Disclaimer:All publicly recognizable characters, settings, etc. are the property of their respective owners. The original characters and plot are the property of the author-mama4dukes. The author is in no way associated with the owners, creators, or producers of any media franchise. No copyright infringement is intended.
It was Monday morning and I was presenting a proposal to the City of Scottsdale. They wanted to rebuild one of their public schools and renovate a few others. If I could get this contract to go through, it was worth eighty million dollars to my firm. I was confident I could make it work. Even if it didn't go through, I doubted I could be brought off of my high.
I had spent the entire weekend making love to Bella, and getting to know her. She was a nurse practitioner at a private medical practice. She could do almost everything a doctor could do, even write prescriptions. She couldn't perform major surgeries, though.
She was getting out of work at 6 pm tonight, and I was picking her up and taking her out to dinner. She deserved a little break. She cooked for me all weekend and even packed a lunch for me. I haven't eaten this well since... since... Damn, this is the first time I've ever eaten so well. My mom's idea of a good meal was takeout pizza. None of the other guys had a personal chef, a nurse who was almost a doctor, and a fabulous lover all rolled into one phenomenal imprinting package. On top of that, she kept in shape. She was a member of the same gym I belonged to. I never saw her there because she usually worked out before work while I worked out after.
Bella told me all about her past relationships starting with the leech and ending with her most recent—some joker doctor who broke up with her because she didn't look good as a blonde. For some reason, she seemed to have dated a lot of baseball players in Florida. I, in turn, told her all about the women in my past. I even told her about my fresh break-up with Tina. I wanted to cover all bases because I didn't need that money grabbing whore showing up, out of the blue, trying to get back together with me.
Later that evening...
"I got it, Bella! I got the contract!" I announced, excitedly, as she climbed into my truck.
"Congratulations! We should celebrate."
"Okay, we'll start with dinner tonight and we'll plan something for the weekend. How does that sound?"
"Sounds great," Bella said, as she gave my hand a squeeze.
"How was your day?"
"Good, I should probably warn you that strep throat is going around. I must have seen at least fifteen kids with strep today. It probably doesn't affect you at all, does it?"
"No and it won't affect you, either. It's one of the perks of the imprinting mark I gave you. It makes your immune system just as strong as mine for some reason. You also don't age while I'm still phasing."
"That may actually be the sexiest thing I've ever heard in my life. Not only is the mark a permanent antibiotic, it's like the fountain of youth as well." Bella leaned over to kiss me. Aw, hell, this feels nice. I need to be inside of her. No! Now is not the time for my wolf to take over—I need to feed my girl so she has enough energy to get kinky with me.
"How about we do takeout Thai and some ice cold beer? We can eat it on my deck," I suggested. "Unless you prefer wine."
"Nope, I like beer. My favorite is Smithwicks—it's an Irish Red Ale. How about you?"
"I like Killians myself. I've never heard of Smithwicks."
"Trust me on this. Once you taste Smithwicks, you'll never go back to Killians," Bella insisted.
"Okay, we'll go to Wild Ginger, order our food, and while we're waiting for them to cook it, we'll run across the street to the liquor store and grab the Smithwicks."
Forty-five minutes later, we were back at my house feeding each other Thai food and sipping on the most cumworthy beer in the world, in between kisses. I just couldn't get enough of my imprint or this beer. I needed her and it was clear she needed me. We finished our meal quickly, threw the rest of the beer in the fridge, and then I carried her up to my bedroom to make love to her.
As soon as we got inside, Bella got down on her knees and started undoing my pants. When my cock sprang out at her, all hard and ready, she gave it her complete attention and took my entire length into her mouth. I mentally jotted a note of thanks to Taha Aki.
"Dear Taha Aki, Thank you for giving me an imprint who knows how to suck cock. I'd also like to take this opportunity to thank you for giving me a mate who can cook because I haven't eaten this well in my entire life. One more thing, thank you for giving my imprint one of the most delectable bodies and smartest brains in the world. That's it for now. Yours Truly, Paul Lahote." Holy crap, she's good at this. That's right, baby, keep doing what you're doing. Yep, perfect, work that tip, now take the whole thing in. I'm gonna... ahhh… "P.S. Thank you for giving me an imprint who swallows."
