This is it! The last chapter! I hope you've enjoyed the ride.
Chapter 20: A New Beginning
In the morning, everything seems clearer. My fear and anxiety from last night are gone, replaced with a happy feeling of how lucky I am that we're both alive. I sigh sleepily and snuggle further back into Sam's warm chest. One of his legs is inserted between my own and possessively curling around my calf. He has an arm draped over my waist and the other is bent under my head as a pillow.
Somehow I manage to turn in Sam's arms until I'm facing him. His gorgeous face looks so peaceful while he's sleeping. I rub my cheek on his chest, smiling, and hug him to me. I'm one lucky bitch.
Later, awake and eating breakfast, Sam gives me the rundown on his patrol last night.
"Paul and I swept the boathouses one by one. We started at the marina and didn't pick up the slightest hint of a vampire scent there, so we moved on to the private docks and boathouses. We were down on the south shore when we found it—the first vampire scent of the night. Paul nearly went berserk, his wolf was so eager to fight.
"We followed the scent to the woods next to a private dock. We saw her up in a tree watching the shack at the end of the dock. The light in the shack went off and she started to make her move for the guy, but we caught her before she got the chance.
"I tried to get information out of her, ask her where the others in her group were, but she wouldn't say anything. Eventually we just ripped her apart and destroyed her."
"So you saved the man's live?" I ask Sam hopefully.
He smiles at me and says, "Yeah, baby, we did."
I beam back at him. "I'm so proud of you," I tell him.
He shakes his head and kisses me on the cheek. "It was Paul that got the second vampire."
I cock my head, surprised at the newbie's skills. "Really?"
Sam nods, "Yeah, I had shifted to take care of the female. Wolves can't light matches, you know. Paul stayed in wolf form, and he must have gone to investigate something because the next thing I know, he's dragging more vampire parts toward the bonfire."
"Woah," I react in shock. That's fucking impressive.
"Oh yeah," Sam says, "The kid's a natural. For once, he's being praised for fighting. You should have seen him when we told Billy. Paul looked like the most swaggering little shit I've ever seen."
I crack up at that because I can totally see it. That boy's got even more attitude than me.
"I'm glad it all worked out for you two," I say with relief. I saw a few raised pink marks on Sam's skin last night, so I know there was a bit of a scuffle, but it's good to know there were no major injuries. "How did you know to come for me? Did Billy tell you?"
Sam's nostrils flare and his hands grip his knees tightly. "No," he grunts out. "I felt a tugging inside of me, like I had forgotten something and needed to go back. I felt it faintly for hours while we were tracking the vamps, but I tried to ignore it. It got so bad when we were throwing the second vampire into the fire that I had to do something about it.
"I wolfed out and ran. It's like the wolf was trying to tear away from my body, and all I could do was run in the direction that eased the ache. Soon enough I realized that I was running to your house, Beautiful," Sam tells me with an agonized look. His jaw flexes with the effort of reining in his emotions. I want to go over there and sooth his pain, but I know he needs to get this out first.
"My stupid human brain finally caught up, and I knew you must have been in danger. You bonded so closely with the wolf that he almost knows you better than I do," Sam says dejectedly and hangs his head.
"Hey," I stop him, unwilling to let him beat himself up any longer. I press my hand to his cheek and coax him to look at me. "You did the right thing, Sam. You and Paul took care of the vampires on the res, and you saved a man's life."
"I should have listened to the wolf," he chastises himself, those big eyes looking at me so sadly. "He knew there was something wrong, but I wouldn't listen to him, and you almost—"
"But I didn't," I interrupt him and grip his shoulders firmly. "I'm right here, Sam, because you saved me. How do you think I would feel if you had bailed earlier and that man died? Or if Paul got hurt? Huh?"
Sam just shakes his head.
"You must have done exactly the right thing, because we're all alive, unharmed, and the vampires are dead," I tell him matter-of-factly. "How could last night have possibly gone any better?"
"You wouldn't have been in any danger at all! You wouldn't have been terrified!" he says angrily. Eh, he has a point.
"I agree that last night wasn't very fun for me, but it wasn't because of anything you did or didn't do," I tell Sam. He folds his arms over his chest and scowls at me. "You told me to stay at Billy's until you got there, didn't you? And if I had listened to you, you probably would have told me that it was too dangerous to be home alone on Cullen territory with nomad vampires ready to attack, right?"
