Saturday, February 23, 2019
The Twilight Saga 2: New Moon Chapter 18 THE FUNERAL
I SPRINTED strike down THE STAIRS AND THREW THE DOOR point-blank.It was Jacob, of course. Even blind, Alice wasnt slow.He was rest ab stunned sextet feet masking from the door, his nose wrinkled in distaste, only if his spunk a nonher(prenominal) than smoothmask a identical(p). He didnt fool me I could settle the faint trembling of his detention. antagonism rolled false of him in waves. It brought back that awful by and bynoon when hed chosen Sam all e veryplace me, and I felt my chin jerk up defensively in response.Jacobs Rabbit idled by the curb with Jargond foundation the rou permitte wheel and Embry in the passenger seat. I unders a the uniformd what this meant they were panic-struck to let him go down hither alone. It made me sad, and a little annoyed. The Cullens werent equal that.Hey, I in the end said when he didnt converse.Jake pursed his lips, still comeing back from the door. His look flickered across the front of the house.I ground my teeth. She s not here. Do you need nearthing?He hesitated. Youre alone?Yes. I sighed.Can I let unwrap to you a twinkling?Of course you dirty dog, Jacob. Come on in.Jacob glanced over his shoulder at his friends in the car. I byword Embry shake his organise tho a footling bit. For some reason, this bugged me to no end.My teeth clenched to readher again. complainer I mumbled under my breath.Jakes eyes flashed back to me, his thick, black brows pushing into a furious angle over his deep-set eyes. His jaw set, and he marchedthere was no other way to describe the way he movedup the expressionwalk and shrugged bygone me into the house.I throw awayed gazes with branch Jared and indeed EmbryI didnt like the hard way they eye me did they re entirelyy value I would let any(prenominal)thing hurt Jacobbefore I completiond(a) the door on them.Jacob was in the hall behind me, staring at the mess of blankets in the living room.Slumber party? he asked, his quality sarcastic.Yeah, I comeed with the same level of acid. I didnt like Jacob when he acted this way. Whats it to you?He wrinkled his nose again like he tactual sensationed something unpleasant. Wheres your friend? I could go bring out the quotation marks in his shadow.She had some errands to run. Look, Jacob, what do you expect?Something about the room seemed to make him edgierhis unyielding harness were quivering. He didnt answer my question. preferably he moved on to the kitchen, his restless eyes darting everywhere.I followed him. He paced back and forth on the nobble counter.Hey, I said, putting myself in his way. He stopped pacing and stared down at me. Whats your problem?I dont like having to be here.That stung. I winced, and his eyes tightened.Then Im sorry you had to come, I muttered. wherefore dont you tell me what you need so you can leave?I just pee-pee to ask you a couple of questions. It shouldnt take long. We be bring on to start back for the funeral.Okay. Get it over with then. I w as probably overdoing it with the antagonism, scarcely I didnt destiny him to see how much this hurt. I knew I wasnt beingness fair. After all, Id picked the rootagesucker over him last night. Id hurt him premier.He took a deep breath, and his trembling fingers were utterly still. His character smoothed into a serene mask.One of the Cullens is staying here with you, he stated.Yes. Alice Cullen.He nodded mindfully. How long is she here for?As long as she necessitys to be. The belligerence was still there in my tone. Its an grant invitation.Do you estimate you could please justify to her about the other onecapital of Seychelles?I paled. I told her about that.He nodded. You should greet that we can only have our own lands with a Cullen here. Youll only be safe in La Push. I cant protect you here any much.Okay, I said in a small phonate.He appeared away then, out the back windows. He didnt continue.Is that all?He kept his eyes on the glass as he answered. Just one mor e thing.I waited, exactly he didnt continue. Yes? I finally prompted.Are the rest of them orgasm back this instant? he asked in a cool, quiet down vocalization. It re estimateed me of Sams always becalm manner. Jacob was becoming more like Sam I wondered wherefore that bothered me so much. regenerate away I didnt speak. He looked back at my slip with probing eyes. nearly? he asked. He struggled to conceal the tension behind his serene expression. zero(prenominal) I said finally. Grudgingly. They arent coming back.His expression didnt change. Okay. Thats all.I glared at him, horror rekindled. Well, run along instanter. Go tell Sam that the scary monsters arent coming to get you.Okay, he repeated, still calm.That seemed to be it. Jacob walked swiftly from the kitchen. I waited to taste the front door open, but I figured nothing. I could hear the clock over the stove ticking, and I marveled again at how quiet hed become.What a disaster. How could I have alienated him so c ompletely in such a short amount of conviction?Would he forgive me when Alice was gone? What if he didnt?I slumped against the counter and buried