Notes: I am so sorry it took me so long to get this chapter up! Guess what, in two weeks this fic will have been active for a WHOLE YEAR!
Mucho thanks to Shulik
who lets me bounce ideas off her day and night, and keeps me going even when I have no motivation.
Because I'm me, here's a picture of the dress Bella is wearing when Edward takes her on her first hunt without giving her time to change. It's not silk like Alice picks out in the book, but it's still a little out there for a hunting outfit.
Edward was reciting Pride and Prejudice
from memory as he gently rocked Carlie in his arms. Charlie sat in a chair next to his son-in-law as Bella laid back in the bed, her eyes clenched shut as she tried to focus on the story. Dawn was sitting up in the bed, playing with Bella's hair. Bella's friendship bracelet was tied firmly around her wrist. Bella had been burning for about a day and a half, which meant, on average, she was halfway through it. Carlisle and Esme were there, as well as the Denalis. Most of the the Cullens were on their way back to Forks, waiting for Bella to join them there. “I wish this was happening at home,”
Bella thought directly to Dawn. ”Can we go home? Now? Please?”
“Bella wants to go home before she changes. I think she wants to be in her own house. I don't know why we didn't do this earlier. I will have no problem opening the portal to the Cullen house right now,” Dawn said. “If everyone wants to pack up, we can go home soon.”
“Everything's already packed,” Kate said. She was standing behind Charlie, rubbing his shoulders. “We've just been waiting on Bella. I think everyone's ready to go home.”
“Totally,” Seth said. “I'll get everyone to get their stuff.”
The whole ordeal didn't take very long. Within an hour of her request, everyone taken the portal to the Cullen's house, and Bella was settled comfortable on the golden four-poster bed in Edward's old room. She wanted to be in her cottage, but the Big House, as they had taken to calling it, was more convenient. The Cullens' huge property on the outskirts of Forks had several houses on it now. Esme was determined to keep as many of her kids around as possible. She was even building a house for Dawn and Jake—which would be their wedding present—that the pair was completely unaware of. In fact, to make sure the pair didn't find out before the house was ready—it was to be a big house, not too far from a main road, near what used to be the treaty line—Esme had been concentrating very hard on not thinking about it when Edward was around.
“How much longer is she going to be in pain?” Charlie asked. He hated seeing that look on Bella's face.
“Maybe two days” Carlisle said. “Her entire genetic code is being rewritten. I do not believe it will take that long, though. The longest I've ever seen it take is three and a half days, and Bella is progressing much faster.”
“And that bracelet will help her?”
“It won't make her thirst go away. Her throat's still going to hurt, but we'll go hunting as soon as the change is finished,” Edward said. “It will stop her from being attracted by the scent of human blood. Human blood won't smell or taste like food to her. But animal blood will, which is why none of the cats are here.” “Does mom know?”
“She wants to know if Renee knows,” Dawn asked. She'd explained to Charlie that Bella didn't want to talk out loud because she was afraid if she opened her mouth she'd scream or cry out, and she didn't want to scare Carlie.
“Not yet, sweetie,” Charlie said. “I didn't want to call her and tell her. I figured you'd tell her when you were ready, after it was over. Besides, even though she's okay with the magic thing, I'm not sure how well she'd take it.” “When's Jared's funeral?”
“Tomorrow evening.” Dawn said. “If you're finished, Jake and I will go. Otherwise, I'm staying here with you.” “Edward, will you read to me again?”
Bella asked. “Focusing on the words helps.”
“What book do you want?” Edward asked. “Les Miserables,”
Bella thought. “The unabridged version.”
“I don't have that one memorized. Let me go and grab it,” Edward said. He left the room, returned with the book and started reading.