He huffs out a breath, "Yeah, thanks for reminding me to be pissed at you for that."
I roll my eyes at him and his scowl cracks.
"I think we need some new rules," I tell him. "How about, I'll always stay on the res when there's a vamp sting going down, and one of you has to figure out a way to carry a phone for emergencies.
"But Sam," I say softly, scooting over to him and hugging his side. "I think we did pretty good for our first time hunting vampires, right?"
"I guess," he agrees begrudgingly, pulling me tighter. "I can't believe I almost lost you."
"There are bound to be a few growing pains, but we all came out unscathed," I remind him. "And I was pretty badass, if you didn't notice."
He throws his head back and laughs. "Oh I noticed alright, you little firebug. I don't think a vampire's ever been more shocked in his entire existence."
I smirk, thinking of that dickhead's flaming stomach. "All in a day's work, you know? But I do need to give credit where credit's due. You came at exactly the perfect time, and I can't believe I'm saying this, but Edward Cullen helped too."
"What?" Sam stiffens like granite around me. "What the hell was he doing at your house?"
"I don't know exactly," I tell him slowly, "but when Alice Cullen called to warn me about her vision, she said that the nomad followed Edward's trail to my house. That's why the vamp broke off from the others in the first place. I guess he was curious or whatever.
"She said Edward promised her he wouldn't do it anymore, as if he had come to my house before," I tell Sam, trying to make sense of it myself. "It kind of makes sense now. The things on my desk being moved around and my closet door being opened were all Edward being in my room."
It sounds creepier when I say it out loud. Sam starts to growl viciously, and I feel it through his chest.
"We're meeting with them," Sam growls, his voice pitching downwards. "Soon. They've done enough damage to this area already. I won't let them get away with touching a hair on your head."
I'm all for kicking the Cullens out. I don't think the upright and proper vamp daddy will argue too much when we tell him what his precious son has been up to. We arrange a meeting for dusk, and this time Paul remains a wolf while Sam stands by my side as a human.
"Hello, Dr. Cullen, Mrs. Cullen," I say to them with a blank, polite face. "Hi, Alice, thank you for the phone call."
"Oh, Bella," Alice gushes. "I'm so glad you're alright!" Go suck a dick, pixie bitch. You could have warned me when your brother was doing creepy shit in my bedroom. I give her my fakest smile.
"Hello, Mr. Sam, Ms. Swan," Carlisle inclines his head at us regally. "Are you going to introduce us to your friend there?"
"No," Sam replies curtly as he stares them down. Legs spread, chin up, arms crossed over his chest in that delicious way that makes his muscles ripple. Mmm my man's sexy when he's a pissed off hardass. Sam's nostrils flare as if he smells something, and he gives my the side eye but quickly returns to the vamps ahead.
"Your presence here in Forks is endangering the community. You triggered the wolves' change," he accuses them ferociously. "Teenagers lives that will never be the same. 15 year olds turned into killing machines."
"I am acutely sorry for any pain you have endured," Carlisle tells Sam with a prissy tone. "However, I think it unfair to accuse—"
"No," he growls at them. "This area hadn't had an unnatural death for 50 years until you showed up again. Then kids are turning into giant wolves and innocents are being killed because you attract others of your kind."
"Carlisle?" Esme asks him in a confused voice, like she can't believe what she's hearing. "15 years old? They're only children."
"I watched it myself, Mrs. Cullen," I tell her, wanting to shock her with the gruesome truth. "I saw a boy's body crack and break. He was contorted in horrible ways as I heard him scream."
Paul whimpers, and I go to him, scratching his ears. "I'm sorry," I whisper my apology to him for bringing up the painful memories.
"When he was able to return human, I hardly recognized him," I continue to tell Mrs. Cullen. "It was like he aged 5 or 6 years in the span of a few hours. There was no trace of boyishness left."
I nuzzle Paul's fur affectionately, and then turn to Mrs. Cullen with a rueful smile, "He skipped his homework to kill vampires last night."
If the vampire could sob, I'm sure she would be right now. She turns her horrified face to her husband and talks to him, but I can't hear what they say.
It's Sam who speaks next, putting the final nail in the coffin.
"And finally there's the matter of Edward Cullen stalking Bella and sneaking into her room at night," Sam grinds out with fury written plainly on his face.
"Now halt one minute," Carlisle starts, affronted.
"Alice," I raise my eyebrow at her, "do you want to tell them, or should I?"
