Chapter 32: Decisions
When I was calm again, I hopped up, making my way to the back fridge. I grabbed two water bottles, downed the first one, then tossed the empty bottle in the recycle bin. I walked over to the pack and elders, who all sat in a group on the soft grass. Old Quil began, “That was quite informative, and very entertaining. I am glad to have witnessed it. They are very protective of you, I see.”
I nodded, then he continued. “We have come to a decision about the other vampires being let onto the reservation. The treaty will be nullified, on a trial basis, if they will meet the following terms. Any training or mock fighting will be done in the treaty line clearing. They will be allowed into the homes of the elders, if they are accompanied on the reservation by some of the pack, as well as they vow that no harm will come to anyone on our land under penalty of death. We know there will be times when you are here that some of them will want to be with you. Once we deem that their word is holding true, we will lighten the guard on them. You will still have pack members with you at all times... no matter where you are, for your protection detail. Do you wish to negotiate anything?”
I thought for a minute before I answered, “I believe your terms are very reasonable, but I think there is also a field on neutral territory that is closer to the Cullen house. Would you agree to split the training times between the two fields, with you having access to any food or necessity you needed while there on the Cullen property... with your safety being assured, of course?”
They all looked at each other, then Jake. When they looked back at me, it was agreed, “If we can verbally get their assurance of our safety in their home and on their lands, then yes, we agree. It would make sense not to train in the same place every day.”
I looked to my mates with a smile. When I looked back, I said, “I will tell everyone of your proposal. When they agree, which I know they will, we can set up a neutral location for them to give their assurance to you in person. Agreed?” They all agreed.
“Sue, how is my dad? What is his part in all of this? The night I gave Billy the signs, which we'll talk more about later, I was in a vision state. I was centered inside myself, my inner goddess taking to me different places in spirit form. I saw my dad had taken my advice and ordered dinner for the two of you to have together. I was so happy he finally did. Then you started telling him of your legends, the wolves, and the vampires. I freaked. He wasn't supposed to know, so I didn't understand how you could be telling him. My only thought was that the Italian vampire royalty were going to find out and kill him. The biggest vampire rule is never let anyone find out about your existence. The one who finds out either has to be turned and guided, or drained. Then I heard you tell him that we would need his help... I assumed you meant our side of the fight. He took his sweet time coming to terms with what you said... I was on edge waiting... but I didn't get to know what he would be helping with. Does it have something to do with me seeing him on your back porch showing Seth’s wolf form pictures of missing people?”
She looked at me in awe. “You saw all that?”
I nodded with a slight blush. “It was like I was in the room with you, but I couldn't speak or let you know I was there. I honestly tried. I was walked through place after place during that meditation. That's how Billy talked to me, I know a spy from our side was found out in Victoria's camp and burned, they're working around Alice's future sight, Eleazar and this clan from Alaska are meant to be protectors of me in some way, and Quil was speaking to a set of wolves in a clearing with Jacob. He was telling them to watch for knowns and unknowns alike, and that my mark would be recognised immediately, as no clothing could cover it. Boy, am I glad I found out that tidbit. I didn't know I would get sick if my elements were covered by clothing. My inner goddess talked me through all that I saw after the visions were done.”
She looked shocked. “You get sick? Yet you hadn't found that out yet?”
I blushed. “Well, no. We were kind of sans clothing for a couple days after Char's element appeared and the scroll work showed up. I hadn't 'tested the issue' so to speak.”
I was blushing red by now, so everyone laughed. Sam’s snickered, “Wolves during mating season,” caused everyone to laugh even harder.
When it all died down, Sue continued, “Yes, Bella. It has everything to do with the missing people. We're having your dad keep track of who's missing, show them to a wolf and the elders, then the wolves are keeping an eye out for them. That way if they can catch any that are scouting, they can kill them, and know that they were with Victoria. It's a way to keep track. The pack has already gotten three scouts from her camp. The problem is, she just keeps making more. Your dad is doing well, and he has been happy to help. We told him of the Goddess coming, but he does not know it is you. As far as telling him of your mates, you need to make absolutely sure he knows the same thing you told the pack. You are not complete unless you are with them. If they die, so do you. You need their love and support throughout being the Goddess Elemental, otherwise you'll be lost.”