my face in my transcends. How had I made such a mess of everything? alone what could I have done differently? Even in hind potty, I couldnt speak out of any better way, any perfect course of action.Bella ? Jacob asked in a troubled voice.I twistinged my face out of my hands to see Jacob hesitating in the kitchen doorway he hadnt left when Id thought. It was only when I saw the clear drops sparkling in my hands that I accomplished I was crying.Jacobs calm expression was gone his face was anxious and unsure. He walked readily back to stand in front of me, ducking his head so that his eyes were closer to being on the same level with mine.Did it again, didnt I?Did what? I asked, my voice cracking.Broke my promise. Sorry.Sokay, I mumbled. I started it this time.His face twisted. I knew how you felt about them. It shouldnt have taken me by surprise like that.I could see the revulsion in his eyes. I wanted to explain to him what Alice was unfeignedly like, to defend her against the judgments hed made, but something warned me that now was not the time.So I just said, Sorry, again.Lets not worry about it, okay? Shes just visiting, right? Shell leave, and things provide go back to normal.Cant I be friends with you both at the same time? I asked, my voice not hiding an apothecaries ounce of the hurt I felt.He shook his head slowly. No, I dont think you can.I sniffed and stared at his tremendous feet. But youll wait, right? Youll still be my friend, tied(p) though I complete Alice, too?I didnt look up, afeared(predicate) to see what hed think of that last part. It took him a minute to answer, so I was probably right not to look.Yeah, Ill always be your friend, he said acrimoniously. No matter what you love.Promise?Promise.I felt his arms wind or so me, and I leaned against his chest of drawers, still sniffling . This sucks.Yeah. Then he sniffed my copper and said, Ew.What? I demanded. I looked up to see that his nose was wrinkled again. Why does everyone keep doing that to me? I dont smellHe smiled a little. Yes, you doyou smell like them. Blech. Too sweetsickly sweet. And icy. It burns my nose.Really? That was strange. Alice smelled unbelievably wonderful. To a serviceman, anyway. But wherefore would Alice think I smelled, too, then?That wiped his smile away. Huh. by chance I dont smell so good to her, either. Huh.Well, you both smell fine to me. I be my head against him again. I was going to throw away him terribly when he walked out my door. It was a nasty catch-22on the one hand, I wanted Alice to stay forever. I was going to dashmetaphoricallywhen she left me. But how was I supposed to go without visual perception Jake for any length of time? What a mess, I thought again.Ill miss you, Jacob whispered, echoing my thoughts. Every minute. I hope she leaves soon.It really doesnt h ave to be that way, Jake.He sighed. Yes, it really does. Bella. You love her. So Id better not get anywhere near her. Im not sure that Im flush-tempered enough to cargo area that. Sam would be mad if I broke the treaty, andhis voice move sarcasticyou probably wouldnt like it too much if I killed your friend.I recoiled from him when he said that, but he only tightened his arms, refusing to let me duck. Theres no point in avoiding the truth. Thats the way things are, Bells.I do not like the way things are.Jacob freed one arm so that he could cup his big brown hand under my chin and make me look at him. Yeah. It was easier when we were both human, wasnt it?I sighed.We stared at each other for a long moment. His hand smoldered against my skin. In my face, I knew there was nothing but broody sadnessI didnt want to have to say goodbye now, no matter for how short a time. At first his face reflected mine, but then, as incomplete of us looked away, his expression changed.He released m e, lifting his other hand to brush his fingertips along my cheek, trailing them down to my jaw. I could feel his fingers tremblenot with anger this time. He touch his palm against my cheek, so that my face was trapped between his burning hands.Bella, he whispered.I was frozen.No I hadnt made this decision yet. I didnt hold up if I could do this, and now I was out of time to think. But I would have been a fool if I thought rejecting him now would have no consequences.I stared back at him. He was not my Jacob, but he could be. His face was familiar and beloved. In so many real ways, I did love him. He was my comfort, my safe harbor. Right now, I could choose to have him belong to me.Alice was back for the moment, but that changed nothing. True love was forever lost. The prince was never coming back to kiss me awake from my enrapture sleep. I was not a princess, after all. So what was the fairy-tale protocol for other kisses? The mundane kind that didnt break any spells?Maybe it wou ld be easylike guardianship his hand or having his arms around me. Maybe it would feel nice. Maybe it wouldnt feel like a betrayal. Besides, who was I betraying, anyway? Just myself. charge his eyes on mine, Jacob began to bend his face toward me. And I was still dead undecided.The shrill ring of the cry made us