Text Size Large SizeMedium SizeSmall Size    Color Scheme Black SchemeWhite SchemeGrey SchemePaper Scheme        

Chasing the Storm

Summary:
AU - What if Alice had seen Bella jump... but Bella answered the phone when Edward called? What if Alice saw a vision of Bella happy... but it wasn't with Edward? What if Edward returned to Forks, with every intention to check on Bella and leave... but when he sees her with someone else, his motives change? How do you choose between the person who was there to catch you when you fell… and the person who was there to make the jump with you in the first place? He let go of my arm, but kept staring at me, and I stared back up at him, eyes wide. "If you're going to let him go, then let him go." --Chapter 12 now posted!


Notes:


6. Chapter 6 - Whatever It Takes

Rating 5/5   Word Count 1675   Review this Chapter

It took a few moments for the shock to wear off, and when it did, I was left standing alone in Edward's livingroom. "Edward?" I called out. I didn't receive an answer, but I hadn't expected to. He had been gone long before I'd even realized it.

I walked back to my car in a daze, fumbling with the key in the ignition. I tried to keep my eyes and thoughts focused on the road, but it was to no avail. Edward's parting words echoed through my mind non-stop.

I still love you, Bella. The thought was enough to make my heartbeat fly all over again. He still loved me. Even if he loved me half as much as I loved him, it was enough. I frowned. But then why did he leave me? Why did he convince me that he didn't love me, didn't want me, didn't want to be with me anymore?

I'm not the only one who does anymore. Those words were enough to make me pause. How could he know that Jacob loved me? He'd only seen us together for a few moments. He'd never seen into Jacob's thoughts or heard what was going on in his head. How could he know?

Don't think I'm letting you go without a fight. I scoffed. As if there was any competition. As if I could choose anyone else over Edward.

But then I thought of the pain in Jacob's voice when he asked me why I was lying to him, the way my stomach fluttered when he kissed me goodbye, and how he had been the only one who knew how I needed to be taken care of when Edward wasn't around anymore.

And suddenly, I wasn't so sure. Suddenly, I was terrified that I would have to choose.

I barely registered that I'd pulled up to my house, barely registered turning off the truck and getting out. I didn't notice there was someone waiting on my front steps for me until I heard my name called.

"Bella." Jacob's voice was harsh and cold, a tone I never wanted to hear from him ever again. I thought about how I'd had the same thought about the pain in Edward's features when I saw his face at the window, and I hated the way that I was already comparing the two of them to each other, as if I'd already realized that I would have to make a decision. A decision that had the ability to break me irrevocably. It was this thought that brought Alice's words to mind, and the sudden clarity that came with them brought all my other thoughts to a terrifying halt.

Your decisions will make you or break you.

And just like that, Alice's words came crashing down on me, and my world came crashing down with them.

I was right. Oh God, I'd been right. The decision I'd have to make - the decision Alice said would make me or break me - it had to do with Jacob and Edward. I would have to decide between them. I couldn't have them both in my life - the Fates weren't that kind.

I would have to choose.

"Bella," Jacob said to me again, this time a bit more gently. I stared at him. How could I choose? Had Alice seen my decision? Had she known I would choose Jacob and not wanted to be here when I did? Or had she seen me choose Edward and not wanted to be here to sway my decision one way or the other?

I was suddenly very angry at Alice for seeing this coming and not warning me ahead of time. My fists were clenched at my sides and I could feel my eyes water.

"Bella!" Jacob said again, louder and firmer this time, coming over to shake me by the shoulders. Then, his nose wrinkled, and he seemed to remember that he was supposed to be mad at me. His eyes hardened and I knew what was coming before the words came out of his mouth.

"You went to see him, didn't you?" The words were meant to be phrased as a question, but they sounded like a statement. I nodded slowly.

"Damnit, Bella!" Jacob yelled, dropping his hands from my shoulders. "Do you have a death wish?"

I almost laughed. Edward had said the exact same thing about my spending time with him, albeit in a more subtle manner.

