Title: The Wonderful World of Cupcake and Her Wolf
Published: 02-01-10, Updated: 04-27-10
Chapters: 9, Words: 49,222
A/N: This story centers around original wolf pack member Brady Fuller and his imprint Anabelle Cameron, Daughter of Jared and Kim Cameron. I wrote this fiction as a collab with another writer and I don't remember which one it was. I feel awful that I don't remember. I can tell by reading which chapters I authored but I can't pinpoint who wrote the others.
This is mostly a fluff piece but it does contain nuggets of information about the coven war mentioned in my previous stories The Pathetic Ramblings of a Homosexual Werewolf and 100 Years of Solitude, Okay Maybe Just 5.
Chapter 1: You Are What You Eat
She was six now and I was still terrified whenever I was entrusted with her care. Not that anyone else would do better. In fact, whenever, she was out of my sight, I was also a wreck with nerves. I guess what I'm trying to say is, there was a constant fear of her being hurt.
Annabelle, my Annie, was solely my responsibility today while her parents Jared and Kim helped Sue Clearwater with Leah's wedding reception in Seattle. Jared and Sue were on catering detail, making huge trays of sandwiches and other finger foods.
"Annie, it's time for your bath," I called down to where she sat playing with her older sister Amber or, more correctly, playing while Amber moped.
"Bubble bath, has to be a bubble bath!" She screamed in response, I smiled, already scooping a copious amount of pink Princess Brand bubble bath into the waiting water.
"It's all ready!" I answered, but she was already running up, her little feet padding a loud path to the upstairs bathroom. It was the only bathroom in the house with a tub, an old style white porcelain bathtub that sat atop four menacing looking clawed legs.
The second she was in the room, she started stripping and instinctively I turned away. She was still young, much too young for me to see her as anything except the world's most precious child, but it was just the polite thing to do.
My mother had raised me to be polite and respectful of women in absolutely every situation, which had not done me well in the dating world— from what I observed modern women walked all over chivalry—but it worked just fine with Annabelle.
"Help me in," she demanded and I turned back around carefully inspecting the puffy layer of cloudlike bubbles as I placed her inside, my arms getting wet up to the elbow.
"Is it too hot?" I asked nervously, but she just smiled, grabbing a huge handful of bubbles and blowing at them playfully. They sat on her hand identical to a clump of cotton balls then toppled off like tumbleweeds.
"Brady, why is Leah getting married in a house and not a church?" She asked thoughtfully, because, of course, it was obvious she was not only the most beautiful and precious little girl in the world, but also the smartest.
"Because not everyone gets married in churches… your parents got married on the beach, Uncle Paul and Rachel got married in the mountains, Collin and Helen did it in the forest and Sam got hitched in the community center. Today Leah is getting married at the courthouse then having a party at her house." I tried to answer every question my angel asked as thoroughly as possible or she would end up with a handful more. She was an inquisitive little thing and lately the topic of my late night work schedule and constant presence had been on her mind. Those questions were the ones I had to avoid.
She would, of course, have to know about the wolves, and soon, but I wanted to hold off for as long as possible. It was hard though, trying to give her a legitimate reason for her brother Ethan leaving after laying eyes on a little girl who lived across the world, or trying not to lie when I gave her excuses for patrolling until the wee hours of the morning.
Most of the kids in the pack circle learned around this age and I could tell Jared was itching to tell her, he was one of the proudest wolves I knew, but it was scary. I didn't want to give her half the story. With the big reveal that I morphed into a wolf, I also needed to tell her that essentially, I was linked to her for life. It wasn't just about honesty, I knew in her own way she would be able to put two and two together, and I wanted to be able to answer any of the many questions she would have.
"What's a courthouse?" She asked picking up her tiny loofah on a stick and scrubbing the leg that she held up, flexing her little toes, which she had talked me into painting a light shade of pink.
"It's like a government building. When you get married you get a record of it from the government."
