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Chapter Nine: Eliminate
"Jake! Jake!" I yelled, running from my truck to the shed where I knew he'd be. It was Monday after school…it's where he always is after school…when he's not with me that it. Jake and I have been pretty much inseparable for the last two weeks. I do take some of the blame…but I think it's partially due to the fact that he worries about me. The baby has him so concerned…it's pretty sweet actually. As I ran to the back of the house where his shed is, I ran into Jared who looked terrified. He put his arms out to stop me and I just put my hands on his shoulders jumping in the air.
"Wait 'til you hear!" I yelled and kept running to the shed. I was greeted by six terrified werewolves, practically on the verge of phasing. I ran to Jake and did a drum roll on his chest with my hands.
"HEARTBEAT!" I yelled at him and I could tell it took a few seconds to register. He paused, looking at my smile, then down to my stomach. All the guys fell silent looking at me and Jacob slowly put his hands on my bump.
"Wow…" He whispered. You could probably hear a pin drop they were so quiet. "I…I can hear him." He said softly and I grinned up to him, nodding.
"I know!" I said excitedly and Jake was pulled away from me so a few of the other curious guys could look too.
"…Could I?" Jared asked politely and I laughed, nodding.
"Of course!" Nothing could bring me down. Nothing. I heard my little man's heartbeat for the first time today…and I'd never forget the sound.
"Oh my God, it's warm!" Jared yelled and Embry pushed him to the side to feel too. Quil and Paul both felt my bump in turns and they were all curiously asking questions about my connection to the baby. I looked over and grinned at Jacob and saw his forced smile back. It was hard to tell…but I knew it was. He wasn't as happy as I thought he would be.
It has a heartbeat. That's all I could think…I could hear it…there inside her. And with every beat…it hurt. The pain filled my chest and it was almost crippling…
I felt awful of course…Bella. She was so happy…every part of her glowed and it killed me that I wasn't just as happy for her. But that thing inside of her…I don't understand why it hurts me so much.
"Hey man, you ok?" Sam asked as we watched the other guys…even Paul, ask her questions and feel her stomach. I took a long, deep breath and shrugged.
"I can't explain it, Sam. It's like…getting kicked in the chest. Over and over again. Just a dull, throbbing pain." He put a hand on my shoulder in a comforting manner and sighed.
"Just breathe through it man. It will get better…I promise. Just focus on how happy she is. Try. Breathe…Bella is happy and all she wants is to share it with you. No one else…not the other wolf. You." He told me and I did as he asked. I took a few deep breaths and thought about it. We heard her pull up and before she had even closed her truck door she was calling my name. Mine. Not his. Not Tye. Jacob. That thought made the pain lessen for some reason. It may be his baby…but she wanted me. I looked to her and saw her smiling to me…but her eyes showed her concern. I took another deep breath. 'All she wants is to share it with you.' Sam's voice rang in my head and I felt my wolf calm at the thought. I put on a comforting smile and walked away from Sam back over to Bella. The guys moved aside when the saw me and I put my hands back on her bump.
"It's so weird to hear it…it wasn't beating Saturday when I saw you." I told her and she shrugged.
"Must have happened Sunday." She told me with a smile…but her glow seemed to have left.
"…Are you ok?" She asked gently and I looked into her eyes, which were now filled with concern. I took her immediately in a hug. I never wanted to take away her excitement. I took the time I needed to adjust to the heartbeat. Sam was right…it's not my baby but…Bella wants to share the pregnancy with me. Maybe not romantically…but it soothed my wolf to know that she didn't want Tye. She wanted me…and that's something to be happy about. I pulled back from her, a genuine smile on my face and put my hands back on her bump.
"I'm more than ok, Bells." She took a second to read my eyes and must have found what she needed because her smile returned.
"It was…the single most amazing thing I've ever heard. I mean…it's a heartbeat! There literally is a growing person inside of me…" She trailed off as she touched her stomach. I laughed.
"You're just noticing that now?" She laughed too.
"Well…yes and no. I mean…this is the first time I could actually hear him…you know? I could feel him…the warmth…but…this was just…wow." I grinned and pulled her to my side.
"So what do you want to do today Miss. Swan?" I asked her as we all started walking back into the shed. "You know…besides scare the fuck out of us." I said and she laughed.
"What was up with that?!" She asked and a few guys chuckled.
