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Hit the Ground Running

Summary:
Sure, Jacob left at the end of Eclipse... for three years. By the time he returns to La Push, Bella has already moved on with her leeches. He never thought that a girl who ruined the life he left would actually save it. This is the story of Jacob's true Imprint, because he deserved so much more. Rated for strong language. Main pairing: JacobxOC.


Notes:
Title and chapters are based off the song "Parachute" by Train. No infringement intended, of course. Please enjoy reading, and don't forget to leave a review. -Scarlet


1. Take You with Me

Rating 0/5   Word Count 1651   Review this Chapter

*~ Hit the Ground Running ~*

Prologue

Quil Ateara thought he was seeing things. He'd witnessed a lot of strange things while working the nightshift at the La Push Seven-Eleven, but this surpassed everything.

"Jacob?" he asked slowly, coming out from behind the counter.

There he was – dirty, hairy, smelly – chowing down on a box of Frosted Flakes he'd taken from the nearest shelf when he'd stumbled in thirty seconds ago. His loose T-shirt was torn and wet, and his Bermuda shorts were stained with some kind of brown paint. It looked as though he'd just dug them out of the dumpster behind the store... which he probably had. His black hair was long past his shoulders, and had several leaves stuck into the dirty mats.

"I'll pay ya back, Quil." His words were half-muffled as he shoved another handful of cereal into his mouth. "I promise."

"Jake!" Quil's mouth hung open in a gape. "Where have you been?"

Jacob reached into the box for another mouthful of flakes, but found it empty. He shook it upside-down and frowned. "Do you have any Pops?"

Quil stepped forward and snatched the cereal box from his hands. "Do you realize how long it's been? Where were you all these years?"

Jacob froze, and forgot his rampant hunger for half a second. "...Years?"

Chapter 1: Take You with Me

Sam Uley drove his new (well, used) Ford Focus down the main street in La Push, feeling like the $5,000 he had paid for the vehicle. Soft rock tunes from the Oldies station played on the low-volume radio, and Sam tapped his thumb on the steering wheel in roughly good time with the beat.

"You like Queen, lil' Elle?" he said in his "baby voice," adjusting the rearview mirror to see the little face of his daughter in the back seat.

The 14-month-old continued to suck her thumb, and stare out the windshield. Gabrielle Danielle Uley hadn't been very talkative for her first year of life, uttering none other words than "mama," "dada," and "baba." Her pink, flowery car seat matched her fuzzy sweater and shoes.

Sam sighed, looking back to the dark road. The headlights shone on the swiftly-moving pavement. "Yeah, I miss Mama, too." His thoughts drifted to Emily, who had gone to visit family during the weekend.

Suddenly, a reddish-brown wolf ran onto the road ahead of him.

"Shit!" he yelled, swerving out of the way.

"Shit," Elle mumbled, smiling when her harness caught her from flying across the backseat.

There was a loud thump, and Sam's car fish-tailed into the grassy shoulder off the road. "Christ!" Sam whipped around it Elle, who was giggling on her drool-covered fingers. "You're alright... you're OK..." After the initial shock passed (which took like... a second), anger flooded through Sam like a fire through a pile of toothpicks.

The door nearly broke off its hinges when Sam jerked it open. He stepped out onto the road to inspect the damage to his Focus. The left headlight had been smashed in, and a huge, leg-shaped dent covered half of the hood. Lying on the ground in front of the car was the one who'd caused it all.

"Goddamn it!" Sam cursed loudly, kicking the unconscious ball of red fur under his front left tire. Discreetly glancing around, he slowly pushed the vehicle back several feet, freeing the wolf's leg. "What the hell were you thinking?" he asked the wolf furiously, gesturing wildly. "Now what am I gonna do with you?"

Sam ducked back into his car, and pulled his cell phone off the charger cord in the dash. He flipped it open angrily, and rapidly dialed an all-too-familiar number. It rang twice. "Billy!" he barked into the phone, even before there was an answer. "I just ran over your Prodigal son! Come get him!"

*~*~*~*

Jacob opened his eyes to a sunny room. It was a strange sensation – the fan slowly rotating on the ceiling, the soft mattress underneath his body – that he hadn't experience in... He couldn't remember how long. He felt a natural smile spread on his face, and he slowly sat up.

Even before he was upright, his right leg gave a painful throb. "Crap," he hissed, ceasing all movement. He looked down at his legs, and slowly peeled the thin blue sheet of them. At a glance, he couldn't tell why his leg hurt... much less remember why. "What the hell happened?" he asked himself, rubbing his eyes with the back of his hand. He slowly eased off the bed, and winced when he put his weight on his bad leg.

