Title: The Cave
Book: New Moon AU
Pairing: Bella/Paul (eventually)
Summary: A thief came in the dead of night & stole Bella from her bed. She's been missing for days & they're no closer to finding her. Will she be rescued in time, or will the monster who stole her break her completely?
Disclaimer: All things Twilight is the property of SM. I own nothing. I just like to play with the characters.
Warning: VERY dark opening. Non-cannon wolf pairs.
Rating: Chapters 1 & 2 are rated M. Should go down to T after chapter 2.
Warning: In this chapter there is a brief mention of abuse/child abuse. Paul gives his backstory.
Ten grueling hours later, Paul stepped out of the shower in the doctor's locker room and put on a clean pair of scrubs. He wanted to make sure all of Bella's blood had been cleaned off of him before he spoke to her father. Charlie's nerves had been frayed enough with the search for her and it was going to be hard enough to see her covered in casts and bandages in the ICU. The man had helped him a lot in his life and he wanted to make this as easy for him as possible. Well, as easy as telling him his daughter was in critical condition.
Paul finished dressing and headed out to the surgical waiting room. This one was three floors up and in a different wing from the one where the rest of the wolves currently waited, so he knew nothing would be overheard. "Charlie," he said softly as he saw the man lying across the couch, his police jacket over his chest. The man shot up like a bolt at his name, his eyes quickly locking onto Paul.
"How is she?"
"Alive. I'm not going to lie to you…she's literally broken Charlie. We had to put her in a medically induced coma because if she wakes up, she could do herself more harm than good. She's got mild hypothermia, a broken cheekbone, and two broken wrists with multiple broken bones in each hand. She has a broken foot and ankle, dislocated hip, fractured pelvis, a broken knee and leg, three broken ribs, one of which punctured and collapsed a lung. We've repaired it, but we have her on a ventilator to take some of the pressure off the lung until it heals."
Charlie's mouth opened and closed several times before he was able to even produce a sound. "Is—is there anything else? Was she—?" he asked. 'Please God let him say no. It's a miracle she survived this much,' he prayed.
"Yes, she was. It was very short, but very brutal. There was internal damage we had to stitch. We won't know if she's pregnant for a few months yet. Come on, I'll take you to her. It's not going to be easy seeing her like this though."
"I know. Just take me to my baby."
Paul walked into his house more exhausted then he'd ever been. Then again, ten hours of surgery would do that to any doctor. He'd been given the rest of the day off and his shift wouldn't start until noon the next day. He was grateful for that. Even with his wolf stamina, he wouldn't be of use to anyone without some rest. This had definitely been the longest day of his life.
"Is Bella going to be okay?" Seth asked from the couch. He, along with Sam, Embry and Quil were all waiting in his living room. They'd left the hospital once they were told Bella was out of surgery.
"The next few days are critical, but if she survives them then she'll recover. She's currently in the ICU and only family is allowed with her so you all might as well go home. I'll let you know when you can start visiting. Seth, Charlie's there in his uniform though. You might want to ask your dad to go to his place and make him up a bag. I doubt he's leaving her side for a while."
Seth nodded and the wolves filed out the back door, all but Sam. 'Guess we're doing this now,' Paul thought to himself. All he wanted to do was lay down, but instead he made his way to the kitchen to make a large pot of coffee. He also was surprised to see four large covered dishes in his fridge.
"Emily made all that when we told her what happened. She knew she couldn't do anything at the hospital so she cooked. I think she has twice as much in her fridge for Charlie. She didn't know if she'd be welcome considering…"
"Where is he anyway?" Paul asked as he got the coffee started. Once that was done he pulled out a tray of lasagna, put a good chunk on a plate and sat down at the kitchen counter.
"We've got him covered. When you first phased, you were so angry I didn't know if you were going to do something drastic or not so I reinforced the old well in my backyard with several extra layers of concrete and steel. Jared and Leah are guarding him. Old Quil performed a ritual to temporarily bind his wolf so he won't be as strong as us. The elders want to talk to you before punishment is decided."
"As long as you're guarding him, they can wait til tomorrow. Once we're done I seriously need to get some sleep."
"I heard you were operating on Bella. Since when are you a doctor?"
"A couple years now," he said around the last bite of lasagna.
"But you're only twenty-three."
"Just call me Doogie Howser."
"Can you tell me the whole story?"
"I've always been an outcast," he said as he stood up and walked his plate to the sink. He didn't think he'd be able to tell this story facing Sam. "Most of that was my own doing though so no one would ever find out what was going on at home. The one time I did tell, my parents lied and I got my leg broken for my trouble. My mom was never going to leave him. So I saw college as my only way out. I threw myself into studying. By the time I was 13 I was able to get my GED. I applied to a few places and I got a full ride to UW…youngest recipient ever. Charlie Swan was actually the one who helped me get in. He was the one person I told about home. Unfortunately there was no proof so he couldn't do anything legally, but he was always there for me.
"Anyway, I went away to school. When I got home from my first year, I found my mother bleeding to death in the kitchen, a knife in her leg. I called 911 and did what I could to help her, but she didn't make it. As soon as the old man walked in the door though I knew he did it. Charlie was there by then and arrested him on the spot. He confessed an hour later and has been locked up ever since. By the time he gets out he'll be 83. Anyway, that was why I decided to become a doctor, because if I had been one, I might have been able to save my mom. I never wanted to feel that helpless again." Paul turned back to Sam, a cup of coffee in his hand. "Charlie's helped me out a lot over the years. He helped me get through my mom's death. He let me live with him whenever I came home from school. When I graduated med school and decided to do my residency here in Forks, he helped me tear down my parents' house and build a new one that wasn't full of pain and bad memories. He's the only one who knows all of this and I'd appreciate it if you could lock down your memories so the boys don't find out."
"Of course," Sam said gruffly. He couldn't believe just how little he knew about Paul. The man had been in his pack for six months now and he hardly knew him at all. "Is there…is there anything I can do for you?"
"Just keep the elders off my back for a while so I can get some sleep. If I'm not up by 9am tomorrow, come wake me up. I have a shift at the hospital at noon so I can see them before I go to work."
"Sure. If you need anything, just give me a call," Sam said as he stood and turned to leave. He'd just gotten outside and closed the door when he heard the soft "Thanks Sam" come from inside.