Alice was hunting with Faith and Jasper. Alice would have been happy with some deer, but because of the battle, Jasper and Faith craved bigger game. They hungered for predators, which would better restore their strength and sate their thirst. This time of year the grizzlies were in hibernation, and the Pack would be unhappy if they hunted wolves This left them either with big cats or coyotes as their most likely choices. So currently they were hunting a pride of cougars. Faith and Jasper tracked the big cats, and took down the whole family, sating their thirst with the warm, rich blood. Alice, much smaller than her two lovers, was perfectly fine with the three deer she caught. As much as Alice wanted to be there when Bella woke up as vampire—she was going to be dazzling—everyone understood that Alice had to put Faith and Jasper first. Faith was still a newborn, so both her bloodlust and sex drive were amped up. Especially when one took in consideration that even before she became a vampire she had increased bloodlust and sex drive due to being the slayer. And Jasper was Jasper. While the bracelet Dawn and Bella had given him was a godsend, and allowed him to be in the presence of humans without constant pain, he still experienced the emotions of the people around him. After several days of battle, Jasper needed time away from the rest of the family, with just his two lovers and nobody else.
Although she didn't bear the empathic talents of her partners, Alice didn't need an extra sense to know they needed her, wanted her. When Alice and Jasper had first found each other they spent months together, alone, getting used to their bodies, their sex drives. Jasper's empathy had made their lovemaking more extreme. Now that Faith was immortal, all her urges were stronger. Faith was still a newborn, still able to hurt her partners, but she was able to be careful with them. After their feeding, they let themselves lose themselves within one another.
They knocked down a redwood tree accidentally. It was a testament to Faith's unbelievable strength. They felt guilty for killing the magnificent, ancient tree, and decided to keep to that tree for the rest of their time in that forest, as not to damage any more. Jasper leaned back against the fallen giant, his arms around Faith, who had Alice in her own arms. Although Jasper and Faith couldn't see Alice's face from this position, their empathic talents combined with Alice's steady, slow breathing told them she was searching the future. Ever since Willow had done the mojo on Alice to increase the subject matter of her visions, Alice's visions came in an almost uninterrupted stream. It was with practice, and her expanded vampiric brain able to think about multiple things at once that she learned how to push all of the visions aside, and sift through them during her downtime. Both Jasper and Faith knew what she was doing now.
“Whose future are you looking at?” Faith asked, still occasionally mesmerized by the musicality of her voice.
“I'm working through family,” Alice said. “Starting with Bella. She's going to be dazzling. Then extended family, the Quileutes. I'm checking up on everyone directly involved with us. Them I'm going to search for the others. The other Cold Ones were weren't in the clearing.”
“What do you see?” Jasper asked. “Sometimes it helps you to talk through it, right?”
“Yes. Bella is going to be amazing. But as soon as the transformation takes, Jake and Edward are going to try and keep Bella and Dawn apart physically. Dawn's not going to like that,” Alice said, “But Jake's going to take her back to Oxford for a bit, while Bella learns control, and Dawn's going to throw herself into getting yet another degree. I can't believe how smart she is, she's as smart as us, I think. Maybe smarter. She doesn't have the photographic memory inherent to us, but she's still a genius, I think. You know, she'll have three Masters' degrees and two PHDs 5 years from now. Eric's going to be in close second for number of acquired degrees by human in our circle. Well, technically Nick will have more than Eric, but Nick's also two years older than Eric, so he's got a head start. Eric and Nick are going to move to LA, and take Xander's place at the Hyperion. There going to transfer to a college in LA under the pretense that there's a famous mathematician whom Nick wants to study under. They're also going to start interning at Angel's law firm. Did you know that both of them, and Dawn are all going to be pursued by the government? Not for being criminals or anything,” Alice felt Faith tense behind her, “Well, Eric a little, he's an incredibly brilliant hacker, but he still might cross the line anyway. However, Eric, Nick and Dawn are all going to have the federal government try to recruit them at some point. They're gonna want some of the slayers too, of course, but Buffy's going to make sure that not a single slayer works for the government unless she really wants too.”
“Good,” Faith said.
“Matthew is gonna be a football player in high school. With Emmett as a dad, can you really doubt it? He'll be a good witch, especially with Willow, Bella and Dawn to train him, but he's gonna be an awesome athlete for a human. And he's not going to be an only child forever. Rose and Emmett are going to adopt another in a few years.”
