Just Breathe, We'll Fix This
Closing the door behind me, I kicked off my boots and called out that I was home. It was closing in on seven o'clock and I knew that Kayla and Aiden would be home. Dropping my bag onto the couch, I called out again. The house felt empty and my fear level spiked at the thought that something could be wrong.
"Jacob!" I shouted as I took a few steps into the kitchen. From above, I heard a creaking of floorboards and Jacob was in front of me within seconds. I jumped back a little at the sudden arrival and breathed a sigh of relief to find him there looking perfectly fine.
"Are you deaf? I've called three times now." I scolded him, doing my best to look as firm as possible. He gave his head a quick shake as if he had woken up and realized that somebody had walked into his house.
"Sorry, I was on the phone with a client."
"She's taking a shower."
"What about Aiden?"
"He isn't home yet." My eyes widened when he had said this. What was he talking about?
"What do you mean?"
"I've called his cell three times now." He moved a little closer to me and rested his hands on my hips. I stared up at him with a face that I was sure was bordering on terror. "I called Edward and asked if they could pick up scents. I also got Seth, Embry, and Paul on the look-out for any activity." The way he said it confused me. He did not sound worried at all, just professional as if this kind of thing happened all the time.
"Jacob, you don't think…"I could not finish that sentence, especially when it involved my own son. Jacob brought me closer into a hug and I felt my arm wind around his back. He did not say anything, already knowing that words would do little. Instead, he just held me, whispering into my ear every few seconds.
"I don't know babe." He whispered his hand in my hair. "We won't know anything until either the Cullens or one of the others reports back." I felt tears stinging my eyes and let them fall. Jacob kept quiet; he even went so far as to stop whispering. It was a few minutes before I finally pushed away and started getting my thoughts together.
"If they did take him, we need to move fast." My voice still shook a little, but it was more controlled than I thought it would be. He nodded just as his phone buzzed. My eyes shot straight to his pocket as he pulled it out and read the message. From the look on his face, I already knew the answer. He looked up and grabbed me before my legs could give out from beneath me.
"No! No! No!" I nearly screamed as a fresh batch of tears came.
Jacob took my chin in his hand and forced me to look up at him. "Listen Leah, we will find him. I promise you that no one will stop looking until we know where he is." I could see it in his eyes that he wanted to cry just as much as I was. I stared into them and knew that he was telling the truth. There was no way in hell that those bloodsuckers were going to hurt Aiden. Footsteps came down the stairs and my heart clenched. Kayla was in sweats and a loose t-shirt, a towel wrapped around her head. She stared at Jacob and me, her eyes darting back and forth eager to know what was going on.
"Mom, what's wrong?" She said cautiously, testing the water before diving right in. Jacob looked back at me with sad eyes and I knew that we both had more explaining to do.
"Kayla, take a seat on the couch." Jacob said as the three of us went to sit down. The two of us sat opposite of Kayla, and I had no idea what to start with. Even Jacob had nothing to say, so I took a breath and started talking.
"You remember when we told you about what really happened between your father and me?" My voice still sounded chocked, but I didn't have the heart to put any force into it. She nodded slowly as her eyes again darted between Jacob and me. "Well, when I was around four months pregnant…I was attacked by a vampire."
"What." It wasn't a question, more of a shocked response.
"Yes, now I really don't remember all the details because I was pretty out of it after the attack. But, I know that your father ripped out the things arms and threw it over the balcony." I stopped talking and threw the torch over to Jacob.
"As your mother was saying, yeah I nearly killed the vampire. I'm not even sure if he lived after that. However, since then that vampire's coven has been after us. They want revenge for what I did to one of their own, so they've been after you and Aiden since birth." He said the words slowly; trying to make her understand almost exactly, what was going on. I saw her eyes blink to different points on the couch as her brain mulled this over. I didn't blame her for being so silent; hell, even I couldn't trust myself to speak anymore.
"So what exactly are you guys trying to get at?" Now this was the hardest part of all to even try to explain. I looked at Jacob with a grave expression and he grabbed my hand; squeezing tightly in an attempt to soothe the matter at hand. Just as I opened my mouth to tell Kayla about Aiden, Jacob's phone went off and he handed it to me.
"Jasper?" I was desperately holding onto the phone, hoping for news that Aiden was safe with the Cullens.
