AN: This story is co-written by me and my bestie ShavehC. We hope you like it as much as we do! Please be sure to let us know what you think! In case you're wondering what our title means, it's Native meaning is 'Joined Together By Water'.
I am Honiahaka, future chief of my people. We were a small tribe, living quiet, peaceful lives, until three months ago when everything was turned upside down. Pale faces invaded our neighboring village and destroyed it. They torched huts, murdered the warriors and did unspeakable things to the women. The damage left behind was unlike anything I'd ever seen. Blood everywhere, children cowering in the forest blinded by tears. It haunts us still as horrifying screams still echo in the wind.
My people are strong; but knives, bows and arrows are no match for swords, guns and cannons. The battle was lost before it even began. When the leader of these savages, a man by the name of Charles Thompson came to our village, my father reached a peaceful agreement with him to spare our people.
The agreement worked out well for my people, but not so much for me. My father agreed to share the land with pale faces, allow them to dig and build how they saw fit and Charles promised to let my people keep their homes and their lives. As if it was up to him if my people could live. We we're here first. Anyway. What did it take to seal this kind of agreement you ask? A marriage between Charles' daughter Isabella and me. The deal is that as long as our union is intact, so is the treaty between our people. I had to marry the devils daughter because the white demons murdered my kinsman. Because they were greedy for land.
Did I want to do this? Hell no. I'd rather feed my soul to the great spirits. How could I want to marry their kind when did what they did. Would I do it to save my people? Of course I would. I'd do anything to ensure the pale faces never harmed a single person in my village again. If it came down to it, I'd give my life for them, just as they would do for me.
"Jacob, are you alright son?" I turned in the direction of Kitchi, my father, the current leader of my people.
"Why do you call me that name? That is not my name." The pale faces had come in and given us all new names, trying to change us into the type of people they wanted us to be. Funny, we didn't do that to them when they arrived. I will never be like them, ever. They murdered our people, but we were the savages.
"It is the name they gave you. We need to get used to saying it. It's what your wife will call you as well." I turned away from him. That word. Wife. I hate that word.
"I know this is a lot for you to handle, but this is for the safety of our people, the lives of our children, and the virtue of our women." We'd been through this many times before in the last few months. The wedding could have been set next winter and I still would not be able to wrap my mind around it.
"I know all of this already; it doesn't mean I have to be happy about it. Marrying a pale face, one of those white demons…"
"No son, we can't think like that. The fact that they were willing to make a deal with us shows that there is hope for them. There has to be some goodness in there somewhere."
Oh how I wanted to refute that. They were willing to make a deal? There shouldn't have been a need for a deal. This is OUR freaking land. But I can't argue with him. He has to have hope, and so I. No matter who is wrong, I must follow his lead. "Whatever you say…Billy."
He chuckled. "That is a strange name, isn't it? At least my name is not Sam, like Kuruk's."
This time I laughed. "He hates that name; Lootah hasn't stopped calling him that since they changed it."
"Seth, Lootah's new name is Seth. Am I wrong for allowing them to do this to us?" Yes, but you're being a good chief.
"This was the only way you could save us. We never would have won a battle against them. You did what you had to, and none of us blame you for it. We all understand."
"How is everything going in here?" The booming voice of Charles Thompson rang throughout my tent.
"Everything is fine Charles; we're just getting ready for your daughter's arrival. When is she coming exactly?" My father asked.
"She's here. Her ship just arrived a little while ago. She wanted to get some rest for a bit, so I let her sleep. She's awake now." He smirked. Well isn't that just grand.
I had to admit that no matter how much I tried to prepare myself for this, I was not ready to meet her. I was nervous and I couldn't help wonder how she felt; not only about being forced to marry, but being forced to marry someone so completely different from what she was used to.
"May I ask how Isabella feels about this marriage?" I needed to know.
"She'll be fine with it. She has no choice." Just like I have no choice.
"What do you mean she'll be fine? She doesn't know?" How could she not know about her own marriage?
"No she doesn't, but when she finds out, she will be fine. Now come on out so you can meet her. She's already met Quil, Embry and Leah." Or as they were known to me; Makah, Shilah and Miakoda.
We stepped outside the tent and I spotted her immediately. I mean, how could I not? She definitely stood out enough. She was a pale face if I'd ever seen one. Her skin was sickly white, but beautiful. Her chestnut hair was pinned up tightly and her flowing gold dress fit her to perfection. She was clutching the shawl in her hands tightly. At least she is nice to look at. That fact however, doesn't make me any happier about this marriage. I just hope she isn't anything like some of the pale face women I've met.
When her eyes finally found mine, she just stared at me. She was taking me in the same way I'd just done with her. I smiled at her and she turned a very pleasant shade of red and smiled back. At least she isn't bitter.
"Isabella, this is the tribe's chief Billy and his son Jacob." She nodded at each of us but had yet to speak. A shy little thing isn't she.
"Jacob why don't you go and show her the land."
I started to walk away and she followed.
We walked in silence until we were away from everyone. I knew I needed to say something to her; I mean we were going to spend our lives together. Might as well try to make this as civil as possible.
"Bella." She cut me off. "I prefer to be called Bella."
I smiled at her. "Whatever you want Bells."
She smiled. "Bells…I like that. So what's your real name? I mean I know it isn't Jacob."
"Honiahaka; it means little wolf."
She chuckled. "Are you a wolf Jacob?"
When I looked over, I noticed the far off look in her eyes; she seemed to be somewhere else than here.
"What are you thinking about?"
"I'm wondering what I'm doing here. My father has never allowed me to travel and the first time he does, he insists I come without my mother. You know why I'm here don't you? Please tell me."
I thought about this for a moment before I answered. There was no sense in lying to her. "You're here to become my wife." She stared at me for a moment and then suddenly burst into a fit of giggles. What is wrong with her? I just told her she is to become my wife and she laughs? When I was told she would become wife I surely didn't laugh.
"I thought I was here to marry Quil. He was the first one I met when my ship arrived." Wait…that's why she's laughing? She's happy that it isn't Quil?
"So you're ok with it being me?"
"Not really, but I'm still glad it's not Quil." She pauses for a moment. "I sort of had a feeling I would be marrying someone. The way Edward was sulking in the corner like a two year old child kind of gave it away."
"Edward Mason? Why was he sulking?" I had a pretty good guess but wanted her to tell me.
"He has been asking for my hand for years. He just knew because of his family's position and power that he would get it. I guess not." I just stared at her in awe. "Why are you looking at me like that?"
"You're taking all of this very well. Are you sure you're alright?" How could she be taking this so well? I was so sure she would have been quite mad.
"I'm fine…really. This is what my father wants. There's no point in fighting him. Besides, at least you're nice to look at." I laughed. "What's so funny?"
"I was thinking the same thing about you when I first saw you." Maybe this wouldn't be so unbearable after all. We seemed to think the same way at least. Haha, she thinks I'm nice to look at. That's a first.
"I guess I should be flattered that you at least find me attractive Mr.…did my father give you a last name?"
"Black…Jacob Black." I told her.
"Isabella Black has a nice ring to it I suppose." She was trying to put on a brave face for me, but I could see that she was scared to death. And she should be. Marrying someone of a different culture, let alone a complete stranger is terrifying. Especially if you're a woman. I wanted so badly to comfort her, but I didn't know how.
I don't know anything about her. We're strangers, but in two days, we'll be married. How do I help her handle it when it's weighing so heavily on me? I guess we'll have to find a way to get through it together.