"When you get married, will you get married in a government building?" She asked, I could tell by her puckered pink lips that she didn't like the idea.
"Depends on my wife, I guess… but I think probably not," I added when she knitted her eyebrows together in dislike.
I didn't know if we would get married, fate had chosen her for me, but she had yet to choose me and it was a two way street. But whether I married in a courthouse or at all lay entirely on her shoulders, because who else could I love the way I loved Annie? The answer to that is no one, because seriously, no competition. I am 100% positive Annabelle is the most utterly flawless individual in all of creation.
"You should get married in a big church, churches are pretty," she advised.
"Whatever you want, Princess," I said gently covering her eyes as I dropped a cup of water on her still dry scalp.
"Don't call me Princess, that's Amber's name."
"What would you like me to call you?" I asked pulling down the no-tear shampoo and squirting a quarter-size dollop in my hand. I read every instruction of every product and used them to the tee. Use a quarter size amount, rinse and repeat; it was law with my Annie.
"Something different, something special just for me," she said as I gently massaged her head.
"Okay, I'll think of a good one."
When she was wrapped in the softest and fluffiest of terrycloth towels, I carried her into her room. She hummed, holding onto me as we looked through her closet. Annie had been responsible for dressing herself, with minimal supervision, for about a year now; it was Kim's way of giving her a sense of individuality, or something like that.
"No, not that one," she huffed when I pointed to a ruffled pink number handed down to her from Amber.
"What do you want to wear, Baby?" I tried the name on for size, but before she even responded it felt wrong.
"I'm not a baby, I'm six, Brady." She turned in my arms giving me a stern look to emphasize her point.
"Okay, no Baby...what do you want to wear today? It has to be something special," I said digging in the back of her closet, past the mountain of jeans and other daily wear clothing and into the reserve of dresses and other things Leticia showered on her.
"I want my white dress with black swirls," she said seriously. I put her down, getting on my knees to dive through the clothes with gusto. I found two white dresses before a white and black dress caught my eye.
"Got it," I squealed, laying it on the bed and giving her time to dress alone.
"Do you need help?" I asked from the other side of the door.
"No!" She answered with a giggle and I took the chance to go down the hall and try to rouse Amber.
Amber was more difficult now that her childhood crush Solace had left town and just looking at her broke my heart. It had been less than a month and she was like a hormone infused zombie, crying and throwing tantrums one minute then completely absent and vacant the next. I love Solace, he was the first young wolf to join the pack after me, we had been through decades of brotherhood, but I could kick his James Dean-wannabe ass right now, the punk.
Amber was not my imprint, I know, but the girl captured my heart and I loved her like the sister I never had. Bros before… well "hoes" did not apply when it came to sweet, fiery pre-teens who deserved a hell of a lot better from grown men who should have known better than to let a young girl fall in love with him. This was something I made sure to tell him the first and last time I planned to talk to him while he wallowed or whatever the hell he was doing in Europe.
"Do you know what you're going to wear, Ambo?" I asked poking her gently. She sat with her knees to her chest staring dramatically into the abyss, which turned out to be a broken down wooden coffee table.
"Clothes," she spat looking up at me annoyed as if I had interrupted something vital and I nodded before running back to Annie without another word.
"Okay, I'm coming in," I called giving her a minute before I opened the door and panic struck me like a semi-truck. She wasn't there.
"Here!" She shouted from down the hall in her mother's room.
She stood in front of the vanity, the room filled with a cloud of different perfumes that burned my nostrils as I approached. When she turned to me, clad in the perfect little dress and little white ballet flats, she smiled a lipstick covered smile, big circles of pink blush covering her cheeks. She was proud, her hand on her hip with the sassiest smile I'd ever seen on a little girl.
"Do I look beautiful?"
I laughed, kneeling down next to her and taking the bundle of make-up clutched in her hand away, placing the assortment back on the vanity before I faced her.
