Chapter 30: Meeting the Wolves
I whimpered, “I don't know what can be done right now. I need to do another yoga session, eat, then we meet the wolves at the treaty line. Only the four of us can go to the treaty line. They rest of you might want to hunt. Go in no less than groups of three… one feeds while the other two keep watch. I know my scent is strong for all of you right now, and I'm only thinking of your comfort and safety. I know none of you are hungry yet, but please hunt. Someone please find Tanya and Kate, fill them in, then hunt with them. Please bring them back safely. All of you stay safe. We will meet back here after you have all hunted well and I have had the time I need to see the wolves. If we are not back by dark, one of us will call you to give an update at that time. We will all carry our cells on us. I ask that you do the same. Carlisle, please program all of the numbers I don't have into my phone. Eleazar's family, too.”
Jasper pulled my phone from his back pocket before holding it out, not moving me from my position in his arms. I breathed deeply as Carlisle took my phone, causing Jasper's scent to envelope me. I kissed his neck, then his lips, before sitting up completely. “I'm okay now. Just a little scared for a minute. Char, let's whip me into shape. Let me change out of the dress, because I want to wear it to meet the wolves. Do you need to go back to the cabin for a change of clothes for me?”
Rosalie spoke up then, “I have a few backless tops I never wear. I left them in my closet upstairs. You're more than welcome to them, if you'd like. There's also several pair of low rise jeans and lounge pants that should fit well. I'll show them to you, if you want.”
I smiled at her gratefully as I stood. I held my hand out to Rose, who took it with a smile. “Let's go see those clothes, shall we?” I said smiling.
When we reached her mostly bare closet, there were maybe ten or twelve outfits left. I picked a soft purple tank with a single tie in the back, as well as a V'd bottom to the front. Then I picked the soft black stretchy capris with the gathering on the sides.
It fit well and was really comfortable. “Thanks Rosalie. I really appreciate it. They're so comfortable. I won't have to worry about flashing anyone since I can't wear bras anymore.”
I said the last bit in a whisper, causing both of us to laugh. “I'll take the other things, too, if you don't mind. I'd like to leave them here at the house somewhere in case I need something to change into again for any reason.”
She smiled, “Call me Rose, everyone does... and I'll keep them in here for you. Just let me know when you need them.”
We walked back down to the living room after I was finished. The first group had left to hunt, which comprised of Emmett, Carmen and Eleazar. Carlisle explained that Jasper had suggested that one group go with Emmett for his strength, another with Edward for his mind reading, then a group go with Alice for her sight. Alice, Carlisle, and Rose would go next. Then Edward and Esme would find Kate and Tanya, fill them in, then they would hunt.
Char got the room ready. I felt like listening to music as I practiced. I loaded a bunch of songs from Flyleaf, Fiona Apple, Meredith Brooks, and Kelly Clarkson, then took my starting position as the song started. Most everyone had cleared the room to give me space, but as I went though the positions singing fluidly, they gathered slowly at the entrance of the room. My voice wasn't stunted by my motions in the least... in fact, it sounded even better than it usually does.
We went through the routine several times. By the end, I felt amazing. I had tons of energy and felt really good. I stayed in my goddess resting position for a few minutes, then my stomach growled loudly. I giggled while hopping up, heading for the cooler. I grabbed 3 juices, a bowl of cooked salmon that I handed to Jasper, plus some chocolate covered raspberries.
I downed almost 2 full juices while Jasper heated my salmon. He came back with it on a plate with a fork next to it. I ate it completely, then moved to my chocolate covered raspberries. I ate all of them, finished my juice, then wanted a banana. I found it, then finished it off quickly. I put my trash on the plate as I looked in the cooler. “Did I have any more Rolos or Caramel Chews? And can we look for peanut butter cups when we go to the chocolatier? I'm craving me some peanut butter cups.”
Everyone laughed, then Peter said, “No, Kitten. All the Caramel is gone... the Rolos, too.”
Esme piped in. “I think there might be some in the cupboard in the kitchen... just a second.”
She dashed off quickly, coming back with a clear Ziploc bag containing caramel chews. I launched myself at her, hugging her tightly, “Oh, God. You're a savior... I was about to get cranky. They don't like my caramel habit, but what can I say. Everybody has to have one vice, right?”
She hugged me tightly, whispering, “I'll make sure I keep a hidden stash for you in case they decide to try to keep you from eating them.”
I dropped back to the ground, then sat happily on the chair. I hummed in pleasure when the caramel hit my tongue. The first hunting group came in the door, golden eyes shining, then the second group readied to go. I called to them just before they left, “Be safe and watch out for one another. I'll be gone before you get back.”
