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Twelve years ago Edward left Bella thinking she would be safe and happy away from the dangers of his world. She wasn't. How can he make it up to her?
Each chapter written from a different POV with some overlap as the same incident is seen from a different perspective. Some new characters of my own imagination.
You know, all the recognisable characters are not mine. They belong to Stephanie Meyer and I hope I've used them in the spirit in which she created them.
16. Jacob - Embry Lost His Mind
Word Count 4974
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I was about to rip the bloodsucker’s head off when I glanced at her eyes.
“Damn it! Stop the attack!”
The pack pulled back.
“She looks like a Cullen. What are we supposed to do now?!” Although I asked the question, I didn’t really expect that anyone would answer me.
The bloodsucker, naturally, couldn’t hear my communication with my pack so had no idea what was going on. Although we had already ripped both her arms off she wasn’t giving up the fight. I wanted to kill her, but I had to admire her. She ran towards Quil and aimed a vicious kick. I heard the break of the bones.
“Take her legs off!” I ordered.
It wasn’t long before we had a screaming head and torso of the bloodsucker and the howling of the giant wolf competing to see who could alert the most humans.
I ordered my pack to phase.
“Embry, take the bloodsucker and all the bits you can find and drop them on the Cullens’ door step then go home. The rest of us are going to get Quil home as gently as possible.”
I hoped that my anger and fear were not apparent. No one needed a leader who couldn’t hold it together when the going got tough.
“Don’t tell Claire” Quil managed to squeeze out. No doubt his body was already healing.
“Won’t have to mate” Paul said, “Expect she already knows, along with the rest of the tribe. You were rather noisy you know. You screamed like a little girl!”
“Aw, damn. Don’t want her worried. Call Bells, ‘bout the leech.”
“Hey, that’s a good idea. I’ll do that once we get you settled.”
The good news was that Quil’s injuries didn’t seem to be life threatening. The bad news was that the broken bones were healing, but they were healing as they were broken and his ribs and left arm were now deformed. We couldn’t take him to a regular doctor because of the wolf thing so it looked like Quil was going to be slightly deformed permanently.
The tribe needed a doctor. I remember Bells once saying that if only the smell of blood didn’t make her vomit she would train so that there was someone we could go to. I told her that it wasn’t necessary, but now she’d been proved right. I tried to think of anyone who would be able to be a Doctor. There was no one I could think of.
I ran to the Cullen house. The bloodsucker was exactly where Embry had left her. Luckily she had stopped screaming. She just looked pissed.
I called Bells.
“Hey Jake. What’s up?” Bells answered cheerfully.
“Hey Bells. Need your advice. What do you think we should do with her?” and I panned my ‘phone around to show the bloodsucker.
“What’s happened to her?” Bells demanded.
“She attacked us, hurt Quil real bad. I was about to take her head off when I noticed the eyes. Is she one of them?” I asked half hoping to hear the word ‘no’ so I could finish her off.
“It’s Irina, she’s Carlisle’s cousin. She and Laurent were close. I don’t know if Laurent was actually her mate” I saw Bells look away from her ‘phone, “Edward is telling me he wasn’t which is just as well or she would never give up, but do you still have her limbs?”
“Yeah, I think they’re intact, but they’re not all clean tears. What should we do?”
“Edward is going to ask Carlisle’s advice now. Tell me, how’s Quil?”
“Looks like a couple of ribs are broken and his arm. Trouble is, we can’t go to a doctor and you know how we heal so they’re setting already and they’re not right.”
“Would it be possible for me to speak with Jacob, please?” I heard a Cullen ask.
Bells looked at me in the ‘phone and raised a brow.
“Okay, put him on.”
It was the leader of the Cullens. “Thank you for your care of Irina. I shall be there as soon as possible to collect her. I know you might feel unable to accept, but I am a doctor, I could treat Quil. I will bring my equipment so if it is acceptable I am prepared. I will drive straight to our home there. Perhaps you or someone could meet me and let me know your decision.”
I was shocked at the offer. “I’ll speak to Quil and the other Elders.”
The Cullen merely nodded, handed the ‘phone back to Bells.
“Please let Carlisle help Quil. He is an excellent doctor” she said.
“How would you know Bells? He hasn’t treated you yet.”
“Well actually, he operated on me last night. My heart stopped and I needed CPR and my rib cage broke so ...” Bells trailed off and I got suspicious.
“Did this Irina have anything to do with your heart stopping?”
