Warning - talks about thoughts of suicide. No actual suicide attempt.


Bella had just passed the border between Forks and La Push. Charlie was getting married to tribal elder Sue Clearwater in three months. She worked out an agreement with Tony so she could work remotely. She promised to fly in whenever he needed her. He practically shoved her out of the door. Tony loved Bella like a daughter. He never wanted a child, but if he had to have one, he'd want a daughter like Bella. He insisted Bella call her Uncle Tony. Bella never did, but she did roll her eyes and chuckle when he referred to himself as Uncle Tony.

Bella was returning to Washington for Charlie's engagement party and for wedding preparations. They were having their wedding on Third Beach so they only needed a few months to prepare. Tony did offer to handle the entire wedding for Charlie, but Charlie respectfully declined. Of course, Tony told Bella to put everything she could on his card. Bella had to admit, Tony was the best pseudo-uncle ever.

A few years ago, Charlie had sold his home in Forks and moved to La Push to be closer to Sue. It didn't make sense for them to live in two separate houses. They spent all of their free time together and they knew that this would be forever. Bella opted to stay with Angela and Ben since the house in Forks was gone and the Clearwater house was already packed. There may have been a small part of Bella that was glad that she didn't have to stay in La Push the whole time. She would need somewhere she could go to when she needed time to herself. She knew the Blacks would be in attendance. Billy was Charlie's friend, though not as close as before, and the chief of the tribe. She also knew that Paul and the rest of the goons would be there too. A tribal elder's wedding was a tribe-wide event.

Charlie had asked Bella to be his best woman so Bella wanted to do everything in her power to make his wedding perfect. Unbeknownst to the nearly newlyweds, Bella had asked Tony to pull some strings, which may have been illegal, but C'est la vie and had their honeymoon payment reversed so she could cover their trip. She would try to pay for anything and everything. Bella wanted to give Charlie the best wedding ever. He deserved it.

Pulling up to the entrance to La Push, Bella took a long shuddering breath. She needed a moment to center herself. She had come a long way from that pathetic heartbroken 18-year-old girl, but underneath it all, she was still that shy, insecure, bookworm. Bella easily spotted the Clearwater house. It was only a few houses down from the Black home.

Bella shut off the engine and stepped out of the black Escalade. Tony had insisted on handling her rental car. He wanted to make sure she rode in style and had enough room to cart around wedding guests. He offered to buy her a house in Forks so she could stay there while she was in Washington. Bella choked at the offer and swore up and down that if Tony bought her a house to use for only 3 months that she'd replace all of his whiskey with diet soda. At that, he floundered and promised not to buy her a house as long as she stayed away from his whiskey. He called her a demon as he gently stroked his precious whiskey.

Bella had grown over the last 5 years. Not only mentally, but physically as well and she was quite happy about that. Her hair was still long, but it was now artfully layered to accentuate her heart-shaped face. She was given products to smooth and define her curls. Her tresses were luscious if she did say so herself. She was still short, standing at only 5'3, but she was wearing 2-inch heeled boots for an added boost in confidence. Her breasts had grown too. She was no longer barely a b-cup. Now she sported full c-cups that she loved. Her muscles were toned from the hand-to-hand combat training she did with Natasha and the yoga sessions she had with Pepper. Natasha occasionally stopped by the tower in between missions and liked to throw Bella around. "Whip her into shape," she says. Bella likened their little sessions to torture. Yoga with Pepper was much more pleasant. Bella was no longer clumsy. She was quite nimble now. Natasha had taught her how to fall properly and Pepper had shown Bella how to train her body in a way to increase her stability. Bella could even run in stilettos now. Bella's legs have always been long, but now they were well defined. Her ass was shapely and had also grown over the years. Her butt remained bubbly but grew in size as her exercise routine intensified.

Pepper had taught Bella the importance of dressing well. Unlike Alice, Pepper didn't force her into clothes that she didn't like. Pepper listened to Bella's wants and needs and worked on creating a closet that was not only Bella approved but was just out of her comfort zone. Bella still had access to her jeans and t-shirts, but now she had tailored suits and dresses that suited a woman of her stature. She was a Robotics Engineer working for Tony Stark and now she looked like it. Bella was secretly glad that Pepper took a vested interest in Bella's attire. She hated shopping so having someone else do it for her was a godsend.