"You were yelling! We thought something traumatic had happened." Jared said and Bella laughed again. Such a beautiful sound…
"No you guys will know when something horrible has happened." She said as she sat on the stool beside my tool bench. I stood behind her and she leaned into me instinctively, visibly relaxing at the contact. It made me beam. Two weeks ago she wouldn't have dreamed of finding comfort in my warm skin…and now she would seek it out. I put my hands on her shoulders and lightly massaged my thumbs into the back of her neck. She sighed and we let the guys talk for a bit, lost in our own little world.
"You feeling alright, Bella?" Sam asked concerned and I looked down to her. Her eyes were closed and she looked fairly exhausted.
"Yea…I think I just got too excited." I sighed, rubbing my hands down her arms and wrapping her in a hug from behind.
"You should eat something, sweetie." And she nodded. Jared immediately got up and went into the house, most likely grabbing whatever food he could find in the fridge. I looked at the concerned faces of the guys.
"Bella and the baby share the same blood during the pregnancy and because the baby carries wolf blood…Bella is right now too. The same thing that makes us angry and over excitable effects Bella right now. She gets angry, the baby gets angry. She gets too worked up…so does the baby. Imagine us right after the phase. Worked up…anxious…burning way too much energy. That's Bella right now." The guys nodded and Sam stood up looking concerned. He came up and touched her forehead.
"You feel a bit warm Bella." She nodded.
"Yea…the baby is getting fussy…so he's heating up." He looked to her nervously but she gave a tired laugh.
"It's no problem…I just need a boost and I'll be good. He's just telling me I've burned too much of his food away." I kissed the top of her head and nodded to Sam, who still looked worried. Jared came back with a large bowl of KD.
"We kind of went on a KD kick last night…there's almost a box left right here. Would that be ok?" He asked and her eyes lit up.
"Is that cold?" She asked, very seriously. He looked lost, unsure what the right answer was.
"…yes…" He said and she put her hands out for the bowl.
"Dear. God. Yes." She said and he gave her a fork. She began eating the cold KD looking completely content.
"Wouldn't that be better warmed up?" Paul asked and Bella shook her head.
"You'd think but…it tastes pretty fucking good." I chuckled and continued rubbing circled into her neck and shoulders while she ate. The guys kept talking but Sam was still distracted by his concern with Bella. Part of me felt protective of her. Almost like he questioned my judgment of whether or not she was alright. I mean…I know what the issue is. She will be fine once she eats. But the other part of me…the logical part, was thankful that he showed her so much loyalty. He was genuinely concerned for her…and that made me feel good. She's protected not just by me…but by the whole pack. It was comforting.
Within a few minutes Bella was putting the empty bowl on my workbench and I chuckled.
"Save room for dinner?" I asked and she nodded, patting her belly.
"You joking? That was just a dent. I feel a lot better though." She said with a laugh. She sounded a lot better too. Sam came up to her and felt her forehead and cheeks.
"What's the verdict, doc?" She asked him and he cracked a smile.
"You're not as warm. The baby really has a lot of control…doesn't it." He more so stated, grabbing another stool and sitting beside her. She nodded.
"Yea…he's pretty active. I noticed he was warm around the four week mark...Carlisle says it's because of the wolf blood that was in the embryo but I can communicate with him through my emotions." She grabbed his hand and a few of us shared a look. Sam is very supportive…but he's not the touchy-feely type. She stood and pulled up her shirt, putting his hand over her bump.
"I love you baby…I'm so happy I got to hear you today." She cooed to her baby and I watched Sam's whole face shift into shock.
"Holy fuck…" He said and she laughed a bit. He jumped.
"It keeps getting warmer!" He told her and she nodded.
"It's based on how I feel. Right now I'm highly amused by your reaction…and so is the baby." He nodded, putting his other hand on her stomach too. She was so little though that he covered the whole bump.
"Do it again." He asked and she laughed, nodding. She looked thoughtful for a moment and he jumped up, the stool flying behind him, hands never leaving her stomach. He looked up to her shocked.
"Bella…" She nodded and sighed. She reached for my hand and I took it immediately. Her eyes glazed over with tears and she took a deep breath at our contact. The guys looked on edge.
"Hey…hey now. Sweetie what's wrong?" I asked, looking between Bella's sad face and Sam's frozen body. She took another deep breath and shook her head.
"I need to calm down." She told me and took another breath. I nodded and stood behind her, wrapping my arms around her chest, pulling her back to me.
"Breathe, Bells. It's ok…just breathe." She did so and Sam shook his head.
"Bella…it's not going down." He took one hand and put it to her forehead.
"Bella you're really burning up." He told her, his voice on edge. Bella nodded and jumped into action.
