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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.
21. Jacob - Strange Strangers In Town
Word Count 3211
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I was enjoying a rare sleep in when I heard the familiar howl of a wolf. The only good thing I could think of was that because I was still in bed I didn’t need to strip before phasing.
‘What is it?’ I asked.
‘Two incoming, heading in your direction. One leech, one not. I can’t make out what that one is. They’re not hunting ’coz they went fairly close to a couple of hikers and steered away from them. I don’t recognise the scent of the leech either. What should I do?’ Paul asked.
‘Do nothing except track them. Where could we cut them off before they hit the reservation?’
Paul told me where he thought would be a good spot to wait for them. I phased back to human and sent a call to all the pack. Holiday time was over.
The pack were waiting for me. I stayed human.
“Do not attack unless I say. They might just be nomads who happen to be here and be of no threat to us or ours. But be on your guard just in case.”
It wasn’t long before the two beings came into view. The pack moved so as to encircle them. I was reassured by the fact that they knew they were surrounded but they stayed calm.
“Hello. Can I help you?” I opened the conversation.
“Hello. I am Huilen and this is my nephew Nahuel. We seek someone who came this way two days ago. Pale skinned with cold hands” the vampire female said.
“Tanya is one of the names I was given. The others who would be with Tanya are Irina, Kate, Carmen and Eleazar.”
“Only Tanya was here. Why do you want Tanya? I see from your eyes that you are not like her and that your nephew is not like either of you.”
“We wish to learn how to live like Tanya and her friends and also to seek the wisdom of Carlisle who we were told that Tanya can help us find.”
“I am Jacob leader of my people and brother to the mate of Edward.”
“We were told that Edward had lost his mate. Could you help us speak with Carlisle, please?”
“Why do you want to?”
“As I said, we wish to learn to live as they do, but also, we wish to know about my nephew. His mother was my sister. She was seduced by one of us and left with the babe. She died giving birth to Nahuel. While he was still too young to know otherwise he bit me so I was changed, but his half sisters cannot change anyone. Nahuel needs to know if he can live and not hurt anyone else. For that we seek the wisdom of the learned Carlisle.”
I was in a bit of a quandary. What the hell was I to do?
“If I take you to my village, will my people be safe?” Some of the pack didn’t like that idea.
“Yes. Nahuel can eat human food, but he prefers his meat rare. I fed three days ago. Two young men thought they would be safe to rob a lone woman. They were not. I need no more food for one week or more.”
“That I could live with, but to be on the safe side, you will be accompanied everywhere you go.”
“That is acceptable to us.”
“Everyone bar Paul phase! Paul, continue your patrols, good work.”
When all the pack were phased and dressed they came and surrounded our guests again. I could see both Huilen and Nahuel were intrigued by us, just as we were intrigued by Nahuel.
“How did you know to come here?” I asked puzzled.
“We met some of my kind in the Amazon. They told us of Carlisle and his coven and Tanya and her coven. We wanted to find him. They said that he sometimes stayed here but Tanya who always stayed near Denali would be able to contact him if we could not find him. We caught the scent and followed it in. Can you contact Carlisle and ask if he will speak with us?”
“When we get to my house I will do that.”
“Thank you. Do you mind if I ask what you are? You are not totally human.”
“We are sometimes human, sometimes wolf. It’s our mission to protect humans from vampires.”
“That is a good mission. And you are brother to one.”
“No. Bells is a human. She is the mate of a vampire.”
I should have realised. Human female, male vampire, it was bound to strike a chord with them.
“How long has this human been Edward’s mate?”
“It is a long story. Basically she was his mate thirteen years ago but Edward did not think it was safe for her so he left. They are now back together.”
The troop was stared at by the whole tribe as we walked to my home. To be honest, I was very impressed with the pair: they stood proud, looking at everyone as they passed.
I would ask Lizzie to take the children to Rachel and Paul’s place for the time being. That should give me time to get hold of the Doc.
Then I heard a voice I did not expect: “Nooo! Damn it! No!” It was Leah Clearwater.
Leah hated vampires with a passion greater than the rest of the tribe put together. She used to be part of the pack, the first female ever, but she worked hard to stop phasing so that she could leave. She moved away from the tribe and was just visiting family for the christmas holiday.
I heard Paul howl again. I asked Seth and Quil to keep an eye on our guests while I went to my and Lizzie’s bedroom to strip and phase again.
‘You are kidding me. Leah! I thought you had stopped phasing!’
‘So did I until I caught sight of him and then I just lost my temper! It is so not fair! I have managed to stop for nearly five years and now this. Why did he have to come here?’
Then I caught the deeper flavour of Leah’s thoughts. ‘Not another one! If I couldn’t read your thoughts Leah I would swear you were having a joke with me. And you can stop laughing Paul. First Embry and now you, Leah. What is the pack coming to?’