I let a breath out, then she continued. “You have to be certain he also knows that your red-eyed mates do not harm innocents. With his police background he'll understand the need to rid of the filth of the world. He knows the justice system is corrupt, has been hoping for a way to keep these people off the streets. This is the way your mates see to their thirst and keep innocents from being harmed. He will understand. He knows your golden-eyed mate doesn't feed from humans, so that will be fine. Just explain it to him, but it would be better if your mates were not in the room when you first start the conversation. When he gets the picture, tell him you would really like him to meet your mates. He'll only agree when he is ready.”
I was so relieved to finally find out how to deal with Charlie. I crawled over to her, hugging her tightly, “Thank you so much, Sue. You are really good for him. I hope you can make each other happy for a long time to come.”
I kissed her cheek, then crawled back to my mates. Old Quil spoke next. “The prophecy originated many many centuries ago, and has been lost to most of the tribes. Only very few have the knowledge now. The original scroll has been missing for some time. It is said that there would come a time in the supernatural world where the wolf descendants would feel a change coming. The four elements would reside in one being, and the Goddess Elemental would arise. She would come to one of the tribal leaders to give the four signs of her coming... displaying one sign from each of the elements.”
I laughed at that, remembering what happened. “I didn't even know how it happened. Billy looked so hopeful. He was begging for me to give him something to go by... any sign that I heard him and would come to help. I concentrated, tried to give him any kind of a sign, I didn't care what... just anything to let him know I heard and was on my way. That's when it happened. My goddess told me afterward that I must concentrate on something specific, or someone could end up hurt the next time.”
They laughed at my blunder, then Quil continued, “She would be the changing wind in the supernatural community, righting the wrongs between the races, defeating the corrupt and evil. She would lead three great battles with mates and the wolves at her side. We didn't know your mates would be vampire, or how many you would have. We always suspected three, but never knew for sure."
Quil looked thoughtful for a moment, then handed the reins over to Billy, who said, "It was said that if she could be one unit with the wolves, the battles would be victorious. If she wasn't complete and trained before the first battle, all would be lost. The land of the wolves and surrounding area would perish. We know you must turn if your powers will not be complete until after. There will be no repercussion from the pack for your turning. It has no effect on the treaty at all. The prophecy also states that if the three great battles are won, the Goddess will bear offspring, though her mates think they can't produce, and she can't conceive. It's the power of the goddess that allows these conceptions. Her offspring will each have a great destiny, but it'll take the wolves -along with her and her mates- to guide their paths in life. There's no number given to how many you will have. Just that when it's right, the goddess will be fertile, her mates able to produce. We don't know who the other battles will be with, but we are committed to the cause, and will be with you every step of the way. Do you have an idea of how long we will be working with you before your turning?”
I thought back to my meditation before I ate. “During my meditation today with the pack members, I got several image flashes. One was of October 7th . I saw the date on the calendar in the cabin. I felt complete for some reason. Something big was happening, but it felt right. I think that's the day of my turning. It falls on a new moon. I got flashes on repeat of Victoria's face and the newborn army. I think they are fighting amongst themselves, because the numbers in the flashes kept changing. Sometimes it would be 30, sometimes less by 5 or 6. We have until November 6th to be ready. I saw that date, too. It is also a new moon. I don't know what the new moon has to do with it, but I instinctively knew that they were both new moons... that it was important for some reason.”
Old Quil smiled. “Your powers will be at their strongest on full and new moons. It is the time when all of the elements have the most energy in them. The battle being on a new moon is in our favor greatly. I think your turning being on a new moon is so that your powers are at peak, thus more easily translated through the change. Does that seem right to you, Jasper?”
Jasper traced my spine for a second, “Yes, Sir. That seems like it would be right. The stronger the manifestation of a power before the person is turned, the stronger it's amplified after the turn is complete. Yes, Sir. That sounds exactly right.”
They smiled at each other, then Quil said, “It's a good thing we will have a month to work with you after your change, Bella. We will get a feel for them before, see what you are capable of, then afterward we can really get you to where you need to be. Now, it is getting close to dark. I am sure you would like to spend some time with your mates. Please call when you have the decision from the Cullens and Alaska vampires.”
I asked him if he would mind my having their phone numbers in my phone, so he smiled. “I think having all the elders and the top four pack members in your contacts would be a good thing. Sue can put them in for you.”
