Chapter 9


Leah watched Embry kneeling beside his father's unfilled grave. Her heart broke watching him. She ached to go to him, to comfort him, but she didn't. She didn't know if Embry wanted her comfort. He for sure didn't want her love.

Leah couldn't understand how Embry could have just stopped loving her as if they had never been in love, how things had changed so fast. She had thought they were together for a long haul, meant to be forever.

But then he fell in love with that skinny pale face bitch. Who didn't even want him.

"Oh, Embry, why do you keep pining after that cold-hearted bitch?" Leah sighed

Why couldn't he love her instead? She was here for him. She'd been in love with him all her life. She wanted to take care of him, give him a home. Leah had been heartbroken when Embry turned her away when his father had the first stroke. All she wanted to do was take care of his father. She would have taken good care of them both. But Embry hadn't let her. He had shut her out, and it had hurt her deeply. She had cared for Embry's father and loved him like he was her own father.

Leah mourned Henry Call. He'd been a very gentle soul, a beautiful man inside and out. She had enjoyed looking after him when Embry had been in San Francisco, and she had been ready to forgive Embry for lying to her; that instead of staying longer for work, he'd been fucking that pale face. Leah loved him so much that she was ready to forget all that. They could be together. They could be so happy.

The time they had dated was the happiest Leah ever had. They'd been good friends since they were kids, but her feelings had run deeper than friendship ever since the first day at school. Some bigger kid had tried to bully her, but Embry had stood up and stopped the bully. Yes, it was at that moment Leah had realized she loved Embry. And as years went by, she knew he was the only one she could ever want. And she had thought Embry felt the same way.

But she wasn't ready to give up. Not just yet. Embry was vulnerable now; he needed support. He might want it from her after all. After losing the one you love, surely you don't want to turn out love. You couldn't live without love.

Being empowered by these thoughts, Leah moved to go to Embry but saw Paul on his way to him. Embry had gotten up from the ground, and Paul placed his arm around his shoulders and said something to him. Embry nodded.

That was an odd thing to see. Leah knew that Paul and Embry had bonded over that howkat bitch, and Paul had fucked that whore too. But she couldn't figure out why they were friends. They had nothing in common other than the whore. Paul had always been a brute, asshole to the core, and hadn't cared rat's ass about Embry or Embry's friends. Embry had always been somewhat sensitive with an artistic nature; he cared about things and had a great sense of humor. Of course, Leah didn't know Paul that well, although he was a distant relative. But she couldn't understand how Embry could want to spend time with him.

Leah watched as Paul and Embry left the graveyard. They would head to Embry's home, where women from the community had organized food and drinks. It was time to remember Henry Call and Leah would go there, and she would be there for Embry, wanted or not.


Embry leaned against the table and looked at the pictures of his father and their family scattered over it. His eyes were glued to the photo of them all three: his father, mother, and Embry. It was taken a few weeks before she had died about six years ago. They were sitting on the lawn on the blanket behind their house, surrounded by Sunday lunch. His mother liked having a Sunday picnic on the lawn whenever the weather was nice. It had been on that Sunday. They had been a happy family. At least he had that.

Embry didn't remember much of his mother's funeral. Only that it had been the hardest day in his life; his mother had died in an accident, and to watch his father break down had been the scariest thing ever—something he had needed to forget. And his mind had done just that.

Today had been a wearing day. All those people who came to pay their respects remember his father wanted to offer him help. But he didn't need help, and nothing no one ever did could bring his father back.

Embry couldn't believe his father was gone. The person that had always been there for him, given him all his love. He hadn't appreciated him enough. He'd been a terrible son the last months of his father's life.

The end had been sudden. But at least they had had time to say goodbye. His father knew his time had come when he'd collapsed to the living room floor. He had insisted Embry stay with him instead of going to look for his phone and call for help. He wouldn't survive. He had told him it was time for him to go. He wanted to go to be with his beloved Tiffany. He had thanked him for being the best son a man could ever hope for, that he loved him, and he had always known Embry loved him. After saying those words, Henry Call breathed his last breath.

He started to tremble, and he felt tears beginning to fall. "Dad," he breathed. He had held his tears this far and was terrified to let them fall freely; he didn't know if he could cope.

"Dad," he whispered again.

Embry felt someone wrapping arms around him. He had thought he was alone, but he knew who it was without opening his eyes.

"Embry, baby, oh baby," Leah whispered and brushed tears from his cheek. "Let me make you feel better."