One year later...
"I'm telling you, Bella. This is where we're retiring. I seriously want to look into buying some property here. It's a hop, skip, and a jump from Phoenix. Please, baby?"
"We just got here yesterday. Shouldn't we explore the island a bit more?"
"Nope, I know we should invest here. Look around you. There are beaches all over the place and, on top of that, it's sunny and in the eighties year round."
"Paul, you're not thinking things through again. We need to consider all of our options. What if we decide we like another place better?"
"You're probably right," I whispered, putting my arm around her. We were strolling along Waikiki Beach at sunset and taking in the beautiful scenery. Today marked our one-year anniversary since I imprinted on her. It had been the best year of my life. Bella ended up renting out her mother's home to tenants, and moving in with me after a few months of the two of us going back and forth between houses. After awhile, it just didn't make sense anymore.
I looked up to the sky and was awed by the breathtaking purple sunset. There was a balmy sea breeze blowing off of the ocean. I decided it was now or never. I stopped, kissed Bella, and then looked into her gorgeous brown eyes before speaking. "I still remember the exact moment I imprinted on you. I was terrified and couldn't help, but think I must have offended Taha Aki in some horrific way for him to saddle me with you."
"Hey, that's not very nice!" Bella pouted. I kissed her on her lips to silence her.
"Shh... listen... But then I got to know you, and you turned out to be everything I've ever wanted in a woman and more. You're everything I've ever dreamed about: my lover, my confidante, my personal chef, my sex goddess—most importantly, my best friend. I can't imagine spending my life without you—ever. You are my forever, the future mother of my children, the one who I live and breathe for, the one who I'd willingly lay my life down for." I got down on one knee and fished out the four-carat diamond ring I'd been carrying around for weeks. "Isabella Marie Swan, will you marry me?"
"Yes," she replied, simply, without hesitation, and with a big smile on her face. I placed the ring on her finger, and then twirled her around on the sandy beach. Eventually, we plopped down in the sand and watched the beautiful Hawaiian sun go down together.
Three days later...
"Paul, I swear to you. These waves are nothing like the ones in La Push. You're going to kill yourself. Maybe you should surf where the waves are smaller. It says here in this guide book that Sandy Beach has regular six to twelve foot swells sometimes reaching twenty-four feet."
"Hey, I'm a wolf. I'm not going to die. If I start to drown, I'll just phase."
"Uh-huh, sure. You're going to phase in broad daylight on a beach packed with people? There must be five hundred people here, at least."
"Babe, I can do this. I'm way better than that pale dude over there. I think he's whiter than you are."
"Maybe he's a vampire," Bella joked.
"Uh, no, he doesn't sparkle and he doesn't stink. He's just albino."
"Fine. I'll watch you from here, but if you drown, I'm not giving you CPR."
"Yes, you would, you love me and you can't live without me. Besides, if I die—you die, one of the perks of imprinting. I get to take you with me to the grave. We're stuck together in life and death, baby." I kissed the imprinting mark on her neck, grabbed the surfboard, and hit the waves.
Bella stood up with her phone and started filming. Oh, crap! Maybe the albino dude is better than I am. These swells are huge! Suck it up, Lahote, you're the one who opened your big mouth and said you could handle this. I paddled out to the ocean, desperately trying to hang onto my board. I had to admit, I was kind of terrified. As the oncoming whitewater approached, I managed to stand up. Hell, yeah! This is the bomb! I could see Bella still filming and cheering for me on the beach. Suddenly, I was hit by another wave—a humongous one. "Fuuuuck!"
Bella was chuckling as I walked onto the beach carrying the now two pieces of my once whole surfboard.
"I can't believe I wiped out on my first go."
"And I've got the video to prove it, Surfer Boy." Bella was cracking up. I gave her a little love pat on her ass. I dumped the pieces of my ruined surfboard in the recycling area where there were tons of other shredded boards—no doubt wrecked by other overconfident surfers like me.
