Summary: Matters of the heart give him a headache, and he's spent more nights than is healthy trying to unravel the puzzle of Jacob and Bella. He never thought he'd find himself lost in her too, a puzzle piece from a different game board that never truly belonged.
Notes: Takes place before BD. So no spoilers.
Most of the time he thinks he knows himself, but some days he can’t distinguish between his own thoughts and those of the other people he shares his head with.
He knows when he closes his eyes the images that flash like lightening are not of his own making. Rustic skin entangles with long chocolate hair – fisting tightly in possession and fear of loss – doe brown eyes that he knows by heart, but which never graced him more than a passing glance, bore deeply into his. The heat of her body next to his is as palpable as it is impossible, but he loves the sensations that it awakens deep within his carefree soul and he would give anything for it to come to fruition. He lets his mind meander away from the face he sees reflected in those deep pools of lust and replaces it with one that’s more familiar, one he sees every morning in the mirror. But his train of thought usually screeches to a sudden halt before derailing here as he knows that his brothers are privy to his every embarrassing thought, and he doesn’t want to fuel their fire or rub salt into raw and aching wounds.
When he opens his eyes he’s staring at the dreary sky overhead, watching as gray clouds drift aimlessly by through a canopy of otherworldly green. The flawless face, so innocent and attractive, fades rapidly in the dying light. But not soon enough. His face is already burning with discomfiture even though there is no one around to see.
The filter in his head catches distorted bits of thoughts and memories, but none remain as vivid as those from the lone member of the wolf pack who spends his days in disconnected self imposed solitude by the shore – his head filled with daydreams of what could have been.
Seth doesn’t like to intrude upon other people’s personal space, let alone the private sanctity of their minds, but something about Jacob Black draws him in and forces him to cross boundaries he would normally shy well away from. Thin red margins touting heartbreak and dissent mar the otherwise perfect façade that Jacob has adopted in the wake of his return to the Rez and the subsequent agony fest of his best friends wedding and disappearance. Though the pack is secure in knowledge regarding the doe-eyed girl’s true fate, their own secrets override pride and dictate solemn faces in view of the public. And more importantly, one Charlie Swan.
Even though he never says it, never admits to the defeat that permeates the very air around him, Seth catches the misery that emanates from Jacob’s voice at the mere hint of his best friend. It’s etched into the smooth contours of his brother’s face, deepest and resolute in the resigned shine of his eyes. Heartstrings plucked, taunt to the point of breaking, it’ll only take a small amount of pushing to send him crashing over the edge.
They all know but none of them reach out to help a brother in need. It comes as no surprise when Jake takes to the forest again, his paws thudding out a solitary rhythm as he is swallowed up by the veil of darkness. Running again, but from what, Seth cannot understand. It’s over and done, but Jacob cannot let it go. Can’t let her go.
He thinks he understood once, thinks he had Jacob all figured out – but the answer to the enigma continues to elude him. Matters of the heart give him a headache, and he’s spent more nights than is healthy trying to unravel the puzzle of Jacob and Bella. But there are too many pieces, of all shapes and sizes. Pieces that obviously don’t fit, others whose edges are just slightly wrong for the holes he tries to drop them in.
Two weeks after Jacob leaves for the second time, Seth finally stumbles upon the answer. It’s not what Jacob and Bella were, it’s what they weren’t. Two hearts beating out a familiar symphony, moving just out of pace with each other – Jacob trying to keep up, to be enough, Bella trying desperately to outrun the invariable tick of the clock. Intertwined tighter than braids of ivy, destiny was only a broken heartbeat away from bringing them together.
She’s made her decision and now Jacob has made his. And Seth is somehow caught in the middle. Along the way, he lost himself in the grace of Bella’s smile, the warmth of her innocent eyes. He can see what Jacob sees when he looks upon the shy smile, the locks of soft brown framing her beautiful features. But when her eyes cool to frozen gold, and her skin frosts over with unnatural perfection, he finds he can relate to Jacob’s pain, too. The loss of one who was never theirs sending spasms of anguish snaking around his heart, and he finally understood. But he can't help but wonder if somewhere out there, two hearts both splintered beyond repair, could still find each other in the darkness.