Pen name: Beans827
Characters: Bella and the Pack
Disclaimer: Stephenie Meyer owns all that is Twilight and I would never disrespect that. I'm just throwing the Pack a party!
To see the rest of the entries in this contest, please visit the FML C2: http://www . fanfiction . net/community/FML_Contest_Fics/77195/ (remove spaces for link to work)
I'd like to dedicate my very first solo fic to Suzanne…my twin from Down Under. She is the one who finally told me to put my big girl panties on and write. So, I did and here I am. Thanks, BB! You Da Bomb!
Beep…Beep…Beep. That's all I could hear. An incessant beeping that would not go away by itself. As the noise grew louder, I figured maybe I could turn it off myself, if I could only open my eyes and find it.
I pulled myself from my foggy dream. The same one that I have practically every night. The one in which I am lying in a picturesque meadow with a certain sparkling vampire leaning over me telling me how much he loves me. Even in my groggy state, I know it's nothing but a dream. My beautiful vampire no longer exists. At least, not in my world he doesn't.
Beep…Beep…Beep. It's still there so I force my eyes open to find the source. And then it hits me. Once again, I've woken up in a hospital room attached to all sorts of machines with no knowledge of how or why I'm there.
I tried to focus my eyes and look around the sterile white room but the pain in my head made it almost impossible to move it and the bright fluorescent lights caused me to squint. Out of the corner of my eye, I saw someone sitting in a chair staring up at a tiny TV perched on a shelf high in the corner of the room. I could see enough of the TV to know that it was broadcasting a baseball game which would mean that the person in the chair was probably Charlie.
"Dad?" I called out, even though my voice was scratchy and dry.
At the sound of my voice, Charlie whipped around in his chair and looked at me. His shoulders relax from their tense hold and he let out a whoosh of air from his puffed out cheeks.
"Bells, thank God, you're awake!" He got out of his chair and pulled it closer to the bed. After settling back down, he grabbed my hand between his two large ones. "I'm so glad you're awake. You gave me quite a scare there, Bells!"
"What happened? How did I get here? The last thing I remember was being at Jake's house for the party."
"Yeah, we were all at the party having a great time until you decided to try to keep up with that pack of wild animals." With that, my eyes dashed over to search his face. Did he truly know about the wolves? After seeing his mouth was curved up on the corners disappearing into his wide mustache, I realized he was apparently just talking about the boys being boys. "You got hurt playing touch football. Don't you remember? What were you thinking trying to play any type of physical game with a bunch of guys that have at least 200 pounds on you?" He rolled his eyes at that but I could still tell he was highly amused.
"Football? What the heck…" I muttered and then groaned as the memories came rushing back to me.
The surprise party…at Jake's…the pack convincing me to play with them. "Ugh…it's all coming back to me now." I remembered as I reached up to touch the bump that had formed on the back of my head. Yeah, what the heck was I thinking?
It had all started about three weeks ago while I was over at Emily's house hanging around waiting for Jacob and Sam to get done with their patrol. The pack still maintained routine patrols around La Push and Forks even though there hadn't been a sighting of any type of vampire, vegetarian or otherwise, in well over a year.
It was the middle of summer and I had been home for a few weeks from the University of Washington where I had just finished my sophomore year studying English Literature. We had been having a fun time all summer long, hanging around Emily's house, and just kind of kicking back with all the boys of the pack and their significant others.
The dynamics of the pack had certainly changed over the course of the last two years. Although none of them were technically aging, it did seem like some of them at least were maturing. Granted, they would never lose their wild sense of adventure when they were hanging out together. In that area, yeah, they were all still teenage boys. But after what we had all gone through in dealing with the threat of first Laurent and then, finally, Victoria and her army of new born vampires, the pack had settled in and were used to doing their job of protecting the citizens of La Push and by default, nearby Forks.
