18. Disconnect. Connect.


Kim seemed to be coping rather well compared to me. I think I went into shock.

I sat at the table, fists balled up on top, my nails carving half crescents into my palms. And Emily was still cooking. Well baking technically. Muffins.

I didn't know how they could stand it. Kim, maybe I understand, Jared hadn't told her anything, and I wasn't about to burst her comfort bubble and tell her. But Emily…how can she just bake like it was any other day? Was I the ONLY one going catatonic over this?

I thought about my nightmare that I had. Embry and Riley taking on each other. I shuddered and tried to push the thought away. Kim was nibbling on one of the million muffins that had piled over the extra breakfast that no one ate. The orange juice was finished thanks to me. I felt parched. Like I haven't drunk anything in days.

My throat was awfully dry. I cleared my throat and Emily turned towards me with her eyebrows in a worry line. I shook my head; nothing. And she went back to work. I couldn't take it anymore. I stood up and walked towards the door.

I wasn't counting on Emily's wooden spoon smacking the back of my head.

"Ouch!"

"Where do you think you're going?" She hissed.

"I can't just sit here! I know what's going on!" I whispered back.

Emily stared at me with her one good eye. The other side was marred and permanently scowling.

"You're only going to jeopardize their chances. They would only be concentrated on protecting you if you go!"

I knew that was true. But I was going insane with worry. It has only been ten minutes since they left. But it already felt a century.

And I didn't feel safe in the house without Embry. I knew I was being selfish. But I couldn't help it. I felt ashamed admitting this to myself but: I was nothing without him.

I sat beside Kim on the couch as she was still nibbling on the same muffin. Her eyes were on the T.V. but I knew she wasn't really watching.

Embry…Embry… EmbryEmbryEmbryEmbryEmbryEmbry…it was like a chant inside my head that was driving me insane. Kim placed the muffin back on a plate and folded her hands on her lap. She was awfully quiet. She seemed so distant from the girl I knew on that sleep over.

"Excuse me." She said and walked to the bathroom.

I was stuck with my chant again. My head pounded and my heart beat quickened.

How long do I have to wait before he comes back? Or when I finally snap and start rocking back and forth like a lunatic?

I started flipping channels again. Discovery channel. A documentary of Northern wolves.

My eyes overflowed with tears and I caved into myself. I had to get to Embry.

I stood up and headed for the door again. Emily was there quick as a flash, her wooden spoon in hand. As if Claire was on my side she started crying from upstairs where I had tucked her in. Emily looked up, her eyebrows in a worry line again then back at me.

"Please…" was all I said. "I don't even know where they are. I just need some air. I can't be closed up in these walls or I will go insane. I will. I know I will."

Emily hesitated and marched upstairs, allowing me passage. I knew she didn't fall for my story, but she knew how I felt.

I yanked the door open and ran straight down the road. Great storm clouds were rolling in. I kept running. My runners squeaking against the slick pavement.

Where could they be? I actually really did not know where they were, what was I doing? Emily was right. I'd just be jeopardizing their chances and put them and me in danger. Why was I so selfish?

I was already a few kilometers away. I slowly walked back.

Rain started drizzling down from the menacing grey clouds like spittle. I crossed my arms over my chest and continued at my usual pace. The watch on my wrist indicated it had already been about half an hour since Embry's departure.

And then something in my brain seemed to just snap. Everything around me didn't seem to matter. My worry for Riley attacking me seems to fade. Riley? Who the heck was Riley? I needed to find Embry! And I suddenly knew where to find him.

I turned back and started running again. I couldn't feel the rain on me anymore. Just my need to find Embry right away. Trucks passed by me and honked. The drivers shouting for me to get inside, there was a storm coming in and that they could hear thunder already. But all I could hear were howls. And rock against rock. The only sound I searched for was the smooth voice of Embry's. The only thing against something that I want is his arms against mine. His chest against my cheek. My hand through his short black hair. I longed for his lips and I needed him.

I needed him like I needed oxygen to survive.

