I was walking out of the local café with my boys, you know the guys you grew up with and for some stupid reason you were all still really good friends. They were the best. There for me whenever I needed them and vice versa. We weren't known on the reservation for being the best influences. We were all owners in Pack Construction. Everyone always said we acted like a pack so what better name then what we were. We also were known as the reservation playboys. Well all of us except for Paul and Jared who were married. All of the sudden I was hit with a faded memory that I hadn't thought of in years. I didn't have any serious relationships except for Bella. It was complicated to explain. Bella got pregnant when were sixteen and I wasn't ready to have a child so I broke her heart and told her I didn't want the baby. I broke mine in the process too. I wanted her and the baby I was just scared. Now I would never have either. Her mother had decided to send her away from La Push for disgracing the family. While her mom was driving her to her grandmother's in Phoenix there was an accident and Bella, my child and her mother were killed on impact. I don't know if I can every forgive myself. Would she be alive if I decided to be a man and take responsibility?
I was brought back from my thoughts when I heard Jake whistle at the tasty dish walking down the street. Damn she was fine.
"Damn I would so tap that ass if she didn't have a kid. Did you see the rack on that babe? I could nuzzle my face in those titties for hours!" I commented to my friends.
I must have been louder than I thought I was cause miss tasty dish turned around to glare at me. The guys and I all gasped at once. Standing before me was Bella. I could swear it was her, but there was no way. Bella died five years ago. I could tell the guys were all thinking the same thing. The other thing I noticed was the little girl with her was native, but had Bella's eyes There was something about this little girl that seemed different but I couldn't say what it was.. This was too much a coincidence. I had to ask. I couldn't take it any longer. Jake must have been thinking the same thing.
"Bella?" Jake asked with hope in his voice.
It took her what seemed like minutes rather than seconds to answer.
"Hi Jake. Surprise!"
Surprise? That she was alive after all these years. What the fuck?
"Bella is it really you?" I asked her hoping I wasn't dreaming.
"Yes Quil it is really me and I would appreciate it if you wouldn't talk that way in front of our daughter."
Oh my God! This was my daughter! Our daughter! She was…beautiful. I could feel the tears well up in my eyes, but I didn't want the guys to see me lose my man card. I could tell Jake was fighting back tears too. They were best friends, more like brother and sister. He went through hell when he thought Bella was dead.
"Bella I don't understand. We were told you died in that crash."
"As far as everyone here was concerned, I did. It was the only way to get on with my life and live knowing I disgraced my family's name and that you didn't want us."
"So why come back after all these years Bells?" Jake asked her calling her by her childhood nickname.
"I would really rather not talk about that in front of Charlie. Yes, I named her after my father. I think if my father was alive when I got pregnant he would have supported me. She has your last name though."
"Well when can we talk about this? We need answers and I want to know more about my daughter, Bella."
"Well Quil maybe you should have thought about that before you decided you didn't want to be a father. I am only here for one reason. Come by my hotel tonight and I will explain it all after Charlie falls asleep. I really need to get going now. It is too cold out here for her."
She gave us the name of the hotel she was staying at, hugged Jake, picked up our daughter and walked to her car. Without thinking about it I sat on the ground where I was previously standing and put my head between my knees. I didn't care anymore what the guys thought. This was just too much.
"Guys I need to go. I will talk to you all tomorrow." None of the guys seemed to be thinking I was a pussy for crying about my daughter and Bella. In fact they looked sympathetic.
"Quil! Hold on! I'm coming too!" Jake shouted to me
We drove back to my house in silence as we both absorbed the events from the past few hours. Bella was alive. She had our daughter and for the past five years she was raising her alone and then I got mad. How dare she not tell me and rob me of my daughter's childhood! Who the fuck did she think she was? I couldn't bare it anymore and slammed the door shut when we got to my house.
"Quil? What's wrong?" My mother asked as I walked to the front door.
"Gee I don't know Mom. Maybe I found out today that Bella is alive and is here with my daughter!"
"What? Bella is dead honey. How much have you been drinking?"
"It's true Mrs. Ateara. She is alive and has a child." Jake told her
"Where is she? I want to see my grandchild. How could she do that?"