I handed my phone to Sue, who quickly added the numbers in for me. She handed my phone back, then we all got up to say goodnight. I told them I would call soon with the decision, then we parted ways. I went back inside to change back into my dress. Emily had woken up and was fixing dinner, so I kissed her cheek, telling her I would see her soon. My mates all said goodnight to her before we left.
Someone had brought the Tahoe here from the field, which I was grateful for. I didn't want to have to go all the way back over there, then go home. Jake, Quil, Embry, and Leah were all there waiting for us. Jake handed the keys to Peter, then Peter opened the back. They were all holding overnight bags. I guess they were serious when they said I would be protected by them at all times.
They tossed them in the back, then Char sat in front with Peter. I sat straddling Jasper, needing his scent. Jake sat in the second row with us, then the other three sat in the back row. They looked kind of cramped there, but it all worked out. “Char, Honey, take my phone from Jasper’s pocket and call Carlisle. Let him know everything went very well, and that if one person harms a wolf coming with us tonight I will kill them myself. We have too much shit to discuss for there to be fighting among us.”
She laughed, “Yes, Ma'am. Remind me not to get on your bad side.”
She dialed the number, repeating word for word what I said when Carlisle answered. The three in back were trying to stifle their laughter, but didn't do so well. Char got back off the phone, saying, “Carlisle said he's glad everything went well, and if anyone attempts to hurt any wolf no matter where it is, he'll help you kill whoever did it. He will warn all of the vampires on the property of the same thing.”
I sighed in relief, “Good... that's one less thing I have to worry about. Too much on my damn plate already to have to worry about breaking up fights between vampires and wolves... and don't think I wouldn't hand whoever fought their asses, because I'm so not in the mood for it right now. We still have to go to Port Angeles to get me chocolate... and food, and more caramels. There's just not enough time in the damn day for everything to get done. Two of us will have to go, two will have to stay, because all of our pack friends will be going...unless we write a list out to send some of the others. If we do it that way, we can have some down time after we explain everything.”
I took a deep breath in as Jasper started answering, “I think that's a good idea, Darlin'. We need to explain to the pack and elders still about the power spike episodes and the names you recognise from us during. A lot happened today, so you really didn't get the chance.”
I nodded, “If I explain to the ones here, all of the pack will know through the mind link. Then we just have to explain to the elders.”
I turned my head toward Jake as Jasper placed several kisses on my shoulder. I closed my eyes and hummed. When I opened my eyes, I looked at Jake again, “I have episodes where my emotions get out of control. My eyes change color with who I need to help me through.”
I continued to explain the eye colors and the differences, then I explained about the Major and why I need him. Jacob's eyes got big.
“Jake, he doesn't hurt me, he's never broken my skin, and I am fully aware of everything he does to me... for me... to bring me back. Yes, he ties me up, and yes, he spanks me when I need it. The thing is, I need him to have all the control in that situation. He always reminds me of my choices, plus he always knows what too far is, even if I don't tell him. I have special words to say if I need him to stop, but I've never had to use them. He's good to me. They all are. When I'm with the Major, I don't recognise anyone else. He is what I need, so he is the only one who can make it better... make the tornado stop inside me.”
Jake ran his fingers through his hair, which was getting long, then blew out a big breath. “I knew there would be things with the goddess that we wouldn't understand, but I can't say I thought this was one of them. I can't say I like it, but you have to do things I would never be capable of. As long as you know what's going on while it happens and you're consenting, I guess I can deal. It's not something I want to be present for though... that's for damn sure. I suppose that will be hard with all the wolves and vampires around 24/7. Someone's bound to see something.”
I laughed. “Jake, I can't afford to be shy. I have three mates for Christ sake. I knew when I accepted them as mates that I would have little privacy. Now that all this is going on, I know I'll have none. It's a given. Just know that if an episode happens, it needs to be treated as private time. Have the wolves on guard back off to a safe distance. Never physically touch me or my mates when I'm having one. It's dangerous. I almost hurt Char the last time. Major kissed her in front of me, which I've seen them do a lot, but something clicked in me, and I flipped. My eyes flashed green as I caused an earthquake. The thing was, it was instantaneous... I saw them, then before I could even register, the whole room was shaking. I didn't know how to stop it from happening. I still can't control it.”
