Observe [Part 1/?][Jacob/Embry]
Title: Observe [Part 1/?]
Warnings: Pre-slash, told from Bella's POV
Summary: Bella notices things about Jacob - like the way he looks at Embry.
I folded my legs beneath me as I sat on the dirty floor. Leaning back against the wall, I twisted my finger around a loose thread at the hem of my jeans.
Jacob knelt beside one of the old, beat up motorbikes I’d brought round for him to repair. His fingers were black and greasy. I smiled as he pushed back a few long strands of hair that had escaped from behind his ear, his dirty fingertips leaving a smudge of grease on his forehead.
He rummaged through his toolbox, sighing with frustration when he couldn’t find what he was looking for. Standing up, he went over to another box in the corner, bending down to search through it. With a triumphant smile, he found what he wanted.
“How’s Billy?” I asked.
Settling himself back down next to the motorbike, Jake glanced over at me and smiled. “He’s good, yeah. He’s real good.”
I nodded, returning his smile. “So… you’re confident you can get these up and running?”
Jake chuckled. “Absolutely. They need a bit of work, obviously. But its no problem, I’ll have them running like new.” He beamed at me, eyes lighting up with enthusiasm.
“Great, then you can teach me how to ride them.”
“Yeah, definitely.” He turned away from me as he went back to work on the bike, but I could tell he was still smiling.
Shifting my eyes away from Jake, I looked outside, up at the grey sky. As my eyes drifted downwards, I recognized Jake’s friend Embry making his way over to the garage. I smiled as he got closer and saw me looking.
“Hey, Bella.” He said, giving a small wave.
“Hey, Embry.” I returned the wave.
Jake’s head shot up at the sound of Embry’s voice, and he turned round to greet his friend. “Embry, hey! What’s up?” Jake’s smile was warm and rich as he looked over at Embry, and I noticed his eyes drift quickly up and down his friend’s body.
I frowned slightly, thinking; Did Jake just check him out?
“Not much, just thought I’d come round and see you. Had nothing better to do.” Embry answered, sitting himself down near Jake.
“Nothing better to do than come and see me? You poor thing.” Jake chuckled.
Embry laughed softly, then frowned, lifting his hand to Jake’s face. “You’ve got some black stuff on your face.” He mumbled, trying to wipe away the grease with his thumb.
Jake lowered his eyelids as Embry rubbed at the smudge, his head inclining toward the touch. Embry laughed again, shyly, leaning just a little closer. Then he noticed me watching, and pulled his hand away.
“It’s probably just a bit of grease.” Jake said, wiping at his forehead with the back of his own hand. “Is it gone?” he asked.
Embry clasps his hands together in his lap and nods, “Mostly.”
There’s an awkward silence. Embry glances over at me, then turns his gaze to the wall behind me. Jake fiddles with a spanner, twirling it between his fingers. I watch Embry for a moment longer, then stare back out at the sky.
Dark clouds drift together in the distance. I guess it’s going to rain soon, leaving the three of us stuck out here in the garage. Clearing my throat, I look at Jake. “I think it’s going to start raining soon. Maybe we should get out of here, go see a movie or something?”
Jake turns to look outside, then nods. “Yeah, those clouds don’t look too friendly…” He turns to Embry, “Wanna go see a movie?”
Embry glances at me again, and I smile. “Yeah, sure.” he answers, sort of smiling back.
X X X
The cinema is packed. Apparently some new movie just came out today.
I ask Embry what he’d like to see.
“I don’t mind,” he answers, “you and Jake can pick.”
“Okay, well… Jake, any preferences?”
Chewing his bottom lip in thought, Jake looks over the list of movies currently showing. “How about… Doctor Death and The Hospital from Hell?”
I raise my eyebrows at him and grin. “Sure.”
X X X
As we go to take our seats inside the theater, Jake sits down first. I hang back, allowing Embry to take the seat next to his friend. He looks at me and smiles shyly as he sits beside Jacob.
Before the theater darkens, I glance to the side, smiling to myself as I notice the way Embry’s body seems to lean towards Jake, their elbows touching on the armrest.
I bite my lip, wondering if there’s something between them – something they might not even be aware of.
And then the movie starts.
X X X
Its just after four in the afternoon when we get back to Jake’s house. It’s pouring down rain, and the three of us race from my car to the porch as fast as we can without slipping in the mud.
