Hey guys! I FINALLY finished the last chapter! I'm SOOO sorry it took me so long to write, but I hope you like it. Thank you for reading this, and definitely check out Darvia, who I adopted this story from. I love you all more than the sun!
Chapter 13: First Light
I looked up at the sound of Sam's voice. He gestured towards the door with his head.
"Can I talk to you?"
Nodding, I stood up. I wasn't so sure I wanted to have this conversation, but I knew that it was just as inevitable as the one with Kali had been. I already knew there was no way Kali and I could stay together, so why should Sam telling me I have to stay with the Pack hurt so much? Together we went into Sam and Emily's backyard. Once we were on the back porch, Sam stopped and looked up at the full moon shining in the sky. He leaned against the pillar a moment before turning to me.
"I'm sure you know why we're here."
I nodded and sighed, rubbing the back of my head.
"Kali," was my reply. Sam nodded as he angled his body towards me.
"I know, I know. I'm doing my best to stay focused, and we don't have any leeches right now."
"Seth," Sam said, putting a hand on my shoulder. "You should go."
"But—" I stopped when his words sank in. "Wait, what?"
I met his eyes, which were dead serious. He really was allowing me to leave. Just like that.
"Are you feeling okay?"
Sam chuckled and nodded, a grin spreading over his lips.
"Yeah. There are plenty of members in the pack to take care of any strays. I'm not going to be the one to keep you two apart. I told Embry to go as well, but he seems a bit hesitant to the idea."
That news shocked me nearly as much as the original had. He was giving both of us permission to leave? He must have been in a really good mood, or something.
"You're serious?" I asked, still not sure if this was a dream or reality. Sam nodded.
"Very. You've done a lot for this pack, Seth. You've done your job well. It's time to start the next adventure in your life. You get to stay with Kali, and continue ridding the world of bloodsuckers. It's a win-win."
I couldn't help but grin. It certainly was.
"Thank you." I told him solemnly. He just nodded.
"Now I suggest you go pack, because knowing Kali they'll probably leave at dawn."
I nodded and gave Sam a brief hug.
"Thank you." I said again, making him laugh.
"Goodbye, Sam. I'll see you again sometime. Maybe I'll even have some kids of my own."
He laughed again and waved as I launched myself over the porch railing and into the forest. I slowed down at the edge of trees and stripped, tying my clothes to my leg before bounding forward and phasing. I let out a bark of laughter. My joy made my run so much better; the cool air against my fur was invigorating, the loose dirt under my paws encouraging. I skidded to a halt on the outskirts of town and phased, pulling my clothes back on. I could see my small house, the light on in the kitchen. I ran the rest of the way there. Making sure to wipe my bare feet on the doormat before entering, I found Mom in the living room. Billy Black was there too. Both were holding a mug of the freshly brewed coffee I could smell coming from the kitchen.
"Mom," I said in excitement. "Guess what."
"Oh, there you are. I'd almost forgotten that I even had a son, much less that he lived here." There was humor in her tone and laughter in her eyes as she stood to hug me. I squeezed her against me a moment.
"What is it, Seth? I can tell you're about to burst." She said with a laugh. I grinned down at her.
"I'm leaving. With Kali." Of course she knew all about Kali, as I'd told her weeks ago. Suddenly a twinge of regret hit me; I'd never properly introduced them. I would make sure my mother and Kali officially met the first break we had. "Sam's given me permission to go with them."
I saw sadness in my mother's eyes, and I felt sad too, knowing it'd be a while before I'd see her again. But there was also happiness. She smiled at me.
"That's great, Seth!" She hugged me tight again. "I'm so proud of you, sweetie."
"Thanks, Mom." I said, hardly able to contain my grin. "Well, I'd better go pack. Kali doesn't know yet, and I'm not sure when they were planning on leaving."
Mom nodded and sat back down at her spot on the sofa. Billy smiled at me.
"Have fun, Seth. And don't be a stranger."
"I won't. Promise."
I went to my room and dug an old backpack out of my closet. As I packed, I realized just how little clothes I owned. I wondered if wherever we were going required more. With a shrug I tucked a wad of cash in a small zipper pocket. I could always by more if I needed. I had just finished when there was a knock on my bedroom door. Throwing my bag over a shoulder, I opened the door. Leah stood in the doorway. Just the sister I was looking for.
"I've been looking for you." I informed her. She just raised her eyebrows at me. Squeezing past, I managed to maneuver myself into the hallway. Leah trailed before me as I went to the front door. Once outside in the cool night air I stopped, Leah coming up on my right. I looked over at her. She stared up at the stars, a thoughtful look on her face.
"I haven't gotten to say congratulations yet." She said. "So….congrats. It doesn't surprise me that you Imprinted before me."
Her scowl deepened at the last comment.
"Hey," I said, reaching out and gripping her shoulders. Leah's eyes slowly came down to meet mine.
