The Imprinted Chronicles: Book One

Epilogue

Samantha screamed at the top of her lungs in utter terror.

Embry let out a bellow and lunged for her, and Samantha found herself being taken down to the couch, her boyfriend's muscled body on top of her as he relentlessly sprayed her in the face with whipped cream. Samantha shrieked and fought, but then ended up laughing so hard that she started choking on the massive quantity of foamy sugar going down her throat.

"Call uncle, Sims, and the torture stops," Embry informed her cheerfully, aiming a second can at her naked chest while she sputtered and shoved uselessly at his hands.

"Embry, stop it! We were supposed to be at Seth's an hour ago," she reminded him, giggling when he started writing his name across her left breast. "They just got home this morning and everyone's going to wonder what we're doing that's more important."

"Trust me, Sims, everyone knows exactly what we've been doing that's more important," Embry teased, making her blush bright red because she knew it was true. In the last few days that he had been home, Samantha had learned things from Embry that would make a sailor blush, and she had eagerly relearned them multiple times all around and sometimes outside of his home. Often she forgot nearly as soon as he taught her, just so he would teach her again right away. Neither one of them had gotten much accomplished since he'd come home, but Samantha figured mauling Embry several hours a day counted for at least some of her training…right?

Despite Embry and Quil seeming to have come to an understanding, Quil had still moved out at Embry's request. Samantha had tried to intervene, but Embry had gently told her to mind her own business. It didn't matter he told her, because in five more months Embry was either moving out himself, or Quil was leaving anyway, because Samantha would be moving in. Embry didn't give her much of a choice. Basically he withheld sex from her until she had caved, and she had caved after…oh…thirty-four seconds. Apparently Samantha wasn't resisting the idea of living with Embry all that hard.

The unfortunate thing about no Quil was that generally meant no clothes, which meant rarely getting places on time.

"Embry, unless you want me to walk out of here wearing nothing but whip cream in front of the doofus twins, you must cease and desist," Samantha warned, giggling again when he started writing her own name on her stomach, only with his last name after it. Embry never had been much for subtlety. Samantha wiped some whipped cream off her face and flicked it at him with a grin. "Hey Embry! The future Mrs. Call needs to take another shower, baby."

Pouting slightly, Embry finished his Sims graffiti and let her up. Samantha showered quickly, then hurriedly got dressed for the third time that day. Embry was really good at convincing her clothes off, and as if he had read her thoughts, Embry grinned at her sexily from the kitchen doorway. He was holding several half empty cans of whipped cream and Samantha confiscated them as she walked past.

"Okay, I'm ready if you are…ready to eat whipped cream, sucker!" Samantha wheeled on her heel and hit Embry with all three cans at the same time. Embry cursed and ducked, but he was too late and Samantha had already covered him from crown to belly button, emptying the cans and thus defending herself from rebuttal. Embry glared playfully, but then he laughed.

"I guess now I get the second shower, huh?" he sighed dramatically. Then he waggled his eyebrows at her. "Wanna join me, Sims?"

"When I can walk normally again, Embry, then yes, I would love to join you in the shower," Samantha smirked, "But that won't happen until…oh…I'd say after Sue's party. So if you want another round of this," she pointed at herself, "then go clean up that." She pointed at him, and Embry barked out a laugh.

"Damn, woman, it's already started, huh?" Embry chuckled, but he pressed a whipped cream covered kiss to her cheek as he headed off to the shower himself. Samantha grinned and listened as the water turned on. Despite what she had said, the thought of jumping in there with Embry was tempting. Very tempting, despite how sore she was from just a few minutes ago. Samantha didn't have any experience on the matter, but she was pretty sure that this kind of sex was on the side of amazing rather than on the side of normal, and the fact that she was utterly in love with Embry only made it better. The fact that he was crazy about her only made it the best.

Samantha went to the fridge and grabbed up the pumpkin pie she and Embry had attempted to make that morning for the party, although they were going to be lacking whipped cream now. That kind of sucked because Samantha was pretty sure they had forgotten at least one or two of the ingredients, and she was thinking that the sugar was pretty high on the list of possibilities. Now there would be no covering her and Embry's utter lack of baking ability. She was trying to skin a bit of the filling off the plastic wrap with her finger to taste and see when someone knocked on the locked front door.

