3rd Person POV
After Edward flung her into the bolder, Victoria raced through the trees her natural gift allowing her to feel that Edward was not in pursuit so she assumed that he was with the wolf. Those Cullens were the strangest vampires she had ever come across, however she had no doubt that he would be hot on her trail soon. When she attacked Jacob, she heard a howl off in the distance and instinctively knew that it was too far east and not near the others. She was already near the water so she decided to take a swim up north around the small peninsula and come back south closer to the lonely howl. Victoria emerged from the water and wrung the extra water from her clothes, normally she didn't care, but she wanted to be able to move easily.
As she moved quickly the terrain began to get more rocky as the elevation grew higher and higher. Her gift was evasion and so she didn't normally pursue danger, but her instincts told her that this was where Bella would be and as she got closer she began to smell her. It was different, with the faint smell of wet dog mixed with multiple different smells that Victoria knew to be the Cullens, especially Alice. Bella baffled Victoria and she couldn't figure out how one human girl could have such an impact on her.
To Victoria humans were stupid and weak, she could murder hundreds in a matter of minutes if she wanted, how Bella remained alive was quite a mystery. She wanted Bella to suffer for being simply a pain in the ass, but even more so Victoria was curious about Bella. How was this girl able to surround herself with things that most humans considered to be monsters?
Victoria felt confident if the Cullens had not gotten involved then her army would have completely decimated the wolves. Once Victoria knew she was heading in the right direction she climbed up into the trees and began to softly float from branch to branch, trying not to jostle or give away her approach. She could feel that Edward was once again after her.
Edward followed her scent to the water and then assumed that she would head south towards either La Push or Forks. So Edward ran along the shore line, but he was running the wrong direction.
Victoria did not know that, but could feel Edward's pursuit which made her nervous and anxious. She saw Seth and Bella, she was awake, sitting at his side, and running her hand down his back. When the battle started, Seth kept flinching, while he watched his sister and brothers fighting and his movements kept Bella from sleeping. Alice and Bella continued to ask Seth yes or no questions, and for the first time he wished that he could speak in wolf form.
When Alice wasn't asking Seth questions she was trying desperately to see her family, especially Jasper. If there was ever a time that she was desperate to see his future it was then. She would get flashes of Jasper tearing apart a vampire, but then one of the wolves would get involved causing her to loose the image. It was extremely frustrating for Alice, and her head was starting to hurt trying to see things that were either fuzzy or just simply not going to appear. Alice probably should have been watching for Victoria's decisions, but she had to choose because she can't see two futures at the same time and Jasper was her priority.
There was a strong wind that helped disguise Victoria's movements and because Alice was worried and distracted trying to see her family, no one noticed Victoria getting closer and closer. Had Alice not been there or Bella not have so much vampire scent on her, Seth probably could have smelt Victoria coming, but with him already sitting with one vampire, smelling another one coming would have been more difficult. Victoria felt that, if she could incapacitate Alice and kill the dog, then she could take her time with Bella, and not have to rush it. She saw Alice leaning against the rock, with her eyes closed, deep in concentration as Victoria leaped from the tree, landing over Alice and immediately tore her tiny head from her body. Then she ripped Alice's arm and threw it at Bella, but Seth's paw smashed it into the ground.
Bella screamed and Seth howled fiercely as he stood over Bella, while she scampered behind him. Seth could feel that Leah and Jacob were on their way, but it didn't help him know how to fight and protect at the same time. He felt so unprepared and he was scared that he was going to let Jake down by not keeping Bella safe.
“You're next, dog!” Victoria hissed, and leaped at Seth who dodged once, but then instantly Victoria pounced again landing on Seth's back. He tried to buck her off, but he also had to try and be aware of where Bella was. The wolves smelled so terrible to Victoria that she really didn't want to bite another one, so instead she used both of her hands to squeeze hard on Seth's shoulder crushing the bones there. Seth whimpered as Victoria continued to move down his back crushing as many bones as she could. The further Victoria went the harder it was for Seth to remain standing and ended up crumbling to the ground.
“No! Please, stop hurting him!” Bella screamed as she scrambled to her feet. “You only have a few seconds before the rest of the pack and Cullens know you are here. Take me instead.” Bella wasn't sure what Victoria had planned for her, but based on the warning the Laurent gave, it was going to be something slow and painful. Bella just hoped that it was slow enough that Jacob could find her before Victoria finally killed her.
“You really are a stupid girl.” Victoria hissed, as she sprung towards Bella. “Climb on and I'll let him live.”
Bella leaped onto her back, praying that she wasn't making the stupidest decision of her life.
I leaped, landing next to Leah and began to search for Bella, but I couldn't see her anywhere. Seth, where is Bella? I asked.
I thought she was here. She was right behind me. Seth answered panicked.
Where is Victoria? Leah asked.
I don't know. Seth began to cry and his body shook, which caused him to howl in pain.
The rest of the pack and the Cullens arrived. Jasper ran to Alice and frantically began to piece her back together, with Esme's and Carlisle's assistance. Leah continued to comfort Seth trying to get him to relax so his body could heal, his crying and shaking was making it worse. I began to sniff around trying to find Victoria's scent but it seems that she must have been up in the trees where her scent is much harder to trace. The harsh winds were making it extremely difficult.
The moment her pieces were back in place, Alice snapped back to life and she began screaming about Victoria.
“Victoria, has Bella!” Alice screamed.
Immediately my snout was in her face, and Jasper looked at me cautiously. Where? Where did she take Bella! I growled, and suddenly I heard Edward's voice interpreting it for me. It's about freaking time you showed up, I mumbled.
“Sorry, I followed her scent to the water and then I thought she would be heading back towards La Push for Bella, so I went that direction. I didn't realize that she figured out that Bella was here. I heard everyone running here, so that is when I changed directions and started running.” Edward explained.
“She is going back to Seattle, but hasn't decided specifically where.” Alice answered.
Let's go! I insisted.
Jake, we can't go chasing her around Seattle as wolves. Embry said, worried that I was going to get mad at him for contradicting me.
We need you, Jake. Leah insisted. Sam deserves to have you here, when we bury him.
I whined, because I knew that they were right. I needed to stay here for my pack.
“Jacob, Bella is alive . . .” Alice stated.
How do you know that? I questioned.
“Because Victoria is still planning different ways to kill her.” Edward answered fiercely.
I couldn't decide if I felt relieved or even more nervous. Of course I was glad that Bella was still alive, but I hated to think of what torture she would endure. Promise me, that you'll bring Bella back to me.I said to Edward.
“I will, Jacob.” Edward promised.
ALIVE! I clarified. And truly alive, not a frozen over corpse that moves.
“I'll do my best.” Edward answered.
I knew that was just going to have to be good enough, because that was the best answer he could give me.
The Cullen family ran together towards Seattle, except for Carlisle who offered to stay behind to treat Seth. Seth wasn't able to phase back yet so everyone, but myself, phased back and carried Seth towards La Push. I ran back to Sam, and I saw his broken and stiff body. I phased back and knelt down by his side, and I couldn't hold it together any longer. I cried for my alpha and wished that he would have been able to train me. I cried for my pack family who lost their leader and was now going to be following me. I cried for Bella and I wanted her here with me and not in the clutches of a sadistic vampire. I was so scared, so alone, and continued to cry until I couldn't cry any more.
Then with shaking arms I lifted Sam's body and carried him home. I knew that my life was never going to be the same, from now on, I was alpha.
Author's Note: Thank you so much for everyone being so patient with me, let's hope it was worth the wait. :) Warning if you cried in the battle when Sam died, then you might need a tissue.
Bella's Sun Part 2
Chapter 1 – THE SUN RISES
Song - Jacob's Theme: Eclipse
As I walked along a new day was unfolding. The sky began to glow as the sun emerged across the horizon, trying its best to break through the harsh clouds that had gathered together. Lightning flashed across the sky a warning to those around that a storm was approaching. Unfortunately my own storm had come during the night as my Bella was stolen and I carried Sam's lifeless body in my arms. I placed one foot in front of the other methodically, feeling completely useless and I had no idea what to do next.
The sky opened and large rain drops began to fall, it was not a harsh rain but it was consistent almost like tear drops falling from the sky. The water ran across Sam's body and I was able to wash away the blood and dirt from his body. I could hear wailing and screams as I got closer to Sam and Emily's house. The agonizing screams I recognized as Seth, I guessed that he was able to phase back to human, but it was clear that he was still in extreme pain. I could smell Carlisle so I assumed that he was there.
I came towards the house and I could see Emily and Leah both sitting on the front porch wrapped in each other's arms. It was nice that they could be there for each other, but I hated the reason why they were crying. Leah heard me coming and when she looked at me and I could see her eyes were red and swollen. She nudged Emily and the moment that she saw me, she flung herself from the porch running towards me. I was surprised by the force of her as she slammed herself into Sam, clutching to his shoulders.
I had one arm around his back the other behind his knees and I slowly lowered him to the ground. Emily curled herself into his chest and sobbed. The rain continued to fall, soaking her, but she didn't care. I knelt down on Sam's other side and placed my hands on Emily's back. I didn't have any words to make it better and it wasn't until I tasted the salt on my lips that I realized that I was crying too. Slowly, her hands fluttered over his hair and face, as she kissed his cheek, chin, neck and brought his arm up to her chest and then pressed his hand into her stomach.
“What am I going to do?” Emily whispered between sobs.
“I don't know,” I answered. “While I know that no one could replace him, Emily, you are not alone. We will take care of you.”
It was then that I noticed my pack family had surrounded us and Paul, Jared, Leah, Quil, Embry, Colin, and Brady came down onto their knees and placed one hand on Sam and another hand on Emily, giving her their silent reassurance and comfort. Another scream erupted from inside the house and I saw Leah flinch and Embry put an arm around her.
“What is going on in there?” I quietly asked Embry.
“Seth is healing too quickly, so Carlisle has to re-break some of the bones. First it was his arm and shoulder. Now, it is all along his spine so at times Seth can't feel anything at all until the nerves begin to heal and then he feels the pain. He has passed out a few times, but it sounds like he woke up again.” Embry answered.
“Make sure someone stays with Emily until I come back.”
I left the mourning group to go check on Seth. When I walked in the front door I saw Seth lying on his side on the living room rug with Carlisle at his back. Sue was at the kitchen table shaking and my dad was next to her, holding her. I made eye contact with him for a moment and then I walked to Seth and knelt on the floor.
“Is there anything I can do?” I asked Carlisle.
“Jake . . .” Seth moaned and his face cringed in pain.
“Hey buddy, you hang in there.” I placed my hand on his head as Seth began to mumble.
“I'm . . . I'm . . . I'm s . . . s. . . sor . . . sorry.” Seth groaned.
Instantly I knew that he felt guilty that Bella was taken while she was with him. “Seth, no.” I shook my head. “I don't blame you.”
“It is time for more morphine for him.” Carlisle informed me. He went to his bag, sitting on the couch and got what he needed. Almost instantly he had a syringe filled and emptied it into Seth and I could hear Seth's moans lessened into silence.
“Now what?” I asked.
“I'll have a few minutes before he wakes up again.” Carlisle answered as he moved his hands incredibly fast down Seth's body. I held Seth tightly so that he wouldn't move while Carlisle was feeling the bones and I would hear a snapping sound as the bones were being realigned.
I waited in silent agony. I felt like everyone around me was suffering. I could hear Emily crying outside and Sue's torment inside each time one of Seth's bones was reset. Dad had one hand holding her head to his chest and the other making calming circles on her back, but that didn't keep her body shaking. At the moment Seth was quiet and still, but slowly he started to shift his shoulders and moan in pain each time his shoulder moved.
“Hold him still.” Carlisle instructed and I laid down on the floor, bringing Seth's chest to mine and held him tighter. As the morphine started to lose its effect on him, his moans turned to screams.
