Ok guys! Here is chapter 4. Sorry it took me a while to post, but my family and I just moved back into our newly rebuilt home, and we had to have them re-hook up the internet.
I hope you enjoy this.
Disclaimer: I do not own the Twilight Saga, nor any of its characters. I am writing this fan fic purely out of love, and am making no profit from this. Twilight’s character’s all belong to Stephenie Meyer. I do however own my original characters, and they may not be used or abused without my written permission.
A/N2: This chapter was originally part of a 40+ page chapter. I thought it was a bit long, so I chopped it up and made three out of one.
Chains of Love
Chapter 4: James Island
I sat snuggled into Seth’s warmth as we gazed out at the endless ocean in silence. I really liked being with Seth. I don’t think I could have asked for a better big brother, blood related or otherwise. He was very much like my Jacob: kind and sensitive. He always seemed to know when something was troubling me, like he had earlier this evening.
Sam and Sue had called Jacob over to speak with them. He had started over there with me, but I slid down out of his arms and landed with a soft thump upon the smooth rocks that made up most of First Beach. He had smiled and asked if I was going to watch my parents dance - he knew how much I loved to watch them twirl gracefully around the music room at home. I just smiled up at him.
As he walked away, I turned my attention to my parents. Daddy had his right arm around Momma’s waist holding her to him, and cradled one of her slender hands in his left. Momma had her head laid tenderly on his shoulder, and clung to him with her free hand. They swayed gently to some music only they could hear. (“Golden Sky” by Smile was hardly a slow song.)
As I watched them dance, lost in their only world, my thoughts returned to my earlier dilemma. What was I going to do about next week? Should I stay with my grandparents here in Forks or fly back to New Hampshire for a week while my parents took their finals?
If I went home I would be with Momma and Daddy, but what was I going to do while they went through their three days of testing? I suppose I could stay in the college library until they were done. It would be easy for me to find a hiding place, but did I want to?
If I stayed here I could run all over the forest, hang out with my aunts, play with my uncles, and maybe visit La Push again with Jacob. Yes, I would definitely have more fun here, but what about my parents?
Guilt assaulted me and an ache began in my chest as I thought about leaving them. Would they think I didn’t want to be with them? Would they be angry with me for choosing to stay? If that was so, would I be able to explain to them that my decision was based on practicality and not my unwillingness to be around them? My parents were very unselfish people, but then we had never been separated by so much distance before. I had no reference to fall back upon.
I had no idea during the time I was thinking through my options what my face had looked like, but it was enough to get Seth’s attention. I immediately felt guilty for causing him to worry on his birthday, but I was also happy to finally get too see him without the big crowd. I had only been able to see him a few times today before someone else dragged him off. So when he offered his arms to me, I jumped up into them.
I sighed, and his arms tighten around me in a quick hug before he stood up. He smiled his quick smile and told me it was time to go back. I nodded and laid my head back down. I didn’t even make it halfway back before I was pulled under by the gentle lapping of the waves upon the sand.
When I awoke the next morning, I was tucked into Momma’s arms while she was rocking me in her chair. I yawned and stretched.
“Good morning sleepyhead,” she smiled at me as she leaned down to lightly kiss my forehead.
“Good morning,” I said looking around the cottage for Daddy, but not seeing him. I reached up and touched Momma’s face, asking her where he was.
Momma’s smile slipped a little before she answered. “He took off with his brothers for the next two days to head down to a park in California with a mountain lion problem. He wanted to wait for you to wake up, but you know how impatient Emmett can be,” she sighed heavily. “He said to tell you he loves you, and he will call us tonight.”
I was both disappointed and relieved at this news. I missed my Daddy, but this means I could talk to Momma first. It was always easier to talk to Momma about things. I wonder if it was just the whole mother-daughter thing, or the peaceful feeling I got being around her.
I pulled myself into a sitting position on her lap and took a deep breath. “Momma?” I began. She smiled at me, waiting for me to go on. “I want to stay here while you take your finals.” I held my breath as I waited for her reply.
Momma smiled at me and said, “I figured you would. Your father said you were thinking about that last night. Plus waiting around for us to get out of class can’t be any fun.”
“Then you’re not mad?” I whispered my relief making my voice weak.
