Beta: MissEllen- I adore you!
CH.47 A Thin Line
Sue Clearwater's Pov
I knew something was going on. Sam had shown up last night with Billy in tow. Old Quil had arrived just after them. Harry led them all to basement where they would sometimes discuss tribal issues out of earshot from everyone else. They'd been down there all night.
I needed to get going so I headed down the stairs and rapped on the door, "Harry, I'm heading to the diner, do you need anything before I go?" I asked.
"No, Honey, I'll see you later," he yelled through the door not bothering to open it.
I climbed the stairs and walked through the house. Looking toward the sky, I noticed it it looked like the ever present rain would hold off for the day, so I decided to walk to the diner instead of drive.
As I walked my mind wandered to Leah. My poor girl had been through the ringer. I still didn't understand how Harry could welcome Sam Uley into our home after what he'd done to our daughter. Everytime I saw him, I wanted to bash him in the head with my iron skillet. Shaking my head of the dark thoughts, I tried to focus instead on the nice day it appeared we were going to have. Small Blessings, I reminded myself, arriving at the diner.
After unlocking the door, I found my way to the back, and fired up the grill and turned on the fryers. I restocked all the condiments and swept the floor again for good measure. Once the opening routine was finished I made myself a cup of coffee and waited for the small staff to arrive. Right on time, Julia, one of only three waitresses we kept on schedule, greeted me with a smile as did Barb, who often rode in with Julia. Barb was the only other woman allowed to touch my grill.
"Did you hear?" Julia asked me.
Julia was a junior at the high school and thought it her duty to keep me informed of all the high school gossip. Laughing, "No, honey, tell me the latest happenings at La Push High."
"You know Embry Call, right?" She asked, though we both knew I did. It was nearly impossible to not know everyone on the reservation. His name caught my attention though. I knew his mom Kay pretty well and I knew she'd been having trouble with him for the last few months. She'd been worried sick over that boy.
"Well you know he was dating that white girl from Forks, the Chief's daughter. You know the Chief who is friends with Chief Black."
"Yes, honey I know both Charlie and Bella Swan. I've known Charlie for more than twenty years."
"Well my mom and Katie's mom are good friends... you know Katie, right?' She stopped her story and asked.
I couldn't help but laugh. It took Julia forever to get to the point. She rattled on and on until I barely remembered what she was talking about to begin with. Nodding, "Yes, I know Katie, too."
"Anyway our moms are good friends, and Katie's mom came over early this morning. She was pretty upset. She told my mom that that Bella girl got into a wreck yesterday. I guess it was pretty bad." Julia informed me. Before I could form a thought, she continued."But that's not all," she lowered her voice. "That girl, Bella, was pregnant and Katie's mom told my mom that the baby died and it was Embry Call's baby."
I was sure my face reflected my horror. "Spirits! Julia are you sure?" I asked.
"Yeah, I mean Katie and that girl, Bella, are really close friends. Katie's mom seemed pretty upset about it. I guess she knows Bella, too." Julia told me.
I immediately rushed to the kitchen, "Barb can you handle things today? I need to leave." I told her, knowing I needed to get to Harry and Billy. We should be at the hospital for Charlie.
"Of course,'' she answered guessing something was wrong.
I quickly untied my apron and left through the back door. I flipped my cell phone open and dialed Kay's number. When she didn't answer, I dialed Linda Ateara's phone. I knew they were thick as thieves. If what Julia told me was true, Linda would no doubt be with Kay. When neither women answered, I picked up my pace, regretting my decision earlier to walk instead of drive.
I was out of breath when I finally reached my house. Once inside I took a minute to get my breathing under control. When I didn't see or hear anyone upstairs, I knew Harry was either still in the basement or he'd left. Quickly descending the stairs I was just about to knock on the door when I heard raised voices. Unsure of what to do, I stopped, but what I heard next chilled me to the bone.
"We must figure out how to handle Embry. He will be out for blood, and if Charlie learns the truth, he will bring hell upon us," Old Quil thundered.
"We now have four wolves separated from the pack. I don't know how my order was broken, but Embry, Quil, Jared and Paul are all at the hospital." Sam yelled. "I cannot go against four of them and you better believe that's what it will come to." Sam growled.
Pack, wolves, orders... Dear Spirits, the legends. Were they real?