both jump, but it did not break his focus. He took his hand from under my chin and reached over me to grab the receiver, but still held my face securely with the hand against my cheek. His tenebrous eyes did not free mine. I was too muddled to react, even to take advantage of the distraction.Swan residence, Jacob said, his husky voice low and intense. soul answered, and Jacob altered in an instant. He straightened up, and his hand dropped from my face. His eyes went flat, his face blank, and I would have bet the measly remainder of my college f and that it was Alice.I vulcanized myself and held out my hand for the squall. Jacob ignored me.Hes not here, Jacob said, and the talking to were menacing.There was some very short reply, a request for more information it seemed, because he added unwillingly, Hes at the funeral.Then Jacob hung up the phone. Filthy bloodsucker, he muttered under his breath. The face he turned back to me was the bitter mask again.Who did you just hang up on? I gasped, infuriated. In my house, and on my phone? flaccid He hung up on meHe? Who was it?He sneered the title. Dr. Carlisle Cullen.Why didnt you let me talk to him?He didnt ask for you, Jacob said coldly. His face was smooth, expressionless, but his hands shook. He asked where Charlie was and I told him. I dont think I broke any rules of etiquette.You listen to me, Jacob BlackBut he obviously wasnt listening. He looked quickly over his shoulder, as if someone had called his name from the other room. His eyes went widely and his embody stiff, then he started trembling. I listened too, automatically, but heard nothing.Bye, Bells, he spit out, and wheeled toward the f ront door.I ran after him. What is it?And then I ran into him, as he rocked back on his heels, cussing under his breath. He spun around again, knocking me sideways. I bobbled and fell to the floor, my legs tangled with his.Shoot, ow I protested as he hurriedly jerked his legs free one at a time.I struggled to pull myself up as he darted for the back door he suddenly froze again.Alice stood motionless at the foot of the stairs.Bella, she choked.I scrambled to my feet and lurched to her side. Her eyes were bleary and far away, her face drawn and whiter than bone. Her slim body trembled to an inner turmoil.Alice, whats unseasonable? I cried. I put my hands on her face, trying to calm her.Her eyes focused on mine abruptly, wide with pain.Edward, was all she whispered.My body reacted faster than my mind was able to catch up with the implications of her reply. I didnt at first understand why the room was spinning or where the gob roar in my ears was coming from. My mind labored, unable to make disposition of Alices bleak face and how it could possibly re modern to Edward, while my body was already swaying, seeking the relief of unconsciousness before the reality could hit me.The stairway tilted at the oddest angle.Jacobs furious voice was suddenly in my ear, raspberry out a stream of profanities. I felt a shady disapproval. His new friends were clearly a gravid influence.I was on the sick without understanding how I got there, and Jacob was still swearing. It felt like there was an earthquakethe range was shaking under me.What did you do to her? he demanded.Alice ignored him. Bella? Bella, snap out of it. We have to hurry.Stay back, Jacob warned.Calm down, Jacob Black, Alice ordered. You dont want to do that so close to her.I dont think Ill have any problem charge my focus, he retorted, but his voice sounded a little cooler.Alice? My voice was weak. What happened? I asked, even though I didnt want to hear.I dont know, she suddenly wailed. What is he opini on?I labored to pull myself up despite the dizziness. I realized it was Jacobs arm I was gripping for balance. He was the one shaking, not the couch.Alice was wrench a small silver phone from her bag when my eyes move her. Her fingers dialed the numbers so fast they were a blur.Rose, I need to talk to Carlisle now. Her voice whipped through the words. Fine, as soon as hes back. No, Ill be on a plane. Look, have you heard anything from Edward?Alice paused now, listening with an expression that grew more appal every second. Her mouth opened into a little O of horror, and the phone shook in her hand.Why? she gasped. Why would you do that, Rosalie?Whatever the answer was, it made her jaw tighten in anger. Her eyes flashed and narrowed.Well, youre upon on both counts, though, Rosalie, so that would be a problem, dont you think? she asked acidly. Yes, thats right. Shes absolutely fineI was wrong Its a long story But youre wrong about that part, too, thats why Im calling Yes, thats exa ctly what I saw.Alices voice was very hard and her lips were pulled back from her teeth. Its a bit late for that, Rose. Save your contrition for someone who believes it. Alice snapped the phone shut with a sharp twist of her fingers.Her eyes were tortured as she turned to face me.Alice, I blurted out quickly. I couldnt let her speak yet. I needed a few more seconds before she radius and her words destroyed what was left of my life. Alice, Carlisle is back, though. He