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The Ripple Effect

Summary:
What if Bella’s parents never divorced & she was a normal girl. Best friends with Jacob Black for all her life & suddenly the Cullen’s moved to Forks. Everything is Alternate Universe, Romance, drama and friendships galore.


Notes:


12. Chapter 12, Meet the Denalis

Rating 0/5   Word Count 5445   Review this Chapter

Chapter 12, Meet the Denalis

Monday morning began as any other morning after a good snowfall. I awoke to plows cleaning the streets and Charlie scraping the cruiser clean. As I sat up awakening to the light, I blinked a few times. The morning sun blocked by a few clouds still seemed to illuminate my room. The winter white giving way to the brown from all the sand and dirt as it was sprayed onto the streets. I sighed dragging myself from bed.

My hair thankfully had dried from my nightly shower and I winced at the mirror. My reflection produced a tangled mess; I must have tossed and turned in my sleep. I blushed at the thought of Edward seeing me in this state. I wondered when Edward left this morning, if he took extra precaution because of the snow leaving a trail. Pinching my cheeks to make sure I wasn’t dreaming, while smirking I ran a comb through my hair before Renee called down for me.

“Bella, you’re going to be late.” She warned as I rolled my eyes and paired a sweater with a nice pair of jeans.

I was nowhere near Alice or Rosalie as far as fashion was concerned, but I was proud that I could at least recognize what matched and what didn’t match. I groaned inwardly at the idea of the first real snowfall and what that meant. At Forks High, snow meant snowball fights, and I was bound to get smashed with a few flying masses before the day’s end.

“Toast?” Renee offered as I shook my head sliding my jacket on and grabbing a pair of gloves.

“Not today Mom.” I said already dreading my walk down the driveway. There was no doubt Edward would pick me up. He wouldn’t leave me with the Chevy in this condition, I was getting comfortable with the idea of being taken care of. This boyfriend thing had its rewards. I smiled at the thought.

“Say hello to Edward for me.” Renee chuckled with my kiss goodbye. My Mother knew how close Edward and I had become; I was wondering when she would want to have ‘the talk.’

The Volvo met me at the bottom of the drive as Edward hoped out at human speed and helped me to the car.

“Good morning.” He smiled helping me slide into the Volvo.

I smirked as he closed the door for me, eying my rubber shoes before shaking his head. I blushed shrugging as he quickly entered the car.

“They’re just a precaution; you don’t want me breaking my neck do you?” I asked playfully as I turned my foot towards him so he could see the metal jutting out from the bottom of the slips.

“No, of course not.” He smiled, sighing for a moment before starting the car.

When we started down the road, he was oddly quiet.

“You okay Edward?” I asked as he smiled halfheartedly nodding quickly.

“It’s just...” He began and the sound of his voice was off. “We have to leave early.”

I turned to him confused.

“Leave early for vacation?” I questioned, shaking my head.

“We are needed, our friend’s the Denalis.” My gaze narrowed as I wondered what he meant.

“Needed?” He winced nodding.

“You’re needed here too Edward.” I wanted to guilt him, to remind him that some vampires were edging dangerously closer and closer to Forks.

“We will be gone for maybe a few days, a week at the most.” Edward whispered as I shook my head scared for a moment.

“Why do you have to go?” I asked fighting the tears from coming down.

Edward sighed.

“Because they need our help, and with the holidays this will be the perfect opportunity.”

I nodded gritting my teeth, he pulled into a parking spot, his family waiting for us. They looked excited as Alice greeted me opening my door.

“Everything will be fine; we have over a week before something happens.” It’s not that I didn’t trust my friend, but these vampires had the ability to thwart even Alice.

“What exactly is going on?” I asked, as Alice shrugged walking away letting Edward take my hand.

“There’s a small uprising in Alaska, the Denalis need help before anything gets out of hand.”

“An uprising?” I asked gripping his hand tighter, as we made our way into the school.

