Disclaimer – I do not own Twilight. All recognizable plot and characters belong to the talented Stephanie Meyer.
This story is rated M. Some scenes will be graphic so please if you are under 18 do not read.
So this is it. Hope you've all enjoyed the story. Any requests for what I should write next? And yes for those of you waiting, I am working on the basic outline for Luna Rising and it wont be long before the first chapter is up :o)
Things were going well, for three months everything was, well not perfect, but good. So of course something had to happen and its never just one thing to go wrong.
It started with Jenna going on a date. The date wasn't with Seth. I felt bad for my stepbrother. Since she left him, he had been a little less the happy go lucky puppy he had been when I first met him. I guess he figured she would go back to him if he just gave her space. Instead, she had settled on being his friend and when the head of the baseball team asked her out, she agreed. Seth went nuts. The wolves all tried to calm him down and when the anger faded, he was just sad and defeated. My heart broke for him. He was a great guy, he just needed time to learn that relationships took work.
The next thing to happen was the return of Victoria. Embry made sure to throw it in my face that a vampire was once again here, a killer trespassing on the reservation because I was here. Paul always let me fight my own battles but when Embry took a threatening step towards me, it was to much for him.
We were in the yard, gathered for a pack meeting when Embry glared at me, "It's you she wanted before so why is she back here? How many people here will die because you had to bring vampires here?" He spat at me.
"I have no idea why she's here. As far as I know she was going after the Cullen's."
"Great, so the Cullen's are coming back? Is that what you want? Is that why you're here? So the blood sucking murderers will come for you? Maybe hoping they'll save you from the big bad wolf."
"Fuck you Embry! I came back for Charlie and stayed for Paul. I don't have some mental line to Victoria to know why she's back or what she wants. I didn't bring her here and she might have been here for me before but I have no idea why she is back. I didn't bring any of them here."
Embry growled stepping closer, "All you've ever done is bring trouble here. I bet the brat isn't even pack. Who knows who you were fucking in the city." He took another menacing step towards me his hands shaking lightly.
Paul shot up, yanking me behind him and growling angrily, "Back off, now." He was trembling and I stepped away to give him space in case he was going to phase.
Embry ignored him, "Maybe we should just give you to her and see if it stops them hanging around."
Paul snapped and punched Embry, breaking his nose.
Embry growled, shaking heavily and Paul jumped him, both of them phasing. I watched in terror, but it was obvious Paul was not only stronger but a better fighter. He had Embry pinned by the throat in under three minutes.
Paul growled lifting his head, pulling Embry's up by his neck and then slammed it back down.
"Paul, back down now!" Sam ordered.
Paul growled but let go and moved back to my side. My head barely reached his shoulder as the wolf. I rested my right hand in the fur of his neck and my left against the mound of my tummy.
"Embry, phase." Sam had turned his attention away from us. As soon as he was human, someone tossed him shorts.
"You ever threaten Bella again and I'll kill you." Jake growled.
Paul growled at him in response.
Jake stepped forward but I gripped Paul's fur and he stayed in place, still growling.
"Jake, back off, Embry what the fuck is going on? You don't ever even joke about harming an imprint."
" All she has ever brought is trouble!" Embry spat.
"It's not Bella's fault the leeches are here. She has never done anything to any of us."
"Right." Embry snorted.
"Fuck you Embry Call." I spoke up; I didn't need Sam to speak for me.
"Not if you were my imprint and thank fuck that you aren't mine, it's just to bad you had to be any ones. We should have just let the dread locked leech fucking kill you and put us all out of our misery."
I stalled at that, tears coming to my eyes. What had I ever done to Embry to make him hate me enough to want me dead?
While I had paused, Paul had attacked Embry his claws tearing strips out of Embry's human chest before Embry phased.
I heard Jared swear and then phase. He knocked into Jake before Jake reached the fighting pair.
Sam yelled "enough!" but the order didn't split the fighting wolves. He phased and Holly tugged me into the house as the entire pack phased and joined the fight. I had never been so afraid. All of us congregated on the porch watching our wolves in concern, our hearts jumping with every yelp as teeth and claws met targets.
Sam broke them apart with growled orders until all of them lay on the ground, panting and growling but unable to move from the weight of Sam's orders holding them down.
