Jacob caught my arm with a shivering hand. "Please, Bella. I'm begging."
His dark eyes were glistening with tears. A lump filled my throat.
"Jake, I have to"
"You don't, though. You really don't. You could stay here with me. You could stay alive. For Charlie. For me."
The engine of Carlisle's Mercedes purred; the rhythm of the thrumming spiked when Alice revved it impatiently.
I shook my head, tears spattering from my eyes with the sharp motion. I pulled my arm free, and he didn't fight me.
"Don't die Bella," he choked out. "Don't go. Don't."
What if I never saw him again?
The thought pushed me past the silent tears; a sob broke out from my chest. I threw my arms around his waist and hugged for one too-short moment, burying my tear-wet face against his chest. He put his big hand on the back of my hair, as if to hold me here.
"Bye, Jake." I pulled his hand from my hair, and kissed his palm. I couldn't bear to look at his face. "Sorry," I whispered.
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December 24, 1973