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The Twilight Saga 2: New Moon

The Twilight Saga 2: New Moon: Page 44

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"I agree," he said, and he stepped out into the rain, shutting the door behind him.

As soon as he was out of sight, I dropped to the floor and put my head between my knees.

Should I go after Charlie? What would I say?

And what about Jacob? Jacob was my best friend; I needed to warn him. If he really was a��I cringed and forced myself to think the word��werewolf (and I knew it was true, I could feel it), then people would be shooting at him! I needed to tell him and his friends that people would try to kill them if they went running around like gigantic wolves. I needed to tell them to stop.

They had to stop! Charlie was out there in the woods. Would they care about that? I wondered�� Up until now, only strangers had disappeared. Did that mean anything, or was it just chance?

I needed to believe that Jacob, at least, would care about that.

Either way, I had to warn him.

Or�� did I?

Jacob was my best friend, but was he a monster, too? A real one? A bad one? Should I warn him, if he and his friends were�� were murderers! If they were out slaughtering innocent hikers in cold blood? If they were truly creatures from a horror movie in every sense, would it be wrong to protect them?

It was inevitable that I would have to compare Jacob and his friends to the Cullens. I wrapped my arms around my chest, fighting the hole, while I thought of them.

I didn't know anything about werewolves, clearly. I would have expected something closer to the movies��big hairy half-men creatures or something��if I'd expected anything at all. So I didn't know what made them hunt, whether hunger or thirst or just a desire to kill. It was hard to judge, not knowing that.

But it couldn't be worse than what the Cullens endured in their quest to be good. I thought of Esme��the tears started when I pictured her kind, lovely face��and how, as motherly and loving as she was, she'd

had to hold her nose, all ashamed, and run from me when I was bleeding. It couldn't be harder than that. I thought of Carlisle, the centuries upon centuries that he had struggled to teach himself to ignore blood, so that he could save lives as a doctor. Nothing could be harder than that.

The werewolves had chosen a different path.

Now, what should I choose?

IF IT WAS ANYONE BUT JACOB, I THOUGHT TO MYSELF, shaking my head as I drove down the forest-lined highway to La Push.

I still wasn't sure if I was domg the right thing, but I'd made a compromise with myself.

I couldn't condone what Jacob and his friends, his pack, were doing. I understood now what he'd said last night��that I might not want to see him again��and I could have called him as he'd suggested, but that felt cowardly. I owed him a face-to-face conversation, at least. I would tell him to his face that I couldn't just overlook what was going on. I couldn't be friends with a killer and say nothing, let the killing continue�� That would make me a monster, too.

But I couldn't not warn him, either. I had to do what I could to protect him.

I pulled up to the Blacks' house with my lips pressed together into a hard line. It was bad enough that my best friend was a werewolf. Did he have to be a monster, too?

The house was dark, no lights in the windows, but I didn't care if I woke them. My fist thudded against the front door with angry energy; the sound reverberated through the walls.

"Come in," I heard Billy call after a minute, and a light flicked on.

I twisted the knob; it was unlocked. Billy was leaning around an open doorway just off the little kitchen, a bathrobe around his shoulders, not in his chair yet. When he saw who it was, his eyes widened briefly, and then his face turned stoic.

"Well, good morning, Bella. What are you doing up so early?"

"Hey, Billy. I need to talk to Jake��where is he?"

"Um�� I don't really know," he lied, straight-faced.

"Do you know what Charlie is doing this morning?" I demanded, sick of the stalling.

"Should I?"

"He and half the other men in town are all out in the woods with guns, hunting giant wolves."

Billy's expression flickered, and then went blank.

"So I'd like to talk to Jake about that, if you don't mind," I continued.

Billy pursed his thick lips for a long moment. "I'd bet he's still asleep," he finally said, nodding toward the

tiny hallway off the front room. "He's out late a lot these days. Kid needs his rest��probably you shouldn't wake him."

"It's my turn," I muttered under my breath as I stalked to the hallway. Billy sighed.

Jacob's tiny closet of a room was the only door in the yard-long hallway. I didn't bother to knock. I threw the door open; it slammed against the wall with a bang.

Jacob��still wearing just the same black cut-off sweats he'd worn last night��was stretched diagonally across the double bed that took up all of his room but a few inches around the edges. Even on a slant, it wasn't long enough; his feet hung off the one end and his head off the other. He was fast asleep, snoring lightly with his mouth hanging open. The sound of the door hadn't even made him twitch.

His face was peaceful with (deep sleep, all the angry lines smoothed out. There were circles under his eyes that I hadn't noticed before. Despite his ridiculous size, he looked very young now, and very weary. Pity shook me.

I stepped back out, and shut the door quietly behind me.

Billy stared with curious, guarded eyes as I walked slowly back into the front room.

"I think I'll let him get some rest."

Billy nodded, and then we gazed at each other for a minute. I was dying to ask him about his part in this.

What did he think of what his son had become? But I knew how he'd supported Sam from the very beginning, and so I supposed the murders must not bother him. How he justified that to himself I couldn't imagine.

I could see many questions for me in his dark eyes, but he didn't voice them either.

"Look," I said, breaking the loud silence. "I'll be down at the beach for a while. When he wakes up, tell him I'm waiting for him, okay?"

"Sure, sure," Billy agreed.

I wondered if he really would. Well, if he didn't, I'd tried, right?

I drove down to First Beach and parked in the empty dirt lot. It was still dark��the gloomy predawn of a cloudy day��and when I cut the headlights it was hard to see. I had to let my eyes adjust before I could find the path that led through the tall hedge of weeds. It was colder here, with the wind whipping off the black water, and I shoved my hands deep into the pockets of my winter jacket. At least the rain had stopped.

I paced down the beach toward the north seawall. I couldn't see St. James or the other islands, just the vague shape of the water's edge. I picked my way carefully across the rocks, watching out for driftwood that might trip me.

I found what I was looking for before I realized I was looking for it. It materialized out of the gloom when it was just a few feet away: a long bone-white driftwood tree stranded deep on the rocks. The roots twisted up at the seaward end, like a hundred brittle tentacles. I couldn't be sure that it was the same tree where Jacob and I had had our first conversation��a conversation that had begun so many different, tangled threads of my life��but it seemed to be in about the same place I sat down where I'd sat before, and stared out across the invisible sea.

Seeing Jacob like that��innocent and vulnerable in sleep��had stolen all my revulsion, dissolved all my anger. I still couldn't turn a blind sye to what was happening, like Billy seemed to, but I couldn't condemn Jacob for it either. Love didn't work that way, I decided. Once you cared about a person, it was impossible to be logical about them anymore. Jacob was my friend whether he killed people or not. And I didn't know what I was going to do about that.

When I pictured him sleeping so peacefully, I felt an overpowering urge to protect him. Completely illogical.

Illogical or not, I brooded over the memory his peaceful face, trying to come up with some answer, some way to shelter him, while the sky slowly turned gray.


Jacob's voice came from the darkness and made me jump. It was soft, almost shy, but I'd been expecting some forewarning from the noisy rocks, and so it still startled me. I could see his silhouette against the coming sunrise��it looked enormous.


He stood several paces away, shifting his weight from foot to foot anxiously.

"Billy told me you came by��didn't take you very long, did it? I knew you could figure it out."

"Yeah, I remember the right story now," I whispered.

It was quiet for a long moment and, though it was still too dark to see well, my skin prickled as if his eyes were searching my face. There must have been enough light for him to read my expression, because when he spoke again, his voice was suddenly acidic.

"You could have just called," he said harshly.

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