Chapter 26: Saviours And Sacrifices
A/N: I HATE HATE HATE THIS CHAPTER! But sigh…I don't think I can do anymore with it.
Big chapter (both figuratively and mysteriously) lies ahead, there are loads of different POVs but for a good reason. This is one of the last major twists before the end.
Hope you enjoy, it was extremely difficult to write. By far, this is the chapter in which I've done the most editing and re-writing etc. but, I hope it was all worth it in the end (for you guys anyway). ~wired2damoon~
- Quil's POV -
I've always prided myself in having a 'halcyon and quiescent temperament' (Claire's words, not mine), more so than some of the others in my pack, but what I've come to realize in the last ten hours or so, is that it just takes one moment, one miniscule, half-second, to utterly transform everything you once prided in yourself.
For me? That has to be, my nature.
But, I guess that is what's bound to happen when the bane of my existence has been kidnapped. Surely, I can't be blamed if I lash out, lose control and nearly rip off the head of a low-life, teenage, egotistical dumbass.
A growl rises deeply in my throat as I glare right down into said dumbass's eyes, pushing him roughly up against the wall, gritting my teeth and clenching my hands into fists around the collar of his shirt.
"What the fuck did you say?" I ask, my voice so damn venomness that the guy's Adam's apple visibly trembles, as my eyes narrowed, I edged my face even closer to his, completely ignoring the fact that I was in the room with not only my Alpha/best friend, but also Claire's mother, aunt, uncle, and sister.
Cody Daniel's eyes widen as he realizes he's been caught read-handed. Fucking idiot forgot about the advanced hearing. By the look on his stupid mug, that comment was most definitely not for my ears.
"Uh…uh…I-I didn't mean anything by it Quil, I-I…" he trailed off, at least having the decency to look guilty.
"Yeah? Well if you didn't mean anything by it then why the hell did you say it you stupid, self-righteous, arrogant, little fuck!?" I hissed, jerking him forward a little before pushing him abruptly back, knowing well that my eyes are flashing dangerously as I continue to glare down at him.
"Quil, please, he's sorry," I hear Suzie mumble, sounding a little frightened, her voice a hell of a lot quieter than usual.
For that one second, her voice reminded me of Claire when she's sad. I guess this is what makes me let go of him and step away before I do something I really won't regret. I mean how dare that little bastard insinuate that it was Claire's fault she got kidnapped?
"I mean, she really shouldn't have just gone with Kara in the middle of the night…it was kinda stupid of -"
That's all he managed to say before I bolted at him. But the words still stung like a bitch. If Claire were here, werewolf or not, she'd still manage to kick his ass. So, really, I was just defending her honour, like any decent guy would do.
With one last turn of my head, I nod at Jake (silently thanking him for not scolding me for my actions), sparing a sympathetic at Lana before walking briskly out the door, my head hung low.
- General POV -
"Jerald, it's Lana. Listen I…I don't know how to say this but…it's Claire. She…she's been…she's gone Jerald. I-I know you're busy but-but our baby has been taken! Can you give me a call when you get this…please? I-I need…just…call me…"
Wide eyed, the middle-aged man stared at his answering machine, slack jawed. He couldn't believe his ears…
Claire's gone? What the hell does that mean? he asked himself desperately, before making a snap decision and beginning to bolt around his home, grabbing his car keys and jacket and racing through his front door.
His fiancée Valerie surely wouldn't be happy with him just leaving and travelling over one hundred and fifty miles without telling her but these were special circumstances, after all.
He just hoped there wasn't too much traffic…
- Edward's POV -
My eyes automatically narrowed as I watched my daughter get pulled from a black jeep and into a large, derelict-looking house. Logically, I knew she was in no danger but I still had to force down the feeling of fierce protectiveness that raged within me.
I listened closely to Rachel's thoughts as she planned out what she was going to do with Renesmée. Words like 'cuffs' and 'cage' stuck in my mind. I gritted my teeth at the sheer ferocity that bolted through her loquacious mind, shocked by her fortitude and clandestine manner.
But, even behind all the borderline psychotic ramblings that rake through her brain I can sense something else, deeply concealed. Her thoughts are jumbled, jagged, indecisive and illusive, but, even in all the lunacy there seems to be a certain…pain raging within this young woman.
