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Open Flame

Summary:
I knew in that instant exactly how Sam felt when he saw Emily, exactly how Jacob felt when he saw Renesmee, exactly how Quil felt when he saw Claire. There were thoughts I had never known rushing through my head, from thoughts of a friendly nature, to thoughts of a passionate nature and everything in between. She drew me like an open flame drew a pyromaniac; and curiously, wonderfully, lovingly and lustfully, I had to follow her. I had to touch that open flame.open flame banner Seth Clearwater comes back from college for Leah's wedding, and the gang gets back together. But when his car breaks down on the side of the road, a very beautiful, engaged young woman comes to the rescue. Can Seth vy for the attentions of his imprint and successfully win her? Author's Note: This fanfiction will be complete once the twelfth chapter is added! Thank you everyone for your support and reviews!


Notes:


9. Nine - Healing

Rating 5/5   Word Count 2389   Review this Chapter

Nine

Healing

Jake.

What? he asked frantically, pulling the response from a web of rushing thoughts.

Where are we going?

No idea! he panted, somewhat angrily. Why Reneesme? Why?

I forced a nervous laugh. Attracting danger is in her blood. Literally.

But she isn’t Bella! he protested. I still don’t understand their fixation with her. Why do they want to kill her?

I didn’t know what to say.

In my silence, Jake swore again. I can’t hear them anymore.

I couldn’t argue; their thoughts left my reception, too, but even when we were standing next to them, their minds were fuzzy at best.

Jake kept running, faster as time wore on.

Do you even know where we are? I asked him.

Canada? he replied. Yeah. We’re by the Pacific Ocean now.

“Seth?” Ginessa’s voice caught me by surprise. She looked up from my arms. “Holy crap! What the…what’s…?” She looked to Reneesme, who sighed.

“They found us. They’re chasing us.”

“B-b-but how? Didn’t everyone say Seth’s apartment would take weeks to find?”

“Yes,” she whispered. Reneesme looked like she was crying.

In response to Reneesme’s pain, Jake pulled her closer to him and touched his muzzle to her forehead.

I’m sorry, Nessie, he thought clearly. His tone was full of concern.

She cuddled up to him and sniffed a little. “I know.”

Ginessa sighed. “Can we stop for a minute or two? I really want to talk to you as a person.”

I looked to Jake.

Oh, fine, he complied. You phase first so that someone can watch them.

Of course.

As we stopped, I gently laid Ginessa on the ground. She handed me the shirt and pants I had put in her arms before we left, whilst she was still sleeping. I smiled goofily and disappeared 200 feet away, phasing and changing as quickly as possible.

“What happened while I was sleeping?” she asked as I sat down next to her.

I sighed. “Too much.”

“Let me recap for you,” said Reneesme. She sounded exhausted, despite the fact that she only needed a few hours of sleep each night. “They came to Seth’s apartment. Carlisle tried to reason with them, but they ultimately disagreed and promised to kill me. Then my whole family freaked out, the werewolves called the rest of their pack, and Jake ran off. Well, you’re a vulnerable human, so we couldn’t just feed you to the wolves-“

“Hey!” protested Ginessa, eyes narrowed.

“Sorry, but it’s true.”

“I bet I could give those moonies a run for their money.”

Jake, Nessie and I laughed rather loudly.

“Ginessa, I do love you, but the Cullens are as hard as stone, the werewolves have just as many advantages, and Jake and I can heal from fatal wounds in less than two weeks. You are only human.”

She crossed her arms over her chest angrily. “I don’t usually need protecting like this! I’m a strong human.”

“I know,” I replied. “But the world you’re in right now is anything but mortal.”

Ginessa sighed. She looked at me for a moment. “I wouldn’t want to be anywhere else.”

Her words made me melt.

Jake paused, his eyes narrowed. “Do you smell that?”

I inhaled the clean air around me. It was the vampire smell, and it wasn’t Reneesme. I nodded.

“Is it the Cullens?” asked Ginessa.

“It is!” exclaimed Reneesme. “It’s Esme!”

Sure enough, Carlisle’s beautiful wife was heading toward us. We all rose from the ground at once.

Her face was somber as she stood there, measuring the expressions on each of our faces.

“Who is it?” whispered Reneesme, her breath uneven, her heart-rate soaring higher than usual.

Esme looked to the ground. If she were human, I was sure she would have been crying. “Alice.”

“What?” demanded Jake and I. Tears brimmed in Reneesme’s eyelashes.

“Even with Jasper protecting her, she couldn’t see them…both physically and mentally. The pain was too much. They didn’t bite her; Jasper kept them at bay, but he moved too far to one side, and she…she…well…” Esme bit her lip. “Their claws were so strong that they cut holes right through her.”

