Title: All the Things it Was Supposed to Be, But Wasn't
Published: 11-19-09, Updated: 07-27-10
Chapters: 38, Words: 170,223
A/N: This is the last of my full length stories in this series. I wrote more short 10 chapter mini stories and there were several spin offs written in this universe but this is the 4th of my full length stories. Technically I planned it out that readers could read just the 4 full length stories in order and get the full story, the other shorter fics are more supplementary. At minimum you should have read Enough with the Gravity Moving Already and Once the Earth Settled to understand what's going on in this story.
I wrote this during a particularly turbulent uncertain time in my life and it was definitely a form of escape. As such I am having such a strange experience reading it. I can sense my voice in the writing but don't remember writing it, like a fever dream. I will be editing this fic which I didn't do much of for the others so it might take longer to post. Please leave comments, would love to hear feedback on this story.
Chapter 1: Prologue
October 9th 2053
The room was cold, bitingly so, forcing harsh goose bumps to erupt along my bare arms. It had been my stupid idea to get married during the fall in my notoriously temperate town of La Push, but it was either that or wait until the following spring and when you knowingly rush into things, you usually don't give yourself time to back out.
I wasn't pregnant, that was a common suspicion when a girl announces her rushed wedding. I was not dying of some fatal disease, not that I knew of and I wasn't a virgin rushing to the altar to get some much needed loving. Nope, I was just me, Maddox Ateara synonymous with Miss Rash Decision. Character Flaw number one for the infamous Maddox Ateara, if you were planning on writing a book, song, play or script about my life (which would warrant one I assure you), would be that I don't think things through. I'm a "take-the-plunge" type of girl.
The back door opened, allowing another gust of cold air to enter the kitchen. My mother bustling in on a pair of silver heels that clicked against the tiles as she came towards me.
"You look beautiful already," she said but the sadness in her eyes read something, disappointment possibly.
"Thanks," I said uncomfortably.
I pulled my terrycloth bathrobe off the back of the chair and tried to pull it on without disturbing the beautification process. My family friend Chloe, a model who dealt with makeup and primping much more often than I, twirled and bustled around me, simultaneously removing my curlers and applying makeup.
"Purple, you need purple," she said more to herself than me. I looked at the mirror Aunt Rachel had brought, setting it against the wall so I could watch it as they worked. My hair was curled but lying unstyled, long and dark chocolate brown. Chloe came around me, grabbing her huge black makeup bag and looking through it frantically. She was stunning, already dressed in the grey 1950s inspired cocktail dress my sister had chosen for herself and the other two bridesmaids. It was probably unwise of me to have a professional model and her equally beautiful sister Ava as my bridesmaids, but we had been close since we were very little and there was no one else I'd rather have.
Chloe was an exotic beauty whose light skin had a noteworthy amber cast, lighter than my reddish tan, but a stunning marker of her African-American heritage. She was a remarkable mix of black, Chinese and Greek which had done her well in the beginning of her modeling career where she strolled down the runways and graced the pages of the magazines she worshiped when we were growing up.
He younger sister Ava sat in the corner of the room quietly, already dressed, her hair being pulled and tugged by her mother out of the customary "all-natural" mini-fro she liked to sport. In all honesty it wasn't all natural, she worked rather hard to make the perfectly round puff that stuck up behind her thick headbands. I liked the style, it was unique and daring, but her mother who hated her tendency for what she called the "nappy," was not having it on my wedding day. Ava had her head in a book, it was the beginning of her final year at nursing school and she took her studying seriously. She would be getting married too next year and a small diamond engagement ring given to her by her long time boyfriend Eli glistened in the light of the dining room as she flipped a page.
I met Chloe and Ava when I was six, in ballet class where their mother Tara taught. It's hard to believe, even for me, that I had once taken and been good at ballet. I gave up dance right after puberty and with that went my stick thin body and grace. I was chubby, clumsy, and big busted within the year. About two years after I first starting taking classes with Tara, she met my father's wolf pack brother Phil, their eyes locked and bam, imprint magic. When Tara married Phil and he adopted her daughters, Chloe and Ava, moved to my tiny reservation of La Push and we became family. We were part of a huge family, most by blood, some by marriage, others by adoption like Chloe, Ava, Hazel and Eli, but all with some connection to the La Push wolf pack.