After a few minutes, which I was sure Sam was giving them orders, Jared phased.
"Sam wants all of you to go home. It'll be safer while we get things sorted here. Em, Sam wanted me to ask if you would go with Bella." She nodded and he turned to his imprint, "Will you go to? I'd feel better if you were together."
Kim nodded, "Are you alright?" She motioned to him, a bite on his side was bleeding.
Jared shrugged, "It'll heal in a few minutes. It's not deep."
"Paul?" I asked, my eyes on the silver form of my boyfriend.
"He's fine. Minor shit only. Hell I'm worse off than that fucker." He sent me a weak smile, "He'll be home soon."
"Why don't we go to Haven?" Angela suggested.
All of the girls nodded and Kim went to Jared, gently running her fingers on his ribs just above the healing bite. He kissed her, "I'll come get you soon."
She nodded. "Love you."
"Love you more." He kissed her again and then let her go. All of us drove to Haven to let the wolves work it out.
"Why does Embry hate me so much?" I asked them as we settled in the living room.
None of them seemed to know. None of them had realized he did before. That he held some animosity yes, but we figured it was over the Jake thing, nothing like the anger and hatred he showed today.
When Sam, Jared and Paul came to take us home they all looked tired and beat up but any wounds had healed so they weren't bleeding anywhere.
"Everything ok?" I asked hurrying to Paul. "You aren't hurt?"
"I'm fine, you and the baby?"
"We're both fine." I told him hugging him. He kissed me, his hand running down to rest over the mound. It was something he always did and I noticed Sam always did with Emily, resting their palms over the baby as though to communicate their love into the womb. "What was that?"
"Embry has issues." Paul shrugged, "He won't come near you again."
"It's ok Bella."
I shook my head pulling away from him, "No secrets."
"The red head killed someone up in the Hoh tribe the first time she was here. Embry was dating him."
Paul shrugged, "Embry plays for both teams, has since he was sixteen."
"He loved him didn't he?"
"Yeah." Paul nodded. "He loved him. They were each others first."
"Poor Embry." Paul snorted. "Paul!"
"It's terrible but he has no right to blame you or threaten you. If he does it again, heartbroken or not, I will kill him." Paul growled.
"Calm." Sam ordered him, looking over Emily's head at us. Paul took a couple of deep breaths and dropped his forehead to mine. "Bella, just try to stay away from Embry for a few days. Give him some space."
The next day I went to find Embry. I knew it would piss off Paul, especially since I was going alone. It was also against Sam's orders but I never followed Sam's orders.
I found Embry at the cliffs.
"Embry?" He turned to look at me, glaring. "I'm sorry. Paul told me and I'm so sorry."
He looked back out over the water. "Fuckers just saw everything in my head back then. Came as a huge fucking shock to Jake and Quil, it was the one thing I had never told them."
"What was his name?"
"Greg. His mother was a pale face and his father a native up on the Hoh reservation. We met when we were fifteen. I didn't understand how I could feel the way I did about him. I still liked girls but I was attracted to some guys to. I was crazy about him and he was openly gay for about a year. That summer I went up to spend my sixteenth birthday with him. Two days later and we were lovers. I've been playing both sides since but he's the only one I ever cared about and that fucking bitch, that evil blood sucking cunt, killed him. We only had a year together." There was tears in his eyes and his voice as he spoke, "A fucking year Bella, its not enough time, I needed more time with him but he's dead and that bitch killed him."
"She's back Embry. Who cares why? Hunt her and kill her. Maybe it will bring you some relief."
"Will it?" He asked turning to me. "It wont bring him back. He's gone, forever."
"I'm so sorry."
"I sometimes wonder if I would have imprinted on him. Can we imprint on the same sex? If it's about babies maybe that's why I like both men and women. I don't know." He ran his hand through his hair. "I loved him. I still love him." I moved to him and hugged him. "I didn't really mean it about you dying. I don't wish you had. Greg died that very day you know. The day we killed the dread lock leech. I didn't know for almost a week. It was terrible. I wanted to die to."
"I'm so sorry." I whispered hugging him tighter.
