Oh my god, who is she? Another update so soon?
"Sam," Paul greeted coolly, Jared standing at his right, both of their faces blank. "How can we help you?"
"I've come to apologise," he said after a brief pause. "I made a mistake, I didn't listen to everyone and I tore our Pack, our family apart." He turned to look at the pups. "You need to let them into the Pack. I would like to join your Pack."
Paul and Jared exchanged a look, before shrugging and motioning to an area near some trees that was a good distance from the house but still within hearing range. There were already a couple of lawn chairs and logs and a fire pit that wasn't lit.
"Go take a seat, we'll bring some food out in a minute." Jared nodded at Paul's words and headed back in the direction of the house.
The pups tentatively stepped towards Paul, who quickly pulled them into a hug, shoving their heads into the crook of his neck as he held them close. They held on to him tightly as they allowed themselves to feel the Pack slide back into place.
"Go," Paul said softly once the Pups were calmer. "We'll be there in a minute." They nodded, barely looking at Sam as they made their way to the chairs, their backs straighter and their shoulders lighter. "What made you realise?"
"A lot of things," he chuckled humourlessly. "I only ever wanted to do the right thing for all of you. We don't know what that th- baby is going to be like and I don't know how to protect you all from it. It's always been my responsibility to make sure you're all okay."
"You aren't alone," Paul pointed out. "You weren't alone. You've had us, had Jared and I from the beginning. You could've spoken to us."
"And risk having you guys hurt?" Sam shook his head. "I was the Alpha. It was my job to make the tough choices and protect the Pack and our people. I just didn't think the tough choice would be the one to make me lose my Pack and risk our people. I have family I don't want hurt."
"None of us want the tribe hurt. None of us want the Pack hurt."
"I know," Sam agreed. "I knew that then as well but up until the original split, we were all very content to protect the tribe against a vampire baby. It's going against our brothers and sister that was the problem. That's what really drove the wedge in."
"For you," Paul pointed out. "Some of us were never going to be able to hurt Bella. Hurt a human."
Sam winced, rubbing the back of his neck and looking down at the floor.
"Your wolf was never meant to be Alpha," Paul pointed out bluntly. "It's entirely possible that you had an adverse reaction to the power."
"Are you trying to say the power went to my head?"
"Are you trying to say it didn't?" Paul raised an eyebrow before chuckling when Sam didn't have an answer. "Go sit with the boys, food is nearly here."
"I need to speak to Jacob though, I need to apologise." Paul faltered. "Can you tell him? The boys would like to see him too, it would help with their reintegration."
"When he comes back, yeah."
"He's not here?"
"He needed a breather."
Sam opened his mouth but closed it gently. Any criticism he offered wouldn't be taken well when he had been the villain up until recently. "What about Embry?"
"Embry? Yeah, he's still here. He didn't need a breather like Jake, though I don't see why he'd need one."
"No, I meant, can I speak to him?"
"I mean, sure," Paul replied, his face full of confusion. "We're not stopping you from talking to anyone, we just need you sat out the way, we've got a lot on our plate at the moment."
"Good," Sam nodded. "That's good. Except for how busy you are because I'm guessing that's not all good. But it's good that we're all allowed to be here because that's gonna be good for them, good for us. It's all-"
"Good?" Paul cut him off. "Sam, you can calm down. You're going to get shouted at but nobody is going to hurt you." Paul turned to walk back to the house but paused. "Hermione might hit you though."
Tyres squealed as the car pulled back into the driveway, brakes slammed on and Jacob rushing out as he made his way towards the house. He could hear movement in the kitchen, upstairs and a failing heart and knew in his gut that Bella was fading away. He made a move to head towards the staircase, but noticed a baby in Rosalie's arms. He took a glance and he was done for.
He'd imprinted. On the baby. On Bella's baby.
"Well, Jake's back," Embry offered to the rest of the Pack as he joined them in the kitchen. "But I don't know how useful he's going to be anytime soon."