Momma’s eyes gentled and swam with love as she looked at me. “My darling, of course I’m not mad at you. How could I be? I love you.” She hugged my close to her and kissed the top of my head. “I will miss you of course, but I want you to be happy. If staying makes you happy, then it’s fine with me.”
I felt a small tear fall down my cheek as I buried my face in her fragrant hair. How silly I was to think for a second that she would be upset with me. From the very beginning when she first placed her hand over the spot I was growing in, before I was even aware of it, my mother’s love was a constant presence in my life. It had been the same with me. From the moment I became conscious of her - felt that love – I had returned it. In that instant I understood that no matter how much distance was put between us, our bond was unbreakable.
Grinning happily at her I asked, “So what are we going to do today?”
Momma laughed and taking my hand we walked out the door and into the forest to go find our breakfast.
The next few days went by quickly. Daddy came back and Momma and I told him what I had decided. He was fine with it on the condition that when they called every night before bed, I was to be here.
“I promise no wild parties,” I teased, making him laugh. I loved his laugh. He had one of the most beautiful voices on earth, as Momma and I reminded him constantly. He usually just rolled his eyes at us, but I’m pretty sure if he had been the type to blush – and could have – that he would have been.
Seth visited us frequently over the next week, proudly driving his new truck here. It was always fun when he visited. He was such a happy person that you couldn’t help but feel the same around him. And some of the playful arguments he would get into with Jacob or Uncle Emmett were so funny!
Almost before I knew it Friday rolled around, and Momma and Daddy were getting ready to return to New Hampshire on an evening flight. As I watched them pack a small carry-on bag, I felt the ache in my chest return. I was really going to miss them. Daddy heard me and came over and picked me up, cradling me in his arms.
“If it upsets you so much, you can always change your mind,” he said softly.
I smiled at him and shook my head. I will be ok. I’m just going to miss you a lot.
He gave me the same tender smile Momma had and replied, “I will miss you too, A Stoirin. It will be a long two weeks.”
“Two weeks?!” Both mine and Momma’s cries blended together.
Daddy looked at us both like we had gone crazy before shaking his head and sighing. “Yes, two weeks. We were supposed to be spending a week at home after the tests were over, remember?”
Momma blinked a few times, a small crease between her eyebrows. “I thought you said we were coming back Friday?”
Daddy was nearly grinning now. “Yes, the next Friday. You were really out of it while we were packing to come here weren’t you,” he laughed.
Momma rolled her eyes and shrugged. “I was pretty excited to be going home. I guess I wasn’t paying as much attention as I normally do.” Then her face turned concerned. “Nessie, sweetheart, are you ok with us being gone an extra week?”
I looked back and forth between my parents, trying to figure out if it would be alright or not. The ache in my chest got bigger, but as far as I could tell I was ok. I mean, it was only a few more days, right? So I smiled and nodded, squirming down from his arms.
I padded softly out of their bedroom and out into living room, picking up “The Little Mermaid” that I had left sitting next to Momma’s rocking chair. I opened the book and buried my nose in it, trying not to think while I listened to my Momma fretting down the hall.
Seeing them off at the airport was even worse than I had imagined. Momma and I had started crying, and even Daddy looked unhappy. Finally Jacob had to take me from Momma while Aunt Alice assured them – numerous times - that I would be fine. After making everyone stay until their plane had taken off, I sadly turned to leave. I calmed down a bit during the car ride, and by the time we got home I was feeling more like myself. Aunt Alice was promising to take me shopping in Portland and Uncle Emmett wanted to try out the new Street Fighter 4 game that came out for the Xbox360.
When I went to bed that night, up in Daddy’s old room, and after beating Uncle Emmett for the tenth time in a row (He says he let me win, but I’m not so sure.), I found myself feeling optimistic about the next two weeks.
The first few days they were gone I had a lot of fun with my aunts and uncles. Grandma and I had a movie night, but after day four of waking up without my parents, I started to get depressed. Their phone calls every night helped, but it wasn’t the same. I moped about the house, and once again found myself haunting the third floor library.