"I'd never risk you or your baby and it is Paul's. We can smell it. You and Em both have started to smell more like them. Sam says if he rests his head on Emily's stomach, he can hear the babies heartbeat. I shouldn't have said what I did."
"I can't help hating you a little. I know its not your fault but."
"It's ok." I repeated.
"I'm sorry Bella."
"Me too, so sorry Embry."
We pulled apart and he sat on the edge of the cliff, motioning for me to sit next to him, "What do you think she wants?"
"I don't know. Maybe she changed her mind and wants to kill me after all."
"We will never let that happen."
"If it's not that, I mean what if…"
"If she's back because they are heading this way?"
"Yeah," he nodded. "What will you do if the Cullen's come back?"
"Do?" I asked him.
"About Paul, the baby, the pack."
"I don't understand?"
"Will you go back to Cullen?"
I laughed, "Never." I told him shaking my head. "I love Paul. I like the life I've been making here with him. I love the pack. I really didn't want to but I do. I've let go of the hate. I'm still hurt and angry by the Cullen's. What they did was wrong and I don't think I will ever understand or accept what they did or why. I do with the pack. Sam made a bad decision but both options he felt he had were bad and he tried to pick the lesser of two evils. How Jake handled that decision was his issue. He could have dealt with things better or he could have embraced his fate and taken responsibility for the pack and made the decision for himself. He didn't. He wanted to blame Sam for making the choice but Alpha or not, it wasn't only Sam's decision or choices that affected my life."
Embry nodded. "He's still having a hard time with the Paul imprint."
"He and Paul never got along. They're to different maybe."
"Paul isn't just a wolf who imprinted on me or the father of my baby. I love him, we love each other."
"Why is Jake so stuck in the past?"
"He doesn't want to be a wolf. Neither do I. We had dreams about leaving here."
"So did Paul and Jared. So did Sam and some of the imprints wanted to move away."
"Jake feels like being a wolf ruined the way things should have been. That everything supernatural ruined it all. That vampires and werewolves shouldn't exist and you and he would have gotten together and been happy. That was how things were supposed to be, but the Cullen's exist and we phased and you dated the leech and Paul imprinted on you."
"This is how things were supposed to be." I sighed, "I wanted to want Jake but the truth is that I never did. I only ever loved him as a friend or brother, not being a wolf wouldn't have changed that."
"Maybe." He sighed, "But it's what Jake believes."
"I thought he loved Holly."
"He does but he hates that the spirits chose for him."
"He needs to let go of the past and embrace who he is."
"You mean what he is."
"What he is, is a part of who he is."
"Maybe you should talk to him. He's the only one you haven't and he hurt to Bella. Breaking his promise to you hurt him and that you can forgive everyone but him hurts him more."
"He's never tried Embry. From day one, Sam tried, in his way, whether I wanted him to or not and I didn't. Jake avoids me."
"Only because you are always with Paul."
"I love Paul, he's the father of my child. Jake has to accept that. If he wants to be my friend, well an apology would be nice but I'd settle for him just acting like a friend, being around and accepting Paul in my life."
"They ruined everything."
"The Cullen's." He spat.
"They didn't bring Victoria here Embry. She and her coven were nomads. Maybe if the Cullen's hadn't been here, if James hadn't become obsessed with hunting me, if they hadn't protected me from him. There are a lot of maybes and what ifs Embry, but we can't know. Greg is gone and that is terrible but you can't live in the maybes of the past. It's the butterfly affect, change one thing and you might change it all, change that you ever met him. I wouldn't change my past if it meant maybe not having Paul or this baby today."
"How did you get wise?"
"I finally let go of the hurt, or at least most of it. I'm focused on the future I want, not the past or what I used to hope for. I'm not the same and I don't want the same things for my life that I once did. I made mistakes but regrets are futile, let the past go, learn from it and move on. Hold Greg in your heart but don't let the anger and pain consume you like I did."
"Why did you come to find me today?"
"To tell you that I'm sorry. I'm so sorry that Greg died; he died because of me, because Victoria wanted to hurt the Cullen's by killing me. She thought I was Edward's mate and that he should lose his mate because he took hers. James died because they were trying to protect me and I'm not sorry to be alive, to be with Paul but I am sorry he died. Whatever his sin, or hers, she didn't deserve to know that kind of pain but neither did you and I'm sorry, I'm so sorry that I was the cause of this. Edward should have just let me die, it was the natural path of things that the supernatural diverted."