called just beforeShe stared at me blankly. How long ago? she asked in a hollow voice.Half a minute before you showed up.What did he say? She really focused now, hold for my answer.I didnt talk to him. My eyes flickered to Jacob.Alice turned her penetrating gaze on him. He flinched, but held his place next to me. He sit awkwardly, almost as if he were trying to shield me with his body.He asked for Charlie, and I told him Charlie wasnt here, Jacob muttered resentfully.Is that everything? Alice demanded, her voice like ice.Then he hung up on me, Jacob spit back. A tremor rolled down his spine, shaking me with it.You told him Charlie was at the funeral, I reminded him.Alice jerked her head back toward me What were his exact words?He said, Hes not here, and when Carlisle asked where Charlie was, Jacob said, At the funeral.Alice moaned and sank to her knees. secure me Alice, I whispered.That wasnt Carlisle on the phone, she said hopelessly.Are you calling me a liar? Jacob snarled from beside me.Alice ignored him, focusing on my bewildered face.It was Edward. The words were just a choked whisper. He thinks youre dead.My mind started to work again. These words werent the ones Id been afraid of, and the relief cleared my head.Rosalie told him I killed myself, didnt she? I said, sighing as I relaxed.Yes, Alice admitted, her eyes flashing hard again.In her defense, she did believe it. They rely on my sight far too much for something that works so imperfectly. But for her to shroud him down to tell him t his Didnt she realize or care ? Her voice faded away in horror.And when Edward called here, he thought Jacob meant my funeral, I realized. It stung to know how close Id been, just inches away from his voice. My nails dug into Jacobs arm, but he didnt flinch.Alice looked at me strangely. Youre not upset, she whispered.Well, its really rotten timing, but it will all get straightened out. The next time he calls, someone will tell him what really I trailed off. Her gaze strangled the words in my throat.Why was she so panicked? Why was her face twisting now with pity and horror? What was it she had said to Rosalie on the phone just now? Something about what shed seen and Rosalies remorse Rosalie would never feel remorse for anything that happened to me. But if shed hurt her family, hurt her fellowBella, Alice whispered. Edward wont call again. He believed her.I. Dont. Understand. My mouth framed each word in silence. I couldnt push the air out to actually say the words that would make her explain what that meant.Hes going to Italy.It took the length of one heartbeat for me to comprehend.When Edwards voice came back to me now, it was not the perfect imitation of my delusions. It was just the weak, flat tone of my memories. But the words alone were enough to shred through my chest and leave it gaping open. Words from a time when I would have bet everything that I owned or could borrow on that detail that he loved me.Well, I wasnt going to live without you, hed said as we watched Romeo and Juliet die, here in this very room. But I wasnt sure how to do it I knew Emmett and Jasper would never help so I was thinking mayhap I would go to Italy and do something to provoke the Volturi You dont irritate them. Not unless you want to die.Not unless you want to die.NO The half-shrieked denial was so loud after the whispered words, it made us all jump. I felt the blood rushing to my face as I realized what shed seen. No No, no, no He cant He cant do thatHe made up his mind as soon as your friend confirmed that it was too late to save you.But he he left He didnt want me anymore What difference does it make now? He knew I would die sometimeI dont think he ever planned to last you by long, Alice said quietly.How dare he I screamed. I was on my feet now, and Jacob rose uncertainly to put himself between Alice and me again.Oh, get out of the way, Jacob I elbowed my way around his trembling body with desperate impatience. What do we do? I begged Alice. There had to be something. Cant we call him? Can Carlisle?She was shaking her head. That was the first thing I tried. He left his phone in a trash can in Riosomeone answered it she whispered.You said before we had to hurry. Hurry how? Lets do it, whatever it isBella, II dont think I can ask you to She trailed off in indecision.Ask me I commanded.She put her hands on my shoulders, prop me in place, her fingers flexing sporadically to emphasize her words. We may already be too late. I saw him going to the Voltu ri and asking to die. We both cringed, and my eyes were suddenly blind. I blinked feverishly at the disunite. It all depends on what they choose. I cant see that till they make a decision.But if they say no, and they mightAro is fond of Carlisle, and wouldnt want to offend himEdward has a backup plan. Theyre very protective of their city. If Edward does something to upset the peace, he thinks theyll act to stop him. And hes right. They will.I stared at her with my jaw clenched in frustration. Id heard nothing yet that would explain why we were still standing here.So if they agree to grant his favor, were too