What if Alice never saw Bella jump? Will Bella ever be able to let go of Edward?
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?
5. Chapter 5
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Rain pelted my window, waking me from another peaceful night, and I wonder how long I was going to be able to get away with no nightmares. I checked the clock and sighed. The funeral would be starting in two hours; I decided I better get going if I wanted to make it. I hopped out of bed and walked into the bathroom to take a shower.
I let the hot water run over my shoulders and down my back, spreading warmth throughout my body. This was going to be a hard day, even if I had never really know Harry I knew the people who loved him most. Jacob had talked me into going to the funeral with him, and I agreed. Any chance to see Jake was worth it. And I wanted to be there for him; for all the times he had been there for me. I didn’t know a lot about Jake’s mom’s death, but I’m sure this whole situation brought up some not so good memories and I wanted to be there to support him through this. I turned off the hot water and quickly stepped out and toweled off. I blew my hair dry and curled the ends. Once back in my room I scoured my closet for something to wear but kept coming up short. It was between a black skirt or black pants…definitely black pants. Now for a shirt, was red appropriate for a funeral? Probably too flashy, I crumpled it up and threw it in the corner. I kept searching and finally found a black sweater with a line of white pearl buttons down the front. It had been wedged on the bottom of my closet underneath a big black trash bag bulging with gifts from my last birthday. I looked at it for a moment and then firmly shut the closet door.
I pulled the pants on quickly and shoved the sweater over my head. I looked in the full length mirror that hung on the back of my door. Yep, I definitely looked like I was going to a funeral, but I actually looked kind of pretty. I smoothed my hair and slipped on a pair of black flats. Just then the doorbell rang. I took the stairs two at a time (which was probably not the best idea) and tripped once as I flew down to get the door. “Jacob.” I breathed. It always seemed as if I could only breathe when he was by my side. Time without him was like suffocation. He was wearing a black suit with a black button up shirt and a black tie. He looked, well, simply beautiful. He took one step and wrapped me in his arms. He took a deep breath and then kissed the top of my head, letting it out as he did. I guess I wasn’t the only one having a hard time breathing.
Jacob drove us to the little white church just west of Newton’s in the Rabbit. He held my hand the entire time. It was still raining pretty hard outside, and I wondered if that would affect the funeral much. I wondered what Charlie was doing right now. Probably helping place flower arrangements around the small chapel, or maybe greeting mourners as they filed into the musty church pews. I hadn’t realized we arrived until Jacob was pulling me from the car. He placed his arm firmly around my waist and leaned down to look me in the eye. “Come on Bella. It will be ok.” He placed his other hand softly oh my cheek and brushed his thumb softly under my eye. I brought my arm up around his neck and hugged him close; I kissed his neck lightly and buried my face there. He breathed into my hair and whispered, “Are you ready?” His question seemed to be loaded and I thought about it for a second. “Yes.” I breathed.
Charlie and Billy were at the door, like I thought, greeting the guests and handing out small service programs; I took one for Jacob and me. The front was covered in white puffy clouds against a blue sky. I dove seemed to be flying out from the center of the clouds. I handed it over to Jake, I wasn’t sure if I could handle looking inside. I already felt like I was prying into a private moment. He stuffed it into his coat pocket and led me to a bench near the front of the small church. He dropped his arm from around my waist and took my hand; he traced circles on my palm as we waited for the service to start, soft music playing in the background. Guests filled in quietly and soon the pews were full so people started lining up against the walls; standing room only. The music slowly faded into the background as whispers filled the hall. I looked up at Jacob, his face was emotionless. He caught me looking up at him and he smiled slightly, bringing his hand up to cup my face, his thumb gently grazing my lips. My heart fluttered at his touch and my head swam. I couldn’t understand why he was beginning to have this effect on me; I was used to him touching me. But somehow it was just different now, softer. More deliberate. His eyes traced my face and his smile widened, he leaned in and for a split second I wanted to reach up and touch my lips to his. The blush flooded my cheeks and I dropped my face, he chuckled beside me and dropped his hand on top of mine.
The service was a beautiful representation of Harry’s life. He was eulogized by Leah, Seth, and Sue, each one adding to the character of his life. Emily sang a duet hymn with Embry’s mother with Emily accompanying them on the Piano. I was surprised by the tone of the whole service; it seemed to be more of a celebration of Harry’s life than the mourning of his death. I peered around my shoulders slowly. The people around me all seemed to feel that way as well, small smiles on their faces. Some were crying and nodding their heads, but they all continued to smile. I looked up at Jacob; tears were slipping down his cheeks. I reached my free hand up to brush them away and he caught my hand, pressing it lightly against his face and smiling.
When the service was over, Jake leaned down to me, “Wasn’t so bad was it?” He was so close to me his lips touched my ear and his breath washed over my neck; I shuddered at the warmth it projected on my bare skin. “Come on, I’ll get you home so you can change into something more…rugged.” He eyed my sweater; I blushed. It was more than uncharacteristic of me to dress up and he must have noticed that I was a little uncomfortable in the tight black pants and fancy sweater. “They’re having a bonfire tonight if you want to come. I think Charlie might even show up.”
“I’d like that.” I smiled up at him and took his hand as he led me out of the little white church building.
Jake waited for me down stairs while I hurried up to me room to change. I settled on some old blue jeans and an old Washington State University sweatshirt overtop of a red tank top. I disapprovingly looked in the mirror while I brushed my teeth. My hair hung straight on either side of my face, and made me look more boring than usual. I quickly grabbed a white hairclip and pulled the hair away from my face and clipped it behind my head. I assessed my new hair style, turning my head left then right; much better. I smiled at myself in the mirror then headed down stairs. “You look nice.” Jake said as he pulled me out to his car.