"Knock knock, loverbirds," a deep voice teased loudly through the door. She could hear the smile in the unfamiliar man's tone, and it made her laugh. "I've been sent to fetch you two, and there better be clothes."

Embry was still in the shower but she heard him turn the water off momentarily.

"Hey, Sims? That's Jake," Embry called through the closed door. "Can you let him in and tell him I'll be out in a minute?"

"Yeah," Sims called back, sticking her finger in her mouth. Yep, they had definitely forgotten the sugar. This might be the worst pie in existence. She was still thinking that as she opened the door and looked up at Embry's towering Alpha, her eyes meeting his dark brown ones.

The world spun, twisted, and then righted itself, leaving Samantha feeling as if something very important had just happened, although she had no idea what. She also felt a little queasy. Then she looked at Jacob again. The easy smile that he had been wearing slid slowly off, and the expression on his handsome face had turned stunned. He was staring at her as if she was…as if…oh my god.

Samantha wasn't sure when she had moved, but she suddenly had the door closed behind her and was dragging Jacob Black by the arm away from the house, over to the Harley in the driveway and away from where Embry could hear. The stunned look on his face had turned to absolute horror. Samantha looked up at him with her heart in her eyes.

"Please, please tell me you didn't just do what I think you did," she pleaded. Jacob took a step back from her, then another. A thousand emotions passed over his face, but the last one, the biggest one was complete dismay. Samantha's heart dropped down somewhere in the vicinity of her feet. "Oh, no. No, this can't be happening."

Jacob continued to stare at her, and his arms had begun trembling. "You…you're Samantha?" he said in a shaky voice, and she nodded. Jacob suddenly looked sick to his stomach, and the feeling rebounded, making Samantha want to turn and empty her breakfast.

"You're my brother's girlfriend," Jacob whispered, sounding furious with himself. "I imprinted on my brother's girlfriend. Shit, he wants to marry you, Samantha! He's already trying to think of how to ask you. Dammit! I just got him put back together again!" Jacob said explosively, but his anger caused her to flinch away, and when he saw her fear, he seemed to forcibly get a hold of himself. He ran his hands over his head and turned his back on her, walking a few steps away before turning around again. Jacob had a wild look in his eyes, as if he was a cornered animal, and it made Samantha cringe.

"It's okay," the Alpha said suddenly in a tight gravelly voice, but he kept his distance. Distance was good. Big angry Alpha up close was bad. His dark brown eyes swept over her and then back up to the house. "It's okay, this is okay, Samantha," Jacob repeated, as if he was trying to convince them both. "You love Emb, right?"

"Yes," Samantha whispered, and she realized that she was begging, begging for herself, begging for Embry. "Please…please don't do this to us. I need him and he needs me. Please, Jacob."

"I can't take it back, Samantha," he told her softly, and Jacob looked at the house again with haunted eyes. "Shit. No, this is better. I don't have to worry about this happening anymore, now. You want him and he wants you and that gives me a reason to fight the imprint. I don't want this either. I never wanted this, I want my own life and my own choice. This will be okay…I can do this. But even finding out will kill Emb, and I can't hurt him. Not now." She was trembling as his eyes swung back to hers. "It's okay Samantha, we just can't tell him."

"I'm not going to lie to Embry," Samantha said, but her words were shaky and untrue. She already knew that she would, if it would keep him from getting his heart ripped out of his chest. Jacob gave her a calm look, and she could already see him pulling back, cutting himself off from her. The sick to her stomach feeling faded.

"Samantha," Jacob said quietly, "Emb's out of the shower, and we're running out of time, so I'm only going to say this once. If you tell Embry that I imprinted on you, he will leave you. No matter how much he loves you, he'll think the right thing to do for both of us is for him to step back. And if you tell this to Embry, a wolf who is already borderline out of control, it could push him past my ability to keep him sane and safe. If you don't give a shit about Emb, then by all means, let's go in there and tell him. If you love him like you say you do, then you need to keep your mouth shut. I can control my thoughts and I'm not telling him. I'm not ripping my brother's heart out of his guts, not today, not when he's finally happy. What are you going to do?"