"Let's drive down to Hanauma Bay. It says in the guidebook that the fish swim up to you."
"Don't you find that the least bit creepy?" I asked.
"No, look at how beautiful the photos in this guide book are?" Aiyaiyai! Bella and her guidebook.
After frolicking at the beach all day, we drove back to the hotel so we could get ready for the Hawaiian luau and hula show that we purchased tickets for.
While she was in the shower, my cell phone buzzed.
"Hey, Paul. What have you been up to?"
"Oh, hi, Jared. Not much. Just vacationing in Hawaii with my girl."
"You're still with Tina man? What's it been—four years now?"
"Uh, no, different girl. You know me." I still hadn't told anyone in the pack that I had imprinted. I hadn't phased since the night I met Bella and didn't plan on doing it anytime soon. Bella hadn't told her parents about me either. This was a hurdle we'd have to cross sometime soon, especially now that we were engaged.
"You're like a perpetual playboy." Not really, I was actually settled down and pretty responsible. Sure I get wild and kinky, but it's only with my insatiable imprint.
"How are Kim and the kids?" I asked. Bella and I were in no rush to have kids. We were both busy with our careers, and there were many places we wanted to travel to sans children.
"Great! Little Rina is starting kindergarten soon and can you believe it? Ryan is going into the eighth grade." Like many of the wolves, Jared and Kim started having kids in high school. Ryan and Rina were just two of his five kids. I was one of only two wolves with a four-year degree and only one of two, still unmarried, with no kids. The other wolf who earned his bachelor's degree was Seth Clearwater. Charlie and Sue insisted he go to college. He graduated with a degree in law enforcement, and was now a police detective at the Forks Police Department working for his stepfather. The other unmarried wolf was Embry Call.
"So, when are you coming to La Push, man? We haven't seen you in ages. What's it been? Six years? We're thirty-one already."
"Yeah, time sure flies."
"Oh, Embry finally imprinted last year on a white girl. Her name is Jessica Newton, née Stanley. She was recently divorced from the owner of Newton's Olympic Outfitters—Mike. I think she went to high school with Jake's Angela, Leah's Eric, and Bella Swan. I'll tell you one thing, she doesn't like Angela one bit. She takes every opportunity to remind her of what Jake and she did to Bella before the senior prom," he said. "I wonder how Bella is doing? Charlie still won't talk about her—even to Sue. I gather she's still in Florida with her mother."
I didn't say anything because I wasn't ready to tell him about Bella. I was enjoying our alone time and had no plans of returning to La Push.
"Jared! Can you get Roy off of the roof? He's only six—he shouldn't be up there!" I heard Kim yelling in the background.
"I've gotta go. Fatherhood calls. Keep in touch—you're still my brother. I love you, man."
"Will do. You take care of that beautiful family of yours," I replied.
"Was that work?" Bella asked worriedly, coming out of the shower while toweling her hair dry.
"No, it was Jared Cameron. He called to see how I was doing. Embry Call finally imprinted last year on some girl from Forks High you went to school with."
"Oh, yeah. Who?"
"Some girl named Jessica Newton, formerly Stanley."
"No way! She was okay. I didn't really make any close friends at Forks High. I was only there for a year and a half and too caught up with vampires and shape-shifters during that time. I remember she had a serious crush on Edward Cullen."
"Are you ready to go?" I asked her. We looked like goofball tourists in matching Hawaiian print. I was wearing an aloha shirt while she wore a formfitting muumuu made of the same print. I didn't care—we were ridiculously in love and were doing this for fun.
"I dare you to wear black socks with that outfit," Bella giggled, as I threw my flip-flops on.
"Now that's going too far. Even I have my pride."
Four days later, we arrived back in Arizona. We had just unloaded our bags, when the doorbell chimed. I went to answer it. Police Chief Charles Swan stood on the other side looking angry and worried at the same time.
"You mind telling me where my daughter is, Paul?" he questioned with a scowl. Fuck.
"Honey, who is it?" Bella strode up to the door and peeked around me. "Fuck," she voiced what I had been thinking.
