Protecting the Black Wolf's Mate by wizardtho
Emily left after that, and Charlie came to hug me. He kissed my forehead as he asked, "You okay? Is everything alright in there?" I smiled, "She doesn't want to do a physical, only to jinx what may be happening in there. Though if there's going to be a little one soon, today is the optimal day to make one. Sam and I might need to sneak off once or twice today to boost our chances." Charlie choked a laugh before saying to Sam, "With all the rooms in this house, I suspect there will be some christening going on anyway." I looked at Charlie questioningly, "And how exactly would that happen, when you live in the house with us?" Charlie beamed as he said, "The first stop on the tour is why."
Quil chuckled as he heard, then said, "Shall we? From the notes on that pad, I'd say you already got the outside tour done?" I nodded, "There's so much to do, just on the outside... I've only seen the entry and the bedroom just off it on the inside of the house. We'll go over the lot of it when the tour's over, so that you both have a complete understanding."
Charlie and Quil nodded, then they led us around to the garage entry. I made a note on the way up the stairs for them to be changed, since the stairs were painted and the railings were way more modern than called for. The doors at the top and bottom of the stairs needed to be changed. When Charlie put a key in the door, I saw an 'A' on the keyhead. This must be the apartment. Why was Charlie showing me the apartment first? He smiled as I walked in, then said, "This is my place, Bells." I choked out, "What?! No! Dad, you have the master bedroom in the house! You have the whole damn house for that matter!" Sam rubbed my back as he whispered, "Just listen and see what he has to say first, Sweetheart. If his points aren't valid, then you can argue them, but try not to stress out needlessly. Remember what Emily said about stress, Angel."
I nodded, took a deep breath as I closed my eyes, then whispered, "Please explain." I opened my eyes again to see Charlie smiling softly, "You and Sam should be expecting soon... hopefully... so this place will be too small for you. On the other hand, it's just the right size for me, and Sue, when she chooses to stay. You know I don't need huge fancy tubs in the bathroom. I know you like your baths, though. I'll still be in the house a lot, but this will be where I sleep and have time away from the ruckus of the pack. You know me, Bells. If there are a lot of people moving around under me when I'm trying to sleep, I won't sleep well. The cop in my is too strong to let me be completely relaxed when there's a lot going on. I'll want down time with Sue, so this gives us the privacy to have that. You and Sam are the Mama and Papa of this pack, so it's only right that you take the Master in the house. You'll have your relaxing tub, the shower is perfect for Mr. Alpha here, plus there's a cozy sitting area where you can feed any little ones in quiet."
I let out a breath, knowing that I couldn't argue with his logic. I finally gave in, whispering, "Okay. I get what you're saying, Dad. I can't argue with the logic, no matter how much I want to." Charlie beamed at me, "Good, because my mind's made up. You just do your thing, writing down what needs to be done to the place." I laughed and nodded, then took a look around the apartment, noting all of my findings.
When I got back out to the main room, they smiled, waiting for my verdict. I said, "Well, the kitchenette needs to be gutted and replaced. The fridge is workable, but needs to be coated again because it's coating is scuffed down to the metal in some places. All of the base and crown molding in the whole place is painted over, there's linoleum for the floor of the kitchenette and bath, then yucky blue carpet for the floor of the rest. All need to be changed, because none of it will fly with the restoration. The built-in oven and microwave need to be changed, but I noticed that the furnace and hot water heater look new. The only thing worth saving in the bathroom is the toilet, which looks fairly new. It will go with the style. The closet is a good size, since I wasn't expecting a walk-in, but again the carpet and moldings in the bedroom have to go."
Charlie didn't seem to be flipping out yet, so I continued, "The bare bones of the place is good. When I inspected the walls, I didn't see any warps or places needing to be fixed. None of the walls or ceilings show signs of water damage either, so that's another big plus. All of the windows on the property need to be changed to fit the style. The stairs and railing leading up here need to be changed. If we rip up the carpet, somehow being lucky enough to find original hardwood in good condition, that will save us a lot of time and money. Same with stripping the paint off all of the moldings. If we find hardwood instead of poly or resin, we're in good shape, and a step ahead of the game. Otherwise, it's basically going to be gutting pretty much everything to start with a blank slate. I'll show you some pictures of the style of home this should be, once the tour is over. You'll see just how much this project is going to entail."
