Summary: Bella is just starting to heal when she is raped, beaten, and left for dead on the side of the road near the reservation. Jacob finds her.
Notes: Rape, New Moon AU
"Dude, do you see that?" Embry pointed over the dashboard. "I think it's moving!"
Jacob looked in the direction his friend was pointing. Though it was dark, he could see as clearly as if it were day, and he slammed on the brakes and threw open the door. "It's Bella!" he yelled over his shoulder as he ran to the love of his life.
When he saw her, it took everything he had to keep from phasing. If Bella hadn't needed him, he wouldn't have been able to do it. She was huddled in the fetal position, sobbing like the world was ending. For all he knew, maybe it was.
"Bella." He knelt beside her, but some instinct warned him not to touch her. He felt Embry at his back and said, "Dude, there's a blanket in the trunk of the Rabbit. Go get it. She's shaking and I'm pretty sure she's in shock."
"Sure, man." It only took a moment, but Embry decided to wait by the car while his friend tried to reach the girl that meant so much to him. He gave the blanket to Jacob and backed up, sitting on the hood of the Rabbit.
"Bella." Jacob raised his voice. Bella flinched, so he knew he finally had her attention. "Bella, it's Jacob. PLEASE look at me." He couldn't touch her unless she touched him first, not even to wrap the blanket around her. He didn't know why, he just knew it was true.
She turned her face in the direction of his voice and looked at him through two black eyes that were so swollen it was a wonder she could see anything at all. "J-Jacob?"
It took him a moment to swallow his rage at the state of her face and answer her, but she didn't seem to notice. "Yeah, honey, it's me. How badly are you hurt?" His voice broke on the last word.
"J-Jacob," she repeated, and reached for him like a child reaching for a parent. "Hurts." She found his bicep and gripped it with surprising force.
That was all Jacob needed. Carefully, he pulled Bella into his arms and stood, not bothering with the blanket. His body heat would be enough until he got her to the emergency room. She clung to his neck, still sobbing. Her bloody face was buried in his white t-shirt, but he didn't even notice, much less care. "Easy, baby. Everything will be okay; I'm taking you to the hospital."
"NO!" Her sudden shriek almost made him drop her. "No h-hospital! No hospital, Jacob!"
Jacob didn't know what to do. "Baby, you're hurt real bad. PLEASE let me take you to the hospital to get checked out."
"No!" she sobbed, clinging to him even more tightly. She was practically strangling him, but that just didn't matter in the face of her distress. "Please, Jacob, let me s-stay with you. I-I'll be g-good, I p-promise."
His head told him to take her to the hospital anyway, but his gut told him that it was the last thing she needed. His gut had never let him down before, so he went with it. "Okay. Okay, baby, I won't take you to the hospital. You can stay with me."
He shared a glance with Embry, who nodded before grabbing the discarded blanket and throwing it back in the trunk before closing it. As Jacob slid into the backseat with Bella, he got in the driver's seat and waited until his friend gave him a nod before starting the car and driving off.
He pulled a U-turn and took them back to his late grandparents' cabin, which he and Jacob had been fixing up in hopes of moving in once they graduated. They made it there in record time; he was worried about Bella, too, after all. In his head, she was 'Jake's Girl' and always would be.
Thankfully the cabin was furnished, so they were able to put Bella in a bed. As Jacob tenderly convinced Bella to let him look her over, Embry went to the light and started turning it up - slowly. It would be less shocking for the poor girl than just flicking a light switch; he was really glad that he and Jacob had put the dimmer switches in instead.
"Okay, baby," Jacob said as he gently laid her on the bed and untangled her arms from his neck, "we're here. Now I need to check you out - I need to know how badly hurt you are, okay?"
His voice soothed her, but though she was a little calmer, there was no WAY she was going to allow her sweet Jacob to see what had become of her. "No. Please, Jacob - I don't want to." It wasn't the best argument, but it got her point across.
"I know you don't." Jacob blinked back tears as he took a step back - still holding her hand - and took in every visible bruise and cut on her body. She was a mess, and something told him that it was worse where he couldn't see. "I know you don't want to, baby, but I can't let this go. I NEED to take care of you."
Bella started to cry again. She didn't care how badly the sobs shaking her body hurt her, she needed that release. "You w-won't want to touch me after you s-see."
"Oh, shit, dude - I think she was -" Embry's mouth snapped shut as Jacob spun around and shoved him up against the wall.
"Don't say it!" he hissed, shaking his friend a little. "Just - get out of here for a little while, huh? Go have a cup of coffee or something."
Embry nodded and left the room as soon as Jacob let him go. Jacob turned back to Bella, who had curled into the fetal position again and was crying her heart out. Rubbing a hand over his face, he sat on the edge of the bed put a gentle hand on her jean-clad hip.
"Baby," he began quietly, "I will ALWAYS want to touch you, no matter what, okay? Do you trust me?"
