Protecting the Black Wolf's Mate by wizardtho
Everyone gathered around the bonfire, with Sue and Billy on either side of Quill. He was directly across from me, his presence seeming to demand nothing less than complete attention. You could practically feel the power of the tribe chief radiate out of him. He smiled at me, so I smiled in return. He called everyone's attention, then he began.
I heard all of the old legends pertaining to the cold ones, Taha Aki, some of the other protectors, as well as the third wife. I learned how the spirit wolf first came to be, along with how the generations to come would be affected by what we knew and held sacred. As he wove the stories with his words, there seemed to be magic in the air. It made me all the more excited to help Sam with the documentation of all the legends of the tribe. I was utterly entranced at the stories and the meanings behind them. When he was done, it was almost as if a large spark shot out of the fire in acknowledgment. The very air around us seemed to let go of the magic he wove into his words, causing me to sit there in awe.
Charlie was the first to break the silence with a chuckle, "I felt the same way, Bells. Just take a few seconds to let it sink in." I nodded, then took a deep breath before closing my eyes. I didn't want to forget what was told to me tonight, so I ran over everything twice in my mind. When I opened my eyes again, I smiled up to Sam. He asked is a concerned whisper, "You alright, Angel?" I smiled widely, "More than alright. I just wanted to go over everything in my head so that I don't forget what was told tonight." He looked at me funny as I asked, "You can remember all of it?"
I couldn’t help but smile as I explained, "Yeah. As long as I pay attention when something is told to me, then recap it a few times in my mind, I can tell you word for word what was said. I've just always been able to do that. I think that's part of the reason school is so boring. I actually pay attention in class." He chuckled, then I happened to catch Quill, Sue, and Billy lean in to talk quietly amongst themselves from my peripheral vision.
After a minute, they nodded to each other before sitting back in their seats. Quill said, "We have several announcements tonight. First and foremost, we are here to celebrate the fact that Sam has found his soul mate in Isabella. Congratulations to the both of you. May you be gifted with the best that life has to offer.”
A round of cheers, whoops, and howls were heard in response. When everyone settled, Quill continued. “Second, you all know that it has been difficult for me to maintain the upkeep on my house, due to my advancing age. I have decided to sell it." I gasped, "Oh, no. Who will take care of it? Keep the history of the home from deteriorating as time goes by?" He smiled widely, then said, "I don't know, Bella. Do you think you and Charlie qualify as able to bring back the home's former glory?" I scowled, "I can't. I don't have the money to buy the house, and Dad just... Holy shit! No way! Dad?!"
Everyone laughed, cheering as Charlie nodded with a beaming smile, "Yeah, Bells. You and I are buying the Ateara estate in La Push, with the promise that pack meetings and bonfires will still be held there, along with the pack members and their imprints being able to find shelter with us anytime they need it. The place needs work, but Quill has seen how well you keep our house, plus he knows that you've loved the place since you were little. He's selling it to me for the price of this place, along with the promise, knowing that we will do our best to uphold what he tried to accomplish there." I shook my head, "But Dad, with you working and commuting all that way, and me needing to find a job after I take my GED, how will we be able to do all that?"
He grinned, explaining almost excitedly, "That's the next part of the surprise. My 20 years was up at the station as of a month ago. I started talking to Quill about the house right around that time. Once we got the ball rolling, I put in my notice for retirement at the station. This last month I've been training Henry to take over. Friday was my last day. I've been thinking about it a lot lately, and I want to do this. I want to be the dad I could never be for you before now, with all the time I was putting in. I want to be there for you, for these kids. I'll be helping out the elders and tutoring a few times a week, so I'll be put on salary by the council, plus I'll have a very generous pension."
I breathed out, "Wow... but why did you say we... that we were buying the house? You're the one buying it." Charlie shook his head, "No, Bells. I want you on the paperwork right along with me. I know you don't want to think about it, but I want to make sure you have some security in case something happens to me. You being on the documents to the house will give me the peace of mind that you'll have a warm place to lay your head, because I know you would never let the place go. It's not only security for you, but for the pack and imprints, too."
Wow, Charlie really thought all of this through. I bit my lip as I nodded, saying softly, "Alright. I'll do it. I know I would never want Sam to have to worry about where to crash, if he needed somewhere, because he was too tired to make it home after a meeting. If it makes you feel better, and we can ensure the pack always has somewhere to call a safe haven, I'm all for it." Charlie beamed at me, then I heard everyone's relief as they talked amongst themselves. Sam whispered in my ear, "Thank you, Isabella. You don't know how much what you just said means to me." I wrapped my arms up behind me to clasp behind his neck. He hummed at my attention, then I said, "That doesn't mean you get free run, guys. You'll be picking up after yourselves... and nobody messes with my kitchen, or they lose fingers."