"You always look beautiful, Angel." This nickname thing was getting difficult. She shook her head no and went back to the perfume, which she spritzed on herself before I could stop her.
"I want to put on all the perfumes," she informed me simply.
I picked her up taking her back towards the bathroom without a word. When I dampened a wash cloth rubbing it over her cheek carefully, she frowned, but didn't argue. She knew as well as I did her mother would not be pleased.
"Brady… if you and Collin went to school together, why is he old and you aren't?" The question was so abrupt, so random I almost dropped her, though my instinct to protect her at all costs prevented my tight hold on her from slipping.
"Well, that's very complicated, Sugar… I don't think I have time to tell you before your sister is done getting ready," I said listening for Amber's progression, she was stomping, which was a good sign, at least she was moving.
"Sugar?" She tilted her head to the side for a long moment before shaking it seriously. "No."
"You're picky, Annabelle Cameron," I chuckled as I finished wiping the last remnants of make-up off her face then trudging down to the kitchen with Annie wrapped around my neck smelling like a floral shop.
"Why aren't you married, everyone else is married?" She asked getting closer and closer to the subject at hand.
"Do you want something to drink?" I was stalling, though I knew I didn't have long before I had to spill.
"Hot chocolate and a cupcake," she said pointing to a pile of cupcakes deemed unworthy for delivery to Leah's new place in Seattle where she lived with her new husband, Greg, and adorable step-daughter, April.
I raised my eyebrow at her, but caved anyways. It would probably be best if she had her mouthful while I avoided her line of questions. I placed the platter, which was piled high with Jared's famous chocolate mini-cupcakes with buttercream frosting and the underappreciated, but addictively delicious lemon-poppy seed with cream cheese frosting, in front of her. Each of them had different shades of colored frosting from Jared getting creative after hours of creating identical masterpieces. Jared was the culinary master and though I studied hard under him, I was nowhere near as good, the man was a confectionary genius.
As I stirred the label instructed tablespoon of Nesquick into her big girl cup filled with microwaved skim milk, she spoke again, slowly.
"Are you really a wolf?" I dropped the spoon and it clanged loudly against the countertop.
"Who told you that?" I asked calmly. She stared at me, tilting her head to the side and grabbing another cupcake.
"Randy," she said simply. Of course he did. Randy Littlesea, my godson and the only child of my lifelong best friend Collin, didn't know how to lie. He was just not wired that way and if Annabelle, his very best friend, asked him a question he was sure to answer her, in detail.
"What else did Randy tell you?" I asked placing the mug of hot chocolate next to her after ample blowing to ensure she wouldn't get burned.
"That you and Ethan and Taylor and Daddy and Sam and Paul and David and Mark and Jordan and Solace and Embry and Quil and… and all of the guys in La Push turn into giant wolves to protect us and that's where you go every night," she said slyly grabbing another cupcake, her third, though I was too disarmed to stop her.
"And how do you feel about that?" I asked grabbing a cupcake of my own just to have something to do with my hands.
"Confused," she said slowly, stuffing a huge chunk of cupcake into her mouth, which she washed down with a gulp of liquid sugar. This cupcake-hot chocolate thing might have been a bad idea in retrospect, but it was a little late now.
"Well… I'm a wolf. I turned into one when I was a teenager and that's why I don't look older… I don't get older till I stop being a wolf."
"Does it hurt?" She asked grabbing my hand and squeezing as her other hand snaked to the pile, snatching yet another cupcake.
"No, Cupcake, it doesn't hurt anymore," I smiled.
"I'm not a cupcake, I'm eating cupcakes!" She squealed giggling so adorably I had to grab her, picking her up and pulling her into my lap.
"Oh, Cupcake, hasn't anyone ever told you, you are what you eat?" I said kissing her cheek.
"You're silly, Brady," she chuckled.
"You love it," I countered, tickling her side.
