My hand froze on the door knob, suddenly the whole scene that had just happened washed over me. Jacob's last words: She wants to. The torn expression on his face lingered in my mind. In truth he had betrayed me, but had I betrayed him ina nother way as well? Using him while Edward had been away had been to my advantage, but now it seemed like I had created a close bond betewen us, and now was having to break it.
If it weren't for Edward's icy lips at my ear encouraging me to go ahead and face Charlie, I might have turned and bolted back to Jake. But then I realized why I was having to face Charlie in the first place, and betrayal swept over me, making my body sway.
Why was I so scared anyways? Facing Charlie wasn't the worst thing I had ever faced. Definitelynot. But hurting Charlie again, though, that was something I had tried not to do again ever since my last disappearance.
I tried not to think about how disappointed Charlie was in me righ tnow. Hot tears stung at my eyes for two reasons. First Jacob, my best friend, was going away forever. And now Charlie was the angriest at me that he had ever been. How much more punishment could my body be able to withstand?
Edward pressed his cold hands gently on my lower back and opened the door to my house. He took a step in with weary eyes, pulling me along with him
"Bel-" Charlie froze mid sentance when he saw me enter the house finally. I pressed myself closer to Edward at the sight of my dad's red face. "Sit down," he said with tight lips.
I obediantly sat down on the couch, my hands folded in my lap. Charlie pointed to the door while holding a hard glare at Edward.
My heart stopped beating, or so it seemed, for an eigth of a second, and then caught itself up by beating hard enough to bounce right out of my chest.
"No!" I rose from the couch, my hand clutching the sleeve of Edward's thin jacket. "Stay," I begged.
Edward looked to the door and back to me. His expression torn between my father's orders, or my pathetic demand for him.
"This has nothing to do with him, Bella. I want to talk to you privately," Charlie said through clenched teeth.
I thought of the voices I heard while recklessly riding the death-trap of a motercycle. Hadn't that been the reason I had chosen to even ride it? Just to hear Edward's voice was all i had been going for.
"You don't know that," i threw back. Charlie sighed and ran his hands over his face. He had lost the argument. Edward sat down and pulled me with him, his jaw tight.
Then the room was dead silent. I grew uneasy at the tension and mind wondered off to Jacob. What was he doing now? Was he listening from somewhere, enjoying how much trouble he had caused for me? That didn't sound like Jacob, and felt guilty even thinking it.
"Bella," Charlie began with a deep breath. The front door burst open before he could go on. A blast of fresh air entered the room, and along with the air, came Jacob Black.
"Jake?" Not only was my voice surprised, but glad in a way. He hadn't left completely yet.
"Join the party," Charlie mumbled while plopping into his ol chair. Jjake remained in the doorway in a tensed position. Drizzles of rain flew into the room from behind him.
"Sorry for interrupting," Jake hesitantly met my eyes. When our eyes locked, I saw the pain and sadness I was causing him. What did he see in mine? "I just came to let you know that this wasn't all of Bella's fault."
Charlie's eyes darted to Edward's innocent face. Although I couldn't read minds, it was clear that he was referring back to when i had mentioned that Edward had been a part. I suddenly wished I would have never dragged him into it, Charlie already hated him enough now.
"It wasn't your fault either. At all, actually." Jake lowered his eyes to the ground. I had never told him the real reason I chose to ride the bikes. "It was mineand I'm sorry for not taking better care of Bella." He was no longer talking to any of us, as his voice was very distant.
"Well, uh, it's alright Jake. But I just don't see how you could be so stupid. I mean, Bella, on a motorcycle?"
That brought a smile to everybody's faces, except for Edward's. He was still uneasy about me being in the same room as Jake.
Jake's long hair blew from a breeze blowing through the open door. "You can't keep her safe from everything. I especially know that."
Charlie nodded and glared at Edward. I placed my hand securly in his, just so Charlie could see I wasn't changing my mind. I knew that Jacob wasn't just talking about me being clumsy. Everybody knew I was a walking disaster. No, he was referring to me falling in love with a vampire. Jacob was apologizing to Charlie for allowing me to stay with Edward. But of course Charlie didn't know his apology went that deep.
