AN: One of two entries of mine for the Valentine's Day Contest on JBNP. While I didn't win this I did take 2nd and 3rd place for my graphic entries.
Disclaimer: All publicly recognizable characters, settings, etc. are the property of their respective owners. The original characters and plot are the property of the author. The author is in no way associated with the owners, creators, or producers of any media franchise. No copyright infringement is intended.
Word Count: 1000
It had been over five years since the day they met the Volturi on the battlefield – the day of the non-battle as the pack was fond of calling it. It had almost taken him the same amount of time to tell her how he felt. Imprinting had continued to ravage the pack. None of them dared to have a relationship with anyone – lest they imprint and hurt someone.
From the beginning he had been drawn to her. It had started out as an innocent crush as a child, blossomed into a full-fledged infatuation by the time he was a teenager, and now that he was in his twenties he realized he loved her more than anything in the world. He knew all her strengths and weaknesses, her virtues and faults, and lastly, her heart's desires and the fears which held her back.
Even knowing all these things – he loved her without end. She was the reason why he strove to be a better man. The reason why he refused to accept "no" as an answer when he wanted to go to school; he'd even encouraged her to go too. He wanted to have everything he'd been denied as a child – the same things she had which she'd never taken for granted.
He paced along the cliffs at First Beach, waiting for her. He knew her routine as well he knew his own. After patrol, she'd sit on the cliffs overlooking the ocean. There were times she'd seemed to focus on James Island and he wondered if she ever imagined what it was like to live hundreds of years ago. To be surrounded by their ancestors and the old ways – a time when the pack was known and revered.
When she finally arrived he nearly lost his nerve. He felt the atmosphere change; heard her sharp intake of breath and the gallop of her heart rate increasing. Smelled her unique scent, a mix wildflowers and rain – today though there was something a bit different which he couldn't quite put his finger on.
"Embry…" she questioned softly.
He listened to her soft footsteps as she ventured closer and once she was by his side, he turned to greet her, "Hey Leah."
She was skittish today and he refrained from reaching over to touch her. He could sense her nervousness; felt it as though it was his. It was extraordinarily odd, considering how their relationship had changed over the years. What had started as a no-strings attached relationship had developed into something more – at least it had for him. He hoped it had for her too.
"So… How are you?"
He chuckled at her attempt to make conversation; they'd dispensed with formalities long ago. It wasn't that they didn't talk – they just didn't waste their time with small talk. It was with her that he shared his deepest and darkest secrets, wishes, hopes, and fears and she did the same.
At the same time they blurted out, "I have something to tell you."
Ever the gentleman, he motioned for her to start. She continue to prevaricate, her mouth opening and closing – nothing but incomprehensible sounds coming forth. The scent of her nervousness rose further into the air; the bitter orange scent of it forced his hand. He wasn't sure whether his words would help her or not, but it was worth a try.
He turned to face her fully, his hands coming to rest on her face, cupping it gently. He gazed into her eyes and spoke his next words with truth and conviction, "I love you."
A tiny gasp left her lips. His lips covering hers prevented any further response. He loved her softness and responsiveness. The division of where they became two separate people was imperceptible. It furthered his belief that what they had together was meant to be. He couldn't imagine feeling this way with anyone else; having the feelings he felt for her for someone else.
Her small hand came to rest on his chest. Gently, she pushed on his chest. His cheeks flamed red as he realized she'd been trying to say something to him. He pulled away, his gaze sheepish as he mumbled, "Sorry."
"I'm pregnant," she blurted out.
"Same way it happens all the time," she huffed, crossing her arms over her chest.
"But…don't get me wrong…I'm happy, I really am…"
"I don't know…maybe it's because they are finally gone."
He thought about it and her idea made sense. It had been nearly two months since Jake had married Nessie. Two months since the Cullens along with Jake and Nessie had packed up and left the area. Since that time the pack had been adrift, aimless – the elders and Jake were unable to agree on who should or even if someone should take the reins.
Sam had stopped phasing over two years ago and had no desire to continue. Paul and Rachel had welcomed their first child a year ago and so he'd been working to stop phasing. Quil had no choice but to continue phasing until Claire was old enough to accept the imprint, but he had a responsibility to take his grandfather's role within the tribe. Obviously the wolf gods hadn't been thinking when they'd allowed the imprint on a hybrid.
His silence was unnerving and she didn't like it. She knew he was trying to figure out the puzzle in his head. It was what had drawn her to him in the first place – his quiet strength and thoughtfulness. Though at a time like this, she needed him to communicate with her before she gave into her instinct to run.
"I think it means something," she started, her voice barely above a whisper. "Maybe a way to fix the pack. I'm the only female and maybe I get a choice…"
"I choose you. I want however long I have on this Earth to be with you. I love you."
His hands came to rest on her belly. "Our baby."