Bella was wearing a white cowl neck sweater that was tucked into a black mid-thigh skirt. She was glad that Pepper only bought skirts with built-in shorts. She would be mortified if anyone got a peek at her panties. She paired the ensemble with sheer black stockings and black ankle boots. She topped this look off with a camel hair coat that reached the top of her ankle. She looked cute and well put together. The clothing was flexible enough that if she needed to get her hands dirty, she would be able to move freely. Bella decided to wear her half up and half down. The portion of her hair that was pinned up was divided into halves and then shaped into two cute little buns. She was channeling her inner Sailor Moon.

Bella could hear music playing from the backyard. She made her way to the gate that was surrounded by balloons, clearly identifying the entrance to the yard for the guests. Her hand shook as she reached for the latch. Mentally preparing herself, Bella threw open the latch and took a step into the decorated backyard.

Only close friends and family had been invited to this party, but there were still a lot of people in attendance. Bella stood out like a sore thumb. There were only a handful of white people in the sea of natives. Bella had momentarily forgotten how casually people dressed in La Push. Bella felt a little overdressed. She was so used to being the most casually dressed in Stark Tower. It seemed like everyone in the tower wore tailored suits or high-end business dresses. Boots, skirts, and a sweater were casual to her. Her nervousness immediately dissipated as she spotted her dad making his way over to her with a gigantic smile on his face.

Bella ran over to her dad and almost knocked him over with her hug.


Charlie chuckled and swung his daughter around. He loved when she called him that. His heart swelled when he heard the sounds of her tinkling laugh. "God baby girl, it's so good to have you here. I can't believe I get to keep you for 3 whole months."

Charlie had put Bella back down onto her feet. Bella kept her arms wrapped around Charlie's torso and looked up into her daddy's eyes. They were the same shade as hers.

"It's great to be here. I'm so excited for you dad. You look good, dad. Happy," she said with a dazzling smile.

"Me!? You! Baby girl, you look amazing! I'm surprised you're not all shriveled from all the time you spend in that tower. Mr. Stark should let you out more. I like your hair. It's very cute. Makes you look like a little bunny," Charlie said with a chuckle.

Bella rolled her eyes with a smirk, "Gah, Tony tries to force me out of the tower every chance he gets. I swear he was going to throw me off the ledge if I didn't leave sooner."

Jokingly smacking her hand against Charlie's arm, "And shriveled! I have you know that I don't spend all my time in front of a computer. Pepper drags me out of my lair every once in a while. Plus, Natasha likes to torture me once a month. And you know what, I'm the cutest dang bunny you've ever darn seen!"

Charlie pulled Bella closer and gave her a good squeeze. He let out a boisterous laugh, "that Natasha woman is quite vicious, isn't she? I don't envy you, baby girl. And you're right."

Booping his daughter's nose, "you are the cutest bunny ever."

Bella laughed in response and squeezed her father back. Charlie let out a mock groan.

"Don't be a baby. I didn't even squeeze you that hard."

"Baby girl, your dad's getting old. My aches have aches."

"You should just retire." Bella sang while waving her finger.

From the crowd, Sue Clearwater made her way to the pair of Swans and said "Amen to that! Charlie's getting too old to be chasing bad guys."

"Sue! It's so good to see you in person! You look beautiful," she exclaimed. Bella let go of her father to wrap Sue in a hug.

Sue returned the hug and pulled back slightly to get a good look at her future daughter-in-law. "Spirits you're prettier in person. It's so good to see you, Bella."

Bella laughed and did a small twirl. She jabbed Charlie in the ribs, looked up at him, and said "Well, I got my looks from his pretty man."

Charlie smiled from under his mustache.

Sue laughed. "He is pretty, isn't he?"

"The prettiest!" Bella exclaimed.

Charlie chuckled, "You're gonna give me a complex with all these compliments!"

Sue wrapped her arms around Bella's shoulder and guided her to the back of the yard. "Bella, I want to introduce you to my kids!"

Sue continued to walk Bella through the crowd until the corner near the food table came into view. Bella instantly stiffened at the sight of the people in front of her. She froze in her step and Sue looked back at Bella. "You okay there, Bella? You're a bit pale. Are you feeling jet-lagged?"

Bella ripped her eyes away from the group of gargantuan men and stared at Sue. "Hmmm? What? Uh, Jet lagged? Yeah. Yeah, I'm a bit jet-lagged. Sorry. I'm fine. Where are your kids?" Bella asked nervously.

"If you say so dear. Let me know if you need to rest. You can take a nap in our room."

"No, no, I'm good, Sue. Thanks for the offer, but I'm fine. Truly." Bella replied through a forced smile.

"Okay, then," Sue replied.

Sue brought them closer and closer to the very group she wanted to avoid. She didn't remember them being that big. God, they're huge and they freaking multiplied! How many are there? Bella fretted in her mind.