He shook his head as he processed everything, “Wow... sounds pretty intense. We'll get those powers under control, Bells. Don't you worry.”
I nodded as I snuggled into Jasper again, breathing him in. “Do you mind me asking what that's about? The smelling thing?”
Jasper answered for me, “It seems to be similar to what vampires do. We are attracted to our mates by scent. When we need calmed or have had a rough day, the scent of our mate calms and soothes us. When she nuzzles into one of our chests or necks and breathes our scents in, I can feel the difference in her emotions. She does it with all three of us. Speaking of our scents, we'll need to make up the aromatherapy oils and things to keep a set on the rez.”
I cut in here. “Jazz, we need to find a better way than having a million bottles in the shower. I thought maybe if we found a dispenser to put the individual scents in, I could just get the ones I wanted, then mix them in my hands before I use them. All those different combinations in the bottles is taking up too much room in the shower. Maybe we can have whoever goes shopping look for a few. We need 3 for each shower...soaps, shampoos, and conditioners. One set for the cabin, one for the main house, and one for the rez. I don't know if we can do the same type of thing for the lotions or not.”
Jake just looked confused as hell. I laughed, “I have scents that I recognise with each mate. To me, Jasper tastes and smells like peaches and vanilla, Peter like apples and cinnamon, and Char like coconut and mango. My main scents are raspberry and chocolate. Before things got so hectic, they would give me massages nightly with the scents I needed to be closest to. The same goes for my shampoo, conditioner, lotion, and soap. I can layer myself in the scents of the mates I need to be closest to for that time. They help me stay sane in all this mess. I also have a plug-in room scent diffuser that we can put the oils in, so that the whole room will smell how I need it to. Does that make sense?”
Jake smiled, “Yeah, it does. It's kind of the same thing with our imprints, if we're away from them too long... when we finally see them and inhale their scent, all is right with the world. So yeah, I get it.”
We arrived at the house, where Jasper and I got out in front of the pack members. All of both clans were lined up along the porch on the ground with Carlisle and Eleazar in front. Jasper and I walked forward, so Carlisle and Eleazar met us in the middle. Carlisle spoke, “We would like to extend our welcome to the pack members, to assure their safety anywhere in our presence.”
I nodded before letting them through. “My name is Eleazar. My clan is from Alaska. We are peaceful, and mean you no harm. I assure you that no one, human or wolf, will come to harm by our hands. Our only goal is to help the Goddess and her followers in her quest. It is quite the honor to meet the shifter descendants of old legend.”
Carlisle spoke after Eleazar finished. “You are welcome on our land as well as in our home. We wish to work alongside you, not against you. None of my family will be a threat to you. Welcome.”
Jacob spoke for the pack. “Our elders and the entire pack have a proposal that Bella will go over with you, but it’s a good sign that you have -of your own choice- given assurance of peace between us. The four of us are to be Bella's round-the-clock guard for the next few days. After that, we'll have a good idea of her schedule, then regular 12 hour shifts will be done with teams. Each team will have two of us, and will have up to 3 other wolves. We still need wolves on the reservation, as well as on patrol, while her off-duty guard is sleeping or spending time with family.”
Carlisle nodded, looking a bit relieved, so I said, “Let's get introductions out of the way so that everyone can recognise who is who. We'll all be working closely for at least the next couple of months, so we might as well be on first name basis. When I call your name please step forward. Esme and Carmen. Carmen is Eleazar's mate, while Esme is Carlisle's. Tanya...Kate.”
They stepped forward, so I walked up to them. I whispered, “How are you both doing? I know this must be tough. I am sorry.”
They both shook their heads, then Tanya whispered as she cupped my cheek, “She was not thinking with a right mind. She was hell bent on destroying you... she admitted that in front of everyone. Please don't feel sorry. It had to happen. We accept that. We are committed to this cause.”
I kissed each of their cheeks, then walked back to where I was. “Tanya and Kate are sisters from the Alaska coven. They are mourning their lost sister right now, so please give them a little space if you can. Emmett and Rosalie. They are mates in the Cullen house. Watch Emmett. He'll try to get you to play Xbox 360 for days at a time. It's down-right dangerous. Alice and Edward. They are also a mated pair in the Cullen house. Alice has foresight, while Edward can read minds. It will be very helpful if you need to relay information to us in wolf form. Please step forward when I call your names, then we can get down to business.”
