The pain in my nose woke me up enough to remember where I'd fallen asleep. The smell was pretty fierce, considering that my nose wasn't actually inside the house. Ugh. And it was noisy. Someone was laughing too loud. A familiar laugh, but one that didn't go with the smell. Didn't belong.
I groaned and opened my eyes. The skies were dull gray - it was daytime, but no clue as to when. Maybe close to sunset - it was pretty dark.
"About time," Blondie mumbled from not too far away. "The chainsaw impersonation was getting a little tired."
I rolled over and wrenched myself into a sitting position. In the process, I figured out where the smell was coming from. Someone had stuffed a wide feather pillow under my face. Probably trying to be nice, I'd guess. Unless it'd been Rosalie.
Once my face was out of the stinking feathers, I caught other scents. Like bacon and cinnamon, all mixed up with the vampire smell.
I blinked, taking in the room.
Things hadn't changed too much, except that now Bella was sitting up in the middle of the sofa, and the IV was gone. Blondie sat at her feet, her head resting against Bella's knees. Still gave me chills to see how casually they touched her, though I guess that was pretty brain-dead, all things considered. Edward was on one side of her, holding her hand. Alice was on the floor, too, like Rosalie. Her face wasn't pinched up now. And it was easy to see why - she'd found another painkiller.
"Hey, Jake's coming around!" Seth crowed.
He was sitting on Bella's other side, his arm slung carelessly over her shoulders, an overflowing plate of food on his lap.
What the hell?
"He came to find you," Edward said while I got to my feet. "And Esme convinced him to stay for breakfast."
Seth took in my expression, and he hurried to explain. "Yeah, Jake - I was just checking to see if you were okay 'cause you didn't ever phase back. Leah got worried. I told her you probably just crashed human, but you know how she is. Anyway, they had all this food and, dang," - he turned to Edward - "man, you can cook"
"Thank you," Edward murmured.
I inhaled slowly, trying to unclench my teeth. I couldn't take my eyes off Seth's arm.
"Bella got cold," Edward said quietly.
Right. None of my business, anyway. She didn't belong to me.
Seth heard Edward's comment, looked at my face, and suddenly he needed both hands to eat with. He took his arm off Bella and dug in. i walked over to stand a few feet from the couch, still trying to get my bearings.
"Leah running patrol?" I asked Seth. My voice was still thick with sleep.
"Yeah," he said as he chewed. Seth had new clothes on, too. They fit him better than mine fit me. "She's on it. No worries. She'll howl if there's anything. We traded off around midnight. I ran twelve hours." He was proud of that, and it showed in his tone.
"Midnight? Wait a minute - what time is it now?"
"'Bout dawn." He glanced toward the window, checking.
Well, damn. I'd slept through the rest of the day and the whole night - dropped the ball. "Crap. Sorry about that, Seth. Really. You shoulda kicked me awake."
"Naw, man, you needed some serious sleep. You haven't taken a break since when? Night before your last patrol for Sam? Like forty hours? Fifty? You're not a machine, Jake. 'Sides, you didn't miss anything at all."
Nothing at all? I glanced quickly at Bella. Her color was back to the way I remembered it. Pale, but with the rose undertone. Her lips were pink again. Even her hair looked better - shinier. She saw me appraising and gave me a qrin.
"How's the rib?" I asked.
"Taped up nice and tight, i don't even feel it.'7
I rolled my eyes. I heard Edward grind his teeth together, and I figured her blow-it-off attitude bugged him as much at it bugged me.
"What's for breakfast?" I asked, a little sarcastic. "O negative or AB positive?"
She stuck her tongue out at me. Totally herself again. "Omelets," she said, but her eyes darted down, and I saw that her cup of blood was wedged between her leg and Edward's.
"Go get some breakfast, Jake," Seth said. "There's a bunch in the kitchen. You've got to be empty."
I examined the food in his lap. Looked like half a cheese omelet and the last fourth of a Frisbee-sized cinnamon roll. My stomach growled, but I ignored it.
"What's Leah having for breakfast?" I asked Seth critically.
"Hey, I took food to her before I ate anything" he defended himself. "She said she'd rather eat roadkill, but I bet she caves. These cinnamon rolls... " He seemed at a loss for words.
'Til go hunt with her, then."
Seth sighed as I turned to leave.
"A moment, Jacob?"
It was Carlisle asking, so when I turned around again, my face was probably less disrespectful than it would have been if anyone else had stopped me.
Carlisle approached me while Esme drifted off toward the other room. He stopped a few feet away, just a little bit farther away than the normal space between two humans having a conversation. I appreciated him giving me my space.
"Speaking of hunting," he began in a somber tone. "That's going to be an issue for my family. I understand that our previous truce is inoperative at the moment, so I wanted your advice. Will Sam be hunting for us outside of the perimeter you've created? We don't want to take a chance with hurting any of your family - or losing any of ours. If you were in our shoes, how would you proceed?"
I leaned away, a little surprised, when he threw it back at me like that. What would I know about being in a bloodsucker's expensive shoes? But, then again, I did know Sam.
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