This chapter is number 11: Cult.
Bella resumes her Jacob stalking with little success at first. Jacob finally agrees to speak to her and announces that they can't be friends anymore. This then escalates into an argument between Billy and Charlie. Just fallouts all over in this chapter!
Thoughts as I read:
My guess is that Bella is going to stumble across some sort of weird cult that the guys Jacob hangs around with will be involved in. Except it isn't really a cult; it's werewolves!
Each time that I opened my eyes to the morning light and realised I'd lived through another night was a surprise to me. After the surprise wore off, my heart would start to race and my palms would sweat; I couldn't really breathe again until I'd gotten up and ascertained that Charlie had survived as well.
So I'm guessing this means that Laurent doesn't try getting any closer to Bella then. Meanwhile, time passes, Bella still doesn't see Jacob and Charlie blames Bella's weird mood on Jacob.
We actually then get a run down of what Bella expects and what does or doesn't happen on Monday through Thursday. The gist of it is; Bella waits for Jacob to make contact but he doesn't, and so she resorts to things like handing outside her house debating whether or not to go over to his place. Bella's also kind of worried about the vampires getting her dad and doesn't know how to get him out of the way to somewhere safe should Victoria or Laurent come over for a snack.
It's not until Friday that Bella realises the obvious answer to the missing Jacob thing. He's joined Sam Uley's cult, that's why he's not allowed to contact her. So Bella decides to take matters into her own hands and go rescue him or something.
It was worth the danger of the secluded forest road. This was no idle visit to see what was going on. I knew what was going on. This was a rescue mission. I was going to talk to Jacob – kidnap him if I had to. I'd once seen a PBS show on deprogramming the brainwashed. There had to be some kind of cure.
Because she's watched a TV show, she's obviously an expert!
Also, has she not noticed that Billy is being just as evasive, if not more than Jacob. Looks like Billy's in on the cult thing as well.
All the same, Bella calls Charlie to voice her fears about the weirdness out on the reservation. At first Charlie listens but as soon as Bella mentions Sam her dad starts telling her what a good guy he is. Then he shoots her down by telling her a couple of tourists have gone missing on another trail. I'm guessing that's why the vampires haven't come after Bella; they've eaten their fill for the time being. A week to a vampire has got to be like a few minutes to us; they're happy to wait.
So Bella moves on to calling Billy who is quick to tell her that Jacob isn't around. She pushes to get him to tell her just who he's with but eventually she gets him to tell her he's with Embry. This is actually like a secret code though because Bella knows that Embry is part of Sam's gang, so if Jacob's with Embry he's also with Sam Uley.
And now for the next bit of Bella's plan. She's going to go lurk outside Jacob's place until he shows up. She's actually prepared to miss school in order to see the guy. Obsessive much?
The person who shows up while she's on her way there isn't actually Jacob at all; it's Quil. Bella picks him up and we learn that Billy wasn't lying, Jacob has been hanging around with Embry. And now Jacob's as bad as the others, always hanging around Sam. None of the adults seem bothered so it's unlikely that they're involved in drugs, but whatever it is, Quil's not happy about it. He does also describe the group as a cult so at least Bella's not the only one thinking along those lines.
Once she's dropped Quil off, Bella parks outside Jacob's place to wait for him. Billy sees her but doesn't do anything. It's not long before Jacob's knocking on her truck window. And he's huge. And different.
It was his expression that made him almost completely unrecognisable. The open, friendly smile was gone like the hair, the warmth in his dark eyes altered to a brooding resentment that was instantly disturbing. There was a darkness in Jacob now. Like my sun had imploded.
I actually kind of like that last line.
There's a group of guys behind him as well, one of whom is Embry and another is Sam, though we've never met any of the others. Bella would quite like to kill Sam, which I'm not sure is the most rational response considering she doesn't actually know what's going on here. Sam gives Jacob permission to talk to Bella alone so the two of them take a walk. He's quick to let her know that it's not what she thinks it is but he can't tell her what it is.
Things are different, Jacob's not her friend any more and Sam is actually being really helpful. Bella gets distraught so Jacob blames the 'bloodsuckers' she loves. This is a bit of a surprise for Bella because she didn't think anyone else knew about their dirty little secret. Jacob is quick to clue her into exactly who he is talking about. Bella's baffled because there aren't any vampires in Forks any more to need a gang to protect them all against, except, y'know, Laurent and Victoria who have been hanging around the area, because of Bella.
It would appear that Billy's superstitions might not be as weird as Jacob thought they were. Jacob's angry with the Cullens for simply being alive and it would appear that Sam's gang have some sort of plan, though Jacob's not about to share that with Bella. It's at this moment that Bella hears Edward's voice again. The conversation is killed, though not before Bella tells Jacob that all the weirdness has Quil scared. Jacob assures Bella that Quil won't be next and then has a little temper tantrum, taking his anger out on a small defenceless tree.
Jacob tells Bella that whatever they had is over now, it's time to move on. Because Bella has to believe that everything is about her, apologises for not being able to kiss him or go out with him or whatever it was that was brewing between them. Now it's Jacob's turn to be all sad; he's bad news, apparently, though he can't tell her exactly why he's bad news, just that she's better off without him.
Jacob heads inside so Bella does the sensible thing; she hangs around outside the house until Billy comes out and tells her to bugger off. Okay, so maybe he doesn't say it quite like that, but that's what it boils down to.
I thought Jake had been healing the hole in me – or at least plugging it up, keeping it from hurting me so much. I'd been wrong. He'd been carving out his own hole, so that I was now riddled through like Swiss cheese. I wondered why I didn't crumble into pieces.
Because people don't work like that, Bella.
Charlie's waiting for Bella when she gets home, having been warned in advance that Bella and Jacob had a fight. Bella's very quick to correct him; Sam's told Jacob they can't be friends any more. That makes it sound like they're about six! And so this then prompts a fall out between Billy and Charlie. Looks like Charlie phoned Billy and the whole Bella/Jacob thing created a massive row. So the madness escalates.
That night Bella has a variation on the old dream; this time it features the new and improved Jacob, this time one who turns into Edward and then disappears. She wakes in tears and then hears a scraping noise on the window outside.
I wonder who that could be…