Embry didn't have any strength to say no. He let Leah take his hand and lead him upstairs to his room, to peel his clothes off and lay him on the bed. His mind was saying no, but his body had a mind of its own, and Leah got him hard with her hands and kisses. Embry knew he shouldn't let this happen, but he was so tired of fighting.

"Oh Embry, let me love you," Leah whispered while straddling him and joining their bodies. It felt wrong, but at least he wasn't feeling the pain. He craved human contact and to feel anything else than the loss, and Leah made it go away for that short moment.

Leah moved on top of him, rolling her hips against his. Embry met Leah's movements but didn't look at her. He kept his eyes closed and thought of Bella.

When he came, he whispered, "Bella." Leah was moaning for her own release and didn't hear him.

Embry felt emptier than before; not only had he lost his father but the last remaining connection to Bella. Leah had taken it away; he had let her take it.

Leah sighed, sounding happy. "I love you, Embry," she said.

Fuck. He should not have given in to Leah. She would think things had changed between them. They hadn't. But he didn't have the strength to say anything now. He needed to sleep, so Embry let her wrap her arms around him and whisper words of love to him. Let it get worse. But he was so tired.

The morning came and was as bad as Embry had thought it would. Leah was lying next to him, her hand brushing over his bare chest, looking happy, love shining in her eyes.

Embry cursed himself for being so weak last night.

"Leah, we need to talk," he said.

"Last night was amazing. Thank you for letting me love you. I will always love you," Leah said.

Embry squeezed his eyes shut. He hated this.

"No, Leah, last night was a mistake," Embry said, dreading Leah's reaction. She could be nasty when she got angry. But he had to face this. He'd been fucking stupid to let this happen.

"What!?" Leah shrieked as she bolted to sit. "Embry, what are you saying? You cannot mean that?" her eyes started to water, and big tears ran down her cheeks.

"I mean it. Leah, I can't give you what you want. I should not have had sex with you; I am so sorry."

"No, Embry. I won't accept this. You love me. You let me make love to you last night. Please, Embry," Leah started to sob.

Oh, fuck! This was the last thing he needed right now.

"Leah..."

"NO!" Leah started to scream and hit him. Embry clutched her hands and held them still.

"Leah, listen..." But she didn't. She continued to scream and tried to free her hands.

"Damn woman," Embry got up from the bed. Leah stayed on the bed, her hands squeezed into fists, head hanging down. Sobbing.

He hated this, but there was no other way. "I don't want to be a jerk, but I don't love you. My father's death hadn't changed anything. I still don't want you. It was wrong of me to let you think otherwise. I am sorry. I really am."

Leah lifted her head and looked at him with so much pain in her eyes he had to look away.

Leah got up from the bed and started to put on her clothes.

"I want to stay your friend as we used to be, Leah. You are important to me, but I don't love you."

"We can never be friends," Leah said and left.


Paul was waking up with a terrible headache. Damn, he'd drank way too much last night. He glanced around and sighed in relief; he was home, alone, and there weren't any signs that anyone had been there earlier either. Fuck, he'd been wasted.

He groaned and rubbed his face. He usually didn't drink this much, but after Embry's father died a month ago, he and Embry started to go out to drink, and they drank a lot. Or Paul tried to keep up with Embry succeeding most of the time. After getting laid with Leah, Embry had started to fuck around, but Paul could see he was a wreck. Hated what he was doing as much as he did.

Embry's father's death had hit Paul hard too. He didn't know the man very well, only met him a few times, but he was something Paul never had: a loving father who supported his son no matter what. To see the relationship between Embry and his dad made Paul envious, even though Embry complained he hadn't been a good son. But he had. He had taken care of his father and been there for him. Loved him. What else could he have done?

Finding a friend in Embry Call was the weirdest thing, but that had happened. He would not say it aloud, but Embry had fast become his best friend. Of course, they'd bonded over talking about Bella - they had first needed each other to keep her memory alive - but somewhere along the way, they'd become friends.

Paul got up and, after visiting the bathroom, went to make himself some coffee. There were empty beer bottles and a drained bottle of Jack on the table. Fuck he was so bored of this shit.

Then he remembered that he'd been very excited last night about something. He couldn't remember what about exactly, just that he had been fucking happy about the idea. What could that have been?

Had he told Embry? He couldn't remember that either. Damn, he really should ease with the drinking he hated when he had blackouts. Maybe he should call Embry, ask if he remembered, and check that he was okay anyway. It'd been a rough night.

Where was his phone? He went to look for it when he remembered what it was that had made him so jubilant last night.