“Irina? No! Somebody said something that for some reason caught me off guard, you know how it is sometimes with me, I just wasn’t expecting it and I didn’t realise what had happened in time to ask Edward to give me my medication. Anyway, Carlisle had to operate last night to fix my rib cage. I’m a little bruised and sore but otherwise fine so you don’t need to worry.”
Like I was going to believe that one. Still there was no point in getting into a discussion about it over the ‘phone. “Yeah, yeah. I spoke to Lizzie and she said she would love to come and spend a weekend with you in your new home. She is also under the dumb impression that your bloodsucker is a decent guy. I tried to point out that he is a vampire, and by definition he is not a decent guy, but she said that I was a werewolf and shouldn’t be such a hypocrite. And do you know what she said next? She said that Jeffrey Dahmer was a human being and look what a decent guy he turned out to be! As if one had anything to do with the other. Anyway, I gotta go, I gotta speak to Quil and the elders. See ya Bells.”
“Jake, wait, there’s something else.”
“What is it?”
“Carlisle didn’t know that their presence caused the wolf pack. He wants to talk to you about the ramifications and the possibility of him signing over their land to you. Listen to what he says and think about all the possible consequences before deciding, okay?”
Once again, I was experiencing shock at the offer. “Yeah, okay Bells. Thanks for the heads up. Speak to you later, bye.”
I took a couple of seconds to think about what Bells just said. Since the bloodsucker was coming here anyway it probably wouldn’t hurt have him spend a couple of hours trying to sort out Quil. But the thing about the house is going to be the difficult one.
It would be great if it meant that we wouldn’t get any more of them coming here again. But would it? At least the Cullens were relatively safe for the population while the others were anything but. And, it would be handy having a doctor here who could treat members of the pack. But, without the bloodsuckers we wouldn’t need a pack to be treated. I knew none of us would want the Cullen land, but, just because we owned it, it didn’t mean we had to use it. We could just leave it to nature. Things to bear in mind.
“The Doc is coming to collect you. He didn’t say how long he would be. I’ve got other things to do. Someone will be back shortly to keep an eye on you.”
“You should have just killed me when you had the chance” she wasn’t at all grateful for the fact that we didn’t.
“Unlike you lot, we’re not murderers.”
“You killed Laurent!”
“He was about to kill Bells!”
“I don’t believe it. He wanted to live like us, with me. In any case, why should her life be more important than his?”
“Why should his be more important than hers? And what about the other people he killed, and he did kill others? You might not care about them, but they’re all important to us. And don’t give me the crap about it being natural and necessary either. I might not like the Cullens, but they don’t attack people.”
I guess my last words left her with nowhere to go since she just snapped her mouth shut and looked away from me.
I went to see Quil. As expected Claire was hovering around him. It was a damn bad idea this imprinting when they were very young. They grew up knowing that they could wrap their man around their little finger and they often used it.
“Hey, Quil, how’re you feeling?”
“Hey Jake. Doesn’t hurt so much. Other than the fact that I won’t be able to write anymore unless I become right handed I’m okay. I’ll just be a bit useless as a wolf with only three good legs.”
“Yeah, well about that. The Cullen Doc is coming down to collect his cousin. He has offered to treat you while he’s here. I know that he’s a bloodsucker, but he is a good doctor. If you’re okay to have him come and look at you, and what happens after that would be entirely up to you, I’ll speak to the elders to get permission for him to come here.”
“There’s no need to do that. I’ll ...”
“What do you mean no need for that?” Claire all but screeched at Quil. “You will most certainly have this doctor look at you and I don’t care if he is Satan himself.”
“As I was saying before I was so rudely interrupted. I will go to the Cullen house to wait. Embry can keep an eye on the broken leech and me at the same time.”
I looked at Claire. She still wasn’t happy with that, but she couldn’t think of a counter argument. It was actually a good idea. I did like that my pack were able to offer sensible ideas. I didn’t feel that all the pressure was on me to do everything.
I told Embry what Quil had suggested and to make all the arrangements. In the meantime I had to call a Council of the Elders to tell them about the proposed offer of the Cullen land.
“I’m not so sure it would be a good idea to have the Cullens stay away” Lizzie shocked me. She didn’t have the same instinctive hatred for the leeches as we Quileute did, but still.
“Why would you say that? They’re vampires!”
“I like the idea that there is a pack of giant wolves patrolling the area, keeping everyone safe, even if most don’t know. And being married to one sure keeps the heating bills down.”
Keeping the heating bills down, indeed. What a dumb reason for wanting to keep a pack of wolves. Although it was nice that Lizzie liked the idea of us keeping everyone safe.
