Author's Note: And here we have reached the end of All the Wrong Things. It is with great pride that I am able to click that little drop down box to 'complete' on this fic. Up next is the sequel! Thank you guys all so much, really, the support has been better than I could ever ask for!
Ch 27: On the Road...again
Renesmee's words haunted Jacob as he followed Leah, Seth and the baby through the woods. The image of her face was burned into his brain. No wonder she hated him. She was taking away the one thing she loved the most. What a monster he was...
It was almost morning, his senses were so attuned to rising sun that he could almost feel its warmth upon his skin from the dim sky. Seth was loaded down with three back packs, Jacob had his duffel and Leah's small suitcase. Leah carried the baby on her back and pushed the stroller her mother had gotten for her over the bracken on the ground. The bumpiness of the forest floor did not soothe LJ while inside it, but he quieted once he was in place on his mother's back, secure and warm. In a matter of moments, they would have reached the border of La Push. Jacob stopped then, and looked back. Through the trees and fog, he could almost see his father's house, see him on the small front porch in his chair, smiling and waving to him.
But, of course that was just in his memories now. He lowered his head, and sighed. Leaving his father behind when he needed him most was the hardest part of this. A pair of hands were on his shoulders, squeezing them in a comforting way. He looked up at Leah, and found tears sliding down her cheeks silently.
Jacob reached up and brushed them away with his thumb. He vowed to make those tears stop. That he would take care of anything that would hurt her.
Seth was on his other side, again, his face way older than it should look, and patted Jacob on the back soothingly.
Jacob sighed again, and continued on. He pressed his hand against the front left pocket of his jeans. Bella had all but forced a wad of bills into his hand, along with a cell phone. He didn't want her charity, but the cell phone wasn't a bad idea. She could give him updates on his father, and Edward had promised to keep a watch over everything. Before the sun cracked through the trees, Jacob and his little pack had left La Push behind.
Sam had to be quick. He had to do this without alerting anyone, without telling anyone a thing. He couldn't even look his pack in the eye for fear that that would see right through him. It was daylight now, the morning sun had just risen, and he knew that Jacob would be gone by now. Emily slept soundlessly next to him, having cried herself to sleep after he had told her the news, that Quil had banned Jacob and his pack. He watched her sleep for a moment, taking in his ruined face, and yet her beauty. He had to this, for her. He had to get her somewhere safe and there was only one place he could go. He had to set things right, and this was the only way to do it, to stop Quil, to redeem himself. He reached under the bed and pulled out a brand new suitcase, an engagement present which ironically was from Leah.
He walked to her dressers and began shoving handfuls of clothes and underwear into it. The squeaky hinges protested as he forced them open, and Leah woke. He saw her reflection in the darkness, and already she looked confused. She reached over and turned on her bedside lamp. "Sam?" She asked groggily.
"Yeah, baby." He replied, his back to her, still stuffing clothes into the small bag.
"What are you doing?"
He slammed the suitcase shut and turned to her. Her eyes were wide and glassy, and she bit her bottom lip. Sam walked over to her, took her hand and sat on the bed. "You have to leave, Emily."
Sam's heart began hammering in his chest. He needed to get her up and dressed and out of here before anyone suspected a thing... "Things have happened," He panted, "Bad things. I need to get you away from here."
She was wide awake now, and her eyes were fearful. She reached out and placed a hand on his face. "What things?"
He frowned. He couldn't tell her here, not now. He didn't hear anyone close by who might be listening, but he couldn't take any chances. "I can't tell you here. When we get to... I'll explain, I promise, you just need to get up and get dressed."
"Sam, I'm confused. What's going on?"
"Do you trust me?" He asked, his eyes looking deep into hers.
"Of course I do." She said immediately.
He reached over and kissed her lightly. "Then hurry."
"Where are we going?"
"I'll tell you on the way." He got up and walked to the dresser to make sure he hadn't forgotten anything. What else was it that women needed? Clothes... oh, toiletries. He took a step to the bathroom.
"Sam..." She whimpered.
He turned to her again. He didn't like the look he saw in her face, it was an uneasy look that turned his stomach.
"Are we in danger?"
He dashed to her again, and took her hands. "I promise, you'll be safe."
"Sam, this is scaring me."
He kissed her lightly again, "I know. I'm sorry I'm being like this, but I will explain everything. I promise, okay?"
"Okay..." She said uncertainly and got to her feet.