“Any other kids on the horizon?” Faith asked curiously,
“Several,” Alice said. She didn't give any details, however. While her lovers were incredibly skilled at keeping the future to themselves when Alice told them, Alice knew that several of her human acquaintances were rather picky about people knowing of their babies before they did. She looked forward to the babies, though, because she loved
spoiling her friends' children.
“What's Kim having?” Jasper asked. “We should get her a very nice baby gift.”
“She's having a boy,” Alice said. “She'd going to call him Jared after his father. Oh dear,” she said, slipping a phone from her pocket. She hit the speed dial for Dawn. “Dawn? It's Alice. I've just had a vision of Jared's funeral, and if things aren't handled delicately, they could be very messy.”
Neither Faith nor Jasper asked for details. Alice would tell them what they couldn't overhear when the conversation was over. Then she'd put away her cell phone and they'd spend more time together, just the three of them.
Dawn was irritated. She had been sitting next to Bella on the bed, holding her best friend's hand. But when Bella's heart started to speed up, Jake and Emmett had pulled her off the bed and practically dragged her to the other side of the room, putting their large, muscled bodies between the two best friends. Seth and Esme were down in the kitchen with Carlie, Charlie and Kate, but Rosalie was near the door. The Denalis were nearby, in different parts of the house, just in case. Alice, Jasper and Faith were still out in the woods somewhere between LA and the Olympic Peninsula, and Wesley and Fred weren't there.
It was interesting. Even though Carlisle had embraced both Fred and Wesley, he knew that the two young vampires didn't consider themselves part of the Cullen Coven, and that was okay with him. He had turned Fred to save her life, and then turned Wesley to save him both from and for Fred. As long as they didn't go on murderous rampages, Carlisle was content to let them go off on their own. And they had their own coven, as non-traditional as it was, with Angel, Cordelia, Gunn and Lorne. Of course, everyone could tell that things were tense between Cordelia and Angel at the moment, but they were still a family, and Carlisle had no intention of interfering with that. If Wesley and Fred wanted to join their family, they were more than welcome, but if they wanted to stay in California, Carlisle wasn't going to stop them.
Bella's heart was racing, and her breathing was fast and ragged. Dawn was tapped into Bella's mind, along with Jake and Edward. She was fascinated by the changes in Bella's mind. Over the past four and a half years that they'd been practicing magic together Bella and Dawn had deeply explored telepathic linking. They still had the odd embarrassing moment from time to time, when Bella inadvertently caught herself checking out Jake's butt, and other such things, or when one of the girls forgot to end the mind link before seducing her man. But for the most part, they were completely in tune with one another.
As her family listened, Bella's heart raced, stuttered, and then came to a complete stop. “Bella, love, are you still with us?”
Edward asked his wife, telepathically. “I think so. Am I charcoal dust?”
“You're beautiful,” Edward reassured her out loud. He reached out to touch her hand, ad Bella reacted instinctively. Her overreaction was understood within seconds, but she had already leaped off the bed and landed in a defensive crouch when she realized she was startled because Edward's hand was the same temperature as her own. Dawn was fascinated by how quickly Bella was able to think, and actually found herself a little envious. Bella drew herself up to her full height and gazed out at her family, amazed by what she saw through her new and improved eyes.
“Where's Carlie?” she asked, her daughter at the forefront of her mind. She was instantly distracted by the musical ring in her voice.
` “Downstairs with Seth and Esme,” Edward reassured her. “Charlie and Kate are with them too. She's fine.”
“So, Bella, why don't you take a breath and prove to the guys you don't want to eat me, so they'll calm down,” Dawn suggested.
Slightly apprehensive, Bella inhaled. Dawn smelled very nice, but not like food. Her throat didn't burn any more than it already did. The different scents were fascinating. Bella found she didn't have named for the scents she was smelling, though Edward's mind was able to suggest a few through their link.
“You smell lovely. But not at all like dinner,” Bella managed to get out, smiling.
“Bella, how do you feel?” Carlisle asked.