“How much more do you have to do?” I asked.
“His back is almost finished, the bones there are so delicate that I have to be extremely careful and I have to make sure that they are correct when I align them.”
“He isn't moving.” I mentioned nervously, indicating his lifeless legs.
“Are you saying that Seth is paralyzed?” I was breathing heavily, and I couldn't imagine anything that we couldn't heal from.
“I'm not sure, yet. Obviously he has had an extremely bad back injury, however I am encouraged that with each new section that is aligned correctly he is getting more movement, but he is also getting more pain.”
I took a deep breath. “Alright, I'm ready when you are.” I told him.
Seth was given another round of morphine and his head rested against my shoulder, which allowed me to be able to relax for a moment. Carlisle finished correcting the final section in his back.
“Assuming that he doesn't hurt himself again, there is not much more that I can do for him.” Carlisle said. “He needs to try and remain as still as possible and when his nerves reconnect he will hurt over his entire body.”
“Does he need to stay on his side?”
“Either his side or his stomach, as long as he doesn't arch his back.”
“Will you ask Quil to come inside, please?” I asked.
“Absolutely.” Carlisle got up and I heard him call for Quil.
Quil walked in, soaking wet from the rain that still poured outside, he crouched on the floor with me and I explained to him what Carlisle told me. And as Seth began to wake up again I held him tightly to my chest and Quil watched over his hips and legs ready to keep them still if they moved, as Seth screamed.
“Seth, try to calm down, buddy.” I whispered to him. “The worst is over, Carlisle is finished.” His body was starting to sweat as it was working hard to put himself back together. I could feel him trying to relax, but at the same time he was in so much pain. Finally Seth's pain was so strong that he passed out, he would randomly twitch therefore Quil and I made sure that his back wasn't arching.
“Quil, how is Emily?” I asked him.
“Not good. I think I would rather deal with Seth's screaming. At least this will be over in a few hours,” he shrugged.
“What does she know about how Sam died?” I asked.
“Nothing really. We carried Seth to her house and laid him here and with all the commotion, I think it took her a little bit to realize that you and Sam weren't here. Then she started asking where Sam was and no one knew how to answer her. Embry told her that you were bringing him, and instantly she knew something was wrong.”
“I told her that Sam didn't make it.” I felt a small warm hand on my shoulder, looked, and saw Leah.
“Leah, I'm sorry you had to do that.”
“I didn't, I chose to.” She took a deep breath.
“How is he?” she asked, nodding her head towards Seth.
He would moan randomly and I had both arms around him holding him to me. I could feel his chest rise and fall and just that simple movement seemed to be painful. He would twitch his shoulders which was even more painful, but his hips and legs still seemed completely still. “Too soon to know for sure. Quil, is he moving for you?” I asked.
“No.” Quil answered.
“Oh, God please.” I heard Sue mumble in the kitchen.
“Leah, can you take over here for me?” I asked.
“Sure . . . um,” she grabbed the blanket that was folded on the back of the couch and laid it over Seth's body. It barely registered to me at all that he was naked, but I could see how uncomfortable that must be for his sister.
“Seth, I need you to be still for me. I need to get up and Leah is going to be here for you.”
“Alright,” he groaned.
I slowly removed my arms from him and then lifted myself off the ground and Leah laid down and wrapped her arms around her brother. I walked into the kitchen, Sue had stopped crying and she had her head resting on one palm, she looked tired, and Dad had her other hand. It made me wonder if they had been up all night as well, knowing that the army was coming.
“Hey Dad.” I sat roughly in the chair next to him. “What do I need to be doing?”
“Jake, don't worry, Son. We will help you.”
“Old Quil was here, but he is already starting to work on the funeral arrangements and I'll help him when he needs it.” Dad reassured.
“Excuse me.” Sue said as she got up from the table. I assumed to give us some privacy and then I saw her go into the kitchen and started getting things out for us to eat. Even though I didn't feel like eating, I knew that I was hungry.
“Thank you, Sue.” I acknowledged her.
“You are very welcome. It is actually really great to have something to do.” Sue replied.
“Is there anything I need to do for the funeral?” The last funeral I went to was mom's and I did the best I could avoid going to any others, so I really had no idea what to expect. No one liked funerals, but as acting chief of our tribe Dad attended all funerals so I knew he would know what to do.
“There will be a few things, but we can cover that later.”
“When will it be?”
“Tonight at sunset, we will have a bonfire for the pack and then at sunrise we will place him in the sacred grounds. Right now just stay here, be available to your pack and to Emily.”
My pack. It was the first time that my dad acknowledged what we both knew, that I was now alpha. He saw the fear in my eyes. “You'll be just fine, Jake. Trust me.”
I just nodded my head and tried to swallow the lump in my throat, unable to speak.
“Where is Rachel?” I asked.
“She was staying the night with a friend last night, so I haven't seen her today. It used to be noon before she would wake up, so I think we still have several hours before she will know anything.”
“Does anyone else in the tribe know about Sam?” I asked.
“No, but they will soon. Once we start preparing his body there isn't really a good way to keep death a secret, and there really is no reason to. We will just call it a terrible camping accident.”
“How did you know what was coming?” I asked.
“We knew something was going on when Paul and Jared went to Sam, he called me and I called Old Quil and Sue. There weren't many details then, all we knew was that some vampires were coming and that Edward would be with you all. It wasn't until Collin and Brady came back to stay on our land, that we knew more. Sam had them come here first to fill us in on what was going on and that was last we heard until several hours later they carried Seth here.”
“Have you been up all night?” I asked Dad.
“Mostly, Old Quil, Sue, Emily and I have been here. Old Quil slept on the couch, I might have dozed off some, and they cooked knowing that you all would be tired and hungry when you got home.
We sat there in a comfortable silence, and I began to worry about Bella. Where was she? Was she okay? My blood boiled through my veins at the thought of that red leech changing her or killing her. I honestly wasn't sure anymore which one was worse, the Cullens have become more like 'people' but I still would never want that for Bella. The mere thought was enough to make my whole body shake, wanting the wolf to take over, find that bloodsucker and rip her head off. I told dad about her being taken and that the Cullens were out looking for her. He knew, saying that Quil had told him when they brought Seth back. He placed his hand over mine, to calm me down, and I gave him a weak smile.
Even though it had only been a couple hours, I hoped that maybe they were close to finding her. So I got up and called Edward, but Jasper answered. They were almost to Seattle and would be meeting Edward and Esme soon. Alice confirmed that Bella was still alive and promised to call if she knew something new.
After I hung up, I looked around at everything going on around me, and slowly I began to function, but I felt like a zombie just moving around, but not really thinking. I put some sausage, bacon, muffins and bagels on a plate for Leah, Quil, and Embry. Embry had come inside and was sitting on the floor with them. I told them about the bonfire tonight and that they were all off duty until then. Seth was asleep, not sure if it was from the additional morphine that Carlisle gave him, exhaustion, or the pain causing him to pass out.
I ate quickly and then I saw Old Quil come back inside, he had a large black umbrella with him that he shook the water from and then leaned it by the door. He came and spoke to Dad and I followed him over to the kitchen table. They were ready to take Sam's body and so the three of us went out and Old Quil helped Dad get into his truck and I walked over to Emily and the guys that were with her.
“Em,” I knelt down on the ground next to her and she was curled into a ball with her head on Sam's chest, “they need to take him.”
I pulled lightly on her shoulders and at first she fought me, I wasn't going to force her to move even though I could have.
Then slowly she sat up so that she was on her knees, she kissed her own finger tips and then pressed her fingers to Sam's lips. Her hand lightly trailed down his shoulder and chest as she nodded her head. I looked quickly at Jared and Paul and together they picked up Sam and carried him to the truck and placed him inside a simple wooden box. Emily watched them and as the truck drove away, more sobs erupted from her, so I pulled her to my chest and let her cry. She was completely soaked and felt so cold as I wrapped my arms around her.
I heard Brady and Colin walk inside the house, leaving Emily and I alone. I wasn't sure how long we sat there, looking down the road where the truck had disappeared. Slowly I shifted Emily to my lap and was able to rock her gently and rubbed her back. Both of her arms were around my neck and her head rested on my shoulder as I felt her body relax and it seemed that she had worn herself out crying and fell asleep. I lifted her up and carried her inside. The moment I walked in everyone was completely silent. I wiped my feet on the mat and then carried Emily to her room, laying her down on top of the bed.
As I removed her from myself she started shivering and so I took off her soggy shoes and socks. “Hey, Leah,” I called quietly, but I knew she would hear me.
“Yes, Jake,” Leah answered as she came and stood next to me. She looked completely worn out, and I was sure that she needed to sleep.
“Do you mind changing Emily into dry clothes? And then try to get some rest, I'll look after Seth.”
I placed my hand on her shoulder. “I'm here for you too, if you need it,” I told her.
She turned her sad eyes to me and nodded her head. “Not right now, but I'll let you know.”
I walked out and closed the bedroom door behind me and went to call Alice.
“Hey, Alice.” I could hear her breathing heavily.
“Jacob, I can't talk right now.”
“What is going on?” I asked panicked.
Author's Note: For a while the story will be divided between the Wolf Side and the Cullen Side of the story, the next chapter will be on the Cullen Side while they search for Bella.
Chapter 3 – CHIEF
Song: Josh Gracin – It Could Have Been Me
(I'm sorry to those who are able to see youtube, I do not think he ever recorded and released the song so it might be hard to find)
Talking to Edward was never very easy, but it was even harder feeling so helpless. I hated having to trust him and there wasn't anything I could do about it. However, he really was as helpless as myself, and was still desperately searching for Bella. I couldn't believe that Victoria had bitten Bella, but it was such a relief to know that she had sucked the venom back out. I hated so much that she was hurting Bella like this.
When I finished talking to Edward, I walked over to Seth, who was still laying on the floor. Embry was sleeping on the ground with his back pressed against Seth's, and Quil was also asleep on the floor with this back against the couch, his head was against one of the cushions on the end of the couch with one hand resting on Seth's leg. Seth turned his head and looked at me as I came and sat down next to him.
“How are you feeling?” I asked.
“A little stoned, but at least I don't hurt right now.”
“Well that is good, maybe you are healing.”
“I think my shoulder is certainly better.” He shifted both shoulders on the floor and winced slightly.
“There is no rush, but I am glad that you are doing better.”
“Have you heard from the Cullens?” Seth asked.
“Yeah, but there is not much to tell. Bella is alive, but they don't know where she is.”
“I really am sorry.”
“I know you are, there isn't anything you could have done differently.” I reassured him.
I could see some of the muscles in Seth's back spasm and twitch and he began to moan.
“Can I get you anything?” I asked. Seth shook his head. “Are you hungry?”
I got up and went to the kitchen, got him two sandwiches, and came and sat back with him. He ate quietly and then drifted back asleep. I rested my head against the side of the couch and listened to all the sounds around me. I could hear the steady breathing of Leah and Emily, coming from Emily's bedroom. I was glad that they were able to get some rest. I was going to owe Leah big for being with Emily, and I wondered if she was doing okay. I knew how close Emily and Leah used to be and it seemed that they were settling back into that same bond. Embry, Quil, and Seth were still sound asleep and I guessed that Sue left with Dad and Old Quil. I knew that there was still a long and difficult day ahead of me so I decided to get some sleep while I could.
I woke up to the sound of the front door opening and it was Jared, Kim, and Paul, walking into the house. I stretched and acknowledged them. They had both gone to Jared's house to crash for a while and came back here for food. They seemed calm, but I could tell that Sam's death was very difficult on them, even though we were all a family they were both closest to Sam. He had helped them adjust to this crazy new world.