Charlie nodded, "I knew it was going to be a lot more than just cosmetic stuff, Bella. I did some research... granted you know a lot more than me, but I didn't go into this without researching at least a bit." I nodded, "I know, Dad, but you wanted me to be brutally honest with you. I half thought you were crazy when we pulled up and I took a look at the outside. This isn't supposed to be just any Craftsman style house, Dad. It's intended to be a Shingle-style Craftsman." His eyes got wide, "Really? Shit, that just boosted the end value of the house by almost double, Bella." I smirked wryly, "And boosted the work needed to almost triple, I suspect. I really hope you're up for manual labor, Dad, because Sam and those boys are going to need all the help they can get." He grinned proudly, "Yep. I'm going to be right in the thick of it with them." I nodded, "Okay, we best get going with the tour before I need to get off my feet. I want to have a full picture of what's needed so I can do some research before dinner." He nodded before leading the way out, while Sam picked me up to wrap me around his waist, saying, "Any time off your 6 hours will help today.... plus I want to hold you for a minute."
I kissed him lightly, then we followed Charlie and Quil back out toward the side door of the house. It was open, but Kim and Leah were sitting down at a little table on the porch. I smiled at them as Kim said, "The boys are unloading the trucks and setting the boxes in the appropriate places. No one is touching Sam's truck, though, since your Gram's things are in there." I nodded, "Thanks, girls. Once we get done doing the inside of the house, I'll sit with you for a while. Maybe you can help me do my research." Leah beamed, "You'll let us help with the house?" I giggled, "Of course. I'm going to need all the help I can get with how big this house looks from the outside. I'm assuming the inside is bigger than what it looks like from out here, so I'll probably be begging for your help when I'm done with the tour." Quil said as he smiled, "The plans state 7,595 square feet, not including the detached apartment or the unfinished third floor. If the third floor were to be finished, it would total 8,515 square feet of living space, excluding the apartment. Where would you like to start, Bella?"
I coughed at his nonchalance of the size of the house, then said, "Christ, I guess we better start at the front entry... work our way one floor at a time." He chuckled, making his way around the outside to the front door. Sam said softly, "Remember, Angel. One step at a time. You have all the help you'll need. All you have to do is ask, and anyone here will help in a heartbeat." I kissed his neck softly, "I know, Baby. I'm in the arms of the most important one right now." He smiled as he set me down in the entry. I got my pad and pen ready again, then started jotting down things.
I did a thorough check of the entry, dining room, and den, then went back into the entry before moving to the half bath, closets, and the guest suite we were in earlier. The pattern continued all the way through the first floor. When we reached the side entry, we went up those stairs to the second floor. At the top of the landing, Quil directed me to the closest door, causing me to smile, "This would make the perfect game room with it being two separate levels. If we could get our hands on a pool table, dart board, and a game/poker table, this could be a good room. It'll give them something to do with their down time, so they stay out of trouble. We could even put a little bar area in here to hold snacks and drinks." Sam held me close as Quil said, "I never thought about using the room that way. It's a very good idea."
I smiled widely, then we went to the pocket door. It was a second laundry room, so I smiled, "I like that this is here, because the washer and dryer down in the mud room can be used strictly for muddy or nasty clothes from the boys, while the room up here can be used for normal clothes. That way they aren't tracking through the house in the muddy stuff, and it doesn't end up mixed in with the nicer clothes." I made my notations on the pad. We continued to tour the hall closet and three more full suites with baths before coming to the master bedroom.
When Quil opened the double doors as he led the way in, I gasped, "Jesus, this is as big as the bonus room... that's not even including the closets or bath!" Quil chuckled, but Charlie asked, "Do you see what I mean about the sitting area, Bells?" I stepped up into the sitting area to look around. I could just picture what the master suite would look like when it was restored, so I smiled brightly, "It's perfect, Dad. It needs work, but the bones of it are just perfect."
I made the necessary notes on my pad as I looked around, then smiled and walked through the small curved hall to the closets. They were both large. I knew at least I would need it. I didn't know the extent of Sam's wardrobe, yet. Through the double doors to the bathroom, I could see why Charlie didn't want this. It would be perfect for Sam and I, though.