“Overwhelmed,” Bella admitted.
“Yes, that is standard.”
“So, you guys want to let me by, then?” Dawn asked Jake and Emmett, impatiently pushing past them to get close to Bella. She got a good look at her best friend and her mouth dropped open. “Hey, Rosalie, can you grab a mirror? Bella can't believe what I'm seeing.”
“You are very controlled,” Tanya observed from her place at the doorway.
“Thank you,” Bella said, captivated again by the change in her voice.
Rosalie reentered with a full-sized mirror and held it up for Bella to see. Bella stared at the reflection, almost frightened, especially as she stared into her own bright red eyes. She calmed herself by finding the imperfection in her lips and staring at it. Edward reassured her that her eyes would darken in a few months, and she could always spin an illusion to change their color if she wanted.
“Bella, let's go hunt,” Edward suggested.
“Should we end the spell?” Dawn asked, raising her hand to tap the side of Bella's head.
“Yeah,” Bella said, and the separated the four minds. Instinctively, she caught Dawn's hand in her own and pressed it to her cheek. She felt the blood flowing beneath the skin, felt the warmth against her own cold skin, and listened to her best friend's heart. The sound was rich and heavy and wet, and Bella's mouth filled with venom. Her other hand clutched at her throat which now burned with increased thirst. It would be so easy to tear Dawn's throat right out, and feast on that precious blood. She lowered into her crouch, analyzing the amount of force necessary to disable her prey and release the precious blood. As she prepared to strike, Dawn's confused eyes met her own, which was enough to snap Bella out of it. The second Bella realized what she was doing, she clamped both hands over her ears and backed up against the wall.
“Hunting, definitely a good idea,” Bella said, fear in her voice.
“Did I do something wrong?” Dawn asked, worried.
“I'd guess the sound of your heartbeat made her thirsty,” Emmett said. Bella's head bobbed in a fast, jerky nod.
“Yeah, no eating your best friend,” Dawn said, wagging her finger as Bella as she stepped back into the safety of Jake's arms.
“That's amazing,” Tanya admired.
“It really is,” Carlisle agreed.
“What is?” Bella asked. Her voice was slightly muffled because she's pressed her face against Edward's chest in comfort, as he wrapped his arms around her.
“You stopped, in the middle of a hunt,” Edward said, his voice full of shock. “You wanted to kill Dawn. You were going to kill Dawn. But then you looked into her eyes, and snapped out of it. No newborn can snap out of a hunt like that. It's impossible. You're amazing. But we don't know how long it can last. Let's go get you fed.”
“Okay,” Bella said, separating from Edward. At that moment she seemed to become aware of what she was wearing. Even though it was January, Dawn and Edward had put Bella into a thin cotton sundress. It was white with black flowery accents and thin straps. It was quite pretty. When she was transforming, her whole body felt like it was on fire, and they hadn't wanted to cover her up too much. Now that she was a vampire, the cold wouldn't feel uncomfortable to her at all. “I don't have any shoes on.”
“You won't need them” Rosalie said. “And since it's your first run in the woods, you'd be likely to ruin any you did wear. It's better to run barefoot when you're a newborn.”
“Let's go out the window,” Edward said. “Carlie, Charlie, Kate and Matthew are downstairs. We don't want any more close calls.”
“Okay,” Bella said. “You first.” Edward jumped from the window, and Bella positioned herself to follow him. “No clumsy vampire jokes,” she warned Emmett, shaking a finger at him menacingly, before following Edward's movements exactly; landing gracefully on the ground.
“They'll be fine,” Jake reassured Dawn, holding her against him tightly. “We should get ready for Jared's funeral.”
“You spoke to Sam, made sure the gathering won't have anyone who doesn't already know about werewolves?”
“Yeah. He's a little irritated you won't tell him who the new wolf is,” Jake said.
“Alice told me not to. Said it could be seriously messy. You need to trust me.”
“I do, it's Sam who doesn't,” Jake said.
“I know. You're right though. I want to go home and take a shower,” Dawn said.