Bella and Sue were now standing directly in front of the large group of natives. A few of them had girls on their arms and they looked like children's toys standing next to these giants. Fuck, they're bigger than Steve. Where's Dr. Banner when you need him?

A tall native woman that heavily resemble Sue stepped forward. One of the smaller native men standing in the back walked over to where Bella was standing. This man may have been one of the smaller ones, but he's still at least 6'2.

Charlie was right. She did look like a bunny and this bunny was now standing in front of a pack of wolves ready to tear her apart.

"Leah, Seth, come meet Charlie's daughter, Bella," Sue said with a smile.

Bella forced a smile on her face and tried her best to act calm. In reality, she was ready to bolt and crawl under Angela's blanket to cry her eyes out. This was just too much all at once.

Bella proffered her hand for Seth to shake and he took it without hesitation. He covered her tiny hand with both of his gigantic hands and shook it with fervor.

"Bells! I've heard so much about you from, Charlie. It's so great to finally meet you. I feel like I've known you for years. Wow, you're tiny. Is it true you work with Iron Man?! That's like super cool. Ha! Super! Get it? Like superhero, Ironman!" Seth said all this without waiting for her to respond.

He was like an over-excited puppy.

Bella tried not to wince at the use of her nickname. There were only two people who called her that and one of them no longer talked to her. Bella let Seth's infectious excitement soak into her body and harnessed it to reply back with a semblance of a smile.

"It's great to meet you too, Seth," she said with a soft chuckle. "Uh to answer your question, yeah Tony's my boss. He's not as cool as he makes himself seem on TV," she joked.

He beamed at her. "Do you think you can get me an autograph? Ya know, little brother privileges and all," he said half seriously half joking.

She smiled up at him. "Yea. I'll send him a text. I'll make him send you something special."


Seth stepped back so Bella could turn to Leah.

Leah was beautiful and very tall. She was muscular like she played professional sports. Her hair was cut short but that didn't detract from her looks. The hairstyle emphasized her sharp jawline. Leah could easily be mistaken for a model.

Bella smiled at Leah and proffered her hand as she did with Seth.

"Hi, Leah. I've heard so much about you. She tells me amazing things about you. So does Charlie," Bella said truthfully.

Sue and Charlie never end a call without mentioning Sue's kids at least once.

Leah looked down at Bella as if she were a roach. Leah rolled her eyes and sneered at Bella before turning around to rejoin the group of heavily muscled men. Bella's hand was left awkwardly floating in the air until Bella quickly pulled it back and used it to rub the back of her neck.

"Leah! That was rude! Get back here and apologize," yelled Sue. Sue was quickly working her way up to irate.

Trying to calm Sue down, Bella laid her hand gently on Sue's arm and tugged her until she faced Bella.

"Hey, it's okay. I seem to have that effect on people," Bella tried to joke. No one bought it though.

Sue looked at her with pitying eyes.

"No, really. It's alright. It's not the first time someone's hated me on sight. I guess I just have one of those faces you know?" Bella said with a soft smile. She was trying really hard to not be affected by it. She was failing miserably, but it was the effort that counts, wasn't it?

Sue wasn't looking at Bella anymore. She was focused on the space where Leah stood. Seth shuffled forward and said, "sorry about that Bells. Leah can be kinda hard to get to know."

"It's alright Seth. Don't sweat it. You can't make everyone happy."

Bella was struggling to keep a smile on her face. It was made even harder when she noticed all the eyes on her. She locked eyes with Jacob and her heart lurched. It hurt to look at him. It hurt not knowing what went wrong in their friendship.

She gave him a watery smile and then tore her eyes away. She couldn't stand looking at him for long.

"Hey, I gotta tell my dad something. I'll catch you later okay?" Bella said to Seth.

Seth nodded and Bella quickly walked away from the group of men that tormented her in her dreams.

Bella scrambled to find a quiet corner. She ducked into the house and slipped into an empty bathroom. She locked the door, leaned back against it, and slowly slid down to the floor. Bella was on the verge of hyperventilating. Her tears were beginning to pool. Bella grabbed at her arms and willed herself not to cry. She was slowly rocking back and forth. She was trying to calm herself down. Feeling a bit better, she released a shuddering breath and stood to look at herself in the mirror.

Her face was pale. Anyone who knew Bella could see that she was freaking out. She wanted to leave. She really wanted to leave. She didn't think she could do this. She couldn't fathom how she'd be able to stay in La Push for 3 months. 3 long months where she'll have to see those men. Have to interact with those men. She didn't think she could do it. It was times like these when she wished Natasha was there. If Nat was there, no one could get to her. Nat would take down anyone who even tried to come close.

