Sunday, July 3, 2011
It would literally be any minute that the fears of the last three days would play out. There was no luck in finding Leah or Joey and today would determine the fate of the city of Forks as well as the alliance with the Quileute wolves. If Jenn wouldn't listen to reason this day would end badly and hopefully not with the loss of any lives, human or otherwise. Bella stared intently as Edward tried to scan Jenn's mind for any sign of decisions she might make as the change closed in. Her heart sped up reminding him of an interesting rendition of Flight of the Bumblebee. It seemed to speed up further as if she were preparing for flight and with a sudden upright jerk her chest shot out into the air. In less than a split second it violently fell back to the bed where everyone and everything froze.
Silence. This is when her eyes should have opened, but the lids stayed closed. This is when they should be confronted with a raging mother or a confused vampire, but her body lay limp. This is when the line would be drawn in the sand, but there was nothing. The minutes ticked by and not a finger moved. The entire family stood breathless waiting. Nothing came.
Now it was time to be scared. Emmett looked to his father who was obviously just as confused then turned his gaze to Edward. He shook his head. Her mind was a blank. It was dark. This wasn't the sound of death, but he hadn't experienced anything like this. Then real fear began to set in. The questions filed through Emmett's head. What if she couldn't take it? What if her heart just gave out? What if something went wrong? More silence.
In unison, Carlisle stepped around Bella and Emmett approached the still immobile form on the bed. Emmett reached out to touch her, but stopped himself leaving his hand stretched out almost afraid to confirm what he couldn't stop dreading. She didn't acknowledge the movement. No flinch left her body and no thoughts entered her mind. "Please, no," he thought.
Emmett began to voice his worry, "Carlisle, what if..."
Two things happened simultaneously. A visible pulse seemed to ripple from her body throwing Carlisle and Emmett backwards. The rest of the family shifted as the full force of Emmett's impact destroyed the oak dresser in the corner and Carlisle created a gaping hole in the wall. As the two were in mid flight Jennifer sprang to her feet on the bed and before anyone had a chance to react she crashed her way through the glass window and took off running.
"She's going after Leah!" Edward yelled taking off in the same direction out the window.
"Leah?" Emmett's confusion lit up on his face as he quickly recovered and sprang out the window followed by the rest of his family. They quickly caught up to Edward as he shouted to them.
"Bella, Alice, and Jasper try to head her off at the border."
The three split off as Edward continued his pursuit with Carlisle, Esme and Emmett close on his tail. He pulled his phone from his pocket hitting the speed dial.
When his daughter picked up the phone he warned, "Tell the wolves she's heading to the border and you stay as far away as possible. I love you."
Snapping the phone closed he followed the scent as closely as he could.
As the scent got stronger it became obvious they were on the right track. Mid stride a very large object shot over their heads and into the trees behind them. When they heard the growl they realized Rosalie must have been stuck on the unfortunate side of Jenn's wrath.
She was now running behind them attempting to catch up though her intentions were revenge not protection. Jenn's thoughts were becoming clearer and the only thing she had on her mind was her son in Leah's arms. If they couldn't stop her La Push didn't stand a chance. Closing into the border suddenly two more vampires flew out in opposite directions. Bella, Jasper and Alice must have caught her and their flight meant that Bella was now on her own. Edward sped up and cut through the tree line to find Jennifer and Bella defensively crouched opposite each other.
Bella was inches from the border with Jennifer only six feet away. Carlisle, Esme, Emmett and Rosalie formed a crescent shape around her opposite the border as Edward crouched beside his wife. Carlisle was the first to speak.
"Jennifer, Leah's not in La Push."
She continued to stare at Bella not acknowledging the doctor's words. Jasper and Alice approached from both sides Alice confirming his words.
"It's true. Jasper and I were at your cabin, Jenn. We lost her scent around Olympia."
"I don't care," Jenn snapped back. "I'll start in La Push and work my way from there. She's going to give me my son back or I'll rip her apart! I don't want to hurt any one of you so stay out of my way!"
She visibly tensed at the sound of her brother's voice.
"Let us help you. This isn't the way to get him back. Please. Just come back home with us and we'll figure this out."
"I don't have a home anymore. Her and her new boyfriend took that away. They did this to me and they took my son!" she shouted keeping her back to him.
With one quick flinch every vampire surrounding her went soaring through the air save for Bella who was resolve in her stance.
"I'm not going anywhere. Hurting anyone in La Push isn't going to get Joey back. I have a daughter and I can't imagine what you are feeling right now, but I won't step aside. You can't do this!" Bella yelled out.
"Watch me!" Jenn spit back crashing into Bella - the sound of boulders smacking into each other.
They wrestled around indenting every piece of ground they rolled on and taking down a few trees in the scuffle. Emmett and Edward were the first to return to the scene and as they approached the two newborns a voice rang out from the other side of the border.
Both females stopped in shock at the voice they heard and the Cullens stared in the direction the sound came from. Jennifer shot back up into a defensive crouch letting out an intimidating snarl.
"Leah," she spit out.
The surrounding greenery shook with the approaching group. Slowly, in wolf form, the pack inched their way through the foliage. Once they had completely pushed through there were fifteen wolves surrounding two erect figures. Renesmee and Leah stood center with Joey resting on Leah's hip.
"Mama!' Joey cried out reaching in Jenn's direction upon seeing his mother who responded by leaving her defensive posture, the feeling of relief radiating from her.
Switching her sights to Leah her relief turned back to anger as she returned to her crouch. Emmett and Edward approached her as the wolves stood their ground ready for a fight. Emmett tried again.
"Let's go home. We'll figure out who did this to you."
She growled toward the wolves not removing her eyes from her target and former friend.
