Disclaimer – This is Stephenie Meyer's universe. I'm just playing in her world for a bit. Any names and characters not found in Stephenie Meyer's books could be mine or Liljenrock's creation
Guess what Jen did? She made me a Polyvore, of How the Mighty Fall. Has anyone noticed it? She has it on her blog (you can find the link on her 'bio' page? Author's page? AND I've also put it up as the Avatar on my Author's Bio page. Check it out and let us know what you think. I really want to know if the Embry and Petra you pictured from my story stands up to the Embry and Petra I had in my head and Jen so kindly and perfectly put up the Polyvore for.. Oh Jen! Muchas Gracias! That polyvore did something to me that it's now the wallpaper on my work pc, my own laptop and my phone. And if I was anymore crazier, I'll probably wallpaper it in my room!
So, we've come to the final chapter. I'm not cutting it short. This was the plan all along when I sketched out the plot lines. I did deviate a little from the plan when I spent all that time on the lemon and the party. But this was the ending I had planned that very day that Petra unfolded in my head when I first heard the name Petranella (Blame Jen hehehe, she mentioned the name). Anyway, I really hope you like it.
Good news…this universe isn't over. Jen has recently posted the latest Chaire/ Quil chapter. And I have to get down to writing Paul and all the other wolves whose lives we have already plotted out. I need motivation to get writing…Jen too. Hint! Hint!
So without further ado.. here's the last chapter of How the Mighty Fall. Embry and Petra's story has come to the end but they will live on in the stories of the other wolves. Do give me feedback on the chapter. Real feedback, your thoughts, how you felt, etc etc. That's the only thing I write for...
How the Mighty Fall
Chapter 31: Epilogue—Free Falling
…When you grow up, I wish that you find love, the deep abiding love that your mother and I shared, and when you find that love, you hold on to it tight and love with every fiber of your being. Trust me, it will be worth it. Have a family and live for your mother and me. Live the life that we never had. Have the kind of happiness that was denied us. I wish that for you, my child. Happiness and love. Everything else is secondary…
I shut my father's journal and took a deep breath. Over the years, I had occasionally opened his journals to reread certain passages that had come to mean a lot to me. I had the pages that I liked the most marked. And today seemed like the perfect day to reread this passage because I think I have fulfilled this wish that my father had for me.
I found that deep abiding love he talks about. I found it without even having looked for it, although being loved and loving someone was something I had been yearning for since I was a child. And I was all grown up now. Maybe I finished growing physically during my years with the family, but with Embry, I grew up emotionally. And that gives me the strength to love with every fiber of my being. Happiness and love. That just about sums up the story of my life as it is now because that's what Embry fills my life with, and he claims that's what I fill his life with too.
Closing my eyes tight, I let that part inside me spread out and pick out where the loves of my life were. I had to smile, it was always so easy to guess these days. I walked out to the kitchen and picked up the fork and the plate I left out with the single slice of cake I had cut out earlier to unfreeze a little. I still liked the tradition that Rosalie started for Embry and me, and Embry has admitted that he likes it too. Over the last five years, we share a slice of our wedding cake on our anniversary. No matter who calls us out or wants to join us on our special day, we've adamantly kept the day private and for ourselves only. We have the extended family for the other three hundred and sixty four days of the year. But this one day of the year belongs to our little family.
I made my way upstairs and found my husband exactly where I knew he would be, rocking gently on that old white rocking chair Esme had given me when Embry first said this house was mine. He was crooning softly in his deep voice, "I've got sunshine, on a cloudy day," and I stayed by the doorway to listen and to watch, I would never get tired of this. I knew that if anyone else had found him like this, he would have been embarrassed.
I remembered the first day I had seen this room. It didn't resemble how it looks now. Back then it was an empty room with just the old rocking chair in it. I knew the chair had belonged to Esme, before she had been turned. I knew of the hopes and dreams she had associated with that chair. And when I first saw it myself, I had hopes and dreams associated with it as well. Back then, it was just about wanting what I thought Nessie had when I saw her and the boys being cuddled on it, on Jacob's lap. When I saw that happy family, I couldn't wait for the day when I would have my own baby to cuddle together with Embry on our own rocking chair. But we waited, like Embry said, for both of us to grow up a little more. I'm glad I listened to him, because over the years, there were many little lessons of life that I so sorely needed and gained. It was the wait that brought forth this peace and calmness and mostly this joy and happiness I felt these days.
