Seven months later (after Breaking Dawn)
February 10th 2007
"Hurry up! Hurry up! Hurry up up up!" Claire cried, pounding her little fists on Emily's back. Quil quickly swooped down to pick her up and tossed her upside down as Emily giggled, glancing around. "Ahhh!" Claire exclaimed. "Quil!" She drawled. "Pbut Cwaire dwown!" She began to giggle and Quil smiled.
"Put Claire bear down? What's the magic word?" He chuckled and I smiled, leaning against the counter.
"Pwe-pwease!" She laughed hysterically and Quil let her down, right way up, gently. She giggled, hugging his leg because she was swaying a bit. "Dwizzy!" She tittered. Her mom laughed, coming forward to pick her up and tickle her nose. She smiled at us before taking her into the back yard.
This year, for my sixteenth birthday, I had decided to have it at Evelyn's grandparent's house. It was bigger than Emily's and not so far away for us all to drive or hike, or, cough, run. The kitchen was in full cooking mode- Mrs Hund was preparing a pie, Emily conquering the mound potatoes, Kim pouring lemonade and coca-cola into jugs and Mr Hund sitting in the corner, yelling at them about what to do.
He was still on crutches and loads of medication but Dr Cullen said he was doing well. Mrs Hund made sure to keep the house busy and alive during his time of being unable to do things and was more than happy when Evelyn proposed the idea of having my birthday here.
It was home, after all. If not legally.
The pack was playing touch football outside while my mom and sister overlooked the barbecue for Sam. I was drinking some Dr Pepper and I slurped the rest of it down, chucking it in the garbage.
"Need anything Mr Hund?" I asked, coming forward. He shook his head and grinned at me.
"Nah, nothing, Mr Clearwater. How many times do I have to tell you? Call me Jonathan."
"Oo, that's right. Sorry Mr Hu- I mean, Jonathan." I teased and he punched my stomach lightly.
"You're just pulling my leg." He chuckled. I laughed.
"I wouldn't do that! I'd be in heaps of trouble with Dr Cullen and your wife." I shivered and Mrs Hund laughed behind me.
"Oh dear." He smiled, glancing to her. "Alright then, you better skedaddle."
I laughed. "Sure thing, Jonathan. I'll go find that granddaughter of yours."
"You better!" He exclaimed as I began to walk away and I smiled, passing some of the children who were colouring at the dining table. They were rez kiddies, relatives of many of us. Basically the whole reservation had turned up. It was the first time we had all come together since New Years and so it was like a meeting. Throw in some cake and you've got a birthday party.
"Seen Evelyn?" I asked them. They looked up, their brown eyes happy.
"No! She said she had to go get something." A little girl- Harper- chirped.
"Are you gonna kiss her Seth?" Little Mack asked.
"Oh, well, it is my birthday. Maybe I'll get a present or two." I winked at them and they all giggled as I left. Old Quil patted my back and I smiled as I walked past him and a few other elders who had gone to talk to Jonathan. They handed him a beer and he gave in- despite what Dr Cullen said about alcohol.
"Can't keep an old man down!" He laughed, opening it up with a fizz. He was an old guy. I'm sure he was very tolerant to a beer or two.
I walked past a few others who wished me a happy birthday and then I got into the quiet hallway. I could still hear the music from the kitchen- old fifties sounds that Mr and Mrs Hund loved and almost always had playing. That and jazz. They were suckers for a good jazz song.
"Evelyn?" I called, looking around the store cupboard and up the stairs. I began to climb them. "Hey, Evelyn?"
"No! Don't come in yet!" She exclaimed from her old room.
"What're you doing-"
"Nothing!" She cried. I frowned, reaching the top of the stairs. She suddenly burst out, wearing a primrose yellow dress that splayed out at her knees. She twirled around to me and frowned. She had put up her hair and it framed her face beautifully. "You can't keep your nose out of anything!" She huffed, her cheeks becoming pink. I laughed, crossing my arms.