I gave the Council the heads up on the likely offer. I said we needed time to consider all the ramifications, and I told them what Lizzie said, and that I thought the best thing for now was for us all to think about it, so if the formal offer were to come, we knew what questions to ask and would be able to make the decision with calm logic rather than just reactive instinct.
My dad looked at me with approval as I gave my statement. The Council could over-rule me, but not when all I asked is that they consider something logically. Maybe when the time came to actually say ‘yes’ or ‘no’ they would vote against me, but so far I had seen no sign that there was a revolt in the offing.
Embry rang to say that they had visitors. I quickly joined them.
“Irina, your injuries can wait the few minutes I’ll take to look over Quil. His might not. And you were the one who attacked. Just be a little patient.” The Doc sounded very long suffering.
Then I caught the scent and realised there was another one of them there. I looked over. It was another female, not one I’d seen before. She was looking at Embry with a puzzled expression on her face. I glanced over to see if Embry could enlighten me as to her problem.
“Crap, crap and more crap. We do not need this. Damn it Embry, have you lost your mind?!”
“Sorry Jake, nothing I could do” he sounded so pathetic.
“I know mate, I know. What the hell do we do now?”
“Now we get Quil looked at, Irina put back together and then we think.”
Thank goodness Embry was still on the ball enough to be sensible.
“Hey Doc. Who’s this?” I nodded my head in other female’s direction.
“Jacob. This is Tanya, Irina’s sister. Can you and Embry bring all the equipment out of the car please? I want to do some scans around Quil’s ribs, they’re my biggest worry.”
I hmphed a bit because I would have thought that the arm was the biggest problem.
Embry and I helped the Doc with Quil while the two females huddled together whispering. I didn’t get much of the conversation, but it sounded like Tanya was pleading with a very intransigent Irina.
To give the Doc his due (and I hated to give any bloodsucker his due) he worked quickly and carefully on Quil.
“Company coming” Tanya said, looking worried. “Human, two of them.”
I went to see who it was. Claire, to be expected, and Lizzie, a surprise.
“This is Claire, Quil’s friend and Lizzie, my wife. The Doc over there is Carlisle Cullen, and that’s Tanya and her sister Irina.” My introductions were begrudging at best.
Tanya and Irina didn’t so much as earn a second glance. Carlisle was the subject of intense scrutiny from my wife, and Claire was looking at Quil with the sort of fear that made me think that this might turn out to be the best thing for their relationship. Claire was finally realising exactly how much Quil meant to her and that he was not indestructible.
“Quil, I need you stay as still as it’s possible for you to be. Do not move any muscle as if your life depended on it.” The Doc’s voice was full of foreboding.
Claire looked like she was going to faint. Lizzie had the presence of mind to hold her tightly. Quil, Embry and I looked at the Doc.
“Spit it out Doc. What’s the problem?” Quil didn’t seem to think that it could be that bad, unless he was putting on a brave face for Claire.
“The edge of one of your broken ribs is resting on your heart. You move the wrong way and it will pierce your heart. I am not set up for such a surgery at the moment, so you stay still while I check everything else out and then you and I can talk about the plan of action.”
“You save him. I don’t care what you do, but your plan of action had better be to save him. You hear me?” Claire demanded rudely.
“Don’t worry, as long as he doesn’t move until I tell him, I see no reason why he shouldn’t pull through” Cullen was all calm reassurance. I began to understand why Bells trusted him.
Embry was torn. He was looking at Tanya with longing, and wasn’t that a real kick in the pants, and Quil with worry.
It was only five minutes and the Doc had finished his scans and tests.
“Easy one first: the broken bone in your arm has trapped a nerve. I can rebreak and reset the bone to release the nerve. There would be no more deformity, but I expect there will be some residual nerve damage, but I can’t tell how much at this stage. I would hazard a guess that you would regain much of the function of your arm, but that is all I can say for now. The broken ribs are the problem. The one resting on your heart must be either reset, or removed. For the short term, the easiest thing to do would be to just remove it above the danger point. But for the longer term, it means your heart would no longer be fully protected from blows unless I could give you a carbon fibre replacement through another surgery later. But it would be complicated due to the need to take account of your transformations. The alternative would be for me to break and reset the rib while making sure that it didn’t slip and pierce your heart. The other broken ribs are relatively easy to deal with once I’m in there anyway.”
“So basically I have to decide between remove rib and reduced long term armour for my heart, remove rib and have another op later and break and reset rib and hope nothing goes wrong and it doesn’t kill me?”
