Main Characters: Jacob Black, Wolf Pack, & OC
Genre/Universe: Post-Breaking Dawn Canon
Summary: He Never Suspected...
I was inspired to write this story by a legend I came across about imprinting on the following website.
And for the simple fact that Breaking Dawn broke my heart!
A canon follow-up to Breaking Dawn with twists, turns, and surprises.
What happens when a wolf is separated from his imprint?
Jacob tries to live without Nessie, selflessly agreeing to give her short childhood to Bella and Edward. Racked by boredom and loneliness, he befriends a girl with an abusive step-father. Will another heart be broken?
What sinister forces are stalking Jacob and the other wolves, and why?
Discover who Embry's father is, if Leah ever finds happiness, and how Sam and Jacob deal with having two separate packs.
Disclaimer: All publicly recognizable characters, settings, etc. are the property of their respective owners. The original characters and plot are the property of the author. The author is in no way associated with the owners, creators, or producers of any media franchise. No copyright infringement is intended.
Some moments of happiness, but still some big questions that need to be answered.
Seugnet du Toit,
There definitely is questions to be answered. Question about how to handle what she has just learned about Jacob and Renesmee, and Jacob should be figuring how not to hurt her, but the more import challenge is finding the girls. The action will move quite quickly from here. Thanks for the review.
Raven answered the door yawning groggily. "Jacob, what time is it?" She squinted because of the light, and rubbed her sleepy eyes.
Jacob lifted her up heartily, planting a tiny kiss on her slightly reddish-blue tinged nose. If he had it to do all over again, he would never have allowed her to go back inside with that nut job of a dad of hers. He would hate to see what he'd do to him if they ever crossed paths. "Nine o'clock. I'm here to see River."
"River?" Raven repeated. "About what?"
"I'm not sure," Jacob answered, shrugging his shoulders. "I was wondering the same thing."
"Come in. I'll go wake him up. He's probably sleeping in the empty room downstairs," Raven uttered, more awake. "Nine o'clock, I'm late for school!"
"Calm down. It's not going anywhere, and he's not home yet."
"What are you talking about?"
"He spent the night at Leah's," Jacob replied nonchalantly. "They're on their way. They should be here any minute. All I've got to say is that was some fast work."
"Fast wor… What's that supposed to mean?" Raven scowled in offense. "What was fast work?"
"I was talking about Leah. Not River. I'm just saying that was ff…never mind," Jacob spluttered, wishing he'd never made the remark.
The door swayed open, and River and Leah casually traipsed in all comfy and cozy as if they'd known each other forever. They hunkered down on the sofa at the exact same time, so close together it looked like they were joined at the hip. Jacob and Raven sat down across from them.
It was obvious to Jacob that Leah had accomplished what she set out to do very effectively, considering the time frame she had to work with. He was impressed. He cast a sideways glance at Raven. Her eyes were wide, and she was riveted by them.
"So, River, what's up?" Jacob burst out, breaking the silence. "Is this about being Delta Force?"
"Jacob!" Raven shrieked, punching him on the leg.
"Don't worry about it, Raven, I told Leah last night. Hmm, I never did that before. That was weird," River observed. "I guess it doesn't matter. I'm at the end of my enlistment period. I wasn't planning on reenlisting for another four years, anyway, especially not now."
Leah, actually, blushed like any regular embarrassed-type girl. Jacob had to smirk.
"Leah told me the situation. It sounds pretty serious. I know that since were dealing with the supernatural, there's probably not a whole heck of a lot I could do to help, but I can't sit by and do nothing."
"Do you have something in mind that might be able to help us?" Jacob asked.
"I was just wondering what the plan was going to be once you arrived at the site where your families are being held?"
"Well, I guess we were basically just planning on matching up with the parasites and ripping every single reeking one of them apart."
"Then that's where I think I might be able to help. That is, if you don't mind."
"Actually, we could use all the help we can get, as long as it doesn't put anyone in danger."
Jacob listened carefully and with deep alertness while River shared the fact that he'd participated in rescue missions and could provide some assistance with knowledge of what must be considered to insure the mission is successful.
"The challenge is to have the least amount of friendly casualties or hostage casualties as possible with the ultimate goal of no friendly or hostage casualties at all," River counseled. "Leah's sure that your packs can handle the battle part of the operation, but what about the hostages?"
Leah added, "We'll have the element of surprise going for us for a little while, Jake, because they're not expecting us. As soon as we're near enough though, they're going to smell us coming and that'll put the girls, Brady, and Seth in way too much danger."
"You're right. It's not like they're going to let us waltz right in there and take them out of harms way. We're going to have to start eliminating the vampires just to get to 'em. I'm sure we're gonna have our hands full with that. How are we going to protect 'em at the same time?" Jacob wondered out loud, his mind drawing blanks.
He couldn't come up with a single idea of how to protect them during the attack. He realized that with Bella's situation the vampires didn't already have her, so all they had to do to keep her safe was to make sure the vampires never got to her. This situation was totally different because they already had Rachel, Kim, and Brady, and they could kill or turn them at anytime.
"I didn't realize how unprepared we were," Jacob granted. "We need to come up with something fast, before Seth leaves. Do you have any ideas that will help?"
"Sure. I could tell you what you need to know to develop a successful plan," River assured. "For starters, what do you have planned so far?"
Jacob explained to River that the packs were sending Seth to observe the path to the location where Brady and the girls were being held. "I convinced Stefan that all we want is our family back. We had no problems with seeing that the Volturi is overthrown, especially after what they attempted to do here against the Cullens. I told him he should have came to us and asked for our help first, that we would have been more than willing to help. Since they went about it the way they did, we didn't trust them.