Then, I realized what he'd said - you went to see him. Not "one of them," not "the leech," but him. I stared at Jacob and asked, "How did you know who the vampire was?" I didn't say his name, wouldn't until Jacob confirmed that he already knew.

Jacob rolled his eyes at me. "'The scent was similar to Alice, but not the same,'" he said, repeating his words from earlier. I must have looked confused because he shot me a withering glance. "I saw the flash of recognition in your eyes before I left, Bella, I'm not stupid."

I lowered my eyes. And here I thought I'd fooled him.

"I told Sam what I suspected and he told me to come back here and keep an eye on you in case Edward," I winced as he said the name, "tried to climb back into your window. When I got here and saw your truck gone..." Jacob looked somewhere between disgusted and horrified. "I never thought that you would be stupid enough to go after him after what he did to you.”

"That's my decision to make, Jacob Black, not yours," I said fiercely, stepping around him to head inside. I could see the faint light of dawn creeping on the horizon. If I didn't get inside soon, I would run right into Charlie on my way up the stairs. And if I was honest with myself, I didn't want to be having this conversation.

Jacob easily sidestepped me, effectively blocking my path. "No, you're right. It's not my decision. I just thought that after everything he did to you, after leaving you broken and telling you he didn't want you, that you would be a little slower to forgive him."

My mouth dropped open. How dare he! How dare he assume to know what had gone on between Edward and me! He had no right. He'd seen how I was when Edward left, the empty shell, the broken soul, and now that he was back, did Jacob really expect me to ignore him, to leave things alone and pretend that I had gotten over him when in actuality, nothing could be further from the truth?

"You have no right," I choked out, my head spinning with the force of my anger. "No right whatsoever. He told me he still loved me, just so you know."

Jacob let out a bark of disbelief, and the sound stung more than it should, so I decided to be just a little vindictive. "You're just jealous," I spat, hoping the words had some effect on him.

"You're right," Jacob said, his voice surprisingly calm. It was the calm that startled me, more so than his easy admission. "I am jealous." Jacob stepped towards me, and I had to fight the urge to take a step backwards. "What else did he say to you?"

I almost told him it was none of his business, but that would have been a lie - it was more his business than anyone else's, besides Edward and I. "He said he knew he wasn't the only one who loved me anymore," I whispered, not sure how he would react to the idea that Edward had seen right through him in the few moments he'd glimpsed us together. My voice gained just a little bit of volume as I said, "And he told me he wasn't letting me go without a fight."

But Jacob surprised me. Instead of getting angry that Edward knew his secret, he grinned. He looked feral, like a shadow of the wolf of his other form. "Not without a fight, huh?" He whispered, leaning in close to me. I trembled, and I couldn't figure out if it was because of the look on his face or because I knew he was going to kiss me.

And kiss me he did. Jacob pressed his lips to mine with more force than he ever had, one arm moving to my waist, the other to my neck, and even though I was still absolutely furious with him, I couldn't help it - I gasped, fighting to keep my arms at my sides.

"If he wants a fight, he'll get one," Jacob whispered against my ear. I pulled back to try and figure out the full meaning behind his words from the look on his face, but his expression was carefully blank.

Then, he smiled and his whole expression changed. His face seemed to glow with it. "You should go inside, Bella. Charlie will be up soon."

I nodded, unable to speak and walked slowly to the door. This was quickly becoming one of the longest nights of my life, and that was saying something. I'd pulled it open and was about to slip inside when I decided to voice the worry that was nagging me at the moment.

"Jacob," I called to him, for he had begun to walk towards the forest behind my house. He paused, but didn't turn around.

"When you say fight," I said quietly, fidgeting with my fingers. I was afraid of the answer to this question. "You - you don't actually mean..." My voice trailed off.

Jacob stayed facing away from me when he answered. His response was enough to confirm my fears. "Whatever it takes, Bella," he said, walking slowly into the woods, "Whatever it takes."