Disclaimer: I'm the proud owner of a Girl Scout Outdoor Essentials Patch (I survived the campout!) I'm NOT, however, the owner of the Twilight characters. I'm just…indulging on the story some.
AN: You guys…you'll just have to kind of bear with me. I've got a TON of stuff to do this month and I honestly have nothing but excuses as to why I haven't brought this to you before now. The biggest one being…this chapter when a WHOLE other direction I wanted it to and it ended up being fuck-long so I had to go back and change a few things so now there is all this drama and *sigh* just go with it.
Sorry I didn't review reply, but as soon as I finished and reread this bad boy, I posted. I'll try to do better next time!
I chuckled to myself as I packed my bag yet again. When I introduced Tanya to her mate, Bradley, I knew I would need to give them space, so I decided to head south, way south, down to visit Nahuel's family. Bella had told me a bit about the other Halfling and I was interested in getting to know him. When Alice saw my fate disappear, only to intertwine with his aunt, Huilen's, she demanded we take a family trip to visit. For some odd reason, she insisted Jake and some of his pack mates go. I didn't understand why, but I'm quite sure Alice knew what she was doing. Now that she had gotten closer with some of the wolves, Jake and Seth in particular, she was seeing visions of their futures.
"Are you ready, Charlie?" Alice asked me from where she stood in the doorway.
I hoisted my rucksack on my shoulder. I didn't need all those fine suitcases. She frowned at me. "I bought you a nice, new bag, Charlie."
I smirked and grabbed her, getting a hug from my 'daughter'. "And nice, new clothes to go in it, I'm sure." She shot me a look and I shot her one right back. "I told you I didn't want it, Alice. I'm adjusting to so much, don't make me adjust to designer clothes and bags yet. This old rucksack Jake got me at the Army Surplus store works great."
She hugged me in return, but then stomped off in a huff muttering about the "Swans and their sense of fashion". It was always fun pissing her off.
I felt my jovial mood grow and I grinned at Jasper, who was coming down the hall balancing five different matching bags. "Alice's 'gear' I assume?" I asked as I took a few of the bags from him. He didn't need the help, he was certainly strong enough to wield everyone's bags in his arms, but I could feel his appreciation. It was these little things that kept us all 'human' as Carlisle had told me.
"Yeah, for some reason, she feels the need to take some white organza and silk and all of her sewing stuff." He shrugged. "I've learned over the decades to just go with it."
I smiled. He and Alice seemed so young, yet, when they talked like this, it was so easy to see how deeply they were connected, as well as how many years they had been together. Their love was one to be jealous of. If anything, I envied theirs above everyone else's. They had this…connection. Like, even though Edward had the ability, they actually understood what the other was thinking.
Of the other couples, Bella and Edward had what I suppose could be called the most fairytale ending despite the horrors they had been through. It was hard to look at them objectively though, since Bella was my child. Carlisle and Esme, however, had this grace and poise to their love that reminded you of black and white movies. It was epic in its own right while being a tad too…distinguished for my taste. When I found a woman, if I found one, I wouldn't want it to be all sweet love. On the other hand…
"Fuck! Rosie! Baby!"
"Damn it, Emmett, finish me or I'll finish you!"
Emmett and Rosalie were the most…public with their declarations. Their, ahem, lovemaking, could be heard throughout the house. Of course, Rose and Em were also the loudest with their arguments. It amazed me how the two of them could be all over each other one minute and then down each other's throats, only to be, well, down each other's throats once again. I had always thought Emmett was easy going, but it was interesting to see him show a bit of backbone and not let Rosalie run all over him. I think it kept her grounded.
I looked back at the soldier before me. Jasper and I had a lot in common. We were both somewhat stoic compared to Emmett, relaxed compared to Edward, and…for lack of a better word, young compared to Carlisle. But Jasper and I were both strategists and had talked long into the night about what happened the next time the Volturi showed up on our doorstep. Because everyone felt sure they would come back and pick another fight.
"We need to leave if we don't want to be late!" Alice called, knowing everyone would hear her, no matter where they were on the property.
I followed Jasper downstairs and helped him rearrange the luggage so Alice's was on top, per her specifications. I didn't ask why. Again, no one went against Alice's wishes. I think that might be why Bella and I always did, at least on our clothing. Little Ally-Pally needed humbling every once in a while.
Edward chuckled as he came up behind me. "Don't let her know you feel that way."