That bare and empty room from five years ago, with an old rocking chair to symbolize hopes and dreams had changed so much. Today the room was filled with splashes of color. There was more furniture and carpeting, and Nessie had helped me paint murals on the walls. The open window let in the breeze, filling the room with the scents from the maple tree outside. But the chair, that chair remained in it's place of honor. It had symbolized hopes and dreams back then, and today, even with some hopes and dreams already fulfilled, I knew that chair was going to fulfill a great deal more of our hopes and dreams. Our future hopes and dreams. And one day, who knows, maybe I would pass that chair down to my own child for her to cuddle with together with her own happy family. I would like that very much.
Embry looked up and noticed me then and he smiled. "Hey."
"Hey," I replied as I placed the plate on a shelf by the doorway and walked into the room to join my family. With him sitting, I didn't have to lean down to press a kiss to his lips and he obliged by stopping the rocking motion of the chair. Then I pressed a gentle kiss to the top of our daughter's head as she cooed up at me from her father's arms. Our little bundle of miracle and love, Sunshine Call was born a little over two and a half months ago and like her name suggests, she has filled our lives with the sunny rays of her sunshine brightness.
Embry handed her over to me with a smile. "She was getting hungry."
"I'm here now, my darling," I cooed at her as I sat down on Embry's lap, feeling a sense of contentment when he wrapped his arms around the baby and me. Then once we were all comfortable situated, I adjusted my blouse so she could nurse. I sighed when Embry pressed a tender kiss to the top of my head.
"You're amazing, you know that? You just fill me with awe over how well you take care of her," he whispered as he ran a knuckle lightly over our daughter's cheek.
"I am a mother now, Embry. That's what mothers do," I told him seriously.
He chuckled softly as he gently rocked the chair. We've become very comfortable with rocking Sunny together in this chair. We've been doing it throughout my pregnancy and since the day we brought her home. "You're a great mother, Petra."
I looked up at him and brought my free hand up to caress his cheek. I loved the tender look in his eyes as he smiled down at me. "Embry? Thank you for everything. Thank you for making us a family."
"Oh sweetheart," he murmured. "I should be thanking you, baby. You made all my dreams and hopes come true. You know something, Petra?"
"What Embry?" I whispered back, not able to look away from his eyes.
"I didn't know what happiness was until you came into my life. And now you've made me even happier by giving me our daughter."
"I will give you a son next, Embry," I vowed and he laughed.
"I've still not recovered from Sunny's birth. Let's wait awhile before we attempt that, okay?" He knocked his head to mine.
I smiled as I switched Sunny to my other breast. Despite my brave words, I still remember the birthing pains when she was born. It was not as horrible as what some said and to be honest the intensity of it had frightened me more than it had actually hurt me. And somehow having watched the goats all those years ago didn't quite prepare me either, but Carlisle had been there, together with Kim, and with Embry holding me the whole time, Sunny's birth was a loving experience, especially at that precise moment when Carlisle had placed the naked baby in my arms. I had cried then, for suddenly she became real, half of Embry and half of me, blended so perfectly together to shine as a symbol of our love, the reward for everything that the both of us had gone through to get to where we were.
When I was pregnant, Embry and I spent most of our time searching for our daughter's name. But somehow, that day, when we first held her in our arms, wrapped in the little bubble of happiness, of family, I felt like the clouds had shifted and the sun was shinning down on us. But consumed as I was with all the emotions flooding through me, and seeing the tear that slipped slowly down Embry's cheek, all I could say on that day, at that time was, "Sunshine." He had nodded so somberly like he understood exactly what I was trying to say, and just like that, our baby, our little blessing had become Sunshine Call. The sunshine of our lives. And if her father has anything to do with it, she may never have to learn to walk for she was always cradled so lovingly in his arms.
I smiled as I watched her wrap her little hand around Embry's finger. She had my hands, my eyes and my skin tone but everything else about her was her father's. Everyday Embry and I notice new things about her features or her expressions and gesture that take after one of us and even that fills us with joy. I nestled closer to Embry's warmth and he tightened his arm around us, still maintaining the gentle rhythmic rocking of the chair.
"Hey, Petra?" Embry said huskily.
"Yes, Embry?" I asked as I felt a delicious shiver run through me from the way he said my name.
"I love you, baby," he said as he pressed another kiss to the side of my head. "Happy Anniversary."
"Oh, Embry, Happy Anniversary. I love you so very, very much. Both you and Sunny."
And as my delicate little daughter let out a mighty belch, my husband and I laughed softly as our little family sat together in our rocking chair and basked in the glory of being in a loving family.