Jake and I looked at her. Reneesme had already buried her face in Jacob’s bare chest. All the color had drained from Ginessa’s face.

“What are the instructions?” I asked.

“Jake, you have to take Reneesme as far north as you can. Ginessa will have to go with you, too.” She turned to me. “Seth, Carlisle needs you.”

“What?” I asked softly.

“He wants a second medical opinion regarding Alice.”

“But what about-“

“Edward?”

I nodded.

She shook her head. “He’s creating a diversion with Bella. Their scents are closest to Reneesme’s, and the immature wolves don’t know the difference. Emmett and Rosalie are chasing the others out to the Pacific. He needs you, Seth.”
“But I’ve only been in medical school for two years, and even then, I’m just a veterinarian.”

“You’re also the only physician who knows our secret.”

“Ginessa is in medical school-“

Esme held up her palm to quiet my protests. “Ginessa is human. If the wolves return, they could mistake her for Reneesme.”

I looked at my imprint. “You cannot imagine the pain when I am not near her,” I murmured to Esme.

“It won’t be for too long,” she replied. “Carlisle wouldn’t keep you forever.”

I bit my lip and nodded. I looked to Jake. “Please, don’t let anything happen to her.”

“I won’t,” he promised.

“You’ll have to carry her; she won’t be able to keep up with you and Reneesme.”

Ginessa’s indignant attitude to being human was falling away as the situation grew serious. I walked to her and took her hands in mine. “I’m sorry. I’ll be back as soon as possible.”

Her blue-green eyes were filled with pure understanding. “I know.”

I held her to me in an embrace and kissed her forehead. “See you soon.”

She nodded again as I headed off with Esme.

We did not speak as we headed back to Olympia. I did not know what to say to Esme, especially when I was in my wolf form. It was all extremely awkward.

When at last we arrived at my apartment a few hours later, I could sense the solemnity from looking at it.

Esme touched my arm for a moment, and looked at me with sad eyes. “Are you ready?”

“Is it that awful?” I murmured.

She nodded slowly. “Can’t you feel it? Instead of Jasper calming down everyone, his emotions for Alice are so raw, it’s all we can feel.”

I nodded, the blanket of depression suddenly making sense.

I nodded, the blanket of sadness now making sense.

Esme led me to the door, where we quietly entered the apartment. It appeared as though someone had physically torn it apart. My old couch was ripped to near pieces, a small beam from the ceiling had crashed to the floor. There was dirt and blood and fur everywhere, scents I recognized as those of the werewolves.

“We’ll fix this place up, I promise,” said Esme softly.

I nodded. It wasn’t the visual disarray of my house that worried me. It was the smell of death.

“Seth,” rang Carlisle’s voice. He appeared in front of the door to my bedroom and clicked it shut. “Thank God you’re here.”

“I don’t really know what it is you want me to do,” I said.

He touched my shoulder. “This isn’t something that’s cut and dry…” He paused and lost my eye contact, staring out into the distance with reverence. “At this point, I am willing to accept any ideas you may have. Our kind aren’t usually shattered to this degree. It will take Alice years; maybe even a decade to recover…if she recovers…”

I furrowed my brow.

“Seth,” he said, his eyes pleading. “I cannot…I don’t…” I could tell his mind was racing. “I had to talk to you, out here first, because when you go in there, your senses will be ambushed. I am sure you can smell a burning, death-like scent. It is worse inside. Next, Alice’s frailty in the way she looks will hit you. And Jasper’s pain…” He shook his head and sighed. “I am usually able to keep my emotions at bay with patients. But when it is my family…when it is Alice…”

I nodded, understanding at once.

“All right. I’m counting on you.”

Carlisle opened the door.

He was right. The smell of death all but surrounded me. I had to take a moment and steady myself before continuing on into the room. At last, my sense adapted, and I could function again.

I looked to my bed and recognized one of the Cullens immediately. Jasper’s handsome face looked paler than usual, and his cheeks were rather gaunt. Though his eyes were usually caramel like the others, they were now aggravated and black, lined with worry around the edges. His hand held that of another person’s, who lay partially on his chest.

Alice.

Esme had described her entirely correctly. Awful, black lesions and puncture wounds were apparent on her arms, legs and neck. She was breathing unevenly, as if she were a human in an intensive care united in a public hospital. Her eyes were closed, but I could tell that her irises were scarlet beneath translucent lids.

Jasper looked up at me, but his expression stayed unchanged.

I slowly walked up to Alice’s vacant bedside and touched her palm.

Her skin was colder than anything I had ever touched. It seemed to freeze all of my skin at once. I drew my hand away in an instant.

Alice’s eyes fluttered open, revealing eyes of bright crimson, as I had imagined they would be.