"Funny Mom I was just thinking the same thing"
"WHOA! WHOA! WHOA!" Jake shouted. "Are you kidding? Quil you told her you didn't want the baby. What was she supposed to do?"
"Quil Ateara Jr., you did what?" My mother screeched. Shit! I never told my mom I said that. I just told her that Mrs. Swan decided that Bella needed to go away cause she was a disgrace and that she died in a car accident. I never told her I told Bella I wasn't ready to be a dad.
"Mom come on! I was sixteen. I was a teenager. I wasn't ready to raise a child."
"Did you think for a minute that maybe I would help you? Did you think how this would affect me and your father?"
"Of course not! Cause you are just as selfish now as you were back then." Yeah she was right. "Jacob, do you know why she came back after all these years?" my mother begged for an answer.
"No I don't. She didn't want to talk about it in front of Charlie"
"She named her after her father?"
"Yes but she has the Ateara last name. She is beautiful."
"Well I want to see them. Apologize for my son being an asshole and see how I can convince her to stay here."
"Mom please. Don't get involved."
"DON'T GET INVOLVED? THIS SWEET GIRL THAT WAS IN LOVE WITH YOU HAS RAISED YOUR CHILD BY HERSELF FOR THE LAST FIVE YEARS. SHE HAD NO ONE CAUSE WE ALL THOUGHT SHE WAS DEAD AND YOU THINK I WON'T GET INVOLVED?"
"SHE WANTED US TO ALL THINK SHE WAS DEAD MOM."
"OF COURSE SHE DID JERKOFF! SHE THOUGHT NO ONE WANTED HER CHILD AND SHE WAS SENT AWAY BY HER MOTHER. I WOULD HAVE STARTED OVER TOO."
"Quil, Mrs. Ateara. We are not going to solve this by arguing. Bella told us where she was staying and to come by tonight. That she would tell us the reason she was here after Charlie went to bed. Let us talk to her and then we will bring her and Charlie by tomorrow."
"Ok Jake. Thank you."
"I need a drink. Quil I want to talk to you in a few minutes with your father. See you tomorrow Jake."
Mom walked in the house and Jake glared at me.
"You are a first class asshole Quil. You never told your mom that you didn't want the baby. You put it all on Bella. Why?"
"I don't know man. I was sixteen."
"No excuse. I am gonna help Bella all I can no matter what you decide to do or what role she decides she wants you to have in her and Charlie's life."
"I still love her" I whispered
"What did you just say?"
"I still love her Jake"
All I saw next was Jake's fist coming at my face and hearing my nose crack upon impact.
"What the fuck man?"
"You have the nerve to say you still love her? Were you thinking about how much you loved her when you were sinking your cock into every pussy with legs?"
"Don't act like you weren't getting your share of pussy too Jake!"
"Never said I wasn't, but I also didn't just admit that I am still in love with my ex girlfriend after all these years."
"I don't want to talk about this anymore Jake. I will see you in a few hours when we go to Bella's."
I went inside and had the three hour talk with my parents about how disappointed they are in me that I never told them the truth and how not only has Bella had to raise Charlie on her own and that I missed out on her life so far, but that they missed out on knowing their grandchild. They were right even if I didn't want to admit it. I wanted to know my child and work on getting Bella back.
Well I surely wasn't expecting to tell Quil about his daughter the way it happened today. He still looked as sexy and gorgeous as he was five years ago and Jake. How I missed my best friend. I promised myself I wasn't going to get attached to either one of them again. I was here for one reason and one reason only. Charlie needed them. My sweet, sweet angel.
"Quil I need to talk to you."
"What's up babe?"
"I don't know how to start this. We have been so careful."
"Quil, I'm pregnant"
"I'm pregnant. About two months I think."
"Bella what the fuck? How could you do this?"
"How could I do this? You were the one that wanted to have sex while you were drunk at Jake's party. I told you we didn't have protection and you said you would pull out and that it was safe."
"Well I don't want to be a father. I am sixteen years old. I will get the money and you can take care of it."
"TAKE CARE OF IT! YOU EXPECT ME TO HAVE AN ABORTION!"
"WHAT ELSE ARE WE SUPPOSED TO DO? I DON'T WANT A BABY!"