"As a show of faith, Seth will be treated as a friend as long as he doesn't give them any trouble. The Romanians want to prove to us that they mean us no harm and just want our help. They assured me that they want to keep our alliance with them peaceable since we'll be working together.
"They're keeping Brady drugged for some reason, but they don't know that we know. They also promised me that Seth's phone call back to us wouldn't be made under duress. So if they're planning on drugging him, too, they won't do it until after he makes the phone call which will be twenty-four hours after he leaves."
"Excuse me, Jacob," River interrupted. "Why the twenty-four hours?"
"We're not a hundred percent sure, but we think it's because they want us to believe that it takes twenty-four hours to get to where they're going. Since we could still hear Brady, we have good reason to believe that Seth will be there long before they let him make the call."
"That's good, continue."
"We made sure that Seth would be traveling in wolf form. Being that he's going voluntarily, they didn't have a problem. Their only request was that no one tries to follow him. At this point, as long as we don't follow, they have no reason to doubt our willingness to help them." The more Jacob thought about the situation, the more he felt that Sam should be involved in the discussion he was having with River. "Leah, I think we need to involve Sam and some of the other guys in this."
Leah frowned. "Can't we listen first, and then pass the information on to them?"
River shrugged. "It doesn't matter to me, but I've already recognized that you guys have an excellent starting point based on what you've told me so far,"
"We'll see how it goes, Leah, but if I still think I need Sam to be here, I'm calling him. Go ahead, River."
"First, you need to do some reconnaissance, thorough investigating prior to attempting the rescue," River explained. "This investigation will give you a number of important pieces of information that'll be necessary to devise the plan, one of them being numbers. You'll need to know, as precisely as possible, how many enemies that you will be dealing with.
"Another important aspect is the location. You'll need to scout it well, and the facility that the captives are being held in. Survey each hostage location, identifying entrance points and an escape routes. Also, you'll want to know everything about any and all guards that might be surrounding the hostages."
Jacob paid close attention while River talked about diverting all the action as far away from the captives as possible for their safety. He said that it would be necessary to get the attention away from them, as well, for however momentarily that might be.
"This will allow the rescuers to enter the holding sites with the least amount of resistance, and remove the captives as quickly and as safely as can be managed. When you have all the intelligence needed, you'll be ready to plan the rescue. The excellent starting point I mentioned earlier is Seth, and the twenty-four hours. You use Seth for all of the reconnaissance. Once he gives you all the necessary Intel, you'll be ready to devise the plan."
It was apparent to Jacob that River knew how dangerous this was going to be, and just talking to him brought new challenges to Jacob's mind. Like, what would they do if they were dealing with way too many vampires?
"This changes everything. I guess this is going to be a bigger job for Seth than we thought. Maybe Seth won't be the one to go. I need to talk to Sam. We were all so anxious to get them back none of us were thinking clearly enough."
"One more thing, Jacob. Once you have the plan, there are three crucial elements necessary to insure its success: surprise, speed, and an alliance of action. I mean that everything must be coordinated perfectly." River was extremely serious. "Leah says you have the surprise and the speed. Just make sure everyone is precisely where they need to be, doing exactly what they need to do, at the very moment they need to do it, to get your family and themselves out safely."
"Well, River, you gave me a lot to consider. I really appreciate the help." Jacob thanked him then turning to Leah said, "It's time to get together with the guys and figure some things out. We don't have much time."
"Okay, I'll meet you outside in a few minutes."
Raven sat down beside Jacob on the front porch, and he realized she was trembling very subtly. He curled his arm around her waist. "I wish you didn't hear all that. I'm sure it sounds more dangerous than it is."
"Don't worry about it. I would have left the room if I really needed to."
"By the way, you're brother's pretty cool," Jacob said appreciatively. "That information is good to know. I'm sure it's gonna to make a world of difference."
"I hope so."
Jacob glanced back at the door, already running out of patience. "Leah better hurry up," he muttered.
"You weren't exaggerating. That was fast!" Raven exclaimed, referring to River and Leah. "Did you see the way Leah was looking at him? It had me wondering what River was thinking while he stared back at her. You'd never guess they just met. It's really weird."
Jacob nodded. "Yup. It sure is," he agreed, sweeping her hair out of her eyes.
"I'm already so late for school. I may as well just skip it. Besides, River will only be here for a few more days."
Jacob wasn't paying attention. His mind moved to another part of the plan that had him feeling disturbed. This part of the plan required him to contact the Cullens. He was sure that once he heard Nessie's voice again his imprint would be reinforced. His loneliness for Nessie would rage, and he didn't know how much longer he'd want to stick around Raven after that.
I don't ever want to pull a Cullen and just disappear.
He pursed his lips. During the past couple of days, he learned that he really did love Raven and would never be ready to cause her any kind of pain, but he was conscious that for him, leaving was inevitable. Not only that, Jake really did miss Nessie and Bella, and was certain that if they asked him to come for a visit, there would be no stopping him.
He studied Raven. She was tying her long hair up loosely on her head, just like she wore it the first time he kissed her. She wasn't one of those girls that had to be all fixed up with a bunch of make-up to look good. She wore some, but to him she didn't need to. Her allure was pure and natural. He, all of a sudden, recognized her dark eyes seemed a little dimmer, not quite as full of life as they normally were. Nevertheless, she was still astonishingly beautiful.
This really sucks!
"What are you thinking about?" Raven wondered, gazing at him intimately.
Her beautifully framed, dark eyes drank him in, completely filling themselves. Her cheeks had that natural slightly flushed hue that made you think she was close to blushing, and her perfect pink lips were enticingly gathered together, the corners lifted contently. He could see exactly how she felt about him every time she was wearing that look. It was the look that he was never able to resist. He pressed his forehead against her forehead and drowned himself in her eyes.
"I really do love you," he breathed.