Quil and Embry stirred and stretched as well. “Hey guys.” I addressed them and they looked at me, I could see in their eyes that I wasn't just their best friend, there was something new and different. There was authority and respect given to me as their alpha. “Go ahead and eat, then I want you both to do some patrolling. I honestly think it is over, but I wouldn't put it past Victoria to have something else planned for when we think it is over.”
“Sure, sure.” They both said and we laughed, it felt strange to laugh, but good at the same time. They made themselves some sandwiches and then headed out.
As I was heading to the kitchen, I could hear crying from Emily's room and knew that both girls were awake. I asked Jared to keep an eye on Seth and then I lightly tapped on Emily's door before opening it. They were both on the bed, Emily was under the blankets and Leah was on top and their arms were around each other. I came and knelt down on the side next to Emily.
“Can I get you anything?” I asked.
“No,” Emily whispered.
“She has a killer headache, can you get her something.” Emily scowled at Leah like it was some secret that she wasn't suppose to share. “What? You do.” Leah defended.
“My head is the least of my concerns.” Emily reasoned.
“Where is your pain meds?” I asked. Emily gave me the directions and Leah helped me know what to give her and then went to the kitchen. I came back with a couple pills and some water for her to drink.
Emily sat up and brought her legs to the side of the bed and I sat down next to her. “You need to eat.” I told Emily and she shook her head. I placed my hand over her stomach. “You need to eat.”
She placed her hand over mine. “I know, but Jacob . . .” I could feel her muscles tighten as her shoulders began to shake.
“Come here.” I offered, as I wrapped my arms around her. Her arms we so weak as she draped them behind my back, it made me wish that she wasn't in such pain. There wasn't anything that I could say so I just held her silently as she cried, until she slowly stopped.
“Okay, I'm ready.” Emily whispered.
“Alright.” I grabbed her hand and we walked out. Leah was sitting at the table with Jared, Kim, and Paul eating a sandwich. Emily picked up a slice of bread and some ham placing them on a plate and sat down at the table. I made myself a quick lunch and joined them.
Colin and Brady walked into the room, they had both rested and eaten so I had them trade with Embry and Quil out on patrols.
From Emily's I walked over to the beach where we would have the bonfire tonight. It was going to be a large gathering so I knew that we would need a large circle. The ground was very wet from all the rain that we got today and I used my hands to dig down a little in the pebbly sand for a drier area to build the fire. I found several drift wood branches and arranged them for lighting later.
“Hey Jake,” Quil called, walking towards me followed by Embry.
“Hey,” I acknowledged. “Was there anything on patrols?
“Nah,” Quil answered. “However, your dad wanted some of the ashes from the leeches that we burned.”
“Okay, that's weird.” I replied.
“We wanted to know what to do with it.” Embry added.
“You got me, I have no idea.” I shrugged and Embry sat down a dark leather pouch. “When did he talk to you?”
“He called over at Emily's and Paul phased and asked us to bring it. Brady got the bag from Old Quil and then brought it to us.”
“Then why don't you take it over to Old Quil.” I suggested.
“Alright, I'll take it” Quil offered, picking up the bag he jogged off towards his grandfather's place.
“You doing alright, Jake?” Embry asked.
I just shrugged. “Is any of us alright?” I asked back.
“I guess not,” he confirmed. “But I'm not stupid enough to think that it is the same for me as it is for you.”
“He was just as much your alpha as he was mine.” I countered.
“Yeah, but you know it is not the same. And you throw Bella in the mix and I don't know how you are holding it together.”
“Falling apart isn't an option right now.” I answered. “Maybe when it is, I'll completely lose it or something, but I can't right now.”
He came over and stood next to me. “Just like you are here for us, we are here for you. And if anyone deserves to 'lose it' it is you.”
“Thanks, I appreciate that.”
We were both quiet for a moment, as we continued to gather wood and made a large stack next to the fire pit. “Do I need to say anything to the pack about being alpha?” I asked.
“Like what?” Embry asked.
“I don't know, ask everyone if they want me to be alpha.”
Embry shook his head. “Jake, you were already Sam's beta, even if you weren't 'suppose' to be alpha, you would be now.”
“That is true.”
“Everyone knows that. Did you think someone would fight you for it?” Embry asked.
“No one specific, I just wasn't sure that I should just assume that the responsibility would be mine.”
“Jake, you have enough to worry about without adding this to it. You are alpha.”
It was good to have Embry's confirmation to something that I already knew. Despite being my best friend I knew that he would be honest with me and tell me what he really thought. After all the wood was gathered for the bonfire Embry took off to Quil's house and I went to my own.
When I walked in the door, Rachel was sitting on the couch completely lost in thought with a dazed look on her face.
“Rach, you alright?”
“Yeah,” she answered sadly, “just thinking of Sam. You know we went to high school together, I can't believe he died.”
“I know, it was really unexpected.” I came and sat next to her on the couch.
“How did you and Sam become friends?” Rachel asked.
“Well it's a long, complicated story, and we just got in the same circle. He was always looking out for the tribe, protecting us.”
“It sounds like you looked up to him a lot.”
“I did, he taught me a lot, probably more than I can say.”
We settled into a comfortable silence for a little bit each of us in our own thoughts. It was weird having to be so vague about how I knew Sam.
“Are you going to the funeral?” I asked her.
“For a little bit.” Rachel looked down at the ground and I knew why she wouldn't be there for long. She probably wouldn't go at all, but her friends here would all be going and she knew that it would seem rude.
“I understand.” I put my arm across her shoulders.
“How do you do it, Jake? Stay in this house all the time. Don't you feel like she is everywhere and nowhere all at the same time?”
“I guess, I don't remember her well and what I do remember I want to hold on to.”
“That makes sense.” We gave each other a sad smile and then I heard Dad rolling up the ramp.
We had a quiet dinner and my mind was a garbled mess between trying to think of anything I needed to do for the funeral, even though Dad told me that he would help me and already explained everything that would be happening. I was worried about Emily, but he told me that Sue and Leah were with her and Jared and Paul were taking care of Seth. Then there was Bella, I wanted her here with me, to have her eyes to look into and her body to hold. I passed my room and I could smell her scent so powerful. It was perfection and my own form of torture at the exact same time. I couldn't stay away as I sat down on my bed and curled her pillow to my chest. I wanted it to be her, and I hated that I couldn't be the one to bring her home.
I wasn't sure how long I laid there before I heard Dad's voice. “Hey Jake,” he spoke softly from the entry of my room.
I lifted my head looked at him as I sat up in bed. “Yes?”
“It's time.” I heard him back out and roll to his room and I got up and followed him there. I helped him get dressed in dark pants, a cream long sleeve shirt with a vest over it that had intricate tribal lettering, two large wolves covered each breast, and eagle feathers lined his shoulders and waist. Then I got myself dressed, Old Quil brought clothing out to each of the wolves. When Victoria first started coming around, the council knew that something like this could happen and had clothing made for each of us. We each had a light wool shirt that was sleeveless, each shirt was dyed to match the wolf so mine was a russet brown color with black and white feathers across the shoulders. On each breast there was a wolf and they were facing each other howling up into the sky. I had loose leather pants and would be barefoot.
I got Dad's headdress from the closet and braided his hair getting ready to attach it to his head. This was the only part of funerals I was familiar with. Dad attended all tribal funerals and I always helped him get ready for them.
“Wait a minute, Jake.” The headdress was long with several feathers and I figured that he wanted to wait to have it attached until he was ready to leave. “Follow me,” he rolled over to his closet and pointed to a cedar box on the bottom right side. “Hand me that.” I lifted the box and sat it on his lap, he lifted the lid and brought out a wooden wolf's head. It had carved ears, eyes, and nose, it was so detailed that it almost looked real. The wood appeared to be very old and was dark with age. He rolled to the headdress that was laying across his bed and attached it to the crown of the headdress.
“Why have you never worn this before?” I asked.
“Because I'm not a wolf, and I'm not the one who will be wearing it.”
He looked directly at me and I was stunned silent for a moment. “Dad, no. I can't.”
“Jacob, this headdress is for chief. I've held on to it knowing that I would pass it on to you or your son one day.”
“I'm not ready for that.”
“I know Son. Honestly, Sam wasn't ready either.”
“He always seemed so sure of his decisions.” I murmured softly.
“That is how your pack will see you too.”
“I hope so.”
“Don't hope, Son, make it so.”
I just nodded and tried to swallow the lump that was in my throat. I had no idea how I was going to get through this, just when I was starting to get used to the idea that I was alpha, I was also chief. I could feel the weight on my shoulders and it seemed so heavy. Dad rolled towards me and took my hands and I knelt down to be closer to eye level with him.
“It's okay to be scared, Jake. Just don't live in fear. Fear can hold you prisoner and keep you from being the man that I know you are.” I nodded my head. “It is also okay to cry,” he added. With that I crumbled with my head resting in his lap and cried. My body shook and I held on tightly to my dad, I could feel that it was cleansing. I was trying to be so strong for everyone else that if felt good to let my father be the support for me. He rested a heavy hand on my shoulder and with the other ran his fingers through my hair.
It was a few minutes that I took a deep breath and wiped my eyes. “Thanks, Dad.”
“That is part of me being here for you.” He gave me a big hug and then I heard the phone ringing so I walked to the kitchen and answered.
“Hey, Jake.” Charlie said.
“Oh, Charlie.” Crap, I hadn't even thought of what I would need to tell him.
“I heard about Sam and wanted to know if you all needed anything.”
“Thanks for calling, but we are good.”
“I assume that Bella is going to stay with you all for the weekend.” Charlie stated easily.
I was racking my brain trying to think of what the best response would be. Charlie wasn't going to be there, but would he hear eventually that Bella wasn't at the funeral? I already knew that Victoria had beaten Bella, so I knew that she wasn't coming back without at least some bruises.
“Did you hear me, Jake?” Charlie asked.
“Yeah, yeah, um. Actually, Bella is with the Cullens. Alice kidnapped her for the weekend.”
Charlie chuckled. “You know Alice, I think she could get Bella to do almost anything.”
“Yeah, she is something else.” I tried to make my voice light so not to worry Charlie.
“Well, I won't keep you Jake. I'm sure that you and Billy have your hands full.”
“Thanks, Charlie. I'll talk to you all later.”
While I had the phone I called over to Emily's to see how things were going over there. It was not going well with Seth being in a lot of pain and Emily's crying and so I knew I needed to go there. I traded out the patrols again and then Dad, Rachel and I went over to Emily's.
Author's Note: Originally this was going to be two chapters, but I felt like they were too short. So this will have both Cullen story and Wolf story, I'm sure there is no problem with that (wink, wink). So because of that this chapter sort of has 2 titles and 2 songs. The next chapter will be back to the Cullens again and will be posted in one week.
Song: Trading Yesterday – Love Song Requiem
Chapter 4 – DECISIONS, DECSIONS and THE SUN SETS
EDWARD'S POV – DECISIONS, DECISIONS
(Phone call, with Jacob)
Once again I could hear him growling and him taking several deep breathes. “I know, it is horrible. Jacob, you may not believe me, but I do not want her to be changed. I never have.”
“Yeah, I know.” I could hear someone moaning in the back ground. “Look, Seth is awake, I need to go.”
“I'll try to keep you as updated as I can.”
“Thanks, I'll probably be at Emily's place, so call me here.”
“Alright, and if appropriate please give her our condolences.”
“Okay will do, bye.”
I hung up with Jacob and drove back towards the Jagged Nail as Alice called the rest of the family to have them gathered until we decide where we wanted to check next. As much as I hated seeing and hearing the torture that Bella was enduring, I kept thinking about Alice's visions, trying to see if there was anything at all that could help figure out where she was located. I parked the car and found the rest of my family waiting for us in the parking lot.
