Jacob and I watched Sarah Alice picking up pretty pebbles from the beach at La Push. As usual, the sky was overcast, but not raining, or even windy, as it usually was. For this area of Washington, it was actually a very nice day. We noticed a faint hum and looked up to see a helicopter above giving some tourist a ride to see this dreary area from another vantage point. Helicopter rides had become a new means of trying to attract visitors to this part of the world, and generate new money.
I looked back to Jacob’s beautiful brown face. Being a Quileute Indian, he was naturally tan. Being a werewolf, he was tall, broad shouldered, and powerfully muscular; he was quite beautiful. I was reminded of a time I had told him he was sort of beautiful. The thought made me laugh.
Usually, I tried not to think back to my life seven years ago. There were many memories that were so painful back then. I had built walls around them so high, that they were simply forbidden. These memories were never brought out, so I really didn’t know if they’d be painful anymore. They were dormant; but not forgotten, simply unused. But there were glimpses, snatches of memories that were safe; safe because they were of Jacob, my safe haven.
“What are you thinking about, Bella Black?” Jacob asked of me. His grin was broad with white straight teeth gleaming against his brown face.
“Just...how you’re sort of beautiful,” I smiled back at him. He rolled his eyes and gave a deep chuckle. I was sure he was remembering the same conversation I had been.
“Gee, thanks.” He reached over and pulled me into his arms. He always seemed to know to hold me tight when any of those memories came close to the surface, even the safe ones. I had always thought it felt as if he were literally holding me together in one piece. He really was, all those years ago. Now, it was more of a comforting habit, but still needed, and welcome nonetheless.
He pulled back enough to look me deeply in the eyes. “You know, Bella, you are beautiful!” I blushed and hid my head into his shoulder. He pulled my head back up by a soft finger on my chin. “No, I really mean it. You look every bit as beautiful as the day I married you. In fact, you really look almost exactly the way you did when we married.”
“Ugh! Not this conversation again!” I pouted.
Again, he chuckled and squeezed me tighter. “Can’t breathe!” I gasped. He laughed and let go of me, except for my hand.
He gently tugged on my arm as he sat down on the sand, pulling me to sit by him. It was so comfortable to lean next to him, to feel his unusually warm body next to mine. His higher body temperature, a “werewolf thing” as he put it, had taken some getting used to.
At first it felt as if he were constantly running a fever. But now, I knew it was part of my normal Jacob. Again, I chucked at myself. Normal was definitely not the right word for Jacob, or for me, for that matter. Although, technically, I was human, and therefore more normal than Jacob, normal things did not happen to me. My life definitely quit being normal the day I had moved to Forks, Washington to live with my Father, Charlie, seven years ago.
I sighed and Jacob held me, again somehow knowing that I needed to be held together. He really knew me better than anybody else did. Since I knew he was there to hold me in one piece, emotionally, I allowed myself to creep into a memory. I wanted to remember Charlie. It hit me harder than I had imagined when he passed away a year ago. Even though I didn’t live with him most of my life, I had really grown to love him after I moved in with him when I turned 17. I had come to live with him when Renee, my mom, had married Phil. This was the point where I had to become careful with my memories. The day after I arrived to Forks to live with Charlie was the day I met him. The one who had changed my life, and then left. Taking along a part of my heart that would always belong to him; and leaving me with the forbidden memories, and pain.
This is in part why I hated it when Jacob, or anyone else, commented on how young I looked. It brought back memories I wasn’t prepared to look at. Parts of my life I was afraid to re-live. I got those comments, about looking so young, all the time. Of course I had aged. I was now 24, but in all honesty I looked 19, and could easily pass for 17 if I really wanted to. But I didn’t want to. It was embarrassing to look 17 and have an 18 month old daughter. On top of all this, Jacob looked young as well. The looks we got from tourists were plain to read. I’m sure we looked like a couple of teenagers who’d “gotten into trouble.” At least most everyone on the reservation knew why Jacob looked young. It seems a longer life than normal, and therefore younger looking, is yet another “werewolf thing.” His family had caused Jacob and all the other boys his age, to change forever; just as my life had been changed forever by him.
I was treading dangerous waters in my memories now, which is why I hated people commenting on my youth. It was usually meant as a compliment, but it came so close to those memories. I had my own theories as to why I stayed as unnaturally young as Jacob and his pack “brothers”, and it had nothing to do with my incredible youthful genes, as Renee loved to claim. I began to finger the crescent-shaped scar on my right wrist, the scar that was constantly colder than the rest of my body. The basis of my theory; but again, I didn’t allow myself to think too much on it.
Jacob noticed my movement and his eyes followed my fingers to my scar. “I’ve never liked that scar of yours, you know.”
“I know.” That was all I could say. He already knew how I got the scar, and what it could have done to me. There were some subjects that we simply didn’t discuss anymore. Subjects that were off limits because he knew that they were painful to me, and I knew it would put him in a temper. That can be a dangerous thing to do when you’re sitting next to a werewolf.
I continued with my memories about how Jacob and I got together…