La Push looked exactly the same as it had at the wedding but the small community of La Push rarely did. The same little red houses, the shops and resorts, the first beach … nothing seemed to have changed. Jake still lived with his father, Billy, because his diabetes had gotten worse a while back so Jacob had insisted that he stay living with him. They were my main reason for visiting La Push.
'Hello Bella,' Billy grinned as he opened the door to his house and without warning Elsee climbed on his lap. 'Oh and hello, Elsee.'
I laughed lightly, reaching down to hug him, 'it's nice to see you, Billy. I'm sorry I haven't been up to see you.'
'Nonsense,' his deep voice chuckled as he wheeled himself back and allowed me in since Elsee was still perched on his lap - surprising happy since I wasn't sure she even remembered him. 'You've been busy with school and Elsee I suppose?'
'Mummy's going to be a teacher,' Elsee told him proudly and Billy looked at me surprised and, yet, not at the same time as I took a seat on their old sofa.
'Really?' he asked intrigued and I smiled though inside I was shocked that Charlie hadn't told Billy this bit of information considering how much to two of them had gossiped.
'Literature,' I told him smiling and he nodded impressed.
'Now that I can see,' he smiled at me, giving my hand a squeeze. 'You'd be wonderful at it.'
'Well, let's hope so,' I grinned nervously, 'because I start at Forks High on Monday.'
This bit of information did shock him and I knew why: he wasn't expecting me to be around long enough to need a job.
'You'll be staying for a while then?' he said happily and I smiled at him.
'Not really,' I said. 'This is kind of a trial week, if I like it here and if I feel happy in Forks High School, then yes, we'll be here for a while.'
'Jake will be ecstatic!' Billy exclaimed and I resisted the urge to roll my eyes: he was still trying to get Jake and I together after all these years.
'I'm sure he will,' I smiled: ecstatic to have his friend back.
'He's down at the beach,' Billy told me and I felt my smile widen to an amused grin. 'You should go see him.'
'The beach!' Elsee exclaimed, staring at me pleadingly.
'Fine,' I smiled picking her up of Billy's lap. 'I'll see you later, Billy.'
'Sure, sure,' he said and I grinned, swopped down and kissed his cheek causing him to grunt (just like Charlie would have) and left the small house.
It wasn't a long walk down to the beach so I let Elsee run ahead slightly as long as she stayed in my sight. It was a nice day, probably the last one since it was getting to the end of September, so the beach car park was full and the beach full with laughing visitors and residents. I noticed a group of local boys - noticeable for their russet coloured skin - huddled around a fire, laughing probably the loudest out of everyone on the beach. I tried to pick Jacob out but they all looked so similar with their cropped black hair that they could have brothers. I made my way toward them anyway, feeling slightly awkward for interrupting, deciding that Jacob probably was in the six boys somewhere. As I made my way over there, I grabbed Elsee's hand so she didn't wander off.
'Well, well, well,' one of the boys said and even from his voice I knew it wasn't Jacob, though his next statement confirmed it. 'Look who it is, Jake, Isabella Swan.'
'Bella,' Elsee corrected for me causing everyone one including myself to laugh expect one boy who was staring out into the forest.
Another one stepped forward from the group and this close I could tell it was Jacob.
'Hey, Jake,' I said with grin. 'You remember Elsee?'
'How could I forget?' he asked wrapping me in one of his bear hugs which he knew made it difficult to breathe before kneeling down by Elsee. 'Hey, Else, you've gotten bigger - do you remember me?'
'Uncle Jake,' Elsee said with a bit of hesitation and Jacob sent me a triumphant look. 'And, of course, I've gotten bigger: it's been three years.'
There was a collective 'ohh' from the boys and I giggled slightly as Jacob blanched at Elsee. I glanced at the other boys from the reservation, picking out Embry, who was almost as tall as Jacob, and that boy must be around seven foot now, though he was slender, and Quil, who was shorter but more muscular, easily since Quil winked at me with his impish grin and Embry smiled while the rest remained rather bland and reserved.
'Oh, Bells,' Jake said standing up and hoisting Elsee into his arms. 'You remember Quil and Embry' (he paused allowing them to greet me properly) 'but this is Paul' - he pointed to a boy who was shorter than him but leaner than Quil - 'Jared' - he was tall and muscular but not as much as Jacob - 'and sitting there like a recluse is Sam, you'll probably remember him.'
The last bit was muttered darkly and I knew he was referring to the night Edward had left me and Sam had found me in the woods carrying me back to Charlie. Sam turned and it seemed like he was just going to nod and turn around again but something stopped him. He had a similar build to Jacob, the same cropped black hair, and russet skin but when his deep brown eyes met mine they seemed to get trapped. I sent him a smile, trying to ignore the sudden pulling feeling I felt towards him, not noticing the wide eyed glance that Jacob had given him.
'Bella,' Jacob said catching my attention and I turned to where he was playing with Elsee with her still in his arms. 'I think you should go for a walk with Sam.'
I noticed Sam tense out the corner of my eyes and I frowned wondering why Jacob wanted me to go on a walk with a guy I had only met once and had never spoke to though part of me really wanted to. However, I saw Sam getting out of his seat on the log and walking towards us.
'That's probably a good idea,' he said and at the sound of his deep voice butterflies erupted in my stomach and I couldn't understand why.
'I'll watch Elsee,' Jacob grinned at us though he seemed slightly put out. 'it'd be nice to have some time with my niece-of-sorts.'
I debated it internally before deciding that it wouldn't hurt to hear Sam out because obviously he wanted to say something to me, or Jacob wanted him to say something to me, and Elsee would be fine with Jake, Quil and Embry.
'Okay,' I agreed and everyone's, excluding Elsee's, eyebrows raised. 'It's what you wanted, right?'
I added the last bit in annoyance before turning back to Jacob, 'and do be careful.'
'Always am,' he replied solemnly because he knew how much Elsee meant to me: he would allow no harm to come to her under his protection, I knew.