“Some rogue vampire who is creating young vampires. The Denalis need help destroying them before the Volturi get wind of it.” I shuddered at the thought of Edward and Alice fighting.

We stopped at my locker as he watched me cautiously.

“We have dealt with them before. Right now it is only four against eleven.” He smiled rubbing my shoulder reassuringly.

“Right now?” He sighed, sensing I was getting worked up.

“Look we will discuss this further at lunch okay?” I gave a quick nod, walking away from him into homeroom.

Why was this freaking me out? I knew what I was getting into falling in love with a vampire and befriending his family. Just imagining them in danger, the fact that something out there was dangerous for them, it freaked me out. And I couldn’t help but think there was more to the Denalis than anyone was willing to admit.

Angela waved to me, a piece of a broken snowball still in her hair. She was picking out the pieces.

“Remind me again to stay clear of Mike and Tyler on the way to the cafeteria okay?” She asked shaking the melting snow onto the carpet.

“Got caught in the crossfire?” I snarked, smiling trying to forget this morning completely.

“Yeah, and they’re planning a rematch at lunch, that’s all I’m saying.” She sighed, pulling her bag close to her so she could rest her chin on the soft material.

“So, how was your weekend?” She asked a glint in her eye.

“Pretty decent.” I smiled, remembering the past few days.

“And yours?” I replied politely the same smile on my face, trying to bask in the moments of normality.

She shrugged blushing. “Ben is great.” She gushed as I shook my head.

I willed myself to forget about Edward leaving for a week, 'no Alice either', this was going to be unbearable. I tried to think of all the things I could do to distract myself, there was Thanksgiving with Jake and the Blacks. I could always help Renee bake some pies; Edward would call me to update the situation.

I had made it to lunch without having a panic attack, as Edward met me at the end of English.

“There’s a snowball fight.” He smiled wrapping his arm around my shoulders as we walked in the snow. Our feet crunched down, packing the white fluff beneath our boots.

“I heard.” I sighed, as a snowball came flying towards us Edward deflected it quickly shrugging.

“Just a warning Emmett and Jasper are at it again so...” I shook my head preparing myself, locking my jaw as we stepped onto the cement floor and into the cafeteria.

When we made it to the lunch table, Emmett looked excited, Rosalie played with his hands trying to keep him from shaking the table.

“Do you have any idea how big the polar bears are in Alaska Bella?” Emmett asked as I sighed stabbing my salad.

“Polar bears?” I replied curious, trying to immerse myself in something positive about the lack of Cullens this week.

“They taste amazing.” He laughed a low dull roar, as a few heads turned our way. The image of the large beautiful Emmett laughing must have been a sight for sore eyes. I was glad someone was happy.

“I don’t think I want to know.” I laughed, shaking my head.

Alice sighed twirling a piece of my hair between her lithe fingers, before she placated me.

“Nothing will happen while we’re gone Bella, we’ll be fine. The Denalis need us.” I took a deep breath wishing that Jaspers gift would work on me. No matter how many times Alice or Edward tried to reassure me, I still felt anxious.

“Besides it’s not as if Tanya has any chance.” Emmett added, as Edward growled at his brother.

I looked up confused.

“Tanya?” Alice shook her head annoyed, as Rosalie hissed at her boyfriend.

“What?” Emmett asked, “She doesn’t know that Tanya’s obsessed with Edward yet?” He shrugged smiling apologetically at me, as Edward took my hand.

“She’s just a friend, barely that.” Edward sighed, rubbing my fingernails as he studied my expression.

“Plus if he’s avoided her for half a decade what’s one week right?” Emmett tried to reassure me as well, a wink and a quick nod at the end of his sentence for good measure. I appreciated Emmett’s honesty; he was a pure hearted kind of guy.

I took a steadying breath as Rosalie slapped the back of Emmett’s head for good measure. Rosalie’s coldness was melting away as the days went by. Although she never talked to me, I felt an understanding since our shopping trip. It was easy to see why she fell in love with Emmett, they were complete and polar opposites and fit together perfectly.