"Damn Lahote," he said to himself.

He'd thought that what if Bella could have them both, and they could both have her? Would it make the relationship with Bella possible? Would he be able to share a woman? Share Bella with Embry? Would Embry want to do the same? Would Bella want them?

It was a fucking mad idea, but it was an idea. There were relationships with more than two people in it. What were they called? Poly and some shit. But what the fuck would it matter how they were called. The only thing that mattered was would it be possible?

Damn!

Paul ran his hand through his messy hair and sat down on the couch. His mind was racing.

The more Paul thought about it, the more excited he got. Hell, it could work. He and Embry had become friends; they even enjoyed each other's company. Bella had a big heart and said she loved them both and couldn't choose. Surely, she would be open about the idea of having them both. She was an open-minded modern woman. The only worry Paul had was that she had found someone else. Paul hadn't talked to her since Christmas, and it was already May.

Suddenly Paul couldn't wait any longer to talk about this with Embry. He couldn't remember if he had said anything about this or had it been something he'd been only mulling over by himself.

He went to put on jeans and a t-shirt.

"Where is the fucking phone?" Paul was growing restless. He was never very patient, and now he just couldn't stand to wait for a second longer to talk with Embry. Finally, he found his keys but not his phone.

"Fuck it," he cursed, left the house, and hopped to his truck.

As he parked his car in front of Embry's house, the door opened, and a blond woman came out carrying her high heels. Paul chuckled. Embry had been catching up after the dry season regularly now.

As the woman walked past the car, Paul hopped out.

"Good night?" Paul asked.

"Fuck you," the woman spat and continued to walk towards the road. She took out her phone and called someone.

Paul sniggered as he jogged to the door and rang the doorbell.

"Didn't I tell you.." Embry was cut short when he saw it was Paul, not the bitch.

"What do you want?"

"Good morning, sunshine," Paul laughed. "Bad lay, eh?"

"Don't start," Embry huffed and walked into the house, leaving the door open for Paul.

He went in, closing the door.

"Call, I've been thinking, " Paul started. He didn't have any easy way to put it, so he would say the thing as it was. "What if Bella could have us both? We could both be in a relationship with her?"

"What?" Embry cried, turning around from the kitchen sink where he'd been pouring himself some water.

"You heard me. What if we both could have Bella?"

"You mean we would both fuck her and be okay with that?"

"Yeah," Paul shrugged. He was starting to be more and more okay with the idea. He knew it could work.

"You are fucking crazy Lahote!" Embry shouted and punched Paul.

"What the fuck Em?!" Paul was taken aback for a short moment but fired up and punched him back. And before they noticed, they were in a full-blown fistfight, but after a while, Paul had to suppress his amusement; Embry didn't have a chance of beating Paul up any more than he had when they first fought, although he had gotten much better.

"Hey man, we need to stop this..." Paul grunted, dodging his punches. "You know the idea is good."

Embry stopped and leaned against his knees breathing heavily. His hangover was clearly much worse than his. Embry wiped the blood from his nose. Paul tried his nose; the first unexpected punch had drawn out some.

"It's the only way. You must see that our lives had been shit these past few months," Paul said, sitting on the floor. "I mean, I never knew of anything better before Bella. If I hadn't ever met her, I probably would be quite content and carrying on as I've always had, heading towards a serious drinking problem, as we are doing now. But I can't stop thinking about her and want her in my life. She made it so much better in every fucking way."

Embry glanced at him and sat down, leaning against the kitchen cabinet. He was silent for a long while.

"You would be ready to share her with me?" Embry finally asked.

"If it's the only way, hell yeah. Be honest. You would too."

"I don't know, man. It's pretty extreme."

"Bullshit. People do it everywhere."

"I know that my life would be worth living if I had her," Embry said, sighing and closing his eyes, leaning his head against the cabinet.

"And now that you don't need to take care of your father anymore, you don't have to stay here in fucking La Push. You could move to San Francisco. Think about it, Call. It makes sense."

"I don't think it makes any sense..." Embry said, "but it might be just enough of a crazy idea to be a good one. Something that only you Lahote could come up with," Embry chuckled.

"Desperate times need desperate measures," Paul said. He could see Embry was warming up to the idea.

"What do you think Bella would feel about this?"

"I think she will be open to the idea after an initial shock," Paul said. He knew she would. She would be their queen. Damn, she would be so loved.

"What if she has met someone?" Embry voiced his greatest fear.

"If so, we have to go and get her back."


AN:

What do you think Bella feels about Paul's idea? Could it work?