"Sam, you must bring them back to the reservation and bind them in stronger Alpha commands. You know the consequences." Billy's voice echoed on the concrete walls of the basement.
I didn't understand what I was hearing, but I knew enough to tell me these men, including my husband, had their hands in something they shouldn't.
Instead of knocking, I flung the door open. "What the hell is going on?" I demanded.
They each looked to me and the shame on Harry's face told me, my instincts were right. "What have you done?" I asked.
"Sue..." Harry stood, taking a step toward me. I backed up, holding my hands in the air to stop him from coming closer. "What have you done?" I asked again, looking from my husband to the others.
With an audible sigh, Billy looked to me. "How much did you hear?"
"Enough to know the legends are real and not just stories," I stated. "And that somehow you are involved in Bella's accident, which is what I came home to tell you about. I thought as Charlie's closest friends you would want to be there for him, clearly I was wrong." I hissed seeing the guilt in their faces.
"Sue, everything we've done has been for the tribe," my husband whispered.
"What did you do, Harry?"
"Sit down," Old Quil ordered me. As much as I wanted to slap the wrinkles from his face, I followed his command, knowing it was the only way I would get answers.
I sat listening as they attempted to explain away their actions. I knew they were holding back pieces of the story, as Harry wouldn't meet my eyes.
"Let me see if I have this right," I shook with the amount of anger I felt. "You ordered Embry Call to break up with his girlfriend because Jake was jealous." I uttered in disbelief. How could grown men yield to the wants of a child?
"No, Sue. It was more than that. The fighting between Embry and Jacob was going to lead to the pack being unable to protect the tribe. We did what we had to to ensure the pack could function and keep our people safe." My husband recited.
"Fools! You are all fools." I hissed.
"Sue," Billy started.
"No. Wouldn't it have been just as productive to order Jacob to pull his head out of his ass? You forget that it was my diner your son stalked into and started a fight." I yelled, standing from my seat. "I also know he was the one to start the fight at school; and how about the incident in the market?" I couldn't remember ever being this angry.
"Do you have any idea what you have done?" I screamed. "Bella and Embry, their baby is dead and all for what, because a sixteen year old boy was jealous." I looked at each of them in the eyes. I had never been so disgusted in my life. I felt sick.
After holding each of them with my eyes, I settled on Harry. "I'm going to the hospital to offer support to our friend. I want you out of my house. All of you!" I spun on my heel and left the four of them where they sat.
I knew there was more to the story. What they had explained just didn't make sense. The pieces simply did not add up. Pushing the unknown out of my mind for now, I retrieved my keys and purse and headed outside. Dialing first Kay's and then Linda's phone again, I started the car, shifted into drive and headed toward the Call's hoping they would be home.
Waking up hadn't been difficult. I had never truly fallen asleep. My mind replayed the information I'd learned until it was nothing more than a blur in my mind's eye, and my heart ached so painfully that sleep had never come. Quil and Paul had explained everything they could to us and then they left to find Embry and tell him about the vampire after Bella. The sounds that came from the forest made me glad I hadn't witnessed his reaction. When all three of them finally walked inside, they each looked like they had been to war. Pushing past the thoughts that were trying to consume me, I pulled myself from my bed, trying to remember how long ago it had been since I'd truly felt rested. Too long to remember.
As soon as I opened my bedroom door, the smell of coffee greeted me. I was thankful for whomever had made it. As the kitchen came into view so did Linda. She was standing at the counter. Looking up at me she offered me a small smile, "Coffee is ready, breakfast will be finished soon."
From the moment I'd met Linda, she'd been my best friend. We'd raised our boys side by side and I knew she would be by my side through this, too. I'd never been so grateful for her presence as I was in this moment. "Thank you." I mouthed as I found the coffee pot and poured myself a cup.
"I called Shelly," Linda informed me. I immediately felt horrible. I had forgotten about my sister. Of course she should know what was going on. Seeing the panic I was feeling, Linda grabbed my hand and squeezed it, "Don't. There is no reason to feel bad. Everything happened too fast for you to call her. She understands that." Kay's voice was low and soothing. "She's on her way and should be here early evening, now go sit down, I have everything under control." Linda instructed me as she poured the bowl of beaten eggs into the hot pan.
