Disclaimer: I do not own Twilight. I do own this kid though.
Chapter 35: Future- Take
Annaleigh Black Hawk, Summer 2031 (age 17)
I don't remember the point where I realized I was different for having two dads instead of a mom and a dad, nor do I ever remember feeling like I was missing out on anything. Dad and Adam always made me know that I did have a mother and her name was Hannah and that I could go and talk to her about anything I wasn't comfortable discussing with them. And even though I'm close to Hannah, she's not my parent.
Having two sisters as well meant that I was never at a loss for some serious girl time if I needed it. And Lena and Maddie I suppose still are the closest thing I'll ever need for female role models, even if they are lesbians. Lena had the 'where babies come from' talk with me when I was nine, and by the time Dad got round to trying to explain things to me I was fourteen and had been getting my period for over a year. He can be such a boy sometimes.
There are definite advantages of having two dads as well. There's always a second option when the first Daddy refuses to go shopping with you. You get spoiled to all hell. And women like taking you 'under their wing' and out for ice cream to discuss the general crapness of most men. I know that I'm Jake's daughter and Adam adopted me, and the knowledge that they went to so much trouble to bring me into the world means a lot.
I suppose the weirdest thing for me at the moment is being a Native American girl but not really having many links back to my culture. I don't live on a reservation- I live in San Francisco. Dad tries to assure me I'm not missing out and if anything I've got it better than he and Adam did when they were kids because I've got so much life and culture around me. I appreciate that, I really do, but I can't help feeling sad that I never got to do bonfires on First Beach every other weekend with res moonshine and other native boys. Because damn, those boys are pretty fly.
Adam has sort of arranged for me to spend the summer with Grandma in La Push; living with her in his old bedroom so I can at least have that experience while I'm still young enough to enjoy it. There was a moment where I freaked out about being away from my Dads for so long, and my friends, and the city; but I got over that already. I like nature and how big it is.
People say I take after Dad a lot and I suppose I do- I look a lot like him anyway. And according to Adam, I'm as annoying and sarcastic as he used to be when he was my age. It's weird to think that Dad and Adam got together when they were the same age as I am now, I mean, there's no way in all hell I'm going to settle down and get married yet. It obviously worked for them, but I'm not my parents. I'm straight, to start with.
Adam has always been a big influence on the way I've grown and learned. I suppose he's the more authoritative parent while Dad is more protective of me. The arguments about me going to Washington this summer- Jesus Christ. They don't argue like that very often, thank god. Dad tells me at every opportunity about how much it rains there and to pack for the worst California winter of my life to spend summer in the Pacific Northwest. I'm trying to get around him by suggesting I stay here and he can spend the summer teaching me how to ride motorbikes but he's seeing through the blackmail so far.
By the time I started school the US Government had started to recognize gay marriage as legal, and when I started High School there wasn't any difference between gay and straight marriages in the eyes of the law. Although I was a few years older than some of the other kids in school who had gay parents there were enough of us to mean we didn't really stand out. I got more attention for being a Native American than I did for being the daughter of gay parents; there aren't that many of us in San Francisco really.
People often mistake my sisters for being twins which isn't surprising. I don't think about it often, but I suppose since their mothers are identical twins they're closer biologically that I am to them… are they like genetically sisters? Shit, it makes my head hurt. Anyway, their birthdays are only a few months apart and sometimes with school it was easier to try and explain to people that they're twins than how Dad and Adam adopted Lacey. I think that you can see some of the Samoan in Lacey if you know to look, in the shape of her eyes maybe but I might be making it up. Adam told me about it a couple of years ago when I asked him who her dad was and I was really shocked. I mean, as long as I can remember Aunt Becca has lived in La Push and she got married when I was about six; I was a bridesmaid for her. She has kids as well. It's hard to think of the old people in your family being young and doing stuff like travelling the world and getting knocked up by a Hawaiian surfer. It sounds like great fun. Well, not the getting knocked up part but the travelling. I want to go to Europe for a summer as well but Dad told me 'no fucking way'. Then he said he'd give me a job at Black Hawk Motors as their weekend receptionist earning minimum wage and I could fund the trip myself. I think his plan is to financially bankrupt me and keep me as close as possible until I'm twenty five. I wouldn't be surprised- it's the sort of thing he'd do.
I don't really know what I want to do when I'm older. Grandma thinks this is a good thing and that I should go to college and let life direct me. She's good with that sort of advice. I've been drawing since I was a little kid; one of my earliest memories with Adam is of him sitting with me and teaching me how to sketch but I don't have his talent for drawing. I paint a lot, but that's for me. Being Adam Black Hawk's daughter means I have a reputation at Pixar on my name alone and every time I've gone to work with him it's been a bit overwhelming. I'm the infamous daughter with the talent and that's a bit unnerving. I paint- I don't draw. And I can't draw people for shit.
There's a gorgeous painting of Dad and Adam in our dining room of them when they were my age. It's signed E Cullen but they always manage to change the conversation whenever I ask who E Cullen is or was. I googled the name but it didn't tell me anything. I just wanted to know why they let him or her paint them in such an intimate pose while they were so young (and not 'out' to most of La Push) so it's their fault really for not telling me; if they'd said, I wouldn't have got curious.
It turns out the name 'Cullen' means a lot in La Push. Not any more, the Cullen's don't live in the area now. But over the years the legends told over the bonfires on First Beach have changed to local gossip as much as ancient tradition.
"Cullen," I repeat to Zach Uley. "Does the name mean anything to you?"
