A/N This is my contribution to the Fanficaholics Ficawesome gift exchange (FAGE) dedicated to Kayla!
Title: Button and Bear
Written for: Kayla
Written by: Glee68
Summary/Prompt used: The couple meet as vampires.
The usual disclaimers apply. Although I would LOVE to lay claim to the characters (Emmett especially) they don't belong to me... I just get to pretend...
If you would like to see all the stories that are a part of this exchange visit
the facebook group: Fanficaholics Anon: Where Obsession Never Sleeps
or visit the C2 group
Erratic and accelerating, the heartbeat seemed to be drawing me to it. I was unsure why the pattern of this failing heart made me both excited and wary. Could it be the pungent aroma of dirty dog that was overwhelming the surrounding forest that was putting me on edge? I couldn't fathom the link between the struggling beat and the essence of stink, but neither could I seem to ignore its invitation.
Now I could hear a collection of louder stronger hearts mixed with the heaving panting of the larger predators, they appeared to be surrounding the smaller weakening beat.
I approached the copse in the undergrowth carefully, but there is nothing stealth about my large frame, even as a vampire. I kept sampling the air around me to try to determine what I was about to encounter, but I had not experienced this particular scent before. Although it did remind me of something from a time long ago, but that couldn't be happening again surely...
I detected the alluring scent of a female that wasn't quite human any longer and then the sound of pain filled the air. "Noooo, please, make it stop. I can't take anymore. Pleeeease!"
I raced to the source of the pleading and was shocked to find a petite brunette curled up in a ball on the forest floor, writhing in the last throes of "the Change". Her skin was already hardened with the look of chiselled marble but her heart was refusing to give in to the onslaught of the venom. The sound of several larger hearts seemed to move back into a protective circle around the woman. I stopped to survey the scene. If she was changing, then where was her maker? Was it safe to approach her? Why did I have the feeling my actions were being judged?
Ahhh to heck with it! I have always been an act first, regret later type of guy! I ran quickly to her, kneeled and pulled her tiny frame up onto my lap so that I could examine and try to soothe her. From the frantic pace of her heart it wouldn't be long before she woke up.
"Hey little button, you'll be fine, now sshhhh. It'll all be ok in a little while," I crooned gently, stroking the dark brown curls across her brow revealing her face. She was quite cute and dainty like a little button. I heard a low growl just out of my line of vision to my left. Okaaay... can't let down my guard just yet.
"It's ok Button, doesn't matter what's out there, you're safe with me." I reassured her. The growling ceased abruptly. As did the heartbeat of the one I was holding.
A gasping breath and then she stiffened as her eyes flew open. I expected the iridescent red colour, but not the depth of fear and pain that shone from those eyes. I was surprised by the overwhelming need I had to comfort and protect this young one. "Hey Button," I tried again to soothe her, "It's ok, I know you've just had a tough few days, but you're fine now. Nothing will ever hurt you again. Not as long as I'm around."
She looked up at me with fear etched on her face; I continued slowly stroking her hair and soothing her. "You'll be fine in a few minutes Button; it takes a little while for the shock to wear off. I'll explain everything when you're a little more with the program. First, all you need to know is my name is Emmett, and second, you are safe now. Can you tell me what your name is and how you came to be here?"
Her eyes grew even bigger and more fearful, if that was possible, as she slowly shook her head.
We were both startled by a deep voice as a tall brown skinned man stepped into through the undergrowth. "Her name is Bella!"
I instinctively bared my teeth in a snarl as Bella seemed to press herself even closer, trembling into my chest. Instantly the woods around us seemed to fill with at least half dozen monstrous wolves. Oh Boy! Act first, regret later...
"Emmett, I am Sam and you have nothing to fear from us, unless you start something. We are here because of the girl. Would you like me to tell you about her?" the deep voice continued above the low growling of his canine companions.
"Well, it would appear I don't have a whole lot of choice, but as I want to know how this little Button ended up out here surrounded by wolves... Yeah... Please, go on!" I replied.
"You are only getting the story as you appear to be one of the 'Golden-Eyes' of our legends. Are you one of the animal drinkers? Are there others of your clan nearby?" Sam asked.
