New Moon: The Darkward Tale Continues

When Girl Meets Wolf Pup

It was a slow day at work, and boy was I ready for it to be over. To be more specific, Bella was at work, and I was-well, you know.

Blah blah, Mike and Bella, blah blah blah...huh?

"I'm telling you," said a man in the shop, looking for some hiking gear. "I've seen grizzlies pretty close up in Yellowstone, but they had nothing on this brute." He and his friend were pretty rank. Fresh from the mountains, apparently. Still not terribly riveting, but more interesting than Bella moping around on a slow day.

"Not a chance," said his friend. "Black bears don't get that big. The grizzlies you saw were probably cubs." This one sounded older, maybe a bit more seasoned than the first.

"On all fours it was taller than you," the first man insisted. "Big as a house and pitch-black. I'm going to report it to the ranger here. People ought to be warned–this wasn't up on the mountain, mind you–this was only a few miles from the trailhead."

What was this? These descriptions sounded kind of familiar. Vampires occasionally hear reports like these shortly before...uh oh. Guess we Cullens have been hanging around here too long. My teasing that reservation kid by calling him "puppy" wasn't off the mark at all, apparently.

The second man laughed and rolled his eyes. "Let me guess–you were on your way in? Hadn't eaten real food or slept off the ground in a week, right?"

"Hey, uh, Mike, right?" the bearded man called.

"Yes, sir," Mike replied, turning away from the "enthralling" conversation he was having with Bella.

"Say, have there been any warnings around here recently–about black bears?"

"No, sir. But it's always good to keep your distance and store your food correctly. Have you seen the new bear-safe canisters? They only weigh two pounds…"

Ah, Mike. Ever the salesman. I wanted to hear more about the "bear" the man swore he had seen, and stuck around well after Bella left to try and hear more, but unfortunately, it seemed that "bear man" had given up on convincing those two about his monster experience. Bummer. Although, if what I thought might be happening was happening, things were about to get really interesting and lively around here. aaa-WWWooooooo!

I had thought Bella would be better now, more fun, now that she was feeling things again and actually caring about stuff, even if only to the small degree that she was. Not so much. The only thing she felt like feeling, apparently, was the raw pain that she fancied was like a hole in her chest, or something cliché like that.

Seriously, even her recurring nightmare was only a nightmare because she interpreted it that way. It consisted of her walking through foliage, searching for something that wasn't there, and she couldn't find it, because there was nothing to find. Yeah, I was confused, too. I was beginning to think that circular reasoning had permanently imprinted on her thought processes.

Ooh, hey, caught up to her truck, and guess what? She's feeling angry! There we go! That's what I was looking for. Pain is crippling, but anger makes you do things. Angry, impulsive, destructive things. You have a big truck, Bella. Destroy something with it!...Or, okay, grab some motorcycles that are being given away by the neighbors? Since when do you know how to operate a motorcycle?

"Who cared if I was reckless and stupid? There was no reason to avoid recklessness, no reason why I shouldn't get to be stupid" I caught from Bella's thoughts as she loaded the bikes into the bed of her truck, with the help of the friendly neighbor. My god, she was really serious. I was reminded of a phrase that is a curse in some cultures: "May you lead an interesting life." Things like this are why it's a curse.

"What are you going to do with them, anyway?" he asked. "They haven't worked in years."

"I kind of guessed that," she said, shrugging. "Maybe I'll take them to Dowling's."

He snorted. "Dowling would charge more to fix them than they'd be worth running."

She thought about her truck, then, of how she'd been worried at first because she thought it might need lots of repairs, but because Jacob had kept it up so well...INSPIRATION!! "You know what? That's okay. I know someone who builds cars," she said reassuringly.

Jacob...was the one at the beach, the one she practically seduced...OH, HELL NO! Leave puppy-boy out of this!

Bella was having none of it from me (probably because she couldn't actually, you know, hear me). As soon as she got home, she called her dad to get directions to Jacob's house. I couldn't do anything but glower and watch it play out.

Acting against ingrained habit, I followed her out to La Push, and even proceeded toward the reservation.

"Stop where you are." Oh, hello. A Quileute youth stood in my path all of a sudden. I had been so focused on Bella I hadn't even noticed his arrival.

"I just want to visit a friend."

"You're not welcome here." He suddenly morphed into a gigantic wolf-the hiker's "bear," no doubt-and started growling.

I sneered at his audacity. One lone wolf gonna stop this vampire? As if! "You gonna stop me?"

No. We're going to stop you. Oh, yeah, they're telepathic while in wolf form. Kudos to them. Momentarily he was joined by two others approaching from left and right, all snarling now.

I crouched, growling my own warning, and slowly turned my head side to side, taking in all the potential combatants. My teeth extended into sharp points, and my nails grew longer, ending in claw-like tips.

Nah...I didn't feel like engaging in battle that day, not over something like that, as curious as I was. I slowly relaxed, backing away, but never turning my back or taking my eyes from them. They were just a little bit crazed, and hungry for vampire flesh. Not that they eat it, they just like to destroy it.

When I had backed far enough to make them comfortable, the two on the sides rose up and melted back into the surrounding forest. Only the first stayed and continued watching me, making sure I really did leave.