"You can feel it. Your gift doesn't work on them and you don't want Joey to get caught in the middle of this," Edward stated aloud what she was thinking.
Jenn stood staring, the moment in contemplation passed slowly, the vampires all holding their unneeded breathes. As quickly as she entered it she rose from her stance.
"I want my son!" she reached out to Joey.
"Jenn, he's human."
Emmett pointed out the reality they all now faced. That's when it hit her. The burn in her throat. The thirst that reminded her she was no longer human. A burn that made her realize she may never be able to touch her son again without wanting to kill him. She stood marble still letting a defeated sigh escape her lips.
"We can take him back to the house with us, if you like," Esme spoke.
"No!" she yelled.
Jenn was not going to let her son spend time in a house full of vampires. She cut off all ties with them in the first place to protect him from this life and here she was damned to it herself. From her friendship with Leah she knew how strongly the wolves felt about protecting human life. If he couldn't be safe around her he would be safer with them.
"Leave him on the reservation, but Leah comes with us," she conceded.
Jacob took a step forward in his second's defense, but Leah spoke.
"No, she's right. I should go with them. Renesmee, could you take him to Emily and Sam's place. She'll take care of him until we figure this out. Does that work?" She looked for reassurance from Jenn.
Jenn simply nodded. The burn and defeat taking over she turned and ran off in the opposite direction of the border. All eyes focused on her exit.
"She's going to hunt," Edward stated plainly. Listening to the jumble of unspoken voices around him he addressed the first concern as he rolled his eyes in Jacob and Sam's direction.
"No, not humans."
But the truth was Edward didn't know what she was going to hunt and neither did she. It was best to let this situation calm down without having the wolves after her and making it worse. Edward turned to his brother and nodded as Emmett spun toward Rosalie, an apologetic look on his face, kissed her on the forehead and ran off to watch over his sister.
Sunday, May 1, 2011
Bella looked out from the window that had become her companion these last two days. Other than attending to her daughter various times throughout the day she hadn't really left this room nor been a few steps outside of the house since the writhing woman on the bed had gotten here. Part of the reason was because she knew she needed to be close just in case. Her own transformation had only taken two days and it was safer for everyone for her to be close if Jennifer's was just as quick though it didn't seem that would be the case this time. She overheard Carlisle say that she was on track for the normal three days so in a little less than twenty-four hours there would be a new vampire in the home.
Bella told herself that her reason for being so close was for safety. She hadn't quite reached her year yet and she was still stronger than Emmett, but her shield gave her an added protection against the already strong gift of the soon to be newborn. She told herself and everyone else that was her reason, but there was more to it. She felt a kinship with this girl. Both had entered this mystical world as humans unintentionally and now both would be newborn vampires with young children to take care of. Well, hopefully that would be the case soon enough for Jenn. Bella couldn't imagine what it would have been like had she not known that Renessme was okay when she was finally able to process everything. A mother scorned was bad enough, but a very deadly newborn vampire could rip the town of Forks and La Push reservation apart if she felt her child was in danger. That was a shared fear of the Cullen family as every minute of the change ticked by.
Bella turned with a sigh as she laid eyes on Emmett. He had not moved from that spot since he first picked up her hands forty-nine hours ago. If not for the slight movement of his thumb on the back of his sister's hand every few minutes any normal passerby would surely confuse him for a statue. Rose had come to keep him company numerous times, but would end up leaving in frustration as Emmett seemed to be lost in his own world of worry, despair and guilt. He stopped acknowledging Rosalie yesterday when she tried to get him to take a short walk with her just to get out of the house. Even if Edward had not confided in Bella that Rosalie was feeling shut out it was written all over her face. This change needed to end, but whether quickly for Rosalie and Emmet's marriage's sake or slower until Joey is found for the sake of Forks was a toss up.
A loud boom from the door sent Leah jumping from the bed and onto the floor. If she had been in wolf form her hackles would have been standing straight up. As if from some deep buried maternal instinct she picked Joey up quickly placing him in the empty bathtub and placing her finger over her mouth giving him the "quiet" gesture in hopes that he might actually listen, but knowing that more than likely won't be the case. She closed the bathroom door behind her leaving just a crack and slowly approached the door. Her skin began to crawl as her nostrils caught the sent of the person at her door. Her heart began pounding in anger and fear. She tried to fight it but she could feel the heat rising up from her stomach and her arms began to tremble. Before she could blink her curse took over and the bed was ripped to shreds along with her clothes as the wolf took over.
A snarl escaped her jowls before she could tame herself. If he was coming in he was losing a limb or two in the process. His scent took over her mind sinking her back to last month starting with the first time she saw him and those sparkling light blue eyes. The smile that swept her heart away in an instant coming from the same lips that took the humanity from her friend forcing her here in this moment. Her sensitive ears didn't pick up any movement and as she nudged the drape open slightly hoping no regular person would choose to pass by at that moment she realized he was not there anymore. Coward must have come here to scare her.
As the frustration began to dissipate she realized that now she was even more vulnerable than when she started. Anyone else in wolf form when she shifted had now seen through her eyes everything that passed through her mind in these last two minutes. She forced herself back into human form. She would have to figure out how she was going to come across clothes as she never intended on needing anything other than what she was wearing. If he knew where she was she couldn't be here anymore, but where could she possibly go? She didn't like where this thought process was going, but she couldn't deny it anymore. The safest place for Joey, despite her pride, was La Push.
The door creaked behind her revealing the smiling face of the little brunette three year old through the crack.
"Hi," he said and started giggling.
She grabbed a towel from the wall by the mirror at the sink in the main portion of the room and wrapped it around herself.
"Hi," she repeated picking him up from the floor and placing him securely in her arms. "We're going to meet my friends. Would you like that?" she asked and received a nod as he stared back at her placing his fingers in his mouth.