For a split second, her thoughts make a drastic change from focusing on pulling Nessie up the stairs on the front porch, to contemplating whether her actions will be justified.
I hope this is all worth it… her downtrodden inner-voice sighs, almost seeming remorseful.
I shake my head to refocus myself. There is no point in concentrating on such trivial notions like whether or not this woman is remorseful for what she's done. There are more important matters at hand.
From where I stand, concealed by the many surrounding trees, I peer more intensely at the establishment as I witness my daughter being pushed easily through the front door - it snapping closed behind her. This, in turn, leads me to conclude, that the shield (now that the vampires have left to hunt) is no longer in place.
Herein lies, the window of opportunity.
A hint of a smirk graces my lips.
So now, I wait…
- Nessie's POV -
"When will she come back?" I asked a jittery Claire, whilst snapping off my handcuffs and flinging them over my shoulder. I'd been incarcerated in this dinky cage for a half hour now and they were really beginning to irritate me - just the clanging noise they made when the rubbed together, after all, it's not like they can harm my skin, of course.
In this time I had managed to explain everything to Claire (in a hushed tone, of course) including the fact that my father was very near by and could listen to our thoughts if we were in trouble.
"I don't know, apparently she usually comes in at around two with the usual crap for 'lunch…' so you better hurry and bust outta here!" she replied eagerly, clutching my hand as tight as she could manage.
I squeezed back as much as I could without hurting her before fixing her with a serious stare, "Claire I already told you, I can't, not yet…" I started, lowering my voice to barely a whisper so that the surrounding girls couldn't hear me.
I almost grimaced as I saw her eyes bulge before her face moulded into one of confusion, "why not?" she whispered back, obviously following my example.
I looked around me quickly and was pleased to find that none of the girls within close vicinity were paying us any attention. My heart panged as I witnessed the pure horror that had been rifling through them these last few days. Some had tear-streaked cheeks, some had bitten-down fingernails, some had terror-filled gazes and some had crestfallen expressions.
I had to get these girls out.
But I had to wait for the opportune moment…
Before I could amply explain this to Claire however, I heard distance footsteps come from deep within the house and smelled the familiar fragrance of peaches, apricots and cinnamon - Rachel.
This may be the moment I've been waiting for…
- Quil's POV -
I heaved a sigh as I leant over the hood of a black, Volkswagen Beetle, wrench in hand. I had to keep busy until I heard from Edward, but I was finding it extremely difficult. My brow furrowed as I struggled to remember just what it was exactly I was supposed to be doing.
I leaned down further, my head dipping lower, as I reached down, arm outstretched to the carburettor (carburetor), humming softly to myself.
It was eerily quiet - I had to do something to fill the silence. Claire always said I'm totally 'tone deaf'. I smile fondly as I remember her laughing heartily at my rendition of "Build Me Up, Buttercup." Shaking my head, I begin to hum that softly.
"WHERE THE HELL IS MY DAUGHTER!?"
I spun around wildly at the sound of the thunderous roar, dropping the wrench and washcloth. Shielding my eyes against the intruding light, I peered towards the garage door, my mouth dropping open as I saw who now stood before me.
I shouldn't of been so shocked really, I guess…
"H-Hey Jerald," I mumbled, closing down the hood and beginning to walk towards him.
"WHERE IS SHE QUIL? WHERE IS CLAIRE?" he continued to roar, looking wildly around him as if I'd somehow concealed her in the near-empty room.
"I-I don't know Jerald, but, we have a plan in place and-"
"-WHY THE HELL AREN'T YOU OUT LOOKING FOR HER? I THOUGHT SHE IS SUPPOSED TO BE YOUR IMPRINT!? THAT YOU ARE SUPPOSED TO PROTECT HER!?
"GREAT JOB YOU DID, HUH? I ALWAYS KNEW YOU WERE AN IDIOT! HOW COULD YOU LET THIS HAPPEN TO HER!? THIS IS ALL YOU'RE FAULT YOU-"
"-Let me stop you there Jerald," I said calmly, holding up my hand to silence him whilst trying desperately to maintain my composure.
I took another step forward and peered down at the shorter man, a look of sheer seriousness in my gaze. I know it will be difficult to hear, but it has to be said.
