Title: The First Imprint

Challenge: http:/www[dot]fanfiction[dot]net/u/2350843/BlackPacks_Quileute_Challenge - First Place

Your pen name: StupidLeeches

Characters: Emily/Quileute historical figures

Pairing(s): N/A

Rating: T

Disclaimer: We don't own these characters, they are held by SM and, more importantly, the Quileute people.

Summary: Emily takes a spiritual journey, along the way learning the truth and putting both a face and name to the legends of the Quileute women that came before her.

-0-

Emily closed the door behind Sam, sliding down to the floor as the exhaustion of the day finally got the best of her. Resting her head on her knees, Emily did her best to keep everything in perspective. As exhausted as she was, she knew Sam was even more worn out. He never slept any more, which was just one of the many worries that weighed Emily down these days.

Emily's life before meeting Sam seemed so long ago. She used to be carefree, always happy and smiling. But now, even if her scars didn't pull her face down, the constant worry would have.

Every day seemed to bring on a new challenge, a new threat, or new heartache. It seemed every day there was a new boy in the tribe transforming into a wolf, which meant Sam was off trying to explain what was going on to him. The constant threat of a vampire attack had everyone on edge, especially Sam and Jacob. And, as Emily witnessed tonight, no amount of apologies or pleading was going to help ease the tension between her and her cousin, Leah.

Leah barely acknowledged that Emily existed most of the time. Emily had hoped that once Leah was brought in on the legends, once she knew the secrets, she would understand, maybe even eventually forgive Emily. But it hadn't happened yet. Even tonight, Leah refused to make eye contact with Emily, instead keeping her gaze locked on the fire.

Emily desperately missed her cousin, they use to be inseparable. Emily remembered when Leah first told her about her and Sam. Emily was so excited for Leah, she knew how much Leah had liked him. There was never any jealousy, Emily had been dating a Makah boy and was quite taken with him at the time. When Emily came to visit Leah that fateful day, it wasn't to steal Sam. Emily had her own plans, a simple life ahead of her, but fate changed all that.

Emily didn't know if Leah would ever forgive her, but she was going to keep on trying. Sue, Leah's mom and now one of the tribal elders, told Emily to not give up, so that was her plan, but some days it was easier said than done.

Silent tear rolled down Emily's cheek. She wished she had someone she could talk to right now, but there wasn't anyone. Sam was always so busy and she didn't want to add to his burden. Her own family couldn't know what was going on. Sue cared but she had her new responsibilities as a tribal elder to deal with. Jared's new imprintee, Kim, seemed nice, but she was still so young. She was completely in love with Jared and wasn't yet aware of the stress involved with being a part of this secret life.

Emily wiped her cheeks, once again reminding herself that for all the joy she felt being with Sam, of course there was going to be a price to pay. Pulling herself from the floor, Emily went straight to bed, not even bothering to change her clothes, just needing to sleep. She knew the boys would be at her house and starving in just a few hours. Her sleep schedule now revolved around the pack patrolling schedule.

Emily drifted off to sleep easily. The stories of the Quileute people that were told at the bonfire were still fresh in her mind. She soon found herself dreaming of the women that watched over their spirit warrior husbands bodies. Her sleep was peaceful, but not long after closing her eyes, she heard a strange voice calling her name.

"Emily. Emily Young. Wake my dear, join the circle of those that came before you."

Emily sat up straight in bed. She knew she must still be dreaming, but it all seemed so real. Standing in her bedroom was a small woman, barely five foot tall, holding out her dark, work roughened hand to Emily.

"Come with me, Emily Young."

Emily did not recognize this woman, but she knew she wasn't a threat. She looked happy, her dark eyes bright and a soft smile on her face. Emily stood to follow, "Who are you? Where are we going?"

"Don't worry my dear, you will be amongst those that came before you. We are here to help you."

Emily took a few steps before she realized she was no longer walking on the hard wood of her bedroom floor, but the soft sand of the beach. Looking up, she wasn't in her bedroom, but back at the bonfire site she had left just a short time ago. But instead of the boys, the circle was now made up of women, all smiling as Emily approached.

The small woman tugged on Emily's hand, "This way my dear." She led Emily to an empty spot in the circle. The small woman sat on the rock, pulling Emily to sit at her feet in the sand.

Emily looked around at all the smiling faces. She realized now the women all wore different clothes, ranging from the soft fur that covered the small woman all the way to simple skirts and tops. Emily looked back at the small woman again, not worried, just curious, "Who are all these women?"

