Chapter 17

Emily's house seemed so different from what it was before. Had she really been living there all this time? Was that really her front door, her bedroom window, then inside: was that really her couch, her television, her kitchen? Was this really her house? Perhaps it was because it was no longer solely her own. It was his now too. Her husband's.

She stood in the doorway, immobile, and Sam had to reach around her to turn on the light.

"Welcome home, Mrs. Uley," he said, kissing her cheek as he passed. He kept saying that. "Mrs. Uley." She could tell he loved the sound of it. She rather loved it too.

He set the few wedding gifts he had in his arms on the worn out couch. The rest were still piled in the car, and at the Clearwater's.

Sam seemed almost giddy. He turned back toward her. Emily hadn't moved.

"You okay?"

"Yes. Just a little nervous, I guess."

Sam grinned.

"Why?" He walked toward her, brushing the strands that had fallen from her updo away from her face. Touching him made the nerves even worse, but she couldn't stop.

"What if I'm not…"

"Impossible," he whispered, kissing her again. He took her hand.

Emily smiled shyly and closed the front door behind her. With her hand still in his, she followed Sam up the stairs. Each step added weight to the nervous excitement in her stomach. She felt like she might vomit. Her face turned red. What if she vomited right while he was… At the thought her face turned redder.

He opened her bedroom door and led her inside. Her room was unfamiliar as well. Emily had never noticed how plain it was until now, just a desk under a window and a bed in the corner. A vase of flowers sat on the desk, and a picture of Sam and Emily that had been taken at one of the bonfires sat in a frame. It wasn't a very romantic setting. Emily had never wanted anything more than this, but it seemed too simple, too dull for what was about to happen. Emily stared at the bed, then suddenly realized that a few candles were lit on the desk, and on the bed stand. Sam must have had someone do that for him earlier. That was sweet of him.

She reached for the back of her dress, but he was already there, slowly pushing the zipper down and the shoulder straps off. He kissed her shoulder, the base of her neck, her spine. Shivers ran down her entire body. The dress fell in a heap on the floor.

Emily turned around slowly and reached out toward his buttons. Her hands were shaking, but he managed to hold himself together and wait until she unbuttoned his shirt, which he quickly shrugged off.

He kissed her, holding her face between his hands. She knew how hard he was trying to make things slow, but there was an underlying and frantic passion behind his kiss.

She smiled, and he smiled, his arms wrapping more completely around her and his lips becoming more desperate. Suddenly she was on the bed, and he was pushing his slacks and socks off. She'd seen him naked before, at the river, but it seemed much realer now than it did then.

She sat up, watching as he slid his boxers down onto the floor. She instinctively blushed and looked away. He sat down beside her, took her hand. He must have thought she was embarrassed by him. On the contrary. Every inch of him was perfect.

"Are you okay?"

She nodded. She didn't know what words she'd manage to say if she tried. But she wanted this. More than anything before. And she wanted him to know that, like in all other things, they were the same. She took his face in her hands, brought her toward him.

Their lips crashed together, but they didn't stay joined for long. Sam was soon kissing down Emily's jaw, her throat, her neck. The feathery pressure of his lips across her collarbone…

He pulled her onto his lap, kissing down her chest. His hand slipped beneath the edge of her strapless bra, his fingers on her bare skin. Her eyes rolled back into her head as her chest became bare, and his mouth replaced his hands.

His lips returned to hers, and she held him there above her for just a moment. She could barely think. She needed just a quick pause before they continued. Emily tried to distract him, running her nails lightly over his chest, down farther and farther…. He gasped into her kiss. Sam had very little patience now.

He twisted, sinking her into the bed. Her legs freed themselves enough to wrap around his hips, pulling herself closer. Sam kissed down her stomach, his tongue flicking down, moving around her belly button and tasting its inside. Her breath was coming quickly now. When he reached the line of her underwear, he paused.

The wait made it so much sweeter, and the knowledge of knowing that she was his wife, his only for the rest of their lives, made him want her all the more. He could barely contain himself when they were completely unclothed, pressed together, her hips arching against him. Every inch of her was perfect. He ached to be within her, but held himself back, kissing every inch of her body until he couldn't take it anymore.

He was kissing down her stomach. She was gasping in the most delicious way. His arm reached back, his hand running down her bare leg before hitting the edge of her underwear. His fingertips traveled underneath to touch the soft hip underneath. Their breath was shaking now.

"Emily…"

"Please," she whispered. "I can't possibly wait any longer."

Her hands left his shoulders, down to her hips, where she pushed down the fabric there. Their fingers met, and he pulled them off completely.

And his hand moved lower and lower, tickling the inside of her thighs.

"Oh my God," she breathed.