"Now I know you've never been very fond of me, or the fact that I imprinted on your daughter so long ago, but, don't for one second think that just because I know you hate me already I won't be frank with you…because I will…" I paused, collected my thoughts.
Jerald was gaping at me now, almost afraid to interrupt me.
"Jerald, I knew from the day I set eyes on Claire that you and I would never be friends. Ever. But, in the last fifteen years I've come to accept that. However, what I can't accept is why, after all these years, you continue to treat me like shit. Unlike you, I have been there for Claire in every aspect of her life.
"Her birthdays, school plays, spelling-bees, talent shows, when she got the chicken-pox, her first dance, puberty, her first date, her first kiss, the first time she drove a car, the many times where she somehow injure herself, her first break up AND all the stuff in-between.
"Question is Jerald, where the hell were you?" I paused for a moment to catch my breath and was fascinated to see how Jerald skin had changed from a pale white to a puce purple in a number of seconds…I guess that's what hearing the truth does to you.
"So, my point is, you have absolutely no right to come into my place of employment and yell the odds at me. You know just as well as I do that this is tearing me apart just as badly as it is you. But, if it makes you feel any better, I can describe to you exactly how I feel right now, as I stand here and try to stay calm until I get word from the others…
"Would that make you feel better?" I stopped, only now realising that there was an ache in my throat as I tried desperately to keep myself together.
Jerald could no longer look at me. His eyes were downcast and he was wringing his hands together roughly. In short, he looked exactly how I felt.
Desperate and scared.
"I…" he mumbled softly, "…you said there was a plan in place?"
Humph. I should of known better than to expect an apology from this man.
I nodded, wiping the oil from my hands and motioning for him to follow me. It was time he was brought up to speed.
"So, we're waiting for Edward's call?" Jerald asked, after Jake finished going over the plan with him.
"Yeah," he nodded, "Nessie is in there at the moment, and as soon as she gets the chance to over-power Rachel, Edward will call, give us the directions to the house, and we'll come as backup to help bust all the girls out and get them all safely back here…"
I kept silent as Jake further explained things. I knew Jerald was still reeling after my little speech, so I didn't want to do anything to set him off when he was being so calm and brisk.
"And what about the other vampires?" he muttered, wrapping his arm around his other daughter, pulling her into a hug.
"They're hunting at the moment, meaning the barrier that was guarding the house is down. Alice says as far as she can tell they will be gone until tomorrow morning but as you know, the future can never be certain. But, if she's right, that gives us roughly, eighteen hours to bust in, capture Rachel and free the girls…" Embry chimed, looking around at all of us.
All of us (me, Jake, Embry, Jerald, Lana, Suzie and Emily) were huddled in the Young's living room whilst the rest were at Sam's or the Cullen's.
"And what happens then? After you break the girls out? What happens when the vampires come back?" Claire's father croaked, looking as if he regretted the question as soon as he asked it.
There was an immediate silence.
Jerald nodded - question answered.
"What if they come back early? And…you know, see Nessie and figures out what she's trying to do?" Man, I understand that the guy is concerned for his daughter's welfare but this really was a stupid question to ask Jake.
My alpha/best friend stiffened, his jaw tightening as he fought the terrible thoughts that I knew were now flooding his brain.
"…Hopefully, it won't come to that…" he started slowly, looking down at his clasped hands, "but, if it does…well…we have a different game plan…"
Jerald's eyebrows raised, silently asking Jake to continue.
"Nessie, at first, will try and convince them that she means no harm, that she is a Nomad and is looking for a coven to join-"
"-That won't work!" Jerald exclaimed loudly, effectively cutting Jake off.
Jake held up his hands, "Jerald, let me finish. At first, she is going to do this, to try and keep the girls as safe as possible, maybe even convince the guy Lukas that branding a human for your mate isn't the best approach. We want to avoid a confrontation because that would put all the girls in jeopardy. So, for starters, we'll try the peaceful approach…"
Jake trailed off, gathering his thoughts.
"And if the peaceful approach doesn't work?"
My friend glanced up into the eyes of my imprint's father, an expression of sincerity and graveness of his face.
"If peaceful doesn't work…then we'll be forceful…"
- Rachel's POV -
- Flashback -
I stiffened when I heard his voice on the other end of the phone. I felt a mixture of excitement and dread as I mumbled in response.