“That’s about it. But before preparing a carbon fibre replacement, I would need a scan of your anatomy while in your wolf form, but we can do that later. I’ll leave you for a few minutes to think and talk it over. I’ll be looking at Irina. Give me a shout if you have any questions.”
“Claire, what do you think honey?” I didn’t think it right for Quil to put the decision onto Claire.
“You have the rib removed. We think later about the replacement. It’s not important now.”
“Okay, I have my arm fixed, and my rib removed.”
“I don’t care about the arm” Claire was fierce.
“I do. I’m having my arm fixed as best as the Doc can do. I’ll decide about the replacement rib when we know how difficult it would be to take account of phasing, but I might have to stop phasing permanently. Embry, can you go and tell the Doc what I’ve decided, please. I’m sure there will be a bit more to it than usual and not just the fact that I can’t have it at a hospital.
“What are you going to do about him? There really is nothing he could have done once he saw her” Quil said when Embry went to speak to the bloodsuckers.
Claire and Lizzie looked very puzzled by it all until the penny dropped, at least with Lizzie. I don’t think Claire was bothered enough to care. Lizzie laughed, long and hard.
“You and Bells have the same stupid sense of humour, no wonder you’re friends. It’s not funny. Wolves and vampires are not meant to mate. Wolves are meant to destroy them.”
“Perhaps it’s just a matter of evolution. Perhaps the reason for this imprinting is to show that the wolf’s purpose has evolved to a more general peace keeping role” Lizzie was all sweet reason. She really was like Bells before the leech left her.
“She’s got a point Jake. There has to be a reason for it. It’s not as if they could have children and create stronger cubs, you know, so the improvement to the pack cannot be a factor. But who’s gonna tell her?” Quil asked.
I groaned as I thought of that problem. The bloodsuckers were no doubt going to laugh even harder and louder than Lizzie had. And so was Bells.
“Quil, I can do the surgery here, but I’m going to need some blood. Jacob, can you gather all the pack, current and former, so that I can do blood tests on you to see who is compatible?”
I couldn’t exactly disagree with that request. To think that I would be ordering everyone possible to give blood to a vampire. And wouldn’t Bells laugh at that too?
It turned out that only I was compatible with Quil. The Doc did another test to see how long our blood would keep before it became unusable.
“I know it means a delay to your operation Quil, but I need to try to find a way of making sure you have enough blood in you. If your blood won’t keep more than a few hours, I may have to operate on you twice anyway, once on your ribs, and then on your arm later, sorry.”
“Not your fault Doc. I can lie here fine.”
I left Quil talking to Claire and went to see what the bloodsuckers were doing.
Tanya was holding a cup of blood, fresh animal by the smell, for Irina to drink. Cullen was holding one of her dismembered arms in place. “It will re-attach over the period of about an hour” he said. “Then we’ll try and see if any of the small pieces that were collected can be fitted into the gaps. The more pieces that can be attached, the greater movement Irina will have. It will take us a while, but Irina will be fine. We are in your debt.”
I didn’t know what to say. They were in our debt.
“Just make sure she doesn’t do it again. Next time we go for the kill. I’m not having another member of my pack injured because we were being too nice.”
I could tell that the two females didn’t like that, but while Irina ignored my words, Tanya nodded an acknowledgement.
“Anyway, you’re looking after Quil now, and Bells, so we might end up in your debt” I said.
Cullen gave an understanding smile. “Looking after Bella does not go on your tab. Bella is part of our family now – even though it is very much hard work to get her to let us look after her at all.”
I snorted; I knew how much hard work went into getting Bells to let you look after her. But there was something I wanted to know. “If Bells is part of your family, how could you leave her at the mercy of the other two? And to just go off like that, didn’t you know what it would do to her?”
Cullen sighed. It was kind of sad to hear. The two females made no effort to hide the fact that they were very interested in our conversation.
“We thought that Victoria would come after us, not Bella and Laurent promised to stay out of the fight between us. What happened in Phoenix frightened Edward a great deal and he was always expecting something else. And then, on her eighteenth birthday, there was an accident and it reminded Edward that it would always be a risk for Bella to be around vampires. He thought the best thing he could do for her was to leave. He loved her enough to want her to be happy so he tried to release her from any ties she felt for him so that she would heal and be happy.”
“Hmph, didn’t work did it? It almost got her killed. It still might at the end of the school year.”
“Why, what do you mean?” I could tell I had surprised him this time.
“She only hung onto life after the train to see him one more time. She’s promised to stay alive until the end of the school year. What happens then? What has she got to live for after that?”
“Wouldn’t a life with Edward be enough?”
