A/N Ok, this is the first time I have written an imprint story, and I hope you enjoy it! It is an AU story, so there are a couple of minor changes to the story. Charlie lives in La Push, and Bella grew up with him and Renee there until she was eleven.
Bella has never met the Cullens, although they will play a part in this story (but it isn't and Edward/Bella story!) Also, Charlie is a Quileute and he knows about the shape shifters. With that said, on with the story!
I stared out of the window, watching the runway slowly coming up to meet the plane, felt the jerk as we hit the tarmac and waited without interest for the plane to come to a stop. I was the last person to get off, I just sat and waited until the heaving mass of people had left and then I slowly rose and got my carry-on bag from the overhead locker. I wandered down the aisle, ignoring the annoyed stares from the crew. They wanted to leave, and I was keeping them here.
I got through security and didn't stop at the luggage carousel. I only had the one piece of hand luggage. I hadn't had time to pack anything else, I had just wanted to get out of the house. I walked through the sliding doors and stood waiting for a taxi. I had to wait for ages, with many taxis driving straight past me. I guess I did look awful. I hadn't looked in a mirror in such a long time. I didn't want to see the bruises marring my pale skin, or the dead look that I new was permanently embedded in my eyes. I just wanted to disappear, to forget it all.
Eventually a taxi did stop, and I asked the driver to take me to La Push, my voice croaky and hoarse from lack of use. Well, lack of use for talking. I had done more than my fair share of screaming recently. I didn't say anything else, just sat and stared out of the window as the scenery raced by. I didn't really see anything.
When we arrived at the edge of La Push, the driver turned to me and asked where about in La Push I wanted to go. I said right here was fine. Walking would give me a chance to think of a story to tell Charlie and Sue, a lie that would stop them from worrying. I paid the taxi driver, tipping him heavily. I couldn't be bothered to wait for change. He drove off, shaking his head when he glanced back at me. I hadn't moved.
I suddenly realised that I wasn't ready, I wasn't ready to face people, to smile and pretend that everything was alright. I needed more time to be on my own. I left my suitcase just lying on the sidewalk and headed back the way I had come. I followed the road for a while, refusing to think, just watching my feet take one step after another. I soon got bored of the road, and I started to think about why I was here. Why I had left phoenix, left my mother and Phil. I stopped right there, veering off into the forest. I didn't like the direction my thoughts were taking. It was dangerous.
The trees were beginning to close in around me, and I kept imagining that they were trying to grab me, trying to stop me from carrying on deeper into the forest. I got more and more terrified as the light began to fade. I couldn't tell if it was because the trees were getting closer or if it was the sun setting. Either way, I felt the terror begin to build within me and I picked up my pace, striding forward at a fast walk, breaking into a jog and finally I found myself sprinting flat out, desperate to escape from the trees. Or maybe I was just trying to escape from everything, the memories, the pain.
I ran for what felt like hours, and eventually I tripped. I guess it was pretty much guaranteed. I was surprised I had got this far without falling actually. I tried to push myself back up onto my feet, but I just didn't have the strength or the will power to make myself rise from the forest floor. I collapsed onto my side and curled up into a ball. Tears began to well up in my eyes, and before long they were streaming down my face as I sobbed and gasped, trying to get enough air into my lungs. My tears were soaking me, my clothes, my hair, my face.
Or maybe it was raining. I was definitely wet and cold. Just my luck. I laughed at that. As if I had any luck. My laughter soon turned hysterical, and it mixed with my gut-wrenching sobs, my tears now indistinguishable from the rain. Maybe I would get so cold and tired that I would die. Death would be a welcome relief, the only way I could truly escape the pain. I denied it all the time, lied to myself, told myself that there was no pain. But every night, when I lay down to sleep, the memories would flood my mind, creating the terrible nightmares. I wasn't ok, I didn't know if I ever would be. How could I possibly heal, how could I possibly forget? I slowly felt the darkness of unconsciousness closing in on me, and I welcomed it with open arms.