I grinned. I had been working on relaxing my mind some so Edward was privy to most of my thoughts. It would be easier if something urgent came up or, if my "power" manifested itself any stronger than before. I'd only had those two instances, but everyone, Carlisle especially, was fascinated to find out how or why it worked. I was just glad I could save the people I had already. Angela was a sweet girl, and from what Edward said, a truly good one. And Bradley, well, Tanya was going to have an interesting time of it. He was a nice guy and as outdoorsy as he was, he would fit in well with Garrett. As for him being human…well, that was up to them to decide how and when to change him. I had no allusions she would be as honor-bound as Edward and his previous adamant refusal to change Bella. Tanya was selfish enough to want her human with her for eternity.
The wolves; Jake, Seth, and Embry were coming with us. Jake left Quil and Leah to guard the house and, well, they didn't want to come along. Quil didn't want to leave behind his imprint, Clair, and Leah…well; I wasn't necessarily Leah's favorite person anyway.
Embry wasn't used to riding in the back of the rental Suburban surrounded by our "sickly sweet scent" and got car sick…which was why Alice packed airplane sick bags. They were right on top where he could reach them in her bag. Yep…never, ever bet against Alice.
After he got over his sickness, we made it to SeaTac without incident (and with the windows rolled down. Luckily, Rosalie was riding in the other rental. We would never have heard the end of it if her hair got messed up.) Our flights to South America were uneventful and we arrived in Buenos Aires, Argentina without incident. I had been out of the country before, but only a handful of times, and never to South America, so I was quite eager to explore. It was summer now and wonderfully hot and dry as we stepped from the plane. We had arrived under the cover of nightfall and I was grateful to Alice and her wonderful planning. When I told her as much, she merely tapped her head. "I've got it all covered." Oddly enough, we would soon realize she was wrong.
We met up with Huilen and Nahuel just outside of the city at a large home Carlisle had rented in the countryside. We were surprised to find that Nahuel's youngest sister, Jennifer, had arrived as well. She immediately got along with the "girls" and offered quite a bit of insight into what Nessie could expect over the next few years. After all, she herself had recently stopped aging. We all looked at Nessie in wonder as Jennifer talked about the physiological changes that would occur and Carlisle was yet again utterly fascinated by how her window of true humanity worked.
Though we were armed with Jennifer's knowledge, we were still somewhat unprepared for when the unthinkable and more than a little confusing happened…
Ness now was about the size of an eleven year old. Her "first birthday" was coming up in a few days and Alice had all sorts of birthday plans in swing despite Bella's adamancy that something bad always happened at Alice's parties. I wasn't sure what exactly they were talking about, but I could tell it hurt Alice's feelings. So naturally, I encouraged her, much to Bella's chagrin.
The party took place at twilight and it was lovely. Alice, as usual, had outdone herself. It was tame by comparison to some of Alice's other parties, I'm told, but the human food was extravagant, and Renesmee's birthday cake was indescribable. The three wolves stuffed their faces, so I assumed it was quite tasty and truthfully, I almost missed the taste of human food. I was always a sucker for a piece (or three) of cake.
I was discussing the Mariner's shots of winning anything this season with Emmett when Alice stiffened. Edward's head popped up from where he had been whispering (and flirting) with Bella and all of a sudden I let out a groan. Something…wasn't right.
Edward! What did she see? I demanded.
Edward's brow furrowed and he shook his head. Not a moment later, Nahuel's cell phone rang. It was Nahuel's oldest sister, Serena. She was on her way to him and with her, another new sister, Reya. Nahuel was outraged that his father was creating more offspring, but Serena began sobbing and saying they had run for their lives. The Volturi had caught up with Joham and killed him for "creating abominations" like the Halflings. She and Reya had been out hunting at the time and managed to escape the Volturi's wrath. He instructed her to come here, with us, but I shook my head. Something didn't seem safe. This wasn't a good idea. But without proof of why it wasn't, and no tangible evidence to the contrary, they were told to come here. We spent hours strategizing in case it was some kind of odd trap and we were ready when Serena arrived. At least, we thought we were.
Serena was a lovely woman who was slightly jaded to Joham's point of view. But without a mate of her own, she hadn't fully realized that implanting your seed into someone and basically leaving them for dead was wrong. It was all she had ever known. She loved their father and was saddened by his loss, much more so than Nahuel and Huilen were, that much was obvious.
Reya was a sweet young girl. She was only four years old but already looked to be a teenager. She explained in her first year she aged about eleven years, just like Renesmee, but after that, she aged only about two years per year. It seemed as though the female Halflings aged slightly differently than the males. I found myself watching her, waiting. I could almost feel a…presence around her, a dark cloud of gloom descending on our family, though, she was nothing but radiance. She smiled, she joked, she teased the wolves mercilessly like a teenager would do and she became Nessie's best friend, something we hadn't realized she had been lacking for some time. It almost hurt Jake's feelings, I could tell, but at the same time, he seemed to realize, she needed to be around another girl. And so, we settled into that month of vacation with only the slightest hint of unease and I blew out a breath as I realized my gut or intuition or whatever must have been wrong.
