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A Matter Of Time

Summary:
A TLYDF Recommendation, Nominated for Immortal Cookie Award, Won Best Imprint in the Silent Tear Awards Two weeks and the whole world can change. Caius and Jane led an insurrection against Aro and are making a mad power grab. Renegades from the wolf pack, unhappy with the treaty with the Cullens, are attacking vampires at every opportunity. Jacob and Renesmee are struggling with the paradox of imprinting. Edward, Bella and all the Cullens must come together to protect the world they've come to love. A tale of action, deceit, intrigue and sexual awakening.


Notes:
Stephanie Meyers owns all things Twilight. My thanks to all the wonderful people at PTB who helped with this story.


12. Chapter 12 Phase

Rating 5/5   Word Count 1700   Review this Chapter

Renesmee

I woke up to the sounds of car doors slamming. In my dream, Jane had just gotten out of a Hummer and was approaching me, her face twisted into a sadistic smile. Fire was burning all around us. She came closer and her red eyes started to grow impossibly larger and larger. I was paralyzed with fear as she crooned my name and reached for me with a claw-like hand.

I woke up with a start, my heart pounding and the hair at the back of my neck damp with sweat. I took several deep breaths, trying to shake off the fear and dread that had my heart pounding. It was daylight out, and the clock said four, so I must have been asleep for a while.

Hearing Edward’s and Emmett’s voices downstairs, I sprang out of bed, anxious for news of how Rosalie and Jacob were faring. I raced downstairs as Emmett carried a shroud covered body into the bedroom where Jacob occupied one of the twin beds.

Bella put an arm around my shoulders as I watched Carlisle and Edward follow Emmett into the small room.

“Did they get her?” I asked Bella anxiously, meaning Rosalie.

“Yes,” she answered softly. “Carlisle is examining her now.”

“How is Jacob?”

”No change yet,” she said tenderly as she pushed a stray tendril from my face.

We gathered around the door to the small room where Carlisle sat on the bed next to Rosalie, blocking our view of her. Emmett leaned on the other side of the bed, hovering over Rosalie anxiously.

Carlisle looked up at Emmett. “Her injuries have temporarily rendered her catatonic. With some healing, she’ll come out of it. Even with the best care, it will take months before she is completely herself again.”

Emmett said seriously, “She will get the best care.” There was no room for doubt in his voice.

“She needs blood, human blood,” Carlisle said. “Injuries of this kind demand it to fuel regeneration. Animal blood won’t be enough to promote healing.”

Emmett stood up, his face set. “Then that’s what she’ll get.” He took a step towards the door.

“Now wait, Emmett,” Carlisle said. “Before you go tearing up the neighborhood, I have some. While the Cullen Funeral Home orderlies were getting Rosalie from the morgue, I borrowed some supplies.”

He crossed the room to where a small cooler was on the desk. I saw Rosalie then, and it took all my control not to gasp or cry out. Her beautiful honey blond hair was gone, and the left side of her face drooped, almost as if she had melted, like a wax doll that had been held too close to a flame.

Her left arm, positioned outside of the sheet covering her, looked as if it had been eaten away in parts, and where her hand had been was a shapeless lump of white flesh. Judging by the sheet that covered her, her left leg had suffered the same.

Carlisle pulled out a bag of red liquid that I recognized as blood. Tearing at it gently, he sat down on the bed and let a few drops trickle onto Rosalie’s lips. We all waited, hung in suspense, to see if she would take it. There was no reaction from her and Emmett’s face started to cloud over. Carlisle let a few more drips fall. Almost imperceptibly, her mouth opened a millimeter, letting the small pool of blood in. There was a small action in her throat as she swallowed.

Emmett’s eyes grew large. “She took it,” he whispered to Carlisle, smiling. He stood up with his hands on his hips, his relief palpable. “That’s my Rosie!” he said, proudly.

We all exchanged smiles and the tension in the room eased considerably. Edward clapped his hand on Emmett’s shoulder and Emmett grinned at him. Carlisle gave the plasma bag to Emmett, who took it gingerly. “Is this going to bother you, Emmett?” Carlisle asked, concerned about the effect the smell of the blood might have on him.

“Not at all,” Emmett assured him. “This is Rose’s medicine.”

Carlisle gave him instructions on administering a few drops every ten minutes or so and brushed between us to walk to the bathroom, where we heard the sounds of him washing his hands. He came out drying his hands on a towel.

