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Dream Jacob/OC. Post-Eclipse. Elizabeth Foster is your typical grad student. When she interns on a summer research project looking for dire wolves in the Olympic Peninsula, she finds more than she bargained for.


5. An Uneasy Truce

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PART FIVE: An Uneasy Truce

[Jacob POV]

Embry and Quil were waiting when we reached the hospital. As I lifted Beth from the car and started toward the ER entrance, they closed ranks on either side of me. Embry lightly touched her cheek, grimacing. "She's going into shock, Jake."

"I know." The words were a growl, and I held onto her a little tighter, fear burning through me with every heartbeat. It was a relief to hear Carlisle Cullen's voice as soon as I stepped through the sliding doors. I never thought I'd say that about one of the bloodsuckers.

He was on the phone, and I saw his eyes flick our way almost immediately. "Yes, Alice darling. Everything's fine. Yes. They just arrived." He paused. "No. I don't think that would be a good idea. I'm sure." His voice was calm and reassuring, but there was a subtle undertone of authority to it. "No. In fact I think that would be the very worst thing you could do." Putting his hand over the receiver, he called a nurse over and then sent her to my side. "Yes dear, of course I will. Everything will be fine. I'll let you know as soon as we're done here."

I didn't catch the very end of the conversation, the nurse had me in hand and shortly I was setting Beth down on a gurney. Quil had taken up station in the waiting room, watching for more leeches to turn up. Embry stayed nearby, but out of the way.

I didn't want to let her go, I realized that the moment they began to swarm over her, shooing me out of the way. I almost lost control of myself until Embry pulled me firmly back with him, keeping a hand on my shoulder until I was calm again. "Let them do what the need to do, bro." His voice was firm but gentle.

"I'm sorry." I never took my eyes off of her as they attached their wires and tubes, cutting away her clothes so they could access her injuries.

"For what?" He honestly seemed puzzled.

A sheepish smile tugged at my lips, and I looked away from Beth long enough to meet his eyes. "You had first claim on her."

Embry snorted, rolling his eyes. "The dumb fucker finds his soulmate and he apologizes. Unbelievable." He patted my shoulder again. "Jake, you know if it makes you happy, I'm happy."

Any response I might have made was cut off when Dr. Cullen appeared. He gave calm, quiet instructions to his staff, orders about fluids and units of blood and painkillers. They had her turned on her side, keeping pressure off the wounds. I watched intently as he gently explored the torn flesh with long, deft fingers, never showing a moment of tension, not even the slightest hint that the blood bothered him. He made a request of a hovering nurse, and carefully began cleaning the long, deep stripes the bear's claws had made.

"I'm taking particular care here because I need to be sure we don't seal in any infection with stitches," he explained without looking at me. At the unspoken invitation, I drifted closer. "I mean no offense," he murmured so quietly that it was obviously meant only for our ears. "But was this a wolf attack?"

I stiffened, but quickly mastered the reaction. I knew there was no way I could have asked that question calmly if the situation were reversed. "No." The intense memories of the moment washed over me again. "It was a bear. Mother with a cub."

Cullen's eyebrows lifted. "She's very lucky you were there." He knew as well as I did the kind of damage a mother bear could inflict. He pushed aside what remained of her clothing after they'd cut the back open, and something caught my eye. Beth had a tattoo on the left, uninjured shoulder blade. A wolf, howling at a full moon, elegantly drawn in sharp black against her fair skin. Beneath the picture were four characters written in bold letters. 'JB4E'

What the hell? A million questions rattled around in my brain wanting answers as I looked at Beth's unconscious face. I needed to know what it meant, I needed her to open her eyes and look at me so I could ask.

"Sir?" A nurse appeared at my elbow. She held a cellphone that was cheerfully playing 'Every Little Thing She Does is Magic' by the Police. "This was in her jacket pocket and it keeps ringing." With no further ado, she handed it to me, clearly intending for me to answer it.

I gingerly accepted the phone and looked down at the display. The caller ID said 'Kat'. Flipping it open, I held it up to my ear.

"Oh thank the Mother you finally answered!" The voice was female, young. Probably a friend. "I'm sorry I kept calling, I just had this awful feeling that something was wrong." She hesitated, then rushed onward. "It reminded me of the night of the accident. I know, I know, don't bring it up. But you're not the only one with bad memories of that night, Betts." Betts? So this Kat was a close enough friend to use a nickname. I was intrigued and a bit jealous. "Betts, you there?" Anxiety crept into the girl's tone. "Hello? Earth to Elizabeth..."

"Uh, hi..."

There was a long moment of silence. "Who the hell are you, and why do you have Elizabeth's phone?" Her voice had gone icy. Startled, I couldn't immediately think of an answer. Duh. "If you don't put Elizabeth on the phone right this second, I'm going to call the police, the National Guard, and my bouncer ex-boyfriend."

"This is Jacob Black-"

She cut me off. "Jacob Black, I want to speak with Elizabeth. Now. Or I will call in favors from every deity in creation and seriously fuck up your mojo!" Well, that wasn't something you heard everyday...

Embry put a hand on my arm. "Is that Kat? She's Beth's roommate. I'll talk to her." He didn't wait for me to respond, but plucked the cellphone away. "Kat? This is Embry Call-" He paused, laughed. "Yeah, that Embry." For a moment he just listened, nodding. "I'm sorry about that, Jake's just trying to help. Now listen to me for a sec. There was an accident, Elizabeth got hurt." A pause. "Yeah, she's going to be okay. They're working on her right now." More nodding. "Um... I'm sure they have it, but it might be better if you called them? Yeah, that would be great." Again, quiet, and his eyes slid to me, suddenly worried. "I... don't think that's necessary, but if you want to, I suppose... Yeah, we're in Forks. Okay. Sure, I'll have her call you as soon as she's able. Thanks, Kat. Bye."

Embry whistled softly as he snapped the phone closed. "Wow." He patted my shoulder again. "Good luck, man. You're gonna need it. She completely hates your guts."