Well, that was unproductive, and stupid to boot. Now I'm marked as a threat, or at least a potential threat. Or if not that, at very least a trouble-maker. Wonderful.

Obviously I couldn't observe what happened the rest of the afternoon, so I listened unashamedly as Bella told her dad all about it; or rather, as much as she would tell him, which wasn't that much, really, and gleaning everything .

"Hey, Dad," she said when he got home.

There was a pause before, "Hey, honey," his voice uncertain. "Did you have fun with Jacob?"

"Yeah, I did."

"Well, that's good. What did you two do?"

"I hung out in his garage and watched him work. Did you know he's rebuilding a Volkswagen?"

"Yeah, I think Billy mentioned that."

They didn't mention it again that night.

She had fun. She talked, and laughed, and observed people interacting with each other, and she had fun over there. Now, if this were a situation where I wanted the girl in question to move on, that would be a good thing; but I don't want her to get over me; I can't afford her to get over me. This will not do. How do I interrupt this budding potential relationship when I'm officially not here, though?

Turns out Bella got a nostalgic kick out of going to see Jacob. Since there was nothing there to remind her of me, and plenty from a past, more innocent time, she was able to get over it, at least long enough to do some actual socializing. Even Jacob's friends were there, laughing and joking about Jacob and Bella being an "item." Not if I can help it, puppy. She actually slept peacefully that night, too. How irritating.

That wasn't the last I would hear of him, even for the week, oh no. Next morning:

"What are you up to today?" Charlie asked.

"I'm going to hang out with Jacob again."

"Oh," he said.

"Do you mind?" I pretended to worry. "I could stay…"

He answered quickly. "No, no! You go ahead. Harry was going to come up to watch the game with me anyway."

"Maybe Harry could give Billy a ride up," she suggested.

"That's a great idea."

Great. What a great idea. With Bella on the res, and Old Man Wolf at the house, I would have to lay low somewhere else for a while. I decided to go back to the Cullen house for a while. Everyone expected it to be empty, so the surrounding area was deserted. I crept into the living room and lay face-up on the floor, eyes closed, spread-eagle. It just seemed like an appropriate position for my present mood.

"You've got a problem," a tinkling, feminine voice said from upstairs.

I opened my eyes and looked up. "Hello, Alice. What are you doing here?"

"Just over to see how big brother is doing." She descended the stairs slowly and gracefully, almost regally.

"Yeah? Well, 'big brother' isn't doing very well in the surveillance department."


"Bella has decided to spend copious amounts of time with those wolf folk."

"The werewolf clan? Not good. You can not keep track of her there." She walked over to me and sat cross-legged on the floor beside me.

"You think I don't know that? It gets worse; it's the boy she practically seduced so she could pump him for information about us."

"Ooh, and now he wants to do some 'pumping' of his own, is that it?"

I glared at her. "You didn't have to put it like that."

"I know, but it's much more entertaining that way. So, what are you gonna do?"

"What else can I do? Watch her when I can, use any other resource when I can't."

"I guess..."

Her tone change got my attention. "What is it? Did you see something?"

Her look grew pensive. "Kind of. Just...I like you, Edward. I really do see you as my big brother, and I hope you two get back together before the Fatal Leap."

The way she said the last two words sent shivers down my spine. "The Fatal Leap? What's that? Or what will it be? I mean--you know what I mean!"

"I know what you mean. I can't explain it. I just saw, in a really vague sort of way, someone was jumping from a high place, and didn't intend to survive the experience. Then you and Bella, both looking so sad. I don't even know if it was one of you two jumping, or someone who you both care about, I just know that it was a suicide leap."

Fuck. As if I didn't have enough problems. First, Bella latched onto wolf pup, and it looked like I might lose. Now one of us was going to die-deliberately. I knew I didn't want to end my existence any time soon; on the other hand, if Bella was the jumper, I would lose anyway, and I didn't want to think about what Carlisle...NOT thinking about that!

I sighed. "Thanks for telling me that, Alice. Now at least I have some idea of what to watch for."

"Sorry I couldn't be more helpful." She suddenly jumped up and caught me in a headlock, giving me a noogie for good measure. "You two are just so cute together!"

"Augh! Hey! Cut it out!"

She giggled and released me. "Hey, big bro, relax. Whatever it is, it won't happen for quite some time yet. You've got enough on your plate already; don't worry about this right now."

"Thanks, Alice."

"So, tell me what 'my new best friend' has been up to lately."

We talked late into the night, and it was the first time I've been that relaxed in a long time.

Bella had school the next day, so I could tail her again. Not that it was that exciting, but at least it alleviated my anxiety about what she was doing and with whom. I was reminded again of what an imperceptive bitch she really was. For example, she expected J-friend to already be over the little stunt she pulled after the movie in Port Angeles. When J-friend didn't want to talk, Bella assumes it's because she's embarassed. SHE'S STILL PISSED AT YOU, YOU TWIT! See, this is why you need me; you're so judgmental all the time that you need the impossible standard that is me to bring you down a few notches, Bella.

Why was I so irritated? Oh yeah, I hadn't eaten in like three weeks. Time to go hunting.

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