As always Jasper was thinking of every strategic advantage and possibility that we could use in finding Bella. Emmett was excited about the possibility of finding Victoria, and tried not to think about what might be happening to Bella. As long as Victoria didn't kill Bella, he didn't mind if she was changed. He enjoyed his vampire life and didn't understand why Rose or I had a problem with it. Esme was such a mix of emotions from being concerned about Bella and being worried about me, that I skipped over her. Rosalie surprised me, she was actually really worried about Bella. She knew what it was like for her last human memories to be horrible and as much as she didn't want Bella to be changed, she didn't want Bella to endure anything even close to what she experienced.
“Thank you all for coming back so quickly.” I acknowledged as Alice and I approached them.
“Of course, Edward.” Esme smiled.
I shared with them what Alice had seen so far and explained that it has been determined that Bella was not here and was most likely either up north into Canada or another random place. We were standing in the parking lot behind the building and suddenly from inside I heard some familiar voices.
“Why are we here?” A male vampire complained.
“Because she is the best source for information,” hissed a female.
“Let's get this over with.” A different male added, like he was already bored.
I heard them open the front door and could see their thoughts as they looked around the place forLizzy.
“Please, have a seat and I'll be with you in a moment.” Lizzy said, hidden from the back room.
“Hello Elizabeth,” the female said.
“Oh!” Lizzy said and I could hear the panic in her thoughts. What have I done? Why are they here? Maybe it is nothing, they are just passing through. “Welcome!” Lizzy greeted. “What do I owe the honor?”
“There have been some intense vampire activity in the area, and we wanted to know if you knew anything?” The serious male inquired.
“I know that there was a vampire named Victoria that was in question for making some newborns, but I never knew why.” Lizzy answered. “I haven't seen any of them in a while.”
“Sister, I think that we were too late,” one of the males reasoned.
“It seems so. You know the trip does not have to be completely wasted, we can go check and maybe there will be a different newborn in the area.”
There were some human customers and I could feel Lizzy's concern over her human visitors. As soon as she finished serving them, she went back to them. “You are welcome to stay as long as you like, I just ask that you please not feed in this direct area. I do have blood available, if desired.”
“That will not be necessary. Thank you for your time, but we will be going now.”
Alice gasped, “We have to stop them.” I looked into Alice's mind and she saw their long black robes trailing through the trees as they searched for us, then they suddenly disappeared. I assumed that they came across the wolves, and the next vision was of them talking to Caius and a massive Volturi army was gathering, in order to come after them.
“They can't know about the wolves.” I said. Quickly, I pointed at Esme, Emmett and Rose, “I need you all to head north into Canada, stay near the shoreline, we are pretty confident that wherever she brought Bella it was a last minute decision. After we deal with them we will head back towards La Push following the coast.”
“Okay, please be careful, Edward.” Esme kissed my forehead and I gave her a quick hug and then they took off.
I turned and walked quickly around to the front of the Jagged Nail, while Alice and Jasper stayed right behind me. As we walked in Alice started laughing like she had heard a funny joke and Jasper and I smiled at each other. It was clear that Alice was trying to make it look like we just accidentally ran into them here and I thought it was a good idea.
“The way that girl just trips over air, it is the funniest thing I have ever seen.” Alice continued.
“Hey, that's my girl that you are making fun of.” I scolded.
“Only because I love her.” Alice brought her arm around my waist and stuck her tongue at me. I continued to scowl at her, as I turned around and spotted Jane, Alec, and Demetri over in the dark corner of the bar.
“Hello,” I nodded my head at them and Alice and Jasper went and sat down at the bar speaking to Lizzy. “You seem to be a long ways from your home.” I walked over to them.
“Yes, we had some business to take care of here.” Demetri confirmed.
“How interesting that you happen to be by when we have just decided to visit.” Jane commented and looked intensely at Alice.
“That is interesting, we have been spending the day in Seattle.” I commented.
“Where is your Bella?” Jane asked.
“She is with Esme and Rosalie shopping.” I answered.
“I take it that she is still human.” Alec stated. “There are not very many vampires that trip over air.”
“You are correct.” I confirmed.
“But do not worry, a date has been set.” Alice confirmed, as she fluttered to my side.
“Why the delay?” Demetri asked.
“What's the hurry? Her family all know that we are together, she can't just disappear. We felt it would be better for her to go to college and start a career. Then it would make more sense to her family why she stops coming home for visits.” I answered.
“Sounds reasonable.” Alec nodded to his sister.
“You know we will be checking on this, and we do not give second chances.” Demetri reminded us.
I turned and looked at Jane. “Wouldn't you prefer it if Aro happened to forget about Bella? She must have a pretty impressive gift if she is able to defy him while she is human. Imagine the possibilities she would have as a vampire.” I challenged, knowing that Jane hated the possibility of Aro coming across a vampire that he deemed more valuable to him than her.
“Umm, decisions, decisions.” She stated calmly.
Alec simply took her hand. “A decision that is not ours to make.” He turned and looked at us. “We will be going.”
I watched them walk out, I could hear that Demetri was irritated that it seems that they came all this way for nothing. Alec could see that his sister was upset and didn't like it. Jane was determined to try and have it that Bella was never mentioned again and would do her best to deter Aro from ever searching for her. She didn't care if Bella became a vampire or not, as long as Aro never found out about it.
“I sure hope you did the right thing confirming that Bella was human.” Jasper said cautiously.
“I think I did.” I confirmed cautiously. “Oddly enough, Jane might become our biggest ally, she just doesn't know it.”
“I think you are right.” Alice added. “They are all heading straight back, and I do not see any of them mentioning Bella to Aro. Aro seems to appreciate the caution that we are taking in keeping the secret from Bella's family.”
“Great, now we just need to find her.” Jasper said.
“Yes, let's go.”
By now the work day was over and people were leaving the area so it made us running around much easier. However we were still careful and I would continue to listen for anyone who might be watching us before we darted from place to place. We continued south around the harbor and then slowly back north along the other side across from the Seattle area. The further that we got away from town the thicker the tree coverage became and we were able to run faster and faster.
As we ran Alice continued to look into Bella's and Victoria's future trying to find anything. Right now Bella was still passed out from when Victoria sucked her venom out, she probably sucked out more blood than she should have and Bella would probably look pale if she weren't so bruised and swollen. Then Alice looked for Victoria and we could see her sitting in the same room as Bella. She looked out and we could see mostly water with the waves lapping at the shore below and two large boats out in the distance. It seems that they were high and the shoreline seemed to be low.
She spoke softly to the quiet room while she tried to decide what she wanted to do, for so long she dreamed of killing Bella that it surprised her that now that she had the opportunity she was doubting. Alice could see her wondering if I could really love her, if I allowed her to be with Jacob. It hurt to think that someone could doubt my love for Bella, but if it helped to keep her alive then it was okay. I could deal, there was nothing more important than getting to her. I wanted her to live and to have the life that we were all suppose to have.
Victoria looked out again and I could see two buildings below one much larger than the other they were both white with green shutters and there was a large flag limp from the heavy rain. A large gust of wind shook the flag and I knew I had seen it before.
“I know where Bella is.”
* * * * *
SONG – Amazing Grace in Cherokee
** Tissue warning - You are going to need it!!
JACOB'S POV - THE SUN SETS
We pulled up to the house and Seth sounded horrible in there, I got Dad on his chair and Rachel helped push him to the ramp where he could push himself. Inside, Seth was screaming on the floor, he was on his back and Leah was trying to comfort him. I looked around the room, Sue was with Emily and some of her family who came in for the funeral, they were talking quietly at the table. Emily's eyes were very red and I could tell that she had been crying, which wasn't surprising. Embry, Colin and Brady were both dressed and also at the table, there was some pulled pork in the crock pot and the guys had large sandwiches and chips.
I crouched down on the floor next to Seth and placed my hand on his shoulder. “When was the last time he had pain meds?” I asked, not sure if Leah or Seth would answer.
“Not any since you left.” Leah answered.
“I'll call Carlisle.”
“Jake.” Seth put his hand over mine to keep me from leaving.
“I want to go to the funeral. I don't want him to knock me out.” Seth said through clinched teeth.
“I'll tell him.” I went to the phone and called Carlisle, he said that he would be right over.
I came back and placed my hand on Leah's back and whispered to her. “How is he doing?”
She turned her head to whisper back. “It's bittersweet. He has feeling in his legs, thank God, but with each nerve that is repaired he also feels much more of the pain.”
I gave her shoulder a quick squeeze. “I'm glad he is better, the pain has got to be easier to deal with than the possibility of him being paralyzed.”
“It is, but still sucks.”
“You both know that I can hear you, right?” Seth rolled his eyes.
Leah rolled her eyes back at Seth, and then smiled at me. It was good to have Seth almost back to his usual self.
Seth wanted to at least be able to sit up and be comfortable for the funeral. So when Carlisle came to give him the morphine he gave him about half the usual dosage and left us with some more for Sue to give him later tonight. While Carlisle was here, Edward called, I tried not to be angry that he called Carlisle before trying to reach me, but that was quickly forgotten when I could tell that he knew where Bella was hostage. The momentary anger melted into nervousness when I realized that for them to need Carlisle it was very serious for Bella. I wanted to call for more specific information, but I didn't want to risk slowing him down and Dad acknowledged that it was time to go.
“Jacob,” my dad called to me and I followed him over on the other side of the couch. He nodded his head and I knelt down in front of him and everyone was silent as they watched. He took the headdress and I could feel the feathers down my back as he secured the band around my head. I lifted my eyes to his and he swallowed thickly before he placed one hand on each of my shoulders.
As he spoke his voice was strong, and I was in awe that this powerful man was my father. “When you are in doubt, be still, and wait; when doubt no longer exists for you, then go forward with courage. So long as the mist envelops you, be still; be still until the sunlight pours through and dispels the mists – as it surely will. Then act with courage.”
I had never been more speechless in my life, the last time I had heard those words were from my mother and she used to say them to me when she tucked me into bed at night. Dad would be there as well standing in the door way of my room, but I always thought of it as her blessing. I remembered wanting to wake up the next day and do whatever I could to make her proud. Before drifting off to sleep I would always whisper my promised acknowledgement.
“Yes, father, I will.” I whispered.
“I know.” His eyes glistened with tears that he wouldn't let fall, and I stood up and felt stronger, more confident.
I looked around the room and I could see the silent tears of my sister mixed with her pride. Dad rolled himself to the car, he wanted to meet with the whole pack once we were together at the beach. I carried Seth to the car and then called Quil to meet them there to help Dad and Seth get in place. Rachel drove them down to the beach and Emily's family followed her.
I walked over to Emily and offered her my hand to walk with her over to the bonfire. She was in a straight black skirt and a similar wool shirt that we wore, it was black with white paint outlining the shape of the wolves on each side. It was big on her and I quickly realized that it would have been Sam's if he were here to wear it. As we stepped off the front porch Paul and Jared came in, still in wolf form, Emily came to them and even though they looked nothing like Sam it was like his wolf was here. They followed us as far as they could and then phased back and were given clothing for them to wear.
As we approached we saw the fire's glow and the last rays of the sun glistened across the water. There was a wooden box that was painted white with black designs. There was a sun and moon, an eagle with its wings spread in flight, a man, woman, and baby, a fire with the smoke lifting up into the sky and a pack of ten small wolves. I could smell the fresh paint and something else. I got closer and realized that the black ink was not only ink, but had the vampire's ashes mixed in, giving it a grainy texture. There was a wooden bench next to the casket for Emily and someone would sit with her.
“Can I have a minute alone?” Emily asked.
“Of course.” I left her and she sat down next to the box and rested both hands on the top. She was speaking softly, I could have heard her, but I felt like it was private and I shouldn't listen.
Surrounded by the fire there were several logs, laying as benches and several chairs around the benches in two large circles. The goal was to have it give unity to the ones grieving. I saw Seth sitting in one of the chairs at the back and made sure that he was comfortable, and he was but I could tell that he was a little loopy. Then it was time to join the rest of the pack who were all off to the side.
