A/N: This is a one shot accompaniment to my other story (Nessie's story - Chapter 26: The Proposal). You can read this on its own, just know that Ness and Jake are visiting La Push and Forks nearly seven years after BD and Jake is planning on proposing tonight on the beach.
Ness, her dedication to her school work never should surprise me. But as I watch her drive away I am tempted to join her and just sit with her and run my fingers through her hair while she reads about photons or refraction or whatever it is she said she is studying in physics. It doesn't matter what I'm doing on any given day, just thinking about being with Ness puts a smile on my face and a flutter in my heart. But today, the only reason I let her drive away, is for her. Well, for us, really. I am going to propose. Now, don't get me wrong, I can't believe she doesn't think I'm up to something, but we made a deal and there's only three days left in our stay in Forks, and the longer I put it off the less of a surprise it will be. All because I never deny the love of my life anything and she made me promise it will happen here.
I have a lot to arrange before the bonfire tonight. And my first task is going to be the hardest by far. Talking to Dad.
Billy had told me long ago that he would be honored if I could present the ring that he gave mom, which had been handed down by my great-grandfather, to my future wife. I think we had this discussion when I was too young to know about love and the importance of such a gesture. I had to talk with him about my plan to ask Renesmee for her hand.
I also have a question that has been on my mind for the last eight years that I'd never really wanted the answer to. Until now. I don't know how I'm going to ask. I only know I have to do this if I want the truth and for Ness to have a pure symbol of our love. I hate the idea of confronting Billy but I can't find out any other way. Sending DNA to Carlisle or asking Edward to fly over seem like pretty poor copouts. I need to hear the truth directly from my father – either way.
I find Dad in the kitchen mixing together ingredients for Harry Clearwater's famous fish fry. I think he lives on the stuff. I am tempted to help just so I don't have to start this conversation but it has to be today. And it has to be now.
"Dad. Can I talk to you?"
"Sure, Jake, sit." He gestures to one of the cracked sunflower pattern seats of the kitchen set mom had bought about a year before her death. I had kept the receipt because it had mom's signature on it, everything else that might have been memories had been purged from the house long ago. It could be fitting to talk here, but I don't trust myself in such a confined space. There are too many things that could go amiss. And no matter what the answer is I don't want to phase in a rage. I already know what one potential outcome of that mistake could be and it could also be worse. Much worse.
"Can we go outside?" I asked with trepidation.
Billy nodded, and followed me out.
I sat on the bench beside the wheelchair ramp, both of which I built, and Dad faced me. This would give me the space I needed – in case.
"Dad, I'm going to ask Renesmee to marry me. Tonight."
"I'm not surprised, son." He didn't hesitate and pulled something out of his shirt pocket immediately. "I've been carrying this around since you got here last Friday."
I was speechless. The ring. I had thought I'd have to say something about my love and devotion to Ness and what she means to me. I stuttered. But somehow, Dad already knew.
"Jacob. You have found true love with a unique soul. Your mother and I would be honoured if Ness would accept her ring which also belonged to my grandfather's beloved."
I stared at the setting imagining it on Renesmee's hand. Delicate. Perfect. But I couldn't take it. Not yet.
"Thank-you. Dad. It means a lot that you support our marriage given her lineage and the history of our tribe. And I would love for Ness to wear mom's ring, but…" I took a deep breath. Billy looked at me with confusion.
"Dad, I love Ness with every fiber of my being. And the symbol of our love should represent that level of commitment. Nothing less. There are stories, rumors, and I should have asked long ago. But maybe I didn't want to know. Maybe I still don't, but if I want Ness to wear mom's ring I don't have a choice. What I have to ask is…" I paused needing a deep breath.
"Is Embry your son?" I finally got the words out. I stood and turned leaning on the railing. I was fearful of the answer, fearful of my body's response to the truth.
"Jake?" he was definitely not expecting this. I started to tremble and stepped further down the ramp.
"Jacob." The Voice. The one that silenced a crowd. The commanding voice of the alpha although he was never a part of a pack. He had my attention. I turned to face him.
"Jacob, I never, ever, broke my wedding vows to your mother. Your mother was my life. My Everything. She was my only love and I am so proud to have three beautiful children with her. Embry is your friend, and as a part of your pack you are like brothers in many ways, but you are not, absolutely not, siblings. I didn't know you had doubts, or had heard the rumours, I would have hoped you would have come to me. With your mom…gone, I didn't deny any of the rumours, so maybe I added fuel to the fire – for that I am sorry."
"But you never talk about her! About mom. I have thought that maybe mom found out and that's why she left…during the storm…."
"No Jake. She was just going to the store for more paint like any other day…and then it was the worst day. I can't talk about it... I can't even think…" his imposing tone had turned hollow, haunted.
"But I know almost nothing… about her. It isn't even like she died, it's like she didn't exist." My voice was an echo of his.
"Jake, I'm sorry, I can't…even now. Charlie knew her too. He could tell you some of what you would want to know. Just know she loved you very, very much. Maybe someday…." Dad trailed off in a world of private pain but then he held out the ring again. "And please know she would want you to have this."
Dad placed the ring in my palm, closed my fingers around it and I held it to my heart. A little piece of their love and now a symbol of mine. "Thank-you, Dad. I'm sorry. " He waved off my apologies.
"We all make mistakes, Jake, rush to judgement. I certainly did when the Cullens returned. I'm glad you're here this week and that I'm getting to know Ness and her extraordinary spirit. I imagine great things for this tribe when you are really able come back. Years from now when I'm with your mom again you will know we are both looking upon you and are happy you found what we did. True love."
"Dad, I wish more than anything mom was here. I think I need to go for a walk to have a talk with her too. I love you." I gave dad a big hug and with the ring in my hand I headed out to the cemetery. Soon, I'll ask Charlie what he can tell me about Sarah, the painter who liked sunflowers-that's all I really know about my mom. And dad, this was the only conversation we'd had about mom in 13 years…maybe someday we'd have another one, or maybe he'd visit the cemetery for the first time. Right now, though, I want to thank mom for the ring and let her know all about Renesmee. And to tell her, like dad's, my love is forever.
A/N: OK, it's sappy. I give it that but I hate unhappy endings. I can't find any other stories about rumours about Embry's parentage. I think most people are leaning towards Sam's father but as far as I know there's no canon to directly support this. If you know of any other Jake/Billy talks on this topic or any other takes on Embry please PM me. Embry remains more of a mystery to me than Seth, Quil or Leah and I'd like to fix that. Please review!