Disclaimer: I own nothing but the plot and any original characters herein. No copyright infringement intended.

A/N: This story is AU which means I've messed with the timeline, ages and characterizations. Hopefully I've done all that in such a way as to be pleasing to you, the readers. :-) Also, this is my first foray into the wolf pack side of Twilight, so try not to take up the flame throwers in too hasty a fashion, please. lol ~Spudz


Prologue:

Shouts of outrage rang throughout the tiny red house at the latest call in the game on TV. "You gotta be kiddin' me!" Charlie Swan grumbled as he glanced at an equally disgusted Billy Black.

"That last flag was complete horse shit," Billy agreed as he rolled his chair across the floor toward the kitchen. "Ya want a beer?"

"Nah, I gotta drive home pretty soon, but thanks."

"Yeah, well, I really shouldn't either. Jake keeps a close eye on how many I drink these days. He'll give me all kinds of hell if I have another."

Charlie chuckled. "He's a good kid Billy. You're lucky to have him."

Billy rolled back into the room and took a sip of the water he'd grabbed in place of the beer he'd really wanted. "Don't I know it. His sisters stay gone almost constantly these days." He looked down into his lap and shook his head. "I don't know what I'd do without him." He glanced up at his friend. "It's not fair to him though."

Charlie stood and put a hand on his shoulder. "That boy loves you Billy. Don't sell him short. He'd probably get pissed if he heard you talkin' like this."

Billy chuckled ruefully. "Yeah, he probably would."

The ring tone on Charlie's phone caught their attention and he pulled it out and answered.

"Chief Swan here…" Billy watched him listen for a moment and then he met his gaze, a solemn expression on his face. "Yep, I'm close. I'll be right there. Got it."

Flipping the phone closed, he shook his head. "Damn."

Just then, a twelve year old Jake and his friend Embry came tearing into the house. "Dad! Something really bad's going down at the Lahote's! There's an ambulance and cop cars…"

Billy held up a hand to quiet his frantic son and looked at Charlie. "That what that call was about?"

Charlie glanced at the wide-eyed boys and back at his friend. "Yeah," he sighed, "…maybe you should come along since this is also tribal business. I may need ya."

Billy placed his water down on a low table and rolled to the door. "Jacob, you and Embry stay here son. I'll be back when I can."

When they rolled up and parked at the Lahote residence, it was just as the boys said. The ambulance was still there along with two police cruisers and the front door of the house was wide open with light spilling out onto the small front porch where an officer stood guard.

After helping Billy out of the car and into his chair, Charlie approached his officer. "Frank, what can you tell me?"

The man glanced at Billy quickly and then met Charlie's gaze. "Well Chief, we have one victim—thirty two year old female, the paramedics are readying for transport. She's been beaten real bad Chief, but they tell me they're pretty sure she'll pull through. There's one deceased—thirty four year old male, looks like he was stabbed with a kitchen knife. And finally, one fourteen year old male; he's been beaten but not nearly as bad as the woman. The medics say his left arm and collar bone are broken, so he'll have to be transported too… but Chief?" He sighed and ran a hand through his hair as Charlie waited. "He's the one that killed the male; his father. His mother, the female victim, told us the kid did it to save her."

Charlie hung his head and cut his gaze over to a grim looking Billy who was staring back at him. "Well," he said, shaking his head slowly, "Let's get in there and see what we got."

Charlie helped Billy into the house and walked into the living room where he could see a panicked young kid, struggling and crying as he was held back from his mother who was now on a stretcher. Charlie grimaced at the sight of her; she'd been beaten to a bloody pulp and was almost unrecognizable.

When he got close enough, he could hear her rasping out through split, swollen and bloody lips, "Paul, calm down baby, it'll be all right. I love you."

Still, the kid struggled on as his frightened and panicked gaze flitted from his mother to the medics. "Mom! No, you can't take her! Where are you taking her?! Lemme go damn it! I have'ta go with her! Lemme go!"

Billy rolled forward then, his voice resonating with authority when he spoke. "Paul Lahote! Calm down son. You won't do your mother or yourself any good by panicking, so just take some deep breaths and calm down. We're here to help you."

Charlie was amazed when Billy's words seemed to register with the kid and he stilled in the medic's hold as tears continued to stream down his beaten face.

One medic working on the woman caught Charlie's attention. "Chief, if you want a statement from her, ya better get it quick. We need to roll. She's got fractured ribs and from her breath sounds, her lung is about to collapse."

Charlie gave a nod and stepped forward into her line of sight. "Mrs. Lahote, I'm Chief Swan. Can you tell me what happened?"

She blinked once and began her wheezing response. "I came in from work and my husband, as usual, was drunk. He was bea—beating our son, Paul… I tried to stop him and he started beating me like usual, but this time, he didn't stop after a few punches and kicks. He just kept going and he looked crazy…" Her breath hitched and fresh tears traced into her bloodied hair. "P—Paul tried to pull him off me and couldn't… the next thing I knew, he collapsed and fell to the side with a knife sticking out of his neck. I had Paul dial 911." She grimaced in pain and the medic stepped in.

"That's it Chief, we gotta roll, sorry."

Charlie nodded and backed out of the way for them to wheel her out and looked over at the kid as the medics strapped him to another gurney.

He stepped forward and smoothed the hair back from the distraught boy's beaten face; a boy that was only a year older than his own daughter, Bella. "Don't worry kid. We're gonna take care of you and your mom all right? You just get better for your mom,'cause she's gonna need ya. Just think about that and don't worry about anything else."

The kid looked from Charlie's face to Billy's and back again before nodding. "Yeah, okay. I'll try."

They started to wheel him out but he grabbed Charlie's hand, his vivid hazel eyes wide with fright. "I ki—I killed him!" he cried quietly. His eyes closed tightly and his chin quivered as he struggled with the enormity of what had happened. When those piercing eyes opened again they locked on Charlie, full of fear and apprehension as he swallowed thickly before finding his voice again. "Am I—am I gonna go to jail?"

Charlie studied this scared and beaten kid for a moment and anger welled up inside him at what he and his mother had obviously gone through for who knew how long, until this night. He gently squeezed the kid's hand and shook his head, his voice choked in a rare display of emotion as he answered. "No kid, not if I have anything to say about it."

He placed the kid's hand on his chest with a pat, gave the medic a nod and they wheeled him out.

With a sigh, he rubbed his suspiciously misty eyes and looked around at his officers and the crew from the coroner who all stared back with solemn faces. They all, every last one of them, hated working scenes where kids were involved. "All right," he said gruffly, "let's get this scene processed and the body outta here. I'm sure we'd all like to go home sometime tonight."

Your thoughts? Follows and faves are great, but reviews really let me know the level of interest. So if you like it and want me to continue, please leave a review. Chapter 1 is already done and ready to post, so let me hear from you! 'Till next time, ~Spudz