"WELL QUIL THIS IS NOT THE IDEAL SITUATION FOR ME EITHER, BUT I REFUSE TO KILL OUR BABY"
"Bells, if you decide to have this baby you will be on your own. I don't want to be a father."
"Fine Quil. I understand. I won't bother you again."
I went home dreading telling my mother. She has been so bitter since my father died three years ago. I wish he was here. He was so much easier to talk to.
"What Isabella? I am laying down."
"Mom I need to talk to you."
"Come in. What's wrong honey"
"Mom…I'm two months pregnant with Quil's baby and he doesn't want it."
"Isabella please tell me I heard you wrong?"
"No mother. You heard me right."
"For the love of God Isabella. What is wrong with you. Do you realize what people will think. Do you realize that you have just disgraced your father's name?"
"Mom please don't say that"
"Isabella I can't deal with this. You will have this baby because we do not believe in abortion, however you will not have it and live here. I am calling your grandmother."
"Mom please. This is my home. What if Quil changes his mind?"
"Do you really think that boy is going to change his mind for a whore? You were a piece of ass you stupid girl, now look what you have done to me!"
I didn't know what else to do. I called Jake and told him what my mom said. He begged me to let him talk to his mom and dad, but I couldn't let him do that. He said that he would say the baby was his and that we just got drunk and caught up in emotions one night. I couldn't let him do that and ruin his life like I ruined everyone else's . I painfully told him goodbye and left with mother to drive to Phoenix.
I didn't know what was happening. I saw the driver heading straight for us and there was nothing I could do but brace myself for the impact. The car hit us and we spun around and were airborne flying across the highway. I closed my eyes as we started to make our descent and opened them when we hit the ground. My mother's neck had snapped during the accident and she was dead when we hit the ground. I could tell my arm was cut and prayed that my baby was ok. I could see the driver of the car laying on the road, dead. I couldn't help but notice how much this girl resembled me and I saw my chance. I could restart my life. I grabbed her license and switched it with mine as I waited for the paramedics. I had told them I was in the car with my mother and that I had my father's last name but that he had died a few years ago.
They brought me to the hospital as Julia Thompson and Isabella Swan was the dead driver. They notified my grandparents and said that my body was so charred there was no use in trying to ID me. I am guessing my grandparents called my mother's work and word spread around the reservation that we had been killed.
Eight months later I gave birth alone to my beautiful baby girl. I put myself through school and worked to make the best life I could for us. To everyone I had met after that I was Julia Thompson. Charlie knew my name was Isabella Swan and that it was a secret. I hated to lie to my daughter but I couldn't take the chance of my identity being known.
I eventually called my grandparents and told them the truth. They were relieved to hear I was alive but confused as to why I didn't want anyone else to know. I told them about Charlie and they said they sort of understood. They offered to have me come live there but I told them I refused to be a burden and I needed to do this alone. We visited twice a year and they kept up the mortgage on my parents house incase I wanted to ever return. They passed last year and left me enough money to never have to worry about anything ever again. As much as they disagreed, they kept my secret.
Things were great with for a few years, but then Charlie started getting sick. I took her to every doctor I could find. Racked up insane medical bills and was given the worst news a mother could receive. My angel had leukemia. I was determined to do whatever it took. I was going to save her life. Even if I had to face my worst nightmare.
We did everything. We did chemotherapy and I watched my angel that was always full of life vomit from the drugs that were invading her body. I watched as she lost her hair and cried cause she said no one would like her. I watched her face as it cringed in pain from all the tests that they had put her through and I watched her oncologist's face as he told me I wasn't compatible as a bone marrow donor and there was nothing else to do but keep her comfortable. I was not accepting that. So I did the only thing I could do. I packed up my life an headed back to Washington praying that Quil or his family would have the heart to get tested to see if they were compatible.
So here I was now just putting Charlie down for the night and getting out of the shower. Waiting for my best friend and my daughter's father to tell them why I was here and hope it wasn't a wasted trip. I was brought out of my thoughts by a knock on the door.
"Bella!" Jake grabbed me in his arms. He could tell that whatever this was bad just by looking my eyes.
"Jake. It's good to see you again."
"Quil." I said trying to keep all emotion out of my voice
"Bella before we get into this I just want to say I am sorry. I was a selfish idiot. I should have been a man. My parents are very upset with me now because I never told them why you left. I didn't tell them that I didn't want the baby."