"Are you going to let me in or do I have to stand out here getting baked in the hot Phoenix sun?"
"Sure, come in please, sir." I held the door open for him and motioned towards the living room.
We sat in the living room facing Bella's formidable father.
"So, Dad, what are you doing here?"
"What am I doing here? I'll tell you what I'm doing here. When my daughter doesn't pick up the phone or return my calls for a month, I get fucking worried. On top of that, I show up at her house and find out it's been rented out. I had to use the police database in Phoenix to find out where you were living. It turns out you've been here for nine months now! Well? Explain yourself!"
"Sorry, Daddy. I... Well, Paul imprinted on me last year and we've been together ever since. I didn't tell you because I didn't want to deal with anyone in La Push. I also thought you'd be angry at me for getting involved with the supernatural again."
"How could you even think that, Bella? I love you. Did you judge me when I married Sue Clearwater?" Bella shook her head that she didn't. "That's right, you didn't and you knew she was part of the tribal council. Even if she isn't a shape-shifter herself, she's still a part of their world. There's nothing you can do about imprinting. Being married to Sue, I've seen it happen three times already to Leah, Seth, and most recently to Embry. Maybe now that you're an imprint yourself, you can come back and meet Sue. She still wants to get to know you, you know."
Bella didn't say anything. Neither did I. Charlie, then, peered down at Bella's ring. "Are you two engaged?"
"Uh, yes, sir. I just asked Bella to marry me while we were on vacation in Hawaii this past week."
"I suppose congratulations are in order then, kids. What do you do, son? You obviously have a pretty nice house and live in a decent neighborhood."
"I own my own construction business. It's doing pretty well."
"Now come on, son. I'm no idiot. All of this can't be achieved through simply owning a construction company."
"Yes, sir, my firm does corporate construction and engineering. I handle a good deal of government contracts in towns and cities throughout Arizona."
Charlie nodded his head. "Good, at least you can support her, which is comforting to me even if she can support herself." And then he looked directly into my eyes with a stern expression. "You ever lay a hand on my daughter and I'll put a bullet between your eyes."
"I could never hurt Bella, sir. She's my world," I stated, honestly.
"Good, we understand each other, then. So, when are you two getting married?"
"We haven't discussed it yet. We just got engaged and don't even think about asking me about grandkids yet. We're both young and healthy, and we have time," Bella said.
Charlie chuckled, "You know me too well. Leah and Seth have already given me three grandbabies each with one more on the way, but it would be nice to have one from my own flesh and blood. You're right, though, you still have time, and I think the imprint almost guarantees you'll be able to make babies when you're ready. Waiting a year or two won't hurt."
Bella started blushing a bright red. Geez. I hope Chief Swan doesn't think Bella's a virgin.
Charlie Swan stayed with us for three nights. He offered to get a hotel, but we insisted he stay here. I mean for God's sake, we had eleven bedrooms, twelve baths, and an in-law apartment. I went a little nuts when I was building the house a few years ago.
We took Charlie golfing with us. I learned to golf out of necessity a few years ago. I quickly found out that, here in Arizona, the majority of big deals were set into motion on the golf course. Bella already knew how to golf because the father of one of her friend's taught her when she was growing up in Camelback East.
Charlie left Arizonadeclaring golf was his new favorite sport. I even bought Sue and him a new set of clubs each, and told him to practice with her when he got back to Washington. I did some research and found out there were three golf courses in Port Angeles. He, in turn, made me promise to go fishing with him when we visited Forks. Bella went a step further and invited Sue to accompany him the next time he flew in for a visit. He looked relieved that she was finally extending an olive branch of sorts. Charlie assured us that Sue and he would keep our relationship a secret from the pack until we were ready to tell them ourselves.
"Phew! That was unexpected," I said to Bella after Charlie left.
"No kidding, but I think he likes you. He kept calling you 'son,' and he invited you to go fishing with him in Forks. He doesn't do that unless he likes you."
"How the heck am I supposed to fish? I don't know anything about it."
"How can you not know how to fish coming from where you do?" Bella asked.