"These are all the first imprints. These are the women that came before you, Emily Young. The women that gave birth to the next generation of spirit wolves. The women that cared for each of the wolves in her spirit husbands pack. And, the women that were the center, the very heart and soul, of the Quileute tribe and the spirit wolves."

Emily looked around again. Even though she knew this was a dream, she wished she had her spiral bound notebook. She knew this dream was real and that she was here to learn from these women. These women from generations past were speaking to her, even though she knew she was asleep.

Emily turned back to the small woman, "If these are all the first imprints, then who are you?"

The woman's smile was soft, patting Emily's hand, "My dear, I am the very first imprint, the first spirit wife. My name is Halona Catori, the Fortunate Spirit. My name, along with my life, has been lost through the telling of my story over the years. My children did their best to keep my name alive, but it became easier as the legends were passed on to the next generation just to know me by my sacrifice for my tribe."

"The third wife," Emily gasped. Ashamed of her reaction, Emily covered her mouth, not wanting to embarrass Halona Catori. Tears sprang to Emily's eyes as she realized she was sitting here with the woman that sacrificed her life to save her family and her tribe.

"Do not feel ashamed my dear, that story is a very important lesson for those boys your spirit husband is now leading. They need to learn about how the cold ones originally came to us and how we must all be willing to sacrifice our lives for the protection of the tribe."

Emily could only nod her head. Question after question flooded her brain, but she wasn't sure if she was allowed to ask questions of these women. There was so much knowledge sitting in this circle, but Emily didn't want to over step her bounds.

Halona Catori pulled Emily out of her thoughts, speaking as if she was able to read her mind, "We called you here tonight, Emily, so that you may learn from us, and so that we may give you strength in this troubling time. We have all felt the despair that we can now see on your face. It will become easier for you, as more spirit wives join you, but right now, you have the weight of the tribe on your shoulders."

Emily could no longer control her tears. Knowing these women had called her here to give her some of their strength overwhelmed her. She felt love, support and understanding radiating off of the women. She knew she was among women that understood everything she was going through, everything that weighed her down.

"May I?" Halona Catori reached one hand out towards Emily's scars. Emily smiled through her tears at Halona Catori, giving her permission to touch the scars on her face. She lovingly passed her tiny but rough fingers over the scars.

"You bear the physical scars of being around a young wolf not yet in control of himself. Yet, you love your spirit husband more than you can explain. You do not blame him, instead, you reassure him every day that despite everything, you will always be there for him. You are a part of him, just as he is a part of you. That is the spiritual connection of the imprint. True soul mates."

Halona Catori looked out to all the women in the circle, smiling a sad smile of memory, "Every generation of spirit wolves, we call the first imprint to our circle. As you have experienced already," Halona Catori smiled down at Emily, "there is a burden of responsibility put on the first imprint. This woman must be more than a spirit wife to her spirit husband, she must learn the stories of our people, take care of the whole pack of spirit wolves, and, most importantly, she must be the heart and soul of her tribe.

"You as the first imprint bear much burden, but also, the greatest reward. You are as much of an Alpha as your spirit husband. You care for the spirit wolves your spirit husband leads, for you are a surrogate mother to them, caring for them until they are led to their spirit wife. Even once they have been led to their spirit wife, you take care of them until their spirit wife is ready to take over.

"You also lead the spirit wives of your tribe. You are for them what we in this circle are for you, their strength, helping them to learn the stories of our people, take care of their spirit husband, and becoming part of the heart and soul of the tribe."

Halona Catori smiled down to Emily, "You are very lucky my dear, you have many diverse spirit wives that will be joining you. Already there are two more in your group. You must embrace them. They are both young in different ways, but you must help them both to understand what it means to be imprinted."

"You- you know the women the wolves will imprint on?" Emily was shocked out of her tears. She was also too surprised by this information to hold her question in.

"Of course we do, my dear. As each man embraces his spirit wolf, we see the spirit wife that is to come. We lead the future spirit wife to her spirit husband, but only when it is time."

Emily looked down, wringing her hands before she asked, "Why did you lead Claire to Quil?"

Halona Catori winked at Emily, grinning at some joke Emily wasn't in on yet, "Sometimes, a spirit wolf needs a reason to grow up. He may be a man physically, but spiritually, he is still a boy. Young Quil will be able to grow up with Claire."

Emily could see Halona Catori twist her head, almost like she was listening to someone far away. Then, she was smiling brightly down at Emily, "Ah! That is a wonderful plan, Emily!"