"I figured as much Quil. I have known your mother since I could walk and I knew she wouldn't have just let me go if she knew. I feel awful they missed out on watching Charlie grow."
"They do too and they would like you to come by so they can meet her."
"Of course. Thank you for apologizing. It doesn't change anything though. I didn't come back here so that we could work things out. I came here cause I need you to do the most important thing you could ever do. I need you to save our daughter's life"
Jake and Quil just looked at me like I was crazy.
"Bella what do you mean?" Jake asked me
"Charlie has leukemia. The hair you see on her head is a wig. She is ashamed of being bald and was falling farther into depression so I bought her a wig. She has been through every painful test imaginable. Had needles poked into her spine. Went through endless rounds of chemo to find out it wasn't working. I was checked to see if I could be a donor and I am not a match. So I did the only thing I could think of. I came here to see if you would help her. I can't let her die." I sobbed
I felt two warm arms grab me and pull me into a hug. When I looked up the arms did not belong to who I thought they would have belonged to. Quil was just holding me like if he let me go his life would fade away. I couldn't handle this closeness with him. I still loved him, but he hurt me when he refused his daughter. I squeezed out of grasp and pulled away.
"Quil thank you, but I can't do this please. I didn't come here for this. I just want to know if you are willing to help save my daughter."
"Our daughter Bells. She is our daughter and yes I will do whatever I have to do."
"Thank you Quil"
"Bella" Jake walked over and sat me down on his lap. This was always how we comforted each other. There was nothing sexual or romantic about it. It was just how we were. "Why didn't you come earlier. Why didn't you call me? I would have come to you. Do you know what I went through when I lost you? I lost part of me that day. I am not mad at you. I understand why you did it. I am just so glad you are here with your beautiful daughter. I will call every doctor, every person on the rez to be tested, I will get tested. Whatever it takes."
I guess we were being louder than I thought we were cause all of the sudden I heard "Mommy, who's here?"
I couldn't believe that Bella just said our daughter has leukemia. The thought of losing the daughter I never knew shattered my heart. I didn't know what else to do so I just grabbed Bella and hugged her. She didn't realize it was me at first. She must have thought it was Jake. As soon as she realized it was me she pulled away. Had I hurt her that badly? Of course I had. I refused our child.
When she told me that she was only there for me to help Charlie my heart shattered again. She wanted nothing to do with me except to test my marrow to save our princess. How could I blame her. When Jake grabbed her down on his lap I glared at him. I know he didn't hold romantic feelings for her but I wanted it to be me that comforted her. Then I heard the sweetest sound.
"Mommy who's here?"
"Just some old friends of mine baby. What's wrong?"
"I can't sleep. Can you bring me some warm milk"
"Why don't you come out here baby and meet my friends"
"NO! Not without Sally"
"Baby it's ok. You don't need Sally right now."
Was Sally a doll?
"Charlene! I promise you it is ok."
Walking slowly into the living area of the hotel was my daughter. When I saw her today I never would have imagined she was sick. She looked frail, but it was cold. Now here was my sweet girl walking out, without her wig. You could see the dark circles under her eyes and how weak and frail she really was. I didn't care that the chemo had taken all her hair. My sweet Charlie was the most beautiful thing besides Bella I have ever laid eyes on. All at once the last five years hit me. I pushed her away. I let her go. If I hadn't the accident wouldn't have happened because I would have fought for Bella to stay. I would have been there with her when our daughter was diagnosed with this horrid disease. I would have known and raised my daughter and Bella and I may have been married. I didn't want to scare my little girl but I couldn't help the tears spilling down my cheeks. I had to save my daughter and I don't care what it takes. I would give my life for this angel if it meant she would live.
I looked over at Jake and he had tears rolling down his cheeks too.
"See Mommy they are scared of me. I made them cry."
"No Charlie. I am not crying cause you scared me. I am crying cause I cant believe how beautiful you are. You could never scare me." I told my daughter trying to stop the tears.
"Mommy who are these men?"
She was too cute. I loved her already.
"Well honey, this is Jake. He is my best friend. And this is Quil."
"Hi" She quietly spoke.