On either side of the central open space, was a nice long sink area. Then after a couple of steps up, there was a pocket-doored toilet area to one side, a huge shower to the other, and straight ahead was a really big garden tub. All of it needed to be scrapped, but I loved the layout. I could picture a much better final product.
I looked back to Charlie, who was smiling triumphantly. "Thank you, Dad. I can see why this is a much better fit for Sam and I, than for you. With his size, the apartment just wouldn't have cut it... and the room right across from us would be the perfect nursery. We can use the two suites across from the stairs for the pack and imprints, while the room downstairs can be used for a guest room, or for if a pack member needs healing. It would be easier to have any injured on the main floor to be taken care of, especially with that room having direct access to the front porch." Quil absolutely beamed at me, "I knew you were right for this, Bella. I'm so glad you agreed to take this on. I'm sure that you will make an excellent wife for the future Chief of the Quileute people."
Tears sprung to my eyes as I smiled, but I choked out, "Thank you, Quil... so much. It means a lot to hear that, since I'm not of Quileute blood. Part of me is afraid the people will want their Chief to marry within the bloodlines... that they won't accept me as his chosen." Quil shook his head. "Everyone knows Charlie well. With you doing this project, as well as donating all of those things to the center, you are making a good start to let people know you intent to help the community, not harm it. You learning and documenting the legends of our people will let them see that you intend to learn of our ways, to keep them alive for future generations."
I thought about it for a minute, then smiled and nodded, "You're right... if I end up taking on more restoration projects, it will also show them that not only do I want to help the people, but bring the reservation back to life. I just have to let it all work itself out. Try not stress. I'll be myself, and hope that's enough." Quil nodded, "It will be. You are a beautiful person, Isabella, inside and out. I do not foresee any problems, but you have the full force of the council backing you and Sam when the time comes for you to wed." I smiled then said, "I'll have questions about that at a later date, but for now, I guess we should see the third floor. I'm interested in seeing what the plans have for it being a finished space."
He nodded, heading back into the hall, "The plans are on the third floor, along with some nicknacks and things that were here when I bought the place. Maybe some of them will work with your restoration." I got excited as Sam carried me up the steps, but he laughed, "Slow down, Angel. I can feel how excited you're getting." Quil gasped, "What? Already? But... wow." I looked at him, then Sam, so Sam asked, "What do you mean, Quil? Already what?" He smiled like the cat that ate the canary, then said, "Bella, Dear... Do you feel Sam?"
I nodded, not knowing what that had to do with anything, because it seemed natural to feel Sam's emotions. He said proudly, "Your wolf has not only claimed and marked his mate, but you have had an intimate joining where no words were spoken. Am I correct?" We both nodded, then Quil said, "You are married in the eyes of your wolf, Sam. Your silent intimate time was the joining of your souls... of you, your wolf, and Isabella merging completely. I didn't think to warn you so soon, since it is usually after the human marriage that it occurs. You have achieved something truly spiritual in the eyes of the tribe as well as the pack, and so soon after your initial mark and claim. I must tell the other elders of this development. Do you mind if Billy comes to dinner? It would be good to speak of this with Emily also." I nodded, "By all means, Quil. Dad, will you please call Billy to invite him?" He nodded and pulled his phone out as Quil finished leading the way up to the third floor.
When we reached the third floor, I gasped at the veritable treasure trove in the room. Original interior doors, hardware, decently preserved paint and stain samples, plus samples of tile, slate, wood, back splashes. It went on and on. I practically bounced in Sam's arms, "Holy shit! This is insanely lucky. Dad, we have the original things to go on. Plus, the original doors and hardware are all here, what looks like intact." Sam groaned, "Kitten, please... you gotta stop." I immediately stilled with wide eyes, then kissed his neck and whispered, "Sorry, Baby."
I hopped down before turning to Charlie and Quil. I made my way through the samples as I explained, "We can use these as guides for what we use, since they're only samples... but that cuts down an immense amount of research time. We'll have to find which door fits where, since only one doorway will fit perfectly with each door. The doors were made specifically one at a time to fit the completed doorway back then. All we'll need to do is clean up the doors, clean up the hardware, then re-stain the doors if needed before putting the hardware back on."