Sam ran back to the bathroom and with his arm, swept the whole shelf into the bag. He didn't have time to decide whether Emily would have light days or heavy days. He walked back into the bedroom, and Emily was tying her shoes. He threw the bag over his shoulder, grabbed her hand and lead her out of the house.
Rhode Island was not what Jacob expected. Lush, green fields, bright blue sky, and the most charming New England accent greeted his ears as he followed Leah through the woods. She paused briefly by a large lake on their way through the woods, but didn't say a word about it. She also slowed when they reached a clearing, and kept one hand on the baby as they walked through. She seemed so upset by this, that Jacob didn't have the heart to question her.
They walked about half a mile further, and just up ahead were a line of low shrubs. Through the bushes, Jacob could see signs standing tall and proud. He could hear cars driving by, and a potpouri of voices. Telling by the sun in the sky, he guessed it was around noon.
"We're here," Leah said, stopping and turning to them. She nodded over her shoulder, "There's a small strip mall, the family I stayed with owns a restaurant in that."
"Good," Seth said, "I'm starving."
And as on cue, his stomach rumbled loudly. Jacob and Leah laughed. It felt good to laugh, they had been through so much hardships recently that Seth's stomach was a comic relief.
Jacob's stomach growled loudly as well. He was famished also. He turned to Leah, as she wiped the sweat from her brow. She looked exhausted. The baby slept soundly through the ruckass and Jacob decided to lighten her load. He unbuckeled him from her back and laid him in the cradle of his arm. "I'll carry him for awhile."
"Thanks," Leah said, massaging her neck.
"What are we waiting for?" Seth demanded.
"Okay, okay." Leah said, and lead the way through the shrubs.
Sam's hand was warm as he lead Emily through the forest. He stopped now and then, his head on a swivel. Sometimes he stopped and just listened. It was cold this night, and it in the darkness, his breath came out in raspy poofs. His chest heaved. There was sweat on his brow, and his eyes were wide and fearful. Never once did he let go of her, and it was a comfort as they ran through the darkness. She wasn't sure how far they traveled, but her feet ached so badly that they felt like they swelled three times their size. Her knees felt like they would give out on her at any moment. "I can't," She rasped, coming to stop. Her hand fell limp out of his, and she rested them against her knees to try and catch her breath.
He grabbed her hand again. Any second she was out of his reach was dangerous. "Emily, it's not much farther."
She held up her hand, panting. Close by, a wolf howled. Sam lifted his head. Was it his imagination, or did he hear the thudding of paws against the earth. He pulled Emily along, and she lopped after him slowly. He wanted to dart into a brisk jog... no.
He wanted to phase and pull her onto his back. But he couldn't phase, not yet. If he changed now, the guys would be in his head and know everything.
Finally, mercifully, Sam came to a stop at the end of a long, winding drive. She could finally rest. He stood frozen as a statue, and stared up at a big white house in the distance.
Emily looked around her, confused. They certainly were not in La Push any longer, and she wondered whose property this was. "Sam, where are we?" She had a bad feeling about this. She drew her jacket tighter around her small frame, a frown on her face.
"Shh," He whispered, lifting his hand to silence her. He had to be sure he was the only werewolf in earshot. He also had to be sure he wasn't going to be ambushed from those that resided here. He snatched a glance at Emily who swayed on her feet. She was exhausted, the poor thing. Once he was sure they were safe, he gathered Emily in his arms and ran down the winding drive.
Leah stood outside of the pizzeria. She couldn't believe she was actually back here, she'd be able to talk to Jack, Maria, and Kate again, and explain herself... somewhat. Jacob stepped up beside her and placed a hand on her shoulder. Seth lagged behind with the stroller.
"Shall we go in?" Jacob asked her.
"Yeah, order me a large with everything," Seth called from in back of them.
The familiar jingle of the bell over the door as Leah entered was a comforting sound. Jacob followed Leah and the baby into the pizza parlor, and he looked around. "You worked here?" He asked. It was a typical pizza place, that smelled delicious, especially when you hadn't eaten in hours.
"...Did you have a uniform?" He grinned.
"Shut up, Jacob."
She walked to the counter. There was a loud squeal, and Kate dashed out behind the counter, a wide grin on her face. "LEAH!" She screamed.
Leah smiled. Kate nearly tackled her as she gave her a hug. She straightened up and eyed Jacob. "Douche nozzle?" She asked.
"The very one." Leah said.
"What?" Jacob yelped.
