Inevitable - Chapter 32 - erikablair - Twilight Series (2024)

Chapter Text

Groaning around the bite of grilled beef and prawns, Bella had to compliment Quil and Eric on their culinary skills. She knew Eric had packed a small grill into the back of her truck, but she wasn’t expecting one of the eskies to be full of meats and vegetables. Batting away Jacob’s seeking fork, she continued shovelling away, observing the surrounds. The light was low, the cloud-covered sun descending ever closer to the horizon. Black-legged Kittiwakes squawked overhead, diving into the sea for their last catch of the day, their inked wingtips skimming the water. Swallowing the sands in a voracious appetite, the waves continued to encroach as the tide came in.

Mike was lying in Jessica’s lap as she balanced her plate on his shoulder, absently stroking a hand through his blond locks between bites. Embers sparked through the air before blinking out, lighting his dozing smile. Quil and Eric took turns at the pit, picking at their food between serves as they continued piling food on the group’s eager plates. Slapping away Jacob’s hands for the nth time from the barbeque, Quil threatened to burn Jacob’s food who then put up his hands in surrender. Wrapped in a communal blanket were Angela and Embry, exchanging hushed words and longing looks, their mounds of food forgotten.

“Do you think they’d notice if I took their food?” Jacob murmured.

“Christ, Jake, do you ever stop eating?” Bella laughed.

“What? I’m a growing boy. I need all the nutrients I can get,” Jacob winked.

“Why don’t you just ask them?”

“And interrupt their moment? Embry would skin me alive.”

“So, what’s Embry’s deal?” Bella whispered.

“You concerned about your friend?” Jacob grinned. “You don’t need to worry about that. Embry’s not one to play around. When he’s in, he’s in.”

“He’s dated before then?”

“Not anything serious,” Jacob dismissed. “Just seventh-grade sh*t, where holding hands and a peck on the cheek were the height of scandal.”

Bella covered a snort with another bite of her food.

“Besides, Embry’s mum would smack him if he messed around, and no one wants to get on the bad side of her,” Jacob said, shuddering at the thought.

“She tough then?”

“Oh yeah, you do not mess with her unless you’re ready to be slung over a cliff for your efforts.”

“What about this dad then?”

Jacob looked visibly uncomfortable at the question, “Embry never knew him. Ran off before he was born.”

“I’m sorry, I didn’t know.”

“S’all good. How could you?” Jacob said, shrugging. “You made some good friends. Shame, it means I can’t convince you to switch to our school.”

“Was that your contingency plan?” Bella snigg*red.

“I mean, maybe, if you had really hated it at Forks High,” Jacob blushed.

“You think you could’ve convinced Charlie?” Bella giggled.

“Easy,” Jacob dismissed. “Charlie would’ve loved the idea. More excuses for him to hang with my old man.”

“I can see that, but I don’t think you’d ever be able to get him to leave the reservation if I went to school here too.”

Jacob’s eyes widened in horror, “Ugh, I didn’t even think of that. Don’t get me wrong, Bella, Charlie’s great, but having him around all the time…”

Waving off Jacob’s panic, Bella smirked, “Makes you think twice about getting me transferred to your school, doesn’t it.”

“No sh*t.”

Time continued to pass, with the only markings being the ever-diminishing light. The group continued to chat, exchanging jokes and teases, settling into a familiarity that spoke of knowing each other for more than a day. Vigorous and full of energy from the food, the boys decided to hold an arm-wrestling competition, with the girls cheering and jeering from the sidelines. First up was Eric versus Embry. After being at a surprising standstill for a few moments, Embry took his eyes away from Eric’s stern expression and caught Angela’s gaze, who bit her lip and clutched her hands together in nervous excitement. Bolstered and wanting to impress, Embry brought his attention back to the competition, narrowed his eyes and slammed Eric’s arm down in swift victory.

Squealing sounded, startling Jessica and Bella, who looked at Angela with wide eyes at the unfamiliar sound. Seeing the attention from her friends, Angela blushed a deep red before letting her face fall into her hands from embarrassment. Jessica snorted.

“What are you waiting for?” ribbed Jessica. “You’re not going to congratulate Embry on his win? Sure, he’d love a kiss.”

Choking at Jessica’s wink, Angela turned to Bella for support, who shrugged helplessly. They knew once Jessica sunk her teeth in, there was no hope of her letting go. Pouting, Angela turned her nose up in an overly dramatic fashion, causing chortles to erupt from her sides. Ignoring the pokes into her sides, Angela broke character once Jessica dug into a ticklish spot between her ribs.

“Jess!” squeaked Angela. “Stop it.”

“Finally smiling, now are we?” taunted Jessica.

“Yes! Yes! I admit defeat!”

“Good,” sniffed Jessica. “Now you going to tell me all about tall, dark and handsome over there?”

Beaming, Angela gestured for Jessica and Bella to crowd her and started rapid-firing all about Embry, their walk on the beach, and how he was so sweet. Angela was smitten.

“Are you going to ask him out?” Bella probed.

“I-I don’t know,” stammered Angela. “Shouldn’t I wait for him to do it?”

“From what I heard from Jacob, Embry isn’t someone to have a lot of girlfriends,” Bella revealed. “I’m sure he’s just as nervous asking you as you are him.”

“You really think so?”

“I absolutely do.”

“Besides,” Jessica piped in. “If he’s just messing with you, we just need to dig another hole next to Edward’s.”

“Jess!” Angela peeped, scandalised.

“What?” Jessica blinked.