“Me too,” Jake said, kissing her on top of the head. They bid their vampire family goodbye and then headed back to Buffy's.
Edward led Bella to a completely deserted section of the forest before setting her free, following her from a safe distance. He let her follow her nose, choosing her own prey, and was interested to see that she passed many deer and a hibernating grizzly to go straight for a mountain lion. She was still thirsty afterward, and took down several deer and two badgers before she was sated.
“I like the changes to your dress,” Edward observed. “You look like a feral goddess. If you were to descend on a group of men right now, they'd welcome death gladly at your hands.”
“Very funny,” Bella said, notice for the first time that her pretty white sundress hadn't fared well against the cat's claws. She was also a fairly messy eater, and had managed to get blood all over her dress. One of the straps was torn and hanging down, the skirt was tattered in three places. Her breasts were barely holding the dress up.
“You know, It's incredibly shallow of me to admit,” Bella began, “but part of me is glad you changed me while I was still nursing. I get to keep the larger breasts. Also, very glad they're not going to sag.”
“I like them,” Edward said, pulling up next to her so that he could grab the globes in question. “And I don't care if you're shallow. You're my wife, and I get to keep you forever.”
“And I'm glad Dawn and Jake aren't in my head right now,” Bella grinned lecherously before kissing Edward hard on the mouth. It was possibly their most passionate kiss ever, since Edward had absolutely no fear of accidentally hurting her. Although he did pull away earlier than she wished.
“Careful, Bella,” Edward said, wincing. “You're much stronger than me. It's your turn not to break me.”
“I forgot,” Bella admitted. “You don't want to wait, do you? Not for a whole year.”
“No,” Edward admitted, “Of course not. Just try not to rip anything off. I know I can be put back together, but it still hurts.”
“I'll try to watch myself,” Bella promised, before pouncing on her husband.
The official story for Jared's death was that the boys had gone camping and hiking over the Christmas holidays and Jared had fallen off a cliff. They'd been pretty far out in the mountains, the rumors said, and Sam and Paul had carried him back on a homemade stretcher for two days, Jake and the others taking turns carrying. Kim, Emily, Rachel, Leah and Dawn were supposedly having a girls' weekend in LA, and Jared had somehow managed to get through to Kim on his cellphone while he was dying, isn't it so sad?
The funeral was smallish, just family and friends, and the gathering at Jared's house smaller still, but depending on perspective, the gathering was pretty large. All the members of both Packs were there along with their partners, the Quileute elders, Jared's grandparents, Charlie and Kate, Spike, Xander, Vi, and Anya and Giles. Most of the Cullens had stayed home, though Rosalie and Emmett were there. Angie, Ben, Nick and Eric were there, with Nick tagging along awkwardly. Nick didn't really know Jared very well, they'd only met over Thanksgiving and Christmas, and hadn't spoken much. But Eric had counted Jared as a friend, and Nick wanted to keep Eric company. Jared's parents had known he was a werewolf, although they hadn't told his younger siblings yet. Jared had been the oldest of six with three younger brothers and two younger sisters. It was entirely possible that his younger brothers would someday change into wolves, but right now they were too young. Kim was there, of course, very quiet. With both Edward and Bella out hunting Seth was gladly babysitting Carlie, and was bouncing her lightly as he sat next to Kim. He didn't want to give her any trite comments about how her pain would lessen in time. It would, of course, but when Rona had been killed, those comments hadn't helped much. So he just sat next to her quietly.
Embry sat on Kim's other side, just keeping her company. Embry and Kim had always been good friends, but he didn't really know what to say either. Even though Embry saw how happy his Pack-mates were with their imprints, Embry wasn't sure he ever wanted to imprint. It seemed almost unfair to him to be so inescapably bound to another single individual. Embry had a hard enough problem with monogamy. He and Jude sometimes invited a third or even fourth into their bed, and both knew their relationship likely wouldn't last forever. It was part of the reason he and Eric didn't work out, no matter how much they loved each other, Eric liked monogamy, wanted commitment, and Embry didn't. He still felt for Kim, however. Losing a loved one was never easy, and when the bond was supernatural, it was even worse.