Billy is sitting on the porch, waiting to greet us. He also reminds us to take off our wet shoes before we go inside.
“Yes, Dad.” Jake mumbles, smiling at Embry and I.
“How did you like the movie, Bella?” Billy asks me.
“It wasn’t bad. Typical horror movie, really. Lots of blood and brain-dead blonde girls who haven’t got a chance of surviving.”
Billy nods, laughing. “I suppose you loved it then, Jake?”
“Yeah, it was great! You should’ve seen this one part, where Doctor Death straps this chick to a hospital bed and – ”
Billy holds up a hand, silencing his son. “Honestly, Jacob, I don’t want to know.”
We all laugh and head inside.
Billy disappears into the kitchen to make himself a coffee, Jake following after him.
I take a seat on the couch in front of the TV, as does Embry. For a few moments, we’re both silent. And then Embry asks, “So… you thought the movie was alright, then?”
I shrug. “Like I said to Billy – typical horror movie. But yeah, it was alright, I still enjoyed it. What about you?”
He grimaces slightly. “Actually, horror isn’t really my thing. Its kind of depressing, sitting there watching people being tortured and murdered.”
I chuckle. “I think Jake would disagree with you on that.”
“I’m sure he would.” Embry smiles.
“You guys talking about me?” Jake asks, walking into the room with three cans of Coke and a bag of chips.
“No.” I tell him, grinning at Embry.
“Oh,” Jake frowns, “I thought I heard you say my name.”
“You’re imagining things, Jake.” Embry says, returning my grin.
Jake laughs and hands us each a Coke, taking a seat between Embry and I before picking up the remote and switching on the TV. “What do you guys wanna watch?” he asks, flipping through the channels.
Embry shrugs, reaching between Jake’s legs for the bag of chips. “Don’t care.”
“Bella?” Jake looks at me.
“Umm… this’ll do.” I say, as Jake flips to a channel showing a documentary on wolves.
X X X
Sometime later – though I’m not sure exactly how much later it is, because I fell asleep halfway through my can of Coke – I awake with my head on Jake’s big, warm shoulder. Blinking a couple of times, I lift my head and look around. My eyes land on Embry, slumped against Jake’s chest, asleep.
Jake follows the direction of my gaze and laughs softly. “If I’m no good for anything else, at least I make a good pillow.” he jokes.
“Mmm, a little lumpy, though.” I tease, poking his shoulder.
“I didn’t hear any complaints before.” he says, nudging me with his elbow. “Although that’s probably because you were too busy snoring.”
“What?! Are you serious?” I ask, my eyes wide.
“Yep.” He smirks.
“No, you’re not.”
“I am, I swear.”
“No,” I insist, “I do not snore!”
“I’m pretty sure you do.” He starts laughing, the movement of his chest causing Embry to wake.
With a hand on Jake’s stomach, Embry pushes himself up, squinting at us sleepily. “What time is it?” he mumbles.
“Ahh,” Jake looks over at the clock on the wall, “quarter to six.”
Embry grunts, rubbing his eyes before standing up. “I should probably get going soon.” He says, slipping a hand underneath his shirt, scratching his stomach as he yawns.
My eyes flicker over the exposed skin of Embry’s abdomen, and out of the corner of my eye, I notice Jake is looking too.
I cough to hide a smirk and say, “Yeah, I better head home, cook dinner for Charlie.” I finish off my warm, flat Coke and push myself up off the couch.
“Oh, okay.” Jake sounds slightly disappointed. He scratches the back of his neck, then looks up at the both of us. “If the weather’s not too bad tomorrow, we could hang out at La Push?”
I nod my head, smiling at the hopeful look in his eyes. “Sure, Jake, sounds good.”
“Yeah,” says Embry, heading for the front door, “I’ll probably come round tomorrow morning, anyway.”
I follow Embry out the door, Jake close behind me. “Do you want a ride home, Embry?”
He looks out at the pouring rain, then turns to me and smiles. “That might be nice, thanks, Bella.”
“Its no problem.” I turn and say goodbye to Jake. Embry does the same. And then we brace ourselves, and race for my car.
X X X
The moment Embry is out of the car – the moment I’m alone, a huge weight gathers around me. I clutch the steering wheel tightly, breathing deep as I turn my car around and start to make my way home.