I saw their eyes go wide, then both Jared and Paul said simultaneously, "Yes, Ma'am." Charlie laughed as Sue said, "Good, she's already training them. Those boys need a good firm hand to keep them in line. You set the rules, Bella. Make them adhere to them." I nodded, taking her seriously, then said, "Okay, Dad. Next question. How are we going to furnish this place? If we can swing it, I'm sure that the community center could use the things that Quil doesn't want to take, plus our stuff really isn't right for that house." Quill smiled as Dad confirmed, "There is a bunch that Quill won't be taking, and yes, the community center could use a lot of it. I got a sizable retirement bonus last week for my many years of service to Forks. The mayor presented it to me himself. It should more than cover furnishing the house. The work that needs to be done to the old place will be done by none other than your mate and his crew."
Sam smiled, hugging me to him. "I had heard of your wonderful cooking, so I bartered my services for food. My company will do all the work on the house. The only charges will be the supplies needed to get the job done. Labor in exchange for your cooking was the deal. Do you mind?" I beamed at him, "No, you just made my day. I've been itching to cook big meals, but never had a big family to cook for. What all needs to be done to the house?"
Dad thought for a quick second before he spoke. "Well, that's really up to you, Bells. You know more about what it should look like than I do, with your love of architecture and design. I want Quill, Sam, and I to walk through the house with you. We'll need to take a pad and pen, so you can write notes about what needs to be done to the house to bring it back. This will be your first restoration project. I don't want you to worry about the cost of what needs to be done. I already have it worked out with the state and the reservation about it being a historical home needing restoration. The reservation has agreed, of course, and has given the okay for it to be restored with the help of the state. The state will be footing half the bill for whatever work is done that meets the historical guidelines, but they don't know about the labor agreement." I smiled slyly, "So the state is actually footing at least three-quarters of the bill, right?" He smirked, "Isabella Marie, I don't know what you're talking about."
He winked as we both chuckled. I nodded, "Alright then. We're going for period appropriate as much as we can, but with feeding so many, I'll still need modern conveniences. I'll need good ovens -plural with how much these guys eat, mixers, plenty of counter space... when can we look at the house?" Everyone laughed, then Quill held up a set of keys, saying, "As soon as you both sign the papers, you can have these. I already have everything I want out of the house, so anything left can be dealt with at your discretion." Charlie added right away, "You are still on bed rest until Monday, but as soon as Dr. Gerandy gives you the all clear, we can do the walk through." I breathed out, "We're really doing this?"
Charlie came to kneel down beside me, "I wanted this to be a surprise for you, a good one, but you don't have to sign if you don't want. I just want you happy, Bells. I may not have always been there for you, but this was my way of taking steps in the right direction. I want to be there from now on." I nodded, "I'm still going to need to bring in some sort of income, though, Dad. I can't do all this without feeling like I'm contributing."
Quill cleared his throat, "Bella, what was the name of Taha Aki's third wife?" I smiled, "You didn't name her in the legend, Sir. She was just known as the third wife, but her selfless act was what saved many of the Quileute protectors and people that day." Sue and Billy smiled at Quill, then Billy said, "What was her selfless act?" I smiled as I said, "She saw how distracted the female cold one became when blood was spilled, so she took Taha Aki's blade, thrusting it into her own heart. The female cold one became blood thirsty, her focus being only the third wife, which gave the protectors who were left alive the chance to destroy her."
Quill beamed, "I think you found a job, Bella. Sam has too much on his plate already, We felt bad putting the task of documenting all of the legends on him. You have a keen grasp on what was told tonight. Even though that was one of the first legends told, you were able to summarize it beautifully. You recognised her sacrifice, along with the opportunity it gave to keep the tribe's protectors and people safe. We will put you on payroll with the council, and your job will be to hear and document all of the old legends for our tribe. Once you do that, we will need you to hear and document everything we have found with my generation, as well as this new generation of wolves. That way, future generations have it to guide them. Will you accept?"
I smiled widely as I responded, "I was going to help Sam... we had already talked a little about it... but yes. Yes, of course I'll do it. It would be an honor." Charlie kissed my forehead, "There. All settled. Now was there anything else you were worried about, Bells?" I bit my lip as the thought came to me, "Who's gonna help me pack the house?"
Everyone burst out laughing, then Leah offered, "We all will, Bella. Us girls will start on your room, Charlie can pack his room, and Mom can direct the boys while she packs the breakables." Sue spoke up, "There's no way on earth they're getting near your Gramma Swan's china... don't you worry, Bella."