"Leah, we found Aiden's motorcycle by the road."
"What about a scent? Anything familiar?"
"It's them. Their scent is all over the bike and the road. Aiden's scent carries on through the woods. So far it goes straight through; stopping by what we think could be their lair." From the sound of his voice, I already knew he was not hiding any information from me. My heart sank and my breath hitched in my throat as I thought about there being more than one vampire involved. The very thought that Aiden could not have even fought back sent chills straight down my spine. I gave my thanks to Jasper and barely managed to tell him to keep us posted before the tears came. Jacob's arms were around me in seconds as a waterfall of tears fell. I felt a few drops hit my shoulder as Jacob felt the reality of the situation for the first time.
"They took him….just like that?" I looked up to see Kayla's face. She looked like a piece of shattered glass; finally cracking at the reality of everything all at once. Removing myself from Jacob's hold, I stood and walked over to where she sat. I sat down beside her and grabbed her in my arms as if she were a small child again. Her own tears soaked the top of my shirt, as she finally knew the truth. I ran my hand up and down her back as the sobs racked her body. Despite popular movie belief, holding back your own tears was harder than comforting someone who was in just as much pain as you are. Turning to Jacob, I tried to blink my own tears back in an attempt to be strong. He understood right away and got up, pulling out his phone and calling up the rest of the pack to let them in on the news.
"Kayla, we'll need the help of both packs to get your brother back. Now, I know he made you his Beta, which means that right now you are in charge of the new pack. I need you to get in touch with the others and round them up here in half an hour." I held her at arms length as I explained this to her. Her eyes were red from the crying and her face was still scrunched up; but I needed her help more than ever. She nodded and fished her phone from her pocket, texting all the pack members about the emergency meeting.
I stood and walked out of the room, going upstairs to change into clothing that is more comfortable. Jacob was sitting on the bed with his elbows on his knees when I walked in. Our eyes didn't even meet as I walked to the closet, grabbed a pair of sweats and a checkered long sleeve, and changed right then and there.
"Of course, just give her the news as gently as you possibly can. Other than that, meet up at my house in a half hour or so. We need to figure out a game plan with the Cullens if we want this to work." With that, he hung up and threw his cell phone on the bed; running his fingers through his hair in frustration. I walked over and knelt on the bed, putting myself behind him and working my hands into his shoulders. I felt him relax under me and continued to massage until most of the tension had left him. He stayed quiet, too busy thinking and plotting to say anything to anyone.
"Do you still remember our wedding vows?" He asked as my hands left his shoulders.
"Of course, I think I even have them memorized."
"Love has given us wings, and our journey begins today. Leah, wherever the wind may carry me, I will stay by your side as your husband. Take this ring as a sign on my love." He played with the ring on my finger when my arms had encircled his shoulders from behind.
"Jacob, our miracle lies in the path we have chosen together. I enter into this marriage with you, knowing that the true magic of love is not to avoid changes, but to navigate them successfully."
"Let us commit to the miracle of making each day work together. Respecting each other, we commit to live our lives together for all the days to come. I ask you to share this world with me, for good and ill." He continued as he grabbed my hand in his own.
" Be my partner and I will be yours." We both finished off and I moved to sit beside him. I kept an arm around him as he brought me closer to his side. He held me as I held him for what felt like hours. He brought his other arm and lifted me onto his lap; embracing me as if his arms could protect me from the pain of losing Aiden. I let my head rest on his shoulder as his hand roamed up and down my back in slow, soothing motions. I returned the favor, knowing that Jacob needed the comfort as much as I did.
"We will find him. I promise you that I will never stop looking until we get him back." He whispered in my ear, the words themselves hitching in his throat.
"I know we will." I whispered back, drops of determination making their way through my bloodstream. The knocking at the door, probably from the pack broke the moment. I got off Jacob's lap and we made our way downstairs, holding hands the whole way down. Kayla opened the door to let in Seth, Renesmee, Embry, and Quil. Jacob nodded at them as they took off their shoes and coats.
"Nessie, are the others going to be here soon as well?" I asked before she took her seat next to Seth.