“Hey, Stacy, how are you doing?” Sam asked Jared;s younger sister. Stacy was fifteen, almost sixteen. She and Jared had been very close when she was little, even though he was more than five years older than her, but they hadn't spent much time together since Jared first phased more than four years earlier. At first he had stayed away for safety, not wanting to hurt his siblings if he lost his temper. Then he imprinted on Kim and wanted to spend all his time with her, and help her take care of her mother. So between his Pack, his girlfriend, and his girlfriend's sick mom, he didn't have any time for his little sisters and brothers anymore. Stacy was fifteen, Mark and Adam were twelve, Colby was nine and Mira, the youngest, was seven. She really didn't quite get that Jared wasn't coming back.
“Go to hell,” Stacy said angrily.
“Stacy, mind your manners,” her mother said.
“No! It's all your fault! Jared used to hate you!” she screamed at Sam. “He was a good brother, and he loved me, and you took him away! I hate you!” Stacy was shaking in anger, her whole body vibrating.
“Stacy,” Kim said, “Don't. It's not Sam's fault. Don't make a scene.”
“I hate you too,” Stacy said to Kim. The look on Stacy's face showed that she was shocked at the words coming out of her mouth, like she had never meant to admit that.
“Leah,” Connor said from the corner of the room, “I think she's going to join you.“ he pointed at Stacy.
“You think?” Leah asked, “Really?” She had believed herself the only female wolf, but Stacy's rage felt familiar. It was the uncontrollable rage that went hand in hand with the lupine transformation.
“My senses aren't the same as yours. She's grown half an inch in the last two hours.”
“I came prepared,” Dawn said from her place about two feet away from Leah. “Alice told me yesterday.” She pulled something from her purse and threw it on the ground in from of Stacy. Stacy, Sam, and everyone within six feet of them froze in place.. “Don't freak out people, I just wanted to tie this bracelet on Stacy's wrist without risking my arm being ripped off. Now she won't think you smell bad, Rose,” Dawn smiled at her friend, but it didn't reach her eyes.
“We should cut her hair, too,” Leah said, “If the spell will last long enough. If we can cut it before she phases, she won't trip over her own fur. Dawn, is she aware of what I'm saying?”
“She can hear you, she just can't answer back,” Dawn said. “Stacy, I'm sorry to freeze you like this, but it's for your own safety. I'll lift the spell in a few minutes.”
“We need a pair of scissors,” Leah said. While she was talking Rosalie dashed into the kitchen and returned with a pair of kitchen shears.
“Here, let me,” Rosalie offered. “I'm pretty good with haircuts.”
“This is true,” Dawn said, “Since you cut both mine and Leah's.”
Rosalie stepped behind Stacy and untied her waist-long black hair. She combed her fingers through it and then quickly cut it to chin-length, like Leah's.
“Leah, is this short enough?” Rose asked.
“Yeah. It looks good,” Leah said. “Stacy. I'm really sorry for this, but about a minute after Dawn ends the spell you're going to turn into a spirit wolf, and if your hair was so long your fur would be two or three feet long, and you'd get tangled in it, unable to move. It's not to scary, just don't fight it. I'm one too, and all the boys. That's why Jared was spending so much time with Sam and Paul and the others. He was in a Pack.”
“I'm going to end the spell now,” Dawn said, picking up her spell bag and saying three words in Latin as she walked out of the range of Stacy's damage.
“Stacy, come outside with me,” Leah suggested.
“Don't tell me what to do!” Stacy shouted, her form starting to shimmer. Leah waved over Connor and Vi who helped her physically carry a thrashing Stacy out into the backyard. Sam, Paul and the other male wolves stood in shock for a moment. Sam was incredibly irritated that Dawn hadn't told him who was going to transform. Maybe they could have stopped it. But the Quileute wolves followed the girls out the door. Seth handed Carlie to Kim who took her without a second though, and Quil directed Claire to go to Emily, who took her five-year-old cousin's hand. Stacy was full of rage, but Leah was still stronger.