"Why?" Quil asked, glancing up from the steak he was cutting into more manageable pieces for the witch wolf who was still struggling to shift back. "Is he hurt?"
"Not yet," he chuckled. "He imprinted. On Bella's baby."
All movement stalled and he looked at everyone, barely managing to hold back his laughter.
"Holy shit, you're lying," Leah laughed, finally breaking the silence. "Bella is going to have his head."
"Bella? No way, she hasn't got an angry bone in her body," Jared argued. "My money is on Hermione losing it."
"Ten bucks says you're wrong," Leah argued, offering her hand. Jared shook it with a smirk.
"Even more reason to get outside and sort our Pack out," Paul said. "The kids need us, Sam needs to air out the issues and we need Hermione back. Jake has ten minutes to coo at her before we take him back." He pulled a plate of fries out the oven before turning to Embry. "I don't know what's going on, but Sam wanted to talk to you."
"Yep, maybe he wants to apologise?"
"Then that should be towards Quil, we barely had any interaction with him after it all went to shit."
Paul shrugged, taking the bitesize plate from Quil as he made his way past and to the door. "I didn't ask but there's no rush on that conversation. Now, if you'll excuse me, I have to feed my clingy wolf."
"Any change?" Embry asked.
"Nope, she's locked herself up tight. I'm hoping an Alpha order can set her straight though."
Sam and the pups startled at the loud crack, their eyes darting towards the new arrivals; Carlisle, Esme and Emmett arrived with a ginger man who they could only assume was a friend of Hermione's considering how they all appeared. The vampires disappeared into the house almost as quick as they'd arrived but the wizard took a slower approach and made his way round the back of the house.
"I'm guessing that was part of their plate," Sam mused. "Should be a bit easier to handle with more hands on deck now."
"What do you know about their plate?" Brady asked, not coldly, just curious. "We've been sat here out the way the whole time."
"And in that time Bella's heart gave out after she gave birth, with no doctor in the house. Jake was away and came rushing back so they were down an Alpha and combine that with the pup that they've got hidden away, it seemed to be pretty busy."
"Close, but not quite right," Embry called, making his way over to the trio with Jared and Quil, all of their arms filled with food.
"Embry," Sam breathed, standing up and staring at the young man. His eyes traced over every detail in his face, finally seeing the similarities that he'd always overlooked because he'd never known to look for them, but now? They were undeniable. "I'd like to talk to you, please."
"Yeah, Paul mentioned." He jiggled the food in his hands. "Food first, then we'll talk. There's no rush."
Sam opened his mouth to protest, wanting to tell Embry but he was right. Embry had waited seventeen years, he could wait another hour.
"Sure, sounds great," Sam smiled. "Food first, then we'll talk."
"Is it a private thing?" Quil asked as they set the food down between them.
"Sort of," Sam shrugged. "It's hard to keep things separate between all of us but I'd like Embry to know first."
Embry and Quil exchanged a look before shrugging.
"Guess we better eat up then," Quil laughed, a slightly awkward and confused laugh.
"Mutt, stop staring at her," Rosalie whisper shouted at him as she rocked the baby. "You can't have her."
"I don't want to keep her," he whispered back loudly. "I just want to make sure she's okay, make sure that she's safe."
Rosalie faltered ever so slightly in her rocking as she took in his words and his tone. "Did you..?"
"Yeah," he muttered back. "I'm not into her like that!" he quickly defended, knowing that all of the imprints she'd encountered or heard about if she'd paid attention to, were couples. "I just want to protect her and look after her and make her happy. Like a big brother or a best friend." He hated having to defend himself to the leech but fuck, she was family now.
People entering the house stopped Rosalie from having to reply and they watched as a blur rushed upstairs, as Carlisle finally made it home to assist with the transition. Esme and Emmett moved at a slightly slower pace but came to a standstill when they saw the baby in Rosalie's arms.