"Get her ready and bring her to me within the next hour. I will be waiting in the place where we discussed," he continued, and I fought not to get pulled into a trance.
"The others will be arriving soon. I will remain here."
I nodded slowly, until I remembered he couldn't see me.
"Don't let me down, Rachel, remember our deal…" he cautioned, his beautiful tone a combination of strictness and playfulness.
"No sir, I will not let you down. I promise, everything will go to plan," I replied, hoping that I sounded more confident than I felt.
"Be sure that it does."
A click, followed by a dial tone met my ears.
He'd hung up.
Time to start the show…
- End Flashback -
I shook my head, remembering the eerie conversation of just a few moments ago as I opened the large, heavy door and stepped into the familiar room full of cages.
Peering around, I caught sight of the very girl I needed.
My smile grew bigger…
- Claire's POV -
"Nessie, listen to me. Whatever Rachel does, don't react okay? Just…be normal, play the part of the concerned best friend, but don't dare attempt to escape. Do you understand?" I whispered frantically as I heard footsteps approach the door.
Nessie frowned at me, "Claire, what're you talking about?"
I bit my lip, knowing that there was hardly time to explain.
"Look, I-just…I love you, you know that right? You're my best friend in the entire world and have no idea how much I appreciate your friendship. Just…remember that." I rambled, frantically glancing back at the door.
"Claire what the hell are you talking about?" Nessie hissed, pulling my hand through the bars of my cage and clasping it tightly.
"I-I didn't tell you everything. I-before the vampires left, Lukas brought me into a room and I…I-"
I was cut off by the loud screeching of the heavy door being opened.
As I saw Rachel stare right at me, a large smile forming on her face, I gripped my best friend's hand as hard as I could manage.
"Please, Ness…tell everyone how much I love them. My mom, the guys, Erin, Kara, my sister…" I trailed off as I watched with narrowed eyes as Rachel walked over to the corner of the room and slipped a large bundle of keys off a hook that hung on the wall.
"-And…please…tell Quil that-that no matter what happens I-I'll always only love him…" I whispered, interrupting Nessie, my voice barely audible as Rachel sauntered slowly closer, but I knew Nessie had heard.
She gripped my hand back and suddenly flashing images burst into my brain.
Ones of me and Ness laughing as I tried to play basketball with Quil and Jake, when we went to Montréal together last summer, when I helped her move house those four times, when she first tried human food with me, when we used to celebrate her birthdays with her family, when we had our 'who-can-drink-pop-rocks-and-coke-and-not-make-it-squirt out-your-nose' game, when I helped her cope with her Grandpa Charlie being sick, when she helped me get through my Grandma dying and all the memories in between.
It was like watching a movie of our time together and it caused a lump to form in my throat. I fought to control my emotions, I had to explain.
"You said your dad is nearby right? Well, he'll explain everything, I'm going through it all in my head now. I'm sorry it had to be this way, Ness. Please understand, it's for the best. Please, just save these girls…and you-you'll realise why I had to do it.
"Tell my mom, dad, Suzie and everyone I'm so sorry. Especially Quil. Please, look after him for me…" I trailed off lowly, a tear spilling down my cheek as Rachel finally reached my cage.
I took one last look at my friend as I heard Rachel slide the key into the lock. Her eyes were brimming with unshed tears, her cheeks turning a darker crimson and I was once again reminded the she, unlike other full-vampires, could actually cry. I did not want to see such a devastating sight, so, with one last, small smile, I released her hand and looked away - towards the now open cage door.
"Out." Rachel demanded, and before I could be told twice, I bolted out of the cage and stood stock still as Rachel pulled my arms behind my back and clasped my wrists in handcuffs.
I knew it was killing Nessie to watch this, but I desperately hoped she would do as I asked and do nothing. It would ruin everything if she tried to free me.
As Rachel whirled me around, I cast one last look over my shoulder at my best friend. She was sitting there, her eyes glued to me, her beautiful face mixed with confusion, devastation and heart-ache.
My eyes pleaded with her to obey me as another solitary tear slid down my face.
"You'll be okay, I'll get you out," she mouthed silently but I just shook my head and turned away.
"Walk." came my curt demand.