They nodded, so my mates and I walked to the vampire group. “All of the pack members here is a son, brother, daughter, or grandson of the elders you will be meeting. Jacob. Jake is the alpha, the leader of the wolf pack. He is also Billy Black's son. Jake your beta is Quil?”
He nodded. “Quil. He is Jake's second in command. He is Old Quil Ateara's grandson. Leah. Leah is sister to another wolf who is not here right now, Seth. She is daughter to Sue Clearwater, and maybe someday, my step-sister. We need to get them working on that, Leah.”
She laughed, and so did everyone else. “Last but not least is Embry. They found out not long ago that Embry is Sam Uley's half brother. Can you all go to the woods to change form? I'll call you by name again... that way they can recognise your wolf form.”
They all nodded, then Eleazar asked, “Why do they need to change in the woods? Can they not do it in front of us?”
I laughed, “Eleazar, you don't want them phasing in front of you unless it's an emergency. Their clothes shred when they phase. If they phase back to human in front of you, you'll see a lot more of them than you hoped for.”
I heard the sisters snicker at Eleazar's “Ohh.”
They all came out of the woods in their wolf form at the same time, which was honestly, an impressive sight. I heard gasps coming from everyone. I rushed to Jake, who got down on the ground flat, so I crawled up on his back. He was the size of a large horse in this form, but broader than one. I laid my chin on top of his head while scratching his ear. He leaned into it, his tongue lolling out of his mouth. Everyone laughed. “This here is Jake. He used to take me on wolf-back rides. It's awesome. Quil, come forward please.” I patted him on the head as he stood to my right.
“Leah.” She stood to Jake's left, so I ran my hand across her furry cheek. She winked at me.
“Embry.” Embry stood to Leah's left, so I hopped down from Jake's back. I walked over to Embry, who nuzzled my hand. I scratched his nose.
Edward spoke up. “Jacob would like to know if we would all stand a few feet apart. He would like for the wolves to all be able to get our scents memorized, so it is easier to tell an intruder scent.” They all nodded before spreading out.
“Jake, do you need Jasper, Peter, and Char to do that too?” He looked at me, then shook his massive head no.
Edward spoke, “He said all of the wolves have your mates' scents from passing through your shield, as well as the activities like the yoga and meditation.”
I nodded, then Jake and the rest of the wolves walked up to Carlisle and Eleazar. They all sniffed both of them, then moved down the line.
One by one, they all got the scent of the vampires in attendance. When they were done, Jake turned to me, playfully going down on his front paws, his furry butt high in the air with a wagging tail. “I know you want to play, Jake. I can't ride now, but we will soon, I promise. We have too much to take care of tonight. You guys go change back, then we'll all go inside. I need to eat, plus we still need to give them the proposal. Hurry, because I'm starving. I'm sure you guys are hungry, too.”
He yipped, wagged his tail, then they all dashed off to the woods.
“They are very large... and their teeth are so sharp,” Carmen whispered.
I laughed. “They're just big puppies once you get to know them and they trust you. I wouldn't want to be on their bad side though. Those teeth sink right through vampire skin. They were born to do just what we all intend to do to those newborns. It's the tribe's legacy and protection from red-eyes. A lot of the ones you haven't met yet are still just kids. I'm talking 13 and 14 years old. So many vampires this close to their territory forces the change in them. Now they are forced to stay frozen at that age until they can learn how to stop phasing completely, which takes a very long time, along with a lot of frustration. Only then will they start to age again. Leah and the other female wolves won't be able to get pregnant until they stop phasing, because they're bodies are frozen pretty much. It's similar to vampires in that respect. The change perfects your physical form, but you are frozen at the age you were during the change. It bothered her in the beginning, but at least she knows she will be able to have them at some point.”
The pack members came back, so we all went inside. There wasn't enough space for us all to fit on the furniture, so some of the vampires sat on their mates' laps or found spots on the floor with their mates. That made enough room for the wolves to find furniture to sit on. I took the same chair as earlier on Peter's lap, while Jasper and Char retrieved food from my cooler.
