3rd Person POV
After Edward flung her into the bolder, Victoria raced through the trees her natural gift allowing her to feel that Edward was not in pursuit so she assumed that he was with the wolf. Those Cullens were the strangest vampires she had ever come across, however she had no doubt that he would be hot on her trail soon. When she attacked Jacob, she heard a howl off in the distance and instinctively knew that it was too far east and not near the others. She was already near the water so she decided to take a swim up north around the small peninsula and come back south closer to the lonely howl. Victoria emerged from the water and wrung the extra water from her clothes, normally she didn't care, but she wanted to be able to move easily.
As she moved quickly the terrain began to get more rocky as the elevation grew higher and higher. Her gift was evasion and so she didn't normally pursue danger, but her instincts told her that this was where Bella would be and as she got closer she began to smell her. It was different, with the faint smell of wet dog mixed with multiple different smells that Victoria knew to be the Cullens, especially Alice. Bella baffled Victoria and she couldn't figure out how one human girl could have such an impact on her.
To Victoria humans were stupid and weak, she could murder hundreds in a matter of minutes if she wanted, how Bella remained alive was quite a mystery. She wanted Bella to suffer for being simply a pain in the ass, but even more so Victoria was curious about Bella. How was this girl able to surround herself with things that most humans considered to be monsters?
Victoria felt confident if the Cullens had not gotten involved then her army would have completely decimated the wolves. Once Victoria knew she was heading in the right direction she climbed up into the trees and began to softly float from branch to branch, trying not to jostle or give away her approach. She could feel that Edward was once again after her.
Edward followed her scent to the water and then assumed that she would head south towards either La Push or Forks. So Edward ran along the shore line, but he was running the wrong direction.
Victoria did not know that, but could feel Edward's pursuit which made her nervous and anxious. She saw Seth and Bella, she was awake, sitting at his side, and running her hand down his back. When the battle started, Seth kept flinching, while he watched his sister and brothers fighting and his movements kept Bella from sleeping. Alice and Bella continued to ask Seth yes or no questions, and for the first time he wished that he could speak in wolf form.
When Alice wasn't asking Seth questions she was trying desperately to see her family, especially Jasper. If there was ever a time that she was desperate to see his future it was then. She would get flashes of Jasper tearing apart a vampire, but then one of the wolves would get involved causing her to loose the image. It was extremely frustrating for Alice, and her head was starting to hurt trying to see things that were either fuzzy or just simply not going to appear. Alice probably should have been watching for Victoria's decisions, but she had to choose because she can't see two futures at the same time and Jasper was her priority.
There was a strong wind that helped disguise Victoria's movements and because Alice was worried and distracted trying to see her family, no one noticed Victoria getting closer and closer. Had Alice not been there or Bella not have so much vampire scent on her, Seth probably could have smelt Victoria coming, but with him already sitting with one vampire, smelling another one coming would have been more difficult. Victoria felt that, if she could incapacitate Alice and kill the dog, then she could take her time with Bella, and not have to rush it. She saw Alice leaning against the rock, with her eyes closed, deep in concentration as Victoria leaped from the tree, landing over Alice and immediately tore her tiny head from her body. Then she ripped Alice's arm and threw it at Bella, but Seth's paw smashed it into the ground.
Bella screamed and Seth howled fiercely as he stood over Bella, while she scampered behind him. Seth could feel that Leah and Jacob were on their way, but it didn't help him know how to fight and protect at the same time. He felt so unprepared and he was scared that he was going to let Jake down by not keeping Bella safe.
“You're next, dog!” Victoria hissed, and leaped at Seth who dodged once, but then instantly Victoria pounced again landing on Seth's back. He tried to buck her off, but he also had to try and be aware of where Bella was. The wolves smelled so terrible to Victoria that she really didn't want to bite another one, so instead she used both of her hands to squeeze hard on Seth's shoulder crushing the bones there. Seth whimpered as Victoria continued to move down his back crushing as many bones as she could. The further Victoria went the harder it was for Seth to remain standing and ended up crumbling to the ground.
“No! Please, stop hurting him!” Bella screamed as she scrambled to her feet. “You only have a few seconds before the rest of the pack and Cullens know you are here. Take me instead.” Bella wasn't sure what Victoria had planned for her, but based on the warning the Laurent gave, it was going to be something slow and painful. Bella just hoped that it was slow enough that Jacob could find her before Victoria finally killed her.
“You really are a stupid girl.” Victoria hissed, as she sprung towards Bella. “Climb on and I'll let him live.”
Bella leaped onto her back, praying that she wasn't making the stupidest decision of her life.
I leaped, landing next to Leah and began to search for Bella, but I couldn't see her anywhere. Seth, where is Bella? I asked.
I thought she was here. She was right behind me. Seth answered panicked.
Where is Victoria? Leah asked.
I don't know. Seth began to cry and his body shook, which caused him to howl in pain.
The rest of the pack and the Cullens arrived. Jasper ran to Alice and frantically began to piece her back together, with Esme's and Carlisle's assistance. Leah continued to comfort Seth trying to get him to relax so his body could heal, his crying and shaking was making it worse. I began to sniff around trying to find Victoria's scent but it seems that she must have been up in the trees where her scent is much harder to trace. The harsh winds were making it extremely difficult.
The moment her pieces were back in place, Alice snapped back to life and she began screaming about Victoria.
“Victoria, has Bella!” Alice screamed.
Immediately my snout was in her face, and Jasper looked at me cautiously. Where? Where did she take Bella! I growled, and suddenly I heard Edward's voice interpreting it for me. It's about freaking time you showed up, I mumbled.
“Sorry, I followed her scent to the water and then I thought she would be heading back towards La Push for Bella, so I went that direction. I didn't realize that she figured out that Bella was here. I heard everyone running here, so that is when I changed directions and started running.” Edward explained.
“She is going back to Seattle, but hasn't decided specifically where.” Alice answered.
Let's go! I insisted.
Jake, we can't go chasing her around Seattle as wolves. Embry said, worried that I was going to get mad at him for contradicting me.
We need you, Jake. Leah insisted. Sam deserves to have you here, when we bury him.
I whined, because I knew that they were right. I needed to stay here for my pack.
“Jacob, Bella is alive . . .” Alice stated.
How do you know that? I questioned.