I walked over to them, and we were a somber group and I could see the red eyes of those who have spent the day in quiet memory of their friend and leader. There was no shame in crying, but we tended to hold back when together because if one started we all would.
“The sun is setting and so everyone who plans to come will be gathering. Once it was completely dark we will start.” Old Quil explained.
“Start what, exactly?” Brady asked.
“The dance.” Old Quil answered.
“What dance?” I asked.
Dad smiled as he saw all of our confused looks. “You didn't think that we made you all dance every year just to work on your coordination skills. It is called 'Cry of the Wolf' and we never knew if it was ever going to be used, but we never wanted it to be forgotten.”
It was a simple dance with only two drums that Dad and Old Quil were going to play. We all knew it by heart and outside of being nervous about performing it in front of others there was no other reason to be concerned. I knew that I could do this in my sleep if I had to. We spoke softly to each other filling each other in on what we have done today, and I checked with Paul and Jared to make sure that nothing happened while patrolling.
It was all quiet as we watched the sun took its final descend and soft beats of the drums began to fill the night air. There was a gentile breeze that carried the smoke high up into the sky. As the drums continued we walked in slow and steady. Everyone looked right at Emily, and I came and sat beside her and the others divided in two groups on each bench that surrounded us.
I took Emily's hand and held it gently, as softly my dad spoke and there was the soft taps of Old Quil's drum. The fire's light reflected off Dad's face as he told the legend of Hunters and the Great Bear.
Once there was a group of brothers. No hunters were as good as them at following a trail. They never gave up once they began tracking their quarry.
One day, when the cold nights return, an urgent message came to the village of the hunters. A great bear, one so large and powerful that many thought it must be some kind of monster, had appeared. The people of the village whose hunting grounds the monsters had invaded were afraid. The children no longer went out to play in the woods. The long houses of the village were guarded each night by men with weapons, who stood by the entrances.
Each morning, when the people went outside, they found the huge tracks of the bear in the midst of their village. They knew that soon it would become even bolder.
Picking up their spears and calling to their small dog, the hunters set for that village, which was not far away. As they came closer they noticed how quiet the woods were. There were no signs of rabbits or deer and even the birds were silent. On a great pine tree they found the scars where the great bear had reared up on her hind legs and made deep scratches to mark her territory. The tallest of the brothers tried to touch the highest of the scratch marks with the tip of his spear. "It is as the people feared," the first brother said. "This one we are to hunt is Nyah-gwaheh, a monster bear."
Before long, the hunters and their small dog reached the village. It was a sad sight to see. There was no fire burning in the center of the village and the doors of all the long houses were closed. Grim men stood on guard with clubs and spears and there was no game hung from the racks or skins stretched for tanning. The people looked hungry.
The elder sachem of the village came out and the tallest of the four hunters spoke to him.
We are going now to pick up the monster bear's trail."
"I am not sure you can do that, Nephews," the elder sachem said. "Though we find tracks closer and closer to the doors of our lodges each morning, whenever we try to follow those tracks they disappear."
The second hunter knelt down and patted the head of their small dog. "Uncle," he said, “that is because they do not have a dog such as ours." He pointed to the two black circles above the eyes of the small dog. "Four-Eyes can see any tracks, even those many days old."
"May Creator's protection be with you," said the elder sachem.
"Do not worry, Uncle," said the third hunter, "Once we are on a trail we never stop following until we've finished our hunt."
The fourth hunter said. "That's why I think we should have something to eat first." But his brothers did not listen. They nodded to the elder sachem and began to leave.
They walked, following their little dog. It kept lifting up its head, as if to look around with its four eyes. The trail was not easy to find.
Though they could see no tracks, they could feel the presence of the Nyah-gwaheh. They knew that if they did not soon find her trail, she would make her way behind them. Then they would be the hunted ones.
Meanwhile, like a pale giant shadow, the Nyah-gwaheh was moving through the trees close to the hunters. Her mouth was open as she watched them and her huge teeth shone, her eyes flashed red. Soon she would be behind them and on their trail.
Just then, though, the little dog lifted its head and yelped.
"Eh-heh!" the first brother called.
"Four-Eyes has found the trail," shouted the second brother.
"We have the track of the Nyah-gwaheh," said the third brother.
"Big Bear," another yelled, "we are after you, now!"
Fear filled the heart of the great bear for the first time and she began to run. As she broke from the cover of the pines, the hunters saw her, a gigantic white shape, so pale as to appear almost naked. With loud hunting cries, they began to run after her. The great bear's strides were long and she ran more swiftly than a deer. The hunters and their little dog were swift also though, and they did not fall behind. The trail led through the swamps and the thickets. It was easy to read, for the bear pushed everything aside as she ran, even knocking down big trees. On and on they ran, over hills and through valleys. They came to the slope of a mountain and followed the trail higher and higher, every now and then catching a glimpse of their quarry over the next rise. Now though one of the hunters was getting tired of running. He pretended to fall and twist his ankle.
"Brothers," he called, "I have sprained my ankle. You must carry me."
So his brothers did as he asked, two of them carrying him by turns while another hunter carried his spear. They ran more slowly now because of their heavy load, but they were not falling any further behind. The day had turned now into night, yet they could still see the white shape of the great bear ahead of them. They were at the top of the mountain now and the ground beneath them was very dark as they ran across it. The bear was tiring, but so were they. It was not easy to carry their brother. The little dog, Four-Eyes, was close behind the great bear, nipping at her tail as it ran.
"Brothers, put me down now. I think my leg has gotten better."
The brothers did as he asked. Fresh and rested, the brother grabbed his spear and dashed ahead of the others. Just as the great bear turned to bite at the little dog, the hunter leveled his spear and thrust it into the heart of the Nyah-Gwaheh. The monster bear fell dead.
By the time the other brothers caught up, the hunter had already built a fire and was cutting up the big bear.
Just then, though, the first hunter looked down at his feet. “Brothers," he exclaimed, "look below us!"
The hunters looked down. Below them were thousands of small sparkling lights in the darkness which. they realized, was all around them.
"We aren't on a mountain top at all," said the third brother. "We are up in the sky." And it was so. The great bear had indeed been magical. Her feet had taken her high above the earth as she tried to escape the hunters. However, their determination, not to give up the chase, had carried them up that strange trail.
Just then their little dog yipped twice.
"The great bear!" said the second hunter. "Look!"
The hunters looked. There, where they had piled the bones, the Great Bear was coming back to life and rising to its feet. As they watched, it began to run again, the small dog close on its heels.
"Follow me," shouted the first brother. Grabbing up their spears, the hunters again began to chase the great bear across the skies.
So it was, the old people say, and so it still is. Each autumn the hunters chase the great bear across the skies and kill it. Then, as they cut it up, the blood falls down from the heavens and colors the leaves of the maple trees scarlet. They cook the bear and the fat dripping from their fire turns the grass white.
If you look carefully into the skies as the seasons change, you can read that story. The great bear is the square shape some call the bowl of the Big Dipper. The hunters and their small dog (which you can just barely see) are close behind, forming the dipper's handle. When autumn comes and that constellation turns upside down, the old people say. "Ah, the lazy hunter has killed the bear." But as the moons pass and the sky moves once more towards spring, the bear slowly rises back on its feet and the chase begins again.
Author's Note: The Blessing that Billy gives Jacob when he puts on the headdress is an actual Cherokee blessing and the story or legend that Billy tells is also an actual Cherokee legend. I changed a few details, for example there are only 4 brothers in the legend and I took that detail out, and the bear has no gender and I made it a 'her', it was also a little longer and I took out a few details because I didn't want it so long, but for the most part it is the same legend. I would have used a Quileute legend and blessing but I couldn't find one.
AN2: The next chapter will be Cullen and then the next wolf chapter will pick up right where this ends with the reaction to the legends, and the rest of the funeral.
CHAPTER 5 – SECOND CHANCES
Song: The Reason by Hoobastank
Author's Note: For those curious and wanting to know where Bella is, it is a real place.http://www.newdungenesslighthouse.com/index.html
I picked up the pace, running faster, Jasper and Alice followed right behind me. As we got closer we could see the storm clouds approaching and knew that we were going the right direction. There was a light house just off of Sequim that I felt confident that was where Victoria took Bella. It had all the requirements of what we were looking for, it was on the way between Seattle and Snag Peak where Bella had been hidden and it was secluded. The man that Victoria had fed from was probably the keeper of the lighthouse.
I called Carlisle knowing that we would need him once we made it to Bella, and told him where we were going. He was at Emily's giving another dose of morphine to Seth so that he could hopefully attend Sam's funeral.
“He knows where she is?” I heard Jacob ask.
“Yes,” Carlisle answered. “They aren't there yet, but they should be soon. I need to go back to the house for supplies and then I will be there.” I wasn't sure if he was still talking to Jacob or myself, but I knew that he would be coming soon. So I hung up and called Esme, who was with Rosalie and Emmett searching up into Canada, to tell them where Bella was. They agreed to start heading this direction as well.
Alice groaned as she had another vision of Victoria. This time, she was crouched over Bella, who was mumbling in her sleep.
“Wake up!” Victoria hissed and slapped her face.
“Uh,” Bella moaned, her lower lip was dry and cracked and I saw a small amount of blood trickle out the corner of her mouth. Bella shifted as she tried to cover her face protectively. “What do you want?” Bella questioned.
“You have ruined everything.” Victoria hissed.
“How did I do that?” Bella asked weakly.
“Killing you was supposed to destroy Edward, but instead I am forced to consider keeping you alive.”
“How would that make a difference?” Bella whispered.
“Edward would have to live with the knowledge that HE lost you. You weren't taken away or killed, but you chose to leave him. He will never be able to move on. I heard about his little trip to Italy, trying to kill himself.” Victoria laughed viciously. “Who would have known that it would be you, who destroyed him.”
“No, no, no.” Bella moaned. “He has his family.”
Victoria brought her face an inch from Bella's. “They... are... not... you.” Victoria said, enunciating each word slowly.
“There has to be something . . .” Bella started to cry, her body was shaking, and I could see the pain it caused each time her body moved.
Suddenly, Victoria began to scream as she released her months and months of pent up frustration on Bella.
I didn't need Alice's vision any longer, I could hear Victoria from where we were and she was so filled with hate as she continued to beat Bella.
“We need to hurry, she could easily kill her whether she means to or not.”
Alice nodded and started running quickly to the house. Jasper was used to not knowing the specifics of Alice's visions, therefore he didn't hesitate and followed her without asking any questions.
As we approached I could see the lighthouse in the distance and saw the long stretch that secluded the lighthouse from the rest of the area with a shorter branch that the boats launched from.
“Edward, wait!” Jasper called. “I think we need a plan.”
“Oh, good idea, Jasper.” Alice encouraged.
Jasper looked at the back of the lighthouse and we could see the setting sun reflecting off the windows of the tower. The rain was still falling and claps of thunder echoed around us, which would help mask our movements and make it less likely for Victoria to hear our approach.
She was also deeply consumed with her hatred for Bella, but hated even more that James had marked her. Through her thoughts, I saw her rip the bandage off of Bella's wrist and Bella began to scream. Victoria looked at Bella's frightened face and her thoughts were full of the pleasure that it brought her. She enjoyed causing Bella to suffer. Victoria began to carve out the once purple scare that was still bleeding from her bite, with her sharp nails. Blood poured from Bella's wrist over her palm and fingers as Victoria continued to claw into her flesh.
Alice and I looked at each other as Bella's life completely disappeared.
“No! She can't die.” I shouted.