I followed her orders and sat down feeling a hundred years old. I sat staring at nothing, my mind wandering in too many directions at one time. It was only the opening of the door that brought me back to present time. Quil walked in with Paul while Charlie brought up the rear, each of them carrying several shopping bags.
"This should be enough," Quil told Linda, kissing her cheek.
Charlie stood in the middle of the kitchen looking like he didn't know what to do. I knew that feeling. "Chief, get some coffee and I'll have breakfast ready in a few minutes," Linda took over. Nodding, he did as he was told.
Charlie and I both sat at the table sipping coffee, neither of us had a clue what came next. I wasn't sure either of us could think that far ahead.
Embry emerged from upstairs looking worse than I'd ever seen him. Paul moved to the bottom of the staircase. "I checked in with Jared fifteen minutes ago. There's been no scents." Paul brought Embry up to date.
Quil and Paul shared a look and followed Em to the table, each taking a seat much like last night. "Em, there's something else," Quil began.
My heart started beating faster. How much more could there be?
"We haven't heard from Sam or Jake. By now they must know that we're not on our usual patrol shift. Not to mention Jared's been patrolling the area around the hospital all night."
I wasn't sure how the pack worked so what Quil said didn't make a lot of sense to me, but by the way Embry clenched his jaw and nodded, I guessed he knew exactly what Quil's words meant.
"Chief, have you heard from Billy or Harry?" Quil turned his attention to Charlie.
"No, I haven't." Charlie confirmed and his face seemed to suddenly pick up on where Quil's question led. "I called and left a message on Billy's phone before Jared and Paul got to the hospital. He hasn't called." Charlie informed the table.
"What does all this mean?" Linda asked walking from the kitchen to stand beside Quil.
"It means the motherfuckers are together trying to figure out how to spin this so that it doesn't come back on them," Paul hissed, slamming his fist down onto the table.
"Have you heard from the hospital?" Embry asked, looking at Charlie. His voice still sounded like he had sandpaper in his throat.
Shaking his head, "I called and spoke to Dr. Gerandy when I got up this morning. Bella is still sedated."
I doubted very much Charlie had gotten any sleep. In fact, looking around I didn't think any of us had.
Breakfast was a silent affair. Once we had eaten, Linda and I did the dishes and then I headed back to my bedroom to get dressed. When I emerged twenty minutes later, everyone was ready to go.
Linda pulled into the parking lot of Forks General. Linda and I got out and met Charlie at his police cruiser, two parking spaces from where we had parked. I felt like I'd swallowed a bird and it was pecking at my insides.
Once inside we took up our deserted seats from last night and waited. I thought the waiting was the worst part. I felt so helpless. Quil and Embry entered just moments later. I knew they had stopped to speak with Jared before coming inside. Quil walked over and sat by Charlie and began whispering just loud enough to allow Linda and myself to hear. "Paul has taken over for Jared. Jared's going to go home, get cleaned up, and drive Kim and Katie here. I'll take over patrol tonight."
Charlie looked at Quil with respect, "Thank you."
We'd been sitting in silence for nearly an hour when Renee and her husband Phil walked in. Renee looked distraught. I imagined I looked the same way.
Taking a seat next to Charlie, she turned toward him, "Has there been any news?"
"No, we're still waiting. I talked to Dr. Gerandy this morning around seven and Bella was still sedated." He passed on the same information he'd told us earlier.
The morning passed with few updates. Just more of the same. Finally, just after noon, Dr. Gerandy walked out and sat in the middle of our group.
"We're going to bring Bella out of sedation." he began, causing my heart to speed up.
Bella's mind might not be aware that her baby was gone, but I had no doubt her heart did. I can't imagine how she or Embry feel. It hurts so much knowing my son's child is gone, but trying to imagine how I would have felt if Embry… I couldn't... just the thought alone was too much to bear.
Standing, "I'll come get you as soon as she's conscience and alert." With that the doctor disappeared through the doors.
Chancing a glance at my son, my heart broke even more. His eyes were closed but it didn't hide the tears that were slowly sliding down his face. His hands were balled into fists at his side and I could see his chest rise and fall with each breath he took.
I had to look away.
Linda and Quil left for the cafeteria after offering to get coffee for everyone.