Looking around the room at the destroyed bed and side table she began collecting what she could to put back in the small diaper bag. She was going to have to get out of here quick, but first get a pair of shorts and a t-shirt at least. This was going to be awkward.
"She phased," Jacob stated plainly to Edward and Carlisle as they straddled the La Push border. "Seth was on patrol when he could see her."
Seth cut in, "She was in a motel room and she was scared. She was looking out the window of the room and picturing some guy she had been thinking about a few weeks ago with blonde hair and blue eyes."
Jacob continued, "We're guessing he might be your vamp if she was so scared of him, but she phased back pretty quickly. My guess is she won't be anywhere near that room now, but I sent Embry and Quil up to check out Shelton and Olympia to see if they can pick up her scent at one of the motels."
Unlike Alice and Jasper, they could at least search in the daylight since it had been unseasonably sunny this past week.
"We need to discuss this newborn," the pack leader stared at the Cullen patriarch.
"I know your concern Jacob, but we will take full responsibility for her."
"That's not an answer Doc. None of you will be able to stop her if she feels the need to snack from the human buffet and we won't think twice about taking her down if she even looks in the direction of a human. We can't make any exceptions."
Carlisle nodded, "We understand and we're hoping we can convince her to try our way of life. She never wanted to be one of us and that may make it easier to persuade her, but until she has her son back I can't tell you how she is going to react. This will be something we have never seen before. I've never dealt with a newborn outside of Bella who even had a young child. If she can't control her actions we understand your position, but you will have to understand ours."
Edward cut in, "Emmett won't be so willing to step aside and we will defend them."
Carlisle let out a sigh, "You can understand our position as we understand yours. We aren't asking for you to ignore her actions, just be aware that our family will act to defend our own with full understanding of what that means for our alliance. We're hoping that won't happen and that this discussion is moot, but it is one that needs to be had."
"And you realize that if she goes after any human we won't look the other way," Jacob confirmed.
Carlisle nodded and left the conversation at that. Hopefully none of this will be an issue and this discussion won't mean anything tomorrow, but right now those words needed to be stated for both sides to hear. Hopefully a devastating line won't be drawn in the next few hours.
The Quileute pack didn't seem particularly excited to be called to the Cullen homestead but as they approached, the obvious screams made it clear that whatever they were being called for was serious. Edward had asked his daughter to wait inside but stay downstairs until he or Bella told her otherwise. Resnesmee did as she was told, hugged her Jacob and hurried into the house.
The wolves, since becoming more accustomed to being welcome around the Cullens, had decided to stay in human form for the meeting. Jacob stood at the point of the make shift arrow head the pack had formed. Before Jacob could open his mouth, Edward motioned for them to follow him and Carlisle. While the wolves were a little confused by it they followed along as the vampires led the way running a few miles out. When the two were convinced they were far enough out not to be heard by any members of their family still back at the house they stopped and turned to the wolf pack.
"We have a situation as I'm sure you could hear," Carlisle began. "A human associate of our family has been attacked by an unknown vampire. She's currently undergoing the change and as you are aware newborns can be potentially destructive. This is something I want to discuss with you further, but there is something a bit more pressing that we hope you can help with."
Jacob, as the pack leader, spoke for the group, "If there is a remote possibility that her change can cause the deaths of any around here she can't stay. There is no discussing that."
Carlisle acknowledged Jacob's statement with a nod, but continued on with the more immediate issue. "That is something we will talk about further, but we have a few days to figure it out. There is an issue that is much more time senstive. Her three year old son has gone missing. He was gone before I was able to reach her. We believe he was taken after she was bitten. We're hoping you might be able to help find him."
The pack all agreed, "Of course. We can start on that as soon as possible, just tell us where we're going."
"She owns a cabin in a small town outside of Olympia. Alice and Jasper are on their way there now. When I found her she was in her son's room and there were two scents in the room with her. One I didn't recognize," Carlisle paused eyeing the boys in front of him, "The other I didn't expect."
"Okay?" Jacob stood impatiently waiting for the point of the vague comment.
"The other scent was Leah's," Carlisle revealed.
This stirred the small group of Jacob, Quil, Embry and Seth. "How would she know anything about one of your friends?" Seth asked.
"We were hoping you could tell us," Edward added.
"Well, who is she?" Jacob enquired.
"A close friend of Emmett's. Her name's Jennifer Goodwin. Does that name sound familiar?"
Jacob quickly recalled a conversation he had with Bella about a human girl that lived in Washington who used to be close to the Cullens. "Wait, is this the girl that can toss a vamp across a room without ever touching them?" That conversation always stuck out to him because in those days the thought of any gift that could take down a vampire was placed high on his wish list. That story had brought him a lot of amusement, but he promised Bella he wouldn't tell anyone and he never did.
"Yes," Carlisle confirmed, "But our family has had limited communication with her for a few years."
"I remember Bella saying there was some kinda falling out, but I never told anyone about her." The pack nodded in agreement.
Edward pointed out, "But the pack could have seen her in your thoughts."
"I still don't know why Leah would know her or even care." Jacob paused, realization hitting him, "Do you think she has something do with the kid missing?"
Carlisle nodded, "Her scent was the only one on his bed."
Jacob was now very confused, but also worried for his 2nd in command. Why would she be anywhere near a strange vampire? He needed to find out what was going on, "Just tell us where to start.
