A/N: Okay, so I decided to make this the epilogue. It is also from Jacob's POV. Hopefully you like it! Ah! I can't believe it's done! :) It was such a blast and I want to thank ALL of my readers and reviewers! You guys are the best and have made this such a great experience. PLEASE if you've read this story LET ME KNOW WHAT YOU THINK! This is the first time I've written a story, so I'd love to hear how you all thought I did.
I've also included a TEASER for the sequel which is tentatively titled: Sweet Sacrifice. Hopefully you will read it and like it. If you do PUT ME ON AUTHOR ALERT so you can be notified when the first chapter comes out. It will probably only take me about a week or so, just like a normal update. I hope you all will read that, too.
Thanks again, you all are the best!
I remember the beginning you already knew Finally got out of my own way Finally
I acted like a fool
Just trying to be cool
Fronting like it didn't matter
I just ran away
And on another phase
Was lost in my own space
Found what its like to hurt selfishly
Scared to give of me
Afraid to just believe
I was in a jealous, insecure, pathetic place
Stumbled through the mess that I have made
I've Finally started living for today
I finally know that I needed to grow
And finally my mate has met my soul
Now my destiny can begin
Though we will have a different set
Something strange and new is happening
Now my life doesn't seem so bad
It's the best that I've ever had
Gave my love to him Finally
Finally got out of my own way
Her heartbeat was a relaxing cadence in the quiet room. I found myself absolutely enthralled by the rhythm of her heart and her breathing as she lay in the bed next to me. Throw in how she looked with the morning sunlight shining in through the window and illuminating her glossy dark black hair and highlighting her smooth, perfect skin and I was completely breathless.
I was the luckiest man alive.
Denae was absolutely my perfect match. Everything about her captivated me and at the same time made me a better person. I was so angry and hateful before she came into my life. I was hopeless and heartbroken. And she changed that with one spectacular smile.
Even if I didn't imprint, I would have noticed her. She was stunning. She had a round, cheerful face and a small delicate nose. Her lips were heaven; so soft and curved just perfectly. Her eyes are what always got me. They are so big and such a shocking blue color that they drew you in and kept you there. They contrasted with her dark brown hair, which fell to the middle of her back and was always very soft. She was short and petite but curvy in all the right places. I often found myself staring at her curves at inappropriate times. My imprint was gorgeous, I couldn't help it.
I was amazed when I looked back at what we had been through. I had almost ruined everything from the very beginning by ignoring her. Part of me still loved Bella then. I had spent so much time loving and obsessing over Bella that it took some time to change. But that change began as soon as I looked into Denae's clear blue eyes.
I still felt a pang of guilt when I thought about how rude I had been to her the first two times I saw her. I ran off the first time like an idiot. I couldn't help it. I first felt just love and adoration for her but that soon changed to shock, and then outrage at myself for betraying Bella. The emotions were too much and I knew I was going to phase. I'm surprised I kept it in long enough to run to the woods.
The next day she had gotten up early to run, and I could help but follow her through the woods as I watched her jog. I wanted to make sure she was protected. I had to be sure that nothing happened to her. It was hard at first finding a balance. I wanted to be around her all the time. I had to learn to live with that feeling during the time we were apart. I hated being so obsessed with her, a lot like she hated the involuntary reactions she had to me when she found out about imprinting. So, when I phased back and acted like I was checking the mail when she ran back I couldn't help but get mad as I felt the compulsion to go to her.
Then she made me those disgusting cookies. I will never admit that they were horrible, but they were. That's when I got to know Denae and I realized how perfect she really was for me. She was kind, compassionate, smart, outgoing, and funny. After that first day I could see my self loving her. Little by little the thoughts of Bella began to fade and little by little they were replaced with Denae.
Then, I kissed her and everything was going perfect. Until that stupid redhead bloodsucker came around and ruined it. She threatened me with Denae and I instantly knew that I had to protect Deane from getting involved in anything supernatural. And that meant me. So, I stayed away. It almost killed me and I know it hurt her. I could feel her hurt and rejection. But then one night I felt something more.