You would think our surprises were behind us, right? Well, then, you would be WRONG. See…no one realized it, because he kept it quite to himself, a feat no one really believed he had in him, but Seth imprinted on that girl. And, at night, they snuck off together. And they let their teenage hormones dictate their existence. And in those lust filled nights, we all learned something new. Female. Halflings. Are. Fertile. Imagine our surprise when two weeks later, what should happen? Yep. You guessed it. Pregnant. As in, knocked up. As in, none of us knew a damn thing about what would become of a half-wolf/quarter-vampire kid. Seth was mortified, Reya performed a splendid role reprisal of "Bella, the doomed pregnant girl" in her demand to keep the baby, and the rest of us, well, we just stood by in shock. It explained why I kept having the feeling the girl was in danger. Who knew she was in danger from one of the sweetest boys in existence? Who knew something so sweet and innocent could bring about such horror and worry? We all had experienced an unplanned pregnancy. Hell, Renee and I were poster children for the damn thing, but this was on a whole new level.
As plans were made for us to move to Isle Esme for everyone's safety, I grabbed a beer from the fridge and found Seth out on the porch. His eyes were downcast and you could almost smell the sorrow emanating from the guy. I popped the top on the brew and he looked up at the sound, his eyebrows knitting as he realized it was me holding the can. "Uh, Charlie, you, uh, you're a vampire, you know that, right? If you drink that, you'll only have to puke it up later."
That I knew. Emmett had dared me to drink a beer once, shortly after my change. I did it, not because of the dare, but because I wanted to know what the sensation was. It was one of the worst things I'd ever done, but I digress.
I shook my head and handed it to him. "Today you found out you're going to be a father. You're a man today whether the law dictates it or not. We're in a foreign country, son, I figured you probably needed a beer. Hell, even if we were in Forks, I'd get you something stronger, but this is all they had."
He looked at me like I was giving him the nectar of the gods and drank it down in one. I chuckled and sat next to him.
"Mom's going to kill me."
I snorted. "Yep, she probably will."
"Leah will be all like, 'see what happens when you love leeches! You knock one up!' and I'll be all like, 'yeah, well, she's only half leech and we didn't realize she could get knocked up!'" It was then he started to sob. So, I did the only thing I could do. I wrapped my arm around him and let him cry it out. His world was changed forever. I'd been there, done that. He deserved a few minutes to mourn for what would never be again.
When he was finished, he whispered, "I love her, you know? I love Reya. I didn't know the imprint thing could happen this fast. I mean, I did, sort of. After all, it's one thing to live another brother's imprint, but to actually imprint yourself…it's like…epic, or something."
I chuckled a bit, but stayed quiet. I had the feeling he was talking out his feelings more than just talking to me at that point. He just had to get his thoughts out of his head and into the ether. I could understand that.
"I'm terrified, Charlie. I saw what Bella went through. You can't fully appreciate how lucky she is to even be alive."
I shivered at that. Bella had tried to glaze over her pregnancy, but I knew it had been horrible. From the stories Jasper and Jake had told me, it was like something out of a horror film.
I wrapped my arm even tighter around him. "Seth, look, Reya isn't Bella. She's already stronger. She's half vampire. And too, you've got Carlisle on your team. He, Rosalie, and Edward all have medical training. Not to mention they've been through this before, too. Reya and your baby will be completely safe."
"You swear it, Charlie?"
I couldn't make false promises, so instead, I replied, "They will do everything in their power, human or vampire, to ensure the safety of your loved ones."
He nodded. "Okay, well, if I'm going home to face my funeral, I want to make a decent woman out of Reya. I don't need Ma having a shit fit because I didn't man up and marry the mother of my child."
I couldn't hold in this snort the either. I wasn't making fun of the boy, but some of the things he said and did just cracked me the hell up. And yes, Sue would be royally pissed, both at the fact her son and this girl were going to have a baby, and that he married her without Sue being there. I felt a pang of heartache and asked, "Do you want her to come? I mean, I can leave…"
He shook his head. "No, Charlie, I need a dad here. And, well, you're kinda all I have left."
My now-dead heart swelled. I understood immediately and gave him one last fatherly hug. "You made a mistake, Seth, but it's all going to turn out alright." I hope.
