Disclaimer: All publicly recognizable characters, settings, etc. are the property of their respective owners. The original characters and plot are the property of the authors. No money is being made from this work. No copyright infringement is intended.

Many thanks to tersaseda and bee for their beta services and encouragement.

Story Notes: Events at the Clearwater's home the day Bella jumped off the cliff (see New Moon, chapter 16).


Broken Hearts
by kimmer2

"One…two…three…four…"
my voice cracks
trying to speak through the panic

but I never lose count

"…nine…ten…"
my interlaced fingers do their work
automatically
doing what they've done thousands of times before

but not like this

no,
never like this

I squeeze my eyes shut
trying to focus
letting my training take over

"…twelve…thirteen…"
my voice sounds stronger, but far from certain

my hands on his chest
beating out a quick, steady rhythm
forcing life to stay

I focus on each compression
willing myself to ignore all else
save his life

Oh, Harry

I move my lips to his,
my hair slipping from its knot
curtaining our faces

He always liked my long hair

A shared breath
"Breathe, Harry!" I beg
but he ignores me

something tightens around my heart
tears blur my vision

Focus, Sue!

"One…two…three…"
my knees scream
kneeling in the splintered remains of
my demolished kitchen

my arms shake
but not from fatigue—
from fear

the source of my fear
lay not beneath my hands
but hovering above me

inexplicable nightmares

I glance quickly up at them
two
towering
monstrosities
straight out of Grandmother's stories

Focus

"…five…six…"

My children
exploding
the teeth,
the claws,
the eyes

Their eyes
reflecting my own fear
and bewilderment

I look down
helpless,
I have no answers for them

"…fourteen…fifteen…"
I stare at my husband's chest
but all I see is their eyes

My children's eyes
terrified
confused
and guilty

Without losing count
I look up again
steeling myself against the horror they inspire

"Seth?" I gasp
the brown one whimpers

"Leah?"
the smaller one shivers

"It'll…be…okay,"
an instinctive mother-promise
but how?

"…twenty-one…"

My mind was spinning
Grandmother's ghost stories
Harry's old traditions
were just fables to me

until now

How is this possible?

I stole another look
at them,
at my children
letting reality sink in:

The stories were true

Kahelaha,
Taha Aki,
The Third Wife

Legend and myth,
superstitions and bedtime stories,
standing in my house

I couldn't stop the shudder that ran through me
The collision of reality and fantasy
was exacting a high price,
maybe too high

I bowed my head, letting the tears come
Harry,
my children—
I can't lose them
I won't lose them

"…twenty-five…twenty-six…"
determination filled me
crowding out the despair

another breath
"Stay with me," I whisper fervently
my tears on his cheeks

"One…two…three…"

A long, plaintive howl outside
startled my saving hands
making my heart pound

More nightmares?

The cry was similar to the twin howls
that had destroyed my kitchen
just moments ago

and stopped my husband's heart

Focus, Sue
"…eight…nine…"
Save his life

The kitchen door swung open
bringing a rush of wind
The storm has finally come

Sam
barefooted,
bare-chested

I offer no explanation
for what he sees

"…thirteen…fourteen…"

His hot hand squeezes my shoulder,
reassuring

"The ambulance…will be here…any minute," I grunt
"Seth…Leah…"

Leah whines
and shakes her great head

Sam moves slowly,
silently amid the rubble
putting himself between me
and my children

His soft words,
so calming
so hopeful

a snort,
a bark,
and more whining
in reply

"…twenty-nine…thirty"

Another breath
Harry's face slack,
his lips still unresponsive to mine

The great creatures,
my children,
move cautiously
following Sam

Leaving me
alone

"One…two…three…"


Author's Note (source material):

-Harry Clearwater dies of a heart attack when Seth and Leah phase for the first time (New Moon, chapter 16)

-Sue Clearwater is an RN (stepheniemeyer dot com/pdf/nm_extras_ )