Home > Eclipse (Twilight #3)(16)

Eclipse (Twilight #3)(16)
Author: Stephenie Meyer

His arms tightened around me. "I know."

"Ahem." Charlie cleared his voice loudly behind us.

I jumped, and then pulled free of Edward's arms, my face getting hot. Edward leaned back against the counter. His eyes were tight. I could see worry in them, and anger.

"If you don't want to make dinner, I can call for a pizza," Charlie hinted.

"No, that's okay, I'm already started."

"Okay," Charlie said. He propped himself against the doorframe, folding his arms.

I sighed and got to work, trying to ignore my audience.

"If I asked you to do something, would you trust me?" Edward asked, an edge to his soft voice.

We were almost to school. Edward had been relaxed and joking just a moment ago, and now suddenly his hands were clenched tight on the steering wheel, his knuckles straining in an effort not to snap it into pieces.

I stared at his anxious expression - his eyes were far away, like he was listening to distant voices.

My pulse sped in response to his stress, but I answered carefully. "That depends."

We pulled into the school lot.

"I was afraid you would say that."

"What do you want me to do, Edward?"

"I want you to stay in the car." He pulled into his usual spot and turned the engine off as he spoke. "I want you to wait here until I come back for you."

"But . . . why?"

That was when I saw him. He would have been hard to miss, towering over the students the way he did, even if he hadn't been leaning against his black motorcycle, parked illegally on the sidewalk.


Jacob's face was a calm mask that I recognized well. It was the face he used when he was determined to keep his emotions in check, to keep himself under control. It made him look like Sam, the oldest of the wolves, the leader of the Quileute pack. But Jacob could never quite manage the perfect serenity Sam always exuded.

I'd forgotten how much this face bothered me. Though I'd gotten to know Sam pretty well before the Cullens had come back - to like him, even - I'd never been able to completely shake the resentment I felt when Jacob mimicked Sam's expression. It was a stranger's face. He wasn't my Jacob when he wore it.

"You jumped to the wrong conclusion last night," Edward murmured. "He asked about school because he knew that I would be where you were. He was looking for a safe place to talk to me. A place with witnesses."

So I'd misinterpreted Jacob's motives last night. Missing information, that was the problem. Information like why in the world Jacob would want to talk to Edward.

"I'm not staying in the car," I said.

Edward groaned quietly. "Of course not. Well, let's get this over with."

Jacob's face hardened as we walked toward him, hand in hand.

I noticed other faces, too - the faces of my classmates. I noticed how their eyes widened as they took in all six foot seven inches of Jacob's long body, muscled up the way no normal sixteen-and-a-half-year-old ever had been. I saw those eyes rake over his tight black t-shirt - short-sleeved, though the day was unseasonably cool - his ragged, grease-smeared jeans, and the glossy black bike he leaned against. Their eyes didn't linger on his face - something about his expression had them glancing quickly away. And I noticed the wide berth everyone gave him, the bubble of space that no one dared to encroach on.

With a sense of astonishment, I realized that Jacob looked dangerous to them. How odd.

Edward stopped a few yards away from Jacob, and I could tell that he was uncomfortable having me so close to a werewolf. He drew his hand back slightly, pulling me halfway behind his body.

"You could have called us," Edward said in a steel-hard voice.

"Sorry," Jacob answered, his face twisting into a sneer. "I don't have any leeches on my speed dial."

"You could have reached me at Bella's house, of course."

Jacob's jaw flexed, and his brows pulled together. He didn't answer.

"This is hardly the place, Jacob. Could we discuss this later?"

"Sure, sure. I'll stop by your crypt after school." Jacob snorted. "What's wrong with now?"

Edward looked around pointedly, his eyes resting on the witnesses who were just barely out of hearing range. A few people were hesitating on the sidewalk, their eyes bright with expectation. Like they were hoping a fight might break out to alleviate the tedium of another Monday morning. I saw Tyler Crowley nudge Austin Marks, and they both paused on their way to class.

"I already know what you came to say," Edward reminded Jacob in voice so low that I could barely make it out. "Message delivered. Consider us warned."

Edward glanced down at me for a fleeting second with worried eyes.

"Warned?" I asked blankly. "What are you talking about?"

"You didn't tell her?" Jacob asked, his eyes widening with disbelief. "What, were you afraid she'd take our side?"

"Please drop it, Jacob," Edward said in an even voice.

"Why?" Jacob challenged.

I frowned in confusion. "What don't I know? Edward?"

Edward just glared at Jacob as if he hadn't heard me.


Jacob raised his eyebrow at me. "He didn't tell you that his big . . . brother crossed the line Saturday night?" he asked, his tone thickly layered with sarcasm. Then his eyes flickered back to Edward. "Paul was totally justified in -"

"It was no-man's land!" Edward hissed.

"Was not!"

Jacob was fuming visibly. His hands trembled. He shook his head and sucked in two deep lungfuls of air.

"Emmett and Paul?" I whispered. Paul was Jacob's most volatile pack brother. He was the one who'd lost control that day in the woods - the memory of the snarling gray wolf was suddenly vividin my head.

"What happened? Were they fighting?" My voice strained higher in panic. "Why? Did Paul get hurt?"

"No one fought," Edward said quietly, only to me. "No one got hurt. Don't be anxious."

Jacob was staring at us with incredulous eyes. "You didn't tell her anything at all, did you? Is that why you took her away? So she wouldn't know that -?"

"Leave now." Edward cut him off mid-sentence, and his face was abruptly frightening - truly frightening. For a second, he looked like . . . like a vampire. He glared at Jacob with vicious, unveiled loathing.

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