“Because Victoria is still planning different ways to kill her.” Edward answered fiercely.
I couldn't decide if I felt relieved or even more nervous. Of course I was glad that Bella was still alive, but I hated to think of what torture she would endure. Promise me, that you'll bring Bella back to me.I said to Edward.
“I will, Jacob.” Edward promised.
ALIVE! I clarified. And truly alive, not a frozen over corpse that moves.
“I'll do my best.” Edward answered.
I knew that was just going to have to be good enough, because that was the best answer he could give me.
The Cullen family ran together towards Seattle, except for Carlisle who offered to stay behind to treat Seth. Seth wasn't able to phase back yet so everyone, but myself, phased back and carried Seth towards La Push. I ran back to Sam, and I saw his broken and stiff body. I phased back and knelt down by his side, and I couldn't hold it together any longer. I cried for my alpha and wished that he would have been able to train me. I cried for my pack family who lost their leader and was now going to be following me. I cried for Bella and I wanted her here with me and not in the clutches of a sadistic vampire. I was so scared, so alone, and continued to cry until I couldn't cry any more.
Then with shaking arms I lifted Sam's body and carried him home. I knew that my life was never going to be the same, from now on, I was alpha.
this is one of my faves
Aww, that is awesome. Thank you for telling me.
omg!!!!!wat a fantastic chapter!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!during the middle i thought about how far bella was, but now i know :P sooo great im really glad that things are ok with edward and jacob cuz if not....... and that is sooo cute !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!i love it love it love it!!!!!!!
and even before i had read this story, in my daughters eyes always made me cry( its such a beautiful song) and now it was even better cuz of the aspect of wat was happening!!!!
i hope u and ur family had a merry christmas and will have a happy new year :)
ps. luv the name danielle skye, its very pretty and how shes a hungry child like her father :)
Song - We are Family sung by Sledge Sisters
AN: There is a lot of talk of breastfeeding, so I hope that topic is not offensive.
Chapter 25 - FAMILY
To say that I had a pregnancy and labor that I was not expecting would have been an extreme understatement. Not long after Danielle was born, Edward scooped me and Danielle up into his arms and he ran us back to their SUV. Jacob and Alice ran with him and I road to the hospital sitting next to Jacob in the back seat. She was tiny at 4lbs 6oz and 14 ½ inches, but her lungs were fully developed and healthy.
“She is a fighter,” said, one of the ICU nurses, placing her in my arms.
“She is . . . amazing.” I held her close and kissed her hair. Now that she was cleaned up she really was absolutely beautiful. Her skin was slightly darker than my own, but easily closer to my coloring than to Jacob's. However I could tell that her skin would glow in contrast to her silky black hair. I wish that I could tell what color her eyes would be, but it was still too soon to tell. At times they almost looked blue and I wondered if she would have Renee's blue eyes.
“You know I heard that her mom is both amazing and a fighter, so it must run in the family.” Jacob said, walking into the ICU with a huge grin on his face.
“Yeah, she does have some pretty awesome parents.” I smiled up at Jacob as I set up the electric pump to myself. They wanted to be able to measure how much milk she was getting with each feeding so I pumped it out and either myself or Jacob gave her a bottle. I was looking forward to trying to actually breastfeed, and I could in a few days once I was able to prove that I was making sufficient milk and as long as Danielle continued to maintain her weight. I think that Jacob was completely baffled by the process, the first several time he spent the whole time staring, watching the milk come out in a stream with each squirt.
“That's still weird,” Jacob said, sitting in a chair next to me.
“No it is not. Jake, that is what they are for.” I rolled my eyes, careful to not move and have the cup lose its suction and spill milk all over myself, which has already happened many times.
“No, no it's not.” Jacob shook his head. “Maybe one reason, but I can think of a lot better things to do with them.” Jacob smirked and I blushed with the nurse still here with us.
The nurse looked at Danielle's chart, completely ignoring Jacob. Most likely she has heard it all from other new parents. “She is doing really well, she didn't drop near as much weight as some babies do when first born and is already back to her birth weight.”
“That is fantastic.” Jacob grinned. “When do we get to take her home?”
“She needs to be at least five pounds and feeding well.” The nurse looked at me. “So far that hasn't been a problem, so I would say probably another week.
“Wow, a whole week?” I asked, surprised.
“Give or take a few days, most likely.” The nurse continued. “Bella, you can probably leave tomorrow. However, I'm not your doctor so I can't say for sure.”
“You mean leave our baby?” Jacob asked.
“Most likely yes. I know it is hard and there are two hotels right next to the hospital for family members that are in this type of a situation.”
Jacob and I looked at each other thoughtfully as I transferred my milk to a bottle and finished feeding her and then Jacob took her and burped her. Afterwards, she would snuggle into his chest to take a nap. She absolutely loved Jacob's warmth and I know that Jacob enjoyed being able to share something so simple.
As the nurse predicted, I was released from the hospital before Danielle, however we stayed in Portland until she was ready to leave.
The moment we got to the hospital and we were stable, Jacob called Billy and Charlie and they made it here the next day. It was weird seeing Charlie as a grandpa and him and Billy teased about who had the most beautiful granddaughter. News spread among our friends and we had several visitors despite the distance.
“Jeez, Jake, how on earth did you create something so tiny?” Quil teased.
“Hey! Just give her time and she'll be strong enough to kick your scrawny butt.” Jacob challenged. They continued their friendly banter the whole time that Quil was here. He brought Claire with him, who had been dying to see the new baby.
“Did you hear that Embry proposed to Jackie?” Quil asked.
“What? No?” I glanced over at Jacob, trying to figure out if he knew.
“No, I haven't heard. That is awesome.” Jacob answered, clearly speaking to my unstated thoughts just as much to Quil.
“Yep, Embry said that neither of them are in a hurry to actually get married, but he wanted to show that he did want to marry her.”
“When are they coming back home?” Jacob asked.
“She wants to get more experience and the easiest way to do that will be in Seattle, so they will still be there for a couple more years.”
“Oh, yeah I can see where that makes sense.”
“I told Embry that I could show her a dog that she had never seen before, but for some reason Embry didn't find that very funny.” Quil shook his head and shrugged.
I rolled my eyes. “Of course he wouldn't Quil. I think Embry has always hated that he has had to keep that secret from Jackie.”