I cuddled my daughter closer to my chest as I sat back in my quiet corner and watched the birthday party wind down. It was Levi's fifth birthday, pushed to the weekend and we were all gathered in Sam's backyard. All the little boys were having the time of their lives. I wondered about Sunny's birthdays, no doubt they'll be elaborate events, what with the honorary grandmother she has. My daughter is probably the only little girl under three months old to own a designer tree house, a giant designer dollhouse, a walk-in closet full of designer baby clothes, a million dollar trust fund and shoes, a huge collection of shoes. Up until now, I didn't even know they made shoes for newborn babies, and in so many various designs too. Would she even try them all on before she outgrows them? Life is certainly funny when you become a part of an extended family.
I bent my legs to give Jake room to maneuver his chair to my side and then I stretched my legs out again. He sat with a sigh and I looked at him sideways. He held his youngest son cuddled to his chest, one-armed and I envied him that ease, but I guess with two other kids to practice on, he would be just the person confident enough to handle a baby one-handed. I still used two hands when I held Sunny, she's way too precious to me to take any kind of risk with. I grinned to myself. Once upon a time, I envied him, the life he had, but here I was today, probably being envied by other guys. I know I have the contentedness that I used to see in him and wanted so badly for myself.
"Nessie's still mad at me," Jake sighed morosely.
I chuckled as I watched Petra. She stood with the other women, helping them clear the remnants of food and cake, their teasing laughter drowned out by the yells and whoops of the little tyrants running loose. "You don't sound guilty at all."
He snorted and I grinned. "She has been taking care of the birth control since day one. Now she's pregnant so soon after this one," he looked down at the baby in his arm, "and it's my fault!"
Paul joined us just then. "Things like this are always the guy's fault. I think they teach it in Girl School 101. I mean, is it my fault that I like animal prints on her underwear? And she gets this teddy with tiger prints. But now she sounds like I single handedly got her pregnant! I mean sex nowadays is not even an elaborate event. With two other little monsters in the house, I'm lucky if we even squeeze in a quickie on occasion. So who seduced me with the sexy teddy, huh?"
"Paul!" Jake groaned. "I don't need to know all this about my sister! But I'd like to think you're the only one who 'single-handedly' got her pregnant."
"I'm still trying to figure out why you two still use your hand," I laughed I went on watching Petra, as Rachel and Abby examined her imprint bracelet. Over the years, like I told her I would, we've added on to the charms dangling from it, and the latest was the charm of a sunflower with a brilliant topaz embedded in the center. Petra caught me watching her and she smiled at me, her entire face softening when her eyes fell to Sunny. I didn't know how to explain it or how I felt about admitting it, but honestly, I felt—blessed.
"Idiot!" Paul laughed. "Wait till you've been married as long as us."
"You okay?" Jake asked softly, ignoring Paul. He was always so in tune to our moods.
"Just thinking, you know, I wanted something like this all my life. I was sure it was never going to happen. But I have it all now and I just feel, I don't know, like I should go thank someone, you know?" I said.
"I know that feeling," he murmured.
"I always feel like I stepped into someone else's life. But I never want to give it back. How did we get to be so lucky?" Paul asked as he too turned his attention to his wife, grinning like a fool when she glared at him.
We fell silent as a small group of kids ran by, looking for hiding places and Liam Clearwater lagged behind, stopping every couple of steps to look back at me. He annoyed me, always hovering around Petra and giving her spontaneous hugs. He was so much like Seth, always smiling, always cheerful and he finally turned away from his friends and came over to Jake and me to peer down at the baby in my arms.
"What you looking at, kid?" I growled softly, not wanting to wake the sleeping babies.
"Is she really a girl baby?" he questioned me.
"Yes," I snapped.
"Wow. I've never seen a girl baby before. Why did you name her Sunshine? Why didn't you give her a regular girl name?"
"Why do you ask so many questions?" I glared at Jake when he dared to chuckle.
But the Sunshine in question decided to open her eyes just then and blink sleepily up at the irritating little boy grinning down at her. "Wow! Did you see her eyes? They're so green like Petra's! I think my Gam-Gam has a ring in that color! I think it's my new favorite color!"
"Don't wake her up, kid," I said as I gently rocked her back to sleep.
Liam lost interest then when his little gang called out for him and I clenched my teeth tight when I heard him sing as he hopped away. "You are my sunshine, my only sunshine…"
Paul laughed then, "Man, you should see your face."
"He annoys me. He's always hugging Petra, and now he's moved on to Sunny." I grouched.
"Did I send you that ad for custom made shotguns? Pick out one you like, I'll make sure it'll be in your Christmas stocking," Paul said helpfully.
