Jacob came down with mono, and Bella wanted to help him. Not good for me; she was devoting more and more time to worrying about him. Finally, he went to see her at her house, just when I thought he’d pushed her away, too.
She was dreaming. Rain was falling and she and Jacob were walking soundlessly side by side over dry gravel. He was the new, bitter, graceful Jacob. I gave her a mental nudge. This was so easy, playing with her dreams. As we both watched, his features changed. The color of his skin leached away, leaving a pale face white like bone. His eyes turned gold, then crimson, then back to gold. It became the image of me. She reached for me, but “I” took a step away, raising hands like a shield. And then “Edward” vanished.
I became so absorbed in her dream I almost gave myself away when puppy-boy showed up. The rustling as he climbed the tree near the house got my attention, and I moved silently out of sight but near enough to hear. I think my only saving grace was that he had just changed, and wasn’t familiar with the nuances of scent yet.
“Bella! Open the window!” he hissed.
She hurried to the window and opened it for him.
“What are you doing?” she asked.
“I’m trying to keep-” he huffed, shifting his weight as the tree bounced “-my promise!”
What’s this? What promise?
“When did you ever promise to kill yourself falling out of Charlie’s tree?” No, wait! Keep that promise. That’s a promise I can get behind.
He came to reveal with his new wolf form. She couldn’t believe it until the next morning, screaming, startling me so much I nearly fell off the roof. Talk about ungraceful. Then she remembered everything they had said on the beach months ago, and went downstairs intent on going back to the reservation for more answers.
When she got downstairs her father told her that there had been another attack-the wolves were apparently stepping up the mauling. It wasn’t the wolves, though, and it wasn’t the Cullens, either. Since we officially moved out, some other roving vampires had moved in, probably temporarily. The wolves were going after them, and that’s where the tracks came from. Not that either of them could have known that.
Bell began thinking about her new guy friend. I interjected with compelling reasons to put her wolf friend aside.
Jacob is my best friend.
But is he a monster too? A real one? A bad one?
Aren’t they like the Cullens?
Remember all those attacks? People. Wolf tracks. Cullens don’t hunt people, remember?
Obviously the werewolves chose a different path. That was expressed by us both at the same time, and was actually truth. What Bella didn’t know was that the “paths” she was imagining were actually reversed. And I didn’t intend to enlighten her about that, though she would eventually find out on her own, if she kept company with them much longer.
Can you bear to be with a cold-blooded killer? It didn’t matter that the Cullens actually were, and the wolves in fact were not; what mattered was that Bella didn’t know that. If I could keep her uncertain and off-balance, she would be with me again when I returned.