Claire had stepped out and returned to the room, going straight to me, looking at my baby sleeping in my arms. Claire still didn't know what Quil was or really anything about the imprinting that bonded them together. Quil wanted to make sure that she was old enough that the wolf's size wouldn't scare her. I told him that I thought that she was ready anytime and agreed to come with him when he showed her. I recommended that maybe she meet him as a random wolf, with me and Jacob by her side and see how she handled that. I can still remember the first time I saw Jacob. I didn't even know that werewolves were possible, but I still felt like this giant wolf reminded me of Jacob. So Quil was hoping that Claire would have a similar experience.
Alice and Edward stayed in Portland the whole time we were there, careful to avoid Charlie to not have to explain why they haven't changed. It meant the world to me that they were able to come and be able to stay the extra weeks here. However I could tell that things were slightly different. They were still my friends and I loved them, but I could see that they were trapped in a stage of life that I had left. I no longer had homework or tests, instead had a job and now a baby girl. It was never easy to say goodbye to them, but I could look at Jacob and Danielle and knew that I was living the life that I should be living.
Edward and Jacob got over any awkwardness that there might have been with Edward being the one to deliver our baby. At the time I was too overwhelmed to really think about it, but later I was completely shocked that Edward had any idea how to deliver a baby and would be willing to go there in order to do it. I guess it being medical made all the difference. Alice returned or donated, I didn't know which, the baby boy stuff and amazingly enough bought even more things. Emily and Rachel took most of it with them when they came to visit and I knew that they would have a great time getting the nursery set up.
Renee cried when I called her about having Danielle and she promised to be on the next plane here, but I knew that she didn't have a lot of time off work and she finally agreed to come when we brought Danielle home. She flew in to Portland the day that Danielle was released and Charlie picked her up from the airport. We had collected quite a few gifts and flowers while here and knew that they wouldn't fit as well as myself, Jacob, Renee and Danielle in the Rabbit.
I actually heard Renee before I saw her, screaming down the the hallway of the hospital. “Bella!” She squealed, hugging me tightly. “Where is she?”
I hugged her back. “Just getting her final check with the doctor. I'll take you to the window.”
We walked together to the glass nursery windows. Renee cooed and awwed as Jacob and Charlie stood behind us. I turned and looked at them and grinned, feeling really excited to be able to finally take her home. The check out was quick and easy, and we loaded up the cruiser with the gifts and Renee road in the backseat with Danielle. We made the five hour drive in seven hours, still feeling like a great accomplishment with all the diaper changes and having to pull over to feed her.
This was the first time that Renee had been to our new house, garage, cafe and bookstore combination.
“Oh my goodness, Bella, this is so amazing.” She said as she walked through the lower half.
“Thanks, Mom.” I smiled as she followed me, continuing the tour and she held Danielle. We went upstairs and I showed her the guest room where she would be staying for the next week and then the nursery. Jacob and Charlie were already in there, placing the packages that we had received while in Portland on the floor in the corner.
Charlie and Billy worked together on the changing table and crib. The changing table connected to the end of the crib with three drawers and the crib was a standard light oak with a drop down side to be able to get the baby in and out easier. There was a roll out drawer under the crib that held various blankets and crib sheets. The walls were painted a soft yellow and had a large green and brown rug on the floor. There was one window that had dark green blinds and white curtains with large yellow sunflowers on them. The flowers were very detailed with each petal being a very bright yellow with orange highlights and a lime green and tan center. The crib skirt and blanket had the same sunflower pattern as the window. It gave the room a warm, sunny feeling to it.
“Oh Bella it is so beautiful in here.” Renee said, sitting down in the red glider with Danielle still in her arms.
“Yeah, we are really blessed to have such wonderful friends and family.” I glanced at Charlie and Jacob and smiled as Jacob wrapped his arms around me, hugging me from behind.
I was pleasantly surprised at how helpful it was to have Renee here with us. She would gladly change diapers, taught me how to give her a bath, bought me a breast pump so that I had a little flexibility on when to feed her. I was shocked that she was willing to give Danielle her first bottle of the day to allow me some extra sleep.
“It has been fantastic having your mom here.” Jacob said as we cuddled together one morning.
“Yes, it really has been.” I leaned up kissing him. “Thank you for preparing the meals.”
Jacob smiled and kissed me softly, our bodies pressing together perfectly. “No problem, you were not joking about her lack of cooking skills.”
I smiled, laughing. “No, why she keeps trying is beyond me.” I rolled over to my back, my chest uncomfortable from needing to feed Danielle.
“Do you want me to bring her to you?” Jacob asked.
“Sure, thank you.” I sat up getting myself ready as Jacob went and got Danielle.
To my surprise Renee brought her in instead. “Good morning, Mom.” I reached and nursed Danielle as Renee sat down on the end of our bed.
“You're such a good mom, Bella.”
I shrugged. “Thanks, but I have no idea what I'm doing.”
Renee smiled. “No mother does.”
“You've been a great help. I couldn't have done this without you.”
“Sure you could have. It is no secret that you raised yourself.”
“Mom...” we looked at each other sadly, “I wouldn't trade you for anything.”
“Thank you Bella. I love you very much and I'm so glad that I have been able to spend this time with you and Jacob. He is certainly a keeper.”
I smiled, taking a moment to burp Danielle before switching her to my other side. “Yeah he really is.”
“I don't regret the life I have lived with just us,” Renee smiled a little sadly. “But I do regret how my selfishness took you away from Charlie.”
“I would never leave Jacob.” I promised.
There was a short pause as I finished feeding Danielle and then handed her to Renee for her to be burped and swaddled in her blanket. “Mom, do you regret leaving Charlie?”
“That's hard to say. I think back at that time, with his parents so sick, and I'm embarrassed that I was so selfish, but I don't think it would have worked out. I don't think that I could have been happy living in Forks and I don't think Charlie would have been happy in California or Pheonix. So I think it was for the best.”
Renee stayed two more days and while it was hard to see her go we had a wonderful time together and it was really great how each stage of life brought us closer together.
We kept the cafe closed for three months to give me time to adjust to being a mom, but kept the garage and bookstore open. When the day came to open the cafe back up again, I was ready and we set up a pack-n-play for Danielle in the kitchen so that she could kick and squirm in while I cooked. By now the garage and cafe were our most regular source of income so we hired Cathy, a nice single mom to serve the customers and that gave me the flexibility needed to prepare the soups, sauces for the sandwiches, and take care of Danielle.
