I stood there for a moment, just staring at all of them. They all stared at me.
Carlisle closed the car door and I jumped the sound sounding like a bang. He grabbed my bags and came beside me.
“Come on,” he smiled.
I nodded and followed after him.
I scanned their faces, each one different though thinking the same thoughts. We stood an arm’s length apart.
Carlisle was the first to break the silence. “Good morning,” he said half heartedly.
“Morning,” Seth said as he stepped out of the line. He came forward and shook Carlisle’s hand firmly.
“I’ve brought her back for you,” Carlisle said smiling.
“Yes, thank you. I appreciate everything you’ve done,” Seth replied formally.
“I do hope that everything is well now,” Carlisle said.
Seth nodded. “I’ll take it from here, thank you.”
Carlisle nodded and then turned to me.
“We’re still here if you need us,” he whispered.
“Thanks,” I murmured.
He squeezed my shoulders before jumping into his car and driving down the road. When he was gone, the tension suddenly broke and Seth suddenly wrapped his arms around me, tightly.
“Welcome back,” he whispered in my hair.
I smiled against him, breathing in his scent. When we parted he smiled at me and kissed my forehead.
“Violet,” Leah said from the line.
She came forward and hugged me. “I’ve missed you,” she murmured.
“Me too,” I replied hugging her back.
“And I’m so glad you don’t stink,” she added with a laugh.
I rolled my eyes.
Surprisingly, one by one, I was welcomed into the arms of my fellow wolf friends.
“We’re so glad you’re back,” Embry said.
“Yeah, the diner’s not the same without you,” Paul added.
“Gee, you missed me bossing you around?” I joked lightly.
“Surprisingly, yes,” Quil replied scratching his head.
Everyone laughed quietly.
“Violet,” Sam said in his deep voice.
I turned to him, seeing sorrow and sympathy across his face.
“Look, I want to apologise for being so hard on you before,—”
“It’s okay,” I interrupted, “You were thinking about the greater good.”
He smiled and hugged me.
I was so happy that I was being accepted by the most important people in my life. If they weren’t here, I didn’t know where I would be.
It was so overwhelming knowing that I was still cared about even when I was a different kind. I felt smothered by love.
“Hey,” Embry piped up, “I heard you got a power, aye?”
“Yeah,” Quil added, “What is it?”
“Well,” I began feeling nervous, “I can sort of heal and bring things back to life.”
“Whoa,” Paul said in surprise.
“That’s awesome,” Leah smiled.
I shrugged. “I guess.”
“That power has gone to a good cause,” Sam added.
I felt flattered.
“Violet,” Seth said gently, “Gabriel. He’s waiting for you.”
Suddenly the air around me disappeared as I struggled to breathe.
This was the heart of the moment, the main reason why I went through training these past seven weeks. All because of him, Gabriel and if he would still see me as his mother.
I swallowed loudly. “I’m ready.”
Seth nodded once, and kissed me on the forehead. His arm wrapped around my waist as he led me inside. One by one, the rest of the party followed us into the house.
The house hadn’t changed, it was still the same and I was thankful. Its familiarity never looked so welcoming.
As we walked to the living room, I could feel my heart beating rapidly. I bit my lip in anxiety as we halted in the living room doors.
Sue was sitting on the couch, Gabriel sitting at the coffee table drawing with his crayons. Sue was the first to notice.
“Violet,” she breathed as she came forward and hugged me.
I was exhumed in the embrace as I hugged my mother.
“I’m so happy you’re back,” she smiled tucking my hair behind my ear.
I grinned. “Me too.”
“Gabriel?” Seth said walking towards Gabriel.
Gabriel stopped drawing and stood up. Seth went to him, and knelt down beside him.
“Gabe, do you remember who this is?” Seth whispered in his ear.
Seth pointed to me, and Gabriel followed his gesture.
My heart melted as his hazel eyes rested on mine. He had grown so much, and Seth was right, his hair had grown out and he now looked a lot more like Seth.
He was tall too; I couldn’t believe how fast he had grown. Even though he was only two and a half, I felt like I had missed out on half his life.
Gabriel didn’t speak; we just stared at each other. I felt like it was my turn to speak.
I came forward. “Gabriel, it’s me, Mama,” I spoke softly.
Everyone held their breath as tension rose high.
“It’s Mama, Gabriel,” Seth encouraged.
I got down on my knees and held out my arms wide. I smiled in reassurance and hope.
“Gabriel,” I murmured.
He looked at me then shook his head in defiance.
“No,” he said as he buried his head in Seth’s shoulder, “I want to go, papa. I want Mama.”
My heart sank.
He still didn’t recognise me.
He began crying and Seth picked him up and tried to calm him down. Leah went to him and took him from Seth’s arms and hurried out the back door.
I could feel my spirit break loose as I closed my empty arms and clutched at my waist. I felt like I was dying as the only thing keeping me to the world began to slip away.
I couldn’t hear anything as everything went silent and I was left alone in my own little world. I couldn’t cry, I couldn’t breathe, I couldn’t speak.
I couldn’t even feel anything when Seth picked me up and led me past all our friends and out to the front porch.
I couldn’t even hear him when he starting speaking to me, and hugging me and kissing me in comfort. I stared past him, at nothing because I could feel nothing.
I felt, invisible, numb.
We sat out on the front porch without saying a word to each other. I could feel Seth’s gaze on me, but I didn’t say anything, just stared at the ground a few feet ahead.
Night had fallen and we still hadn’t said a word to each other. I didn’t know what to say.