And he was looking down at her, his eyes steady, his lips open. She couldn't match his gaze, not if she wanted to. She tried to reach his lips, but he was just out of her reach, too busy trying to watch every cell of her face. Her eyes rolled back, her lids clenched shut… She was going to explode right there, burst into tiny pieces.

Suddenly, Sam kissed her thighs and pulled himself up, face-to-face. He moved to kiss her mouth, but at the last moment his lips landed on the dark scars on her face. He kissed them slowly, thoroughly, all the way down her cheek, her neck, her shoulder. Her arms wound around his neck and pulled him closer. His entire body fell into her.

"Are you ready?" he asked. He kissed her, and she whispered, "Yes," against his lips. He watched her face as they finally came together.

He froze in complete pleasure and anticipation, for her eyes were tightly shut. He waited for her to look back, waited to see if she was alright.

Breathlessly, he whispered, "Are you okay?" He moved his hand to her forehead and brushed the sweat away.

She gasped finally and opened her eyes. She'd been holding her breath.

"Yes," she gasped. She smiled.

And then he was rocking inside her, and he forgot any harm he had ever suffered or caused, and pain anywhere in the world, and hurt he had ever felt. Because they were together, finally, and he knew that every time together would feel exactly like this.

They lost control at the same time, together, clutching each other in pure ecstasy. Waves of pleasure vibrated through their bodies.

She clung to him as he kissed her face, her forehead, her lips.

He rolled onto his back, and she followed him. Slowly, almost comically, they exhaled in unison.

Their breathing slowly returned to its normal tempo. Emily's fingers played softly down his chest, the light sweat across their bodies shining in the moonlight. Sam pulled her closer, content for the night. He didn't expect anything more from his new wife. He knew it hurt much more for girls the first time.

But then her fingertips suddenly left his skin, replaced by the sensation of her nails sliding down his chest.

Before he could ask her anything, her lips were on his throat. She moved beside him, sitting up. Soon she was straddling his hips, her hands landing on either side of this head. He stared up at her mischievous smile in awe.

She laughed at his expression, but didn't say a word. Instead, she kissed him, her hands running through his growing hair, her body pressed against his own.

"So how was it?"

He laughed. Just barely through the door and Emily was already there, begging for news.

"How was what?" Sam asked with a smirk as he kissed her forehead.

"The interview! Did you get the job?" she asked, her hands curling in his hair. He hadn't gotten a haircut in a few months. She realized she liked it far better this length.

Sam's face fell at her question.

"Oh no…"

"Oh Emily…" He faked a sigh, and then smiled. "I got it."

Emily squealed with happiness and did her best to jump into his arms.

"Sam Uley, I swear I'll kill you one of these days…" she said before he cut her off with a kiss. He set her down carefully. Sam was hungry, but the food in the kitchen could wait. Emily was pulling him onto the couch, and he was thoroughly enjoying the perks of being newly employed.

It had been six months since their wedding, and Sam was completely at peace. The Cullens had left, no vampires had come anywhere close to La Push, and the pack was completely stable. His community was at peace, his wife was pregnant, and he had a real job. It was all so mundane, this dull and domestic happiness, but it was perfect. He didn't miss the old days at all. He'd barely even phased in the last few months. In fact, it was becoming increasingly harder and harder for him to do so.

The only thing missing was Jacob.

The pack took turns phasing, trying to communicate with Jacob, trying to figure out where he was, telling him to come home. Of course, he hadn't given them any clues, and he had purposefully stayed away from civilization to avoid being tracked down. The "Have You Seen This Boy?" posters were tattered and covered with yard sale notifications and, ironically, lost dog ads. And since Bella had gotten married, changed, and disappeared along with the rest of the Cullens, Jacob made it even harder for them to track him. The last they knew, he'd crossed Canada to the East Coast. Who knew where he was now?

Some of the pack was unsettled by the quiet peace that had fallen around La Push and Forks. With Bella being a newborn, some thought she might escape the Cullen's watchful eye and return. But Sam had more confidence in the Cullens than that. He would always be weary, but he liked this peace. Romping around the woods with his pack had been great, but he couldn't support anyone like that. Knowing that he finally had a steady job somewhere other than a convenience store was exhilarating.

And he had to admit: the joys of running and hunting as a werewolf seemed much duller now that he had a very loving wife at home. His tie had been thrown on the rug, his shirt was half-unbuttoned, and Emily's skirt was far too high when the doorbell rang.

"Shit." Sam pulled away and waited.

"We need to get the door," Emily said, letting out a low breath. Neither of them moved. She gave him a pointed look.

"I'm carrying around another human being. You can get the door, Mr. Uley," she said, a grin playing across her lips.

"Fine. I'll get it."

He kissed her quickly before removing himself from her arms and going to the door. He managed to button a few loose buttons on the way. Emily bent and scooped his tie off the floor, and ran her fingers through her hair.

Sam opened the door.