Charlie's mom, my Gramma Swan, had a beautiful full set of expensive china for 12 that was handed down to Charlie for when I was old enough. It also came with a full service of silverware. That set and the silverware were the only things I had of hers, other than a few pictures of us together. I let out a breath in relief, "Thank God. Sorry boys, but I would have thrown one major hissy fit if you would have even breathed on them wrong. They're all I have." Paul smiled, "Understandable, Bella. Nothing to feel bad about."
We all broke off into our own conversations from there, and soon my bladder felt like it would burst. I whispered to Sam softly, "I need a human moment, Honey." He smiled at me, excused us from our conversation with Sue, then carried me inside and up to the bathroom. He set me down with a kiss outside the door before I hurried into the bathroom. Once I had washed my hands, I opened the door, but didn't see Sam. I called softly for him just as he came out of my room with a smile, "I was just changing the blanket on your bed. Now that your temp is back up to normal, the blanket you had on the bed will be too much. Sue found a much lighter blanket, so I was just making the bed for later." I smiled, "So thoughtful. Thank you." He put my outside blanket back around me, then picked me up and wrapped me around his waist.
When he looked into my eyes, I suddenly saw everything. I knew in that moment -that one instant moment of clarity- what my life would be like with Sam. I saw our whole future in his eyes; I wanted it all. All my insecurities and fears melted away, my brain no longer telling my heart to slow down. Now if we could just be alone so I could tell him. Yeah, we were alone in the house, but I didn't want to have that conversation with super-hearing pack members around.
I did the only thing I could, and kissed him with every emotion in me, willing him to feel it all. He gasped into the kiss, then moaned as he pressed me into the wall behind me. When the kiss ended, he panted into my neck, "I felt that. I felt your emotions just now." I whispered as I kissed his shoulder, "Shh. I want that conversation to be private, not when there are a bunch of people waiting on us. We will talk about it soon, though." He nodded, then carried me back outside.
I couldn't take my eyes off Sam, but I faintly heard Paul and Jared gasp. Charlie asked them a question, but I wasn't bothered to hear the answer. I placed my forehead against Sam's, as we just looked at each other for God knows how long. When we finally came away from our silent connection, I heard a bunch of shuffling, so I looked to see what it was. Sue and Charlie were the only ones left in the yard, with Charlie smiling at me. I asked in confusion, "Where did everyone go?" Sue kissed my forehead, "You were in your own world for more than an hour. Jared and Paul explained what was happening. Quill noticed the same thing, and said it looked like you two had hit a major milestone." I nodded, then asked, "Umm... can I talk to you alone for a minute, Sue?" Sam smiled as he said, "Charlie, why don't we get this stuff inside and put away."
Charlie chuckled with a nod, eager to leave the vicinity of any ‘girl conversation’. When they were both inside, Sue sat next to me, whispering, "How can I help, Sweetie?" I played with my fingers as I whispered, "I saw it, Sue... our future. I saw it all when I looked in his eyes, right before we came back out here. I don't want to wait. Is that bad?" She hugged me as she whispered, "Oh, no, Bella. That's not bad at all." I shook my head while trying to make her understand, "I don't think I'm explaining this right. I want things to take their natural course. I don't want to prevent a life from forming when we make love." She smiled as she stroked my cheek, "If you're worried about Charlie, don't be. He's already mentioned to me a few times since the imprint about hoping to see grandbabies in the not-too-far future. We can all see the depth of what's happening between the two of you. The only thing I can say is to talk to Sam. Tell him how you feel, and see where he stands. Before you tell him, ask him if he thinks he's ready for children if they were to happen soon." I nodded, "Thanks, Sue. Now I just have to find alone time with Sam to have the conversation."
She chuckled, shaking her head as she smirked, "Charlie's coming to mine tonight, then he's going fishing with Billy and Quil in the morning, to have their guy time. When they get back, I'll bring dinner with me, so you can sign the papers after you eat. I'll take Quil and Billy home after all the papers are signed." I nodded, "Thanks again, Sue." She kissed my forehead, whispered, "Anytime, Sweetie," then disappeared into the house.
I relaxed back onto the lounger, remembering what I had seen of my future with Sam. A few minutes later, he came out to hover over me. I smiled as I ran my fingers through his short hair, with him whispering, "Your Dad and Sue just left. He said to tell you he'd see you tomorrow." I nodded, then he said, "Lets go inside, so we can talk without this blanket in our way." I whispered with a smile and nod, "That sounds nice." He carried me straight up to my room after he made sure the house was locked up.