Leah lied sprawled out on the musty full sized matress in the Motel 6 just outside of Seattle. There was no way she was going anywhere near La Push or Forks, not after what she did. Jenn was her friend, a friend she chose to reach out to after Jacob let it slip that Bella wasn't the only human they had contact with. When Leah found there was someone on the outside of her mystical world that could relate to her hatred for the Cullens she didn't waste any time seeking her out. She was blind enough to be tricked by a bloodsucker and now her friend was quickly becoming one of them. She rolled over on the bed to stare at Jenn's only son Joey as he slept soundly next to her on the dingy covers. It wasn't the greatest accommodations, but it would do until she figured out what to do next.
Thinking over the earlier events, how could she be so stupid? This guy comes into her life a month ago and sweet talks her for weeks. She thought he really liked her so when he talked her into introducing him to her friend she had outside of the area she was excited to share the new guy in her life with someone. Then he turns out to be a tick. Why didn't she see it? Why didn't she smell it all over him? What guy could actually be interested in her, anyway?
He had to be a cross breed like Jacob's imprint. It couldn't be anything else. She knows a leech when she smells one and there was nothing about him that remotely set off the warning bells. Or maybe she just didn't want to see them. How she longed for a guy outside of the rez to show some interest in her. Now, here she was, self proclaimed caretaker to a small child because she turned his mother into a life sucking monster. Hopefully Carlisle got there soon enough to help her through the pain, but she knew the stories. The pain was worse and much slower than theirs. She realized her wishful thinking was ridiculous the second she picked up her screaming friend's phone and scanned for the vamp doc's name in her contacts, but it was all she had to hang on to.
Before she could process the next step Joey was in her arms and out the door. She couldn't let the pack know where she was and there was no way she was phasing anytime soon. The pack would know what she did and why. It would be easy to resist the urge now since she made such an effort to control her thoughts around her pack and especially around Edward. She had told Jacob she slowly wanted to give up the pack life so she hadn't been phasing as much lately anyway. Sure they knew Jenn's name and had pictures of -who she thought was a possible love interest's face, but Leah had gotten good at not divulging too much to her pack about what she did and who she did it with outside of the confines of La Push.
Joey was hers now to keep safe if it was the only way to make up for her stupidity. She would disappear if she had to, but this boy was not going to be touched by anyone.
Wednesday, March 2, 2011
The vibrate on his phone grabbed his attention as he moved for his pocket mid walk down the opaque hall. The caller ID immediately caught his eye. The name wasn't one he had seen in over a year and a name not spoken aloud within the glass confines of his home in three. Flipping open the phone to read the text awaiting him there is only one word, "HELP."
He found the nearest nurses station and reported that a family emergency had come up and he had to leave. Knowing full well that he never would have heard from her if there wasn't something very wrong he kept moving as quickly as possible without revealing his supernatural side, though not slowing down the very quick speed at which his mind raced through possibilities. He was to his Mercedes within five minutes and on the road to Shelton, a small town fifteen minutes north of Olympia, in another minute. What would have been a three hour drive flew by in less than half that and there he was within a mile of her secluded two room cabin buried deep within the wooded outskirts.
His sensitive ears picked up a sound he was all too familiar with and without a second of thought he knew exactly who it was coming from. The sound of a pain so excruciating that the individual experiencing it has only one other thing on their mind besides the agony and that is the hope for death. There was no mistaking the sear of the change from mortal to immortal, a change that would last forever. But how? There was no way a vampire could get close enough to her to sink their teeth in. Even in her weakest state no vampire could come within inches of his son's sibling without feeling the pushing sensation that her gift emitted. There was only one way to find out what happened.
Carlisle flew from the car and into the house in a blur finding himself staring at her twisted body on the floor of her son's bedroom. The only thing more worrisome than her change was the absence of her child. He wasn't crying and he wasn't sleeping. Her three year old simply wasn't there. Something else caught his attention, a scent not just in the room, but all over his bed. A scent Carlisle knew well and yet knew shouldn't be anywhere near her. It was the unmistakable odor of wolf. Leah. She had to have picked him up out of the bed to leave this strong of a scent. There was also another scent he couldn't place and it was all over the red head now writhing on the floor.
He picked Jennifer up as gently as possible letting his marble skin brush against her aching body in hopes that it would provide some cooling effect and rushed out to the car. Placing her in the backseat he hit the gas and sped off for home.
Edward's phone rang loudly on the living room table buzzing across its surface as it sang out. Snapping it open the screams coming from the other end were ear splitting and yet he easily recognized who the disturbing sounds were coming from despite the years apart.
"Carlisle?" Edward confirmed.
"Yes, it's me. Is Emmett there?"
"No, he, Rose, Alice and Jazz are out hunting."
"Good. Is Bella with you?"
"I need you two to meet me outside. I'll be there in less than two minutes."
Edward closed his phone and he and Bella - his still newborn love having already heard the entire conversation - headed out the door to meet their father. The black luxury sedan pulled up with a jolted stop. Edward took no time searching Carlisle's mind, but allowed him to voice everything to Bella.
"I got a text from Jennifer an hour ago. When I got there she had been bitten, but I couldn't place the scent."
"There was also another scent present," he thought adding a picture of Leah to the silent revelation. Edward acknowledged him with a swift nod and stared intently just as confused as his creator. The wolves shouldn't even know about Emmett's sister let alone be in her house.
Carlisle turned to the driver's side rear door to retrieve the wailing female from the back seat as Edward turned to his curious wife.
"Is Renesmee still at the reservation?"
Bella shook her head yes.
"I need to call her. Will you take Jenn upstairs and place her on our bed?"
"Of course," Bella now realizing the girl in her father's arms was the same girl with the deep blue eyes and crimson hair she had remembered smiling in Emmett's photo. She supposedly had a defensive gift like Bella's, but as she picked her up from Carlisle's arms she realized this girl should never have suffered this fate. That thought lead to her question, "What's going on?"
"I'll explain once I get off the phone." Edward replied already having seen the entire scene through Carlisle's eyes.