One of the most significant changes that had happened over the past year was that several of the wolf pack had imprinted, a phenomenon that had to be explained to me when I asked Emily why Quil, one of Jacob's best friends, was following around her little three year old niece, Claire, like a puppy dog. She first explained to me how Sam had imprinted on her and how that had created the rift between her and her cousin, Leah, who was in love with Sam at the time that he imprinted. She went on to tell me that one of the purposes of imprinting was to ensure that the shape shifting gene stayed within the Quileute tribe and produced offspring that would carry on the tradition of protecting the tribe from vampires.
That's when I had to stop her and ask her again why Quil would have imprinted on a child since the idea of them together in that way was horrifying. She assured me that it wasn't like that. Since Quil was not aging but Claire was growing up at the normal rate of a typical human child, Quil would simply wait for her until she was old enough to accept his attentions.
Of course, this prompted me to ask her what would happen if Claire didn't like Quil in that way and she agreed that that was totally possible but that the true point of imprinting was to bind two souls that are perfect for one another together for all time, so it was not likely that Claire would not grow to love Quil since they were perfect for one another.
It wasn't long after our conversation regarding Quil that I found out that Paul had imprinted on Rachel, one of Jacob's older twin sisters. Rachel, like me, had gone to the University of Washington but had graduated early and had come back to La Push to teach at the reservation's elementary school. Apparently, his affections were very welcome and plans for their fall wedding were in the process of being finalized. And finally, Jared had imprinted on Kim, a girl from his class at La Push High. She was a nice girl, rather quiet and a little intimidated when all the boys were around and started their roughhousing. But she was nice enough and enjoyed helping Emily in trying to keep hot food on the table when they all came back from patrolling the surrounding areas.
Emily's house had become like "Pack Headquarters." To a large extent, it made sense since Sam was the Alpha of the pack and the pack usually met there to discuss their findings on patrol or to strategize in case of another vampire attack. But in reality, it was just a fun place to hang out. Emily was the perfect hostess. Always smiling and happy to have people around, she turned out to be one of the nicest people I had ever met. She enjoys being the 'mother hen,' so to speak, for the wild group of boys that hangs around almost constantly and she makes all of their girlfriends feel especially welcome, including me.
I had grown very comfortable hanging out with Emily. She was very easy to talk to, and in a way, it was like she had become my therapist in the months following the new born attack, since she was, in fact, one of the few people on the face of the planet who knew not only about werewolves but about vampires too. It was because of this that I felt like I could open up to her and talk to her about how much I missed not only Edward, but all the Cullens. Although she had only known about them from what Sam and the pack had told her, I was able to give her better insight into them as a family. She listened intently whenever I spoke about them and never openly faulted me for my feelings for any of them. She knew that, although I had very deep feelings for Jacob, they were not quite as intense and deeply rooted as those that I had had for Edward. She would simply make comments now and again that Jake was lucky to have me or that it was so obvious how much Jake loved me. I think it was her way of telling me to let go of my feelings for Edward since he had obviously not felt the same.
So, it was not a surprise when, a few weeks back, she brought up the fact that Jake's birthday was coming up and she thought it would be nice if I threw him a surprise party. She even offered to let me use her house for the party since practically everything went on there anyway.
"I don't know, Emily," I hemmed. "I know that I certainly wouldn't want anyone throwing me a surprise party. I hate them. Something bad always happens and more often than not, it happens to me!" I could tell that my lip was curled up in disdain at the mere thought of a surprise birthday party. Of course, I couldn't help the memories of another party that was given with such good intentions, but ended so badly, that came flooding back to me unbidden.
As if Emily could read my mind, she said, "As if we didn't know that! I think it is written in the stars somewhere that whosoever tries to throw a surprise party for Miss Isabella Marie Swan will suffer the most painful and long lasting death on record. No one is willing to take that chance!" My eyes widened, my back stiffened and my breath came out of my body all at once. I felt tears immediately fill my eyes and I quickly ducked my head and let my hair fall in my face, so that Emily wouldn't see my hurt. Although I had shared certain things with her about the Cullens, I had never really divulged why they had left so suddenly. I knew that she was not trying to be hurtful, but I couldn't help the pain that constricted my chest and the sadness that threatened to take over my heart.