Raven cast her eyes downward briefly. She smiled a smile that he saw only once or twice before. It was a smile that hinted at a frown, a somewhat sad smile. Everything about her presence became quiet for a second. Then she lifted her eyes, and kissed him lightly on his lips.
"I was thinking that after I talk to Sam, I'm going over to Charlie's to pick-up a phone number. I need to make an important phone call. Will you come with me?"
River is an interesting addition to the story. Very helpful in this situation. I wonder what will happen once Jacob contacts the Cullens. Will this complicate things even further, or will it help to resolve the situation with Raven? At least they would be very helpful in any rescue attempt with their special skills. Let's hope it's not a trap!
With River, I really believed that there needed to be resolution for Leah. It was hard for me to see the story end without true and notable happiness for her. While the Cullens, Bella, Edward, Jacob and even Charlie received their happy endings. So much was left unsaid about the wolves. That is why I chose them to write about in my fan fiction.
Jacob contacting the Cullens is a sort of test for him, but he still needs/wants Raven's support during that test. So that's why he asked her to be there when he call them. In case you thought that was a bit weird for him to do. Thanks for the comment =)
Kiss Me Goodbye
I can handle it, Jacob, Seth whined, scuffing his paw on the ground and pacing in a circle.
I don't know, Seth, it's going to take some sharp thinking. A lot of information has to be gathered and shared in a short amount of time. It's going to take some craftiness to do that. If the answer isn't plain to see, it's going to take some imagination to find it. We only have this one shot, and if we don't get it right we'll all be facing death because as far as I can see all other roads lead to Italy. I'm thinking about going myself. Jacob revealed.
Someone likes to toot his own horn, Leah barked.
Jacob rumbled, don't get wise, snapping at her.
Come on, Leah, back me up here. You know I can handle it. I'm a fast thinker and convincing, Seth yapped frantically. I accomplish anything I put my mind to. Remember, Dad always said I had a gift for thinking outside the box. Plus, I notice things that most people would never see.
Leah scrutinized Seth's argument. It's true, Jacob, he is extremely perceptive. I'm sure he could spot anything we need him to. He also has a niche for staying calm, and that'll keep him thinking clearly. Leah licked Seth's ear showing her support. I may not like it, but I say let him go.
Quil and Embry are okay with me going. Aren't you, guys?
Quil and Embry barked their approval.
What do you say, Jacob? Seth whined in a begging manner.
All right, you convinced me, Jacob howled. Now let's see if we can convince Sam.
Jacob passed on all the information that River gave him to Sam before the meeting so that Sam would have time to share it with his pack. They all met with Sam and the rest of the wolves in the trees beside Sam's house.
Maybe it's best if someone from my pack goes. That way more of us can see what we need to know, Sam suggested.
Seth won't take no for an answer. He's pretty tough and has a sharp head on his shoulders. He's seen my conversation with River, so he knows exactly what to look for. I'm sure he'll do an awesome job, Jacob thought convincingly. Leah knows him better than any of us. She's sure he's the right one to send.
If you're sure about Seth, then I trust your judgment. Just make sure that you give me good descriptions of what Seth knows so that I could pass it on accurately, Sam reminded him.
Sam, we also have to consider the fact that we may be far too outnumbered to even attempt a rescue, and if that's the case then we'll just have to go to Italy.
That thought occurred to me, too, but we'll cross that bridge if it comes. Just try to think positive, Jacob. We'll meet up with you, Leah, Quil, and Embry as soon as Seth gives us the call to let us know that he's leaving, and we'll plan it as it comes.
Sam suggested that everyone go home, sleep if necessary, and spend the rest of the time with their families.
Jacob, walk with me to my house.
You guys go on without me, I'll catch up … Sam wants to talk.
Leah whipped around, snarling angrily at Sam.
Calm down, Leah! I'm sure he doesn't want talk about you. Jacob woofed, and trotted away with Sam.
Tell me about her, Jacob.
She's ready. Her main concern was telling River and wondering if he could accept it all, and somehow those problems are completely gone. Jacob paused, contemplating the quickness of River's acceptance. It must have been meant to be.
Sam yelped loudly in Jacob's ear. He jumped away from Sam startled. Jeez, Sam, sorry! Anyway, from listening to her today, I know that she can focus now.
Charlie was delighted when Jacob asked for Bella's number. He explained that he was beginning to run out of excuses for Jacob not calling her yet.
"Here, use my phone, it's no problem. I know that Bells will be so glad to hear from you." Charlie left the kitchen, telling Jacob that he would give him some privacy.
Raven was about to follow Charlie's lead. Jacob clutched her hand and coaxed her back into the kitchen. "You don't have to leave. Stay with me."
She nodded her head. "Sure?"
"Yup." He smiled wiry. He wrapped an arm around her and held her against him, while he apprehensively waited for someone on the other end of the line to pick-up.
He was relieved when Carlisle answered the phone. "Just the man, I wanted to speak with," Jacob greeted.
Carlisle listened attentively while Jacob explained everything to him. "I feel awful about all this, Jacob."
"You shouldn't. We're all as much to blame. To tell you the truth, I don't think we'd do anything much different given the chance."
"Nonetheless, on behalf of my entire family, I want to apologize. What can we do to help?"
Carlisle sounded extremely concerned as he agreed to deliver the message to the Volturi of the Romanian's intentions. "Are you sure there is nothing more we could do for you, Jacob?"
"We have it covered. I'm sure we could handle it by ourselves. Besides, I don't want to place any members of your family back in danger. Too much of that has already gone around," Jacob said sincerely. "Just make sure that we have time to get our family to safety before anyone from the Volturi calls upon the Romanians. Sue will contact Bella when we're ready for them to know."
"Do you want to talk to Renesmee now?" Carlisle asked.