Did Bella not want her to know who I was? I just wanted to know her.
"Who's Quil? You said Jake is your best friend Mommy, but who is Quil?" I loved my girl.
"Wait Mommy didn't you say my daddy's name is Quil? It's a weird name. Is this my daddy?"
Holy cow this girl was smart. I could see Bella fidgeting in her seat uncomfortably. Well she at least talked about me. Did Bella say I didn't want her? Oh this could get bad quickly.
"Yes Charlene. Quil is your daddy. Remember I told you that we were going to come here to see if daddy could help you?"
"Yes mommy. Does that mean he can take care of us now?"
My heart strings were being stretched so far I thought they would tear. Jake was too quiet. He always talks. I looked at him and he nodded at me in encouragement.
"I don't know Charlie. Your dad is just here to see if he can help you. You know we are big girls and we don't need anyone to take care of us right?"
"Right, but you said you thought daddy loved us but he just could take care of us. Does he still love us?"
She is killing me. "Charlie, yes I will always love you."
"Really daddy?" How can a five year old take your man card and throw it out the window in the blink of an eye. I never thought hearing me being referred to as daddy would melt my heart.
"Yes really Charlie."
"Does that mean you are going to help me. I don't want to be sick anymore."
"Yes baby I am going to do everything I can to help you."
"Thank you daddy. Thank you." She said as she came running to me and jumped in my arms.
Bella was in tears. Jake walked over and sat with her. I didn't want to let my daughter go and I would be damned if Bella was ever going to leave again. I would make her see that I still loved her and wanted to have a life with her.
Bella walked into the kitchen to make her some warm milk and I just sat there in awe of this courageous, amazing little girl before me.
"So daddy…can we go to the park. Will you take me to the zoo? Can uncle Jake come too? Hi Uncle Jake"
"Hi princess" Jake said.
"I am not a princess. Princesses are beautiful and they have all their hair. They are not sick either."
"You can absolutely be a princess. You are my princess. Princess of LaPush" I told her. "You are beautiful, no matter what honey"
My mother was going to love this child, but it was going to break her that she was sick.
"Charlie. Your milk is ready."
"Can I drink it in here with daddy and Uncle Jake?"
"I guess so, but then you have to go back to bed. It's late"
Charlie drank her milk and wiped her mouth with the back of her hand causing me and Jake to chuckle at her.
"Charlene Ateara, didn't I teach you better than that?"
"Yes but there are no napkins mommy."
"Touche angel. Now say goodnight and go to bed"
She walked over to Jake and kissed him on the cheek. "Good night Uncle Jake. I love you."
"I love you too princess" he said with his voice cracking trying to keep his emotions in check. Then she skipped over to me.
"Good night daddy. I am so glad you are helping me. I love you daddy" She said as she kissed the tip of my nose.
"Good night angel. I love you too"
"Come on Charlie. Lets go back to bed. I'll be right back guys."
I just sat there mystified. "Jake, what did I do?"
"You pushed away the best two things in your life. Just be thankful Bella is here and that maybe you have a chance now to be a dad to your daughter."
"And a husband for Bella" I added
"Quil, don't push her. She is hurt. I have never seen her look so lifeless. You heard her. She said she was only here to help Charlie"
Bella walked back in and sat down next to Jake.
"Bella….what can we do?" I asked her
"Well I have to get her registered at the hospital in Forks and find an oncologist. Then we have to get your marrow tested. I am not going to lie to you Quil. It is excruciating, but if you are a match then your donation of your marrow could save her life."
"Bella I want to help too" Jake told her.
"Thanks Jake, but the chance of a non family member being a match is very slim.""I want to at least try. Please"
"Ok Jake. Thank you" She said wrapping her hands around his.
"So what happens if Quil is not a match?"
"I can't even think about that Jacob. If he is not a match then all hope is lost. The only thing that would save her was if she had a brother or sister, which she doesn't. So we would just make her comfortable. Give her the best we can while she lives."
"Well I hate to make a joke out of this situation, but Quil do you have any kids that you know about running around?"
Bella actually looked hopeful for a second.
"Very funny Jake. No I don't, not that I know of."
I had an idea, I didn't know if Bella would go for it, but I had to try.
