The Black Wolf and The White Swan

By Samantha Nichols

Other

Chapter 9

'Hey, you,' I looked up from my book to the doorway of my bedroom where Sam was leaning, his face twisted into an apologetic expression

'I'm so sorry,' he said walking towards me and sitting on the bed close by so he could brush his hand over my cheek. I placed at hand on his.

'Don't worry about it,' I smiled, knowing he couldn't help transforming when he was angry.

'Thank you so much for getting out of there,' he whispered. 'I couldn't live with myself if I hurt you.'

He flinched at the very thought and I kissed his cheek before smiling up at him.

'It's the past, honey, and the past doesn't matter,' I said speaking both of his reaction and of my past: both things were now past matters that we needn't concern ourselves with any longer. He lent forward and kissed my forehead.

'I'm so sorry, Bella,' he whispered. 'You didn't deserve that and that boy definitely didn't deserve you … but then, who does deserve someone like you?'

I rolled my eyes: I was nothing special, 'well no one deserves that but I got Elsee and she is the best gift I could have ever gotten it. She's given me meaning to my life that I couldn't possible conceive before.'

'Still, Belle,' he muttered angrily. 'I will never let anyone, including me, hurt you, or Elsee, again. I swear to god.'

'I know,' I smiled over at him. 'I trust you. I know you are nothing like him and I know that love Elsee … so when should we move in?'

I tried to change the conversation because this one was beginning to take a strain on me; my choice of subject made Sam grin.

'As soon as possible,' he laughed. 'This weekend?'

'Sounds perfect,' I beamed at him in return and the sighed. 'What are we going to do about the Cullens? I mean they don't seem to be causing a problem at the moment but you never know.'

'They won't do anything,' Sam assured me. 'Carlisle would never let them and there's also the treaty.'

'Yeah, do wanna explain the treaty a bit more to me?' I asked, last time it had been explained to me, I hadn't gotten many details.

Sam shrugged and gave me an "if you wanna know" face before speaking, 'it was created in 1936 with the pack - which at the time was only three wolves, Elphraim Black, Levi Uley and Quil Aleara II - and the Cullens - back then there was only Carlisle, Edward, Emmett, Esme and Rosalie. It's maintained as long as the Cullens don't bite any humans, meaning either turning or hunting them, or come onto our land. In return, we wouldn't attack them or reveal their nature to humans. Carlisle and Ephraim were the signatories. It's quiet simple really.'

I nodded. Still not much detail but then they probably didn't know all that much, Carlisle would be a better person to ask since he had actually been there or any of the other Cullens beside Alice and Jasper, but it gave me more of an understanding. I thought back to the time where I wanted to become one of them and how Sam had just told me doing so would have violated the treaty.

'Tell you what,' he said. 'We should be having a council meeting soon and you have a rightful place there.'

'Why?' I asked and he gave me an incredulous look. 'Imprint right. What happens at a council meeting?'

'We eat food and listen to the histories of the tribe,' Sam shrugged and I raised an eyebrow that didn't sound much like a meeting but I smiled anyway. 'The whole pack'll be there and some of their imprints, not Clair, she's too young really, but Kim and … take it back, Imprint-wise, it'll just be you and Kim.' (I rolled my eyes at him, though I was glad that I was going to meet someone else in this imprint situation) 'Billy will be there, Sue, Old Quil -'

'Okay, that'll be interesting,' I grinned, 'but what'll I do with Elsee?'

The only people I trusted were in the pack or, like Billy and Sue, going to be there. I hadn't spoken to Angela in years - thinking of that I really should speak to her - or any of my Forks high school. If I really wanted to be cheeky, and only as I last resort, I could ask Esme but I didn't like the idea of Elsee around that family, I didn't trust them too much anymore though I knew Carlisle and Esme would simply adore Elsee.

'That's a really good question,' Sam frowned. 'Babysitter?'

I wrinkled my nose: I never liked babysitters that I didn't already know extremely well. It was just me.

As it turned out, a week later at this council meeting, I was going to leave Elsee with Esme but only because it was just her and Carlisle in the house. I felt bad taking their alone time but those two I still trusted. Sam wasn't happy about it and I wasn't happy standing in front of that big white house that they lived in again but I couldn't delay too long as they knew I was out here.

Carlisle met me at the door and wrapped me in a tight hug.

'Bella, it's lovely to see you again,' he smiled at me and I realised that physically I was now older than him which was a strange thought since I used to think of him as my second father and if I'm honest with myself I still do. 'I am so glad you're alive… you look very happy.'

He was still taller than me so I smiled up at him, wondering why people kept saying that to me as though they were surprised at this idea of my happiness, and pulled Elsee toward me.