"Jacob. Needles. My truck console. Go." I nodded, gently handing her off to Sam before racing to her truck. I knew what she needed. A sedative. I fumbled into her unlocked truck and reached for the center console. She had about five in there and I grabbed two, just in case. I slammed the door shut and ran back to the shed to find Sam holding Bella the way I had been. She took another breath.
"Jacob. Right into my side." I shook a bit.
"Bella…I…I don't know if I can." I stuttered. How could I stick her with a needle? She didn't hesitate to take the needle out of my hand and open the cap. She squirted a bit out of it to get rid of any air bubbles and I lifted her shirt for her. she took another deep breath and felt around her side for the right spot.
"I think…" She groaned and jammed it into her side, emptying the contents into her body. Within seconds her legs were going limp and Sam had to hold her up. She took another breath and pulled the syringe from her side and handed it to me. I put it on the workbench and protectively took her from Sam. Not that he wasn't doing just fine but I just knew…she needed me. She needed my touch. My warmth. Me. She melted into my arms and I carefully sat her on the stool, placing myself behind her and pulled her into my chest. Jared came into the shed with a cool cloth and I thanked him, putting it on the back of her neck. She sighed and Sam felt her forehead.
"It's getting a bit better, Bella. Is there anything we can get you?" She nodded.
"Ice pack…if you could?" She asked and Embry nodded, taking the turn to run into the house. A few moments later he was back and she put it between her wrists.
"Carlisle said the best way to get my temperature to drop is to ice my wrists." Sam nodded and kneeled beside her, putting his hands on hers to her hold the icepack there. I looked to the guys who looked afraid.
"It's ok guys. She just needs to relax." Quil looked to me, eyes wide.
"What did she stick herself with?" I looked to him.
"A sedative Dr. Cullen gave her. It's like our wolf. When we can't control him, we shake and burn up until we phase. Bella and the baby go through the same process but the difference is there's no release for them. She will just keep burning up." I looked to Sam who looked horrified. He turned his gaze to Bella, who had visibly relaxed. She leaned into me and took a hand from Sam, rubbing her bump.
"It's ok baby. You're alright. I'm sorry I did that to you…do you forgive me?" She smiled a few seconds later and I could only assume the baby had "glowed" as she calls it. I kissed her hair again and she sighed.
"I think I'm good now. I'm really sorry guys…I thought I could handle that. I didn't realize how upset the baby would get." I looked to her curiously.
"The baby?" She nodded.
"Where have you been?" She asked with a laugh and I shook my head.
"No, no…I understand the process but I mean…you say the baby got upset…wasn't he reacting to your emotion?" She shrugged.
"That's usually how it works but…he got so much more upset than I am…I never expected that. It was like…he had a mind of his own on that one." I looked to Sam, this time I was very concerned. That's not how Carlisle every explained it.
"Bella that was violent. What the hell were you thinking of?" Sam asked and I cut in.
"Bella do not say it if you're going to get upset again." I told her with a pointed look at Sam, who looked guilty once he realized what he had asked. She shook her head.
"It's alright, I'm good now that I have the sedative. I…uh…well. I thought about Tye." She said bluntly and I looked down to her, shocked. Sam looked to her as well.
"Why would you do that, Bella?" He asked and she shrugged.
"I don't know… I had shown you the happy glow and I thought I would get a bit angry…maybe a little sad at the thought of him. Then I could show you the difference between the heats. That though…wow." She finished taking a deep breath. Sam nodded.
"Bella that was almost as bad as the fever we have minutes before the change." I heard Jared curse in shock and a few guys shook their heads. I just pulled her closer.
"What happened then?" Sam asked when Bella never responded and she sighed. She took a few moments to think and she hung her head.
"I guess…I never realized how much the baby hates him." She said quietly and I felt my eyes go wide at that.
"He what?" I asked her suddenly and she nodded.
"Sam was right…that was purely violent. That wasn't sad…not even angry. That was pure hatred…I hate him…but I don't hate him that much. Without him…without that…I wouldn't have my little man. And I wouldn't trade him for the world. So…that wasn't me. That was the baby." I know it's wrong…and I know I shouldn't have. But my wolf felt pure joy at those words.
The one thing that hurts me…literally causes me pain…hates the one wolf I wouldn't hesitate to kill. Hearing that…I felt closer to Bella and the baby. It felt like…my wolf didn't need to feel threatened by the baby. We were on the same side. Bella's side. That baby would never push Bella to him. I felt soothed deep down into my wolf and I couldn't help but sigh in contentment.
"I'd really like to talk to Dr. Cullen." Sam said suddenly and we all went silent. I looked to the guys who shared the same shocked looks. None of us wanted to question such a bold statement…so Bella broke the silence.