La Push, my home, is also the home of the few but proud Quileute natives. The stories of our people, and there are many, have been passed from generation to generation. Recorded, retold and reproduced for the masses but only a select few in our community actually know most of them are indeed true. Notably the fact that the many descendants of our once fearless chief Taha Aki have the ability to morph into giant wolves, with the sole purpose of eradicating vampires, which are very real and very dangerous.
My father l was once a proud member of this pack, he was retired but it was through this magic that he met my mother, because like a gift for putting their lives in danger, the wolf men of La Push were able to identify their soulmate without a doubt, from the second they laid eyes on them. It was called "imprinting," a word I researched, defined and re-defined trying to make sense of it all. My dad, Quil Ateara, the most noble, loving, considerate, compassionate man I knew, imprinted on my mother Claire the second he saw her as a toddler, and I was the result… or one of three results I suppose would be more accurate.
My little sister Harley rounded out the bridal party, my lucky number three. Although we are sisters, only two years apart, we looked nothing alike and as I watched Harley pace the small kitchen repeatedly, her toned legs showing attractively in her dress, I tightened the robe over my body self-consciously. While Harley was slim, petite and strikingly beautiful with her pitch black hair and lightly tanned skin, I was none of those things. I was rounded, and sort of plain, which was why Chloe was having such a difficult time sprucing me up, something she didn't say, I could just tell.
"No, this is money, Michael, we don't play nice when money is concerned," Harley spat into her tiny cell phone.
She was at twenty-four, one of the most talked about directors on the Indie scene and one of the most creative people I ever met. She was a powerhouse when it came to the wedding, she had a lot of opinions on my theme and color scheme, not that I really needed it. I'm an artist, a professional photographer with a pretty good eye for design, but Harley must have sensed my hesitance because she coordinated almost everything.
Harley and my mother were much more excited about the planning than I was, though when I gave them free range I didn't quite expect everything to turn out so muted. I thought for sure I would have eye catching colors or something outrageous to fight but I didn't mind what they had envisioned. Everything was white, black or gray, like they were directing a black and white film, and in a way it was appropriate, matching the neutrality I was feeling towards this union.
A bride wasn't supposed to feel this way. A bride was supposed to be gushing with love, thinking of scenarios that involved white picket fences, babies, and Labrador retrievers; but then most brides married men they knew they were meant to be with, men they had dreamed about marrying for a long time. I knew who I belonged to, I knew my perfect match, magic and my heart told me so, but things just hadn't worked out that way.
I felt Solace near, my other half, the draw to him was so strong I knew when he was within the mile, the feeling behind my navel tugged me towards him. I could feel his presence near; it was part of the imprint I could not deny. Try as I might to break it, the feelings remain, and they were strong. This was not the case with my fiancé, the man I was set to marry in just two hours. Javier was better though in so many ways. He was stable, and secure, and honest, and he loved me. There was not a doubt in my mind that Javi was completely in love with me, he showed it to me many times a night, but it did not negate the fact that one single heated glance from Solace was all I needed to feel weak. He owned me.
I closed my eyes at Chloe's request, listening to my little sister's very professional sounding conversation as her applicator brush tickled the inner corner of my eye. Harley and Chloe had moved to Los Angeles together about five years ago, when Chloe gave up the dream of a professional dancing career and concentrated all of her energy to modeling. Chloe's modeling thing blew up quick but it took some time for Harley to get where she is now, working on her third movie, her first big budget. It was still in the planning stages, meaning she had not gotten off the phone for more than a few hours since she'd arrived, but she was big and only getting bigger.
