Fic: I Lost Myself to the Moonlight Glow 2/?
Title: I Lost Myself to the Moonlight Glow
Pairing: Edward/Jacob (main), Edward/Bella (beginning), some Bella/Jacob & all other canon pairings
Warnings: this will be slash people so if that does not float your boat don't read this.
Summary: Werewolves are vicious and insane. They care about nothing but the kill and the Moon. They are also lethal to vampires.
Disclaimer: I own nothing, nada, neinte. It all belongs to Stephanie Meyer and whoever publishes the books where you are.
Author's Notes: I am trying to do something different here so concrit is gratefully accepted. I will be taking some liberties with the Quileute traditions. I do not own them and I do respect that they are a people with their own history but this is a work of fiction. Also, I am not a huge Bella fan but I am endeavoring not to bash her. I predict it will be a struggle. Additionally (because saying 'Also' again seems annoying), this is a WIP so there may be gaps between postings. I know what I am going to write, its just getting the time to write them.
"Bella, I told you not to come," Alice scolds, snatching the hand not holding onto Jacob and whirling them inside the house and through to the lounge.
All of the Cullens – bar the doctor and Edward – are present and Jacob has to force down the need to shift. Being alone in a room full of vampires is perhaps the most terrifying thing ever to have happened to him. He is horribly outnumbered and his boots and jeans are strong enough to hinder his phasing by a few seconds. Which is all a vampire needs. They can massacre an entire village in minutes, Jacob knows this, he grew up hearing stories about it. The damage they could deal him in seconds would be enough to ensure that he never got up again. It was all that Newborn had needed. Jacob shudders, remembering the awful sensation of his bones snapping and that sound, like dried twigs crushed underfoot, is one that still haunts his dreams.
"I had to come. It's Edward," Bella is telling them, her voice completely earnest. She hasn't let go of Jacob's hand yet and he shuffles uncomfortably.
"It was dangerous," Alice chastises once more, pulling Bella – and Jacob – towards a sofa.
He doesn't sit and Bella doesn't let go of his hand, so he stands awkwardly. Alice has curled herself up at one end of the sofa, her hand reaching out to her mate who perches on the arm behind her. To Jacob's eye he looks as uncomfortable as Jacob feels. He just isn't sure whether it's because of Jacob's presence or just his reaction to the situation. Either way Jacob tries not to care and Jasper seems more intent on tracing his fingers over Alice's knuckles than acknowledging what is going on around them all. Of all the vampires, Jacob thinks that he pities Jasper the most. He has experienced other people's emotions, the pack shares everything when phased and it's intrusive. When Sam explained imprinting to them all, it was as if, for those moments Sam was recalling it, Jacob himself was in love with Emily. She had seemed so perfect, so beautiful and he'd known the vertigo Sam had experienced upon meeting her, his vision and thoughts funnelling, until all he had known was Emily Young. Jacob had not been the only one to experience the rush of emotion and the pack had very nearly ripped itself apart, all of them, for that one moment, in love with the same girl. It had been after that that the pack had unanimously agreed that sharing imprint memories was never happening again. So he pities Jasper, especially now.
All their faces are drawn, tight and white, making each vampire look like the corpse they are. Jacob knows they cannot cry, Bella let it slip once – she let a lot slip about her vampire family though very little of it had been helpful in hunting them down – and Jacob cannot imagine how it must feel to be unable to express your emotions. He'd been brought up knowing that it was ok to cry, not that he did, and that it was wonderful to laugh. Emotions had always been at the tips of his fingers so their blank, tight faces are repulsive to him. If he had not of met them before, he would not have even realised that something was wrong. It seems horrifically wrong.
The house is silent. Jacob is sure that Bella had said Edward had been screaming but he must have been wrong because the house is so very silent. It's as quiet as the grave, Jacob thinks, and then tries not to laugh at his own puerile joke. This really wasn't the place. Quil would have found it funny, but then his sense of humour has always been slightly warped. He shifts slightly, spreading his weight evenly across his feet, and the denim of his jeans rustle, the only sound in the silent house.
All eyes turn on him, and none of them seem particularly friendly.