Emmett was telling me about the bear he got as everyone else just smiled contentedly. Soon I was full, so closed the bag on the caramels. Jasper took my trash as I went up to wash up and change back into my dress and sandals. When I was done, I opened the bathroom door, calling out to see if anyone had a hair clip I could use.
Edward appeared in the door a few seconds later, setting a really pretty hair clip on the counter for me. “Thank you, but why would you have a hair clip?”
He laughed, “Alice doesn't wear them much, but she buys them because they're pretty. She handed this one to me before she left, telling me I would know what to do with it when the time came. Here I am, and the time came. It will look very nice on you.”
Edward stood silent as I twisted and molded my long locks up into a very intricate design of weaving braids all leading into the center of my head, with loose strands falling in several places. Where the braids met in the middle, I twisted them together, then clipped it to my head. I had a bunch of hair coming out of the top I wanted to curl, so I looked to Edward, “You don't happen to have...”
He brought a curling iron from behind his back with a smile, saying, “Ta-daa!”
I laughed, “You're a regular magician... you know that, right?”
He laughed right back, “Nope, I just have a seer for a mate is all.”
I liked this. I was still upset with him, and that would be taken care of later, but this was nice. “Thanks for the iron. I'll be done in a jiffy, then you can have it back.”
I quickly curled the loose tendrils, then the hair coming out of the clip before unplugging it.
I handed it back to him, smiled, then said, “We will talk, but just so you know, I like this playful brother side of you. It suits you well.”
I touched my palm to his cheek, then passed him to go down the stairs. He watched me until I got to the bottom, then disappeared up to the third floor. I met my mates at the bottom of the stairs, where they all surrounded me in a hug. I called to the others that we were leaving as Jasper checked that my bracelet was on my wrist. They said they'd stay on the property if they weren't hunting. I thanked them, and we walked out the door.
Someone had brought the Tahoe up, so I sat in the front with Jasper. We made it to the treaty line in less than 15 minutes. He parked just at the edge of the secluded clearing. Before I got out, I said, “I need to go out alone for now. They do not know what my mates are supposed to be. Let me make sure they know that I am the goddess... that if they hurt my mates, they will be dooming La Push and Forks.”
They all reluctantly nodded, then I exited the SUV.
I instinctively knew right where the line was, and stood on it waiting. I felt six others in my presence before two minutes had passed. I called out, “You can show yourselves. I have no intention of hurting you if you do not harm myself or my mates.”
My shield exploded around me as they all came into view. Jacob was in the lead. I looked into his wolf eyes. “Jacob, it's me... Bella. Look, Jake.”
I held my wrist out with the charm bracelet on it. It touched the dream catcher, then the wooden wolf, remembering. “The elders blessed this charm, the dream catcher. You, Jake, carved this wolf for me. You carved it with your own hands, then you gave this bracelet to me as a present.”
He growled, shaking his head.
“Jake, you know it's me. Look deep into yourself and feel. You're my brother. My family. All of you. Feel, and know for sure that I am still Bella Swan.”
Jacob's growling slowed to a stop, his head cocked to the side. He got down in a crawl position, then slowly licked the outside of my shield.
“Jake, that tickles,” I laughed.
He slowly nudged his nose forward before entering my shield. I leaned closer to scratch his favorite spot behind his right ear. “I've missed you these last weeks. I could have used my sun. You'll always be my sun, Jake. You need to see something.”
I backed up, then he stood to his full height. I turned around, heard several paws scuffling, then turned back around to face him.
The sight that met me was incredible. Every wolf, including Jake, was in a sitting position with their heads bowed low into their chests. “Please do not bow to me. I only showed you to let you know I was the one who you have been seeking. I know your numbers are growing. I also know the Seattle numbers have grown. You need to understand, though, that I am not complete without my mates. Yes, mates as in plural. Three to be exact. One for each element I was not born with... Air, Fire, and Water. If you try to harm them in any way, you will be dooming both Forks and La Push. Know this for a fact. I will not stand for anyone ever trying to harm my mates. I am no longer the docile fledgling you knew. I will not hesitate to hand every one of you your asses, the instant you even look cross-eyed at my mates. You are my family, but they are my soul. I would literally die without them. Don't test me on this, because the one who even growls at them will not live to leave here.”
My forearms automatically came up in front of me, my hands in a V, the elements swirling through one to the next. The wolves dropped down to a laying position, heads on the ground, so I called for my mates to accompany me.
As my mates stood behind me, I told them that when I called their element, to please stand in front of me and show the wolves their backs.
“Air.” Jasper kissed my temple, then stood in front of me, lifting the back of his shirt. After a minute, I nodded. Jasper came to stand behind me again.
