Title:Turn your back to the forest
Rating:NC-17 for sex, language and themes
Pairing:Quil and Bella
Feedback: please and thankyou
Author's Notes: the title comes from the rhyme children have to say to see baba yaga's house in Russian fairy tales 'turn your back to the forest and your front to me'
Disclaimer: the characters and all recognisable situations belong to Stephenie Meyer - this is a work of fan fiction, except for the legends and histories of the Quileute that, of course, belong to them. I pay my respects to their gods.
Thanks to BanSidhe[ruadh sidhe] for betaing.
Summary: set at the time of the newborn battle in eclipse but in a Cullen free world. Victoria and her new coven are coming to La Push.
Jan 2006 she wakes up from Edward daze,
jan-feb - Jake puts her back together ride bikes etc
Feb. 20 - Jake phases
March 10 - Quil tells her Jake has joined Sam's cult; Jake visits her room
March 13 - spring break
March16 – Bella and Jake kiss in the kitchen
June 11th - Graduation
June 15th battle with newborns
Turn your back to the forest
Chapter 1 you're volunteered
Bella Swan had survived many things. She was a survivor. But the catatonic state she fell into when Edward Cullen and his whole family left her had frightened everyone; most especially her best friend Jacob Black and her father Charlie. Edward and his whole family had left in October and it had taken until January for Bella to snap out of it. It was not just the loss of Edward that had affected her. She had thought of Alice Cullen as her best friend and the loss of them both was too much for her.
But she had improved in recent months. Jake had spent hours of effort putting her back together.
He hugged her a lot as if that would hold her together somehow. He knew that she loved Edward and that her heart was set on Edward, but he hoped that one day she would choose him. She would have got over it sooner if she had not loved him quite so much. That was clear.
He was endlessly patient and understanding.
Bella brought him two wrecked motor bikes and they rebuilt them together. Well at least Jake did all the work; Bella helped in her own way. He even taught her to ride her bike. Until March when Jake had disappeared for a few days. Not that that stopped her then. She had tracked him down.
But now there was a new issue.
Bella just seemed to be incredibly attractive to supernatural beings. She had been hunted by a small vampire coven early on in her relationship with Edward. The Cullens had taken down James, the hunter, in a blood-filled scene in a dance school classroom in Phoenix, Arizona. They had burnt it to the ground to destroy both James and the evidence of their encounter. Bella had nearly died; she had nearly become one of them. She bore James's bite on her arm to this day.
Edward and his family had saved her from that, only to leave her when he felt that his very presence was the greatest danger to her. He loved her that much. But what he had forgotten to consider was that other vampires loved their partners just as much. James had a mate; Victoria. And she was not happy with Edward Cullen. She could not find him, but she knew where the love of his life lived after she had broken into the Forks High School administration office and copied Bella's school file. It listed everything. It listed her emergency contact number as Billy Black on the La Push reservation.
All laid out nice and easy for her.
And Edward had left her alone and undefended.
But Bella's supernatural attraction continued.
Her best friend had disappeared again, but this time, unlike Alice Cullen, she tracked him down. Jake had disappeared because he had assumed his native birth right and became a shape changer; specifically a wolf. He was the son of the tribal chief and he would be chief himself one day.
But right now, he was the true Alpha of the Quileute wolf pack. Sam was still Alpha because Jake had not been very keen to take on that responsibility. His father assured him that he would know when he was ready. The pack numbered eight members right now; Sam, Jared, Paul, Embry, Jake, Quil, Leah and Seth.
And the wolf pack was pissed.
Victoria had left a message for them. Pinned to Billy's door through the body of some rez kid's cat. It basically said she wanted Bella Swan. She knew they were protecting her and she wanted them to hand her over.
Victoria wanted Bella alive. She had already killed a number of animals on the reservation and next it would be people, she threatened. She was trying to be conciliatory by only killing animals now.
The pack had finally linked the disappearance of all those people in Seattle to Victoria. They had sent Jared up to scope it out as he was one of their best trackers. He said Seattle just reeked of vampire. Plus there were literally dozens of places for them to live, with a lot of the older parts of the city now existing below street level. It was a vampire rabbit warren.
So they came to the conclusion that Victoria was making a new coven; one she didn't particularly care about like she had cared about James and Laurent. These new members were expendable. She was not very happy with the pack for killing Laurent as well. Somehow she had found out about that and that Bella Swan had been involved there as well. More reasons for her to dislike Bella.