With my full speed I began to run, everything around me became a blur as I flew past it. I got to the boat launch and leaped as far as I could, landing waist deep in the water on the other side. As I ran out of the water I could hear Jasper and Alice's splash behind me, they knew better than to try and slow me down. We could all still hear Bella's screaming inside and for once it was a beautiful sound, for it meant that she was still alive.
Once again I looked through the scenes that I saw from Alice's visions, trying to pick the fastest route possible. I ran to the base of the lighthouse and I could hear Jasper and Alice talking to each other. Jasper wanted them to climb up the side of the house and come in the window while I raced up the staircase. Jasper was going to rely on Alice to tell him when I was at the room that Bella and Victoria were in.
I could feel Victoria's resistance caving as more and more of Bella's sweet blood filled the room. Bella tried to fight against Victoria, smearing her blood across Victoria's face and instantly her thought were consumed with her blood lust. Jasper could feel it as well and it was affecting his own blood lust. For a moment, I was nervous about him being near Bella. I saw his mind focus in on Victoria and did what he could to ignore any thoughts of blood, and I knew that I could trust him. Both Alice and Jasper were ready and at the window that went directly into the room. I counted to Alice.
“Three, two, . . .” All at the same time we sprung, myself busting through the door, while Jasper and Alice came through the window. Jasper went straight to Victoria, who was still leaning over Bella, and grabbed her by the hips throwing Victoria towards me. Alice went to Bella, who had passed out from her blood loss. Alice held her breath as she tore the long sleeve of her own shirt to wrap it around Bella's wrist.
Victoria landed at my feet and I could feel the fierce monster inside me growl with revenge. She has haunted and stalked the person that I love most for the past year and a half, and has created a living hell for Bella here. There is no doubt that she would have killed Bella if we had not stopped her. It was my life that she was trying to destroy, but she was using Bella to accomplish it. All to avenge a man who never really loved her.
Victoria was on the balls of her feet crouched low to the ground and I slammed my foot into her back knocking her chest flat to the floor. I could feel the hard wood floor crack from the force and her hand wrapped around my ankle, but Jasper grabbed her wrist and snapped her hand off. Victoria screamed and cursed as I crouched behind her, her other arm twisted around on her back held firmly with my knee.
I leaned over and she could probably feel my breath on her neck as I spoke. “You know James never loved you. You were just a toy, a sport that countered his own gift and created a challenge.”
“You know nothing.” Victoria hissed and spit on my face.
“That is where you are wrong.” I knew that she was aware of my gift to read minds. “Had it been reversed and you had been killed, he would have never looked back.”
“You're a liar. That is not true.” Victoria countered, but I could see the doubt in her mind.
“His last words were nothing but curses.” Jasper added. “There was no desperation to live, not a longing to be with you. He felt nothing for you.”
“All this time, you have been avenging a mate that was nothing more than an affair.” I hissed into her ear. I knew that I couldn't hurt her any more than destroying the 'picture perfect' relationship that she had in her mind of herself and James.
Victoria growled with anger, but was no match for Jasper and myself as we held her firmly to the ground. There was no way she was getting away from me again, with one hand I kept her arm pressed into her back and with my teeth sliced across her neck. At the same time I used my other hand and tore her head from her body. Her whole body was shaking and it took me a moment to realize that it was from me, and I could feel my monster rejoice at being allowed to kill and destroy.
Then I could feel my muscles relaxing and felt myself getting unnaturally calm. I looked at Jasper, who was using his gift. “Thank you,” I told him.
“Anytime,” he whispered.
Once I was calm, I realized that Victoria was dead. It was finally over. She would never hurt Bella again. Immediately I crouched down at Bella's side, she was so battered and broken, but I could see the soft rise and fall of her chest. She was alive.
“I'm going to take Victoria down and burn her near the shore line.” Jasper handed me a waterproof backpack that he has been carrying. “Here, it has some supplies for Bella.” He gathered Victoria's hand, head, and body and then jumped from the window that he had come through.
Alice had both of her hands wrapped firmly around Bella's wrist trying to add pressure to get the blood to stop. She sat down Bella's wrist, took Jasper's backpack from me, and began to get some clean rags and began to wipe some of the blood off Bella's body. I knelt next to Alice, who was still holding her breath. “Go, if you need to. I'll be fine.” I told her.
“Can I bring you something?” She asked.
“I don't think so.” I looked quickly through the backpack and it looked like it had the essential medical supplies needed.
Alice fluttered out the window and I began treating Bella.
Her face was so badly bruised and swollen that she didn't look like herself. I brought my hands down her neck, under her shirt so I could feel her right shoulder. It was out of place and I popped it back in as gently as I could. There was a weak moan from Bella, but she remained unconscious. I continued to feel her bones and found a fractured collar bone and four broken ribs on the left side. Bella had jeans on, so I felt through her pants and one leg was badly swollen and probably broken.
Her wrist had soaked through Alice's shirt, and I gently unwrapped it and I could see the bright red wound where Bella has been injured over and over. I leaned over and gently kissed her wrist, there was still a little blood there and I could taste it on my lips. It reminded me of when it had been me who sucked the venom out, her blood was perfection. She was perfect for me in every way and I loved her so much.
Slowly I cleaned her wrist and wrapped it tightly in clean gauze. There wasn't more that I could do for her until Carlisle arrived. Bella shook slightly, her clothes were still damp and the wind coming from the broken window was not helping. I looked inside the backpack, finding a large blanket rolled in it. I laid it over her body, sitting down on the floor next to her. I gently placed my hands on her face, using my cold skin as ice to get her swelling to go down. There was a piece of Bella's hair down her face and I tucked it behind her ear, leaned over, and kissed her forehead. I was so relieved that she was safe. I knew that it would take some time for her body to heal completely, but she would. I wondered if we would be able to stay in Forks at least long enough for her to heal. My family has almost maxed out our time in Forks and we would be going to the next place. I wasn't ready to leave her.
Bella tried to take a deep breath and then I could feel her squirm painfully away from my touch. “Just leave me alone.” Bella mumbled and cringed.
Her resistance hurt, until I realized that she probably thought that my cold touch was Victoria. “Bella?” I questioned. “It's okay, you're safe.”
“Edward?” Bella's eyes fluttered open and I could tell that she was trying to focus them.
“Oh God, thank you.” Bella immediately started sobbing as she reached out with her arm, trying to touch me.
“Shhh, it's over.” I wanted to hold her, but couldn't because of her being so hurt. I laid down next to her, wrapped my arms around her. Bella leaned her head against my shoulder and clutched tightly to my arm. Bella babbled through her tears and I was just glad to hold her and feel like I was doing some good.
“How did you find me?” Bella asked between hiccups.
“Alice. She has been watching you and Victoria, looking for clues.” I took a deep breath and tucked another loose strand of her hair behind Bella's ear. “I'm so sorry that we couldn't get here sooner.”
“Have you seen everything that has been happening?” Bella looked at me in sad amazement.
I nodded my head. “I believe so.”
“Edward, that must have been horrible.”
“Bella, I swear you have no sense of self preservation.” I laughed without humor. “Besides, it wasn't me she was torturing.”
“Wasn't it?” Bella questioned. “I know it was my body, but wasn't that the whole point, for you to suffer.”
“Yes.” I wished that I could tell her how much I hated what she has endured because of me, but I didn't want to frighten her or make her uncomfortable.
“I wish that she had just come after me and left you alone.” I said, thinking out loud.
“No,” I felt her clutch on to me a little tighter. “I wouldn't want that.”
“You should. I've brought nothing but trouble to you.”
“No you haven't. There was a time when you made me extremely happy.” Bella lifted her arm and placed her hand on my cheek. “And you still do. You know, you introduced me to love.”
“That wasn't me, that was completely you.”
“How about we introduced it to each other?” Bella smiled weakly.
“Deal.” We smiled at each other and I wished that things could always be like this for us.
Bella rested her head back against the floor, looking out the open window. “You know, I still love you,” she whispered.
I felt like I have wanted to hear that so badly for so long. “I love you, more,” I told her.
“I know,” Bella sighed. “I think that you always have.”
“Bella, will you ever forgive me?”
Bella looked up at me surprised. “There is nothing to forgive, you didn't cause this.”
“Not for Victoria, even though I do feel responsible for that too, but for everything. You were right, when you said that it was me who broke us up. I'm sorry that I didn't trust you, I thought I knew what was best for you.”
“Yes, I forgive you.” Bella smiled at me, and I knew that she really meant it.
“Would you give me another chance? I really could change.”
Bella's mouth dropped open like she didn't know what to say. “I can't. I mean . . .” Bella took a slow breath and I could tell that she was picking her words carefully. “It's not because I won't forgive you, I have forgiven you a long time ago. That doesn't change that you and I aren't we, and I can't go back to that. We are too different, I'm sorry.”
I didn't really expect a different answer, or for her to leave Jacob for me, but I needed to ask. I needed to know that she really did forgive me and for her to know that I would do anything, be anything that I could for her. “Don't be sorry, Bella. I understand.”
“I do believe that you have changed. I don't want to say that you learned your lesson, but I know that you have, and I know it would be different a second time.”
“But . . .” I offered.
“But, I want to live. It was so incredibly selfish of me not to think of what me being changed would do to those that love me. And I can't stay human and be with you, it would never work.”
We were both quiet for a while, just lost in our own thoughts. I really could see how she would think that it couldn't work for her to continue to age, while I stayed the same, but her appearance wouldn't matter to me. I would continue to love her no matter what.
“Is Victoria right? Will you never love again?” Bella asked softly.
“Bella . . .”
“Tell me the truth.”
“I don't want Victoria to be right about anything, but in this case, she is.”
“Can you try? Please, for me.”
“You don't know what you are asking of me,” I said, shaking my head.
“I think I do. Isn't that the same thing that you asked of me, when you all left me? You told yourself that I would move on and get over you.”
“I was right.” I reminded her.
“Eventually, yes you were, but it wasn't easy. And I don't expect it to be easy for you either. I just want you to try.”
“Bella, I'm not promising you anything that I can't keep. You're just going to have to live with me loving you, and only you.”
“We'll see about that.” Bella smirked.
“You are so stubborn.”
“Me?” Bella rolled her eyes.
Carlisle came in with Alice and I gently rolled away from Bella to give him space. Carlisle set up an IV and gave her some pain medication, and then also she needed blood which he brought for her. As the medication became effective it made her sleepy and she slept, then Alice got Bella into some clean clothes while Carlisle taped up Bella's ribs, her collarbone, and he thought that her left foot would need surgery.
“I need to call Jacob to update him. What is the plan?” I asked Carlisle.
“If he can be a little more patient I would like to keep her here over night, allow her to get more fluids in her and some rest. Then we can take her back tomorrow.”
I gave Jacob a call, but no one answered at his house or at Emily's so I left a message at both places telling him that we have Bella, and explained what Carlisle told me and for him to call me anytime.
We looked around the lighthouse and found in the guest house a bedroom and decided to move Bella there so that she could rest more comfortably. It was a large bed and I laid down next to her, not touching her, simply watching her sleep. Sometimes she would talk and mention Jacob or Victoria and would tremble.
“Gaahh,” Bella moaned. “Make it stop,” she groaned.
“Bella,” I whispered softly, “you're okay. It's over.”
“Please, what? I don't understand.” I put my arm behind her shoulders so that her head rested against my chest. I could feel her silent tears as they absorbed into my shirt. I saw Carlisle walk in the room and he gave her some more pain medication.
“I need to go home.” Bella mumbled.
“I'll take you home tomorrow,” I promised her as I kissed her hair. “Now just relax and rest.”
“Where's . . .” Bella sniffled, “. . . Jacob?”
“He wasn't able to come.” I answered. “You'll see him soon.” I could feel her body relax, and I wasn't sure if it was the pain medication or knowing that she would be going home that allowed her to sleep peacefully the rest of the night.