"What is he doing here?" Somehow, Rosalie manages to make what should have been a benign question the worst kind of accusation. Jacob feels somewhat sub-human, which he finds ironic given the fact that she is dead.
To Jacob's mind she is a princess, spoiled, snobby and superior. She's worse than Leah, and Leah has her moments. Perhaps it's because they are both wolves and have lost a parent, or maybe it is because they both love someone who cannot – and in Jacob's case will not – love them back; Jacob does not really know what it is, but somehow Leah does not get to him as much as Rosalie does. She gets deep down inside of him and gnaws at his marrows. He hates it. Jacob thinks that if Disney made princesses like Rosalie, little girls would not want to be princesses when they grew up.
They might want to kill them though.
"Even you aren't that blonde," he responds, the insult slipping from his lips before he can really think about it. He came here to drop Bella off and offer support – even if it was only a token gesture. Not to bicker with resident harpy. He ducks his head, an apology forming on his lips but she is fast and is in his face in a second.
One perfectly manicured eyebrow is arched and her perfectly painted lips are pulled back into a snarl. "Better to be blonde than a flea infested mongrel," she murmurs. Her words are soft but are not lacking in aggression. Jacob can feel the fine hairs on his arms rise and Rosalie's mate is hovering over her shoulder. It is completely unfair. There is no way he can attack her. For one thing, he is better than that. They are hurting, a member of their family is hurt and he has to cut them some slack. His dad had not raised him to kick people when they are down – even if they are parasitic corpses. For another, he is hopelessly outnumbered. He remembers seeing all of them fight and as much as it hurts him to admit it, they are good. Emmett had broken one Newborn in half, just torn him across his stomach as if he were no more than a sheet of paper. That image will be with Jacob until the day he dies... So really, he does not fancy taking Rosalie on, if only because he is behind her.
Also, she is a girl, albeit a dead girl, and Jacob Black does not hit girls. Even if they do deserve it.
He doesn't get chance to answer her though. There is a whisper of wind and Esme is abruptly between him and Rosalie. Her shoulders are tense and it's only due to his enhanced eye-sight that he can see the fine tremors wracking her form. "Rosalie. Enough."
There is a moment where the blonde is obviously considering answering her 'mother' back, an eternal teenage tantrum, but then her face crumples, like ice shifting and cracking, and she whirls away to the sofa by the huge window, as far away from Jacob as she can possibly be. Emmett is by her side in an instant, curling his huge form around her. Something about it is horribly intimate and Jacob turns away so that he doesn't have to watch, turning right into Esme.
"Ignore Rosalie, Jacob. Things are just..." she trails off, obviously unable to explain just how bad things really are.
"Sure, sure," Jacob nods, "'S not a problem."
Oddly enough he means it. Seeing Rosalie huddled on the sofa has quelled some of the enmity.
Esme, the eternal hostess, obviously taking in Bella's grip on his hand, gestures to the sofa space next to Bella, "Please, sit."
The sofa is white so he sits gingerly, ludicrously frightened of dirtying it. For some unfathomable reason, wealth made him uncomfortable. He is happiest when he is surrounded by oil and rusted metal. Shiny, expensive pieces make him feel thick and clumsy and the absent-minded display of wealth repulses him. His home is a little beaten up and nothing is new but it is more homely than this sterile space. It doesn't matter if he gets engine grease on the sofa or the fridge handle because everything at home is loved and worn and his. He doesn't need to prove himself there or live up to anything. He is Jacob Black and that is enough in La Push. Only, he is in Forks now and he has to be more than that. So he sits, almost primly, and keeps his free hand curled on his lap, just in case he smudges anything.
"It's my fault," Bella entreats, "Don't be mad at him, I made him bring me. I had to come."
She seems to be on some kind of loop, like the tape that had once gotten stuck in his dad's ancient stereo. It had played the same song over and over, until the track was cracked and they'd had to throw it out, still inside the stereo. But that was a cassette tape and Bella is a human and Jacob is quite sure that they are not meant to repeat themselves over and over. From the looks on the faces of the Cullens, they are of the same opinion. Alice's hand slides over, taking Bella's free hand and Bella shivers slightly.