They had studied the news reports and Jared's info and they had tried to estimate how many vampires she had made. It was not an army; they all played COD4 and knew an army was at least 80,000 troops. She can't have even got to platoon numbers; 30 vamps would be hard to feed and hide. Besides their research indicated that newborns were so unstable that they killed each other half the time, so they thought she might have a decent squad of 8-13 vamps. She would not be dumb enough to hit them with a fire-team of four given they had already taken out Laurent easily and she knew that.
No one ever said she was stupid. Insane, yes; stupid no.
So she had friends and they were all going to be coming to Forks. That was the threat.
Victoria had nothing to lose. As far as she was concerned, she had already lost everything that was valuable to her.
The presence of vampires triggered the change in the young Quileute. The more vampires, the more wolves. But their army increased in size way slower than hers did. But her army did need feeding and the number of people disappearing in Seattle had finally reached a point where it attracted the attention of the authorities. Not that Victoria was scared of them, but if it was all over the newspapers then others may hear of it too. Others she was scared of. The last thing she needed was the Volturi taking her out before she staged her own dying Swan performance. So she had a timetable.
The tribal council held many impassioned meetings. Billy had known Bella from birth, he would never vote for handing her over, but he still needed to do the best thing for his tribe and his people. No one wanted to hand across Bella. Some might have, if it could be guaranteed to stop the madness, but it was the kind of blackmail that all suspected would just continue. And the more it continued, the more their children would be literally changed for life. No matter how proud they were of the wolf pack, most parents (if they were honest with themselves) prayed it would not happen to their child. They looked at Sue Clearwater with sympathy in their eyes; both her children were pack.
Besides, the Quileute did not take orders from vampires. It was just not in their genetic makeup to do it. They fought vampires and they were going to fight them now.
The tribal council agreed that the pack would meet with Victoria. She had offered a meeting to hear their decision. She told them to bring everybody.
Jake and Sam held a pack meeting to fill them all in on the tribal council decision and what they planned to do.
Bella will not attend the meeting. Jake planned to hide her somewhere. Bella rather thought that 'meeting' was a wolf euphemism for bloody battle.
"If you bring me to the meeting, she might think you were going to hand me over and be distracted," Bella tried to argue. She imagined that to save her friends she would escape and sacrifice herself.
Jake gave her a knowing look. "No," he stated as if he knew exactly what she was planning. So much for Edward's blocked mind reading abilities; Jake had never seemed to be defeated in that regard with her. "You will be hidden far away from the meeting."
"So that's the plan?" argued Bella. "You are just going to hide me somewhere? While you 'meet' with the vampires?" She resisted the urge to use finger apostrophes.
"You should be safe up in the mountains. If they can't track you, then they can't find you. If I carry you to the spot…" Jake's face softened at that. "They can't scent you. You'll be safe." He sounded to Bella like he was trying to convince himself.
He looked around at the assembled pack. "Someone will have to stay with her and guard her."
Seth put his hand up, literally. Bella thought it was adorable.
Jake's eyes scanned right over the top of him and Seth lowered the arm slowly; a look of utter disappointment on his face. Jake hesitated at Paul. Paul was strong but dangerous to any female. Jake was clearly worried about leaving her alone with him; that was Bella's assessment. Plus, he was one of their best fighters and they would need him for the meeting/battle.
Bella watched as Jake's eyes continued. As if Jake would leave her alone with Paul? Jake's eyes stopped at Quil and Embry. His best friends.
Embry had watched and listened to everything Jake said attentively; he always did. But Quil had been picking at his foot for most of the meeting. Bella had been watching him.
Jake studied them both and then seemed to make a decision. "Quil?" he asked.
"Dude, I think I have got a splinter or something," Quil said without looking up.
Embry rolled his eyes.
Clearly Quil had not heard a single word Jake and Sam had said.
"Can you do it?" asked Jake optimistically.
"What?" he asked cluelessly.
"Guard Bella," Jake sounded a little exasperated now.
"Sure, sure," Quil blithely agreed.
Bella would have bet the farm that Quil had no idea what he had just agreed to.
She was even surer of it when Jake repeated the plans for Quil and he started to realise that he was going to miss the 'meeting'. Embry just raised an eyebrow at him and she could tell from Quil's face that he was trapped. He couldn't tell Jake that looking after Bella was not important; it was everything to Jake, they all knew that.
Even Bella… especially Bella?
She was not quite sure what to do with the fact that she was the centre of Jake's world.
She thought of Jake as her best friend; always had, but she knew he wanted more and he had been pushing her; gently for sure, but still pushing. They actually had sex for the first time a couple of weeks ago. She felt like she had to do it. She knew it would sound weird if she tried to explain it to somebody.