* * * * *
“Come on Bells, we need to go.” I smiled at Dani as I buckled her into the stroller and waited for Bella to get the massive diaper bag together. “You know that you can hang out with Rachel, you don't need to get there as early as I do.”
“I know, but not only is Seth and Amber getting married, but this will be your first wedding to perform as chief.”
I took a deep breath. “I know I'm actually really nervous.”
Bella smiled and came around to hug me tightly. “You have been practicing with your dad for months, you will be just fine.”
I hugged her back, taking the time I needed to get my thoughts in order. There was a light drizzle and I held a large umbrella covering Bella and Dani as we walked over to the resort, pushing Dani.
There was a large meeting room at the resort. It typically had plain white walls and tables and chairs, however we took out the tables and added more chairs. They hung on the walls several large pieces of artwork that would later be in Seth and Amber's apartment. There was a solid wood podium with a cross surrounded by carved vines and four large flower arrangements surrounded the podium. Once at the resort I found Dad and got last minute reminders which half way through the wedding I was thankful to have.
Amber liked that they were getting married at the resort, but also wanted her own pastor there as well. I liked the idea because it took a little pressure off myself, he read several scriptures, and I handled their vows. Certainly for a first wedding I thought it went very well and Seth and Amber were so focused on each other that I probably could have pronounced them anything and they wouldn't have noticed. However, by the time it was over, I was very glad and ready to blend in with the crowd, but that didn't seem to happen.
I spoke with one person after another in our little community until I was saved by Sue. She made an excuse to steal me away.
“Thank you,” I whispered softly.
“Anytime,” Sue said, giving me a quick hug. “Fantastic job, Jacob.”
“Thanks Sue. How is Leah holding up? I wouldn't think she would be all that thrilled about her baby brother getting married.”
“She is happy for him, but I think she is even more protective of him than I am.” Sue smiled.
“You know, you don't have to talk about me like I'm not here.” Leah rolled her eyes as she approached us.
“Hey,” I nodded towards her.
“Hey yourself.” Leah smiled and I could tell that she really was happy. She was in her last year of medical school and was enjoying the freedom that Seattle provided. As the pack members have gotten married and started their own families, Leah seemed to be content to be alone or possibly too scared to try to love again, but I sure wasn't brave enough to ask her which one it was.
As we stood there I looked out on the dance floor and saw Emily, dancing with a guy. Leah followed my line of sight. “That's Nomi, he was Em's neighbor when they were growing up. I remember seeing him when we would come to visit as a kid.”
“Really? Huh . . .” I stammered.
“What?” Leah glanced at me.
“I don't know. I think I forget that she had a life before being . . . um, being in La Push.”
“You know Jacob, you can say Sam's name.”
“I know, it is just hard.”
“Yeah...” Leah paused. None of us talked about Sam very often unless it was to Tommy. It seemed like it was important to all of us for him to know as much about his father as he could know. Leah started talking more about Nomi, most likely to change the subject. Apparently him and Emily dated when they were in high school and college, and had been pretty serious. Emily had just broken up with him when she came here to visit Leah and that is when Sam imprinted on her. So while Emily was reluctant to be with Sam out of respect for Leah, she was also coming out of a very intense break up.
Embry and Jackie were here and Bella and I congratulated them on their engagement.
“Jackie, lets not wait anymore.” Embry said, as we were all sitting together, eating cake and refreshments.
“What?” Jackie asked.
“Let's get married.”
Jackie smiled, looking a little surprised. “Are you sure?”
“Yeah, I don't really get what we are waiting for?” Embry shrugged.
“I know that I was reluctant about getting married.” Bella said honestly. “But I'm really glad that I did and it wasn't something that we had to do, but wanted to.” Bella smiled and placed her hand on mine.
I had Dani in my lap, she was happily banging a plastic spoon on the table, and I reached over, giving Bella a quick kiss. “Thanks, took you long enough to get on board.” I grinned, teasing her.
“Sure, sure.” She smirked, giving me a quick wink. Everyone chuckled with my phrase being used against me.
It was getting rare for us all to see each other at the same time and so we really enjoyed it when we were able to. Bella really outdid herself with inviting all the wives and kids to our house and then she called everyone and worked with Emily for us to gather at her house.
We were all in our traditional cut off shorts and no shirt. Quil, Colin and Brady were the only ones still phasing, so it was a little cold for those of us that had stopped to be half naked, but not enough to really bother us.
“Man it takes me back coming here.” Quil said as him, Embry and I were standing on the front porch of Emily's house, with a plate full of sandwiches and chips.
“What do you mean?” I asked him. “You're here all the time.”
“Yeah, but not with you two. It feels like forever since we have hung as the three amigos.” Quil grinned, taking a large bite from his sandwich.
“I agree, I'm so ready to come back.” Embry said, looking a little sad.
“So what's keeping you?” I asked.
“Jackie wouldn't really be able to find a job. We've checked around La Push, Forks, and Port Angeles and small town vets need a lot more experience than she has. I can work anywhere with accounting so it makes sense to stay in Seattle right now.”
We settled into a comfortable silence as we finished eating and then we went inside and joined the rest of the pack.
Paul and Brady were wrestling in the middle of the living room. Apparently Paul thought that he could still take him even though he had stopped phasing. They rolled around, grunting some as one of them would pin down an arm or leg. Paul was quite impressive and him being larger than Brady made a significant difference, but it was clear that Paul was going to get physically tired before Brady would.
However after an hour I was getting ready to call it a draw when Dad rolled in.
“Oh, thank goodness.” Leah sighed. “I seriously should have stayed with the girls.”
“Come on Leah, who told you that you were a girl.” Jared teased.
Leah punched him hard in the shoulder glaring at him. “You totally deserved that.” I grinned at Jared as he rubbed his shoulder, and walked over to Leah. “Awesome!” She nodded to me and we shared a high five.
“Traitor . . .” Jared mumbled.
I laughed and walked over to Dad.
“Are you ready Jacob?” He asked.
I nodded slowly. “I think I am.”
