Alright, so this is the last chapter of A Bridge too Hard to Cross/A Path too Hard to Walk. Thank you to everyone who has reviewed/subscribed/favorite this story. This story has been a journey of sorts in my writing, and I'm glad many of you enjoyed it.
I Do Not Own Twilight.
And I hope you find it
What you're looking for
And I hope it's everything you dreamed
Your life could be and so much more
And I hope you're happy, wherever you are
I wanted you to know that
And nothing's gonna change that
And I hope you find it.
I Hope You Find It-Miley Cyrus
Jacob's POV (2 days later)
"Anything?" I took a bite of my apple, leaning against the door.
"A few movements but nothing promising," Leah sighed and slumped in the chair by Aiden's bed. It had been two days since the confrontation. There were a few scattered injuries, but nothing too serious. However, it was the state that Aiden was in that kept me on edge. Carlisle had looked him over as soon as we'd gotten home. Just by looking at him, he could tell that he'd missed a few good meals. Other than that, he was exhausted and needed to sleep.
"Where's Kayla?" I took a few steps into the room.
"She and Ava are having a sleepover; Embry will get them to school." She didn't look away from Aiden as she spoke. I wrapped my free arm around her shoulder. She'd taken the past two days off work, wanting to be home incase Aiden woke up.
"When was the last time you ate?"
"Ten this morning, why?"
"Leah! It's nearly eight; you've had nothing at all?" She shook her head. "Go eat something."
"Jake, I'm fine."
"Leah," I turned her face toward me. She looked tired and more stressed out than she should be. "Twenty minutes, I'll stay with him. If he wakes up I'll come get you." Her eyes bore into mine, giving me glimpses of her worry. She stood up and rested her head on my chest. I wrapped my arms around her and kissed the top of her head. She pushed away and, with one last look at our son, left to eat. I sat down in the chair, watching for any movement. Seeing him like this reminded me of the newborn battle. My own dad was in the same position I was in with Aiden. I bit back a laugh; how he ever managed I'll never know.
My heart stopped when I noticed Aiden fidgeting beneath the covers. I tossed my apple out and leaned closer to him. I saw his face moving and called for Leah. She ran into the room, sitting close to Aiden with hopeful eyes. We watched for another minute before he stopped moving. He'd settled back into whatever dream he'd been having. I looked at Leah, noticing her glassy eyes. She stood up, not sure whether to leave or stay. She had both her arms crossed in some attempt to comfort herself. I stood up and grabbed her in my arms. Despite having know each other since we were kids, I'd never seen Leah more hurt. What killed me was the fact that there was nothing I could do to make it better.
"He'll wake up when he's ready."
"What if he isn't ready for the next week? Month?" I rubbed my hand along her back.
"If he's anything like his mother, he'll be too stubborn to accept not waking up." She raised her brows and I chuckled. "However, if he's anything like his father, he probably loves the extended nap." She mock punched me in the shoulder.
"Why did I marry you again?" She laughed, the smile reaching her eyes. I twirled a lock of her hair around my fingers.
"I'm hilarious, good looking, charming, sophis—" The next word was drowned out as Leah pushed her lips against mine. "Not to mention a good kisser." I teased when she drew back.
"Should I go back downstairs or stay here with you?"
"Did you eat?"
"Out." I took a step out of the hold I had on her and pointed to the door.
"Jackass." She slipped a smile before going downstairs. I looked down at Aiden and sighed, sitting down in the chair.
"For the sake of everyone's well-being, please wake up." I squeezed his hand and didn't let go.
Explaining the imprint situation to Ava was one of those things I never thought I would have to talk about. She knew that Aiden had imprinted on her, and what that meant about their relationship, but believing we were wolves was another thing entirely. We sat on her bed, already in sweats and baggy t-shirts with enough junk food to satisfy the whole pack.
"So we're all wolves. The older pack consists of our dads with the exception of my mom. Me and her are the only female shape-shifters in our history. The new pack is all of us with the exception of all the other girls." I explained and took a handful of chocolate almonds from the bowl. After the battle, I came over to update her on Aiden and nearly cut myself off when her eyes started to gloss over. I didn't understand what it was like to have an imprint, so I couldn't do any more than try to comfort her. If the imprint bond was anything similar to the twin bond I had with Aiden, then I felt sorry that Ava had to go through it.
"That explains a lot." She laughed, moving her hair away from her face. "It's still weird, you know? Like one day you're sitting around the bonfire hearing stories and the next you find out that they are more than just stories."
"Trust me, when Aiden and I phased for the first time at home, I was freaking out." She stayed quiet for a few minutes, looking like she wanted to say something but was afraid it would come out wrong. When the silence grew too much, I grabbed an almond and threw it at her. Her head snapped to look at me and I saw she was trying not to laugh.