However, once I looked up and saw the merry twinkle in Emily's eyes as she set the coffee she had poured for me on the table in front of me, I shook off my mood and tried to move past the comment. She bent her knee and sat down on the opposite chair with her leg tucked up underneath her as she took a deep swallow from her mug.
"I just think it would be fun. A great excuse for a party. You know the boys have been so busy running patrols while trying to keep up with their school work and stuff. They need a reason to just have fun. Let their hair down so to speak!"
"They all cut their hair off, remember?" I snickered at my little jibe which helped to lighten my mood. Emily had made it known that she was not fond of Sam's short hair. She preferred the long locks of most of the men of the tribe but long hair just didn't work for those who phased into wolf forms.
She huffed at my joke which made her bangs fly up in the air, as she cradled the warm coffee mug in her long, delicate fingers. "Ha ha, Swan! Very funny. But you know what I'm saying. Jacob's turning eighteen. It's a big deal. A VERY big deal to a Quileute. He's becoming a man. He needs to have his friends and family around him to celebrate such an important event."
"Uh, well, have you forgotten something there, Emily? Jacob is not really aging? He's not really turning 18 in the physical sense." I tried to use reason in an attempt to get her to axe the surprise party idea but I knew that I wasn't having much success.
"Just because he's not physically aging doesn't mean that he doesn't want to experience his important milestones. He'll be legally 18 in the eyes of the government. He'll be able to vote. It's an important time to any man. He should have a party to celebrate it. And I think he would love the fact that YOU are the one who threw it for him, especially knowing how much you would hate having one yourself."
My shoulders slumped and I laid my head down on my forearms on the table in abject defeat. She had me there. How could I argue with that logic? Not to mention that I still harbored more than a little guilt about the fact that all these wonderful people had put not only their own lives, but also their loved ones' lives, on the line to protect me from Victoria. I did owe it to not only Jacob but to the entire tribe to put on one heck of a surprise party.
With that, I raised my head and squared my shoulders in determination. "You're right, Emily. I do need to do this. It's a great idea, but I'm totally going to need your help with planning it because I have absolutely no skills in this area."
"Of course, Bella. I'm not saying you have to do it all on your own. We'll all help. All the females, that is. Well, except for Leah, of course. We can't let her know either." Emily said this as if she was pondering something deep, her index finger tapping on her lips as she stared off into space.
"Emily, you know, if you try to include Leah more…maybe she would lighten up and not hold such a grudge against you…or Sam?" I hesitated towards the end of my statement and made it sound more like a question. I realized probably too late that I may have stepped on Emily's toes by bringing up the situation between her, Sam and Leah. "I'm sorry. I shouldn't have said anything," I quietly mumbled, almost under my breath, but apparently loud enough that Emily heard it.
"It's okay, Bella. I'm not trying to not include Leah. Things between Leah and I are getting better. No, the only reason we can't tell Leah is that we can't tell any of the wolves. If we do, once they phase, Jake will know about the party. So we have to keep this just between us spouses…I mean girls…um, significant others? Oh, you know what I mean." I could tell she was blushing across her beautiful bronze skin when she slipped up and called me and the other girls' spouses.
"Oh, right. Yeah, that makes total sense." I muttered as I could feel my face turning pink as well.
So that was how Emily and I started planning the surprise party of the year. We enlisted the help of Rachel who was thrilled with the idea of commemorating her little brother's big 1-8 with a party. She was in charge of trying to get her sister Rebecca, who lived in Hawaii to come home for the festivities as well as inviting people within the tribe that Jacob was friends with. Kim, Jared's girlfriend, wanted something behind the scenes to work on so we delegated decorations to her which pleased her immensely. We decided not to do a specific theme but rather just asked her to make things look festive and colorful.
That left Emily and I with the food preparations which also worked well since that was about the only thing that I was actually pretty good at. We had decided the menu and knew that there would need to be lots of food there. Not only were there going to be 50 or so members of the tribe present and a few of my friends from Forks High who were home for the summer, but there were going to be 10 of the biggest appetites in the Pacific Northwest present and we needed to be totally prepared.