"What plan?" Emily was so confused by Halona Catori's statement.

Halona Catori spoke slowly, patiently with Emily, "The idea that has been floating in your head of asking Claire's parents if she can live with you and Sam once you're married is a good one. They will be open to this idea, do not fret about that dear."

Emily was shocked that Halona Catori knew about this idea. She hadn't even mentioned it to Sam yet. Emily had no idea how to approach the idea with him, let alone Claire's parents.

"Halona Catori, I don't think Sam will-"

"Sam understands more than anyone the need to be with his imprint. He will not be opposed to this, when it is what is best for Quil and Claire."

Emily nodded slowly. She wasn't convinced, but she knew having Claire close would be best for Quil. Beyond Sam, Emily was consumed with making sure the wolves in Sam's pack were taken care of, including their happiness.

Thinking about Quil made her wonder about the other wolves and their futures, "What about the other boys? Paul, Embry, and Jacob? Do you know who their spirit wives will be?"

Emily was suddenly excited to think of the other women that would be joining her. She wanted to know who these women were, become friends with them and bring them to her boys.

"We do, and all will be revealed in time. We cannot tell you any more than that until the spirit wolf claims his spirit wife by telling her. Then, and only then, can we tell you more."

Emily sat back, processing the information Halona Catori had already shared with her. She again wished she had her spiral notebook, so that she could write all this information down.

There was one burning question, pushing to the front of Emily's mind. The image of her cousin Leah staring blankly into the fire earlier tonight once again popped into her mind. Emily turned back to Halona Catori, "May I ask one more question?"

"Of course my dear, and then we will get to the real reason why we called you here tonight, though I think your question is tied to my story."

Tears were again flowing down Emily's cheeks. She could barely whisper her question, "Why me? Why not Leah?"

Halona Catori pulled Emily to her, hugging her while she cried for a few minutes. Emily hated being this weak, but everything that had been weighing upon her finally was released as she was able to cry on the first imprint's shoulder.

Emily felt Halona Catori stroking her hair, trying to calm her down. Emily pulled back, wiping her eyes as an apology fell off her tongue. Halona Catori simply smiled at Emily, "No apologies necessary, my dear. This has been a burning question for you, we know."

Halona Catori's smile faded a bit, her eyes no longer looking at Emily. She seemed to be far away from the circle of first imprints when she spoke, "Our daughter, Leah, was never meant for this generation's Alpha spirit wolf. You were always destined for him, but Leah was the connection to bring you to him. We aren't privy to the plans for Leah, but we know she is important. Her father, Harry Clearwater, smiles down on her every day. Her destiny is set, as is yours."

I was always destined for Sam, Leah was the connection. This thought circles through Emily's mind for a few moments. While it isn't a comforting thought for her relationship with Leah, it does bring a sense of peace to Emily for the first time since she found out about Sam imprinting. Suddenly the guilt she felt for 'taking' Sam from Leah left her. This wasn't something Emily had planned. She should stop apologizing to her cousin. She did nothing wrong, she was simply following her destiny.

Emily sat up a little straighter now, some of the weight on her shoulders lifted by this knowledge. When she looked back at Halona Catori, she could see she was smiling her bright smile again. Emily returned her smile, "Thank you."

"You are more than welcome, my dear. Now, I believe it is time we tell you my full story."

Emily looked up, surprised, "Full story? But didn't old Quil Ateara tell me your story tonight?"

"You were told the story of my death, sacrificing myself for my tribe. I want to tell you the story of my life, of being the first imprint, a second mother, and the third wife."

Emily was shocked and embarrassed. She had been so wrapped up in the story of Halona Catori's sacrifice and death, she hadn't even thought of her life. She understood her willingness to die for her spirit husband, but she didn't know about the life that brought her to that point. Emily was suddenly very curious about this woman that was the first imprint.

"Would you like to hear my story?" Halona Catori's looked down at Emily. She was curious, but not impatient, giving Emily time to think through everything she had heard so far. Emily slowly nodded, giving Halona Catori the permission she already knew was coming.

Halona Catori allowed the memories of the past to flood over her. Looking around at the smiling faces of all the first imprints, she was once again amazed that these were the women that had dearly loved each of her sons. For no matter how many generations removed the spirit wolves were from her husband, Taha Aki, each generation of spirit wolves were her sons.

Her gaze landed on Emily, the newest first imprint and the spirit wife of her son Sam. Her son Sam was leading the largest pack since her husband, Taha Aki, had led his first pack of sons.