"Let you die?"
"There was an accident in the parking lot of Forks High one morning, it's what really got me thinking about Edward and what he was. Tyler had hit a patch of ice and his van spun out of control, slamming into the tail of my truck. I was standing at the rear tire right where he hit, I didn't see him, I was looking at the chains Charlie had put on the tires, thinking how sweet it was my dad had done that, gotten up early and put them on to be sure I was safe. Edward saw that I would be hit and ran at vampire speed to knock me out of the way. The truck curled around but he made sure it didn't touch me. I'd have died but for his intervention."
"Does Jake know?"
I shrugged, "No one does but the Cullen's. It's something I've had to live with though. The cost his saving me has been. James, Laurent, Greg all of them dead and so many others suffering, Victoria, you, Laurent's…" I paused thinking, "Shit."
"What?" He asked.
"You were right. I think I know the blond. Well not know her, I've never met her but I might know who she is."
"A family that's like the Cullen's. They live in Alaska. Laurent went to them, to try the diet when James focused on me because he didn't want to go up against the Cullen's. He came back to look in on me as a favour to Victoria to see how hard it was to get to me. Then I came across him and he decided he wanted to have my blood for himself. He mentioned living with the Denali's and something about Irina understanding a slip. That he'd say the blood red of his eyes was from a slip but his eyes were red when I saw him so he'd already killed someone else. Oh god, she's here because Laurent disappeared in this area."
"Shit." Embry swore, shaking lightly, "Ok, back up. I'm going to phase, I have to tell Sam." He looked back at me, "Fuck."
"I can't leave you here alone with those two running around."
"I'm fine, you'd smell if they were right here and I'll go straight home, just go!"
Embry hesitated only a moment before jogging into the woods. I faced out to the water and dropped to my knees on the ground. A few minutes later, a voice broke the silence. "Not from upwind he can't."
I turned to Victoria and one hand went instinctively to my stomach. "Please, please let me birth my child first, you can kill me after."
"Kill you?" She laughed and moved to my side, sinking to the ground beside me, "I already forgave you Bella. Besides, you are still my greatest revenge." I frowned at her in question. She reached a hand out to lay over my stomach. "Do you know what it is yet?"
I shook my head, "No."
"I used to want one, you know, before this."
"It was a long time ago." She replied with a shrug. "You'll be a good mother."
I looked at her in surprise. "I will be?"
She sent me a small smile, "I told you Bella. I forgave you."
"You also said I was still your greatest revenge."
"Oh yes, its better than I could have planned. The two of you, the three of you really, well it's a joy to know that I helped set you on that path. I'm also glad you were able to move on from all of this. A human child shouldn't know the suffering you did."
"No one should know the suffering you did."
"I've done the same to many, taken away those they loved. Your friend was only one but you're right, killing me might give him some absolution."
I blushed, "I didn't mean, I'm sorry Victoria."
She shrugged again, "Don't be Bella, just try to understand, I know you will."
"It's not your fault Bella. None of it is your fault. It was all circumstance outside of your power but what was meant to be is. You are living the life you ought to. The world just put you on the path, adjusting things around the decisions you and others made, guiding you to Paul where you were meant to be. Just like circumstances arrived, good and bad, to guide me and James together. We were separated by decades, almost a century really but we found each other because we were meant to. You and Paul were meant to be together, to bring this life into the world and maybe others. That's why I think that maybe you'll understand. You've had a hint at the pain and you know the fear and loneliness. Just remember, it's not your fault, none of it is your fault. Its just life." She smiled at me running her hand through my hair from my temple and down. "Be happy. Live your life and hold tight to your family, bad things come but they make the good so much sweeter."
I felt tears pricking my eyes, "Victoria?"
"I took care of the blond for you. It was my apology. Your life was my gift once, now my gift is the life of your mate and child. Irina is dead and no one will come looking for her. I took care of everything. Soon my greatest revenge will be complete and I will be free. I'll have avenged my mate. You take care of yourself and that baby. Life is a gift and a curse, live it well and forgive yourself and me, none of it was your fault."