“You wanna fight?” Leah said, still in human form. “Fight me. But leave Kim along, she doesn't deserve your anger.”
Rage tore through Stacy's body, shifting it and changing it until a gray and black timber wolf stood in her place. Like Leah, Stacy's wolf form was only slightly larger than a normal wolf, much smaller than the forms of the young men changing around her. Jared's backyard was filling with horse-sized wolves. In front of her, Leah was changing forms as well. She heard the voices as they joined her mind, explaining what she now was. What Jared had been. How Jared had died. She heard Sam's voice and Paul's voice and got angry. She was surrounded by voices and quickly identified them—Sam, Paul, Colin, Brady and Rob. “Why can't I hear Leah?”
Stacy asked. “Separate Packs aren't linked. Sam leads us,”
Colin quickly supplied, “And Jake is Alpha for the other Pack. Embry, Quil, Seth and Leah are in that one.” “You're in my Pack,”
Sam said matter-of-factly, the double timbre of the Alpha voice washing over her. “Jared ran with me.” “He'd want you running with us, Space-Case,”
Paul supplied, using Jared's private nickname for Stacy.
The arrogance of the Alpha and the Beta pissed Stacy off even more. She couldn't believe this. She was a wolf, fine, maybe she could deal with that, but she had to share her thoughts with a bunch of guys.
Guys she didn't even like. Guys she hated. The people she blamed, above all else, for the painful separation that had happened between her and Jared. Jared had been her best friend when she was little. She didn't have a lot of friends, but Jared had always been there for her. Until he started hanging out with Sam's...cult. “I HATE YOU!
Stacy projected, her voice howling at Sam.
It happened very quickly. Stacy was flinging her anger and hatred at Sam and Paul—Jared's best friend—when instantly, Sam, Paul, Colin, Brady and Rob all left her mind. For an instant, her mind was empty, no additional voices. She whirled around looking for Jake, and spotted him. Instinctively, she ran towards the mammoth red-brown wolf and dropped down onto her belly in front of him. She looked into his eyes, and then dropped her head to the ground, awaiting permission. Suddenly her mind was full of voices again, but these ones were different. It took her a minute to pin the name on the voice, but soon she picked out Leah, Embry, Quil, Seth and of course, Jake. Jake bumped his large nose against her forehead. Then Stacy stood up onto her feet and moved behind Jacob. Jake and Sam stared each other down from across the yard, before Sam nodded his massive head. He turned and trotted away, Paul, Brady, Colin, and Rob behind him.
“Well, it looks like Stacy made her choice,” Dawn said to Connor, as they watched their significant other welcome Stacy into the Pack by bumping their noses against her body. “Welcome to the family, Stacy,” Dawn said from across the lawn, knowing the wolves could hear her just fine. Jake ran over to his fiancee and lightly pressed his wet nose against the center of her forehead. Their signal that he wanted to talk to her. She placed her hands on either side of his massive head and let a tendril of magic reach out as she connected her mind to his own. “We're going to take Stacy running. Should I meet you at Buffy's house or at the Big House?”
“I'll take Carlie back to the Big House, and you can meet me there. I want to see Bella after her first hunt, and I've left a bunch of my books there, which I need to pick up if we want to pack to go back to England soon.” “Okay. I love you Qahla,”
Jake told her before turning and leading his Pack off into the woods.
“So, we should help Jared's Mom out,” Dawn said, “Watching Stacy phase had to be hard. Then we'll go back to the Big House.”
“Sounds good to me,” Connor said. “You wash, I'll dry?”
“Of course,” Dawn said, giving Connor a side hug as they walked back into the house.
*End Chapter 72*
So, here you go. I hope it won't take me too long to get the next one up. Reviews are always appreciated. I can't believe how long I have been working on this chapter! If I'm lucky the next one will go faster.
I just wanna add that I actually really like Paul, and I like Sam too. These are Stacy's feelings, not my own. I hope y'all don't think I'm intentionally character-bashing or anything.