"Open up," Chloe commanded and the vision of her shot me painfully when she came into view. She was not supposed to be so beautiful on my wedding day but there were a lot of supposed to be's that just weren't. I was supposed to be breathtaking, but I sure didn't feel it. I was supposed to be about twenty pounds lighter, but I couldn't gather the energy to care, and I was supposed to be ecstatic, it was my wedding day for Christ's sake, but I couldn't for the life of me muster the enthusiasm warranted for this special day.
"Are you going to start crying and ruin my makeup before you even get your dress on?" Chloe asked with a hint of annoyance, I shook my head no and stood, checking the clock above the stove. Our kitchen had been made into dressing room, and from the back window, I could see as the planner Annabelle and my mother ran around making sure the final touches went down without a hitch. My mother was still beautiful, almost fifty-years old and she glowed, in a black lace mini-dress that showed off the legs Harley had inherited.
I slipped the terry cloth robe off, underneath I donned only a very form fitting white strapless slip, which was intended to be slimming under my gown. My dress hung on the door, it was thin and casual and probably not as warm as the weather required. It was off-the-shoulder, white, though I found the tradition antiquated, and loose enough to hide some of my more than adequate curves.
"Still have an hour or so, you should probably wait to put the dress on, but if you can't wait," Chloe trailed off passing me the simple white shoes I chose to wear under my long gown.
"Okay, finally, I got this hair into something presentable," Tara announced waving her hands like a game show presenter around Ava's hair which was in a high shiny knot, Ava didn't look up, highlighting something in her book as her mom added a silver clip to her hair with flourish. Ava didn't move until Eli came in, the only man allowed past the barrier that wasn't my dad, who waited anxiously in the living room for the ceremony to begin.
Ava's fiancé Eli is deaf, the adopted son of a gay couple that once were members of the pack, though they had both retired and moved to Portland about two years ago. He signed something to her, fast and fluidly, and from my angle, I couldn't understand it, but since she was in full view I could not miss her response.
'I don't think she wants to see him on her wedding day.'
Solace. There could be no one else they were referring to.
"Where are you going?" Chloe called after me, waving the large black garment bag that held my dress. It made my stomach churn. I hated the dress, I really did. As a curvy girl when it came to wedding dresses, I was basically screwed. All nice dresses fit in bags much smaller than the one she swung from her pointer finger.
I'm not fat, this was something I'd had to tell myself repeatedly for the last two months since the quickie wedding had been put together, but for some reason, the sadistic bastards in the wedding business believed anyone over a size 10 didn't deserve a nice wedding dress and even if I was willing to work my size 14 self down to a 8 for this occasion, I wouldn't have had the time. This whole shebang had been thrown together within two months, exactly two months from the day my fiancé and I decided to get married.
"I'm going to talk to Solace," I screamed back. Tara and Chloe gave each other concerned looks but I was out and past my dad before anyone knew it. It was warmer in the front room, so I didn't even notice I was still only wearing the tight slip until I was out the front door and on my porch in the cold air.
"What are you doing here?" I spat as soon as I saw him.
"I wanted to give you something, maybe you have one… but I thought—"
"A garter belt?" I asked gently grabbing the small piece of white lacy, elastic from his hand. When I shivered, he came closer, placing his big warm hands on each of my naked arms, rubbing them slowly from my fingertips up to my shoulder, his touch was electric.
"Yeah, could be your something old," he said jokingly.
"Was it Amber's?" I asked stiffly and his eyes flashed the frightening black they did when he was angry, before he inhaled deep and spoke again.
"So was my invitation lost in the mail?" He asked with his stupid Solace fake smile that hid his sadness.
"I didn't send one, I didn't think you'd want to be here," I said honestly.
"It's supposed to be the happiest day of your life, I'd like to witness that," he said the sincerely, searching my eyes for an answer before I spoke.
"Yeah, it's supposed to be a lot of things," I sighed, heading back inside to retrieve an extra invitation from the coffee table, passing it to him before I slammed the door.
In another world, seeing him me now would be bad luck, because he would be the groom and I would be his bride, yet another meaningless supposed to be.