‘I think Quil is right Jake’ Paul thought. ‘There is definitely something strange happening with the alignment of something because all these strange things are happening. First Bells runs into him again, then the Doc helps Quil, then Embry imprints on a leech and now Leah, who we had all thought had left the pack, imprints on a half leech and rejoins. Man o’ man. Who is gonna tell Bells and the half leech?”
‘I tell him of course. Damn it! I don’t even know his name!’
‘Okay Leah, this is what we’ll do. I’ll get Seth to bring you some clothes since I’m guessing you destroyed the ones you were wearing. You phase back and come to my house. You and I can talk to our guests. And by the way, his name is Nahuel and the leech is his aunt Huilen.’ And I thought of all Huilen said while we were talking so that Leah would know everything.
I phased back, redressed and called Bells.
“Hey Jake, I was going to call you and Lizzie later. How goes?”
“Hey Bells. Look, is the Doc with you ‘coz I need to speak with him?”
“No he’s out hunting. They’re not due back until tonight. What’s up Jake?”
“Don’t know that anything’s up really. It’s just like it’s Wierdsville here lately. Listen can you pass a message to him for me?”
“Sure, of course I can.”
“Can you tell him that Jacob, Chief of the Quileute, requests the counsel of Carlisle, wise and learned leader of the Cullen coven? And phrase it just like that please.”
“Okay. So should I wait until after you’ve spoken to Carlisle to call Lizzie?”
“Ermm, yeah, that might be best. I tell you Bells, things are definitely getting strange around here. I’ll speak to you later. Are you still planning to come down for the new year?”
“Yes, unless you would prefer I don’t.”
“No, it’ll be great to see you. Bye Bells.”
I hung up and rejoined everyone else.
“Lizzie, can you take Charley and Clint round to Rachel’s or Angela’s please? I’ll come by to speak to you later. Seth, can you go and ask your mom to sort out a set of clothes for Leah and take them to her then the three of you come back here. Don’t talk to anyone else. Yes, she phased again and didn’t have time to change.” I nodded to Seth to indicate that the conversation was over. He went to do as he was asked.
“I’ll go to Angela’s” Lizzie said and went to collect the children.
My next task was to call Sam. I wasn’t sure that Leah would like Sam in on the meeting but he was on the Council so he needed to be told.
My small house seemed even smaller when everyone had turned up.
“Nahuel, would you please take a walk with my men and Leah while Huilen talks with the Tribal Council? Leah, it’s your choice whether you stay or go with them. Guys, just take him for a walk, ask nosy questions, talk about the scenery, anything, just nothing of import, and be back in about thirty minutes is that clear?” I was the pack and tribe leader.
“Sure Jake, thirty minutes.”
Leah decided that it would be best if she stayed and spoke with the Council.
I introduced the Council, Leah and Huilen. There were some strange looks at Leah but Quil who was my wise counsel just looked resigned.
I asked Huilen to tell the Council what she told me.
There were the expected murmurs of disbelief and the resigned shrugs.
I then asked Quil to tell Huilen how most of the pack chose their mates and he explained about imprinting, using himself and Claire and Embry and Tanya as examples.
Huilen was very surprised when she heard about Tanya. Quil pointed out the difficulties in so much as with Edward and Bells, Tanya had to be very careful not to bite Embry since vampire venom didn’t change us, it killed us. Huilen wondered why she was being told all this.
“Leah has imprinted on Nahuel” I said.
Out of the corner of my eye I saw Sam drop the weight of guilt from his shoulders at the way his engagement to Leah had ended with his imprinting on Leah’s cousin Emily.
Sue Clearwater, Leah’s mom, was furious. She said she forbade the match.
“You cannot stop it Councilwoman Susan Hewan Clearwater. The only person who can stop it is Nahuel himself. Not even I, Chief Jacob, can stop it.”
Sue subsided with mumblings of discontent.
I then told the Council the message I had asked Bells to pass onto the Doc. “It might not get through until tomorrow so I don’t know when he will call, but I propose to tell him what Huilen said and to ask if he can come down here ASAP. He was going to visit soon to finish Quil’s rib anyway. Does anyone have a problem with that?”
“What if he brings the rest of his ‘family’ with him?” Sue asked.
“Then that’s what he does. Should I ask Embry and Tanya to come down too?”
“Yes. These changes affect them as much as anyone. They should be involved with the discussions” said my wise Counsellor.
“I don’t like what all these happenings are doing to the old order of things” Sam said ruminatively, “but there is no doubt that forces beyond our control are at hand and it is for us to work with these forces not against them.”
I looked at my dad. He just nodded his agreement with Sam.
“Very well. I’ll call Embry. When I’ve spoken with the Doc I’ll let you all know what he says. Thank you.” It was a clear dismissal. “Huilen, how should Leah tell Nahuel?”
For the first time since I saw her, Huilen laughed. “Straight up. Tell him that he is your mate and you are his. Explain the details after he has understood the basic fact.”