"Sure put Nessie on." Jacob relaxed his hold on Raven, turned his head away from her, and stared out the window feeling significantly stressed.
This is going to be harder than I thought.
"Jacob! You called!" Nessie bellowed. "Mom and I really miss you."
By the sound of her voice, it was apparent that she'd grown so much since the last time he'd seen her. "I miss you, too, kid. Tell me everything you've been doing over there."
He continued to face the window, wondering if Raven could detect his apprehension as he listened to Nessie gush over her new friend Nahuel, the half vampire-half human that Carlisle was studying. She told Jacob all about the hunts that he took her on, and marveled about what a good baseball player he was. "He's a great hunter. He's super fast, too. I think he's stronger than Uncle Emmett, even," Nessie bragged. "He's really fun. You'd like him, Jacob."
"Is he more fun than me?"
"Um, it's a tie." She giggled.
Jacob grinned, brimming with peace and contentment from knowing that Nessie was happy and having a fantastic time. He honestly missed her. When it seemed that she was all out of stories to tell him, he assured her that he would call again soon then he asked to speak with Bella.
After Bella gave him a lengthy ear beating about not calling sooner, she updated him on all the affairs of the entire family. Jacob yawned. "Carlisle has learned so much about Renesmee from studying Nahuel. He's great, fits right in with the family and everyone seems to get along very well with his family."
"Good, I'm glad to hear everything's going good for you guys. I could tell by the way Nessie sounded that she's having a ball. By the way, what's it like where you're at?" Jacob asked curiously.
"It's beautiful and the hunting's great. Why do you ask?"
"No reason in particular, just wondering I guess."
Bella's voice lowered with concern. "I know how you like to worry, Jacob, but there's no need. Renesmee is perfect. Trust me, she's well taken care of and is growing healthy, and she's very happy."
Then Bella began to press for answers about Jacob and Carlisle's discussion, and Jacob knew it was time to end the conversation with her. "Carlisle will explain everything. Now it's my turn to tell you, there's no need for you to worry. I miss you guys, and I promise to call more often from now on."
"You better. You had Nessie thinking you didn't care about her anymore."
Jacob winced. "Ouch! Way to make a guy feel guilty for something that's your fault. Typical Bella."
Bella laughed softly. "You're right, that was hitting below the belt. I'll make sure she knows how much you care about her. You just make sure you call."
"Agreed, talk to you soon and tell Eddy I said hi. Oh, make sure you hassle Blondie for me, put some purple dye in her shampoo or something." Jacob hung up the phone and stood motionless for an instant.
Here goes everything, again.
He took a deep breath then slowly turned toward Raven, intentionally delving deep into her eyes and waiting to feel the fallout.
The adoring glimmer--the one that manifested the intense feelings she had for him--reflected back, encapsulating his desire for her.
"Huh, nothing's changed," he thought out loud, running his fingers through his hair in bewilderment. "I still want to."
"Still want to what?" Raven questioned, raising her eyebrow without a clue as to what he was talking about.
He impulsively wound himself around her, letting his confused tension dissolve completely in the swirling lusciousness of her kiss, feeling grateful he continued to want to be with her. It slipped his mind that they were standing in Charlie's kitchen until he heard Charlie entering the room. "Hey, Charlie, we're just leaving and, ah, thanks for the phone call."
"Sure. Anytime." Charlie chuckled. "I think."
Jacob glanced at Raven. Her cheeks were crimson. She looked pretty pissed.
"What? What'd I do?" he shrugged innocently, stifling his laughter as they walked out the door.
"Oh, shut up." She smiled, whacking him on the arm.
Abby was cooking when Raven and Jacob returned. River and Leah were sitting in the living room getting to know more about each other.
"Are you hungry Jacob?" Raven asked him.
"Not really. I'll eat, though, since your mom's going through all the trouble."
"I promised Kristy I would go to the mall with her today, but I'm not in a shopping mood. I may as well call and tell her I can't. I haven't been able to spend any time with River yet," Raven stated indifferently.
"Well, you better be ready to fight Leah for him," Jacob joked. "Anyhow, we'll be leaving in a few hours and I was hoping I could hang out with you until then, if that's okay? Besides, Billy was practically kicking me out the door this morning. It's helping him to think that we're already on our way to get Rachel."
Raven's smile wilted and her shoulders drooped. Jacob leaned back surprised at her reaction to his question. "Did I say something wrong?"
"I'm sorry, Jacob. Go to the mall. What was I thinking? I was trying to pretend this day was normal. I do that sometimes, pretend nothing's wrong. It helps me get by. I probably got that from Mom."
Her heart began to thump loudly. Jacob reached for her. She was trembling and her eyes welled with tears. "I'm scared, Jacob. I don't want to think about it."
"Shh … Raven," he whispered, his mind racing with ways to comfort her.
She pressed her fingers against her temples and closed her eyes. Based on the panic and fear that he sensed emanating from her, he was certain she was about to lose it. Jacob took her hands away from her head and brought them down to her sides. He put his arm around her to calm her.
"I didn't mean to make you cry," he whispered, wondering how they would explain Raven's behavior to Abby, should she walk in at any moment.
"Everything's going to be just fine. I promise, especially now with River's help. It's going to be way easier than we first thought. Remember, we've done all this before, no problem. It's what we exist for."
"I c-can't, Jacob," she stammered.
Jacob glanced at River and Leah as they sat together across the room. With the expression on River's face, he could tell that he wasn't handling it well either.
He clasped Raven by the arm and quickly took her down to her bedroom. Once they got inside, Raven flung her arms around him, and completely broke down sobbing. What the … He wasn't at all prepared to deal with the type of reaction he was getting from her.
"It's not really that bad, Raven," he claimed, attempting to comfort her. "Hey, there are enough of us to handle anything. We're going to be back before you know it. I promise, and I'll come straight over here."