"Bella, I'm going to go tell the nurse at the nurse's station that you're awake. I'm sure the doctor will want to know." Charlie pulled me back from the thick fog that I had been floating in trying to remember all the details that had landed me in the hospital in first place.
As he pulled open the door, Angela was pushing on it. She practically fell into the room but Charlie reached out and grabbed her by the shoulders to make sure she didn't fall.
"Whoa there, Angela. We don't need anymore accident victims around here." Charlie snickered as he sidestepped her and motioned for her to come in.
"Bella…thank God, you're awake," she smiled as she stepped into the room.
"I'll be right back. Angela, you keep an eye on Bella for me, would you?"
"Sure, Chief. Not a problem"
"Hey, Angela. What's up?"
"What's up? Nothing with me, girl. You're the one lying in a hospital bed. Geez, Bella…your ability to get injured is almost uncanny."
I shook my head and chuckled. "Yeah, I really should have been named Grace. But, you know, it's not like I didn't already know that something like this was going to happen. I practically called Emily on it when she rooked me into throwing the damned party in the first place."
Angela laughed as she placed her purse at the foot of my bed and pulled the chair around so she could be facing me without either of us having to twist our bodies. "Yeah, well, are you sure you didn't bet against yourself with a bookie or something? It sounds like you practically set the whole thing up on purpose by actually volunteering to play football with those brutes. You're definitely not known for your athletic prowess."
"They told me that they were going to take it easy on me. Jake swore and crossed his heart and everything. I can't help it if I hit a brick wall." Again, I just shook my head at my absolute stupidity in actually agreeing to play with the pack. Even though it was supposedly only touch football, apparently when you run into a 200 pound piece of Quileute warrior at full speed, it's not the warrior who's going to go down and if there happens to be a rock laying there, Bella Swan's head is going to be the one to hit it.
"Well, luckily, it's nothing serious. The doctor told Charlie he thought it was just a concussion. You've only been here for like 2 hours or so."
"That's good to know. Where is Jake and everyone else? Did they all stay at the party figuring this was just normal Bella behavior? Nothing worth worrying about?" Again, I chuckled at the irony that since I had had so many visits to the hospital for injuries, I was probably being considered the girl that cried 'wolf.' Gee, I crack myself up sometimes.
"Well, no…" Angela said rather hesitatingly. "Once the paramedics got there and they had carted you off in the ambulance, things got a little tense for some reason and the party pretty much broke up."
"Tense? Why did things get tense? Did Jake freak out at Paul because I ran into him? I hope they didn't start a fight over that? It was my fault. How could I not see that freight train in my way?"
"No, it definitely wasn't that. Yeah, Jake was freaked out for sure that you were hurt, but things didn't get tense until after the paramedics were there and then they left. All the rez boys started looking at Jacob like he had two heads or something and Emily came out and just told everyone to pretty much leave; that the party was over." I looked at Angela and was surprised that she wasn't looking at me. She was staring around the room as if she was trying to avoid me reading her face.
"Ang, what's the matter? Did something happen at the party that you're not telling me?"
Just as she opened her mouth to say something, the door was pushed open and a man in a white lab coat stepped in. I assumed he was the doctor and I was proven correct when he held out his hand and offered it to me.
"Isabella, I'm Doctor Grendi. It's nice to meet you. Glad to see you're awake and rather alert. Do you mind if we have a few private moments so that I can check you over?"
"I was just leaving, Doctor. Bella, you take care and please give me a call when you get home, okay? If you need anything, I'll be happy to bring it to you."
"Thanks, Ang. You're the best." I was touched by her offer since she was one of the few people that had befriended me immediately when I moved to Forks during my junior year of high school and who I had stayed in touch with through emails and face book while we were both away at college.
~ 0 ~
Once the doctor had checked all my vitals, told me they were going to run a cat scan just to make sure that it was only a concussion and that they would be keeping me overnight for observation, I lay back in the bed and tried to get comfortable.