Bella flitted her copper eyes from her husband back to Carlisle knowing full well they were keeping something from her, resisted the urge to push the subject and headed into the house.
Edward's conversation with his daughter was brief, but the Quileutes were now on their way and unfortunately, so was his siblings' hunting party and he just caught the faint twinge of Emmett's upbeat thoughts as they turned to the very obvious tortured cries of his sister.
"They're back and Emmett can hear her," he directed to his father.
In order to keep anyone else from knowing at this point Carlisle thought to Edward,"Don't mention Leah, yet. We need him to focus on Jenn."
Edward agreed as both he and Carlisle headed up the stairs to the second floor.
"I'll wait for him outside the door. I can hopefully slow him down and save the door from being ripped off the hinges." Edward nodded and drifted into the room closing the door behind him.
The screams were sickening reminders to all the Cullen clan of their own changes, but to Emmett this was something far worse. He knew his sister never wanted this and made that painfully clear when she told him she didn't want him around her or Joey anymore. That day was painful enough, but with the realization of this torture he knew if he had a heart the sound of her screams would have broken it into a million pieces. He had to find out what happened.
He came barreling up the stairs, his eyes set on the room he knew his sister was slowly dying in, but found he was blocked by his father. Luckily his respect for Carlisle would not allow him to barrel through him, but just barely.
"Emmett, stop." Carlisle caught his son while keeping his stance in front of the door.
"Let me in there Carlisle."
"You need to take a second to calm down. We don't know if her gift is protecting her right now so if you want to stay in that room without being knocked through the window you'll calm your nerves. Edward and Bella are in there with her now."
Emmett stopped. He was all too familiar with his sibling's gift, being the first she ever unintentionally used it on. His thirst had taken control and her scent overpowered everything else. Lucky for both of them she is endowed with some special ability that sent him flying through the air and landing on his back over two hundred feet away. If not, he would have taken her life without ever having truly known her. He knew the good doctor was right.
"What happened?" he asked aloud pleading for answers from the coven leader.
"I wish I knew," was all Carlisle could say. He didn't have many answers and the few things he did know needed to stay a secret between a small few for right now.
Emmett took a calming breath as Rosalie approached him and gave him a supportive pat on the back as he turned the knob and stared into the room. There she was, squirming uncontrollably with her eyes closed tight on a face he hadn't seen in three years, four months and eleven days. She shrieked in horrifying agony. The sound shook him to his core as he willed himself to move inch by inch closer to her. Her body violently shook the oak four post bed to the foundation. The words "Kill me" were the only coherent ones coming from her. If he could cry he would be balling like a baby right now. Rosalie, Jasper and Alice all entered the room with Carlisle behind and took spots in the corner.
Emmett traded places with Bella taking a seat next to the bed and reached for her hand. He whispered half hearted reassurances in her ear though knowing that right now, she wasn't processing anything else but the intense flame engulfing her entire body. No one had yet answered the one question on his mind.
"What happened?" He looked from his brother to his father.
There wasn't a whole lot Carlisle could say, "I don't know. When I found her whoever did this had already gone and it wasn't a scent I recognized."
"JOEY!" she screamed and kicked in the air as the name spit out from her lips.
Then the panic set in for him. Emmett, standing, "Where is he?" frantically asking where his three year old nephew was.
"I don't know. He was gone as well when I got there."
"We need to find him!" He stood up looking back and forth between Carlisle and Rosalie.
Carlisle spoke, "Emmett, she needs you now. Alice and Jasper can go back to her house and see if they can track the scent." The coven leader looked to the two standing behind him. They nodded and quickly exited the room.
Emmett turned his sites back to his brother, "Who took him?"
"I don't know." As they weren't sure of the extent of Leah's involved, Edward took a little comfort in the fact that he wasn't exactly lying.
"What the hell do you mean you don't know? Read her mind!" Emmett raged.
Feeling her husband's frustration levels rising Rosalie walked over to him and put her hand on his back. He calmed slightly at her touch.
Edward replied, "The only thing she is thinking about right now is the pain."
Emmett knew his sibling was right and that fact alone made him feel even more helpless. He wanted to go back to her cabin and start looking himself, but he didn't want to leave her here to suffer without someone who loved her close by. He was the only family she had left outside of her son and now he was missing as well.
Bella turned her attention to the large window and to the patter of feet out in the distance then looked to her husband, "Renesmee and the wolves are here."
"What do those dogs want?" Emmett was by no means in the mood to deal with the puppies, right now.
"I called them," Edward admitted. "They need to be warned about a newborn being in the area soon and we might be able to put their noses to use looking for Joey."
Despite his hate for them being anywhere near here right now, Emmett conceded and sat down as Edward approached the door. Bella turned to accompany him, but he stopped her and motioned for Carlisle instead.
"Bella, you may be the only one who can get near her if something happens. Her gift works with the mind and if something gets out of hand no one will be able to approach her except maybe you. I'll take Carlisle with me to talk to the wolves. I'll keep Renesmee downstairs for now."
Bella nodded as she watched them fly out the door and quickly out of the house. Though she wasn't fully convinced this was the only reason he wanted her to stay. She knew him well enough to know there is something he needed to keep hidden from her and she hated secrets, but he was right. She had heard the stories of Jenn's gift and the power behind it. If something happened she may be the only one left standing in that room and if Emmett lost his focus on her right now she may be the only one strong enough to keep him from leaving. Edward and Carlisle must be keeping something from them for a reason and right now she would choose to believe it was something that had to be done. She would trust them and stay here.