She felt like she owed Jake. Owed him her life; truth be told. If he had not snapped her out of her catatonic state she might have ended up institutionalised. At the best, she would have ended up living with her mother again. Equivalent to living in a mental home? She loved her mother but she drove her crazy. It would be worse somehow to go back now after her months of 'freedom'.
The day of Harry Clearwater's funeral, Jake had kissed her in the kitchen. He had finally pushed her up against the counter and kissed her. It was gentle and exquisite.
When he kissed her she had a vision. She saw Jake walk out of the forest with two dark haired children; little dark haired russet skinned children. They ran towards her eagerly and she recognised them in her heart as hers.
A vision was weird, but no weirder than anything else she had been through so far. She thought it was a glimpse of her future with Jake. It was a gift; she could have this if she wanted it. If she chose him.
She thought about it a lot; Bella Swan always did over think stuff. And she decided she did want it. She wanted that future. It was as normal as she could conceive of right now. Unless she left Forks all together and that she could not do, for a whole lot of reasons.
But that glimpse of their 'future' decided her. She could see herself in that future. And she was alive and she was happy. She could feel how happy she was in that vision.
So she had sex with Jacob Black.
And it was awful.
They were both virgins and it was fumbling, painful and awkward. He was so tall and so big and she just felt… lost. All her romantic novels had set her up to expect… well …fireworks she supposed.
And there weren't any.
Well, not for her. Jake seemed happy and pleased with himself. It was the first time she felt like he had failed her somehow. It was all over so quickly too.
Eventually he picked up on her emotional withdrawal and he tried to convince her that it would get better the next time. But she didn't want to do it again. She had thought it would bring them closer together and it hadn't; it had made her worry and over think things again. This time she stressed about if being with Jake was the right thing to do. She had chosen Jake and it didn't feel right.
So, she knew she was the centre of Jake's world, but he was not the centre of hers. She loved him, just not like that. She felt bad about that, but it was the truth.
She had not had to try very hard to avoid him, even though she was staying on the reservation. The last couple of weeks, the pack had run itself ragged. Jake came back to the Black house completely exhausted after patrol. He ate because he had to and then he fell into bed and slept. She would curl up with him. They weren't intimate again; there just wasn't time.
It was June, School was in the last weeks and then she had to study for her exams. She got driven to Forks High by a wolf babysitter, who took up a watching position in the forest close to the school during the actual exams and then drove her home again. Lauren and Jessica nearly died at the succession of tall, beautiful men who escorted her. Green with envy was an inadequate description. Bella wondered if they thought she was sleeping with them all. She supposed she had actually slept with the most impressive of them all; Jake. But he was usually too busy to pick her up himself.
Lucky for her, Charlie was in Seattle. The number of deaths in Seattle had reached such a level that they had called in some experienced officers from the Pacific Northwest area. He didn't know she was staying at the reservation. She had forwarded the calls from the house phone to her mobile. Charlie never was any good with technology. He probably didn't know she could do that.
He came back to attend her graduation in the first week of June and had proudly taken her to a celebratory dinner at The Lodge; very upmarket for Charlie. She had been betting on the diner. She still hadn't decided what to do about College. Edward had filled in all the application forms for the colleges he approved of, for her and any college he had given the seal of approval to now held less attraction for her. In any case, she no longer had the Cullen bank account to pay for it all. Or to guarantee her place with a charitable donation to the right faculty at the right time.
She told Charlie she would stay with the Blacks now and he was overjoyed. He liked Jake and was happy she was not alone. Knowing she would not be alone was one less thing for him to be worried about. Bella felt sick to her stomach. If Charlie only knew that this whole thing was about her; all the deaths in Seattle… everything. He would have a heart attack.
She kept herself busy baking for the pack and talking to Emily and the other imprints. She read. She watched movies. She couldn't plan her future because she wasn't entirely sure she was going to have one. Next year. She would do college next year.
Billy Black didn't care if she and Jake slept in the same bed. He said it was crazy to sweat stuff like that when they could all be dead next week. That actually shocked Bella; not that he agreed to them sleeping together but that he thought they might lose the battle with the vampires. She supposed that even if they won, there might be casualties.
Jake had no such doubts. Jake usually managed to get what he wanted. Bella couldn't think of anything Jake did badly. Except maybe… that. But that wasn't his fault; it had to be hers. She was wrong somehow and she couldn't see how.
She had the dream didn't she?
Or had she made a mistake?
FF_2154210_ - 1/05/2011 01:29:00 AM