I am always thinking about her. But that night that creep attacked her, something else happened. I was patrolling and the next thing I knew, I just had to get to her. I couldn't stop myself. My body was reacting and I didn't resist it for long. I knew something was wrong. I can't even explain how I felt when I finally found her and that disgusting excuse for a human being had his hands on her. I'm still surprised that I didn't kill him.
Then, the whole Bella and Edward incident happened and both of our secrets were exposed. A tiny part of me was glad she knew about vampires and was able to take the whole werewolf thing so well. But, I absolutely hate that she went through so much. She was so emotionally scarred and I couldn't believe that she had such an awful past. I knew then I had to do whatever it took to make sure she was happy and safe for the rest of her life.
However, I was finding it was a lot harder to keep her safe than I had originally thought. My heart still constricts when I think the image of her crying in pain as Victoria threw her around like a rag doll. She had this bizarre tendency to get herself in very dangerous situations. She was a lot like Bella in that manner.
I love that she is friends with Bella, but I'm still not thrilled about her friendship with the Cullens. She literally is able to make friends with anyone, even bloodsucking leeches. They think she is great. They have taken her shopping, let her drive their expensive cars, and give her clothes. I only let it happen because it is impossible to tell Deane what to do. I also know that when her brother gets back, he'll probably become a Cullen and there is no way I will be able to keep her away from Chase.
Chase was another pain in my neck. But, deep down I was glad that he was around, even though I wish he was human. I also respect him. He cares for Denae and will do whatever it takes to keep her safe which makes him okay in my book.
And for now, she was safe. A few days before I wasn't sure that we would ever get to this point. I was so worried that something would happen. There was still so much that I wanted to experience with her and I couldn't stand the thought of anything happening to her. I wanted her to know exactly what she meant to me. So, the night before the battle we made love. And it was perfect. There are no words to explain what I felt that night.
I was so happy that everything had finally settled down. Well, almost. I frowned thinking about my conversation with Denae earlier in the week.
"Bella is getting married to that leech!" I said loudly as I entered Denae's kitchen. I surprised her and she jumped and dropped her apple.
"Oh, God, Jacob, you scared me half to death!"
"And she said you're okay with it!" I added on. Bella had just told me that she had accepted Edward's proposal.
She placed a hand over her rapidly beating heart and took a deep breath. "Yes, I'm okay with it. I'm guessing you're not." She said as her heartbeat began to slow and she shook her head. She took a big bite out of her apple.
"No, of course I'm not!" I wasn't. If she married the leech then she'd want to become one and I didn't want my best friend to be a bloodsucker.
"Edward and Bella are in love," Denae said matter-of-factly. "You know it, I know you do."
"He's a vampire. It's wrong."
"And you're a werewolf," She countered quickly.
"I don't kill people,"
"Neither does Edward," she was sticking her chin out which meant I was in for a fight.
I gritted my teeth. "But he could very easily."
"And so could you," She paused. When I didn't respond she took a deep breath. "Do I wish that Edward was human? Yes. Of course I do. But he isn't."
I sat down and put my head in my hands. "My best friend is going to become the one thing I'm designed to kill. Do you understand that?"
She sat down next to me and gently put her hand on my arm. "Of course I do. Bella is my friend too. I'll probably never see her again after she is changed, or at least not for a very long time. You know how much I hated vampires before. I was absolutely terrified of them. But I guess my opinion on vampires has changed a little bit considering my brother is one." She grimaced.
I sighed. I was starting to see her side of the argument which meant she was going to win. I loved watching Denae work her magic on other people but hated how she could always find a way to make me change my mind.
I had told Denae that I needed some time to think about everything so I left and ran as a wolf for a few hours. Since the whole newborn war thing ended it was quiet inside my mind. Only Sam and Embry were on patrol and they were smart enough to try to keep their thoughts to themselves. Although, I did hear Embry think: Damn, she's good. She almost has me convinced.
I heard her heartbeat pick up slightly and her breathing increase just a little as she began to wake up. I shook the thoughts out of my mind. Her eyes fluttered open and stared up at the ceiling for just a moment. Then they moved and connected with mine and she gave me one of those smiles.
