Bella wasn’t quite sure how she felt about visiting La Push anymore.
Sure, she had used it as an escape during the time the Cullens were gone. The visits she made during that time made her happy, yes, but the changes Jake went through during that time also made it difficult for her. After all, it’s not easy seeing your childhood friend - someone who you’ve known most of your life - turn into a giant wolf right before your eyes.
Of course there was the issue of werewolves and vampires being mortal enemies, but that’s neither here nor there.
There was also the matter of the rest of the pack. They were nice (well, mostly), but a little strange. There were just some things that bled over from being wolves, even when they were in their human forms. For example, the pack still had heightened senses, even in their human forms. Bella was used to the Cullens being able to hear and smell her before she was even able to see them, but it was just a little strange for people she had known since childhood suddenly being able to do the same.
Some wolf pack dynamics also bled over. Like Sam’s orders as the alpha of the pack being absolute, even as a human.
But the one thing that stood out to Bella the most was the way the pack greeted one another.
Before the Cullens came back to Forks, any time Bella interacted with the pack, she was the last one to arrive. So, obviously, she didn’t get the chance to see how they greeted one another. As far as she knew, they greeted each other like normal humans. Little did she know, she was wrong.
It all started on a regular visit to La Push.
When Bella pulled up to Sam and Emily’s house, she was greeted by Jacob waiting outside for her. As they were saying hello, Paul came out of the surrounding forest, just off patrol. He said a quick hello to the pair before heading into the house, grumbling about leeches and wanting to eat something after a long patrol.
Jacob and Bella followed Paul in shortly after.
What Bella saw drastically changed how she viewed the La Push pack.
There was Paul, kissing Sam’s finance, in front of the entire pack. And everybody was okay with it.
Before Bella could say anything (most likely question what exactly was going on and why Sam wasn’t losing his mind over Paul kissing Emily), Jacob walked over and kissed Sam. With tongue.
This snapped Bella out of her thoughts.
“Jake, what the hell?” she snapped, shoving his chest with both her hands, “What-what was that?”
“What?” Jacob raised his hands in surrender, “What did I do wrong?”
“The-the you kissing Sam! And Paul kissing Emily when we were coming in!”
Sam spoke up, “It’s a wolf thing. It’s how we greet each other.”
Bella looked around the room. Aside from Jacob, Sam, Emily, and Paul, the entire rest of the pack was present. Seth, Leah, Jared, Quil, and Embry.
“So, every time you guys see each other, you just-you just kiss each other? With tongue?”
“Yeah, pretty much,” said Jared from his spot at the table, “Like Sam said, it’s a wolf thing.”
Bella threw her arms up in frustration and began to pace, “Like, every time you guys see each other? How come I’ve never seen this before?”
“You’re usually the last one here,” said Seth.
Embry added, “Yeah, and we don’t think it’s that big a deal. It kinda comes with the territory, like all of our other instincts.”
“I just-I just need some time to think about this, guys.”
And with that, Bella stormed out of the house and climbed back into her truck.
As she drove to the Cullen’s house, she thought about all the other wolf behaviors Jacob had picked up since he first shifted. Like his increased appetite (which often crossed the line into eating questionable food) and the change in his speech patterns (like the increased frequency at which he would growl at other people or things).
Once she had driven all the way up the twisting forest path that acted as the driveway for the beautiful Cullen estate, Bella hopped out of her truck, still deep in thought. She walked up the remaining path to the porch and knocked on the door. Esme answered, and escorted Bella to the dining nook in the kitchen, where she placed a cup of coffee in front of the teenager.
Shortly after, Edward entered the kitchen, his eyes a bright shade of amber, showing he had just recently come back from hunting.
“What are you thinking about?” he asked, settling into the stool next to Bella.
“Were you aware,” she started, staring into her coffee like it held the answers to the universe, “of how the wolf pack greet one another?”