Returning to her position in the corner, she gazed out at the mix of tan and russet skinned young men as they cut through the tree line with her curly haired, rosy cheeked daughter at the front. Even with all of this chaos, she could take comfort in knowing that her child was safely here within reach. Jennifer, unfortunately, was not that lucky and if they didn't find her son within the next few days, Bella knew there would be no hope of containing the wrath of a newborn mother whose child had been taken from her.
Tuesday, December 21, 2010
Bella examined the room with the same child-like curiosity that brought her into it. She was supposed to be looking for the TV remote, but she had never ventured into Emmett and Rosalie's bedroom before. The ornate brass bed with beautiful rose shaped accents screamed of Rosalie's taste, but the sports memorabilia placed on various shelves around the room was definitely Emmett's addition. While looking at some of the old books on the shelves Bella came across a framed picture that stuck out. There was her soon to be big brother standing with a female that wasn't his wife. The young red head in the picture didn't have the same pale skin or bronze eyes as the Cullen family. Her eyes were a deep ocean blue and her skin was a creamy shade of beige. She was most definitely a human and from the huge smiles and the way their arms were wrapped tightly around each other's waists as they obviously laughed at some off camera joke, this was someone he was very close to. Knock, knock, knock.
Bella quickly turned to face the culprit who so quickly sent her into a blushing fit of embarrassment dropping the picture in the process. Edward sped toward her catching the frame before it could hit the floor as he grinned that crooked smile she loved. Edward let his free hand caress the blush on Bella's cheek well aware that she felt she was caught doing something she shouldn't be. "Sorry, I know I shouldn't be snooping." Edward, still amused by her expression, assured her, "Don't worry, Emmett wouldn't have minded and even if he did catch you I'm sure you could toss in how interested you were in his in-person signed Mickey Mantle baseball that he would probably get so lost in the story he would forget what prompted the conversation."
Bella's mind traveled more to Emmett's mate rather than the burley brunette. "I was thinking more of Rosalie." Edward shrugged, but wouldn't admit aloud that she probably wouldn't be too happy if she caught Bella in here. They both looked down at the picture in his hand.
"Who is she?" Bella inquired. Edward placed the picture back on the shelf and motioned for her to take a seat on the bed. Not making herself too comfortable in case the room's owners were to return soon she took a seat on the corner of the bed allowing Edward plenty of space to sit beside her. He sighed and began his story. "You remember when we discussed whether my other siblings had experience with humans whose blood sang to them as yours does to me?" Bella nodded in acknowledgment. "A few years ago, just before we moved here, Emmett and I were hunting in a secluded area just outside of Olympia. To make things more interesting Emmett had bet $100 he could take down more elk in 10 minutes than me so I took him up on it. We were so deep in the hunt I hadn't realized that Emmett had broken off and I realized why when I caught the scent that he was chasing."
"A human?" Bella asked. Edward nodded. "We thought we were far enough out from the main population that we wouldn't be close to any humans. Emmett was ahead of me and I ran as fast I could to catch up, but I was too late." Bella's mind filled with images of the poor soul Emmett had probably ripped to shreds like a gore filled horror movie and visibly shook in reaction.
Edward let loose a slight grin, "Don't jump to conclusions." He put his hand on her back and gently rubbed the fear away. "As I broke through the tree line to a small log cabin, Emmett flew over my head backwards taking down a maple about 50 feet behind me. I turned back to this human now staring at me and she didn't have a scratch on her. Emmett came stomping out from behind me snapping back at the girl, but I was able to grab his arms long enough for him to look into her eyes. I had never experienced anything like it."
"Neither had I." Bella turned to the door, her blush once again returning, this time having actually been caught by Emmett. Luckily Rosalie wasn't standing with him in the doorway. Edward smiled again, having already been aware of his brother's return to the house and his thoughts before he came up the stairs. "Filling Bella in about Jennifer?" Edward nodded. "We were looking for the remote and she noticed your picture."
Emmett stepped around the bed, grabbed the remote from his desk top waving it at his sibling and still blushing fiancé whose face went from a light mauve to a deep maroon. Emmett continued to smile though Bella noted that it didn't reach his eyes. "You want to finish the story?" Edward asked him. "Why not?," the still standing brunette replied handing the remote to Bella. He crossed his arms and started where Edward left off. "There wasn't much that could have stopped me from ripping into her throat. Her scent was so strong I didn't even remember being knocked away from her the first time until Edward mentioned it to me later. There is no doubt in my mind that I would have taken him apart just to get a taste of her she smelled so good, but when I looked into her eyes I couldn't move. I felt like I caught a line drive to the stomach. Then I saw my little sister."
"Sister?" Bella asked.
Emmett noticed the confusion on Bella's face and looked at Edward. "You never told her the bear story?" Edward replied, "It wasn't my place to tell it." Emmett, shaking his head looked back to Bella, "You know that I was attacked by a bear the day Rosalie found me, but I guess what you don't know is the reason I was out there. I was babysitting my nine year old little sister, Trisha. She was outside playing when I heard her scream. I ran to find her and that's when I saw the grizzly standing over her. I grabbed anything I could and threw it at the damn thing, but I just pissed it off more. I tried to pull her away from it, but it sunk its teeth into my shoulder. Damn near ripped off my arm. I guess I passed out because the next thing I remember was my angel carrying me through the woods." As if for dramatic affect, he turned up to look at his beautiful blond wife watching from the doorway.
"It was too late. She was gone before I got there and it took everything I had to hold my breath just to get to Emmett," Rosalie recalled with obvious sadness in her tone.
"So wait, if your sister Trisha died in the woods that day who is Jennifer?" Bella was now even more confused.
Emmett chuckled under his breath. "It was the craziest thing I have ever experienced. It was like I was replaying that day in my head, but watching a crappy quality VHS tape. I saw her bleeding as she laid there. She wasn’t moving. I could smell the pine trees around us and I could hear that damn bear growling. It was unreal."