"He wants to speak with you," Edward murmured so low under his breath that I knew only I could have heard. "Be careful, Bella," he warned. I nodded and numbly stood up. Charlie watched my movements questionably.
"You mind if I talk to Jake for a second, dad? I promise I'll come right back and fully accept any punishment you give me. I-it's kind of important." My eyes flicered to Jake's. "Very important actually."
With an over exaggerated sigh, Charlie threw his hands above his head in defeat. Jake and I stepped outside the doorway and walked to the bikes in silence. I didn't know what to say. Why had he come back? While waiting for him to say something, I ran my hand over the glossy red paint, as the memories flooded into mind. Back to when Jacob was my one and only best friend. Back when things were easy between us. I could feel Jacob's dark eyes on me, and when I looked up, they surprised me. Instead of being angry, they were pleading even a little guilty.
"How did you know I wanted to talk to you?" He finally asked.
I stared back at the bikes. My fingers felt all over the dangerous gears. "Edward..."
"Right, the freaky mind reading stuff."
"It's only freaky to you Jake," I said, my voice a little annoyed.
"I'm sure Charlie wouldn't find it completely sane. In fact, he might be so freaked out that he would forbid you to hang out with that blood sucker." My eyes flew up at him in alarm. I could see all the ideas forming in his mind, just looking at his face.
"Jacob, what did you really need?'
Jake took a deep breath and took a step closer to me. "Bells, I just couldn't leave things like that. You were mad, I was mad."
"Me neither. I'm very glad you came back," I whispered.
His forehead wrinkled as my words sunk into him. I quickly bit my lip to keep from saying anything else that was going to hurt him.
"I didn't know if the things you were saying was just because he was standing next to you. He probably gets pretty jealous, huh?" The thought brought a grin to Jake's face.
"There isn't anything for him to be jealous of, Jake," I snapped. "You and me...we are friends. That's how it's always going to be. It has to be that way."
"No," he argued, refusing to believe it. "I could give you so much more. Please, don't do this all for him. You are such an amazing girl, Bella Swan."
I felt the hot tears roll down my cheeks. Why did he still have to treat me so good after I had just treated him so badly? Jacob outstretched his long hefty arms towards me. Even though I knew Edward was probaly going to kill me, I collapsed into them anyways. He wrapped his arms protectively around my waist and pressed his hos cheek on the top of my head.
"See?" he murmured.
"No," I stuttered. My body trembled as I tried to pull away. It was useless though. Jake held me to him. So I didn't struggle anymore, mostly because the thought of him leaving after this and never coming back, lingered in my head.
"I'm sorry it couldn't be your way," I said softly through my tears. Jacob looked down at my face, his cheeks pink.
"Yes!" I sobbed. For so many things, I wanted to add, but decided against it.
"Ok." His voice went blank as he dropped his arms. I tried to look away from his face that was twisting in pain. I wiped away my tears and twisted my fingers though his one last time.
"See you around," I said hopefully.
Jake shook his head and looked away. "I can't. I just, it's hard you know?" He was clenching his fist again. "Bye for rea this time, Bells. I can't come back anymore."
Right then, i would have traded anything to make him happy again. But the one and only thing I wasn't willing to give up, the thing Jake wanted me too, was sitting in my house waiting to protect me if I needed it. The one I was more then madly in love with, and couldn't possibly leave. And I couldn't give him up again.
"Bye then Jake."
He met my eyes one last time, dropped my hands, and sulked back to his truck with his shoulders hunched over. Edward was at my side in less then a second, holding me up so I wouldn't fall.
I knew from his golden topaz eyes, and cold arm wrapped tightly around my waist, that I had made the right choice. I would never be able to please everybody. We began walking back to the house slowly, neithe of us speaking.
"It's going to be okay, Bella," Edward soothed. I laid my head on his shoulder and felt his cool lips against the side of my hair. Jake would come back to his senses, hopefully his normal human sense. But until then, Edward wasn't leaving me again, ever. That was one less goodbye I didn't have to worry about, and it was the most important one.
"No more goodbyes," I said out loud.
"Never," Edward promised. He gently took my hand and twined our fingers together. That gave me all the reassurance I needed. For now.