Bella slapped her cheeks lightly with both hands, "okay, channel your inner Natasha. You're okay. It's okay. You're different now. They're different. It doesn't matter. They don't matter. 3 Months and then you're back in New York. 3 months and you can never see this place again. You can do this Bella. You're a freaking badass. You punched the Black Widow and survived to tell the tale!" Bell said to her reflection. She needed this pep talk to hype herself up. It was a war zone out here and Bella needed to be prepared.

Squaring her shoulders and straightening her spine, Bella ripped open the bathroom door and confidently exited the house. Back in the yard, Bella scanned the party for a familiar face. Not seeing one, she walked forward until she was in a semi-secluded spot just under a tree. Just as she was going to turn around and look for her dad, Bella was grabbed by the waist, thrown over a shoulder, and spun around too quickly for her eyes to catch up. Bella squealed in surprise.

"Izzy B!" exclaimed Ben.

Ben gently put Bella back on her feet and held on to her shoulders as she struggled to find her equilibrium. Angela was bent over laughing.

Once Bella could see straight again, she smacked Ben on the stomach and he curled over with an "oof".

"Don't spin me like that Ben. I almost vomited on you. You would've deserved it too!" Bella said with a smile.

"Sorry B. I just missed you girly."

"I missed you too, Ben." She replied while hugging him. He eagerly hugged her back.

"Where's my hug?!" Angela shouted.

"Oh, you want a hug!?" Bella said with a smirk and a raised eyebrow.

"You asked for it!" Bella ran at Angela and jumped on the tall girl. Angela barely had enough time to react and only just caught her best friend. Bella hung off of Angela like a koala.

The two girls laughed in joy.

"Ang! It's so good to see you. I've missed you! You need to visit me more often. Just say the word and I'll fly you out. I'll cover everything! I just want you two there. If I could, I'd keep you in the Tower forever!" Bella said while clinging to her best friend.

"If Ben and I moved into the tower, you'd never leave," Angela said with a smile.

Angela gently lowered Bella until her feet were safely on the ground. Bella grabbed one of Angela's and Ben's hands and gave them a squeeze.

"You guys came at the perfect time. I really needed this. You guys make me feel like I'm not a complete mess," said Bella.

The tone in Bella's voice concerned Angela. Bella would never tell Angela when something bothered her but she knew her best friend like the back of her hand. Something was up and Angela was going to find out.

Angela sent Ben a look and he quickly caught on. Ben extracted himself with the excuse of wanting to go say hi to some work buddies.

Angela gently tugged Bella's hand and guided them to a bench. The bench was located under a tree and was in the perfect spot to see the entire party. Angela and Bella sat down, still holding hands. Angela took a moment to scan the party. Her eyes instantly found the group of large men standing in the back. She immediately recognized Jacob Black. She had seen Jacob a few times when he was over at the Swan's house. Angela didn't recognize anyone else, but it wasn't hard to put 2 and 2 together.

"Ah, I see. They're here."

Bella hummed in response.

"Did they say anything to you?" Angela questioned.

"No," Bella whispered.

"Then what's wrong? I thought you were passed this. I know it's hard seeing them but take solace in the fact that they're still a bunch of assholes who do nothing but circle jerk each other." Angela said with a smirk.

Bella choked at that. Angela was like a saint. A real angel. So whenever Angela said anything crude, it always threw Bella for a loop.

"God, Ang. You sure you know your way with words." Bella smiled at her first.

Angela bumped Bella's shoulder with her own. "What's going through that big brain of yours?" Angela asked in hopes of getting Bella to spill the beans.

Bella groaned. "I met Seth and Leah Clearwater earlier. Sue's kids. Sue dragged me over there. I was right in front of them. I felt like a lamb for slaughter. They looked at me with such hate in their eyes. I feel like they'd kill me if they knew they wouldn't get caught. I can't wrap my head around why they hate me so much. It's not like a threatened Jacob or anything like that. It just doesn't make sense, Ang."

Bella rested her head on Angela's shoulder before continuing, "Seth's cool. He's really nice. I like him. Leah on the other hand, I think she hates me more than Jacob. I've never even met her before today. I think the only one here that hates me more is Paul and that's only by a slim margin. Seeing them brings up all the bad memories. Looking at Jacob hurts, Ang. Just seeing him makes me want to rip out my heart. I still have nightmares, you know. I still don't know how he did it, I swear he has ESP or something, but Paul was able to lock on to all of my insecurities and target them. It's like he knew exactly what to say to do the most damage. Paired with Jacob's reaction, god it really fucked me up, Ang. I'm still kinda fucked up from it." Bella said.