"I…I'm sure I could arrange that if you want, Sam. He is very happy you all have "taken me in" so to speak…he thinks it's really good for me and the baby to be around you guys." Sam smiled a bit and nodded.
"Do you think…I could come with you to your next appointment? Preferably as soon as possible?" She seemed taken aback at this but nodded.
"Of course. I'll let him know…my next appointment isn't for two weeks but he said I can pop in anytime as long as I give him notice." Sam nodded.
"Would tomorrow work?" I looked to Sam curiously. Something wasn't right.
"Uh…probably, yea. I'll call him." She said, standing. I made sure she was steady before I let her get too far and she went to grab her purse off the hood of my car. She grabbed her cell out of the bag and hit a speed dial number.
"Vampires and werewolves on speed dial. What has my life become?" She asked, trying to break the tension. It worked too…on the other guys. Sam was too serious for my liking. Something was up…and he wasn't about to fill me in. I could tell.
"Hey, Carlisle…I'm well, how are you?...Well, I'm over at Jacob's and Sam Uley was talking to me about the baby…yea. He wanted to know if he could come with me for an appointment to talk about the pregnancy…yea….preferably as soon as you can. Would tomorrow work?...oh ok…yea…just a second. Sam? Would tonight work?" Sam only nodded. I looked back to Bella. "Yea he said tonight is good…alright, Carlisle. See you then." She hung up the phone and put it in her purse, looking back to Sam.
"Sam…are you ok?" She asked and he only nodded, glancing at me.
"Yea I'm good." She didn't look convinced, though neither did I.
"So what time are we going?" I asked and Sam's head shot my way.
"No. No one is coming." He said, his Alpha coming through.
"What?!" I asked, shocked.
"Sam…man…you're walking into Cullen territory and you don't want an escort?" Paul asked, just as stunned and Sam shook his head.
"No. No escorts. I'm not worried about them, they like Bella and Carlisle would never let anything bad happen to her. This is a matter between Bella, Carlisle and myself. Now not another word on the subject. That's an order." And there it was. I was stuck. I shook my head and did the only thing I could think of. I pulled Bella as close to me as she could get and hugged her. She needed it…I could tell. But I needed it more.
I didn't know what else to do. I had no choice. I needed to talk to the vampire doctor.
I watched Bella as she comfortably got out of her truck, smiling to me as we made our way to the front door. Like she wasn't stepping into a house filled with vampires. I had to respect her bravery as a helpless, human girl. I put a hand on her lower back in support and walked to the door with her. I knew I startled her but making this request…not nearly as bad as I did Jacob though. I know I'm being a bit unfair to his emotions…but if what I have in mind is true…he wouldn't want to know. None of them would.
"Ahh, Bella! Can't get enough of us can ya kid?!" A huge guy asked her, giving her a hug as we stepped into the home. It was pretty fancy…but modest. I wasn't expecting it to be so homey and inviting.
"Oh you know it, Em. I just love hanging out with vampires and werewolves so much I decided to do so simultaneously." She said indicating to me. The guy laughed and nodded.
"My name is Emmet, you're Sam right? It's nice to officially meet you. I know you've met with Carlisle a few times before." I nodded and shook his hand. He seemed pretty nice actually.
"Yea a couple times. It's nice to meet you too, Emmett." I told him and I watched Bella get a hug from a really small girl.
"Oh good Lord…missed you too, Alice." Bella said with a laugh, earning a laugh from the others. I stuck close to Bella, feeling to need to protect. It wasn't odd…she was a human in the presence of vampires. But I didn't want to offend them. They are helping her. After introductions, Bella led me to a room down a hallway off to the left of the family room the others were in. She knocked on the door politely and opened it after hearing a "come in" from the other side.
"Hey Carlisle!" Bella said and he chuckled, standing.
"Bella! It's been ages!" He joked and she laughed, hugging him as well. Girl has guts. Carlisle came right over and shook my hand, a friendly smile on his face.
"Nice to see you again, Sam." He said and I nodded.
"You too, Carlisle." Bella sat down on the hospital bed he had set up in the room.
"To what do I owe the pleasure, you two?" Bella sighed.
"Well I should probably point out. I had to use a sedative today." She told him and he nodded, grabbing a file off his desk and jotting a note in it.
"Alright, under what circumstance, dear?" She sighed again.
"Well I was showing Sam how the baby heats up based on what I say, think and feel…and I wanted to show him the difference between the glow and something negative…and the baby just lost it. I mean…on his own accord lost it. I don't even think those were my emotions." He looked very intrigued as he sat down, giving her full attention.