And so, I began walking towards my new fate.
I just hope that when it all does come out, people will understand why I just had to do this…
- Edward's POV -
I gasped as I tuned into Claire's thoughts. She was explaining to me the exact events which she wanted to conceal from my daughter.
"Oh no…please God, tell me she didn't…" I mumbled softly as she recalled in her mind what she had agreed to only a half hour before Nessie had arrived.
After I witnessed the shocking event, I could hear her voice sound in my head.
Edward, please, if you're listening, please just follow my plan. You know it's for the greater good. At least, this way, Nessie gets out safe, as does the other girls. I know you saw what happened with me and that Lukas guy today, please, don't think of me as foolish. I know it was a dumb move but…I had to do it. I know a lot of people in my position would do the same.
Try and explain it all to Quil. I know he won't take it well but…there's still a chance I can get out of this. I didn't want to give Nessie false hope and I didn't have enough time anyway, but, I have a plan.
Once I'm lead away with Rachel, she will try and mask my scent so I can't be followed. Lukas told me this himself - not in so many words but he said I'd be untraceable. But, he doesn't know that I know of vampires and werewolves, I plan on surprising him.
I don't know for sure what will happen to me Edward, but be assured, I am not going to give up. I am determined to make it home alive. Vampire or no vampire I am going to beat this guy. I know what he wants from me and I know that he finds me fascinating as I'm not as intimated or as easy to manipulate as the other girls.
I plan to use this to my advantage, just as I pushed him into our negotiation this afternoon.
I'm being led out now, Nessie looks so devastated. Please, again, tell her how sorry I am that I couldn't give away anything - it was just too risky.
If this all works out, I'll see you soon. If not, it was a pleasure knowing you Edward, Nessie is lucky to have a father like you.
Rachel is now packing things and is making me change, it looks like I've got a long trip ahead of me.
Please, tune in to Nessie as soon as I'm finished, I know she badly wants to strategise. I'd wait until Rachel and I are long gone to bust the girls out.
Please don't try and follow, and make sure Quil doesn't do anything stupid…you know how he can be rash. You understand that it's just not safe to interfere with the plan, if Lukas gets any sign that something has gone wrong, Rachel will kill me in a second.
I know the other vampires should be back soon as they can't leave the girls unattended, so kick some serious ass, Edward. Show those guys who's boss.
And with that, Claire had stopped communicating with me and adverted her thoughts elsewhere...
But before I could properly process everything I had heard from Claire I became aware of a very distinctive scent coming my way. It would seem, the vampires had decided to make an early return, (three of them anyway) just as Claire had predicted…
I started to move, fast, covering my tracks as best I could. Hopefully, they'd be too distracted to pick up on my scent…
Shaking my head, I whipped out my cell-phone knowing what I had to do.
Clicking on a familiar number, I held the phone up to my ear and wasn't surprised when it merely dialled once, before being picked up.
"Jake? It's time."
A/N: Grr! I still HATE IT! That was by far the hardest chapter I've written for this story so far. The plan became way more entangled than I previously wanted but I've finally made it work in my head (I hope!) Don't worry, things will become more clear in the next chapter!
I'm sorry that I had to end the chapter here. I know cliff-hangers are a pain in the ass but this chapter would really be too big if I were to continue. So…I know things look a little confusing at the moment, I hear you guys wondering to yourselves, what exactly did Claire agree to? Although some of you may have already guessed…
Side Note: Claire will only remain kidnapped for one-two more chapters (depends on how long I make them) as the story is nearly finished. Quil will be coming to the rescue VERY soon.
1. WE FIND OUT WHAT CLAIRE AGREED TO AND WHAT LUKAS IS PLANNING FOR HER
2. WE SEE WHETHER OR NOT NESSIE AND THE GANG CAN BUST ALL THE GIRLS OUT 'PEACEFULLY' OR WHETHER THEY WILL HAVE TO USE A MORE 'FORCEFUL' APPROACH.
3. QUIL GETS A LITTLE REVENGE
4. AND A WHOLE LOT MORE I CAN EVEN MENTION!
Only about 4-6 chapters left…but they'll be pretty big so it isn't that bad. I've already written the last few pages of the last chapter so I'm essentially working backwards lol :P An update will be posted soon! -wired2damoon- x