"Bella, dear," Esme begins, looking at her family, a slightly martial look in her honey eyes, "No one minds that Jacob brought you. Everyone is just a little worried right now."
No one contradicts Esme and a silent truce falls between the vampires and the solitary shifter.
"Is he ok?" Bella suddenly asks, breaking the silence. Her eyes are feverish, and Jacob hasn't seen her anywhere near this unstable since Edward returned from Italy.
"We don't know," Alice answers, her face creased with worry. "Carlisle hasn't said anything yet."
"But no news is good news," Emmett interjects, "isn't that what they say?" His face is so hopeful, that it is almost more heartbreaking than Bella's frantic one.
"Yes it is, sweetheart," Esme nods decisively, a flicker of maternal pride ghosting across her face.
Feeling distinctly uncomfortable at the 'family moment' he seems to be witnessing, Jacob chooses to join the family in falling back on platitudes and so says nothing, because he cannot think of anything kind to say. He has no comforting words to offer them, and even if he did, he is not sure that they would come out as sincere. So he sits silently on the pure white sofa, Bella holding his hand tightly, simply listening to the family talk.
Bella is not looking at him. It seems to have completely escaped her notice that she is holding on to him so tightly. He became superfluous the moment his bike hit the gravel of the Cullens' driveway. All her attention is fixed on Alice. "Can't you See anything?"
Alice looks distraught at the question. Not that Jacob cares really. They are still moving corpses, admitting that they have feelings is just a step too far for him. He will admit that her face crumples at Bella's words but that is as far as he will go.
"No – there's nothing there," Alice shakes her head. "There's nothing at all. It's just darkness. All I can see is black."
The more she speaks the more hysterical she sounds and Jacob becomes concerned that Bella is not the only unstable one in the room.
Bella's eyes widen fractionally and her grip on Jacob tightens. He isn't sure how she is doing it; she is a fragile little girl really, there is no way that she should be able to make him feel as though she is on the verge of breaking his bones. "Could Jacob be blocking you?"
It hurts that she doesn't look at him as she asks that question and he has the childish urge to make them all aware that he really does not want to be here. He'd much rather be at home in bed, curled under his blankets and dreaming about running through the forest. She is the one that dragged him out to this god-forsaken place, he didn't ask to come and he certainly did not ask to stay. He does not say that though. Instead he tries to be the man his dad brought him up to be and offers the only viable solution, "I'll leave..."
They don't hear him; they talk on, like angry magpies, as if he has already left.
"I only brought him because you told me not to come alone."
The words hurt Jacob more than he wants to admit. It is then and there that he decides that perhaps he needs to break away from Isabella Swan. All she manages to do is hurt him. Crush any self worth he manages to build and scatters it in the wake of her dream love with Edward. Sinking back into the sofa, no longer worried about marking it, he tries to become as invisible as she is making him feel, leaving the vampires to deal with her. They are soon to be her family anyway; they might as well start getting used to her fickle moods.
"I told you not to come, Bella," Alice replies and there is a hint of bite in her words. Jasper pulls her back, curling around her shoulders, pressing a kiss into her dark hair. She melts a little at his actions and Jacob feels a wave of calm lap at the edges of his mind.
The calm ripples over everyone but Bella. She is too hyped up for the subtle manipulation to have any effect, too focused on Edward to consider the feelings of others in the room. Jacob wonders why he has never seen her as selfish before. Perhaps now that he has been so categorically rejected the blinkers have fallen away. Or maybe he is just trying to protect himself by focusing on her faults. He does not know which is real, but he cannot seem to stop seeing the flaws in the once perfect Bella Swan.
Even her voice is annoying him, it's so tight with panic that it seems screechy to his sensitive ears. "I had to," she says, explaining herself once again, "Edward was screaming and you couldn't come to get me. Jacob could."
The vampires turn pitying eyes on Jacob and he focuses on the worn knee of his jeans. He had known when she called that she was just using him, but for her to admit it out loud... He shakes his head and tries to ignore the itching of tears burning at his eyes.
