By His Side


"Good afternoon, everyone, my name is Chief William Black, welcome to La Push Quileute Reservation. Our Tribe is so pleased
that you've chosen to visit us this week and we all hope you learn, rest, play and enjoy. Our program today will be simple and
what we hope will be a light start to your week. We'll all go on a very brief nature hike down to First Beach to see what we can
find in some of the tidal pools, try to spot some nesting sea eagles, those are the big ones, and then we'll have a late picnic
lunch and a bonfire. We'll have several Tribal Elders coming to the bonfire to share some of the Quileute legends with us,
including the story of James Island where our past Chiefs have gone to release their Spirits to the Great Beyond. My grandfather,
Chief Billy and Chief Jacob, both retired, will be joining us and will stay to answer questions after the legend-sharing time. So if
everyone's got their hiking boots laced up tight, let's head down to the beach. My brother, Dr. Jay Black is our resident marine
biologist and he'll be joining us there to help identify all the sea critters we discover."

That evening, the bonfire was blazing brightly, sending blue and green flames and showers of orange sparks into the moist sea
air. All the guests had been properly stuffed with gourmet food from Bella's Bakery and Bistro. Leah Clearwater White Eagle, the
proprietor of the restaurant, had personally delivered the food for the large group of tourists visiting the Reservation. Everyone
was now comfortably seated on staggered rows of log benches, upgraded with cushions and backrests, anxiously awaiting story
time. Billy, Jacob, Will and Jay, Embry, Paul and Seth were all clustered around the far side of the fire chatting before beginning
their telling of their Tribe's legends, old and new.

Billy always went first, telling of the origins of the Tribe and the rise of the Spirit Warriors. Paul, Embry and Seth took their turns
telling of Taha Aki, the third wife, the cold ones, the Great Flood. Finally, Jacob stood and waited until silence had once again
fallen on the group. Will had identified him only as 'Chief Jacob, retired' rather than trying to explain why his father looked several
years younger than him and his brother. Jacob's eyes sparkled in the firelight and his somber expression made his audience sense
that his story would be profound in its message. He began to speak in a smooth, deep voice, resonating with wonder and majesty.

"Many moons after the Spirit Warriors began their struggles to protect our people from the cold ones; a beautiful maiden came to
live close to the Reservation. At first, she associated closely with cold ones because she was confused about the danger they
represented. They tried on more than one occasion to hurt her, but eventually they left her alone. She came to our lands as a visitor
and began a friendship with our Warriors. She fell in love with the leader of the Warriors, the Alpha, and he fell in love with her.
They bound themselves to one another and began a life together. They started a family and built their home and their lives here.
They faced many hardships and dangers. The Warrior was able to stand tall and brave because the maiden who became his wife
and mate was always by his side. He defeated many evils that threatened their happiness and their way of life because she was
by his side. Her love gave him the strength he needed to overcome all obstacles the Tribe faced. She became a Spirit Warrior in
her own right and stood by his side to protect their people."

"An ancient legend told of a ritual that could be performed by the Warriors and all their families that would once and for all time
protect their Tribe and their lands from evils from the other side. With his mate by his side and the other Warriors and their families,
the Alpha Warrior performed this ritual. They encircled their lands together, women, children and warriors. Their faith and
determination were tested by the Great Spirit and faced many trials and dangers along the way. With the help of Taha Aki, who
joined them in his Spirit form, they completed the ritual successfully.

From that day to this, our lands have been a safe haven from all supernatural threats.

The Alpha Warrior and his mate lived and loved in peace and their family grew and prospered. The Alpha stood strong for many
years and loved his beautiful maiden. She loved her Warrior and vowed that she would forever stand, by his side.

A/N: Thank you again to all of my dedicated readers. Your reviews and words of encouragement have filled my heart with gladness.
Thank you again to the best Beta in the world, I love you Murfy. Please stay tuned and read my next story, Shadows of Love.