Beyond the dawn

Over a decade after dealing with the volturi, Bella and Edward have settled into family life. Vampire blood burning in her veins, Bella is restless despite the treaty with the pack, and when a neighbouring wolf pack crossing La push territory threatens to change everything forever no one walks away unscathed

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13. Chapter 12 ~~ A time to run, a time to fight.

Malik stepped from the car and crushed his cigarette stub beneath his suede boots. His eye's narrowed as he peered into the darkness, and gave a sharp whistle. He leant back against the car, and crossed his ankles to wait.

A large black wolf emerged from the tree line, and slid through the darkness towards him, the only sounds the gentle swish of it's tail, and the crickets chirping softly in the long grass. The huge wolf stopped at his feet, and Malik crouched to it's eye level.

" Daniel, I want those Cullen's every move reported to me you got that? Jacob had better not move without me knowing about it either?"

The black wolf chuffed in acknowledgement, and turned to head back into the woods.

" I have some errands to run, and then I will catch you up. Let them know your there but don't get in the way unless something goes down...you here me?" Malik called after him .

Daniel turned briefly, his orange eye's narrowing in response, before running to rejoin his pack mates.

Malik sneered, and slid back into the car.

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Bella

Edward stared out the window at the sets of glinting eye's watching the house, and looked at Jacob stood beside him.

 

" We can' just rush out there Jacob, no matter what you think." Edward scolded him gently, as Jacob's thoughts screamed through his mind, ready to go out all guns blazing. I could hardly bear the violent energy radiating off him!

" We need to hunt. We have to be at our strongest, plus it's not like we can do so while traveling." Edward strategised, speaking through his teeth.

" Edward's right, plus we can confuse them a little. They can't trail us all." Carlisle agreed gravely.

" Jacob, You me , Bella, and Renesmee will have to split up amongst the family. They will know we won't go anywhere without each other." Edward , paced the room, his eye's firmly on his daughter, I sensed he was unsure of how she would react to this new theory. Sure enough;

" No! I stay with Jake ." Renesmee stated firmly, stepping up beside him.

" Then we stay with you!" I put my hand protectively on her shoulder. I winced at the pain in her face, as she stared at Jacob's tense knotted jaw, and my eye's filled with tears. Wait? Could I cry? Edward had his hands on my shoulders, and turned me around. Wiping my cheeks without breaking his movement. I stared at the glistening fluid on his pearly fingertips, it was blood red. I cried blood! Edward's soothing murmur whispered in my ears.

" It's ok Bella, we've been through worse."

He straightened up, steeling himself. " Ok, the rest of you guys split up into two groups . That way they will have to send two with each of us. Then...we head for the border. Jacob, is Sam ready?"

Jacob nodded, his teeth clenched. Jasper slid into the room from the hallway. " The bags are stashed beyond the gorge, and the cars are waiting 20 miles north." He announced.

" What if they chase us beyond that?" I chimed, pacing the floor in a blur of speed.

" They can't. There is another pack along Sol du Luc falls, they would need permission to cross." Jacob replied.

" Doesn't that mean we do to? " Rose asked.

" Sam called in a favor. They will turn a blind eye until we are out of the area." Jacob explained.

" Jasper did they see you? " Edward asked, a slight crease in his stone forehead.

Jasper raised a eyebrow . " Really Edward?"

Alice curled around him protectively, her tinkly voice full of pride : " Of course not, no one would have seen him unless he wanted them too!" Her display of affection was interrupted ;

" Seth's back." Jacob, and Edward said in unison. They shared a look, and the hint of a smile tugged at the corners of Edward's mouth.

Our time in this house was ending, and I wanted to have Renesmee close, to smooth her creased brow, and stroke her long hair the way she liked when she needed soothing, but when I looked, someone else had that covered as she sat between Jacob's knees, and he ran his hands through her gold threaded ringlets distractedly.

" Let's go!" Emmett growled, slapping his knee with a resounding 'crack'. Alice slipped her hand into Jasper's and Carlisle, Esmee, and Seth headed out in the second group.

****************

I dropped a half drained elk, and growled at the Kalaloch pack scent that floated In on the night breeze. Edward hunched down beside me.

" There are two of them tailing us, just like we thought. When we are ready, I think we can lose them. I can still hear the others thoughts, so it won't be difficult to meet up with them."

I nodded, " As long as Jacob is ready to whip up Renesmee if she can't get away fast enough, I'm fine." I whispered. My teenage - like daughter rolled her eye's at me, as she slaked her thirst beside me.