'It's nice to see you as well,' I beamed. 'This is my daughter, Elsee. Elsee, this is …' - I paused as I debated the way to describe Carlisle and Esme - 'mummy's friend, Carlisle. He and his wife, Esme,' - I smiled up at her as she appeared - 'are going to watch you tonight and you need you to be one your best possible behaviour, okay?'

'Yes, Mummy,' Elsee replied obediently and I leant down to kiss her head.

'Bella, dear, it's so pleased to see you again,' Esme wrapped me in a hug tighter than her husband and I smiled at her, sweetly. Esme would always be a mother to me.

'I'd love to stay and talk to you both but I'm already late,' I looked at my watch worriedly. 'So thank you so, so much for this. I really sorry I have to do this to you, it's just I don't really know anyone here anymore and my step-families busy -'

'Bella, it's fine,' Carlisle rested a cold hand on my shoulder. 'Go have a nice evening, we'll see you later.'

'Thank you,' I pushed myself up to kiss his cheek, which took him completely by surprise, and hugged Esme once more, she kissed my hair.

I gave her some stuff for Elsee and then bent down and hugged my daughter, kissing her on the nose causing her to giggle.

'I'll see you later,' I told her standing up and opening the front door. 'Goodbye.'

'Goodbye, Bella,' Esme smiled and I ran down the steps to get to my car without getting too wet, apparently the rain was only over Forks and going in the opposite direction so the meeting, which I learnt was a barbeque stupid I thought because it was December next week, was going ahead on the cliff edge. I drove back to Sam's house since Else and I were now moved in completely though there were a few boxes left around that had only just come up from Arizona, where I would change and we would leave for the cliff top together.

We were one of that last to arrive but they hadn't started eating yet so we didn't miss out of dinner. It was my first time around the whole pack at once since I knew about the wolves and it was great because I no longer felt like they were keeping secrets around me and no longer as if they were thinking about their words a lot before they said them.

The food that was cooked was gone in seconds, which was saying something considering the quantity that was cooked but it always did with the wolves. Sam must have eaten at least half a dozen burgers/hot dogs himself.

When legends were about to start Sam shifted from he had been sitting behind me with one leg on either side so I could lean against his warm chest, making that I didn't get cold, to sit facing the same with as the tribe elders and, since he hadn't told me, it was only then that I realised as Alpha he was one as well.

It was strange, I noted, to think of the vampires as bad guys and I had to remind myself that the Cullens were unique apart from the Denali's and maybe a few unknowns but it was still weird hearing their species be portrayed in such a different way. Of course, they were enemies so it wasn't really surprising. The stories took hours and though I was fascinated by them by eyes began to fall heavily - Kim was already fast asleep on Jared's shoulder. Sam seemed to notice my weariness and shuffled back towards me slightly giving me a resting post, a warm, comfy one at that. His warmth warded of the cold that had been keeping me awake and I began to drift off.

'We're almost done,' his warm breath tickled my ear as he whispered and I nodded though I was already gone for the most part.

I woke up to a rocking motion and opened my eyes to see that we had left the cliff tops and that Sam was carrying me back home. We were walking through the forests and I tried not to think of how similar this was to a previous time though the situation and reason were completely different. I shifted slightly in his arms and he looked down at me.

'You're awake,' his deep comforting stated, smiling lovingly down at me and I managed a tired one back at him as I snaked my arms up around his neck.

'You don't have to carry me, I can walk,' I protested though I would probably slow him down if he did.

'It's fine,' he shrugged, or at least attempted to. 'You're not heavy and besides it's probably safer.'

I hit his chest slightly before laying my head on it and feeling his laugh vibrate through it. I was so content.

'What time is it?' I asked him sleepily.

''Bout half eleven, why?'

'Elsee.'

'Don't worry,' he smiled. 'I called Carlisle and Esme' - I looked up at him in surprise as he used their real names, I had never really noticed it before but after a night of them being referred to as leeches it was nice - 'they're going to keep her till the morning, apparently their "kids" won't be back until lunch and besides she was asleep. I gave Carlisle permission to bring her back in the morning.'

'What's gotten into you?' I asked suspiciously; him referring to the Cullen's by their real names was one thing but actually giving one permission to cross the border while sounding like it didn't bother him made me feel he was up to something.

'Nothing,' he replied defensively and I scoffed. 'Alright, I know you still like Carlisle and Esme so I thought I'd make it easier for you to see them. If it was any of the others there might be a bit more of a conflict, especially Edward - stupid leech.'

I rolled my eyes at the last comment but smiled anyway, 'thank you.'

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