The air shifts slightly and out of the corner of his eye Jacob spots Carlisle moving into the room. Of all the vampires, Carlisle is the only one Jacob can tolerate. He does not like the man, but he most certainly owes him his mobility. If Carlisle had not come and reset his bones, Jacob knows he would currently be making his father look like the poster-boy for able-bodied people. He might not even be alive; the pain had been so great, even with the morphine, that it might very well have killed him. Carlisle saved him, and for that Jacob refuses to hate him on principle.
The doctor looks old and infinitely sad and Jacob knows that whatever he has to say is not good. All doctors have that same expression when it is bad news, their face is plastered with a blank expression but their eyes are just slightly crinkled at the edges and their mouths are pulled just so. The one who had told his dad about his diabetes had worn a very similar one and Jacob wonders whether it is something they are taught at medical school. It's hard to tell on Carlisle, his face is nothing more than a porcelain mask, but Jacob can see the echoes of it. Obviously the man has had years, perhaps centuries, to perfect not wearing the expression but he seems to be slipping tonight. For now though the doctor's attention is fixed on Bella, and he does not look happy.
Irrespective of what Jacob has been telling himself, his protective instincts rise up at that expression focused on Bella. If the vampire so much as moves towards her, Jacob knows without doubt, he'll defend her. And most probably die doing so.
Luckily for both of them though, Carlisle stops just inside the doorway. Jacob is not the only one who has noticed his entrance. Esme has straightened in her seat and Rosalie and Emmett have turned towards the door. Alice is still watching Bella but Jacob can tell that both she and Jasper are focused upon Carlisle.
"I am quite positive that I told Alice to tell you to stay at home."
It is not a question. There is something steely about Carlisle's voice that demands respect and Jacob can feel his Wolf stir at it. Carlisle is most definitely the Alpha of his little family and Bella's disobedience has displeased him. All of them, Jacob included, shrink away from that voice. Only Bella seems to be unaware of the underlying animosity and Jacob wonders whether it is an animal thing, because she is just so oblivious.
"How's Edward? Is he ok?" Bella asks, rising from her seat, finally releasing Jacob's hand, and moving towards Carlisle. "Can I see him? Is he awake? He's not screaming anymore so he's better right?"
Carlisle sighs and pinches the bridge of his nose. It's such a human gesture that it looks false upon the vampire. "Bella, sit down."
Stubbornly, she says where she is, her hands curled into fists at her side. Carlisle narrows his eyes, obviously not in the mood to argue with her, so Jacob snakes a hand out and pulls her back onto the sofa. She bounces slightly as she lands and turns the most spectacular glare on him, but Jacob merely smiles in response. Carlisle moves further into the room, not so much walking as gliding. His movements are so elegant Jacob is, for the moment, mesmerised, although he will never admit it. Had the pack been there, he would not have even been caught looking, especially if Edward had been around. But, in the privacy of his own mind, Jacob can admit that vampires are graceful. Carlisle settles himself in a large chair, which looks like it is made for two people not one, and Esme leaves her perch beside Jacob to join him. One of her hands winds into his hair, carding through from front to back, whilst the other is gripped tightly in his hand. He raises her hand to his lips and presses a kiss into her flesh and Jacob is entranced by the archaic gesture. It's like something out of an old black and white movie. The type his dad sometimes watches on a Sunday afternoon, when there isn't a game on, and reminisces about his own childhood.
That type of film has always held a special kind of magic for Jacob. One of the few memories he has of his mother involves a black and white movie. He is tucked in a blanket on the sofa, curled in his mother's arms and a movie is on the television. He isn't sure what was going on, but he is sure that it happened. He can still smell his mother's perfume.
Bella is not as rapt by the gesture, her fingers are drumming an impatient tattoo on her knee and her dark eyes are eagle sharp and fixed unwaveringly on Carlisle. All the family's attention is fixed on the oldest vampire, but Bella's is the most impatient. It is almost hostile in its intensity.