This is where Jacob found me Wednesday morning, on top of one of the small bookshelves under the window. I had my nose in “The Adventures of Ulysseys” by Evslin, and was doing my best to concentrate on the legendary voice of the Sirens and not the ever-present ache in my heart.
Jacob’s soft footfalls stopped just in front of my perch, but he did not speak. Instead he stood there patiently until I had finished my chapter and marked my place. I looked up at him only after I had closed my book and set it down next to me.
He studied my face for a moment before crossing his arms over his chest. “All right little lady, no more hiding out. I thought we were going hunting this afternoon with the runt? Or do you not want to come to La Push with me tomorrow?” He said a note of frustration in his voice.
Guilt, again. Hadn’t I had enough of that emotion this week? I had all but forgotten that we were supposed to be visiting Billy tomorrow morning. We’d had this planned out since before Momma and Daddy left, even. I really wanted to see Billy and the others again, and the lovely beach. Instead, I had spent the last two days shut up here with these books. I must have really worried everyone.
I smiled up at Jacob. Nodding, I held my arms up to him. He placed his warm hands around me and lifted my up into his embrace. I hugged him back, and using my gift, showed him how very sorry I was for moping like this. In typical Jacob fashion, he just laughed it off and told me how very like my mother I was.
After tugging on his chin length hair, we headed back downstairs to find Aunt Alice.
“Hey there kiddo,” Billy waved at us from his newly rebuilt porch Thursday morning as he wheeled himself down the ramp Jacob and Daddy had built for him before we had left. “I was beginning to think you were going to stand me up.”
I grinned back at Billy from my place in Jacob’s arms. Jacob shook his hand and we went inside to have breakfast with him. I had eaten yesterday with Aunt Alice, so I wasn’t very hungry, but I haven’t as yet been able to turn down scrambled eggs.
After we had cleaned our plates, we sat in the living room and caught up a bit on what was going on in La Push. Paul was graduating this year and planned to move up to Spokane to be closer to Rachel, Jared was going to propose to Kim after their graduation ceremony, and Sam and Emily had just hit the six month mark as newlyweds. Quil was going to be staying here in La Push, and taking over for Embry at his mom’s shop when Embry went off to college in September. All in all, everything was going smoothly, except for that scent.
In the last forty-eight hours the scent had come in as far as the outlying houses along the one-ten. Sam, Embry, and Jared had even started patrolling the town at night.
“They don’t believe whatever this is to be dangerous, but until they knew what it means, they are being cautious.” Billy reassured me when he saw how stiffly I was sitting, and then steered the conversation in a different direction, asking about Jacob’s Rabbit.
Later that afternoon, Seth stopped by to visit with us and help make sandwiches for lunch. We were just sitting down to eat, when Sam knocked on the door urgently. Jacob jumped up to get the door, but Sam didn’t wait for him and let himself in.
“I’m sorry to bother you,” Sam said nodding in our direction and then looking straight at Jacob. “I need your help.”
Jacob became serious at once. “What happened? Is anyone hurt?”
Sam shook his head, “Everyone is fine. What I need your help with is tracking down this scent. Just a moment ago, when Embry phased after school, he came across a fresh trail.”
“It was here in town?!” Jacob asked his eyes going wide in surprise and then narrowing.
“Where was it?” Seth asked getting up from the table and joining them.
“Around the school,” Sam replied in a dark voice.
“No way!” Seth exclaimed. “I just left there not an hour ago, and I didn’t detect anything out of the ordinary.”
“Embry only picked up the trail after he phased. Whatever it was made a wide circle around the school, but never came close enough to be seen or heard.” Sam turned back to Jacob, “I don’t know what is going on, but I can’t let something that might be a threat anywhere near those children.”
Jacob nodded in agreement and the three of them headed for the door.
I jumped up from the table and ran after them. “Wait for me,” I said.
Jacob turned around, a look I had never seen before on his face. It was hard and cold, and his eyes held fear in them before they turned blank and unreadable.
“Nessie honey, we have no idea what we are dealing with, and if this thing has it in for children…” he shuddered, “I don’t want you anywhere near it until we find out what’s going on.”
My original fear and concern at their earlier words faded as I listened to him. Was he saying that I was a child? Maybe I was in body, but nothing else. I was more advanced mentally than most adults, and my senses were parallel to theirs in every way. Anger and resentment flared inside me, making my cheeks flush. I ground my teeth together before spitting out, “I can help! I can track just a well, if not better, than you can.”