"Merry Christmas," I said with a slight grin. It was seven am on Christmas morning.
Her smile widened. "Merry Christmas, Jacob." She responded. She sounded and looked so cute when she first woke up. Her voice was always deep with sleep and her hair was always a mess. Plus, she was extra cuddly which I was always okay with. She rolled over on her side and rested her head on my chest with a sigh.
"I'm so content right now," she said softly as she traced patterns on my bare chest.
My fingers instantly went to her hair. I gently ran my hands through the silky strands. "Content?" I said in mock surprise. "You're just content? It seems like I'm not doing my job right, then."
She laughed quietly and then looked up at me with sleepy eyes. "I meant that I could stay here, like this seriously forever. I'm not worried or stressed or anything. Everything is just perfect, finally."
She said the word finally like it was a big sigh of relief. And I guess it was. Finally fit many things in mine and Denae's relationship. We finally had our soulmate, the person who we were destined for. We finally had someone heal the wounds from our pasts. We finally had someone to understand us.
"Finally," I echoed in the same tone.
As if she could hear my internal dialogue she added. "And we finally have some alone time. I thought everyone would never leave last night!"
I chuckled. "I know. The guys and Leah loved the clothes by the way."
"Good," she sounded proud.
I was proud of her. She insisted on having a 'pack Christmas' at her house. She cooked and baked all day (with Emily's help) and also got everyone presents. She got everyone clothes, since we tend to go through ours quickly or outgrew everything. The guys loved it.
She didn't get Sam clothes, though. She claimed that he seemed to keep better track of his wardrobe. Instead she got him a book that was meant for leaders. It was supposed to be inspirational or something. He loved it.
She also got Kim a gift card for her and Jared to go to Bella Italia, where I took her for our date. She picked out a very cute princess outfit for Claire. And she got Emily some really nice cookware.
I was also impressed that she took extra time to pick out stuff for Leah. Generally, Leah wore cut offs and tank tops that weren't very girly. Denae got her more of that, but also got her some really nice shirts, jeans, and skirts…girl things.
"This is a lot like the stuff I used to wear," I had overheard Leah whispering to Denae. "Thank you so much."
Denae told me that she thought that her and Leah would be good friends. I wasn't sure how I felt about it, but I kept my mouth shut.
Yes, she was perfect and she was all mine. I felt her light kisses on my chest and I looked down. She gave me a playful smirk. "I wonder what Santa brought me this year?"
I grinned. She hated surprises. That is why the moment she got her Christmas tree up I insisted on putting my present to her underneath it. It was in a big box. Emily helped me wrap it and put a big bow on it. She had frowned and went into her room and came out with a small box which she sat next to the huge one. It had my name on it.
"What is it?" she had asked me, pointing to the box.
I just shrugged. "I dunno."
This caused her to scowl. "Okay, give me a hint,"
I laughed. "Not happening. Come on, I'll keep your mind off of it." and then I had dragged her back to her bedroom and kept her busy for quite a while.
It had been driving her crazy for the past few days so I figured it was okay to let her open it. "I guess you can open it now," I told her with an over dramatic sight.
She sat up and grinned excitedly, fully awake now. "Okay!"
"I'll go get it," I rolled my eyes playfully and walked into the living room. I picked through the presents she had for my father, Rachel, and Rebecca. We were going over to my house in the morning to celebrate Christmas with them. Denae was very nervous about it. It was the first time she was meeting Rachel and Rebecca. I told her she had nothing to worry about but that didn't seem to help.
I shook my head at the presents for the Cullens. She had insisted on getting them and Bella gifts; even though I told her they were rich enough to afford anything they could ever want. But, of course, she ignored me. She was excited that Alice wouldn't be able to see what she got her and would actually have a surprise, for once.
"Grab yours too!" I heard her call from her bedroom. I grabbed the small box and headed back to her room.
She was sitting crossed legged on the bed, grinning from ear to ear. I sat the big box in front of her and then sat down with my little box. "Let's open them at the same time," I suggested.