He kisses Esme's hand again, obviously buying time and a strong wave of calm washes over all of them. Jasper is like the ocean, sending out wave after wave of calm, some strong enough to crash against them and some no more than ripples but they are there, lapping against each of them. Bella sags slightly, tilting into Jacob's side but her eyes do not leave Carlisle.
After long moments of silence and soothing calm, Carlisle finally gathers his thoughts, "Edward was bitten by a werewolf."
Jacob stiffens in his seat. Technically, his pack are shape-shifters, skin-walkers, not werewolves but everyone refers to them as such. He hopes, with every fibre of his being, that Carlisle is not using the misnomer. But from the looks he is getting and the hostility in the air, he has a horrible feeling that he is not. Bella is glaring at him, as is Rosalie.
"One of the pack –" Bella starts and Jacob hates her, utterly hates her, for even thinking such a thing of his brothers. None of them would violate the treaty.
"It wasn't us!" Jacob exclaims, unable to stop himself. Either the words have to burst from his mouth or he will burst from his skin. It wasn't them, he knows that. There is not even the glimmer of doubt in his mind; this was not of his pack's doing. For one thing, if they'd attacked Edward, he wouldn't have walked away.
"There was no scent of wolf in the clearing," Jasper affirms, his southern twang the most comforting sound in the world.
"Peace Jacob, Jasper, I know it was not one of the pack."
"But you said it was werewolf," Bella states, clearly confused. "You said Edward was bitten by a werewolf."
Carlisle blinks slowly and shakes his head. "Forgive me," he beseeches, holding a peaceable palm out to Jacob, "I misspoke. I did not mean to infer that I was alluding to the pack. I was not."
Bella doesn't apologise for doubting Jacob's pack and he shifts away from her side, pressing himself into the corner of the sofa. All he wants to do now is find out what happened and go home. Bella can do whatever the hell she likes. He just wants to go home.
"Then what?" Bella snaps, "Tell me what happened to Edward."
The doctor is obviously trying to and Alice reaches out to snag Bella's hand, holding it tight in her own. She looks as worried as Bella, but there is an air of calm around her and Jacob wonders whether it is Jasper's doing or something about being able to see the future. It would certainly lead to an air of unflappability. She squeezes Bella's hand and whispers, "Let Carlisle talk, Bella. Let him talk."
Carlisle nods his thanks and his grip on Esme's hand tightens. "Edward was bitten by a werewolf. Jacob's pack mates are wolves but I believe the correct term would be shape-shifters not werewolves?" His question is directed at Jacob, who affirms it with a curt nod, refusing to make eye contact. "Werewolves are something completely different. They require the full moon to transform, whilst Jacob and his kind can do so at will."
"They're also insane." Jasper injects softly. His eyes are distant and haunted and Jacob wonders for the first time just how old he is. He knows Carlisle is the oldest of them all, but perhaps Jasper is just as old. He certainly seems so. He seems older than Edward for all his anachronistic mannerisms. "But I thought they had been eradicated?"
"Obviously not. Caius must have missed at least one in his purge." Carlisle sighs and buries his head in his hands. "He could have missed thousands."
"No, we would have seen something before now. Werewolves are not subtle," Jasper notes.
The rest of the family looks as confused as Jacob feels. He has never heard anything beyond Hollywood tales of werewolves so he cannot really understand the dark look that has settled on Jasper's brow. Nor the anguish in Carlisle's eyes. As far as he knows, vampires are indestructible and werewolves menace villages in France and can only be killed with silver bullets.
"Ok," Bella interrupts, standing suddenly and drawing everyone's attention from Carlisle. "I get it – werewolves are real! Just like every other horror story monster. But is Edward ok? I mean, he just got bitten right? Right?"
Carlisle shakes his head. "I am so sorry."
"What?" Bella's hand grips her throat and what little colour she had drains from her face. "Carlisle what is going on?"
It is not Carlisle who answers. He tries, he opens his mouth to speak, but he seems to choke on the words. It is Jasper's soft voice that washes over them. "Edward is dying, Bella. Werewolves are deadly to our kind. One bite will turn a human into a werewolf or kill a vampire."
"Bullshit!" Emmett explodes, standing so suddenly that Jacob does not even see him move. "That is utter bullshit!"