"I don't want to lose you," she cried. "I know I'm going to lose you."
He lifted her chin trying to wipe away her tears. "No, you're not."
Her eyes tightly closed, she buried her face in the crook of his neck, refusing to listen to him. "Yes I am, Jacob! I already know it!" She sobbed inconsolably.
He clamped his own lips together to keep from telling her he wouldn't go just to get her to stop crying, and stroked her hair comfortingly until her tears at last subsided. It was all he could think of to do.
Eventually, she pulled away from him and wiped her face dry. "I'm sorry, Jacob. I didn't mean to do that. Just feeling super stressed, I guess. I really wish you didn't have to go."
"But I do have to go."
"I know you do, and I shouldn't have done that with everything else you need to be focused on."
Even though she was a mess, she still looked very sweet and he could see how hard she was trying. They sat in silence for a few minutes. Then with her sad smile, she asked, "So should we go do something until then?"
"We could go hang out at the beach for a while, just to get away from the woods if you don't think it's too cool out?" Jacob suggested.
"No, it's always warm with you." She sniffled, struggling to relax.
Raven fixed herself up while Jacob ate the meal that Abby prepared for them then he and Raven went to the beach, leaving River and Leah behind.
A dark whirling mass of clouds was hovering over the middle of the ocean, miles off the coast. The rest of the overcast sky was glowing silver from the sun, and the ocean waves were gently crashing against the shore. The beach was filling up with surfers but nobody was surfing.
Jacob and Raven sat in the sand, along the shoreline close to the water. They were having a good time just hanging out, talking, and laughing. He forgot all of his problems for a moment just as he did every time he was with Raven and concluded that it was another one of the reasons he enjoyed being with her.
Jacob gestured toward the extremely dark sky. "Everyone's waiting for that storm to get closer. It'll bring some huge waves when it does, but its moving way too slow. I bet it won't get here until way after nightfall. It might not even get here until tomorrow morning."
Raven glared at the ocean, simply stating, "I wish I knew how to surf."
"You mean you can't surf?" Jacob acted surprised. "Well that's just ridiculous. You really should be ashamed of yourself, you know. In fact, I don't know if I can go out with you anymore," he teased.
Raven giggled profusely. "I'm serious, Jacob. I really want to learn to surf."
"Well, if you're really serious, I can teach you. I haven't been out there in a while myself. It seems like I'm always in the woods these days. Actually, I am always in the woods these days."
Jacob picked up some rocks from the gritty shore, walked out into the ocean, and began tossing them into the gentle foaming waves. His mind drifted to Raven's breakdown and how painfully distraught she looked. If that was any indication of how she would react when he couldn't be with her anymore, it's was going to be really, really bad.
Quil and Leah were right.
He wished he could tell her about the imprinting, but she cringed every time she heard the word and he wasn't going to force it on her. He decided he would pull away from her very subtly, however long that might take to try to make the separation as painless as possible. Even though he loved her, he realized that saying it was a mistake because he already knew who the future had in store for him. He promised himself that he would not say it again. Every time he thought he was making the situation better, he ended up finding that all he did was make it worse.
"Yup, I really think it's time," he said turning toward Raven, "that I get back out there and surf again."
Raven let out a breathy gust of air and burst out laughing, hysterically.
"What is it?" He smiled, bemused by her behavior.
She couldn't seem to stop herself from laughing and tears were coming out of her eyes, again. Finally, she gained control of herself and took another deep breath. "Just a wicked, wicked case of déjà vu." She chuckled. "Don't even ask. I'm really losing it, aren't I?"
He sat back down beside her and pulled her into him. "Yeah, but I love you anyway."
Ah, hell! He grimaced.
Jacob heard the howling call of a wolf. "Seth's leaving. We better get back."
He could see the worry starting to re-emerge on Raven's loving expression and hear her fearful, worried heart as he walked her to the door. "Tell Leah that I'll meet her across the street, and promise me you'll do your best not to worry," he urged, seizing her lips with his and kissing her goodbye as meaningfully as he could.
So many complications on so many different levels! I hope their plan works out. On an emotional level, it will be interesting to see how things work out for Raven and Jacob. Will they end up together or not? Looking forward to reading more!
Hi Seugnet du Toit,
Raven is worried and wondering about their relationship as well. What Jacob didn't realize when she broke down crying, was that she was actually trying to tell him she knew that she would not remain with him, but he thought she was telling him that she was afraid he wouldn't be coming back. Thanks for the comment.
How do you like Raven's character? just wondering
She is an interesting addition to the story. I do look forward to see what happens with her and Jacob.
Hi bear, thanks for the link to the Quileuti legend on imprinting. I can see why this would inspire you to write Red Moon.
Thanks LR, those words from the legend play a key part in in the story. I hope you like it so far. =)
The Sons of Thunder
The sound of River's peaceful-sleep pulsed throughout the living room by the time Raven calmed herself down enough to be able to come out of her bedroom. He was spread out on the couch in a deep dead to the world slumber.
Abby was humming cheerfully at the kitchen table while sorting through a tin-can full of old papers. "What are these?" Raven asked, picking up a small pile of pictures.
"They're the pictures of your father and the letters I gave to River. Thank goodness he brought them with him." Abby patiently sifted through the envelopes. "I know it's here somewhere."
Raven flipped through the pictures. "Wow, Dad looks exactly like River!"
"He does… exactly. I'm going to make copies of those for you and have some blown-up, to hang around the house for me. As soon as I saw your brother, memories of Reed came flooding back. It reminded me of something that I needed to check out. It's got to be in here somewhere."
Abby retrieved an old yellowing piece of paper from a torn and wrinkled envelope. "Yes, found it!" She studied it carefully. "I knew it! Take a look at this." She handed the paper to Raven, wearing a satisfied smirk.
