Author: WildHope83 PM
He would be there for her no matter what because he was exactly what she needed, even though she didn't know it yet. He'd pretend he only wanted to be her friend until she was ready for more because she was worth it. PaulOC; COMPLETERated: Fiction M - English - Romance/Drama - Paul & Seth - Chapters: 20 - Words: 77,951 - Reviews: 283 - Favs: 156 - Follows: 99 - Updated: 03-25-12 - Published: 12-12-11 - Status: Complete - id: 7630199
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
PLEASE READ: Thank you all so much for your reviews for the last chapter. I'm sorry I didn't respond to everyone directly, but I promise to respond to your review(s) for this final chapter of 'Pretending.' I've decided that I think I'm going to post the sequel to 'Pretending' involving Avery and Seth as well as a little Quil and Claire. I have yet to write the first chapter or finish my outline for it, but I will say that I don't think it will be a very long story, maybe five or six chapters at the most. The first chapter will probably be up within the week since I'm really not that busy this week, so, keep an eye out for it if you're interested. THANK YOU all so much for reading, reviewing, as well as your constructive critisim and praises. It really does mean the world to me. I hope you all enjoy this final chapter, and please let me know what you think!
Disclaimer: I own nothing associated with Twilight.
"Dad you're being ridiculous!" seventeen year old Avery said as she put her hands on her hips and glared at Paul who was trying to fix himself a sandwich. Camilla was out with their two other children, thirteen year old Ryan and eleven year old Alyssa, leaving him with Avery who was set on making his Saturday afternoon miserable as she stood there ready to leave for her date.
"I'm not being ridiculous," Paul said with a heavy sigh as he lifted his head and settled his brown eyes with Avery's hazel. "If you're going out with Seth, and only Seth, you're not wearing that." His eyes flickered over the haltered top cream and pale green sundress that exposed far too much of his daughter's skin and since it fell a little above her knees and showed off too much of her legs as far as he was concerned. He didn't care that it was an unusually warm June day and was almost eighty degrees outside, he wanted her in jeans and a sweater if she was going to leave the house.
Like he had feared, Avery had grown up to be a very beautiful young woman. She looked a lot like her mother only her hair was a lighter shade of brown and far curly than Camilla's and her eyes had changed as she grew older changing from the dark murky hazel they had once been and now they were more like a greenish blue. She was a few inches taller than Camilla at five feet seven inches and Paul was certain that if it wasn't for Seth, he would have taken a permanent perch on their porch with a shot gun to ward off the boys that would have been lining up to date Avery.
The few times that Paul had shifted over the last year with Seth, he knew that Seth no longer thought of Avery as a little sister or friend. Paul had even attacked Seth and gone for the younger man's throat the first time he caught a glimpse of one thought in particular that Seth should not have had about Avery last summer. He shouldn't have had that thought even if Paul wasn't in his head because Avery had been sixteen at the time; but he knew that it had been inevitable.
Even though Paul wanted to kill Seth, he knew Seth couldn't help it because he had gone through it with Camilla. Paul wasn't stupid and he knew that Avery's relationship with Seth had already changed. He didn't know just how much it had changed yet but that afternoon they were taking the next step and going on their first official solo date, and Paul was not happy about it.
"Dad, seriously, I'm completely covered and it's not like he hasn't seen me in less," Avery said after she ran her fingers through her shoulder blade length hair.
"What?" Paul roared as he nearly cut through the granite counter top as he cut his sandwich in half. Avery rolled her eyes and laughed at her father's reaction to her words before she shook her head.
"My bathing suit, Dad," she said slowly. "Seth has seen in my bathing suit, which leaves much less to the imagination than my favorite sundress." Paul sighed heavily as he put down the knife and braced his hands on the counter as he looked down at his sandwich. "Dad, you know that this is our first date, right?" Avery asked and Paul took a deep breath before he lifted his head and looked at Avery. "I know with the whole imprinting thing and everything else that our relationship is about as far from normal as you can possibly get, but you don't have to worry. I'm still getting used to the idea of seeing Seth as more than a big brother, so, he'll be lucky to get a kiss at the end of the day." Paul couldn't help but grin when he saw the honesty in her eyes and relief washed over him.
"Good," he said just as a knock sounded on the front door. It was just before one o'clock and both of them knew who was at the door. Avery smiled at her father while Paul straightened up as she walked around the kitchen island and hugged him, kissing his cheek as she pulled away.
"By Dad," she said as she grabbed her purse from the dining table and practically danced out of the kitchen, not giving Paul time to even respond. He listened to Avery greet Seth before the front door closed as she left with him, and Paul ran a calloused hand down his face with a yet another sigh. He had a feeling it was going to be a long afternoon.