I woke up and it was still dark outside. I was laying with my cheek resting on Edward's chest, his cold body felt very good, but my mind kept going back to being with Victoria and I would tremble and shake. When I was with her, I had never been more scared in my life, and I hated it. Each time she would hit me I would just pray that somehow Jacob would figure out where I was and rescue me. So it was quite surprising that Jacob was no where to be found. It was even worse when she bit me because I wasn't sure if Edward would be there to suck it back out. Being with Victoria was literally a nightmare so it didn't surprise me that I kept dreaming about the experience. Edward rubbed his hand down my arm or would tuck the blankets closer around me trying to make me feel better. As much as I was really grateful to be rescued and I enjoyed being with all the Cullens, I really just wanted to go home. I missed Jacob, and I was tired of being cold all the time.
“How are you feeling?” Edward asked.
“Cold.” I answered. He shifted away and my head landed on my pillow. “I'm sorry, I didn't mean that you had to back off. Your skin feels good to my face.”
“You look better. I'm sorry to wake you up, but if you feel up for it we will be leaving soon.”
I took a slow breath to help wake myself up and tried to set up, but my ribs were still very sore and I moaned in pain. Edward put his hand gently over my ribs and I could feel his cold skin ease some of the pain. “Thank you.”
“Edward, is Seth okay? Did Victoria really hurt him?” I was curious about everything that I missed during the battle.
“I know that he was hurt very badly, but he is healing. It was very painful for him, but Carlisle feels like he will make a complete recovery.”
“Oh good, I just don't think I could handle it if any of them got hurt for me.”
Edward took my hand in his and brushed his thumb across the back of my hand. “Bella, I do have some bad news.”
Immediately my heart started racing and Edward kissed the top of my head. “What happened? Was it Jacob?”
“No, it wasn't Jacob, calm down. It was Sam, he was killed.”
I couldn't believe that Sam was dead. “Oh no, I need to be there.” I tried to sit up again, and winced badly and Edward wrapped his arms around me. “I can't believe it, this is all my fault.”
“Be still, Bella, it is not your fault. I am sorry that he died, but Sam died doing what he was created to do, protecting his people and that included you.”
“Is that why Jacob is not here?” I asked.
“Yes, believe me Jacob wanted to be here very badly. We have been talking to him often and keeping him informed on what is happening.” Edward confirmed.
“Tell me more of what I missed from the battle.” I relaxed back on the bed and let Edward hold me as he told me of the newborn families, fighting them, and of Kate and Irina being there. I was really surprised about that, he was sad that Irina was destroyed, but at the same time he understood that she shouldn't have been there. I cried as he also told me of Victoria attacking Jacob and that he sucked out the venom that saved Jacob's life. Crying really hurt, and whenever my body shook I would moan in pain.
“I would like Carlisle to give you some more pain medication for the car ride home, it will make it much less painful for you.”
“Alright,” I agreed, knowing that he was right.
“We would like to keep you at our house for the next few days, if you don't mind.” Carlisle said, as he walked into the room to give me the pain meds.
“I don't mind, but what about Jacob?” I asked.
“He is welcome to be there.” Carlisle answered.
I looked over at Edward. “Are you sure?”
“Absolutely, I'm sure that he is anxious to get you back.” Edward answered.
I nodded my head, I was so ready to be back with Jacob, but I was glad to have this opportunity to be with Edward. I have never felt like we have been given a real goodbye. I interlaced my fingers with Edward's, “Will you be there too?” I asked, as I could feel the medication making me sleepy.
“I'll be anywhere you want me to be,” he answered.
I smiled weakly, brought his hand up, and kissed the back of his hand as my head slumped back into unconsciousness.
The next thing I knew I was in the back seat of Rosalie's BMW. There were several pillows around me and I was in Edward's lap. “Where are we?” I mumbled.
“We are about ten minutes away.” Edward answered. “I hope you don't mind me holding you, I thought it would be more comfortable than a seat belt across your ribs.”
“Sure, sure.” I really didn't care where I was sitting. I could feel that Edward had me in his arms slightly lifted so that I couldn't feel the bumps in the road and my head was resting against his shoulder. We settled into a comfortable silence.
As we continued the scenery became more familiar and I knew that we were not far at all.
“Edward, are you going to be alright?”
“Of course, Bella.”
“Don't lie to me, I can handle the truth.”
“Sorry, I know that you can. Honestly, I don't know. I am going to miss you.”
“I'll miss you too.”
“Do you like us being friends, or does that just make it harder for you?” I asked.
“I would rather be your friend than nothing at all.”
“But aren't you just wishing that Jacob will do something stupid enough that I come back to you?” I challenged.
“Of course, this is Jacob we are talking about. He is bound to do something stupid eventually.” Edward teased.
He flashed me his crooked smile and I could hear the humor in his voice masking what he was probably hoping would come true some day. While I wanted to defend Jacob, I knew that most likely he would do something stupid, but so would I, and we would just have to work through it together.
“Watch what you wish for, I think I can only be put back together so many times.”
“I know.” Edward whispered so softly that I almost didn't hear him. I looked at his face and I could see a strange mixture of longing and regret. I didn't like seeing him like that. When I was with him there was a part of me that wanted to stay, but it was the part of me that hated to see others hurting and wanted to make it better. It wasn't really what I wanted, but no matter how much time had passed I could still feel the connection that we had to one another.
“I'm sorry.” I whispered back.
“Bella, I know that this is how it should be. And I am glad that Jacob has put your heart back together. I do not want you to worry about me.”
“Sure, sure.” I rolled my eyes. “Like that is not going to happen.”
We pulled up into front of the Cullen's home and I was instantly excited to be back home. I put both of my arms around his neck. “Thank you, for bringing me back.” I whispered next to his ear.
“You don't have to thank me for that.”
I knew that he was right and I hugged him as tightly as I could without hurting myself and I could feel him holding me as he shifted himself to be able to get us out of the car without hurting me. He was looking right at me in the eyes like he wanted to memorize what he saw, even though I knew that it wasn't really possible for him to forget.
“Thank you,” I said as I reached up and kissed his cheek.
He held me close and smiled. “Always, I'll always be here for you Bella.”
“I know. Goodbye.” I whispered so softly, but I knew that he would hear me. I tighten my arms around his neck and I was going to kiss his cheek again right as Edward turned like he heard something and my lips landed on his.
It was only a second and Edward's eyes widened in such surprise that it made me start laughing.
“What are you laughing at?” Edward smiled back at me.
“Your shocked face. Sorry, I didn't mean to actually kiss you.”
“You don't have to apologize to me for that,” he teased. I scowled playfully at him. “But Jacob might appreciate hearing it,” Edward said, as he turned us around and Jacob was standing right there.
“Jake!” I cried, I was so glad to see him. I tried to lunge towards him, but moving hurt badly and so Edward walked towards Jacob with his arms outstretched.
AN: There is an actual Wolf dance that the Quileute people do, so that is what the dance that Jacob and his brothers do is based on. But dancing is really hard to describe so I don't think I did very well. Sorry.
CHAPTER 6 - LEGENDS
song: The Sun Will Rise by Brendan James
Dad finished telling the story and I looked right into his eyes. I knew that we were the Hunters in the tale and vampires were the Great Bear, and the chase would continue from one generation to the next. After the story, Dad picked his drum back up and I heard the familiar beats to the dance that we knew very well. I kissed Emily's hand and then I stood up from my seat. I walked in a circle, offering a hand to each of the pack members, inviting them to accompany me in the dance. We formed a circle around the glowing fire.
The dance was not complicated, just shuffling from one foot to the other to the beat of the drums and would spin around and some intricate foot work and then spin back around. It was the first time that I really paid attention to the specific foot work and I must admit I thought we looked really good all moving together.
We were half way through, as we turned around the fire Paul tripped and Jared grabbed onto his shoulder to keep him away from the fire. It was very strange because none of us tripped anymore and even though he picked right back up into the dance he seemed distracted. There was a low growl that rumbled in my chest and he snapped his head to me and I saw him lower it in an apology. Then the drums changed and it was time to carry Sam to the sacred grounds.
Leah went to Emily, offering her hand to her and they walked together in the lead and then together the guys carried Sam's coffin. I carried Dad while Old Quil brought Dad's chair for me, and Quil carried Seth. There was a narrow trial from the beach to the grounds, the trail was lined with drift wood that glowed from the moonlight. The crowd followed behind and there was the soft patter of feet as we walked along the path.
There were candles on each of the graves so that the names written on the stones could be seen. As we approached, there was a large hole and ropes over it where they sat the box on. Old Quil unfolded Dad's chair and I sat him on it, he gave some final words to the group that reflected more on Sam. There was a chance for others in the community to mention memories or things that they appreciated about Sam. After they said what they wanted to, they could stay and listen to others, or head back to their own homes. At sunrise Sam would be lowered into the ground.
I had no idea what I wanted to say, nothing seemed significant enough that I would actually be able to say in front of other people. Emily was sitting next to the casket and her sister was with her. We were sitting together as a united pack with the addition of Kim and Jackie in the group. We were all thankful to no longer be the center of attention. Everyone had tears in their eyes or running down their cheeks, including my own. Leah was next to me and she started shaking and I could see her still trying to hold back.
“Come with me.” I whispered to her and reached out for her hand. Leah shook her head, but still got up and allowed me to lead her away. Neither of us said anything for a while as we walked, both of us lost in our own thoughts and tears.
“Why wasn't I enough?” Leah whispered.
“Leah, don't do this to yourself. You know that we don't really know why some imprint. Don't tell my dad, but the only theories we have for it are really stupid.”
Leah gave a chuckle. “I know.”
“Why Emily and not you? Why not Bella for me?” I shrugged. “I can't explain it.”
“But Jacob, I was perfect for him. I'm not saying that Emily wasn't, but I still wished he had stayed.”
“Would you really have wanted him to imprint on you?” I asked.
“If it would have kept him with me, yes. Don't you ever wish that you had imprinted on Bella?”
“Only for the security that it would bring and put that to rest.” I answered.
“Yeah, I get that.”
“I know you do, more than any other.”
“It is . . . so horrible . . .” With that the title wave that Leah has been trying to hold back erupted and she crumbled to the ground with my arms wrapped around her. She cried violently into my chest which would have been extremely scary, but I knew that she needed this.
I couldn't help but wonder if this was going to be Bella some day. That I would one day imprint and leave her. I always felt confident that I wouldn't imprint, but was I just being stubborn about that? I silently watched and listened as Leah both cursed Sam and loved him at the same time. Most of all, she hated that she felt both. I knew I would hate myself if I did that to Bella, especially if I stole away her chance to love someone else. I could see with Leah that she was imprisoned by her love for Sam, not being able to move on.
I wasn't sure how long it was, but it felt like a long time that we held on to each other, then Leah rested her head against my shoulder. We were both tired and it had been a very long emotional day.
“Let's get back,” Leah whispered.
“Okay.” We untangled ourselves from each other and started walking back towards the others. There wasn't anything more that needed to be said so we walked in silence.
As we approached, I noticed that most of the community had gone to their houses and there was just Emily's family, the wolves, and my family. I have to say, I was really surprised that Rachel was still here but it was nice. She was over at Mom's grave with tears streaming down her face with Dad, Jared and Paul standing with her. Dad was holding her hand and Paul had his arm around her shoulders, and her head was leaning against him.
I tried not to let it bother me, but I did not like the way Paul was looking at my sister. However I wanted to believe that he was just being nice, he wasn't a complete moron to try something during a funeral. I went over to Emily gave her a quick hug and then went over to Brady, Colin, Embry, Quil, and Seth. Seth was laying down on his back asleep, Sue had given him the rest of the morphine and so he would be out of it the rest of the evening. Next to Seth was his young cousin, sleeping with her head on his shoulder, she was cute with braided pig tails on each of her shoulders.