"What were you thinking of?" He asked. I sat down on a chair and let them talk.
"Well…I thought about Tye. And yea I'm angry…yea I hate him. I'm still very upset and hurt by everything…but the baby just…I couldn't feel anything but pure hatred." He nodded, writing again and looked back to her.
"It sounds like the baby has strong feelings about its father." I felt myself flinch at the word. Father. That thing isn't even a man let alone a father. Neither would do what he did to Bella.
"Apparently." She mumbled, holding her belly. I watched the interaction and couldn't help but feel respect for the girl. She was so brave to be going through with this pregnancy. There was so much risk for her…for something she never asked for.
"Do you think it's normal for it to have such independence at this point though?" Bella asked and Carlisle sighed…though it seemed like a habit rather than necessity.
"Well…that's hard to say, Bella. It is possibly, absolutely. The heart and brain are formed. The baby has the ability to communicate with you and feel what you feel. I assume it knows your own anguish against Tye and feels protective of you. That could be the wolf gene coming through." I'd never thought of that…it wants to protect her.
"That makes so much sense." I interjected. Carlisle looked to me, silently asking me to continue.
"I mean…Bella said she and the baby are at peace around Jake and the pack…is that because we are protectors as well?" He looked thoughtful and nodded.
"That would make sense, Sam. The baby is very in tune with Bella. I would imagine anything that poses a threat to her, the baby would take not only as a threat against itself but also against the human it wants to protect most." He told me and my eyes went wide.
"Like an imprint." I mumbled. Bella didn't catch it…I was sure based on the confusion on her face. Carlisle understood though.
"Bella, I'd like to talk to Carlisle alone…would you mind?" She looked confused but nodded.
"Yea no problem… I'll go talk to Alice." She said and hoped off the table, leaving the room. Carlisle closed the door behind her and turned to me, taking a seat across his desk from me.
"I knew there was a little more to this visit." He said with a friendly smile and I nodded.
"See…I've been having trouble with one of my wolves. Jacob." Carlisle nodded.
"He and Bella seem pretty close." Carlisle noted and I nodded.
"Jake was hoping to imprint on Bella. But he didn't…and honestly I can't think of one reason why. It's rare…yes. But…he is a direct blood line to Taha Aki. If anyone has the ability to imprint…it would be the future chief. Jake's dad did it…his grandpa did it…" Carlisle nodded thoughtfully.
"Is Bella not meant for him, possibly?" I shrugged.
"There's always that possibility…but the facts are there. Jake said its like he feels a pull with Bella and everything is there…but it's like there's a wall between them and everything falls flat. Between you and me…it sounds like something is preventing the imprint." His face slipped into recognition.
"The baby." He interjected and I nodded.
"I had no idea the baby was that emotionally independent and controlling. Bella needed to go through a whole process to come down from it." He nodded.
"Bella said the baby seems to like Jacob though." He said and I nodded.
"Yea…I'm thinking it's because it knows Bella is safest with Jake…that they are supposed to have that tie." Carlisle wrote a few things down in the file.
"That's a good point, Sam. I wouldn't have made that connection without that information." I sighed, scratching my head.
"I'm worried." I said bluntly. He looked to me curiously.
"What has you worried, Sam?" He asked kindly.
"Well…an imprint isn't supposed to hurt either party. It's supposed to be exactly what the person needs and it's supposed to only do good. But…this situation is so messed up. I…I'm worried about the baby's safety." His face turned serious and he put his pen down.
"Why is that?" I sighed.
"The pull of the imprint…it's strong. It's a force that can't be tainted or stopped. The baby causing the delay…if there is one…it could hurt Bella…it could hurt the baby." Carlisle nodded.
"I've instructed Bella to be around the pack and Jacob as much as possible because it keeps them both so calm and happy. I'd be worried if she spent too much time away from Jacob and the strain caused her or the baby stress." I nodded, it made sense.
"If Jake is supposed to imprint that's a completely real worry, Carlisle. But…if Jake is meant to imprint…I'm worried the imprint might stop at nothing to make itself known." He looked to me curiously.
"What do you mean, Sam?" I sighed.
"I'm worried…that the stress of the denied imprint might be too much for the baby or Bella to handle." I told him and realization hit him.
"If all else fails…" He mumbled and I nodded. It's what I had been afraid of. Imprinting is one of the most powerful bonds, certainly the most powerful of our kind. And it won't allow itself to be ignored. If all else fails. I sighed and spoke the words he hadn't wanted to.
"It might try to eliminate the baby."
There you have it guys! I hope you enjoy! Review!