The bonfire was at Jacob’s house, out behind the little garage we’d spent so much time in. I recognized most of the guests from the funeral earlier today, and could pick out the familiar faces of Jake’s pack. The fire was blazing strong, stocked by huge logs; a large pile nearby assured me this would be an all night bash. Jake held my hand as he led me around the fire to find a place to sit, finally finding a small spot between Embry and Quil. Jake plopped down and I was actually surprised he could fit between the huge teenage boys, however it was a tight squeeze and there was no room for me next to Jake. He patted his lap gently, encouraging me to sit. I just kind of stared at him, my mouth hanging open slightly, until he put his arm around my waist and pulled me down on top of him. I landed not so gracefully on his lap, my arms and legs flailing; I could hear Jacob laughing behind me, his chest jolting up and down. “That was not nice.” I glowered at him.
“Hey, I was just trying to help you! You didn’t have to kick me!” he poked me in the side; I slapped his hand away and humfed as I folded my arms across my chest. “It’s ok Bella, I need to run in and change anyway. Stay right here!” He shifted me off his lap, jogged up to the house, and quickly disappeared inside. Embry was tugging on my elbow now.
“Hey, Bella! How have you been? We haven’t seen you in a while.”
“Oh, yeah I know. I’ve been good, you know school, work. Same old. How have you been?” I was really trying to pay attention to him, really I was, but I couldn’t concentrate with Jacob so far from me.
“Good to hear. Oh we’ve been good. Just the regular business. Eat, patrol, repeat.” He and Quil snickered at his joke. I gave him a genuine smile.
“Come here Bella.” Jake picked me up and settled himself on the ground between the boys. He spread his legs and sat me down between them so I could lean back against his chest. He wrapped his arms around me and I scooted back and pressed my back closer to his chest, getting myself as close to him as I could. I crossed my arms over top of his and placed my hands on his arms, holding on just below his shoulder; we both sighed contentedly. Out of the corner of my eye I saw Quil shoot Jake a funny look; I smiled to myself knowing Quil was confused.
As the fire’s glow dwindled I laid my head back against Jacob’s chest. I could hear his heart beating beneath my ear and feel the heat radiating through his thin shirt. The stars were clearly visible. It was like my own little slice of bliss. Sitting there encircled in the arms of my best friend and surrounded by the pack I started to see the kind of future I could have here. I could be happy with Jacob, I already was happy with him. The possibilities flooded my head; possibilities that could never have happened with Edward. With Jacob I could see myself growing and changing. We could experience life together, have a family, and grow old. I imagined what our kids would be like; probably a lot like Jacob. I lifted my head and peered across the fire where Emily and Sam sat, arms gently folded around each other. She was staring at the fire and he was staring at her. No, not just staring; admiring, adoring, cherishing her. It’s like he was unable to take his eyes off of her, like she was the north pole of a magnet and he was the south; he couldn’t keep himself from looking at her. Draw together not by choice but by necessity; like neither one of them ever had a choice.
I sat up and turned toward Jake, he sat up a little too looking at me curiously. I hadn’t noticed before but Quil and Embry had gotten up and moved over to a group of girls on the other side of the fire. The girls were flirting relentlessly with the boys; I’m sure they loved that. I smiled to myself and brought my eyes back to Jacob’s face. He was looking at me smiling, searching my eyes. He tucked a lock of hair behind my ear. His touch left goose bumps on my face. “Jacob?”
“What, Bella?” He chuckled.
“Do you love me?”
“Bella you know I do. I always have.” He cocked his head to the side, as if questioning my motives. “Why do you ask?”
“Just making sure…” I took a deep breath, steadying myself. I can do this. “I was just making sure you felt the same about me as I did about you.” Wow. That made no sense. My face flushed and I dropped my gaze. I hoped he could understand what I was trying to say, I really didn’t want to have to say it again.
It was silent. I looked up at him through my lashes. He just stared at me, his mouth hanging open a little; his eyes wide. “What are you thinking?” I whispered.
“I’m thinking…I…I don’t really know what I’m thinking.” He continued to stare. I glanced around us quickly. No one seemed to have notice our little exchange so far, and there were only a hand full of people left at the gathering. I took a deep breath, my heart fluttering violently. With my shoulders squared to him I reached my hand up to his face and gently slid my fingertips down the length of his jaw, my other hand cupping the opposite side of his face. He froze. I didn’t have any idea what I was doing. I stretched my neck up so my lips were even with his. My hands were trembling against his face as I slowly leaned in. My lips parted slightly, I closed the distance, not quite touching his lips. Our noses touched, and I breathed in, his scent filling my lungs and making my head spin. I gently pressed my lips to his and my eyelids fluttered shut. My hand slid back to his hair; my lips moved against his. He put his hand on my face and pulled me back an inch.
“Bella…wait.” He whispered, “Are you sure this is what you want?”
Suddenly his mouth was on mine. I melted into him. My arms curled themselves around his neck drawing us closer together. His hands found their way to my face and gently caressed my cheeks, finally sliding back to my hair. He locked his right hand into my hair and moved his left hand to my neck slowly moving from my shoulder to ear lobe; a trail of goose bumps appeared under his touch. My tongue traced the outline of his bottom lip. He willingly opened his mouth to me, his warm breath filling my mouth. A low sigh escaped my lips as our tongues wound together. His hand slid down my back and rested just above my jeans; the heat seared through my sweatshirt to the delicate skin below. He slowly moved his other hand to my face, his thumb brushing the top of my cheek. His mouth closed gently and he pulled back slightly. He kissed me sweetly, once, twice, a third time, then pulled his face back to look at me. I allowed my lungs to fill. He looked deeply into my eyes, and smiled.
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