The Twilight Walker
Disclaimer: SM owns Twilight and Patricia Briggs owns the Mercy Thompson series.
AN: I deleted my story, Strike Up The Band, because I lost my motivation for it. In its place I added this one. I'm a big fan of Patricia Briggs' Mercy Thompson series, as well as its companion series, Alpha and Omega. This will be yet another femslash piece but I haven't decided who the love interest should be yet. I'm torn between Jesse or one of the Cullen girls. Any thoughts?
Ch. 1: Runaway
I had just stood there in shock for several minutes; my eyes glued in the direction Edward ran off in. Once that initial shock had worn off, I doubled over in pain and fell to the ground. There was a hole in my chest from where he'd torn out my heart. I hadn't even realized that I'd started sobbing until my eyes were swollen and throat was raw. All I wanted was for the pain to go away. It was that simple desire to be free of heartache that shut down my rational thought; I shed my clothes and ran.
It was late morning when I finally woke up, curled in the hollow of a tree. My belly was full and I could still taste the blood in my teeth; the remains of the rabbit I'd hunted for dinner were off to the left of my impromptu warren. My ears picked up the trickling of a nearby stream and my nose told me it was just north of my present location. I left my warren, shook out my fur then trotted toward the water. When I reached the stream, I cleaned off the remaining blood from my muzzle and thought about what I wanted to do.
I really didn't want to go back home to Charlie and deal with all the pain of living in Forks without Edward. It had been over a year since I'd last been on four paws and at the moment I changing back from my coyote form wasn't something I wanted to do. I heard passing cars in the distance so I trotted in the direction of the road.
The road turned out to be a highway and a nearby sign told me I was just outside Olympia. I could go up to Seattle to stay with my Grandpa for a while, but he'd call Charlie to come get me and that would put me back in Forks. I couldn't go back to Renee because she'd be pissed that I'd gotten involved with a vampire. In her mind, that was getting into bed with the Enemy, and admittedly she had a point.
Renee Old Coyote, formerly Swan now Dwyer, and I came from a family of Walkers. The White Man's generic name for any Native American shapeshifter; which was a corruption of Skin Walker, a Native witch that could take on animal shape by wearing a special tanned hide. Skin Walkers were evil to the extreme, bent on nothing less than spreading disease and death. Besides, those evil bastards were from the Southwestern tribes. Mom's family came from Montana.
When vampires and werewolves migrated to this country with the rest of the Anglos, they displaced all the indigenous mythical creatures. The vamps were particularly harsh when it came to dealing with the Walkers. They systematically hunted them down to the point of virtual extinction because they feared our magic; at most, only a few scattered families remain. Renee's brother, my Uncle Joe, was supposedly killed in a car accident. He'd been trapped behind the wheel and would've lived if he hadn't bled out from a neck wound. According to mom, there'd been vampire scent all over the car when it was found.
Renee learned later that Joe had knocked up some Rodeo chick. When the woman found a coyote pup in the baby crib, she called a great-uncle that happened to be a werewolf. He told her to send her daughter to be raised by the Marrok, the Alpha werewolf of all North American Alphas. My cousin currently lived in the Tri-Cities here in Washington. I'd always wanted to meet her, so after recalling an image of a state map in my head, I bolted in the direction of what I hoped was a new adventure, a new life but most importantly, safety.
It had taken me almost four days to reach the Tri-Cities, but that was mostly because I'd been reveling in my coyote self and hadn't wanted to rush. By now, Renee and Charlie were probably worried sick so I'd call them as soon as I reached my cousin's place. It was night by the time I'd reached my destination, not that that bothered me because as a coyote I'd excellent night vision. The only problem I had was the fact that tonight was the full moon and I was a stranger in a werewolf pack's territory.
If I was very lucky then I'd find my cousin's scent and track it to her place before the wolves ever found out I was in town. I decided to stick close to the river for the first part of my search. Fortunately, I found her scent right away; it was just mixed in with a heavy concentration of werewolf scents. That was as far as my luck held. My hackles started to rise and I sensed danger just before the oversized red wolf attempted to pounce on me.
I scampered back and was about to tear off in another direction when an even larger chocolate colored wolf smashed into the red one. The red wolf looked as though it were going to attack but quickly backed down. I started to panic, so I jumped toward the river. The chocolate wolf I knew far too well smacked me out of the air with a paw and then picked me up by ruff of my neck with his teeth. To further add to my embarrassment, he gave his head a quick shake. I whined pathetically as the wolf that was my grandfather, Angus Hopper – Charlie's biological father, started to trot off in the direction of Seattle.
His progress was halted when the remainder of the local pack surrounded us. As I hung limply from Grandpa's jaws, I noticed a coyote among the new arrivals. Like me, she was the same size as our wild kin which made her smaller than the assembled werewolves. She stood next to wolf that could only have been the Alpha, his mate if I guessed correctly. She nudged her mate then looked pointedly at me. The Alpha stepped forward and gave a low bark. Not wanting a fight, Grandpa dropped me then gave a huff in response.
The other coyote had walked up and started to smell me. She gave a startled yip when part of my scent registered as family. After that, the werewolves were quickly forgotten as the two of us happily yipped and played with each other. I saw a rabbit scamper along the scrub brush and I was about to chase after it when I felt a heavy paw press down upon my tail. I whined again when I found myself being carried in the chocolate wolf's jaws again. To add insult to injury, the werewolves all barked out laughter as Grandpa followed the others to a mansion not far away.