"I called, and they said they would on their way momentarily." She answered as she sat down. I nodded and turned to Jacob, leading him to the kitchen to get some drinks for the others. By getting some drinks from the others, I just took out two bottles of pop and a few bottles of water and set them down on the side tables. Everyone, the new pack, the old pack, and the Cullens were all crowded into the living room within the next twenty minutes. I knew Jacob was better off to start this meeting than I was, so I sat next to Kayla while he stood.
"Alright, so we all know that these vampires have taken Aiden. We have a hunch right now that it was all because of what I did to one of their own when Leah was pregnant. However, now is the time to focus on solutions to get him back," His eyes scanned the room for any answers.
"We don't all want to rush into their hide out." Kolden spoke up, most eyes turning to him. He was one of Aiden's best friends, and on top of that, an oddly bright kid.
"Of course not," Embry mused as he thought over a possible plan. "They'll expect us to go at them all at once. We have to carry out an element of surprise." We all silently agreed on that point.
"Then we'll have to go in groups." Seth suggested from his spot next to Renesmee. His arm was wrapped around her, as she seemed to hold onto him. Well of course, we would need to split up. Both packs and the Cullens were way too high of a number to be attacking all at once. What we needed was to catch them off guard and still manage to rescue Aiden.
"We'll have to decide groups. We should have at least four wolves matched with three vampires." Edward plotted aloud, already in his own little world.
"So one group of seven and two groups of eight," I concluded and watched him nod. Now the only things left to decide were who was in which group and out attack strategies.
"Then how about we get the groups together now?" Carlisle spoke.
"Of course." Jacob thought for a moment, looked down at me, and then returned his gaze to the rest of the room. "Alright, group one will be Alice, Jasper, Emmett, Sam, Embry, Quil, and Kolden." They nodded at each other before Jacob continued with the second group. "Next, Edward, Bella, Rosalie, Leah, me, Kayla, Daniel and Nathan," Our eyes met for a fraction of a second, but it was enough for Jacob to slip in a small smile. "Finally, Carlisle, Esme, Renesmee, Seth, Marko, Embry, Paul, and Jared," He looked around the room and asked if anyone had any objections to the groups they were put in. After everyone had remained silent for a few minutes, I spoke up.
"We should start thinking of possible strategies tonight and meet back here tomorrow afternoon at two. Is everyone all right with that?"
"Sure," Embry nodded.
"If anything, we should try to practice some combat as well before we challenge these guys. We have no idea of their numbers, and we should be prepared." Jasper said, and I smiled weakly at the suggestion. With the meeting concluded, everyone left to go back to his or her homes. It was now nearing nine and I was dead tired.
"I think we should all go to bed." Jacob suggested as he slipped his arm around my waist. We turned off all the downstairs lights and went upstairs. Before going into our own room, we knocked on Kayla's door.
"We just wanted to say sweet dreams." Jacob smiled as he knelt by the bed and pulled the covers a little higher, planting a kiss on Kayla's forehead after he had done so. I bent down, gave her a kiss on her cheek, and left the room. I changed my top and pulled on a tank instead before getting into bed with Jacob. Turning off the lights, I snuggled closer to him and tried to get sleep to come to me.
"I'm just as worried as you are Leah." He whispered, sounding as if he was about to fall asleep any second now.
"I know, but I just want to get there before it's too late for him." My voice was soft as I moved a little closer to Jacob's body.
"So do I." I felt him move down a little and plant a kiss on my neck. Despite everything, it sent a shiver through my body that I knew Jacob noticed. He moved and kissed the same spot again, moving from my neck down to my collarbone; his eyes came up to meet mine and I nodded my approval. His hand went up the back of my shirt and took the clasp off my bra.
"Isn't this a really odd time to get it on?" I whispered, a small smile touching my lips. His lips were already at my stomach as his raised my shirt.
"We both need this…no matter the situation. We can't let this stress us out; we'd be giving into them if we let ourselves be consumed by this." My head went back as his lips trailed a thin line down to my pant lining. He quickly rid me of any clothing from the waist down, kissed down, and back up my legs. My back arched and he came right back up to stare into my eyes.
"Take them off."
"Excuse me babe?"
"Take off your clothes. Right now." I ordered as I hooked my thumbs in his sweats. He complied easily and connected our lips in a deep and passionate kiss. I grabbed onto him and brought him closer to my body, happy when small pieces of contact were made.
"Love me Jacob."
"With pleasure Mrs. Black."