The next day we flew to the coast and traveled by yacht to Isle Esme. It was one of the biggest fucking boats I had ever seen. I looked at Alice and just shook my head.
"What?" she asked. "I wanted us all to be comfortable."
I chuckled. "You don't do anything half-ass, do you, Ally-Pally?"
"No way, Jose, not in a million years. We're Cullens. We travel in style."
When we arrived at the house, Carlisle, Edward, and Rosalie immediately began setting up the makeshift hospital with the equipment they had shipped in while Alice continued with the wedding plans. We had a small ceremony on the beach at twilight two days later and it was truly beautiful. "This is what I want, Grandpa," Renesmee said to me later that evening as the married couple slow danced on the sand.
My eyebrow shot up. "What's that, sweetie?"
"A wedding on the beach. On First Beach."
I smirked and picked her up. "Oh you do, do you? And who, may I ask, is going to be your groom?"
"Jakey, Grandpa. It's written in the stars." She had that far away tone to her voice, the one that said she was clearly dreaming. I certainly didn't want to pick up her hand to see her thoughts, though, it was an intriguing idea. "He loves me so much that he's stopped aging so he can stay with me forever." She laid her head on my shoulder. "Just like you did, Grandpa. You love me enough to stay with me forever."
I couldn't argue with the kid, but I had to admit, if Nahuel even once thought he stood a chance with Ren, he was in for a rude awakening. Whether Edward liked it or not, she was Jake's and Jake was hers.
After the wedding, things progressed rapidly. The fetus developed much like Ren did, but oddly enough, at a slightly slower pace. Carlisle was baffled. We were in some seriously uncharted territory. We found that as long as Reya kept up a balanced meal of human food and blood, we were able to keep both mom and baby healthy. Seth debated on whether or not to call Sue and we all agreed he shouldn't. This just was not something you should tell someone over the phone and since he refused to leave Reya's side, he sent his mother postcards every once in a while with the standard "hey, how are you? Wish you were here," platitudes.
One month passed. We men built additional small houses on the island. Then two months passed. Esme decided we needed animals on the island so we didn't have to go to the mainland for food. Me and the boys "Noah's Ark"ed it and brought over two-to-four of every kind of animal we liked to eat in addition to chickens for eggs and a cow and pig she slaughtered for meat for the Halflings and wolves. The pig slaughter was interesting. Not the slaughter in and of itself, but the three supposed grown "men" that dared one another to drink the blood. Jasper, Edward and Emmett apparently were big gamblers and in the end, Emmett won. No one was surprised except for the other two men. He was the only one that could stomach the blood. He believes it is because he ate so much bacon as a human on the farm he grew up on.
Esme seemed to think we could make a utopia of some sort for vampires and I believed she was right. Here, no one could see our sparkling skin and now, with the animals here to reproduce, it would certainly be a hot-spot. Emmett jokingly said she should start renting the place out, earning him a swat to the back of his head by his wife. He actually thought he could make the island into a travel destination for vampires and have the whole "Hotel Transylvania" experience. Ren thought it was a great idea. No one else agreed with them.
Finally, two weeks into the third month, everyone, whether they had blood in their veins or venom, chilled as a cry pierced the air. Reya was in labor.
Our medical team immediately went to work, clearing the main house where Reya was staying. Seth was terrified and only I could calm him down. The doctors recommended he not be in the room, he refused, and the door shut, leaving Carlisle, Edward, me and Rosalie with the little family-to-be.
I'm told it didn't happen as quickly as Renesmee's delivery. But let me tell you, it happened a whole hell of a lot faster than Bella's. Renee suffered for hours upon hours. They said this child acted more normally for a fetus than Renesmee did, but since they didn't know what they were dealing with, the baby would be removed in a rather grotesque version of a cesarean section.
Ten minutes passed full of discussions and last minute plans and alternate plans in case something went wrong. Fifteen minutes continued on as they realized they couldn't simply cut through Reya's skin with a blade like they had Bella's, then finally, in a disgusting display of actually biting into Reya's flesh, where I had to not only turn Seth, but hold him down and Jasper, from the other side of the door had to calm him, a baby boy was born happy and healthy and screaming his way into the world.
We all breathed a sigh of relief, even though it was short lived. With nothing to go on, Carlisle wasn't sure if Reya's blood pressure was bottoming out or if it was trying to stabilize itself. Rosalie made a cooing noise as she dealt with the baby and smiled at Seth as she handed his son over to him. We were both in awe at the little fella but my eyes quickly traveled back to the medical team who were diligently working to save Reya's life.
