The Black Wolf and The White Swan

Chapter 20

Finally everything went back to normal when I saw Sam at least every day and slept beside him most nights unless it was his turn to patrol during the nights. But everything was so calm now, it was almost like we were a normal family: Chris hadn't be seen since the court hearing, no more vampires had come wondering across the packs path and Sam and I were finally comfortable in our own home once again. Elsee meeting her biological father had only driven her more toward Sam and despite only knowing him since later September (it was now February) she was becoming a total daddy's girl, making our little family unit seem so strong.

It was Valentine's Day soon and since Jake had no date he was taking Elsee for Sam and I while we went it out. I had no idea what Sam had planned but I knew it was something: I hated surprises, that would never change I was sure. I wasn't sure why I hated it so much, whether it was the not knowing part of it or whether it was an experience I had had when I was little I wasn't sure but I really wanted to know sometimes. Even though I hated surprises I was quite excited though underneath the dread.

'Where are you taking me now?' I asked Sam as we got back into car after dropping Elsee off at Jacobs.

'You should stop asking because I'm not going to tell you,' Sam chuckled as he drove and it wasn't long before I realised we were taking the hour and a half long drive up to Port Angeles .

Eventually Sam pulled the car to a stop and I looked out surprised to see the restaurant where I had realised I was in love with him in, the place where we had had our first date-come-family outing. While I was debating what we were doing back here Sam had gotten out and made his way round the car, opening to door from. I allowed him to help me out before I linked my arms with his and we entered the restaurant.

'What are we going here?' I asked laughing lightly.

'I figured that technically we never had our date here,' Sam smiled over at me. 'So, how about a redo?'

'A redo sounds perfect.'

It was packed full of couples but it was laid out in such a way that it didn't look overly crowded. A waiter led us to a table and offered us wine. We chattered easily once we had ordered, Sam and I weren't like normal 3/4 month couples - I could barely believe that was all it had been now, I felt like I had been with for longer because I had such trust in him, such love and faith. Perhaps it was the imprinting that made Sam and I jump through the relationship stages, though I was amazed that we hadn't had a massive fight yet. I mean, we'd had spats and little arguments over stupid things that blew over in a second but never a full out fight.

Though it was Valentine's Day, the date was just like every other dinner one we had had over our months together.

'What are you thinking?' I asked Sam as the waiter took our dessert plates away and Sam just stared into the distance seeming looked in a deep thought.

'Big things,' he replied, wrinkling his nose teasingly at me. 'Important things.'

'Like?' I asked, smiling at him.

'Like if I asked you to marry me whether you would say yes,' he said in a casual tone and I stared at him with my smile gone and my mouth open.

'What?' I asked, positive I had misheard his words until he slipped down to one knee in front of me.

'Bella, I love you more than anything - except maybe Elsee' I almost laughed as my smile returned to my face at his words 'and I know it soon, really soon, but I don't want, and never will want to, live another day without you. You and the little girl you brought into my life have become the centre of my universe and one of the few things I actually care about.

'I love you, Belle, because you're different, you're tough, and beautiful and charming and so perfect. You're so amazing and I can't imagine my life without you in it anymore. I promise to love you and Elsee for the rest of my life and to protect you from what I can so will you, please, marry me?'

The whole restaurant had gone silent awaiting my reply and, though I had gone bright red, I nodded, 'of course I will. Yes.'

Sam grinned up at me as everyone clapped and slipped the right, a beautiful silver piece with an emerald (Elsee's birthstone) in the centre with diamond accents, onto my finger. I looked at it for second before pulling him with his tie toward me so I could kiss him.

'Really soon is an understatement,' I laughed in his ear as I hugged him, 'but I don't care. I love you.'

Sam's arms tightened around me before we pulled apart placing one last kiss to my lips.

'Elsee will be happy,' I giggled slightly imagining Elsee's face when we tell her.

'About that,' Sam said awkwardly. 'What would you say to me adopting her when we get married? Can I?'

I stared at him. He was full of requests tonight that he had to already know the answer to; I leant across the table and kissed him again.

'Of course, that would be perfect!' I beamed over at him, suddenly feeling as if everything was actually falling into place. 'It's just, are we were going to be able to get Chris to sign away the last of his rights… Elsee would love that though and so would I. I can't believe you want to, I thought you'd just stay her step-father.'

'Yeah, Chris might cause some problems,' Sam frowned.

'Let's not worry about him,' I said, my beaming smile still of my face. 'He can't wreck this.'

'Definitely,' Sam agreed.

We had some champagne after that, quite a bit of it though not enough so Sam wouldn't be able to drive, and then we drove home. Jake was keeping Elsee for the evening so Sam and I continued our evening out on the beach, Sam's radiating heat keeping me nice and warm, before we went back into the house… and things escalated from the sitting on the couch quickly.

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