Charlie smiled, "This is good news, Bells. I'm glad you were able to find something to guide you. It'll help put things closer to the original house, right?" I beamed as I said, "So much closer. It won't be exact, of course. With these things as guides, it will make it so much easier to find very similar items for the paint, stain, different tiles and stone. I want to take corners of all the carpeted rooms up, to see if we find the hardwood underneath, but that doesn't have to happen today. Quil, can we take the plans down to the dining room so I can look them over?" He nodded, "By all means, Bella. They are yours, after all. I'm only here to see how you plan to restore the house, not dictate." I smiled and nodded, "Dad, please carry them for me?" Charlie gathered all of the plans, Sam gathered the samples, then Quil and I led the way down to the dining room.
When we sat down at the table, Charlie rolled out the plans, then Quil placed a few nicknacks from the room on the corners to hold it down. I stood up, looking down at the plans, taking in every detail of the first floor. Charlie took the moment to unroll a smaller sheet. He gasped, then laid it on top, obscuring my view of the plan. When I looked at the sheet Charlie laid down, I whispered in awe, "Exactly. It looks exactly like I pictured in my mind. God, I was right, Sam. Look."
Sam stood behind me, wrapping his arms around me from behind, then whispered, "It's beautiful, Isabella. Everything you told me when we did the walk-around... it's all there. Wow, does it look different. Do you think you can find windows like that now, or would they have to be custom made?" I shook my head, "I don't know, Sam, but we'll get them custom made if we have to. I want to be as close to the original house as possible. Dad, are there any other sketches?" He smiled at me, holding up several other papers in his hand. When he rolled the next one out, I chuckled, "Boy, it seems like someone really intended for us to have and restore this place, Dad. No one else would have ever taken the time to look at these, let alone use them to go by. I wouldn't have thought the railings in the house were supposed to be both wood and wrought iron. I would have done all wood with some engraved detailing. This is much better, though."
Charlie nodded, then laid out the next one, which had several small sketches on it. I gasped, "I knew it! I knew all the ceilings in these rooms were wrong. All the decorative beams for the entry and great room are missing. Look. The moldings and trim work for the other rooms is here. The ceilings for the den, master sitting, and kitchen were also beamed." Charlie laid out the next sketch, then Sam said, "The kitchen looks amazing in this sketch. So much different from what it is now. We can use this as a guide for the layout of the finished kitchen, Sweetheart... make it a true chef's kitchen, as it was intended." I beamed, "That would be so wonderful, with cooking for so many all the time." Charlie set out the last of the sketches as I gasped, "Is that? That's what they intended for the third floor to look like? Dad, grab those other sketches, so I can look at the floor plans."
I took the top sketch, then Charlie took the others. Quil moved the first and second floor plans out of the way. I smiled widely, "It is! Look at this. This is the hall for the third floor. We'd have to knock out part of the wall, frame it out, plus add the railing, but that's what this is. Oh, Sam, this is perfect. I could use the third floor as my office unless the pack grew, then it could be turned into a bunk room. This small hidden area can become a safe, and we can either keep the other hidden area as a safe room for the imprints, or we can double it as a bunk room while turning the main area into a loft for the ones bunking there."
Quil laughed unexpectedly, "Oh, Darling Girl. You are more special than you realise. Not many would think about the pack expanding the way you just did." I blushed a bit, but Sam nuzzled me while assuring, "That's a good thing, Angel. You're wanting to make sure they are taken care of, and they haven't even phased yet. It makes you the perfect mate for an alpha... the perfect Mama Wolf." I smiled, "You think so?"
They all agreed, then I heard Jared say from the open doorway, "I agree with them, Bella. To know that you think about those things, to make any future wolves as comfortable as possible... well, it means a lot to a current wolf." I smiled and nodded in acknowledgment, then said, "Can I see the first floor again, Quil? I want to see something." He laid out the plan without hesitation. I looked at the size of the dining room, then looked to the large open area in the kitchen that led to the nook. I smiled up at Sam, "Do we know anyone that can do custom wood work, like furniture?" Sam nodded, "What type of furniture exactly? What is that beautiful brain of yours thinking, my little mate?" I giggled, "Oh, nothing much. Just turning the third floor into the bunk room and loft, using the dining room for your office, the den for mine, and having a custom table set made that would allow everyone to eat inside together when it's raining out. Look."