"My old man was too drunk to fish and no one ever took me along with them. That's why I learned how to surf."
"Yeah, and you're a pro at that. I witnessed it myself," Bella said, sarcastically.
"Why you..." I started tickling Bella on the sofa. She was giggling like crazy.
"Okay, I give... I give..." Bella cried out laughing. I kissed her soundly on the lips and made love to her right then and there. Three nights with her father in the house was a cock-blocker to be sure.
Four months later...
"Hey, baby, where are you?" I called my fiancée's cell phone because it was already eight pm and normally, she should have been home an hour and a half ago.
"I'm pulling into the garage now. I need help with the bags."
I ran into the garage to greet her. "You don't usually go shopping until Saturday. It's only Tuesday."
"Uh, yeah, but we don't normally have guests flying in for the long weekend." Her little Volkswagen Beetle was loaded up with everything from groceries to sheets and towels. Charlie and Sue were coming to stay with us tomorrow night for Thanksgiving weekend. We were both nervous as hell. Sue Clearwater was a tribal elder, not to mention my future stepmother-in-law.
Last month, Renee, Phil, and their two kids had come to visit us. They were easy-going and relaxed. I got along well with Phil—he was only about eight years older than I was. We worked out at the gym and he showed me how his baseball team circuit trains. He was a minor league baseball coach down in Jacksonville. Renee was one hell of a ditzy woman. Bella was running around like a chicken with her head cut off trying to make sure that their boys were fed three square meals a day. When she found out they hadn't gotten their flu shots yet, Bella came home and made sure that Renee, Phil, Tucker, and Tyler were properly vaccinated. They were doing pretty well for themselves financially, but dang—I think my drunk mother may actually have had her head together more than Renee. If my mother couldn't feed me, she made sure someone else on the reservation did. Renee would just forget about breakfast, lunch, and dinner because she would become too engrossed in whatever she was doing. I'm so happy Bella took after Charlie.
"Damn it!" Bella cursed, as she loaded the groceries up in the fridge. "I forgot to pick up a turkey. Who forgets to pick up a turkey for Thanksgiving?"
"Come on, babe, let's go and get one. We'll eat out, too. You've done enough for tonight."
We were perusing Whole Foods Market for a turkey and loading up the shopping cart with stuff we didn't need when I heard a shrill voice I never thought I'd hear again.
"Oh my God! Paul?"
"Oh, hey Tina," I greeted my ex. She was with some pompous looking dude, and sporting an engagement ring on her finger. The diamond wasn't as large, nor as flawless as the one I'd purchased for my fiancée, but then again, my imprint deserved perfection.
Bella, for some reason, had an amused expression on her face.
"Paul, this is my fiancé Jason."
"Bella?" Jason greeted, looking at my girl.
"Hello, Jason. I see you've met your ideal girl," she said, looking at the bottle blonde who was now my ex.
Bella, unable to control herself any longer, started guffawing in the middle of Whole Foods Market. Knowing I have supersonic wolf hearing, she quickly whispered that Tina's fiancé was the dufus doctor who broke up with her because she didn't look good as a blonde.
"Do you know that woman?" Tina asked Jason, snippily.
"Uh, yes, we dated for a time about a year before we met."
"Oh...is that all. Well, you have me now—she's obviously a little tapped in the head. She's laughing like a loon in the middle of the store!"
Uh, yeah! This is coming from the airhead who was a waitress at an airport cocktail lounge before she moved her ass into my house.
I couldn't hold it in any longer either and started cracking up, too. "Well, see you later and good luck," I chortled as I waved the two of them off.
"Holy crap, I don't think I've ever seen a more ideally suited couple than those two assholes," Bella chuckled.
"No shit, right? So, do we get a fresh or a frozen turkey?"
"Fresh, definitely. Get one that's over twenty pounds. That way we have leftovers and I can make you turkey pot pie."
"Now, you're talking, babe! Can we get those pita chips and more of that hummus stuff?"
"Yeah, definitely. Anything else?"
"Not really." Before I realized it, I had walked around the store and loaded the cart up with enough food to feed a small army.
