The Black Wolf and The White Swan

Chapter 24

Sam and Embry decided that together they would go and see Joshua on Wednesday while me and Elsee were at school and on that day I could barely focus on my teaching, hoping the whole time that Sam hadn't exploded and ripped Joshua's face off, Allison I knew was equally as worried since I had dropped in on her last night.

I had another staff meeting that night so Allison had picked up Elsee for me and then I stayed later to catch up on some marking I need to do soon it was late when I finally left. As I walked across the parking lot toward my car, I begged my lucky stars that it would start and that Edward wouldn't suddenly appear. Edward didn't but the rest of family did.

'Haven't you ever heard of calling or inviting someone over when you want to talk to them?' I complained to the family standing in front of me. 'You guys are going to give me a heart attack one of these days. What is keeping you guys here anyway? There are no vampires around, I am not in any danger and Carlisle you said yourself that you cause a lot of damage here. If another kid turns into a wolf I will blame all of you.'

I had learned something from those legends I had heard all those months ago: it was vampire presence nearby that caused the wolves to transform.

'That's completely fair,' Carlisle smiled sadly over at me and I realised I really had changed sides, 'but won't be necessary because we are leaving now. Goodbye, Bella.'

Though I had joked about it and asked the idea of them leaving wasn't a friendly one. I pressed my lips together and looked away, blinking to keep to tears in.

'Where are you going this time?' I asked eventually.

'We're going back East,' Esme said, smiling over at me. 'Back to Chicago, we haven't been there since we found Edward -'

'Bella!' Alice suddenly spoke up. 'Is that an engagement ring?'

My left hand froze where it was brushing a bit of hair behind my ear and I lowered it took look at my ring, smiling softly.

'Yeah, Sam asked me to marry him,' I looked up at her. 'Oh, and, Carlisle, I've been meaning to thank you for the advice on the restraining order - we haven't seen him since so … thank you.'

'I'm glad I could be of some help,' he smiled fatherly back at me but Alice brushed him off.

'Don't change the subject, you two,' she complained. 'You don't tell us anything anymore, Bella!'

'Hey!' I said in defence. 'I thought you'd left.'

'We wouldn't leave without -' Emmett started to say but at my raised eyebrow he stopped: they had left before without saying goodbye.

Alice rolled her golden eyes and danced towards me, taking my hand just like Leah had done. She squealed over how cute it was while I exchanged weary looks with Jasper causing some of the others to laugh. Eventually I was freed and Esme hugged me tightly.

'I'm very proud of you,' she said in my ear and passed me to Carlisle who kissed my hair as he hugged me.

'Congratulations,' he smiled down at me. 'I bet Elsee's over the moon.'

'You can say that again,' I laughed lightly.

After the rest had said something a tense atmosphere fell over the group and I looked at tem warily.

'What?' I asked, hoping this wouldn't be something terrible

'Do you remember what we told you about mates and what happens if someone kills a vampire mates?' Rosalie asked hesitantly.

'Like it was yesterday,' I said - that was why Victoria had come after me. 'Why?'

'Because Laurent had a mate,' Jasper answered and I groaned falling back against my car in defeat.

'Why won't you vampire's leave me be?!' I complained and got a load of looks. 'Not you guys, of course.'

Esme laughed lightly, 'I'm going to take it you remember about the Denali's and how Laurent went and stayed with them? Well, he got very close with Irina, mate-close, they won't attack because of our agreement and friendship with the wolves but we just thought you should be aware.'

I swallowed and nodded.

'Okay, thanks,' I whispered, taking a deep breath to try and control the thoughts swirling around my head. 'Will you guys come back?'

'Sam did give me and Esme permission to set foot of the reservation remember,' Carlisle reminded me and I smiled at him and nodded.

A few more words said and I realised that I really should get back home since Elsee's bedtime was closing in fast.

'I better get home,' I smiled sadly at them. 'Sam's on patrol so Allison, Sam's mom, is watching Elsee. I've got to go get her. Thank you all so much for everything.'

'I'll miss you, Bella,' Alice smiled and came and hugged me.

'Tell Sam we apologise for the smell,' Jasper chuckled in goodbye winking at me because he didn't trust himself any closer and I laughed lightly thinking about how it's probably a good thing that Sam was patrolling.

The rest of the family hugged me again and then there was a breath of wind and they were gone out of my life again leaving no evidence in their wake that they had ever been in the parking lot. I felt heavy as I got back in my car, which started easily, and drove back home but the feeling left as soon as my little girl ran towards me, already starting to tell me everything about her day before she'd even reached me. I sat with Allison for a while and she invited me to one of those bridal shows. I still wasn't amazingly into weddings though at this age I wasn't against them at all, I agreed to go with her for inspiration and some boding time - Allison and I had never been alone, Elsee was always there or Sam.

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