Kate clapped her hands together when she saw the baby in Jacob's arms. "Oh, he is precious!"
"Thanks." Leah smiled, and she noticed a grin on Jacob's face. The Parmo's were good people who could do that, radiate ease and friendliness.
The commotion brought forth Maria and Jack. "Hi," She said sheepishly.
"Welcome back, dear." Maria said, reaching over and hugging Leah.
"Jacob," Leah said, "This is Maria and her daughter, Kate. And,..." shee nodded to Jack who still stood a few feet behind them. "that's Jack. Guys, this is Jacob, and my son, Jacob junior."
Leah's eyes found Jack, and the anger that was once there in his eyes melted to uncertainty. He adverted her eyes, and crossed his arms. Leah supposed she deserved this. She had left without a word. He had deserved much better than that.
There was a pause, and then Jacob stretched out his hand to Jack. Jack shook it.
"Why don't we give them a minute?" Maria asked, turning to Jacob and Kate. She smiled at the baby. "Come in the back and we'll get you something to eat."
"Sounds great," Jacob said, and looked over his shoulder. "Seth should be coming. I hear him just outside."
"I'll go help him and meet you back there." Kate said, and scampered out the door.
Maria placed her arm around Jacob's shoulder. "C'mon, I want to pamper that baby."
Jacob laughed and turned to Leah. "Go on, I'll come back later."
Jacob reached over and kissed her quickly, and then followed Maria. The baby started crying then. Jacob sighed as he coddled his son. These people seemed nice, and it was far away, but not far away to forget his problems at home. He could try though, try and relax, for a little while at least.
There was silence between the two of them. It wasn't just a silence, it was as if the air had gotten thick, like a silicone bubble had landed between them. It was so uncomfortable. Finally, Jack mumbled, "So, you stopped by. Great. That's wonderful." He turned on his heel and started wiping off the counter with a rag.
Leah knew he was pretty pissed at her, and he had every right to be. She sighed. "Jack, I'm really sorry about how I left things. I didn't mean to..."
"Whatever," He said, busying himself in his work.
"You were a really good friend to me. I came back to make this right."
"And how do you plan on doing that?" He demanded.
She sighed. And in there lay the problem. She couldn't just drop her bombshell on him. He'd have a coronary. There were a few times on their way here that she wanted to ask Jacob if it would be okay to tell Jack the truth. If Jacob had agreed with her that it would be for the best, Leah wondered how Jack would take the news. She knew he would have her back. But, he had a nice, happy life. He didn't need Leah and her magic coming in and turning it upside down. He was happy, and she would let him have that happiness. So, she went with a simple explanation. "I just came back to apologize."
"That's great." His reply came out tart and brittle.
"I'm really sorry." She whispered. "I never meant to hurt you and I did, and I'm sorry." She sighed, "Dammit, I just never do anything right!" She wrapped her arms around her knees, and sunk down to the floor. After a moment, Jack looked over the counter at her in her pitiful state. He sighed, and took a seat beside her. He wasn't one for holding a grudge, and Leah had helped him a lot. If it hadn't been for her, he would have never gotten with Tiffany. He nudged her arm.
She picked her head up and looked at him.
"You're forgiven." He said.
She stared at him. Was he letting her off so easy?
He shrugged, "Friends forgive each other, right? I guess since you did come all this way to apologize, the least I can do is forgive you."
Leah felt worse. She did not deserve to have this wonderful person as her friend. "Thanks, Jack."
"Why did you run?" He asked.
Here again, was a vague statement she would have to make convincing. "I was just scared..." And it hadn't been a lie, either. When Leah had been in labor, she was scared out of her mind. Scared someone would see her, scared she'd get caught, scared her child wouldn't even make it.
"You should have let me help you."
She reached over and took his hand, and she knew that questions came to his lips about the warmness of her skin. "It's better this way. Trust me."
He shook his head, "You talk in riddles."
He sighed, "Is everyone healthy at least?"
"Yeah," She smiled, "We're all fine."
"What brings you back besides a guilty conscience?" He chided.
Leah took a moment to respond. This was very heartbreaking, and she didn't know if she could find the right words for Jack.
"Hey, you okay?"
She looked up, and didn't even realize that there were tears that had leaked out under her lashes. "Yeah," She said, "It's just... we're kind of homeless."
Homeless. The word was as empty and hollow as she felt it to be. It was such a lonely, sad word having nowhere to return to, nowhere to belong. But, she guessed it summed them up these days. She, Seth, and Jacob didn't have much to go on, just each other and the tiny infant.