I pointed to the area I was talking about, explaining, "See this long stretch of area? If we have a table made, we could set the food up on the bar, then we could all sit around the one table, instead of having to find an open place in different rooms to eat. We can extend the ceiling in the kitchen to match in the nook area, then place a chandelier at the 1/3 and 2/3 mark over the table. That would ensure the lighting, but also make it look intended that way. Instead of a built-in china cabinet in this room, we can do built-in bookshelves with cabinets underneath. That way you have the space you need for the business. As for the den, the one wall that's blank... this wall... we can do a built-in wall of shelves for the books for the house to use, place a couple of chairs or a couch and coffee table in the center, then I can set my desk here near the bay windows."
I noticed Charlie lean over toward Quil and whisper, "Absolutely brilliant. It's like she can adapt on the fly to anything." I chuckled, "I'm not superhero, Dad. I'm just trying to do what I can. This room definitely won't accommodate everyone at one time to eat, and I would like us all to eat together. I also really like the idea of the bunk room/safe room on the third floor, because it would let the wolves feel safer leaving us if they need to take care of a threat. That leaves Sam and I either sharing an office, or both having our separate spaces. I think it would be best if Sam had his own space for the construction business, because I don't want plans to get mixed or jumbled by sharing the same space." Sam nodded, "It does make sense, Charlie... especially since we may not always be working on the same projects at the same time." Charlie nodded, then I added, "Plus, I'll need space to do all of the documentation for the council." Quil agreed that it was a good idea, so I looked at the plans for the second floor. Quil asked softly, "What do you think, Bella?"
I smiled up at him, then said, "You have an idea about what needs to be done to the outside, the windows, and the kitchen from the sketches. I guess the next thing would be to take up a corner of the carpeted areas to see about the flooring. All of the carpeting needs to be gone. Not only was it standard to have showcase hardwood floors with inlays then, but the carpeting will be a pain in the ass to keep clean with all of the foot traffic through the house. We also need to find out about the moldings, trims and baseboards. After that, I'll have more of an idea of what it will take.”
Their attention was completely focused on me, so I continued, “The walls all look good, so we won't need to go down to the studs anywhere. That's where we would run into problems. All of the plumbing is in good working order, which is another problem avoided, but we might have to do some electrical. The ceiling in the entry and great room needs to be stripped back to the wood then stained, plus the beams are missing. For the great room fireplace, the mantel looks good, but it should be floor-to-ceiling stone... it looks all wrong the way it is. The other fireplaces need the wood stripped. If there's real wood under there, it'll need re-staining and the tile replaced. Then all of the lighting fixtures are way too modern to fit with the restore, so they all need changed out."
At Quil's motion for me to continue, I said, "It's a huge undertaking, Quil. It'll take at least several months of straight work. That's if we only need to re-stain existing wood. If we need to replace them, then I have to research how the floors/moldings/trim should have looked in this type of house, the wood used, the layout options that would work best with each room, and so on."
He nodded, then said seriously, "I never knew that it took so much to plan all of this. On the worst case scenario, how long would it take, do you think?" I shook my head, "Eighteen months to two years as just a base-line, and depending on how lucky or unlucky we are, it could go from a month to six months in either direction of that. If the crew works day in and day out on the same project for too long, they'll get burned out, so I have to figure in week-long breaks from the project for the crew and myself here and there. There's also the possibility of me becoming pregnant and delivering that we have to add in. Then I have to figure in at least one emergency break, because sooner or later, the pack will have to go up against Victoria and God knows who else. She's tricky... sneaky... so she will find help somehow, if she can't get to me on her own."
Quil nodded, "It looks like you have everything planned out well, Bella. I have full confidence in you. You take everything into consideration, plus you don't have expectations of it being done anytime soon. You have a realistic time-line. I ask that a before and after photo be taken of each room as well as the outside of the house, for the purpose of the state. They will also to be logged in the council hall on the Island of Elders." I nodded, "I'll make sure it gets done when I go over things with the girls."