"Yeah, I don't do humans but no, I'm it! I left the Cullen coven a little while ago due to personal reasons." I replied a little testily.
"Bella is a friend of our tribe. She was on her way to visit one of our own when she was attacked," Sam's explanation was interrupted by a pained howl from one of the wolves behind him, he shot a brief stern look at his companion and continued. "When we found the scent of the 'cold-one' we pursued him. Unfortunately for Bella, he liked to play before feeding, and she was beaten quite badly before we arrived." The trembling against my chest intensified, I held her more closely and securely as I tried to quash the uneasy feeling in my gut. "We attempted to rescue her from him, but he bit her several times before we were able reach her. He has been dealt with!" There was a chorus of barks and growls accompanying the last statement.
"So you allowed her to undergo the change? Why, when we are your natural enemy?" I blurted out, unable to contain my curiosity.
"None of us could kill her without cause." Sam stated, looking sadly at the one in my arms, "She was a beautiful person, we hoped she might not follow her 'natural instincts' and would therefore still be a friend of our tribe." He paused, appraising me. "Would you be willing to train her in your ways and keep her from being a danger to our people?"
"Hell Yeah! I'd be more than happy to raise her up right!" I eagerly agreed. I would love to have some company, this lone nomad thing was no fun at all, especially when you're used to having family to play with.
"Be aware, you will be watched! And we think the demon that did this had a mate, so be on the lookout for her too." Sam warned as he started backing into the undergrowth. His companions departed after him, momentarily leaving the large russet coloured wolf. He whimpered softly at Bella before turning and racing into the forest after his pack.
I pulled Bella off my lap and stood her up next to me, "Well Button, it seems like you're stuck with me! How about we get you fed and then we can figure out where we go from there."
She simply nodded sadly and put her tiny little hand in mine, gesturing for me to lead on.
As I began leading her quickly through the towering trees, I felt her begin to relax. She was looking all around her in wonder as she adapted to running at my pace.
"The speed thing is pretty cool huh!" I called to her. She gave me a shy smile in reply.
I could detect the scent of a herd of deer not too far from us, so I stopped our run and turned to face her. "Ok Button. Now comes the fun part! Let's see if we can tame that burn in your throat. Follow me!"
As I have said, stealth is not my strong suit, but I can absolutely run down a deer. I charged off toward the scent, checking that my new companion was still with me. I watched excitedly as she fixed her eyes on the large buck and began her own pursuit. Dang, that shoulda worked! So close. I had already bagged two doe and dragged one over to where she was standing looking forlorn.
"Ah, don't worry about it Button. Didn't expect ya to get it right first time! Here have one of mine." I said shoving the neck of the doe into her hands.
She looked at me as if I had just spoken Chinese and raised her eyebrow sceptically.
"Seriously, bite it... It's good! Well... it's not grizzly, but you can't have everything on your first hunt!"
She again shot me a dubious look before sinking her teeth into the hide covering the deer's jugular. As she began swallowing, her eyes rolled back and she made a sound of contentment.
"Yeah... told you... that's the goods right there!" I chuckled, draining my own kill. She glanced up at me and grinned. Wow, no wonder the wolves liked her, that smile could light up a stadium!
We continued our hunt through the afternoon, Bella finally bagging an elk by herself. I was pretty damn proud of her. She still hadn't uttered a word to me but she was obviously more relaxed and almost seemed to be enjoying the experience. I ran up behind her, grabbing her waist to fling her over my shoulder when she instinctively pivoted and tripped me. Damn, the girl's got moves.
"Oh... Is that how you want to be?" I chortled, picking myself off the ground and stalking her. She looked momentarily panicked, but then realising I was playing let out a peal of excited laughter. God that sounds beautiful!
She charged me growling playfully, this time I managed to grab her waist and flung her into the greenery. Oops, forgot my own strength... that was a bit harder than I intended. There was a loud squelching sound followed by a very indignant huff. I peered through the foliage to find Bella pulling herself up out of a muddy bog, her face and hair covered in sticky mud and leaf litter with a totally disgruntled look on her face. Oh crap!
"EMM-ETT!" she shouted! Damn, the first time she speaks as a vampire and it's to cuss me out!