“I know that honey, I do.” Jacob said his voice now soothing. “But again I still can’t take that chance, not yet.” He kissed my forehead gently as angry tears started to fall silently down my face.
Seth, who had been watching us, put his hand on Jacob’s shoulder. “I’ll stay here with her man, so you don’t need to worry ok? We’ll head down to the beach. The scent hasn’t been near there has it?” he asked Sam.
Sam shook his head. “That’s a good idea, and we need to go before the trail grows too cold.”
Jacob looked between me and Seth for a moment before nodding. As he turned away I heard him almost growl at Seth, “If you let anything happen to her…”
Seth just grinned at him and waved. We stood mutely as we watched them lope away toward the forest and disappear into the foliage. Then Seth turned to me and said with a wink. “Shall we?”
I nodded and after telling Billy where we were heading, we raced each other down to the beach.
Once there, we walked up and down the mile long beach talking about school, New Hampshire, and anything else that came to mind. When we ran out of things to talk about, we just strolled in silence until one of us thought of something else to bring up. During one of our passes along the east side of the beach I spotted James Island, and a new course of action appeared to me.
“Seth? Can we go see the island?” I asked. Alice would be mad that I got my dress wet, but that was fine with me. With any luck, the masses of pink lace would get snagged and tear off.
“I don’t see why not,” he smiled dragging me toward the water.
We swam out to the little island – Seth is a very good swimmer – and spent the next hour exploring and playing tag among the trees. I had just been “tagged” when we heard Jacob and Sam calling for us from the shore.
“Guess it’s time to go,” Seth said his pout mirroring my own. “Hey! Let’s go off the top!” He grinned.
I blinked at him a few times, trying to figure out which top he was talking about. The island had four “tops”, or tree-covered sets of cliffs. Two of them pointed out to sea, and rounded into one that pointed inland and slightly southeast – almost horseshoe shaped. A strip of sand connected the other three to the fourth which pointed north toward Makah territory. If you where to look at it from the air, it would appear to be a wolf’s head. All things considered, I don’t think the shape was a coincidence.
“Which top are we talking about?” I asked him. I really wasn’t all that interested in cliff diving, but it might be fun. Momma had said she liked it.
“The southeastern one of course,” he said matter-of-factly. “It’s the closest one to the beach,” he winked, “and the highest.”
We raced through the trees and soon found ourselves standing atop a moss covered overhang. About 200 feet below us the churning gray water slapped against the cliffs sending salt spray into the air. Across the water, Jacob and Sam stood on the beach waving at us. Well Sam was waving, but Jacob looked angry.
“Are you ready to jump?” Seth asked me, an odd little gleam in eyes.
Again I was not wholly aware of my facial expression, but it was enough to start Seth laughing.
“I can’t believe you really thought I was going to let you go cliff diving from this high up! Not only would Jake kill me, but I shudder to think what your parents would do to me…” He shook his head, and then pointed to a rope I hadn’t noticed tied to a large pine.
I walked over to the rope and looked down. The rope stretched all the way down the cliff and was anchored to a rock at the base. Seeing the rope I felt a bit better, but I was still a little unsure. Just how long had that rope been here? Had it been tested lately? Would we end up cliff diving whether we wanted to or not?
Seth reached out and grabbed my hand, swinging me onto his back. “Hold on tight,” he warned and taking hold of the rope flung us over the cliff.
We bounced a little as his feet hit the rock, and then he began to climb down at a rather fast speed. I was perfectly fine with this until I made the mistake of glancing down. The sight of the rocks and waves still about fifty feet below rushing at us was unnerving. I tightened my grip automatically, and then things began to happen both very quickly and very slowly.
When I tightened my arms around Seth’s neck, I wasn’t being conscious of the strength I was using and cut of his air. He choked and tried to cough. Reaching one hand back, he tried to pry my arms loose and lost his grip on the wet rope, sending us plunging into the ocean. We only avoided the rocks beneath the rope only because Seth had pushed off the cliff side as we started to fall, and shoved us out into open water.