There was a trail a head and I started hiking my way off the path where the trees overlapped each other. Ferns were layered with water droplets that pelted me. Sharp thorns which scratched me. But I didn't care. If this was the way to find Embry, I didn't care.

I could hear it more clearly now. The battle songs of howls, jaws tearing stone flesh away. I flinched at a terrible cry.

Something flashed by me and I stumbled and fell. I lay still and flat against the soft moss. I exhaled and sucked in more air. Something loomed over me and I tried to stay still. It was torturing how the dread was sinking in me like poison.

Slowly I turned my head to look up.

Paul's silver pelt was there. I smiled—.

A lightning fast action caught me off guard and I screamed. Paul was struck by a stone fist and was rocked backwards. I covered my head and crawled quickly away from destruction.

I opened my eyes wide to see if Paul was ok. He was. He was tackling the small vampire like a rag doll. The carnage was not as bad as the movies. There was no blood. Just stone bits ripped out and tossed aside. I quickly ducked as one was thrown wayward to my direction. In my haste my palm grazed something sharp and I jumped back. I looked at the vampire in case he smelt my blood. But I wasn't bleeding. The warm liquid on my palm was saliva. EW…Paul's drool.

The sharp curved object was Paul's fang. I took hold of it and stared at Paul's wide open muzzle, growling at the misshapen bloodsucker. He wasn't missing a tooth. I bet it grew back within the second. I held onto the fang like a good luck charm and brushed off the extra dribbles on my pants.

If Paul was here, Embry could be near by.

I watched my back constantly. I'd count to five and look back, like I used to back in Port Townsend. I used to walk home from school when I was in grade four. This usually made me feel safe. Making sure no one was following me within the five seconds.

I came across two vampires fighting each other. None of them were part of Bella's friends. I backed away slowly. My heel nicked a branch and it snapped. I froze. But my heart was going mad. And I knew that they knew I was there. Behind them. Fresh blood.

They looked my way. But not before one of them snapped off the head of the other and continued decapitating it. Somehow it was much gorier when they were doing it to each other rather the wolves against them.

I tried to make my legs move but I couldn't move. My muscles were tense and I couldn't move. I was paralyzed by fear. It was stupid to come here. My fingers twitched around the fang I was holding. The diameter of it was of a small plastic cup. It was curved like a dagger.

The vampire advanced towards me. Her eyes were blood red and she bared her teeth like a cat hissing. She had jet black hair, and emerald green eyes. She was ugly. I would have thought she was beautiful before. But to me, now, she was hideous. I didn't even believe myself that I used to glaze over when I thought of Edward. No, Embry was the only one who would ever make me feel that way. Embry, and only Embry.

I smiled to myself on the inside. Maybe Embry was wrong. Maybe I am his imprint. He just couldn't feel it yet.

The vampire cocked her head to the side and tsked tsked, like correcting a child. She was in front of me in a second and I could hear the wind whistle as she did. Her hand behind my head as if to snap my thin neck like the twig that snapped under my foot. She grabbed a fistful of my hair and tilted my head to the side, yanking hard.

I screamed and jabbed the fang into her neck and brought it across. I could feel her grip release and I fell back. There was a crack across her throat. I couldn't process the rest as two large wolves brought her down in the next second. One I recognized as the one I was trying to search for.

Embry was going insane. Crushing the vampire to pieces and then those pieces to pieces. I just hulled myself up with the trunk of the tree nearest to me and watched. Paul's fang still gripped tightly in my hand.

The other was a smaller grey wolf. Leah.

They collected the pieces and shot off.

"Wait!" I tried to catch up with them but Paul's silver flash picked me up with his mouth and raced off to the opposite direction.

It would seem dangerous in the jaws of a wolf. But I was awfully safe and comfortable to feel the hot breath spreading through me. He dropped my off at the edge and growled at me.

I stepped towards him and he nudged my harder with his nose and raced back to the forest. Only to be back with pants on and his features distorted with anger.

"I don't have time for this! Get back to Emily's NOW!" He shouted.