“We’ll talk about it later.” I whispered as Emmett and Jasper chuckled, then another smack making Emmett rub the back of his head numbing the sting.

Jasper took the opportunity to throw a snowball he was forming at his brother. Despite the distraction, Emmett deflected the orb and it went flying across the lunchroom. No one seemed to notice as the ball crashed against the wall. The speed and distance it traveled from our table was a perfect alibi.

I was able to make it through lunch without mentioning this Tanya again. But the longer I thought about her, the angrier I became. Alice walked me to Biology as I ignored Edward, I wanted the full scoop on whom this Tanya was and why her brother neglected to mention her.

“She’s just a friend.” Alice chimed as we sat down.

“But she’s a beautiful vampire.” I whispered. “And she wants Edward, that’s two against me.” I shook my head pulling out my book reluctantly.

“You really have nothing to worry about, he has always been disgusted by her, and that was before he met you.” She smiled, trying to ease my fears.

“I just wish he would have at least mentioned that he had an admirer, something.” Alice shrugged as class started.

There were many reasons to be scared, being left alone. Not seeing Edward for a week, and now not only did I have to worry about young blood thirsty vampires trying to rip his throat out; but a seductive vampire vixen who was enamored with my boyfriend. Class went by quickly and Alice barely spoke again about the trip. I was sure she could see that despite all her efforts, I was upset.

“You are mad at me?”

Edward asked as he met me after class. Shrugging and sighing, I took his hand my fingers intertwining with his.

“No.” I shook my head. “I’m just worried for you, that’s all.” I meant it, but the idea of a beautiful vampire who wanted Edward did annoy me.

“They’re like us, the Denalis they are vegetarians. It would be a slight on their coven if we didn’t come to their call. And then if and when we ever needed them they would come for us.”

The thought of seeing this Tanya, of meeting other vampires gave me the chills. What did she look like? Was she be as beautiful as Rosalie, Alice and Esme?

I gave a quick nod as we entered the classroom. Every Junior and Senior year you had to take sex ed, Drug and Alcohol class and then CPR and First aid. The classes were always in the middle of the year. I wasn’t sure how Sex Education was going to go with Edward in the class with me. We took a seat next to each other in the back of the room, as Edward continued our conversation.

“Besides, you’ll be in La Push for Thanksgiving and I’ll call you.” He smiled making me sigh, turning towards him.

“It just hurts being away from you Edward.” I admitted, willing the tears to not fall.

He brushed my cheek as one single tear betrayed me.

“I know, I feel the same way. But I know you will be safe here and in La Push.”

I bit my lip.

“And the vampire that’s on the loose?” He snarled to himself, thinking of the vampire or vampires that were threatening the sanctity of life here.

“We will deal with them as well. This is an opportune time to discuss with our friends how that situation is best handled.” He explained taking my hand, as some students began to file into the classroom.

Luckily, the first day of class wasn’t as awkward as I had expected it to be. We just went through the short curriculum and were told to take a quiz.

By study hall, I was getting used to the idea of being away from Edward, but that didn’t mean I liked the idea. Like clockwork, we took Edward’s table in the corner of the room settling down across from one another.

“We leave tonight.” He said, as I rubbed the inside of his palm.

“Tonight?” I asked. He gave a quick nod, pained.

“The quicker we leave, the sooner we will be back.” He smiled, trying to reassure me.

“So tell me about this Tanya.” I inquired, hoping to get insight on this girl.

“She is part of the Denali clan; her and her sisters have been vegetarians for a while.” He looked away thinking.

“I’m sure she’s beautiful.” He smiled, shrugging nonchalantly.

“Her beauty is all glamour, a way to entice men to her, which she does often.” He laughed shaking his head.

“What do you mean?” I mused as he shrugged.

“I mean that she is nothing for you to worry about, so please do not fret.” I smirked playing with the sleeve of his shirt while he smiled.

“So will you take notes for me in class.” He asked quirking an eyebrow flirtatiously, trying to inject humor into the conversation.