Leah looked at her new aunt and thanked her for the information. It was the politest I had heard Leah speak to anyone!
When the guys came back with Nahuel I left him with his aunt, Leah and Quil while I went out with the pack to tell them what had happened. As expected they were all pretty disgusted yet amused, apart from Seth who was relieved. I warned them to be on the lookout for signs that eligible young people, girls as well as boys, were turning to wolves since it looked like vampires would be common visitors to the area again. That stopped the mirth.
I called Embry and told him to get back here as soon as possible, preferably with Tanya, but the rest of her family were also welcome. I would sort out accommodations later. But it was a worry: what was I to do with them? My only hope was that the Doc would call before too long.
Luckily for my peace of mind the Doc did call.
I told him what Huilen told me and I outlined the problem with accommodation. The Doc very kindly suggested that they stay at his house.
“I am expected at work tomorrow and the day after. I will try to change so that I can get down there quicker. In any case, I’ll ask Esme to take some of the family down so that she can take care of our guests in the meantime. Tanya and her family are also welcome to stay. Does Embry have a home on the reservation? I only ask because we shall need to arrange the accommodations so that all those who need to sleep have an appropriate bed.”
Well the Doc was being more than gracious.
“Embry could stay with his mom I expect, but he will do what Tanya wants him to unless I order otherwise.”
“And what about Leah and Nahuel?”
“I doubt very much that Sue will want them to stay with her and I get the impression that Nahuel would probably want to stay close to Huilen at least in the short term.”
“Very well I’ll tell Esme. Perhaps Rosalie and Emmett and Jasper and Alice should stay up here until we’re more organised. Yes, that would be best. Esme, Edward and Bella, and possibly myself, will be with you tomorrow. You are right Chief Jacob, things are definitely getting very strange. We live in interesting times.”
I found Leah with Nahuel, who looked dazed, and Huilen, who looked amused, in my sitting room watched by Quil. I told them of Carlisle’s intent and invitation.
“I will stay there with Nahuel and Huilen” said Leah.
“And we can change the shifts so that as well as someone on patrol someone is with you” Quil, ever the voice of reason, suggested.
Quil agreed to call all the pack to wolf form so that we could all communicate while I took our guests to the Cullen house. It was while we were jogging there that I realised that I didn’t know how to get in. But the Cullens were either very trusting or very stupid because the front door was unlocked. I remembered seeing where the control panel was to open the metal shutter protecting the glass back wall and used it to let in more light.
“We will stay downstairs so as not to enter personal space” Huilen declared on seeing that the house still looked like it was inhabited.
The stench was not pure vampire because there was still the trace of Quil’s surgeries in the air. No doubt the Doc would need some more of my blood to attach Quil’s new rib.
I indicated to Leah that we should leave the house to phase.
“May I change here? They should know what I look like.”
I wasn’t sure if that was a good idea. Leah was reknown for her temper, but if Nahuel needed to see her she was experienced enough that she should be able to control herself.
“Are you two content for Leah to remain in the house while she changes to her wolf form?”
I saw that Nahuel looked at Leah in awe while Huilen just nodded her agreement. “To be on the safe side, it would be better if you didn’t move too much since Leah has not been in her wolf form for some time and is not as practiced as the rest of us.”
I left the house to strip and phase thinking of Leah taking her clothes off in front of her mate for the first time only for his aunt to be watching too!
Embry was also in wolf form when I phased. ‘Hey Embry, glad you’re with us. I take it everyone has been filled in with everything.’
‘Yes, I’ve just been receiving all their congratulations’ Leah thought snidely and I could imagine what form those congratulations would take.
‘Tanya and I should be there tomorrow. We’re running. The others will decide what to do once they’ve spoken with the Cullens’ Embry added.
‘Good’ and I outlined the plan for them all. Seth, naturally, wanted to be the one with Leah and Nahuel since he wanted to spend more time getting to know his new relations. The new shift patterns were agreed. ‘Leah, stay in form. I’m coming up.’
I re-phased and redressed. I had lost count of the number of times I had gotten dressed and undressed in just the one day.
In the house Huilen stood at one end of the large room. Nahuel was sitting next to Leah. For the first time he was probably curled up next to someone/thing who was as warm as himself. He looked content. This did not show the face of the wolf that I wanted the two of them to get.
“Leah, please show Huilen and Nahuel your teeth.” When she did I pointed out that those teeth were designed to rip a vampire to shreds. “And don’t think you can outrun her because you can’t. We run down and catch vampires and Leah is the fastest of us. Huilen, you must understand the danger you are in. Leah is just one, but if you cannot control your lust for human blood while in this area the pack will take you down, including Leah.”
Huilen looked and Leah, then back to me. “I understand. Thank you for the warning.”
That, I thought was the best I could do for the time being. I told Leah to phase back.
After being on the end of a very pointed look (having gotten out of the habit of taking account of the fact that we had a girlie wolf in the pack) I turned my back and closed my eyes.