"Okay," she agreed and we both tore into our boxes.
"No way!" I said.
At the same time she squealed "Oh my gosh, Jacob!"
I looked up and saw her excited face as she held up the large package. "An electric blanket?" she said with a big smile.
I returned her smile. "Yeah, you know for the nights I'm gone."
Her grin grew. "That is the sweetest thing in the whole world!"
"No, this is!" I said holding up the gift card. It was $100 to a shop in town that sold car parts. I had been saving up for a part I needed for a motorcycle and she knew it. "One hundred dollars…that's too much, Denae."
"Nope, it's not." She leaned in and kissed me quickly. "I wanted to get you something you'd actually use."
I shook my head. "You're wonderful. It's perfect." It really was.
"No, this is perfect! I'm going to be so warm!" she said happily.
"There's one more thing," I said nervously. I got up off of the bed and went into her closet. "I hid it in here this morning." I said from inside. I pulled the small box out from under the pile of bed sheets. I opened it up, feeling the velvet under my fingers to see the piece of jewelry inside. I had spent a long time picking it out for her.
I turned around and held it out for her with a timid smile on my face. I wasn't sure how she'd react.
"Oh my, God." She whispered. One hand went to her mouth as she looked at the contents of the jewelry box. "It is beautiful."
"Do you like it?" I asked, still hesitant. I gently pulled the necklace out of the box.
"I love it," she said and her eyes met mine. "It's perfect."
"I'll put it on you," I said, feeling relieved.
I moved her hair out of the way and gently clasped the delicate necklace. It was a silver chain and on the end there was a little outline of a wolf. It was simple and small, but I hoped she would like it.
"It's not too corny?" I said sheepishly as she turned around. I thought it looked great on her, but I wasn't sure if she'd think it was stupid.
"It is amazing. Thank you so much, Jacob. I'll never take it off."
I was completely happy in that moment. I knew that as long as Denae Walters was by my side, I'd be just fine.
Sweet Sacrifice teaser: Denae POV
Jacob Black was literally the reason I was alive. He had saved my life physically, emotionally, spiritually and in every other way possible. My mind instantly filled with images of him.
Jacob on the first day that I met him, staring down at me with a bewildered face. His dark brown eyes looked into my own and I swear he saw my soul. That connection was created and it could never be severed. It made goosebumps break out on my arm just thinking about it.
Then my mind moved to Jacob the first day we talked. I pictured him willingly eating disgusting cookies because he thought it'd make me happy.
Then I pictured Jacob on the day he listened to me tell him about my family. His eyes were filled with shared pain mixed with what I didn't realize at the time was love.
The image of Jacob right after our first kiss was next. He was soaking wet as rain fell down on us and he looked up at me like I was all he could see.
My heart constricted as I thought of the way Jacob looked the night we first made love. He was asleep next to me and he looked absolutely perfect and so peaceful.
Then I thought about Jacob on Christmas day, opening the gift I got him and looking at me with the excited face that made him seem more his age. I thought about his nervous smile as he gave me the beautiful necklace I was wearing. My hand instantly began to play with the little wolf on the end.
Then, one of my favorite images: Jacob with wide eyes and an open mouth as I came around the corner into my living room on his prom night. He looked so handsome in his tuxedo and I loved the way he was staring at me. "Magnificent," he had whispered when I had finally reached him.
And finally, I pictured Jacob just a few hours ago, standing in my kitchen wearing nothing but a flowered apron and a goofy smile as he made breakfast. I had laughed out loud when I saw him. But now thinking about it made me want to cry.
These images made what I had to do both harder and easier at the same time. I'd do anything to keep him safe. I told myself that a hundred times already. But my heart was screaming at me to stop.
My hand was shaking as I fumbled with the pencil. I finally picked it up and started to lower it to the paper. Tear drops hit the page and my vision blurred the lines.
"This is heartbreaking, really," the cold voice said from in front of me, causing my head to snap up abruptly. "But we really are running out of time. Aro is expecting us."
I swallowed hard and began to write.
I am so sorry…