“Ha!” Charlie said, hanging up the phone, seeing Bella walk into the kitchen, “you’ll never believe it,” he shook his head, “Daphne, over at the diner?” He waited for Bella’s nod, “apparently had a long lost cousin who just died.”
Bella looked at him, brow furrowed, “OK,” wondering how this was a good thing, because clearly it was to Charlie.
“Anyway,” he continued on, “her cousin left her a car, which she has no need for. And seeing as you’re heading off to college, and currently without one, she’d like to give it to you.”
“ Give it to me?” she said, not sure she’d heard right.
“Yeah,” he said, hands spread out, “I offered to pay for it, but she wouldn’t hear it.”
“No way,” Bella said, shaking her head, “that’s too much.”
“Oh, don’t worry Bells, I’m there every week, she’ll just be getting seriously generous tips for a while.”
“Uh-uh, no ‘nos’ from you. My baby’s goin’ to college. I can at least get her there,” Charlie said, wrapping her up in a hug.
She considered further opposition, but opted for gracious acceptance.
“Thank you, Dad,” she said.
It felt wrong.
He chuckled. “It’s nice to see you accepting something without an argument,” and pausing, “even if it totally goes against your nature.”
She joined him in his chuckle, pulling back from his hug. “We all have to grow up, I guess.”
Jacob was happy for her when she called with the news.
“Sweet!” he said, “What kind of car is it?”
She had no idea. “Uh, I forgot to ask.”
She laughed. “Seriously, yeah, I guess I’d better ask Charlie.”
It was practically new, despite being a few years old. “A CRV,” he said, shaking his head, “You have all the luck.” Sliding under it, and out again, Jacob mumbled, “swear it’s been parked since it came off the lot. You said it was used?”
“That’s what Daphne said.”
“Huh,” he said, looking at it. “It’s in great shape. And there are snow tires in the back, too,” he said, flipping the backs of his fingers against the silver body.
Coming back around, he opened up the rear driver-side door, “and it totally has lots of room in the back to make out in.”
She’d squealed when he picked her up and slid her onto the seat, to show her exactly what he meant.
“One-track wolf,” she said, finally disentangling herself. “Come on, I have to go home and pack some more.”
He pulled her up, but didn’t let go of her, his embrace soft, but sure. He sighed. “I’m going to miss you. A lot.”
“Feeling’s mutual Mr. Wolf,” she said, smiling. “You can come visit, you know.”
“Yeah,” he smiled, “I know. I will. Not the same.”
“No,” she agreed, “not the same.”
She stopped him before he could distract her again, reiterating, “Jake, I really do need to go finish packing.” Looking up at him, she added, “see me off, tomorrow morning?”
“Wouldn’t miss it,” he said, and kissed her, leaving her with something to think about on the drive home.