"Y-yes." Still crying, but determined to prove that she DID, in fact, trust Jacob, she sat up and started to pull her t-shirt off.
Jacob breathed a sigh of relief and helped her undress, his body trembling as he catalogued every injury. It was as he was sliding her jeans down over her hips that he saw it, the proof of what had happened. The crotch of her jeans was stained with blood. He froze and backed away from her, unable to control the urge to phase.
He burst into his Wolf skin, already growling deeply, and stepped closer to her again. He could smell it; he'd been smelling it since he found her, he just hadn't wanted to admit it to himself. Semen. Three different scents. His Bella had been gang-raped. For several minutes all he could hear was white noise, and all he could see was red.
Then Bella's crying broke through to him. He forced himself to phase back to Human, knowing she needed her best friend - not a glorified guard dog. "I'm s-sorry! I told them not to, I said NO -"
"Bella!" Jacob pulled her into his arms, uncaring of his nudity. It occurred to him later that it wasn't really the best idea to get naked with a rape victim, but at the time he didn't even think about it. Bella didn't seem to notice, either. "Bella, honey, what are you apologizing for? You did NOTHING wrong, do you hear me? NOTHING!" He practically roared the final word.
Shocked, she stopped crying and looked up at him through her aching eyes. For a long time she didn't say anything. Then, quietly, "They r-raped me, Jacob."
A tear slid down his cheek. "I know, baby. I know, and I will find them and kill them, but right now I need to finish looking you over. Can you handle that?"
"I trust you," she said simply. He laid her back down carefully and finished removing her jeans. She had no bra or panties - he would have to send Embry back to find them and her shoes, if he could - so she was completely nude before him. Normally he would have enjoyed such a sight, but at that time it just made him sick. Who could do this to her? To HIS Bella?
Jacob checked her front first, then rolled her to check her back. When he was satisfied that she had no life-threatening injuries there, he turned her face up once more and took a deep breath, looking her in the eye as best he could. "I need to make sure you aren't bleeding too much, Bella. You know, THERE."
He expected a fight, but Bella was apparently too exhausted to argue. Instead, she simply turned her face away and spread her legs. Awed at the trust she displayed for him, he took a quick look and let out a relieved breath almost immediately. She was torn, of course, but not nearly so bad as he'd imagined. She didn't need a hospital, anyway. Thank God.
Picking her up again gently, he managed to nudge the blanket to the end of the bed with his knee. Then he laid her back down and covered her up, sitting beside her and putting his hand on her cheek. "You're going to be in pain for a while, but you were right, you didn't need the hospital." Not that he thought she would have wanted to go there even if she DID need it. "Rest now, okay? I promise, you're safe here."
"I need a shower. PLEASE, Jacob, will you help me get clean?" she begged.
He hesitated. They would be washing valuable evidence away if he did as she asked, but on the other hand, he would recognize the monsters that had done this by their scent. His nose might not hold up in court, but he wasn't planning on letting the bastards that had raped Bella live long enough to go to court anyway.
"PLEASE, Jacob," Bella begged again. "I need to be CLEAN."
"Let me fill the tub. I'll be right back to get you, okay?" She nodded and he stood quickly, grabbing a pair of spare black boxer briefs he kept there along with some other clothes and pulling them up on his way to the bathroom. He turned the tub on, being extremely careful of the temperature, and then ran out to grab his duffel bag from the car. He found his bathing supplies and lined them up on the side of the tub before going back to the bedroom - the one he'd chosen for himself after Embry had claimed the master - for Bella.
He lowered her carefully into the bathwater and helped her wet her hair. He started there, washing it twice with his Axe Excite shampoo, then picked up his soft sponge and washed the rest of her just as thoroughly with his Axe Excite shower gel. It awed him that she was letting him do this at all, let alone so soon after being raped. She really DID trust him.
She was so relaxed that she was almost asleep by the time he lifted her out of the tub and set her on her feet so that he could dry her. Emotionally and physically exhausted, she swayed from side to side, holding his shoulders as he instructed, and just stared at his beloved face - what she could see of it through her swollen eyes, anyway.
Once she was dry, he dropped the towel to the floor and lifted her into his arms again, taking her into the bedroom and gently settling her in the bed before pulling the covers up over her. "There you go, baby. All clean and dry. Now go to sleep."
"Jacob?" Sounding panicked, she reached out and grabbed his bicep, her fingernails digging into his skin hard enough to draw blood, had he been Human. "Please stay with me! I NEED you! PLEASE!"
Instead of saying anything, he slid under the covers and nudged her onto her side so that he could spoon her. He held her like that long after he heard her breathing even out in sleep, his eyes wide open, silent tears streaming down his cheeks. He held her gently but tightly, so that she wouldn't slip away, and vowed to himself and God that he would never let her be hurt again.