Once they were done getting it ready and handing it to me, they sat on either side of Peter's legs. I took several bites, then apologized for them waiting on me. They all said they would wait patiently for me to eat, so I finished my fruit and half of my apple milk before I spoke. I held off on my caviar and chocolate.
“The elders and wolves have come to a decision about training and mock fighting together. If you all agree -vow- that no harm will come to any reservation citizen, elder, or wolf, they have agreed to split the training between 2 fields. The one at the treaty line, as well as one near here on neutral territory. The vow is because when we are there, I will be at an elder's house at some point during the day to eat and rest. They know at least some of you will want to be near me at points. With it, they will allow you on rez land, in the company of wolves, to the elder's house I go to. Once they are sure of the safety of their people, the guard on you will lighten. I will have guards 24/7 no matter where I go for my protection. In the case of the neutral field near here, they need your utmost assurance that the elders and wolves will be given safe haven here, plus no harm will come to them from you. The elders and wolves will be needing food and rest, plus I have agreed to make sure they are well fed. Speaking of which... as soon as we're done, I'll take you guys out for food. I know you're hungry. We haven't had a chance to shop yet.”
They nodded, so I continued. “Do you all agree that no matter what we do or where we go, no elder, rez citizen or wolf will be harmed by you under penalty of death? If you do, we can actually get some work done preparing for this battle with Seattle.”
Carlisle spoke up. “Bella, we had a talk today while you four were gone. We don't know everything you've gone through lately to become who you are, but we know this is about more than just Seattle. It has to be. We are all with you for the long haul. No matter what you need us to do. I will guarantee personally along with Eleazar, that no human or wolf in our presence will be harmed by us no matter where we go or when. We will prove to the elders and wolves they can trust us.”
Jacob spoke up, “The elders will take the assurance from the leaders as long as the other members are there to agree in person. They will want to hear them all agree for themselves. I see no reason you can't call to set up the meeting. Sam would be the easiest to get a hold of. I think he's expecting the call anyway.”
I pulled my phone out of Jasper's pocket, dialing Sam's number. He answered on the second ring. “Hey Sam, It's Bella. Jacob and the wolves are here with me. They heard both covens agree to the terms. They will give their assurance in person. Where and when would be convenient?”
Sam responded, “I think we should go for sun-up tomorrow. That gives everyone time to spend with loved ones tonight. Sue asked me to see when you would like to talk to Charlie.”
I thought for a second. The sooner the better, I guess. “How about she says she wants to have dinner with him tomorrow night... for him to pick her up, but she has to stop by your house on the way to dinner. She wants to check on Emily or something. Charlie will want to be polite and talk to you. I can come in after he gets there. Just say something about him seeing the goddess. My mates will hear it, then I'll come in to talk to him while they're out back waiting for the all clear. Sound like a plan?”
He laughed. “You're sneaky, Sister... you know that, right?”
I chuckled. “How do you think I kept more than one vampire boyfriend out of his knowledge? It's not as easy as it looks with a cop father. A little bit of sneak is useful. I'll let everyone know the plans. Thanks Sam. Night.”
He laughed,“Good night, Bella.”
I flipped my phone shut before handing it back to Jasper. He smiled as he slipped it back into his pocket. “What? I don't have any pockets in this dress.”
He laughed. “I'll tell you later,” He whispered as he nuzzled my neck.
“I really don't want to be away from you three, but we need to get the pack and I food. If we all go, there won't be enough room for all of us plus the mountain of food we'll be bringing back. We have to feed me at three places, plus the pack and elders here. We'll be lucky if we fit it all in one vehicle.”
He smiled down at me. “So, we'll take more than one vehicle. Char and Peter can go in the vehicle behind us. That way we can all go, plus we'll have enough cargo room. We can stop at Mcdonald's on the way to get some food to hold the pack over until we can cook them a feast when we get back. All fixed... everyone gets what they need.”
I wrapped myself around him before kissing him, “Have I told you how much I love you lately?”
He laughed happily, “All the time, Darlin'. All the time.”
I swatted his ass playfully, then looked at the room in front of us. “Who has the biggest amount of room in their vehicle and would allow Peter to borrow it?”
Carlisle took a set of keys from his pocket, then tossed them to Peter. “It's to the SUV we drove here. It should give you plenty of room for groceries. Keep it as long as you need.”
I thanked them, then we headed right out.