Edward’s face flickers across my mind, pale and perfect, and I bite my lip, refusing to cry. The familiar tight, burning sensation rises in my chest, and I slow the car down, pull over to the side of the road, and tell myself to just breathe.
X X X
I don’t sleep well that night, and wake feeling like a zombie. I shower and dress straight away, heading downstairs to the smell of toast and coffee. Charlie looks up from his paper and smiles, “Morning, Bells.”
“Morning.” I take a seat, stealing his mug of coffee and taking a hot mouthful.
“Go right ahead, help yourself.” he chuckles.
I force a grin, pushing the mug back toward him.
“You have it,” he says, “you look like you need it more than I do.”
“Thanks.” I put the mug back up to my lips. Moments later, the phone rings.
Charlie answers, then looks over at me with a smile on his face. “Yeah, she’s awake. I’ll just get her for you, Jacob.”
I feel my insides light up immediately, reaching my hand out for the phone. “Morning, Jake.”
“Hey, Bella. Did you sleep well?”
“No. I kind of feel like death.” I admit.
Jake is silent for a moment, and I know he’s not sure what to say. I look outside, noting the absence of rain. “We still on for today?” I ask.
“Yeah, yeah, of course. Embry and I were just gonna work on the bikes for a bit this morning, then head over to La Push at about eleven. Does that sound okay?”
“Embry’s helping you fix the bikes?” I feel a pang of jealousy, fixing the bikes was supposed to be our thing.
“Yeah,” Jake hesitates, noting the tone in my voice. “You’re welcome to come over, too, Bells.”
“No, its fine. I’ll see you at eleven.” I try to add a friendlier note to my voice, for Jake.
“Oh, okay… well, yeah, see you then. Bye, Bella.”
“Bye.” I hang up.
Charlie looks at me, a satisfied smile on his face. “Hanging out with Jacob again today?”
“Yeah, Jake and his friend, Embry.”
X X X
At ten to eleven I jump in my truck, trying to find an okay radio station as I drive over to La Push. Ever since I hung up the phone this morning, I’ve felt bad about my minute of jealousy over Embry helping Jake fix up the bikes. He’s Jake’s best friend – though I think they both have more than friendship on their minds, if they’re honest with themselves – and he has every right to help Jake out with those bikes.
I sigh and mutter to myself, “Stop being such a damn misery guts, Isabella Swan.”
X X X
I can see Jake and Embry waiting for me. Both boys turn around at the sound of my truck pulling up.
Jake smiles and walks over. Embry waves, but hangs back.
“Hey, you!” Jake beams, opening my door and stepping back as I jump out.
I look up at my friend’s happy, handsome, smiling face and feel my dark mood drain away. “How did you guys go with the bikes this morning?”
“They’re getting there.” Jake tells me as we make our way down to the beach. “Not ready to ride yet, though. Maybe at the end of the week I’ll have them up and running.”
“That’s great.” I say, taking off my shoes, letting the sand slide between my toes.
“So,” Jake starts, putting a strong arm around my shoulders, “you didn’t get much sleep last night, huh?” He looks down at me, a little frown creasing his forehead.
“No, I didn’t. But I’m okay right now – and it’s a nice day, so let’s not talk about it.” I smile to let him know I mean what I’m saying.
“Okay, Bells. But if you want to talk – I mean, if you need to talk…”
“Yeah Jake, I know, you’re all ears, right?” I squeeze his side playfully. “Honestly, though, I don’t even want to think about it… about him. I just want to enjoy the day.”
I can tell it makes Jake feel good, to hear me say that. He crushes me against his side, then lets me go, giving me another big smile.
X X X
Its not a warm day, by normal standards, but by the standards of Forks, its about as warm as its gonna get.
I sit myself down on the sand, telling Jake for the third time that no, I don’t want to go for a swim.
Embry is already stripping down to his shorts, kicking off his shoes and pulling his shirt over his head. He dumps the items at his feet and looks back at us expectantly. I shake my head, “Forget it. I have better things to do than freeze to death.”
“Jake?” Embry looks at Jacob, eyebrows raised.
“You first.” Jake grins, “Tell me how cold it is.”
Embry sighs and starts walking toward the water. “Whatever, you guys are no fun.”
I turn to grin at Jake, to tell him to go on in and not worry about me, but I stop and don’t say a thing. I just watch him, watch the way he stares at Embry’s muscled, naked back, and this time I have no doubt – Jake is definitely checking him out.