Of course, I hated hospitals but had spent too much time in them to not know the routine. I knew that I would get very little sleep since my night would consist of nurses coming in almost hourly to check on me and make sure that I hadn't slipped into a coma or something equally as catastrophic. I knew that the food was going to suck but that if I begged Charlie, I could get him to go grab me something a little more satisfying through a drive-through restaurant nearby. And I also knew that Dr. Grendi was no Dr. Cullen and so I was not likely to get any special treatment regardless of the fact that my dad was the Chief of Police. It was going to be a long, long night.
I settled back on the bed and pressed the buttons on the bedrail that changed the channels of the TV. There were three different baseball games on and not much else. I huffed out a breath and was trying to adjust the angle of the mattress with the other buttons on the bedrail when the door pushed open again.
This time it was Emily. I was a little surprised to see her here. I was expecting Jake to show up at some point to see if I was alright and since the party had ended so abruptly, there was no reason why he wasn't here waiting to see me.
"Hey, Emily!" I said as cheerfully as I could, given the circumstances. "You can't say that I didn't warn you! Something bad always happens to me at surprise birthday parties." I chuckled hoping to lighten her somber mood. She looked rather upset and I was worried that she was thinking I blamed her for my misfortune. I definitely knew that wasn't the case. I was pretty much a misfortune magnet and that was by no means her fault.
"Bella, how are you feeling? Does your head hurt?" She was speaking very tentatively and wouldn't look directly at me. Again, I wanted to reassure her that I had no ill feelings towards her for suggesting the party. Up until the time I got hurt, it was going really well and it seemed like everyone was having fun.
"Emily, puhleeese…this is a normal occurrence in the life of Bella Swan. They ought to have a hospital bed with my name plate attached at the foot. I'm fine, really. Just a bit of a headache and a rather good sized goose egg, but I'm fine. Really." Again, I tried to get her to look at me but she turned her head and looked around the room.
"At least you're in a private room. That's good news, right?" She moved around the chair that was still by my bed where Angela had left it and she sat down while still holding her body stiff. She finally looked at me and I could tell that her eyes were a little red and puffy as if she had been crying.
"Emily? What's the matter? Have you been crying?" I had to know. She was usually so happy and full of life. The look on her face was scaring me. "The pack didn't get into a fight because of this, did they? I would hate to think that my clumsiness would get them mad at each other."
She shook her head from side to side and said "No, no…they didn't fight. Paul really, really feels bad though. He thought for sure that you had seen him and he tried to jump out of the way so that you wouldn't run into him. He wanted to come up here himself and apologize, but I thought it would be better for him to wait until after you're released and are at home resting. You don't need all that drama going on here right now." With that last sentence, her voice cracked and she lowered her head to look at her fingers as they fidgeted with the hem of her shirt.
"So, if it's not the pack than what is it? I can see clearly that you're upset and I have to assume that it has something to do with me. Why else would you be here? By the way, where's Jake? Do you know where he is? Why hasn't he come to see me?" I knew her head was probably spinning with all the questions I was throwing at her but I figured my head was still kind of spinning as well so what did it matter. I was really starting to panic by the way she was acting and I needed her to assure me that everything was okay.
"Bella, Jake wanted to come here and see you. He wanted to make sure you were okay, but we thought it might be better if I came to see you first; before you talked to him. He needs to tell you something and it's going to be upsetting and we all talked it over and thought it might be best if I came and talked to you first." She kept her head down and now she was wringing her hands together in an effort to not look up at me.
"Upsetting? You ALL were talking about this? Who is 'you all' and what is it that is going to upset me?" I couldn't help the quiver in my voice. She looked so sad and I could tell that she did NOT want to be the one to tell me whatever it was that she had to tell me. Immediately my mind jumped to the idea that I must have a brain tumor and they found it as a result of the accident and that I only had a few months to live. But then I realized that would probably have come from the doctor who had been here earlier. It would not be something they "all" would have discussed and sent Emily in here to tell me. So, I was left clueless.
"What is it Emily? What's happened?"
She looked up at me and gave me a brief smile as she took both my hands into hers and she started, "Bella, when the paramedics showed up at the house and they were working so hard on stopping the bleeding…" she paused and squeezed my hands and she closed her eyes as if trying to gain the strength to continue. "Well, there were two of them. One was a guy. His name was Toby or something like that."