“I am concerned about Jacob,” he said to Bella and me as Edward came up behind us. “I’d like to administer intravenous fluids, but I’d rather he was in his human form to do it.” He checked his watch. “Well, I’ll give him a few more hours and then we’ll have to take some action, regardless.”

The rest of the afternoon passed slowly. Bella ran out to a nearby store and brought me some bottled water and some sandwich makings. I drank the water gratefully but the sandwich tasted like cardboard and I couldn’t bring myself to choke it down.

Edward took the SUV to drive into Fairbanks to pick up Alice, Jasper and Esme from the airport. They had finally returned to the States from Italy and I knew we would all feel better when the family was together and whole again. Edward had just left when Carlisle came up to me and said, I’d like your help with Jacob, Nessie.” His face held compassion and hope.

“Of course,” I said, “whatever you need from me.”

He led me to Jacob’s bed. Even with the wounds I marveled at what a magnificent animal Jacob was. I would do anything, I knew in my heart, anything to help him

Carlisle looked at me, a serious expression on his face. “I want you to try to reach him with your images. Try to let him see we are here, caring for him, but we need him to phase back into human form. If you see him start phasing, step back quickly and give him room, yes?”

I nodded my understanding.

The smell of singed fur was still strong. I gently ran my hand a few times across his soft furry head, my heart full of feelings for him. I placed my hand where his throat met his jaw and summoned my ability. I showed him how I had found him down by the river, how he had been brought up out of the gorge, how Carlisle had brought him gently to this bed. I showed him what Carlisle had said about needing him to phase to human form so he could treat him.

I held my hand on him and watched his face for any response. There was just the slow regular breathing as before. I didn’t really mean to show my next thoughts to Jacob, but they were so strong in my mind, I felt them before I could stop them. I saw the way he had looked at me when we were watching the eagles. I saw him help me down the path to the river and his warm brown hand surrounding mine. I saw his face in the darkness of the night as we talked on the hill by the telescope.

Suddenly, his form started to shimmer under my hand. I jumped back from the bed. This time the phasing took much longer than what I had seen before. His wolf form started to shake and I could see the barest outline of a human form, but then the wolf was back stronger. Another huge shudder and achingly slowly the wolf form shrank and morphed into human. He was on his side, his black hair splayed around his head, his long brown form curled slightly. There were huge angry blisters in the skin on his side, curling around to his stomach. Compared to the mass he had as a werewolf, even his large impressive human form looked somehow small and vulnerable.

I stepped back as Bella and Carlisle bustled around the bed, tossing a sheet over his nakedness, putting a pillow under his head, setting up an IV drip. With a groan Jacob rolled from his side to his back. He grimaced without opening his eyes when his damaged arm hit the bed beside him.

Carlisle hung over Jacob, inserting a needle in his arm. Jacob slowly opened his eyes and watched Carlisle’s face as he worked. He barely moved his lips, but I heard, “Thirsty.”

Carlisle stopped to look into Jacob’s face. “Jacob, it’s good to see you awake,” he said in that inimitable bedside manner. He looked back at me, “Would you get a bottle of water?”

I ran to the kitchen and was back immediately. “Give him just a very small sip,” Carlisle instructed.

I approached Jacob, whose eyes never left me as I slid my arm under his head and brought the bottle to his lips. I gave him a small sip and laid his head back on the pillow.

“We’ve been so worried about you.” I told him, my eyes starting to tear. I was just so relieved he was going to be alright, I had to swallow the lump in my throat.

“I didn’t make it back,” he said hoarsely, referring to the promise he had made me on the hilltop before running down to the firefight.

I didn’t know what to say to that. He laid there, badly hurt and he was worried about me. I stroked his forehead.

His eyes wandered over me, stopping at the bandage on my arm. “Are you okay?”

“Yes. Yes, I am,” I said, blinking back the tears.

His eyes moved around the room to where Bella was standing by the end of the bed. She reached out and touched his foot. “Jacob, Carlisle says you’re going to be fine.”

Jacob’s eyes fell to the other side of the room where Emmett had pulled a chair up to Rosalie’s bed. “Hey wolfman,” Emmett said with a broad grin, “glad you’re still here.”

Jacob’s eyes took in Rosalie in the next bed, still, burnt and unmoving. “Rosalie?” he asked Carlisle roughly.

Carlisle put his hand on Jacob’s shoulder. “She’ll take longer to heal than you, but she’ll come through,” he reassured him.

Carlisle straightened up and fiddled with the IV drip. “In the meantime, rest. I’ve given you some morphine for the pain, but it will make you sleepy.”

As if on cue, Jacob’s eyes closed and his head fell to the side.