"Oh poo," she says in the annoyingly cutesy way of hers. "He wouldn't have hurt you, silly. He just wanted to get to know you better, and since you wouldn't pay attention to him at school, what was he supposed to do?"
I blink at her. She's fucking certifiable.
"It's illegal, morally wrong, disgusting, and fucking creepy to be in someone's room without their permission," I tell her, just in case she needs a reality checkup.
"He was just watching you sleep," Alice says as she rolls her eyes. "It's not like he bit you or anything. And he only touched you the once."
"What?" I choke out in disgust. Sam starts growling aggressively.
"What do you mean he touched her? How?" Sam barks out the question that I'm too horrified to ask.
"You're making a bigger deal out of this than it is. They're going to fall in love," the crazy lune assures us.
"Explain how he touched her," Sam grits out.
"Most nights he was there, Edward just stood in Bella's room, making sure she slept soundly. Isn't that cute? Anyway, one night Bella was having an amorous dream," Oh my god. "so Edward really couldn't help himself. All he did was lick her neck a few times before I went over and stopped him."
Fuck, that's just like the dream I didn't tell Jessica about. I want to hurl. I think I'd rather be crazy than right in this situation.
Sam's growling comes to an all-time high and his chest heaves with exertion. I curl into him and put my hand over his heart.
"I'm ok," I tell him quietly over and over until he calms down. "I'm ok."
"Where is he?" Sam demands to know with carefully restrained fury.
"Alaska. He left to lick his wounds after last night. No pun intended," Alice giggles. I narrow my eyes at her.
"I don't understand, Alice. Edward informed me that he left to track one of the nomads that got away last night. He killed two of the coven members and is working on finding the last one," Carlisle tells her in confusion. That's not exactly consistent with what we believe happened.
Alice throws up her arms and rolls her eyes at Carlisle. "Of course he told you that. He wouldn't be treated as the hero if he told you that he was bested in one punch by the nomad and that the wolves were the ones that killed them all, would he?"
Carlisle's face turns into a deep-set frown. I wonder if vamp daddy is into corporal punishment. "When we get home, we are having a discussion about–"
"Leave," Sam orders them in a rough voice. "We will give you a week to sell your house and never come back. After that, consider the treaty broken. Any vampire we come across on any territory will be dealt with."
"But Carlisle!" Alice whines.
"No, dear," Mrs. Cullen chides. "Their alpha is right. We've caused so much damage here. A human-drinking diet isn't the only way to harm humans, Alice."
"Ahem," Carlisle coughs daintily, recovering from his uncouth show of emotion. "Yes, I quite agree. We would not wish to attract more attention than we need to, would we?"
Alice pouts, but remains blissfully silent. Thank the heavens. That girl gets on my last nerve.
"We have an agreement," Carlisle confirms to Sam with a nod of his head. "We will turn the sale of the house over to the real estate agent, and we will leave by tomorrow."
"Fine," Sam agrees, "but make sure you keep your son Edward away from Bella. Put him on a leash, I don't care, but he better never get within a hundred yards of her. Understood?"
"Perfectly so," Carlisle says. "Goodbye."
The vampires are gone in the blink of an eye, and I feel the weight on my shoulders lifted immediately. I smile at Sam, and he takes me to the beach to celebrate. Apparently, the local vampires leaving town is cause for celebration because it seems like the entire res is down at the beach for a bonfire.
"Ayyyyy, man!" someone yells into my ear, reaching across me to shake Sam's hand. "Nice to see ya. Congratulations on kicking those pale face freaks out of town. No offence, babe," the sloppy drunk says to me as he sways way too close for comfort. I'm grateful when Sam shuts him down fast.
"Step away from her," Sam tells the drunk firmly. When the man doesn't respond, Sam stands up and starts to get in his face.
"Woah woah woah! Sorry, Sam," a new man rushes up and apologizes when he sees what's going on. "Can't take this guy anywhere, right? We'll get him out of your way, don't worry."
Him and his other friend usher the drunk to the other side of the party. Sam scrubs his hands over his face in frustration, and I try to comfort him by rubbing his back.
"Let's get out of here before I do any accidental damage," Sam suggests with a wry laugh.
I slip my hand into his as we walk down the beach. The sounds of the waves slowly start to overpower the music and shouts of the party until there's only peace and calm left. The night never bothers me with Sam at my side.
What do you think? Was it a good ending? Thank you, everyone, for your support!