"Bella you can't stay here. I will set a few rooms up at my house and you and Charlie can stay there."
"Quil that is a very sweet offer, but we are ok here."
"Bella please I want you to come stay with me."
"No Quil. I will not give my daughter false hope."
"False hope about what?"
"Look Quil. I am thankful that you are willing to assume the daddy role long enough to help her, but I won't lead her into believing that she will a part of this happy family and that her mommy and daddy will be together."
"Bella I am not playing the daddy role. That is my daughter and I want her in my life. I want you in my life. We can have another child if I am not a match"
"WHAT?" Jake and Bella both asked at the same time.
"We can have another child. I missed the first time and we do make beautiful children, plus he or she could help Charlie."
"Quil that is the craziest thing I have ever heard. First of all I refuse to have another child just to have her poked and prodded to see if he or she maybe a match for a marrow donor. Second of all, you didn't want your first child. You just found out that I am alive and that you have a child, we are not together and you think I am just gonna have another child with you? Quil I think it is time for you to leave. I will call you when I have Charlie registered"
"Bella please. I fucked up. I gave up the best two things in my life. I don't want to lose you again. Please let me show you how much I still love you. Let me get to know my daughter and be part of your lives."
"Quil. You referred to me as a babe with a nice rack and that you would tap that ass if I didn't have a kid. That just proves to me that you are not ready. What happens when the next hottie walks by and you want to tap her ass too cause she doesn't have a child?"
"Bells I wouldn't do that to you. I wouldn't do that to our daughter. It has always been you."
"You know Quil I don't want to talk about this now. All I want to do is save Charlie.
My parents house was never put up for sale. I eventually told my grandparents the truth and they kept the mortgage current incase I wanted to come back.. I am sure it needs some work, but I can get someone to work on it and stay here till it is done."
She got up and started walking to the window facing her back to us.
"Bella we do construction. We will take care of the house" Jake told her walking up to her and putting his hand on her shoulder. He was really testing my patience.
"And you can stay with me. I have my own place or you can stay with dad. He has room now that Rachel and Rebecca are gone"
"Are you sure Jake? That is a lot to take on. Charlie may be sick but she is still a very active little girl."
"I'm sure. You can't stay here."
"Alright. Thanks Jake"
I just stood there. I couldn't believe this. Two seconds ago she said she wouldn't live with me. What the fuck was this?
"Are you kidding me? Are you seriously going to turn down my offer and stay with him?"
"I trust Jake, Quil. He has always been there for me. Even when I was living my new life I could always feel his presence, that he was always thinking about me."
"And what did you think I did? Did you think I didn't mourn you. That I didn't blame myself for your death. Did you think that I didn't think if I hadn't refused you that you may have still been alive?"
"Quil I don't know what you thought cause you never talked about it afterwards. You wouldn't even talk to me when I came to say goodbye. So yes I am serious. I won't keep you from Charlie. She needs to know her father."
"Whatever Bella. Jake lets go. Bella I will call you tomorrow so you can come see my mom."
"Sorry Bells. I'll come by tomorrow to start discussing what you want done with the house and move you over to my house. Love you honey"
"Okay Jake. Love you too." She said and kissed his cheek and he headed out the door to the car.
I couldn't listen to this anymore. I had to let her know how I felt too.
"You know I love you too."
"Quil just go. I will talk to you tomorrow"
I walked down to the car fuming. I couldn't believe she was just dismissing me like this.
"What the fuck was that Jake?"
"Do you have an alternative motive here. Like trying to make Bella yours?"
"What? I don't feel like that about her. I love her yes she is my best friend, but there has never been anything romantic between us."
"Well how could she just dismiss me like that?"
"Gee I don't know Quil. Maybe cause that is what you did to her. Prick!"
I guess what goes around does come around. That is exactly what I did to her.
"Shit! You're right. I need to make her see I was wrong. I love her Jake. I want her and my daughter."
"Well I would say you have one hell of a challenge in front of you. You know how stubborn she is. Worse when she has been hurt. Just don't give up"
"Now go in and get some sleep. We have a long way ahead of us to go. I will call you when I get up."
"Alright man. Night"
My parents were in bed when I got home. How was I going to tell them that the granddaughter that they never met had leukemia. Fuck my life.