I blushed as he laughed, proud of himself for making me turn crimson.

As we walked hand in hand out of the building I was lost in thought, in such a short time the very prospect of Edward leaving had turned my world upside down. I was turning into one of those possessive girlfriends, scared of being left alone.

“What?” Edward asked as he let me into his car. I shrugged as he made his way to his door and turned the key to the ignition.

“I’m overreacting aren’t I? About Tanya, about everything?” He laughed tilting his head from side to side.

“It feels good to know I am not the only one who worries. I’m glad you feel as protective and possessive of me as I do you.”

I wasn’t sure that was the answer I was looking for. I felt safer with Edward watching over me, protecting me. But it wasn’t the same for girls, if you cared too much you were seen as pushy and needy. I didn’t want to be that girl, I used to make fun of girls like that.

“I’ll stop by after you eat dinner, to say goodbye?”

I took a deep breath, smiling as he tilted his head releasing the car door and helping me out of the passenger side.

“Tell Alice I said hello.” He smirked, nodding his head towards my front doors. I glanced towards the house and gave him a quick nod as I heard my mother’s laughter coming from the kitchen.

Alice was leaning over an old photo album, while Renee sipped tea and pointed to pictures. I sighed shaking my head as I joined them.

“The baby pictures Mom really?” I asked as Renee looked up smiling.

“Well hello Bells.” She greeted me. “Alice stopped by, says they’re going up to Alaska for the holidays.” Alice tilted her head smiling at me, as I gave a quick confirming nod.

“Yup.”

Renee sighed, closing the photo album.

“Well your father is going to be late so it’s just us for dinner, have anything in mind?” She asked me as I shrugged.

“Surprise me.” I answered as Alice followed me upstairs.

“I wish I could remember what it was like to be a baby.” Alice chimed, as she fell upon my bed.

“No-one remembers what it was like to be a baby, so don’t feel bad.” I replied falling next to her as we both sighed.

“So what’s the real deal with Tanya?” I asked, turning to my best friend as she shrugged.

“She’s a succubus, her sisters lure human men and they....” She paused for inflection as I shook my head shocked, blushing at the thought.

“So that’s possible?” Alice laughed nodding.

“Yes, and Tanya and her sisters have proved that theory quite thoroughly.” I winced shuddering slightly.

“They never, mess up?” Alice sighed shrugging.

“They have had lots of practice I suppose.” She replied nonchalantly.

“But they’re vegetarians right?” Alice laughed, musically.

“Oh yes, they devour them in other ways.” I blushed turning towards Edward’s love-seat.

“It’s going to be awfully boring without you Bells.” She sang as I crossed my legs cupping my chin in my hands.

“It’s going to suck here without you.” I answered as she smiled.

“Yes, well I’ll still be watching you.” I chuckled. “And I’ll watch Edward too.” She nudged me as I laughed again biting my lip.

“How dangerous is this?” I questioned after few moments of silence. “I mean how dangerous are newly turned vampires?”

Alice sighed thinking. “They are stronger than us, but not in control fully of their own minds. It takes a lot of self restraint to turn a vampire.” She answered plainly.

“Why?” I asked, wondering exactly how everything went. I was more curious about being turned than anything.

“Because of the blood lust, imagine eating a small piece of chocolate cake after starving for days and having to stop after just one little bite. Some vampires can’t stop, they kill instead of turning.”

I tilted my head thinking, wondering how strong Carlisle must have been.

“Have you ever...?”

“Sired?” She finished for me shaking her head. “Oh no, I have never tried that before, I’m not sure if I could.” She looked to me strangely and I wondered if she had thought of turning me, of having a best friend for all of eternity. For some reason the thought made me smile.

“So it will take more than one of you to kill them?” I asked as she nodded.

“Yes, to tear them into pieces and burn them, it usually takes two or three per newborn.” I blinked a few too many times, processing all the information.

“Is that the only way you can kill them? Tear them apart and then burn them?” She laughed, as if placating a child.