"You do realize I went grocery shopping before this, too, right?" Bella asked at the restaurant. "How the heck are we supposed to fit all of that stuff in the fridge?"
"It's been done before, we can make it work."
Later that evening...
"What the hell do you mean by you can't fit my beer? I like having an ice cold one after work."
"Paul, the food will go bad if we don't keep it refrigerated—the beer won't." We had filled up the refrigerator to the hilt and were now loading things up in the refrigerator attached to our new outdoor kitchen.
"Stop growling. It was your own fault anyway for going crazy at Whole Foods. We were only there to buy a turkey. Have something else, like whiskey or red wine, until we have space in the fridge."
Is she out of her mind? Fine, I'll just buy a new fridge tomorrow and throw it in the garage—just for my beer.
The next day...
I had just picked Sue and my father up at the airport, and we were heading home. Paul was meeting us there after work. My father looked like he was geared up for golf. He was dressed in a golf hat and a golf shirt and looked ready to hit the links.
After making some small talk in the car, I pulled into our garage.
"Is Paul not home yet?" my father asked.
"No, doesn't look like it. He might be working late because the company is closed for the long weekend."
"Are you off too?"
"Yep, Dr. Blanchard always closes over Thanksgiving weekend. His family flies in to see his wife and him then. Let me show you to your room."
I took Charlie and Sue to the in-law apartment, which we had set up and furnished especially for them.
"Oh my goodness. This is so nice. This is as big as our house," Sue commented. "Are you sure, we're not putting you out?"
"No, this is your apartment to do with as you please. Paul and I set it up so you can come here whenever you want. Oh, here's the key. You have your own entrance or you can go in and out through the main house."
"Thank you, Bella," Sue acknowledged gratefully.
I heard Paul honk the horn of his truck from the garage. We went out to see him and... What in hell?
"Can you use a hand, son?" Dad asked.
"We already have a refrigerator. We have a SubZero for God's sake. Why do we need a second fridge?" I asked, shocked. "Correction, third—if we count the refrigerator attached to the outdoor kitchen."
"This fridge stays in the garage—it's for my beer," Paul replied, and then turned to Charlie. "Bella wanted me to have something other than beer after work because there wasn't enough room for it in the refrigerator in the kitchen. Can you believe that?"
"Women," my father commented while shaking his head in disbelief. Traitor.
I walked back into the house and let Paul and Dad set up the new, unnecessary refrigerator. Sue followed me inside and I decided to get started on dinner.
"Can I help you in the kitchen?" she asked.
"Sure. I'm just putting together a salad, and I thought we could grill up some chicken. I figured you've probably had your fill of fish being married to my father."
"Oh, for sure and Harry before him—I'm all fished out." She chuckled and smiled kindly at me.
"Well, we have all sorts of food of the non-fish variety here."
"Speaking of fish. Hold on." Sue ran back to the in-law apartment and came back dragging a huge cooler on wheels.
"This is from your father, he caught it this past weekend with Seth and Billy Black."
I opened up the cooler and there were two fish about twenty-five inches long plus another fish about forty inches long. There were also several smaller fish about eight to ten inches long.
"What do you have there, babe?" Paul walked in from the garage, looking completely satisfied with himself.
"Fresh fish from Washington. I can't identify most of them. I know the big one is salmon."
"The two medium sized ones are rainbow trout and the small ones are catfish," Sue explained. "We can filet and freeze them if you like."
"That would be great. I still remember you used to filet Dad's fish for him before he brought it home for me to cook when I was in high school. Thank you for that."
"You're welcome, dear."
"So, Charlie, come on out back and I'll show you the new outdoor kitchen that I installed," my fiancé prompted.
"Take the chicken and grill it while you're out there." I handed Paul the dish. After I taught him how to use the grill, he turned out to be pretty handy at it. Now, it was his job to grill.
Sue stared shocked at me. "How in the world did you tame Paul Lahote? I've known him all his life and I've never seen him so... so... domesticated."
"I don't know. We've always worked well together, at least since the imprint. I'd only met him twice, before it happened and that was when we were in high school still."