"But Riley—." That named seemed so foreign to me now.

"That bloodsucker is dead. Now get back NOW!" He shouted and pushed me.

Although his actions were rough, he meant well. I nodded and raced back.

Emily saw me and dropped her spoon. Her eyes wide she brought a blanket around me. Kim was no where so I hoped she was still in the bathroom and didn't follow my stubborn action.

"What is that?!" Emily asked, staring at the fang still in my fist.

"Oh." I dropped it and looked back at Emily. "It's fine. It's fine. They're all fine."

I smiled and was actually giddy. My hair hung limply by my face. I noticed that I was sweating but I didn't care.

Riley was dead. Embry was safe from him at least. That was good news indeed. And the way he attacked that vampire made me feel reassured. They were going to be fine. All of them.

I was wrong of course as I watched with dinner plate sized eyes as the boys carried in a cursing Jacob. My fingers shot to my lips as they quivered. Jacob. He was like a brother to me even in these short months.

Was this my fault? Did I cause this?

I caught Embry's eyes and he glared at me.

It was my fault wasn't it?!

I stood, leaning against the wall, fearing I'd loose my legs and collapse onto the floor. My eyes shot towards the door as one of the bloodsuckers walked through the low rising.

Something roared inside me and I marched up to him. Emily held me back and shook her head.

"He's a doctor. He's the only one who can help Jacob."

I looked back at the vampire. His blonde hair was glistening in the dim light that Emily's house provided.

Jacob kept howling and cursing on the couch. Embry walked through the crowd. His face distorted with a pained expression for Jacob. I wanted to say something. But what could I say to make this all ok. I couldn't. There were no words.

He cocked his head to me to go outside and I did, Embry following close behind.

"I'm sorry!" I blurted when he shut the door. "I'm sorry! I'm sorry! I didn't mean to get Jacob hurt! I just. I just couldn't…"

I couldn't what? That's right, I have no excuses.

He didn't say anything. I knew he was sinking in everything. Jacob getting hurt. My being stupid and almost getting killed by a vampire. My carelessness. My recklessness has caused everyone to be so silent—except for Jake—in the house.

The once happy bunch was somber and it was all because of me. Everything was my fault.

"It's not your fault." Embry tucked in his chin as he mumbled.

I looked up at him with my big eyes.

"It's not your fault." He repeated. "I was scared to death."

He looked down at me with those gorgeous dark eyes. Why haven't I ever noticed how gorgeous those eyes were? They weren't just black, they had flecks of hazel that made it so mesmerizing.

There was a connection that seemed to snap into the right place. Like a loose thread being put back together.

"I almost lost you Emma. And I don't think I'd ever live without you so you better stop being so reckless or I'd loose myself…" He trailed off.

But I knew he had much more to say.

I had nothing to say. Though so much was going off in my head. I wanted to blurt out exactly how I felt. How mental I was. How sorry I was for making him worry. So sorry that Jacob was hurt even if it wasn't my fault. I wanted him to be happy again. I wanted him to smile. At least for me. I needed that hope that everything was going to be ok.

"Riley is dead." He finally said.

He looked up at the sky and I followed his gaze. There were pungent purple smoke clouds coming from the far side of the woods.

That's where Riley died.

I looked back at him and smiled.

"I don't care."

"What?!" He shouted his hands in his pockets.

Oh good, pants.

"All I need is you. Even if he was still alive and somewhere far I wouldn't care. At least I have you. I mean, if it wasn't for me Riley wouldn't be here would he? He caused all this right? This is my entire fault! I led him here. He was after me! I got you all messed up into this!"

Embry closed that small distance between us and brought me up close to him with one fluid motion. He brought my lips towards his and kissed me.

It was rough, yet gentle. This kiss was more passionate than the others. I could stay like this forever. I wouldn't break for air. Who needs air?

He broke apart but I leaned forward and he smiled. I couldn't help it. I smiled back.

How could I be so happy at a time like this?

"I told you stupid. It's not your fault."

I shook my head. Still smiling.