It was his room, he realized. There was barely any space to walk around the bed, and he hobbled to the door and opened it. When he turned the knob, the soft metal compressed under his hand. "Oops..." He tried to bend it back the best he could. He had been inhuman so long; he forgot to use a "human" amount of strength.

He hopped on one foot to the tiny kitchen. Billy's familiar scent was everywhere. "Dad!" he shouted, leaning against the doorway. He reached the fridge, and gently pulled it open. An open bowl of fish-fry became his victim, as well as a can of Coke.

When he opened the silverware drawer next to the stove, there were oven mitts. When he opened the oven mitt drawer next to the fridge, there were napkins. He finally found a fork in the drawer under the sink. "What the heck happened while I was gone?" He staggered to the table and ate the meal in less than forty-five seconds.

As he held his mouth open under the stream of cold water at the sink tap, he heard a soft snore. The sudden noise made him jump, and he poked his eye on the faucet. "Shit! Crap!" He rubbed his eye as he tracked the snore to the living room.

The girl on the sofa had one leg thrown over the back of it, and one arm dangling off the edge. Her mouth was open in her sleep, thus the snore. Her long, long black hair fanned around her head and covered the two pillows she slept on. Her long lashes dusted her dark, freckled cheeks, and her full lips moved when she muttered in her sleep. "Soft... berries..."

Jacob stared at her. He'd never seen her before.

First, no Billy. Then, wrong silverware drawer. And, to top it all off, there was a strange girl sleeping on his living room couch. It was like an alien force had invaded his home.

Then, something occurred to Jacob quite suddenly. "Is this the future?" he whispered eerily, his eyes growing wide. He limped around the house, holding his bad leg, trying to find some evidence of the year. Sure, he'd heard those wolf legions of how he'd live forever. How all his friends would age and die before he would.

A knock at the door interrupted his wild search. He sprang for it, and unlocked the three unfamiliar locks before wrenching it open. It was his close friend, Embry Call. "Embry!" Jacob grabbed his arm and pulled him inside. "Is it 2012? Did the world end?"

Embry stumbled in as Jacob slammed the door behind him. Embry hadn't really expected to find a madman screaming about the end of the world to have taken the place of his friend, Jacob... but he was cool with that. "Dude... are you on something? What's that smell?" Embry held his nose and stepped back.

"Where's Billy?" Jacob demanded loudly. "Where's my father?"

"He's... fishing, I think?" Embry put as much polite distance as he could between himself and Jacob. "I heard about last night – some way to be welcomed home, hu?"

"Fish...ing?" Jacob's memories of the previous night came back to his in a bright flash of headlights. "Ford..."

Embry shook his head at his insane friend. "So you really were gone all that time. Did you go crazy or something?"

Jacob blinked a few times, still assaulted by memories. He remembered vampires... vampires... and more vampires. He remembered fighting with them... fighting against them. But there was one thing missing from his memories. It seemed very important... almost as important as the reason he'd left in the first place. The reason he left... which was...?

He came out of his trance, and stepped forward to put his hands on Embry's shoulders. Embry held his breath and leaned away as Jacob spoke with deliberate slowness, "What... the hell... happened... to me?"

Embry's eyes grew. "Dude, you have amnesia? Do you remember me?" He shook Jacob's shoulders. "Talk to me, Jacob!"

Jacob scowled and drew away from him. "Of course I remember you, Embry. Don't be stupid. I was just gone for a while, right?" he asked cautiously.

Embry sighed, relived. "Yeah, man. Three years you've been gone. Where were you?"

Jacob shook his head slowly, trying to sort through his cloudy memories. "I dunno. Everywhere, nowhere..."

Embry laughed, slapping Jacob's back. "OK, don't get all emo on me. I'm just glad to have you back, man."

Jacob smiled. "Thanks. I feel... different. Not in the emo way, though."

"Yeah, right. This place has changed, too. You might have noticed..." Embry glanced at the living room.

Jacob remembered the sleeping girl on the couch. "How can she sleep through all this?"

During a moment of silence, the boys heard a soft mutter from the other room, "Sunny money..."

Jacob scoffed in disbelief. "Who is she? Why is she –?"

"Dude, I'm not gonna give you the long backstory of 'Clover the crazy,' OK?" He shrugged. "I'm sure Sam will fill you in later."

"'Clover the crazy'?" Jacob repeated, smirking. "You're such a dork, Em." He laughed and dodged a punch from Embry.

Embry glared with narrowed eyes. "Just wait... you'll see."