Edward cut in, "The strange thing about it was Jen saw the same thing, only through Trisha's eyes. Watching it through her mind it was like we were both looking through the eyes of a frightened and weak little nine year old child. She was lying in the leaves and dirt, her plaid skirt and white shirt covered in blood. The image of her own blood seeping from her chest would have been unbearable if I wasn't so intrigued with what they were both experiencing."
Bella looked even more confused so Emmett continued from there. "I almost didn't want to believe that what had happened was real until we both popped out of it and this twenty six year old woman who I had never met in my life called me by my name."
"So you believe this girl is what, the reincarnation of your sister? And how did you get thrown over Edward's head?"
Emmett shrugged and all three vampires laughed. "To answer your first question, I know it sounds crazy, but would you have believed in vampires and werewolves before you met us? In this world, anything is possible. And she has some kind of gift that protects her from vampires. Basically it's like running into a wall only instead of crashing into it you get pushed pretty far away. It only works when a vampire is on the attack or when sometimes when she’s in pain."
"Does she ever come to visit?"
Bella noticed Emmett’s eyes shift to the floor and the room of vampires seemed to become uncomfortable. Emmett didn't look up when Edward answered. "No. She chose to distance herself from us."
"After we moved here for her," Rosalie interrupted from her position in the doorway.
"Rosalie," Edward leered at her. Emmett finally spoke again, "Its fine. I really don't want to talk about it anymore."
"I'm sorry if I brought up a sore subject."
"No," Emmett looked up at her attempting a reassuring smile, "It's okay. We got close really quickly and I miss her and if she ever needs me I'll be there, but I understand why she doesn't want us around, especially now that she has a baby in the house. I mean, the girl has a gift that keeps vampires from getting near her. There has to be a good reason for it. I check in on her from time to time and who knows, maybe one day she'll be okay with hanging out again. Until then, we have you to play pet human." He winked at her.
"Cute," Bella retorted as Rosalie groaned and walked out of the room.
Standing from the bed, "Well, since I have the remote now, I guess we can go watch the movie."
"What are we watching?" Emmett asked as Edward stood up. "Not a chick flick, right?"
Bella sighed, "No, Resident Evil."
"Kick ass!" With that the three headed downstairs.
Thursday, August 27, 2009
33. Ext. Terrain Camp – a few hours later
We pan around the fire to see that all the riders now appear to be asleep. As we shift to the surrounding bushes we see a pair of eyes peaking through. The bushes separate revealing the eyes of Genevieve watching the sleeping riders. She pushes her way through the bushes and slowly walks up to The Kid reaching down for his canteen. As she comes within reach a hand grabs her arm and she tries to pull away. Zoom out showing the The Kid has grabbed her arm.
34. Ext. Camp Fire – minutes later
The scene shifts to Genevieve sitting on the ground surrounded by the riders.
What the hell are you doing here?
I told you I wasn’t staying there.
Do you want to die?
I’m not afraid to die.
Did you forget why Lou went through all of this?
You all want to play hero and save her, that’s fine! I have my brother and
sister to think about.
You’re one stubborn girl!
Remind you of anyone?
Rustling from the trees around them cause all the riders to turn their attention away from Genevieve. All four draw as a figure appears from the bushes.
There’s no time to make camp. They’re moving them first thing in the morning.
Lou’s been shot. They’re holding her and Jimmy at the jail.
All the riders turn to their bedrolls and begin grabbing their things and re-saddling their horses. The attention turns to Genevieve.
You’re going back.
No, I’m not.
We’ve already got enough to worry about. We don’t need you to add to it.
I can take care of myself.
The Kid lets out a growl under his breath. The camera pans to Cody and Noah.
Is this what the French would call de ja vu?
I can see why Lou likes her.
Camera pans back to The Kid and Genevieve.
We don’t have time. Buck, you’re gonna keep an eye on her. Let’s go.
All the riders mount up and head out into the dark night.
35. Int. Sheriff’s office – same time
We can make out Mackenzie asleep in his desk chair. Zoom in on Lou and Jimmy in the cells. Close up on Jimmy as he whispers in Lou’s ear.
Lou, you need to hold on. They’re coming.
Lou gently nods her head, but keeps her eyes closed. Camera pans down to Jimmy holding her hand once again.
36. Ext. Outside of Willow Springs – later that night
We see the riders approach the outskirts of town and dismount. They hand the reigns of the horses to Genevieve.
When you see that we have Lou and Jimmy you ride up with the horses.
You don’t do anything else, you hear me?
What about Amanda and Billy?
I’ll get them.
Genevieve again nods.
The riders separate drawing their guns and heading into town. Noah, The Kid, Teaspoon and Buck all head in the direction of the office while Cody moves towards the hotel. The camera focuses on the riders heading toward the office. Teaspoon motions to Buck and Noah to head around to the back and he and The Kid head for the front.
37. Int. Sheriff’s office – same time
Jimmy is trying to stay awake as he holds on to Lou’s hand, but his eyes keeping opening and closing. Suddenly, his attention is grabbed by a sound coming from the wall behind him. He puts down Lou’s hand and slides to the back of the cell. Through the cracks we hear Buck’s voice.
Jimmy, we’re coming in. Stay down. If you can hear this, knock on the wall.
Jimmy stares straight ahead not trying to bring too much attention to himself as he lightly raps on the wall behind him. Jimmy slides back to Lou.
Lou, they’re here. Hold on.
38. Ext. Sheriff’s Office – same time
The Kid and Teaspoon have positioned themselves on opposite sides of the door as Noah and Buck stay on opposite sides of the building. The Kid and Teaspoon push their way in.