“Yes, otherwise they could regenerate.” I raised my eyebrows in awe.

“Wow.” She smiled shrugging. “So let’s say for instance if you forgot a piece...?”

“Then it would eventually regenerate back into a full vampire.” She answered enjoying my inquiries.

“You are magic.” I said shaking my head as she rolled onto her side.

“I will bring you something back from Alaska.” Alice finally said, playfully.

“I hope not a piece.” I mused, quietly under my breath as my friend laughed.

“Oh no, nothing like that.” She turned to stand up and I followed her, unwilling for the time to pass by.

“Be careful.” I said embracing her in a hug.

“Oh I will.” She answered gleefully. “You have no idea how easy it is with my gift, this will be more of a hassle to clean up than anything.”

“Enjoy your Chinese.” Alice laughed lyrically as she flitted down the stairs waving to my mother.

I laughed shaking my head before joining Renee on the couch.

“You okay sweetie?” She asked patting my hand soothingly.

“I guess.” I answered, halfheartedly.

“Mhmm...gonna miss your friends I imagine.” She smirked tilting her head towards me.

“Definitely.” My mother was silent for a moment as she sat thinking.

“You know we should probably talk, about you and Edward?” I groaned moving away from her as the doorbell rang. The deliveryman smiled as I handed him a twenty-dollar bill taking the warm brown bag from him quickly with a short wave.

“Food’s here.” I smirked as my Mother shook her head annoyed.

“Now I know the last thing you want to talk about with your Mom are boys, but I would be doing you a great disservice if I didn’t at least try.” I groaned pulling out two pairs of chopsticks for us.

“Mom, please...”

“You have feelings for this boy?” She asked, as if she was reading some script on how to talk to your teenage daughter about boys.

“Do we really have to discuss this in-between dumplings and lo mein?” I asked as my mother shook her head grabbing two plates.

“This is embarrassing, but you’ve never been this way about any boy before Bells, so you can imagine what I’m thinking.” She said it so seriously I wondered if she had been practicing this very discussion.

“Yeah, I guess I can and I do, like Edward a lot.” I smiled as my mother eased setting down the plates.

“Well, good I think he’s a good boy for you, I just don’t want you to get too serious too fast.” I sighed laughing for a moment before shaking my head.

“Mom, I know how I feel and I don’t think we’re going too fast. Trust me, not in the way you’re worried about.”

“Oh.” Renee answered her shoulders slumping as she picked up a few dumplings into her plate. “I just want you to be careful, there are many other ways of getting hurt there’s emotional pain as well as physical and all those things are very tricky.”

I gave her a stern cold look, my mother should know by now that I was quite aware of the difficulties in relationships.

“I got it Mom; okay can’t you just be happy for me?” She smiled pulling back in her seat as if I had knocked the wind out of her.

“I am happy for you sweetie, and scared and anxious. I just don’t want you to get hurt. You’ll understand when you have children.”

Her words hit me, as a sick sinking feeling made my brow furrow.

“I don’t think I want children.” I answered with a shrug as Renee stared at me dumbfounded.

“You’re seventeen, you’ll change, trust me hun it will hit you like a ton of bricks.”

I shook my head hoping for the conversation to be over.

“Just promise me you will be careful.” I looked up into my mothers eyes taking a deep breath. If only she knew, where my mother worried about STDs and teen pregnancy there was so much more to Edward and I.

“I promise.” I answered finally looking back down at my plate as she sighed placated.

After one of the most awkward dinners of my life, I was eager to get the dishes done and to see Edward. I wondered how he would come, through the front door or my window. After slowly drying the dishes, I excused myself to my room to find my answer sitting on the loveseat.

“How was dinner?” Edward asked, a smirk playing upon his lips as he played with one of my Afghans.

“Interesting.” I answered annoyed as he chuckled lightly reading my face.

“So you like me?” He asked comically, his shoulders bouncing up and down to his silent laughter.

