Her body calmed as Emmett caught the accelerating beat of her heart. He stood from beside her as his parents and siblings all gathered around the bed splitting off into two small groups on either side. With Bella at the forefront of one of the groups the sight would have been strange at any other encounter, but she was their first line of defense in this case. Emmett took the lead of the other group. Jasper and Alice had returned as added protection though how effective they would be remained to be seen. Rosalie had left a few hours earlier after trying for the last time to talk to Emmett about how he was feeling. According to Edward, she had no interest in returning anytime soon though she was only a few miles out as he could still hear her thoughts.
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.