Disclaimer: I don't own Twilight.
As the thunder rolls down from the mountains and into the surrounding valley, Jared whines at the sheer sound of it. The ferocity of the storm, the noise, is hard on all of our supernatural hearing, especially in wolf form.
We've been out here searching for hours. I was just settling down for the night after an exhausting day on patrol, when I got a call from Billy. Charlie had called him frantic that Bella had gone for a walk in the woods but hadn't come home yet. Of course Billy fearing for her safety had then volunteered the pack up to help the search for her, hoping that with out supernatural senses we'd be able to find her and return her safely. Unfortunately that has yet to happen.
When we first turned up at Charlie's there were already a number of cars parked outside the house and a formal search party was already in full swing. We were told to join a group of men searching to the east. We stayed with them for a while and then managed to break off so we could search unhindered as wolves.
It was easy to pick up her trail to begin with, her scent was easy to identify and if that wasn't enough there was an abundance of broken twigs, branches and overturned rocks left in her wake. I'd heard that she was clumsy but this was ridiculous. At first it was obvious that she was accompanied by the leech but his went off in a straight direction to the Crypt, as named by Paul. Bella's scent trail stayed with him for a while but then veered off further in to the forest and then wiggled about going in circles in some places. She was quite obviously lost. We were making some headway until the rain came and washed everything away. We were hoping that by splitting up and searching as most forest as we could we would find her eventually.
'Stupid leech lover, going for a picnic when there's a storm'
'Be fair it wasn't exactly black clouds when she set out, and it's not like she has supernatural senses like we do.'
'She could have checked a weather forecast' Paul snipes.
'Yeah and how many times do you do that' I say slyly.
He grumbles but shuts up.
I take a deep breath and try to pick up her scent but only the forest floods my senses. The rain makes the earth and the pines smell stronger, obscuring anything else. The rain's so heavy that even if the girl was three feet away I doubt I would be able to hear her shouting. That coupled with raging river that keeps cutting across my path makes me wonder how I can even hear my self think.
'Well I wouldn't mind some peace even if you don't.'
Paul's always been resentful of being a wolf, the change adding fuel to his already explosive temper and following orders and being under the thumb of the alpha and council isn't something he's exactly enthusiastic about. Not that I don't agree with him, but I at least know how to be civil about it.
I get an echo of anger from Paul reading my thoughts, he growls and throws and image of Emily at me, the scars on her ruined face standing out prominently and then another of the act taking place. I jerk violently to a stop skidding on the wet leaves. I snarl feeling my own temper flare.
'Paul stop, everybody stop. This isn't helping.'
Jared the peacekeeper.
I get a flash of the abandoned logging trail in front of him. He's working on the theory that Bella went east and eventually found one of the old roads and decided to follow it in to town. Paul went deeper in to the woods to the base of the mountains, scouted around and then doubled back. We all agreed that she wouldn't have been stupid enough to have started climbing. I went west, the woods are thicker here, but there's a road that cuts through the forest to a nearby town.
We've narrowed it down to these 3 areas. She has to be in these areas of woods, otherwise she would have found a road and been picked up.
I growl, a warning and throw my self back into the search.
Lightning arcs across the sky and for a moment the forest lights up from the breaks in the trees, creating eerie stretching shadows across the river.
I run a moment more and then freeze. Sprint back to the river where I saw it, a colour that doesn't not belong in the forest. Tangled in tree roots on the opposite bank is the white strip around the bottom a converse shoe. I launch myself in to the water and paddle towards it. I grab it with my teeth and immediately I know it's hers. The rushing current has washed it clean of most of the mud but her sent still lingers. She probably wears these shoes everyday and smells like that are hard to wash out.
A swelling of hope prompts me to scrabble up the bank and phase back to human.
"BELLLLLAAAAAAAAAA!" I scream into the night. "BELLLLLLAAAAAAAA!"
I turn wolf and show the others. They begin racing towards me. Bella came this way and even though we don't know how long the shoes been stuck there, it at least gives us a direction to search. I order Paul to go down stream incase she fell in and got carried away with the current. I'll search upstream with Jared.
I scan the river frantically, willing my feet to carry me faster, for her to resting upon the bank just around the next bend. I hear the thoughts of Jared who doesn't believe that this search will have a happy ending. The usually calm shallow river has flooded with all the extra water coming down from the mountains making it easy to be swept away.
I pray to Taha aki that we will find her.
I see a hand submerged in the water below.
The steep bank has given way in a landslide and she's trapped beneath. I scramble down to her and push the rocks and debris from her legs. I drag her up on to the forest floor. She's ice cold and not breathing. I try to clear the water from her lungs but she doesn't stir.
I quickly fill the others in and then run with her towards the road. For me it doesn't take long but for Bella or another human it would've been damn near impossible. I pause at the tree line tugging on my shorts and then sprint out in to the road. There aren't any cars so I start running towards town.
Two minutes later I see the lights of a truck and I wave them down. They slam on the breaks skidding slightly before stopping.
"What the hell do you think you're doing in the middle of the road like that," the trucker yells furiously.
"I need your help, do you have a phone?"
He sees Bella in my arms and nods quickly fishing it out of his pocket.
I lay Bella down and tell the man to start cpr as I dial Billy's number.
"Billy it's Sam we've found her, but she's not breathing, we need an ambulance now!"
I hear his sharp intake of air, "where are you?"
The ambulance arrives quickly and they whisk her away to the hospital. God I hope they manage to save her.
Charlie's cruiser pulls up a fifteen minutes later and I tell him all that I know. I offer to go with him to the hospital bug he declines.
"You need sleep." I would tell him I'm not the only one but I don't think anything could stop him from seeing Bella now that she's been found.
When I get home find Emily asleep at the table, phone in front of her. I dry off with the tea towel and take her in my arms. She stirs as I climb the stairs but when she sees my face she doesn't speak only clings to me tighter. We collapse into bed and I sleep fitfully.
I dream of her reaching out to me, of water rushing over her head. I dream of blue lips and lifeless eyes.
When I wake I keep my eyes closed tight, trying to avoid the day. If i get up I'll have to call Billy or Charlie and find out if the girl lived or died. I'd have to find out they if I'd got there five or fifteen or twenty minutes earlier we'd have saved her or if we'd looked there first we'd have found her before she even fell in. I'd know if her face would haunt my mind for months to come.
I wonder if when Edward left her in the forest he thought about the consequences. If he thought his actions would have an impact on anyone other than himself and Bella. I wonder if he knows Bella Swans heartbeat status. Damn bloodsucker.
"Should we call Billy? Do you think he'll be in?"
I open my eyes and turn towards my imprint. She has the crease between her brows that she always get when worrying too hard.
"Do you think I should make Charlie something?"
"No, no I don't think he could eat anything right now." He'd be either full of relief and sleeping on a plastic chair at the hospital or at home and too full of grief to even consider food.
I pick up the phone and wait a moment, preparing myself for my answer.
But the phone rings and rings and no one picks up.
It's like that all day but then as the sun is setting somebody answers.
"Hello?" Billy sounds as if he's aged twenty years in one night.
He sighs heavily " she's alive, for now, she's alive."
On the other end of the phone Billy sounds like he's falling apart, but for me it feels like I can finally breathe again.