“Obviously.” I huffed sitting down across from him. “I’m not the only one, right?” I had suddenly become jealous, the thought of being away from Edward for nearly a week and some vampire seductress made my skin crawl.

“She means nothing.” He answered slightly amused.

“But it would be more convenient.” I replied annoyed at my humanity for the first time. “She’s not so fragile, so human.”

He laughed, quickly coming to my side his eyes fully locked on mine.

“You’re right. She’s not warm, she doesn’t blush or glow.” He gently brushed my cheek as I warmed to his cool touch. “I can’t hear her heartbeat and I don’t love her. She is nothing like you.” I knew it was one of the most romantic things anyone has or would ever say to me. Slowly I leaned towards him.

His breath hitched as he watched my eyes, slowly coming closer.

“What are you doing?” He asked not moving but watching me.

“I’m going to kiss you, so don’t kill me.” I chuckled as he stood still and my lips gently brushed his. I tried to be chase, tried to not tempt him. Slowly his hands wrapped around my waist and he pulled me closer to him. Our kiss deepened, slowly maturing into a full kiss that sent heat and butterflies buzzing under my skin.

When we parted after a quick moment his breath was erratic, his head rested on mine and I wondered how much control he really had. If I was truly going to try and break his resolve.

“Is it getting any easier?” I asked, a hint of humor in my voice.

“It is the most enthralling torture I’ve ever experienced.” He finally admitted, pulling slowly away from me as our eyes locked once more.

“Good, keep that in mind when you’re with Tanya.” I retorted, he laughed shaking his head.

“You didn’t need to kiss me to ensure that.” He playfully added the darkness in his eyes receding to the golden amber.

“No, the kiss was for me.” I sighed taking his hand in mine, as we laid back thinking.

“I have to go; we’re leaving at the end of the hour.”

“So soon?” I inquired, looking to him as he smiled sadly.

“The quicker we go....”

“The sooner you will return, I know.” I finished for him, the urge to kiss him to hold him again made my arms itch.

I gave a quick nod, sighing. He slowly stood up, our hands breaking contact at the last possible second. I couldn’t watch him go, he leaned towards me, gently stroking my cheek.

“I love you Bella.” He whispered and when I opened my eyes, he was gone.

That night I had nightmares, they were the odd dreams where you’re falling and you never hit the ground. I kept seeing odd things in mid fall; Edward with someone else, Alice refusing to look at me. I awoke in a cold sweat shaking off the top blanket that covered me glancing at the alarm clock. I wondered how long it would take for Edward to call me, announcing his safe arrival. Shaking the thought away and tossing some more covers off my bed, I headed for the shower.

With the Cullens gone, Angela made it her mission to keep me occupied on the last day of school before the break. It was sweet of her even though Ben wanted her undivided attention. I smiled as the couple walked side by side. I knew Edward was okay, between Alice texting me and the call this morning everything was well. I just couldn’t help but feel a piece of myself missing without him there. As I sat down at my old lunch table, I gazed at the empty Cullen table, before opening my lunch bag.

“Brown bagging it today Swan?” Tyler asked a smile on his face. Leave it to Tyler to make me feel comfortable being back.

“Yeah, I decided not to chance it today.”

“Oh I can’t wait for turkey sandwiches, turkey soup...” Mike started rubbing his stomach for inflection as Jessica laughed flirtatiously. I couldn’t help but smile at the two.

“So what are your plans for Thanksgiving Bella?” Lauren asked and I was surprised by the question. I looked at the others before answering.

“I’m heading to La Push as usual.” I smirked shaking my head.

“So where did the Cullens go?” She added, and I finally understood why the sudden interest.

“To Alaska, they have some family left up there.” I nodded lightly, trying not to frown at the fact that it had been two days since I had last seen my friends.

“Sad, so soon in your relationship, he like left you.” She smirked as Angela and even Jessica scowled her way.

“Lauren take the stick out would you.” Mike spat annoyed as Tyler and Ben tried to stifle a laugh. The table looked down all suppressing a giggle as I debated on saving Lauren from embarrassment.