It was Reed's family tree. Raven scanned the document. "I didn't know Grandpa John was a Blackfoot Indian. I always thought he was from the same tribe as Grandma Happy.
"Your Grandma belonged to a tribe that settled up north, close to Canada. Your Grandpa's tribe settled in Montana. I think. He passed away when Reed was a teenager, so I never met him. See the very first name on your Grandpa's side?"
"My great, great, great Grandma was named Little Raven?"
"You're named after her. Now look at the small print right below her name."
Raven gasped. "She was Quileute!"
"I knew that tribe sounded familiar when we first moved here, but I never gave it much thought until now. Until you started getting really close to Jacob."
Abby enlightened Raven with what she knew of Little Raven. "She had shiny, pitch black hair like the feathers on a raven, and she was very pleasing to look at. One day, a man from a neighboring tribe spotted her and fell in love at first sight. He took several valuable gifts to her father for her in return. Her father didn't like the man and he refused to bargain.
"Several weeks later the camp was raided and she was taken away. It happened during a migration of the man's tribe, therefore she was never found by her own people. The man loved her very much and tried to have patience with her, waiting for her to love him back. Yet, she refused him time after time. One night he became angry and attacked her.
"Two young girls from the village took pity on her and helped her escape. They gave her some provisions and a horse and led her far away from the camp. They tried to point her in the direction of her home, but they were all so young and really didn't know the way. The horse wouldn't stay with her because she was a stranger to him and, eventually, he threw her off. All her provisions were gone with the horse.
"She wandered lost in the mountains for several days. A Blackfoot hunting party found her near death, starving, bruised, and battered. They took her back to their village where she fell madly in love with the young handsome warrior that found her. She was adopted into the tribe and remained with them for the rest of her days."
Raven gulped. "That's some story, Mom."
"You're dad told me that story the day you were born. I remember wanting you to hear it exactly the way he told it to me. It was beautiful. It's amazing to me how I allowed myself to forget so much." Abby sighed. "Little Raven…"
She poured a small gold medallion out from the bottom of the can and ran her fingers over it. "When I gave this to River for safe keeping, I told him that I wanted you to have it someday when you grew older."
"What is it?" Raven asked, reaching for the medallion.
"It's a Saint Christopher medal, the patron saint of travelers. Your dad wasn't Catholic, but he loved that medal. I gave it to him shortly after we were married, the first time he had to leave me." Abby's eyes began to tear. "We held it together, between the palms of our hands the day that he passed away."
A lump swelled in Raven's throat. She took a few seconds to let it go away before asking Abby a question that often occupied her mind. "Mom, you knew that he was dying, didn't you?"
"Yes, we knew when he wasn't responding to the treatments."
"Well, he knew he wouldn't be around when I was growing up and that I was too little to remember him. Why didn't he leave me something? Anything, a video tape, a tape recording, or a letter at least?"
Abby cast her eyes away. "I was only four months pregnant with you when he got sick. All those years between River and you, and I never got pregnant. Then when I did, we found out he was sick. He didn't want to die. He really struggled with knowing that he might not be around for you and River. I think that if he prepared for his death like that, to him it would have been like he was giving up, as if he was somehow admitting defeat." She tilted Raven's chin up. "Reed loved you with all his heart. You were his little Raven. 'My little Raven,' he said it just like that every time he held you in his arms."
Raven gave Abby a small smile of understanding, and changed the subject. "What about River's name?"
Abby chuckled thoughtfully. "Reed just named him that because it went good with the last name Myles, River Myles. He would say it was because I traveled many river miles just to find you." Her eyes gleamed brightly at the memory.
"Mom, I hope you're not too disappointed that you haven't been able to spend much time with River, because Leah's been here." Raven cocked her eyebrow curiously.
"I don't mind. Leah's very beautiful. I have good feelings about her. He seems to really like her, and that makes me happy." Abby's expression turned serious. "Now what about you and Jacob?"
The question caught Raven off guard and she frowned, unable to disguise her worries. "I went down to your room to check on you the other night, and you were crying." Abby persisted. She wasn't going to let Raven get away without an explanation.
"It had something to do with another girl. Her name is Renee or something," Raven answered grimly.
Abby softly laughed. "There's no other girl. I can see that he loves you. And I know you love him."
Raven felt her face redden. "It's more complicated than that, Mom."
Abby sighed. "It always seems like it is, but things will work themselves out," she said, smiling warmly. "Trust me, I know about these things."
Raven grinned. "Now you sound like Jacob."
Jacob, Leah, Quil, and Embry met up with Sam and the rest of Sam's pack in the woods by the beach. The anxious vibe among the wolves was as thick as the blackened clouds hovering above them. Jacob informed Sam that Seth was on his way to the site that they took Brady from but had yet to reach the destination.
They said no attempts to follow him, so we'll see what they have in mind once Seth gets there. He's almost there.
Does he see anything yet? Sam barked impatiently.
Here it goes, four bloodsuckers. One is leading the way and three are staying behind. Seth says he's traveling northeast.
I wonder how long the vampires will stay behind? Sam thought.
Seth is running full speed now, as soon as he has sighted some type of marker he'll focus on it. Otherwise, it may be necessary to track him by scent, but it didn't with work with Brady so we better not count on it working now. I think we should hang back the twenty-four hours for the pretense. Or until we know for certain it's safe to follow. There's no way to tell if the bloodsuckers stay there all night or leave within the hour. It's best to be extra cautious for now, Jacob calmly stated in his mind.
Your right, Jacob, if we have to track by scent, it'll lead us right past those vampires. Jared and Paul are overly anxious, though, and don't want to wait twenty-four hours. I still feel Brady is much closer than they want us to know.