“Seth?” Her whisper was so faint I knew I could have easily imagined it.

“Yes?” I replied.

She flinched for a moment.

“Loud noise in any form is painful,” explained Jasper. He touched the top of her head.

“Sorry,” I whispered. I hadn’t known my voice was so loud.

“Your hand is warm,” she whispered.

I put both my hands on hers and shuddered. This was the first time I had been cold in years.

“Seth,” whispered Carlisle quietly, at my side immediately. “Try to touch one of the holes in her hand.”

Tentatively, I put one of my fingers on top of the smallest hole. She shuddered and screamed for a moment, but the second I drew my hand away from hers, the different layers of bone, muscle and skin tissue slowly began to rebuild. Carlisle stared at her hand with intense fascination.

“Holy God,” he whispered, leaning closer to the wound.

When at last her hand had finished healing, Alice’s face relaxed.

“That is so strange, said Carlisle, making eye contact with me.

I nodded. It didn’t make sense that I could heal my mortal enemy.

“Will it work on all the wounds?” asked Jasper.

“Hold on a minute,” whispered Alice, panting with labored breaths.

Jasper held her closer to him and stroked her hair softly.

“Alice, you need to tell me where it hurts,” I whispered gently.

“Left…arm…”

I slowly unwrapped her arm from the blanket and peered with horror at the limb.

If I had thought her hand looked diseased, her arm was eight times worse. I wasn’t even sure if it was considered an arm. The gaping holes of flesh were so numerous, it appeared as though she had been burned with salicyclic acid.

“Carlisle.” Esme’s voice surprised me. “I can’t stand to see this. I’m not…”

“Excuse me for a moment, Seth,” whispered Carlisle. As he and Esme closed the door behind them, I could hear Esme collapse into his chest.

“I’m sorry,” she said, her voice hysterical.

“Esme, it is perfectly fine. You don’t have to stay.”

“But I should,” she insisted. “They are our children, and I should support them.”

“You know I never hold anything like this against you. Your talents lie outside the world of medicine. Relax. Read. Call Edward, see how he and Bella are doing. Call Reneesme.”

“All right.”

“Hey, come here.” I could tell Carlisle embraced her again. “When this is finished, I’ll let you talk to Alice as much as you like.”

Carlisle re-entered the room with half a smile. “Alice, are you ready now?”

She nodded very slowly.

Carlisle nodded at me.

Tentatively, I put my palm over the biggest gap between skin spots. She gasped for a moment, and her body tensed violently.

As I lifted my palm away a few minutes later, all I saw was a long bone slowly growing down the length of her arm. As expected, it split into her radius and ulna at her elbow joint.

Carlisle could not believe his eyes. He kept shaking his head, but never took his eyes off her slowly growing bones. “This is almost too ridiculous to be true. It’s a medical miracle, Seth, really, it is.”

I smiled a little. “But not quite something I can put on my resume right?”

Even Jasper’s lips twitched with happiness.

“Obviously, we aren’t mortal enemies,” whispered Alice, when the severity of the pain had ceased.

“But this still doesn’t explain everything,” I insisted. “Why do we hate the smell and touch of each other? Why can’t Alice make out any futures dealing with the pack?”

“I have a theory about all this,” voiced Carlisle.

“Sure?”

“Perhaps that now we have met our true enemies in the Children of the Moon, our bodies can adjust to your pack.”

I nodded slowly.

“And because we can adjust to all of this and because Alice was almost fatally wounded from the Children of the Moon…” He trailed off. His thoughts were rushing too fast to convey into tangible sentences. I knew, because mine were, too.

“We no longer pose a threat to you,” I began. “There is something worse out there than us, and you now understand that. So, since Alice was bitten by them…I’m the remedy? What?”

“No, you had the right idea, Seth. Reneesme said this before. Your pack was probably around before the Children of the Moon existed. They are the most foul of mutations from shape-shifters. Now, your tribe, by nature, is excellent in healing and medicine. What if your genes allow you to heal the supernatural?”

Woah.

Everyone in the room stared at me, as though some amazing gift had been bestowed upon my head.

Carlisle’s eyes shone with pride. “You are utterly amazing.”

I smiled, but couldn’t find it in me to stay smug for long. “But my gift only extends toward other super-humans.”

“You don’t know that for sure. Have you ever attempted healing a human like this before?”

I shrugged. “I guess not. But I’m interested in healing animals, remember?”

He nodded. “I’ll have to take some time and figure all this out. This is so fantastic…somehow I think we’ve barely scratched the surface.”

The door to my bedroom creaked open. “Seth?” asked Esme.

I looked at her. “Yes?”

“I’ve just been in touch with Jacob.”

“Oh?”

She gulped. “Ginessa is missing.”