It was time for me to get my wolf pack tattoo. Embry was the first to decide to stop, but him, Paul and Jared pretty much all stopped together. It was a really rough year for them and just randomly we got together very close to their one year mark and a tradition was formed. While all together, Dad started to draw and we came up with a design. It took several changes, but in the end we had two pictures in one. Two wolves were facing one another, howling towards a small moon. The body of the wolves arched, creating the face of a single wolf and the mouths of the two wolves were the ears of the single wolf. It had several circles and arches around the the single wolf with a thick black circle around it all.
Everyone who has quit has the same design, but it is different sizes and in different places on their body. Leah's was about two inches diameter on the small of her back. Paul has it on his chest and was about four inches. Jared and Embry both have it on their back shoulder and Seth's is on his calf and all of their's are three inches. Bella and I talked about it and decided that I would have mine on the top of my right arm and it would be about four inches
Dad got everything that he needed set up and then I sat down being real still as he performed the tattoo. Embry was his first to do and was pretty reluctant to do it, but he couldn't deny that it was a really awesome thing that we all wanted to do. A way of us having a constant reminder of something that we once were. It is not like any of us would forget, but still liked the family unity that it signified. It wasn't pain free, but it wasn't horrible either and our healing was still slightly faster than a normal person, but it still took a couple days for it to completely heal.
“So what do you think?” I asked Bella after it had healed completely. It was still early and Bella had just gone to the bathroom and then returned to the bed cuddled up into my side.
“I think I'm pregnant.”
“What?” I sat up suddenly and Bella slid off my side, her head landing on her pillow.
Bella laughed. “I've been sick all week.”
“I thought you were just sick-sick.”
“Only in the morning?” Bella challenged.
“Oh, yeah . . .”
Dani would be a year in a couple months, I didn't even think about Bella getting pregnant again so soon. “So, when will you know?”
“I actually just took a test in the bathroom. We could go find out right now.”
I smiled, despite my anxiety and got out of bed, taking her hand as she followed me. “Well . . . Let's go find out.”
That would be so hard to go home and have your new baby stay at the hospital. I know it happens all the time, but it would be hard.
I think the chapter title works well. New baby for Jacob and Bella's family along with Renee visiting, Amber and Seth creating a family, then the pack getting together. Also Jared's teasing of Leah seems like a sibling thing. It is also exciting with Embry and Jackie planning to get married.
Beautiful as always!! LOVE "We Are Family"!!! Yes, I guess the ties to the Cullens are getting weaker - as it should... Now, another baby?! Tho it is a natural break -- I nursed all my kids and just like my grandmother, I was nursing past the one yer mark - it was just natural, a great cuddle time! and my periods were suppressed for 18 months, and so was my ovulation! But not everyone is so 'lucky' -- my daughter in law ovulated so her kids were only about 1 & 2/3rds yrs apart -- a little to close for me, but I was an only child & she's from a large family, so she did great! And of course, there's the Duggars!!! So neat to see everyone growing up and starting adult lives!! uhhh... IS there another shoe to drop?!! I'm almost....I don't know... relaxed as I read the chapters now!! Blessings f\to you & your family for a Happy Year!!!
that was really good cant wait to find out if she is or not
super like the story... :)
5 years later!!
Jacob is 29, Bella is 31
Rachel/Paul have Patrick who is 8, Richard is 6 and Rachel is pregnant. They still live with Billy in his house, but have added two additional rooms to the house and another bathroom. Paul still works construction with Jared and Rachel stays at home with the goal of returning to teaching when their kids are older.
Kim/Jared have Nicole, who is 10, Brandon is 8, Daniel is 5. Kim still works at the preschool with Emily.
Embry/Jackie – Got married and stayed in Seattle for 2 years and moved back to La Push when Susan was born, she is now 2. Jackie works full time as a vet. Susan is at Emily's preschool, and Embry does the accounting and bookkeeping for the resort, Emily's preschool, and the garage/cafe/bookstore.
Seth/Amber – Seth is a firefighter and Amber stays home with their kid Luke who is 1 and Amber is pregnant.
Leah had a whirlwind romance that no one saw coming. After meeting Isaac for 2 months they were married, when Jacob asked Leah about it she simply said that she just knew and he wasn't stupid enough to argue with Leah about love. No children, Leah works with her mother and Isaac works with Jacob, in the roll very similar to a mayor of the town of La Push.
Emily married Nomi – Emily still works at her preschool and Nomi owns the Ace hardware store. Tommy (11) and together they had Stacy, who is 2
Claire is 16.
Song – Cinderella by Steven Curtis Chapman
Chapter 26 – OH SNAP
“I hate you Jacob Black!” Bella glared.
“I love you too, Bella.” I tried to hold back my smile and apparently failed.
“Don't you dare smile or something we are both rather attached to is coming off!” Bella crossed her arms over her swollen stomach.
“Oh come on, Bella, you knew I had twins in my family. This shouldn't be that surprising.”
Bella glared, something I have gotten used to when eight months ago we found out she was pregnant. Dani was five and Asher was four, and we thought we were finished when we got not just one surprise but two. Bella was pregnant with twins. She really wasn't happy about it and I assumed she would get better after the shock and morning sickness wore off, but it really hasn't improved. Bella was extremely sick for her first two pregnancies and this one was no exception. My own body heat was close to normal so touching her stomach didn't help like it did with her first pregnancy.
While Asher stayed for the full nine months, because of Bella going into labor early with Dani her doctor was monitoring her closely and decided to induce her. So I was driving us to the hospital where we would be staying and starting the process early in the morning. We got checked in and all comfortable in Bella's room, but she still wasn't speaking to me.
“Can I sit with you?” I asked standing next to her.
“Yeah, of course.” Bella scooted over to make room on her bed for me. I put my arm around her as she rested her head on my chest. “I'm sorry, Jake.”
“I've been horrible this whole time.”
“Yeah,” I sighed.
Bella slapped her hand against my chest. “Hey! You aren't supposed to agree with me.”
“Sorry.” I shrugged. “Are you really dreading these babies that badly?”
“It's not them.” Bella looked down at her round stomach, rubbing her hand across it.
“Is it me? Have I done something?”
“Bella shook her head with a long sigh. “No, it is me.” I looked over at her, but didn't say anything, waiting for Bella to continue. “I'm worried that I'll get depressed again, and I can't afford that with having two babies. It has me scared to death.”