A teenaged girl with short blonde hair held open the back door as we got closer. Gramps dropped me and I quickly located the nearest bathroom. The girl put some clothes on the counter then closed the door behind her. With a soft huff of resignation, I turned human then jumped into the shower to clean five days worth of grime off my body. After I was squeaky clean, I got out and put on the standard issue spare clothes every wolf pack had laying around for emergencies; sweatpants, tee-shirt and a pair of flip-flops. I puttered around the bathroom as I attempted to delay facing the music but I couldn't be coward forever. I slapped my best Martyred expression on my face then went out to deal with the consequences of my most recent actions.
Adam Hauptman was the Alpha of the Columbia Basin Pack and I found myself sitting in the living room of his mansion surrounded by his wolves. I'd intruded on his territory which gave him every right to tear me to shreds. When Renee suggested that Bella might've headed to the Tri-Cities I should've called Adam to give him a head's up. Instead, I'd been too worried about my granddaughter's safety to give a rat's ass about protocol. If I'd just pushed myself a little harder then I would've found her before the other werewolf.
I'd gotten there in time to see Bella dodge his first attack but I wasn't about to let him get another, so I knocked him out of the way then cowed him into submission. If I'd have taken just a second to think then I would've felt the magic of the Mark of Safe Passage radiating off her. Such a Mark was some difficult Pack Magic that only a few Alphas could manage. When things had calmed down, I needed to ask her about it.
"What are you doing in my territory manhandling a strange Walker," Hauptman asked as his mate brought out a tray of drinks for everyone.
"Normally I'd tell you none of your business, but considering who your mate is, you have a right to know," I replied in as civil a tone as I could manage.
Adam nodded for me to continue while his mate, Mercy, gave me a contemplative look. It was obvious that her curiosity would've gotten the better of her if the rest of the pack wasn't around.
"The Walker in question is my granddaughter. Five days ago, she ran away from my son's home in Forks. I think it had something to do with a boy. Anyway, when she hadn't showed up in Seattle, I called her mother. Renee suggested that Bella might go to the Tri-Cities to look up her cousin. Worried about her safety, I ran straight here without calling first. For that, I apologize. As an Alpha myself, I know how upsetting it is when a strange wolf, let alone a strange Alpha, shows up unexpectedly," I explained and noticed Mercy became more interested when I mentioned the word cousin.
"You mentioned something about Bella having a cousin here," Mercy asked trying not to show how excited she'd gotten.
"Her mother's maiden name was Old Coyote. I believe she was your father, Joe Old Coyote's younger sister. Renee divorced Charlie when Bella was still a child and moved to Phoenix. My granddaughter moved back to Forks this past February. She wanted to give her mother some time alone with her new husband," I responded matter-of-factly.
The older Walker broke out into a joyous smile. Bella made her appearance after I'd finished speaking. All eyes in the room were on her and she fidgeted uncomfortably. The poor girl had never liked to be the center of attention. I caught Mercy's attention and motioned for her to wait for her questions. The teenager had some explaining to do first. The other woman nodded in understanding.
"Isabella Marie Swan, do you mind explaining exactly what happened and why you ran away. Do you know what you put your parents and me through for the past five days," I demanded and though my voice was gentle I let my Alpha mojo leak into it so the girl understood the gravity of what she'd done.
Bella inhaled deeply then hesitantly at first, then progressing to the point that she broke down, she told us everything that had happened since she moved to Forks. Everyone in the room listened in awed silence as she told us about her relationship with the vampire, Edward Cullen. We were shocked when she reached the part about the nomads hunting her and what happened in Phoenix over Spring Break. Finally, the room was full of a pack of pissed off werewolves, an upset Walker and another that was ready to kill as she explained how the fiend had taken her out into the woods then broke her heart.
It had taken us the better part of two hours before everyone was calmed down. My poor granddaughter was exhausted so Jesse, Adam's daughter, showed her to one of the guest rooms. Once the kids were gone, I called Charlie and Renee to let them know Bella was alright. I kept them on the phone so that they, Adam, Mercy and I could figure out what to do. After a lengthy discussion, it was resolved that Bella would stay in the Tri-Cities. She'd live Adam's under the watchful eye of the Alpha and Mercy. After she graduated, Bella could chose to stay or move somewhere else.
During the discussion, my Second, Tom Franklin, arrived in a taxi; he brought me a change of clothes and my wallet. He'd booked us a return flight to Seattle first thing in the morning, so I retired to another of the spare bedrooms for a few hours of shut eye. I'd be gone long before Bella woke up and I asked Adam to find out about the Mark that I felt from her. The last thing we talked about was the annual football game between my Emerald City Pack and his Columbia Basin one. We agreed on holding it on the third of January, this time the usual bet was upped to fifty thousand dollars. Whichever side won would donate a hundred thousand to a children's hospital in the winner's home city.
My mind reeled over the news that I actually had family that was just like me; an Aunt and younger cousin that could understand my point of view as well as give me some of the answers that I'd been looking for most of my life. I was excited that Bella was going to be staying with me and Adam. After everything she'd been through the past several months, the girl deserved a fresh start. I smiled because dawn would be a turning point for both her and me.