“Fire.” Peter kissed my other temple, coming to stand in front of me in the same position Jasper had. Another minute passed, then I nodded to Peter.
When he was in his former position, I called “Water.”
I turned my head to kiss Char softly. She assumed the same position in front of me before lifting the back of her shirt. A minute passed, so I nodded to Char. She smiled and resumed her spot behind me.
"Know these faces. Know that they will be with me at all times. Should any of you try to harm them, I will take it as you harming me. Two vampires have already died trying to harm us. I was the one that killed them. My mates didn't have to lift so much as an eyebrow. Now please, Jacob, transform and cover yourself, so I can have an actual conversation with you. You know how I hate this one-sided shit.”
I heard several barking laughs as Jake dashed into the woods. He came out dressed in cut-off sweatpants. I dropped my hands back to my sides, but my shield stayed in place. I wasn't going to drop it until I had the assurance I needed that my mates and I would not be harmed. “Your shield colors rock, Goddess Bells, I gotta tell you. You have the assurance from me as Alpha that no harm will come to you or your mates. Anyone who does will not live to tell about it.”
He turned to the wolves still laying on the ground. “Embry, call the others. Have them meet here, now. I want the declaration to be heard by every wolf. I don't care where they are. Get them here now… and have one of them inform the elders that the goddess has arrived.”
I saw Embry stand from his position on the ground, turn toward the reservation, then howl. I heard an answering howl, then Embry returned to his laying position. Jake looked at me, “Gotta say, Power Bells, you sure have changed in such a short time. I thought you were off at college. When did this all start?”
I smiled as I hugged him tightly, “It started right after the Cullens left. Jasper didn't leave. We both ended up confessing our love for each other. You knew how I felt about him. We ended up making love, and that's when his element appeared. Since then, everything has been fast-tracked. I'll fill you all in on everything, but you have to help me find a way to explain the three lovers and mates thing to Charlie. I had a vision shortly before coming here. If we don't get him to understand, he'll get hurt, Jake. I'm talking seriously not-fixable hurt. We have to make him understand. I don't even know what his part in all this is. I had a vision of him showing Seth pictures of missing people, but that was all."
Jake looked alarmed at that, then nodded, so I continued, "Anyway. I got my GED legally, and had the early admission to University of Texas forged. I couldn't let Charlie see all of the changes happening with me. It wasn't normal. So Jasper and I decided to visit Peter and Charlotte in Texas. Before we could get there, my powers started spiking. I started having episodes where they needed to help me gain control again. First it was Jasper. Then I had a shitty day. I was really pissed, but instinctively knew I needed Peter. Thankfully he was already on his way to me, able to be there in time before my powers got out of control. After we finally got to Texas, I needed Char. Each of them helps me in certain ways. I wouldn't have made it through the episodes without them. I would have been lost inside myself, unable to get back. The goddess inside me has completed her part of my change, so she is ever-present in front of you. I will not undergo any more physical changes. My powers need help though. I won't gain my full powers or the full ability to wield them until after I'm turned. I have to be turned or we all die, Jake. Don't fight this. It's a must."
Jake looked sad, but silently nodded again. I said, "Then there's the prophecy. I don't even know what it says or what it's about. I need to know everything you know.”
Just then, the rest of the wolves showed up in the clearing with the elders of the tribe. Jake turned to them, but my hands instinctively came up again. The wolves dropped to the ground in an instant, the elders going down on one knee with their heads bowed. Billy, in his wheelchair, bowed his head reverently. Everyone in the clearing was silent.
Jacob spoke in his double-timber alpha tone, “Hear me now. All who are under my command will treat the goddess and her mates as you would your brother and sister wolves. No one will make a move to harm them in any way. Protect her mates as you would protect her, for if they die, so does she. Get to know their faces and scents. If any of you harm them in any way, you will not live to see another day. AM I CLEAR!”
I heard a round of barks, then the elders came forward. There were 4 of them. Old Quil Ateara, Sam Uley, Billy Black, and Sue Clearwater. They all stopped ten feet from my shield, and Jacob retreated to stand in front of the wolves. “Quil, Sam, Billy, Sue... It's nice to see you all. Please do not bow to me. You know I hate attention.”
I heard a round of barking laughs from the wolves, but Jacob scolded them to shut up.
“Please stand tall, and let's speak. We have much to discuss.”
My hands dropped to my sides again as they stood tall... or sat tall in Billy's case. “Let me introduce my mates. As I call their name, they will come forward so that you and the wolves will know them by name and element both. Jasper.”