"Is that her?" Esme breathed, one hand over her still heart, and the other coming up to her mouth.
"Yeah," Rosalie smiled. "Bella called her Renesmee."
A weird choking sound escaped the mother vampire as she made her way closer to the baby.
"Renesmee?" Jacob scrunched his nose and exchanged a look with Emmett. "That's gonna be a mouthful."
"And you think you can shorten it?" Rosalie snarked, her usual bite lacking.
"I'll think of something," he defended. He took a tentative step closer. "Can I hold her, please?" Rosalie stared at him, looking as if she was trying to read his mind like Edward or sensing his emotions like Jasper, before finally nodding as she shifted closer and handed the baby over.
Renesmee blinked owlishly at the change of scenery before raising a hand and patting his cheek.
"Hi," he breathed, rocking her gently. "You're the most precious thing I've ever met."
He could hear shuffling in the doorway that led to the kitchen and he tried to ignore it, knowing he'd be dragged away from the precious human being in his arms but he knew he had other things to deal with. Like Sam's arrival.
"Here," he cooed, "why don't we give you to your grandma, huh? I bet she'd like to hold you."
"Are you sure?" Esme asked, though she didn't protest when the baby was placed in her arms.
"I'm guessing I've got things to deal with," he said. "I'll be back though."
He took one long glance at Renesmee - and God, he needed to think of a good nickname soon - before looking to the door and locking eyes with Paul.
"It's more than just Sam, isn't it?" he asked, seeing the tense look on his Beta's face.
"Ready to use your Alpha powers?"
Jake followed Paul as they headed out into the backyard of the house and looked over the selection of tense people, all circling Hermione.
"She had another flashback," Paul offered. "In her sleep, whilst shifted." Paul crouched down in front of the wolf, and accepted the nuzzle that came with the new proximity. "She shoved up her Occlumency shields and we can't get in, and because she can't remember, she can't get out."
"Mind walls," George offered from where he was leaning against Seth. "They stop attacks on the mind, so your wolf communication skills are a moot point and she can't relax enough to get out of her war mindset and back to the now mindest because she's still stuck as a wolf."
"But-" Jake pointed to the nuzzling and cheek licking between Hermione and Paul. "That's a thing still."
"Instincts?" George offered, shrugging. "Dude, just order her back to human so we can get her back. Please."
"If her shields are up, I don't know if it's going to work, but sure, let's give it a go." He crouched down in front of the witch, shook out his shoulders and cleared his face. "Shift."
The small wolf cocked her head and offered a bark.
"Come on, Hermione," he muttered. "Shift." She blinked lazily at him. "For fuck's sake." He pulled off his shirt, kicked his shoes off and shoved down his pants. He almost chuckled at her yelp and the way she covered her eyes with her paw. He ignored the urge to laugh though, and shifted quickly into his wolf form and stared down at her.
"We've tried that," Seth greeted. "It's very blank up in there."
"Yeah but she doesn't know you," Jake argued. "I was kinda hoping that knowing me, might get her to lower her shields a little bit."
"Jake, I'm so confused, I've no idea what's going on. Everything is wrong!"
"I know you're confused sweetie," he reassured, "but we can explain everything, you just need to lower your mind walls for me, let me help you shift back and then Fred and George can answer all of your questions."
"Lower my mind walls? Are you crazy? If you think I'm going to do that and just let in any blood purist nutjob then you're delusional."
"I wasn't asking," he countered, the Alpha timbre entering his voice. "You're going to shift back now."
She yelped as the fur receded back into skin and she was crouched in front of Paul, naked, before he quickly wrapped her up in a blanket.
"There you are," Paul greeted, pressing a kiss to her forehead.
"Hi," she replied. "I'm so confused."
"I know you are," he said. "But you're safe, trust me."
"I do," she said, her tone confused. "I don't know why, but I do."