"Jacob!" Emily cried. She stood and all but ran to the door. The man at the door seemed so different, yet it was clearly the prodigal son.

"Emily, you're…" Jacob said as she took him into her arms.

"Yes," she beamed, pulling back and placing a hand on her stomach. "Four months."

"Congratulations! I'm sorry I missed the wedding."

"Me too," she said with a smile, running a tiny hand down his arm. "Don't worry, though. My grandmother took so many pictures that you'll feel as if you were there. Come in, Jacob! Why are you waiting out there on the porch?"

He looked at Sam. His smile stretched across his face.

"You're back," Sam said with a grin.

"Yes, sir!"

Sam laughed, pulling him into a hug. "Don't call me sir."

"Congratulations, man," he said, punching Sam in the arm.

"Thanks."

"I mean that on a few things, if you know what I mean." Jacob's knowing, playful gaze flicked down to the arm of the couch, where Emily had draped Sam's crumpled tie. Emily turned red. Sam's eyes widened with his grin. Since being married, Sam had come to really hate that mental connection. As unhappy with seeing Kim and Bella in ways he never wanted, he was far less happy with the rest of the pack seeing his wife that way.

"So, you've… stayed close," he said with a look that said, Watch it. One is enough.

Jacob's brow raised in amused understanding. Emily cleared her throat.

"Um, do you want anything? We have some drinks or…"

"Oh no, I don't think I'll be staying too long."

"Oh," Emily sighed, clearly disappointed.

"No, I mean here specifically. I'm back in La Push for good. I still haven't seen my father yet, though."

"I'm glad to hear it," Sam said. "So, where have you been?"

"Well, I went to Canada, then to the East Coast… I was just running, I didn't realize I had gotten so far south. When I found out I was in Massachusetts I freaked a little, and I was going to turn right around and head back to Canada. But, well, then I saw her…"

Jacob grinned, leaving the story unfinished.

"Her? Jacob! Did you imprint?" Emily asked.

"I… I have someone I'd like you to meet," Jacob said. Emily and Sam glanced at each other as the younger wolf went to the door. A young woman came to the doorway.

"This is Maria," he said, and the girl blushed. Emily smiled. She was thin, with dark hair and a dark complexion, with seemingly black eyes. She wasn't tall, her head barely meeting Jacob's chest, but lean and small. As soon as she was close enough, Jacob's hand wrapped protectively around the girls' waist. She must have been eighteen or nineteen.

"Maria, this is Sam and Emily, you know, the ones I told you about."

"Yes, I remember." She was shy, but gave them a smile.

"Hi, Maria," Emily offered, holding out her arms. Maria, almost painfully, detached herself from Jacob and hugged the pregnant woman. She didn't focus on Emily's scars once.

"Welcome to our family." Emily urged them all to sit down.

"Thank you," she said.

"She's shy now, but once she warms up to you, you're going to have a rude awakening. She's the most sarcastic thing I've ever met." Maria looked down in amused embarrassment. She looked as if she wanted to disappear.

"So you met in Massachusetts?" Emily asked the girl, trying to make her feel a little less awkward.

"Yes. I, well, I was visiting my grandparents. They live near the New Hampshire line and they have this well, huge backyard. And I was out there…"

"She was making sure her dog went," Jacob explained. Maria blushed again.

"Yes, and I looked up, and I saw him. Just, this half-wild man staring at me from the trees. At first I was terrified, but he calmed me down and asked if we had any food, and I brought him some of my grandfather's clothes too."

"That man has some style."

They laughed together. It must have been an inside joke. Emily wanted to giggle with joy. Sam leaned forward.

"Wait, does she…?"

Jacob looked at him quizzically.

"Know what? That I am a werewolf?"

Maria looked up suddenly. "Wait, what?"

Emily and Sam froze.

Jacob smiled, and Maria followed suit. "Just kidding. Yes, I know."

"Jesus, Jacob. At least you have someone else who appreciates your sense of humor," Sam said with a smile as Maria leaned into Jacob. His arms curled around her once again as they sat together on the old and lumpy couch. Sam shook his head, a wide smile on his face.

"You sure you won't be staying just a little while?" Emily asked.

Jacob smiled sheepishly. "Maybe a little while longer," he said. Emily stood.

"Well, I'm going to get us something to eat then." She kissed Sam's cheek before heading to the kitchen. Sam watched her go before turning back to Jacob and Maria.

"Well, with you, Jared, and Quil… I guess we can officially say imprinting it not the rarest of things."

A/N: Of course I had to go for a corny last line! I just wanted to thank all of you, my wonderful readers, for sticking by my story and continuing to review. It was amazing, hearing from all of you. You really did inspire me just as much as my imagination did… Because, well, if no one wants to read it, what's the point? Thank you so much, and I hope you enjoyed it to the end.

Love, musicsetsmefree1