Jared arrived, looking exhausted, with Kim and Katie. Both girls looked like they'd been up all night crying. Their eyes were red and puffy. Once they were seated, Linda and Quil returned taking the same seats they'd deserted earlier. It was only a few moments later when a woman who appeared to be slightly older than myself arrived with the young man Linda and I had spoken to at the Outfitter's.
I saw him stumble in his steps when he spotted Embry. It was only when the woman put her hand on his back gently pushing that he continued his path toward Charlie.
"Chief Swan," he called getting Charlie's attention.
"Mike," Charlie greeted and then looked passed him, "Mrs. Newton."
"How is she?" Mike asked. "Is she going to be okay?" I could hear in his voice that he was genuinely concerned.
Charlie swallowed audibly, "She's injured pretty bad," he told the boy. "She's going to be okay but..." his words faltered. I saw the woman behind Mike gasp as she instinctively knew what was coming. "The baby... he didn't make it." Charlie managed to tell Mike.
Both he and his mother looked like they were going to cry. It was several minutes before Mike gathered himself together, "Please, Chief Swan if there's anything I can do, let me know." he offered.
Nodding, Charlie thanked him and his mother. They left shortly after, promising to stop back by tomorrow.
"Who were they?" Renee asked once they were gone.
"Mrs. Newton and her son Mike. The Newton's own the Outfitters where Bells works. Mike and Bella graduated together last year and he has been a good friend to her these last few months." Charlie explained.
Dr. Gerandy filed out of the double doors looking exhausted. "Charlie, Renee... Bella is awake." He paused. "I wanted to offer you the chance to be in the room when I explain everything."
Standing, Renee held onto Charlie's arm as they followed the doctor through the doors. I watched Embry's face while he stared after Renee and Charlie. My heart hammered in my chest, knowing the news Bella was about to receive. My heart ached for her. It ached for my son sitting here listening for the second time, the news of his son's death.
Twenty minutes passed when I saw Em's face streaked with tears, Jared and Quil shut their eyes, keeping them tightly closed as if willing it all to go away. I knew they could hear every word that was being said. Five minutes later Charlie and Renee walked back into the waiting room, and I knew that whatever had been said had been enough to tear their hearts out. Renee was clinging to Charlie, and he looked close to collapse. Phil stood up, leaning across to Charlie and squeezing his shoulder before he gently took Renee and she fell into his arms. Charlie slid into his chair, staring ahead into empty space. Linda grabbed my hand, never saying a word, just letting me know she was here.
Dr. Gerandy once again met us in the waiting area, "We've given Bella something to help her sleep. Why don't you go home and get some rest? I'll call you when she's awake." He assured us, looking worse for wear.
There was nothing to do but follow his advice, however reluctant we were. Linda pulled us into my driveway. Charlie pulled his vehicle beside hers and parked. Before any of us had the chance to open the car doors, Sue Clearwater pulled up.
I'd known that it wouldn't take long for the news of Bella's accident to reach the reservation. Forks was only a short distance from La Push, and everyone knew Charlie. It wouldn't be much longer before the news of the baby was discovered.
Climbing out of the car seemed to take all the energy I could muster.
Sue came to my side instantly. I could see tears gathered in her eyes. "I didn't know. I swear I didn't know," she whispered.
Linda walked over to the two of us with Charlie just behind her. "I left a message with Billy," Charlie's voice was harsh.
"He didn't mention that," Sue scowled, blowing out an angry breath, when she refocused her eyes on mine I could see the anger hidden beneath. "I was at the diner when one of my waitresses told me about the accident. I went straight home to get Harry so we could go to the hospital." Sue looked around nervously, "Do you think we could take this inside?"
Linda had started a fresh pot of coffee and then sat down with the rest of us at the table. "Sue, what do you know?" Linda demanded. Too many secrets and lies had been kept and told lately. Like me, Linda just wanted to get to the truth.
"Last night Sam Uley showed up with Billy. Soon after, Old Quil turned up at my door. The council went downstairs and were there all night. I didn't think anything of it. You know things happen on the reservation and they convene to sort it out." She started explaining. I noticed when she said Sam's name she practically spat it out like poison.
"They were still there this morning when I left to open the diner. As soon as I learned about the accident, I went home. I went downstairs to knock on the door and let Harry and Billy know what was going on." Sue drew a deep breath before she continued.