39. Int. Sheriff’s Office – same time
The Kid and Teaspoon come in the front door. Mackenzie is knocked awake from his desk.
What’s going on here, Hunter?
The Kid grabs the keys and holsters from the wall keeping his gun still trained on Mackenzie.
We’re taking them out of here.
They’re my prisoners.
The Kid runs over to the bars and unlocks Jimmy handing him his gun and holster. The Kid then unlocks Lou’s cell and picks her up from the cot.
Lou? Open your eyes. Lou?
The Kid carries her out of the cell with Jimmy right behind him as Teaspoon puts Mackenzie in the cell. The Kid gets no more than 2 feet away from the bars when a shot comes through the front window and hits him in his arm. He does his best to hold on to Lou. Jimmy comes to his aide picking her up from his arms
Teaspoon and The Kid lead the way firing outside as Jimmy follows behind carrying Lou. The gunshots are coming from different buildings around the town. They do their best to aim where they think the shots are coming from. They get to the side of the building with Buck covering them.
40. Int. Hotel – same time
Cody can hear the gunshots from the hallway. He bursts into Room 213 with his gun drawn. He finds Billy and AMANDA sitting on the bed. Billy is shielding her from the sounds of the gunshots, but quickly draws his pistol and aims at Cody.
Who are you?
I’m friends with your sister.
Billy nods his head as both he and Cody re-holster their weapons. Cody kneels down to the bed beside Amanda.
Where is Genny?
I’ll take you to her.
(pointing to the window)
All the shooting.
Cody walks to the window and looks out. Billy covers Amanda’s ears again.
41. Ext. Sheriff’s Office – same time
Genevieve is riding out to the front of the Sheriff’s office with the horse. Buck, Noah and Teaspoon head out toward her. They end up killing the two shooters across the way. Finally the shooting seems to stop.
Buck is the first to mount. Jimmy and Noah slowly mount Lou up in front of Buck. Cody exits the hotel with Billy carrying Amanda right behind him. Genevieve sees them coming out as The Kid and Teaspoon mount up.
Billy runs up to her mount and saddles Amanda up in front of her. Genevieve snuggly hugs Amanda as Billy then walks to the front of the group.
You all need to get outta here.
(pointing to The Kid and Lou)
We can’t go anywhere with these two. They need a doctor, now!
Billy nods and points off to a building on the corner of town.
The doc’s office is…
A shot rings out and Billy falls to the ground. Amanda and Genevieve scream his name. Another shot rings out as we see Mackenzie, with gun in hand, fall dead onto the wooden planks of the porch outside of the Sheriff’s office. Jimmy re-holsters his pistol. Genevieve jumps down from her mount as Amanda watches on in fear.
Genevieve places her hand on Billy’s chest. Billy doesn’t move. Genevieve shakes him, but it does nothing, he is dead. Jimmy approaches Genevieve helping her to her feet. She turns her attention to Jimmy.
We need to get Lou to the doc.
Jimmy nods to her.
Genevieve mounts up behind Amanda (who is crying), wraps her arms around her and kicks her horse into a gallop toward the doctor with the other riders close behind.
42. Int. Doctor’s Office – sunrise
All the riders are sitting outside. Genevieve is hugging Amanda who is still obviously upset. Jimmy is sitting beside her. The rest of the riders are scattered waiting for any word from the doctor. The door opens and the DOCTOR comes out rubbing the blood from his hands.
They’re both going to be alright. The young lady lost a lot of blood, but she is very lucky she didn’t get any internal damage. If I can keep getting fluids into
her she should be fine. The other young man is with her now.
Relief spreads through the riders. Genevieve whispers something to Amanda, stands up and steps off of the porch. Jimmy follows her.
Where are you going?
To take my brother’s body to the Undertaker.
Genevieve turns as if she is going to protest, but shakes her head in agreement instead. He puts his hand on her shoulder as they walk out of the shot.
43. Ext. Doctor’s Office – a week later
Lou comes out of the office with her arm in a sling as Jimmy and The Kid come out from behind her. She takes a seat on the bench. The Kid sits beside her.
You two could have gone back to Rock Creek with the others.
And leave you here all alone?
Besides, Gen needed some help settling things.
How is she?
Jimmy looks off into the distance and gets quiet. We follow his gaze to Genevieve who is approaching the group with Amanda close behind.
You look much better, Lou.
Thanks. How are you doing?
Genevieve shrugs as Amanda puts her arms around her.
Is there anything we can do?
No. Everything is all packed up and we’re heading out.
Where you going?
Not sure. I guess we’ll know when we get there.
Lou stands up and approaches her.
Can we talk for a second?
Genevieve nods as they begin to walk away from the small group. We see Jimmy kneel down to Amanda and start talking to her in the background.
You could always come back to Rock Creek with us. I’m sure we could
find you work and give you a place to stay for a while.
Thanks for the offer Lou, but I think we need to get as far away from this
place as possible and start over.
Make me a deal.
Think about what I said about no saloon work. I want you to be able to look
in the mirror and be proud of what you see. You deserve that.
Genevieve takes a second but reluctantly nods in agreement.
Thanks Lou; for everything.
Lou and Genevieve hug. They soon pull away and walk back to Amanda and the two boys.
It’s time to go, Amanda.
Amanda hugs Jimmy and The Kid then runs over to the awaiting horse. Genevieve helps her mount and mounts behind her. Lou approaches them and puts her hand on Genevieve’s leg.
Genevieve nods as she kicks her horse into a gallop.
Don’t worry, Lou. She can take care of herself.
That is one tough girl.
(almost in a whisper)
She’s not as tough as you think.
The shot pulls out as the riders watch Genevieve ride away. The camera pans around focusing on the two girls as they ride off out of town.
END OF ACT 7