"Is that why you are always here, because you're a wolf?" She asked fiddling with the bottom of her dress. She was nervous, she was never nervous and it made my heart swell with such force it felt as if it would burst out of my chest.
"Yes, you're my… imprint. It's sort of like, like a permanent link."
"Like the links in your brain?" She asked. We had talked about the brain last month and I chuckled, impressed that she remembered that at all.
"Sort of… I'm linked to you so that I can protect you forever," I promised kissing her little hands.
"Can I see?" She asked kissing my cheek tenderly.
"See the link?" I asked scratching my head befuddled.
"No, silly. You as a wolf, Randy got to see."
"I don't think that would be wise," I said gently, Randy had been told about a week ago and he almost fainted at the sight of me phasing for Collin, who had long since retired.
"Brady! Come on," she pleaded kissing me again. I caved, I always did. She was so ridiculously adorable that she had me whipped.
Amber joined us in the kitchen, sitting on the countertop in a baggy grey dress kicking her feet angrily.
"Brady's gonna become a wolf for me, Amber," my Cupcake announced merrily.
"Great," she said flatly.
"It is great. You don't have your own wolf linked to you forever," Annie said sticking out her tongue indignantly. Amber sighed jumping off the counter with a thud.
"No, I don't," she said and I sniffles as soon as she was behind closed doors.
"Cupcake, you can't say things like that to your sister, it will hurt her feelings." I lifted her up, cradling her to my chest as I led her out the back door and into the lawn.
"Because… because it's mean to point out something that someone is lacking. If you saw a person without any shoes, would you laugh at him?" I asked placing her on the back porch and kissing her soft coconut scented hair twice for good measure.
"No, but Amber has shoes and she's being mean," Annie insisted.
"She's your sister and she's sad, try to be a little nicer, okay? You've only got one sister." She shrugged, but I could see in her beautiful coffee brown eyes, streaked through with hints of dazzling mahogany that she understood.
It was chilly, the middle of October, and she stood bundled in her pink pea coat staring at me as I tried to think of ways to do this without stripping and showing her the goods. It was one thing for me to occasionally get a glimpse of her naked torso or little behind, but her seeing me naked was on a whole different scale of weird.
She ran down the three small steps, dashing towards a pile of leaves raked in the corner by Taylor. The pile was small, the leaves not completely brown, still maintaining the healthy gloss they had sported when they clung to the branches.
While she grabbed at the leaves throwing them in the air and running below them, I got down to my boxers, which I had been lucky to have worn in the first place.
"Okay. Close your eyes and stay right there," I advised. She brought her little hands up to cover her face, but I could see her peeking through her delicate fingers as I started to shake, erupting only after having calculated our distance twice, making sure there was absolutely no possible way for me to hurt her. I morphed; landing on four furry paws after the familiar shimmer of supernatural was done showering my body.
I took three large steps back, dropping down to lie on my stomach, making myself as small as possible while she watched me with giant eyes. Children generally took this news way better than adults, but Annie was exceptionally receptive, again because she was just that much better than other kids. After ten heavy seconds of staring, she squealed, running at me and diving on my back, lying across me as if I were a bear skin rug.
"It's TRUE!" Her shrill voice rang in my sensitive ears, but it was all made better when she buried her face in my neck hugging me. Even as a wolf, maybe even especially as a wolf, I felt the draw to her and anytime we hugged I was complete. Cocooning her in my arms or having her hold me made us a perfect unit, there was nothing else we needed beyond that. It was just me and my Cupcake, who was now covered in broken leaves and streaks of mud.
I carefully stood, grabbing my clothes in my mouth and sauntering into the clearing so I could change back again.
"You're filthy now you know. We're going to have to take another bath before we go," I said half-heartedly scolding her as she continued to roll around in the grass.
"Bubble bath, has to be a bubble bath!" She screamed, diving under the pile of leaves so only her little pink shoes and frilly socks were immediately visible.
"Of course, Cupcake, whatever you want."