“I don’t mind, family’s important.” I beamed smiling as I sipped my lemonade. The table eased as Lauren rolled her eyes turning towards her lunch flustered.

Thanksgiving was one of those holidays that held a special place for me. The food and warmth all mixed with cheering and the prospect of Christmas coming, it was one of my favorites. As we drove to La Push, me in the backseat of the cruiser blasting my music I couldn’t help but look at the passing greenery with awe. I had made this trek countless times, but never while in love, never while holding a huge secret. This year I saw everything differently, with a new pair of eyes.

As we greeted the Blacks, I could feel the tension between Jacob and his father. He motioned to follow him out towards the garage. I hugged the twins before following my friend.

“What’s up?” I asked wondering, as Jacob fell onto the beat up old couch that he had dragged out.

“I just can’t sit in that room for another moment.” He groaned covering his face with his hands. He seemed more flustered than before, as I sat next to him pushing his feet away from me.

“Okay spill, what has your Dad done this time?” He shook his head.

“It’s not just one thing, it’s everything. And he keeps looking at me when he talks about the future of the tribe. I mean my sisters are home and talking about me going to college in a few years and he gives them this look.” He pushed his hair back annoyed.

“What kind of look?”

He shook his head trying to push the anger away.

“This look as if he has my whole life already figured out for me ya know, and college isn’t in his plans.”

I sighed tilting my head.

“I think all father’s are like that Jake, even my Dad.” I shrugged. “They don’t realize they have no choice in the matter, but you humor them and then you turn eighteen and do exactly what you want to do.”

He smirked raising an eyebrow at me.

“Now you’re making me feel very young Bells.” He laughed sitting up and motioning to his car.

“What do you think?” I looked at the vehicle trying to find some difference since the last time I had seen it.

“What am I looking for exactly?” He laughed holding his hand out as he pulled me up from the couch.

“I refurnished the seats.” He said proudly as I peeked in the windows and eyed his work.

“Looks good.” I smiled trying to put my arm around his shoulders like we used to when we were kids.

“What is with you getting so big Jake?”

He laughed as I struggled finally giving up and letting him lead me back into the dinning room for some food.

“So what’s the boyfriend up to this holiday?” Jacob asked, teasing me as he leaned in whispering.

“He’s visiting family in Alaska.” I answered, Jake whistled shaking his head.

“Those Cullens sure have the dough huh?” He joked piling on fried fish as we moved through the line.

It was the first time all afternoon that I had thought of Edward, being with Jake helped me forget even for a few minutes. It helped, not missing him so much and for that, I was thankful. As the night went on, Quil and Embry had joined us perfecting the holiday. They joked with my friend long enough to keep his mind off of his father. I worried about Jake, he was strong but too much pressure could do anybody in.

“You’re still coming to my birthday right Bells?” Jacob asked with a hint of humor as our parents said goodnight to all their friends.

“Of course, would I miss seeing my BFF turn the big one five. I joked as Jacob blushed shaking his black mane from side to side.

“Whatever, just making sure.” I gave him a quick hug before hopping into the cruiser.

“What I don’t get a hug?” Quil joked as Jacob punched him lightly on the shoulder.

I had made a fuss about nothing, in exactly forty-eight hours Edward and Alice would be home again. No-one had been killed, Alice’s visions had come true. I smiled on my way back home while my parents chattered quietly in the front seat. I wasn’t sure when I had fallen asleep but I awoke in my bed hours later. When I glanced at my cell-phone, there was two text messages awaiting me.

‘All Clear, check up with you soon.’ From Alice with a smiley face at the end.

And, ‘Missing you, the danger is over. Love Edward.’ I smiled at the two updates before texting them both back and falling asleep.

This week was a test for me and maybe for them as well. I had learned that there was a world outside of Forks that needed the Cullens. But, also that in this world there were others like the Cullens, that when the time came would help them. And with that thought the uneasiness about the vampires that were loose eased a bit.