"Toby? What does this guy have to do with me?" I couldn't begin to understand where she was going with this, but at the same time I couldn't stop from asking her questions either.
"Well, actually, Toby's not important. It was the other paramedic…her name is Suzanne. In fact, she's a cousin of Brady's but she's a little older than he is. She's been a paramedic for almost four years now. She's really bright and fun to be around and…"
Again, I couldn't fathom what she was talking about. Why would I care about this Suzanne and if she was a fun person or not? I could tell I was losing patience because I couldn't even form a coherent sentence. I was waiting for Emily to continue but she just stopped speaking and let it hang there.
"And?" I prompted.
"And well, apparently she is…" again she paused, drew in a deep breath and finally spoke the words that I was suspended there waiting to hear "…Jacob's soul mate. He imprinted on her while she was there helping you." The last part came out of her in such a rush, I wasn't sure if I actually heard her correctly. But when I looked up into her eyes, I knew. I had heard her correctly. Suzanne was Jacob's Soul Mate.
It was absolutely silent in the room except for the Beep…Beep…Beep…Beep…Beep of the monitor which was going a little faster than the beeps I had awoken to not long ago.
"So, you're telling me that while I lay there unconscious, bleeding from a hole in my head caused by one of the pack, my boyfriend was imprinting on the paramedic who was there to save me?"
"Yeah, that's right." She nodded as her lips pursed together. "That's what happened. But Bella, you have to understand. This is not something that Jake could control. He had no idea when or where this could happen or even if it would happen. So, it's not something that he planned or could have avoided. It's divine intervention, Bella. It's fate or destiny or whatever you want to call it, but please don't hold it against Jacob. He still loves you. He still wants you to be in his life. He will just now need to make room for both of you, somehow…"
Again, her voice drifted off, but this time I could tell that she didn't know what else to say. I just sat there in stunned silence for a moment while trying to absorb what she had just told me.
"Both of us?" I finally whispered as I shook my head negatively. I cleared my throat and tried to regain some of my composure. "But, Emily, when you told me about imprinting, you said that the point of imprinting was to bind two souls that are perfect for one another together for all time. That means that if Jake imprinted on this girl, Sarah or Suzie or whatever the hell her name is, then that means she's perfect for him. And that obviously means that since he never imprinted on me, that I'm not. Isn't that what this means?"
I could tell by the look on Emily's face that that was exactly what it meant. I was not good enough for Jacob either.
"But, Bella, just think…there's a possibility that she won't even like him. She may not want anything to do with him past Saturday. Just give it some time and see how things go. Okay?" Emily was nodding her head trying to get me to agree to ride things out.
"Saturday? What's happening on Saturday?" I raised my eyebrow waiting for an explanation.
"Spit it out, Emily. What the hell is going on this Saturday?"
"Well, ummm....they kind of have a date?" She said this as if she were asking me rather then telling me what was happening.
"A date? Do you mean to tell me that as I'm laying on a gurney about to be transported to the hospital; my boyfriend was asking the paramedic out on a date?"
Again, she nodded her head but this time she had the decency to look as sick as I felt.
"Okay, Emily. Do you mind just giving me some time to think about this? This is a lot to digest and I am going to need some time to figure this out. I know I need to talk to Jake but it's going to have to wait until I get home. I just need some time right now."
"Yes, Bella, I understand. But, please, call me if you want to talk? I want to be there for you, Bella. Truly, okay?"
"Yeah sure, Emily. Thanks. I'll call you once I'm home," and with that she left me alone.
Alone…once again, I was left alone. I leaned my head back against the pillow and threw my arm up over my eyes. I didn't feel like crying. I had my last cry when Edward left. I had nothing left at this point; I could only feel the empty numbness descending upon me once again. Talk about fate, destiny, or whatever you want to call it: I had lost my vampire due to a damned paper cut and now I had lost my werewolf to a fucking bump on the head.
Today, I was dumped at the surprise party I threw for my boyfriend. FML