"I could hear raised voices so instead of knocking, I listened. They were talking about keeping things quiet and how if Embry found out he'd be out for blood. I didn't understand what I was hearing. But, I knew something was wrong." Sue explained and then took a deep breath. "Kay, Charlie, I swear I didn't know anything until this morning." she sniffled.
"Did you learn anything else?" Charlie asked.
Sue stared at him, looking increasingly nervous.
"We know, Sue." I told her.
After a moment of silence, she spoke softly, "I still think there are missing pieces. What they explained did not make sense." she insisted.
"No, I don't think any of us has the whole story," Charlie sighed, exhausted.
The four of us sat at the table drinking coffee and comparing information. When there was nothing left to go over we knew the puzzle was still incomplete. We just didn't have all the pieces and until we did, we wouldn't be able to see the big picture.
Jared had taken Kim and Katie back to the res, Paul was patrolling the hospital, and I walked human with Embry. He was quiet and I wasn't sure what to say to him. "I'm sorry," felt insignificant. When we reached the main road in La Push, Em kept walking toward First Beach. I knew where he was going. "I just need a few minutes," he whispered without turning around.
I kept walking, as I passed the Clearwater's I could smell Sam, Billy and Old Quil. So that's where they were - or had been. As much as I wanted to go in there and raise hell, I knew I'd need the power of my pack brothers behind me. Instead, I continued down the road until I got to my house. As I climbed into the shower, I didn't think I'd ever been so exhausted in all my life.
Em was the closest thing to a brother I would ever have. We'd grown up together. And then there was Bella, I loved that girl. It really did feel like she was my sister. I wanted someone to pay for making my two closest friends, my family, hurt. I shut the water off, wrapped a towel around my waist and sat on the edge of my bed.
Grabbing my phone from the middle of the bed, where it had landed when I'd tossed it down. I dialed and prayed I wouldn't interrupt her in class, but I needed to talk to her.
"Cute Forks Girl, are you busy?" I asked, hoping she'd say no.
"No, I'm in between classes. Quil, what's wrong? You sound upset."
"It's..." Fuck, I didn't know how to tell her.
"Quil, you have never called me by my name. "
"Bella was in an accident." I blurted out.
I could hear static on the line and then Angela's deep breathing.
"Is she okay?"
"She will be but she's hurt bad." I paused. I had no idea if Angela knew about the baby or not.
"Did you... did you know she was pregnant?" I asked. There was no easy way to find out other than just putting it out there.
"Oh God, is the baby okay?"
"Quil is the baby okay?" Angela asked more insistent.
I couldn't hold back the sob, "No."
I could her quiet cries coming through the phone, "Quil, don't let her be alone." Angela begged through tears. "Please don't let her go through this alone."
"I won't, I promise." And I wouldn't. I'd fight Sam and the council if I had to. Whatever had occurred that caused the order to be broken, I would not let it overpower me again.
After promising to call her back as soon as I heard anything else, I hung up. Everything was so fucked up.
I stood with a groan, my exhausted body protesting and walked over to my dresser and pulled out a pair of shorts and a t-shirt.. After I was dressed, I slipped on my shoes and headed for the front door. As soon as I took a step outside, I caught Sam's scent in the air. It was fresh so I knew he'd just passed my house. Looking down the road, I didn't see him, but I knew he was lurking somewhere close. He couldn't hide his stench.
I jogged to Embry's and walked in to find Sue Clearwater sitting with my mom, Kay, and the Chief. She looked pissed as hell. I wasn't sure what to think and I didn't know how much she knew. Had she been a part of all of this?
"Quil, honey come over here," my mom's voice was soft. It wasn't until I took a step toward them that I realized I was shaking.
"Did you know?" I demanded.
"No, I didn't know anything until this morning," Sue told me. "And I will help in any way I can." The anger in her face told me she was serious. Nodding in acceptance, I sat down.
"Where's Embry?" Kay asked almost in panic.
"He walked to the beach, he'll be back in a few minutes." I answered her. I didn't want to tell them he was at the cave. That was his and Bella's place.
I got up and went to the kitchen to get a drink. I had just pulled a can of coke from the fridge when the unmistakable odor of self-righteousness washed over me. I felt my body begin to tremble as I pulled the front door open. "What the fuck do you want?" I snarled.