“Even when they were together before she said that she was always waiting for him to leave. Why would it be any different now? Why would she believe it to be different now? Because she’s broken? She’ll kill herself the second she thinks she’s nothing but a burden to him and forget any promises to live until the end of the school year.”
Tanya couldn’t control her curiosity any more. “How do you know so much about her?”
“We lived together. Goodness knows why, should have stayed best friends.”
“What is it about this human? Edward and you? Even Carlisle and Emmett are protective of her.”
“I think you’ll find all my family are very protective of her” Cullen said.
“And all of mine” I added. “We are protective of her because she hasn’t spent a single day in the past twelve years without being in agony of one sort or another and has not complained once, or blamed anyone but herself for it, when from what I know she could have heaped a whole load of blame on you lot.” The bitterness that I tried to hide couldn’t be suppressed. I hated what they had done to Bells. I knew that if they hadn’t left I wouldn’t have had that time with her, and in many ways that would have been better for me, but I hated the most what it did to her, how she changed from quirky, clumsy and endearing to a broken shell sometimes inhabited by a ghost.
After the arm and two small pieces were attached Cullen said that Irina needed a break. He told Tanya to take her into the forest and see if she could help her hunt something. The more blood she had, the quicker she would heal. He also suggested that Embry go with them to make sure they didn’t cross the boundary line.
I knew the Doc just wanted them out of the way.
“Can you tell me why Embry is looking at Tanya like a lovesick Romeo?”
“Imprinting” I replied gloomily as I explained how a member of the pack sometimes imprinted on their other half and that there was nothing anyone could do about it and that it was for life. Embry would do, be, what Tanya needed him to do or be. He wouldn’t be able to help himself. “All it takes is for them to look into the eyes of the object of their imprinting. Quil did it with Claire when she was two. I told the unimprinted members of the pack to make damn sure they do not look into the eyes of my daughter until she is at least eighteen, just to be safe. Now I am the only one left.”
Cullen looked at me as if I was making it up while I worried about what it might mean for me. Then Cullen looked at Quil and Claire.
“Imprinting. Oh dear. Even though Embry can’t do anything about it, what about Tanya?”
“Don’t know what effect it will have on a vampire” (I made the effort to be polite) “or even if it will have any. It’s never happened before. I have no idea how the Council of Elders is going to react. I guess much of that will be decided by what Tanya does. I’ll have to call another meeting. And by the way, Bells said you were thinking of signing over your land here to us, we would have to think about that too, but this imprinting, it raises an awful lot of questions and to be honest, I haven’t a clue what the answers are going to be yet.”
“I sympathise. Who is going to tell Tanya?” The Doc asked when his ‘phone went. “Bella, what’s happened?”
“Carlisle, I know you’re away and I’m sorry for the call but I have just dislocated my left shoulder and have no time for the lecture. I have a level four pain pill that I can take. Can you talk Alice through manipulating my shoulder back into place now, or should I wait until after school and go to the hospital?” Bella’s voice went a little quieter as she clearly talked to some else in the room. “In the pocket in my bag is a small red pill box. Take it out and give it to Mr Skerrit so that he can tell Carlisle what is on the box. Then, Principal, I need you to take out the tablet, read what is engraved on it so that Carlisle can verify that it is the right dose. If Dr Cullen authorises it, I will take the tablet, witnessed, with some water, please.”
“Bella, please don’t do it like this. You should be in hospital, and why are you standing? Have you been standing long? Damn it Bella, your back will seize. Call Esme to get there now with your massage pad!” I was shocked at the Doc’s anxiety.
“Doctor Cullen, I gave you the two options that I will allow. Mr Skerrit?”
Someone did as Bella asked and the Doc confirmed that it was acceptable for Bella to take the tablet and said “Edward should be able to replace the shoulder. He is your best bet.”
“Thank you. I’ll talk to you later.
”And stop standing still!”
Both he and I knew the chances of Bella doing as she was asked were nil.
“As well as being in pain, she sounded like she was furious with someone” I said.
“I’ll call home later and see if I can get the full story” he clearly agreed with me.
Cullen didn’t actually wait very long before he ‘phoned home.
“Erm Edward, has Bella called Esme at all today?” he tried to ask nonchalantly after giving a brief rundown of the situation here.
“No, why? What’s up with Bella? What do you know?”
“She’s dislocated a shoulder that you will need to replace and called me Doctor Cullen!”
“I see, you can’t go into details. We’ll take care of it. Speak to you later.”
“Call me so that I can offer some advice as to her care and talk you through setting her shoulder.”
I could almost hear the grim silence. For the first time in my life I felt sorry for Edward Cullen.