Samantha's eyes suddenly watered, and she glared at Jacob. It wasn't his fault, she knew that, but dammit everything was so good two minutes ago, and now because of the stupid Alpha…

"I won't tell him," she promised harshly, balling her hands into fists. "I won't tell anyone and you do the same. Don't you dare let him know, Jacob Black. No one has to know."

Jacob nodded, and then his expression softened. A tear had slipped from her eye, and he seemed to instinctively reach out to brush it away. Samantha stepped back and brushed it away herself. For one single moment he actually looked hurt, then his expression smoothed away into lazy indifference. And then they were back at the door, having moved so fast that she wasn't even sure how it had happened, and Jacob's arm was falling from her waist as he took a step back. The door opened behind Samantha and Embry stepped forward, his own arm wrapping snugly around her waist as he held the pumpkin pie in his other one.

"Hey Jake," Embry said warmly, and Samantha could hear the deep affection in his voice. Embry loved Jacob, his half-brother, his only real family. "Did you meet my girl?"

Samantha was upset and she was panicking, thinking that Embry was going to find out. He'd smell her distress, he'd sense something was wrong, he'd know. Then Jake smiled at her, an easy relaxed smile that knocked away her panic, and as much as she hated that he could do that, she used it to regain her composure. Embry had buried his nose in her freshly washed hair, and the scent of her shampoo must have covered her emotions, because he just hugged her tighter and kissed the side of her neck.

"The great Samantha Carter, she who loves apples and Embry and attacking things much stronger than herself?" Jacob teased lightly. "Yeah, we met." The grin Jake gave Embry was real if a touch strained, but he managed to throw a wink at Samantha for Embry's benefit. Embry chuckled.

"I've been working on that last one," Embry joked back. "But you know girls. They never listen when it comes to being all aggressive and macho." He tickled her side and Samantha squeaked, gaining herself a grin from Embry and an unreadable look from Jacob. Samantha didn't know what to do so she fell back on giving them both the finger and grabbing the atrocious pie. Embry laughed and kissed her again.

"She's cute, huh?"

"She's right here, Embry," Samantha growled and Jacob chuckled a little weakly.

"Yeah, man," Jacob smiled at Embry again, seeming to do better if his eyes stayed away from her. "She's a hottie, what with being the crazy girl with the baseball bats. Now if you two are done molesting each other for the moment, I'm supposed to bring you to the party. Brady's saving Samantha a piece of pineapple cake, but if you don't hurry, you're screwed man."

"Brady," Embry mock growled as he guided Samantha forward a step, throwing his arm around her shoulders and closing the door behind them. "I leave for one week and he's all over my girl. Damn pup needs to find his own woman."

"Right?" Jake chuckled, a little bemused and shaking his head as he kicked at a stone on the ground. Then he bumped Embry's shoulder companionably before heading off to his bike. "I'll see you two there. Nice to meet you, Samantha Carter."

"You too, Jacob Black," Samantha said quietly. Neither one looked directly at each other. Samantha did look at Embry as he helped her into the truck, and the way he gazed at her, seeming so damn happy, she decided that she had made the right decision. She settled the pie down on the center seat, and waited until he climbed in his side. Then she grabbed Embry's hand and pulled on it, and he smiled as he leaned over the pie so she could kiss his cheek.

"I love you, Embry," Samantha whispered against his jaw. "I love you so damn much."

"Yeah?" Embry asked softly, taking her face in his hands and kissing her deeply. His chocolate eyes were shining when he pulled away. "You sure sweetheart?" he teased and she dragged him in again in reply. Samantha kissed him like she never wanted it to end, like she was going to make sure it never did end. Both ignored the rumble of the motorcycle as it rolled away.

"Always, Embry," Samantha breathed against his lips. "Always."

And no one had to know.