I shifted to put both arms around her, hugging her. “Oh Bells, you are a fantastic mom.”
Bella went through a pretty intense depression after Asher was born. She didn't want to do anything other than stay in our room. I could bring him to her and she would feed him, but that was it. Thankfully it was summer and Renee, Emily, Rachel, and Kim all came and helped. Apparently the 'baby blues' were pretty common and it only lasted a few months. I had never been more helpless and thankful to my friends and family.
“Do you really think that will happen again?” I asked, after a short pause.
“I don't know.”
I gave her another long squeeze, holding her to myself. “You'll be fine, what's the worse that could happen?”
That question was a mistake and after eight hours of labor and giving thanks for an epidural Zeke and Cynthia made their grand entrance. I don't think it would be possible for childbirth to not be intense, but at least it was better than the great outdoors. The nurses cleaned them up, wrapped them in a blue and pink stripe blanket, and I watched as they placed one in each of Bella's arms.
“Oh my gosh, they are amazing.” Bella smiled, with a few tears streaming down her face.
“No, you are.” I kissed her forehead and tucked some loose hair behind her ear. They both looked to be a little lighter than Asher, who looked exactly like me, but they were still darker than Bella. It seemed that Dani would be the lightest of the four and she did get blue eyes. Strangers would stop and tell us how beautiful she was and of course I agreed completely.
Once the babies had their first feeding they were sent to the nursery and Bella demanded that I stay with them. Renee insisted on flying down, disappointed that she wasn't here for the other two births. After the babies got their bath I rolled their carriers back to Bella's room. Renee, Charlie, and Dad were all in there with Bella clearly waiting on the babies to be brought in.
“Here they are!” I beamed like the proud daddy that I was and Renee snatched Cynthia and I placed Zeke in Dad's arms before going to be next to Bella. “How are you feeling?” I asked her.
“Tired, but good. They are so perfect.” Bella sighed and I sat down on the bed next to her.
I looked at our parents, passing the two between the three of them. “Maybe we should have had another.” I said, which rewarded me with a glare from Bella. “You know one for each of them.”
Bella continued to glare, but I could see the corner of her mouth twitching from a smile that she was trying to suppress. “Well I'll let you give birth to that one.”
I smiled and kissed her softly. “Deal.” I grinned and Bella kissed me again.
* * * * *
I had spent the day in Forks, working at the police and fire station, tuning up the vehicles. On those days Seth would ride with me. He really enjoyed helping people and being a firefighter has been a great way to do that. I parked in the back behind the shop and we both got out and walked quickly to the cafe. It has been raining nonstop all day.
“I can't believe it has been two months and I haven't seen Zeke.” Seth commented.
“Really? You're here all the time.” I responded surprised.
“Well you know, they were either sleeping or being held by someone.” Seth shrugged, pulling his raincoat hood over his head.
“How is Amber feeling?”
“Good it seems that over night she just seemed really pregnant. At the same time Luke started walking and can really move it.”
I smiled. “I really like it when they start to move and seem to be more fun. What did you mean by 'really pregnant'?”
“You know, her stomach sticking out, the waddle they get, and all that.”
I laughed. “Yeah, I know what you mean.”
Seth grinned. “I'm going to get some soup and sandwiches to-go and bring it to Amber.”
I brushed the water off my coat as I walked in and went through the kitchen to find Bella, while Seth went to the counter to order what he wanted. I always loved how the kitchen smelled with the fresh baked bread and rich soups all lined up next to each other.
“Daddy!” Asher ran to me and I lifted him up.
“Hey Ash! Where's your mommy?”
Once we knew we were having twins, we knew that we would need a larger home. So we bought a three bedroom home close to the store. We added a staircase in the bookstore and turned the space up there into additional seating for the cafe as well as a small section for internet use. We had
wireless internet available and most brought their own computer or Ipad, that they were able to get used. However we also had three set up for public use. We kept the guest room for storage and to give the kids a place to play and relax without being around other customers.
I started to go upstairs when I heard Cindy cry from her bassinet in the kitchen. I walked over, put Asher down, and he scampered upstairs probably to tell Dani and Bella that I was here. I picked Cindy up, swaying from side to side. “Hey, sweet girl.”
Even being so young, I was amazed at how observant she was and loved to be able to look around. She seemed to really love bright lights and ceiling fan blades spinning around.
“Hey Jake, I'm heading home.” I heard Seth and turned around to face him.
“Great buddy, I'll see ya.”
Seth looked at Cindy and took a few steps towards me. Cindy had been looking at the lights above Seth's head and shifted her head to look at us.
Seth looked over at her and suddenly his to-go bag clamored to the floor. “Oh sh--! Crap!!” Seth mumbled a stream of profanity before landing on 'crap', as he panted.
Seth rarely ever cursed and so I knew something was wrong. I look at Seth concerned with one hand on his shoulder. “Hey, are you alright?”
Seth's eyes were huge, taking several long deep breaths. “No . . .” he whispered, then squeezed his eyes closed. I wasn't sure if he was answering my question, acknowledging that he wasn't alright or if that was to something else, so I decided to wait. “Oh my god, Jacob.” His eyes were still closed, but his whole body was trembling.
“Open your eyes.” I requested, and stubbornly Seth shook his head refusing. “What the hell is wrong with you?” Cindy started to fuss and I turned away, walking back to her bassinet to grab her pacifier.
Suddenly Seth grabbed my shoulder. “Don't leave!” His eyes were open and it seemed like it took a lot of effort to look into my eyes. “I need your help.”
“Just say it, you should know that. I'd do anything I can, Seth.” I said a little rougher than was probably necessary, but I was really getting a little frustrated.
Seth was still taking slow, deep breaths. “Jacob, I . . . I um . . . imprinted.”
“What the crap, Seth? We've been together all this time and you're just NOW telling me.” I sighed, shaking my head as I adjusted Cindy in my arms.
“I didn't . . . until now.” Seth whispered the last two words.
It was like all the pieces of the puzzle were put together, except for the picture was backwards or inside out. Seth had imprinted, just now . . . One of the reasons that Embry and Seth had stopped phasing was because neither of them wanted to imprint. Embry didn't want to hurt Jackie and at the time Seth just didn't want to. Maybe it was because of what happened to Leah, I wasn't really sure. But to now know that even a non-active wolf could imprint, this changed everything. From Quil we already knew that age was not an influencing factor. However, for it to have been my child that Seth imprinted on, that was something that I was not prepared for.