Clearing her throat to get the attention of all the first imprints in the circle, Halona Catori began her tale of her life.

"My death, sacrificing myself, is but one tiny chapter in my story, but it is probably the most important part of my story for everyone but the first imprint."

Halona Catori smiled down at Emily before once again gazing at the crowd of women surrounding the bonfire, "Taha Aki's stories were already legends for our tribe when I was born. Growing up my father would tell my brothers about our great chief. I wasn't technically allowed to join the boys, but I was the only daughter and the youngest child in my family, so I was given much freedom. As my father would speak of Taha Aki, I could see him in my mind, flashes of the battles that were part of the legends. The images were so real, I could see the battles just as my father described them. The boys were all impressed by the bravery of Taha Aki, but I was pulled to his heart."

"One morning, when I was about fourteen, my father announced he was going to speak to Taha Aki about an issue in the tribe. I didn't care about this issue, but I begged my father to let me join him. I wanted to see the hero of our tribe for myself, see if my dreams, for my daydreams were now part of my dreams every night, of him matched the reality. Unable to refuse me, my father agreed," Halona Catori smiled, remembering begging her father.

"What I didn't realize at the time, which I'm sure each of you recognized immediately, the dreams were directing me to him." Halona Catori knew she needed to provide this information to Emily, to prepare her for one of the many challenges she will face in the future, "This is one of many signals of imprinting. A man dreaming vivid dreams is not unique, but a woman dreaming vivid dreams each night of the same man, that is a sign. These dreams may not be graphic in nature, but they are powerful and pull these women to need to find these men that haunt their dreams, just as I searched out Taha Aki."

"Despite my dreams and hearing the tales of the hero of the Quileute people, I was surprised when my eyes landed on Taha Aki for the first time. I knew he did not age, but for some reason, I was not expecting the beautiful young man that sat before me to be the great chief of my people. He looked too young. How could he have already buried two wives plus multiple children and even some grandchildren? This man looked just a few years older than me.

"My father approached Taha Aki, explaining why he was there. Taha Aki listened, nodding as my father spoke. I stood off to the side, not wanting to disturb my father as he spoke with our chief, but I couldn't take my eyes off of Taha Aki. He looked so young, and yet so old at the same time. His eyes were so tired, I wanted to go to him, comfort him. I wanted to listen to him as he was so intently listening to my father. I knew in that instant that he did not have anyone that listened to him just as a man, instead of as the chief of the Quileute people.

"As my father concluded his business with Taha Aki, he turned to me, waving me over to them. I approached slowly. While I had dreamed of Taha Aki every night, I was now nervous to be standing so close to him, this great chief of my people. For in my dreams, he was not the chief. No, in my dreams he was just a man that completely adored me.

"But when my father introduced me, I lifted my head as was expected. There, looking back at me with the same love and adoration I had dreamed of was Taha Aki, the last great Spirit Chief, the Spirit man, the Great Wolf. I had heard all these names before, but the only name I could call him when I shook his hand was 'Love'. For this man was more than just my love, he was my life. And I knew, in the moment our eyes connected, he felt the same way.

"I quickly became Taha Aki's third wife, but I was his first and only spirit wife. The family Taha Aki had made with his two previous wives became my family. Even his grown sons and their families embraced me as their second mother. They could see how much I meant to Taha Aki. They could tell there was something different, special, about the love he felt for me. Seeing how much he loved me, his family naturally fell into the same pattern.

"Without meaning to, I became the Alpha to the other wives. They weren't spirit wives, but they respected and looked up to me as the wife of the Spirit Chief. I also took care of the Taha Aki's children that were not yet married, raising them as if they were my own children. By the time I was fifteen, I felt the weight of the entire Quileute tribe on my shoulders. For I was spirit wife of the Spirit Chief, I was now the heart and soul of the tribe. I took care of their every need.

"As much as this new found responsibility weighed on me, it did not overtake me. For no matter what, Taha Aki would protect and take care of me. I cared for the heart and soul of the tribe, but Taha Aki cared for me; mind, body, heart, and soul. His whole life now revolved around what I needed. He changed just as much as I did. His sole focus in life was no longer just his tribe. While his love for the Quileute people never lessened, his heart expanded to make room for me. At least, those are the things he would tell me late at night, when all was quiet and it was just him and I together."