"You do realize that my daughter is proof that we're not having only boys, right? Your wife is pregnant, you jerk. You could have a daughter that all the boys swarm around," I hissed softly.
"Of course I realize that. Lucky for me, my wife is scarier than me in wolf form. So I have nothing to worry about. My wife is also a forensic scientist. She knows how to really hide the bodies. But you my friend, are in a whole different kind of trouble," he chuckled as we both watched Liam Clearwater stop in front of Petra and say something to her, all the while gesturing in our direction. Then at the top of his irritating lungs, he sang that stupid childish song again and Petra beamed before she hugged him close. "Man, you're really in so much trouble," Paul's chuckles turned into full out laughter.
Jake was silent through all this and I turned to him, hoping that he'd tell Paul to shut up. But he looked serious as he watched Remy approach Nessie with a flower he had picked, roots still attached. She smiled and accepted the flower as if it was a bouquet of terribly expensive roses.
"I used to be so hung up over Bella. Hell, at one time I thought I was in love with her. But it wasn't her, it was Nessie. Like a part of me knew that Bella led to Nessie. I wonder if these little boys are feeling an invisible pull like that?"
"You mean Liam for Sunny and Remy for…?"
"Yeah. I think my next baby could be a girl. And she'd belong to Remy right away. Fuck! Edward must've felt like shit."
I didn't know about Edward, but I definitely felt like shit. "They're not wolves yet, man," I said defensively.
"Remy is ten, right? How long before he phases? Five years? Six years? Liam is eight, just like Griffin and Keegan. All our boys could be phasing in the next ten years. There is definitely going to be some imprinting."
"Thanks for making me feel like shit."
"Thanks for making me feel old," Paul murmured. "But you know what, man? If Keegan imprints, I'd be fucking happy for him. It's the best thing that's ever happened to me."
I felt it then, this sort of shimmer in the air, over before I could put a finger on what it was.
"Daddy!" Bodhi called out then, dangerously perched on the edge of the picnic table, a slice of cake squashed in his grubby little fist.
"Bodhi! Get down now!" Jake bit out, not raising his voice and waking the babies.
But Bodhi was not put off by this father's stern frown, instead he smiled angelically back before announcing, "Shiye is hot!" Then the rambunctious little boy fearlessly jumped off the table and ran off to find his little gang.
Jake sighed as he unwrapped his baby from his snug little blanket. He said nothing by ways of an explanation, but we all knew of the mind link his boys shared.
Then Sam was there, gathering the brood, telling them it was story time and I smiled as the kids automatically swarmed around Billy's chair. Not just the little kids, but the younger guys from the pack too. I kept my gaze on Liam, still worried about the possibilities Jake had mentioned. He was pulling Scar down beside him and the young father to be obliged both his little nephews. Sebastian flopped down beside them, so close that he jostled into both Scar and Cullen.
"Dude!" Scar said as he wrapped a protective arm around Cullen. "The yard is big enough. You don't have to sit on our laps, you know?"
Jake shot out of his chair, baby and all when we spotted Bodhi scrambling up the table again. I had to admire Jake's skill as not once did he jostle the dozing baby while he deftly caught the squirming Bodhi around his waist and deposited him smoothly into Billy's lap. All of us edged closer for Billy's stories. After all these years of listening to his tales, I was still not bored of them. For some strange reason, every time he told a story, I was able to associate it to my own life.
Sam, Seth and Quil pulled up chairs around us, beers were passed around and babies in our arms went on sleeping, or at least mine did. Shiye woke up with a massive yawn and stretched like a grown person would. I couldn't help but be amused by it. Then he looked at Seth and held his arms out pompously to be held.
Seth picked him up with a laugh. "You do know you'll be coming to see me tomorrow for your vaccination shots, don't you? I guess you won't be liking me so much then huh, little fella'? But the shots are good for you and they'll make you stronger and you'll be running with your brothers before you can say Seth."
Paul and I exchanged sideway looks. Seth was always so full of shit. Just like his kid.
I turned my attention to Billy then. "There are two wolves inside me, he was saying. And they are fighting with each other," Billy deep voice held his audience captivated.
"Two wolves?" gasped Raven, Jared's second son.
"Yeah, like we're not screwed up enough with one wolf," Isaac chirped only to earn a smack at the back of his head from AJ.
"All of us start off with two wolves," Billy continued. "But only one wolf would survive and make you the man that you are destined to be. The first wolf is very strong because he is consumed by anger, envy, sorrow and regret. He is full of greed and arrogance while at the same time he suffers from self pity, guilt and an inferiority complex. He swaggers with false pride, thinks he is superior and has a huge ego. And because of all this, he is full of hate."
