As soon as Nessie and Bella came outside with my babies in their arms, I forgot everything around me — the fire Joham was burning in, his daughter's screaming, the dark look in Nahuel's eyes as he tore up his father's carcass, even Embry's pain — and raced towards them, shifting to human form as I went. Nessie smiled as I approached and gracefully relinquished my daughter as I grabbed her from the hybrid's arms. Then Jake was there, his own muscular arms encircling our son, and for a moment, as I took in their delightful human scent and heard the strong, healthy rhythm of their hearts, everything was completely right in my world.
And then I noticed my twins were absolutely still.
"What's wrong with them?" I demanded in a low voice, a panicked scream trying to force its way up my throat. "Why aren't they awake? Why aren't they crying?" When nobody said anything, I raised my head to look at Nessie and her mother and growled, "Answer me!"
"We don't know," replied Alice, who had come out of the house followed by her over-protective and still obvious tense husband, and Edward. "They were just like this when we found them. But Leah," she added when she saw my hands tighten around Tala and my breathing speed up, "it's going to be okay. We have them. They're safe with you, and we're going to get to Carlisle, and he'll figure something out, and he'll fix your babies. Okay?"
"In fact, it might be Embry who needs the most help right now," Edward interjected, coming across — to me, the only one who counted — as rude, though I knew they were both right. Embry was in pain, the vamp venom Joham had injected into him burning like a river of fire in his veins. So I nodded, looked at Jake, who was mimicking my head motion, and stared down loving at my children. Then I turned around, ready to be there for Embry, just in time to hear Joham's daughter — the brown-haired one, whom I had fought earlier — let out a blood-curdling screech and launch herself at Nahuel, who barely managed to push Nessie (who must have slipped away to see her mate when Alice was assuring us) out of the way before his sister tackled him to the ground.
The siblings tumbled about in the dirt, the girl hurling obscenities at Nahuel, in English and (what I assumed to be) Portuguese. She hit him with her fists and scratched him with her nails, but Nahuel did little more than put his arms up in a half-hearted attempt to protect himself. Feeling oddly protective of the hybrid all of a sudden, I handed Tala to her father and started to rush forward, just as Nessie, a murderous look in her eyes, did the same. But a hand on my shoulder, Edward's, stopped me, just as Nessie was halted by the other girl hybrid, the green-eyed one. Confused, we both stopped. I expected Edward to explain but it was the green-eyed girl who said,
"Serena doesn't mean to kill him. She's just upset. Nahuel knows that; he doesn't want us involved." Her words were proven true when, after a giving her brother some more abuse, Serena let out another screech and then rolled off Nahuel, curled into a ball, and continued to sob. All of a sudden I saw the situation as she did: she had been going about her life, content, and then enemies showed up and her father was dead and it was all because her brother led them to her door. I remembered my own sorrow at my father's death, and Serena's present actions didn't seem too terrible. But, she was still a killer, and she had still been a threat to my children — might still be, actually — and there was only so much sympathy I could give her.
Embry moaned, then, and immediately I turned my attention back to my Pack brother. He was still in wolf form, lying on his side, panting. Quil and Seth, also in wolf form, laid beside him. Jake and I rushed over, as did Edward, Bella, and Nessie.
"I wish Carlisle had come with us," Bella murmured as she placed her hand on Embry's shoulder wound.
"Would it be wise to let it be and just go straight home?" Nessie asked, addressing her father. Edward cocked his head, considering, then shook it.
"I think the best way to help would be acting now, but we don't have any equipment," he said, sighing. "I suppose...one of us will have to –"
"Suck it out," a voice from behind said. We all turned to see Joham's third daughter, standing by the curled fetal position that was Serena, staring at us.
"Don't tell them anything!" Serena moaned, and I noticed the girl's eye twitch, and she moved away a couple steps, but didn't heed her sister's command, continuing,
"Suck the poison out. Have your daughter do it; her bite should pose no problems with more venom getting into his bloodstream."
"Can you do that? Will it work?" Jake demanded, concern very evident in his voice.
"Well, I've done it before," Edward answered. "And it was helpful. Nessie," he said turning toward his daughter, who was alert at once, "do you think you can handle it?"
"Yes," she answered immediately, and hovering over Embry's shoulder, with all of us wolves watching her every move, she placed her lips over the wound and sucked. The sound she made was disturbing, and it went against all of my instincts to let her continue, occasionally lifting her head to spit out the poisoned blood. Embry, who at this time had been bucking nearly uncontrollably and howling, finally calmed, and then went as still as the babes in my and Jake's arms. I panicked for a moment, before I realized he was still breathing; he was just asleep. I let out a sigh of relief as Quil and Seth wagged their tails weakly, happy but still worried.
"Is he gonna be okay?" Jacob asked, looking at his former imprint. The hybrid wiped her mouth on her sleeve, Embry's blood bright and red against the paleness of her skin, and nodded, though she looked unsure.
"As okay as he can be here," she answered. "But Grandpa should be able to fix him when we get him home." Jake nodded, accepting, then turned to look at Joham's daughters; Serena was still on the ground, though she had stopped crying; the one who had spoken to us about the venom was crouching down next to her, a hand on the other girl's shoulder; the last one, the green-eyed hybrid, was talking quietly with Nahuel, pointedly looking away from the dying fire which made up her father's funeral pyre.