Jasper came forward in full view of everyone. “Jasper is Air. He was the mate that started the transformation in me. Without him, I would not be standing in front of you as the Elemental Goddess. Peter.”
Peter stood next to Jasper. “Peter is Fire. I know you all see his and Char's red eyes. Do not be alarmed. They do not hunt innocents, and they will not feed at all in Washington. They only feed from murderers, rapists, child molesters, and slave ring dealers. They will not harm anyone you love. Please do not fear them. They do know the value of life, protect it the best way they know how, and have unparalleled control. If they can stop a child's innocence from being taken, a mother and sister from being murdered, or a teenage virgin from raped, I will not begrudge them their choice. Jasper, as you can tell, hunts only animals, and will not be feeding from any human. That is his choice. Last but certainly not least, Char.”
She came to stand between Jasper and Peter. “This Is Charlotte. She is water. I will ask each wolf and elder to pass through my shield. It will not allow you in if you mean us harm. Those that pass through, will be welcomed as family by myself and my mates. Those that my shield will not let pass, with be dealt with swiftly. I do not want to kill anyone, but I can not allow a threat to our safety to live, no matter who it ends up being. Please understand this. I ask that you do this in your human form so that we can get to know what you look like, to be able to recognise you. After which, we will have you transform one by one in our presence, so that we can recognise you in your wolf form. Any clothes that need to be replaced, we will happily cover the cost of. Please go now, to transform to your human forms.”
I turned to the elders as the wolves dispersed around the clearing into the woods. Jacob stayed in the clearing in his human form, so I said, “Jake, I'd like you to stand outside my shield in your wolf form. I already know you can pass my shield. I need you to be able to hold anyone who can not get through. I will not kill until I at least know why they mean us harm. You'll need to hold them while I get the answers.”
He nodded, then burst into his wolf form. “Jacob Black. You shit, you could have gone to the trees. Complete nimrod!” I scolded him, since I knew he had a hard time with clothes. "Take note that we have at least one pair of shorts to buy.”
I scratched Jake behind the ear as he nuzzled his nose into my side. “Alright Jake, get in position, you big softy.”
I looked to the elders, then said, "Do you all agree to be tested by my shield?”
They all nodded. “Let's wait until all of the wolves are back and ready. Then I will call you one by one. Touch my shield, then slowly come forward to me. If it recognises you as a threat, you will not breach the barrier, but my powers will flare. If you mean us no harm, you will walk right through. I know you have much to tell and ask me, but I need to do this my way, please. Just bear with me until I can be certain of our safety.”
They all voiced their agreement, plus the wolves were all ready. “Quil.” He was able to pass through.
“Sam.” He was able to pass through.
He was able to pass through, then offered, “Thank you for giving me the signs. It was a privilege to be in your spirit's presence."
I smiled softly and patted his shoulder. “Sue.”
She was able to walk through. I whispered to her as I hugged her. “I'm so happy for you and Charlie. I need to know everything you told him, though. And I need help figuring out how to tell him of my mates... plural. He gets seriously hurt if we don't do it right.”
She nodded, then exited my shield.
I addressed the group of people in front of me. “You have all seen the process of touching my shield before trying to enter. You will need to go through the same process. They meant me no harm, so my shield did not react to them. If the same holds true for you, you will pass through unharmed. Do not be afraid. Please come forward one at a time. When the first has exited the shield, the next may approach. Do not approach until then. The first may come forward.”
Old Quil's grandson Quil stepped forward. He smiled as he touched my shield, then passed through. When he exited, Embry stepped forward. He passed through. Seth came next and passed, then Leah. She was hesitant, but passed. Jared and Paul both passed, then so did Collin and Brady. Those were the only ones in the field I knew by name, so one by one as they came forward, I asked their names before they passed through easily.
In all, we did this with all twenty-three wolves, Jacob, and four elders. When the last one exited my shield, it dropped. I no longer felt the need to have it up, since they all passed and there was no threat. Jasper hugged me to him quickly, asking if there was somewhere we could safely go with a lot of fish, fruit, and nuts. We hadn't thought about how much my shield would deplete my energy, but he caught me just as I started to fall.
The elders gathered, asking if they could do a quick energy transfer to last me until we could get to safety. I nodded, so they had Jasper sit on the ground with me in his lap. The pack in their human form made a large circle around us that could not be breached, then the elders all touched one of my limbs.
Old Quil started chanting in his native language, then the rest wove a background melody in the same language. I felt energy coming to me, and soon I was able to move around. I didn't though… not until they stopped, releasing my arms and legs. I sat up to face them when they were done, saying, “Thank you all. I am able to be moved now. Please guide us to somewhere safe, that I can recuperate, eat, and meditate.”