"Babe, quit looking at the clock and watch the movie," Camilla whispered, a small smile tugging at the corner of her lips as she sat with Paul on the sofa watching a movie on TV. Alyssa was lying on a blanket with her arms wrapped around her pillow in the middle of the floor as she watched the movie and Ryan was in his bedroom playing his video game because he thought himself too cool for family movie night.
"I'm not looking at the clock," Paul said softly as he tore his eyes away from the clock on the wall and glanced at her before he returned his eyes to the TV. Camilla chuckled softly before she cuddled close to her husband and kissed his cheek.
"It's only seven-thirty and her curfew's eleven. Seth will have her back before then," she whispered and Paul sighed heavily before he wrapped his arm around her shoulders and pulled her close.
"How are you handling this so well?" Paul asked, his voice still in a whisper, as he turned his eyes to Camilla. "If anything, you should be more on edge than me."
"Avery and I had a little talk yesterday and, well, to her Seth is still her best friend and she's having a hard time seeing him as anything more than that right now. I believe it'll take a few dates and Avery seeing a different, more affectionate, side of Seth before she sees him as anything else."
"Yeah, you're probably right," he said softly.
"Plus, I don't really think that their first date has been or will be anything like ours was," Camilla said gently as she looked up at him and rested her left hand on his solid chest, the diamond ring and wedding band catching the soft light from the family friendly movie playing on the television.
"It sure as hell better not because the active pack will be down one less member," Paul said, making Camilla laugh quietly.
"Just relax and watch the movie. You're going to drive yourself crazy if you don't." Camilla kissed his cheek once more and rested her head on her shoulder/chest and turned her attention back to the TV. Paul sighed once again before he ran his hand up and down Camilla's arm and kissed the crown of her head. With another glance at the clock he pursed his lips before he turned his eyes to the TV.
Their house had expanded over the years, Paul and the guys adding space as their family grew and Paul had even installed a half-bath in their bedroom upstairs. Camilla was standing in that bathroom looking at her reflection in the mirror as her hair was pulled back into a messy bun on the back of her head. She thought she looked good for her age, but three children, breastfeeding all three, and gravity in general had taken a small toll on her body.
Her breasts sagged more than she would have liked and the faint laugh lines around her eyes and lips were freaking her out a little bit, especially since she was only thirty-seven. Plus, her butt didn't exactly have the same lift it used to have. Paul looked just as good as he had the first day she met him, and Camilla couldn't help but wonder if he really found her as attractive as he used to.
She knew he loved her of course, there was no doubt about that, but part of her worried that he didn't find her as physically appealing as he once had. It didn't help in the least that Embry's imprint, a young woman named Tara who he had met in Tacoma a few months ago, was twenty-four and looked like a supermodel. She had moved in with Embry a few weeks ago, and even though she was very sweet and fit in well with everyone, she wasn't exactly Kim, Emily, or Camilla's favorite person. The three women knew they had nothing to worry about, but Tara knew she was beautiful and liked showing off as much skin as the weather and/or event would allow.
It also didn't help that after Camilla's shopping excursion with the younger woman the other day in Port Angeles, Camilla had developed a slight inferiority complex she was doing her best to deal with. Camilla had done her best to not let her sudden insecurity show, and Avery and Seth's impending date had helped in keeping Paul distracted, so, he hadn't realized she was a bit off her game. She wanted to just come out and ask him, knowing he would give her an honest answer, but part of her was scared of just what his answer would be.
It was then that she heard Paul coming up the stairs to their room after he closed the door and she took a deep breath before she looked away from the mirror and walked into their bedroom, turning the light off behind her as she went. She watched him sigh as he came into view and turned his neck, the popping sound echoing into the room and making her wince slightly as she padded over to their bed that she had already turned down.
"What took you so long?" she asked as she ran her hand over the top of her head and drew her legs close to her body.
"Seth and I had a little talk out on the porch," Paul said and Camilla laughed lightly. "Safe to say that Avery wasn't lying when she said nothing happened."
"You really didn't have to question him, you know," she said and Paul shrugged as he tugged off his socks.
"Maybe, but it made me feel better," he said and she laughed softly once more.
"Come to bed," she said as she patted the bed beside her. He sighed and nodded his head before he pulled his t-shirt from his body and tossed it into the hamper without looking, just like he had done his socks.
Camilla sighed quietly as his still sculpted body came into view. He may have stopped phasing regularly so he could age along side her, but his body remained absolutely beautiful. Despite her feeling less than sexy at that moment, she crawled towards the foot of the bed where he stood unfastening his belt. When Paul saw her move towards him, her green eyes shining as she looked at him his hands froze. His eyebrows rose as Camilla's hands rested on the wood footboard of their bed as she righted herself so she was sitting on her knees in front of him at the foot of the bed. She raised her right hand and with her index finger motioned him closer.