Edward chuckled. " She will be fine." We watched Jacob lunge at the largest of a group of black tailed stag,. Clean and efficient, graceful even, before the startled animal could even know what was happening. Close behind him, Seth swooped down on another stag, snapping it's neck between his large jaws. Of course Seth didn't actually need to hunt, he would be staying, but we were desperate for the Kalaloch to be convinced this was just hunting, maybe defiance at their being there, nothing else!

We watched our daughter in awe, as she ran at Jacob's side, matching his fluidity as though she was part of his pack. She caught another of the terrified herd, teeth cutting through fur and skin of her kill's shoulder, tearing away a slab of flesh, which Jacob caught neatly as she began to feed. They worked together so effortlessly. It just drummed home that what we were about to do was right.

Jacob looked up at Edward, his head cocked to the side in a question. The time was almost right now.

" Yes, now." Edward whispered, low enough the watching wolves would not hear.

Suddenly we were running, the five of us side by side, Seth hanging back to ward off any of the following tribe. Edward's face a mask of concentration as he homed in on Carlisle, or Emmett, or any of the others open thoughts. I focused on the intrusive scent, confused as it stayed at a distance, circling a wide arc away from us. Trailing a unseen perimeter. Why weren't they chasing us?

" Jacob says they are waiting on their alpha's orders. He can't sense him yet, but he thinks he must be coming, that they will be calling for him."

I kept my focus on Renesmee's position at Jacob's flank. I need not have worried, his focus was on her too.

The night air was clean, and scented with so much to peak my interest. Had this been any other night, I would have let the forest draw me in, but not now, not in this forest ever again, I thought sadly as we veered toward the foot of the mountain. It was then we heard it, a chorus of howls, starting behind us, and then echoed above as the wolves following the others responded to their brothers. Acknowledgement they knew something was not right. They were alerting their Alpha for their orders.

*************************

The Kalaloch pack howled their fury, as their alpha closed in. He was running in human form, ready to try and warn Jacob of the consequences before he phased, and did whatever it took to achieve his orders from the elders. He did this for one reason, and one reason only. Leah. He was not prepared to lose the mate he had thought he didn't even want before meeting her, but now he had her, killing her alpha was a sure fire way to keep her from him. He had to make it look like he had done everything possible before taking any extreme measures.

He whistled to the one half of his pack as he came upon them, ordering them to fall in. The remaining pack members howled their location from the mountain ridge, they were losing the Cullen's, what were their orders?

Malik cursed under his breath, fixing his eye's on the blur of snapping branches, and scuffled undergrowth slightly ahead, and off in a widening , parallel arc . They were running alright. He had little time.

" Jacob Black, listen...if you run, we will have no choice but to fight you, to stop you. Are you prepared to lose anyone? It doesn't have to be this way. You are rising your mates life, when staying means protecting it."

He was answered with a string of snarls.

" Then I am coming for you." Malik said, his voice low and hard.

He stripped down, and continued running, blurring into wolf mid stride.

************************

Jacob

The gravelly mountain incline crumbled under my paws, and I kept my eye's on Renesmee, worried she would falter as she ran. Malik had made his intentions unmistakable now, and another howl ripped into the air. Edward sucked in a breath beside me, like he had been punched. He had read my thoughts. The howl....it was a signal and an order.

" They are just ahead, hanging back to wait for us. " Edward announced, of the rest of the Cullen coven.

" Tell them to go up and over. It will slow the Kalaloch tribe down chasing on this terrain." I screamed my thoughts at him.

" I...I can't....I can only hope Alice can see." He answered, a wild look in his eyes.

Suddenly, I understood why. A sharp howl at my right flank, Seth's voice " Incoming". I heard the snap of Seth's jaws as he warded off a chasing wolf. I had underestimated Renesmee, Seth, and my ability to not be slowed by the terrain, and they had chased us along the bottom of the mountain as we had ascended , when we should have waited , Giving them the advantage.

" They split up again, and now they are closing on the others." Edward said through gritted teeth. Taking no chances, I nudged Renesmee, and swung her onto my back. I could protect her better this way, get her out of here when the incline leveled.

We were making our way to the break in the mountain, one the vampires could easily jump, and one Seth and myself had done many times before. They would not have done so, and that at least will be cause to give them purchase, slow them enough we can get into Sol Du Luc territory without a confrontation. They could chase as long as they wished, but if we could get there and avoid a fight? There won't be a thing they can do to stop us.