My heart skipped a beat as we were almost suspended for an eighth of a second before free-falling roughly forty feet. We sliced through the cold water, and surfaced a second later coughing slightly – I could swim quite easily even in the current.
Seth smirked at me and shrugged, “Guess we ended up cliff diving after all.”
I laughed and we swam back to the peninsula that jutted out just north of us. Once on land, we raced back to the middle of the beach were Jacob and Sam stood waiting for us. The whole trip from the top of the island to here only took us five minutes.
I had hardly stopped when Jacob scooped me up into his arms and crushed me to his chest. I barely managed to wiggle my left hand up and touch the warm skin over his collar bone to ask him what was wrong. He let me go enough to pull me up higher and kiss my forehead softly.
“Are you alright?” He asked. Not waiting for an answer, he growled at Seth. “What the hell were you thinking pulling something like that?! I’ve already almost lost her mother to those kinds of stunts. I really don’t want to make it two for two.”
Before Seth could say anything to defend himself I put my hands on both sides of his face and stared into his nearly black eyes. I showed him, firmly, what had happened on the rope and that it had been my fault and not Seth’s, and if it hadn’t been for Seth’s quick thinking both of us would have ended up on the rocks.
Smiling apologetically, I stroked his cheek gently and he relaxed. “I am sorry we worried you, but it was not intentional.”
He sighed heavily and nodded. “Sorry kid,” he said gruffly to Seth who grinned – as usual – and forgave him.
Sam, who had been quietly smirking throughout our conversation mentioned the late hour and, right on cue, Seth’s stomach grumbled loudly causing us all to laugh. We started back up the beach to pick up Sam’s Dodge and Seth’s Chevy, which they had parked over at Billy’s, and head up to Emily’s for dinner.
Later that night as I helped Emily wash the dishes, Jacob, Sam, Seth, Embry, and Jared sat around the table discussing their findings from this afternoon with Billy.
“We followed it all the way to the main body of the Quillayute River before we lost it in the water.” Jacob reported.
“We even split up and followed the river in both directions hoping to come across where this thing exited, but we found nothing,” Sam said, shaking his head.
“I would like to know what it was doing scouting around the school in the first place,” Embry added.
“Maybe they were simply looking around,” Seth said, unfazed by the tense atmosphere. “Did you ever think that maybe whomever this scent belongs to was just curious?”
From the corner of my eye, I saw Jacob and Embry giving him identical looks of disbelief while Sam just raised an eyebrow.
“Whatever this… creature’s intentions are,” Billy replied calmly, “The point remains that we do not know as of yet whether this visit is friendly or hostile, so until then I think it is in our best interest to continue the patrols. Sam, Jake, I would like for the two of you to scan the forest and riverbanks during the day. We need to find this… person, and discover just what they want here.”
Sam and the others nodded in agreement, but Jacob seemed to be troubled and leaned in to speak more quietly with his father.
“I agree that we need to locate this thing as soon as possible, and I have no problem helping in that, but I do have other responsibilities as well…” He trailed off, glancing at me.
Billy and the others also peeked in my direction, but by then I had turned my head almost completely back toward the dishes so they wouldn’t know that I had been listening or that I suspected anything.
“I think it would be wise if she stays with her grandparents, at least until we uncover this intruder’s identity.” Billy said softly placing a wrinkled hand on his son’s shoulder.
Stay home? Why? I could help! Why did they insist on treating me like a child?! I didn’t need coddling. I was so furious that the red haze started creeping into the corners of my eyes.
We all jumped at the sound of breaking china.
I looked down, surprised to see pieces of the ceramic mug I had been drying scattered about the sink. I hadn’t even noticed that I had been tightening my grip on the cup until it broke.
“Nessie honey, are you ok?” Jacob and a few of the others were all gathered around me, looking at me with concern and, in Jacob’s case, fear.
This was odd. What did he have to be afraid of? It’s not like I was hurt. I mean like a mere coffee mug could really hurt me, my skin was nearly as tough as my parent’s diamond-hard exterior.
But if I wasn’t hurt, then what was this curious sensation that was spreading across my palms? And what was that smell?
I glanced down again, this time taking a moment to examine my hands. As I unfolded my fingers I saw