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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.


9. First Light of Dawn

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PART NINE: First Light of Dawn

[Jacob POV]

The moment we shifted, the news spread through the pack like wildfire. Sam was with the puppies in the woods close to La Push. They'd been concerned about us, I could sense his relief immediately, but with it came a firm reproval. Next time you're in a situation like that, check in with us.

Got it. Embry and Quil joined their acknowledgement to mine.

Dude, you imprinted! Jared's voice was elated, his understanding immediate and complete.

Aw man, a blonde? Paul was deeply disgruntled, situation normal there. The pups responded with varying degrees of confusion and disinterest, of the three of them only Seth was more than marginally intrigued by females. It was only a matter of time, but for today they found the information boring.

Leah, fortunately, was off doing something else in human form. It was a relief not to have her dampen my enthusiasm. There was no question she'd have plenty to say later, but for now I was spared. From the others, approval was swift, the consensus being that Beth was young, attractive and free of taint from the bloodsuckers. That was, they agreed, a definite improvement. The inevitable comparison to Bella set my teeth on edge, but I couldn't dispute that they had the right to make it.

Sam still had reservations. She's an outsider, brother. This isn't going to be easy.

I know.
I suddenly longed to speak with him alone, to ask for his advice, younger brother to elder. However, in the end the pack would still know everything. I'm going to be as patient and wise with her as I know how.

He paused, and I could sense him sifting through the memories we carried with us, the story Kat had told us. This in particular will take time, Jake. I know how the imprinting can rule your thoughts, blind you to reality. Remember that it doesn't affect her the same way.

I'll remind him. Embry sounded unusually determined. He really seemed to like Beth's friend, and it concerned him that upsetting Beth would affect his chances with her. Annoyed, I twitched an ear his way, unwilling to slow down just to glare in wolf form.

Still, once the need for caution was expressed, I knew that Sam was genuinely happy for me. As for Bella... Sam sighed. I regret her choices. But even with her complications, this one will make a better mate for you. It made me fiercely glad, to know I had his approval.

Sam, do you want us to report back to the research project? Quil slowed as he asked the quesiton. We'd reached a crossroads, where we could either turn toward the motel in Forks or back towards La Push.

We need to control their access to our territory as long as they're here, so yes. He hesitated, and I sensed that he was debating whether to call me back. I flattened my ears, Beth would be with them, not in La Push. Jake, she needs time, he reminded me firmly.

We'll keep an eye on him. Quil again, but I sensed that Embry was leaning toward agreement with Sam. Traitor.

You don't have anything to worry about, I growled. I meant what I said to her. She chooses how we do this from here.

I know you want to believe that, Embry replied, more aggressive than was usually his nature. But you're afraid if you leave her alone for too long that Kat will drag her back to Oregon and you'll never see her again.

No. If that happened, I'd still find her. It was true, and we all knew it... but that didn't make Embry wrong.

Whatever, man. If he can't behave himself, we kick him back to La Push. Quil made his impatience with our argument known.

Technically, I outrank you. I reminded him.

I outrank all of you. Without so much as raising his mental 'voice', Sam restored order. All three of you can go, for now. However, I will pull you back if I feel it's necessary, Jake. Elizabeth is a sister to the pack now, and she has our protection just the same as Emily, Kim or Claire. He paused, and I felt the collective attention of the entire pack turn my way. Even if it's one of our own that we must protect her from.

His words were oddly disquieting, but one by one my pack brothers echoed his resolve.

Watching you go through hell over Bella Swan was painful, Jake. Jared was trying to reassure me, but at the same time he wanted me to understand. This is a complete 180, man. I know how crazy all of it is, but you've got to do this right. Otherwise you're going to have a long life to regret it.

All of you really seem to be convinced that I'm going to fuck this up. I was angry, frustrated. I felt like I was waking up from a nightmare of heartbreak to a beautiful dawn; only to be told over and over again that the warm sunlight on my face wasn't mine to enjoy.

That's not it, you're missing the point. Embry seemed as frustrated as I was. He shouldered me forward and I let him, bounding into a run again in the direction of Forks. We're afraid for you, dumbass. We want this to turn out well just as badly as you do.

I know, I know.
I sighed, concentrating on the trail ahead, trying just be the wolf for a few moments.

You have a good heart, Jake. A strong heart.
Sam let me feel the confidence he had in me, his pride that we were brothers. Don't let fear rule you. Let strength and love be your guides. If you can do that, then you'll do the right thing. I have faith in you.

So do I.

Me too.

Always, brother.

What do you think, man?

Their voices carried me, brought stillness to the chaos of my thoughts. I would claim the dawn for my own, but only after wooing her into my embrace.