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Rebecca had stopped crying and was as enraged as her sister had been when she found out what happened.
“I don’t care about your mystical, magical wolf-love-at-first sight bullshit!” Rebecca had become so angry at what Sam had been telling her and her father, she had charged through the screen door and stood in the middle of the porch, her fists trembling at her sides. “I love my husband. I’m going to have our baby. My baby! Not one of your future wolf-men! This place is cursed!”
Sam groaned and dropped his head into his hands. Rachel had said the same thing.
Seth had phased human with Sam and was standing beside him. “Rebecca, maybe if you got to know Paul a little bit?”
“Are you out of your mind!?!” Rebecca shrieked. “I will not stay in this God forsaken place and have a litter of puppies with Paul just because you all say I should. I am married. Obviously, none of you assholes have any fucking idea what the hell that means. I love Solomon. He loves me. We have a life together. I am not going to stay here and get to know Paul. And besides that, I don’t care if he looks twenty-five—he’s fifteen years old!” She threw her hands up in the air.
“Sixteen,” Seth mumbled as he flinched and took a few steps back.
“What-the-fuck-ever! It doesn’t make any difference because I’m not staying.” She bared her teeth at them and slapped her hands down on the rail of the porch. “Look at what happened to Rachel! She never wanted to come back and, according to you, Sam,” Rebecca gestured wildly toward him, “now she’s stuck here forever because she imprinted on Paul. What is up with that?”
Jared, Leah, and Embry had been stationed in front of the porch to protect Billy and Rebecca from an out-of-control, possessive Paul, but even they were backing away from Rebecca’s fury.
“We don’t know, Rebecca,” Sam admitted. “Maybe because you’re identical twins? The legends don’t say anything about that.”
“Well, your legends suck!”
“Becca,” Billy said soothingly as he reached for her hand. “You need to calm down. Please. The legends are all we have, and we’re proud of our Spirit Warriors and the—”
Rebecca snatched her hand away. “Don’t even try to feed me that shit. I know what you’re going to say because you tried to pull that on me and Rachel when we left. I do not have an obligation and responsibility to my tribe. This place is cursed! Our mother was killed when we were kids, you’ve ended up in a wheelchair, and your beloved son, the next Chief of the Quileute Tribe, is off running around as a dog in the wilds of Canada, having a temper tantrum of epic proportions, because some stupid girl won’t be his girlfriend, and he didn’t get his way and imprint on her. Maybe she’s better off.”
The wolves and humans all gasped in shock at her last statement.
“Rebecca, you don’t mean that. She’s Charlie’s only daughter, and she’s going to marry one of those undead—”
“I. Don’t. Care.” Rebecca’s dark eyes flashed with anger as she enunciated each word. “If they bother you so much, why don’t you go and kill them all?”
Sam’s head snapped up. “We can’t. We have a treaty with them—”
“You know what I think of your treaty? You can shove that treaty up your furry asses! Just like every other one, you’ve been screwed and you know it! Well, you’re not screwing me.” Rebecca was pacing back and forth across the porch. “All of you have been poisoned by this Cold One legend crap and you got Rachel, too. You’re not going to get me or my baby.” She stopped jerkily and slapped her hands down on the rail again. “Rach, if you ever manage to get back to your human self you can come stay with me and Sol until you get on your feet. Maybe Hawaii is far enough away. I’m leaving.” She whirled away from them and stepped toward the door.
“You can’t leave!” Sam shouted.
“Your plane doesn’t leave until the day after tomorrow. Where will you stay?” Billy rolled his chair toward her. “But you can’t leave.”
At his imprint’s words, Paul started howling. Because he was so distressed, Rachel whimpered and crept along the ground toward him, fighting the Alpha’s order to get to her inconsolable imprint.
“You can’t stop me, Dad, Sam, unless you’re going to kidnap me and tie me up. Explain that to the police when my husband files a missing persons report. Rach, you’re my twin, and I love you. I’m sorry to be leaving you like this, but you know, better than anyone, I have to get out of here. Call me when you can speak human again. Well, if you want to.” She fled into the house.
Everyone was absolutely dumbfounded by Rebecca’s vehement announcement. Sam almost went to stop her, but halted halfway to the house. She was right. There really was nothing he could do to make her stay short of imprisoning her. All he had been concerned about was what he could do for his wolves—his pack. Had they all gone insane? He couldn’t kidnap the woman and force her to stay against her will.
They heard the front door crash open and Rebecca storm out of the house.
When the engine of her little sub-compact started, Jared whined at Sam.
“No. We can’t kidnap her. She wants to leave.” Sam’s hands raked through his hair. “We can’t force her to stay and accept the imprint. We can’t—”
“Sam!” Seth grabbed his arm and pointed at Paul.
Rachel had reached the moaning silver wolf and had placed one paw on his front leg.
To know what they were saying, Sam ignored Billy and stripped off the borrowed shorts. He willed himself to become his wolf again and saw immediately that Paul was in no danger from Rachel.
Rachel. Rachel, she left. She left me. Paul howled again and he flopped bonelessly to the ground, his entire body displaying his utter dejection.
Rachel cocked her head and gazed mournfully down at him, her eyes a shining, liquid honey. I know, Paul. I know. I’m so sorry. Rachel placed her paw on his shoulder and then eased down beside him, resting her head over his, hugging him the best that she could. She … she loves her husband. I wanted to leave with her, but I’m staying. For you. I won’t leave you, Paul.