late. If they say no, and he comes up with a plan to offend them quickly enough, were too late. If he gives into his more theatrical tendencies we might have time.Lets goListen, Bella Whether we are in time or not, we will be in the heart of the Volturi city. I will be considered his accomplice if he is successful. You will be a human who not only knows too much, but also smell s too good. Theres a very good chance that they will eliminate us allthough in your case itwont be punishment so much as dinnertime.This is whats keeping us here? I asked in disbelief. Ill go alone if youre afraid. I mentally tabulated what money was left in my account, and wondered if Alice would lend me the rest.Im only afraid of getting you killed.I snorted in disgust. I almost get myself killed on a daily basis Tell me what I need to doYou write a note to Charlie. Ill call the airlines.Charlie, I gasped.Not that my social movement was protecting him, but could I leave him here alone to faceIm not going to let anything happen to Charlie. Jacobs low voice was gruff and angry. Screw the treaty.I glanced up at him, and he scowled at my panicked expression.Hurry, Bella, Alice interrupted urgently.I ran to the kitchen, yanking the drawers open and throwing the contents all over the floor as I searched for a pen. A smooth, brown hand held one out to me.Thanks, I mumbled, pulling the c ap off with my teeth. He silently handed me the pad of paper we wrote phone messages on. I bust off the top sheet and threw it over my shoulder.Dad, I wrote. Im with Alice. Edwards in trouble. You can ground me when I get back. I know its a bad time. So sorry. Love you so much. Bella.Dont go, Jacob whispered. The anger was all gone now that Alice was out of sight.I wasnt about to waste time arguing with him. Please, please, please take care of Charlie, I said as I flecked back out to the front room. Alice was waiting in the doorway with a bag over her shoulder.Get your walletyoull need ID. Please tell me you have a passport. I dont have time to forge one.I nodded and then raced up the stairs, my knees weak with gratitude that my mother had wanted to marry Phil on a beach in Mexico. Of course, like all her plans, it had fallen through. But not before Id made all the practical arrangements I could for her.I tear through my room. I stuffed my old wallet, a clean T-shirt, and sweatpan ts into my backpack, and then threw my soup-strainer on top. I hurled myself back down the stairs. The sense of deja vu was nearly strangle by this point. At least, unlike the last timewhen Id run away from Forks to escape thirsty vampires rather than to find themI wouldnt have to say goodbye to Charlie in person.Jacob and Alice were locked in some kind of confrontation in front of the open door, standing so far apart you wouldnt assume at first that they were having a conversation. Neither one seemed to notice my noisy reappearance.You might simpleness yourself on occasion, but these leeches youre taking her to Jacob was furiously accusing her.Yes. Youre right, dog. Alice was snarling, too. The Volturi are the very essence of our kindtheyrethe reason your hair stands on end when you smell me. They are the substance of your nightmares, the dread behind your instincts. Im not unaware of that.And you take her to them like a bottle of wine for a party he shouted.You think shed be be tter off if I left her here alone, with Victoria stalking her?We can handle the redhead.Then why is she still hunt club?Jacob growled, and a shudder rippled through his torso.Stop that I shouted at them both, wild with impatience. Argue when we get back, lets goAlice turned for the car, disappear in her haste. I hurried after her, pausing automatically to turn and lock the door.Jacob caught my arm with a shivering hand. Please, Bella. Im begging.His dark eyes were glistening with tears. A lump filled my throat.Jake, I have toYou dont, though. You really dont. You could stay here with me. You could stay alive. For Charlie. For me.The engine of Carlisles Mercedes purred the rhythm of the thrumming spiked when Alice revved it impatiently.I shook my head, tears spattering from my eyes with the sharp motion. I pulled my arm free, and he didnt shift me.Dont die, Bella, he choked out. Dont go. Dont.What if I never saw him again?The thought pushed me past the silent tears a sob broke out from my chest. I threw my arms around his waist and hugged for one too-short moment, burying my tear-wet face against his chest. He put his big hand on the back of my hair, as if to hold me there.Bye, Jake. I pulled his hand from my hair, and kissed his palm. I couldnt bear to look at his face. Sorry, I whispered.Then I spun and raced for the car. The door on the passenger side was open and waiting. I threw my backpack over the headrest and slid in, slamming the door behind me.Take care of Charlie I turned to shout out the window, but Jacob was nowhere in sight. As Alice stomped on the gas andwith the tires screeching like human screamsspun us around to face the road, I caught sight of a shred of white near the edge of the trees. A piece of a shoe.