She was looking off into the distance. Not really looking at anything. Just staring.

Bella sighed. She lowered her voice and her body began to shake, "I'm sorry I didn't ever tell you this but, that night, if you and Ben hadn't shown up, I think I might've done something really stupid. Something that would've hurt everyone that I love."

"Bella, no," Angela whispered. She was frowning and wanted to cry, but she knew she needed to be strong for Bella.

Bella squeezed Angela's hand and kept her eyes unfocused, "I was drowning, Ang. I couldn't breathe. I don't know how I made it home that night. It was raining so hard I could barely even see. It was a miracle that I made it. It was an even bigger miracle that you and Ben were there."

"God does work in mysterious ways, Bella."

Bella hummed in response before continuing, "I just couldn't get it out of my head. The things that Paul said. The way the others laughed at me. The look on Jacob's face. Towards the end of the drive. I really began to spiral. I thought about my mom and how I was forced to take care of her. I thought about how my dad spent more time fishing than he ever did with me. I thought about how I felt like Charlie's maid. Just cooking and cleaning all the time. Fuck, I thought about the shit Edward put me through. I fucking worshipped him and he left me in the woods like trash.

Ugh, I put that asshole on a pedestal. I just couldn't help it. It was like he was grooming me to be his fucking loyal follower or something. He was changing me. I didn't like what I was becoming but I couldn't stop it. No matter how pissed I am about how he treated me, I can't help but be grateful to him and that's just so messed up. Without him, I would've died the first week I got here. Tyler's truck, you remember?"

Angela hummed in agreement.

"Well, he saved me from being crushed to death. A few weeks later he saved me from being gang raped. It would've been a really shitty way to lose my virginity. I had never even kissed a boy at that point."

Angela's eyes widened at Bella's statement.

Bella chuckled. "Yeah, I know. I got lost coming back from that bookstore in Port Angeles. That's why he was there with me that night. He took me to dinner to make sure I wouldn't pass out from shock. I was really shaken up. They were so close, Ang. Four of them. They were shoving me around and one guy was about to rip my shirt by my collar. Luckily, Edward was there and was able to stop it with his car. Then—"

"There's more!?" Angela asked in disbelief.

Bella laughed. "Yeah, there's more. Just one more though."

Bella couldn't tell Angela the actual truth, so she tried her best to alter the facts to fit the cover story.

"Remember when I broke my leg? I didn't really fall down the stairs." Bella hesitated before continuing, "Ang, I was tortured." Bella heard Angela gasp but continued on.

"Edward and I had a big fight that night. I needed to get away so I flew to Phoenix to stay at my Mom's house while she was away with Phil. Edward flew down with his family and we talked it out. He convinced me to go back to Forks. After our talk, we wanted to get some fresh air so we decided to explore downtown Arizona. This guy, James, saw me and Edward while we were out. He started following us. We didn't think much of it until we began to see him over and over again. We were worried but we didn't want to make a big deal out of nothing. We were on our way to meet up with the rest of the Cullen anyway. When we finally got there, James disappeared so we left it alone. Anyway, we started walking around downtown, all 6 of us. I had to use the bathroom so I had them wait while I ran into a coffee shop. When I got there, James ambushed me. He shoved a cloth over my mouth and I passed out. I woke up in the ballet studio I used to go to when I was a kid. It was abandoned by then. James was there, waiting for me to wake up. He had a camcorder set up. He wanted to film the whole thing. This guy was twisted, Ang. I tried to fight back. I really did but, Ang, he was too fucking strong. I was helpless." Bella was shaking hard at this point.

"He shattered my leg. Stepped on it and snapped it like a twig. He slammed me against the pillars. Mirror shards were everywhere. He slammed my face into the mirror and had me look at him. He said that he chose the studio because it would look good on camera. Seeing my torture from multiple angles and all. He said he wanted to kill me after he finished torturing me. He wanted to send the video to Edward for fun. He told me to beg in front of the camera. Beg for Edward to save me. I didn't though. I was too stubborn. That pissed him off so he threw me across the room again. By that point, I had bled so much that I was barely keeping my eyes open. Ang, I wanted to die. It hurt so bad, Ang. I just wanted it to be over with."

Bella released a shaky breath and looked up at the sky. "Edward saved me. Again. Edward, Jasper, and Emmett saved me. They handled it."

Bella turned her eyes toward Angela's and gave her a look that clearly said what she meant by "handled it."