"Fuck man, that sounds like any one of us," I heard Lil' G mumble.
"Yeah, but Billy sounds like Yoda. You know, fear leads to anger, anger leads to hate, hate leads to suffering," Gator croaked in a Yoda-ish voice. "Aw!," he cried out when AJ smacked him on the back of his head too.
"What about the other wolf, Grandpa Billy?" Mac asked from his place at Billy's feet where he sat beside Ashley. Copying Jake and Paul's kids, Mac had taken to calling Billy grandpa too.
"Yeah! Is he is also strong? How do they fight?" Cullen asked.
"Umm, umm, Grandpa, do they have like a body to fight each other? How can there be two bodies inside us?" Logan put in.
"Yeah, do they split into two? Like kapow! Pow! Pow! Pow! When they are ready to fight?" Bodhi put in his question, both fists up like a prize fighter.
Billy sighed loudly and chose to ignore the questions. "The other wolf is good. He is full of joy and hope and serenity."
"What is serentiny?" Raven asked.
"It's something good," his brother said helpfully.
"This wolf knows humility, empathy and kindness. He is generous and honest and compassionate. He is faithful and is extremely dependable. He is the wolf everyone wants to be friends with. He is the wolf that everyone looks up to," Billy studied each rapt face. "Do you know anyone like that?"
"My daddy," said Griffin, and I watched a huge smile split Jake's face. I caught Nessie looking at him too, a gentle smile on her face. So much for being angry with him.
"My daddy too!" "My daddy!" chorused many other little voices.
"Oh shit. That's like all you, old guys," Sebastian whispered.
"Could be you someday," I whispered back.
"Grandpa Billy, Grandpa Billy? How do they fight?" Logan asked.
"Yeah, who wins?" Remy demanded.
"Who do you think wins?" Billy asked and I listened in amusement as all the little boys gathered around voiced out their opinions and started a little debate. "Well, Miss O'Brien? What is your opinion on this story? Who do you think wins the internal fight?" Billy turned to smile at Ashley who was a pretty little teenager now. She loved all things Quileute and spoke the language better than Nessie or Abby or Petra put together and she was now in on the secret too.
She thought for a moment before smiling widely. "I think it's up to the person. He decides who wins."
Billy beamed at her with pride before clarifying her meaning to the others present. "You have a choice. You always have a choice. You get to decide which wolf you want to feed. The good wolf or the bad wolf. Who do you want it to be? The good or the bad?"
"But Grandpa, which one is stronger?" Keegan asked.
"The one you feed," he replied.
"But what if the bad one is stronger?" Remy asked.
"Not stronger. Just quicker, easier and more seductive," AJ said.
"But Daddy, how will I know if it's the good wolf or the bad wolf?" Ahote asked.
"You will know when you are calm and at peace. The bad wolf would hardly ever be at peace."
"Now who's quoting Yoda?" Gator demanded only to be smacked once again on the back of his head. "Aw. The force is strong in this one."
"Isn't it better to be the strong and mighty one? The mighty always win," Isaac cut in, ignoring Gator's goofing.
"The mighty also fall," Sam said.
"Uncle Embry is still a mighty wolf and he would never fall," my ten-year old nephew declared loyally from his place at Nessie's feet. It always made me feel like a million bucks that he thinks I'm greater than Jake.
"I don't know how the story has deviated to Embry, but he did fall," Billy laughed. "The mighty Embry Call fell the day he met his beloved."
"Oh what a falling off it was," Emily quoted softly as she smiled at me from her place beside Petra.
"Oh man! You're talking about falling in love, aren't you?" Scott demanded in a disgusted voice. "I think that was Shakespeare, right?"
"I think they're talking about falling off porch steps," Emmett guffawed.
"Falling in love is the only kind of falling that I allow my pack, got it?" Jake grinned.
I turned to smile at my wife. Like I said, I can always associate myself with Billy's stories. Once upon a time, there was this pathetic fool called Embry Call who thought he was too high and mighty and chose to feed the wrong wolf. And like they said, the mighty fall, and I fell for an angel and she helped me fight the bad wolf and now the good wolf thrives. The good wolf was calm and at peace and life was good. Life is really good.
And right now, sitting in the shade with my baby in my arms and my wife smiling lovingly at me, all I can say is, if that's how the mighty fall, then damn what a falling off it was.
A/N : Damn what a falling off it was.. Did you think so? I certainly tried to make it be.. I'd like to know your thoughts and feelings and general reaction to this story.
See you all in the next story… Nina!