"Yeah," he laughs at me. "I don't know if you want to hear it though."
We were huddled around the fabled driftwood bonfire on the beach on the first clear night since I arrived in La Push two weeks ago. It turned out my Dad hadn't just been trying to piss me off with the promise of rain, it had been practically torrential for a week. About twelve res kids were sat with me and I had been quickly accepted into the fold, something that I'm privately ecstatic about.
"Okay," Zach says and the other conversations tail off around us as a bottle of whiskey gets passed around again. I take a glug of it and let the liquor warm me from the inside. "You know the Quileute tribe is supposedly descended from wolves?"
I nod. I've grown up sleeping with my head on my Dad's wolf tattoo. "Well, there's only one enemy of the wolf. The cold ones. Legend had it that our grandfather's grandfathers came across a group of them, who claimed to be different to others of their kind. They didn't kill humans, or drink their blood, they claimed to hunt only animals. So the Quileutes made a treaty with them; if the cold ones stayed away from La Push and promised never to hurt the humans, we would allow them to stay.
"Seventy years later they returned to the area. The cold ones never age and some recognized them for what they truly were, although there were now more in their coven. This time, though, they stayed longer than ever before. One of the cold ones fell for a local white girl, a human girl. But he loved her and was afraid that they would never be able to be together.
"The cold one left and the human girl was destroyed. It took months, but a member of the Quileute tribe helped the girl to rebuild her life without the cold one in it. Eventually the human girl began to fall in love with the Quileute boy. But the cold ones came back and the girl was forced to choose between the Quileute boy and the cold one, both of whom vowed to fight for her love."
Zach pauses, for effect, I'm sure, and someone passes him the whiskey. I roll my eyes and take the bait.
"Who did she choose?"
Zach shrugs. "The cold one." There's a collective gasp around the circle; this was supposed to be a story about one of us. Where was the happily ever after?
"But what about the Quileute boy?" I ask, feeling the tears pricking at the corners of my eyes. It was so sad.
"Some people thought he would never get over losing the human girl. Some people think he never did. But the Quileute boy did move on. He fell in love with another Quileute boy, and they moved to California, and had three daughters."
My mouth drops open as twelve pairs of eyes turn and lock on me. "No fucking way," I whisper. Zach just laughs.
"Cullen," someone gasps. I looked across at Jaime Clearwater. "You're talking about Edward and Bella Cullen."
"What?" I demand. "Tell me."
"Chill, Anna," someone says and hands me the whiskey again. I just wave it off.
"Hang on, we're talking about my Dad here," I object, trying to keep my voice light. "I want the juice."
"Jake Black," Jaime says, tucking her cropped hair behind her ears, flashing her chewed off nail polish. "I remember my mom talking about him. It was this big thing back when they were kids, you know, everyone knew about it but no one talked about it. Edward Cullen left Bella and she like, broke down or something, your dad was the one who saved her when she tried to commit suicide. But when he came back she ditched your dad and went back to Cullen.
"Then there was the scandal that no one talked about. Everyone thought that your dad was with Adam, you know, as more than friends when they left La Push. Then they had you, and your sisters, and it became pretty obvious."
"But what about the Cullens?" I insist, looking to Zach who's leaning back on his elbows with a smug expression on his face. "What the fuck's a cold one? Who's Bella whats-her-face?"
More people laugh now. "Vampire?" one guy says. I don't know his name, but he's really gorgeous. His hair is as long as mine, reaching to the middle of his back and he looks like he's grown more than the other boys our age. His chest is wider and he's taller, thicker. Manly.
"The Cullens are vampires?" I say, incredulous. "Fuck off."
"She's got a dirty mouth," the cute guy says, winking at me. "You wanna walk with me, Black Hawk? I'll fill in the sordid details."
I get up hesitantly and he reaches his hand out to me. I take it, appreciating the warmth and size of his palm. He leads me down the beach in silence for a while, allowing me to drum up enough courage to ask his name.
"You're a quiet little thing when you're alone, Black Hawk," he teases me softly.
"Annaleigh," I tell him, turning my hand in his and shaking it gently.
"Ryan Clearwater," he nods. "Jaime's cousin. Can I kiss you now?"
I'm sure I'm blushing with pleasure but there's something that makes me feel emboldened by his advances so I rise up onto my toes to press my lips to his. Ryan's hands catch my waist and lower me gently, keeping his mouth pressed to mine as we find each other's lips in sweet kisses with promises of more.
I pull away first, wanting some semblance of control over this boy who makes butterflies flutter in my stomach. "You can't charm me with kisses you know," I try to tease him, but the words come out higher than my normal voice. "I still want to know the rest of the story."
"There's not a lot else to tell," Ryan says, taking my hand and heading back up the beach. "The Cullens left the area and no one has seen or heard of them since."
"But they were vampires," I deadpan.
Ryan laughs. "If you like," he says. "It makes the story better if Jacob Black was a werewolf and Edward Cullen was a vampire than if they were just two kids fighting over a girl."
"Ew," I mutter and Ryan squeezes my hand.
"What? Your dad fighting over a girl?"
"No, mostly just the idea of my dad and a girl. It's weird."
Ryan laughs again and leans down to press a kiss into my temple. "I think I like you, Annaleigh."
I feel a tingle of something in my belly; anticipation, lust, adolescence, the chance of a summer romance; the place, the time, my age and the promise of learning and knowing and finding out. Something was coming. I could feel it, taste it on the air. It smelled of possibility…