"Emmett," Esme scolds, but is a reflex reaction; there is no heat in her words, no reprimand in her eyes. She is staring at her fingers entwined in the wool of her husband's sweater and looking a little lost.
"But it is! There is no way a little dog," he spat the word venomously, "could take Edward out with one bite. No fucking way."
"It's not true is it? Jazz?" Alice is looking at her husband, who merely wraps his arms around her and buries his face in her hair. Her breath hitches and Jacob knows that if she wasn't a vampire she would be crying right about now. Hell, he is on the verge himself and he takes back everything he has ever thought about this family. They do have emotions; he can see it etched into every single face. From Carlisle's hopelessness to Alice's grief and Emmett's incredulity, it is all laid out for him to see. He hates that they are showing it to him. He hates them for it because now, now he might not be able to do his job. He won't be able to kill a vampire without wondering if it has loved ones or a family. Wondering who they leave behind.
And he won't ever be able to look at Edward or think of him with hostility without seeing how much his family love him.
There is a crash and Jacob turns to see Rosalie, her arm partway through the plaster wall. Her face is perfectly blank, her eyes fixed on where her arm has disappeared into the wall. Emmett rushes to her side, cradling her arm in his big hands. "Babe?"
"I'm fine. Let go."
Emmett does, dropping her arm as if it had burned him. Jacob doesn't blame him, the seething rage in Rosalie's voice makes him want to tuck his tail between his legs and flee. There is something terrific about her anger. She is standing there, her hand in a wall, looking like she has just stepped out of a fashion magazine, her hair and make-up perfect and all Jacob can see is fury. Rosalie would have been worshipped as a goddess if she had lived millennia ago. She's merely lusted over now.
There is a crunch and Rosalie retracts her arm, a fist-sized hole left in the wall and plaster dust staining her manicured nails.
"Do you feel any better?" Esme enquires, her voice flat.
"No." Rosalie sinks back down to the sofa, the fight draining out of her like air from a balloon.
"No." All eyes turn to Bella who is shaking her head like a wounded animal. There are tears coursing down her face and they look wrong. Her eyes are not red and the tears are fat and slow; she looks like a doll, the ones kids have that can cry. She doesn't look human at all.
Jacob wants to comfort her, really he does, but he can't. He thinks that really he should be jumping up and down and doing anything to ingratiate himself with her because Edward is going to be out of the picture. For good. Gone, vanished, vanquished. Finally. But he isn't. He feels hollow and slightly terrified because if this thing can kill a vampire with one bite he dreads to think what it could do to him. And he knows that is selfish of him but he can't help it. He's scared and a little sad, sad for all these people around him who seem so very broken at the news. Death always hurts the ones left behind the worst. He pulls his knees to his chest, not caring about his boots on the clean white fabric, and hugs them, trying to crush the ache in his chest; the ache that is threatening to swallow him whole.
Bella's breathing is becoming ragged and rushed and Alice is reaching out comforting arms to her, wrapping Bella and her grief up. Jasper has not relinquished his own hold on Alice and there is a steady stream of gloomy calm pulsing in the air. Jacob can smell the sweet stench of grief in the air, like the heavy smell of rain before a thunderstorm. It is gathering and threatening to break at any moment.
Bella starts to scream, "No. No. No!" It is the only word she seems to know. The denial races through her like an electric current. She jerks, pulling from Alice with a force the little vampire was not expecting and rushes across the living room, tripping over her feet in her haste, falling to the floor at the foot of Carlisle's chair. "You have to do something," she begs, curling her fingers into the material of his trousers. Tugging at them like a child demanding attention.
He lifts his head to look at the broken girl at his feet. "There is nothing I can do."
Obviously unthinking, Bella bunches her fist and slams it down on Carlisle's thigh. Had he been human it would have hurt but he is not and Bella is the only injured party. Alice murmurs and moves to comfort her grief stricken friend, but Bella rejects her, shaking her off roughly. "You have to do something!"