"Jasper's different from the rest of the Cullen. He has a rough past. His experiences shape who he is and who he is is a man who would do anything, and I mean anything, to protect his family. He saw me just as I was getting taken. He got everyone to follow the car I was in. Jasper was driving and he didn't want the cops involved. Jasper's history is extensive and it would've been a big issue if he was involved with a violent crime, his fault or not. So, they called Carlisle instead. They burned down the studio and all the evidence. Carlisle was able to get me to a hospital. Alice and Rosalie set the hotel up for my fall."

Bella let out a strangled sob.

She put her head in the crook of Angela's neck, "I was terrified, Ang. I couldn't sleep. I couldn't eat. I had to act normal in front of anyone who wasn't the Cullens so I clung to them like my lifeline. I fucking needed them like I needed air. When they left, they took my safety net away. I was barely holding on and then the Cullens up and disappeared. I couldn't talk to anyone. You know, I thought I finally had a family that cared about me. I took care of Renee. I fucking slaved away for Charlie. I never wanted to be a burden so I made sure to never ask Charlie for anything. Then, I met the Cullens and suddenly someone was caring for me instead. They cared about how I was doing. They cared about me. Esme was always so nice. She always wanted to cook for me. Carlisle made sure to take the time to sit down and talk with me. I mean really talk to me. Emmett was like the big brother I always wanted. Alice was my first real friend. And even though I wasn't that close to Jasper, he would always do little things to make me happy. He was always in the background and it felt so nice just to have someone there.

And Edward.

He was my first boyfriend. He was my fucking hero. He protected me at every turn. I lost all of them that night, not just Edward. To top it off, I almost died in those woods. I was this close to hypothermia. The next day I tried calling them. Emailing them. Nothing. They totally cut me off. The fucked up part was that Edward snuck into my room and stole every reminder of our relationship. Pictures, CDs, notes. Everything. I was an absolute mess. So when that whole thing with Jacob happened, everything came tumbling back. I just couldn't see how it could get better. I didn't think it would ever stop hurting. Everything was falling apart and I was too damn tired to try to fix it. So yeah, you and Ben saved me that night. I'm not sure if I could've gone through with it, but I know I would've tried."

Angela wanted to cry. She wanted to scream and yell. She wanted to hurt Edward. She wanted to hurt Jacob. She wanted to smack her best friend for even thinking about killing herself. It was just a lot to process. Bella squeezed Angela's hand in knowing.

"I'm sorry for dumping this on you in the middle of a party. You asked what was up and it all came tumbling out. I couldn't stop it."

Bella paused and looked towards the group of men Jacob was standing with.

"Seeing them just brings everything back. They make me feel like that worthless little girl. When I'm around them, I just want to shrivel up and die. They make me remember how I felt that day. It doesn't matter how much I try to get past it, looking at them just wrecks me. It makes me sick knowing that my new little brother is friends with them. It means that they'll be there at every turn. I'll have to pretend for Charlie that I'm not close to having a mental breakdown every time I see Jacob or Paul. I don't know what I'm going to do, Ang.


Unbeknownst to Bella, the pack's supernatural hearing caught every single word that came out of her mouth.

The pack had smelled her as soon as she stepped out of the car. Her scent had always been sweet, but now it was almost intoxicating. She always smelled like strawberries, but now she smelled like something more. Something mouthwatering. She smelled ripe. Ready for the taking and all of the non-imprinted wolves were itching to take a bite.

They spotted her the second she walked through the gate. The years have definitely been good to Isabella Swan. She looked nothing like the shivering drowned rat that they chased out of La Push 5 years ago. She was absolutely gorgeous standing there looking for her father. At the sound of her squeal, the boys perked up. Her voice was just so cute.

Seeing her being swung around by her father really accentuated just how petite she was. Her eyes were glowing with happiness while she was animatedly talking to her dad. When Sue walked over to the Swans, the pack knew they had to brace themselves for her presence. Seth and Leah were standing around with the rest of the pack and there was no way Sue wouldn't want to introduce Bella to her children.

Sue had dragged Bella over to their corner and the pack knew instantly when Bella had noticed them. She suddenly stopped walking, her face became pale, and she was trembling slightly. They heard as Bella tried to reassure Sue that she was okay. No one bought it though. Bella was always a horrible liar.

When Bella and Sue finally made their way over, Bella looked like she wanted to jump out of her skin. Seth had been ecstatic to meet his new sister. He thought it was so cool that she worked for Iron Man. Leah, on the other hand, hated Bella. She blamed Bella for her shifting. Leah ignored Bella and you could see how hurt Bella was by the rejection. Bella made up a lame excuse about having to talk to Charlie and bolted towards the house.