"I think you need to make it clearer."

And I kissed him again and again.


EPILOGUE


Jacob was depressed. Bella had just visited and left. I knew how much she meant to him. I could sense that it took a lot to some what admit defeat and let Edward have her.

I heard that she was getting married. That must have been a blow.

I watched as Billy fidgeted with some paper. Embry had his arms wrapped around my waist as we waited for lunch.

"Billy? What is that?" I asked.

Billy tucked it out of sight then brought it forward again.

"Wedding invitation." He mumbled.

He wheeled around the table and farthest away from Jacob's door.

"From Bella."

"Ah." I said.

"I don't know how to tell him." He sighed.

Billy might not show it often. But he's a very sensitive guy.

"I'll go talk to him."

I look at Embry and he shrugged. I know he tried without success and was ordered out of Jacob's room by a much sedated Jake. I think the drugs has passed so it was safe enough.

It was disturbing watching the bloodsucker—Dr. Cullen—break Jake's collar bone because he healed too fast and it went the wrong way.

Silently I crept into the cramped room.

Jacob was lying down with the covers off. His arm in a sling and his crutches near his bed. Those were for show. He was fully healed, but Chief Swan—Bella's father, charming man, though kind of nervous—usually came in to check on things.

"Hey." I cracked a smile.

He turned to look at me and looked away.

"I don't want to talk." He growled.

"Well then maybe you'd listen."

I stood at the edge of the bed, wondering where I could sit down without hurting him. Oh right, he's healed.

I sat at the corner and folded my hands in my lap. He didn't look up at me, just continued staring at the wall.

I sighed. "Jake…"

"I said I don't want to talk!" He shouted.

I glanced at the door, hoping Embry wouldn't burst in here and take it the wrong way. He didn't. Good.

"Did you know that Embry had doubts that I was his imprint?" I tried.

He looked back at me then away again. "Yeah? So?"

Pause.

"But I am."

He gave a harsh laugh. "Your point Emma?"

"It was because of Riley."

"Your bloodsucker."

"The bloodsucker. Yes. I think that our imprint had…I don't know disconnected. Because of that." What was I doing? I shouldn't be giving him false hope. What do I want him to do? Kill Edward? Shit. Well I started might as well end it. "But I think you did the right thing. You never know. You could find someone…else."

I closed my eyes tightly. I'm asking for it. I suck at comforting people. Why did I volunteer?

"I don't want to talk about this…" He said after a long silent minute.

Oh please god, please tell me I didn't give him false hope again.

I jumped off the bed when he sat up.

"Uh…Jake?" I asked worried.

He wasn't going to go right over to Edward now is he?

"Relax Em. I'm going to the beach. To get some fresh air."

"Right. Fresh air. Good. Okay."

I rushed through the door and turned around.

"Jake?" I wanted to say: You'll be alright. But that seemed stupid. "Um, don't forget your props."

"What?"

"Your crutches."

He rolled his eyes and walked back to get them.

"Oh, limp for good measure!"

"Emma…" His tone was silencing.

I looked down at the floor. I was making matters worse.

"Thanks…" I looked back up and smiled.

"Anytime."


A/N: Well this has GOT to be the longest chapter I've EVER written.

Okay, I know the fight/ war went by fast but if I didn't hurried it, this chapter would be MUCH longer and MUCH more boring. So basically the whole Embry/Emma imprint thing, Embry had his doubts because his imprint "connection" was somehow "disconnected" by the vampire "factor". You notice how vampires and werewolves seem to get in the way of each other? Well what if a vampire was in the way of an imprint? Would that still be an imprint? Or a disconnection? And the only way to get your connection was to kill the vampire?

Also, Emma tried to comfort Jacob before he got taunted by Leah. Just for the time-lines sake. Oh, but I do hope he comes back!! Thank you to everyone who reviewed this fanfic. You don't know how much you've helped me finish with this. It must be a surprise to my friends that I actually finished something. Anyways. I WILL BE WRITING A SEQUEL FOR EMBRY & EMMA!