"There is nothing," he repeats. He is on autopilot now, functioning purely as a doctor. The father in him seems to have died the moment Jasper confirmed that Edward was dying. "Nothing. I can sedate him, make him comfortable –"
"I don't care if he's comfortable," Bella hisses, her face twisted and ugly. "It doesn't matter if he's comfortable if he's going to die. What are you doing down here? You should be with him. I don't understand what you are doing here. Why are you here? You should be trying to help him. You can't just give up on him. Don't you even care?"
Her vicious words cut into everyone; her grief coming out as fury and spite, heedless of everyone else's pain. Jacob tries to stop her, tries reaching for her, but he does not get to her in time. Esme is gripping Bella's upper arms, shaking her slightly. "That is enough Bella. Enough."
Bella struggles in her grasp, but Esme does not let her go. "It's not. He should be doing something," she insists.
Carlisle hangs his head, as though he is ashamed – although Jacob has no idea why he should feel that way. He has done nothing wrong. He has probably done more than anyone else would think to do. Apparently, Esme feels the same.
"You know Carlisle better than that Bella. If he says there is nothing to be done then," she swallows, visibly controlling herself. "Then there is nothing we can do." There is a small smile on her face, a brave watery thing and for the first time in his life, Jacob wants to comfort a vampire. Esme is a precious thing. All mothers are.
"But there has to be something!" Bella is stubborn at the best of times, but she is unwilling to let this go. Jacob cannot blame her really, but he does not think that it is fair for her to assume that she is the only one affected. Carlisle is obviously hurting, and Jacob cannot believe that the doctor who healed his broken body would give up so easily if there were an answer to be found. It is incongruous with what he has seen so far of the vampire.
"There is not. Vampires have searched for centuries for a cure for a werewolf bite trying everything from blood to hemlock and silver. Believe me Bella, there is nothing that Carlisle can do." Jasper's confidence in his words is as final as a funeral knell.
Jasper moves. One moment he is on the sofa next to Alice, the next he is by Esme's side. "You are not the only one hurting. You are not the only one who doesn't want this to be true. Believe me Bella, everyone in this room – even Jacob – wishes that this wasn't the case. But it is."
Jacob is startled to hear of his own emotions from someone else but he cannot protest. He does feel bad and he does wish that this was not happening but it is, and he cannot change that. He can feel eyes on him, incredulous gazes burning into his skin, but he ignores them. He cannot help what he feels and he will not apologise for it. He does not like Edward, he never has. In fact, it would be more accurate to state that Jacob hates Edward, loathes him, completely and utterly detests him; but, despite all of that, he is surprised to find that he really does not want the vampire dead.
Well, anymore dead than he already is.
He wanted Bella to choose him, not have him because there is no other choice. He wanted her to make the active decision that he was better than Edward. Edward dying does not make him the winner; it makes him the eternal loser. Now, Edward will be the martyr and Jacob the replacement, because he knows Bella. She is unable to be alone, she needs someone else and he has already established himself as the heir apparent. He's surprised to find that he'd rather Edward live than be the second choice and he isn't sure if that is generous or horrifically selfish of him.
Alice lifts herself from the sofa and glides across to Bella. Her cheerful clothing and artfully mussed hair look garishly optimistic compared to the solemn expression on her face. She wraps herself around Bella, perching her pointed chin on Bella's shoulder. "Perhaps we should go sit with him?"
"Yes," Esme nods. Her relief is palpable. She pats Bella gently on the arm, rubbing it slightly. "Why don't you and Alice go and sit with him, dear? Hmm?" Nodding decisively she turns to the rest of the family, including them in the conversation, "We'll take it in shifts. Give everyone a chance."
Esme is trying so very hard to remain composed and optimistic and the "to say goodbye" is left unsaid, but they all hear it. Even Jacob, though he knows he won't be saying goodbye. Even if they offer him the chance to, it will feel too much like gloating for him to be comfortable. And he is quite sure that Edward would not want him there. The best thing he can do, for himself and Edward, is leave and not come back. Not even if Bella begs him too.
Bella nods mutely and Alice unwinds her arms and gently takes her hand, leading her from the room. Jacob hears them climb the stairs and waits until a door shuts somewhere above his head before turning back to the rest of the family.