Author's Notes: This was Embry's story and Embry's story ends here. But he's been watching another story unfold and it seems that it's not finished just yet. So yes, I am crazily writing a sequel if anyone's interested or feels like I forgot something important in the epilogue (and I can't believe I'm saying this because I like plans and this wasn't part of it). It's going to be a little different, in that it's not crazy divisible and hardcore reflective. I'm going to try writing a story all about the plot. The horror! All right. Onto the epilogue.
Time has been kind to my mother. Too kind, she thinks. She's already too young to have a grandchild—she doesn't need to look even younger. No one else has a mother as beautiful as mine, but to tell her that would only depress her and there will be no sadness in my son's life just yet, not when it's still so new that I can fool myself into thinking I can protect him.
"He's beautiful," my mother whispers beside me, tears in her eyes. My hand squeezes hers, this woman who has given me so much. As my wife regains her strength in the hospital room (her parents will guard her for now), I stand beside the only other woman in the world who could tear me from her side and gaze at my tiny boy who is just…perfect.
She must know I mean for everything, because the tears begin to fall and she pats my head like she did when I was little, even though I'm now more than a foot taller so it doesn't work as well. I smile through my own tears and hold her even more tightly.
"Embry?" Her voice is a whisper. "I've been thinking...I worry that I should have told you a long time ago. About your father, I mean."
"Mom, I don't need anyone else. I have you."
And the pack, I think but don't say, though I suspect she knows that too. She never approved of my friends when I started growing rapidly and sneaking out at all hours (at least until Jacob let me explain) but with her mother's intuition she's always known how much they mean to me.
They're all here today, not that it's a surprise. Seth has managed to charm all the nurses, so they've managed to set up camp quite comfortably in one of the nearby waiting rooms. Quil is collecting all the balloons and cards that have been sent, though I suspect the food is not going to make it home. Jacob is slowly repeating one of his father's stories, reading over Leah's shoulder as she writes it down, the two of them occasionally stopping to argue about the proper pronunciation of the ancient words.
I have a son. It's not surprising that I'm smiling fit to burst. Everything would be perfect if only my mother would stop furrowing her brow like that.
"I just can't help feeling like you should know," she says.
I lean over—it's too easy now that I'm a giant—and kiss her forehead. "It's okay, Mom."
There are some things a person should know. Things like where you come from and who you are. But I didn't need to know who my father was to figure that out. There's only one piece of information that I ever really needed.
"I know who loves me."