Paul ran back into the house, grabbed the tongs, and kissed me on the cheek. He looked at a stunned Sue and gave her a kiss on the cheek, too, before running back outside.
"Can you train all of the men in La Push?" Sue asked.
"You're on your own there, Sue."
Sue taught me how to filet the fish. She made it look so easy. While I worked on one fish, a little catfish, mind you—Sue finished fileting the rest of the fish. When she was done, we had enough fish for at least twenty meals in the freezer portion of Paul's beer refrigerator. We cleaned up, and I finished preparing the dinner. We brought everything out on the deck to eat.
"Oh, Paul, this is such a beautiful house. Did you really build it yourself?" Sue asked.
"It took me three years, but it was worth the effort. I actually finished it a couple of months before I met Bella. The outdoor kitchen is new. I just finished that a couple of weeks ago. I actually took the plans from some of the architecturally designed new construction homes my company built and reworked the designs to suit me."
"I told you he's as smart as a whip, Sue," Charlie beamed. "I like him so much better than that Eric Yorkie kid that Leah imprinted on. All he does is go to work, then come home and play World of Warcraft."
"I agree, the Yorkie kid works hard, but after work it's all computers. Our poor grandbabies are raising themselves," Sue agreed. "Speaking of grandbabies, when are you two going to bless us with some?"
"Um, Sue, Bella and I just got engaged four months ago. We're not in any rush to get married and start a family. We still have our careers to think about."
"Are you two out of your minds? You're both thirty-one years old! You should have at least six babies by now."
"Six?" Paul and I both gulped.
"We were thinking more like one child when we're forty," I said.
"Forty?" Dad and Sue both yelled out in shock and then it began. Both of them started nailing into us about how they were going to be dead before we ever gave them grandkids. Sue started screaming that Taha Aki was turning over continuously in his grave at the thought of us having kids at forty. He'd probably come back to life. Charlie stated our kids wouldn't have any playmates because all of their 'pack cousins' would be from a different generation. My eggs were going to shrivel up. Paul would probably be on Viagra by the time he's forty and his sperm will no longer have the ability to swim. We would both keel over and die before our kids became five, therefore, saddling Dad and Sue with grandkids they'd have to raise well into their seventies. I didn't bother pointing out the fact that the last statement they made totally contradicted their first statement in which they said they'd be dead before the grandkids were born.
Later in bed, Paul and I sat stunned, leaning against our headboard.
"What the hell was that?"
"It's called parental guilt. It's why we don't live in La Push. In fact, I'm thinking we should move to Tahiti," Paul suggested. "It's nice and sunny there—no vampires, pretty beaches, no parents."
"I agree, let's just abandon everything we've worked for and run. This parental guilt thing is horrific. So, how many more days are they here for?"
"Three nights, four days. Thank God they haven't told the pack about us yet. We'd be inundated with phone calls. By the way, we're going to Disneyland over Christmas. One of my clients gave me corporate passes for the resort—including a three-night stay at one of the hotels there. I figured we can stay there first, and then check out Los Angeles for a few days. Dr. Blanchard shuts the office down for a week between Christmas and New Year's anyway, right?"
"Yeah, he does. I'm actually excited, I've never been to Disneyland."
"Neither have I. We were always too poor to go," Paul said.
"Same here. Well, you know my mom. She isn't exactly Mrs. Responsible."
"Do I ever? I hope she's feeding Tucker and Tyler."
"They won't die, they'll figure out soon enough that they have to learn to cook if they want to grow into their teens. Besides, Phil is there and he makes sure that my mom stays on the ball for the most part. Trust me, they have it way better than I did as a kid."
"Still, let's send them a big box of snacks so they have stuff to munch on. Speaking of which, I'm hungry. Do we have anything to eat?"
I rolled my eyes at Paul. We had two refrigerators chock full of food and another full of beer and fish. What he was really asking was if I could whip something up for him really quick.
"Come on, big boy. I'll make you an omelet," I offered.
"I love it when you talk all sexy like that." Paul wagged his eyebrows at me. Yep, my man is always thinking with his stomach.