"Oh God Bella! I am sooooo sorry! Please forgive me, I didn't mean to mess you up... I'll help you clean up, I promise." I exclaimed, trying to put her to rights and schlep some of the mud off, while keeping her at arm's length. Rose would knock me into next week if I had gotten mud in her hair!
"Don't be silly Emmett, its only dirt. It'll wash off. Now come here!" she smirked.
I approached with trepidation knowing with her newborn strength she could actually inflict some pain. When I got within range she grabbed two handfuls of glob and lobbed them at me before running, squealing in the opposite direction. It took me a moment to realise what she was doing. None of the females I had ever encountered before would ever get down and dirty. I chased after her, only to be ambushed again by another blob of goop which caught me on my left cheek. Girl is going down!
Despite the advantages of her newborn strength, it wasn't long before I had captured her tiny form and proceeded to unceremoniously dump her in the closest creek. She protested loudly, giggling and squealing and threatening retribution. I couldn't resist jumping in beside her and engaging in a rigorous splashing war. I couldn't remember the last time I had had such carefree fun. Surely it must have been with the guys, but even then, they mostly took themselves too seriously to really let loose.
Eventually we had to call an end to our tom-foolery, so I hauled her out of the stream and clambered up on the bank beside her, just as it started to rain. "Betcha glad you don't feel the cold anymore, huh!" I chortled, poking her in the ribs.
"Why is that Emmett? I don't really understand what has happened and why was Sam with all those huge wolves?" her lovely face crumpled in pain, "All I remember is my truck breaking down and this really attractive looking guy taking me into the woods and then ..." she closed her eyes and leaned into me for comfort, "there was pain. So much pain."
"Button, do you not know what you are now?" I asked, tightening my arms around her and holding her close to my chest. D'oh Emmett, of course she doesn't. She didn't know vampires existed when she was attacked, and she probably didn't know her friends morph into giant wolves either!
"I know I'm stronger and faster than I was before and I actually enjoyed drinking deer blood, but what does that all mean?" she asked peering up at me through her long lashes.
"Oh my sweet little Button, you're a vampire now, like me." I exclaimed, feeling her body go rigid with shock. I proceeded to explain to her how the change occurred that had made her immortal and invulnerable, letting her know she had choices in her diet and lifestyle. "And your Quileute friends are all shape-shifting werewolves... ain't that a kick?" I concluded.
She had remained perfectly still during my explanation, watching me with morbid fascination. "Holy Crow! You mean to tell me I was hanging out with a bunch of dogs!" she finally exclaimed. "Jake is a Michael J Fox wannabe?"
"Bella, Button? You've just found out that you're a mythical creature and you're worried your friend is a throwback from a bad 80's movie?" I was incredulous.
"Well to be honest Emmett, I think it might take me more than a little while to absorb and adjust to the news that I'm now a Bela Lugosi groupie... Bella Lugosi... I crack myself up!" She broke up laughing, but sobered up again... newborn scatty emotions...great! Where's Jasper when you need him!
"I would much rather think about the trivial side issues for a while... Are you going to help me find my way home soon?" she looked up at me, her crimson eyes pleading. Mmm apparently she's a bit slow or I may not have explained things all that well!
"Button, you can't go home, not now. You're not human anymore and people will notice that... not to mention they would probably not appreciate you trying to rip their throats out!" I declared in my less than subtle way.
"But, what about Charlie? And school and the gang at La Push? Can't I see anyone again?" she began sobbing, I had to make it stop. I would do anything to make it stop. It shocked me to see her so sad and it made my dead heart hurt.
"Shhh, sweet thing. I know it's really rugged news right now, but you get to keep me as your friend." I patted her back and rocked her from side to side.
"Um, E-E-Em?" she stuttered, "too rough to soothe dude!"
I looked down to see her grimacing; if she was capable she would probably be looking a little green. "Oh sorry Button... not used to this gentle crap!"
"It's cool, at least we both know I'm not gonna break!" she replied, "So, what do we do now? If I can't go home, what do we do for clothes and where do we sleep?" Yup! My explanations suck!
"Oh! That's the BEST bit... we don't sleep!" I jumped up, pulling her with me.
"What? No sleep, like ever?" she looked shocked again.
"Nope. Lots of time for anything and everything... Now come with me, I might have a solution to the clothes thing."