"I was wondering, don't get offended or anything, but since you're a female wolf, does that mean imprinting doesn't apply to you?" I had to admit, I wasn't prepared for that kind of question. Ever since becoming a wolf, I never asked about what would happen if I were to imprint? I was supposed to be sterile, but my mother proved that wrong when she was pregnant with Aiden and I. She'd also never mentioned imprinting on someone else, which was strange for wolves. I didn't know if that meant female wolves couldn't imprint, or if it takes them longer than the average male wolf.
"Well," I started playing with the hem of my shirt. "My mom never imprinted on anyone, but she still married my dad. I don't know if we can imprint, but nothing has happened to me, and nothing has happened to her."
"But there's still a chance, for you I mean, right?"
"I guess there could be, but I'm not crazy about the whole imprinting thing." Just like my mom, is what my dad told me when I'd said that to him. I had nothing against imprinting, I was happy that Aiden had found his perfect match; I just didn't feel like I needed an imprint to be happy.
"Whatever happens, we'll find someone who can put up with you. " She grabbed my hand and tugged me off her bed. "I want ice-cream drizzled with chocolate sauce." I laughed at her ridiculous appetite and followed her out of the room. She was right, maybe I wouldn't find my mate through imprinting; maybe old fashioned luck would make up for that.
Aiden's POV (1 day later)
"…think he's waking up."
"What if it's another false alarm?"
"Shh, give him a minute." I could hear voices swirling around as I slowly regained consciousness. My eyes felt as if they weighed fifty pounds each. Light streamed in as I opened my eyes and blinked to clear my vision. The familiar scent of home gave me relief as I started to come back to my senses. The first thing I saw was a white ceiling, then dark brown eyes hovering above my face.
"M…mom?" My voice was rusty as I tried to get the word out. The last thing I remembered was being dragged down to that cell and smelling blood. I felt someone squeeze my hand and turned my head to see who it was. I could see my mother looking at me with a smile on her face. I tried to move so I could sit up, but felt a hand gently keeping me down.
"Relax, you just woke up, no one is going anywhere." I looked up at my dad and all the thoughts of our fight and how I was angry at him flooded back. While with the vampires, I thought about how I'd left angry at my dad, and even wondered if I was ever going to able to say sorry to him. The look he gave me though, it looked like he couldn't care less about everything I'd said to him.
"How are you feeling?"
"Tired…" I came to my senses enough to also feel something more important than getting some sleep. "Really, really hungry." Looking at each other, my parents laughed and my mom squeezed my hand.
"Yeah, we thought as much." I tried to sit up again, this time my mom helped and I felt the room sway a bit before my vision cleared. I'd witnessed nothing but darkness for the past few days and couldn't seem to get used to the lighting of my own room. My legs felt sore from both the beating the vampires had given me, and the lack of movement. I moved to stretch and felt my shoulder joints pop as I pushed my arms up.
"Are we still betting who he's more like?" My mom turned to my dad, sharing a joke they must have made while I was out.
"Well, the stretching was more like you. The yawning however, yeah, I guess that could be me." I looked at them as they spoke.
"What are you guys talking about?" I rubbed my eyes and felt the blood rushing again.
"Oh, you know parent stuff." My dad brushed off with a wave of his hand. "It's two in the afternoon, what do you want to eat?" I pushed the blankets off my legs and enjoyed the cool air. I looked up at him and waited a few seconds for him to understand. His face was blank until a thought came to mind and he smiled.
"Are you thinking what I'm thinking?" I asked.
"Depends, are you thinking of the one thing that brings joy to everyone?"
"Bacon." We said at the same time and laughed. I coughed a little and mom handed me a glass of water. My throat felt like sandpaper as I downed the glass. My dad left to go make me some food and I made an attempt to get out of bed. My mom grabbed my arms and stopped me from moving further. I looked at her, about to ask what she was doing when I saw her eyes. I'd never seen so much pain coming from her before.
"Even though we did defeat the vampires," She swallowed and sucked in a breath. "I want you to be careful about where you go to hang out." She squeezed my arms and looked at her hands. "I can't lose you again Aiden, I can't." I could hear the tears in her voice even if I couldn't see them in her eyes. Her grip loosened on me and I threw my arms around her. Despite how tired I felt, I held onto her as if my life depended on it. She returned the hug, holding onto me as if letting me go would get me killed.
"I'm not going anywhere mom, I promise. I love you." I rested my head on her shoulder.
She sniffled, trying to keep herself together. "I know, I love you too Aiden."
(The next day)
After my parents called in and explained that my absence was due to some viral infection, I had to go back to school. I sat in third period History counting down the minutes until I could leave. I had the class with Ava, who sat behind me, so it wasn't so bad. I was barely paying attention to what the teacher was trying to say and found myself daydreaming about what I wanted to do afterschool.
"Mr. Black!" I looked up to see Mr. Coles standing in front of my desk with a textbook.