"Well, I am a wolf-"
"You can't see your present yet." She told me sternly, taking my hand and walking down the stairs. "Promise me you won't go snooping."
"Oh alright. I won't."
My ears pricked up to hear a car park outside and I looked around, seeing the door open a few moments later. Logan looked around- wearing a light blue button up, jacket and slacks. He was carrying a backpack and looked to us as Evelyn ran down the stairs.
He had been gone for a week or so visiting Carmen in hospital. She had given birth to a little girl- as Logan had predicted all along. Lottie was her name. Named after Evelyn's mother, Charlotte. It was a suggestion made by Logan months ago and Carmen liked it so much she decided to keep it.
"Lynnie! I missed you." He exclaimed as they hugged. I trekked down the stairs. He grinned at me once they stopped hugging and unzipped his bag, bringing out a small box. "Ah, well, it's from the airport in Michigan," he scratched the back of his head as he handed it to me, "I thought you would like it."
It was blue and had a ribbon wrapped around it. I smiled, unwrapping it and opening it to find a really good quality watch inside. I hoped I would make sure to take it off before phasing... I didn't want break it. Evelyn smiled softly at me, holding my arm.
"How's Carmen?" She asked, hopping from foot to foot with excitement. She reached over to get out the watch and place it on my right wrist. I smiled in thanks at her and she blushed a little.
"She's fine. Still in hospital though." He sighed, grabbing something from his bag again.
"A-and Lottie?" Eve breathed.
"Here." He said, handing forward a photo. She cradled it in her hands and I heard her pulse heighten. I gazed over to see a cute, pink cheeked, chubby baby with a little pink hat on her head. Her eyes were closed, her hands curled up into little fists as she slept.
"Oh, she's beautiful." Evelyn whispered.
"Yeah," Logan said, pulling his backpack onto his shoulder, "she's pretty special."
He was so happy with his daughter and being able to show Lottie to Evelyn- finally. He had been going to Michigan a lot to help Carmen even though they had separated. He left after Christmas when Carmen had her first labour scare. It was during that time that the Volturi descended on us.
I tried not to think back to that horrific day and how hard it was to say goodbye to Evelyn. She knew, of course, what was happening and she was extraordinarily calm about it all. She did have nightmares though. I could feel them wherever I went.
"Go show grandpa." She said, handing the picture back over.
"Sure thing. Happy birthday man." He patted my shoulder as he walked past. Eve gazed up to me, wiping her eyes on the back of her hand.
"I'm such a sap." She sighed. I chuckled, wrapping my arms around her and kissing her forehead.
"Yes, you are. But in the best way possible." I grinned at her. Keeping my arm around her waist, I pulled her down the hallway quickly. "Now, we have to party and talk to people and not hide in our rooms."
"It isn't even my room any more-"
"That'll always be your room." I told her, setting her down outside the kitchen door. "You know, you first told me you loved me in that room."
She blushed, smiling.
"You were half asleep, granted, but you said it all the same." I laughed.
"Yeah." She said quietly and reached up to gently brush her lips on mine. "And I meant it. I still do." She wrapped her slightly cold fingers around my wrist and opened the kitchen door, leading me inside with a soft smile.
"Don't get hurt up there!" I yelled at the kids as they climbed into the tree house.
"We won't!" One of them exclaimed back. "Hey, it looks like we're birds in a birds nest!"
I grinned, looking back to Evelyn who was pushing Claire on the swing. The little girl was swinging her little legs and giggling. Evelyn beamed at me, pushing her gently, giving me a wink.
"Like what you see?" She asked, her cheeks darkening.
I grinned, standing beside her. "Of course." I chuckled. "You know, quoting me isn't very original."
"Huh." She said. "Well, maybe I won't try to say anything like that again."
I glanced at her, crossing my arms. She looked forward, a slight smile on her face. I saw my chance instantly and I reached over to whisper in her ear. "I always like what I see."
