Chapter Twenty-Three – Monster

Chapter number: 23

Chapter name:

Page numbers: 506-530

Date of Chapter: June 15, 2006

Bella wakes up in the sleeping bag sweating, still in Jacob’s arms.  She meets Edward’s eyes and asks for help to get free from Jacob’s arms since he is still sleeping.  Edward helps by opening the sleeping bag where Jacob falls out onto the cold ground.  Jacob reacts by rolling on top of Bella, which causes Edward to tackle Jacob into the side of the tent.  There is a stand off between the two with growling and snarling.  Seth Clearwater is outside the tent growling and ready for a fight if it comes.  Bella is able to calm both Edward and Jacob down.
    Before he leaves the tent, Jacob says he didn’t sleep well because of Bella’s talking, but that it was still one of his best nights ever.  Edward reassures Bella that he will stay with her during the fight and that the wolves and vampires will be fine.  To keep their minds off of the fight, Bella asks Edward about his ten best nights.  He says it was the night that she agreed to marry him, two nights ago.  Bella expresses that she still doesn’t understand why the marriage is so important to Edward.  Then Jacob, in werewolf form, lets out a howl of pain outside the tent.  
    Jacob has heard their conversation about marriage and has run into the woods.  Edward, who knew Jacob was listening, says he never promised to fight fair.  Bella feels horrible that she has caused Jacob so much pain and wants to talk to him.  Edward offers to find Jacob for her and bring him back to the tent.
    Bella waits for Edward and Jacob to come back.  Bella looks to Seth for any idea if they are coming back soon.  Seth in werewolf form doesn’t help Bella at all.  She worries that maybe they have been caught in the fight with the Newborns.  She worries that Edward and Jacob are so angry with each other over Bella and the incident in the tent that they are finally fighting each other.
Edward and Jacob return from the forest.  Edward and Seth go into the forest to give Bella and Jacob some privacy to talk.
    Bella tries to apologize to Jacob by saying that she will stay away from him so that she won’t hurt him anymore.  Knowing Bella will feel badly for it, Jacob then puts the fault on himself and says that he will take himself out of the picture by letting himself get hurt in the Newborn fight. Bella begs Jacob not to do this, but he pushes further.  He says he doesn’t want to stay out of the fight and end up being the best man at her wedding.  
    Jacob tells Bella that he loves her and she tells him that she loves him, too.  She says she will do anything to keep him from purposefully hurting himself in the fight.  He tells her to ask him the question.  As soon as Bella realizes what Jacob wants, she asks him to kiss her.  Jacob doesn’t believe her, and Bella asks him again.  After a moments hesitation, Jacob realizes that she is serious and moves in quickly to kiss Bella.
    At first, Bella is unresponsive to Jacob’s hard kiss, but she soon finds kissing Jacob back and enjoying it.  Part of her wants to stop him, but another part of her is realizing that she likes the way he feels and the way he is kissing her.  It is then that she discovers that Jacob is not just her friend, but that she is in love with him.  She is in love with Jacob, but she loves Edward more.  She knows this is going to hurt both Jacob and her.  Then she envisions a life with Jacob, living in La Push and having a family.  Bella can see herself with her parents and her friends having a human life and years passing with meaning.  She even sees two children, but when they run into the forest, her vision ends.  And then Bella feels a piece of her heart pull away from the whole.
    Jacob stops the kiss first and tells Bella that he has to leave for the fight with the Newborns.  She doesn’t want him to go, but he says he won’t be long.  He kisses her again, this time more tenderly.  He hugs her and tells her that this kiss should have been their first.  

Characters involved
: Bella Swan, Edward Cullen, Jacob Black, Seth Clearwater

Characters mentioned: Sam Uley, Alice Cullen, Charlie Swan, Renee Dwyer, Billy Black

Places visited:
The Forest

Memorable Quotes:
“Did you want me to take his arms all the way off?”
~Edward to Bella when she is trying to get out of the sleeping bag

“I didn’t say it wasn’t the best night I’ve ever spent.  Just that I didn’t get a lot of sleep.”
~Jacob on spending the night in the sleeping bag with Bella

“’But,’ Edward went on, ‘if I had been able to take your place last night, it would not have made the top ten of the best nights of my life.  Dream about that.’”
~Edward in response to Jacob

“’Mostly you said my name, the same as usual…Near the end, though, you started mumbling some nonsense about ‘Jacob, my Jacob.’  I could hear the pain, even in the whisper.  ‘Your Jacob enjoyed that quite a lot.’”
~Edward telling Bella what she had said during the night

 “’And I can be your best man at the wedding?’”
~Jacob to Bella

“’Kiss me, Jacob.  Kiss me, and then come back.’”
~Bella to Jacob

“’That should have been our first kiss.  Better late than never.’”
~Jacob to Bella

Important information learned:
Edward’s best night is the night that Bella agreed to marry him.

Jacob knows that Edward and Bella are engaged.

Bella loves Jacob, but it is not more than she loves Edward.

Bella can see her future human life with Jacob and her parents, even children.

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