"Homeless?" He asked, his blue eyes sparkling with uncertainty. Jack was such a kind soul. He was the kind of person that was there for everyone.
"My tribe didn't really accept the birth of my son."
Jack was silent a few moments. He let his breath out in a low whistle. "I'm sorry."
They were silent a few minutes more, each lost in their own thoughts.
"You're welcome here, you know." Jack said quietly. "If you wanted to stay around for awhile, I'm sure my mom wouldn't throw you out, and you know Kate sees you as a big sister."
"And how do you feel?" She asked.
Jack was quiet a moment before he replied, "I feel like I have my friend back."
Leah reached over and kissed his cheek before placing her head back on his shoulder. "I don't know what's happening right now, Jack, but thanks." She whispered.
Leah had left Seth to wheeling in the stroller, and it seemed like an easy task... until he tried to get the cumbersome thing through the threshold of the door while holding the door open with his ass. From inside, the lure of something delicious cooking invited his nostrils. There was food close by. Unhealthy, greasy, food! He struggled for a few minutes, and then he felt the weight of the door being pulled off of him. He turned, expecting to see Jake or Leah standing there, laughing at him.
But instead, his dark eyes found the most beautiful cinnamon colored eyes he had ever seen. They belonged to a young girl around his age, with a long blond braid down her back. Seth gulped. It was like the air was whooshed from his lungs. As soon as he had laid eyes on this beautiful creature, he was taken.
On her face was a wide smile identical to his, and in her eyes seemed to be the same knowing, the same movement of the earth. Seth wheeled the carriage inside, his eyes never leaving hers.
"I'm Kate." She said.
"I'm Seth, Leah's brother."
"You're Leah's brother?" She smiled. "Cool."
"Seth?" Leah's voice interrupted his thoughts. He turned and found her and a boy sitting next to each other on the floor. "What took you so long?"
"I was tired and hungry!" He complained. He looked around. "Anything to eat in this place?"
Kate smiled, and took his hand. "Yeah, I'll take care of you."
Seth smiled back at her, and wound both of his hands through hers. "I know you would."
Leah and Jack exchanged looks, his a face of confusion, hers a mask of disbelief.
Kate pulled him to the back as Jacob walked out with the baby. "Hey, Seth." He said, and then noticed their joined hands. He turned to Leah. "Did I miss something?"
Sam stood at the bottom of the wide wooden staircase. Emily stood behind him, cowering with unease. She hung onto Sam's hands, slick with sweat; it was a combination of nerves and his body heat. She did not like this house, she had a bad feeling in the pit of her stomach, and wanted nothing more to leave, to go back to her little home and hide under the covers. Whoever lived here wasn't right, there was just something off about this place. "Who lives here, Sam?" She whispered.
He took a moment to respond. "The Cullens." He whispered.
Fear and dread filled her small frame. The vampires? Sam hated the damn vampires. Why the hell were they here? Why weren't they home, snuggled on her love seat, watching bad movies? She did not want to be here.
"We need their help." He whispered, "Come."
He took a step, and the only thing that got her feet moving was that she trusted him one hundred percent. If there was ever a doubt in her mind that he didn't know what he was doing, she would have remained frozen to that spot. She was terrified, but she followed him.
Sam had just set foot on the top step, when the door was wrenched open wide. Edward Cullen stood peering at him curiously, and then a look of horror crossed his face.
Sam knew that this vampire had his extra talents, and if he didn't need his help so badly, he wouldn't be reliving everything with old Quil in his head right now. This was his only option.
There was the sound of footsteps heading to the door, and Bella appeared just over Edward's shoulder. Her eyes narrowed to slits when she saw Sam. "You!" She rasped. "Why are you here? Get out! You were supposed to help Jacob!"
"No," Edward said straightening up and turning to her, "No, Bella, it's not what you think. This changes everything." Edward looked deep into Sam's eyes. "I need to know everything." He said.
Ohhhh, what a cliffy, eh? I will be back in a few days with the start of the sequel! Thank you guys all so very, very much! I couldn't have done this without you all!
My faithful reviewers:
JacobAPotter, CuzoftheFame, Brezzy, LeahBlackIlUvWerewolves, Ari, Arachne, Twilightobsessive, Keikat, Blackwater4ever, rogueassasin, jacobleah, and everyone else I forgot to mention: to all of you, I love you loads!