“Hey guys,” I acknowledged as I sat down with them. We spoke softly with each other, it was easy and comfortable. Embry bumped my shoulder and nodded his head towards the sleeping child. She had rolled over so that she was completely on the ground and Quil brushed a loose strand of hair behind her ear. I gave a confused look back at Embry and he looked back at Quil, maybe I was just being slow or sleep deprived, but I had no idea what he was trying to say. Quil lifted her slightly so that her head rested back on Seth's arm and she tucked her legs up to her chest and Quil smoothed out her dress so that her legs were completely covered. I admit that I hadn't really seen Quil around kids before and he was much more attentive than I would have thought, but it was sweet.
I looked around again and Emily was still with her family it was probably a few hours from sunrise and the exhaustion was showing on everyone, but I could understand why those who were here hadn't left. Except for Rachel, there were several long benches scattered around for people to sit on when visiting, her and Paul were sitting on one talking to each other. She looked really tired with her head leaning on his shoulder and he was holding her hand.
I got up and walked over to them, Paul looked at me for a second and then right back at Rachel. For a moment it made me think that Paul was nervous, I had never seen him like that before.
“Hey Rach,” I said, sitting next to her.
“Jake,” she nodded her head like it weighed a ton and blinked her eyes to keep them open.
“Do you want me to walk you back home?” I asked her.
“No, you need to stay.” Rachel answered.
“I'll walk her back.” Paul offered.
“I don't think so.” I tried to reply casually, but I don't think it worked.
“Straight there and back, I swear.” Paul tried to reason. There was a low rumble that gathered in my chest as I stared back at Paul. “Or not,” Paul mumbled.
“Quil,” I called, but he didn't hear me. “Quil,” I tried again, but he was completely lost in his own world. What was happening to the authority that I used to have? Once again my chest rumbled and Quil snapped his eyes to me. “Get your ass over here.” I rolled my eyes as he jumped to his feet. I was going to have him walk Rachel home, but now I had something else that I felt I needed to talk to him about. So instead I called Brady over and he walked with Rachel to our house.
“What is going on?” I looked at both Paul and Quil, and they were both extremely nervous and distracted at the same time.
“I imprinted . . .” Paul answered.
“Me too.” Quil added, at the same time Paul said, “... on Rachel.”
I was extremely shocked and I couldn't speak for a moment, I could feel my mouth hang open like an idiot, but wasn't able to care. Without further thought my fist slammed into Paul's nose, with a satisfying crunch.
“What the hell?” I yelled. I was so angry my arms were shaking and I wanted to rip his throat out. Of all people, PAUL had imprinted on my sister.
“Dammit, sorry.” Paul whined as he put his hand over his face and then started to straighten his nose so it wouldn't heal crocked. Of all the times for Paul to not put up a fight it was now! Paul was always ready for a fight or willing to create one if there was nothing to fight about. There was something very different about him, for him to allow me to break his nose without a single punch thrown back or even a slight trimmer. Despite Quil thinking that Paul was going to imprint, I never believed it and Paul could care less if he ever imprinted.
Dad and Old Quil noticed me hit Paul and both came over to see what was going on. I could see the confusion on both of their faces, but also resistance they didn't seem to want to step in unless they felt like they had to.
Then I turned to Quil. “Did you imprint on Rachel too?” I could hear Paul's growl rumbling next to me.
“No, but you still might hit me.” Quil answered cautiously.
“What could possibly be worse than that?” I asked.
“Him imprinting on Claire.” Embry answered.
I felt like that stupid shocked expression was going to become permanent at this point.
“What?” I asked.
“So those legends are true.” Old Quil murmured.
“You have got to be kidding me, we can imprint on babies?” I asked in complete astonishment.
“Yes.” Dad answered.
I looked back at Quil and I didn't know what to say. “Don't look at me like that.” Quil challenged. “It is not what you think.”
“Help me to understand.” I really did want to, Quil has been my best friend since we were kids and I knew from what I saw of him taking care of Claire that he would never hurt her, but it did not make any sense.
“Yes, I imprinted on her, but it is different. The level of devotion and commitment is the same from what I have felt from Jared or Sam, but there is a protectiveness that is even more powerful. I only want her to be safe, happy, and cared for.”
“Do you love her?” I asked. From what I knew of imprinting everything he said was true, however they also felt love and a romantic desire for their imprint.
“I do, but not like that,” he answered. I wasn't surprised that he knew what I was asking him. “I swear to you it is innocent.”
“I believe you.” Any doubts that I had I knew could get cleared up the next time we phased together. I felt it was more important for Quil to have my support, not just as his alpha, but also as his best friend.
“What does this mean for those of us who haven't imprinted?” Embry asked.
“You all have known that everyone of you could imprint.” Old Quil answered.
“But I thought that imprinting was rare?” I countered.
“That is what we thought, Jake.” Dad responded. “But of the original pack only you and Embry have not imprinted. I have to be honest it makes me nervous.”
“Jake, Billy didn't want me to tell you, but I have always thought that you would imprint.” Old Quil added.
“Why?” I asked him.
“Because you are alpha, and were always suppose to be, therefore it made sense for you to imprint.”
“And for that same reason, I felt like you wouldn't.” Dad added. “Imprinting makes that one person more important than anything, even your pack. So because of you being alpha I thought that you would not imprint.” This was so much information to take in and to say that I was royally freaked out would have been an understatement. Dad placed his hand on my own. “Jake, I'm sorry, but there is just too much that we don't know about when it comes to imprinting.”
“However, with Quil imprinting on a child, we could imprint at any time. She might not even be born yet!” I had a sick feeling in my stomach.
I couldn't do to Bella what Sam had done to Leah. I had been so certain that I was never going to imprint. At the time Quil's theory seemed to work suggest that was correct, because I never once felt like there was someone else out there for me to find. Maybe that was because she wasn't out there. Yet. I felt like everything was caving in on me at once, I needed to think.
“Jacob,” Brady called to me.
“Yeah.” I replied.
“I took Rachel home, and there was a message from Edward on your machine.”
“What did he say?” My heart leaped into my throat at just the mention of an update to know what was happening.
“He said that they have Bella, she is badly hurt, but stable. Carlisle wanted to give her fluids overnight and bring her back in the morning. They would leave there right before sunrise, to not draw attention to themselves.”
“Alright, thank you.” I was so relieved that Bella was alright. Now what in the world was I going to do about imprinting. I couldn't be the one to hurt her. I wouldn't destroy her by leaving her for another person and ruin her chances of finding someone for herself. I was going to have to do the unthinkable and let her go.
I couldn't bring her into my mess until I have had the chance to straighten it out. I walked in a large circle around the sacred grounds until I could see the sky start to brighten and took my place next to Emily. There was a small feather from a baby eagle that Emily placed in the center of the box and then the guys used the ropes to lower the box into the ground. We each gathered dirt in our hands and some shovels and filled the hole.
The sky filled with several shades of orange as the bright round circle gave the promise of a new day. Then everyone went to their own homes. Paul went back to my house with Dad and was going to be sleeping on the couch. Leah carried Seth, he seemed to be feeling better and was comfortable as long as he didn't move. Quil carried Claire and directed the rest of Emily's family to the resort and they would be staying there for the next several days. I walked with Emily back to her house, it was eerily quiet when we walked inside. Emily gathered some clean clothes and went into the bathroom and I could hear her wash her face and hands and then I borrowed a pair of Sam's shorts and did the same.
When I came back out, Emily had some biscuits and sausage on a plate.
“Here,” she said as she handed it to me.
“I'll eat if you do.” I challenged, I handed her one of the biscuits.
“Alright.” I wasn't sure if she was actually hungry or just too tired to fight me. It was strange and comfortable at the same time, so I didn't feel the need to fill the silence and neither did Emily. After eating Emily wanted some time to herself, so I agreed to leave her there with a promise that I was going to come back and check on her soon.
I gave Edward a call and they were almost home and Bella was asleep with him in the back seat, so I told him that I would meet him at their house. I knew that Bella would be coming back very soon and I wanted to run to her, but I still had no idea what I was going to do once I saw her. As I began to walk to the Cullens I decided to phase and let the wolf have a chance to relax. It felt great to have my paws in the dirt and allow the wolf to carry the heavy emotional burden that I have been under lately. I made it to the Cullen's property, phased back and rested against the trunk of a tree until I saw their car pull up to the front of their house.
From this distance I watched for a moment as Edward got out of the back seat with Bella in his arms. Her arms were around his neck and she smiled at him. “Thank you,” she said as she kissed his cheek. He held her close. “Always, I'll always be here for you Bella.”
A promise that I knew that I couldn't make, and it killed me as I began to walk towards them. I'm not sure if Edward heard me or smelled me first, but he had to know that I was there.
“I know, goodbye,” Bella whispered so softly, that I could barely hear her. She tighten her arms around his neck and then their lips landed on each others. It surprised me, and I almost said something, but then Bella was laughing, and I couldn't figure out what was so funny.
“What are you laughing at?” Edward asked.
“Your shocked face. Sorry, I didn't mean to actually kiss you.” Bella told Edward.
“You don't have to apologize to me for that, but Jacob might appreciate hearing it,” Edward said, as he turned around and Bella saw me standing right in front of them. Edward was right, it was good to hear and know that their kiss wasn't real.
“Jake!” Bella called, breaking me even further. I could see her excitement to see me behind her bruised face and arms, her wrist and foot was bandaged and it made me sick to know that she had been so abused.
She tried to get out of his arms and Edward walked towards me with his arms stretched out for me to take her into my own.
“No,” I whispered. “Keep her.”
“What?” Edward and Bella said at the same time.
I flashed Edward the memories of Paul and Quil's imprinting and of Leah's break down. “Please, help Bella to understand.” I said to Edward, before I slowly kissed her lips, and her forehead and then took off into the woods, hearing both of them yelling for me to come back.
Author's Note: I know, I know – I'm evil.
For those of you who are thinking that Jacob would never do this to Bella (you know who you are) let me take you through how this ending came about. I had this idea for Jacob to leave Bella because of being freaked out about imprinting, and the whole time I was writing this chapter the Jacob in my head kept telling me “I'm not going to do it, I won't leave her, not after being away from her for so long and being so worried about her. It is just not going to happen.” So I worked out a compromise that was different and when I got ready to write out the compromise, Jacob leaves her. I seriously wanted to slap him.
So if you want to slap him, I'm right there with you. I'm sorry that Jacob and Bella are still not together, but Jacob has some things that he needs to work out and it will take him a while. I wanted to add this really isn't about making the decision FOR Bella, but rather what HE wants to do about it. He needs to make this decision for himself before he tries to make it with Bella.
Originally I had this in the previous chapter in Bella's pov, however later I felt like it was so shocking that the last paragraph over shadowed the ENTIRE chapter. So I changed it to be revealed in this chapter however I still have a soft spot for it in her POV so I am including it now as an "out take"
OUT TAKE - Bella's POV
“You don't have to apologize to me for that,” he teased. I scowled playfully at him. “But Jacob might appreciate hearing it,” Edward said, as he turned us around and Jacob was standing right there.
“Jake!” I cried, I was so glad to see him. I tried to lunge towards him, but moving hurt badly and so Edward walked towards Jacob with his arms outstretched.
"No," Jacob whispered. "Keep her."
"What?" Edward and I said at the same time.
I saw that Jacob had a painful expression on his face and I could tell that he was showing Edward something in his mind. Edward was still moving towards Jacob and I could feel my body lightly brush against Jacob's as he moved closer.
"Please, help Bella to understand." He said to Edward, before he slowly kissed my lips, my forehead, and then took off into the woods.
"Jacob, no." Edward called.
"Wait, Jacob, please come back." I yelled, but he didn't. "Edward, what happened?" I asked.
"Stupid, boy." I head Edward mumble, before carrying me back inside their house.