Paul grinned as he closed the small distance between where he stood and the bed before he came to stop directly in front of his wife. Like always, Paul's muscles tensed under her touch as she slid her hands up his stomach and across his chest before she wrapped her arms around his shoulders and looked at him. Their bed was high enough that she was nearly eyelevel with him and he stepped closer to the bed before he reached out and placed his hands on her waist.
"Can I ask you something?" she asked him softly and he bit back his sarcastic remark that she just did and nodded his head when he saw the uncertainty in her eyes.
"Of course," he said, and Camilla knew it was then or never, so, she bit the bullet.
"Do you . . . do you still find me attractive?" she asked and Paul laughed at the pure ridiculousness of the unexpected question. He couldn't believe she even thought to ask it, however, his laughter died when he felt Camilla start to pull away from him.
"Oh no you don't," he said as he suddenly lifted her from the bed, hoisting her body with ease over the footboard. The next thing Camilla knew she was wrapped around Paul, her legs around his waist and her arms securely around his shoulders while his hands were on her backside. Their gazes locked for a second before Paul kissed her hard. Camilla gasped against his mouth and allowed his tongue to snake into her mouth.
On their own, Camilla's hands moved to Paul's hair, lacing in the short strands as he kissed her heatedly. Paul walked around the bed, following a familiar and well known path, before he crawled up onto the bed. He settled their on his knees for a second as they kissed before he slowly lowered Camilla onto the bed, his body covering hers as he laid her back against their pillows and her arms and legs remained wrapped around him. He slowly drew his lips back from hers before he kissed along her jaw, listening to her pant as she did her best to catch her breath. Smiling to himself, he raised his head and looked down at her, his hands on either side of her upper waist and holding his weight up off of her.
"I know I've been a little preoccupied with this whole Avery and Seth going on a date thing that had been building up for the last week, but where in the hell did you even get the idea to ask that question?" he asked. As he spoke, he made a point to press his groin against the apex of her legs so she would clearly know, even though his jeans, the effect a simple kiss from her still had on him.
"I don't know," she said through a gasp at the feel of the roughness of the denim and Paul's hardness against her center, which was only covered by her underwear and thin cotton shorts and allowed her to fully feel him against her. "I guess . . .," she said softly once she gathered her wits and licked her slightly swollen lips as she slid her hands down his shoulders to rest on his chest. "I guess I've just been feeling a little self-conscious lately," she admitted.
"Baby," Paul said softy as he shifted his weight to his right hand and brought his left hand to her face, his white gold wedding band contrasting against his russet skin in the beautiful way that Camilla's skin did. "You have nothing to be self-conscious about. You're as beautiful today as the day we met."
"The day we met I was eight and a half months pregnant and about the size of a small car," she said dryly and Paul chuckled before he leaned down and caught her lips in a chaste kiss.
"You were beautiful then and you're even more beautiful now," he said softly as he pressed his forehead to hers, "and I love you more and more each day. Plus, I still think you're the sexiest woman I have ever known. You never have to doubt that."
"It's kind of hard not to sometimes," she said with her eyes closed, which she opened when Paul lifted his forehead from hers.
"How's that?" he asked and she sighed softly and gave him a pointed look; which made a slow smile spread across his lips.
"It just is," she said answering his question and Paul chuckled. He knew what had his wife suddenly questioning herself, and she really had nothing to worry about.
"Let me guess: Tara?" he asked and Camilla felt her cheeks heat as she nodded slightly, Paul's thumb rubbing along her cheek. "Baby, Tara is Embry's thing, not mine; and while she's nice her laugh is as annoying as hell and her voice . . . too high for my liking," he said with a fake disgusted shiver that made Camilla laugh. "You're it for me, Camilla, and you've known that for a long time now."
"I know," Camilla said, her smile returning and lighting up her eyes as she looked up at him. Camilla felt silly for doubting herself for the last few days because it seemed that Paul's reassuring words were all that she needed to hear to put her fears to ease.
"Good," he said. "Now, how about you help a guy out, hmm?" he asked as he glanced down in between them, a teasing smile on his lips as he looked back up at her face. Camilla laughed as she slid her hands down further and took hold of the button of his jeans, undid it, and slid her right hand into his jeans, taking hold of him in her hand.
"Are you going to return the favor?" she asked in a whisper as she tugged gently and he growled lowly before he pressed his forehead to hers, his left hand returning to the bed beside her as he held up his weight.
"Don't I always?" he asked and she grinned as she tugged on him slightly and opened her mouth to reply. However, before any words could leave her mouth, Paul caught her lips in a kiss. It didn't take long for the pair to loose themselves in each other, just like they had a million times before, and reaffirmed the love they declared for each other seventeen years earlier.