The women in the circle laughed at this. They were all accustomed to the silver tongue devils their spirit husbands could be. While these men would never blatantly lie to their spirit wives, they would expand upon the truth quite often. They meant well, and each of the spirit wives loved their spirit husbands even more for their attempt at flattery.

Once the circle of laughing women calmed back down, Halona Catori continued with her story, "Even though I was his spirit wife, I had accepted that Taha Aki would continue transforming into his spirit wolf, never aging. One morning he found me on the beach, crying. I had just found out I was pregnant with our eldest son, Yaha Uta. I was so excited to share the news with Taha Aki, but as I let the daydreams of our first baby wash over me, I saw myself and my son aging as Taha Aki stayed the same. My tears were not for my son and I, but for Taha Aki. No one should know the pain that he had already suffered, but to see another generation of his family come and go before him, I couldn't contain my sadness for him.

"Taha Aki was so worried about me, fearing that I, like his first two wives, was sad for the idea of raising a family and growing old without him. I rushed to reassure him. My love for him transcended age. I didn't care that he would never grow old, I cared that he would have to watch another family die before him.

"As soon as I explained my tears to Taha Aki, that I felt and understood his pain of losing his family and friends through his very long life, that was the instant Taha Aki decided to give up his spirit wolf. For my sadness was not about my selfishness, but about my undying love for him.

"Our family grew quickly, as it is the nature of the spirit wolves to want to grow their family. Imprinting is many things; love, adoration, soul mates. But it is also about creating the next generation. Part of our spirit husbands draw to us is about continuing the line of the wolves. They feel a pull to make sure the wolf lives on, even after they have given up their spirit wolves. Their bodies also experience physical changes, making them more potent, more likely produce the next generation of wolves, especially when they are imprinted. That connection is driven by the need to not only create, but to improve."

Looking out at the circle of first imprints, Halona Catori could only smile, "We as the imprints improve the line of wolves. And not just because of our gene pool."

"The women that you will lead," Halona Catori was now looking down at Emily, "bring so many unique traits to my sons. They are all perfect compliments, but also different enough to make the lives of my sons very interesting. The next generation of spirit wolves will be even stronger, because of you, Emily, and the other spirit wives in your generation."

Halona Catori gently wiped at the tears on Emily's cheeks, "Why do you cry my dear?"

"I'm not ready. I can't be the Alpha of the spirit wives. I can barely take care of myself most days, I can't imagine having other women look up to me. And continuing the wolf line? Does that mean I'm going to have a baby? I can't even think about."

"Emily, my dear. We aren't saying this is all going to happen tomorrow. You need to relax. One step at a time. Just as my life did not rush forward to my death, you do not need to rush forward to your future stress. Love the life you are leading today. The stresses of tomorrow will be waiting for when you get to tomorrow, when you are ready for tomorrow," Halona Catori could sense some of the stress leaving Emily but she needed to drive one more point into her daughter.

"Emily, you need to let Sam help you. You need to let him protect you; mind, body, heart, and soul. Only then can you find true peace with your spirit husband."

Halona Catori could see Emily shaking her head before she is even done speaking, but she doesn't give her a chance to respond. She understands why Emily is hesitant without her speaking, "You are not adding to Sam's stress by sharing your life, including your stress and worry. Sam cannot help you without you telling him what you need help with. Unlike the wolves, he cannot read your mind."

Halona Catori saw Emily's shoulders drop, all the weight she had been carrying finally dropped. It wasn't gone, but Halona Catori could see that Emily was no longer going to let it all hold her down.

Smiling again at the circle, Halona Catori began the last part of her story.

"When Taha Aki gave up his spirit wolf, I knew he would die. I also knew I would not live a day on this Earth without him. I lived every day of my life as if it were my last, for you never know what tomorrow might bring. I loved my family as much as I could every moment of every day.

"I was so blessed to be able to grow old with my spirit husband. To watch him begin to let the responsibilities of the tribe finally be handed over to the next generation. To help him learn to let his sons protect us, instead of just him. As the spirit wives of the Alpha's of your generation, you understand what a challenge this transition might have been for Taha Aki." There were quite a few snickers and giggle from the group of women.

Halona Catori continued, "I could not have asked for a more wonderful life. Every day I woke up I knew I was loved; by my husband, my family, and my tribe.

"I would not trade one moment of my life, not even my death. For I died first and foremost to protect my family. And even as I lay there, my body growing cold with death, Taha Aki, the Great Wolf, kept me warm. Always protecting me, even in death."

