Christmas had come and gone and New Year's day might have been lazy except it was so cold, an ugly cold, just as Jacob had expected. This is how it was. Not much. Still. The way nature should be, Jacob supposed. Even so, it was a lingering sadness. Yet, there was something amazing in the quietness of home. He was used to this too. And even if it weren't a gift, he had it in hands. A piece of her. Sort of. Just hair. Braided up, a color he had never quite seen. Exactly. Well, except just glimpses.
Jacob wished it hadn't meant so much to him. He didn't want it too, but it did. He stuck the so-called ornament under his socks in his dresser, wishing he could see Tess, wondering if she were all right. From his understanding, her grandmother practically told him....as long as he stayed away, she would be all right. Why couldn't he figure this out? Just didn't seem quite possible that it could be quite this tragic. Could it?
Last night the boys had came by hoping he'd come out and do something fun, but Jacob had just looked up at the snow falling and it gave him a shiver. He went to bed early, letting sleep set in, only it had left him tossing and turning, thinking of her.
He heard Billy in the kitchen then so he went to check out what all the clanking meant. Billy was cooking up a little New Year's day dinner.
"Why do you even bother?" Jacob slightly scowled at the thought of black eyed peas. It seemed Billy had an army buddy who gave him the recipe years ago and he made it an annual event. Had to be the worst meal to start the year, thought Jacob, but it was tradition.
"Because it would just be wrong, otherwise." Billy gave him a glare as he was pouring vegetable stock over the ham and peas in the crockpot. "You know, that's how that musical group, the Blackeyed peas got their name says it means good luck. I heard them talk about it last night on TV."
"Did you now?" A smile emerged on Jacob's face. Billy was always learning something new. Jacob supposed he could suffer through dinner if he had too. He guessed he could eat cornbread, too. The best part, he thought.
Just then he sensed Sam and the boys were outside.
"I'll be back," he promised Billy then who was busy cutting onions and hot peppers.
"You better." Billy eyed him.
Jacob grabbed his jacket and pulled on his boots.
Naturally, Sam informed him he should have joined them in the woods last night.
"It was a new moon." Sam told him. "Nothing else like it for 20 more years."
"Yeah, I thought I was coming down with something."
"We also got wind of a female vampire in the neighborhood too." Sam gave him an ominous look.
"Did you get her?"
He shook his head, no.
"Holiday visit, I gather." Sam shrugged.
"Holiday?" Jacob winced as he hugged himself against the cold.
"Yes, from what we could tell, she was visiting that girl who you seek the company of." Sam had observed.
Jacob didn't like the idea that Sam knew so much of his nature. It was a little unsettling, but even worse, he hadn't sniffed a hint of a vampire nearby when he was last at Tess'.
"You are enamoured, you might as well be a dense pup at this rate, wolf boy." Sam teased as he messed with Jacob's hair.
Jacob edged away. He didn't like being made an immature fool.
"What do you want me to do?" Jacob squinted.
"Go back, be a friend, if nothing else." Sam stared at him as if he was giving him a mission now.
Jacob felt a cold breath consume him. He was hardly a friend.
"See what you dig up. She could be in danger and not even know it." Sam shrugged and with that he was gone in a blink of an eye.
Jacob felt a little on edge now as the coldness made his chest so tender. He didn't know he was strong enough for such an undertaking, but he guessed Sam had faith in him.