Chapter Fourteen: Tracking

I whimpered, I didn't like this at all, I released Sam and took a step back, I lowered my shoulders, trying to revert back to beta, not alpha, so that everything could go back to normal— well not normal, but how it was a few days ago— it didn't work; I still had that feel of authority, The others stared at me. Not angrily, just shocked.

Well it looks like your coming with us to Forks. Sam said slowly.

Sam, I'm confused, how did that happen, Is Bella alpha now?

I—I think she is. Sam whispered.

Hello? Still here you know.

Sorry Bella, this is a lot to take in. But we better track that scent before it rains, or we'll never trace it.

I looked to the sky; it was pitch black, the clouds were only visible where the moonlight touched them. Jared decided to lighten the mood, he let out a low, rumbling growl, the kind you hear on those horror movies that scar you for life. Paul snickered then joined in; some poor deer heard them and raced away some distance to our right.

So are we tracking this thing or not? I asked Sam, he nodded, we turned to look at Paul and Jared, who had started to pretend to be werewolves out of Hollywood movies, in other words, they were acting like total idiots.

If you guys are finished we have scum to catch. I grinned.

Right! they said

Jared, who had the smell sense of a great white tracked the scent to the place where we found the paw print; the wind had filled it with dust and dirt but it was still unmistakably a paw print, from there we caught the scent leading into the darker parts of the forest.

We followed it in our usual V-formation, the only difference this time was that I ran in front of Sam, who was on my right. We followed the scent for hours, but it seemed to run in circles, like the creature was playing games with us, only each time we came to one of the huge footprints, there would be a little patch of blood, human blood. It sent a shiver down my spine.

We followed it all the way around La Push; we ran the perimeter of the cliffs, we tracked it through the woods, we ran for hours, then, a sickening smell hit my nose like a bomb, and I gagged, then stopped dead, we all did, because we were at the end of our border, on the brink of Cullen territory, and the scent crossed over to the 'dark' side, and we couldn't follow. Sam ordered us to find another trail.

But the searching led to nowhere, it was raining heavily, and the bitter wind made it worse, of course the cold didn't affect us, or the rain. It just evaporated on contact.

We finally got to house and Emily running out with clothes for me Paul and Sam, Emily was amazing, she must get tired of mothering us all the time, but then again, we were like her family, and It wouldn't be a complete pack without her.

We all trotted forwards and grabbed the clothes, and went behind the trees to change. I phased back and pulled on the shabby jeans and to big t-shirt, I though sadly of what the Cullens, especially Alice would do if they saw me now, a scruffy, depressed dog, an echo of what I used to be; I was glad they couldn't see me now, they wouldn't even recognize me.

I was half asleep as I walked through the door, but the smell of all the food laid out snapped me back to awareness. I ate quickly, ravenously hungry. I watched as Paul and Jared challenged each other to an eating contest, inviting me; I rolled my eyes but joined in, knowing with how hungry I was I would definatly beat them.

So we dug in, eating plateful after plateful of steak and eggs, roast potatoes, pancakes, waffles, hot dogs, onion rings and pasta. I was surprised Emily stocked that much food, then we went on to the cake, well, the cakes; I quit after two pieces, but they continued, and I wasn't sure how they didn't burst. Soon Jared had eaten his fill and went home to sleep before he did his patrol.

I was usually up first; I could run the fastest and I would stay out the longest, but today Sam had mercy, and let me swap with Paul, who had patrol early morning. I was sure Emily influenced his decision. But I was grateful, I wouldn't survive a patrol right now, with how dead-tired I was, but before I went to sleep I had to call Charlie; he was panicked enough, I hadn't told him what I was, or even where I was, just that I was safe.

"Hey Dad." I said quietly when he answered the phone.

"Bella!" He yelled into the phone, and I winced at the volume of his voice, and also the concern I could hear.

"Yeah, it's me, Dad, calm down." I said with slight irritation, rubbing my ear.

" So…how you doing Bella? He asked, reigning in the parental concern, probably not wanting me to hang-up on him.

"I'm fine." I lied; I had told him that Edward had left, and that I was staying at a friend's house. I think he understood why I wanted to be alone, but he still hoped I would come back.

"Any chance of…?" I cut him off.

"I'll come see you tomorrow Dad." I promised him, conviction ringing in my voice.

"Thanks, I've missed you a lot Bella."

"I know, Dad."

There was a minute of silence, then I heard a familiar voice calling Charlie's name; it was Mark, from the police station.

"Sorry Bella, I've gotta go—we've been getting a load of strange reports at the station, apparently there's been a sighting of a some giant bears."

I panicked; maybe the humans had seen the creature that made the paw-print!

"But the weird bit about it, Bella, is according to one of the kids who saw them, they weren't ordinary bears, these weren't black or brown, the kid says one was huge, about twice the height of a man, and a dull grey colour; we believed him till then, But I'm not so sure, Bella you see, I think he was hitting the happy juice.

Charlie snorted derisively on the other end.

"He said the other bear was smaller, and a shining gold, brighter than the sun itself, said it was the most beautiful thing he had ever seen, but its just not possible; bears don't get that big, or that colour, But there is something out there Bella, just stay out the woods, ok?"

"Sure Dad, I won't, look I've gotta go too, love you Dad, bye."

"Bye Bella, see you tomorrow."

I sighed; a human had seen us; we would have to be more careful. We had too much to deal with without the risk of being sighted, or shot at added to our troubles.

I collapsed back onto the couch; I closed my eyes, I slipped into dreams of the unknown creature and my golden-eyed hero.