"You'll find someone. I know you will." I told her, believing it with my whole heart. She nodded, though I knew she didn't believe me. She never did when this subject came up.
"Anyways, you have to promise to go all lone wolf on me from time-to-time to visit. You can't do that if you Imprint, can you?" I managed to make Leah's lips pull up a fraction of a centimeter. It was a start, at least. She sighed and shook her head, stepping away so that I dropped my arms.
"How do you know I'll want to visit you? It'll be so much better not having my annoying baby brother follow me around everywhere."
"Excuse me," I protested. "It does not count when I'm ordered by Sam to stick to your side."
Leah actually let out a small chuckle. She looked down at the ground, her short black hair shining in the moonlight.
"Yeah, I guess."
We were both silent for a moment.
"I'm going to miss you, annoying as you are." She said suddenly. Leah looked up, a sad smile on her lips. I returned the smile tentatively and nodded.
"Ditto," I said as I pulled my sister into a hug. Leah's arms hung limply at her side.
"I do not approve of this." I could hear the scowl in her tone. I grinned and tightened my hold.
"I'm not letting go until you hug me back."
I heard a sigh escape and my sister finally put her arms around me briefly.
"There," she said, shoving me away. I made a face. I glanced at the stars, judging by their position that it was nearing four-thirty am.
"Well, I'd better get going."
Leah nodded. "Stay safe, okay?"
I snorted. "I laugh in the face of danger."
She rolled her eyes and gave a small wave before heading back inside. I was still smiling as I made my way back to the forest. Once under the cover of total blackness, I stripped and tied my clothes to my ankle again. I phased, then clenched the top strap of my backpack in my teeth. It was very odd, trying to run while a nearly-full bag was swinging in front of me, but I managed it. Not too soon I was in Forks. I got as close to Kali's house as possible before phasing and dressing. I even pulled on a pair of flip-flops, after digging them out of my backpack. I slipped one of the straps over my left shoulder before walking to Kali and her pack's rental home. I dropped my bag on the front porch before realizing that I had no idea what I was going to do. I didn't really feel like sitting on the front porch until someone woke up and let me in the house. So I did what any of us would have done. I broke in. I went to the back door in order to avoid any neighbors calling the police.
I felt a little bit like a creeper once I was inside. Shrugging, I took off my shoes to avoid making noise. Then I went off in search of Kali's room. I knew it wasn't downstairs from my one other time here, so I headed upstairs immediately. I winced went I stepped on a creaky stair, but no one burst from their room ready to ninja-chop me, so I guess I was okay. The first door I tried was locked. I tried not to think about what that might have meant and continued down the hall. The second revealed a sleeping Nikki, who was sprawled over her mattress, her head at an odd angle and her mouth open. I stifled a laugh and closed the door quietly. The third time must really be a charm, because the room next to Nikki's—the one I tried next—happened to be Kali's.
The door squeaked a bit when I pushed it open the rest of the way, but Kali didn't stir. She was apparently a lot calmer sleeper than Nikki, because her covers were still on and her head was on the pillow.
"Kali." I raised my voice a little, but not loud enough for anyone else to hear. She shifted a little, but otherwise didn't respond. Smiling, I walked over and sat on the edge of her bed. Kali moaned and rolled onto her side. Reaching out my hand, I put it gently on her exposed shoulder.
"Kali." I said again, shaking her a bit as I did. Her eyes opened and then fluttered closed again. I laughed softly. "Come on, wake up."
A frown wrinkled her face a moment. Then Kali opened her eyes and turned once more on to her back. She stared at me a moment, with those intense green eyes. Then she recognized me and smiled, pulling herself into a sitting position. The blanket fell to her waist and showed the turquoise tank top she wore. I smiled back at her. Kali unexpectedly threw her arms around me and I wrapped mine around her as well, closing my eyes and taking in the moment.
"What are you doing here?" She asked, sitting back and meeting my gaze. Her eyes flickered to her door, which stood ajar.
"Sam gave me permission to leave. I can come with you. If I'm wanted, that is."
I watched as Kali's eyes got wide at my news. Her face broke into a smile and she hugged me again.
"Of course I want you here!"
I laughed and nodded. "I thought as much."
"I can't believe this! What time is it?"
"Five o'clock." I said, checking her alarm clock. She nodded and pulled her covers away. Kali slid her legs out and scooted closer to me, sitting by my side. I stood, reaching for her hand and pulling her up as well.
"What?" She asked.
"I want to show you something before we leave. Get some shoes on and meet me downstairs."
"Um….okay." She said, slipping her hand out of mine and going to her closet.
When she came downstairs a few moments later, she'd pulled on a pair of jeans and a hoodie as well as a pair of flats. I reached for her hand and she automatically slid it into mine. I smiled.