"My son," she whispered, and Seth dashed to her side so she could see the sweet, innocent lad. "He's beautiful," she told Seth. "Just like his father."
"Like his mother," Seth said as tears streamed down his face. "You get better, okay, Reya? You have to! I need you!"
"I…will…" she managed before her eyes rolled back in her head and Seth was shoved out of the way once more. I gripped his shoulders and pulled him back by the door as Carlisle and Edward continued to work.
Reya made it through the delivery but was physically exhausted and very low on her Halfling blood/venom mixture. She was given a transfusion from Nahuel and Serena and Carlisle hoped she didn't have any ill affects. He had researched and studied their chemical makeup more in the past few months than he ever dreamed he could with Renesmee, and he had piles upon piles of notebooks written in his own personal shorthand.
After things calmed down and they had her stabilized, Carlisle came over to Seth. "She will make it, Seth. I'm confident in that."
Seth's knees buckled and I took the baby from him as he heard of his wife's health.
"She's much healthier than Bella was to begin with and she's much stronger than Bella recovering from the birth. But the recovery will take time. Her body can't regenerate a new uterus, just like it can't regenerate new limbs. I'm sorry, Seth. But there was so much bleeding and the damage was done. I couldn't save it."
Seth's eyebrows furrowed as no doubt, he was trying to figure out the female anatomy from his most recent high school sex ed class. "She can't have any more kids?" he squeaked finally.
Carlisle shook his head. "I can't put in stitches and even though I tried to seal the wounds with my venom, it wouldn't hold."
"But she's alive. She will live, right, Doc? I mean…"
Carlisle placed his hand on Seth's shoulder. "She is fine. We don't regenerate, as I said. If you pulled one of our arms off, it could be reattached. It would be painful, don't get me wrong. It's torturous. But it can be reattached. However, if you threw that limb into the fire, we couldn't just make a new one. We would be short an arm. Likewise, she has been basically ripped open. She will recover, it will just take time."
Seth stood then from where he had dropped to his knees and grabbed Carlisle in one of the biggest bear hugs I had ever seen. If Carlisle had been human, I'm sure he would have either passed out from lack of air, or he would have been broken in two with the force of Seth's appreciation.
Carlisle didn't seem used to this type of reaction from the wolves and patted Seth awkwardly on the back. "Go, see your wife. She's sleeping now. Her body has to recuperate. Give her a few hours, okay?"
Tears were still streaming down Seth's face as he went to her sleeping form and kissed her tenderly. "Thank you, Reya, for the best gift a guy could ask for. I love you. Rest well, so you can be the one to change the diapers. I have no idea what I'm doing here and I need you, alright?"
I chuckled and looked down at the little boy in my arms. He was going to be fine and so was his mom and dad. They were young, but they had a lifetime and a huge network to help them get it right.
Seth came back over to me and I handed him the blue bundle. He looked, well, like a lost little puppy dog as he held his son in his arms. We walked out together and everyone crowded around to look at the little tike. He really was quite adorable. His skin was a deep brown, a combination of Seth's russet coloring and Reya's tanned features. His hair was as black as an oil slick and his eyes were almost as dark. He had red lips that were turning up into a smile identical to Seth's as Seth softly murmured to him.
"What are you going to call him?" Renesmee asked in wonder as she fingered his chubby cheeks.
Edward smiled, clearly reading something in Carlisle's head as they stepped from the room. Rosalie must be taking first watch with Reya. "That sounds nice, Carlisle."
Seth blinked and looked at him. "What?"
"'Faelan'," Carlisle said with reverence." It means 'little wolf' in Gaelic. It seems appropriate."
Seth looked at the baby in his arms and it transported me back to the day I first held Bella. I hadn't known what I was doing either. "Hello, Faelan, welcome to the world."
I know I wasn't the only one that heard it; the soft, melodic voice that reminded me so much of her mother, as Renesmee told Jacob, "When I'm old enough, I want one of those and you are going to give it to me!"
I could hardly contain the chuckle as Edward's face turned dark and he snarled, "Over my dead, cold, burnt, fucking ashes."
Yeah. We'd see about that.
AN2: Helloooooo again. So, uh…yeah, this one gave me SOOOO much trouble! I knew I had something in mind for Seth and it just kind of snowballed from there. So, no, this chapter is told from Charlie's POV, but it isn't really about Charlie. Sorry for that! I couldn't let this nugget pass me by! Hope you liked it!
I'm not sure about updates until May. I've got something EVERY WEEKEND THIS MONTH! Yikes! Keep our fingers crossed and maybe I'll have time during the week to work on chapters. Until then, though, don't give up on me! I'm here, just too busy to write!