“Now you know how I feel,” Bella snorted.

Angela rolled her eyes, “Don’t compare Embry to Edward.”

Bella put her hands up in apology, “Sorry, sorry. Just nice not to be the only one who has death threats thrown at the people around them.”

“You know, this was a really nice day out, Bella,” Jessica mused. “We should do this more often. You think your friends would be up for it?”

“Absolutely,” confirmed Bella. “Jacob was saying before you all seemed great.”

“That’s nice,” smiled Angela.

Jessica narrowed her eyes in that telling way, and Bella knew what question was coming.

“Speaking of Jacob,” smirked Jessica. “Is there something going on with you two?”

Shaking her head, Bella’s smile switched to one of resignation. “No, we’re just friends.”

“Oh, Bella…”

“It’s not like that,” Bella interrupted. “I just can’t really date.”

“Does your Dad not allow you to?” Jessica queried.

“No, no. I just… can’t.”

Sensing a heavier topic, Angela and Jessica exchanged a brief look before locking Bella into a tight hug. Relaxing into their hold, Bella placed a hand on each of their forearms, allowing their warmth to encompass her. Yelling sparked near the fire, catching their attention. They all turned to see Jacob leaping up and down in victory as Embry playfully swatted at him from the ground.

“Knew you were a sore loser, Black,” Quill chimed.

“You’re just sore you got knocked out so early on,” countered Jacob, lightly tapping his foot into Quil’s side.

“See if I cook for you next time,” muttered Quill.

“No!” begged Jacob, getting onto his knees. “Please don’t starve your friend!”

Whacking him upside the head, Quil remarked on the lack of dignity Jacob exhibited when it came to food.

“Well, there is one other thing too,” Quil mused.

Panicked, Jacob made exaggerated zipping motions, eyes flicking between him and the girls shadowed by the flame.

Quil laughed, “Guess I know what threat to use then.”

“Why do I keep you as a best friend again?” Jacob questioned.

“Because you know no one else would put up with your crap, ḱá-ťƚa,” snorted Embry.

Grumbling, Jacob sat back on his haunches, his neck bent back, and looked up at the sky.

“It’s getting pretty late,” Jacob mused. “Yo, Bella! When’s Charlie expecting you back?”

Bella shrugged, “Not sure. He knows we could run late. My phone’s not been ringing out of my pocket, so we’re probably good.”

“Cool,” Jacob exhaled. “You think you could beat me in a match, dí-do'os?”

Rolling her name at another nickname from Jacob’s native language, Bella jutted her chin forward.

“Think I could, yeah,” Bella challenged.

“Well then, square up,” Jacob dared, resetting himself in the starting position.

Whistles sounded from the surrounds as the group formed a loose circle around the two. Calling for bets, Eric started collecting loose change from their friends, beginning a tally poll in a spare notebook he pulled from his bag. Winking at Angela and Jessica, they got the message and placed all their money on Bella, assured of her victory. Or at least supportive enough not to hold her loss against her. Eric shuffled the dollar notes and coins before starting a running commentary in an impression of a sports commentator. Knowing she couldn’t pull out now, Bella placed herself opposite Jacob and put her hand in his, shuffling slightly to get comfortable in her prone position.

“You know, no one would hold it against you if you backed out now,” taunted Jacob. “I am pretty strong.”

“Not a chance.”

“Now, in this corner, we have the descendant of wolves, Jacob Black!” Eric introduced to the crowd's raucous cheers.

“Wolves?” laughed Bella.

“Quileute legend,” Jacob answered, rolling his eyes. “Quil must’ve told Eric about it when they were cooking.”

“And in this corner, we have the underdog, the new predator on the scene, Bella!” Eric shouted.

“Predator?” Jacob mocked. “More like a kitten.”

“Oh, it's on!” Bella rebuked.

“And the trash-talking is already heating up, folks,” continued Eric. “Now for the finals, who will win? We’ll see now, 3-2-1 go!”

Veins popped out of Jacob’s chorded forearm as he attempted to push down Bella’s arm. Making an exaggerated yawning motion, Bella quirked her lips.

“That the best you can do?”

“Like hell it is!”

Jacob strained himself further, and Bella felt her arm start to tilt downwards. Allowing Jacob to continue his slow descent, she heard Jessica’s and Angela’s words of encouragement and slander as the guys watched them, leaning back a bit.

“Are they always like this?” Quil whispered to Mike.

“Yep,” he sighed fondly. “You should see them when they’re competing.”

Widening her smile until it was all teeth, Bella winked at Jacob before slamming his arm down cleanly. Silence permeated for a few moments before the girls ran up to Bella sweeping her into a hug that tossed them into a rolling pile on the sand.

“Damn, Bella!” Jacob grinned. “When did you get so strong? I’m going to have to start lifting more weights to beat you next time.”

Reaching a hand out, he helped Bella to her feet, pulling up Angela and Jessica in turn. Letting out a giant yawn, Jacob laughed, commenting that at least he’d managed to ware her out. Smacking him on the shoulder, he chuckled, completely unrepentant.

“It is getting pretty late; guess we should be getting home now.”

Grumbles sounded, but all reluctantly agreed.

“Yeah, me and Bella have work tomorrow,” yawned Mike. “We carpooling?”

“If that’s still good with you,” Bella replied.

Sleepily giving her a thumbs up, he said he’d pick her up around 9:30 so they could open together.

“So when should we do this again?”

Inevitable - Chapter 32 - erikablair - Twilight Series (2024)

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