Chapter Forty-Six: Wolves?

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Perfect. Although Charlie's mind was somewhat muffled for me as always—probably a trait passed down to his daughter, strengthened in her to the point that I could not hear her mind at all—I latched onto the possibility that I could track his mind from my position here just outside the Quileute border and thus be able to pick up some of the conversation and thoughts occurring at the Black's little soiree.

Obviously I wouldn't be able to hear Bella's thoughts, but it would quiet my anxious mind greatly if I could listen to the other minds present in the Blacks' home. My mind-reading range extended only one-and-a-half to two miles with unfamiliar voices; I sincerely hoped that the Blacks didn't live too far inside the boundary line.

I groaned slightly as Charlie's thoughts registered in my mind; I missed a word or phrase here and there as usual, but I captured the gist of his thoughts tonight....

Unfortunately.

Despite my distaste over the direction of his mind, I concentrated with great effort as I tracked the path of his thoughts.

I just don't trust that kid, Charlie thought—about me, of course.

I sighed. It figured that he'd be thinking about me; that maxim about eavesdroppers rarely hearing good about themselves was all-too-true. But I tuned into Charlie's thoughts with renewed concentration so that I could follow his mental voice to the Blacks'...although I couldn't help cringing a little as his unflattering and too-perceptive thoughts continued. There's something not quite right with all of those Cullens, even Alice. I feel like there's a secret—a huge secret—that I'm not in on, but that Bella and the Cullens know about. At least I pried Bella and him apart for an evening. That kid never spends time at his own home, not even for meals. He keeps saying that he's on a special diet, but still...shouldn't he be home for dinner once in a while? It's just...weird. I don't like Bella spending so much time with him. I hope she finds someone here on the Res that she'll like better than Cullen. I mean, Jake is a little younger than she is, but he's a good-looking kid and they've known each other forever. Why can't she fall for someone like Jake instead of for Edward Cullen?

I lost the train of Charlie's thoughts at that point. My hands balled into tight fists while I clenched my jaw with enough force to crush an anvil. Obviously I had known that Charlie wasn't my biggest fan, but throwing Jacob Black at Bella? Simply ridiculous.

And dangerous, somehow—although I couldn't give a logical basis for my feeling.

Thankfully, I knew that Bella would never turn to Jacob Black. I had surmised from the few times that Jacob and Bella had spoken that she looked upon Jacob more as a kid brother than as potential dating material.

But I also knew what Jacob thought of her. Loud and clear, unfortunately. His awkward admiration of her at the prom had annoyed me to no end. How could Jacob refer to Bella as merely “pretty”? In that beautiful blue dress that brought out the creaminess of her skin and the sparkle in her deep brown eyes that night, Bella had been simply stunning. “Pretty”? Pretty didn't come near to expressing the depth of her incredible beauty.

Bella had been a goddess that night.

As she was every night.

In addition, Jacob's concern for her when she was in the hospital during her illness was more than the worry of an old friend. He had a crush on Bella, and he thought (incorrectly, although he didn't know it) that his secret was safe, known only to himself.

I wasn't worried that Bella want to be with Jacob, but I felt a similar, perhaps even a greater level of jealousy toward him that I felt toward Mike Newton, Eric Yorkie, Tyler Crowley, and the other assorted boys who crushed on her at school.

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