Seth and I stared at each other for a long time neither of us speaking. “What do you want to do?” I asked.
“I would like some time.” Seth answered, rubbing his face with both hands. “Can you keep this a secret for a little bit?”
“Yeah,” I nodded my head slowly. Part of me felt like I should be completely freaking out, this was my daughter that Seth just imprinted on, but the other part kept thinking about the bigger picture. What did this mean for Seth and his family. What about myself and the others who haven't imprinted?
Seth looked like he was going to be sick. He was still breathing very deep and slow. “I really thought this wasn't an issue any longer. And I don't know what to do.”
“I honestly thought it was over also. I know I asked this, but what will you do. I mean right now?” I asked again for clarification. I understood that he wouldn't know what to do, but I wanted to know immediately what his plan was.
“I'm going home, to my wife and family.” Seth looked down at the bag of food at his feet, clearly still really shaken.
“Take all the time you need. I won't say a word.” I promised.
“Thank you, Jake.” He glanced at Cindy and then at myself again. “I'm sorry.”
“You have nothing to be sorry for.” I gave him a half smile to try and lighten the mood, but I don't really think that would be possible.
Seth went home and I didn't see him for a week. It might have been longer if Amber hadn't came by the bookstore and I heard her tell Bella that Seth was sick.
“Hey Quil,” I mentioned to him as I brought our lunch from the cafe. “I'm going to go check on Seth, can you cover for me here.”
I walked over to Seth's house. It was a tiny green house with white shutters and a small porch, it came from Harry's side of the family, but I couldn't remember the specific details. I knocked on the door and then let myself in when I didn't hear a response. “Seth?”
“Jake . . . ?” I heard him whisper from his room.
I walked down the short hallway and stuck my head into his room. He was laying in bed with a damp shirt and he was covered in sweat. “Can I come in?” I asked.
“Yeah.” His voice was weak and hoarse.
“How long have you been sick?” I asked.
“Just und-d-der a week.” His voice trembled with a shiver that went through his body.
“Are you fighting it?” I asked, assuming that he would know that I was talking about his imprinting.
“Yes.” He whispered.
“Is it getting any easier?” I asked.
“What is it doing to you?” I came and sat down on the end of his bed.
“I'm not sure. I've had an extreme fever and chills. My chest hurts, I have no appetite, and can't eat. I'll go for days without sleeping and then sleeps for 16 hours or more.”
“What have you told Amber?”
“Nothing, she assumes that I am just sick. She brought Mom over after the second day and I told Mom what happened. I asked her not to tell Billy or anyone else.”
I nodded my head, trying to think of what I could do. There was a long pause I tried to think of something else, but there was only one thing that I could think of to suggest. “Do you want me to bring Cindy over?”
Instantly his eyes filled with hope, but then he cringed and rolled over, burying his face into his pillow. Seth sobbed and I moved a little closer to him, not really sure what to do. “Seth, this isn't something to be ashamed of.”
“Why the hell not? I'm married!!” Seth yelled. “I have one child and another on the way. I can't abandon all of this for a freaking baby!” Seth continued to cry.
I scowled and it took a lot of effort to not be offended. It wasn't a freaking baby, it was my baby. I had spent enough time inside Quil's head to not be overly freaked out about this. As well as I could, I completely understood how Seth felt towards Cindy.
I waited a while, as Seth cried. “Seth, do you doubt that I love Cindy?”
“No, of course you do.” Seth turned back towards me, looking really confused.
“Do you doubt that I can protect her.”
“No.” Seth sniffled, rolling back over to grab a tissue from the box by his bed.
“Do you think she will have a good family and friends.”
“Do you have any desire to be romantic with her?”
“No!! You know that!” Seth glared and for the first time seemed really angry by any of my questions. His anger didn't surprise me, I knew that it would trigger the protective side of the imprinting.
“Seth, she is not your responsibility. She is mine.”
“I know that.”
“Do you really? Because if you did, I think you might be able to see a better solution than you slowly killing yourself.”
“First I would like to see if you seeing Cindy and being around her make a difference. If it makes you better.”
“Okay, then what?”
“Let's just take it one step at a time.”
“However one thing is for sure. You are not seeing my kid smelling like this.” I cringed. “Lets get you cleaned up and then I'll see if I can sneak her out of the house.”
“Jeez, that sounds horrible.” Seth said, sitting up.
“Yeah, I didn't expect her to be sneaking out for at least another 15 years.” I rolled my eyes, smiling playfully and punched him in the shoulder. “Thanks a lot.”
“You are handling this way better than I would have imagined.” Seth said, pulling back the blankets to get out of bed and I stood up next to his bed.
“I know you Seth, and I trust that you will do what is right. Not just for Cindy, but also for your own family.” It was also that Seth was doing exactly what I promised Bella that I would do if this ever happened to me, he was fighting. He was putting his own family first and I admired that about him.
Seth started to stand up and immediately he began to lose his balance. I quickly grabbed his shoulders and moved closer to him, his body leaning against mine. It was then that I could tell that he had lost a lot of weight and while I wasn't completely sure how to make this work, I knew that something would have to be done soon. I put my arm around his back, holding him up. “Come on, let's get you cleaned up.”
I helped him to the bathroom where he got some bath water started and I stayed there until he got himself in. Then I walked back home.
I had a lot of luck going towards me, first I ran into Amber and told her to take a break and that I would watch out for Seth. She really appreciated the gesture and decided to run some errands. The second stroke of luck was that both twins were taking a nap, so therefore so was Bella and the final stroke was that Dani and Ash were over with Dad and Rachel, playing with her kids. I scooped up Cindy, left a note for Bella that I had her and then walked back over to Seth's. He had gotten himself out of the bath, into some clean sweatpants and a t-shirt. A week ago the clothes probably fit fine but today they looked baggy, like they could swallow him whole at any time. He was sitting on the couch in the living room, his shoulder length hair was slightly damp and he shivered, pulling the blanket across his shoulders tighter around himself.
“What are you expecting, Jake?” Seth asked.