Emily looked at her hands, resting in her lap, still for once. As much as she would have liked to have written down Halona Catori's story as she spoke, Emily knew she would never forget. This story would stay with her forever.

There was only one question Emily had left to ask, but she was fairly certain she knew what the answer would be.

"Did you ever regret any of it? Even for a second?"

Halona Catori's smile was radiant, her eyes reflecting the dancing flames of the bonfire, "Regret? No, never my dear. And neither should you. You have done an excellent job up to now, and we can see that you will be an excellent Alpha to the spirit wives of your generation. There will be many challenges yet to come my dear, but with strength, patience, and love, you will be able to manage each and every one of them. And if you ever need us, we will seek you out."

Emily nodded, for the first time in months, she felt relieved. She had someone to talk to, that understood what she was going through.

Halona Catori helped Emily to stand, then, one-by-one, each of the first imprints walked up to Emily and hugged her. Each spoke her own unique words of encouragement to Emily. These varied from "You are beautiful" to "We all love you" to actual full Quileute blessings on her and her family. Many spoke proudly of their direct descendants, others gave her advice on certain situations would be upcoming.

Finally, after all the first imprints had disappeared, Halona Catori turned to Emily, hugging her tight. She took a step back, again wiping the tears from Emily's eyes before speaking softly, "Return Emily Young, knowing that you have the blessing of every first imprint that came before you, including the absolute first imprint, the third wife. Share my story with each spirit wife as she matures. It is important for them to know my truth, to not let your impending death, prevent you from loving the life you are leading right now."

Emily smiled through her tears, but before she could thank Halona Catori, the bonfire went out, and it was completely black.

What seemed like just a few minutes later, Emily sat up in bed, the bright morning sun shining directly in her eyes. She had overslept. The boys would have already come and gone. She rushed through her morning routine then ran downstairs.

When she walked into the kitchen, it was spotless, save the note on the table and the plate sitting on the stove, covered with aluminum foil.

Emily grabbed the note, surprised to see Sam's sharp handwriting.

Babe,

You looked so peaceful sleeping, I didn't have the heart to wake you up. I made some breakfast for you. There is coffee left in the pot too.

If I can, I'm going to take a break this afternoon. I miss you too much to patrol all day. This afternoon will be just us, no guys, no vampires. Just Sam and Emily.

I love you,

Sam

Emily couldn't decide if she wanted to giggle or sob. She somehow managed to do both. Stumbling over to the counter, she pulled the foil back and found a full breakfast before her, including her favorite, eggs benedict. She never made them for herself because she was always in such a rush to cook for the boys, but Sam had remembered and cooked them for her. In that instant, she fell even more in love with him. Despite the stress of the last few weeks, she knew he loved her unconditionally.

After finishing her breakfast, Emily decided she would spend today pampering herself and relaxing. She went to quickly straighten her mess from last night, putting away her keys and purse and pulling out the spiral bound notebook she had so diligently written detailed notes in during the bonfire.

Grabbing her coffee and a pen, Emily carried the spiral notebook upstairs with her, intent on writing as many notes about her dream last night as she could remember.

Sitting on the bed, Emily couldn't help but smile as she reviewed her notes from the night before, including what she had written about the third wife. Next to the notes she had added "So sad."

Emily crossed that note out and replaced it with a new one, "So brave."

Emily was smiling as she flipped to the next page, which she knew would be clean. Her gasp filled the quiet room.

Looking down at the page she expected to be blank, she realized there was handwritting covering the next four page that was not her own. The note at the top read:

Dearest Emily,

It was so wonderful to meet my newest daughter last night. I know what a meticulous note taker you are. I'm sorry we couldn't bring the notebook with you last night, but we wanted you to focus on the stories of my life. However, I didn't want to leave you with nothing. My full story, just as I told it last night is contained on the following pages. Feel free to share this story with each spirit wife as she is brought in.

You are a wonderful first imprint. You have not only learned the stories of our people, you have embraced them as your own. You already take care of the whole pack of spirit wolves. And, most importantly, you are the heart and soul of the current tribe.

Just remember, if you ever need anything, just call out to us, we will seek you out. When the time has come for us to share with you about a new spirit wife, we will tell you as soon as possible.

All my love,

Halona Catori

Emily whispered out to the empty room, "Thank you, Halona Catori. This means more to me than you can ever know."

A brief wind stirred Emily's hair in the quiet bedroom. She smiled, knowing she was now not only guarded by fierce wolves, but by the strongest women she would ever know; the women that had come before her, each generation's first imprint.