Jacob. It was Leah. I know the place he sees. Seth and I have been through there before. He's on his way to the Cascade Mountains. Harry used to take us camping up there all the time. Sam's been there, too, with me. Leah also thought how it no longer hurt to remember her and Sam together in that way.
Sam. Seth is on his way to the Cascade Mountains. Leah says you've been through there.
I remember. It's along the Skagit River. I wonder how far north they'll be traveling.
Seth ran for hours, with not much but the woods to see, then he spotted a sign.
Jacob, there's a town up here. Newhalem, the sign says.
Jacob informed Sam.
Leah's right. She and I went through that town once, looking for somewhere to stay. It's a company town. All the people that live there are employees of some hydroelectric project plant, owned by some company called something Lights, Sam recalled.
That's weird. Bloodsuckers? The entire town? Jacob questioned.
I don't think so, but I'm not sure. Maybe Seth is just passing through. Well, we know how to follow without using his scent now. That's something, Sam thought. We could at least go another direction, avoiding the three vampires that stayed behind.
Jacob concentrated on what Seth was seeing.
Newhalem is only a few hours away by car, Leah said. We'll just have to see how far north the leech is taking him. Wait a minute…It looks like he's doubling back, not quite on his way to the town but somewhere near the town.
Jacob, guys, we are doubling back, in a circle, Seth confirmed, they may be trying to confuse the scent.
They backtracked several miles in the direction they just came from. We're about fifteen, twenty miles south west of the town now. There's an abandoned industrial type building. I can see it in the distance. I'm sure that's where we're going because they have to be holding the girls in some type of building, right?
Jacob passed the information to Sam.
Paul and Jared are barely containing themselves. Let's start running now. Since we know where we're going, we can take a different path, Sam insisted.
We're ready. You and Leah show us the way. Only make sure we don't get too close. We need to give Seth enough time to collect all the information needed, and then we need time to very carefully figure out how we're going to use it to our advantage.
They organized for the pursuit. Both packs set out for Newhalem with Sam and Leah running out front, flanked by Jacob and Jared. The storm was moving closer and the wind was quickly picking up. Everyone wondered just how the tempest would affect the night.
Okay, Sam, quiet down your pack. Seth's there.
Raven woke late during the night, to the sweet, expertly polished sound of a singing guitar. She quietly walked upstairs and found River sitting up by himself in the dimly lit living room. "Sorry, didn't mean to wake you. I couldn't sleep anymore. I found this downstairs. I'm glad you hung on to it."
"I still try to play it." Whenever I was lonesome for you. "I never really caught on to it that well."
River put the guitar down and rested his chin in the palm of his hand, glaring seriously at Raven. "So you knew about all this, huh, little sis?"
"I just barely found out myself. Did Leah show you?" Raven whispered.
"I wanted her to. She said it was up to me. I had two drinks, though, and she was afraid it would freak me out so I let her off the hook. Besides, even without seeing, I know that everything she told me is true. I can't explain how I know. I just do. It's incredible. She's incredible," River uttered quietly. "Everything feels so surreal right now. It's really weird." River appeared slightly stunned.
"Earlier you mentioned that you weren't planning on reenlisting. Did you tell Mom?"
"Not yet. I thought I'd let her know about it as soon as I got here. Things just took a turn in another direction."
"Is it because of Leah?"
"No. I had already started the separation process a few weeks before my last mission. It was a hard decision to make.
"I spent my life following in Dad's footsteps. It's been great, and it made me feel so close to him. But now, I'm getting nearer to the age that he was when he passed away. It's strange to think that where his footsteps end mine will continue on without him. I want to be on my own path when I'm at that age. I think Dad would want me to be on my own path, too. "
It was hard for Raven to listen to River talk about Reed like he knew him when she didn't have a memory of her own to recall.
"I love what I do and I love the people I work with, but I just had the hunch I needed to be somewhere else. Then you called." River laughed. "I always knew this was a strange world and I seen some crazy things, but I never knew how weird things really were until I got here."
"Mm hm." Raven nodded in agreement.
"You know what's really funny, though?" River said as if he was about to tell Raven a secret.
"What?" Raven leaned closer.
"I never told any of my girlfriends when I was about to go on a dangerous mission, but I'm sure some of the married guys told their wives." River grinned amused at himself and shook his head disbelievingly. "And look at me now, sitting here just like one of those wives feeling helpless and worried. I've got to tell you, it doesn't feel too good. I mean, I just met the girl of dreams and just like that, I'm already at risk of losing her. You don't know how badly I wish I could have gone along."
"Not me. It's scary enough to think about what's really out there," Raven paused thoughtfully for a second, "I'm glad to know that Jacob and the rest of them are here to keep people safe."
Abby energetically trekked down the stairs and sat down on the sofa chair, smiling contently at both of her children sitting together again after all these years.
"Sorry to wake you, Mom," River apologized.
"Oh, no, the sound of your two voices talking together is music to my ears." Raven's heart skipped and she shot a flustered glance at River, wondering how much Abby heard.
"What had you two whispering so secretively anyway?"
"Well, Mom, it looks like I'm home to stay. That is if you and Raven have room for me around here," River announced, giving Raven a sly smirk.
Abby clasped her hands together, overjoyed. "You don't know how much you just made my day." She beamed, getting up from the sofa chair and giving River another big hug. "You don't have to leave us from here on out?"
"I do, but only for a few weeks and just to finish the discharge process, then I'll be home free," River explained, adding, "you know what? I might even get married, too!" He said this as if what he'd just announced was nothing out of the ordinary.
"River!" Abby blurted. Raven chuckled feeling as flabbergasted as Abby looked. "You only just met Leah yesterday. Don't you think you should give yourself some time to get to know her? Give her some time to get to know you?" Abby recommended, giving River a glower of insistence.