Jacob Black hated what being a shifter did to him. He hated how it stole his freedom. He hated how it stole his innocence, and he hated how it stole his Bella. Breaking her heart that night was one of the hardest things he's ever had to do. He never wanted to be the reason Bella cried. He wanted to be the one to wipe away her tears not cause them. When he was told that he'd have to end his friendship with her, he never expected how hard it would be. He could've never imagined how soul-crushing it would be to ignore his best friend while his pack emotionally ripped her to pieces. Spirits, he never would've dreamed how deeply it would cut him to turn his back on her. He loved her. He's always loved her. He still loves her and he hated that he couldn't be with her. Jacob needed Bella like he needed air. When she left that night, she took his happiness away with her. He stopped smiling that night. He stopped smiling altogether. Now, he was nothing more than a shell of his former self. Hard. Stoic. Bitter.

Seeing Bella again after 5 years was like getting hit with lightning. He wanted nothing more than to run over to her, fall on his knees and beg for forgiveness. He wanted to rip his hair out and cry. He wanted her to understand. He needed her to understand. He was beginning to shake with anxiety when he felt a large hand grab his shoulder.

"You will calm down and you will not approach Bella Swan," commanded his Alpha.

Jacob's shaking stopped, but he was still struggling to keep it together. His wolf was raging inside of him. His wolf wanted Bella. He was biting at the bits to go to her. Her scent was like an aphrodisiac and Jacob wanted to drown in it. He wanted to drown in everything Bella Swan.

Paul felt conflicted. He had hated the leech lover. It was her fault that he was a wolf. It was her fault that he was bound to this land. He had plans to leave La Push after high school and now they were ruined. He couldn't understand how she could fall in love with that leech. They were practically demons. They killed humans. Their hearts didn't beat. It wasn't natural. It was just wrong.

Paul absolutely loathed Bella. His wolf on the other hand was whining. His wolf wanted to go to her. His wolf wanted to care for her. His wolf wanted her. Paul didn't understand why his wolf was acting like this. The conflicting emotions were making it hard for Paul to focus. His wolf wanted him to move forward and claim Bella Swan as his own. It soon became too much for Paul and he also started shaking.

Sam whipped his head around when he heard growling coming from Paul. "Paul, calm down. You will not approach her. You will not insult her either. We do not need a repeat of that night."

Sam stood straighter, "You both need to get it together. You knew she'd be here. You had time to prepare yourself for her presence. Just stay away from the girl." Sam sighed and pinched the bridge of his nose, "Taha Aki, help us all. This is going to be a long three months."

The pack was feeling uneasy. The tension rolling off of the two most dominant wolves in the pack was causing the others to become antsy. It didn't help that some of the younger pups were also feeling drawn to the Swan girl. Something about Bella made everyone tune into her. She was like a siren luring sailors into the cliffs.

When Bella returned to the party, the pack tried to not make it obvious that they were watching her. They couldn't help but be curious about the leech lover. Information on Bella had been scarce since she left. She only ever spoke to Charlie and Sue on the phone and Bella made them promise not to share too much of her life with everyone in La Push.

All of the shifters tuned in when they heard the sound of her squeals. Jacob was clenching his fist while watching some guy hold his Bella. He knew he had no right to be jealous, but he couldn't stop it if he tried. Paul was also feeling annoyed about the mystery guy's presence. His wolf wanted Paul to go over there and assert dominance over the twerp who had the balls to trespass on his territory.

Luckily, they quickly realized that the mystery guy was Pastor Webber's son-in-law. Angela's appearance by Ben's side made it clear that this male wasn't a threat to Bella. When Angela pulled Bella away to talk, all of the wolves perked up. They knew it was wrong to eavesdrop, but it was unavoidable when you were a shifter that could hear from miles away.

Hearing Pastor Webber's daughter talk shit about them was kind of funny. Something about hearing Angela say "circle jerking" was just unreal. The pack was struggling to keep their laughter from bumbling over. They didn't want to draw any more attention to themselves. They were already a sight to see and loud raucous laughter would make it even worse.

Leah rolled her eyes and sneered at hearing what Bella had to say about her. Paul wanted to snap at Leah for the way she was acting. He also felt a bit uneasy about hearing Bella say that Paul hated her. It was true, but still. Jacob was feeling guilty. He felt like he was being crushed by the weight on his shoulders. His face remained expressionless, but the pack could tell that he was feeling remorse.

