“So, what’s the plan if you do end up turning into a glorified mosquito?”
Bella choked on her inhale, partially laughing and coughing as she handed the joint back to Jacob. He took it happily, his eyes squinted in amusement as she tried to catch her breath. “You asshole! I totally wasted that.”
“Nah,” he replied, taking a long, slow hit and holding it for as long as he could before releasing it. “You’ll be stupid in about two minutes, though.”
She punched him on the shoulder and then reached for her drink that was in the cooler they brought. She was sitting between him and Edward on the blanket they laid out to avoid sitting in the sand. It was an overcast day, so both her and Jacob were dressed in hoodies for warmth. Edward wore one for appearances sake as he dug around in the damp sand looking for something.
“Lost a fang?”
Edward rolled his eyes at him, a good-natured smile on his handsome face. “I’m looking for a good stone.”
“Right here,” Bella raised her hand, her eyelids drooping by the second. Edward patted her thigh supportively.
“I meant for skipping, love.”
“I can do that too,” Bella said confidently, and the two boys shared a look over her head.
“There are bigger ones by the cliffs,” Jacob told him conspirately. Edward disappeared suddenly and reappeared by the rocks, bent over at the waist and already digging. Jacob was starting to feel the effects of the joint, his body feeling heavier by the second.
Oh, wait– that was just Bella settling under his arm, leaning her dead weight onto him. He tightened his hold around her as Edward reappeared, carrying an armful of palm-sized, relatively flat stones. “Tired?” he asked her gently, unable to keep the affection out of his voice as she tucked her face into his neck. Edward dropped his findings into the sand next to their blanket and observed the two of them, his expression warm and tinged with something else Jacob couldn’t quite figure out. Bella made a sound of protest and lifted her head, immediately smiling when she saw Edward had returned. She held her hand out to him and he took it without a thought, letting her drag him back onto the blanket with them.
“What’s with all the rocks?” Bella asked. She plucked the extinguished joint from Jacob’s fingers and relit it, inhaling deeply and releasing the smoke into the salty air. Edward picked up one of the stones and showed it to her, flipping it this way and that.
“I had to find the best ones. I used to be able to skip stones really well when I was human, but haven’t done it again since. I wanted to try,” he said, his tone a little shy. Jacob was suddenly struck with how normal he looked in that moment. He was far from his usual air of perfection that used to rub Jacob the wrong way. It had taken him a while to understand, after everything, but he’d long since seen just how young Edward really was. It was moments like these, the three of them spending their days together, seeing each other and themselves as they truly were, that caused him to fall in love with them both, in the end. He noticed neither of them had answered his question earlier, but he found it difficult to be mad about. None of them had any idea how to approach this situation.
“Let’s see what you’ve got, then,” Jacob teased him.
“Yeah, show us those impressive rock flinging skills,” Bella urged him, her words a little slurred but still excited. Edward’s tentative expression melted into a more confident one, his eyes almost glowing. He grabbed a stone from the pile and breathed out slowly to calm himself, a habit he picked up from Bella. He threw it, flicking his wrist to get the angle right.
Jacob and Bella watched in awe as the stone hit the surface of the water and kept on going, disappearing from sight eventually. “I stopped counting after 47.”
Bella’s voice broke the silence, and the three of them began to laugh. “That was awesome,” Jacob said, and he swore if vampires could blush, Edward would be. “Is it still going?”
“Yeah,” Edward said, running his fingers through his hair. His smile was radiant. “It’s still going.”
“Again!” Bella demanded, clapping her hands together. Edward laughed and picked up another stone.
“Can you show me how to do it?” Jacob asked.
“Me, too,” Bella insisted, sitting upright and holding her hand out for one. Edward, pleasantly surprised, handed them each a stone and began to instruct them.
By the time it started to get dark, Bella had accidentally hit both boys at least once, but both her and Jacob learned how to skip stones decently enough. They were nowhere near as good as Edward was, but by the way he was looking at them the entire time, he was having as much fun as they were.
They packed Bella’s truck back up, joking around with each other as they always do. Bella was tired and ready to go home, where they’d all climb into her bed and talk until her and Jacob fell asleep. Edward would stay, like he always did, and wake Jacob up early in the morning to leave before Charlie came upstairs.
But for now, he takes them home.