"Ah, Mom, of course I will. Leah's a special girl, though. What do you guys think I'm some crazy love-struck wuss?" River laughed, continuing to amuse himself. "Even if I am, I wouldn't want her to know it."
"It's my turn now. I got something to tell you two," Abby announced with a sly smirk of her own. "I'm buying a house in La Push.
Raven sat up straight in shock, bellowing, "What house, Mom? What are you talking about?"
"Mike told me I could keep this one as long as I pay for it myself, so now I'm going to sell it. You know Ella Walker? She's one of the elderly people that I take care of in La Push. She and her family think that it's time she moves in with them. Ella has a very nice three bedroom, two-bath house, and she wants me to take it. Besides, we don't need this big house anymore, we never did, and it'll be easier for me to afford," Abby explained.
After giving it some thought, Raven realized how happy she was with the idea.
"I like Ella. She reminds me of your Grandma Happy. She's so full of wisdom," Abby continued. "And, Raven, if you want to finish school here in Forks you can. I think it's time we get you the car Mike would never allow you to have. I want you to start living the normal life of a teenager that you were never able to live before."
Abby got up and walked into the kitchen looking very pleased with her intentions. "And you know what else? I'm going to sign up for nursing classes at the community college. I always wanted to be an RN."
Raven and River smiled at each other, delighted over Abby's new found independence.
"So, are you going to be ready to shoot some hoops with me sometime today?" River sighed standing up and stretching. "I hope you can still play."
Jacob internally repeated everything that Seth saw.
It's an old abandoned industrial building with several other smaller buildings and sheds surrounding the main one. Four vampires are standing outside the main entrance, different vampires than the ones that stayed behind at the pick-up site. The main entrance is facing south. Seth is going into the building. Two more vampires are in the hallway. Seth's going to the main area of the building. It's on the east side. Six more vampires are in the main area room.
It's Brady. He's in a rod iron cage. He looks really sick. Seth says the cage is pretty beat up and loose. He thinks it's from Brady slamming it. That's most likely the reason they're keeping Brady drugged. He thinks it looks weak.
The packs continued to run lightning fast, thunderously plowing through the thicket, trampling every foot of vegetation in their path, en route to the industrial building. Jacob could feel a concentration of restless impatience coming from Leah, Embry, and Quil combined with his craving to sink his teeth into several bloodsuckers. The feeling was abundantly powerful. He understood Sam's urgency to get moving as quickly as possible. Not only was Sam sharing the anxious impatience of all the other wolves, he was more specifically sharing Paul and Jared's desperate and unyielding necessity to retrieve the centers of their universes, their reasons for living.
Entrance points and exit points, Sam reminded.
Windows at roughly twenty feet to twenty-five feet apart, maybe less, high up the wall on the east side. Seth spotted several smaller buildings and sheds outside, also on the east side. He thinks someone could use the smaller sheds and buildings to jump up to the main one and come in through the windows. They're big enough for us.
They're taking him to see the girls. Same side of the building, right next door to the room Brady's being held in. It's just your basic locked door. Someone could hit it and it'll pop right open. It's the girls. He heard Sam command his pack to keep silent at the thoughts of Kim and Rachel. They're fine but they look terrified. There is a table, two chairs, bed mattresses on the floor. Looks like they have food and blankets. It has the same wide windows on the east wall. It looks like we got our entrance points, Sam. They won't let Seth stay in the room any longer.
Jacob, tell Seth to convince the vampires to stop drugging Brady now! Sam insisted.
Seth was gone by the time Jacob could finish his thought. Seth had to phase to talk to the vampires. We won't know anything until he gets back.
"He's sick, and you need to stop drugging him. The deal is that everyone be well," Seth told the vampire.
The vampire laughed. "And you need to realize you are in no postion to make demands, filthy dog."
"Look, I don't like it either, but the fact is we're all on the same side here, unless you don't want to be? I could just let my brothers and the Romanians know that you don't really want our help, in which case, you're holding our family for nothing."
The vampire groaned. "The mutt's been trying to escape ever since he arrived. Get him to stop and we'll see if we can forget about drugging him."
Seth was taking way too long. Jacob, Leah, Embry and Quil grew uneasy.
Reeking bloodsucker didn't like it but he's considering it, Seth thought out of nowhere. As long as Brady stops trying to escape.
You had me worried, Seth. Jacob sniffed heavily, relaying to Sam, The bloodsucker said he'd agree if Seth convinced Brady to stop trying to escape.
Did he talk to Brady? Sam wondered.
Hold on he's showing me what happened. The bloodsucker is standing beside Seth to be sure of what he's telling Brady. Brady does look real sick. Seth's telling Brady not to worry because he's there now.
"Brady, buddy, it's me Seth. You're sick, dude. They said all you have to do is quit trying to get out of the cage and they'll stop drugging you. Don't worry. Sam, Jacob, and the rest of the guys are all going to Italy in a few days to destroy the Volturi. Before they even get back, we can all go home. I'm going to be here, too, with you, Rachel, and Kim. I'm not going to try to escape. There's no point when we'll all be going home soon anyway," Seth comforted. "We're all looking forward to seeing the Volturi destroyed."
Brady's barely conscious, but he's whimpering like he understands.
As soon as I can hear, Brady, I'll make sure he lies quiet until the attack. They don't need to know how quickly we heal, Sam determined.
Seth says he hasn't seen any other vampires yet, besides the sixteen already counted. They're taking him somewhere else. It's a cafeteria. It's a huge walk-in freezer, a broken freezer?
What the hell! Jacob growled deep in his chest as the feelings of danger and uncertainy took a hold of him. Seth? Wait a minute Sam… he's gone.
A/N This chapter is a bit longer than the others because I didn't want to leave you with a bunch of cliffies, but in the end I had to break somewhere. =D