“Honestly, I have no idea. We are in uncharted waters my friend.” I sat down on the couch next to him and Seth's eyes were glued to the bundle of blankets in my arms. I outstretched my arms, placing her in his. She was still sleeping and I didn't know if he needed to look into her eyes or just simply being near her would make it better. Neither of us said anything for a very long time.
“How does it feel?” I asked.
Silently tears streamed down his face and for a long time I didn't think he was going to answer me. Slowly he wiped the tears from his cheeks. “Better . . . Jake, it feels better. And worse, because it feels better.” Seth sobbed again and his tears landed in small splatters across her blanket.
“I can't do this.” He quickly placed her back in my arms and ran back to his room.
“Seth, wait!” I followed right behind him. Seth paced back and forth with long strides, and I didn't try to stop him. “What if you can have both?” I asked.
“We would have to tell Amber, so that she could know what is going on. But I don't see why you can't stay married and still see Cindy. You have over a 25 year age difference, as long as you continue to age that will not change.”
“So you are saying that I'll always stay like a brother to Cindy?”
“That would be good.” Seth took a breath and seemed to be a little less freaked out.
“But you have to know that means that she will date and marry someone else.” I added.
Seth nodded his head and then sighed. “Well, good luck to her to be able to find a guy good enough.”
“Yeah, and I thought that I was intimidating enough, with the both of us.” I laughed. “Aww, never mind I think Cindy will be single forever.”
Seth smiled. “I just want her to be happy.”
“And she will be. You being happy will also make her happy.”
“I hadn't thought of that.” Seth said.
Seth had stopped pacing and I walked back over to him. “We can make this work.”
“Thank you, Jake.”
“I'm not sure it is time to thank me yet. Seth, how do we want to tell Amber?”
Seth cringed. “Can we wait until she has had our baby? That will give me more time to spend time with Cindy and Amber. We can test this and see how this is going to work.”
“I'll do whatever you want me to do. When is she due?”
“Another 2 ½ months, however Luke was late.”
“Have you been able to keep this from Bella?” Seth asked.
“Yes, but only because she hasn't asked. If she figures it out or asks about you, I won't lie.”
“I don't want you to. And if you need to tell her, go ahead.”
“I'll keep that in mind. Thanks, Seth.”
* * * * *
The next several months have gone very smoothly and Seth has come to visit often. He usually saw Cindy every 3-5 days. I asked Sue about Seth being sick and she said that it was probably stress that weakened him and then he really did get sick. He felt better around Cindy because she helped relieve the stress. I do not think that anyone can tell that anything is different, except that maybe out of my four kids Cindy was Seth's favorite. However Amber had a baby girl, so most assumed that Seth was just learning what it was like to take care of a baby girl.
Amber's parents would be here to help with the new baby this weekend and Seth came over to visit. There was a small multi-colored blanket that we set on the floor of the garage and Zeke and Cindy were on it with Dani and Seth close by, handing them toys that they would throw out of reach. Quil and I were both working and Claire was finally old enough to legally hire and she worked with Bella.
Zeke and Cindy started to get a little fussy and it was getting close to time for them to eat. “I'm going to grab them some baby food.” Seth said, getting up.
“Actually,” Quil interrupted. “Dani do you mind getting it. I saw Bella bring in some groceries about an hour ago.”
“Sure.” Dani smiled and skipped off. She loved to feed the twins because it made her feel like such a big girl, like she was a little mommy.
Once Dani left then Quil turned to Seth. “You imprinted, didn't you.” It wasn't really said as a question, more as a statement that needed to be confirmed.
“How could you tell?” Seth asked, looking really concerned.
“I just know.” Quil said, shrugging like that was really an answer. It wasn't, how on earth could someone just know. Maybe it was an imprinted wolf thing and they just had a sixth sense about that sort of thing. Then Quil glanced at me. “I assume that you already knew.”
“Yes, I've known for a while. But it is just me and Sue that know.”
“What are you thinking Seth?” Quil asked.
“I'm not sure. You tell me, Quil. Is it hopeless? Am I eventually going to fall for . . . her?” Seth grimaced as he looked at the little baby, sitting up and banging a plastic hammer on several blocks.
“I don't know Seth.” Quil answered.
“You are the only one that can even make a guess.” Seth insisted. “I don't want to destroy my family. I love Amber.”
“Do you still?” I asked.
Seth glared. “Of course I do!”
“I'm sorry, I didn't mean that as harsh as it sounded. It's just . . .” I shrugged. “. . . I didn't know.”
“It's a valid question.” Quil added. “I don't see Claire romantically, but at the same time I know deep inside that she is it for me. If it doesn't ever happen, there won't be anyone else.”
“And what if it doesn't happen?” Seth asked. “Will you just continue to wish that it had?”
Quil shrugged. “Based on how I feel right now, as long as he made her happy then I wouldn't stand in his way.”
“That is what I want. I want Cindy to be able to grow up and live her own life and for me to live mine.”
“So you aren't going to start phasing again?” I asked.
“No, not unless Amber gives me a reason . . .” Seth swallowed and looked down sadly. “But even then, I don't see anything happening with Cindy. She is only a few months older than my own daughter, that's just sick.”
“Do you think I shouldn't have waited?” Quil asked.
There was a slight pause and I wasn't sure how to answer his question. Claire was perfect for Quil and everyone could see it. Quil would have been childish with whomever he ended up with, it was just who he was. In a way, through the years Claire and Quil have matured together.
“No Quil, I think that you needed this time.” I finally answered.
“And you didn't have anyone else.” Seth said.
“I also didn't try.” Quil confirmed. “I think I just assumed that there wasn't a different option for me.”
“That is all I'm asking for.” Seth added. “I want another option.”
“And you deserve that Seth and I respect your decision to wait to figure this out before telling Amber, but it is time.” I encouraged.
“The other pack members need to know.” Quil added. “Especially Embry, but also Colin and Brady who have not imprinted.”
We all nodded our heads. “Seth which do you want to know first, pack or Amber?”
“Amber. It will only get worse if she hears about this some other way.”
“Yeah, you're right.” I nodded. “We can tell Amber and Bella at the same time if you want. At least Bella can help her understand the wolf stuff, but the imprinting is going to be hard.”
“Let me check with Claire and we can watch the kids.” Quil offered.
“Thank you.” Seth and I said at the same time.
Seth sighed, reached down, and picked Cindy up, holding her in his arms. “Well lets get this done.”