"Yes, uh, sir?"
"Did you do the reading for last night?" He stood there expectantly. Kayla had come home and given me the homework I'd missed. I managed to finish the majority of it, but History slipped my mind as soon as Ava called.
"Why not?" The whole class was looking at me now. I hated it when teachers decided to single people out in front of the whole class. Weren't they ever students?
"Well, I was catching up on all my other missed work and wasn't up to reading last night. I was still a little down for the count." I bit the inside of my lip while he looked at me.
"You didn't finish the last two assignments either. You'll have to come see me after school today to catch up. Don't start slacking now Aiden, you still have a few more months to go." He walked back up to the front of the class and I ran my hand along the side of my face, letting my other arm drop to my side. I felt someone tickle my hand before grabbing onto it. Ava rubbed her thumb over my hand as Mr. Coles started to teach again.
Suddenly, I was starting to like History.
Ava had waited outside the classroom after school while Mr. Coles caught me up on my missed work. It wasn't that Mr. Coles was a bad teacher, it was nice of him to teach me after school, but I would have rather had a one on one talk about that. I packed up my books and joined Ava in the hall. She was already ready to leave, so we found the closest set of doors and started walking to the parking lot. Mom had let me use the motorcycle for school, so after Ava strapped on her helmet, we tore out of the parking lot.
The ride back home went by faster than I would have liked. Not used to being on the motorcycle as much I was, Ava had her arms wrapped around my waist the whole ride. We pulled into my driveway beside my dad's car.
"Did you want to see a movie tonight?" I asked when she handed me her helmet.
"Don't you have homework to do?" She smiled and pointed to my bag.
"Mr. Coles taught me the lesson, so I'm fine. Plus, the biology assignment isn't due for another week." I wrapped my arms around her waist and pulled her closer to me. "I do however have a project I should really get started on." I teased as her arms snaked around my neck.
"Oh yeah? What's the project?"
"This." I kissed her lightly. When we pulled away she had a little trouble looking directly at me. I laughed and brought her closer into a hug. "I'll drop off ours bag and we can head out." She nodded and I ran inside, closing the door and calling out that I was home. I dropped both of our bags by the door so they'd be easier to pick up later.
"Nice work by the way," My dad looking up from the breakfast bar and smiled at me. I gave him a look and he set down the paper he'd been reading. "I saw that whole kiss thing right now, and I say it was smooth." He went back to reading the paper.
"Hey dad?" He looked up again. We hadn't spoken a word about our fight, and it was bothering me. I walked until I stood in front of him. He put the paper down entirely and started to look like he was on the verge of concern. "About our fight when I told you about my imprint, I'm really sorry about what I said to you."
"Aiden, it's fine—"
"No." I interrupted him. "Dad, I know you had a tough choice to make when you chose mom. I shouldn't have gotten angry over it. If you hadn't made that decision, you might not have been here right now." I was surprised that I'd said that and, by the looks of it, so was he. We stayed quiet for a few minutes, mulling over what I'd said. Finally, he looked at me and spoke.
"Aiden, I forgave you the second you left the house. You don't have to worry about me being angry with you, because I'm not. I was worried as hell when you never came back, but I couldn't stay angry at you." I nodded and he opened up his arms. "Get over here." I walked into the hug and he gave me a few thumps on my back before pushing me back. "Now, you better get outside to Ava. It's still cold out there, and not all of us have high body temperatures to keep us warm." I laughed and went back outside. Ava was taking her hair out of its ponytail, the wind blowing it back away from her face. As I started walking down the small path that led to the driveway, my phone went off.
'You better bring me back some popcorn bro.'
'Don't worry sis, I'll grab an extra bag for you.' I texted back and smiled. For once in a long while, I felt like nothing could go wrong. I'd survived a vampire kidnapping, imprinted on one of the most beautiful girls in La Push, and made up with one of my closest friends. Afternoon sunlight streamed in between the clouds, making the snow sparkle. If it took all of that pain to get to my moment of happiness, I would do it again and again. Ava turned around and smiled as I walked toward her, putting her helmet back on.
"Ready to go?"
"Yeah." I started the bike and rode down the stretch of road a little slower. My path in life may not be set in stone, heck, maybe the imprint wasn't a part of the original plan; but I wouldn't trade it in for anything. As they say, the path is long and the journey's hard, well, I was fine with whatever life decided to throw at me. When the time came, I would be ready to deal with it.
THE LAST CHAPTER! It has been a very interesting three years working on this fanfiction. I would like to thank all of you readers out there who gave my story a chance. ALL of your reviews and favorites mean a lot to me as a writer. I'm glad so many of you enjoyed this story, and I'm sad to see it end. However, you'll still see me while I work to finish Into the Ocean. You've all been such amazing people throughout the story and I'm thankful to have gotten such support.