Seth's voice filled my thoughts " Jacob there is only one at my heels, where did they go?"

I didn't have to wonder long, I heard Edward groan, then we reached the plateau and I saw for myself. A large black wolf, and a smaller gray wolf advanced on Jasper, and Emmett. Carlisle was behind them, standing protectively in front of the three women.

Jasper moved like lightning, and I heard the sharp whimper of the brown wolf. Before I could take in the rest of the scene, a snarl behind me. I whipped around to see the massive white blonde form of the Kalaloch alpha sashay over the plateau. Seth's hackles stood straight up, and he was growling in an unbroken stream.

I could feel nothing but the instinct to defend what was mine rising in me, the primitive core of my wolf-self tensed for the battle of supremacy, and to claim my right to live free, and in peace with my mate.

I shouted my thoughts to Edward : " Take Renesmee" Before I could finish the thought even, she was pulled from my back and I saw Bella take a firm stance in front of her. I needed free movement to fight.

Seth had launched himself at the snarling, salivating Alpha, and I hurriedly surveyed the rest of the scene. Emmett and the large black one were grappling, Jasper now occupied with another two that had appeared from nowhere. A loud 'snap' took my focus and I heard Seth's god awful whine of pain.

Malik had him pinned, his hamstring bent at a terrible angle, and I felt Seth's thoughts leave mine as he slipped into unconsciousness. I studied his flank, willing him to be ok, and saw the faint rise and fall of his shallow breaths.

I knew immediately he would turn his attention to Renesmee. He advanced, snarling in low bursts, now joined by another two, and I threw myself at him. I saw Edward as a blur leaping with me, and I landed in a rolling ball of snapping teeth and ripping claws, as Malik snarled and sank his teeth into my shoulder to try and get me off him. I yowled in pain and frustration, while in my peripheral vision saw Edward struggling with the two large gray monsters.

We were never going to get away, they were strong, far stronger than I would have thought possible. Malik matched me in size, speed, wit, and strength. It was if I was fighting my shadow. I whipped my head from side to side, desperately trying to avoid the gleaming set of teeth snapping for my exposed jugular. He was prepared to kill me, and then what would happen to Renesmee? Would he let her be? If there was no wolf mate to threaten their prude sensibilities, would they let her live? Or would she die on the mountain with her parents, and me? If I knew for sure I would lay down my life in a heartbeat, but I knew nothing.

A short distance away, I saw little Alice leaping out of the way from snapping wolf teeth, her small feet crunching down on the muzzle of the chasing animal. If the woman were fighting, Carlisle and the others were unable to protect them and ward off the pack, this was even worse news...could we be losing?

Malik and I had broken apart briefly, both of us catching out breath and circling each other ready to go in for the death match. I saw the fear in Bella's eye's as a wolf advanced on her, she was scared to fight and leave Renesmee unguarded. " Seth!! Wake up!" I screamed, my howls echoing off the cliff face.

Behind the advancing Malik I saw a more familiar huge black wolf, rise from the darkness. Sam.!..Paul, and Jared moved behind him, their ear's flat to their head. Growls, rolling from their huge chests. Malik froze, his hackles bristling as the sounds of their warning growls reached him. He snarled a set of commands to his pack, and their answering howls rang out at their frustration they were unable to answer the lashing voice of their alpha. The rest of the La Push pack was on them.

There was

a cacophony of near roars, and snap of fangs, and the resulting whimpers behind me, as Sam's pack fought beside the Cullen's. Sam moved to obscure Renesmee's small form, and when he looked at me I saw one word in his burning gaze...

" Run."

Edward Heard it too , and just before Sam, Paul and Jared leapt at the enemy, and we ran for the jump at the cliff edge, the blur of a small white/gray wolf shot through my peripheral vision , curling around Seth, her brother with a howl of anger.

Bella slashed at the nearest of the enemy pack with her clawed hand, hissing at it's proximity to her child, as we retreated toward the waiting precipice. The rest of the Cullens nodded at us in understanding as we approached, backing up for their own run at the gorge, as one by one we sailed across the granite overhang, the vampires landing silently on the other side. As my large paws skidded on the landing, sending gravel, and rock skipping down the mountain face, I turned to see the members of my old , and new pack, fighting for our release. Fur, and teeth, and claws flashing in the still night.

What caught my attention more, was the sight of a howling Leah, nudging at her disorientated brother, and the eye's of a large yellow/white wolf fixed solely on her, in spite of the chaos around him.

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