my hair off quickly and slipped on some old sweats and an old t-shirt. I tip toed across the hallway, careful to avoid the squeaking floor board at the top of the stairs, and slipped into my bed. The window was open and an unusually cold front had settled on Forks, making my bed a little bit too cold around me. I pulled my quilt up tight around my chin and braced myself for the onslaught. But it didn’t seem to come. I thought of the day’s events, Edwards’s voice hadn’t accompanied me over the edge of the cliff. He made no attempt to keep me from Jacob, and he most certainly wasn’t tearing at my heart now. How long had it been since I had actually heard him? I was losing him, the perfect piece of him my mind had saved for the dark times. My chest didn’t even twinge at the thought. My thoughts turned to Jake suddenly. It was different today, being with him had somehow changed. When I thought back to the days when Edward had first left, when Jake had been there for me; there to pick up the pieces and put me back together…

I sat straight up in bed. Jake had put me back together, but somewhere in the mess of things he had forgotten one piece. Jacob loved me; that was no big secret. And I loved him, since the beginning. But it wasn’t the kind of love he felt for me, I just wasn’t capable of that back then. The searing hole in my chest was no longer there. Not because Jake had stitched it up, but because he had given me a whole new heart. His.

Jacob’s Point of View

I held her close to me the whole way home. She kept her gaze shifted towards the west. I have no idea why, probably just thinking. She was tracing the small scar under my collar bone I had got last night when Paul got a little pissed off. I wonder if she’ll notice its gone the next time she sees me…She kept moving closer to me the whole car ride home. Bella and I were pretty used to sitting like this, it was just comfortable. But it seemed different now, I’m not sure she even noticed herself pressing closer to me. Not that I objected at all.

Damn, we had reached the house already and I was gonna have to let her go. Maybe Sam would let me stay here for patrol tonight so I wouldn’t have to be so far from her. I cut the engine and looked down at her. Her bottom lip was in a slight pout like she was thinking hard about something. Maybe she was thinking about me, I would only be so lucky. I walk silently around the truck and opened her door. She put her arms around my neck and I helped her down from the seat. The air was a little chilly, so I grabbed her jacket from the seat and slipped it around her shoulders; she would get cold once she was away from me. We walked up to the house in silence, my arm around her waist. Charlie met us just inside the door, man, he looked like hell, but I guess that’s pretty much where he’d been all day. “Thanks for bringing her home Jake.” Man, he sounded like hell too, but not quite as bad as he had sounded the night he called Billy when Bella went missing. This couldn’t even compare to that night. Sam’s thoughts of that night had never left me… Charlie slipped his arm around Bella’s shoulders, but I couldn’t quite bring myself to let go of her just yet.

“No problem.” I unwillingly let her go; Charlie pulled her into his arms quickly. She was safe there too, I knew, but I would still rather be the one protecting her. “I’ll see you tomorrow Bella. Call me?” I couldn’t leave her. I couldn’t even stop looking at her; I needed her voice to reassure me that it would all be ok.

“I will.” I let out the breath I had been holding, she would be ok. “Good night Jacob.” Her voice was weak, but I knew I had to leave. One foot, then another. Charlie closed the door quietly behind me.

I could hear them talking as I walked to the edge of the forest to phase and I tried not to listen. I couldn’t get her face out of my mind. She looked so vulnerable, but something in her eyes had changed. She looked at me with more intensity than I’d ever known. I would have to talk to her about that sometime. But now it was time to take care of the pack. I slipped my shorts off and tied them to my ankle quickly, I could feel the fire in my back before I had even finished. The heat engulfed me and suddenly I wasn’t alone.

Jacob, finally.

Sorry Sam. When you left for Sue’s she fell back asleep. My mind played out the afternoon for all the pack to see, that always aggravated me a little.

I see. But she’s ok now?

She’s…Fine, I think. She will be anyway. I said, thinking about the look in her eyes.

Good. Thank you for taking care of her Jake. Today has been a nightmare. We just crossed Victoria’s scent down by the beach; just a few hours old. Paul and Embry have been running the boarders for a while now and they still haven’t found another trail. We think she’s in the water, don’t really know where else she could have gone.

Anyway, I think Bella is going to be pretty safe tonight. Seth and Leah aren’t going to be with us for a few days, so if you could pick up the slack... Do you mind watching Bella and Charlie tonight?

Did I mind? Do you really need to ask that question? No problem Sam. I’m on it. But can I check in with Billy first?

Of course, Sam replied. Just try to be quick. I’ll send Embry up to watch while you’re gone.

Will do.

My feet were carrying me with dizzying speed now. I couldn’t stand to be away from her, but I needed to check on my Dad. Make sure he’s doing ok. The trees were whipping past me, the ground hard beneath my paws. I darted quickly across the road and took a short cut through the woods. Before I knew it my little house was in sight, the porch light on. The fire licked my back and soon I was pulling my shorts back on.

Billy was sitting in the kitchen, talking to someone on the phone. Ah, it was Sue. His voice was serious and he seemed to be discussing arrangements for the funeral. I sat on the couch and waited until they were done talking, and of course I began to think of Bella. What had gotten into her tonight? The look she gave me just before I left, it was so absolute. Like she had finally realized something; decided something. She couldn’t have…no, I couldn’t allow myself to think that. Not even for one second. I loved Bella with everything I had, but I’m not stupid. I know that’s not how she feels about me. Sure she loves me, but not like that. She’s not in love with me; not like I’m in love with her. But what if she was? That bloodsucker had really messed her up; I don’t know if she would ever be capable of loving me like I loved her. But if she loved me even a tenth as much as I loved her my life would be complete. I was there for her. I could always be there for her. Give her what she needs…what she wants…

Billy’s hand was firm on my shoulder. “You gonna patrol tonight Jake?” The sound of my father’s voice shook me from my little day dream. Right, dream. That’s exactly what it was.

“Uh…yeah. I’ll be up at Charlie and Bella’s. I just came home to check up on you.” I looked at him. He looked like he had aged since I saw him last, like some of the light had left his eyes. “Can I help you or Sue? I just don’t know what to do…” I choked off a little. A memory of my mom’s funeral suddenly slipped into my mind. I looked down quickly.

“Jake. You’re doing great. Just listen to Sam. We’ll take care of everything else. Now get going.” He said pushing on my shoulder a little. I was out the door, slipping my shorts off as I went. I phased before I even hit the tree line. The guys immediately picked up on my mood.

Welcome back Jake.

I concentrated on the forest as I ran back to Bella’s house. I wanted to be strong, but my defenses were weakening. I couldn’t keep the images of my mom from flooding back. The pack was silent and I could tell they were trying to focusing their thoughts on their surroundings; trying not to watch mine. For that, I was thankful