Kali nodded, so I led her out the back door. The air was a little crisp, but I didn't mind. It felt good against my burning skin. We'd entered the forest when Kali couldn't take it anymore.
"Where are we going?" She asked. I looked down at her.
"You'll have to wait and see."
Turning forward again, Kali let out a large sigh. I held back my smile and quickened my pace. Thirty minutes later, we were stepping out onto the eastern side of First Beach.
"What are we doing?"
"Shh," I said, holding up my hand. "Patience, my young grasshopper."
Kali rolled her eyes and I grinned at her. I led her over to a tree and sat down. Kali sat down in front of me and leaned against my chest, resting her head on my shoulder. I wrapped my arms around her and looked out at the surf. The first rays of light were just starting to break through over the horizon. I glanced down at Kali and then back to the sky.
"My dad used to take me out here when I was a kid." I explained. "At first I'd hated when he dragged me out of bed at five in the morning every Sunday. But he insisted that it was important that I learn to appreciate the things around me. We'd come and sit by this tree, and wait for the sun to come up over the horizon.
"He said this was his favorite spot in the world, because he felt like the ocean could go on forever and ever. The way the sun hits the water when it first rises is magical. Dad used to call it first light, the time between the very first ray of sun and the sunrise. A time of complete calm, where all of Earth's creatures are at peace with each other, even if just for a moment."
"That's beautiful," Kali said quietly, looking up at me. I looked down and smiled.
"Of course that's not true, because on the other side of the equator it's just becoming night."
"But that's not the point. He was trying to teach you a lesson."
I nodded and laughed. "Yeah. And I definitely learned it. I've never seen anything more beautiful than the sunrise on First Beach. Except maybe you."
"Only maybe?" Kali asked, teasing. I shrugged.
"It's pretty hard to compete with the sun."
I was fairly certain my day couldn't get any better. We'd gotten the vampire and saved the day. And now, on top of that, Seth was coming with us! I couldn't wipe the smile from my face as I carried my bag downstairs. However, on my way back up I nearly ran into Nikki.
"Oh, sorry Nikki!" I said, sidestepping to avoid a collision. But then I halted and turned around. "How are you?"
Nikki turned a shrugged. Her black hair was down and covered her face like a curtain.
I went over to her and pulled her into a hug.
"Oh Nikki. I'm so sorry. But you can visit him soon, okay? I promise."
She forced a smile and nodded, shouldering her bag and going downstairs. I felt bad that I'd gotten my happy ending and she hadn't. Sighing, I checked to make sure everyone had their things before going back downstairs.
"Alright everyone," I said. "Seth and Nikki will be with me. Everyone else will go in Jon's highlander. And no, Tristin, you cannot come with me."
Tristin rolled his eyes and stuck his tongue out. He took Alex's hand and went out the door with a grin. Lexi and Jason followed behind them, too lost in their own conversation to care much about anything. Shaking my head, I looked up at Seth, who had joined me. He smiled back, and it was like a ray of sunshine. I slipped my hand into his and led the way out the door. Nikki was already in the backseat, her arms crossed over her chest and earbuds in her ears.
"She okay?" Seth asked, concern lacing his tone. I glanced at her and then nodded.
"Yeah, in time. I can relate to how she feels. Until this morning, I thought I would have to leave without the love of my life, too."
Seth squeezed my hand before letting go and getting into the passenger seat. Pulling out my keys, I climbed into the driver's side. Jon had already programmed my GPS to lead me to our next destination, so I didn't worry about waiting for him. It was better to get going, so that Nikki would fall asleep in the back and not have to dwell on leaving Embry behind. I was just about to leave the Forks city limit when I caught a movement in the forest. It was just barely in my peripheral vision, and even then whatever it was kept moving. I figured it was just an animal and was going to ignore it when Seth gasped beside me.
"Is that—?" He asked, straining against his seatbelt. "Kali, stop the car!"
Too shocked to do anything but listen, I slammed on the brakes. And as I did, the thing in the forest slid to a halt as well. Two seconds later, a copper skinned, bare-chested Embry emerged from the trees. I heard Nikki gasp from the back seat. Next thing I knew she had flung the door open and was racing towards Embry. Seth and I got out as well, and I looked behind me to see Jon slowing to a stop. Nikki threw her arms around Embry, who smiled and returned the hug. A moment later the two approached me. Nikki was positively beaming, which was an odd thing to see Nikki do. But at the same time it was beautiful. Happiness spread over me like a warm bath.
"I want to come with you." Embry said, his breathing still a little deeper than normal.
I grinned and offered him my hand. Embry took it with his free hand, the other being occupied by Nikki's.
"Welcome to the pack, Embry."
I guess we both got our happily ever afters after all. I smiled. I couldn't think of a more better, more fitting end to such an odd yet perfect story. And what was there left to say? Nothing, except for two little words: the end.