I heard a growl and looked to the kitchen where Quil had just gone. He stood up, his back ramrod straight. He took two huge steps and ripped the door open. His entire frame shook. "What the fuck do you want?" he snarled.
Sam was standing there, but before anyone could do or say anything, Sam turned, looking over his shoulder; Quil stared straight ahead. It wasn't until I stood up that I caught a glimpse of Embry at the edge of the yard. He looked like he was going to combust where he stood.
"Stay here," I told the women, not knowing what was about to happen, but knowing it wasn't going to be good.
"I'm going to kill you." Embry snarled and then lunged forward, pulling Sam from the porch. Quil hurled himself down the steps, putting himself between the two fighting men. "Em, you can't kill him." Quil didn't sound convinced of his own words.
"Oh Shit!" I heard yelled from across the yard. I looked up to see Jared running to help. "We'll make sure they pay, but not like this." Jared said, he too sounded less than sincere with his attempts to pull Embry off of Sam.
It took both Jared and Quil working together to pull Embry from Sam, who was laying on the ground, beaten to a pulp. "Let me go," Embry demanded, struggling to free himself.
Sam pulled himself to his feet, "Embry..."
"You killed my son!" Embry screamed, breaking free and tackling Sam to the ground.
I stood in utter shock. The brutality of Embry's rage was unlike anything I'd seen before. If I were being honest with myself, I was a little jealous that I hadn't been the one to hurt Sam.
Jared grabbed Sam and pulled him from under Embry's attack. Quil was speaking to Embry in hushed whispers in an attempt to calm him down.
Wiping his bloodied face with the sleeve of his shirt, Sam looked up and stared at me. He stepped toward me causing Embry to growl. Sam gave Embry a look that I could only describe as a reprimand. "Chief Swan, Billy heard about Bella's accident..."
Embry started thrashing in Quil's hold,"You don't say her name. Don't you ever fucking say her name."
I stared at Sam, knowing without a doubt that he didn't realize that I knew what he really was.
"Then why are you here and not him? Why haven't I heard from Billy?" I demanded stepping down from the porch.
"He's in a closed meeting with the council," Sam attempted to placate me.
"I'll bet he is. Tell me, Sam Uley, is the council discussing my daughter?"
For the briefest moment I saw worry etch his face before he carefully schooled his features and stared at me as if I hadn't spoken a word. Embry struggled in Quil and Jared's grasp and I understood his desire to attack Sam. It was a feeling I was fighting myself.
"Chief Swan, I don't know what you mean. The council are gathered to discuss Quileute business."
"Don't you lie to me, boy! I know. I know what you've done." I yelled, taking another step forward.
Sam ignored me and turned his body toward Quil, Jared and Embry. "What have you done?" He roared.
"They've done absolutely nothing," I heard Sue hiss from behind me before stamping past me to stand just inches from Sam.
"Sue, what did you tell them?" Sam growled.
"Shut up, Sam Uley!" Sue yelled, poking him in the center of his chest, "I talk. You listen. You can tell my husband and the rest of the 'council' that if they have any sense of self preservation that they will be at the council hall at 6:00 PM to meet with us."
"Only members of the Quileute are allowed in the council hall," Sam stated, ignoring the angry woman in front of him.
"Then I suggest you make it clear to our Chief how important it is for he and the others to make an exception. I'd hate to have to involve the Bureau of Indian Affairs in such a private matter."
Remind me never to get on Sue Clearwater's bad side, I thought watching as she threatened a man three times her size and who she just learned could turn into a beast.
Nodding with a livid glare, Sam turned to the three boys, "Come with me."
"Fuck you, Alpha," Quil growled.
"Follow Me!" Sam roared. I heard the infliction in his voice change and I wondered if that was the Alpha command I'd learned about.
This time it was Jared who growled. "NO!"
Sam looked like he was about to take off like a rocket. "Impossible," he mumbled.
"The order is broken and now you have to answer for what you've done." Jared challenged. "You all do."
Without a word, Sam turned on his heel and stalked out of the yard.
"Let's go inside and figure out what to do," Linda suggested once Sam was out of sight. I was thankful for her take-charge attitude as I didn't know what the hell to do.