Cold, wet, and exhausted, I opened my eyes to find that I was still on the forest floor. I smiled, I really had left phoenix. I heard a strange clacking noise, and it took me a moment to realise it was my teeth knocking together uncontrollably. I curled up tighter, trying to find warmth. I was so cold. My very core felt like it was frozen into ice, my lungs were too cold to take in air properly. My heart was also frozen, but it had been like that for longer than I could remember.
I new I would die. There was no way I could survive. I was lost deep in the woods, and no one even new that I was here. Everyone in Phoenix thought I was at home whilst my mum and Phil went on another honeymoon, and everyone in La Push had either forgotten me or thought I was with my mother. There was no one to look for me, no one to find me. I was dying. Strangely, I felt slightly upset at this. Poor Charlie, poor Renee. How would they cope when they couldn't find their only daughter? I tried to think of other people that would miss me.
I had no friends in Phoenix, he had made sure of that. All of my childhood friends here in La Push had probably forgotten me. I thought of my old best friend, Jacob Black. Would he be sad when he found out I was missing? Would he even know who Bella was? I fell back into unconsciousness with that thought.
I was out patrolling with Jake, Embry, Jared and Paul. The leeches had moved back into forks, and even though they had told us that the treaty was still intact, I had stepped up the patrols just to be on the safe side. Paul and I branched off from Jake and Embry. Jake, Embry, you go back to La Push, and patrol around there. Paul, come with me to check the forest.
They obeyed me instantly, and I ran into the trees, with Paul on my left flank. Suddenly, I froze, mid-stride. What was that scent? It was sweet, like strawberries and honey mixed together. Not a leech, definitely human, a girl. But what was a girl doing so deep in the forest? I sniffed the air again, and I growled when I picked up the faint scent of blood. She was hurt. Jake, Embry, come here. There is a girl somewhere nearby. I think she hurt. I can smell blood.
Paul and I raced off in the direction the smell was coming from, both of our thoughts confused. It wasn't someone local, I would have recognised their scent if it was. Someone from Forks maybe? But what would they be doing here? The scent was getting stronger, and Jake and Embry were now running along with me. I stopped when I could here her faint breathing nearby and phased back into a human, pulling on my shorts quickly. The others followed my lead.
"I didn't want to scare her" I murmured as an explanation. They all nodded. Carefully, I approached the girl, pushing through the thick undergrowth. I saw her there, lying curled up in a ball, blood oozing from a gash in her leg.
"Paul, head back to La Push. Go to Charlie and Sue's place. Tell them I am bringing a girl we found in the forest. Get Doctor Collin to be there waiting for us. The rest of you, stay with me." I instructed and Paul ran off into the forest stripping his shorts off and phasing as he went. I carefully approached the girl, not wanting to scare her. I got closer and she wasn't moving, except for her ragged, uneven breathing. Jake and Embry carefully followed me.
I crouched down beside her, reaching out a hand and gently shook her. I got no response, so I carefully unrolled her from her curled up position and lay her on her back. Her lips were pale and blue, her skin so white, as if there was no blood in her body. She was freezing cold, and soaked through by the rain. Her eyes were closed, and she didn't wake up when I shook her gently. Jake was carefully rolling up the leg of her jeans, uncovering the wound in her leg. It looked quite bad, deep and swollen, full of dirt from the forest floor. It looked like it was infected. I cursed silently, and ripped a strip from the bottom of her shirt to wrap around the gash to try and stop it from bleeding.
I carefully slipped a hand under her knees and behind her shoulders, effortlessly lifting her into my arms and I took off at a jog, hugging her against my chest to try and warm her up. Jake and Embry ran along beside me.
"Do you think she will be ok? She looks terrible!" Embry murmured, and I answered him without turning or slowing down.
"I don't know. It doesn't look good. She must have been out there for hours. We just need to get her home."
"She looks familiar, as if I know her. I obviously don't, the only girls I know are on the reservation, and she definitely isn't from around here. But she really does look familiar." Jake said with a puzzled look as he studied her lifeless face.