Her eyes popped when I bent back and her cheeks flooded with colour. "Even with bed hair?"
"Always with bed hair." I beamed.
"Claire bear!" Claire shouted, rhyming with us. I laughed, crouching beside her.
"Want Quil to push Claire bear?"
"Yeah yeah! But Claire bear like Ewewyn too." She said, smiling at me. Eve laughed.
"I'll go get him." She told her, skipping off to find Quil. She disappeared in the throng of people eating and chatting.
"I like Ewewyn." Claire sighed, looking to me. "You do too, huh."
"I love Evelyn." I corrected her.
"Wery much?" Claire asked, her brown eyes widening.
She smiled softly, kicking her legs.
"Maybe you should get married!" She giggled.
"Yes, maybe we should."
"And have loads of babies!"
I beamed. "Yeah, definitely."
"Eeeeep! Quil!" She trilled excitedly and I glanced up to see Quil running over, grinning at Claire.
"Hey Claire bear. How's it going, beautiful?"
"Push Claire bear!" She demanded, her eyes thrilled. I stood, grinning at the two of them as Evelyn came over, smiling at me.
"Want to take a walk?" She asked, her blue eyes warm.
"I can't believe you're sixteen already." Eve sighed as we walked through the forest. She held her arms up to touch the branches and I turned around to her, hands in my pockets. I grinned.
"It was only yesterday that we were pretending we were pirates and stuff." She laughed, stepping along a fallen log.
"Do you miss that?" I asked as she began to walk beside me again.
"No. I mean, yeah, I miss childhood. Not having to worry about things too much, but I don't miss how I feel right now." She bumped her arm with mine, smiling. "We... are still best friends though. Right?"
"We'll always be best friends." I assured her.
"Good. That means..." She stopped, fishing something out of her light purple cardigan pocket. She handed it to me, smiling. "Old habits die hard."
I beamed, looking down at the red Twizzler packet and remembering all those years ago when I first met her.
"Of course, it's not you're only present." She quickly said. I laughed, shaking my head and looking up at her. She already had the small package in her hands. It was wrapped neatly in red paper and was thin and rectangular shaped- like a book. Maybe it was a book.
I pocketed the Twizzlers, making a mental note they were there, and took the gift gently, glancing up at her. "Just open it, will you?" She sighed, shaking her head and smiling at me, her hands behind her back as she watched me. I breathed out and nodded, trying to open it with my big fingers.
Eventually I got a tab open and I ripped along it fluidly.
It fell into my hands and I turned it over to see myself and her in a picture frame. I recognised the photo because it had been taken on this exact date last year- at my bonfire party. We were illuminated by the fire and she was wrapped up in my arms, toasting a marshmallow as her lucid blue eyes looked to me with a smile and I looked to her. My mom had taken it. I hadn't seen it since the day she got it from the post office. The frame was black and plain apart from the curved writing at the bottom saying: 'I love you'.
"I hope it's not too cheesy." She whispered.
I just gazed at it- at us- at how radiant she was. Her hair was golden, running in rivers of sunshine. I breathed in and looked up at her, suddenly struck by the real article. She was blushing bright red and her hair was all undone, messily falling around her in blonde waves.
I crushed her to my chest and she laughed, hugging me back.
"No way is it too cheesy!" I exclaimed roughly, looking over her shoulder at the picture. "I love it... I love you."
She peeked up at me, slightly smiling. I watched her, my eyes unblinking, my heart racing.
"To think you can reduce a heap of a man to a puddle with those eyes." I breathed.
She smiled softly, running a hand through my hair. "I reduce you to a puddle?"
"Or a very liquid substance."
I decided then that it didn't matter if she didn't know she was my imprint. She didn't know what that meant, any way, and to just know that the force pulling us together was more than friendship sealed it for me. I knew, some day, that I would have to tell her- to explain what it meant, and more importantly, what it meant for us.
However, for now, I just wanted her to remain blissfully happy for however long as possible.
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