"Victoria?" I asked again, tears streaming down my cheeks. She rose and turned. I pushed myself up hearing the growling behind me. All the pack was there, focused on Victoria. "Run Vic, go, live!"
She turned back to me with a small smile, "At least one will avenge the love I stole." She then turned and charged Embry. I dropped to my knees, a hand on the bump of my stomach, tears streaming down my cheeks as the wolves tore her apart.
I stayed there as they shifted back. Paul pulled me into his arms as the others built a fire and burned her. I stayed, watching the purple smoke rise, holding Paul until the sickly sweet smelling flames died down.
"Belle? Bella, baby, tell me you're ok? Tell me you and the baby are ok?"
I nodded still watching the embers. "She killed Irina for us. She came to protect me one last time and to die." I cried into him.
Paul lifted me into his arms and carried me home. I grieved for Victoria. For the pain she had suffered. She was right, I could almost understand. The loss of the Cullen's had been crippling, then Jake and Quil, it was almost too much and I'd been ready to let Victoria have her vengeance. The loss of Paul would kill my very soul. She lived to avenge James. Now she wanted peace, to be with him again. I held onto Paul and cried for her pain, for her death. It was all so terrible and all because Edward had saved me that day in the parking lot. As I began to hate him for it, to hate that I had lived and in doing so stole so much from so many but then I remembered her words. I held Paul to me and cried myself to sleep but I didn't blame myself. Life was a gift and a curse; all we could do was live it. What I said to Embry was equally true, we had to let go of the past of all the what ifs or maybes. Life is what it is, its fate driving us through the chaos of life.
Three days after the death of Victoria the Cullen's came into town. Paul was a wreck as we met them at the boundary line.
"Bella!" Edward stepped forward. "Are you alright?" He demanded with his eyes focused on my slightly protruding belly.
"Great thanks." I smiled at him, placing my left hand over my stomach and reaching for the fur on Paul's neck with my right.
"Bella?" Alice stepped forward.
I turned to her, "Are you all back to stay?"
She shook her head, "We came to check on you. Edward was trying to track Victoria and then we got a call from the Denali's about Irina." She looked sad, "Victoria killed her."
"We came to be sure you were safe. To protect you." Carlisle spoke up.
"We wont let her hurt you." Edward tried to sound reassuring but it was like he was talking to a child about protecting her from the monster under the bed.
"You didn't seem to have trouble hurting me three years ago." I snapped at him and turned back to Carlisle.
"Irina is dead because she wanted revenge for Laurent. The wolves killed him when he tried to kill me. The diet didn't work out so well for him, I guess Irina got tired of it to because the wolves saw her with red eyes not to long ago. Victoria killed her for me and my child, so that we were safe, so that Paul and the pack had one less threat. She didn't want me to lose him the way she lost James."
"Bella, Victoria is dangerous, I don't know what game she's playing with you but we can protect you." Carlisle spoke calmly.
"Victoria is dead, she committed suicide by wolf. Irina is dead by her hand but if the wolves had gotten her first, she'd still be dead. She came onto the reservation, she killed someone, she wanted to kill us. Thanks for the concern but I don't need your help. I can take care of myself and Paul can protect me from any vampire threat to come along."
"Bella, that dog is dangerous. You need to come with us. I'll take care of you. I'll make it all better. Carlisle can deal with the puppy and we'll take you away." All the wolves were growling at him, "I love you, I'm sorry I hurt you but I only left to protect you. I shouldn't have. I see that now, danger just finds you. I love you, you are my mate and I'll take care of you."
I smiled at him but my stomach was filled with bile, "You come near me or my baby and I will light you on fire and then watch the wolves piss on your ashes."
He looked shocked and actually took a small step backwards. "Bella?"
The wolves all just kept growling at them.
Edward turned his focus on Sam's large black form, "He wants to know how long we're in the area." He told Carlisle.
"We only came to be sure Bella was safe. Alice couldn't see her." He turned his focus on me, "We'd like you to come with us Bella. We've all missed you."
"Go to hell." I answered in return. "You all just picked up and left me like yesterdays garbage. I don't want anything to do with you and if you think I will let you anywhere near my baby you're fucking insane."