I didn't reply, I just kept running. We were near to the reservation now, and I told Jake and Embry to go on ahead to tell the others I was nearly there. They sprinted off at full speed. I didn't want to jolt her, so I kept jogging at a slower pace until I arrived at Charlie's place. Sue was standing outside with Doctor Collin, both of them alarmed my the sight of the girl hanging limply in my arms.
"Get her inside and lay her down on the couch. Sue, get some blankets and maybe a mug of something warm. We need to wake her up and get her body temperature back up to normal. Hurry!" Doctor Collin slipped into his professional role and led the way through to the living room. Jake, Embry, Jared, Seth Quil and Leah were all crowded into the living room and they all parted to let me through to lay her down on the couch. Charlie came racing down the stairs, his arms full with blankets. He ran over to the couch and froze.
The pile of blankets fell to the floor, his gaze locked onto the girls face. "Bella" he whispered. Jake leapt to the sofa, growling.
"I knew that I knew her! What happened to her? She looks so different, so tiny." he said, staring at Bella like Charlie was.
Charlie shook his head and dropped to his knees, taking her hand in his, his face filled with pain, mumbling her name again and again.
"Do you know this girl?" I asked, confused.
"She is my daughter" he whispered and pandemonium broke out in the room.
"Go into the kitchen! Give her some room!" I used my power as the alpha to clear the room, except for Jake, Doctor Collin, Charlie and Sue, who walked in with a steaming mug of hot chocolate. Doctor Collin pulled Charlie out of the way and began to unbutton Bella's shirt.
"What are you doing?!" Charlie yelled, and I grabbed him to stop him from lunging at Collin.
"Her clothes are soaking, she will never warm up if she keeps them on.
"I don't want you stripping my daughter!" Charlie yelled at him.
"I will get her out of her clothes. She can wear some of mine." Sue said quietly, and we all nodded in agreement as we left the room. In the kitchen, everyone was talking in whispers.
"Is it really Bella Swan? She doesn't look like how I remembered her. She is so small and pale." Quil asked me. I remembered that he, Embry and Jake used to be close friends with her. They talked about her sometimes, although the rest of the pack hadn't actually met her. She had left with her mother six years ago, and hadn't been heard from since. Charlie talked about her frequently, but she never contacted him. I wasn't sure of the details, but I know that it broke his heart when his wife left with his eleven-year-old daughter.
He was happy now, married to Sue Clearwater. He had been there for her when her husband, Harry, died of a heart attack a couple of years ago. Charlie was now Seth and Leah's step dad.
I realised that everyone was watching me, waiting for my answer to Quil's question. "Yes, it is Bella Swan. I can't say if she is different, most of us never knew her when she lived here. I don't know why she was in the forest, but we should probably leave now. Give her some peace." I said, and everyone started to file out of the door except for Embry, Quil and Jake. I nodded at them and we all pulled out seats and waited tensely around the table.
"Where did Paul go? I didn't see him" I asked, worried. Paul was the kind of person who liked to be in the thick of things, and I had expected to find him here with the rest of the pack.
"He is upstairs, clearing out a room for her to rest in. Sue told him to stop hanging around like a lost puppy and make himself useful." Quil replied. Despite the gravity of the situation, Jake and Embry smiled slightly at this. Listening carefully, I could hear him upstairs. I could also hear Bella's frantic heartbeat, its irregular rhythm worried me.
"You can come back in now, Collin." I heard Sue's voice call out and we all walked into the room. I heard footsteps on the stairs and Paul walked into the room. He glanced around the room before letting his eyes rest upon Bella. As soon as he looked at her, her eyes blinked open and made contact with his, her chocolate brown eyes fastened onto his, and a look of shock and wonder passed over both of their faces.
"Shit!" I swore, why did this have to happen, and why did it have to happen now? Why did Paul have to bloody well imprint?!?
A/N Ok, so I hoped you enjoyed it! I really would appreciate it if you took the time to tell me what you thought of it! The story line is not set in stone, so I am open to any suggestions you might have. Relwot xxx