Chapter 9: Liliana

I stare at Collin for a long time before opening my mouth to give him my answer. What would happen when Sam finds out that I am no longer innocent and that I am going to be married to Collin? What will Jacob do when he finds out?

"Yes.." I finally say.

"You mean it?" Collin asks with a large smile on his face.

"Yes, I will marry you," I nod and smile at him. Collin puts the ring on my finger and we share a deep kiss. I am going to marry my first crush and my best friend. What else can a girl ask for in her life?

I sit with Collin in his living room while watching a movie with his parents out, as usual. Collin rubs his thumb against my knuckles and kisses the top of my head when I lay it on his shoulder and pull the blanket closer against me. We have not told anyone about our engagement, not even Embry or Seth.

"You feeling okay? You are holding that blanket a little close," Collin notes.

"Yes, I am fine, baby," I say and snuggle closer. The front door opens and his parents walk in. They give us a quick hello and walk into the kitchen. "My place?"

"Sure," Collin says. I get up and take a deep breathe. I have to tell him soon before it is too late or he will be very upset about not being told in the beginning. Collin gets his bag for him to stay at my house for a few days, which has been normal for a few years now. I take his hand in mine once we are out of the house and we walk through the woods to Billy's house. "We should take a walk on the beach before we get to Billy's house."

"That sounds good," I say quietly. Collin intertwines our fingers together and gives my hand a gentle squeeze.

"You are hiding something from me, Lili," Collin says after we walk the beach in silence. I look at my feet and sigh, to help brace myself in what it is I was about to tell him.

"While I was gone, I learned something that changed my life," I say. Collin stops and lifts my chin with his hand for me to look at him.

"Lili, what happened?" Collin asks.

"I love you and I don't want you to panic. While I was gone, I found out I was pregnant and before Jake and Embry found me and dragged me home, I miscarried our baby," I say. Tears fall down my face at the memory of the morning I lost my baby and when my world shattered. Collin caresses my face and then pulls me close to him. I sob and hold onto him tightly.

"There will other chances we can have a baby. Don't fret, baby," Collin coos and caresses my hair. I cry a little more and think about the family, that I dreamed of for years and never thought I would never get, with Collin that love of my life.

A few Days Later

Collin is asleep in the treehouse that Sam made for us as kids and where he proposed to me. I climb up and pounce on him with a giggle and he groans at my interruption of his nap. He holds me close and we lay there in silence for a few minutes. I put my chin his chest to look at his sleepy face that somehow makes him look so cute.

"I have a surprise for you," I say.

"Oh? And pray tell what that might be?" Collin asks, mocking me and my everlasting love for Jane Austen and other authors from her time period. I forced him to watch some Jane Austen and other chick flicks the other day and he has been teasing me since. I hold up the keys to a house that I have never set foot in, but is now mine.

"I have been granted my mum's house by the court since I am almost of age," I say with a big smile. Collin sits up and takes the keys in his hands.

"Baby, are you sure you want to do this? I mean, you have never seen that your mother touched or lived in besides that haunted house that she died in and certain places on the reservation. I am excited that we now have a house of our own, but are you ready to face your mother's past?" Collin asks quickly, to make sure I do not interrupt him.

"Yes, I want to see the house so we can decide what to keep and what to throw away. This is going to be our home that is bought and paid for, and I want to start our family there," I say. Collin puts the keys in his hoodie pocket and cups my face with his hands.

"Only if you are sure," Collin says. I nod and Collin kisses my forehead before we leave the treehouse and walk to my mum's old house. Am I ready for this?

We arrive at the house to see that the yard was kept tidy by the neighbours in my mum's hounour, which is really sweet of them. I stare at the house and try to imagine what it would have been like if my mum had moved me here when I was little and she was still alive, or when she was alive when she lived here alone. Collin takes my hand and guides me to the front door. I grip the key in my hand and take a deep breathe.

"I can't do this," I say and quickly turn to make a run for it. Collin grabs my hand and pulls me to face him.

"Hey, you can this. I am here to help you get through this. You can't keep running from your mother like this, you have to face the facts sooner or later," Collin says. He rubs my shoulders and kisses every spot on my face to get me to smile. I try not to smile, but he is good at his task. He takes my hand with the keys in it and puts the key into the keyhole to make me open the door on my own. I open the door and whimper at the smell of my mum wafting into my nose from inside the house. We walk in to see that the house has been kept in perfect condition and I wonder as to how the house still smells like her after so many years. The house is decorated in old fashioned but modernised furniture.

"We can keep some of the furniture, but the knick knacks need to go," I say. Collin holds my hand as we continue our walk through and make a few decisions on what can stay and go. I stop and stare at the smiling picture of my mother with Sam and my uncle that I never got to meet. Collin walks up behind me and puts his hands on my shoulders.

"Mama," I mutter under my breathe.

"You look just like her," Collin says. I smile and think about how she always smelled of the forest on a rainy day and was always warm when she held me or when he spent a few chilly nights laying on the lounge chairs on the balcony some nights.

"She was the best mother a child could ever have. She loved me even though I am a monster," I say. Collin kisses the back of my head and holds me close to him.

"You are not a monster, baby, and I keep telling you that," Collin says. I put my hands on his hands and close my eyes. This man loves me for who I am on the inside, just as Emily said he would, and I don't deserve him. We stand like this for a little longer. What else is in store for us now that we are going to be getting married soon?