Jacob was trembling against the force of the alpha command. Even though he was told to remain calm, he was barely holding it together. He remembered that night vividly and it was like he was reliving it all over again while he listened to her describe it from her point of view.

Jacob felt ashamed. Deeply ashamed. They were best friends and he never knew the way she felt about her parents. He knew that Charlie wasn't around much, but he always assumed that Bella and Charlie just preferred their own company. He was mad at himself for not realizing how lonely she was. No wonder she latched onto that family of leeches.

He begrudgingly had to be grateful to that bloodsucker. He didn't realize that Edward saved her from that truck. He remembered when he was told that Bella was in an accident. He was terrified when he got the news. He was glad she survived. Since she left the hospital without a scratch, he never thought to ask about the details.

Jacob knew that he had to be cruel to Bella by ignoring her. It was for her safety. She couldn't be around him. He wasn't safe and she couldn't know about the pack. It was for the best, but it didn't make it any easier on her. It was almost impossible to just stand there while his Bella was being hounded by his pack mates. He wanted to rip Paul apart for the shit he said to Bella.

Hearing Bella say that she almost got gang raped made Jacob want to throw up. He never knew about that. She never told him. Never had a reason to he guessed. He hated that the leech was the one to save her. It felt wrong to be thankful for that undead asshole. He wanted to find those guys and tear them to pieces.

The Pack was on the edge of their metaphorical seats while listening to Bella describe her attack. They could tell by her heartbeat that she was lying about some details, but they all got the gist of it. Bella was hunted by a vampire named James. He captured her, tortured her, and she almost died. If it wasn't for the Cullens, mainly Jasper, she would've been dead. The whole situation was fucked up.

When Bella continued to tell Angela about how scared she was, the Pack began to really feel bad about how they treated her. They knew it was necessary, but they realized they could've handled it better.

The Pack always assumed Bella was only hung up on Edward. They always saw the Cullens as leeches. Bloodsuckers. Undead Monsters. They never thought of them as individuals. Never made the effort to get to know them. They never thought about the impact it had on her when they all left. They thought about how it would feel if they were abandoned by their pack mates. How much it would hurt if they were exiled by the pack. It made them shutter at the loneliness they would feel. Wolves ran in packs and it would drive a shifter insane to be outcasted by their brothers and sisters.

It was a bit surprising hearing Bella say that Edward was her first boyfriend. She was always a pretty girl. She was gorgeous now, but she was definitely pretty back then. Jacob knew the guys in Forks drooled after her, so he always thought that it would be the same in Arizona. He always assumed that she had at least one or two boyfriends back there. She was 16 at the time after all.

When Bella got to the part about wanting to kill herself, Jacob felt like someone was stabbing him in the heart. He didn't realize how close he had been to losing her. He didn't realize just how bad it was. He would've never gone through with it if he had known. He would've come up with a different way to end their friendship. He figured Paul was already fucking it up for him so there was no point in trying to stop the shit show and then later have to break her heart anyway. He felt like the lowest of the low. He had almost driven the girl he loved, his best friend, to suicide. It would've been all his fault. Not the leech's. His.

Paul didn't know how to feel. He was so confused. He always hated the leech lover. He always assumed that she was just some dumb girl who went all crazy for some loser who didn't want her. He thought he knew enough about her to know that she wasn't worth his time. Now though, he felt like a fucking asshole. Hearing Bella lay it all out like that, he could see why she was so messed up. She lost an entire family that night in the woods. She lost the only people she could rely on. The only people who knew the truth. Hearing how that James leech tortured her was gut-wrenching. He wanted to kill that leech all over again. Paul always knew he was an asshole, but this was a whole nother level. He never wanted to be like his father. He never wanted to be abusive. Knowing that his words literally almost killed Bella made Paul want to punch himself in the face. Fuck. He didn't know what to do with himself. Everything he knew and felt about the girl was wrong. He just assumed he knew her. He now knew for a fact that he royally fucked up.

The entire Pack was affected by Bella's story. They felt absolutely awful for what they did to that girl. They now understood why she ran away. They empathized with her relationship with the Cullens. They knew how important family was. To hear that she was abandoned like that made them feel so fucking guilty. They needed to figure out a way to apologize to her. They just didn't know how they could face her while knowing what they knew. They all just eavesdropped on a conversation that was clearly meant to be heard by Angela and Angela alone. How were they ever going to be able to look at her without seeing her bloody and bruised body? How were they gonna be able to face her without letting on that they knew about her relationship with the Cullens? How were they gonna look Bella Swan in the eyes while knowing it was their fault that she almost ended her life?


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