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Dreamcatcher

Summary:
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.


Notes:


6. Constructive Insanity

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PART SIX: Constructive Insanity

[Elizabeth POV]

I awakened slowly, disoriented. I was laying on my side, the soft beep of the monitors keeping time with my heart. Dull fire crawled up my back, and I shuddered, struggling to remember how I'd gotten here. The need for something familiar was fierce, so I opened my eyes and realized that someone was sitting by the bed. All I could see of him was dark skin and dark hair; his arms were folded on top of the blanket, his face hidden in them. He slept like that, completely relaxed, his breathing slow and deep. I'm not sure how long I watched him before I realized that one of my hands was gently clasped in his.

All at once, I remembered his eyes. I remembered a silver cord and a clear, sweet tone of possession. I remembered that the wolf who stalked my dreams had finally escaped them, stepping into reality to wear the form of a man.

Biting my lip, I carefully pulled my hand away from his. I hesitated, and then lightly touched his dark hair. It was soft and thick, and I curled my fingers through the sleek strands. He sighed and I went still, my heart racing. When a long, still moment passed I thought I was safe; my fingertips feathered across his hair again. Then he lifted his head and our eyes met.

I shivered at the impact, as the world tilted crazily on its axis. That simple contact stirred up feelings in me that I'd buried down deep, completely beyond my control, and I was certain I didn't like that. This was madness, and a part of me wanted it so badly that it hurt.

"Are you cold?" His voice was pleasantly deep, and the way he watched me... that made me shiver, too. "Are you in pain?"

"No." The hurt was bearable, although I wasn't sure it would stay that way if I moved around. "You were in my dreams." Without meaning to, I had blurred the lines in my head between wolf and man. "Why were you in my dreams?"

"I don't know." A warm, impossibly sweet smile curved his lips. "But if you want me to apologize, you're going to be waiting a while." He hesitated, and then carefully reached out with one big hand. His fingertips started at my temple and moved slowly downward, stroking gently down the side of my face. "Beth." The way he said my name... it was soft, wondering, as though he savored the taste of it on his lips.

"I don't know your name," I said quietly, trying to keep the edge out of my voice.

"Jacob Black." His very warm, strong hand stroked my face again, and the smile returned. "Jake."

"Jake." I tried to remind myself of the person I was. A scientist, an educated woman, rational and cautious. Not someone that believed in love at first sight, or could accept the fact that within hours of meeting, Jacob Black had leached into blood and bone, into every part of me that mattered. None of this was healthy or sane, I hadn't even known his name until just a moment ago. "Where are we?"

"The hospital in Forks."

Abruptly I tried to push myself into a sitting position. "I need to get going. I have to report back, they should know where I am." Pain ripped down my shoulder-blade as I moved, but I welcomed it. Pain offered clarity, and apparently I wasn't thinking clearly. At all.

"Whoa, whoa, whoa, where do you think you're going?" He was immediately on his feet, wrapping his arms around me. "A bear ripped your back open today. Even if you were in any shape to go, it's the middle of the night."

"I don't want to be here." I meant to say it firmly, defiantly, instead it sounded shaky and on the verge of tears. I tried to move again, tried to shrug his hands off. "I want to go home. Kat's probably has no idea, and Casper misses me-"

"Beth..." His voice was incredibly tender, so much so that I looked up at him, startled. "Kat knows. She called your parents, too." Moving with surprising grace for someone his size, he slipped around my assortment of tubes and wires, lifting me long enough to settle into the bed. Then he made himself into a very warm, supple pillow that he deftly snuggled me into, supporting me upright enough so that I could see, but keeping my injured shoulder free of pressure or constriction. "Is that better?" His voice had become a soft rumble beneath my ear.

I closed my eyes, breathing in his scent. It was woodsy and warm, distinctly masculine, with a hint of some exotic spice; intriguing in a way that made me want to bury my nose in his t-shirt. "Yeah, I think so."

He took a deep breath and groaned. "God you smell so good." I couldn't help it, when he echoed my thoughts that way, I giggled. "What?"

"Nothing." I giggled again as he nuzzled my hair. I absolutely shouldn't be doing this, but knowing that didn't stop me.

"Okay, if you're going to keep laughing, at least let me in on the joke." He feigned a hurt tone, but I could tell he was teasing.

"I'm losing my mind." More laughing.

"So you keep saying." His nose skimmed the top of my head again. "You really do smell amazing," he murmured into my hair.

A little shiver went through me, and I laid my cheek against his chest, making a bargain with myself. Tonight I'd be vulnerable, tonight I'd let him hold me and keep me warm. In the morning there would be time to be firm and sane. In the morning I could stand on my own feet and tell him that I didn't want all of these things that kept happening so naturally between us. In the morning.

Just not right now.

"That's right, baby," he murmured as the tension slipped away from me. "Just go back to sleep. I'm here."