"Now, what are we going to do about them?" Jacob asked, eyes narrowing in their direction.
Nahuel looked up and held my mate's gaze. "Nothing," he answered Jacob, stepping forward. "To Jennifer, at least." The green-eyed girl blushed. "She has asked to go stay with my Aunt Huilen for a while."
"And the other two?" Jasper questioned, motioning towards Nahuel's last two sisters. Nahuel bit his lip, looking unsure, when one of the girls, the only one whose name I didn't know, said,
"I am not opposed to joining your aunt for a time, Nahuel, if she will have me." Nahuel looked at his sister and cocked his head.
"Are you sure, Maysun?" he asked. She nodded.
"Yes." She then looked down at their sister. "I can also make sure Serena comes, for however long she is welcome." Nahuel nodded slowly, considering, then turned to the rest of us.
"Is that satisfactory to the rest of you?" he asked. Seth growled, deep and menacing, and Jake and I exchanged dubious looks. That didn't seem good enough for what they had done. Then again, it had mostly been Joham, and they'd been brainwashed their entire lives; maybe going to live with Huilen would be better for them, even though Nahuel's aunt was still a human-drinker.
"We'll let them go for now," I said, glancing at Jake to see if he agreed. He looked skeptical, but nodded for me to continue. "But if they come back to harass us, or even just set foot in our territory, or yours uninvited, we won't show mercy. Understood?" Nahuel nodded, resigned, and his sisters, minus Serena, quickly agreed to my terms. Maysun kicked her sister, who snarled at her, but also eventually gave her own agreement.
Alice clapped her hands. "Alright," she said, tone authoritative, "let's get going. We have one injured adult wolf and two possibly injured baby wolves-"
"They're not wolves yet," I protested, but the pixie ignored me,
"-and our resident doctor is not here! So come on!"
"I will stay here a while," Nahuel responded, "just until I can get my sisters to my aunt's." Alice looked surprised, and Nessie looked downright devastated.
"You're not going to come back with us?" the hybrid asked her mate. His eyes softened and he took her hands in his, bringing them to his lips.
"Just for now," he promised. "I'll be back before you and Pire even know it. I just have to take care of them, you understand?"
"I do," Nessie replied glumly. Then she gave him a kiss on the cheek and stepped back. "Be safe, okay?"
"As you wish," he replied.
"Come on, Doc, can't you go a little faster?" I demanded, anxiously glancing between my best friend on the operating table and my two children still unconscious in Leah's arms.
Carlisle sighed, exasperated with me. "Jake, I've done this before," he explained patiently. "Remember, when you took that hit for Leah, all those years ago, and I helped you?"
"Yeah, and you took samples of my DNA," I replied grouchily. But he was right; Embry was in good hands. Quil had gone back to La Push, to tell Sam and his Pack what had happened, and to be near Claire; Seth had gone with him to assure his mom and my dad we were all fine. Leah and I couldn't bring the twins, though, until the doc checked them out. Not knowing what was wrong with them was driving me crazy.
"Alright," Carlisle said, checking something on one of the multiple machines he had attached to Embry. "His breathing and heart rate is stable; there really wasn't much for me to so. It was smart of you to have Nessie suck the poison out, especially since her saliva isn't venomous."
"So, what, he just needs rest?" Leah asked, shifting Harry so she was more comfortable. Carlisle nodded.
"Basically, yes," he answered. "And really, this shouldn't surprise anyone, since we know how much you wolves like to sleep." I sighed in relief. Yes, if all Embry needed was to sleep, he'd be fine and back to normal in no time.
"Okay, then take a look at the kids," Leah demanded. Carlisle nodded seriously, and extended his arms to take the babies.
"WAHHH!" I jumped at the noise, startled. And then I started laughing uncontrollably because they woke up. My babies were awake! Harry flung his little fists in the air and waved them back and forth, and Tala flailed around, making it hard for Leah to hold on to her, especially as she, too, was laughing in relief. Carlisle looked shocked himself, but very soon a smile spread across his face.
"Well, looks like they decided to wake up for us," he commented. "But just to make sure everything's fine, let's still have a look-see here." Leah handed overboth our squirming children, who, to our worry and sadness, cried even louder when they were in the vampire's arms. I wanted to take them away from the cold, stone-like limbs the doctor possesed, and would have, too, if I didn't know Carlisle Cullen had only the purest intentions towards my children.
About an hour later, Carlisle looked over at us and smiled, Tala and Harry, while still fidgety, having ceased their crying.
"They appear to be fit and healthy as any babies their age can be," the vampire assured us. I let out a whoop, and Leah clapped her hands; we would definitely have to tell the others the good news soon. I turned to my mate, scooped her up, and then spun her around, to her laughing indignation. Finally. Finally, after all the battles and worry and uncertainty, everything was finally 100%, absolutely right with my world.
A.N – Okay, I'm pretty sure I only have one chapter left of this, though I do have an idea for a sequel planned, and I also have a couple companion one-shots written out. Speaking of that: should I just make totally new stories for the oneshots, or I should I combine them all into one little binder-story? I have one that goes along with the previous chapter, and one set in/possibly just before the sequel. Please let me know what you think, thank-you.