He nodded, "I'm sorry Bella, very sorry for everything. We only wanted to protect you, to keep you safe, even from us."
"Well, I am safe. I'm safe from you, safe from all vampires."
He nodded again, "We'll go then."
"No!" Edward growled crouching and glaring at Paul.
I laughed, "He'd tear you apart in under two minutes Edward. Compared to him you are a pathetic, whining virgin brat. Save your own skin and leave." I heard a huffing bark that sounded like laughter from the wolves.
He looked like I'd hit him and both Rosalie and Emmett were laughing.
"You grew some balls girl." Rosalie smirked at me, "I think I'd like this you."
"Thanks." I smiled at her.
"I was out voted Bella. I never wanted to leave."
"Yeah," I smiled sadly at Emmett, "but you did. It was your choice whether Edward wanted it or not." I sighed, "I'm sorry Emmett but I'm a wolf girl now, Paul's girl and he doesn't play well with others." Emmett nodded and I heard a few of the choked barks of laughter from the wolves again. I turned my attention to the tall silent form of Jasper, "It wasn't your fault. I never blamed you for any of it, not for one minute." I told him, trying to push the feelings at him.
He nodded with a small smile, "Thank you Bella. I am very sorry for my lack of control. I meant what I said in Phoenix. Don't forget that."
I smiled at him and again pushed my emotions at him. He smiled and nodded before flooding me with gratitude, sorrow and affection.
I focused back on Carlisle, "Will you be leaving then?"
He nodded, "Yes. We do not wish to intrude on your life. We are very sorry and wish you the best."
I nodded at him with a small smile. "Thanks and I'm working on the forgiveness thing but I'm not ready to make nice or forget. Also if your son breaks the treaty by even one toe on this reservation Paul will take great pleasure in tearing him to pieces and the other wolves would no doubt shred those pieces before letting me burn them."
He nodded in understanding and they left. I sighed and leaned into Paul. It had been a long week.
It seemed as though the past was finally laid to rest though. The Cullen's did leave and the weeks and months passed quickly with both Emily and I growing large with the children we carried. Kim fell pregnant not to long behind me and we were taking bets on when Angela would but she wanted to be married first. Paul and I didn't discuss marriage. For now we were happy with the life, we were building together. We knew it was forever without the fanfare anyways.
Jenna broke up with the jock but was still not ready to date Seth; instead, she was going on dates without looking to be in a relationship. Seth was still working on just being her friend and not beating up the guys that she dated. He did admit he wasn't ready for the ultimate committed relationship yet either so he was enjoying their friendship. They did seem to be closer than ever though and I saw a happy future for them, together, when they were both ready for it.
Holly was working with Jake and had agreed to go on a couple dates but she refused anything serious with him, or anyone. He was trying to let go of the idea he used to have for the future and embrace the life he had and with his laid back happy personality I had hopes he would but Jake it was also the laid back element of his personality that kept him from wanting to take the pack. I suppose bloodlines or not Jake just wasn't meant to lead. Maybe that is why Sam phased first because he could make the hard decisions.
Embry and I didn't become friends and Quil and I, while friendly, didn't hang out or talk much outside pack events. I did get closer to Jared and Sam, much to Paul's happiness. Sam and I still fought, often, but it was just the bickering of siblings. He was a good man under the authoritative alpha shit.
August and Etienne came down to visit before I gave birth. Etienne brought his friend and Embry imprinted. The pack was surprised when he imprinted on a guy but they were happy for him.
Lisa came for a visit with her husband as well. She and Jason were working things out. It was a long road but after seeing them, I thought they'd make it.
Jake and I didn't work things out, not yet at least. We spoke at pack events and he stopped fighting with Paul, which made me happy. It was a start, a slow one but a start.
Emily gave birth to a girl, Megan Laura Uley and they made Leah the godmother. Things between the cousins were not the way they had once been but were much better. A few weeks later, I gave birth to a son, Alexander Jared Meraz. Jared, not only for being Paul's brother but for delivering our son when I went into labor late one night while visiting with Kim when Paul had patrol. Kim gave birth two months later to twins, Sophia Belle and Sarah Emily.
Life went on with all its ups and downs; it was as Victoria said, a gift and a curse. I was grateful to her for it and tried my best to live it well.